From reading the title you already know what this article is meant to convince you of. So I will keep it short and spare you the rhetoric.
Search engine rankings are a competition. The people who follow the standard promotion techniques inevitably will always lose. This applies especially to common free promotion techniques. This perhaps became the most transparent with Google’s decision to devalue what was coined the DMOZ affect. In short the DMOZ affect was the sites that were listed in Google’s ability to gain a good page rank and inbound links solely because of the large number sites that mirror dmoz. At this point Google has even gone so far as to stop crawling once they realize the directory is a mirror of DMOZ. The same practice has even been noticed on MSN and Yahoo seems to be in the process of following suit.
The question now is how far will this go? At the moment people are loving the benefits of article writing. I personally believe this is the next on the major search engines chopping block. Will the search engines start devaluing links coming from article directories? Maybe, in the mean time here’s a good philosophy to go by.
Do what everone else does and then some more. This is the only true way to be competative. By regularly reading BlueHatSEO.com you’re at least at a good starting point to moving beyond the herd. I wish you all the success you deserve.