Often when it comes to article writing it can be just as difficult working out what to do with your articles as it is writing them in the first place. Once you’ve chosen your title, developed your theme, written your article, proofread it, edited and made sure it’s all ready for the world to enjoy, you’re faced with a dilemma. Do you go for the bulk submission option which many article marketers do, or should you be more selective, submitting it to just a handful of directions. Or perhaps even just one? Although it can feel a little like a gamble – do you place all your chips on a single number or spread them across the entire board – in essence what’s important to understand is whether bulk article submission actually works.
To answer this question it’s necessary to debunk one of the oldest SEO Myths around, and one of the most ludicrous. Many article marketers, when asked whether bulk article submission works, will tell you that if you submit your article to a whole heap of directories Google’s duplicate content filter will penalise your article and banish your site to the depths of oblivion. This is spite of the fact that Google has, on many occasions, stressed that it has never had any such duplicate content filter and has never banned websites merely for having duplicate or unoriginal content. So that’s that SEO myth debunked, but what about the reality?
If you submit your article to a hundred, five hundred or a thousand article directories, you’ll have hundreds of high quality backlinks, which will really help your website’s ranking in the SERPs, right? Wrong. At least, highly unlikely.
In the first instance, submitting your article to that many directories probably means you’re unlikely to get it right all of the time, and in many cases you may find your article declined for a variety of reasons, including being posted in the wrong category, or being submitted to a specialist directory that’s nothing to do with your article’s topic. So that will shave off around 5-10% of your submissions in most cases.
Then there’s the fact that the overwhelming majority of these directories will probably be clones of one of the major article directory website packages around, set up in a way that’s pretty optimistic about just how effective it will be. A few – a very few – of these are of reasonably good quality, but the majority are so poorly maintained, so infrequently updated and so poorly promoted that their Alexa traffic rank figure looks a little like the bank balance of someone who’s considering buying Dubai.
This means that articles submitted to these sites are likely to be perfectly safe from any risk that anyone, including the search engines, will stumble across them. So out of our initial heap of article submissions we’re probably left with around 10-15% that stand a chance of helping your article reach the eyes of readers, and which will be picked up by the search engines fairly quickly. What happens then? After all, we know Google doesn’t impose a duplicate content penalty, so are we facing any disadvantages at all?
It’s important to realise that whilst it’s true that Google does not impose a duplicate content penalty, at the same time it’s wanting to make sure that the search results for keywords and keyphrases are as broad and varied as possible. A search for left handed cheesegraters would be pretty ineffective in the eyes of the search engines if the first 50 pages of results were all identical clones of your article.
It’s for this reason that Google uses a hierarchical prioritisation technique. Effectively what happens is this: Google’s spiders report on the first few copies of your article. These are almost certainly likely to be the ones considered for display, and subsequent copies of your article may well not appear in the results at all. Remember, many article directories take several weeks to approve an article, in which time other, less valuable directories may have published your article and had it spidered by Google.
Once Google has identified your new content what generally happens is that a single instance of your article is shown in the relevant search results, with others being listed so far down the results they may as well be nonexistent. Subsequently published version of your article are likely to suffer the same fate. Google simply sees them as having less importance, and so lowers their ranking. This is an important point because what some marketers do is submit their article to a thousand article directories, and then a little later publish it again on their own website or in their blog. Since your earlier submissions are likely to gain the interest of Google by the time the article arrives on your own site, you can find that your own page ranking is decreased, because it is considered less relevant than the ‘original’ version of your article Google came across elsewhere.
But what about those backlinks? Don’t those 1,000 backlinks count for something? Not really, no. Because since 95% of your submissions will be all but invisible in the search results, how much importance do you think Google attributes to those links? Google’s not stupid, and Google is well aware of bulk article submissions. It’s well aware that if it finds the same article submitted to hundreds of article directories almost simultaneously, it only needs to really consider one or two instances, and can more or less ignore the rest. This isn’t penalising your article, it’s just giving it the value it deserves.
When it comes to deciding whether bulk article submission works, remember this: 95% of your article submissions will either be declined, ignored or published but ignored by the search engines. Of the remaining 5% that may work, 95% will provide very little help at all in terms of ranking for your main site. If bulk article submission has any real benefit, it’s in helping those article marketers which focus on quality rather than quantity to enjoy more of the respect Google gives them, and more of the real traffic.