There are many article directories to which you can submit your articles, but as always, more is not necessarily better. If you can manage to focus on the top 10 article directories, or even on the top 5 article directories and consistently submit quality articles to them, you can have very good results without spending too much time and money on this marketing strategy.
Here is my top 10 Article Directories list (updated November 2011). This is based on my own experience and the experience of other article marketing experts and internet marketers. Most of them are high PR article directories and have high authority in the eyes of Google, even after the Panda update. And most of them also have high traffic (Alexa rank), which is important when doing article marketing.
TheFreeLibrary - PR8, Alexa 4386, Dofollow
The Free Library was only offering full-text versions of classic literary works but it has recently expanded and it now includes a massive collection of periodicals, reports, and articles. You can publish your own articles, and you can also use The Free Library to research information on any given topic. This can help you write more articles in your niche and you can also tell your writer to use it for research if you are outsourcing content writing.
Examiner - PR8, Alexa 771, Nofollow
This is a great website to get exposure to your business, especially if you have an online business and want to go local, or if you have an offline business and want to promote it locally. The Examiner works “local”, and you’ll have to write about your topic with a local angle. I cannot do it because I live outside of the U.S., but many marketers are having great success with Examiner and that’s why I recommend it. You can apply and if they are looking for writers for your topic your application will be accepted.
Ehow - PR7, Alexa 151, Nofollow
Ehow is a big content site that has more traffic and PR than EzineArticles. You should write How To type articles that are helpful to your audience. You can attract good traffic to your site because you benefit from the high traffic of Ehow.
EzineArticles - PR6, Alexa 273, Dofollow
This article directory can still be a part of your article marketing distribution strategy because it still carries weight in Google’s eyes, even after the Panda update. Links from EZA usually carry more weight than links from smaller directories.
That said, EzineArticles enforce their editorial guidelines strictly and can sometimes really lack flexibility. They take a long time to approve articles and they are super picky with your links, your anchor text length, and a lot of other details. If you want to publish to this directory, make sure you comply with their rules; submit articles manually (don’t use software), be patient, and bear with them when they tell you that your anchor text cannot be more than 5 words…
ArticlesBase - PR6, Alexa 950, Nofollow
This is another big directory with a lot of traffic and it also has a lot of weight in Google’s eyes. This is a good place to start especially if you are a newbie with article marketing. Their editorial team reviews articles carefully yet they are way more flexible than EzineArticles, which is a big plus. They usually only take 24 hours to approve an article.
For international marketers, there are Spanish, Portuguese, and French versions of the site where you can publish articles under the same account (just click on the flags at the top of ArticlesBase homepage).
WebProNews - PR6, Alexa 1700, Dofollow
This is a reputable directory that only accepts unique, original content. It can get you a lot of traffic depending on your topic, so publishing articles on this site is definitely not only about getting backlinks.
Suite101 – PR6, Alexa 1911, Dofollow
This used to be a top directory with PR7 and a lot of traffic, really worth your time; now it has a PR6 and less traffic but is still a very good directory. There is an application form in which you describe your experience and why you want to write for Suite101, and you are also asked to provide some samples of your writing. You need to have some solid writing credentials/experience to be accepted, but it’s well worth it.
SelfGrowth - PR6, Alexa 3700, Dofollow
This is a self-improvement directory. To submit articles to this directory you’ll need to sign up as an expert. More than a directory it is a community, so there is a lot of networking there; it can be a great option depending on your niche. If you are in the relationships, medical professions or wellness niches, it can really prove to be useful not only to get backlinks but to get exposure and build your reputation as an expert.
IdeaMarketers - PR5, Alexa 4870, Dofollow
Content gets accepted right away at this article directory, which is a plus. And the site also offers writers many ways to promote their articles.
ArticleAlley - PR5, Alexa 5476, Nofollow
This is a classic, solid directory that is more useful to get backlinks than traffic.
Notes: I did not put GoArticles in the list because in my opinion it is no longer in the top 10 article directories (but can be in the top 20). Google keeps lowering its PR (from PR6 to PR4 last year and to PR3 in Jan 2011) and the quality of the articles published can vary tremendously from very good to really bad. It is however a little better since they have introduced a sign up process to publish articles this year. Moreover I have never had any article rank in the search results with this directory (contrary to the other ones).
Moreover, I have removed Buzzle.com from the list, as it used to be a top directory that only accepted unique, original content and was therefore great for getting good backlinks and high rankings in the search engines, but it no longer allows any backlinks to your sites.