The Top 10 Article Directories – Part 1 – Data

by Tom McEwin on 22 May, 2010

There is a lot to like about article directories.  But with the huge number available, it can be a bit difficult deciding which ones to submit to.  In this post I’ll be discussing some of the things affiliate marketers should look for when choosing the top article directories, and wrapping up with my shortlist of the top 10 article directories.

Why Bother With Article Directories?

Article directories are essentially websites where people can upload/publish their articles.  These articles will then be available for people browsing those directories and can also be republished by other websites looking for content.   Not only can article directories be a great source of information, but for an internet marketer they offer a couple of great ways to get targeted traffic.

Firstly, readers might like the content of an article and decide to click on relevant links included in that article.

Secondly, the links within articles can assist in climbing the Google rankings for a particular keyword phrase.  Some of the top article directories have quite a high authority in Google’s eyes so links from these sites can provide a fair amount of weight.  If an article gets republished then this can also provide additional back links, although the weight of these links will really depend on the credibility of the websites doing the republishing.

Finding the Most Popular Directories

The logical place to start is to find a list of the most popular article directories and then narrow the list down from there.  I managed to find a site which has a live list of the top 50 article directories that can be filtered by either Alexa rating or Google Pagerank, and identifies which of the directories use ‘no follow’ links.  Here are the top 20 article directories from that list as at May 2010:

Top 20 Article Directories - May 2010

Narrowing down the list

As explained at Dosh Dosh, the Alexa Rating is “a ranking system which bases its ranking schema on the level of traffic each website receives from the number of people who visit a website with the Alexa toolbar installed.” While people using the Alexa toolbar may have different browsing habits than the general internet user, the Alexa rating still provides a useful indicator of the popularity of a particular article directory compared to others. So all things being equal, a lower Alexa rating is better when choosing which article directories are best to submit to, as it means more traffic for that particular directory.

Google Pagerank is essentially a rating of the credibility which Google gives a particular webpage, using a complicated linking formula.  Basically the more links the better, but credible links carry much more weight than less credible links when Google decides how a particular page will rank (and how high it appears in search engine results).  For the purposes of selecting the top article directories to submit to, the higher the PageRank for a directory the better, as it will more greatly benefit the site being linked to by an article.

One thing I am inclinded to avoid are directories which have ‘no follow’ links.  While search engines use regular links help rank a page, they ignore links which are denoted as ‘no follow’ links.  As can be seen in the list of the ‘top 20′ article directories above, a number of them apply ‘no follow’ tags to the self serving links allowed in the article.  While this may not matter if we are just interested in attracting readers who will click on the links in an article, it really will make a difference if we also want the articles we submit to help increase the rank (and search engine traffic) of a particular web page.

A shortlist of the Top 10 Article Directories for Affiliate Marketers

Applying the reasoning above, a shortlist of the top 10 article directories for affiliate marketers (as at May 2010) would appear to be:

  8. (Alexa) / (Pagerank)
  9. (Alexa) / (Pagerank)
  10. (Alexa) / (Pagerank)

The first 6 would seem to be an obvious choice, with, and excluded as a result of their ‘no follow’ tags.

After these there seems to be a step down in the numbers, and while I include due to its high page rank, it only accepts articles in very limited (ie self improvement type) categories.

The final 3 spots on the list really depend on making a choice to go for Alexa Rating (ie raw traffic to an article directory) or Google PageRank (ie the authority of backlinks).

But Wait, There’s More

Now that we have a shortlist of the top 10 article directories, the obvious step would be to write a unique article and submit that article to all of these directories.  Unfortunately the terms of use for these directories make things a little bit more complicated than that.  In my next post I’ll be looking into this when deciding on the top article directories that I will bother submitting to, and which directories I will cut from the shortlist.

© Tom McEwin
Jazz Salinger May 23, 2010 at 8:04 AM

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the great list of the Top 10 Article Directories. They have such great Pagerank that it would be crazy to not make the most of them.

I’m going to be submitting to a few more than I usually do as the links from these article directories would be awesome for my Pagerank. Not to mention the exposure.

David Moloney May 23, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Hi Tom,

Thanks for doing the legwork to uncover the top article directories. Taking the time to locate the top directories and filter them by traffic and no follow links is a great help. I’m looking forward to jumping on the ezine article bandwagon in the coming months.
.-= David Moloney´s last blog ..Elance: Where to Find a Great Logo Designer =-.

Gee May 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Hi Tom

Thanks for the advice. However I would suggest to not exclude a directory purely on the existence of the no follow tag. There is more to marketing than just getting links.
.-= Gee´s last blog ..Jessica Watson – Truly An Inspiration =-.

Tom McEwin May 23, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Thanks for your comments Jazz, David and Gee.

Gee, I take your point – there certainly is more to marketing than just building links. I did take a fairly link heavy analysis in my post, but this was as a basis to help decide between the huge number of article directories available. In my next post I’ll be getting down to some of the finer points about the top 10 article directories on my shortlist, and why there are other factors which make some of them less suitable.

There is a sacrifice to be made either way in deciding whether to go for directories with higher traffic, and having either nofollow tags or a comparatively low page rank, or going for those directories with a higher pagerank.

In terms of getting traffic from the article itself, all things being equal, having nofollow links wouldn’t seem to make a difference. And this is fine if the relevant links in an article are directed to someone else’s sales page, as building the search ranking for that site wouldn’t really be a priority for us.

However, for the purposes of building authority to a particular site and search engine rankings for a term on that site, avoiding nofollow tags would seem to be quite important. I’d rather go with those directories which cover both bases.

Cemil May 25, 2010 at 12:09 AM

Great work here Tom. Really well researched and detailed. This post will save a lot of people much time.

I have been trying to make use of the power that article directories have more and more, not only for the links but also for traffic.
.-= Cemil´s last blog ..Capturing Email Addresses =-.

Tom McEwin May 25, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Thanks Cemil – all part of the service :)

I’ve been having a further think about the value of traffic that some of the higher ‘nofollow’ directories might offer. I will do a more detailed breakdown of traffic that each directory receives in my next post – rather than simply relying on the Alexa rating, (which is only a ranked order of the directories, but doesn’t provide any sort of traffic weighting).

Also, according to the blog, the reason they introduced nofollow tags was to “help recover from a strong Google Filter”. Quite conceivably, articles on directories with nofollow tags may have a better shot at themselves ranking on Google. This is something that could end up being quite important for micro niches where there isn’t too much competition for a keyword / phrase.

I haven’t tested this mind you, but it may be worthwhile including a couple of the stronger ‘nofollow’ directories in my final list of the top 10 article directories. Particularly if the submission requirements are consistent with those for other directories and the same article can be submitted to multiple places.

tiffany and co June 2, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Hi Tom,

Thanks for doing the legwork to uncover the top article directories. Taking the time to locate the top directories and filter them by traffic and no follow links is a great help. I’m looking forward to jumping on the ezine article bandwagon in the coming months.

Jan Littlehales June 4, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Hey Tom – some very useful information here on the top 10 article directories. I’ve only had experience with ezinearticles, so I was pleased to see they are no 1 :). I’ve found their rules/instructions very easy to follow.
.-= Jan Littlehales´s last blog ..Raising Great Kids – Healthy Eating Habits =-.

Tom McEwin June 5, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Thanks guys. I’ll be tweaking the list slightly in my next post, but Ezinearticles will definitely still be number 1! I should get the updated version done over the next week or so – will take some time to go through the terms of use for each site (and I’ve been a little sidetracked lately).

Richard Colum June 7, 2010 at 12:21 AM

You have gone to a lot off work putting in this information it will be good to come back on when i need it. Thanks Tom
.-= Richard Colum´s last blog ..Why Commercial Property Investing in Australia is a Good Idea =-.

Matt Ellsworth June 17, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Nice post – I’d like to echo the comments of Gee as well about not excluding something just because of nofollow. I’ve seen plenty of sites with dofollow links, but the pages aren’t indexed.

Additionally there is something to be said for an increased number of readers / exposure that you can still gain from a site even if the links are only used for discovery and anchor text.

Lina Nguyen June 21, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Hi Tom

Great value here and looks like it’s been greatly appreciated by your readers. Great topic and helpful analysis. Well done.

Tom McEwin June 22, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Thanks Lina, I appreciate the feedback.

Previous post:

Next post: