How to distribute articles for SEO purposes

by Gary on July 23, 2007 · 18 comments

in Copywriting

Before blogs barged into the picture, submitting articles to various article directories and content-friendly websites used to be the best source of quality inbound links. It works like this: select a topic heavily sought by people, write an interesting, useful article on the topic, and then mass-submit it using email lists or online submission forms. Webmaster and bloggers interested in the topic will be more than glad to publish it. Every article carries a “resource box” in the article that carries a description of the author and a link back to the website, preferably with a keyword-rich anchor text.

You can distribute articles for SEO purposes

I don’t mean to say you write articles only for SEO purposes: write articles to share knowledge. SEO is a just a beneficial by-product. Every website needs inbound links because search engines use the number of “valid” inbound links to evaluate your website and rank it accordingly. It is not the only factor but it is an important factor.

When people directly link to your website you cannot control what anchor text the other webmasters use. You can request them to change it but it is not practical to track every incoming link and then ask the webmaster to use the right anchor text. The best way is, submit articles that already have the right anchor text in the links.

Writing SEO articles

It goes without saying the articles should be highly useful and beneficial to the publisher — nobody is benevolent enough to publish your article just to show affection towards you. Although it depends on the publisher what HTML formatting he or she uses to publish your article, you should organise your article under various useful headings. Link to your pre-existing pages if only they add value (so you write your article in that way) to the current article and use the anchor text specific to your website or web page. At the end of the article use an interesting resource box text that makes people click on your link, and for that link use anchor text that is most apt for your website. Of course writing SEO articles deserves a complete, separate posts and I shall do that pretty soon.

Distributing SEO articles

You can distribute your SEO articles in many ways:

  • Submit SEO articles to article directories: There are numerous SEO directories — free and commercial — where you can submit your articles. A good start is Ezine Articles. These directories then make these articles available to online publishers who are interested in publishing such article. Submit your articles under the most appropriate category so that you get the right exposure. Some of these article directories are highly ranked by the search engines and even if no other webmaster chooses your article, it’ll benefit you if the directory lists your article.
  • Submit SEO articles to email lists: Email lists too are a good way of distributing your SEO articles although there you cannot customise your articles. Lots of duplicate content is generated, and theoretically it is not recommended that you have the same article on various websites. But I’ve observed it doesn’t really matter. Search on Google and among the top three-four places you often find the same article, written by the same author, appearing different websites and still ranking high.
  • Submit SEO articles personally: This is the best way I think. If you think your article will add value to a publisher’s website, then you can write to him or her with some details about your article. Write a polite email, or submit the request through the contact form. You can even get just a small synopsis and let people come to your website to read the complete article.

Since low-quality article galore on the Internet, you can really have an advantage by writing highly relevant and useful articles and then getting them published on other websites, acquiring lots of quality incoming links in the process.

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Brian Chappell July 23, 2007 at 3:41 pm

“Submit SEO articles to article directories”

This topic has been brought up on WMW many a time. The consensus I have come to (without much exp in this) is that its a waste of time. Have you actually found success in this practice?

Gary July 23, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Hi Brian, to be honest I have yet to try. I have built up around 8 articles over the last few months that I intend to release soon. Thus far, I have only researched how to submit, and I thought I would write a guide more to myself than anything else. I then thought I could incorporate that in a post.

I am hoping that if I follow the post, then it will be a worthwhile exercise. I will let you know.

website design guy July 24, 2007 at 10:25 am

i have found this method very successful and at the end of the day if your not seeing results then maybe your articles are not that intesresting perhaps

SEO Carly July 25, 2007 at 7:57 am

Unfortunately it’s nowhere near as effective as it once was. Back when Google tightened up it’s Supplemental Index and clamped down on Duplicate Content, submitting the article to numerous sites lost it’s value somewhat.

It still works to a lesser degree. An article i submitted to about 450 of the top article directories 5 months ago for example, if i search the article title in quotes i get the…

“In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 14 already displayed” and when i click i get 192.

Out of the 14 in the main index, 10 are showing the “Supplemental Result” next to them… Which leaves just 4.

From these 4 main index results, 2 are a sitemap that just contains a list of the headings of all articles in my category and not my article or resource box itself.

Another is a Category Index showing just article headings as well.

And get this, the only true URL of my entire article that’s not Supp has a “This site may harm your computer” tag and can’t be clicked through.

It also bought very little traffic.

I personally feel a good article is better utilized on your own site, where it will be picked up in the SE’s and drive traffic that way. If it’s good other webmasters may link to it and really provide better backlinks to your site then article directories do.

However i believe the BEST thing to do is publish the whole article on your site. Then create a short summary article, tweak it in to several versions and submit these several condensed versions, alternating the title as well but all containing a link back to the “master” article on your site and a link to your Homepage in the resource box.

You get the best of both worlds.

Gary if you want to do a test, go to my site and submit me an article using the Contact page with all details like Category, Keywords, Title, Summary, the Article and your Bio text with 2 links and i will send it to 100 article directories that are PR4 and above.

With the 2 links, i normally use 1 anchor and 1 regular http in case some don’t accept HTML formatting.

It only takes me a few minutes so it’s no probs, it will be under my Pen name but will be all your Bio links etc. Then i will send you a report containing the URL’s etc so you can track the results.

Gary July 25, 2007 at 11:48 am

Hi Carly, thanks this is really interesting, and I will certainly re-think the way that I approach this.

It’s great to see a considered opinion with supporting data that supports it..

I would certainly like to take up your offer of a test – Thanks!! Do you think it would be benificial to release the article on my site first, and then submit it to directories a couple of week after, so that Google et al index it on my site first?

Thanks again, Gary.

SEO Carly July 25, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Where the article appears first has no bearing on what will show in SERP’s, it’s generally the site with the highest authority or page strength (not visible PR) that will dominate the duplicate heap.

I don’t advise having the same article on your site and submitting it elsewhere in it’s entirety period. The best solution is to have the full and comprehensive article on your own site, then do a condensed summary article that’s unique via compared to the original and have a link in the distrubuted article to the full version.

This way you have unique content, you get a related backlink from each submission and you get targeted traffic who are interested in the topic and want to read more.

With your submitted article, it’s good to have in your Bio, Read more information on “anchor text here” with a link to your full article so your original gets a boost from the link/anchor plus include a standard http link to your homepage.

Some article directories strip out HTML so one of each link type ensures you get some form of link no matter what.

If you want to look at the case i mentioned earlier plug this in Google including the quotes.

“how to get indexed and rank high in google”

It’s only a pretty basic article i got someone to submit to test a few things. I can do bulk submissions now, so if you want to give it a shot it’s no troubles.

Gary July 27, 2007 at 11:09 am

Hi Carly. Sounds like good advice. I will write the summary and get back to you. Thanks, Gary.

SEO Carly July 27, 2007 at 2:37 pm

No probs, glad to help out. Just use the Contact page on my site because the email in my profile here gets loaded with spam and i’ll probably loose it.

I’ve got just over 100 article directories with minimum of PR4 i’m registered at and will submit it to, and i’ll send you back a report with all the URL’s, Categories etc i submitted to so you can track the results, traffic etc.


Jackson January 23, 2009 at 10:34 am

Okay I am no stranger to article distribution. I own a business for Article Marketing and Content Creation. My question is this; how do I find a script or how do I hire someone to make ME a distribution website?

jeff hopeck July 31, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Great info here to learn from. Follow up question for you:

TubeMogul mass distributes videos into all your video accounts. Is there a mass distritbution site you recommend for articles? For example, when I finish writing an article for Ezine, I can post that article on all my other micro-blogs, etc..

Thanks again for the great post on article distribution…

Tomas Busse October 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hi very interesting indeed. I have only just started using article submission in order to increase visitors and it seem to work. I am not sure that the backlinks are the issue here but if you have it on different sites it will obviously be read by different people just like newspapers and increase your traffic.

If you wanted to create unique content from the same articel you need to slightly rewrite it each time and manually submit it.

Kristi October 29, 2009 at 6:45 am

Actually, I find that while the chance of people reading the articles and clicking the links ARE good. Whats even better (and what works better) is the use of article marketing for SERPs. Which personally, I think is at least 98% of what article marketing is about!

Dwayne December 15, 2009 at 2:17 pm

“Submit SEO articles personally”
I believe this to be the best way. contact sites that it would be worth getting a link from and offer to write a “guest” article. Write the article specifically for that site and do not use it again.

It’s even worth getting some links to your article to help it do better in the SERPs, which will hopefully generate more traffic for the hosting site as well as to your site.

Jane December 29, 2009 at 5:56 am

Aside from article submission, you can increase your site traffic and gain links through press release submissions.