Top article directories used to be a viable part of search engine optimization (notice the past tense–“used to be“). While there are still top article directories on the web, their influence, or more particularly, their authority has significantly lessened.
The main reason top article directories remain in search results at all, is because they tend to promote a lot of content marginally free of low quality, keyword stuffed text. However, even though some top article directories aren’t loaded with what search engines regard as spam, the usefulness of the published information remains questionable.
Why Top Article Directories are Less Beneficial
Top article directories are a still being used by millions. However, what benefit do these top article directories actually provide? In most instances, top article directories limit back-linking and self-promotion. Therefore, these top articles directories don’t offer a clear-cut benefit for website owners to add content. Even the best article directories, be they free article directories, do follow article directories, and/or auto approve article directories don’t supply much in the way of SEO:
Should you pursue article marketing? I probably would lean away from that and lean more towards great content…so that people are linking to it organically…” Matt Cutts, Google Head Webspam Engineer
Clearly, this is more than just an indication of how search engines value even what web users might see as top article directories.
Another way to explain why top article directories are not valuable to SEO is the compromise of integrity in their siloing–a methodological logistic for keeping content free from unrelated content.
In other words, even though top article directories attempt to categorize subject material, users don’t always follow their guidelines and even top article directories don’t posses enough sophisticated algorithms to enforce their own rules.
The Best Article Directories Still Produce Nominal Worth
In order to rank higher in search, many site owners will employ several methods, including top article directories. However, as stated, the benefits are nominal.
In the converse, top article directories do have redeeming factors. They remain repositories for a plethora of content. That content can be used to leverage new copy and to find ways to delineate which perspectives are most often taken. Another way of putting it is top article directories can be a source of inspiration or a way to bust-up writer’s block.