Publisher or Authors Responsibility?

Jill (a Publisher) writes:

Have a situation with an author who accused us of not including his link (when article posted to our blog, link was not clickable so my assistant tried to fix it and the author implied that we purposely removed his link)

If an author submits an article and in their author paragraph chooses to use html instead of a straight “http://www.xxx.com” link and then when someone cuts and pastes the article, the html does not translate to the blog and the link is no longer clickable or even distinguishable, is the person who uses the article responsible to go back and fix the link for the author to make it clickable?

(certain html links lose their clickability when transferred into an email too)

Chris Knight Responds:

  1. It’s your responsibility Jill as the publisher to respect the Publisher TOS and make all links active, regardless as to whether they are anchored text links or regular http:// full URL’s.
  2. We’ve already made this easy for Publishers by the fact that we provide an HTML version of every article in the EzinePublisher section of the Article Tools found in the upper right corner of every article.
  3. To Authors who only include anchored text links: What are you thinking? Stop that. Include one full http://Your-Company-Name.com/ and optionally one anchored text link. To only include anchored text links is not wise at all.
  4. To Publishers of ASCII TEXT email newsletters who reprint EzineArticles content: We’d appreciate it if you’d respect our members content by including the full http:// URL next to the words they anchored up. You know it’s the right thing to do so please do it.

Anyone else have comments?

19 Comments »


1
Judith writes:

Chris it all too common for folks to not read TOS pages or all the details they don’t have time for. Then, when mistakes are made due to lack of knowledge or understanding on their part, the first thing they do is point every where but at themselves.

All people have to do is read and embrace the requirements and support section of almost any service they want to use properly — and many simply do not make this effort.

I have templates for those who do the same at my sites simply pointing them back to what they didn’t want to read in the first place. I also have templates for those issues that I am regularly contacted about as though the onus is on me to correct things out of my control to control. Again due to a lack of understanding…

This is information technology and it behooves all of us to read all the information available to us and make a reasonable effort to absorb and understand it BEFORE we go off the handle.

So before anyone gets rude, demanding or accusatory, it is always recommended you double-check the Terms of Service and support FAQs of the site in question to make sure you are on the right page before you send e-mails that can compromise how you are viewed as a professional.

Keep up the great work!

At your service,
Judith

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 9:35 AM

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2

Thanks for that Chris.
Numerous times I have found my articles on sites and blogs where my name or link has been eliminated or made unclickable. I always write the owner of the site thank them for using my writing, but ask that they correct the omissions and correct errors.
I have never received a response or apology, but, they know that I know. Don’t know how to make adults do the right thing. A dishonest person is a dishonest person.
A response is not a given, but “MOTHER IS WATCHING!”
Don’t know how to make adults do the right thing.

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 9:45 AM

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3

One thing I’ve learned over the years:

Publishers are not always evil.

That means many just don’t know how to do a simple HREF statement.

So I feel for why Jill feels wrong for being accused of not including the active link, but I also think the bulk of authors who only include anchored text links need to read today’s blog entry… and include a full http://Your-Company-Name.com/ in all future resource boxes.

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 9:47 AM

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4
Audrey Okaneko writes:

I love this topic. As a writer I always include a full URL. As a publisher, I often skip articles with only anchored text, as sometimes it’s just not worth the time to do the additions/changes that converting the anchored text requires.

If I just love love love the article, then I’ll include a link to the EzineArticles page, which is sometimes easier than converting the anchored text.

I hope many more folks will post opinions on this great topic.

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 10:18 AM

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5
Jeanette writes:

After years of bloggers with no real content of their own using my articles to make money for themselves and for Google, I just gave up monitoring my articles for active links. Even though the articles were posted with the full URL, that information was ignored.

Most people don’t pay attention to blogs like that anyway and eventually they find my articles on http://ezinearticles.com. I am grateful to the honorable people who post my articles correctly and I link back to them when they let me know.

As always, thank you Chris for blogging the issues that help your authors.

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 11:23 AM

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6
Jim writes:

About a 18 months ago I started placing my full URL in my author boxes and immediately my traffic increased. As a result I went back edited many of my recent articles to included it. Even if URL is not clickable a reader can still copy and paste it in their browser giving them access to your site.

Sometimes the little details can make a big
difference.

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 12:34 PM

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7
zowoco writes:

When posting posts on your own blog obviously you want to provide anchor text links because this will gain you maximum coverage from the search engines.

But when adding a link to the end of an article, choose a plain URL every time. Then you don’t have to worry that the link is not working – and why would you want to chance losing hits to your URL? Article writing is hard work! Keep your system simple and effective.

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 12:54 PM

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8

This blog entry is a must read for those who are new to including full http:// URL’s:

URL No Dots

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 1:18 PM

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9
Sue French writes:

Hello,
I’m new to EzineArticles. I love it, especially how you are trying to improve quality all the time.
Can someone please explain to me a couple of things:
1. Why do we leave the www. out of our URL in our bio and resource boxes?
2. What is the difference between an URL and an anchored text link?
Now you all know just how ignorant I am, but what the heck, I need to learn!
Cheers, Sue

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 5:00 PM

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10
Edward Weiss writes:

Chris said it well … one anchor link and one full URL. What could be easier?

Comment provided May 15, 2008 at 11:04 PM

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11

Sue,

1. You don’t have to exclude the www. but that’s up to you. Most of my SE friends say that you should choose just one URL version of your site to ALWAYS promote and you should 301 permanent redirect the other version of your site. (ie: promote the non www. version and 301 rewrite the www. version to point to the non www. version of your site.) We don’t do that here at EzineArticles, but we have chosen to only promote the non www. version of EzineArticles in all venues. If all of this went over your head (not my intention), then please consult with a responsible whitehat SEO person to fill in the pieces.

2) I recommend that you read my article: Essential HTML Skills For Article Authors – 7 Tips

Comment provided May 16, 2008 at 10:25 AM

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12
Sue French writes:

Chris,
Thanks so much for your response, which cleared that up nicely for me. I’ll certainly follow your advice.
And I’m about to read your article (again, but obviously I need a refresher).
Cheers

Comment provided May 16, 2008 at 7:06 PM

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13

Hi Chris!

I’m late and on a hurry again, but I want to ask you how many urls we are allowed to have in our resource box. I don’t have any anchored text now, because I give a free ebook and I have two sites, so I already have three links to my sites in my resource box. However, only the url of one of my sites appears live, the other one is not clickable in my resource box at EzineArticles. Is this a technical mistake or did you do what you intended to, and now we can have only two live links sending people to our sites?

I’m really sorry because now I’m a tourist in the discussions of this blog. Now I don’t have time even to open your page!

However, I’m going to participate of the discussions in the future, as soon as I finish improving my 2 sites and we redirect the old download link of my free ebook in all my old blog posts (around 300 posts – what a problem!) because I changed the appearance of my old site booksirecommend.com and now my old links are sending people to ‚¬“page not found‚¬! We have to solve this problem and a few other details also for my first free audio ebook, because we have a problem with the sound for the same reason (!), and I’m preparing at the second site many new possibilities about dream translation at the same time, and too many people ask me to help them interpret their dreams! anyhow, and this is why I’m too busy, but I promise to participate of the discussions as I did before, as soon as everything will be working regularly.

Comment provided May 19, 2008 at 1:03 PM

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14

Christina,

Please contact our Member Support team about specific issues with your account.

I can tell you that we’re still allowing 3 self-serving links and 3 non-self-serving links and that we prefer to see all self-serving links in the RESOURCE BOX and not the article body; but we still do allow 1 self-serving link in the article body provided that you include it near the very bottom of your article body.

On the topic of page not found:

You [AND EVER SINGLE PERSON WHO RUNS A WEBSITE] should configure your website to redirect lost traffic (known as a 404) so that you scoop up lost traffic and be HELPFUL to your visitors so they can find what they were looking for.

Email or call your web hosting service provider to ask them how to set this up.

Comment provided May 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM

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15

Thank you, Chris!

I already did what you suggest and I’m waiting for my web hosting service’s salvation since Saturday.
My new links are perfect and I explained the complication about the redirection of the old download link to my blog readers.

I hope the salvation won’t delay however, especially for new visitors that probably won’t notice my explanation!

Comment provided May 19, 2008 at 1:43 PM

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16
ian writes:

I’m fairly certain, the publisher above, “Jill” is referring to me..:-)

And – what I find almost incomprehensible, is the framing of the issue as it is outlined above.

My resource box, very simply, was my FULL url – with a trailing slash after the internal landing page. ( I am using a tracking program so that, I can gage where my traffic is emanating from.

Jill’s blog, a seemingly popular site, had MY article on the front page of the site, as a “featured” post of the day/week/ or similar – and the URL in the resouce box, was NOT working. Without the trailing slash, it simply rendered a page not found error, outside of my wordpress CMS. My name, was also spelled wrong, but…who cares, right?

I sent a SIMPLE and GRACIOUS note, letting Jill know I enjoyed her site content, and that the link was NOT working. Her readers, clearly are not served by a broken link on the FRONT of the blog – a featured post that was framed outside of the other blog content. Simply stated, ANY of her readers who wanted to learn more, were being sent to a broken URL.

The email I got in response….was from “support?” – NOT from Jill, and was a LECTURE on proper html in the resource box, that there was an UPCOMING tutorial they were planning on this – and their policy is NOT to include the resource boxes for authors like ME, who did not comply with their policy.

I have the email response – right here.

I simply replied – that no one was well served by broken links, that I check ALL of my outgoing links when I repurpose, reference or cite someone’s elses content, and I simply requested they take my article down. There was NO accusation ( I have my copy here as well for anyone who would like to see it) and simply, the HUBRIS and Condescension in the assistants email was quite frankly, insulting. MY content, featured on HER site, my name was spelled wrong ( which I didn’t even mention) and MY link is broken.

As a popular publisher, who is AGGREGATING content, Jill has a responsibility to do things the right way – and when a simple, gracious and complimentary email from an author, whose content is being repubslished on HER site ( with her bio next to the post, her pic, and if you like this post, subscribe to “her” RSS feed) – I think the minimum requirement should be a certain level of pleasantness to those work she is benefiting from.

I’m a bit astounded at her take on the situation – as Jill never wrote back, it was all done through “support”…which, to be perfectly honest, was also a bit much.

For the record, my articles are republished by LOTS of people, and lots of them as simple content aggregating spammers. They’ve never had a problem with my resource box, nor the proper spelling of my name, and quite frankly – neither should have Jill.

Lastly – as per any accusations, Jill’s assistant, after asking for the post to come down, told me it would be fixed in the morning (it was) and not to get her in trouble. To which I replied – and I paraphrase, but – ” no worries, sorry, I’ve had a long day – not a big deal either way”.

People never cease to amaze – or dissapoint. I’ve learned something from this exchange. Jill, I hope you have as well.

Best..:-)

Ian Hollander

Comment provided May 22, 2008 at 3:57 PM

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17

Ian,

Hmmm…interesting that you found this blog entry…

Jill had not disclosed who the Author was (and if she did, I would not have disclosed it anyway as I want to keep a positive tone in this blog).

On the day this blog entry was posted, I let Jill know privately that I answered her question in the blog.

Jill gets to remain anonymous… so this can be a positive learning thing… no hard feelings, just real-life examples help everyone to learn.

Comment provided May 22, 2008 at 4:16 PM

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18
Teresa Schultz writes:

Hi there
I recently read the publisher TOS as took my first 4 articles, and copied them “as is” onto one of my sites, without changing a thing as the TOS say. The author’s links are clickable.

I’m curious about the tags (keywords) and descriptions though, sent an email a few days ago but no response yet (I realise there are many emails to reply to, so not yet impatient, just concerned) – what I’d like to know is do the tags (keywords) and the description also have to stay exactly the same? – some descriptions have errors in them, and sometimes there are hardly any keywords, or keywords that are not even found in the article. Can I use my own keywords and descriptions for the articles, or do the keywords and descriptions supplied by the author have to stay the same too?

If the keywords and descriptions have to stay the same too, I think author’s should pay more attention to this, as perhaps many an article of theirs is not republished due to bad keywording and bad descriptions.

I also do not want search engines to “get upset” if I use keywords in the tag section of a blog or meta keyword section of an html website that do not appear in the article.

For some of the articles I take to republish I would like to write better descriptions and more appropriate keywords. Are publishers allowed to do this?

Comment provided February 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM

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19
Teresa Schultz writes:

(see previous comment too) I see, going through my email inbox, that I did receive a reply prior to asking my question again here. Apologies, and thanks. The reply I received was that I am not to change any part of the article and that if I can’t do that I am not to republish the article. Thanks, but it doesn’t answer my question. Or perhaps I’m not explaining properly.

Let me try again: Is the section that has the keywords listed and the description written considered part of the article?

There will be many articles I (and other publishers) will not be able to use, then, if we have to use the same tags in a blog or in the meta tags of an html web page that we do not feel are appropriate.

Now some site owners or blog owners do not even include tags – tags are separate from the article on a blog or webpage.

On html sites, authors or EzineArticles staff would have to check the source coding of a page where an article is republished to see that the article description and article (webpage)’s tags are word for word as they appear in the keyword section of an article on EzineArticles – or that the site owner or blog owner even uses meta tags (or tags in a blog) in the first place.

I like to include them, just like many other blog owners and html website owners do too. But many of us also do not like to include tags that are not appropriate to the article.

Do I understand correctly that it is expected that even if I like an article, it’s good, and I leave every word of it intact, the links and all, that I should just rather not use it if I don’t like the description and tags, because I am also expected to use the exact same tags and description in the source coding of my htlm site or tags section of my blog?

Or, should publishers add the keywords and description supplied by the author on-page, publicly, as part of the article? Then where? Above or below the article?

I want to please EzineArticles, the author of the article, as well as search engines indexing the pages of my site or blog. If the only way I can do that is by using only articles that have great descriptions and great keywords, it’s going to take ages going through tons of articles on Ezine, that I like, then still checking after I click the “EzinePublisher” link beneath the article that the description and keywords are suitable too.

Please understand that I’m trying to do right by everybody: EzineArticle’s rules, the author, and the search engines indexing my sites.

It would make sense that I be allowed to change inappropriate descriptions and keywords of an article on EzineArticles, on my site (in the source coding meta tags of an html site or tags section of a blog), as that would give both the author and EzineArticles more exposure. This does not entail changing the article itself, or the links in it AT ALL. I would just like to know if it’s allowed.

Thanks.

Comment provided February 19, 2011 at 1:02 AM

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