Avg Resource Box CTR Revealed

Research Summary: Whether articles have (2) or (3) active links in the article [resource box], the CTR (Click Through Rate) is identical according to an exhaustive study completed today.

What we studied: Almost a million unique articles were evaluated in terms of how much traffic they attracted (article views), how many URL’s were in the article body + resource box total (# of URL’s), what the distribution was in terms of which article type was the most popular in terms of how many URL’s were included and finally, what the total CTR is as it relates to the # of URL’s included in the article + resource box (ie: How much traffic did our EzineArticles members receive in URL Clicks as a percentage of their total article views).

I didn’t believe it myself until we triple checked the numbers…that Resource Box URL CTR was identical for both the articles that had (2) or (3) URL’s in them. This is significant considering that on June 1st, 2008 the number of self-serving active links allowed is reduced to (2).

Clearly, (2) URL’s included with each article will yield the best amount of traffic attraction for our members.

It was not only identical, but held true on more than 100k worth of articles compared in both categories leading us to believe it’s true with a high level of confidence.

Next up was the finding that articles submitted to EzineArticles with (1) single URL was the most popular article type with 36.47% of all submissions:


  • Because we didn’t begin URL click tracking until June 18th of 2007, we only evaluated the articles from that date through yesterday, May 29th, 2008 for this study. Total # of articles evaluated was in excess of 500,000+.
  • Articles evaluated for this study were live articles only and this does not include articles that were not live during this study period (ie: If the article is in problem or suspended status).
  • We’re not sure why some articles had more than (7) URL’s in them considering that our maximum allowed has been (6) URL’s for many years and we’re researching that further at this time. Most likely it was our editors error in accepting them or we believed the value to the reader was worth allowing the rare exception.
    • Updated June 2nd 2008: The articles with 7 URL’s in them were not active; but instead we counted all links (active and not active) in the URL count per article.
  • URL CTR is computed as TOTAL clicks received in the study period of time divided by total article views received in the same period.
  • Notice that URL CTR falls off at 5 & 6 URL’s included and then falls off even more sharply at 7+ URL’s included.
  • We did not evaluate EzinePublisher views against this data yet, but plan to do so in the future.
  • This data does not take into consideration what kind of performance your articles may or may not achieve when syndicated by others.
  • We did not take into consideration whether URL’s included were self-serving or non-self-serving as we don’t currently track that on a meta-data level.

Your thoughts/reaction?


Loretta Lynn writes:

thanks for the market info. Its always good to know the number of click throughs, whats going on, how many hits are coming in, background data, etc. I always try to encourage people to take surveys as they are valuable tools for any business. thanks!

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 3:38 PM


Jennifer Thieme writes:

Very interesting Chris. Thank you!

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 3:45 PM


Dave writes:

Good information and I am glad you are keeping on top of things for us!

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 4:50 PM



Excellent work! I’m continually amazed at how thorough and competent the EzineArticles team proves. Job well done!

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 5:28 PM



Good work in analyzing the numbers. With pieces of information like that, we can improve our article marketing significantly over time.

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 5:57 PM


Joanne Sperans writes:

Hi Chris. This is very useful information. Thanks for sharing and for your commitment to addressing user issues. It is much appreciated!

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 8:32 PM


Nadine writes:

Thank you for sharing this valuable information. It makes a lot of sense and yet is a real eye-opener. This will certainly effect how I write up my resource box in the future!
Thanks again.

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 8:41 PM


Dennis writes:

Very informative.

I have two questions. First, why the reduction from three to two?

Second, is it ok or forbidden to use an affiliate link in either the body or the resource box?

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 10:40 PM


Matt Sherborne writes:

Hi Chis,

Thanks for sharing this information, it’s valuable to know.

In your research did you encounter which types of author box content converted into a click-through the best. It would be great if you could provide some insight into what you consider to be the most effective author box content from your data.

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 10:44 PM



Chris and Team,

Thanks for taking the time to evaluate 500,000+ articles. EzineArticles authors will feel reassured that the new two url limit will not hurt their CTR.



Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 11:07 PM


Dave writes:


You make a good point. I would like to hear more about what makes a good author box as well.

Any suggestions Chris?

Comment provided May 31, 2008 at 7:57 AM


Wayne writes:

Very good information. Guess this proves less is more.

Comment provided May 31, 2008 at 8:20 AM




Chris has given additional tips on great resource boxes here on the blog but you could also read this article by him:

I tend to re-read and re-digest his articles, esp when I’m working on several at a time, so u can have a look here if u haven’t had a chance yet:

Chris, I can’t remember why, but at some point I stopped putting my name in my resource box after reading something somewhere (I believe here on EA)… But I just read the very first point in that resource box article again saying to always put in name….

Can the name be left off to keep the box short and focusing more on the offer gained from clicking thru to the site?

Comment provided May 31, 2008 at 8:41 AM




Why the reduction from 6 links to 4 (also thought of as from 3 self-serving down to 2 self-serving)?

Read these 2 threads:

Second, please read Section 3 in our Editorial Guidelines for the answer.


Most effective resource boxes seem to be (1) full http:// URL and (1) anchored text link.


You can leave your name off the Resource Box; but know that we’ve determined that scammers do that because they are ashamed of their content… so we’ve built a profile that anyone who doesn’t put their name in their resource box; isn’t proud of what they just wrote and perhaps didn’t write the content. It’s not always true, but know that our editors will be thinking that when they see Resource Boxes without the author name at the bottom.

Comment provided May 31, 2008 at 11:13 AM



Thanks for that clarification, Chris. Important to know… I’ll go back to doing what I always did.. ;-)

Comment provided May 31, 2008 at 4:40 PM


Jim Drummond writes:

I have no problem with dropping the number of links in our resource box from 3 to 2.

Sometime ago we stopped putting any links in the article and it did not seem to reduce our traffic.

Apparently we were wrong.

As a result of your research we will place one link back into the article content again.

Our mentor Sydney Johnson recommended that we quit using our name in the resource boxes to reduce the amount of keyword and site competition. We have not used any name for 5 months and it has reduced the number of people that have copied out sites. We and obviously Sydney were not aware of your bias against the practice.

Thanks for the help it is nice to get information that we can really use.


Comment provided May 31, 2008 at 8:14 PM


Richard writes:

Hi C,

I agree totally. Once the person has clicked to the website away from the article, why would they return and click 3 to 7 more times. Senseless.

Only of course unless there were different choices of each link.



Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 5:51 AM




What we should do is track bounce back rates (if that were possible) so that we could build a profile as to which EzineArticles members delivered a positive user experience.

When millions of our visitors LEAVE EzineArticles.com each month to our expert author’s website, we want them to have a positive experience so that we’ve done our job of building market credibility. If our visitors leave our site to a members website and then bounces back instantly; that tell us they didn’t get what they thought they’d get or they were so dissatisfied, they came back to find something better to meet their needs.


I don’t know how you got that conclusion from this study? I recommend keeping your self-serving links in the Resource Box. If you’re going to ignore that advice, then put your self-serving link at the very bottom of the article body.

Fair warning: We’ve been contemplating adding a nofollow attribute on all links in the article body with no ETA for when that decision might be made…but the writing is on the wall and now…this blog.

ie: If you want to get full link value, keep your self-serving active links in the Resource Box.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 10:45 AM


Carole writes:

Interesting information, although I think that you are forgetting that there is a dual purpose with articles. One is CTR, and the other is also seo with keywords. So whilst the consumer may click on only one link, the other anchor text links are there for seo juice.

I think it’s very narcissistic to think you need your name on every article. If you are promoting a website, why on earth do you have to have your name on it? I don’t think it has anything to do with being proud or ashamed of your content. I think you will find it’s called “marketing”.

Which is what most people write articles for. Really.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 10:50 AM




You just proved my point… That authors who don’t put their name in their Resource Box are only out for SEO juice and therefore don’t have our users best interest in mind.

I’m sure it’s not true…that some authors are just not out to build credibility.

You don’t have to agree with me… I’m just sharing that we see a clear pattern with hundreds of thousands of articles … that authors who are out to build credibility for themselves WILL put their name in their Resource Box and ‘thin content’ or SEOs will exclude their name from the Resource Box. It’s just the way it is.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 10:57 AM


Stephen writes:

An author should add their name to the article however Carole is also correct as 99% of authors are writing articles for just one thing – marketing/SEO juice.

To increase the quality of EzineArticles perhaps the editors need to visit the sites that are included as a link. They could reject articles pointing to MFA sites as a start. This in my opinion is much more important than reducing the amount of links per article, there is no problem with numerous links as long as they are all pointing to quality websites.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 1:30 PM



It’s not 99%…

I would agree that the bulk majority of our expert authors are here to market themselves, create demand for their expertise & personal brand.

A minority of less than ~10% (just my guess) are here for SEO of some kind. These are the members that will continually feel the pinch of our editorial rule changes.

It’s not that SEO is bad or wrong, but whenever a member becomes too SEO efficient, they begin to act in un-natural ways… and eventually lose cite of providing a positive user experience for their and our readership (something not cool).

Every URL in every article submitted is checked by 2 humans. We reject articles linked to MFA and other URL’s we perceive will lead to a negative user experience.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 2:39 PM


Stephen writes:

This article was accepted yesterday:


The link is a re-direct to a MFA blog, a blog which has not been updated for over a month. Are re-directs not against the guidelines?

On these comments, comment number two added no value whatsever, against the comments guidelines I believe.

I agree with the reduction in links but am just trying to offer an additional opinion.

It seems, at times, as if you only want people to big you up, you certainly do not appreciate constructive criticism.

I think it is perhaps time I stopped contributing to this blog before I start to annoy people.

Steve, UK

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 4:16 PM




Redirects are allowed… I didn’t see anything evil with this authors redirect from a domain she owned to a blog she authored.

Her blog is not an MFA… She included her name in the blog, has comments turned on, and her content-to-ad ratio looks good to me. True MFA’s wouldn’t do all of those things.

It is interesting that you perceived her website to be an MFA based on the fact that it hasn’t been updated in a month. That’s a nugget for everyone reading this… Update your website daily or weekly at a minimum if you care about your users experience.

If I and we didn’t appreciate constructive criticism, we’d shut off comments in this blog and would stop soliciting member & user feedback.

If you’ve watched EzineArticles evolve over the years, you must know that it’s been largely in response to feedback given publicly here in this blog. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t get at least one nugget from this blog on how to improve the site or user experience.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 4:36 PM


Stephen writes:

Thanks for the prompt response Chris.

An MFA site a couple of years ago was very much as you describe. Poor quality content, lots of ads, no contact details, no comment facility etc. People made a lot of money on the back of it.

In my opinion things have now evolved, you still have these types of website from people are basically lazy or do not have the necessary knowledge. These people will make little or no money.

MFA sites are now, again in my opinion, sites which have original content but which offer no real product, therefore they are purely there to make money via adsense or via an affiliate product. This site therefore could well be classed as an MFA site.

What about comment number 2 on this blog post?

I am not attempting to wind you up, we are both attempting the same thing, to improve the quality of the site.


Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 4:55 PM



If a blog commentor had a history of only posting “attaboy’s” to me or our team, I’d eventually send a private email asking them to read our blog comments policy about the guideline that states your “intent should be to add value” when you post.

If a few fill me or us with sunshine… I put my sun glasses on, read it, take my sun glasses off, and get back to work.

On MFA’s, I do know that Google has made a huge impact on ridding themselves of MFA Publishers… so they are not as prevalent as they once were.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 5:10 PM


Stephen writes:

Fair play!

I will keep thinking of ways to improve your site, overall I am very impressed however.

Comment provided June 1, 2008 at 5:17 PM


Jerry Holmes writes:

Indeed a very good study and of one which i was wondering about myself on what would be the best amount to use. So again the simple approaach seems to be the answer.

Comment provided June 3, 2008 at 11:18 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

I have noticed an increase in click thru traffic lately, expecially on a few categories that I have not had many in. This is great news.

Comment provided June 5, 2008 at 6:33 PM



If you only get 14% click through you are leaving an awful lot on the table. Remember, it is commerce. Offer and acceptance. Forget everything you have read about writing a bio box. It doesn’t work. Use your common sense instead.

Thanks for all the work you do and for creating a win-win-win situation for all involved.

Comment provided June 7, 2008 at 5:31 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Wow, this is a lot of good conversation here and theory, along with some excellents stats. Quite frankly it’s made my mind numb considering all the potential and possibilities, so I am just going to have to run down to Starbucks and get a Frappachino and some caffiene to digest all this.

Comment provided June 7, 2008 at 6:37 PM


Defend Thyself writes:

It’s interesting to see that more links equal less visitors. Good info we can use to improve our click through’s. Thanks again Christopher!

Comment provided June 15, 2008 at 12:43 PM


Defend Thyself writes:

Just to clarify Christopher, when you say articles with one URL scored the most, did you mean one URL including the one in the author box, or in the body of the article in addition to any links in the author box?

Comment provided June 16, 2008 at 9:26 PM



We’re doing a separate study right now as to which location within the article produced the highest CTR. No ETA for when we’ll publish the findings as there are quite a few projects in the queue getting priority.

Comment provided June 17, 2008 at 7:25 AM


Dave writes:

I look forward to seeing those results as well.

Comment provided June 18, 2008 at 10:58 PM


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