The Top 10 Article Directories – Part 3 – A Detailed Look

by Tom McEwin on 4 July, 2010

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.

I will run down the list and consider each of the directories and their respective terms of use, until I settle on the best 10.  This gets a bit long and involved, so if you want to jump to my final list of the top 10 article directories, just CLICK HERE.

But if you are interested in how these directories work, and why I have come to my conclusions, then read on.

Top Article Directories by Traffic - June 2010eHow.com

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  Articles must be original and unpublished elsewhere.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.com

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.com and Helium.com

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.com

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.com

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.com

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.com

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.com

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.

SearchWarp.com and ArticleAlley.com

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/Articles

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.

GoArticles.com

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):

  1. ezinearticles.com
  2. buzzle.com
  3. articlesbase.com
  4. thefreelibrary.com
  5. articlesnatch.com
  6. ehow.com (subject to self serving links being permitted)
  7. searchwarp.com
  8. articlealley.com
  9. selfgrowth.com/articles
  10. goarticles.com

What Now?

This post was far longer than I was originally intending, but I think this is necessary in order to adequately deal with each article directory and not arbitrarily split things across multiple posts.  In my next post, I’ll include a table which summarises the terms of use I looked at above and extract some of the important things the top article directories have to say about article marketing.

© Tom McEwin
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{ 30 comments }

1 Helen July 4, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Thank you Tom for all the great effort you have put into researching these article directories. Great job! Love the way you are dissecting all the info into bite sized bits. Looking forward to future posts:-)

2 Tom McEwin July 4, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Thanks Helen – glad you liked it. Took a little while to break things down, but worth the effort I think.

3 Jill Brown July 5, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Hi Tom,
A very well researched and detailed article. I know there’s many article directories available online however, having the Top 10 researched, on-hand and made available as you have done is fantastic. Thank-you.

I’m learning more about article directories especially by reading Sean’s many articles. I realize now more than ever that Article Directories are valuable tools especially in building online persona and as marketing tools.

4 Lisa Wood July 5, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Hello Tom,

Great blog. I was amazed by the many different details of all the Article Directories….(never realised there was that many different places to put Articles!!) I have bookmarked this blog post for future reference – great details and love how you have taken the time to research so many different Article Directories.

Cheers
Lisa
Lisa Wood´s last [type] ..Follow Your Heart

5 Jazz Salinger July 5, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Hi Tom,

Wow! This is an incredible resource. You have saved me so much time just by the amount of effort and detail that you’ve put into this post.

I’ll be back to access it every time I’m looking for a new article directory to add to my list. I think you may have to start charging for this information. :)
Jazz Salinger´s last [type] ..Finding Your Passion

6 David Moloney July 5, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Hi Tom,
You have certainly done your homework. I found myself looking forward to this last installment over the last few days. Good to see the final list of top 10 article directories. Your rationale is sound and comes across very enthusiastically. I’ll have to checkout those article directories that I haven’t even heard of. Buzzle here I come.
David Moloney´s last [type] ..A Free Photoshop Alternative

7 Tom McEwin July 5, 2010 at 11:47 PM

Thanks for your comments Jill, Lisa, Jazz and David. Glad you like the post.

When I was deciding whether or not to split this post up into a number of different posts, I figured it is probably much more useful if I consider all the top article directories in the one place. While it may take a little while to read through all the detail, I figure that it is easy enough to bookmark and come back to.

Jazz – thanks for the suggestion :) I might just have to release a little ebook down the track. But for the moment, knowledge will have to be its own reward.

8 Samantha Banfield - Witty Sam July 6, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Thanks Tom,

This really was the most comprehensive top 10 article directory list. It has saved me so much time as I have been trying to find the best resource to find the information. Everything I needed was right here. I took notes as I went. All I have to decide now is which ones I am going to use.
Samantha Banfield – Witty Sam´s last [type] ..Going Bush

9 Bev July 7, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Thanks for such a great resource Tom!

This is easy to understand and you have clearly pointed out the pro’s and con’s of these article directories.

Thanks again for all you efforts!
Bev´s last [type] ..Private Yoga Lessons

10 Jackie Stenhouse July 7, 2010 at 3:13 PM

This is fantastic. To know the top 10 article directories is a huge help. Thank you so much for putting so much research into this. I hadn’t even heard of a few of these so will be looking them up.
Jackie Stenhouse´s last [type] ..Types of Child Anxiety Disorder

11 Tom McEwin July 7, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Thanks Sam, Bev and Jackie. Glad you found it useful. I definitely tried to make it a post worth coming back to.

12 Lina Nguyen July 12, 2010 at 5:49 PM

G’day Tom

Wow, thanks for putting together an article that people find really valuable. Very generous of you to share your work and knowledge, rather than keeping it all to yourself. Well done.

13 Tom McEwin July 12, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Thanks Lina – glad you (and others) like.

14 Ian Paul Marshall August 6, 2010 at 5:26 AM

Thank you so much for this breakdown. It really helped. I’m a writer and I’ve been wondering about taking some of my older posts that are buried in my site and getting no google juice and submitting them to article directories. Your info on this subject was great!
Ian Paul Marshall´s last [type] ..Search Engine Optimization – A Visual Guide

15 Tom McEwin August 8, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Hi Ian. Happy to assist and glad you found it useful. I love your SEO visual guide by the way – a great summary.

16 Matt September 15, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Thanks for this comprehensive outline. You’ve made an effort to clarify what the term original articles means for each of the main directories, which is very useful.

And I totally agree with your assessment of ArticlesBase. The massive traffic it gets makes it well worth submitting to, even if there is no SEO benefit in doing so.
Matt´s last [type] ..ArticlesBase has high traffic- good author statistics section

17 Marc September 18, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Tom,

Great analysis. Iwas wondering if you have done similar analysis for web2.0 properties such as hubpages, squidoo, etc.?

If not would you consider doing that?

Thanks

Marc

18 Tom McEwin September 21, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Thanks for your suggestion Marc – I think that sort of list could be really useful. I’m focussing my posts on topics that are also helping me to set up a side project at the moment, but I’ll bear it in mind for future.

In the meanwhile, here is a massive list of Web 2.0 properties organised by page rank. I can also recommend the (free) ‘Revenge of the Mininet’ ebook that is linked to in that post – well worth a read.

19 Sarah January 21, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Hi all. I have created an article directory that will allows 4 contextual links with automatic approval. Because I am generous like this, be generous with me and give me your best articles ;)

Cheers to all. Come have a visit at http://thegeniusblog.org .

We also have Comment Luv so that you can get relevant link love through comments just as you can here!
Sarah´s last [type] ..Know More About Small Dog Breeds

20 Bill February 13, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Great list, thanks Tom. Regarding ArticlesBase and the whole follow/no follow thing, so many articles I’ve posted there have become Google listings that it really doesn’t matter. They’re always on my submission list.

21 marcus April 23, 2011 at 6:39 AM

That was a good review on article directories, I have received a good amount of traffic going to my blog using article directories. They are very effective.

22 John July 28, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Its good to get a decent list of article directories. There are so many these days that do more damage to a site than good.
John´s last [type] ..Understanding Domain Names

23 Luciano Bonanno August 24, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Hi,

I’m am the owner of http://canarymagazine.net , a PR4 do-follow article directory.if you don’t mind (and if you like my AD), can you please add it to your list?
The registration is completely free and with 10+ submitted articles you’ll gain the master author role.
don’t forget that every single article is manually approved and low quality articles will be automatically deleted.
if you want to contact me please email me at: webmaster (at) canarymagazine.net .

Take Care,

Luciano B.

24 Kevin Jordan September 15, 2011 at 11:03 PM

I agree that although you can post on any directory, but it is recommended to build or promote your website by using top article submission directories. Searching for the Top Article directories can be a cumbersome task. So to simplify the process, you need to have a one stop solution where you can review a whole lot of directories based on different parameters such as approval times, article views, traffic response, page ranking and then choose the best directories to post.

25 Michael October 1, 2011 at 4:45 AM

Nice list. I imagine that took some time to go through, but it will help a lot people. Another site that accepts affiliate links is http://www.contenthangover.com

It might help those without websites or blogs. After all, we all know that can take up a lot of time on its own.

26 Adam October 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Thanks for the info. Does anyone know of a quality directory that allows you to comment on the articles and also allows you to leave a backlink through the name textbox?

I can’t find too many. EzineArticles is the only one in the above list to my knowledge.

27 Luciano Bonanno October 16, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Hi Adam,

my article directory ( canarymagazine.net) allows you to comment on all articles. it also has installed the Commentluv plugin. bear in mind that we moderate every comment….be good boys! ;)

Best,

Luciano Bonanno
Luciano Bonanno´s last [type] ..Remove System Repair Quick and Easy

28 Name Guru April 28, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Thanks for the list. I found a few that I didn’t know about. Also, I noticed that you have Articlesbase listed. I was reading more about them and visited their site. They say that they use “no follow” for the author links. I decided to join anyway and post a few articles. Funny thing though, about a week later, the backlinks from my articles there showed up in my Google Webmaster panel. So, it looks as if the “no follow” means nothing, at least with that site. It makes me wonder about all of the other “no follow” sites like Propeller. What do you think?

29 Tom McEwin May 9, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Thanks for your comment. My current understanding is that no-follow tags are more relevant to determine whether page rank value will flow on, rather than whether a particular link will get indexed or not.

30 Olad Tab May 21, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Thanks for the list. I will try them.

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