I’m sure you’re fairly familiar with EzineArticles.com. It’s the most popular article directory online, and one of the few Google actually likes.
Now, its usefulness in terms of link building, SEO, and all kinds of such stuff is obvious, so I don’t intend to discuss it here. What I do want to discuss, though, is whether the site is useful when you need some new content…
Back in the day, EzineArticles was very popular among all kinds of content searchers. If you were in need of a particular article on a given topic the only thing you’d have to do is go to EzineArticles and get it. But now…
A great many articles are submitted for SEO purposes only, not to actually be republished on other sites. I know because sometimes I do this too.
There’s even an opinion that republishing anything can get you penalized by Google, so people choose not to do it at all.
So even though submitting articles to EzineArticles was originally designed to provide targeted content to people who need it, this original purpose is fading into the past very fast.
What can you do with EzineArticles’s content, then?
For me, there are at least three things the site is still great at. Here they are:
1. Finding Authors
When you need content to be published on your site, simply going to EzineArticles and republishing something is not advisable. But going to EzineArticles, finding an article, contacting the author and offering them to write something for you, is.
Here’s why EzineArticles is great for this. First of all, you can browse through categories related to your niche, and find authors who are writing specifically about the things that interest you the most. Secondly, you can take a look at examples of their work to decide whether you like the author’s style or not. And lastly, you can often follow a link to the author’s page to get some more data about them.
This can work on many different levels, no matter if you’re just looking for guest posters, contractors, or fulltime writers. EzineArticles surely is a good place to start.
2. Getting Ideas
If you’re a content creator or an article writer yourself, and you fall into the plumber’s writer’s block trap, you can use EzineArticles to get some ideas on things you might write.
Simply browse through some related categories, and search for interesting headlines. The headlines at EzineArticles are usually crafted in a way to be as intriguing as possible, or as keyword-rich as possible. Either way, you can use them to get many ideas on things you can write that are related to your niche.
Also, you can browse through a list of articles by a single author and notice what the consecutive topics they’ve been writing about are. This sometimes creates an image of a whole field and topics worth covering in it.
3. Finding Keywords
Keyword research can be done in many different ways. There’s the traditional approach – Google Keyword Tool, or Market Samurai. And there’s the not so traditional approach.
Using EzineArticles is an example of the latter. Here’s what you do. Simply browse through your categories, and have a look at the resource boxes used at the end of the articles. Notice what keywords get linked to the authors’ sites.
Those anchor texts are most likely what the author intends to rank for. And what that means is that they did some keyword research and decided to use this specific phrase. Maybe you should consider using it too?
Just to make sure, fire up your keyword tool, and check if the keyword is really valuable or not.
The technique seems to be time consuming because you are browsing manually through many articles, and it is. However, the number of great keywords you might find makes it well worth it.
I don’t advise to republish anything you find on EzineArticles. Google is a bit strict about this nowadays, with their Pandas, Coalas, Grizzlies, and who knows what other sort of B.S. bear-name update.
EzineArticles is great for doing some research and sniffing around, but when it comes to actually using the content … I’m sorry but the original purpose is dead.
You take the content and translate it to other languages. Thankfully, Google is not that smart to be able to recognize a piece of translated content. This way you can still republish an article if you find it a quality enough piece to appear on your site.
What do you think? Did you experience any problems when republishing articles from EzineArticles? I’m curious to know if it’s just my impression, or if you feel that way too.