People who new to SEO think to place the backlink from relevant content in article directories for SEO is a fast way to increase the number of website backlinks. However, article directories for SEO is a bad idea and no longer work according to Matt Cutts.

“I think over time, article directories have gotten a little bit of a worse name. Now, in practice, what we’ve seen is this often tends to be a little bit of lower quality stuff. And in fact, we’ve seen more and more instances where you end up with really spammy content, getting sprayed and syndicated all over the entire web. So in my particular opinion, article directories and just trying to write one article and just syndicating it wildly, or just uploading it to every site in the world and hoping that everybody else will download it and use it on their website, I wouldn’t necessarily count on that being effective. We certainly have some algorithmic things that would mean that it’s probably a little less likely to be successful now compared to a few years ago, for example. So my personal recommendation would be probably not to upload an article like that.”

What is article directory?

An article directory basically is where you write 300, 400 or 500 words of content and then you will include a little bio or some information about you at the bottom of the article. You might include two or three links with keyword-rich anchor text at the bottom of that article. The articles will submit to a bunch of article directories networks. Anybody can download and use the articles on their own website.

The theory behind article directory is that if somebody finds your article useful and put it on their website. Then you might get few new backlinks from their websites.

Article directories are full of bad content

Article directories are the websites where good content quality is the exception, rather than the norm. If you want proof, simply go read other articles on the directory that you’re uploading to. Many will be loaded with spelling and grammar errors. Others will be nothing more than thinly veiled advertisements for whatever website the author is promoting in their links, without giving the reader any useful information. Because of this, search engines like Google tend to have a pretty low opinion of article directories.

Article directories produce duplicate content

Having duplicate content on your own site is very bad for SEO. It is also true when posting the same article to dozens of different sites with your links in them. In an effort to get around this, some will choose to use article spinning software that will introduce subtle variations within the text to make it appear unique.

This may have worked back in 2009, but doesn’t anymore. Google’s Panda algorithm updates are now able to detect more spun and “nearly identical” content than before. This can lead to your site being penalized in rankings.

Article directories waste your time and money

All the time that you spend creating, buying or spinning articles that end up on article directories, plus all the money you would spend on automatic publishing tools, content spinners, and premium memberships at directories (which actually don’t give you anything useful for SEO) can be better spent on things that will actually be beneficial for your site.

You could use the money to develop online advertising and marketing campaigns that will bring actual quality traffic to your site, in addition to helping you become well recognized in your niche if people share your site via social media. You could also use your time to improve various on-site SEO factors, such as creating useful content for your own site or blog, optimizing your site’s SEO to make it more beneficial for search engines, or write newsletters that you would send out to the subscribers of your email list.


The article directories for SEO now no longer works and can actually hurt your website rankings. There are many other more effective backlink strategies that you can rely on to improve your website rankings in search engines.