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Free Web Content: Best Practises In Article Directory Management

Oct 15, 2007
Free web content is, as a result of the basic and essential requirement for relevant, and substantial, information, a hot commodity on the Internet today. The Internet, after all, is a massive resource of readily available information served up on demand by search engines and, for the most part free.

Web content, plenty of it, relevant, and constantly changing is what ensures regular visits from the search engine spiders, it can quite literally be the critical success factor for any website, irrespective of its purpose. The Article Directory owner plays a valuable role in the free web content supply chain that needs to be understood in order for the directory to succeed.

Unfortunately, the Internet is littered with examples of webmasters falling foul of the put up an article directory, everyone supplies me with free web content, then a miracle happens and I get rich, equation. So, it is important to understand the free web content value proposition in order to manage an article directory successfully with best practise in mind.

Fundamentally webmasters want their sites to be found. People, looking for specific information, products, or services, typically, use a search engine to find what they are looking for. The search engines strive to serve the user by delivering highly relevant results. They do this by indexing the entire Internet and ranking the results by way of their authority. The way they do this, and therefore the pivot in the free web content value proposition, is by following links. The webmaster wants his site to be ranked highly, or in other words seen as an authority site. In order to do that his mission becomes getting as many quality links back to his site as is necessary to achieve that goal.

One well recognised, and legitimate, method of achieving quality back links to a site is article writing. The premise behind this is simple. The webmaster writes an article and gets it published on another site, or many sites, the article is indexed by the search engines and the author's link back to his site boosts the sites link popularity, and therefore its ranking.

As a consequence of this, article directories have become repositories, accommodating the supply and demand of free web content, providing a location for articles to be indexed, providing link popularity to webmasters, and supplying publishers who need a steady supply of fresh, on topic, free web content for their sites, ezines, and blogs.

So the free web content value proposition is this; first and foremost the reader, looking for accurate and pertinent information, relies upon the search engines to find it, the search engines, at a very simplistic level, use page rank, determined by link popularity, to serve accurate results to the reader. The webmaster, who wants her site to be found by the reader, exchanges some of her expertise, in the form of free web content articles, in return for a back link to boost her sites popularity. The article directory owner hosts, distributes, and ensures that articles are indexed, in return for the monetization opportunity associated with having thousands of pages of free web content, along with the proliferation of back links to the directory itself as a result of the articles being used on other sites and publications.

There is, however, a problem with this that undermines the value for all concerned. That is when the back link is seen as more important than the article quality itself and, as is the case with many internet marketing concepts, the more unscrupulous operators propagate the internet with minimum word count, inferior, often plagiarized, and useless material, creating back links to sites of equally inferior quality and dubious purpose. The question then becomes what free web content quality is expected in return for a back link?

The Article Directory owner has an integral role to play in ensuring the quality of information available in the internet today. It could be argued that maintaining a high standard of quality free web content in directories such as this could improve the overall experience of using the Internet altogether.

Achieving high quality standards in free web content is as simple as making a few logical changes to article submission guidelines. The first of these being required word count. Setting a higher word count means that more effort needs to be applied to make an article work, it filters out those articles that are simply aimed at achieving the minimum required to get a link.

Next, pay careful attention to the Author's resource box and limit the links to bona fide web sites only. The link in the resource box should be directly related to the article's subject matter, otherwise it is a reasonable indication of bogus content and doesn't deserve publishing.

Pay careful attention to subjects. Does the article provide any meaningful insight or is it just a rehash of the same old information? Is it just boring? If you think so then there is a good chance everyone else will too.

Last, and certainly not least, is keyword optimization. Fundamental to the monetisation of an article directory, which is the owner's driver behind hosting free web content, is the articles themselves being indexed. One well written and optimized article is worth a hundred that aren't. Develop some guidelines around keywords that will ensure you accept less articles, but with a higher standard of quality.

Implementing and following a best practise approach, raising the bar, in terms of article quality, will ensure that the value is maintained in free web content.
About the Author
Damian Saunders owns TotallyAwesomeArticles.com , a new free web content directory, now running and accepting quality articles from expert authors.
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