Article marketing always been considered for search engine ranking position benefits and that is an actual problem with it. The fact is very few people write for users not for search engines. I think, those tips on the Internet about “content and seo” misguided a lot of people and as a result websites like Ezine now seems like a junkyard of articles.
However some high PR article directories already changed their old approach and included new rules that clearly mention “post your unique content which is not published elsewhere” or something like that.
But whether you publish article on such kind of directories or in your own blog, if you don't promote them individually by using various ways then it won't attract actual readers attention.