Open Questions: When To Never Do Article Submissions

Got a question in my E-Commerce SEO Checklist post from Rania, who didn’t leave me a link for credit.

“4. Steal your competitors articles and product reviews and do article distribution.”

You recommend STEALING articles from competitors as an advanced SEO tactic?! Seriously?!

How about recommending that users create their own unique content in order to increase their site traffic and ranking.

Suggesting that people steal competitors work really says a lot about you- and your company.

Good luck.

I know you’re only trying to make a point but I’ll accept the question anyway.

Why would I steal my competitors articles for article distribution instead of writing/sharing my own?

The answer is much more than a time or ethics response.

1. Unnecessary CompetitionA typical article distribution involves submitting to around 1-5k worth of article directories and E-zines. Any time you submit the same piece of content to that many sites it creates unnecessary competition. This is especially true if your site is new. The article directories and ezines are old, your site is new. They win. While they usually won’t take you out on the primary keywords especially with your site linked in the article, they can snag a lot of unknown positions in your longtail and mediumtailed phrases pushing your site down and losing you an unknown bit of long term traffic. This can go all the way up to a worse case scenario. Last year when Acai Berry was a hot niche a lot of people were seoing for the term and many did article distributions. While their sites never made it into the top 10, the articles they submitted came closer. So when Google did some manual reviews and bitch slapped a bunch of rebill promoters and affiliate pages on the term most of what was left was the articles. All ranking and for awhile there while everyone else readjusted left a bunch of article directories taking all that good traffic. The first thing the article directory owners did of course was edit the articles and take out the links to the authors websites and throw in their own affiliate links. Lesson learned, but that brings us to point two.

2. Don’t Do It Unless Others AreESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN A SMALL NICHE! God damn, I see people do this all the time. They find a nice little niche with nearly zero competition and in the miniscule effort they have to put into ranking they realize the only way they know how to build backlinks is to article submit. They get flooded out and cry. Uhhg. The point is, same as point one. Don’t do it unless others are. I follow the rule outlined in SEO Empire, if you want to win Match and Exceed. If it becomes a problem for you to maintain your ranking, then submit where they submit and a bit more. So don’t submit unless you have to, but if you do make sure you…

3. Submit Your Competitors Articles OnlyAll those same articles on thousands of sites creates a massive duplicate content penalty opportunity. So the worst choice you can make is to go through the articles published on your site and submit them. In the middle of the bad choices spectrum would be to write unique articles and submit those. Unique articles are for pulling in seo traffic and thus they belong on your site and preferably nowhere else. You throw little fits when people steal your content, why would you willingly give it out? The wisest choice is to submit your competitors articles because if you’re going to put anyone at risk for duplicate content you might as well put them not yourself. I’ve always said, there’s two ways to rank: You going up or them going down. I own about 170 article directories as part of my basement. I understand how the article game is played. People aren’t submitting articles to my sites because they want my directory to be the best smelling turd around. They want the links. I want the pages of content for link laundering and they want the links, that is what its all about and nothing more. No one owes me unique articles, nor is it doing them any favors to give them to me.

Hope that clears up the game rules for you Rania, sorry its not advanced, but there’s good reasons for everything we do. Please understand, I don’t tell people to be evil just because I enjoy watching them be evil (even though I do). There is always some form of risk whenever you are. Yet never hesitate to be evil when its a sink or swim situation, always match and exceed.

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SEO Checklist for E-Commerce Sites

Answering a question on Wickedfire here.

If you own an Ecommerce site and don’t know where to begin on the SEO go through this check list. In total, it’ll cost less than $500.

1. Signup with all related forums. Put your site in the footer links and go through answering product related questions on a weekly basis.

2. Create a free OSCommerce and Zencart template related to your parent niche (if you sell CDs make a music template), insert your link on it and distribute it on templatedirectories and their repositories.

3. Create an articles section on your site and put in a form allowing people to submit articles. Email hobby blogs in your niche asking to use some of their particularly good posts in exchange for a link back in the article. This will make them aware of your site and they might even link to you in future posts when talking about a particular product.

4. Steal your competitors articles and product reviews and do article distribution.

5. Create a blog on the site and give out manufacturer coupon codes regularly. This will sometimes help with getting negative results. Post those coupons on item #1.

6. Put all your products in Google Products (froogle/base). This will sometimes help with getting negative results.

7. Browse Google Products for small ecom sites with no reviews and similar products and link exchange on a separate automated link exchange script on a separate page.

8. Make sure you optimize your onsite seo. I assume you know how to do this.

9. Download, convert to html, and attach all the product manuals to each individual product. Link back to the product on each manual. This will give you more pages for indexing and catch a lot more longtail keywords.

10. Spam the fuck out of Yahoo answers and similar.

11. Directory submit! It may not work well for other sites of yours but ecommerce sites are almost always welcome in directories.

12. Customize a nifty and unique toy style item with your logo on it and mail it to the most popular bloggers in your niche. Shirts and hats also work well.

13. If you have access to the products get a webcam and pretend to be a vlogger. Review the products and post them on all the major video sites.

14. Create autoblogs and link wheels.

There’s more but I think that’ll keep you busy enough for now

EDIT:There was some confusion in the comments on what I meant by “Negative Results”“negative results” or “negative rankings” are the results inside of the regular results that Google puts in.Such as:Video ResultsImage ResultsNews ResultsProduct ResultsBlog ResultsThey used to always appear above the regular results so we call them negative rankings because they’re less than #1. Now they tend to go between random positions. This term may change the older this article gets.

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