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Article Marketing Strategies: Understanding Links and the Search Engines
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I suspect that there are many people who are doing article marketing who do not understand what article marketing is about or how it is intended to work.

The tendency is to think that your reward as an author is people clicking the link in your resource box on that one site for that particular article, but really that is only a very tiny piece of the big picture and actually not the main point of article marketing.

Here’s what article marketing is all about:

The links from your articles to your website are taken into account by the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc), and this can create the most significant traffic boost for your website.

Click-throughs from your article when published on article directories or other publisher is really just icing on the cake. These direct clicks from your articles can add up over time, especially when you’ve been submitting articles over the long haul, but that is not where your major payoff lies.

The real noticeable long-term and sustainable increases in traffic come when your website starts to rank better on the search engines for your keyword terms, thanks to your article marketing activities.

How much difference can a higher Google ranking make in the traffic you receive?

The #1 ranking site in search results gets around 8.5 times more traffic than the website that is ranked 5th.

That means that if you’re sitting in the 5th spot and you are receiving 5,000 unique visitors a month, then if your site moved up to the #1 ranking, you would be getting around 42,500 unique views a month.

A big difference, isn’t it? Could you use that extra traffic?

Imagine if your website is currently ranked much lower than the 5th spot–if your website was to move onto the front page of Google for your keyword terms, then the difference in your website traffic would be staggering.

Let’s look at how search engines work in relation to links and the ranking of your site…

You always hear people talking about “getting a higher search engine ranking”. You might have wondered–what exactly are you trying to rank highly for?

Before you start marketing your website, you should do keyword research. We’re not going to cover the topic of keyword research in this post, but at the bottom of this post I’ll give you some links to help you get started.

What you are trying to get your website to rank highly for are the keyword terms associated with your website.

So, if your website is about dog training, then likely one of your keyword terms that you want to rank highly for would be “dog training”. So, when anyone goes to Google and searches for information on “dog training”, your website comes up high in the rankings. That is what we’re talking about when we refer to “website rankings”.

Actually web pages get ranked rather than websites…

To determine where to rank your site in the search engines, they must decide what your site is ‘about’.

However, notice that search engines don’t really rank your site at all…they rank individual pages of your site. Each listing on a search engine’s results pages reflects an individual page on a specific website, rather than a website as a whole.

Sure, they compile an overall picture of what your site is ‘about’, but that’s only to help determine where to rank each page from your site.

Here’s an example using 3 different sites:

  • A web page about German Shepherd dogs on a general site about animals.
  • The same web page about German Shepherd dogs on a site that is all about dogs.
  • The same web page about German Shepherd dogs on a site that is devoted to German Shepherd dogs.

Assuming all other elements are equal, the first page will not rank as highly as the second, and the second will not rank as highly as the third that.

In general, the more a web page relates to the overall theme of the website as a whole, the better it will tend to rank.

I hope this information is sinking in and making sense to you–I know the thought of understanding search engines and links and such can be a little intimidating for those just starting out, but if you take the information in bite size pieces, I think you’ll find it easy enough to digest.

This is the end of our “little bite” for today :) . Next time I’ll give you a brief lesson in SEO (search engine optimization) that will help you understand how search engines see your website.

Related Resources:

Keyword Basics for Online Article Submissions

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11 Responses to “Article Marketing Strategies: Understanding Links and the Search Engines”

  1. Hi Steve,
    I have to say that you teach me something new every day! I confess that I tend to think of article marketing as the way to get those click throughs – but what you are saying makes so much sense.

    Even though I’ve got a pretty decent number of articles out there on different niches, I honestly never really thought much about how they could help me rank. I think it is time for me to take my marketing to the next level and adjust my mindset a bit!
    Thanks again, :) Kath

  2. I don’t know how I tend to always read on and on when I visit your website…But I was reading Daniel Mcgonagle the other day.

    He said in a post, that building links too fast can actually decrease your site ranking. So, if you are submitting to a thousand directories, don’t you think it can actually harm you?

  3. Steve Shaw says:

    @Ron – Sales Copywriting | Blogging | SEO: Hi Ron,

    Thanks for your question. Yes, if you build links too quickly, it can adversely affect your SEO. That is why you need to limit the number of articles that you submit when using an automatic article submitter.

    Normally that is good news for a website owner–one of the most daunting things about doing article marketing when you’re submitting manually is the need to submit an incredibly high number of articles per month in order to see results (I’ve heard 50 a day mentioned…ugh!).

    But when you are submitting automatically, just 8 articles a month for each website you’re marketing are enough. That is what we recommend for members of

    At, you can also use the ArticleTrickle feature we offer, which allows you to have your article submitted to publishers gradually rather than all at once.

    With ArticleTrickle you can choose to have your article submitted over 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 60 days or up to 90 days. By trickling the distribution, you build links in a more organic way.

    I hope that helps,

  4. Are post to this blog counted as a link or is it “no follow”?

  5. Steve Shaw says:

    @Bruce Hathaway: Hi Bruce,

    If you’re asking if the comment you just placed where your name links back to your website is “no follow”, then the answer is “yes”–links left in comments on this blog are no follow.

    Links that I put in the posts are “follow” though.

  6. thanks steve, i needed to hear that…

    great article….

  7. Karleen says:

    Steve, thank you so much for the information you share. It is always easy to understand in a world full of sometimes confusing information. This statement: “In general, the more a web page relates to the overall theme of the website as a whole, the better it will tend to rank” will help me keep my focus on appropriate article writing and keyword research for the pages I want to raise in rank. It will especially help me with future websites I hope to develop. Thanks again.

  8. I’m of the opinion that no-follow links are important because if you have exclusively “dofollow” links your link profile will look unnatural.

    I’ve found that not worrying at all about follow/dofollow gives the best benefit of clicks and rankings. :)


  9. 8.5 times more click through being ranked #1 compared to #5 is amazing. I’ve also heard that people would rather click on an organic result than a sponsored one.

  10. Alan Brown says:

    Steve, (and anyone reading this) thanks for the info. I use article marketing as the primary method of getting my websites ranked in the SERPS (Search engine results Pages) and have had several sites at No 1 on Google for specific keywords, my latest site included. Most important I find is to have the keywords in your domain name.

    After submitting my articles on using the ‘Article Leverage’ option I have seen my search engine visitors double in a matter of a couple of weeks.

    Many thanks and kKeep up the good work Steve.

  11. Steve Shaw says:

    @Alan Brown: Hi Alan,

    Thanks so much for chiming in and for your kind words. Congratulations on your excellent results. :)


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