I’ve heard alot of talk lately about article submissions and their relevance/value for one way link aquisitions. Let’s give a bit of history of SEO in general. 3 years ago it was very cool to have site wide links and reciprocal links from anywhere and any neighborhood; this practice ranked your high. Today, site wides and irrelevant links are subject to penalties–they are big no no’s.

About 1-2 years ago, the popularity of online ezine article directories started growing and growing. Webmasters would write content and submit it to the ezine directories for free one way links (ezines let you post articles with the promise of a link at the bottom of your article.) This was a great way to boost a new site, however, like the site wides, they too are now becoming a thing of the past.

Don’t get me wrong, I still advocate that ezine submissions for new sites in moderate to low competitive markets will benefit from the one way links acquired. The questions we need to answer or at least acknowledge are as such: 1) How much is too much? and 2) When will ezines be useless?

Question one first, how much is too much? If you continue submitting to ezines how many articles will it take to have Google or some other search engine devalue the additional links? We’re talking diminishing returns here, but how fast does the value of these one-way links decrease? I have web sites with under 10 articles posted across as many ezine directories I can find (at least 40 that acutally post the article and link back) and I have yet to have a ‘delay’ or ‘penalty’. Eventually, however, I surmise having 25 links from, say, Ezinearticles.com will provide little to no PR ‘juice power’. The question I have is whether the value each additional one way links from ezines is reduced by X percentage, or if there is a threshold level that once reached will devalue all subsequent links. I gather that after a small number of one way links their value begins to deminish, this of course depending on a number of other variables like the quality of the hosting web site.
Regarding ezine submissions here are some tips I have followed and generally deem to be compliant and useful today.

1) Great content stays on your web site. That means for your 300-500 word article it better be something written quick, painless, sort of useful, and on topic. However, If it’s GREAT content, unique, really relevant, it should stay on your web site. The value of this content is greater on your web site than given away for free for some one-way links.

2) The catch is this, great articles on ezines tend to get picked up by other web sites, and therefore more one way links. I still opt for keeping your own unique content for your own use.

3) Submit your article to as many ezines as you can. The whole directory is unrealted to your web site, the content of the article should be related to your web site, but really, it’s the one way links you’re after. I haven’t read any reason why you should only submit to one or two directories and stop submissions. Having said this, brand new web sites may experience a delay in their rankings (maybe even a loss) if you submit one article to many and many directories. The number of new links pointing to your site may raise red flags. So go slow to start.

4) That article never hits your web site–this would be duplicate content on you. You may not be penalised, but the ezine is far more established than your new web site; Google would have indexed your article on their site long before they see it on your new web site, and thus you’ll have real difficulty ranking for your own article. If all you do is use ezine articles then you may never rank for anything, you may even be hit with a duplicate content penalty in this case. Just keep your ezine articles seperate from your web site articles.

Now for question 2) when will ezines be useless? I’m already seeing evidence that one way links from ezines are being devalued. Everyone is doing it, and therefore you have a) decreased quality of articles and b) countless other web sites doing the same thing as you. Google has picked up on this trend and value accordingly. It will only be a matter of time before ezine one-way links will have little to no value. So what does that leave you with?

As of right now new web sites will benefit from the one way links attained on ezines, however, don’t overdo it. Maybe 1-5 quick articles, after that move on and write content for your web site. In the long run it will be far more valuable to keep your unique content on your web site then to give it away for some cheap one way links.