Article Summary Process Change

Your Article Summary is an important component to the amount of traffic that we’re able to attract to your quality original content.

The #1 mistake made by our members when writing their article summary is that they make it only (1) single sentence when we’re seeking 3-5 sentences with no blatant self promotion included and no repeating of the article title.

In fact, “Article Summary Violation” is was our single highest quality control problem status internally… so we’ve turned to a new automation routine that works like this:

  • If your article summary is less than our 3 sentence minimum, we will auto replace your article summary with the first 3 sentences from your article body.
  • If your first (3) sentences exceeds 100 words, we will cut the last sentence off at 100 words and add: “…”
  • If you include your URL or your name in the article summary, the submission will be rejected before you’re able to submit it to us for review.

So, in conclusion: If you want to keep control over what’s included in your article summary, make sure it’s 3 sentences long or less than 100 words; and don’t include your name or URL. Your article summary is important because it’s the teaser we include when/if your article lands on our home page and all RSS feeds use the article summary to entice readers to click to read your article. Make sense?

12 Comments »


1
Hope Wilbanks writes:

Sounds smart! :)

Comment provided December 26, 2007 at 3:50 PM

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2
mark writes:

That is a sound policy. I assume it is alright to do as I have been doing which is to simply put in the first few sentences of my articles? It should at least make us focus on the introduction, which, after all, is one of the main attention grabbers for the casual reader.

Comment provided December 26, 2007 at 3:56 PM

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3
Carl Pruitt writes:

Makes perfect sense. I see people whining on certain forums about problems with their articles submitted. Yet 99% of the problems have been covered in advance if they took a little time to read here. We’d all be wasting our time without the click-throughs.

Comment provided December 26, 2007 at 4:00 PM

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4

~~*~~

Huh.. and wow.. and gads… I honestly did not know this. I think I have been remiss in doing this at times and only done a one sentence summary. Boy, see how good it is to pay attention to these conversations on EA? Smile.

~~*~~

Comment provided December 26, 2007 at 6:50 PM

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5
Dan Iverson writes:

It never ceases to amaze me how many little details there are in writing an article. I feel like a lot of the misinformation out there misleads most people to misunderstand how important their actual article is. Thanks for your high standards; I hope I start to get this soon.

Comment provided December 26, 2007 at 11:05 PM

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6
Lance Winslow writes:

This is GREAT, because sometimes, I control “C” control “V” my first paragraph into that box for my article summary, because in the first paragraph you generally let the reader know what you are talking about. Unfortunately, I sometimes accidentally delete the first paragraph as I am doing this, thus is makes the article not make any sense. Why does this accident happen?

Simple, because I control “C” control “V” the title the same way, to save steps, because I paste the entire article including title into the article box, then copy the title into the title box, while deleting it from the article box as I go.

Then the first paragraph into the summary box, it is the fastest way to load an article, I also load the title into the “key word” box because it is unusally packed with key words that the article is about, so I can add more key words, delete the “the’s, and’s, and What’s” or other words in the title and that also saves time.

If the system does the summary automatically, then I save a step and can upload the article faster. Who wins. ME, and EzineArticles. Me because I save time to write more articles and EzineArticles, because each author is on the system for less time, it also prevents the need for the “save feature” to save a copy, because you are in and out, before 2 minutes. This will make it easier than shooting fish in a barrel.

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Comment provided December 27, 2007 at 5:29 AM

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7
George A Isaacs writes:

Makes perfect sense to me. Although I do not write a lot of articles myself, I find that the summary generally will help me to decide if I want to continue reading or not.

Comment provided December 27, 2007 at 3:39 PM

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8
Jeff Herring writes:

Hi Chris!

Quick clarification request – if I am reading this correctly, in the beginning of your post you state a requirement for at least 3 sentences, then less than 100 words.

Then you state – “make sure it’s 3 sentences long or less than 100 words” – is it either/or or BOTH?

My summaries are usually 2-3 sentences and always less than 100 words.

Thanks!

Jeff

Comment provided December 27, 2007 at 4:10 PM

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9

Jeff,

The 100 word limit is the hard limit, so if it’s (2) 50 word sentences, that’s enough also.

The target is (3) sentences, but the combination of sentences can’t exceed 100 words.

Hope that makes sense.

Comment provided December 28, 2007 at 3:42 PM

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10

I disagree with your rule because even though we usually have to give as much information as we can in the description, there are times that we don’t want to lose the impact: we can’t reveal too much about our article, because it won’t be so nice. The reader must have a surprise.

Comment provided December 31, 2007 at 11:50 AM

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11
Jorge Chavez writes:

Sounds reasonable and clarifies things a bit. Good! Thank you!

Question: Since there is a 100 word limit, why not add a word count window for us, like is used on body text, but with the cutoff features used on Title and Keywords? So the system only accepts 100 words and makes that clear in the Summary/Teaser box window?

Would make it easier for us writers to comply with the rules, know how many words we had used and edit to fit, on the spot…

Would also save you from having to reject stuff with more than 100 words…

Think about it.

Thanks!

Jorge Chavez

Comment provided January 18, 2008 at 2:23 PM

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12

Jorge,

Gracias for your idea to add a word count window.

This has been added today!

We didn’t put in a rejection hard limit yet today, but at least now everyone will know how many words are in your article summary from the submission interface.

Comment provided January 21, 2008 at 2:40 PM

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