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Should I Build Inbound Links Using Article Directories? (No)

By February 10, 2014May 13th, 2019

I recently had a client wanting to know why we didn’t use article directories to gather incoming links for her website. Several years ago, this was an accepted way of building “authority” on the web, based on the assumption that if people found and liked your article on an article directory site, they’d add it to their own site and you’d get the value of the links with SEO text that you added into the “bio box” at the bottom of the article,

Article directories are not the way to build inbound links

The popularity of this approach let to a clamp-down by the search engines, and article directories are probably not a good choice for publishing your latest articles today.

But to add some authority to my opinion, here is Matt Cutts talking about this very topic a few days ago.

 

How can I build more inbound links for my website?

There is a great way to build inbound links for your website without being “spammy.” And this method will also help build your thought leadership and bringing you more website traffic. How do you do this? Try guest blogging.

But there is guest blogging, and then there’s guest blogging. Matt Cutts recently wrote a piece on his own blog warning about the demise of guest blogging in 2014, and how Google is de-valuing these links.

In response to a couple hundred comments on his post, Matt has clarified the intent of his post. He says he’s not referring to “high-quality multi-author blogs.”

There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there.  ~Matt Cutts

So what are these “high-quality multi-author blogs”? You can find them in pretty much any vertical. Well-known business blogs that are in this category include Fortune.com, FastCompany.com, Inc.com, HuffingtonPost.com and many others.

In the software vertical, some of these blogs are:

These lists are not meant to be exclusive or exhaustive, but rather illustrate some of the high-quality cloud computing blogs. A quick visit to any of these will show you the quality of the writing and ideas expressed. Quality articles, with real value for the reader, on quality websites, is a great way to drive additional traffic to your site, add search engine authority, and build your thought leadership all at the same time!

Look around your own industry space to see what people are reading regularly, and which of these sources are multi-author. Then think about what you could contribute that would helpful or valuable or thought-provoking for the readers on these sites. Contact your targeted sites and see what their process is for submitting articles and then follow that process to the letter.

If you target two guest posts per month you’re doing great! And don’t forget to juice up your own blog so that you’re publishing 5 times a week. This will also make a huge difference in traffic, search ranking, and in organic search results over time.

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.