Archive for the 'Blog promotion' Category

Duplicate content in article marketing

Article marketing is a great way to promote your sites: for every article you submit to an article directory, you typically get to place two or three links back to your own site(s), using anchor text of your choice. This results in link juice and referral traffic from the directory, and also any third party sites who pick up the article and republish it. However, many internet marketers are confused about the issue of duplicate content and what it means in practical terms for their submissions.

Basically, search engines are not too keen on returning listings with multiple copies of the same content, and not surprisingly, since this does not provide web searchers with a good user experience. So they tend to try and identify one copy of an article as the original, or preferred version, and devalue the rest in the listings. That doesn’t necessarily mean the other copies will not be listed at all, but just that they will appear lower down the rankings.

A common question that gets asked by article marketers is: is it OK to submit that same article to more than one directory? Personally I don’t see a problem with it – even if the versions that are identified as duplicates are suppressed in the search engine listings, there’s still a chance of getting referral traffic from the directories themselves, as well as any third-party reprints, and as long as they are not de-indexed completely by the search engines, you should still get the additional SEO benefits too.

Also, don’t forget that a large part of the article marketing strategy relies on your content being picked up and republished by website and ezine owners – so you’re going to have duplicate content “issues” anyway. And even if the worst happens and only one copy ends up in the search engine index, you haven’t lost anything. So there’s really no point in holding back – get your articles published as widely as possible to maximise the benefits that you may get from them!

The truth about article marketing

Article marketing is a well established and effective method for promoting a website because it’s an easy way of garnering traffic and backlinks. Here’s how it works:

  1. You write an original article on a topic you know something about
  2. You submit it to one or more article directories
  3. In return for your quality content, the directory allows you to place one or more links back to a site or sites of your choice
  4. By submitting your article, you make it available for reprint by website and ezine owners seeking fresh content
  5. Each time your article is republished, so are your links, resulting in a multiplication of backlinks over time – and we all know that this results in more traffic for your site, both via direct clicks on your links and via increased search engine rankings.

Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work!

In reality when people republish your article they often either remove your links entirely or make them nofollow, thus negating most of their value to you. Or at least that’s my experience, but I suspect I’m not alone in this. When this happens, your first thought might be to complain to the article directory and expect them to do something about it, but you will not get anywhere with this – the article directories’ terms of service almost always state that it’s your responsibility to follow up any violations of your copyright.

So what can you do? Well, you could simply stop submitting content to article directories, but this is cutting off your nose to spite your face. And remember, there’s nothing to stop other site owners from illegally using your content even if you only publish on your own site, so whilst this approach may limit your exposure it doesn’t solve the problem.

Alternatively you could be vigilant and make it your business to follow up every infringement, first demanding that the relevent site takes the content down, and if that doesn’t work, by filing a complaint with their hosting service. Before embarking on this approach, make sure you understand the cost to your business in time and lost productivity, and also the emotional and psychological cost to yourself.

Or you could do what I do and simply accept that the practice will continue, but not let that detract from the benefits that article marketing will bring regardless. This doesn’t condone the wrongful use of your content, it’s simply an acknowledgement that we don’t live in a perfect world but we carry on anyway.

How not to comment

I’ve written quite a lot about how useful blog commenting is for building links to your own site, and establishing a presence in your niche. But there’s a downside to this too, particularly if you support the dofollow movement. Recently I’ve noticed a big upsurge in the number of spammy comments I’ve been getting. Because I moderate comments they don’t make it onto the site, but even deleting them wastes my time.

Types of junk comments

These junk comments tend to fall into one of three categories:
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How I increased my Alexa Rank by 2k percent

Two and a half months ago my Alexa rank was around 7 million; today it’s a shade over 335k. Unless my maths is way off, that’s a two thousand percent gain! And the good news is it’s still rising – the “official” Alexa rank for a site is an indication of its average traffic over the past three months, but they also show a one week average – this site‘s is a little under 200k.

So how did I do it? Extensive link building? Premium content? Long hours? Well, yes actually (I’ll leave you to be the judge of the content) – but that’s not what I attribute this rise to, at least not directly. In actual fact, it took all of about 10 minutes two and a half months ago to sow the seed that is now beginning to bear fruit – I’ll give you a little hint:

Alexa rank for Hippo Web Solutions

That’s right, I simply installed an Alexa traffic widget.
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Dofollow Search Tool is online

Since I talked about dofollow commenting the other day, I’ve been involved in a few comment exchanges about the benefits of installing the Dofollow and Top Commenter plugins. The benefits for commenters are fairly obvious – you’re rewarded for your comments with free backlinks. The benefits for the host blog are perhaps not as obvious, but I’ve definitely seen an increase in the number of comments on this blog since installing both these plugins a few weeks ago, and have hooked up with a few new blogs (new to me, that is) as a result. I imagine it’s the same for others.

Finding dofollow blogs

That’s all very well, but as a commenter, how do you identify these blogs amongst the vast ocean of nofollow ones? I’ve heard of a few methods, for example doing a Google image search for the you comment, I follow graphic which some sites display. There are also several sites that publish lists of blogs using these plugins – see Yan, Peter and Simon‘s for example. These are pretty hot posts with lots of interaction – precisely because they’re providing some very useful information – they may be all you need to comment effectively, but for me there is one missing ingredient – the ability to search for specific topics and information in the lists.
Continue reading ‘Dofollow Search Tool is online’