Google Killed My SEO Business — But Article Marketing Kept My Websites Thriving

If you are interested in getting into Google’s good graces, you probably live-and-breathe links all day long. You may spend most of your day trying to get your links placed in various websites, just so that you can get the opportunity to make sure Google will find your website and list it in its search results.

You may even spend days on end tweaking the content on your website to make it more SEO-friendly, never really knowing if what you are doing will have any impact at all.

That is the biggest problem with search engine optimization in 2016. It is much harder to draw a straight line between the SEO activities you undertake and your rankings in Google’s search results.

When Google was still young, we could play SEO games all day long and move our websites up and down Google’s search results with simple changes to our websites.

But Google has matured a lot in the last several years, wiping out most of our ability to make simple changes to see massive results.

I was playing Google like a fiddle in the 2000s. I knew exactly what to do, and I had the skills to do it, to push anyone’s website to the top of Google’s search results. I was so good at what I was doing that I was even able to offer my services as a search engine optimization provider and collect monthly fees in the range of $ 18,000 per month.

Google killed my business in an afternoon by announcing it was going to kill paid links in their search algorithms.

Now, I tried to explain to my clients this announcement would have no effect on what I was doing, because I wasn’t paying anyone to place links to their websites.

But to no avail… each of my clients said, “We are paying you and you are creating links for us, so Google is talking about us.”

I am so glad I got out of the SEO-industry in 2008, because clients would freak out every time a Google employee sneezed.

Because I knew my clients were wrong, I continued to work my magic with my own websites, and I continue to benefit from those activities even today as 2016 is winding down.

I closed another of my websites in 2010. I didn’t shut it down, but I quit adding new content to it and promoting it actively. I also took down all of my buy buttons. We are coming up on the seven-year anniversary of when I stopped supporting that website. This particular website still received traffic from 142,000 unique visitors in 2015, and it is on track to match the same traffic levels in 2016.

The bottom line is, that I have been using article marketing to promote my websites online since circa 1999.

Article marketing works as well today as it did 17 years ago.

The Day Article Marketing Died

If you are like me, you might have heard about “the day article marketing died” – Feb. 23, 2011.

That was when Google introduced the Farmer/Panda updates, and EzineArticle.com lost 90 percent of its footprint inside of Google’s search results.

Suite101.com lost 94 percent of its search rankings, Hubpages.com lost 87 percent of its search results, Buzzle.com lost 85 percent and FindArticles.com lost 90 percent.

Google pretty much decimated all of the article directories in a single day.

The article marketing industry was turned on its head, and many providers in this niche lost their shirts.

Article directory marketing died, and it has never returned to prominence, despite hundreds of companies trying to hang on and find ways around the embargo.

But Here is the Thing That Might Surprise You

The traffic to my website was barely affected, because I had never really used the article directories to promote my articles.

My articles were published on websites, inside blogs and newsletters. The Farmer/Panda updates did not impact the websites where my articles were published. In fact, those properties likely benefited from the death of the article directories.

My articles were published in places where a human-editor chose my article from a stack of articles on their computers.

Online publishers who are driven by a need to keep readers happy will focus only on publishing articles that they have reviewed and decided were a good fit for their publications and their audiences.

This is the Article Marketing Secret Sauce

In order for your article marketing activities to be successful, you need to be able to get your content placed somewhere where a human-editor is reviewing your article for placement in their website.

The secret sauce is “human reviewed and audience approved.”

With the advent of social media, “audience approved” is easy for Google to identify. If people enjoy an article, they will share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Linked In.

If Google is able to see how often a particular article has been shared on social media, it knows that the particular article offers a lot of value to its readers.

The Proof of This Idea Can Be Found in Mashable

Founded in 2005, Mashable is the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and Web culture.

According to its advertisers page, Mashable has 45 million monthly visitors, and it has 29 million followers on social media. Mashable also indicates that one of its posts is shared on social media every three seconds, and 55% of its traffic comes from mobile users.

I took a few minutes to scroll through Mashable’s front page to look for articles on its website that might stand out in Google’s search results. Here are just three examples:

  • I found an article titled, “People Were Nuts About Guns This Black Friday”. This article had 490 social media shares. I Googled “people nuts about guns” and Mashable was the No. 1 listing. “Guns Black Friday” was also ranked in Google showing Mashable in the No. 8 listing.
  • Another article I found was called, “Online Sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Broke All Records”. It had 547 shares. I queried “online sales black friday cyber monday” inside Google without the quotes, and Mashable was the No. 9 listing.
  • The final article I checked was titled, “Samsung Brand Autopsy: How Can The Company Earn Back Trust?” It had 513 shares. When I queried Google for “Samsung brand autopsy” and “Samsung brand”, the story inside Mashable was ranked No.1 in Google. Even a search for “Samsung company” shows the Mashable article in the No. 8 spot in Google’s search results.

Mashable.com is ‘willing to take’ (http://mashable.com/submit/) articles from people like you and me.  To increase the likelihood of seeing your articles published on Mashable, I encourage you to read the article ‘12 Things Not to Do When Pitching a Story to Mashable’ located here: http://mashable.com/2008/04/18/bad-pr-pitches/

As seen above, Google has proven that article marketing isn’t actually dead to them. Article directories are dead, but article marketing is not.

Because That Is Where The Money Is

During his 40-year criminal career, Willie Sutton stole approximately $ 2 million and spent half of his adult life in prison for his crimes.

When asked why he robbed banks, he said “Because that is where the money is.”

Which brings us to the question of why I have always used this kind of article marketing to promote my websites… “Because that is where the traffic is.”

I don’t worry about doing SEO for my own websites. I worry about getting my articles into a website that already has tons of traffic.

For several reasons:

1. I want my share of their traffic.

2. If their readers share my article on social media, then Google will share my article with more of their users.

3. If social media shares impact how Google perceives the value of my article, on a major website, then that value will transfer also to my website via the link in my author’s resource box.

4. A few really valuable web pages linking to my website trumps thousands of links from low-value web pages.

In Conclusion

There is nothing really hard about this approach to search engine optimization.

All you really need to do is to focus on creating content that people will want to read, then put it in a place where lots of people already go to find the information that they want to read.


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If you would like to learn more about how to get your advertising in front of millions of readers, take a look at Bill Platt’s “Masters of Audience Building” training located here: http://writingpuzzle.com/products/moab/index.php

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