Article and directory submissions have been a part of link building strategies for almost as long as link building has been around. Over time, as algorithms have been updated in an attempt to improve the quality of search results, the relevancy and benefit of article and business directory submissions has been under constant scrutiny.
With the recent Google Panda / Farmer Update a number of leading business directories and article submission sites saw large drops in their search engine visibility, as reported by a number of sources. This demonstrates without a doubt that in the eyes of Google, these websites are seen as low value to a user.
From a link building point of view there is definitely going to be a correlation that those links are no longer as valuable as they would have been in a pre-panda world. So from a resource point of view, you don’t want to be dedicating much of it to these type of sites as part of your link building strategy if it currently is. The good thing however is that there are many services around that can provide manual submission to these sites for a low cost. At this point however, you’re probably asking yourself the next question:
It’s true, they don’t hold as much value as they once did when it comes to building authority and website rankings. What you do have to remember though is that link building needs to be a natural process whereby your website is receiving a natural, diverse link portfolio that consists of both low quality and high quality links, to a variety of pages, with a variety of anchor texts.
Search engines are way beyond the point of ‘tricking’ them into ranking you highly because you have a whole bunch of backlinks that you spent lots of money acquiring. To get the best results and establish a long term link building strategy, you need to diversify your incoming links. This is where article and directory submissions come into it. These types of links are a great source of incoming links for your site that are both relevant, natural and of varied quality. Not to mention they are also a great way to have new pages indexed, kick off link building for new terms and for a brand new website, a great way to get your site recognised by search engines in the first place.
To sum it up, I believe there is still a place for article and directory submissions in your link building strategy as they have become easy links to acquire and will help to enhance the ‘natural process’ of acquiring links when it comes time for a search engine to determine your authority.