By Joel Walsh for SiteProNews
Many website owners and SEOs (search engine optimizers) believe that trading links is the most effective way to build the hundreds of links necessary for good search-engine ranking. But there’s another way to build links that deserves your attention: content distribution.
A time-honored way of getting one-way inbound links to your website is to distribute content, usually articles, for other websites to publish in exchange for a backlink. Most often, the backlink is included in an “author’s resource box,” which is a brief “about the author” paragraph promoting the author’s site.
Content distribution has usually been thought of as a website promotion strategy rather than an SEO or link-building strategy. But there are good reasons for adding content distribution to your SEO toolkit.
SEO Benefits of Distributing Content vs. Reciprocal Linking Alone
Links come faster. You send an email with your article to a relevant website owner. That’s it. No adding links to your site and then checking and re-checking for compliance. That means you can get more links from the time and resources you spend on link-building.
Links are not always available through reciprocal linking. Many website owners simply refuse to do reciprocal linking. Content distribution is one way to reach this large segment of website owners.
Links are one-way. Many SEO experts believe that reciprocal links may be “dampened” by the search engines; i.e., they will not help you rank as high as one-way links. Of course, reciprocal links are still valuable, there’s a just a question of how valuable they really are.
Links per page are fewer. Many SEO experts believe that the higher the number of links per page, the less SEO value each link has. When a website publishes an article, the author’s backlink is often the only live link to another website on that page.
Distinct Non-SEO Benefits of Distributing Content
What makes content distribution a truly special method of link building is that it’s the only method where the non-SEO benefits may even outweigh the SEO benefits:
Website building. If you create special content for your link-building campaign, you can publish it on your site. As a general rule, the more content your site has, the more search engine traffÃ¯c it will receive. Just publish the article and get it indexed in search engines before distributing it, which should help you to outrank your republishers in search engines for that same content.
TraffÃ¯c generation. The links in distributed content generate traffÃ¯c in the fÃ¶rm of highly qualified leads: people who liked what you had to say. Distributing content gets you traffÃ¯c even when it doesn’t get you a link. If your article gets picked up by a large-circulation email newsletter, you will get a flood of highly qualified traffÃ¯c.
Authority. Distributing content is the only linking campaign method that can make the recipient website and its owners appear authoritative. There are thousands of internet gurus who owe their lucrative reputations entirely to the articles they’ve distributed.
Mindshare. Distributing articles is the only linking campaign method that can help you spread an idea. This makes article distribution invaluable for launching new products or services.
Drawbacks of Content Distribution
Of course, nothing good ever came easy. Any website owners who are looking for SEO magic beans will be disappointed by content distribution:
Desired anchor text is not always available. Unfortunately, the content management systems most widely in place today make it easier for website owners to accept content as text rather than HTML. This means that many website owners simply have their content management system convert a URL into a live link, rather than taking the time to code in the anchor text. Still, an experienced content distributor can usually find ways around this problem to make sure that many if not most of the links use anchor text.
Results are variable. Content distribution is not quite as sure a thing as reciprocal linking. The site that publishes your article has to like not only your site, but also your article. This is especially true for the passively-generated links that come from content clearinghouse websites. But results can vary the other way, too: an article that catches on will yield more links than you ever could have gotten through the same investmÃ«nt in reciprocal linking. In order to minimize the risk of content not catching on with website owners, you should make sure your content is high-quality, and also plan for a large content distribution campaign: the more content you try, the more likely you are to find a wÃ¯nner.
Requires significant investmÃ«nt. You need high-quality content, expertise in content distribution, and quite a few work-hours to distribute the content and track the results. Of course, the cost has to be weighed against the cost of reciprocal linking, which is also significant. These costs can be mitigated by outsourcing the entire process from soup to nuts to a content distribution specialist. Costs of outsourcing content distribution compare favorably with costs of outsourcing reciprocal link building.
Requires special expertise. There are numerous newbie pitfalls to distributing content, from improperly formatting articles to writing a bad introductory email to accompany content submissions. You generally have to have done numerous campaigns to truly get the feel for it. Again, this requirement has to be weighed against the real-world requirement of special expertise in other link campaign methods. Again, this drawback can be mitigated by outsourcing your project to a specialist.
In short, there are benefits to both reciprocal linking and content distribution. All things being equal, you should use both. Still, content distribution is the only one method that carries substantial non-SEO benefits as well. Plus, a professionally managed content distribution campaign may even yield greater SEO results than reciprocal linking would for the same investmÃ«nt.
You owe it to yourself or your clients to add content distribution to your SEO-toolkit–before the owner of the next highest-ranking site finds out about it.
About The Author
Joel Walsh is the owner of UpMarket Content, offering a fully managed content distribution campaign guaranteed to get you at least one hundred one-way inbound links for every three pages of content: website content distribution