Is EzineArticles any good in 2012 and worth your time to publish there? For those who don’t know or have been in the online world for less than say a couple of years, EzineArticles was the best article directory out there. They have consistently maintained a higher quality of articles (than say a site like GoArticles that was popular at one point of time and almost dead now) and it was a good resource for people who wanted a quick, cursory research on a topic. The webmasters who published on EzineArticles knew that if they provide something of value, people will click on their links in the signature and they get highly targeted visitors. So is EzineArticles dead in 2012 now or does it still have life in it?
Why Publish for Free?
Historically, the primary benefits of EzineArticles was –
- Backlinks for your site in the signature
- Traffic to your site from highly targeted visitors
A lot of people especially in the SEO world looked primarily at the first benefit – that of link-building. Granted, EzineArticles homepage is a PR-6 (page rank 6) and it definitely helped you get a good link profile. However, the second aspect was and still is as important. Webmasters realized that it was easier to rank their EzineArticles pages than their own blogs, and they tried to funnel that traffic from the article to their websites.
This was a strategy that I had personally used and historically, I have had some really good quality traffic coming from EzineArticles to my blogs (granted, at times, I was really annoyed that my EzineArticles page ranked higher than a page about the same topic on my own blog).
And then Google Panda update happened. That almost killed article marketing and EzineArticles was one of the worst hit. A lot has been written and said about the death of EzineArticles and article marketing. However, I take a less dramatic approach. I’ll tell you when you should still use article marketing and when you shouldn’t.
Yes, the Google Panda update changed things. Hopefully for the better. This also means that genuinely good content might have been pushed down in the Google search engine rankings. Sites like EzineArticles weren’t deemed to provide enough quality content and the entire site suffered as a result.
Although Alexa rank isn’t the best judge of traffic, it can give a fair estimate. Before the Google Panda update, EzineArticles had a rank of under 100, which means according to Alexa, it was among the top 100 websites visited around the world. After the Panda, it ranks at 311 at the time of writing this. A rank in the 3 digits is still a highly respectable one.
Personal Experience – A Case Study
I have been using EzineArticles for several years now. My best performing article still manages to get over a 1000 visits a month in a very specific niche. However, I have definitely seen a drop in traffic to my articles and subsequently to my blog through EzineArticles.
Before the Google Panda update, I was able to rank highly and get good traffic from EzineArticles. After the Google Panda, here are the changes I noticed personally –
- It is much harder to drive traffic from EzineArticles to my blog. This is because these articles rank lower in Google and also because overall, people visiting and searching for things within EzineArticles has probably decreased.
- ‘Backlink juice’ is lower but still not terrible. Yes, backlinks from EzineArticles are still precious in the eyes of Google even though as much as before.
When I try to determine if EzineArticles is any good in 2012, I look at both traffic and backlinks. Both have decreased, but that still isn’t a reason to abandon this strategy completely. I would still recommend EzineArticles to new blogs to get backlinks and rank soon in Google.
The advantages of EzineArticles in 2012
- The backlinks are still valuable! If you are a new blog and no one is linking to you, this is a great way to get some linking going.
- Other blogs still borrow content from EzineArticles. This means if you publish an article, chances are, someone else picks it up and thus you get additional backlinks. Don’t count on the quality of these sites though.
- You can still get decent traffic, especially for a new blog. When you are starting out, it isn’t terrible if you can get your first 10-20 visitors through a site like EzineArticles.
- If you are a diamond member and write halfway decent articles, they should be accepted. It doesn’t take me more than 20-30 minutes to write and publish here, and it shouldn’t take you more either. For the effort that goes in, I think the results are worth it.
- One strategy that I often follow is to publish a new post on my blog and write a related article on EzineArticles and get a link back to my blog in my signature.
After the Panda, I tried to see how effective EzineArticles was in terms of helping me rank better in Google. Here is what I did –
Step-1: Publish a post on my blog, targeting a keyword that I want to rank high on.
Step-2: Measure its rank in Google. I used different computers just to be sure that I wasn’t affecting the results of my own blog. I saw this every day for a week, to make sure the rankings are stable for the short term at least.
At this stage, I have no backlinks to this newly created piece of content.
Step-3: Publish an article on EzineArticles with one link to my homepage and another to this newly created content. Wait for the article to be accepted and published on the site.
Step-4: Measure the rank for the particular keyword again.
- For Keyword1, the rank went from 25 to 8. Not bad at all.
- For Keyword2, the rank went from 15 to 6. Again, not too bad
This is why I think EzineArticles can still be good in 2012, considering the effort that is needed to publish there, versus the kinds of returns that you can expect. I wouldn’t write this off completely and is definitely still a powerful tool in your arsenal.
What has been your experience with EzineArticles before and after Google Panda?