Pandas and Penguins have never seemed so frightening as they currently do thanks to the colloquially named Google updates.  These updates have redefined search engine optimization by doing away with spam-ridden posts, which up until this point had been getting many top spots in SERPs.  Keyword stuffed articles and rehashed materials are now being overlooked by the big search engine in favor of better quality writing.  Does this mean that article directories are obsolete?  Not necessarily; there is still plenty you can gain from articles directories.

Article directories can still help you with backlinks.  Backlinks help raise your rankings, especially if the writing is authoritative, on popular topics, and linked from a popular website.  Think of it like a “vote cast” for your website.  Each backlink is a “vote” for your site and article.  Not every vote is going to make a difference, but establishing good quality links will only help.

Even though some directory websites are currently taking a hit due to some poorly written articles, they are still popular sites and will still help you in this instance.  Anchor text on those links is another reason article directories are still relevant.  Anchor text refers to the words you use to describe the link.  This description, as long as it is closely related to the article, also helps with search engine optimization.

In short, article directories are still very important to your SEO campaign, even after the Google Penguin update.  However, you may not wish to be as solely reliant on them as you may have been before.  Blogs and other links will help keep your website in the top rankings; however the most important thing now is quality writing.  Before you could simply ensure that your keywords were hit a number of times, and then sit back and relax.  Penguin however requires that we put more effort into our work.  Rehashed articles that can be found on website directories are now penalized, while those with new ideas and new content will work their way up.

So, article directories are still relevant, but a good amount of focus should now be shifted to better quality writing if you want your small business website to stay ahead of the pack.