6 Link Max Becomes 4 Soon

May 12th, 2008

Important Change:

In 2 weeks, EzineArticles will no longer accept articles with (3) self-serving links.

Currently: (See Editorial Guidelines section 2.f.) Your articles can contain up to (3) self-serving active links and (3) non-self-serving links for a total of (6) active links per article.

Next 2 Weeks: Your article submissions in May 2008 can continue to include up to (3) self-serving links and up to (3) non-self-serving active links for a total of (6) active links.

After June 1st 2008: Your articles can contain up to (2) self-serving active links and up to (2) non-self-serving active links for a total of (4) active links.

Active Links Allowed In Each Article:


Important:

  1. This change doesn’t take place for 2 more weeks. Yes, that means you’ll be able to submit articles with up to (3) self-serving links for the rest of May 2008.
  2. Existing articles will be ‘Grandfathered’ in. That means they will have amnesty and we will not retroactively require any currently accepted article to meet the new (2) self-serving link guideline.
  3. However, after June 1st, 2008…if you edit any of your articles, they will need to meet the (2) self-serving link rule to be re-accepted.

Active Links Allowed In Each Article:

This decision was one of the most difficult we’ve had to make this year.

Ultimately, it does not hurt members who post the highest quality content (as they on average usually only include 1 or 2 links) but this change does impact members who submit thin content and then asks for 3 self-serving links. No, we don’t think thin content deserves 3 self-serving links, much less to be accepted.

EzineArticles can still deliver a very positive value proposition that makes it significantly worth your while to submit your best quality original articles even if 2 is the new maximum self-serving link allowance. If you don’t believe me, just ask any of our top thousands of members who tell us frequently that we’re their top traffic source after the search engines.

We have data not revealed that makes a very strong case that the EzineArticles system delivers significantly more traffic per article to our members than the competition…and we don’t expect this change will have any material impact on that truth.

The primary motivation is to put up a hurdle between us and thin content producers who are out to game the system.

Many thin content producers submit 300 words and then include 3 self-serving links. A 300 word article only deserves 1 self-serving links, but after this change, we’ll allow 2.

Our goal is for the market to respect the content from our members that we’re able to accept and to differentiate ourselves from the spammy-looking thin article that includes 3 self-serving links.

Most of our ideal member already approve of this change (they’ve told us privately and publicly) because they know their articles will be in better company with higher standards than competing sites.

Why did we leave a 2 week window before closing the door on (3) self-serving links?

To give members who are sitting on un-submitted content to submit it with up to the (3) self-serving links before the new policy goes into affect.

We’ve had about 3 weeks to carefully consider this decision thanks to your feedback.

In summary, Less Fewer Links = More Market Credibility.

50 Comments »


1
Blaine Moore writes:

Is that all links (including bio box) or just in the article itself? (Not that that will make a huge difference to me.)

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 3:46 PM

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2
CheapAdviceGuy writes:

Excuse the newbie question, but I’m not sure what the definition of “self-serving link” is. In an article I recently submitted about songwriting (pending now), I used a song I wrote as an example. I included links to an mp3 of the song, a lyric sheet, and a chord chart, all hosted on my website. Nothing in the files mentions the site or has any promotional element at all.

Hence, my question. Are these links deemed “self-serving” because they point to my website? Or not self-serving since I needed to link to these informational files and had no other place to put them? Or is the whole idea of a link to an example cockeyed?

Thanks for any info and comments on where the line is on this!

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM

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3

I only use one self serving link in the resource box, but do think some articles provide valuable information with three links.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 3:59 PM

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4

A self-serving link is to any URL that you own or control.

I do agree that an article can be valuable and have 3 self-serving links… It’s just rare compared to the bulk of the submissions that include 3 links that perhaps deserves only to be allowed 1 or 2.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:06 PM

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5

Blaine, that includes the article body & resource box.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:07 PM

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6
Brigitte Nadeau writes:

Chris

I think it is an excellent idea. The self serving link we post is the ‚¬“take‚¬ in our article.

You do not want to pull the reader into to many direction.

You want your reader to stay focus and most of the time you want the reader to go back to your website or blog.

Brigitte Nadeau
Online Marketing Minute ‚¬€ Video Tutorial
Blog.OnlineMarketingFunnel.com

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:09 PM

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7
Mark Harrison writes:

Chris,

Well done. I know the change won’t be popular with all, but I think it’s a good step forward.

Given the article sizes that are typical here, a maximum of 2 self-serving links strikes me as fine – I typically use one in the text (to a particular articles somewhere “deep” on my site that expands a topic), and another at the end (resources) to my home page.

In the last 4 years of writing a column, I’ve only ever produced one document with 3 non-self-serving external links, and that’s a quarterly technical analysis of UK house prices relative to average earnings and interest rates… where I link to the three data sources.) That’s less than 1% of all I’ve ever written.

Feeling that I couldn’t put THAT sort of document here is a small price to pay for weeding out the link-farm kiddies :-)

Mark

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:15 PM

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8
Bruce Beacham writes:

I guess I should have been using a link in the article body this whole time instead of just the resource box. I guess I don’t have to say that this change won’t affect me much… I don’t see it as being terribly restrictive seeing as how 2/4 are still allowed.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:24 PM

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9
Eric writes:

I agree.

Article writing is about creating credibility for an author in a particular field of expertise. Multiple links reduces credibility in my opinion.

I also run an Article Directory and i know exactly where Chris is coming from.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:32 PM

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10
Ronnie Ann Ryan writes:

Chris,
You know I put three links in my author box because that is what Jeff Hering, the article guy (with over 1,100 articles) recommends. His idea was to give people choices.

Now, less is preferred. OK. But your announcement of that was a bit rude and insulting to people like me who have been doing this for a while and some how missed out on what the “real experts” have been doing.

Making change is fine. That’s progress. – But as you know – presentation is everything.
Thanks,
Ronnie

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:38 PM

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11

I think this will continue to build the credibility of EzineArticles and its authors along with it. Good idea.

I also think using the 2 links the way Mark Harrison is using them is brilliant!

Thanks.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:46 PM

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12
Dan Roeder writes:

Less Links = More Credibility?
Better Grammar= More Credibility!

Since you can count links, there would be fewer, not less of them. As an SAT coach, I have to protect my students from these score lowering grammatical assaults!

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:53 PM

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Susan Gauff writes:

Bravo! Anything that makes the overall quality of articles better is great with me!

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 5:00 PM

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14
Steve Gee writes:

I’m all in favour of raising the allready high acceptance quality.

I would just like to say that I’ve recently been making a point of putting one link in the body of the article because I find that many webmasters are taking articles and publishing them on their own websites but not including the resource box. It seems that they are quite happy however to publish a link in the body of the article. I guess that they are just too lazy to take the resource box as well.

So I’m happy as long as I can still put a link in the article body.

Steve

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 5:04 PM

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15

Chris,

I do vigorously protest!!! Even the logic is faulty!

Just checked a couple of ezine writer’s published articles here, and while they may have only one or two “self-serving” links, you yourself happen to have 16 Google ads and it looks like three additional links to three pages of Google ads. It’s a quick estimate, but it looks like 46 Google ads you get placed with each and every ezine article here. Is this true?

Now who is down-grading whom?

Cut out at least one whole section of Google ads on each and every article page and I as a writer might believe you that you are trying to improve quality of this directory.

Too many ads = too commercial.

Too many Google ads to indicate this is a quality site. No, it is not. That is going to be the opinion of a great many readers also.

The other is the ethics question: you don’t pay authors. Now you take away links and call it the demeaning term: “self-serving.” You don’t use a term that benefits authors like “business links.”

And you don’t pay authors part of that Google ad money. Is this not shameful and exploitation of authors? I think it really is.

At least offer authors two “self-affirming” links to other of their articles. This gives the author more exposure to readers at no cost to you. And let the author-article links be in their written text itself. Encourage this.

Don’t tell me, please, that you have not thought of this.

When you take something away, not only explain (jive) your reasons. Also give something back in exchange.

I do wish you showed in policy more support for your authors, who are the mainstay of your site.

It’s like you have this big book you are publishing everyday that others write and you get all the royalties.

How do you explain this as fair? I would really like to know.

Strephon

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 5:07 PM

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16
Ernie Zelinski writes:

I am of the opinion that allowing only two self-serving links is not the way to go.

Yes, some people don’t like advertising and think they will look more professional and cool. But I have found that a lot of these “cool” people are not very successful and “broke.”

Look at the truly successful in the world such as Jack Canfield and Joe Vitale. They are always advertising by putting links into their articles and other material. As Jack Canfield says, “Results don’t lie.”

But I am not upset about Ezines limiting the links because I utilize article several websites like American Chronicle and Best Syndication that allow me to use as many links as I want.

What’s more, these article websites also allow me to place images in my articles, images enhance the articles a lot.

I find that I get a lot more traffic to my articles on these websites. I also find that the articles on American Chronicle and Best Syndication show up in Google searches much higher than in ezines and with a higher Google page rank than Ezines.

That’s why I will spend a lot more time on placing articles on these article websites than on Ezines.

Squidoo is also a great place for placing articles. I started a webpage with retirement articles – images and advertisements too – and I now get over 100 visitors a day.

I know that I have great content even though I use more than two self-serving links because most of my article content comes from my books that have sold over 550,000 copies.

Again, results don’t lie.

Ernie Zelinski
Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(over 90,000 copies sold and published in 7 foreign languages)
and
The Joy of Not Working
(over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 5:11 PM

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17
Mike Lawson writes:

Chris,

I like it and agree whole-heartedly. You are more lenient than I am. I don’t allow any self-serving links in the body of the article (if I catch it, it is deleted) and really scrutinize ANY links in the body of the article.

No self-serving links are allowed in the article body of anything we write for Article Marketer through Marketing Squad. It is just forbidden. As a rule of thumb, I avoid letting my writers include resource links in the body of articles unless the client just demands it. Ninety percent of the time it will still cause an auto-rejection in the reviewing process. We just stay away from it all together as a measure to bump the quality of our work up a bit.

As a directory owner myself, I delete anything with a link in the body of the text – period. There are just too many good content articles available to pull from to be bothered with sorting through them to see if they are ok or not. It is just to labor intensive.

I will be sure to pass along this information about links in the author’s resource box as well. That will help us all avoid troubles down the road.

It really doesn’t matter how many ads or links of the owner’s choice he has on the directory site, but how many are allowed in the articles themselves that is important. Website owners and other publishers that come to a directory could care less about that. They come to retrieve content to take with them and they don’t want spammy ads veiled as articles in tow when they leave. It makes perfect sense to me as a quality control measure to limit the number of self-serving links in a piece. It is what your customers expect of you to get their content from you. Web space is cheap and publishing scripts are often cheaper for those who see it another way.

Mike Lawson
http://www.bluegrasssolutions.info

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 6:03 PM

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18
John Pandolfi writes:

This change is fine with me. I follow your logic. Anything to improve the quality of the site is good

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM

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19
Rick Kern writes:

Hello Chris,

I agree with Strephon Kaplan-Williams. The benefit to the writers/creators of your site is the links. Your position is kinda like the Doctor/Nurse relationship. You are in charge of us and make all the money and most of the work is done by the Nurse/writer.

Stephon’s comment about how many links you put on our pages compared to the ones we get to put on is a very good point…. Never mind all the links to your site.

Why don’t you have links to our other articles on our pages? Only links to most popular, new, most published. You should give us the courtesy of linking to at least 15 of the articles that we have written on the same topic.

When you say self serving links are bad why are our “3 self serving links bad” and the 49 Ezine article links and 40+ google links good?

Double Standard Chris…..

If links are bad on the page you need to trim your own links. Not trim 33% of our links when they are less than 3% of the links on each page….

Seems a little greedy on your part.

Rick Kern

Also it is stupid for you to penalize us for updating an older article with three links. It is in your best interest for old articles to be updated. Your 90+ links on the page will do better with updated pages.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 6:54 PM

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20

Responding in reverse order:

Rick,

I don’t disagree, but I prefer to think of the benefit EzineArticles offers its members is beyond the value of a backlink. The quality & volume of the traffic that comes from EzineArticles is the primary economic ROI that our members receive.

I never said self-serving links are bad.

On the no-amnesty after June 1st… Hey, the issue is that well over 90% of the articles edited are done purely for a resource box change and less than 10% of the time, they add new value for the reader.

I don’t know if you recall the discussion from many months ago when I made it clear that we were going to discontinue allowing the volume of article edits on the basis that very few authors were adding any new value to the article… As you can see so far, we’ve made no changes and continue to support 350-550 article edits a day (2 full time editors do nothing but review articles that were edited).

Strephon,

Others have said “self-serving” is demeaning, yet no one has ever offered a viable alternative wording.

We can’t call them “business links” because that doesn’t make it clear whether they are self-serving vs. non-self-serving. How else could we make the distinction in a more friendly manner?

I’m sure the members who received their chunk of the 3 million visitors we sent last month don’t feel ‘unpaid’…

Dan,

Thanks for pointing out that “Fewer” is what I meant instead of “Less”. My bad.

Ronnie,

How else could we have presented this?

We took weeks of input on the decision and 14 days of work on the presentation. Today was not a happy decision day because I knew many legitimate high-value members would be snagged in a negative way through no fault of their own due to the masses of people who game us daily.

We even seriously considered for many days creating an in-between rule that would state articles under a certain word count would only be allowed 1 or 2 self-serving links. In the end, we became convinced that the percentage of members that spams or games us hard would “up” the word count on garbage thin regurgitated content…effectively not solving the problem we started with to solve.

All,

Many of you know that I and our team have multiple dedicated servers solely designed to collect, analyze and report on data being generated by the site. It’s this data that I can’t reveal that has convinced me that our members will NOT take a material hit on traffic with this 3 down to 2 rule. I can’t and won’t be able to guarantee it, but feel good that our hypothesis that more links doesn’t always = more traffic back to your website. Time will tell and you can be assured we’re watching and will report on this in the coming months.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 8:18 PM

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21
Kevin Utt writes:

Hello Chris,

I agree with your changes. It makes sense to be concerned about quality and keeping above par.
My market research has shown me that those polled were turned off by blatant attempts at self promotion at the expense of their time. Most agreed that they don’t mind some links, but when it appears to them that the author, myself included, is trying harder to sell them than to educate them then it trends downward. Sales, loyalty, perceptions all decline. I don’t think you are hurting anyone.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 10:59 PM

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22
Jake writes:

I have to say Strephon’s comment strikes home. I know the initial impression of landing on an Ezine page is a little overwhelming, the navigation is confusing, and the number of ads (there are over 20 on this page alone) makes it look a little spammy. You typically have the left side navigation, and another 15 links ( all inbound hoarding PR) at the bottom of the article.

I’d be curious to see if that huge number of ads really paid off. My experience with Adsense is that more is not necessarily better, since the lower paying ads are at the bottom, where someone who has just read the article might be inclined to click. I assume you’ve split test with the ads, and it pays to have more.

If you are worried about coming off as “spammy-looking” you might reduce the number of links at the bottom of the article, and not just one in the resource box, and cut back on the Adsense ads. This would present a little more credible story when you say you are eliminating a resource box link to improve the quality of the site. It wrings a little hollow right now.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 11:13 PM

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23
Jake writes:

Sorry, I was wrong. There are typically 45 links at the bottom of an article, not 15.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 11:15 PM

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24
Nalin K. Nirula writes:

Chris you are 100% right about authors being in good company with the new 2+2 link policy. Excellent decision–This will be a major reason for me wanting to write more articles.

Nalin K. Nirula

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 11:52 PM

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25
Phillip Skinner writes:

Hey Chris guys n gals…. A spammy article is like a cheep magazine some folks like them most don’t every one to there own…. but as an owner of EzineArticles the buck stops with Chris? … It’s no coincident that the No1 place I visit regularly like hordes of others for any research or inspiration is right here simply because I always have and always will WHY? I’m a very satisfied returning researcher and user…. now Link Love is a great terminology well expressed through out the world of marketing so balance and choice comes in here some where

All my best to you and yours
Phillip Skinner

Comment provided May 13, 2008 at 12:48 AM

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26
Bob Shirilla writes:

Hi Chris,

The reduction in links will benefit the overall website and eventually profit each author. Thanks for the courage to make a change.

Comment provided May 13, 2008 at 5:39 AM

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27
John W. Furst writes:

OK,
although I find it a bit ‘funny’ that you argue, why you are changing the rules, but at the same time heavily promote the last chance to get 3 self-servicing links up and running. Not that this is bad, just the ‘funny urgency marketing thing’. Well, done! I guess that will bring the directory some additional submissions. –Yours John

Comment provided May 13, 2008 at 6:11 AM

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28
Derek Smiley writes:

sorry to be so fick

if i do an article on a subject and point it to my ste self serving how does anyone know if the other sites i link to are self serving or not WHO IS TO KNOW IF THEY ARE MY SITES OR NOT?

Can you give us newbies a few examples once again sorry to be so thick or is it fick!

Comment provided May 13, 2008 at 7:13 AM

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29

John W. Furst,

Yeah, I guess that is a little odd, eh? We did want to give a window of opportunity to submit with 3 self-serving links for those who wanted it. I’m not sure the 2 weeks will have any impact on submissions.

Jake,

I appreciate your perspective as we haven’t thought about that in a while.

What you call “all inbound hoarding PR” is an important component to the “booster rocket effect“.

These inbound links do not have the negative impact that I think you may be perceiving… but we haven’t revealed certain metrics that if you were to see, I think you’d agree with me.

We do limit the ads on low word count articles and on low article count members.

Derek,

Knowing which URL’s you include in an article are self-serving vs. non self-serving is pretty easy for us. We use the context and location of the URL to help guide our editors. It’s also pretty obvious when a major news or resource is cited that we know it’s not a self-serving link.

Comment provided May 13, 2008 at 9:01 AM

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30
j davis writes:

I think this policy will result in higher quality content and is a win win situation for all. I consider good content much more important than a lot of self serving links. I usually put those links in the resource box anyway. While links can be important, the quality of the content is even more so.

Comment provided May 14, 2008 at 7:56 AM

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31
carl hughes writes:

WOW this change is awesome. Myself personally I think more than 1 self serving link is to many.

Comment provided May 14, 2008 at 9:48 AM

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Anna writes:

I agree totally. Glad you made this decision.

Comment provided May 14, 2008 at 3:34 PM

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33
Rick Kern writes:

Hello Chris
I have recently done quite a bit of reading about the “Bum Marketing Method.” Your EzineArticles rates head and shoulders above all other article directories. I believe Google loves you because of the limitations you put on the articles we submit.

Thank you for the forum and explanation of your changes. My comment about your self serving links is off base because links within a website are looked at much differently than links leaving a website.

I would like to see a section where you link to our individual articles that are related to the current article or in the same category. These would be self serving for both you and me—lol—.

Rick

Comment provided May 14, 2008 at 3:46 PM

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34
Lance Winslow writes:

Terrible, terrible, terrible, I better get writing now.

Comment provided May 14, 2008 at 4:09 PM

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35
Dave Saunders writes:

This is a great policy and I thought it was only 2 anyway. I suppose that means I should read the editorial guidelines, but considering how rarely I’ve been asked to tweak an article before acceptance, I think I’ve got the hang of it.

EZA continues to stand above the rest…

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 8:34 AM

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36
Milan writes:

If 4 links is better then 6 for the authors why do you have to force the rule? lol Authors now have a choise (to use 4 or 6) and they’re losing it. This is fine, authors don’t own the site but you and you can do whatever you want, and the market will have the final word. However, at least don’t tell us this is good news! This is BAD news for the authors. They’ve LOST a right they NEED. EzineArticles.com can be used to get deeplinks to inner pages which usually get much less organic links then homepages. Some very respected marketers use EzineArticles.com primarily for that purpose. Ask Jon Leger.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 5:42 AM

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37

Milan,

If I haven’t spelled it out clearly enough… the rule has to be forced because the minority of spammers & gamers have ruined it for everyone.

You’re also assuming this rule change will have a negative result for authors. In the coming months, I expect & feel certain we will prove you wrong.

If you’re currently including (3) self-serving links… I assume that you assume that your article is NOT going to reach maximum syndication distribution because most Publishers don’t think you deserve it… ESPECIALLY when the word count is on the low side.

This change is also a defensive hedge against any credibility erosion caused by thin article content producers who submit auto-generated crappy articles that include nonsense sentences to 250-500 words along with 3 self serving anchored text links (foolish because the anchored text links don’t syndicate well when HTML challenged Publishers reprint them or TEXT ezine publishers can’t make anchor text links active).

You want more links Milan? :-) Send in more quality original articles. Drive your article inventory count up rather than trying to over-optimize existing content.

Lastly, the 4 link rule from 6 goes in effect Sunday June 1st… so you still have ~4 days to post more articles with (3) self-serving links.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 8:10 AM

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Strephon writes:

Being “lied” to is never good news. Is this really happening?

Are authors losing rights that benefit them?

What are deep links? Why is the old system better than the new?

Have we heard both sides?

Why are we authors encouraged to share here why we like or do not like a change in policy?

Why involve authors if their say does not carry weight?

Why not just say, these are our new rules?

Clarification please?

I still have not heard why there are so many Google ads on a page, and why the money is not shared with authors …

I’m a bit of a socialist myself, believing the value should be equal sharing of the world’s resources as much as possible, a cooperative ecology of the human spirit.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 8:22 AM

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39

Strephon,

We may lose a percentage of members who feel this is unfair… and if those members were thin content producers, we’ll feel that we’ve lost nothing and gained something that will benefit all members.

When our collective credibility in the market goes up, everyone connected with the site benefits. This change is a move in that direction.

Why do we solicit member input here in the blog? Because we listen to what everyone has to say to gauge whether or not what we’re doing is the right thing from our members perspective. Doesn’t mean we agree with everyone or will change our mind… but it does mean we LISTEN & VALUE the opinion of the market.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 8:45 AM

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Dave Saunders writes:

I’ve been submitting articles for a couple of years now, and I usually have only 1 link in the resource box and I’ve never put them in the body because I was taught by my mentor that to do so was greedy and wouldn’t actually generate value in the end. Well, I see see my open rates, clickthroughs and traffic sources for my web sites. The results speak for themselves.

Generate good content and good fruit is the result.

Unlike the socialists who just want the fruit and couldn’t care less about the roots….IMO

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 9:04 AM

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41
Cheow writes:

I strongly support this change of rule. I have been writing articles for the past 2 years and i think that the number of self-serving links in Author Resource Box does not really make a difference if writers write quality content.

With solid content, even if one self-serving links, people will stick click on it.

This is a good move to get rid of thin content on EzineArticles.com.

Cheow

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 9:28 AM

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42
Anna writes:

I suggest we just stop this thread for now and get on with the new policy. As I said before, I believe this is a great idea. I have submitted articles to various sites, and have found this to be one of the few top quality sites. I have never put self-serving links in the body and at most only 2 in my author resource box.

I definitely see a big increase in traffic when I have an article published here, so the numbers do speak for themselves. I would rather write and read quality articles than the spammy-looking, thin ones we see all too often on the web. Spammers ruin everything good because they are lazy and self-serving.

Keep up the great work Chris.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 9:33 AM

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John R writes:

I guess I’m OK with it either way, but I’m surprised that you think this will cut down on the amount of thin content.

My experience with blogs and other user content generated sites is that even if you do something like nofollow your comments it has no impact on the amount of spam/ thin content you get. The only way I see you getting rid of thin content is editorial control, which you are already working fairly effectively as near as I can tell.

In fact, there are spammers who leverage your own EzineArticles to spam comment your own site. It’s the nature of the web these days.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 9:48 AM

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44

http://www.singaporeaffiliatemarketing.com/bum-marketing/change-of-rules-on-EzineArticlescom/

Sam said:

“EzineArticles.com has always been the second highest traffic source behind search engines for most of my websites. Therefore, I think this is a great move by Christopher Knight (owner of EzineArticles.com) because this will uphold the credibility and quality of every article submitted to them.”

That’s one of our goals… to be your 2nd highest source of pre-qualified visitors to your website after the search engine referred traffic.

Sam further said:

“The key to article marketing is not about the number of links placed within your author’s resource box – It is always about good quality content. Articles with 3 self-serving links look spammy anyway, so let’s scrap this old rule and embrace the new rule now.”

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 11:19 AM

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Chris writes:

I must admit I don’t really get this one.

If ‘thin’ articles are the problem, just reject automatically anything under, say, 450 words. If quality is the problem, get the editors to show some teeth in their rejections.

Reducing links on the basis that spammy articles use them too much for ‘self serving purposes’ (I thought that’s what Bum Marketing was all about) is like banning Wikipedia for being spammy because it has too many links on each page, both internal (self serving) and external.

Comment provided May 29, 2008 at 2:25 AM

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46

Chris,

Distinction: An article can be 1,000+ words and still be ‘thin’ on content.

If the <5% of members who scam us were told they had to meet a 450 word limit to scam us, they'd just increase their word count and now our users would have 200 more meaningless words to read to 'find the point'...if they found a point at all.

I'm not sure Wikipedia example is relevant because Wikipedia requires nobility in intent & purpose whereas many of our members are 'marketers' by nature. There is nothing wrong with being a 'marketer'... heck, my degree is in Marketing... but we are at war with overly efficient members who submit thin content with an intent to spam us to get SEO juice at any cost.

Please see the bullet points in this blog entry where I outlined it was more than just 'thin' content as the reason for this change;
http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2008/04/2-self-serving-active-links.html

Comment provided May 29, 2008 at 7:57 AM

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Shirley Bass writes:

What’s all the fuss about? If I like what I read, I can click on only one link at a time to learn more or purchase what is being written about. One link should do it for the self serve links.

I’m not sure about the non-self serve links. I would think it would depend on the content and how valuable it is to the public.

As for Adsense, I come here to read articles and never even see the advertisements. They mean little to me.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 7:50 PM

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matt writes:

this sounds like a fair policy to me. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Comment provided June 3, 2008 at 4:20 PM

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Michael writes:

Me also no problem with this. If it raises overall quality of EAZ I’m all for it.

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 2:47 PM

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Brenda writes:

I have been submitting articles for awhile but am quite ignorant when it comes to all this…SEO and so on…and I did not know I could have self-serving links within my article body…so, as for me I am quite happy…

Correct me if I am wrong, you are saying saying I can use a common keyword to my site in an article I write (like soaking) and and link back to an article on my site which delves a bit deeper into the subject matter of the keyword.

Please forgive my ignorance…what I do…I do as a ministry and have no grand SEO plans or even understand completely how to do SEO for the most part but this sounds like it will help me.

If I go back and edit a couple of my articles, I assume they will need to follow the new rules…OK with me but I need to know…

Blessings
Brenda

Comment provided June 10, 2008 at 7:16 AM

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