Monday, December 7, 2009

Articles Directories

Most blogs and information articles are now being tracked by third party sites and assessed for relevancy and consistency. If you've ever visited Technorati, you'll know about the authority score, which is a great indicator of your expertise in the field you're talking about.

These article directories are what I'm researching today and I've discovered more than a few inconsistencies. I’ve had little experience with these sites before so as usual I’ve done a background search on Wikipedia and found some interesting results because it doesn’t just give a general description, but also a slanted add for a specific add:

Article standards developed by SEO experts are a word count of 400-500 words and a keyword density of approximately 2%-3%. Article submission sites like ePubster allow article submissions and contain job boards for authors to freelance writing services for website owners. Ezinearticles also gives authors a way to submit articles but charges authors for multiple submissions. Expertscolumn require Authors to submit unique Articles and rewards Authors through Revenue Sharing services generated from the Articles. While article submission sites allow link backs for SEO, they have limits to how many are normally allowed. Link backs should be keyword optimized using HREF tags with keywords in the title tag. Writing standards also prohibit keyword stuffing, so articles are reader friendly for humans and not just crawlers.

The first thing I noticed was the suspicious capitalisation of certain words like “Authors” and “Articles”. This is a great indication that the person writing the article has an agenda specifically related to Google keyword links. Once I explored the Expertscolumn website I found it to be a very dodgy Indian based scam, where they try to solicit people to write content for their site and give vague promises of monetary influx for the traffic generated.

Then, at the bottom, they recommend you DON’T use a Google adwords account, but another product they’re linking. I didn’t even have to go through their lack of content to see how much of a scam it is.

I wonder if I would have been able to spot it without all the marketing information I’ve soaked in over the last few weeks. Certainly I wouldn’t have suspected it on the Wikipedia page without knowing all the stuff about search engine optimisation that I know now. I would have blindly assumed that the vast editorial process of Wikipedia would have picked it up.

It seems that it’s easier to look like an expert in any field online. Hungry Beast, one of my favourite shows on the ABC also recently did a prank like this, releasing a report about how gullible Sydney residents were over Melbourne people. They copped heavy flack over how believable their reports were when the media picked up the story and didn’t do any fact checking.

But I wonder how many of us do fact checking over any information we soak in over the net?

My advice: Question EVERYTHING. Believe NOTHING.

Except that. Ha!

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