Article Marketing Post Panda & How 15 Top Article Directories Are Doing Today

Mar 9, 2012   //   by Kristi Hines   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  51 Comments

I am regularly asked about the effectiveness of article marketing. It’s been a little over a year since the first Google Panda update in February 2011 when many sites took a major beating in keyword rankings.

While researching free SEO tools, I found a nice feature in SEMRush that allows you to see the number of keywords a site is ranking for over time. Using a graph that pulls information from the last four years, you can easily see if and when Panda updates hit the site. You can also tell if the site has since recovered their rankings.

The following are some of the top article directories and how they have fared in keyword rankings since the first Panda update. Note the spike around 3/2011 in the graph and everything thereafter.

Examiner

Alexa Global Rank: 806

PageRank: 8

Website: http://www.examiner.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.examiner.com/assets/handbook/index.html

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Squidoo

Alexa Global Rank: 209

PageRank: 7

Website: http://www.squidoo.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.squidoo.com/originalitypact

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

HubPages

Alexa Global Rank: 293

PageRank: 6

Website: http://hubpages.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://hubpages.com/faq/#what_is_allowed

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

EzineArticles

Alexa Global Rank: 314

PageRank: 6

Website: http://ezinearticles.com

Editorial Guidelines: http://ezinearticles.com/editorial-guidelines/

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Article Alley

Alexa Global Rank: 7,508

PageRank: 5

Website: http://www.articlealley.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlealley.com/guidelines.php

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Go Articles

Alexa Global Rank: 2,660

PageRank: 3

Website: http://goarticles.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://goarticles.com/author.html

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Articlesbase

Alexa Global Rank: 1,321

PageRank: 6

Website: http://www.articlesbase.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlesbase.com/editorial-guidelines

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

ArticleSnatch

Alexa Global Rank: 4,834

PageRank: 5

Website: http://www.articlesnatch.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlesnatch.com/submitguidelines.php

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Amazines

Alexa Global Rank: 6,336

PageRank: 4

Website: http://www.amazines.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.amazines.com/Article-Submission-Guidelines.htm

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Suite101

Alexa Global Rank: 3,802

PageRank: 6

Website: http://www.suite101.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://community.suite101.com/support/suite101-submission-guidelines

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Helium

Alexa Global Rank: 4,842

PageRank: 5

Website: http://www.helium.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://help.helium.com/helium-writing-standards

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Buzzle

Alexa Global Rank: 1,868

PageRank: 6

Website: http://www.buzzle.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.buzzle.com/authors/become-author.asp

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

ArticleCity

Alexa Global Rank: 9,756

PageRank: 5

Website: http://www.articlecity.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.articlecity.com/article_submission.php

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Self Growth

Alexa Global Rank: 5,030

PageRank: 6

Website: http://www.selfgrowth.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.selfgrowth.com/submit_articles

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Bukisa

Alexa Global Rank: 7,681

PageRank: 5

Website: http://www.bukisa.com/

Editorial Guidelines: http://www.bukisa.com/info/bukisa-101

Article Directory Keyword Rankings After the Google Panda Update

Do you use article marketing in your online marketing strategy? Has it been effective since Panda? What directories would you suggest?

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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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Comment Policy

  • Ileane
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Kristi, this is really interesting! I wonder why some sites bounced back while others are still stuck in the mud. Squidoo looks like the place to be right now. Thanks for providing a quick snapshot for easy comparison of all these sites.
    Have a great weekend Kristi.

    • Kristi Hines
      Twitter:
      says:

      I know a lot of sites changed their guidelines. HubPages changed their entire structure – articles are now on subdomains (username.hubpages.com/article-name vs. hubpages.com/article-name). And their the only ones that had a great recovery.

  • Marbella says:

    Thank Kristi, I found several fun and useful tool in Kissmetrics.

  • Ray says:

    I see hubpages talked about a lot, probably more than squidoo lately. I have always liked squidoo and it’s good to see it seems to be recovering. Looks like ezine has a bit to go yet, and is still taking a beating.

  • Dev
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Kristi,

    Good to see these sites are recovering. Thanks for sharing the list.

    Have a great weekend..!

  • Lily Rose says:

    Thanks for sharing and for obvious presentation of the rankings. Squidoo was my choice as well.

  • Everest says:

    Thanks for sharing this infographics. This is a big factor to consider in business marketing. Your illustrations here are the best tip for us.

  • Mirana says:

    If you have the funds, you could also consider outsourcing your daily tasks. That’s a huge time saver and you will have someone working your business for you even while you are at your main job.

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Kristi,

    There has been a lot of debate about how effective article marketing is “post Panda”

    I think regardless of whether or that a particular article directory has lost some of the search visibility is one thing, if you are counting on traffic from the articles themselves, but I think the links from those directories still hold some value, but perhaps not quite as much as before, but I don’t think this is reason to abandon article directories altogether.

    Then again one shouldn’t be relying solely on article marketing as their source of links in the first place. A diversified approach to link building works best and this is nothing new of course.

    I can tell you what doesn’t work, at least not nearly as effectively as it used to. That’s spinning content and blasting that to hundred or thousand of article directories. Google is getting better at filtering similar content. But that is generally a good thing.

    I do find it interesting how some sites got hit and never recovered whereas others got hit and bounced back.

    • Kristi Hines
      Twitter:
      says:

      I look at rankings as a sign of how Google feels about a particular site. If the site is continuously gaining in the rankings, then Google must like them (and their links probably count for something) vs. sites that haven’t bounced back in rankings (and their links probably count for less). :)

    • Clint Lenard
      Twitter:
      says:

      I think the biggest problem with most of these directories is that they support the whole “Article Marketing” approach that so many self-proclaimed SEO experts use, which is for link building. While it’s useful (the links), it’s not really providing much else, which is where these directories have failed. People simply spin content that passes copyscape, even if it doesn’t read well.

      This provides absolutely no value to the reader and I’m glad to see Google doing their job. Article Marketing, in reality, is a great way to get targeted traffic. However, most people simply use it for the links, which is not very useful. If they took the time they spend on creating, spinning, and submitting this content to a ton of low quality directories, they’d be able to knock out some high value content that gets them HIGHLY targeted users, as well as more PR (which most shoot for in the first place) from those high PR properties.

      It all just seems so backwards, yet these companies have allowed it and even continue to do so.

  • Rene says:

    Wow, that’s an awesome comparison.
    Squidoo is definitely one step ahead aren’t they.
    I’ve also gotta say, thank you for reminding me how cool SEM Rush is. Sometimes you forget how many handy tools I’ve actually download and forget about.

  • nikkilao says:

    Hello Kristi,

    I would like to express my appreciation regarding this article. It is very informative and helpful, regarding importance of this kind of task. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Latief
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Kristi, thanks for the information, love to see Squidoo and Hubpages on top ;)
    I’m still using Squidoo and Hubpages for article marketing …

  • Staurt says:

    Very interesting how squidoo is still going strong. I used to use them all the time for linking and SEO purposes. Interesting how the article pages took a fall. Now the question is with them taking a fall does google not see the links as important. Of course the reason the articles took a dive was cause of all the duplicate content.

    In your opinion is it worth submitting to article places still I am going towards the way of guest blogging.

    I run a reputation management site and the articles help slightly for links with that business.

    Curious what everyones best way to get links are. I use directories and guest blogging.

    One more thing before i go I see someone suggesting outsourcing the linking process. I think this is a good idea as long as they do not write the posts.

  • Chris HELP!
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow–extremely useful information. I was actually just doing a little research on article marketing and what links count for these days. I kind of figured ezine was still doing poorly, as the general quality of articles is pretty crappy. I honestly can post an article on there from scratch in about 3-5 minutes. How could it be “quality” content?

  • Nicholas says:

    That’s crazy that Squidoo out of all these sites is the one to rebound best. I did notice that they have some pretty strict guidelines as to what makes a “lens” qualified to not only be indexed but have followed links as well. I think this definitely helps with the quality and original content signals.

  • Full Media
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is just another example of why you shouldn’t rely on just one method and one source for SEO. I don’t think this information should deter anyone from ever using article marketing, but just like everything, use sparingly. Thanks for the wonderful graphs and introducing me to such a wonderful new tool – SEM Rush.

  • Mike
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am still a big supporter in article marketing…some SEOs now a days write it off because it isn’t AS efficient as it once was…but in my opinion, it is still an incredibly useful way to build links and get direct traffic. Also, a great thing about some of those such as Hubpages, Squidoo, GoArticles, etc. is they do not have a review period so it takes very little effort to build high quality links that are indexed almost immediately. Great write up, and I’ll be sharing this on Twitter!

  • These directories helping so many of internet promoters, its quite interesting to know about their trends in their stats. Every webmasters dream to reach such a position. Fortune is opened by their efforts.

  • Ricky says:

    I was kind of looking for a comparison chart with more details. Has article marketing died? Is it better than guest blogging?
    There are so many doubts and questions in my mind that need to be cleared after the recent panda update

  • Becky says:

    Wow! This is a real eye opener. I pay to have my articles submitted to a number of those sites. Do you think it is worth it to have articles posted to Ezine, Amazine and the others or just focus on getting hubs and lenses?

  • Wow is right— I knew they had real issues, but I never dreamed it was this bad. This would explain why I have so many clients asking for guest posts:)

    Becky— I’m sure Kristy will answer you when she gets this far down on the page– but I think you might be better off investing your time or money on good quality guest posts on blogs that are related to your niche. Just be careful of “junk blogs”— after a while, you will know them at a glance–they are the ones that have crazy high Page Ranks and nothing but garbage on their pages. A sure sign is if there are just two pages—Home and Disclosure.

    Squidoo looks like it’s doing great, and the rest of the article directories still get tons of traffic. I just wanted make it my primary source for marketing.

  • Felipe Bazon says:

    Interesting to see how some of these sites recovered quite well after Panda and others are still struggling, I thought that EzineArticles had recovered, specially after all the editorial guidelines “enhancements” which sometimes are a pain on the back side. But IMO they still got too many ads on individual article’s pages.

  • [...] number of times (for me that was 50+). After reading this rather useful post by Kristi Hines on what effect Panda has had on article site traffic, it seemed silly not [...]

  • Peter
    Twitter:
    says:

    Very cool to see that data side by side. I think that sites which incorporate some type of peer rating system will do very well in the future. Can’t tell if google incorporates that data into the algorithm, but it seems sites like squidoo and hubpages, which both have it are doing great.

    It makes sense since article directory editors have an incentive to get as much content on their site as possible so they often push through poor quality material whereas readers have no incentive to rate an article well so their opinion means more.

    I’m guessing we’ll see the article directories dropping even more in the future so I’m going to try and find more community based sites to work on. The strong communities also drive comments and that’s likely a contributing factor in rating article quality.

    Are you using many article directories yourself any more?

  • Richard
    Twitter:
    says:

    I was looking for an article just like this to determine how badly the article directories were affected and which ones were the best now available. Wow! They were really slammed! Thanks a bundle for the detailed charts!

    Cheers,
    Richard

  • Farrukh says:

    Its a big change after panda updates. Google actually warned webmasters that take care of your contents otherwise we know what we have to do….

  • Kelsey
    Twitter:
    says:

    This post was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

  • scott says:

    Really useful analysis. I’m just about to start writing a few articles and it’s good to find some useful information on article marketing post google updates.

    Thank you!

  • Your Answers says:

    Seeing the graphs is really mind blowing how hard some of these directories got hit, especially ezinearticles. You have any updated graphs post penguin?

  • Frank says:

    I can tell you that a lot of the article directories I thought were hot are no longer. This graph really helps. Some of the big guns like Clush directory and Buzz are not even on here anymore. Many of my SEO friends were shocked at the Google Panda Update.

  • Dan Trimper says:

    Very interesting data you have here. After using SEMrush myself, I was able to determine the exact time of when a algorithmic change occurred. Also, i like how you compared the data for various article marketing sites. It provides much insight into achieving high search rankings for the long run.

  • TomS says:

    Very good data analysis – thank you.

    Given that the time required to gain a link from an article directory is still small I still believe it has a place in a link building strategy although it should not be relied on by any means. The ease at which anchor texts can be chosen also appeals.

  • John says:

    One thing I keep in mind on sites like ezinearticles is the other sites that pick up my articles from there and get links that way. Kind of old school but still amazed how many i see that still get picked up.

  • Daniel says:

    Excellent article, I definitely bookmarked it. It’s interesting to see how article sites got crushed, we used to be able to get a lot more views and url clicks from articles pre Panda, however articles are still a great way of advertising, whether for direct traffic, SEO or both.

    As this post shows, the key is posting high quality articles to directories and places that are really worth it :-)

  • Norman says:

    Hi,

    thanks for the analysis. Do you have any update on how Article Directories’ traffic changed in 2012?

    Cheers,
    Norman

  • Elisabeth says:

    Thanks so much for the article marketing update. Like Norman, I’m wondering how the situation has developed since then – I have the feeling that EZA has recovered quite a bit. Has it?

    I also appreciate that the key article directories have gotten a lot more selective and insist on a higher level of quality – which is good for those of us who focus on providing high quality articles.

    Thanks again!

  • BD Williams
    Twitter:
    says:

    How do I earn links with Squidoo? Is it just through the Authors Page? I have published several lens but not seen any of them indexed by Google.

  • charansingh says:

    I am regularly asked about the effectiveness of article marketing. It’s been a little over a year since the first Google Panda update in February 2011 when many sites took a major beating in keyword rankings. While researching free SEO tools, I found a nice feature in SEMRush that allows you to see the number of keywords a site is ranking for over time.

  • Jamy Hoster
    Twitter:
    says:

    Well after new update I think the article which was copy past or the content of the article was more then 60% copied was hit by panda as this is something I think more better for all those who are writing perfect and unique content for there blogs and articles also the quality work is now being start with out spamming any site.

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