Article Marketing the Big Panda Way

The new changes in Google algorithms, also known as “big Panda”, killed article marketing as we know it. If you don’t believe me here is how the new algorithms will affect the traditional article marketers:

  1. The new algorithms penalize the “content farm” websites. According to Google this includes any website that provides contents in varying topics. This description applies to article directories.

  2. Article directories traffic dropped significantly during the week after the announcement of the new algorithms.

  3. Articles when republished on other websites are “copied content”. This means the sites that republish your articles will get penalized, which will reduce the value of the links you get from those sites.

  4. If you do direct article marketing then your source of traffic will drop significantly because the articles that provide you with the traffic are now getting less traffic themselves.

This means the end of some businesses, which is bad news for some and great news for others.

Article marketing had been abused big time by spammers who spin articles and republish them all over the net to get back links. Those are among the most affected ones. But that doesn’t mean that good marketers are not going to be affected as well.

The great news is that spammers lost their spots in the search engines, which gives the opportunity for legitimate high quality content to replace them. And this is your chance my friend.

Now you don’t need to think about the “authority” issue anymore because the sites that had the authority like ezinearticles and hubpages lost it with the new change. This gives your website the chance to get the love it deserves from search engines.

This is a great news, but only if you do it right.

Here are some thoughts about it and how to do it.

First of all your website should be highly specific. No broad topics anymore. This makes long tail keywords more appealing to you. Build your site around those highly specific, laser targeted long tail keywords.

The second and equally important thing is to put some effort in the research behind your content. As per Google’s own words on their blog: “At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”. And this is exactly what you need to do: research, in-depth reports, and thoughtful analysis.

Provide the ultimate value that your visitors will love to share with their friends and contacts. This will get the word about your website around faster than regular marketing techniques. Easier said than done you might say, but think about it this way: you spend some time adding real value to your site and save the time and headache of bribing your visitors to tell their friends, or spend money and time on the old viral marketing techniques (tell a friend, viral traffic generators …) and still get penalized by search engines because your content could be found elsewhere maybe with higher value added.

This is about your own website and what to do with hit. It might take you longer to create such websites but this is your only chance of getting search engine love, and most importantly, the love of your website visitors. But what about backlinks?

Article directories used to be the best method of getting backlinks by providing high quality content that website owners would republish on their sites and your links at the end of the article will be now coming from their websites. But after the new changes how are you going to get those backlinks?

They are still essentials and you’ll need them for increasing your ranking and getting more traffic from search engines.

First of all, the good content will eventually attract the quality backlinks. But as marketer you can not wait for those love backlinks, you need to actively promote your site.

Here is the how it might work right now after the new changes:

First you need to establish yourself as an authority in the subject of your site. You do this by publishing 100 articles or more in your subject (be very specific here) on ezinearticles.com. You are still getting backlinks from these articles but they are not going to be of the same value as they used to be before, but your goal is to establish yourself ad an authority.

After that use the tools given to you by ezinearticles, like the widgets, and build an “author résumé”. Start contacting websites in your field to offer providing them with free content with one anchored link back to your site in each article. Start with those sites that already have your articles published on them, explain to them how the new algorithms will affect their sites and offer unique articles to them for free to replace the ones they published for you.

It’s going to be a lot of work because these articles that you’ll be offering must be at the same level of value as your own website, but it’s totally worth it.

Here you go, a full plan to replace the old fashion, low-value, article marketing technique with a new one that Google loves and at the same time enriches the Internet ecosystem with real value.

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Affiliate Marketing 101: Traffic: Organic Vs. Paid

Dragging traffic to your buffer pages, whether they are review pages, lead capture pages, or blogs, is the next component of the big picture. You know … the picture of a full time affiliate marketer who is making real money by choosing the right market, testing products, preparing good buffering pages, and sending as much targeted traffic to those pages as possible.

But where to get the traffic from?

Here is a list of the possible sources of traffic to any website:

  1. Direct traffic: where people type your url in their browser and hit enter, or chose it from their bookmarks. Most of the time people arrive to your site this way if they hear about it offline (TV, fliers, posts, word of month, in a book or magazine).
  2. Search engines: where people search for a keyword or phrase and your site shows up in the search results. A typical search results page includes two types of results: sponsored links (paid for showing up for this keyword or phrase), and organic results that the search engines picks from their indexed sites that contain these keywords. More on these later.
  3. Referred traffic: who click on a link or a banner on another site and follow it to your site.
  4. Contextual traffic: this one has variant definitions, but for affiliate marketers it is when your site shows up as a pop up or pop under when someone visits a related website or search for a relevant keyword. It is driven either by adware (not spyware) or pop up from the website they visited.

Out of the above sources you pay for sponsored search results, banners (sometimes) on other people´s sites, offline advertising, and contextual traffic. Organic search results, on the other hand, are free. Free as in: you can not buy them.

Now the debate whether you should go for free organic traffic or paid traffic first is like the chicken/egg one, because you need, and can get both but you don´t know which one to start with.

Here is my two cents:

You can only build a business on what you pay for. Free stuff might work for a while and even make you a lot of money, but you have no control over anything you get for free.

In this post what concerns us is the organic traffic from search engines. If you optimize your website to show on the first page of results when your keyword is searched you´ll get this kind of traffic for free (only if you consider that your time is worthless).

This search engine optimization process is time consuming and involves a lot of work, and you don´t get to see the results right away. It might take your site anywhere between 1 week and 2 years to show on the first page depending on the market you are in. One can not expect search engine algorithms to stay the same until you are done with your SEO work. They change all the time.

And when they change your site might move from the first position to the 30th or even 900th, and this unplugs your money machine immediately. Can you build a business on that? As a business you have expenses to cover and a growth plan that you want to achieve on time. You need to be in control of your traffic if you are serious about your affiliate marketing business.

Paid traffic on the other hand is an instant traffic. It means you could be making money from your sites in a matter of minutes. Besides, if you pay for traffic and don´t get it, you can call someone and have the problem fixed (money talks louder than anything today body).

It doesn´t mean that you shouldn´t work on SEO, you actually should (the process involves getting backlinks to your site, which in itself is a source of traffic). In fact SEO helps you get lower cost per click if you use Google Adwords for advertising. Just consider this kind of traffic as a bonus and don´t consider it as a source of income in your future plans for expansion.

One more thing, and it is very important. When you do the SEO you do it for a certain keyword or phrase per page. You want to spend your time optimizing for the keywords or phrases that make money. And what is the best way to know this? By tracking your Pay Per Click advertising.

More on the tracking process in the next post.

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