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Leverage the Power
of Article Marketing

 . . . Compliments of Yahoo!

By Robin Nobles


I've long been an advocate of a form of online marketing that I personally call “article marketing.” Yahoo! has recently added a layer to article marketing which is extremely exciting, and any one who uses the power of articles needs to take notice.

Introducing Yahoo!'s Creative Commons Search in Beta

Here's what it says as means of explanation at the site:

“This Yahoo! Search service finds content across the Web that has a Creative Commons ( license. While most stuff you find on the web has a full copyright, this search helps you find content published by authors who want you to share or reuse it, under certain conditions.”

Obviously, if you're not a writer and are in need of content on your site, this is a great place to go. You can find content through Yahoo!'s Creative Commons search that you can use for commercial purposes, and you can also find content that you can modify, adapt, and build upon.

What forward thinking on Yahoo!'s part!

Now, let's talk about forward thinking on your part.

Why is this Important to Article Writers?

Let's think about it for a minute. The links pointing back to your Web site from your articles and the relevant link text in the bio are extremely important to a savvy article writer.

By allowing other Web sites, e-zines, online publications, and print publications to publish your articles, you're widening the scope of your visibility.

And in walks a powerhouse like Yahoo! with their new Creative Commons Search.

Wouldn't you like your articles to be available in a select search on Yahoo!?

Do you have to think twice? (Or even once?)

How About an Example?

Disclaimer: It's rather dangerous to give an example in print. As soon as you do, your example could slip in rankings. Forgive me if that happens here.

Please go to:

Click on “Find content I can use for commercial purposes.”

Type “seo articles” (without quotes) in the search box.

Click Search CC.

The #1 page at the time of this writing is:

Click on the link, then scroll to the bottom of the page. You'll see the Creative Commons License that says “Some Rights Reserved.”

It says, “This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.”

Click on the link. You'll see the actual license and what rights are available under the license as well as what conditions have to be met.

So, if you want your articles to be available through a Yahoo! Creative Commons Search, you simply allow it to be licensed out through Creative Commons.

How Can Article Writers Take Advantage of Yahoo!'s Creative Commons Search

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to Creative Commons:
  2. Click on the Publish graphic at the top of the page on the right.
  3. Answer the questions: Allow commercial uses of your work? Allow modifications of your work? Jurisdiction of your license? Format of your work (such as text)?
  4. You can also click to add more information about your work. If you're only going to create a license for one article, you can get very specific about your article.
  5. Click on Select a License. You'll see how the license will look on your page. You can then copy and paste the text to your Web site.

You can even add a Creative Commons License to your blog!

How Long Does it Take for Yahoo!'s Crawler to Find the CC License?

After I put the licenses up on our Web pages, our pages were found in a Yahoo! Creative Commons Search within two weeks.

What about All of the Typical SEO Ramifications?

Does the same Yahoo! crawler crawl Creative Commons licenses? (To my knowledge, there isn't a different crawler.)

Will having a Creative Commons license get your pages into Yahoo! faster? (I haven't done any testing on this yet to see if new pages will get into the regular index as well as Creative Commons, but it's an interesting concept.)

What about a brand new Web site with an articles directory? (You need to have a link from another Web site, because of your site isn't indexed at all, you can't expect Yahoo! to find and spider those article pages quickly.)

Does having a Creative Commons license on your articles affect your regular Yahoo! rankings? (I've seen no evidence of this to date.)

What about Relevancy of Search Results?

That's an interesting question. Let's look at another example.

Again, go to:

Choose “Find content I can use for commercial purposes.”

Type in “wordtracker.” Click on Search CC.

The #1 result is our articles page again:

Marketing on Internet Search Engines - articles by Robin Nobles and John Alexander

“Wordtracker” is being used 11 times on the page, since we've written several articles about Wordtracker. It's not being used in the title, description, etc. This page is not focused on Wordtracker at all. However, this page definitely has a higher link popularity than our other pages.

We have several Wordtracker articles in those same results, yet our articles page is #1. I'll let you study the rest of the results yourself.

Some of the Search Results Aren't Exactly “High Quality”

We have seen some SERPs that aren't exactly high quality. Will your results float to the top? We'd like to think so.

Will Yahoo! or Creative Commons find a way to police the results that are less than quality?

After all, this fabulous tool definitely has potential for abuse if not policed in some manner.

In Conclusion . . .

Article writers, if you don't mind others using your content on their sites, be sure to visit Creative Commons and add the CC licenses to your articles. How easy can increasing your online visibility get?!

But don't abuse the system. If the beta tool gets abused, it may never make it to the full version, which will be a shame for us all.

For those of you who are looking for valuable content to add to your sites, be sure to visit Yahoo!'s Creative Commons Search. This is an ideal spot for finding relevant content that's available to be used on your site.

Just remember that the #1 ranked result may not be the best article for you, so do your research.


Robin Nobles teaches SEO strategies through hands-on, search engine marketing workshops and online SEO training courses. SEW recently launched localized SEO training centers across the country through the Search Engine Academy. Visit the Workshop Resource Center, a networking community for search engine marketers.

Copyright 2004-2005 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.

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