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Contributor, beware of PageRank-hoarding publishers

Marketing strategy ideas

Writing an article and submitting to a popular site may not always be beneficial to you in pure search engine ranking terms. Your article may be given a noindex tag by the publisher so search engines will not index your hard written content. A noindex tag after all might suggest that the source publisher does not trust the writer of the article.

What is the noindex meta tag?

The noindex tag allows publishers to tell search engines not to index  a given page on their site, for example, the page your article is published on. Huffington Post introduced such a system last year and it’s had a big impact on many bloggers. For unless you share your article through your social media accounts and email drops, few people are likely to see your post.

Now obviously being published on a reputable site gives you added credibility in the eyes of your audience so it’s not all bad, but you should weigh up how much effort you go to when chasing such reach out opportunities.

If you do choose to submit your work to such sites, look also for the following signs of nofollow link attribution:

  1. Look through the published articles on the site to find how they link to the authors sites. Do they link direct to the authors site or just to an authors page that then links out to the authors site? Do they apply nofollow links to these links? If they do, it might be worth thinking twice about how many hoops you jump through in order to get published on your target site.
  2. On the flip side, if any old Tom, Dick or Harry can register at a given site and publish an article without an editorial check then that tells you the site has very low editorial standards. The outbound links may well be nofollow as a result.

Don’t be discouraged if one or two of your articles get a noindex or nofollow tag because there are plenty of publishers out there willing to publish your articles without applying such tags to your work. As always, find people who’s work you enjoy, build a strong relationship with them and then you’re in a much stronger position to request and/or expect none of the above games to be played with your work.

Key Takeaways:

  • No matter how well you write an article on a famous website like the Huffington Post, unless they decide to feature your post, it will not be read by a wide audience.
  • When finding a website to publish on, make sure they have an editorial process in place before it gets posted.
  • Some websites will make sure that your article is up to their standards before you are willing to publish your post.

“On a site that you are considering as a target for your content marketing efforts, look at existing contributed articles and see if you can find links to the authors’ sites.”

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