Go visit any Internet marketing forum, go study article directories themselves, and you’ll find many of the world’s most prolific marketers are no longer using an article marketing strategy as part of their online efforts.

Shockingly, even marketers who submitted 30 and 40 articles a day to some directories have uploaded nothing in recent months.

What’s wrong with a traditional article marketing strategy?

It has to do with Google’s recent stance against duplicate content at websites and blogs, and the fact that articles heavily duplicated across the Internet will be ignored in search engine returns.

However, I don’t agree with wholesale abandonment of article directories, or what other writers say about articles no longer generating traffic and sales. In fact, I’ve found my own article marketing efforts growing more profitable in recent weeks, and soon I’ll tell you why!

For now, let me tell you why I personally think Google’s dislike of duplicate content should not concern you:

(i) The more publishers who replicate your articles online, the more likely those articles will rank low, or nowhere at all in search engine returns. Not good, but not the end of the world! That’s because even the most heavily duplicated articles will still generate traffic from other people’s sites back to your own websites and blogs, growing exponentially as your article finds more new publishers online.

(ii) Just because an article is available to copy, that doesn’t mean other publishers will actually copy it, and there are ways to ensure your article remains unique, forever, and always gets listed high in search engine returns. Remember though, by maintaining exclusivity for your articles, you are forsaking the benefits of backlinking mentioned in (i) above.

Let me expand on points (i) and (ii) and reveal why I personally think writing articles is – and I think always will be – a very profitable way to market your own online and offline promotions. And this works whether you’re selling on eBay or Amazon, or promoting other people’s products at ClickBank, or you’re driving a taxi or trading at boot sales and flea markets or selling chips on the high street.

Importantly, if your business can benefit in any way from having its own website, your website can benefit from having its own traffic-generating articles. Articles placed at major online directories offer three profitable advantages, the first being the likelihood of your article ranking higher in search engine returns through a major directory than from your own website.

Secondly, articles drive traffic to promotions mentioned in your article’s resource box. That’s the place where you promote your own websites and blogs, as well as products you’re recommending or selling online. Including on eBay! So if your article gets listed high in search engine returns for specific product searches it can tempt readers to click on a link in your resource box and buy direct from your eBay listing or other promotion without studying rival sellers first.

The third benefit is “backlinking”, a process in which every article placed on high Page Rank sites, featuring live links back to your websites, blogs, eBay account and other promotions, acts as a kind of recommendation for your business from the site hosting your article which in itself can help your article rank high in search engine returns. Ezine Articles and other major article directories have high Page Ranks. So if your product review article on a major article directory links to your eBay Shop backlinks might favourably impact on search engines like Google and Bing and get your eBay Shop listed higher in search engine returns than others selling similar products on eBay!

DEFINITION OF PAGE RANK: “The more high- quality web pages that link to a webpage, the higher its Page Rank.”

Now let me expand on why I personally think article marketing remains one of the best ways to make money online and why it might soon become even more profitable!

#1. Although heavily duplicated articles might plummet in search engine returns, that’s not going to prevent backlinks working in your favour. In fact, my experience shows the more times an article is copied and links back to one of my sites, the more visitors I get to that site from other people’s sites. This happens even where the article itself ranks low or nowhere at all in search engine returns.

As an example, I have several hundred articles at Ezine Articles directory, most promoting separate pages at some of my own websites. Even though most were heavily duplicated, those articles once showed high in search engine returns, many occupying the number one spot on Google, but since Google’s recent changes those articles are nowhere to be seen in search engine returns. But traffic to my own websites has stayed high which, given articles are my sole promotional technique for most websites, purely because people are still arriving at my site from my articles placed on other people’s websites and blogs.

#2. Not all articles placed on directories will be duplicated by other publishers; an article that remains unique to one specific directory should be unaffected by Google’s recent changes, which means it should still rank well in search engine returns.

To illustrate, I have several hundred unique articles at Ezine Articles that have never been accessed by fellow publishers and that’s why those articles frequently feature on the first page of Google.

The reason they remain unique is because I no longer duplicate my own articles between several article directories or on my own websites. Today all my submissions to Ezine Articles are one-offs, and many rank number one in search engine returns. As long as publishers avoid replicating my one-off articles they should remain ranking high.

How do I ensure other publishers avoid using my articles at their own sites?

Making them poor quality won’t work because Google ignores articles that are badly written or lacking in valuable content, as do all major article directories…

The best way to deter others publishing your articles at their own websites is to make your content specific, not generic.

So, a generic article, about raising children, or growing better roses, can help promote thousands of different goods and services on other people’s websites, and hence those articles might be replicated by countless other publishers. Make your articles specific, however, by featuring your own product or business from beginning to end, and they’re much less interesting to publishers seeking content for their own websites.

#3. Here’s a technique I’ve just discovered for doubling or further growing visitors to my articles at major article directories to compensate for a reduction in traffic from search engines. The idea is based on the fact that telling people “9 out of 10 cats prefer…” made a specific brand of cat food a household name, and using numbers and other statistics in my own titles has increased my articles’ click-through rates by more than 100%: I’ve called it my “XYZ” technique.

I don’t know why, but I do know using the “XYZ” technique in your article titles is likely to grow traffic to your promotions, where X, Y and Z are numbers or statistics, such as:

– TEN (x) Ways to Make £300 (y) on eBay in FOUR (z) Hours or Less

– TWO (x) Products that Increase Your eBay Profits by 1,000% (y) and More in Less than ONE (z) Week

That kind of thing!

In most forms of marketing, numbers and statistics generate curiosity and make the claim more believable, even if it’s false, and the same applies to article titles. So try using statistics in your article titles and even if your search engine traffic has decreased by 50% since Google’s recent rulings, the shortfall can be matched by a 100% rise in your articles’ click-through rate.