Michael Gray recently asked what people thought of using article syndication as an SEO technique. While it may have some upside if the articles get picked up and syndicated outside the article databases, the article databases themselves carry little weight. Patrick Altoft noted that after tracking the results for about 500 clients he discontinued his automated submission service because he thought it didn't offer any value anymore.
A better way to syndicate content to sites outside article databases is typically to create something they would want to link at, or to start building social relationships. As Jeremy Luebke posted in Graywolf's comments, those links work. Google is getting better at determing what parts of the web are active and worth trusting.
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