What you are about to read here on this page is the original test I conducted in late 2011 to determine if article marketing still worked or not. This content was copied from the homepage in 2015 when I finally came back to this site and published another major update.
The newest information about article marketing can be found on the homepage. This is all the old information that applied prior to 2015.
About Targeting Keywords
I thought about targeting the question – Does article marketing still work after Google Panda. But then I realized there wasn’t enough decent competition for that particular phrase. Because of that, I decided that I would target the more competitive and specific phrase “Does Article Marketing Still Work?” I wanted to target something that had some direct competition for the exact match page title. Anyone who knows SEO well also knows that page titles are one of the most important factors for search engines to determine relevancy. So, if I targeted some phrase that had zero competition for an exact match, then it would not really be a useful test at all. It is simply too easy to get a web page to rank high for an exact title phrase match when the title phrase is a really long tail one without any competition. So, rest assured that the results you are witnessing are a legit example of whether or not article marketing is powerful enough to work in somewhat competitive situations.
Where did this homepage rank for those two searches? If you are finding that this page is ranking really poorly for those phrases then it is a sign of a couple possible outcomes.
1) Article marketing no longer works
2) Something else very detrimental has happened that caused it to be demoted
During the process of conducting this case study, I did experience some setbacks. When the site was only a couple months old it had a period where it was demoted pretty far down in Google. That never happened in Bing or Yahoo. That demotion is somewhat common when you are promoting a relatively new site. You may notice that happen with your website if you use this method of article marketing. The site did pop back to a top ranking position in Google after a couple of weeks.
An overview of the article marketing techniques used here:
Every single blog post written for this website is going to be 100% unique. Every article written to promote this website will also be 100% unique. I will try to keep the quality very high. My intention is to analyze the effects of high quality article marketing that links back to quality content. It is not to check to see if some article spinner based crap works. I am not a fan of that stuff at all. I am simply going to be using good quality articles published one at a time at places that someone like you could publish them. I am going to be using good on-page SEO protocols on this website so that the pages have a fair chance at ranking. I am not going to be linking out to many places. I will not be Tweeting these articles and not be promoting them with other social media methods. I will provide shortcut buttons for other people to do so though. Any publicity or ranking boost that is generated for this website through those means will be 100% natural. It should be a close to perfect reflection of what article marketing can accomplish all on its own when utilized by the average person for their website.
The articles that are published at other sites to promote this one will be promoted using social media methods so that they attract readers and so that they get indexed. If the articles aren’t indexed, then the links won’t count. This is part of the normal procedure that any normal article marketer should and would take. I will primarily be using Twitter to announce that a new article has been published. If the article does not get indexed after doing so, then I will point dofollow links at it from other places. That way we know that Google will at least see the articles and the links contained in them.
The anchor text that I use when creating links in the articles that point back to this site will vary quite a bit in my efforts to avoid any kind of penalty for trying to force rankings for one specific phrase. I will be mixing in a variety of closely relevant anchor text phrases along with some brand related anchors.
Summary of the test:
- This website will have nothing but high quality unique content on it
- It will use decent on-page SEO so that it should benefit from the backlinks
- These pages will not be promoted by me using any method other than 100% unique higher quality article marketing.
- These pages will have social media buttons to encourage real website visitors to promote them.
- The articles that I write and get published to link back to this website will be promoted one time by me or someone I know using social media methods such as a Tweet or something comparable.
- I may manually create links back to some of the articles published on other sites so that they remain indexed.
Whatever success this website has in terms of ranking and traffic will be directly related to the article marketing efforts that were used to promote it. Any other links that appear to this website will be 100% natural links that were obtained as a direct result of the publicity generated through article marketing. You can watch and see for yourself whether or not this method of promoting websites actually works. It should be interesting.
Conclusions To Be Drawn From This Case Study So Far About Whether Article Marketing Still Works:
The website was launched on 9/22/11 and had about ten articles on it in total.
As of 8:30pm EST on 9/25/11 the entire site was fully indexed and the homepage ranked in position 10 on page 1 in Google for the exact targeted secondary keyword phrase with the year on the end and ranks in position 28 for the primary keyword.
As of 9/28/11 the homepage search results have been bouncing around a little. Some of the other posts on the site are starting to actually rank. They should start generating some long tail traffic soon.
As of 10/5/11 the website ranks on page 1 in Google for the four word phrase that matches the domain name (no surprise there). The homepage is on page 2 in Google for the primary keyword and page 1 in Google for secondary keyword. Some of the other articles on the site are ranking well in Google for their related keywords. Right now, Yahoo only shows 9 pages that link back to this domain. I am still waiting on a bunch of article directories to approve my 100% custom written entirely original articles.
Some of the article directory style websites that I have already published articles on to promote this site are: SelfGrowth.com, ArticleBlast.com, GoArticles.com, SooperArticles.com, EzineArticles.com, Hubpages.com, Squidoo.com, Amazines.com, Dime-co.com, IdeaMarketers.com and ArticleCube.com. All of those websites have pretty fast review processes. I also submitted to many other directories for publication. Those other directories are going to take weeks or months to review the articles that were submitted.
As of 10/17/11 the homepage is ranking on page one in Google for the primary keyword phrase, the secondary keyword phrase and for the exact match domain words. So far there have been approximately 15 articles that have been indexed which have links pointing back at some page on this website. There are still many more waiting for approval. So far the homepage article on this site has earned 6 Tweets, 3 Facebook likes, one Stumble and one Digg. All of them were earned 100% naturally as I have said they would be in the study. Hopefully as more people hear about this study they will agree that the information contained here is valuable enough to want to share it with their social network of friends.
As of 11/1/11 the homepage is still holding on to its first page ranking in Google for all targeted keywords. That ranking has been bouncing around from position 7 to position 10. A pleasant surprise that I did not expect so soon is that this website now ranks first place in Bing for both its primary and secondary keyword phrase. It is ranking in position 2 in Yahoo for the primary keyword and position one in Yahoo for the secondary phrase. Not bad for five weeks worth of article marketing.
As of 11/29/11 it has been just over 60 days since this website went live. The website now ranks position number one on both Bing and Yahoo for its primary and secondary keywords. The site recently dropped ranking in Google pretty far down. It happened completely unexpectedly. I am working on figuring out what happened. You can read more about it on my page titled – Can article marketing get your website penalized? Remember that all I have done to promote this website was using high quality article marketing.
Update 12/15/11 – The website has popped back to its page one position in Google. As of this moment it is ranking number one in all three major search engines for its secondary keyword. It ranks position number one in Bing and Yahoo for its primary keyword. It ranks in position 7 in Google for its primary keyword. I was not able to determine exactly what caused it to be demoted in ranking over the last two weeks or so. We’ll have to wait and see if it keeps this ranking or if it continues bouncing around from here. Based on the amount of article marketing done to promote this site so far, the ranking results have been quite good.
Update 1/7/12 – The homepage of this website finally hit position one in Google for its primary keyword on January 3, 2012. A few days later, the site also had another internal page on the site that talks about Google Panda show up in position number two for the primary keyword. So, this site actually got both position number one and position number two for the primary target keyword phrase for the time being. For all three major search engines it now ranks number one for both targeted keywords. It is also now ranking on Google for a larger volume search phrase “Does article marketing work?” Actually more than one of this website’s pages are listed about half way down the first page in the search results for that term. Maybe I will change the primary keyword target for this page to the higher volume search phrase just to see what happens.
If you are an internet marketer or website business owner who wants a white hat method to promote your websites for search engine rankings, then the ranking results for this website should be exciting. It proves that with a little hard work done the honest way you can actually get good rankings. It can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time too. Article marketing with high quality articles selectively published one at a time works. It will get you both rankings and traffic. I captured some screen shots of the successful rankings and created a new page to serve as proof that article marketing works for search engine optimization.
As of 1/22/12 I am changing the secondary keyword target. When I first launched this website in late September 2011, the secondary keyword target was “Does Article marketing still work in 2011?” I am now changing that to be “Does article marketing still work in 2012?” I figure that people are going to want up to date current information and will probably be searching for it that way. Please share the results of my case study with friends of yours who would be interested in seeing how well a white hat method of link building and website promotion can really work.
Update – of 2/24/12 – I rewrote a small portion of the homepage to add in some additional content about the study and to make things a little bit clearer. While doing that I also included a new keyword that I wanted this page to rank for. I did that so I could test to see how much of an effect that change would have on getting this page to rank for that phrase.
Update 12/26/12 – Throughout the entire 2012 year this website has retained its number one ranking in Google, Yahoo and Bing with one exception. In early December the homepage started swapping in and out of position one and two in Google for its primary keyword. Sometimes it would be in position one and other times in position two. The primary cause for this appears to be inbound link attrition.
The secondary keyword ranking remained number one every single time I checked it. Also, this website took the number one position for a slightly higher volume keyword than it had originally targeted. I attribute that increased ranking to some on-page SEO changes that I made to this page earlier in the year to target that phrase. Truth be told though, this website’s homepage deserves to rank for those other keywords as it is by far the most useful page online about that topic (at least according to anything I have seen).
So even after many Panda iterations and Google Penguin updates, the primary methods used to achieve ranking with this website remain very effective. If you still don’t believe in using high quality article marketing like I did here, maybe it is time you reconsider.
Update 1/1/2013 – I am updating the keyword targets for this page to reflect the change of the new calendar year. So this page will now be targeting 2013 searches instead of the 2011 or 2012 phrases that it targeted when I first built the site. Let’s see how long it takes the search engines to notice the changes.