We are often asked, “Do you accept automatic article submissions from so and so?”
To which we respond, “We do accept automatic article submissions from a select small list of 3rd party article submission service providers, but we have never disclosed and had no plans to disclose who the approved 3rd party article submission service providers are to prevent implied endorsements.”
Here are some of the politics behind our reasons for the above policy and many insights into our thinking on 3rd party article submission providers:
First, I need to share that some 3rd party article submission service providers submit articles to us without our approval. We take no responsibilities for whether those submissions arrive or are processed properly because they were submitted by a computer instead of a human.
There is another group of 3rd party article submission service providers that we have approved (a hard coded approval directly into our submission systems designed for 3rd party submissions), however, the same deal applies: We make no warranties or promises to accept or process those submissions.
For the purposes of this blog entry, I’m only discussing AUTOMATED 3rd party article submission service providers, and not MANUAL 3rd party article submission providers (people who do it by hand for you).
Our primary reason for being open to accepting 3rd party article submissions: is to receive a volume of unique & quality article content that we could not receive without them.
Our primary reluctance to be 3rd party article submission provider friendly: We highly value the 1:1 relationship with every author and the majority of authors who wedge a 3rd party article submission provider between us weakens our direct relationship with the author.
It is true that incoming submissions from 3rd party article submission providers are of lower quality than direct submissions from registered members. Last monthly alone, over 450 duplicate article titles were submitted by 3rd party submission providers (almost 50% of all duplicate article submissions)… of which we auto eliminate them and provide no feedback to the author of the duplicate title submission elimination.
Another main concern with articles that come from 3rd party submission providers: PLR article submissions. :( Authors who have hired article submission service often don’t care about their relationship with the websites they are BLASTING their content to and often try to stuff their submissions with non-exclusive rights & non-original content that wastes our time as we sift through it to delete them.
I won’t name them, but there is less than a small handful of article submission service providers that have built their business for the long haul and with a good ounce of integrity intentions. The rest of providers have a “get-rich-quick” intention and we’d prefer to never hear from them.
Something positive that came from our work with accepting automatical article submission providers: We created the technical ability to compete directly with them. I estimate the 3rd party article submission industry is a ~$700k a year industry…not exactly wildly lucrative, but interesting nonetheless.
The moment we publicly announce an “EzineArticles approved 3rd party article submission provider seal of approval”, it’ll seal our ability to enter the market to compete with them…because we’ll be forced to choose an alliance with them in order to get their support.
So, the next question is, which way do we make more money? At this point, it would be much more lucrative for us to go into the business of 3rd party article submissions than from the revenue created by the increase in article submissions that 3rd party article submission service providers could provide us.
However, it presents another political conflict: We don’t like going into new markets unless we can become the best or one of the top 3 players and to become the best, we’d have to create a new set of relationships with publishers willing to accept content from us. That’s not the problem…the challenge is, there is an avalance of interest for us to provide content directly and automatically for publishers …which begs the question: How much do we provide for free vs. how much do we charge for the quality of content our human editorial approval review process creates?
This puts us in conflict with our future possible 3rd party article submission clients because they would want mass-distribution while we’d want to control distribution to only quality authoritive niche sites appropriate for the content.
We do not want to contribute to sites that attempt to duplicate what we are…yet our 3rd party article submission clients would want us to do that… which brings us full circle to being frozen on any decision to go forward with 3rd party article submission providing because our market integrity matters more to us than any additional revenue stream we could create.
Yes, this thought has crossed our minds: What would the major search engines want from us? I think they would want us to not expand distribution of content for *volume of content distribution sake*, but rather the only whitehat grounds for article distribution would come from helping highly niched authority sites to deepen the breadth of their content for the benefit of their readers first. Example: An swimming website that is already established as an authority in their niche would look to EzineArticles to maintain their authority by increasing the depth of related content without any non-related content.
With this blog entry, I didn’t intend to solve any of the problems presented, but wanted to provide a framework to understand our thinking when it comes to 3rd party article submission service providers.
Complex issues indeed…