In this post I look at what I think are the top 10 article directories for affiliate marketers and why each article directory I include deserves its spot.
In my last post I set out my methodology for doing this and included a table of the top article directories sorted by Alexa rank, with a traffic estimate included. This time I have sorted the table in order of traffic estimate, to streamline the process of choosing the top 10, and added a couple of directories I missed the first time around.
But if you are interested in how these directories work, and why I have come to my conclusions, then read on.
The first article directory I excluded from my original list was eHow.com. Unlike most of the top article directories, eHow works on a freelance writing system where authors are either paid for submissions (when writing on a topic of eHow’s choosing), or can get a share of the ad revenue for ads displaying next to their articles (when writing on an approved topic of their own choosing). This comes with a couple of catches however, as authors need to go through an application and approval process before they can submit articles to eHow, and it seems that there will be a fair amount of restriction regarding the choice of topics available.
While eHow usually doesn’t allow syndication of articles uploaded, given it gets a phenomenal amount of traffic and has an outstanding page rank of 8, this doesn’t pose too much of a problem. Articles must be original and unpublished elsewhere. Affiliate links are prohibited, but there doesn’t seem to be any ban on self serving links. Although given there is human review prior to publication, and the stance eHow appears to be taking generally requiring neutrality of reporting, these would need to be used very carefully. In the event that self serving links are banned (which is unclear to me) then I’d say that eHow wouldn’t really be suitable for affiliate marketers. But as things currently stand, and given the page rank and traffic that eHow gets, I’ll include it in my list of the top 10 article directories, but this is subject to confirming that self-serving links are allowed. Also due to the restrictions on topics available, eHow won’t be claiming top spot on my list.
Ezinearticles is widely regarded as one of the top article directories on the internet, and for good reason. It has a huge amount of traffic, an excellent page rank and is deserving of top spot on my list. Submissions must be approved by human moderators – something which keeps the quality of the articles high. Up to 2 self serving links are allowed in the resource box of an article and while these can be affiliate links, if they are then they must be cloaked by a root domain. It requires original articles, and while the Ezinearticles guidelines don’t provide a definition of ‘original’, their blog does. While it is fine to upload articles already published to a blog, it is a bit unclear whether uploading articles already published to another directory would be allowed, although it seems (@ comments 22 and 36) that this would be fine provided that the same author name is used.
Suite101 has a heap of traffic and a great page rank, and requires original articles at the date of publication. Unfortunately it doesn’t allow self serving links anywhere in the article (body or resource box), but does from the author profile page. It is also a but unclear regarding posting articles elsewhere once you have submitted to them to suite101.com – the FAQ indicates a delay of 12 months is fine, but it doesn’t say whether reposting an article elsewhere once it goes live on suite101.com would be allowed.
Helium.com seems to operate along similar lines as Suite101, with great traffic, and page rank and requiring original articles, and prohibiting duplicate content and self serving links.
Both Suite101 and Helium provide authors with a share of the advertising revenue for ads showing alongside their article. Helium authors can also get a small upfront payment for certain approved topics. But if an affiliate marketer is able to draw readers willing to click on Google ads, I’d suggest they are better off having their own blog and not sharing the spoils. While suite101.com and Helium.com offer some interesting opportunities, they don’t really seem geared to affiliate marketing and I have cut both from my list.
Buzzle has great traffic and pagerank. It requires original articles, and doesn’t accept any sort of duplicate content. It also doesn’t seem to have any problems with affiliate links, or the restrictions that ezinearticles imposes – these can be posted “as often as you’d like – through your articles and the links you submit with your articles.” Definitely a worthy inclusion in my list of the top 10 article directories.
Articlesbase has a very high traffic and page rank. Original articles are required, duplicate content is probably not allowed and it seems that there is human review prior to publication. Direct affiliate links are not allowed but other self serving links seem to be fine. It also has nofollow tags applied to links inserted in an article, so links placed in articles uploaded to Articlesbase won’t be as useful in helping rank the target page on Google. Still, given the traffic that Articlesbase receives it is easy to include it in my top 10. I have also heard that articles on this directory may themselves have an easier time of ranking on Google (something to consider it targeting very low competition niches).
TheFreeLibrary has an excellent page rank of 7, and a high amount of traffic. It requires original articles, but doesn’t seem to require that initial publication be with TheFreeLibrary. Direct affiliate links are not allowed and articles themselves cannot be ” a press release, advertisement, self-promotion, or hype”. Up to four self promoting links are allowed, provided they are located in author’s resource box. On this basis, I’m happy to include TheFreeLibrary in my list of the top article directories.
ArticleSnatch has a respectable level of traffic and page rank. While it initially applies no follow tags on links of new authors, these tags can be removed upon request after publishing 5 articles. Original articles are required, but I couldn’t find whether ArticleSnatch allows duplicate content (or whether it only accepts ‘original’ articles that have not been published via another article directory first).
Articlesnatch.com doesn’t allow direct affiliate links, but allows self serving links in the resource box. I am not sure whether domain cloaking of affiliate links (as ezinearticles permits) would be allowed, but I suspect not. Nevertheless, ArticleSnatch is definitely among the top 10 article directories.
Bukisa requires original and quality articles, and has an interesting revenue sharing model whereby users get earn a small amount when content they add receives unique visitors, and when they access the content of “friends, friends’ friends and their friends (up to three levels).” Content already published to other sites is allowed, but unfortunately “self-promotion/self-advertisement by an individual or a company” is forbidden. So this rules out affiliate links, and probably most self serving type links as well. As with Suite101 and Helium, this means that Bukisa isn’t on my list of the top article directories for affiliate marketers.
Both SearchWarp and ArticleAlley receive a solid amount of traffic, have decent page rank and apply nofollow tags on links.
SearchWarp requires original articles and doesn’t allow duplicate content. Affiliate links are prohibited but up to 3 self-serving links are allowed providing they are not to ‘thin affiliate’ sites or opt in forms.
ArticleAlley also requires original articles and mentions that it may remove duplicate content which has been submitted. It isn’t entirely clear whether this refers to articles published elsewhere, or only to articles which have been uploaded into multiple categories on ArticleAlley. The only restrictions on links mentioned in the ArticleAlley guidelines are that only 3 links are allowed and they must be on topic – no prohibition on affiliate links or self-serving links. ArticleAlley also claims to have an associated network where submitted articles are automatically republished to.
Notwithstanding the ongoing nofollow tags for these directories, I’m inclined to include them in the top 10 article directories given a) the traffic numbers for the other directories start to really drop off, and b) the auto syndication for ArticleAlley.
SelfGrowth.com is a site dedicated to self improvement. While only articles in topics related to self improvement can be uploaded, the list of approved categories is much broader than I was expecting. Solid pagerank and traffic make this an easy inclusion in the top 10 article directories. The rights to use an article must be 100% owned by the uploader. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of express restriction on affiliate links or other self serving links, nor does it seem necessary to confine these links to the resource box. Nevertheless, articles undergo human review prior to publication and anything which looks too spammy may be rejected.
While the page rank for GoArticles is a bit lower than the other directories on my shortlist, given the traffic involved, it is still one of the top article directories going around. The submission process seems to be automatic (no human review), with articles indexed by Google within 24 hours.
Submissions that are “commercial or advertorial to promote a specific product or service”, or have been created using an article spinner are considered to be spam and will be removed. Still, there doesn’t seem to be any express restriction on affiliate links, although self serving links must be confined to the author bio box. While original articles are encouraged this appears to be more of a copyright concern than anything else, and it doesn’t seem that there is a prohibition on uploading articles that have also been published elsewhere.
Final List of the Top 10 Article Directories
Based on the analysis above, my list of the top 10 article directories for affiliate marketers are (in order):
- ehow.com (subject to self serving links being permitted)
© Tom McEwin