It goes by a few of different names — article marketing, article distribution, and article directory submission. In some circles, it is purported to be a low-cost, high-return search engine marketing (SEM) tactic whereas in others it’s regarded slightly above spam, and considered just as effective. While the online opinions vary significantly, there’s no denying that thousands, if not tens of thousands, of articles are distributed online every single day in search of the coveted backlink. So, who’s right? Is article marketing worth the investment, or is it nothing more than wasted effort on spam-like activity?

Consider the facts

When a person uses article marketing, or submits an article to article directories, they usually have one goal — increasing the number of links that point to their website. While there are other uses for article distribution, boosting a website’s link popularity is the predominant goal of the practice. Search engines use links in their various algorithms; they discover new website and web pages by following links, and some search engines, like Google, rely on links to help them determine the keyword relevancy, and value, of a particular web page.

So, article marketing is the practice of increasing the number of links that point to a website, and search engines rely on links heavily to find new websites and pages, and also use links to determine the keyword relevancy, and therefore rankings, of a particular web page for a specific keyword. Taking these points at face value, article marketing is absolutely a worthwhile tactic for website owners who want to promote their website online.

Differences of opinion

There are a couple of arguments on the ‘article marketing is worthless’ side of the field:

While both of these arguments have merit, you can hardly convince a website owner who is experiencing increased search engine traffic, better search engine rankings, and more targeted visitors through article marketing that his or her tactics do not work. Article submission is like many other things — there are right and wrong ways to go about it, and if you go about it the wrong way, you’ll probably tend to believe the SEO gossip that is prevalent on the internet about it.

Acknowledge the reality

While article marketing can provide excellent results in some situations, even as a standalone marketing tactic, the results from an article marketing campaign can vary wildly from website to website. If you’re promoting a website that caters to a ‘niche’ market, targets lower-competition keywords or long-tail keywords, article marketing will probably do you some significant good, even if you only submit a few articles. However, if you’re trying to promote a website targeting generic, high-competition keyphrases like ‘auto insurance’, ‘web hosting’, or the like, you might be disappointed with the results of your article marketing campaign, even if you invest a lot of time, or money, into article submission.

Getting the most out of article marketing

Article distribution can be an effective, and even profitable, website marketing tactic. Here’s how you can get the most bang for your buck while using article submission as a website promotion strategy:

Article marketing can be an effective website marketing strategy in the right situations. While it’s not the perfect, all-powerful website promotion option that some proclaim it to be, it certainly can make a significant difference in a website’s online visibility in many situations.

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