As an agency, we pride ourselves on being open and transparent and aim to share all our techniques with our clients.

In the spirit of sharing, and a second exciting instalment of our ‘(mini) Review’ series (following on from our popular Press Release Distribution Services Review), we thought that we should share some thoughts / experience on free article directory submission services.

You can download a printable copy here or please read on for a snapshot of our experiences that we hope will be useful for you.

Please feel free to add any comments of your own experience(s) below – we acknowledge that this is not an exhaustive list.

Intro

Content is king‘ is a phrase often used in the world of SEO.

Your site’s content is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate knowledge / authority in your field, but content can also be used as a link building tactic through the use of article directories.

The process of submitting content to article directories is a simple one and as there are plenty of free services available it is an easy link building exercise to do.

However, we have used several different directories over the years and found that the service provided by some has a lot to be desired and wasted a lot of time submitting content to directories that has never been published and it is still ‘pending review’ to this day.

Our comparison of these services is not at all scientific and it is hard to determine exactly which the ‘best’ is as there are many different factors affecting each article submitted.

This (mini) review has been created to highlight some of our favourite article directories based on our experiences with using them. It is not intended as a thorough breakdown of all article directories but merely a guide based exclusively on our own recent experiences

Free Article Directories

In order to submit content to the majority of article directories you need to create a free account.

Some require an address and telephone number and others simply require author name, email address and a password to allow you to login and submit articles from one account, using the same author name, although some allow you to add additional ‘pen names’.

All directories allow you to incorporate deep links into the articles, by placing them in an author biography at the end of the article – a summary of who has written the article and what makes them an expert in the given field.

However, others will also allow you to include links in the article body itself. There are usually limits to how many links you can have, which is usually 1 or 2 in the article body and up to 3 in the author bio.

Most of the directories have the same editorial guidelines that must be adhered, the majority of which are very reasonable and straight forward, such as:

  • The content must be informative and not promotional
  • Articles must be original work that has been written by the person or company that is submitting it
  • The article must be written in proper English, with all correct spelling and punctuation
  • The article must not contain pornographic / adult-material or information about hacking / terrorism etc

There are a few key factors that contribute to a ‘good’ article directory service:

  • Speed of review – time between the article being submitted and it being published in the directory.
  • Number of deep links allowed within the article and author bio
  • Email notification that the article has been reviewed and published

In our experience, the best services with regards to speed of publication are the following:

  • www.articleblast.com – Instant publication and allows you to have links in the article body, as well as the author bio.
  • www.articlecat.com – Takes a matter of hours or less than that to be reviewed and published. You will also receive an email to confirm when the article is live, however you cannot have links in the article body itself, but can incorporate links into the author bio.
  • www.articlesbase.com – In our experience it usually takes approximately one day until the article is live and they send an email to confirm when that has occurred. The directory also allows you to have links in the article body as well as the author bio.
  • www.amazines.com – This service usually takes approximately one day to review an article and you will receive an email to confirm when the article is live. When submitting an article to this directory you do not have a separate box to add an author bio, but you can paste it on the end of the article and have links all the way through the content.

Websites that are also reasonably quick to publish content and send an email to confirm when the article has been published are the following:

  • www.articlesnatch.com – Takes approximately two to five days to review and allows you to have links in the article body as well as the author bio.
  • ezinearticles.com – This is the most well known of the article directories and is therefore one that you should definitely use. In our experience it takes approximately five days to review an article, but you are only allowed links in the author bio.
  • 1stratearticles.com – This service takes a little longer at approximately three to four weeks and you are only allowed links in the author bio.
  • www.articlebiz.com – Usually takes approximately two months. You are only allowed links in the author bio, but you do not need to register to this website, simply fill in author name, email address etc. each time when submitting a new article.
  • www.articletrader.com – We have had mixed results with this service with articles taking anything between a month and six months to be reviewed and published. You can have one link in the article body and two in the author bio.

Other good services that we have used that allow you to include links in the article body and author bio, but do not send confirmation emails are:

It is hard to comment about time scale of publication with these services as they do not notify you when the article has been published, you can only check by searching on the site or logging in and seeing if the status has changed.

*Tip: If you register to www.a1articles.com you are then automatically registered to www.articlealley.com, www.articleheaven.com and www.womensarticles.com and when we submitted content to www.a1articles.com it was also automatically submitted to www.articlealley.com, www.articleheaven.com and www.womensarticles.com. Therefore you can submit 4 (at least, as there maybe more) articles in the time it takes to submit one.