Over in my Google Penalty Mastermind I posted a video from Matt Cutts about the death of EzineArticles.com – well it wasn’t quite called that but that was pretty much what he was saying. There is no golden bullet make you rank in Google and I don’t believe a lot of conspiracies you hear about ranking in Google either. Anyway I had an interesting comment from Steve in the UK. I thought he had some interesting points, so I thought I would answer and comment on them here:
S: Hey Rick, thanks for posting this. It’s a clear statement from Matt Cutts confirming something that savvy SEO’s have really known for quite a while now.
R: It was good just to have it confirmed – I was aware of this a few months ago, when I had a Penguin Reconsideration Request Refused and one of the sample links was indeed from EzineArticles.com
S: Having said that it’s still not clear from my own experience that directory listings (article or otherwise) are a bad thing or that don’t “work”.
R: Well I have been using the LinkResearchTools.com service for a month or two now and I have complete faith in how they determine good and bad links. I’d say with a (very) few exceptions, directory listings are bad (even places like Scoot) and articles are now all bad. But it does depend on your niche and what other links you have.
S: I regularly compete for SEO business with accompany in the UK that guarantee page #1 rankings in just weeks and from what I see they do manage to get that done although on occasion they’re begin a little disingenuous with their claim and ranking keyword phrases that have a zero search volume.
R: I think we all know how easy it is to rank for phrases with zero volume. Search for ‘google penguin and the silver lining’ and see the #1 result I got in 3 hours with no backlinking.
S: I’m not really sure how they get the ranking they do in such a very short time and for VERY small money too (£95 / month) but I have seen their clients ranking drop like a stone when they stop paying the fees.
R: I’d suspect they have their own private blog/web site network that they can add (maybe drip feed) and remove (instantaneously) links into easily. Seeing a sudden negative link velocity will cause the site to drop like a stone, no question about that. The question has to be – why would anyone stop paying £95/mo for a profitable #1 listing? Either it wasn’t profitable or it never got to #1?
S: Actually 3 of their clients migrated to my SEO services and almost immediately started to drop off page #1 even before I’d completed the initial keyword research.
R: Well you can always analyse their existing and historical backlinks and see if you can emulate that or do it better, just be careful not to overdo the anchor text.
S: All in all Google is still a “Black Box” so we’ll likely never really know what they do or measure to rank a site.
R: Now I am learning more with the Link Research Tools stuff it is becoming less of a mystery. I think of it more of trying to fly an alien spaceship – all the controls are there, it’s just not like anything else on Earth!
S: BTW – I’m moving all my SEO efforts to creation of rich and worthwhile content including video.
R: Creating content that people are actual going to read and watch is always going to be worthwhile, that strategy will never go away.