Have you ever wondered why there seem to be so many pages on the internet that have no point whatsoever, just a bunch of links? If you guessed it’s for the search engines, you’re right! Because Google gives a lot of weight to the incoming links that a site has, webmasters naturally want to get as many links as possible. Of course, many of them don’t know what they’re doing and either put up pages with several hundred links (which do basically nothing), pay someone to add their site to such a page (which both does little good and risks getting their site deindexed when Google finds out they were buying links), or buy software to spam millions of blogs with their links (which has the net result of annoying a lot of people and convincing them to install anti-spam plugins such as Askimet).
But then you have articles which are a reasonable size, readable, and have no more than two or three links. Sometimes they’re really good, sometimes they’re, shall we say, not so good. However, every page on the site will have a (usually short) article with exactly two to three links.
Welcome to the wonders of article marketing! You’ve likely stumbled across a site with contributions from a number of different people. Sites like this have two purposes. First, the site makes money for its owners through advertising, usually Google Adsense; a great example of this is ezine articlee, which Google seems to be quite fond of. The people writing the articles don’t get paid, at least not in money, but they get something else: several links to web pages of their choice, using anchor text of their choice.
As with any other tool, article marketing is often misused; many people throw out all kinds of crap onto the Internet with nary a care as to whether it will be useful for anyone. Indeed, once you start looking into this area, you’ll likely be bombarded with advertisements for “spinning” software that will take your article and swap out words to make a number of other poorly written articles that are just distinct enough to avoid being marked as duplicate content by the search engines; they suffice for links, but tend to read badly and are not useful for the user. The spinners don’t care; after all, these articles aren’t meant to be read, only to get links.
And then you have people who use article marketing the way Moonlight Designs Studio does. It’s quite possible that you first found this blog by reading an article we’ve played elsewhere on the web; while the primary purpose of these articles is still links, we still expect to get readers from them because they’re well written and informative. In short, they give the reader useful information and direct them to where they can find even more. Google approves of this, because it helps them to meet their core goal: giving the users what they want. And when Google and webmasters are working together towards a common goal – connecting searchers with high-quality information that is directly relevant to their search – everybody wins.