Article marketing is for my reckoning, the most boring chore on the planet. Every time my to-do list springs up an item that requires me to visit Ezine, I shed tears of sorrow, snap a kitten in half, and beg for it all to go away.
Just who was the smart arse to decide that such monotonous crap should ever be rewarded by Google?
The benefits, or pointlessness, of article marketing can be argued over all day long. I don’t like to ruffle feathers when it comes to SEO. Everybody has a different opinion over what works, what doesn’t, and what classifies as a gigantic waste of time. If I had my way, I would confine the entire art of SEO to the latter.
It’s pointless shit, isn’t it?
It’s like trying to beat your competitor by jumping on the fastest escalator to the top of the pile of riches. Only, you don’t control the escalator. Google can choose to switch you in to reverse at any moment. If Google has a bad day, he can choose to remove the escalator from under your feet.
Nobody can deny that great money is there for the taking by ranking first for [your key phrase here]. But in my opinion, getting search traffic is the just tip of the iceberg. The real challenge isn’t to produce optimized content, but to produce memorable content.
And for that reason, I’ve always believed sites like Ezine to be about as valuable to the end user as a third nipple on my face. So imagine the explosion in my pants then when I read just recently that the so-called Google Farmer update could bring an end to this madness.
The death of article marketing, you reckon? I’d say it’s no more than a shifting of the goalposts at this point. If there’s one thing SEO professionals can be praised for, it’s their ability to try a lot of pointless crap with no true relevance to the people that actually matter. A string of wild experiments just to find something – Christ, anything – that creates an artificial ripple and crowbars their website a place or three up the rankings.
But no matter how influential you gauge these latest Google updates to be, the warning signs are there.
It’s time to stop being such a lobotomized prat in how you market your websites. Blasting hundreds of shitty 400 word articles may be effective now, and even tomorrow, but as long as Google is *trying* to castrate you at the source, you’re always going to be struggling to keep up with the pace.
I think it’s about time people woke up from their Digital Point induced comas and realised the importance of providing genuine content that offers real value to the world. No matter how many search engine changes lay ahead, you can always rest assured that there WILL be a way of marketing genuine content. But only if you actually have it.
So how can you take a step towards that? A little method I’ve been playing around with involves simply re-distributing my budget.
Instead of outsourcing 10 mediocre articles, I’ve been surveying opportunities for how I can outsource just one high quality article and get it used as a guest post on other high profile sites in my niches.
While it’s early days and requires a lot more creative thinking, not to mention a guest post friendly niche – you’re not going to find a blog about the cheapest office chairs – the first signs are definitely promising.
I find this a much more rewarding method of generating traffic to my sites. But also importantly, it gets subscribers and the highly sought after “return visits”. Search traffic is great for generating leads and sales, but you’ll rarely see those users again – unless it’s to complain about the bullshit you just sold them in your fake review.
Guest posting is often seen as an even greater chore than article marketing. At least with article marketing you’re guaranteed a backlink if you put your commas in the right places.
Most SEOs prefer to spend their time completing utterly brainless tasks with the surgical precision that warrants their job titles. Whereas high quality content requires time and thought – qualities you often have trouble outsourcing to Nigeria – and most importantly, the development of a rapport with the end user.
But in the long run, isn’t that exactly the content Google is striving to reward?
It doesn’t really matter. Screw Google. It’s possible to run high traffic websites without a shred or sniff of a first page on the Big G. You just need to be able to market your message in the right places to the right audience. The idea of abandoning search traffic altogether is, I would imagine, too much of a leap for most. So try looking at things in a different way.
Someday, Google will succeed in getting it’s algorithm up to speed with it’s vision. I know a lot of SEOs will argue how they’re smart enough to keep finding loopholes and keep gaming the system. But when that day comes, the smartest and most cost efficient way of gaming the system will be to actually oblige the god damn system.
Produce the great content, regardless of any search traffic, and have those forces like Google striving to be on your side. Not against it.
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