Article Marketing & Matt Cutts’ Parrots…

Almost daily I hear or read another SEO Parrot repeating, often out of context, whatever the latest Matt Cutts video talked about.

SEO Parrots are semi intelligent creatures that pretend to be what they aren’t, and repeat what they hear without any independent thought. Most often without the experience to challenge lord Cutts, and always without the necessary intelligence.

Here we have another one of those videos:

Let’s first look at the question: “Do you recommend article marketing as an SEO Strategy” – urm, seriously you’re asking the head of Google’s web spam team (anti-spam that is) if he likes mass distribution of relatively poor quality content? Continues “and how are the backlinks treated when other websites republish the article” immediately we see the question is being asked by a very low end SEO who isn’t spinning any content.

Spun Content doesn’t mean “an article which has been thrown through a synonym replace engine.” When a serious SEO talks about spinning content it’s in reference to complex spin code which turns one article into 10,000 or even 100,000 copies that are at least 30% unique.

Back to the video:

Immediately Matt Cutts is given the opportunity to slap it flat and say “It’s useless because we ignore content that is duplicated” or “We only take into consideration the first posting of the article” or even the truth “We find it extremely impossible to work out which instance of the article is the first” and “we don’t think it wise to simply not index content which is duplicated because that would allow people to destroy each others SEO simply by reposting each others content” – but the truth is incongruent with Matt’s purpose within the webspam team. Instead we get this little gem…

“I’m not a huge fan of article marketing”

Obviously, because it’s a pain in your arse!

“And you’re hoping a bunch of other people will post up copies or mirrors or duplicates of that article”

No – not if you’re any good at article marketing. Which now makes anything Matt says from this point forward completely irrelevant because it’s working on the assumption that Article Marketing means duplicating content across the web.

Somebody recently referenced this to saying it was bad for SEO to post articles on EzineArticles. Fact is EA is a very powerful website and fact is links from EA are possibly the most powerful links you can get for free without having to enter into negotiations with other humans, or hacking university websites. Just because the articles are then duplicated by other people means diddly squat (negatively anyway, actually it ads a small amount of extra link juice.)

But let’s continue reading into the video on the basis that we are now talking about beginners article marketing, which is posting one article many places.

“If I had to foresee” Matt is now talking either about an ideal future, or time travel…

“these are not AS MUCH editorial links”

…but they still are… it’s just basic linguistics… “as much” or “as much as” means a diminished version of – the next line being “a lot of other links on the web”. The conclusion from this sentence is “these links carry weight, but in an ideal future they won’t carry as much weight as links from real editorial sites”

But we already knew this – A link from would cream any link from

Matt then asks himself a direct question…

“Should you pursue article marketing? I would probably lean away from that and lean more towards great content that naturally has links, some good social media marketing so that people are linking to it organically for reasons that they really love it, rather than someone needs five articles to put up on their website and they just go to this article bank somewhere and they just grab five articles and they just slap it up on their website”

“probably” isn’t very definitive…

I partially agree with Matt on this… if you want to compare the value of extremely basic article marketing with the value of link baiting, viral marketing, social media marketing etc, then article marketing xMAY come out as less effective, but maybe also more cost effective. But we still aren’t actually talking about real article marketing for SEO…

“That tends to be, not as high quality in terms of links, as you know regular links that people are actually deliberately making across the web”

Yes, stating the obvious… linguistically “tends to be” and “not as high quality” are the two interesting choices of words, one after the other. Its like saying “Women sometimes, occasionally, maybe, possibly aren’t actually women, but men dressed in drag”

Moving on…

“If I had to, you know, make a prophecy, or you know, forecast about how Google feels”

Not really Matt, I think the question was in this present reality…

“or how search engines feel about them in general, the trend that I’m hearing and the sort of complaints that I’m hearing are that people are not huge fans of article marketing that they don’t view it as an incredible value add in terms of the content that gets added to the web”

Does something need to be “Incredible” to have value? And does everyone have to be a “Huge fan”? I’m guessing no.

Here’s my take:

Google doesn’t like article marketing because it is extremely difficult to differentiate genuine content from mass distributed and spun SEO content.

One SEO Company, I believe the biggest in the UK, offers clients the service of writing a single article and sending it out to 100 article directories. The cost to the client £250/month, the cost to this SEO company, about £15/month. A very nice business model for said SEO company, but on average only four copies of those 100 distributions are indexed. £250 for 4 links? You could do better with disastrously expensive link buying platforms like

Article marketing comes in many hues – Google isn’t going to like any efficient way to promote a website within the search engines. Basic article marketing doesn’t have much value, but the high power article marketing solutions employed by an seo expert are vastly removed from what Matt Cutts is talking about.

Also I’d like to emphasis how future focused Matt’s reply is – if anything this goes to show that Article Marketing is presently still very effective for SEO.

Part of the original question remained unanswered “how are the backlinks treated when other websites republish the article” – I’d be rather interested in a direct answer, in present tense.

Oh, and I can’t stand SEO parrots…

One thought on “Article Marketing & Matt Cutts’ Parrots…

  1. Interesting article vince – I think google is making war on article directories in an attempt to reduce the effectiveness of spun articles. There are certainly footprint issues. Also many article writers don’t spin the titles and author name which also leaves footprints. For that reason “primitive spinning UAW fashion is likely to be easier to detect than spinning AMA fashion

    BTW – I preferred the old theme! – Aso I feel that the google ads make it look spammy , and are probably not generating enough to bother.

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