How to Publish Articles in 2012

So many changes have come from Google lately that our heads are spinning. Panda and Penguin have slapped us around and have yet to tire.  They are still going strong, leaving us dazed and confused as to what these two want to be fed at the Google zoo.  In the midst of the smacking there have been changes to Search + Your World, ads above the fold, search quality for video, knowledge graph and much more.  But what about articles?

Past practices of article spinning, using article syndication sites to push out mass versions of a single article and submitting the same article to various sites need to be left in the past.  (Using the same article over and over was never a good idea anyway… just saying…).  So what do you do now to be successful with article syndication?

Change Your Mindset

Think like Google.  Stop concentrating solely on the link acquired.  Think quality.  Think expertise.  Think of becoming a resource.

Source: DWHS’s Official Blog

Google has turned up the heat on their algorithm for one primary purpose:  to supply quality content to its searchers.  Add that to social media supplying us with direct access to the social graph and share capabilities, there is no better time than now to produce and network great, resourceful content straight to your target audience.

As online media evolves and Google pushes for the highest evolution possible, quality content is back at the center of Google’s attention.  As a content marketer, it needs to be at the center of your attention.  This will help your brand with reach, vitality and establishing yourself as a thought leader and your company peeps as experts in your industry.

Changes for Article Syndication

First of all, have a plan. Without a strategic plan with goals attached, your article marketing attempts will be nothing more than just that.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • What will you write about and why?  What value will the articles offer?
  • Who will find these articles valuable?  Where (on what sites) is your target audience reading this type of information?
  • What information are they seeking that you can deliver?
  • How often will you create and post articles?  What frequency can you commit to for your editorial calendar?

Second, know what sites to publish on.

  • What are the profile and login requirements?
  • What are the rules and regulations?

Know that high quality article sites will not accept duplicate content in any form.  It has to be fresh, not spun or rewritten and it cannot be the same article as on 50 other sites.  Why?  They want to keep the integrity of their site and their reputation as a resource hub.

Think from the consumer’s point of view.  If you were searching the Web for the best cold medicine and came across the same article across multiple sites from the same cold medicine company, you would not be very impressed.  You’d think they only had one answer and couldn’t articulate their own product in multiple fashions.  You’d also think them spammers.

Reliable information such as how-to’s, tips, facts, fun Q&A’s and the like all become resourceful information for consumers.  These types of assets on the Web become what consumers depend on to make good buying decisions.  Think of one of your favorite brands and what they’ve done to earn your trust.  Did they add images or videos into their posts to make it richer?

For example if you Google “Dove chocolate” several resources will populate including their social media sites, images, different wikis, their promises, paid ads on how to become a Dove chocolatier, information on calorie counts, fun videos and more.  All of these assets collectively make up their branding as chocolate experts and gain the trust of their consumers.  These resources on the Web will influence buyer behavior where many will chose Dove chocolate over Hershey’s.

Where to Publish Worthy Articles

Once you have your plan with goals, know what you will write and what frequency you will post.  You also need to know where to publish your article content.

2 Rules of thumb:

1)   Don’t publish to article syndication sites.  Yes they will push one article out to many sites and score a link for each one, but Google will only index the first article and most of the links will be no follow, so what’s the point?

2)   Don’t use spinning software or spin tokens.  The content comes out choppy and not only will the reader raise an eyebrow but so will Google.  And now-a-days when Google raises and eyebrow the pandas and the penguins get called.  So don’t do it.

For each article site you are manually submitting to, write a fresh article on a fresh industry related topic or from a fresh business related angle. Articles should be resources, not sales pitches.  Write about what your readers will care about, such as the suggestions above.  Examples would be if you are in the travel industry, write about tips for traveling with children.  If you own a cabin you rent out on the weekends, write about tips for chopping wood for the fire, camping tips or how to pack light. Think like your target audience thinks.  What do they need to know?

Post on industry related article sites or top article/resource sites (also known article directories) such as these top 7:

  1. eHow
  2. HubPages
  3. Squidoo
  4. Ezine Articles
  5. Technorati
  6. Buzzle
  7. Examiner

Know that each site will have a different requirement for setting up and logging into your account.  For example, eHow requires you to sign in either through Facebook or Google.  That means you have to have one of these accounts to be able to have and use an eHow account.  HubPages gives you the choice of signing in via email and password or through Facebook.

Take the time to get to know each site for login and account requirements as well as editorial guidelines.  Some will allow an anchor text link in the body of your article and some will not.  Some will allow videos and images to be embedded while others will not.  Word count requirements will be different per site as well.  Some sites, like HubPages and Squidoo, have communities with voting systems while others do not.

Get to know each and test what works best for you.  Optimize and add social shares.  Encourage commenting and dialogue.  Spread the word about your articles on your social channels and refer to them by linking to them from your Website and blog.  Refer to them later as well to keep them alive and worthy.

For help with article development and content marketing that avoids the vicious slaps, give us a shout.

  • mike

    Great !

  • I'm finding that the results provided by Google suck! I just looked up "what is article syndication" and most of the results after the first 25 or so are nothing but warriorforum posts. There must be 30 or 40 listings from there. Now maybe they are great writers but maybe not. I've seen spun articles in the top 5. They spelling stinks and reading them is a burden to say the least. Google talks about Penguin 2.0 now. Is this going to provide even worse results?

  • vizioninteractive

    RIchard, you have a valid concern. Matt Cutts keeps talking about how hard the Google engineers are working on Penguin 2.0. When we hear that it makes us cringe. Didn't 1.0 do enough? Guess not. 1.0 leased a fury on the overused anchor text in links, overused Web directories (article directories included) to get links, overuse of internal linking with keyword anchors and the like. The point was to get rid of the low quality links and the spam links. The clean job was enormous.

    So what's coming now with 2.0? Unless you are a Google engineer, it's hard to say. Guesses are that they will focus more on the low quality links and even greater than before on the unnatural links. For examples, commercial retail sites generally don't have a lot of content so other sites don't naturally link to them. So eCommerce sites that do have a lot of inbound links will probably be under the microscope when 2.0's fury is unleashed.

    It's probably best to "change your mindset." Think as Google would and stay focused on natural efforts. For example, if you are considering a paid directory (article or not) for the high page rank – think beyond that. Is this a directory that Google indexes as high quality because of its natural scope or is it one that gains authority by gaining invisible links on other sites back to their directory? If so, and that site gets a shoulder tap in 2.0 and you are listed in that site, get ready to have your shoulder tapped too.

    The Penguins are not done. They won't be done with 2.0 either. They just go back from time to time to rest and regroup so they can charge back out stronger each time. One thing about Google – they are never boring to deal with!

  • Opeleroy

    “Don’t publish to article syndication sites”

    Little surprised when I read this… As the URL for the article was “How to Syndicate Articles in 2012”

    The goal of syndicating articles isn’t in getting love from Google… It is from putting the article in front of as many relevant and targeted eyeballs as possible, not necessarily for building backlinks.

    • vizioninteractive

      It is, yes. But this was coming from a quality standpoint, not quantity – and from an SEO angle.

  • Well- written and useful stuff – I am writing an eBook on article writing and some of this info is handy reference – and nice to read too thanks! Tim

    • vizioninteractive

      Thanks Tim. It keep changing! Gotta love those crazy kids at Google. 🙂

  • Specially thanks for the top7 article directories. Hubpages suffered rankings loss post penguin but they used subsomains and recovered 😉

  • The content game has certainly changed over the last few years for the better.

  • cliffvegas

    Spinning is still relevant for those who know when and how deploy. Variables that replace jargon terms and insider narratives can turn one article into several versions that are more accessible to general readers. What really causes problems is when people get lazy and spin multiple variables based on a change in the headline or lede. Now that most of those idiots are either out of business or fading away (finally), I find that my business (content development) is looking at a nice upturn.

    Nice article, btw. Had to comment. Spinoff55@pacbell.net; Cliff Vegas

    • Cliff, you are so wrong. Article spinning is the laziest, most spammy way to produce content. You will be following those “idiots” you spoke of because in my opinion the “idiots” are those who try to subvert the system and flood the internet with spun content that has no meaning other to grab affiliate marketing links or push some crap on amazon. I did not directly call you an idiot but if the shoe fits…

  • Great article with nice content.

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  • Great post. Makes a lot of sense. I fell into a lot of those old traps and when Panda hit, wow was that a tough lesson.

  • They do suck, but remember a few years ago when you had to sift through 3 pages of affiliate marketing links, redirects, porn, and other ridiculousness? I am thankful most of them got hit. Even many of us who used legitimate practices got hit too, however. I went wild with internal links and a “link structure” that was the rave (and at the time, one of the best practices WAS to create a nice internal link profile). The problem with Google is they pretty much control the entire search game, make and change the rules as they see fit, and always have their adsense monetization in mind. Google may like content, but it likes profit more, so it does what it needs to do to make both happen in unison regardless of who they hurt.

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