Does Your URL Make Us Both Look Good?

Earlier today, I had posted on Twitter:

Does the URL in your article Resource Box make us look good to our visitors? If so, you just became more valuable to us as a member.

A member emailed me privately: “How would MY URL make YOU look good?”

Quick Answer: When our visitors leave EzineArticles.com to visit your website; if they have a positive experience, then we just delivered value to them. If they bounced back instantly or left disgusted, then we failed our visitor. Take this 1 step deeper: We have a responsibility to make everyone who refers traffic to EzineArticles… to look good also for having done so.

This whole concept of EzineArticles being “user-obsessed” is largely misunderstood by many our members.

In our early years, we focused almost exclusively on being “member-obsessed”… because we knew the EzineArticles platform was only as good as the quality of our membership (something we will never forget).

Along the way in growing this site, we began to realize that millions of people every week count on EzineArticles for many reasons… beyond the needs of what our authors might prioritize.

We’re causing a great deal of friction with a small minority (like ~1%) of our members right now who (in our opinion, and the opinion of many users who write to us daily) don’t deliver a positive user experience to our visitors and therefore become a liability.

Today’s message is to help the minority of members understand why we care about delivering a positive user experience… Thankfully, a message the majority of our members already “get” because they know how to tune into writing for the end-user in mind including giving a URL in their resource box that will delight them (instead of disgust).

Your thoughts?

16 Comments »


1
Ugur writes:

Chris, I think that’s pretty much obvious, isn’t it?

I’ll admit it took me a while to tune up my own resource box and the links (plural!) I used to include in there. It was never anything to “disgust” a reader but at times it was not well connected to the content of the article. I’m sure some readers were confused when they clicked the URL link and visited my web site devoted to writing services after finishing an article on (let’s say) running, movies, or travel.

Now I’m much more streamlined and focused in terms of both my articles and the Resource Box content, and I owe you a thanks for forcing me to rethink the whole process. I publish less but everything I publish now is targeted and relevant to my goals as a technical communicator.

I’d say a correct/relevant URL makes ME look good before making YOU look good. Plus, it also prevents the reader from feeling lost , disoriented, or disappointed. Thus it’s the classic win-win-win equation. It’s all good.

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 9:51 AM

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2

I was the member that asked the question :)

Thanks for the explanataion – now I read it, it makes perfect sense!

Keep up the good work!

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 10:24 AM

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3
Audrey writes:

Chris,

I can’t tell you how often I’ve done a search and one of the first couple of sites is an article here. Sometimes the article itself is enough for what I’m looking for, other times I click the URL in the resource box to see if I can get just a bit more from the site.

At this point one of three things happen:

1. I”m happy with either the article or the URL in the resource and I leave happy
2. I’m still not quite getting exactly what I need so I continue to do my search right here on EzineArticles.
3. The search left me unhappy on EzineArticles or unhappy with the URL and I left EzineArticles all together and go to a different site to search.

You know I love EzineArticles, I promote EzineArticles where appropriate and I continue to submit my articles here first, so I’m speaking only from the perspective of a searcher when I write the above. So, I really do understand exactly what you’re saying. It now has me thinking about my parenting articles which I love to write. The URL does not take them to more parenting info. Hmmm I might have to change this :)

Thanks for the food for thought.

Audrey

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 10:56 AM

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4

Ugur,

Sounds like you’re making excellent progress!

Audrey,

Exactly!

Always best to never dilute your expertise by including a non-related URL in your Resource Box.

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM

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5
Steve writes:

I have been commenting for a while with suggestions of how to improve the user experience of EzineArticles, it is already a top site, without doubt the best in its field, yet there is always room for improvement.

I think that all of the links in the resource box should lead to a site that has a contacts page. This would annoy a lot of people but would, in my opinion, be of great benefit to the site and its readers.

Nikki, nice to hear a fellow Brit contributing to this blog, good luck in your new venture.

Steve

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 1:44 PM

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6
Edward Weiss writes:

Good post. Let’s face it. Some people are just stupid. Through and through stupid. There’s no talking to them. No educating them or trying to point out the way.

Best to just dump them and then, hopefully, they’ll learn that it’s best to increase value instead of trying for a quick buck.

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 1:57 PM

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7
Jennifer Jolan writes:

My thoughts… make us authors start to pay up… within reason or have a scaled version… 1 approval a day free.

If you want unlimited approvals a day, $50 a year or something. Most people won’t pay and most people submit at most 1 article a day, so this still keeps things relatively the same but helps to control some people who throw 10 useless articles up a day.

This does a number of things… gets rid of the “bottom of the barrel” people who have nothing original to say and just cherry pick top articles from top authors. This ups your quality.

Or those people just submit a lot less articles. Addition by subtraction.

Next it brings in more authors who see they won’t get flooded out by all the “trash” articles.

Personally, I think you should have your editors devote the first hour of the day to reviewing basic and basic plus articles and then the rest of the day reviewing platinum authors… or something like that.

What happens when you do that is that those “less proven” article writers get their articles buried and less viewed by mid-day. I notice when I get my articles approved in the early morning… by 11am they’re already on page 2.

This hurts EzineArticles because articles that usually aren’t as good get more views from later in the day approvals just because of their location… but if someone like me had their article in that location they’d get even more views and more adsense dollars for you.

Your thoughts Chris “I’m a Bears fan” Knight?

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 3:18 PM

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8

Jennifer,

First, how does that song go… Da Bears still _____.

.
That’s me in the middle with the sun glasses on running through Lambeau field a few weeks ago during a race I was in.

Back on topic:

I’m going to comment in a new blog entry about a member-perceived phenomena that I’m noticing that is based on a false reality about how EzineArticles works.

I’d almost swear another member was making this exact same argument privately a day or two ago…

The gist of my blog entry will be about how many (newer) members think that once they can’t see their article in the most recently added articles, that it gets lost forever in the site, never to be seen or viewed again… which of course is not true.

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 3:39 PM

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9
Jennifer Jolan writes:

“Da Bears still have the best football team of all time in 1985” :)

Sexy legs Chris… *giggle blush*… you must be reading a few of my articles!

Anyway, I notice my “immediate” surge of views direct from EzineArticles drop like a rock when my articles get buried… even with good keywords and titles.

But of course I get plenty of views later because of search engine placement… but those aren’t immediate or direct from EzineArticles.

I know you know more about this site than me, but my experience shows me that once I’m buried in a mess of other articles, my direct views go way down within the first hour or 2.

I learned that early on when I wrote without keywords in mind.

I look forward to the blog entry.

Jen

PS. I don’t know if you have kids or not, but I know when you have a little boy you’ll name him Rex. :)

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 5:02 PM

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10

Jennifer,

Perhaps “Brett” would be a better name for a boy. ;-)

One feature I know you’d like that is still on the drawing board is the ability to drill into your article stats by day, week, month, year…. It’s currently computationally expensive, but something we’re working on.

Comment provided June 6, 2008 at 5:25 PM

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11
michael cardus writes:

Everytime someone links to somone else of your site it is a representation of your company (you are the friends you keep)
EzineArticles has constantly kept a high level of standards –

Comment provided June 7, 2008 at 8:50 AM

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12
Stephanie Haile writes:

EzineArticles is The primo article submission site for a reason :) Because they do take the time to weigh the responsibilities, the content, presentations, and much more. Thank you EzineArticles.

Comment provided June 8, 2008 at 4:57 PM

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13
Jan Verhoeff writes:

In searching for information I’m always coming across articles on Google as the first item on the list. (Usually, because of keyword emphasis the article is one of mine.) If the information I’m coming up with on the search engines includes my own articles, with searches of six digit numbers, other people are coming up with the same results.

When just one or two lower on the listing is my website with the same keyword search, I know I’ve got something going right for me. By adjusting the content in my site, I can move my websites up or down on the search engines. Others can do the same thing.

Keeping your articles visible is more about what you’re writing and how you present it than it is about EzineArticles doing their job. However, because of the way EzineArticles posts the articles, they do seem to get more access faster on the Search Engines.

(I guess this means I’m supporting EzineArticles again… Hummm They must be doing a good job?)

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 2:25 PM

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14
Jan Verhoeff writes:

Forgot to mention the legs… LOL

But seriously, it was the cheese eating grin on your face that got me. Everyone else looks like they’re having a hard time breathing and Chris is grinning.

Ahem.

(Reminds me of a joke my 13 year old son is always telling about riding home in the Boy Scout van. Y’all can take it from there.)

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 2:28 PM

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15
Shirley Bass writes:

Hello Chris,

I always heard, ‚¬You’re only as good as the company you keep.’ EzineArticles is an outstanding publisher and one I am very proud to be a part of.
When one of my articles is published it makes me feel like a million bucks. I like the fact that EzineArticles has a standard which we all have to meet. That’s why I’m here. I feel confident when an article is published that it will meet both of our visitors’ expectations and that’s where the ‚¬feeling like a million bucks’ comes in. Quality is in high demand.

I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.

Shirley Bass

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 5:52 PM

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16
Audrey writes:

Chris,

Though I question you often, I really do listen. I bought http://www.todays-parent.com and had it forwarded to a brand new blog that will have parenting articles. I really do want to give anyone reading my articles the opportunity to get more relevant information from me.

Comment provided July 17, 2008 at 9:33 AM

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