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:
- You write an original article on a topic you know something about
- You submit it to one or more article directories
- 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
- By submitting your article, you make it available for reprint by website and ezine owners seeking fresh content
- 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.