Two of the biggest avenues and thus the biggest “sells” in SEO and web content creation are article marketing and blogging.  Chances are, if you ask for an SEO firm to give you a price quote, they will be pushing one of these two options.  While they might sell you “linkbuilding” packages, blogs and article directories are two of the easiest – and most effective ways – to create quality links.

In the past, article marketing had a distinct advantage over blogging, since many blogs had low traffic, while popular article directories benefited from high “robot” traffic – they were being crawled and indexed rather quickly, thanks to the popularity of their site and their huge number of links.  The latest algorithm updates from Google, however, changed this dynamic.  Sites that “over-optimized” were penalized with the latest updates, while social network sites, news sites and even company or individual blogs were rewarded with higher rankings.

Now, blogs are actually being favored by search engines and are getting loads of traffic – at least more than they ever were in 2010, before Google’s Panda change.  Does this mean you should focus only on blogs?  Not necessarily.  Article marketing can still be an effective way to build links, provided you write a quality article with some well-placed longtail keywords.

However, you cannot afford to invest all of your web marketing solely in the “big five” article directories, when there is clearly a need to establish more quality links all over the web.  This is just a matter of common sense—when you put up signage for your company in a local area, do you want to put a thousand signs up in one mall, or do you want to put a few dozen signs all around the city?

Think of your new Search Engine Optimization strategy in a similar context.