On a competitor site there were some articles on writing that were simply poor, and not expert. What happens to articles here that are obviously not expert? Are they rejected? Do you reject articles after three months who don’t get read, like a cut-off point? Really the question: how do you control for quality so that this site has a good expert reputation?
We reject (1) out of every (5) article submissions because of quality issues, questionable or inappropriate content, non-exclusive rights (PLR) submissions or just too much self-promotion in the article body. We do not reject content 3 months later if we already approved the article, but we will remove an article that causes complaint(s).
Something new that we do that I don’t know of any other competitor doing it is that we have (2) human editors review every single article submission. Between 5-15% of articles that are already approved are rejected after-the-fact for not meeting (1) or more editorial guidelines but in most cases, it’s a soft rejection which means a templated problem article (PA) email is generated to the author asking them to fix an easy problem so we can re-approve it. It’s our goal to get our 1st editors approval to 99% or greater because we are embarassed when we have to reject an article after-the-fact for our own editor approval mistake.
As of right now, we have 13,115 articles that are in a Problem Article (PA) queue waiting for an expert author to fix a problem that can be fixed. There are 24 different problem article status codes and custom email templates that are mailed when an editor PA’s an article that can be saved with a small repair by the author. The highest problem (25.3% or 3,319 articles) is too much self-serving product promotion in the article body. The article body is where you GIVE and the resource box is where you TAKE. This is a concept that some authors really struggle with.
In addition, there are 1,767 (13.5%) articles in a problem status because of too much personal self-promotion or the advertising to content ratio is too high. Ideally, you want a resource box that is 15% or less than your total article word count. Lastly, 11.6% (1,521) articles are in a poor grammar/spelling or punctuation error status mostly due to ESL (English Second Language) authors.
I would like to see us increase our tact and diplomacy when working with our authors that have articles in the problem article status because rejection (even when it’s a soft rejection) is never received very well by newbie authors. The experienced expert authors know we are not rejecting them personally, but rather we are saying “we love you and if you can make this change or tweak to your article, we can accept it.”
If only this quality issue were as simple as the complex article content review process…
Having a good site reputation goes beyond the articles that are accepted and this includes:
- The speed and uptime of how fast the website experience is
- The around the clock support from our network admins who monitor server performance
- The site security and follow through (we talk on the phone almost daily now with other ISPs around the planet)
- The member/non-member support service/speed (solving problems before they become complaints)
- The quality control & reporting software we custom wrote
- The proprietary duplicate content identifier and exclusive vs. non-exclusive content article/author tagging data system
- The [can’t mention this yet until it’s patented] system that helps us understand the trust level we should have with each authors history with us
- And the endless internal site audits and reports we ask of our dev team to produce to help us manage the quality metrics
Incidentally, the 13,115 articles in the problem queue is down from 17k two weeks ago as we put additional editorial labor recently on working 1:1 with as many authors as we could to give them a little extra assistance to fix their articles.
As far as I’m concerned, we’re still a serious distance from the ideal level of quality I’d like to see us be at.