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Article Pages of article sites going out of google SERPS



5:21 pm on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have checked today none of article pages url is coming under site:example.com command in google, checked for all most pupular sites like ezinearticles, goarticles, articlesbase and free-articles-zone, none of the original article pages getting listed (but pages are still showing up in cached version).

Also no more new article pages are getting indexed, this is happening with my new custom made site as well - all my pages are indexed apart from article pages.

If it is true then It seems google has given a serious blow to backward links through articles.

Similar is happening with free-press-release as well.

Let me know if I am outdated or missing something?

[edited by: tedster at 5:34 pm (utc) on Mar. 31, 2009]
[edit reason] switch to example.com [/edit]


8:43 pm on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If true, then I guess it's about time. I've lost my faith in article marketing a long time ago. The vast majority of articles on article sites provide next to no value to the reader. They're usually just a bunch of rehashed sentences without any unique value whatsoever. These articles merely exist to provide non-natural backlinks, which IMHO would be sufficient grounds for google to devalue them.


9:10 pm on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm not sure what you mean here ? There are 2.5 million articles index in Google for the 1st article vendor that you list. Also, any backlinks that I have from that article vendor are still listed as external links in WMT for me.


9:31 pm on Mar 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I was doing some checking and I also see articles indexed. It's just that you need to tailor the site: search to include an inurl: component that is tailored to the url schema that the site uses. Otherwise, you see only the first 1,000 urls, and those are usually category pages.

A couple other comments to help with analysis: Google will show urls in your backlinks that are not sending any juice - even nofollowed links. Also, I've sampled a number of articles now and their PR all seems to be gray barred. Was it always so? Seems like it would be hard for an article on an article site to get any "real" backlinks, anyway.


9:45 am on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There is something wrong, as I can tell you my sites example where none of article pages are getting indexed and every other page like author, category, tags is getting indexed very well.

But if this is true then I would say its not good for those who write genuine artlces. Google should stop considering backlinks but should not stop indexing pages.


3:58 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

A good article will end up being republished on other sites, right? That's supposed to be the idea. I can understand not giving a lot of SERP power to the original "warehouse" page.

Again, the article pages do look to be indexed to me, just with little power for the SERPs.


5:11 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I had to give up on article marketing. Every time I submitted an article, bad things would happen to it. Some of those automated blogs that pulls the articles would strip my back links. That made the article useless. Other automated blogs that republished my articles would leave my back links in but when I visited their sites, my virus software would go crazy. I cannot have my site associated with sites like that.

Interesting, I was looking around one of the larger sites recently and I found a new author that had published some very useful articles in one of my niches. Although, the articles could have been very useful to my readers, I was afraid to use them because they may reflect badly on my site in the search engines. I have no idea if placing them on my site would have a negative effect or not but I saw no need to risk it.

Maybe these problems have decreased the value of article marketing to the search engines.


6:11 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I resisted the urge last year to do article submissions even though my competitors seemed to be doing well using them. I predicted/hoped Google would sooner or later target article sites because they go against its principles.

Even if you give the original idea of article sites the benefit of the doubt on their purpose (not link farms), they have been abused significantly. They've been turned into link farms with questionable amounts of editorial discretion.

I know, for example, one big article site allows ten article submissions minimum. If the ratings for them aren't high enough, you're not allowed to add any more. But they don't remove those articles if they suck! The free one-way links remain.

So it's basically all about free one-way links.

Then the abuse gets compounded by the free duplication of the articles all over the web. Google can't be thrilled about that, either, because it wants sites to offer unique content. They become useless scraper sites. So the article sites become link farms and scraper site factories (and Made-for-AdSense sites)!

Now, if these early signs of algo change are confirmed by more webmasters, I think Google should address the matter.

A year or two ago, when Google started to deal with paid links, Matt Cutts and company spoke out about paid link directories, noting how they can be legitimate based on the level of editorial discretion; i.e: the ones that didn't just give free one-way links. Article sites of course involved similar issues, and in fact some sites that offer paid link directories also offer article submissions.

Is Google now going to take a blanket approach to all article sites? Does it have any way to distinguish between "good" article sites (if such exist) and bad ones? The way it does between good paid link directories and bad ones?

Seems like it would be hard for an article on an article site to get any "real" backlinks, anyway.

Bingo! Why can't Google just set the algo to ignore links from article sites altogether, and let authors publish their own unique content on their websites, the way it used to be--the way the core algo judges. Let that article try and stand on its own merit. If it gets backlinks, boost the ranking.

The whole scheme of trying to circumvent the basic principle of Google's algo seems ripe for devaluation. All it does is let somebody who is not an expert on a topic give you a vote, instead of somebody who knows more, giving it a vote with a link.



6:26 pm on Apr 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

With all the "link abuse" going around these days, and with more "innovative" ways that webmasters are coming up with generating "one-way" links, it wouldn't surprise me in the least, if eventually, off-site optimization (and its perceived value) diminishes overall. We may just be heading down the road of content, content, content, and that is all that matters. On-site optimization, "trusted" authorities, and all that stuff, may eventually fall by the wayside.


10:15 am on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am agree with the comments of potentialgeek. Google should just scrap the backlink value through articles not scrapping the whole articles page because this would affect the massive community of article content writers (there are a lot, and there are many genuine also).

As far s I see the next generation of such expolitation has already started through website rating, social bookmarking sites. How these rating (like spotback) and bookmarking sites (like folkd) are different from article sites? They carry no content value only a tons of links which people are crazy in submitting. If I want I can setup 1000 users and create 1000 followers for my site taking it to number one - WOW its easy. And also dont forget the millions of 2-3 page blogs created on free blog hosting sites just for backlinks purpose.


10:30 am on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

The problem I have with Google is it's always reacting to new forms of spam instead of being proactive, predicting abuse, and preventing it from manipulating the algo in the first place. Surely the PhD engineers who are smart enough to deal with new problems are also smart enough to anticipate them?

It can't be difficult for Google coding to figure out which sites are article sites. Now I'm going to start searching to see what comments Google reps like Cutts and Lasnik have made about article sites in the past. I can't remember any. Can you?

Here's what I found Cutts or his colleague Maile Ohye said in November 2008:

Q. Until recently (the last six months or so) a high ranking was achievable by submitting articles to article directories (providing they were 40%-60% unique), but it no longer seems to be the case. Have links from article sites been de-valued at all?

Google's Answer: "In my experience, not every article directory site is high-quality. Sometimes you see a ton of articles copied all over the place, and it's hard to even find original content on the site. The user experience for a lot of those article directory sites can be pretty bad too. So you'd see users landing on those sorts of pages have a bad experience. If you're thinking of boosting your reputation and getting to be well-known, I might not start as the very first thing with an article directory. Sometimes it's nice to get to be known a little better before jumping in and submitting a ton of articles as the first thing." [Source: webpronews.com]

What do you make of that? Not a clear-cut answer, is it? It shows Google understands the basic problem, but didn't say avoid them altogether. It just refers to timing... suggesting it not be done immediately.

The interesting thing is the preceding question in the interview (about directory sites) was answered with this comment: "There's always the chance that we'll discount directory links in the future. What we were seeing was quite a few novice people would see the "directory" recommendation and go out and just try to submit to a ton of directories, even if some of the directories were lower-quality or even fly-by-night directories that weren't great for users. Right now we haven't changed how we're weighting directory links--we've only removed the directory suggestion from the webmaster guidelines." --Matt Cutts [groups.google.com]



11:28 am on Apr 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Q: Until recently external links from article directories could improve page ranking. Is this still valid? Do links from article directories have a better weight than links from web sites or blogs?

Matt Cutts: Article directory links certainly aren't inherently worth more and don't get more weight than other web sites or blogs. I answered another question about article directories as well.

(Same interview)


9:45 am on Apr 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This figures with one of my clients sites. Weve written him some great articles in the last year which have been re-published a few times but his positions have dropped in the last week. Also, TBPR has dropped by 1. Traffic tho, is up! So, every cloud!

Looks like google are continually chasing their tail. SEOs will always find other ways to artificially create links and google will continually find ways to devalue anything unnatural. Thats just part of "the game" - and i love it!

Seems to me that the only thing that leads to a perfect link profile is great content and the ability to smooth talk other webmasters. Best tip for link building in the future -- form real cross business relationships and an industry standing. Then use your social skills to secure links from these positions.


8:28 pm on Apr 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"Bingo! Why can't Google just set the algo to ignore links from article sites altogether, and let authors publish their own unique content on their websites."

Double bingo! Yea, and maybe the cesspool growth will slow. I've stayed away from that article stuff though I was very tempted a few years ago when it seemed to be the thing to do. Instead I kept remembering "build content for your visitors." Yes! Keep it on your own site. It may be long tail content but it works and traffic continues to increase year after year.


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