In this video we’ll take a closer look at Article Syndication and we’ll also share with you a powerful five-step process that we call Smart Syndication.
When people hear the terms “Article Syndication” or “Article Marketing” they often shake their head, saying that they’ve tried that and it hasn’t worked. Or they’ve heard about it, but it seems like too much hard work.
There’s even some who say that Article Marketing doesn’t work anymore. You’ll find many discussion threads that suggest that Article Syndication is not as effective as it once was or simply doesn’t work at all!
Simply Not The Case
As we showed in the last video, this is simply not the case.
Article Syndication Is The CORE
The professionals still use Article Syndication as the CORE of their link-building strategy to gain extraordinary leverage for any keyword they choose.
So why is there so much confusion about what works and what doesn’t? It’s because there is a right and a wrong way to do article marketing, and if you do it the wrong way, you can do your site more harm than good.
Many People 'Try' Article Syndication
Unfortunately many people ‘try’ article marketing by buying a few poorly written articles from an outsourcer or freelancer writer. They then pump these articles out to a large number of websites,
In An Attempt To Quickly Generate Fast Backlinks
In an attempt to quickly generate as many backlinks as possible.
When This Doesn't Work, They Give UP
When this approach fails to boost their site in the search engines, they come to the conclusion that ‘Article Marketing’ doesn’t work.
The Real Problem Is:
However, the real problems with this approach are the quality of their articles and the process they are using for content distribution.
The 5-Steps To 'Smart Syndication'
So let’s now take a look at the RIGHT WAY to do article syndication by examining the five-step process that we call ‘Smart Syndication’.
The five steps of Smart Syndication are:
- Keyword research
- Article creation
- Content Spinning
- Article Submission
Let’s now look at each of these steps in more detail:
Step 1: Keyword Research
STEP 1: Keyword Research
With the massive increase in competition in the search engines it’s becoming more important than ever to pick your battles carefully, which means that before you invest time, effort and money on search engine optimization you should check the strength of your competition for the top spot in Google.
We recommend that when you’re starting out, you take a look at the number one site for the keyword you’re targeting and analyze their backlink profile to find out what you’re up against.
Try and identify keywords where the number one ranking website has a relatively low number of backlinks and a low page rank, for example 3 or less. To do this you will probably need to focus on keyword phrases made up of two, three or more keywords.
Once you’ve learned how to get number one rankings for low competition keywords, then you can target more competitive keywords, and you can leverage the authority that you’ve already developed to make these competitive keywords more accessible.
Keyword Research TIP:
One really important keyword research tip is that if your end goal is to rank for a keyword such as “dog collar”, then you should begin by targeting a long-tail variation of that keyword such as “how to buy a dog collar”.
You'll Rank Much Faster
You’ll rank much faster for the long-tail phrase, but because the phrase “dog collar” is contained within the long-tail phras e, you’ll also be building authority for the short-tail version.
It’s the best of both worlds, you get quick rankings for your long-tail keywords, while setting yourself up to rank for the short-tail too. This is a simple pro technique that can make a big difference.
So just to sum up the first step of the Smart Syndication Process, begin by targeting long tail phrases and use a tool like Market Samurai to analyse the backlink profiles of your competition in order to select battles that you have a good chance of winning.
Step 2: Article Creation
STEP 2: Article Creation
For the purposes of Article syndication, you can think of an article as having three different sections:
- A title
- A body
- A resource box
Article Creation (Title)
Let’s take a look at the title first:
Many people make the mistake of putting their keywords in the title of the article that they are syndicating.
Don't Put The Keyword In The Title
Now let me just clarify, having your keywords in the title of articles that are on your OWN website is critical! It’s one of the most important on-page ranking factors that you should utilize.
However, the articles that you’re syndicating are going to appear on other peoples’ websites. Putting the keyword that you want to rank for in the title of your syndicated articles is therefore counterproductive.
This Creates Direct Compeition For Your Website
Each of the websites that your content will appear on, will contain your keyword in their web page title, which creates DIRECT COMPETITION for your website. If an article that you syndicate appears on a high-authority website owned by someone else, it might end up outranking your site using your own content.
Clearly, that’s not the best strategy.
Write A Great Title That Engages The Reader
We recommend that you don’t worry too much about the title of your syndication articles from a search engine perspective. Instead, write a great title that engages readers, and “sells” the content to the site owners who approve your article for publication on their websites or article directories.
Basically, the more engaging your article title is, the better your chances of being syndicated, and the more backlinks you’ll receive.
Aticle Creation (Body)
Now let’s talk about the body of your article:
We recommend that you make your articles around 300 words long. There are two reasons for this. First, this word limit will force you to write your articles so that they will be punchy, get the point immediately, and be more engaging. With attention spans decreasing every year, keeping an article short-and-sweet is very important.
The second reason for keeping your articles brief is leverage.
Minimum Article Length Is 300 Words
The minimum article length for most article syndication networks is 300 words. If you write a 600 word article which is syndicated to 100 websites, then you’ll generate around 150 links.
Write Short Concise Articles
For a little bit extra work you could have written two 300 word articles, and if the same 100 websites picked up both articles, then you would have received twice the number of links.
So the maximum return on time and effort is achieved by creating short, concise articles.
However, you must strive to make those 300 words count.
Write High-Quality Articles
It is really important that you write high-quality articles, not the low-quality jumble of words that a lot of people produce.
There are two reasons why the quality of your article is so important.
First, many article directories will manually review your articles when they are submitted. The higher the quality of the article, the better the chance that they’ll be accepted.
And second, many blog networks allow individual website owners to review articles before accepting them. So a little bit more effort in writing a good quality article can lead to a lot more, and higher quality links.
Article Creation (Resource Box)
Now the third and most important part of an article is the Resource box which is sometimes called a Bio box.
The Resource box is where you give a description of the author, or the website that you wish to promote.
It’s also the place where you get to embed your links. And as we’re doing Article Syndication to build links, the correct use of resource boxes is absolutely critical to your link-building success.
You Can Embed 2 Links in Your Resource Box
Most article directories let you embed TWO links in the resource box, and optionally ONE link within the body of the article.
Choosing WHERE these links go, and what the “anchor text” of these links are is absolutely essential, and one of the main reasons why many people’s Article Marketing efforts fail.
Here's How To Do It:
So here’s how to do it right:
The two links in your resource box are the most important. That’s because almost ALL article directories support resource boxes, so you’ll get the most number of links from this area.
Linking Your Keywords To Your Website
Of the two links in the resource box, link one of them to your home page, using the anchor text that you want your home page to rank for; and then use the second resource box link to link to an individual blog post that is relevant to the syndicated article, once again, using the keyword that you’d like that blog post to rank for as your link anchor text.
NOTE: Our recommended guidelines for anchor text strategy have changed - Article Samurai customers should visit https://noblesamurai.com/account/AS-anchortext.php
or contact Noble Samurai Support for more info.
Linking Your Keywords To Your Website
And then finally, use the link in the main body of the article to point to a category page on your site. Once again, choose a keyword phrase that you’d like that category page to rank for when you select the anchor text for your link.
If you follow this linking strategy for every article that you syndicate, then you’ll automatically build an effective distribution of links to your home page, category pages and individual blog posts.
So Far We've Covered
OK, so far we’ve covered the first two steps of the Smart Syndication process, keyword research and article creation.
The Duplicate Content Penalty MYTH
Now before we move onto the next step, we need to deal with a common search engine optimization myth – The Duplicate Content Penalty.
The myth suggests, that if you publish some content that Google already knows about, then you’ll be “penalized” and will struggle to rank that piece of content.
As a result of this myth people were wary of syndicating the same article to multiple websites on the Internet, because they believed that they would trigger some kind of penalty.
The Truth Is:
The truth of the matter is this: Google does recognize and can detect when content is not unique. However, Google wants the best possible experience for it’s users. If you type in a keyword, and the first 10 pages of Google are filled with exactly the same article, this does not result in a good user experience.
So if there are 1,000 copies of a document on the Internet, Google will usually show only ONE of those 1,000 articles in the search results.
The one copy that gets shown in the Search Results is based on the highest authority version of the article. It is usually the version of the article that has the greatest quantity and quality of backlinks.
So, while there’s no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty”, there is such a thing as a “duplicate content filter”.
Duplicate Content Filter
What does this mean?
It means, that if you syndicate the same version of an article to thousands of web-sites, those syndicated articles will be forced to compete against each other to rank for whatever keywords Google believes are relevant to that article.
This is not such a big problem for you, as you’ll be getting links back from each of these articles, however, it’s not good news for those sites who decide to publish your content, as they’re competing directly with every other website who has syndicated the same version of your article.
What Does This Mean?
Due to Google’s duplicate content filter, more and more article syndication networks are now REQUIRING that you submit a unique article to each site that syndicates your content.
So if your article was to be syndicated to 5,000 websites, the article networks are now REQUIRING that you submit a unique version of your article to each of these 5,000 websites.
Now - Hang on a minute! Does that mean you have to write 5,000 different versions of your article? That sounds like a lot of work!
Step 3: Content Spinning
Don’t panic. The way to do this is using a technique called content spinning, which is the third step in the Smart Syndication process.
Step 3: Content Spinning
Content Spinning allows you to write an article ONCE but then have the ability to generate hundreds or even THOUSANDS of unique versions of that article, with just a little bit of extra work.
Here’s how it works:
Imagine You Have The Sentence...
Imagine you have the sentence…
“The fat cat sat on the mat”.
Now let’s say you find synonyms for each of the main words in this sentence.
...And You Find Synonyms For Each Of The Main Words
Instead of the word “fat”, you could use the words “large”, or “obese”.
Instead of the word “cat”, you could also write “feline”, or “kitten”.
Instead of the word “sat”, you could substitute the words “sat down”, or “lay down”.
Instead of the word “mat”, you could substitute the words “rug” or “carpet”.
What you get when you do this, is the following:
You'll Get 81 Possible Variations Of The Sentence
Each word is replaced by the different word phrase options in brackets, separated by a vertical bar character.
This single sentence has four spin blocks, and each spin block has three different word variations.
Therefore if you were to randomly pick a word from each spin block, you can generate 81 different sentences that convey the same meaning.
For Example 1
Here are two examples:
The large kitten sat down on the carpet.
The obese feline lay down on the rug.
Submit A Unique Version To 1000's Of Different Websites
For a 300 word article, where every 3rd word is spun in this way, you can generate 5x10^47 different articles. In practice this means that if you were to submit to 1,000 different web-sites, every site could get a completely unique version of your article.
Content Spinning (Intelligent Services)
In the last few years a few advanced, “intelligent” spinning services have come on the market.
Instead of using direct thesaurus replacements, these services use advanced “semantic” algorithms to make sure that as far as possible every generated spin makes grammatical sense.
They are very effective at generating high quality spins.
Intelligent Services Can Be Expensive
However, because they often rely on the results of expensive semantic research, and complicated data models, they can be very expensive. Often costing upwards of $0.80 or more to spin a single document.
While these intelligent spinning services are useful, getting computers to understand language is difficult, and even the best services available today still make errors, which is why it is so important to do a manual review.
You Should Always Do A Manual Review
So the end result of all this is that spinning, when used correctly is an effective way to generate thousands of unique articles for submission to the article syndication networks
Just remember that no matter how you create your spins, you should always do a manual review of your article before submission to ensure that your articles are of the highest quality possible.
Step 4: Article Submission
We now come to the fourth step of the Smart Syndication Process, which is Article Submission.
Step 4: Article Submission
When it comes to submitting your articles, there are 4 important tips that we uncovered by grilling the SEO pros.
The first tip relates to checking article uniqueness.
Article Submission: Uniqueness
This is something that is particularly important when employing outsourcers to write your content.
As you know, writing articles can be hard work, and many online business owners, in an effort to create more leverage use outsourcers to write their content for them.
They purchase articles, usually quite cheaply, from outsourcing websites, or freelance article writers. While this sounds like a great idea, there is something that you need to be aware of.
Many Article Writers Will Pass Off Other Peoples Work As Their Own
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous article writers out there, who will simply rip off someone else’s article, and pass it off as their own work just to make a quick buck!
These article thieves simply search article directories, or Google for an article related to the keyword they’re being paid to write content for, and illegally download someone else’s work and give it you, passing it off as their own work!
There Are Two Problems With This
There are two problems with this.
First, and most important is that it’s highly illegal! If you even unknowingly, syndicate someone else’s article, without permission, then you are in direct breach of copyright legislation. If you get caught, you could be faced with costly law suits and be sued for breaching copyright.
The second problem is, that even if you don’t get caught, if you try to syndicate non-unique content, then many publishers that are part of an article syndication network will reject your submission because, as we’ve seen, duplicate content gets filtered out of the search engines.
The result is that your article will be rejected more often, will not get syndicated, and you won’t get many links. You may even have your account suspended by the article syndication network.
The solution to this is to make sure that every article that you get written for you is unique. There are various services available to do this such as copyscape, which will find duplicate versions of your article online.
Article Submission: TIP 2
So our first submission tip is that if you are using an outsourcing service or a free lance writer to create your content, make sure that you check the uniqueness of each article you receive, preferably before paying for the content.
Another important aspect of submitting your articles that nobody really talks about in Article Marketing circles is selecting the right category to submit to.
Article Submission: Category
Selecting the correct category is absolutely critical to your article marketing success.
Selecting a relevant category determines the NUMBER of sites that your content will be submitted to. If you pick a poor category, then this will cripple the number of links that you’ll get with each submission.
Selecting a category also determines the RELEVANCE of the sites that you submit to. Sites more relevant to your content will be much more likely to accept your article submissions.
Also, the more targeted your content is to the sites receiving your content, the higher the quality of the links you’ll get, and the more relevant the links will be to your subject matter and keywords.
The Problem With Selecting A Good Category
The problem with selecting a good category is that most article syndication networks have either a single VERY LONG list box of categories, or multiple category list boxes.
This can make it very difficult to select a good category. If you have a list-box with 400 categories in it, you can spend a long time just trying to find the category most relevant to your article.
Select A Category Carefully
So, make sure that you think about your category selection carefully, because picking the right category can have a massive impact on how many links you get back for each article submission.
Also, make sure that you take the time to experiment with different categories. You might want to try both broader categories to get greater syndication and reach a wider number of sites or more specific categories to get more targeted, higher quality links.
Experiment With Different Categories
For example, if you have a web-site about quilting, you might want to experiment with the “quilting” category, as well as the “crafts” category or even the “hobbies” category, to see which brings you the best results.
Article Submission: TIP 3
Another important submission tip is to make sure that your syndication strategy results in a natural, organic link-building pattern.
Article Submission: Pattern
The worst thing you can do is get all your links in a single day, or too short a time period. This looks extremely suspicious, and can get your site quickly banned out of the search engines.
Many article submission software packages on the market do exactly that. They submit your article to hundreds of directories in a few hours or less. This is extremely dangerous, and to be avoided at all costs.
This Can Be Dangerous
The reason this is so dangerous is because it creates the same link-building pattern used by many search engines spammers. Most people who are looking for quick wins with little work buy some hastily thrown together software, build a large burst of links in a short amount of time, and then stop their link-building altogether.
Search Engines Reward Quality Over Time
The search engines reward consistent quality over time. This short-term mentality doesn’t look natural, and by penalizing this behavior they can effectively weed the short-term spammers out of the search engines.
If you can build up your links gradually, and consistently over time, then you’ll be rewarded. Often people write off a particular link-building technique as not working, when the problem actually is that they did too much too soon, or just simply didn’t persevere with the strategy.
The Pros Keep Building Links
The SEO professionals, as we’ve seen, keep building links even after they’ve reached number one, because that’s what the search engines reward.
How Do They Build Links Gradually
So, how do you build links gradually, over time?
Well, one way is to do all your submissions manually and gradually submit your articles to directories and blog networks one article at a time.
You can keep a spreadsheet of all your articles and their planned submission dates or you can use a system like Google Calendar to remind you to space out your article submissions.
In this way, you can get a lot of articles written up front, and then remind yourself to submit them gradually over time.
Schedule Your Submissions
A few of the article syndication networks allow you to schedule your submissions to go out on a particular date. This is the best option if it’s available. Simply submit all your articles, and then schedule them to go out gradually over a period of months.
Article Submission: TIP 4
OK, now here’s another important tip about the submission process that we gleaned from the SEO pros.
Article Submission: Link Diversity
Most people only use one or two different link-building techniques. For example they might do all their link-building using article directories, or only use blog networks, or only use social bookmarks.
Once again, this looks suspicious, and can get your site penalized or banned from the search engines.
So you don’t want all your links coming from the same type of website. Ideally you want a wide variety of links from different sources, including article directories and blogs and social bookmarks and social networking links. This is called “link-diversity”.
Step 5: Tracking
Step 5: Tracking
Now we come to the final step of the Smart Syndication process which is TRACKING.
The SEO professionals track EVERYTHING. It’s often said that feedback is the breakfast of champions, and SEO is no different!
The SEO pros are constantly monitoring their rankings and increasing their focus on keywords that are working, and reducing their focus on keywords that are not working.
In SEO it pays to be laser-focused rather than broad.
It's Better To Focus On A Few Keywords
It’s better to focus on a few keywords that you’re already starting to get rankings on, than spread your link-building power across hundreds of different keywords.
It's A Lot Easier To Move From Position (#7) To Position (#1)
It’s a lot easier to improve an existing ranking from position 7 to position 1 than to get a brand new page ranking for a brand new keyword.
By focusing on a small number of keywords, you get to see faster results, and it’s also the best bang for buck for your hard-earned money and time.
What Should You Track
However, while everybody talks about tracking, when it comes to Article Marketing, what should you track since there are multiple links in each article, with multiple keywords?
Track The Pages You Are Trying To Improve
The first thing you need to track are the rankings of the pages on your site that you’re trying to improve. While you’re syndicating your article to thousands of sites on the Internet, you’re not worried about where those articles are ranking. You’re only interested in tracking the rankings of the pages that your syndicated articles point back to.
So, the rule of thumb is, track any web-page that your syndicated articles LINK TO, and track these web-pages for the ANCHOR TEXT used in the links from the syndicated articles.
A Typical Syndicated Article
So, a typical syndicated article will link to your home page, a category page and a blog post. So make sure you track those three web-pages.
Use the anchor text that you used to link to your home page as the keyword to track your home page. Use the anchor text that you used to link to your category page to track your category page. Use the anchor text that you used to link to your blog post to track your blog post.
Check Your Site In Multiple Search Engines
You should also check your site rankings in multiple search engines. While Google is the largest search engine, it can often be easier to rank in Yahoo and Bing, and it’s important to understand where your rankings and traffic are coming from.
Track Your Backlinks
The last thing that’s important to track is your backlinks. You want to check the number of backlinks to any page linked to from your articles, as well as the total number of backlinks that have been built to your web-site.
Use 'Majestic SEO'
To do this, we recommend that you use a service such as Majestic SEO, and in particular, their Fresh Backlinks index to get an accurate idea of how many links you’re building to your website. This will help you to see the results of your article marketing efforts.
Keyword Research [SUMMARY]
So that brings us to the end of the five step Smart Syndication process which is used by the SEO pros to achieve top rankings in the search engines.
Let’s just quickly recap what we’ve covered.
The first step was keyword research and we saw that you should pick your battles carefully by reverse engineering the backlinks of the top ranked sites in Google before deciding which keywords to target.
We also saw that it pays to focus on longer tail phrases first to get some quick wins on the board and build authority. As your authority grows, you can then start targeting more competitive keyword phrases.
Article Creation [SUMMARY]
Step two was article creation and we saw that an article is made up of a title, a body and a resource box. We recommended that you do not use your keywords in the title of your syndication articles as it creates unwanted competition for the content on your own website.
We also saw that your articles should be short, punchy and high quality in order to maximize your syndication acceptance rates.
Article Creation [SUMMARY]
And we discussed that your resource box should contain a link to your homepage and a link to a deep blog post using the keywords you are targeting as their link anchor text.
Step three was spinning and we saw that when used correctly, spinning provides an effective way to generate thousands of unique versions of your articles for syndication purposes. We discussed how phrase level spinning works and saw that there are now some intelligent spinning services available that use semantic algorithms rather than simple thesaurus replacements.
Article Submission [SUMMARY]
Step four was article submission and we saw that if you outsource your article creation, you really should check the uniqueness of your articles before submitting them for syndication. We discussed the importance of selecting the right category, coordinating a gradual distribution of your articles and ensuring that you submit to different types of sites to obtain a high level of link diversity.
And step five was tracking and we discussed the importance of tracking the pages you are trying to promote in the search engines and the keywords you are using as anchor text in your syndicated articles. In addition to tracking your target pages and keywords, we recommended that you also track the backlinks to each of your target pages and your website as a whole.
Smart Syndication [SUMMARY]
The Smart Syndication Process is a powerful way to increase the strength of your backlink network and improve your ranks in the search engines.