SEO is the best way to bring traffic to your website. However, one of the key components of off page SEO is backlinks. This critical component of SEO is very hard to get. One of the successful methods that webmasters have been using to get backlinks is article marketing.
The general meaning of article marketing is that you submit an article to article directories like ArticlesBase.com or Ezinearticles.com. These sites allow you to publish your articles on their website and you get a backlink to your own money site in the resource box. Google liked backlinks and people soon started misusing this opening. They started to submit thousands of articles to hundreds of articles directories. The content was poor quality or even totally spammy. The end result was that Google came hard on these article sites and decreased their rankings in its search engine algorithm updates.
Google not only reduced rankings of these spammy article directories but also devalued the backlinks coming from these article directories. The end result was that article marketing lost most of its SEO advantage that it had been carrying.
Now most of the people would say that do not bother with article marketing because it is devoid of any SEO benefits. However, there are others who disagree and say that if you submit unique articles to article directories, it still has SEO advantage because of the backlinks. However, you should forget that you can instantly rank a website by submitting hundreds of articles to spammy article directories.
The key with article marketing now is to submit unique and well written articles to a handful of directories that have an editorial process in place to ensure that no spun or duplicate articles are posted. Such articles still have SEO advantage though it is not big as it used to be. Do not rely too heavily on article marketing now but do not write it off as an SEO tool either.
Another dimension of article marketing is guest blogging wherein you approach blog owners and offer a blog post for their blog in return for a backlink to your money website. However, this was also misused by people who started their blog networks where they would charge fee for exchange of guest posts between publishers and writers of guest posts. Google has also penalized a few guest blogging networks and again people are saying that guest blogging is also dead. However, like article marketing if you contribute high quality articles in spirit of guest blogging, it is still an SEO tool which is again not as effective as it used to be but it still is a useful SEO tool.
So the bottom line is that while you can still use article marketing for seo backlinks purposes, it would be a mistake to rely too heavily on it. In addition, you will need to do this in a better way than just spamming the internet.