Downside To Fractionalized Sub-Categories?

Recently EzineArticles Real Estate expert, Luigi Frascati sent in some private crtisicim and I asked him for permission to publicly post his thoughts so that I could respond to them. Essentially, his main argument is, “I do not believe it is such a good idea to fractionalize categories into so many sub-categories. It dilutes the quantity of views from the readership.”

Here’s his full email reprinted with permission and my response:

“Hello everyone,

here is a little note of criticism that I like to make privately – mostly because I do not believe you deserve to be criticized publicly (since you otherwise offer an excellent service).

I do not believe it is such a good idea to fractionalize categories into so many sub-categories. It dilutes the quantity of views from the readership.

Take ‘Real Estate’ for example, the category I mostly write into. It is now fractionalized into TOO MANY sub-categories, much to the detriment of the number of views I and other authors receive. Particularly since in Real Estate many topics intertwine so much. Things that apply to single-family detached houses typically apply to condominiums, items of interest to investors typically are of interest to owners-users just as well.

If you read a sample of my articles, you will see that many of them can be categorized as ‘Real Estate Economics’, meaning that they are really articles of Economics that I shape so as to fit Real Estate, my field of expertise in real life.

So, in essence, I’m saying that it does not pay to be as meticulous in the categorization of articles as you have now become, since viewers will be inclined to think that a concept that applies to – say – ‘Homes’ does not necessarily apply to – say – ‘Investing’ and therefore will not look it up. Which is, in ultimate analysis, a disservice to both authors and viewers.

Look up my page views: I average 40+ views per day, and the latest article I wrote, which was classified under the sub-category of ‘Condominiums’ (correctly, according to the new system you have implemented) has received only 4 views in the whole day! If you look up the views of all the other ‘top guns’ in Real Estate, the likes of Jeanette Joy Fisher, Mark Nash and all the others, you will find a similar story.

I will continue to write for EzineArticles, as for me this is more a hobby than anything else, but I just wanted to express my dissatisfaction for the new system.”

Thank you for your time

First, Thanks Luigi for your comments & taking the time to send us feedback!

Your concern has the assumption that our website visitors come to our site and then begin browsing it. Truth is, the bulk of our traffic lands directly on a specific article that meets the needs of the reader. They come to us thanks to hand-offs from search engines, RSS feeds, email alerts sent out and referrals by friends.

Translation: The category that your articles are in may have no statistical relevance as to how much traffic your articles receive.

I’m fully away that most people are not going to buy the counter-argument that I just presented and this is why we have it on deck to offer the ability to list your articles in more than one category as part of a premium membership level not released yet.

Our truth is that we know we can attract significantly more articles by adding more sub-categories and thus we have no other choice but to give the market what it wants, even if it wants it for the wrong reasons.

Example: This issue is similar to my car. It doesn’t have a dipstick to check the oil because it’s all electronic now. As a consumer, I want my dipstick so that I can cross-check the computer to see if I really need to add oil or not when it says it’s low, but the car engineers have taken away something that I as a consumer perceive that I want (a dipstick) even if it is a need based on a false assumption.

Let me address your most recent Condo article:

1141 words?

If you want more traffic, cut that article in half and give each article a unique title unrelated to the other. That will give you a much higher ROI on your article writing time.

Something else that could majorly transform the amount of traffic your articles receive: Expand the length of your article titles by another 30-40%. They are too short and you’re missing opportunities to hook additional traffic that is begging to find your content.

In conclusion, sorry, we won’t be going back to less categories… and if you want to get a significantly higher ROI on your article writing time, expand your article titles and cut your average word count in half.

Thanks again for sending in your feedback.

How about everyone else?
Have you found the new further division in categories has brought them MORE or LESS or THE SAME traffic per article?


Audrey Okaneko writes:


I watch the number of hits I have not only on your site, but on a few others as well. What I find really interesting is that one article will do incredibly well for hits on your site but then receive only 3 or 4 hits on another site. I have also found the opposite to be true, where I’ve written an article and received more hits elsewhere than I receive here. I really believe topic is important. I submit all of my parenting articles to a women read directory. Those articles do great.

I watch my site hits and overall I get more site hits from EzineArticles than from any other article directory. So, while it’s fun to watch my articles get hits, it’s ultimately my site that I’d like folks to visit.

My 2 cents,


Comment provided September 18, 2006 at 9:26 AM


marshal sandler writes:

I also more hits form Ezine than any other area I Post ! If you want more hits the articles may have to written with key word
research ! All headlines may be developed using Wordtracker and the deck should contain major keywords! I think that fresh content is the real Secret !

Comment provided September 18, 2006 at 11:10 AM


Edward Weiss writes:

My input on the matter is the same as yours – it’s all about the search engines. That’s where people find your articles. Not too complicated.

Comment provided September 18, 2006 at 3:32 PM


Aidan Bindoff writes:

I always liked the tree hierarchy that eBay uses for it’s directories. I realise that the search facility that provides doesn’t require you to search a category, but it does make browsing a little easier if you’re not sure exactly what you’re after.

I guess what we want is the opinions of Publishers, not Writers, really.

Comment provided September 18, 2006 at 5:33 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Luigi, Great article Wow! I actually learned something.

Well Luigi, I have posted 8950 articles and I have had occasionally had articles with only 4 to 10 article views on their first day often enough, although that is not so typical, but it does happen when you post on an esoteric subject. Of course it is those same esoteric subjects that have little if any competition on the Internet and therefore they do well over time due to their rankings.

The extra categories gets you more targeted traffic and targeted traffic is more important than lets say my 2,536,000 article views. Because targeted traffic, well these is people that are truly interested in the subject. Luigi, thank you for introducing yourself, I will read your articles, these articles are Very Informative.

Chris’s advice of about breaking articles up a bit is relevant; you might wish to do that again for targeted traffic and increased article views. Luigi, you are a good writer with something great to say, keep it up because you are very good for this world, I thank you on behalf of all who may never have bothered to tell you personally. You deserve this thank you. Please keep writing, great stuff.

Comment provided September 19, 2006 at 12:32 AM


Audrey Okaneko writes:


Almost 9000 huh? I know by tomorrow, you’ll be over the 9000 mark.

I have 10 articles I’ll upload tonight. Each one is city specific. I’ll be very interested in tracking the hits to the articles. I have the beginnings of 10 more city specific articles. These are really time intensive to write. I start with the title (city) based on what I find online. I’m only writing about cities that have a scrapbook store located in the city plus the store is online. Then once I find a city I can write about, I do some research on the city to actually write the article. I’ll keep you all posted on the results.

Comment provided September 19, 2006 at 9:34 AM


Luigi Frascati writes:

Hi Lance,

thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it very much. I do intend to keep on writing for EzineArticles which – to quote Scarlet O’Hara in ‘Gone With The Wind’ – is “the only one thing worth fighting for and worth dying for” … just as soon as I complete four pending sales I have floating around all over me.

Chris, respecting your advices as to lengths of titles and articles (long titles and short articles), I must be the exception to the rule as the opposite has always worked better for me. I have had 80,000+ views with only 130+ articles. Plus it is very difficult to cut them short if you one wants to say something that makes sense.

As to the number of views per category, without disputing your considerable experience in this field, seems to me that the underlying assumption is that publisher and otherwise viewers that come to a specific category have clear ideas in their heads as to what they are looking for – which must be a first in the annals of the history of the species ‘Homo’. It certainly is not my own personal experience with my fellow human beings – but then, you never know. It must be evolution at work.

I entirely agree with author Aidan Bindoff to the extent that the final word goes to the publishers, and I like Chris’ suggestion to list articles in more than one sub-category at a later date. I believe this takes care of my concern entirely.

All the best to all and thank you for your time Chris.

Comment provided September 19, 2006 at 11:31 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Audrey, That is a spectacular idea indeed. You know for the past 5-years I have been traveling around the United States and I have been to every city in this nation over 10,000 in population and many so small they did not have a stop sign or signal at all. When traveling I love to stop in at museums in the area and learn of the history. I often go to the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Assoc., that is if they have one? There is so much history and the historical societies usually will write a brief in the handouts I collect. So, I think between the family histories and the areas history there is much to be scrap-booked!

Luigi, Yes, close those lingering sales, that you have been working for. As a young man before I turned 25, I started an Aircraft Brokerage Business and I spent so much time and effort helping people, educating them and all the research too. I worked harder than everyone else in the region in the Southern California area and some deals took 6 months to a year to finally get done. I know the commitment that you must give there too. But these experiences you have are worth their weight in gold to others all over the world. Your knowledge and observations along the way can so much help them.

Regarding the percentage of hits or article views which come from this website, they are a small percentage of the total of each article view. Most people do come directly from the Search Engines to the actual article and not to the home page here and then clicking on a category. Human minds seem to like to categorize things, they are always so busy categorizing everything they observe. Assisting these brains of theirs into a category pleases the species. I am not sure why, sometimes humans categorize things and get really upset with those things they cannot.

Perhaps for a really good case study we take all your future articles specially categorized to see how they do as they get listed in Google and the other search engines compared to how the others have done in the past. That would be relevant, I would be interested in revisiting this issue in 45-days as a case study. So, keep these great articles coming in.

Comment provided September 19, 2006 at 4:57 PM


Audrey Okaneko writes:


I submitted 8 city specific articles. I’m blown away to see 15 hits already. I uploaded them, went and had dinner and now am home.

Scrapbooking In Lodi, California 2
Scrapbooking in Ontaria, California 0
Scrapbooking in Pismo Beach, California 0
Scrapbooking in Santa Barbara, California 0
Scrapbooking in Torrance, California 5 Scrapbooking in Poway, California 3
Scrapbooking in Pleasanton California 2 Scrapbooking in Freemont California 3

It will be this weekend before any of the others are ready.

I’m using two sources for the “what to see aspect”. I’m using the visitor’s center information and also the AAA tour book.

I’ll keep watching to see hits. I’m also going to submit them to one other directory and see if I get hits on that directory to make the comparison.

I’ll keep you posted.

Comment provided September 19, 2006 at 7:59 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Audrey, great research here. Currently I take about 70 sprint magazines most trade journals and one I really like is the Southern CA AAA Magazine “West Ways” and I am always impressed with all the information there. I am forever clipping articles for future travels. You are smart for using the AAA Tour Book. There ratings on Restaurants, Hotels, RV Camp Grounds and sights is incredible.

Your traffic will increase as your articles are spydered by Google. I know when I have written articles on Local economies that these articles have done extremely well over time. Listing the name of the cities is smart too. Towns like Lodi, might do well eventhough the population is not high, but it is growing there, that whole stretch along there is. Torrance is surrounded by other cities too and a high Asian Population and our American Asian cultures are very much into family, friends and their history. All those beach cities nearby too, would be interesting. Hey I have a question? How do you pick which cities to do?

Comment provided September 19, 2006 at 9:11 PM


Audrey Okaneko writes:


I wrote you a very long answer, then hit send and was told “invalid security code”.


This is not the first time that has happened. My fault for not copying the text. If I take too long to write my answer, I think your comment box times out. I know I’m not typing invalid security codes, yet my long answers do indeed always come back and tell me invalid security code :(


I began with a google search on “california scrapbook”. I found through a keyword tool it was searched for about 10 times per day. This told me that 10 times each time someone is looking for something inside CA. I’d love for those 300 folks per month to find me :)

Next, I began looking for scrapbook stores that had both a storefront and an online presence. Folks don’t realize that even a small online presence would help their business. Anyway, if the online information was not enough for me to write about, I wrote the store owners. Each one I wrote, wrote me back. I did write an article titled “do you own a store, get someone to write about it”.

Then I went to AAA and got their book. I also used google to find visitor centers and Chambers in the cities I had chosen.

I chose CA because of its size and because I live here. I’ve been to every city I wrote about. I have a list of about 20 more cities. Again, I’ve been to all of them.

It will take me a very long time to get through CA. AFter CA, through keyword research I found OH also had several requests. That will probably be my next city.

Comment provided September 20, 2006 at 7:02 AM




Because of the way WordPress manages the comments boxes in this blog, you should be able to hit your browsers BACK button and it will show you your complete comment… that you can then copy into your clipboard for safety before trying again.

I’ve seen thousand+ word comments left, so I’m not aware of any length restriction.

Also, the invalid security code error is only related to the CAPTCHA and is not related to violating any content rules.

Now, to address your 300 folks per month… I think you can find 3000+ folks per month if you keep going the same direction you’re headed. :-)

Comment provided September 20, 2006 at 9:00 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Audrey, Indeed CA is a huge state. I too have been to all those cities you listed and well I have been to all CA cities anyway. CA is a Big state; try biking it. It took me 6.5 days to cross it by bicycle on Hwy 1 down the coast. Big State YES.

I noticed you have adopted the word Scapbooking, what other words have you been using?

“ScrapBooks on Steroids; Scrapping and Scrapbooking Gone Wild”

“Scrapbook Strategies; How Scrapping and Scrapbooking became so Popular”

“Saving Memories with Scrapbooks; Serious Scrapping Strategies”

“Everybody Scraps in LA, but no one walks there”

“Scrapping in LA, San Diego and Southern California; a look at Scrapbook Strategies”

“5 Super Scrapping Secret Strategies for California”

“Scrapbooks Defined; Scrapping, Scrabooking and Style Strategies”

“Scrapbooking Secrets; Save Yourself in LA”

“Get Scrappy; Scrapbooking Mascot On the Lose in West Los Angeles”

Hey this is quite fun!


Comment provided September 21, 2006 at 2:02 PM


Audrey Okaneko writes:


You are too funny!!!! I am writing as time allows. I got two emails back from store owners yesterday. Now to take a look at their towns :)

I also have a few more industry specific articles I wrote this week. I’m just waiting for my daughter to proof them for me.

I also like to write on parenting. For example, these 3 teenagers who were arrested for intent to blow up a school. How on earth did these boys get that amount of ammunition into their homes and stored with no one knowing?

Speaking of biking, one series I would like to do is scrapboooking and biking through ____ and then pick a state.

Thanks for so many ideas above.

Audrey :)

Comment provided September 22, 2006 at 8:03 AM


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