Does Article Marketing Still Work in 2016

Case study in article marketing in 2011

The whole purpose of the article marketing case study website is to test and provide a definitive answer to the question “Does Article Marketing Work?” or more specifically “Does Article Marketing Still Work?” We know it has worked in the past.  But this is 2016 and you want up to date information.  So what you really want to know is whether or not article marketing still works today and will it continue working in the future.   Keep reading to learn how I tested this theory, so that it will give you unquestionable proof about the conclusion.

There is one basic assumption made by this test.  I am assuming that you use article marketing for search engine optimization purposes in addition to generating direct traffic.  I don’t think anyone doubts the capability of article marketing to generate raw click through traffic.  That is pretty much indisputable   If your articles get read and you craft them properly, of course you can generate a percentage of click through traffic from people clicking the links inside the article or in the article’s resource box.   What we really want to know is whether these articles will actually help your search ranking or not and whether or not article marketing will actually help bring you targeted traffic.

Before we go into the details behind this test, do this one step for me.   Open another web browser window.  Go to Google and type in the phrase Does Article Marketing Still Work.  That is going to be my primary target keyword.  Then you can do another search for the phrase: Does Article Marketing Still Work in 2016.  That longer phrase will be the secondary target phrase.  See where this website’s homepage ranks in the search results for each of those two searches.  If it is ranking well then you will know that it does in fact work for SEO.  The only method that I am using to promote this website at all is going to be article marketing combined with decent on-page SEO.  I am not going to use any other method.  I will not be building links for it using any means other than producing and distributing higher quality totally unique articles.

If you want to read about exactly how I conducted the original case study test, you can read about it on this page.

Does Article Marketing Still Work At All – Updated for 2016

If you go around public internet marketing forums and start asking this question you are likely to get a whole bunch of misguided information on the subject.    The reason the information is misguided is mostly because everyone seems to have their own definition of what article marketing means.

If two people have different definitions of what the term means, then they will end up in an argument over who is right or who is wrong or who is telling the truth and who is full of crap.

Therefore, I think it is in our best interest that I clearly define the various sub-meanings of the phrase “article marketing” and we can then answer the question “Does that type of article marketing still work or not?”


Summary of the tactics I tested:

I tested various forms of article marketing on 3 different websites including this website.   The tactics included article syndication, article directory marketing and guest blogging.  Some of the tactics were very spammy and some were done to much higher quality standards.   It is all explained below here.


results of the study



Does Article Syndication Work For SEO or For Generating Direct Traffic?

Article syndication is one form of article marketing where the author submits an article to multiple websites.  This can be done in a spammy way or a non-spammy higher quality way.

The spammy way of doing article syndication is by submitting the article to a whole bunch of sites hoping that the backlinks you placed in the article will get counted by the search engines and it will boost your ranking.   The part that makes this spammy is that the websites you are submitting the article to are mostly considered low quality sites.  The article has almost no chance of being read by any meaningful number of people.   It is especially spammy if you are using some kind of article submission software to automate the submission process like a robot.   It is also especially spammy if the quality of the article itself is low.  (like from using an article spinner or just from outsourcing a low quality article nobody will really want to read)

updates for article marketing case studyDoes spammy article syndication work for SEO purposes? – In Google definitely no.  You might experience an immediate bump up in Google rankings which will make you think it was a good idea.   But, it can (and probably will) get your site demoted in rankings on Google.   In Bing and Yahoo, yes it appears to still help you rank higher.

updates for article marketing case studyDoes spammy article syndication work for generating direct traffic from the article itself? – Not very well at all.   You might get a very small amount of traffic from Yahoo, Bing or from one of the sites the article gets published on.   In all likelihood you will get almost no traffic at all from it.

The non-spammy way of doing article syndication would be to find higher quality places to submit the article to.   You find higher quality places by making sure that the article will actually be read by a substantial audience.   For example, if you give someone an article you wrote and they publish it in their newsletter to a list of subscribers that actively read that newsletter, then that would be considered a higher quality way to promote your website.   The primary determining factor is whether the article is going to be read and whether the audience is likely to trust what they read.   In other words, you are submitting the article for its readership and the potential traffic/publicity that could generate.  You are not submitting it to generate backlinks to your site.

updates for article marketing case studyDoes high quality article syndication work for SEO purposes? (for Google Yahoo and Bing) – Maybe and maybe not.  If the article gets published on a trustworthy high quality website, then yes, if there are regular dofollow hyperlinks pointing to your website, then those links might pass value to your site and might help your rankings.

updates for article marketing case studyDoes high quality article syndication work for generating direct traffic from the article itself? – Under the right conditions, yes it will work.  It depends on the audience you are getting the article submitted to.  How big is the audience?  How targeted are they to what you are writing about and what you are trying to get them to do?  It depends on the quality of the article itself.  It also depends on how compelling your call to action is for getting the person to click the link to your website or for getting them to find you some other way.


EzineArticles.comDoes Article Marketing Using Article Directories Work?

Article directory marketing is when you submit articles to various article directory sites like (,,, etc…)  There are thousands of article directory sites on the internet that you could potentially submit articles to.

This can be done using spammy techniques and non-spammy techniques.   Spammy techniques would be using an article spinner or just using any other form of low quality article.   Spammy techniques would also be submitting the articles to hundreds of different sites.

Non-spammy higher quality techniques would be writing high quality articles and submitting them to the highest quality article directories you can find.


updates for article marketing case studyDoes article directory marketing still work for SEO? – In Google no.  It really doesn’t matter if your articles are high quality or not.  Article directory submissions are more likely to get your site penalized if you are submitting articles to article directories that have regular “dofollow” hyperlinks.  For Bing and Yahoo, yes it appears to still work for SEO purposes and could help you rank higher in those two search engines.

updates for article marketing case studyDoes article directory marketing still work for generating direct traffic from the article itself? – No, not very well at all.  The main reason for this is because Google no longer ranks those article directory articles very high in their search results.   This method used to work back before Google Panda and Google Penguin.   You might get a little traffic from Bing and Yahoo sending traffic you that article directory, but you will probably find it to be mostly ineffective.   I would not recommend it at all.  Even if you try to publish the highest quality articles you possibly can on the most well known article directory sites, they are still very unlikely to send you any traffic directly.

What Are Article Directories Good For Then?

Article directories are still used by some sites to source content for newsletters and for publishing on something like a public forum.   It is possible that you could find a way to take advantage of that.   Maybe you could establish some contacts by being a writer on one of the more popular article directories.   Then those contacts could lead you to better opportunities for publishing on newsletters or higher quality websites.  However, I would not recommend using article directories as a means of directly promoting your website any longer.   It is almost totally ineffective and also very risky for SEO.


important update to the case studyWhat about doing the highest quality article marketing possible where you carefully hand write the highest quality article and carefully select the highest quality websites to publish the articles on – like guest blogging on higher quality blogs?

Yes that absolutely can be effective for both SEO purposes and for generating direct traffic from the article if the places you are publishing at are appropriately selected.

Avoid article directories because they are a waste of time.   Instead, look for blogs and forums that allow guests or members to publish articles.   But, be sure you pay attention to the quality of the website your article would get published on.

Does the website actually have a regular audience?

Is the existing content on the website very trustworthy information?

Do you see the pages on that website ranking well in Google?

If you can answer yes to all three of those, then yes it is probably an excellent place to promote your website using articles.

Guest blogging has become a very popular form of article marketing.  Be careful though.  Not all forms of guest blogging are good for promoting your website.  You can hurt your rankings if you engage in spammy guest blogging.

If you are very selective about where you choose to contribute guest blog posts to, then you will probably experience very good results.   Remember that it is more important to focus on quality than quantity.   If you are publishing articles at the truly high quality websites, you won’t need to publish very many of them.

I hope I explained everything clearly and thoroughly.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot me an email or come visit me at my (internet marketing/online business blog).  On the blog I also share a lot of other advice about how to build a sustainable online business.

Don’t forget to share this study with your peeps.  Your friends and followers want to know the truth about whether any of these forms of article marketing still work or not.   Share it with them on Facebook and Twitter.

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