The Top 10 Article Directories – Part 4 – Conclusions

by Tom McEwin on 11 July, 2010

In this post I finish my look at the top 10 article directories for affiliate marketers, summarising my investigation and outlining some of the things I noticed during this process.

The Top 10 Article Directories (for Affiliate Marketers)

My final list of the top 10 article directories for affiliate marketers is (in order):

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

This list was compiled having reviewed the traffic stats, pagerank and terms of use for each directory, as discussed in my last post.  For ease of reference, here is a summary of what the terms of use for the top article directories have to say:

Top 10 Article Directories by Traffic - Terms of Use Summary

  • RB = Resource Box;
  • Ezinearticles affiliate link cloaking must be via a root domain;
  • This table is a summary only – for the full detail (and traffic info), see my last post.

Some Things I Noticed

1) Article Directories Want Unique Content

It is fairly obvious that article directories don’t want to become clogged with spam.  All of the top article directories I looked at require original articles, or at least unique ownership of an article (such as exclusive rights to use a particular article).  This means no re-badging of private label rights material, and no posting of public domain resources.

But it goes further than this.  It seems that article directories don’t like articles which have been spun.  This is where a percentage of an article is changed (such as the wording of a particular sentence or paragraph), but the structure of an article and the points covered remain largely intact.

It seems that directories particularly dislike articles which have been mechanically spun using an article spinner.  This is completely understandable given they can turn out some real gibberish (notwithstanding what the sales pages for these spinners might claim).

I can see this being one particular area where article directories are really trying to clean things up.  See, for example ezinearticles.com (@28).  GoArticles is another directory which takes a strong stance against articles which have been spun – prohibiting them all together.

2) Article Directories Don’t Like Duplicate Content so Much

Article directories don’t like mass distribution of the same article (eg via an article submitter to 1001 directories), and some require that an article not have been published anywhere else before it is submitted to a particular article directory.  If you want to submit the same article to multiple directories, then this is something which would need to be done with a little bit of care in order to not breach the terms of use for those directories.  Not only do some directories prohibit duplicate content outright, but the terms of use vary in their requirements.

3) Effective Pagerank for Links

The pagerank of a particular directory will be different than the pagerank of a particular article on that directory.  So the dofollow links which come from an article page will not get the pagerank of the overall directory.  Often the actual article pages will have a pagerank of 0.

If we look at ezinearticles as an example:

  • the front page has a pagerank of 6 and has links to a selection of articles from a given day;
  • the Internet and Business Online category has a pagerank of 5 and includes links to the 30 most recent articles in this category;
  • the Internet Marketing sub-category has a pagerank of 4 and includes links to the 30 most recent articles in this category (out of a total of >50,000); but
  • most of the actual articles in this sub category will end up with a pagerank of 0 (unless there is some link building done to that article itself, or the article gets syndicated).

So What?

So now we have a list of the top 10 article directories and some observations about things they don’t like and the weight of the dofollow links which may eventuate.  Now what?

Well, give the stance they take against spam, spun articles, and mass submitted articles, then not doing these things would seem to be a better way to keep the top article directories on side.

As noted by the guy who claims to have coined the phrase ‘linkwheel’, Google is after the most valuable content for their end users and this is what people themselves are more likely to share, subscribe to, and respect.  To quote him directly (because I couldn’t think of a better way to express this):

Content is king?

Hell no.

Value is king, and always will be.

So there we have it – the top 10 article directories and a reason to create valuable content (and not all unique content will be valuable) for your articles.  Not just because this is what the article directories want, and readers will get most benefit from, but also what Google is after and will reward in the long run.

© Tom McEwin
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Jill Brown July 13, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Hi Tom,
The top 10 Article Directories series has been so beneficial. Thank-you. With so many article directories to choose from it’s great to find an article where someone has done the research and passes the information on to Affiliate Marketers.

Patryc Lampasi July 14, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Thanks Tom for posting this information! A valuable aspect of affiliate Marketing.
Patryc Lampasi´s last blog post ..Power of the Subconscious Mind

Wal Heinrich July 14, 2010 at 6:40 PM

I agree with Jill. Your conclusions for the top 10 article directories do reflect some of my own experience, namely these sites are delighted when someone comes along with original content that they themselves composed. It must be very refreshing for them to find an article once in a while that hasn’t been auto generated by some smart software spinner.
Wal Heinrich´s last blog post ..Transportable Homes To The Rescue

David Moloney July 14, 2010 at 10:21 PM

Well done Tom. You have certainly earned a masters in researching the top 10 article directories for affiliate marketers. Loved every episode, bought the boxed set and learned something new. Logical great analysis that anticipated my questions. Superb work.
David Moloney´s last blog post ..Paint Net How To Tutorial

Tom McEwin July 14, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Thanks for your comments, Jill, Patryc, Wal and David. Glad you enjoyed the series. I learned plenty along the way and happy to share the knowledge.

Mr Limousine July 17, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Hi Tom,
You’ve certainly done your homework on the Top 10 Article Directories.
So far I’ve only used Ezinearticles, but will certainly give the others you have recommended a go.

Thanks for the great info.
Mr Limousine´s last blog post ..Corporate Limousine Services – Tips for Business Travel

kris March 27, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Well thanks for the article directories list !

podld October 31, 2011 at 12:07 AM

The top 10 Article Directories series has been so beneficial. Thank-you.

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