Article banks are an excellent source of free content for use on your own website. The author still ‘owns’ the material they deposit in the article bank, but is allowing other webmasters to reproduce the material (in its entirety) on their own sites for their own benefit. It is a win-win situation, because the authors are creating extra links for their own home pages(s) whilst the webmasters are amassing free content with which they hope to climb up the rankings table.
When building a new site, it should ideally be composed of original content, but that’s very time consuming and may be outside of your knowledge area, and can also be very expensive. This is why sites such as article banks are particularly useful, as they help to build the content level. However, you should take care to ensure that the material you use is relevant to your site, because the top search engines such as Google rank their pages on a relevant link system, as well as the actual number of links. It is all well and good having a thousand links, but if six hundred of them are revolved around fishing when your website is to do with motor sports, then your ranking will still be poor.
There are other risks involved when using other people’s material to add content to your won site, and this is to do with plagiarism. Articles can get hijacked by plagiarisers and you may inadvertently end up breaking someone else’s copyright. Obviously, this can be very bad for your reputation and authors may refuse to let their work be used on your site, and at the same time your own material may be turned down when attempting to circulate it around other sites. Similarly, careful attention needs to be paid to any article sites you want to submit your work to, to ensure they are not guilty of breaching author’s copyrights, and that they are reliable and hold enough weight in the rankings table already to make sure you will get a return on your ‘investment’.
Plagiarism aside, it is essential that you check each article submitted to your site or that you get from an article bank, to determine whether or not the content is suitable and (scientifically) accurate. Many spammers try to operate under the radar, so to speak, by submitting articles with legitimate titles, and sometimes even content, yet their links direct you often to sites selling Viagra or pornography. Some authors simply copy and paste an article, replace the links and try to pass it off as their own work. Regular visitors, as well as the original authors themselves will not react well to such actions, and will look negatively on any sites that have evidently not been thorough enough when checking the authenticity of its content. Webmasters need to be careful that their reputations are not tarnished by poorly validating the material they allow on their sites, and it is worth remembering; reputations are hard to build, but easy to knock down.