Backlinks and the Article Junk Pile

Or How to Cut Off Your Own Nose to Spite Your Face?

There are rumblings and rumours scurrying around the place that a few of the MMO marketing set are aware of, but not too many, I believe. A few niche marketers such as myself are also getting wind of this, but its early days and would probably attract some unwelcome criticism from the SEO know it alls in any case, so I’m hedging my bets here.

Its all to do with the way a lot of marketers are going about getting those all important backlinks to their money making websites and blogs. With the new wave of article spinning software available at very affordable prices – MAR being one (yes, I’m unashamedly promoting it in my sidebar) and Ledger’s Best Article Spinner another – it has become way too easy to take a PLR or similar article on any subject you like, spin the crap out of it and the submit it to hundreds of article directories at the touch of a button. Voila! Instant backlinks, right?

Well, technically that is right. But that kind of technique is not what is known as “white hat”, or plainly speaking, legit. In fact it resembles the darker path that is otherwise known as “black hat” and that has always been how people get themselves into trouble. Okay, it works for now, but for how much longer?

Google are well known for tinkering with the way their algo counts those precious backlinks. The ones we all crave and desire to rank our sites in the index in order to get organic, targeted visitors who will, we hope, click our affiliate or PPC links and make us money. The thinkers and techies at Google like nothing more than to scope out where backlinks are being generated from and then taking a big stick to those places they view as black hat.

Don’t quote me on this, because it is purely my own opinion based on what I have seen happen historically and what I can see happening now. But I have a sneaky suspicion that Google will (if they haven’t already) figure out that they can alter their algo to discount links coming from article directories that are publishing “obviously” spun articles.

Now that’s not to say that originally written articles will get tarred with the same brush. I don’t see that happening because it takes time and effort as well as some research and knowledge on a subject to sit down and write a 500 word article that is worth reading and is informative. A backlink placed in that kind of article deserves to be counted, simply because the writer took the time and trouble to create a worthwhile addition to the web and provide a useful addition to Google’s index. After all, that is exactly what Google wants to see in its index – worthwhile, informative, readable, entertaining etc content that is original – and not that which is copied and spun into something that often closely resembles double dutch.

Ok, you don’t see too many spun articles littering the index, at least not in the high pages, but some get through and they are a major annoyance for anyone looking for something worthwhile to read. That’s not the issue here – but more for the fact that these spun articles do get indexed and that means the link(s) placed in them also count.

More annoying is the fact that legit sites are climbing the SERPs thanks to the ton of backlinks occupying tons of crap spun articles. How long do you think this will last before some bright spark at Google realizes that they can stop it happening by getting down and dirty with the algo – and we all know that the techies love to be able to work algorithmically rather than waste human resources checking all that badly spun bullshit. Shouldn’t be too hard to simply NOT index crap spun articles that are posted in the multitude of unregulated and clearly unedited article directories and the links in them would simply not be counted.

Hell, if I worked at Google and on their algo, I’d be laughing my ass off while I tweaked away until all those smug so-called SEO experts who have been dumping reams of worthless crap into article directories for months woke up one morning to find all their sites had taken a serious SERP hit because 90% of all their spin-generated backlinks had suddenly been ignored. The pleasure would be indescribable! Oh yeah!

What would that leave us with, I wonder?

It would leave us with those legit websites and blogs that got their backlinks the hard, but honest way! Yep, by writing good, original articles or by getting links from other site owners who liked what we wrote on our own sites so much, they thought it worthy of linking to. Which is how the algo and the SERPs ranking structure is supposed to work in an ideal world.

There will always be those who trade links and guest post in other people’s blogs. I don’t see anything wrong in that as a guest post must also be original and worthwhile – after all, who would accept crap spun articles on their personal, carefully tended and nurtured blogs? I certainly wouldn’t! Even more so if I believed it would be detrimental to my blog, in SERPs ranking or in visitor dissatisfaction, depending on what I expected from my blog. Yeah, I fully expect someone to come here and comment that I shouldn’t be so naive about the function of blogs. Sure I know what really goes on – I’ve been around long enough to know, so save your breath. This is mainly about my opinion on the probable future of spun articles and baclinks, in any case. Those of you that know me will know what I am really saying…

Also, such a change would pave the way for some more regulated and edited article directories such as ezinearticles.com – places where only legit, original content is welcome and there is a limit on the number and type of backlinks allowed. If its of any interest, ezinearticles.com make a fortune from the ads they place on your articles there, which is the trade-off for a backlink that is worth something. It could happen and I would welcome the change.

Pipe dream or wishful thinking? Both, but realities come from ideas and ideas come from wishful thinking that gets put into action.

Make Money The Honest Way Blog

Make Money Online by Writing for Technorati

Here’s some interesting news I just heard that might help you Make Money The Honest Way. If you are already well versed in the art of writing articles to provide your sites with strong anchored backlinks, then here is another option that has just presented itself.

Technorati have just announced that they will be adding a new feature to their already well known and high authority name and domain, which is for authors to publish original articles there. Now, details are sketchy right now as the system is not live yet and only in the announcement stage. But if they follow the pattern set out by ezine articles whereby all articles are manually checked for originality and relevance, then we could be seeing another very good source of backlinks. That is assuming they allow a resource box with a link back to your site, which I believe is pretty much the done thing when it comes to publishing anyone’s work on your site.

So technorati should be no different, and if, if they can be strong like ezine articles and really only accept quality articles, they will keep the spammers out and provide us with a strong authority source of links.

How does this help me to make money online?

Unless you are a complete noob and have no idea how this works, or you have been chasing the get rich quick scams that all the A-listers peddle online, in order to make money online you need to be able to attract targeted search traffic to your site where you sell whatever it is you sell. The only way to get search traffic is to rank well in the main search engines, primarily Google and the only way to do that is to have a strong authority site and the only way to get that is to have lots of original, relevant content that is linked to from a wide variety of strong, authority sources.

In other words, you need to build a strong site with lots of relevant content first and get links to it from as many different sources as possible for it to rank well in the serps for your chosen keywords.

Those links need to be anchored with your keywords and those keyword anchors need to be varied in order to look as natural as possible. You do this by several different means, but one of those is to write articles and post them to respected article directories (those that have good authority) such as Ezine Articles. Now with technorati entering this playing field, you have potentially one more source of authority links that you can get by submitting articles. As long as they do it right and don’t screw up like most article directories have done by allowing crap articles, or duplicate articles to be published on their site.

Are there lots of article directories that will provide good authority links? No there are not, as most of them accept duplicate content and badly written or spun articles. In fact there are probably only a handful of article directories that will do you any good with strong links, which is why any newcomer with a strong domain authority such as technorati is a very welcome addition to this sector of the Internet.

Doesn’t this mean more work for me?

Yes it does. It means you will have to write more original articles and submit them,each with a keyword anchored backlink to your site for maximum link strength. The more links you can put in an article, the weaker the link strength get, by the way. If you want the full juice from an article, you really should only put in one or two links max. One is obviously best. It means more work because you’ll have to submit more articles, but that’s the best way to get links for yourself, apart from exchanging links with other bloggers and website owners, which as we all know is never an easy thing to do, nor are directly exchanged links as strong as one-way inbound links.

There is another option if you are already making money online and that is to outsource your article writing. You take a chance on quality but if you are prepared to pay a little more for each article, you can get pretty good quality that will be good enough to put on Hub Pages, or InfoBarrels (two excellent sources of links) and may be good enough for Ezine and now, technorati.

Outsourced articles that are of decent quality can be had for around $5 per 400 words these days, which is good if you are buying and terrible if you are writing them for sale! Ok, the quality may not always be up to the standard you could write yourself, but it will save you a lot of time and if you can make more money in the long term from a well placed link in an article that cost you $5, then its worth the outlay.

However you get your articles, you have to be aware that Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving and getting ever better at finding spun content or badly re-written or duplicate articles. There are already strong rumours circulating that Google is altering the ratio of the weight it gives to sites in its index and their placement towards good on-site SEO and away from external links. That’s because Google recognizes that too many site owners now know how to game its index by fabricating their own inbound links. So the emphasis, while still on backlinks, is shifting to more weight being given to authority sites that contain lots of original, relevant content and good on-site SEO in terms of keyword relevant titles and text.

That means those of us who have been quietly building our own authority sites over the years will begin to see a shift in their serps placement for the better over crappy, thin sites with little or no original content that are propped up purely by a ton of inbound links.

So bring on more human edited, authority article directories! The real winners will be authority, content rich sites that also have lots of strong, keyword anchored backlinks from lots of different, authority sources. You mark my words. But above all else…

Never give up!

Make Money The Honest Way Blog