September 7, 2009

How to Use Ezinearticles.com For SEO

(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:

  1. They let you post articles on basically any topic you want, with exactly one non-nofollowed link.
  2. Google loves them.

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:

  1. Your article can have a link in the body, and a link in the author bio. The link in the body won’t pass any value from the search engine’s perspective.
  2. You can’t post affiliate links—if you get money directly from someone clicking on your link, it’s out.
  3. Your article can’t be directly plagiarized, should have something to do with the title, and should be written in something approaching standard English.

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.)

How Using Ezinearticles Helps You

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?

Ezinearticles Tips

Here’s how I structure my articles on ezinearticles:

  • The ezinearticles headline should lead with your keyword, as often as possible. Even if you have to really torture the words to get them in the right order—do it! “2006 Tax Forms – IRS Documents Come in Handy” did me more favors than the grammatically correct “2006 Tax Forms and Other Documents the IRS Uses,” when I optimized for [2006 tax forms irs documents].
  • The ezinearticles summary should use your keyword at least once. This snippet shows up in a couple places around the site, and you don’t want to miss the chance. Other than that, it should raise more questions than it answers, without seeming like useless fluff.
  • The ezinearticles article itself is where you can really go to town. You’ll want to throw in mentions of your keyword, and possibly related terms, but the main ideas are: make sure your readers keep on reading, but make sure that by the time they’re done, if they’re potential customers, they’ll click your link. When I’m writing an article pitching a client’s service, for example, I’ll go into detail on how to do it yourself—then add that it’s generally safer and often cheaper to go with a pro. (That’s my strategy with this blog, too!)
  • The ezinearticles resource box should be a throwaway author bio—but it isn’t. Thanks to a strange policy choice, ezinearticles.com tells Google to ignore links in the body of an article, but to give them full credit if they show up in the resource box. I recommend a bio like this: Byrne Hobart writes about a variety of topics, including Syrian mythology, simian physiognomy, and SEO Copywriting. It’s pretty hard to write something sensible, but by this point your reader should be 1) pretty sure that you know what you’re talking about, but 2) pretty sure that you’re going to talk about it in more useful detail on the site you linked, not the ezinearticles piece you wrote to promote it.

Ezinearticles warnings

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.

Optimizing Your Site for Ezinearticles

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:

  1. Work around the worst flaws of existing search engines—that they can’t read Flash or Javascript content very well, that they prefer popular error to lonely truth, and that they reward a certain amount of diligent skulduggery, but;
  2. Always optimize for the optimal search engine—the one that knows the difference between “furniture polish” and “polish furniture,” between an editorial link and a spam comment, and between a legitimate endorsement and a paid promotion. When in doubt, optimize optimistically.

You should subscribe to my feed or follow me on Twitter.

I’m currently the Co-Founder and CEO of a startup providing equity research and M&A due diligence to investors analyzing online businesses.

  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/the-typo-test-do-typos-ruin-online-copy-im-going-to-find-out/ The Typo Test: Do Typos Ruin Online Copy? I’m Going to Find Out | Byrne's Blog

    [...] like to see how much harm typos cause. I’ve written before about how easy it is to use ezinearticles for SEO, and I’d like to combine that with the typo [...]

  • andylock

    A good amount of business can be lost if the website is not well designed and even a well designed website wont be able to serve the purpose, if it does not hold a good search rank. Web SEO Development companies in India provide 360 degree solution in web designing SEO optimization.

  • andylock

    A good amount of business can be lost if the website is not well designed and even a well designed website wont be able to serve the purpose, if it does not hold a good search rank. Web SEO Development companies in India provide 360 degree solution in web designing SEO optimization.

  • http://www.ubervu.com/conversations/www.byrnehobart.com/blog/how-to-use-ezinearticles-com-for-seo/ uberVU – social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by byrneseyeview: New blog post: How to Use Ezinearticles.com For SEO http://bit.ly/mta0V (should be of no interest to anyone who doesn’t want more traffic)….

  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/what-happens-when-all-our-content-comes-from-content-factories/ What Happens When All Our Content Comes from Content Factories? | Byrne’s Blog

    [...] next, build pages that speak to the audience that searches for these keywords; and finally, use article directories to promote those [...]

  • http://twitter.com/AcceleratedPI Jim White

    Interesting. I posted an article for my Cincinnati private investigator site on Ezine a month or so ago, but so far Google doesn't seem to recognize it…is it because it simply hasn't been indexed yet?

  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/ byrneseyeview

    Take a look; it's there:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site:ezinearticl…>

    <http://www.google.com/search?q=site:ezinearticl…
    link will not necessarily give your site a boost as soon as the page is
    indexed, though.

    By the way, one thing you *should* do is to get your street address into the
    footer on every page. You want to show up in the automatic maps result for
    [cincinnati private investigator], and (unless you're also operating under
    another name), you don't.

  • http://twitter.com/AcceleratedPI Jim White

    Excellent tip regarding the address. I was just talking to the boss about that…we couldn't figure out why our Cincinnati private investigator site wasn't showing up in the Google maps application. I suggested he get a P.O. box that is located near the center of the map…the actual location is very close to the edge.

    Your tip to include the street address is incredibly helpful – if you ever need a favor, you know how to reach us…

  • http://www.firstpagegoogleresults.com/ seo for website

    If you are looking to boost your page rank you should have a clear focus on Search Engine Optimization or SEO as its sometimes known.

  • http://www.firstpagegoogleresults.com/ home builder seo

    This will give an added SEO bonus that will help your articles .

  • http://www.marineengineeringonline.com Jabelu Firoz

    Thanks on ezine info dude…

  • http://www.quarkbase.com/show/seop.com SEOP.com

    Thanks for sharing. This will certainly help me with article syndication.

  • ken

    Ok. I am good at SEO, but cannot seem to fully grasp this concept with ezine. It is frustrating me b/c I feel that I am making it harder than it sounds – ok…so the four articles i wrote which are going to be published and they don't have a link in my bio page, so they are somewhat worthless. that's fine. though, i just don't know how to do anchor text with the site. Does it take some sort of programming? I can't figure it out and it bugs me. I hope someone wouldn't mind taking five or ten minutes.

    Also, how long or short should my anchor text be to be approved?

    Now, Ezine says I can make changes to my articles after they proofread them, does anyone know whether I can put the link in the bio part then and if it will pass rank?

  • http://twitter.com/njcomputer NJ Computer Repair

    Good article. I have a few ezine articles and they are working out pretty well for me from an SEO standpoint. One question though, if you change something in your article, ezine takes it offline and has to approve it again. Once it gets approved, it will have a different URL so all the links to your original article will basically be 404 and ezine does not do a 301 redirect to the new article so it seems like you are basically starting from scratch. Is it a bad idea to edit your articles if they have been live for some time? How does that affect your SEO?

  • http://twitter.com/AnnieintheSun Ann H. Shea

    Hi Byrne,

    I just wrote my 1st article for ezinearticles, ironically largely in part because I DO have a burning desire to share information, LOL! But as I was getting ready to post it, I started to realize the complexities and limitations of the site. Also, confused a bit about terms like “# non-nofollowed link.” Would love to run my article by you.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise, here, there and cyber-where.

    Ann

  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/ byrneseyeview

    Go ahead and send it to me; I'm happy to take a quick look.

  • ken sundheim

    Hi Everyone,

    I've had about 30 articles (I think 26 to be exact) published by ezine, they tell me the articles are on the first page – they are getting hits…

    4 questions – if someone would take the time here, I'd be really greatful

    1. how do I know that the articles are getting hit by Google, I mean my rankings have jumped, but being neurotic, I would love some closure

    2. some sites are stealing my articles and killing the links to my site, is there anything I can do? Someone in my office is writing a form letter tomorrow, but is it going to matter?

    3. I posted some articles on goarticle.com and I'm not sure if they have been approved or published, any way to find out?

    4. I was recently approved by Buzzle.com, any thoughts?

  • ken

    Here is what you do – in the author's section, use this formula

    sales recruitment agencies

    now you see where http://www.kasplacement.com – that's my website, replace it with yours

    then, you see where I put “sales recruitment agencies” – put your keywords in there, however I just found out that you could put 5 words, however wait to do this until they begin to like you….so, let's say you're doing weight loss consultants make the keywords “weight loss consultants weight loss”

    happy hunting

  • RedEvo

    Ezine actually give you two followed links not one although using only one of them might make sense. You can also add a couple of non self serving links to the article body, these are no-follow.

    d

  • gulmarshah

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  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/demand-medias-ipo-everything-you-need-to-know/ Demand Media’s IPO: Everything You Need to Know | Byrne’s Blog

    [...] on “Article Directories,” (of which the most popular is EzineArticles.com—see my Ezine Articles SEO guide for [...]

  • Simon

    Do we know why Google love them?

    I see a lot of link farming apparently done on their behalf. If this is truly how they achieve ranking, at some point Matt Cutt's bots will figure this out, and the party will be over.

  • http://www.webcreationuk.com/advancedseo.htm Advanced SEO

    I tried the article marketing strategy, won’t work for me. Not only ezine but also other authority article directories, nothing…

  • http://www.directorysubmissionservices.net Nick

    Submitting articles to ezines is a practice with a dual impact on your profits: it helps you decrease advertising expenses while increasing sales and at this point SEO do his work.

  • http://www.freeflash.co.in/flashtext Flash Text

    Thank you for sharing this information about article for seo. I found it very needful for me. Thanks

  • http://www.rentdeals.com/blog Mario

    Interesting article…. Correction: Ezine allows up to two links in the authors box. Now my question is, do these links actually carry ANY value in terms on SEO? If not, why not post articles directly onto your own site?

  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/ byrneseyeview

    The resource box link(s) are followed, so that’s useful. The other link is
    nofollowed, but gets a decent number of clicks. For example, this article:

    http://ezinearticles.com/?2008-Tax-Extension-Form—Missing-This-Deadline-Could-Cost-You!&id=2578190

    Has
    about 3K views with a 20% click-through. Given where those users go, their
    conversion rate, and what they pay when they get there, the ROI on this
    piece was just staggering.

    In general, more links = more clicks, so that bumps up ROI further.

    My rule of thumb is that I write good, original stuff on my own site, but
    I’ll usually benefit from rehashing it on Ezine (or any of about a dozen
    other article directories).

  • http://www.rentdeals.com/blog Mario

    Thanks for the reply. I’m actually testing the value of article directory links as it relates to SERPS now. I’m curious about the value being carried by the referenced links. Nonetheless, I do agree that article marking is definitely a marketing tool.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zaki.rimawi Zaki Rimawi

    Waaaaaaaaaw your article is very useful
    many thanks

  • http://www.hyipdata.com/ HYIP monitor

    EzineArticles? Forget about them, it’s b*llshit.

    “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.”

    How have you come to this conclusion? I see you do not have a clue about this company, so why do you write about them in this case?
    Unlike many others good articles directories, the range of available topics is very limited there. For example if you use the word “HYIP” (high yield investment program) in your article, it will be deleted anyway regardless the context. It is frequently visited? Absolute crap. It is not even so popular as some other article directories (like articlebase).

    And if to speak in general, submitting articles is a poor SEO strategy, very low impact in search engines. Directories contain dozens of thousands articles, yours will be just one of them, considering the fact that this “super popular directory” has just PR6.

  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/ byrneseyeview

    Hm. Your comment only lists one topic Ezine won’t let people write about.
    What other ones are there?

    http://siteanalytics.compete.com/ezinearticles.com+articlesbase.com/

    And
    this TC article claims that ArticlesBase gets 20mm visits/month:
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/11/articlesbase-the-profitable-content-farm-with-20m-monthly-visitors-you-dont-know/

    While
    Ezine claims 56mm uniques:
    http://blog.ezinearticles.com/2011/02/search-engine-algorithm-changes.html

    Your
    move.

  • http://hyipdata.com/ HYIP monitor

    oh, c’mon, the full list of topics that are forbidden can be found in their author guidance. It’s really HUGE. The funniest thing that they cannot explain why this topic is forbidden, just say “sorry”.

    About the popularity – this is the fact from my own experience: articlebase is much more popular. I own several websites and I can compare in Google analytics. The number of referred people for one of them is: 62 for articlebase, 14 for ezine. I think no comments, considering the fact that the articles are the same =)

    Ezinearticles “superpower” is just a myth.

    It’s not popular (google analytics doesn’t lie).

    It’s not useful for SEO (no improvement in SERPs after crawling your article).

    Stupid rules (have written them but cannot explain why they have done so – probably just for fun =)).

    Tiny company (after I have written the article last time and put backlink to my website, they have rejected it as “the linked website is not related to the content”. I told them that there is no such rule in their TOS – they have written the article the next day in their blog “about the required relevancy of linked website” :))

    Does not support many topics (for a very limited range of customers).

    Do you still think they’re worth something? ;)

  • http://www.byrnehobart.com/blog/ byrneseyeview

    See my update at the start of this blog post: as of the “farmer” update, the
    long-term value of article directories is highly ambiguous. This update
    shifts things more towards solid on-site content, guest blog posts, maybe
    even Adsense.

  • http://automationmarketingtools.com/the-new-age-of-article-marketing The New Age Of Article Marketing – Automation Tips Tools and Training for Internet Marketers – Automation Marketing Tools

    [...] some data on “farmer”, a different picture emerged: while some sites had been slammed, article marketing stalwart EzineArticles lost 90% of its traffic, and Yahoo!’s Associated Content lost even more, the big names were [...]

  • http://quibidsblog.blogspot.com Penny

    Interesting article. I was an active author before the Google farmer update, but now I am not very sure. I can see a tangible change in traffic that I get from EzineArticles and am not sure if I would like to invest more time into it.
    However, I would like to know if the backlinks carry good value. I am trying to get a higher Google ranking for some of the keywords and if Ezine can help me with it, I will definitely use that

  • James Harrsion

    Ezine took a big hit after the Panda Update, what do you thing about Ezine these days?

  • JD

    I was looking around a few articles on Ezine and I came across one that has 2 do follow links within the final paragraphs of the article. These links are not in the resource box: http://ezinearticles.com/?When-Does-Legal-Financing-Make-Sense&id=6393264

    Have they changed the way they are now allowing links to their articles? 

  • http://www.colcort.co.uk Colinanto

    The ezine articles downgrading in the new algorithm hit us hard, it is all so frustrating! and we did get some traffic from our ezine article as well. At least we know now how valuable a PR6 link can be now. Just need to find another one now!

  • http://www.rankster.net/social-media/ Williamtaylor32

    Thanks
    of your infomation,i have read it is very helpful for me.

  • http://cdmusicmastering.com Big Label Sound

    Thanks for the article.  Great read!

  • Anonymous

    Web Design & SEO Services in London, UK – Infinitevizionz

         It is very interested post.

    http://www.infinitevizionz.co.uk

  • http://toronto.pk/ Undivided media

    Can anybody guide me more about writing keywords in articles that how many times we can use our keyword. ?

  • http://entertainment-lobby.blogspot.com iPhone

    i have done it :D thanks

  • http://opalpcsolutions.co.uk/ PC Repair In Watford

    Does anyone know how many links from Ezine is beneficial? (i.e. is it better to have 20 links from Ezine or 10 x 2 links from ten different article sites?). 

  • http://winecountrycarpet.com/ Atascadero Carpet Cleaning

    I am definetly gonna try this, I love to write.  My problem is that it is really hard to tie my site to any keyword in an article I would write.  I am just gonna have to keep trying. 

  • http://www.webdesignbizz.com/ Template Design

    Thanks for providing this useful information.I am sure lot of people will get benefit from it …

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this info – we’re happy for Google to crawl store and index everything of ours for their financial gain but they’re not so comfortable with our legitimate SEO marketing attempts ..mmm!

  • http://www.lindenmethodworks.com/ Steve Wil

    An interesting primer for someone who is just starting out in the great big blogging world.  Thanks for your efforts.

  • http://www.allthehighstreet.com/ Scott’s Price Comparison

    Thanks for the info, just learning what I need to do to use Article sites well.

  • Guest

    Thank you for the great information :)