Ever since the Panda update that Google rolled out in February 2011, article directories have taken a big hit, dropping in ranking and link juice.
Since that point posting your article on these directories has been a lot less effective as most of the directories are full of rubbish, spun content that Google hates.
Creating interesting and unique articles has been long established way of generating backlinks and visitors to your site, but a lot of Black Hat and inexperienced internet marketers decided that using spun content (using a computer program to take one article change words and create new articles) was the way to go.
Google disagreed and rightly so as most of the spun content was unreadable garbage.
Now post-Panda some of these article directories have seen the light and started changing their policies on what can be accepted on their sites, pushing up the quality of the articles in the process
And this is a good thing, article marketing is still one of the best ways to promote you and your site.
Here are my top article directories as per sem-group.net and my own experiences.
Designed from the get go by internet marketers, Street Articles weathered the Google storm relatively untouched, with its articles ranking high.
Still a mainstay for article writers, Squidoos consistently high standards mean it also barely took a hit and is on the up and up.
Whilst they got slammed by a black and white bear, they have turned things around now and it is a great place to submit articles.
Another one that dropped in the rankings but is now building its online profile back up.
Ezine really really got hammered by the Panda update and so far hasn’t bounced back as much as others. Why am I including it still? Well judging by their editorial guidelines I have high hopes Ezine will make a recovery.
These sites (well, with maybe the exception of Ezinearticles) rank your articles, quickly and high.
To give an example, a friend of mine over at WealthyAffiliate.com posted an article to Street Articles. Within 24 hours it had ranked, not only that but it settled at the number two position in Google. His actual site was placed at number six.
So, remember to choose your article directory with care, they are not all the same, and you dont want your lovingly written article languishing on page 53 of Google.