Don’t Use Article Directories for Link Building, Says Matt Cutts

In a new Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts discourages webmasters from building inbound links with the help of article directories. Cutts explains that Google has made certain algorithmic changes that would make this kind of link building tactic much less successful now compared to a few years ago.

In the video, Cutts responds to the following query:

“Links from relevant content in article directories – seen as good or bad? eg. I link my beauty website from a cosmetic surgery article on say, Ezine? Would you do that?”

In reply, Cutts said ‘No’. He begins by reminding viewers of what an article directory is and what it really does. An article directory is a site where you can upload 300 to 500 words of content (article) with a bio at the bottom. You can also add up to three links with keyword-rich anchor text at the bottom of the article. Users can download or pay to download the uploaded articles if they find them useful and syndicate them on their own websites.

In theory, when someone publishes your article from an article directory on their site, you might get a few inbound links from it. However, Cutts says that, in practice, the content featured in article directories tends to be of low quality – spammy with several keywords and intended just to link back to a site. The only aim is to get links rather than posting good, informative content. Thus, spammy content posted on these directories gets sprayed and syndicated all over the web. Cutts points out that writing just one article, syndicating it widely by uploading it on every submission site in the anticipation that someone would download and drop you some links is a good idea at all and wouldn’t work for your SEO.

After the release of Penguin 2.0, Google came out another new algorithm that targeted spammy web content in search. In June 2013, Cutts had tweeted that the new ranking signal will target websites that continuously produce spammy materials and links for the web. In fact, a lot of Google’s updates – Penguin and Hummingbird, for instance – are designed to ensure that only websites that post fresh, genuine content get their due. The Penguin update slammed the practice of link-based spamming and anchor text spamming. In his latest video, Cutts is simply reminding webmasters about these rules when he talks about why they shouldn’t use article directories for link building.

About Monica Barber

Monica Barber

Monica Barber is the Internet Marketing Manager of MOS, a leading BPO company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She joined the MOS team in 2013 bringing with her a wealth of experience in SEO, Social Media, web design and Internet Marketing management. She has successfully designed digital marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 and small to mid-size companies and continues creating new MOS digital strategies to keep up with Google’s everchanging algorithms.