(Edited as of February 26th, 2011: this strategy is now obsolete. Ezinearticles was hit hard by Google’s algorithm update. They’ve responded by nofollowing many links. The content below should thus be considered interesting only from a historical perspective. It was a fun way to arbitrage Google’s algorithm, but that’s over.)
Ezinearticles.com is a mystery. The site isn’t pretty. I don’t know anybody who goes there to get good information. I don’t know anyone who writes there because they have a burning desire to share information. There are only two things that matter about ezinearticles.com:
And here’s why you should love them, too.
The basics of Ezinearticles are very basic, indeed. The site lets anyone write an article on any of a couple hundred topics (from Accounting to Yoga), which they will post on the site. They give a long list of rules, but it boils down to this:
With practice, you can write an Ezinearticles piece on any topic in about an hour. You can write approximately the same piece, on approximately the same topic, in another twenty minutes. (Once you’ve written your article on “Cheap Web Hosting,” it gets easier to crank out a piece about “Affordable Web Hosting,” “Cheap Website Hosting,” “Affordable Website Hosts,” etc.)
Once you post your article, you get three valuable things:
You’re getting a boost to your rankings. Those articles don’t carry a lot of weight, but they do carry some weight. As long as your site’s reasonably popular, and the keyword you’re targeting is fairly obscure, the combination of a subject-specific landing page and a couple ezinearticles pieces should land you on page one of Google.
You’ll also earn a steady stream of visitors. I have some articles on ezine that don’t get more than a visitor or two a month. I have some articles that get fifty readers per week. These people almost always find the articles through Google (where they often rank in the first page or two for the exact term). The number of visitors who click the link also varies, from about 10% to over 50%.
You can experiment with different pitches. Go back to the web hosting example. Let’s say you’re wondering whether the feature-list, the soft-sell, or the aggressive bluster method will work best. Why not try one article with each, and see which gets more clicks?
Here’s how I structure my articles on ezinearticles:
Ezinearticles.com appeals to a particular segment of the market. To some people, the site design screams “unprofessional!” So there’s a decent chance that by posting on ezinearticles.com, you’ll rule yourself out for some possible visitors. And if you’re trying to look like your site bubbled up to #1 on Google naturally, posting on ezinearticles.com is a good way to avoid that.
At the same time, ezinearticles.com can be an incredible time sink. It’s easy to think that you’re making incremental progress if you write ten articles a day about your favorite long-tail keywords. But if those keywords don’t covert (and you don’t find out until months after the fact) that effort is wasted. For an SEO on a budget, throwing hours at a campaign is as dangerous as throwing money at it.
To get the most out of ezinearticles, you can start thinking about how you’d use the site before you actually write any of the content you’ll be linking to. Returning once more to the web hosting example, it would be good to include each unique keyword in a subheading, bolded-or-italicized section, or bullet point. (As you might have guessed by now, this article itself could be worthy of about a dozen ezinearticles links.)
But while you’re optimizing your site, keep in mind the Only Two SEO Guidelines You’ll ever need. When you do SEO: