Sep 12

In a seemingly never-ending scenario that is played out multiple times on a daily basis, I receive “friendly” requests to spare me the wrath of penalties from Google if I delete any articles with links that point to their websites. It is good to know that there are so many good people on the Internet that truly care about me and my website. Unfortunately, I do not sympathize with these good natured individuals and I do not believe a thing they are saying.

Every single one of these so-called “friends” is trying to get something for nothing. I am absolutely certain that in the past, these people submitted these same articles to multiple article directories in order to get ‘link juice’. Everything was fine until Google said that it was going to clamp down on duplicate content.

An example of the emails I get daily will give you a good feel for what I have to put up with:

“In order to get out of the penalty they have asked me to submit to them all the paid or unnatural links which are currently pointing to our site and in the next 5 days I will be submitting to them this list and unfortunately your site is included.

HOW TO AVOID NEGATIVE ACTION FROM GOOGLE

If you can take the links down to: vvvvvv.com then of course I will be able to leave your site off that list.

I really don’t want to be the cause of a penalty to you, nor report anyone else’s website to Google hence I’m
reaching out to you now, and if you can get that link taken down ASAP then of course I won’t include your site when I report back to them!”

First of all, they created the unnatural links by submitting to so many different article sources at once. I have suffered already from Google’s algorithm changes. My mistake, if any, was accepting articles from these clowns in the first place. Many of these articles are of good quality. There was nothing wrong with them in the first place. I run an article directory and an article directory needs good quality articles to survive.

I have changed our outgoing link structure to nofollow links.Furthermore, all print versions of these articles have a nofollow, noindex metatag which should be respected by Google and other major search engines. However, I still keep getting these annoying, self-serving emails. I wonder why these people keep threatening us with the Google sledgehammer. Is Google that stupid to not know that our resource box links are nofollow? I doubt it.

It is difficult enough trying to approve good articles when there are continual submission of multiple spam articles from dubious sources daily. It is the nature of the beast but fortunately, a lot of good articles do get through as well; otherwise,what would be the point of continuing? Google has always been good to us as far as organic traffic and I’m sure that when the dust clears, they will reward well run, human edited article directories like abcarticledirectory.com. Here is to hoping that that day comes sooner rather than later.

Aug 07

It seems like Google is coming down hard on our directory and traffic that used to come on a regular basis for years is now just a memory. Its amazing how things can change in so little time. Bing and Yahoo continue to send us a fair share of their search results and rank our site quite well. Why have so many of our articles that were ranked at or near the top of Google’s search results on page one now non-existent?

Apparently, based on data from various online sources, most article directories are sharing a similar drop in traffic. We continue to receive requests from various authors to remove articles and/or links pointing to their sites from ours. This is due to Google sending warnings to these websites concerning unnatural link building.The days of mass submissions to multiple article directories are gone. Quality trumps quanity every time.

I am still surprised to continually receive these removal requests from Google because on Monday, May 6, 2013, we changed our outgoing link structure to nofollow links. Google no longer follows any of these links (see http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=96569 … and…http://www.abcarticledirectory.com/blogspot/we-now-have-nofollow-links.htm).

We implemented nofollow tags in order to deal with so many people, on a daily basis, constantly asking to alter membership information and remove/alter links or articles. We deemed this as being the most efficient manner in dealing with the issue, otherwise, we wouldn’t have time to do anything else.

Doesn’t Google know that our link structure is different and websites that have links on our site are not getting any link juice from doing so? Can Bing and Yahoo be doing a better job of recognizing and rewarding this? Obviously, Google does not do everything perfectly as far as ranking content management sites. Google used to account for 60 – 80% of our search traffic results but that has tumbled to 30% lately.

The total number of URLs currently in Google’s index is now around 240,000. These URLs are available to appear in search results. This number changed significantly from a high of 1,370,000 on December 30th, 2012 as new pages were added and indexed, and old pages are removed. Apparently more pages were removed than added. Needless to say, Google did not wish us a very happy new year and the trend continues.

We continue to evaluate incoming article submissions closely, as usual, trying to weed out poor quality articles. Authors that submit multiple articles at once are clearly throwing up warning signs that they are spamming multiple directories at once. These are usually the first articles that get refused.In other words, some things never change.

Our goal of providing our users with the best most informative articles available to us will never waiver. We will continue to work hard at maintaining a high quality, user friendly site. Eventually, Google will have no choice but to recognize and reward our efforts.

May 06

Due to overwhelming pressure from daily requests for link removals due to Google algorithm penalties, I have hard coded our script to apply the nofollow tag to outgoing links on our article pages. A big thank you goes out to Mike at Articlecell.com for his help.

Spam is a continuous problem and we try very hard to weed out articles submitted by less than creditable authors. However, some of these spammy articles do sift through despite our efforts to eradicate them. I apologize for any lame articles that fester on my database. I have a link to report these mistakes in judgment on every article sidebar and look forward to receiving a report on suspect articles from any visitor.

I have tried our best to not use the nofollow attribute, but Google, in its ongoing efforts to try and eliminate shady link aggregating spam and  meaningless articles has cast a broad net over many article directories and media gathering sites. Even well managed, human edited sites such as ours have been targeted(somewhat unjustly) and penalized where it hurts the most…our traffic. Unfortunately, the good well meaning hard working author has been penalized due to the lazy, misguided, greedy link sucking spammers and their money-grabbing, fake seo accomplices.

Is Google winning the battle? I’m not so sure. I can easily find  several article directories that will accept any piece of trash article regardless of whether or not it makes any sense and Google lavishes them with massive traffic and recognition. Am I bitter? Gee….how can you tell? I guess hard work doesn’t apply to article syndication. If the quality of these less than stellar article directories is awarded by Google, then it is my opinion that they are failing in providing the best experience for viewers using their search engine to find credible, informative articles. The user experience for Google visitors is suffering.

I don’t envy Google’s position. As the leader in search engine technology(for now), Google continually tries to update its algorithm to create a better user experience for its visitors. With billions of websites and trillions of bits of information, they obviously have a few issues with some of the less than stellar sites getting undeserved recognition. 

Google had taken to telling site owners to ask article directory owners, like myself, to clean up their mess…and penalized them if they didn’t do it quickly. The site owners, who either were submitting  their own spammy articles, or using someone else to do the spamming for them, somehow felt that it was our responsibility to clean up their mess….for free. Wow…Isn’t ignorance bliss? Well…enough is enough. 

Since our site now is using the nofollow attribute for outgoing links to our articles, there is no further reason for Google to penalize any so-called, suspected, un-natural link activity. To all other good, creditable authors, keep submitting good quality articles and your reward will be guaranteed.

 

Mar 21

As an article directory editor, I have the task of viewing and either accepting or rejecting submitted articles.Throughout the years, I have reviewed hundreds of thousands of articles. I therefore can actually state with some level of credulity, that I am a bit of an expert when it comes to article marketing. I know what article marketers are trying to achieve and how they are trying to get their message across. In this article, I will focus on an issue that dumbfounds me; the outsourcing of article marketing by businesses to third world article writing services.

I can try and explain how pathetic most of these poorly written articles are, but instead, I put together a few snippets from recently deleted articles. Try and read the following three snippets with a straight face. How many grammar errors can you find? Do you understand what the author(I use the term lightly) was trying to say? Do you think English is this persons first language?

1) “By Picking a top quality business you will enjoy reliable and in addition inexpensive equipment refurbish expert services that may essentially enable you to lower your appliances outgoings and therefore allowing you to avoid wasting money.”

2) “Samsung strongly believes that S3 Mini will take pleasure in nearly the very same acceptance as it has obtained with Samsung Galaxy S3. Even though there has been a exceptional improve in the need of smartphones possessing huge screens, there is a big area of people who prefer to have scaled-down phones.”

3) “Throughout the year of 1988 it did start to sell fashionable clothing. And now, this brand is actually, the single most famous brands on the earth. This brand continues to be offering amazingly and interestingly designed products for males, women and children and has become abercrombie and fitch fascinating the criminals to a very high level.” Continue reading »

Nov 06

The beat goes on as far as the smooth running of the article directory. However, Google has made things interesting with their recent Panda and Penguin algorithym updates. More and more requests continue to pour in for the removal of links and/or articles/accounts.I continue to issue a standard response that filters out most spammers and con artists. Continue reading »

Aug 01

Content is king….or to be more precise, good content is king. Google has had it with mass content spamming and has decided to penalize websites with hundreds or thousands of backlinks pointing straight back to the spammers’ websites. Quality is the new order of the day and it has replaced quantity with a vengeance.Their most recent algorithm update has hit many websites hard.

As an article directory, we have been swamped by a multitude of individuals suddenly asking to remove links and/or articles that only a few weeks ago they were begging to have published. Its a strange new world where people are now complaining that their articles were approved.

There are a steady stream of requests to remove links/articles and the reasons given to have them eliminated vary from the sincere to the comical. Everything from articles “mistakenly” being posted to fake DMCA takedown threats are received on a daily basis. Many simply ask to have them removed for no particular reason while others state that their sites have suffered from the recent Google updates. Panic seems to rule the Internet for these people and they want their problem to go away regardless of rhyme or reason.

Asking to have us remove links/articles for them would be fine, if we happened to work for them. Where did these people get the idea that we had to do anything for them if they happened to screw things up for themselves. Our Terms of Service has absolutely nothing that states we have to do anything for them at all. They/their agent(s) on their behalf, agreed to those Terms of Service as a condition of becoming a member of this article directory. We never received any monetary reward for approving their articles. We never even got a “thank you”  from them. I certainly won’t stick my nose in their business or their website(s) and expect them to do anything for me for free. I am not that gullible. Getting a notice from Google that you are a spammer and you have spam articles on our article directory does not change the rules you/your agent(s) on their behalf, initially agreed to.

Many of these individuals used seo companies or article submission services/software to boost their search engine rankings and therefore don’t even have any login information for our article directory. Google now views them as spammers. It was their choice to have these services do the work for them and and cannot alter their articles. If they require articles removed or amended their best bet is to contact the person/company that submitted them in the first place and have them make the necessary changes. Continue reading »

Apr 26

writing scholarSome would-be writers think they can dash off an article without bothering to learn the basic rules of grammar. But just as any craftsperson spends time honing his skills to make the perfect piece of craft, so must a writer work hard to present an article that will be a pleasure to read and not shame him for its sloppy grammar and punctuation. True, some errors are typos, but doesn’t that reflect a certain laziness on the author’s part? An article should be closely examined for typos before it is sent off or uploaded.

Don’t trust your spell checker. No automated spell-checker can alert you to every error. Whose and who’s, lose and loose, quiet and quite, its and it’s are all legitimate words, so there will be no red line under them. Spell-checkers are not clever enough yet to tell which one you meant to use. And if the error is not due to a typo, it means you need to keep a dictionary on hand to check anything you are uncertain of.

Remember that when a word ends in “ ‘s” it means there is a letter missing. “It’s” means “it is”. If you are unsure which one you should be using, try saying the sentence both ways.

For instance…

“ It’s a good day today/ It is a good day today”. The latter example makes perfect sense, so it is okay to use “it’s”.

But….

“Here is a rabbit. Its burrow is over there.”

Does, “It is burrow is over there”, make sense? No.

Of course if you said, “The rabbit’s burrow is over there,” then the apostrophe denotes possession (and only one rabbit), not a missing letter. Continue reading »

Feb 17

ABC Article DirectoryIt’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks here at the ABC Article Directory. If any of you have been following us closely, you would definitely have noticed that we were offline for 3 days in the first week of February. We experienced technical difficulties in the form of configuration inadequacies that were outstripping the ability of our server to process queries.

We acted quickly to secure a brand new dedicated server with sufficient disk and memory upgrades  to handle the heavy load that accompanies a high traffic website with a significant volume of content. Web development efforts that were previously undertaken to upgrade  our current scripting and sql optimization were unfortunately found wanting. Thanks to efforts from various individuals, especially Mike Mikosic, of Articlecell.com, my new Australian mate, who went above and beyond to help with the outdated Article Dashboard script.

Apparently Mike and I, as the Editor,  had the good fortune/misfortune to have hired the same web developer to work on our sites. although some things that were tweaked did not prove to be sufficient for our needs. He had a much more functional set of  working files that stabilized the server load, streamlined the transfer/storage of data  and generally made the site work like it should. Right now, the ABC Article Directory is pumping out page requests at a significantly high rate of speed. Continue reading »

Jan 05

alexa barI give up trying to come to grips with the fact that there are actually people out there that give any kind of relevancy to Alexa pagerank. It is my understanding that it represents a ‘measuring stick’ as to the popularity of any particular website. Unfortunately, it is based on the hit and miss visits from people that happen to have the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser (not all browsers are compatible with Alexa toolbar).

I know for a fact that it does not fairly represent traffic flowing into a website. I happen to use Seoquake’s Firefox plugin to monitor statistics for various websites of interest to me and am baffled by the sheer stupidity of some of the numbers I see. I know for an absolute fact that another article directory(no names needed) has 25% of the traffic the abcarticledirectory has and has a superior Alexa pagerank….go figure that one out.

This was not the first time I made a comment about Alexa’s page ranking system but it will be my last. I am done with it for good. I’ll stick with Google’s pr even if it is not the best. It at least gives some idea of a site’s popularity based on some actual measurable statistics….not on whether or not you have a Google toobar installed on your browser.

Nov 08

twitter logoby Silvia Pencak


I’m a Twitter enthusiast. I use it on a daily basis to both, connect with other like-minded people out there and promote my business to those who might benefit from working with me. Even though I use other social media sites as well, I still find Twitter the most powerful tool out there for those who market to businesses.

If you use Twitter daily like me, you might as well start using some of the smart tools and resources to get the most out of your time.

1. Hashtags
Hashtags or “#” help group tweets within the same topic. They’re great if you’re looking to promote your event or connect with audience interested in specific theme. For example, you can use hashtag #quote when posting a quote and quote lovers will find it way easier. As a brand strategist I like to use hashtags like #brand, #branding, #strategy, #MagneticBrand etc. You can also use hashtags mentioning brands #coke, #starbucks; places #Hilton, #Toronto; hobbies #swimming #blog; events, or anything else. You can search for a specific hashtag to connect with people with similar interests to yours.

2. Tweet Chat
Tweet chat is a great way to find other people who talk about topics that interest you and build lasting relationships. There are dozens of tweet chats running almost simultaneously. Simply find your favorite, ask about the schedule and enjoy. Some of my favorite: #leadfromwithin, #bizforum, #smallbizchat. Share your favorite tweet chat in the comment section below.

3. @ (“AT”) Messages
Connect with others out there by sending them a public tweet. Compliment them for something they recently did, whether it’s a blog post, book or event; share your insight or feedback, answer their question or recommend a great resource. AT messages are your ticket to getting noticed on this crowded network and building relationships that make a difference in your business.

4. Retweets (RT)
This is yet another great tool to help you both, share great content and gain attention of people you’d like to connect with. With over 20K twitter followers it’s very hard (and almost impossible) for me to stay in touch with everyone personally, but trust me, when people retweet my stuff, they get my attention. I usually check their profiles, mention them in my own tweets, send them a quick helpful tip or idea, or even add them to one of my lists. I believe many out there do it similarly. Remember, reaching out on social media helps you get noticed much faster. Continue reading »