I think it is very likely that what has become known as Bum Marketing is doomed to die a dismal death in the near future.
What is Bum Marketing?
Bum Marketing is a strategy used to generate affiliate commissions through distribution of articles written specifically to rank highly for low-competition keywords.
The method was promoted as an easy way for beginners to make money online without having to invest much money, time or effort.
SO easy in fact that a ‘homeless bum' could do it from the local library! (Ya right).
How does Bum Marketing work?
- Do extensive keyword research to find low competition niche markets and products with moderate to high demand.
- Find a product or service that can be promoted to that niche through an affiliate program.
- Write scads of articles following a keyword density formula designed to get top search engine rankings quickly.
- Submit those articles to popular article directories.
The objective being to get readers of those articles to visit your site for more information about the product or to have them opt-in to a list through a squeeze page.
Why is Bum Marketing Dead?
Google's latest algorithm change, Farmer, spells death for Bum Marketing sites in the same way as crappy, useless Adsense sites were targeted in past algorithm changes.
Chris Knight of the uber-popular EzineArticles article directory made the following comments in his Search Engine Algorithm Changes post about the site's traffic on February 26, 2011:
Last month, we served 57 million unique visitors. Next month, that number may be in half.
Traffic was down 11.5% on Thursday and over 35% on Friday. In our life-to-date, this is the single most significant reduction in market trust we’ve experienced from Google.
By result, Chris is having to implement a number of changes to his article directory to ward off potential spammers, i.e. bum marketers. Some of those changes include:
- No more submissions through a WordPress plugin,
- raising the bar on articles written for keyword density,
- removing articles in ‘spammy' categories such as reverse cell phone lookup and acai berry
- and requiring exclusivity.
Hmmm.. those changes will make it much more difficult to be a bum marketer, don't you think?
I'm not opposed to article marketing, but as a solo marketing method, it is NOT (and never has been) a sustainable way to do business online.
Rather than posting all your content to article directories and risk having it disappear from the search engine results through an algorithm change or removal by an editor, control your destiny by starting a blog and driving traffic to exclusive high-quality articles.
In other words, don't be (or become) a bum.