I’ll guess that most of you know what a smackdown is. Well, I’ve decided to put some popular article submission sites in head to head review. I guess you could call it a article marketing Battle Royale. I get a lot of questions from readers wanting to know which is the best article submission site out there.
I know many of you use article marketing as a means to brand your blogs and websites and to drive traffic to them. That’s cool, I do for some of my blogs and websites also. Article marketing is a very good way to get the word out about your product or service.
The problem for many blog and website owners is deciding on which article submission site or service to use. There are many article submission sites on the Internet today. For the purpose of this head-to-head review, I’m choosing the most popular article submission sites that I know of. Some are free and several are paid. I have either used these services in the past and/or I currently use them. The article submission websites are Ezinearticles, iSnare, GoArticles, Article Marketer, Article Marketing Automation and Unique Article Wizard.
How The Article Marketing Smackdown Will Be Judged
To judge the Smackdown, I wrote an original article for a specific website of mine. I made it unique for each article submission site (as best as I could, each site has it’s own rules). I then submitted the article to each submission service and I’ve been waiting on the outcome for a few weeks. I believe enough results have come in now to bring this Smackdown to an end.
So, without further delay…I bring you the results of the article submission smackdown!
Unique Article Wizard
I’ve been using Unique Article Wizard (UAW) for about 6 months now.
I’m here to tell you that this has been a very good investment for me. I simply love UAW!
UAW’s is a very unique service. Due to the non-disclosure letter you have to sign when joining, I can’t go into details about how UAW works, just trust me when I say it will bring in a lot of one way links to your sites by distributing unique article to blogs, websites and directories. This service has been the fastest way to build legitimate one way back links that I’ve found, bar none!
But that’s not all. Unique Article Wizard also has another very powerful feature in that it can make each of your resource boxes unique as well. It’s possible to add links to many websites with just one article.
You can also choose how many times your article is distributed each day. You can have it blasted out to all the places at once or choose your own number. I like to “drip” my articles out as I think having a bunch of backlinks show up at once is not good for a site. Especially small sites. So I “drip” my articles out by choosing to have them submitted at a rate of about 20 to 30 per day.
After your article has been distributed, you can check to see the actual number of sites and email subscribers where your article was submitted to. You find this button in your dashboard in the column next to your article title. Neat stuff.
Now, the article I submitted to was distributed to 543 websites and directories and 71 email subscribers. Out of that number, I can track about 107 backlinks (as of this writing, I expect this number to increase over time) I received to the website I had listed in my resource boxes. That’s a pretty high number! (I’ve actually had some articles do better than that!)
The cool thing is, as people find these articles, they’ll use them and I’ll still be getting backlinks long after the submission is over with.
Another benefit that isn’t advertised is this. Hit the page reload button on your browser when you’re viewing your article on UAW and you’ll see a completely new article every time your refresh (again, I can’t tell you how they do this, but it is very powerful). It’s awesome. I then will take one of these unique articles and submit it to the free article submission sites. I’ve also submitted them to Article Marketer to have them submitted. If you have blogs or websites in the same niche, you could use one of these unique articles that UAW makes as content on your site.
Click here to learn more about Unique Article Marketing.
Article Marketing Automation (AMA)
I’ll be honest and tell you that I passed Article Marketing Automation the first time I heard about it. I wasn’t impressed with the advertising or the $47 per month price tag. Besides, I was already using UAW and figured that this service couldn’t be any better. Plus they used the words “spin” and “spun” in their advertising and that sounded cheap to me. I had visions of my sentences looking like “Affiliate marketing rolls down ice cubes after desert” or some other crap like that.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
But about two months ago an Internet Marketer who I trust told me I should be using AMA. He told me it was as powerful as UAW and had some other cool features that UAW didn’t.
So I signed up, figuring “What the hell, I’ll cancel if I don’t like it“.
Do I think that AMA is as good or better than UAW? No. But it’s close, damn close!
What I like about AMA is that its network is only made up of websites and blogs, not directories. Also, my favorite feature is that you can add up to 3 links to the body of the content. There is no resource box! All links go into the body. In my opinion, these anchored links will pass more authority when in the body of the article than a resource box. (some site owners either remove the resource box or nofollow the links in resource boxes when using other article submission services)
Here’s a big tip for you. Whether it’s an article you’re submitting or whether it’s your own site, put the links as near to the top as you can get. Google figures they must be important if you put them near the top and you’ll get more weight passed on to your site or to an interior page if the link happens to be on your site.
What I don’t like about AMA is that their network seems pretty small. They advertise 2000 sites, but I haven’t seen near that many. Of course, I know that my articles don’t go out to all of them, but the best I’ve seen is a few hundred. Word has it that they’re continually building their network, so that is the good news. Since they’re fairly new, it may take a little while longer for them to get to the size that some of the others are.
But, since the links are in the content instead of at the bottom of the page in a resource box, the backlinks I am getting are passing more weight to my sites. It’s probably only a small difference, but I’ll take all the help I can get!
The article I submitted to AMA has been published 77 times (as of this writing) and three quarters of those articles have been indexed by Google so far. Not bad!
If the level of service, both Customer service and the level of article submission, continues to grow, I see great things happening with Article Marketing Automation. Right now, I think it’s well worth the money. You can spend a lot more and get a helluva lot less with some of the other article submission services out there! This one is a keeper in my book! If they’re like any other Internet services, once they start growing, they will continue to raise the price, so you’d better get in quick if you want to lock in at a low price. Click here to learn more about Article Marketing Automation.
Ezinearticles has been around a while. In fact, I believe they were one of the first article directories. At least as best as I can remember. If any of you have read my previous post about Ezinearticles, then you know others as well as myself have had some problems with them over the years getting articles accepted. Looking back, I think this started in earnest whenever they started their “Premium” paid service. I don’t know if it was coincidence or not.
They offer both a free submission service and a $97 per month “Premium” service. I looked over the “features” of the premium service and to be honest, I don’t see the benefit. Certainly not $97 per month worth! There are too many other services that offer better service and more features for less than $97 per month IMHO.
But back to the smackdown.
I submitted the article about 3 weeks ago. It took several days for the article to be accepted. I have noticed over about the last month or so that my articles were being accepted faster. I don’t know why, I just know the last few times I’ve used them it has went off without a hitch.
Anyway, the article has been viewed 232 times and published 16 times as of the writing of this post.
Ezinearticle doesn’t tell you where they submitted the articles to or which sites have accepted your article. But judging from my WordPress dashboard, this article has sent me 19 backlinks to a site of mine. Looking through my sites, I found 8 visitors who came to my site through that article and my EZA dashboard said I’ve had 9 URL clicks. Not great, but better than nothing, especially on the backlinks.
GoArticles is a free submission site. Being free, the features are limited as to the stats you’ll get from your articles. The article I submitted has received 56 request since I submitted it. Now that doesn’t tell my everyone who has used my article because any article on GoArticles can be cut and pasted without requesting it.
One thing I really like about GoArticles is that you can put links in the body of the article and they don’t get bent out of shape about it.
As for the backlinks I received from that article, a search of my stats showed that I’ve received 8 backlinks from that article. One of them on an Authority blog.
Not great results, but remember, it’s free and you can add links in the body of the article without them getting all pissy about it. Also, I’ve never had an article rejected by GoArticles. From what I can tell, you’re article is accepted very quick. Hey, it’s free, what do you have to lose!
This is a paid to submit an article service. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that they probably don’t make much money from this site because of the poor customer service and submission time I and others have had with them. It took over two weeks for my article to be accepted and distributed. From what I can tell, I haven’t received any traffic or backlinks from that article.
For the price you have to pay iSnare, their customer service and submission time should be a helluva lot better. I personally wouldn’t use them again until they start submitting articles for free or improve their customer service. There’s just too many good article submission sites out there, both free and paid ones, to put up with the B.S. from them.
Update 2010: Article Marketer ceased operations around October of 2009. I figured this would happen because of the lousy service everyone was getting and the poor performance of the submitted articles. Sure enough, I was right. This service has been replaced by two other companies, which I’m now reviewing and waiting to see what the long term performance will be (or lack of). Look for the updated review here on my site. Thanks!
I’ve been using Article Marketer for over a year now. I’ve never really been happy with their service, but at the time they were one of the best article submission sites around. They advertise that you’re article will be reviewed by the next business day (or the use to advertise that, haven’t checked recently) but that hasn’t been my experience.
Here’s what normally happens. I submit an article and generally there’s something wrong with it in their eyes. Either it doesn’t meet the 400 word requirement, the keyword density is too high or a dozen other reasons I’ve had. They kick it back to me, I fix it and resubmit it. Now I’ve lost another day.
You see, apparently the “by the next day” starts at the time of the LATEST SUBMISSION, not when you originally submitted it. So when they reject your article and you go back and fix it, the submission process starts all over. You move to the back of the line.
The problem is, I think they’re overworked and their editors look for reasons to reject your articles. I’ve had some of my articles rejected for the stupidest reasons imaginable. One of the most common is that the article does not meet their 400 word requirement. Doesn’t matter that I just pulled it off MS Word document that showed the word count at 500 words. Or that I rewrote an article from EZA that said the article had 475 words. Somehow their counting doesn’t add up.
I also like their excuse. “Most directories won’t accept an article with less than 400 words” or something to that affect. Bull! I get 250 and 300 word articles accepted at many article directories all day long.
Like I said, either their editors are snowed under or they are not native English speaking editors. I have a hunch it may be a little of both.
I once wrote an article on a classic consumer product. For the sake of this post, let’s say the article was over the Model T Ford. So in this article I’m giving the history of the Model T Ford and describing how automobiles have evolved over the years.
They rejected the article the first time due to ‘too many keywords’. So I changed it up and resubmitted it. Then it was “we don’t accept articles that are product reviews. You will have to either change the wording of the article or compare the product with two other like products”.
WTF! Who’s smoking crack over there!
So I changed the article up. Sounded really stupid without using the words Model T Ford, since it was an article over the Model T Ford (well, not over the Model T, but over a Classic product that has been in service for more than 50 years). But I hope you get the point.
That’s just a few of the problems I have with them. It’s not uncommon to take a week or more to get my articles accepted by them after jumping through all the hoops they put in your way.
Since this is a paid service, I expect a lot better Customer Service than that and way better service from their submissions. I noticed that they’ve lowered their price to $21 per month now. I wonder if those of us who are already subscribed will get a discount?
I have to be honest with you. Until their submission acceptance service and their Customer Service gets a lot better, I wouldn’t recommend them. Not at $21 per month. If this was a free service, I could handle it. But when I’m paying top dollar, I expect better service from a company.
Now, on to the submitted report. Their site says my article was submitted to 945 directories and websites. It doesn’t tell me how many accepted my article. NOTE: Just because your article is submitted to a directory or website doesn’t mean it will be accepted. The site owner has the final say. This is true with all services that I’m aware of.
Out of that 945 directories and websites, I can track 22 backlinks. The reason is because of Google’s duplicate content penalty. Since this service blast out the same article to a thousand or so directories and blogs, only a few will be indexed by Google.
And the Winner of the 1st Annual Article Marketing Smackdown is…
Well, IMHO it’s a tie between Unique Article Wizard and Article Marketing Automation.
The Pro’s of Unique Artilce Wizard is that my articles were submitted to more directories and websites, bringing me more backlinks.
The Pro’s of using Article Marketing Automation is that each article ends up on a website or blog, not an article directory (that’s not a bad thing either, it’s still a backlink to your site!). Plus, I love how the anchored links are embedded into the content, not at the bottom of the page in a resource box. While I got fewer links with AMA, the links I did get were embedded into content on legitimate blogs and websites. This equals maximum passing of the link juice if the subjects are relevant!
Article Marketer comes in at third simply because of the amount of directories it submits too. The number of backlinks should have been greater, but they weren’t. Which tells me not all of the articles are getting indexed because all 945 articles were same with the same resource box. Other factors could have contributed to this, I don’t know.
Another negative about Article Marketer is that they use two types of resource boxes. One that you can only type in your url, which does not become a hyperlink on the site it ends up on. The other is the traditional resource box with two links in it. I speculate that many site owners choose to use the 1st resource box that only shows your URL as text. This could also be the reason for low backlinks versus the numbers of sites the article was submitted to.
Down at fourth we have Ezinearticles. Pretty decent backlinks for a free service. If I had to pay for this service, I drop it in a heartbeat due to the lack of submissions and the backlinks it produces.
GoArticles isn’t great, but they’re free and you can put links in the body of the article as well as the resource box. That alone makes it worth my time to add my articles to GoArticles.
iSnare. I wouldn’t waste a dollar or my time on them until they get their act together. When I hear others starting to have good results with them, maybe I’ll try them again, but not any time soon!
So there you have it. The finals of the Article Marketing Smackdown. If you’re on a limited budget, then use GoArticles and Ezinearticles until you can afford either Article Marketing Automation or Unique Article Wizard. You’ll build backlinks with the free sites, but at a much slower pace than you will with UAW or AMA. UAW and AMA will give you the most bang for the buck and help set your linkbuilding on the fast track to higher rankings.