Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Travis Bailey: Save yourself a lot of time and misery. Don`t make `article marketing` a big part, or any part, of the strategy. Spewing keyword targeted articles and PR died about six years ago, along with a lot of the free for all directories and article sites.
See: Penguin update(s)
That being said, there`s still plenty of room for legit posts on sites with proper editorial oversight. I would start using advanced search operators to discover opportunities. You can find a lot of prospective sites fast.
Say you like somesite dot com, but they aren`t going to publish your post. So, you bust out the related: operator. That will show you search results that appear to relate to the site, according to google.
You can even chain operators together to get more specific results. So we might say related:somesite.com intitle:"industrykeyword blog". And once you start playing around like that, it gets easier to find opportunities.
Alan Bleiweiss: 1. If a site promotes itself as an "article submission" site, or even accepts articles without strict editorial review, or guarantees links out for SEO will be allowed, that would be a site to avoid.
2. "Article submission" to "drop a link" is called spam.
3. Seeking publications that accept guest contributors, and where strict rules exist to ensure quality, relevance and value for that publications` readership is a valid way to increase brand visibility and secondarily, can sometimes result in valid links out to a destination site chosen by the writer if that link helps add human readable value to the article.
4. Don`t confuse guest contributions with spam also known as "guest blogging".
5. I would do research in that niche to see what sites exist, rank well, and can be easily identified as high quality sites. Some will have a "guest contributions" or "submit your writing for consideration" type page visibly linked from the site footer or the contact page.