Most Common Problem Article Reasons

CEO Chris Knight and Managing Editor Penny discuss PA'd articles In the last 30 days, over 28,000 articles were unable to be accepted on the 1st try. This is crazy!

…So, I called the EzineArticles Managing Editor (Penny) in to do a quick 12 minute audio discussion to help our members figure out how to not be in the 20% of our monthly submissions that get rejected on the 1st try… ie: We want to help you get your articles accepted faster.

Take a listen: (only a quick 12 minutes)

You can also DOWNLOAD the MP3 (12 minutes, 12MB’s in file size)


Frank Dickinson writes:

THANK YOU so very much for all the help and support that you provide. I am a new article writer and have learned TONS here at EzineArticles.

You guys are amazing!


Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 1:23 PM



WOW, firstly, it’s GREAT to hear both your voices. Feels like I know you better! Esp Penny because we emailed last week… ;-)

Secondly, that’s a great desk and mike set-up! Seems READY for article marketing broadcasts! ;-)

Thirdly, I confess to helping boost those problem article numbers a bit in past two weeks. BUT I’m sooo happy to know that I’m not alone.

I got caught with #4 with some older articles but Penny was so calm when she explained via email why they couldn’t be re-accepted as is, I just followed her suggestions and all was well.

Then the last one (was that #7?). I didn’t realise there was a new 3-word limit for anchored text in the resource box and had to do some jumping around to find new keyword phrases that suited my niche. I still have to fadge around with better ones but since I’m focusing on the 30-day challenge and catching up, I’ll fadge around some other time… ;-)

So sorry, officially, and I’m going to download this mp3. THANK YOU for this audio conversation, Chris and Penny because we all absorb better the more senses we employ to take in new information.

Plus, HEARING you both talk about these ways to avoid articles not being accepted in the first go-round helps us KNOW you do care.

Did I say THANKS???

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 1:32 PM


Steve Hill writes:

I sometimes think they decline an article just to make their job seem worthy.

I have had four articles disputed today. One for a broken link, yet there was no broken link and the others for the article title which was not supposed to be in line with the content, this again was in accurate in my opinion.

Who is reviewing the reviewers?

Steve Hill

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 1:55 PM



The Handsome Chris & the Lovely Penny, coming soon to an mp3 near you!

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 2:27 PM


Deb writes:

Quick Q about formatting of URLs. Which format is correct (or are all of these OK)?



Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 3:47 PM




Yep, I predict we’ll do more audio segments and perhaps video soon enough.

This is the June 2008 notice of the major change that happened with 6 active links reducing to 4 and max of 3 words in anchored text links:


Sorry, not true on your 1st sentence comment.

The QC Team reviews the Editors work and our Member Support Team and Managing Editor reviews the QC Team’s work when issues come up.

Sorry, this blog is the wrong avenue to vent about this issue because we can’t comment about the specifics of your case publicly without divulging private data regarding your account (which we won’t do).

Our Member Support team is the best avenue to get this issue resolved.


All (3) are ok, but the best one is this:

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 3:52 PM


Deb writes:

Q about links sending people to a specific page on our site. In the guidelines, it says that all links to a site have to be from the top domain. However, there is real value to providing a direct link to additional information specific to the reason they are clicking the link, and this is done using links to a specific page.

For example, I want to write an article about using a specific type of template to better organize an aspect of business. I plan to provide a link in the article to the page on my website where people can download the template for their use. The page will also provide additional information about using this template.

I wanted to do this in this manner:

This is not an affiliate link, but is a page on my site that leads directly to material that is discussed in the article.

Is this allowed? If not, how might I do this without having the reader have to search for this when they land on my site, or without having to buy a new URL just for this one page (which I also want to have available on my site for people who arrive there in a different manner).

Also could you clarify the prohibition about links leading to downloads? I am assuming this means that the link cannot directly trigger the download, but that it is OK to have the link lead to a page on our site where there is an audio, video or download link.


Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 3:57 PM




Thanks for that link. As I read your clarifier and saw the link it looked familiar. So maybe my ‘didn’t realise’ should have been ‘didn’t remember’. Going over now to check…

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 4:24 PM




Deep linking is allowed.

If you link to the exact same article that the user just read, we might reject it because that would create a bad user experience.

Yes you can link to a page that has downloads available on it.

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 4:30 PM


Steve Hill writes:

No problem Chris.

I personally think that the team are becoming a bit over the top about some of the article titles. Where it is blatant, fair play but just lately it is becoming very annoying.

I would rather spend my time writing articles than having to keep ammending what I believe is an acceptable title.

I am aware that you are not used to this form of criticism as most of the people who comment on this blog use it as a way to praise you. We all know the site is tops but it does become a bit tiresome after a while.

I would rather debate the real issues than purely say what is basically worthless.

Lastly when is the advertising section going to go “live”?

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 5:12 PM




You can criticize all you want… I just can’t respond to it with facts or insights to defend our position or even help you because it requires revealing non-public info.

I was going to ask you to reveal something you submitted that we rejected so that we could debate or discuss it publicly; but the reality is that I’d still have to use non-public data from your account history to address it (most likely).

So, do this if you want to take it further: Share a concept or an example of something similar that you submitted so that I can comment on it on a stand alone basis without having to use your account history to respond to it.

Lastly, if you’re asking about this: -> Sorry, not this year. Too many other priorities on deck.

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 6:18 PM


Deb writes:

Thanks, Chris, for your fast responses! Great info in the audio as well.

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 6:37 PM


Dan Janal writes:

Yes, Chris is cool. That will fly.
Penny too!

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 6:50 PM


Kate Ford writes:

Hi Christopher and Penny,

My name of my website requires a 5 word anchor text when hyperlinking. (Yes my next URL will be shorter, I promise)

I am cautious to hyperlink only three of the five words. But at least to my eyes, this looks odd.

However I am on an extended roll of accepted articles at EzineArticles and don’t want to risk resetting the counter with one rejected article using a 5 word anchor.


Thanks, Kate

PS The video was helpful along with your other tweets.

Comment provided November 14, 2008 at 8:37 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

I will not comment publically on this topic.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 1:19 AM




If you don’t want to risk an article not being accepted, then just use your full http:// URL.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 7:35 AM



Hi Chris!

Very interesting and educative discussion. Even though you are already rejecting too many articles, you still ‚¬“let pass‚¬ many that are full of repetitions, but now I understand how tolerant you have to be, if you receive so many articles that cannot be accepted without many corrections!

I hope your lessons will really help all the authors who need them.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM


Roy Primm writes:

Thanks for the audio education, clarifies a lot of key points I was fuzzy about. Keep them coming please.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 10:29 AM


Jen writes:

I will comment publicly on this topic.

28,000!!!!!! That’s an amazing waste of time for EzineArticles. About 1,000 articles a day that need to be touched again and on top of that, emails sent out to inform authors… not to mention any back and forth if the author has questions or gets mad about the rejection.

If you’re an author who consistently gets articles rejected (1+ a week) or a high % of your articles rejected, you should be weeded out and put in a “slow track” line or have your account closed or limited.

You’re either not good at writing articles and/or you aren’t good at following simple rules. You should look into something else. Article marketing probably isn’t for you. EzineArticles future is in quality, not unfettered bulk.

Chris, if you care to share, I’d like to know what % of those 28,000 articles are from basic and basic plus and what % are from platinum… and the overall rejected rate % for each group as a whole?

If it’s mostly basic members, this is easy to fix. If it’s platinum, you should consider reverting them back to basic plus with limited submissions to show them the seriousness of the problems they are causing.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 11:47 AM


Sharon writes:

Hi Chris and Penny,

Thanks so much for putting this audio together. It’s so helpful to hear what the top mistakes are, and thanks for explaining what the reasoning is behind the rules also.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 4:03 PM


Sharon writes:

Oh, and I had a question–how is keyword density percentage determined?

And do you count words in the title and resource box when you’re figuring out the percentage?

Thank you!

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 4:44 PM


Mel Menzies writes:

Thanks so much for this audio explanation. Nice to see you both and hear you. Several of my earlier articles ended up having to be revised. But I hope I’m a little more savvy now.

Having probs keeping up with the thirty articles in thirty days though.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 6:26 PM


Jim writes:

We have occasionally been accused of keyword spamming for a keyword we are not competing for. For instance if you are writing about custom wooden garage doors that does not mean your keyword is garage doors.

Removing “garage doors” or limiting the number of times you use garage in the article made the article just not flow right. Thank goodness someone in customer support was wise enough to see the problem and the article was approved.

This problem has occurred on two of our articles over the last 5 months. Really irritating.

Some of your editors just plain lack common sense.

This is the only problem we have had in getting our articles submitted.

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 9:24 PM



Thanks for the audio and the picture. Like everyone else in the community here at EzineArticles, it helps to make the connection to your voice and face. I have to confess that I had a broken link problem recently–sorry. I like some of the other newer article writers here feel that I am getting better with each article.

Looking forward to hitting 100 articles in 2009.

blessings to all,

Comment provided November 15, 2008 at 10:43 PM



Very nice–personal and helpful. I think writers give more links in their articles to deserve such kind of personal exchanges! Otherwise how could we have had this!

One more thought. It’s the success of Ezine that fast multiplying authors are leading to more rejected articles.

So you see, it’s actually a positive development except for the inhuman burden on the Ezine editors.

Comment provided November 16, 2008 at 4:38 AM




We give our editors keyword and keyphrase repetition metrics so they can see visually whether excessive keywords/keyphrases are repeated or not.

These metrics are not public knowledge on purpose.

Whether or not your article makes sense is SECOND to the mechanical metrics of how many times you repeated a keyword and/or keyphrase *AND* how the repetition is related to the word count.


Had you included the same keyword/keyphrase repetition with an article word count that was double, our Editors would not have had a problem with it.

We also review your account history when making a decision. An author with a long history of excessive keyword repetition is given less latitude than an author who just made a small handful of mistakes.

For some rejections on excessive keywords, I get that it’s not fair; but others have abused this SO MUCH that we’ve drawn hard lines in the sand and regardless as to whether the content is really awesome, if it exceeds our internal guidelines for excessive keywords or keyphrases, we’re going to not let it pass.

If you want a public guideline: Don’t exceed 1 keyword or keyphrase repeated per 100 words.

I’ve seen some articles that make sense with up to 2 keywords/keyphrases repeated per 100 words, but when you get into the 2.5-7 keywords/keyphrases repeated every 100 words, the article clearly looks like it’s aiming for a keyword density metric and we’ll reject it on the basis that it’s trying to game the system.

Comment provided November 16, 2008 at 8:26 AM


Claude Pelanne writes:

Very helpful interview. It cleared up some key points and should help me get it right the first time.

Keep the audio programs coming.

Claude Pelanne

Comment provided November 16, 2008 at 2:10 PM



Here is a smart solution for all authors: use synonyms.

Make a list with your best keywords and make also a list with their synonyms. For example:

‚¬“dream interpretation‚¬, ‚¬“meaning of dreams‚¬, analysis, translation, ‚¬“dream symbols‚¬, etc.

Instead of using ‚¬“dream interpretation‚¬ all the time, say ‚¬“when you interpret a dream‚¬, because ‚¬“interpret‚¬ and ‚¬“dream‚¬ alone are keywords too, and they are related to ‚¬“dream interpretation‚¬.

Use the keywords ‚¬“meaning of dreams‚¬ and ‚¬“dream symbols‚¬ instead of repeating ‚¬“dream interpretation‚¬ and ‚¬“interpreting a dream‚¬ all the time. Use ‚¬“dream analysis‚¬, translation, and decoding too.

You don’t have to repeat exactly the same words in order to count them as important keywords. Use synonyms and different expressions, so that your article may have the necessary keywords but at the same be readable and pleasant. Remember that you are writing articles for human beings, not for the search engines.

And remember that the human beings, your readers, are your future customers, and that you have to help them if you want to have their attention. If you won’t help them, they will never visit your site or do anything else. Don’t waste your time writing articles that won’t have positive results.

Only if you’ll be serious and really helpful you’ll have the attention you desire.

Comment provided November 16, 2008 at 2:35 PM


Lisa Lomas writes:

This is terrific, I have just found your blog, what a great pack of critical information, Thank you!

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 1:10 AM




How is keyword density calculated?

We are able to identify multiple keywords and keyphrases that are used in repetition as it relates to the total word count in the ARTICLE BODY only.

The article TITLE and RESOURCE BOX are not used when calculating the keyword density, but I can tell you that we use the title, resource box and the keywords you provide when a call is on the fence.

Best thing to do is IGNORE all of this keyword density stuff and write for the end reader in mind. Members who write heavily keyword dense articles will eventually find their accounts suspended from future submissions (happens daily).


About ~75% of the 28,000 articles sent back as problem articles were from Basic and Basic Plus members.

Of the 25% (7,000) that were from Platinum members, a large handful of them were downgraded to Basic Plus after they proved that they weren’t interested in following the guidelines (meaning, multiple multiple multiple articles not meeting the guidelines over time).

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 6:29 AM


Jen writes:

About 1,000 articles x say 5 minutes to review/reject/email/answer reply emails… for each rejected article = 5,000 minutes a day or 83 hours. So about 10 full-time workers are being wasted everyday on this.

If it’s only 4 minutes per article, still wasting 67 hours or over 8 workers a day on this. Actually more since weekends aren’t counted… so it’s over 1,000 articles per work day.

That’s unfortunate. Imagine if you were able to free up 5 of those people. You save lots of money, speed up review times, which in turn gets people to submit even more articles.

I bet my solution is too harsh for you, but if only 15% of basic members get upgraded to platinum, then I’d take a hard stance against any basic person who has 2 rejections (based on keyword stuffing, too salesy, and not enough meat or tips).

I’d just say this isn’t a good fit, we have to close your account. Other rejection criteria I’d be more lenient on. I’m looking at intent.

I think good article writers are hoping you take harder and harder lines against bad writers/articles. We get lumped in with that stuff and we don’t like it. Sure you’ll get more complaints, but those complainers mostly aren’t your target market (good article writers).

I’m Jen and I endorse this message.

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 11:21 AM


Mel Menzies writes:

I have to confess that I’m one of the Basic level writers who had two or three articles returned because they didn’t adhere to the guidelines. Though I’ve been an author for twenty five years and have been on the bestseller list in the real world, I’m a complete novice with online blogging and article writing. But that’s no excuse. Slapped wrists: I simply hadn’t read the guidelines properly.

But I do agree with Jen (above). If you’re serious about the quality of your writing, you don’t want to be competing for attention with those who are not. Frankly, if people can’t be bothered to comply, their accounts should be closed.

Hope I’m not going to be hoist with my own petard! It would be just my luck!

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 1:56 PM


Mark Thompson writes:


I have had 2 article rejected recently because the editors said that the url couldn’t be in the title…

In both cases the domain was a keyword rich domain such as the articles were titled “How to find Blue Widgets”

This really doesn’t make sense, google wants us to enhance user experience by using keyword rich domain names and you want us to write articles that reflect the topic. But when i do i get told my article can’t be accepted.

I could understand this I used the URL or something irelevant to the article.

I’d would appreciate it if you would consider allowing such article titles through

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 1:59 PM


Mark Thompson writes:


following my message 2 above I’ve decided to list an actual example so that we can discuss the reasons why article like this get rejected 90% of the time..

This article is currently sitting in my account as rejected.

Childrens Electric Guitars -Choosing the Right Guitar For Your Child

the site it referd to is:

It’s been rejected because the editor says

“Problem: Sorry, we do not allow your URL or Website in the title of the article.”

To me this makes no sense as I am providing a title and content that relates directly to the site..the reader will know what they are getting before they open the article or the site.

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 2:10 PM


Steve Hill writes:

Nice one Mark, somebody making a valid comment rather than just sucking up to gain a backward link.

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 2:19 PM



I totally agree with you Jen, when you say that ‚¬“good article writers are hoping that EArticles will take harder and harder lines against bad writers/articles‚¬.

When I read articles full of repetitions (on purpose, because they are keywords) or articles totally empty that have nothing to offer to the reader, near my articles so well written with concentration and respect to the public, giving precious information and guidance, I feel sad! I feel that my articles are in the wrong place.

However, I don’t think that the bad authors shall be abandoned and prevented to submit their articles to EzineArticles. I had told Chris a long time ago to prepare special editors that would revise articles for authors that have difficulties, what would be a paid service, but it would be specific, for their needs.

Bad authors must be helped. They simply have to understand how they can write great articles, and promote/sell their services/products this way. Everyone will feel very happy when things will be done correctly and the results will be the ones we desire.

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 2:51 PM




Your article has been approved.

When I originally created that rule, I intended for the actual DOMAIN NAME itself can’t be in the article title; whereas our Editors have interpreted it to mean the words of the URL can’t be in the title. They have been updated on this clarification. Sorry.

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 3:23 PM


Mark Thompson writes:

Thanks Chris,

I have queried this loads of times and I have been told by the helpdesk that It’s not allowed because it’s “self promotion”

Thank you for clarifying this. It seemed like common sense to me and I really couldn’t see why all the articles were being rejected. The majority of my domains are keyword related and it was getting to be a real pain to have all the articles rejected.

Comment provided November 17, 2008 at 3:52 PM


Bob Shirilla writes:

I hate when my articles are declined, but without editorial control all of our articles would be worthless.

I like the audio format.

Comment provided November 18, 2008 at 9:44 AM


Anil Gupta writes:

I’m going to download this video today in the evening and will love to get some valuable tips from this video to improve my article submission process

Comment provided November 19, 2008 at 1:57 AM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

The site title thing gets me too. I often name my sites using keywords – for the obvious reason, but then I have to find ways to work the keywords into the titles so they make sense…

Sometimes, the challenge is almost as much fun as writing the article. Decadence and Chocolate — are actually site name and keywords for my marketing sites (yes, two of them). I love the context! People read the articles and have to go buy chocolate to satisfy their longings. YUM!

I enjoyed listening to this.

Commenting and getting a link isn’t bad either… But I always wonder how much link interaction value is in commenting on a blog for content creaters… Honestly, how often do article marketers click on the links, unless they want to know more about the person making the comments?

Guess I need to get more creative in linking to my sites… Christmas is coming – I’ll link to Santa!

Comment provided November 19, 2008 at 9:56 PM



thanks for the educational support, enzine articles really helped me and gave me ideas on how to make a quality articles.

Comment provided November 20, 2008 at 1:53 AM


Geoff Cummings writes:

Thanks for the audio link, it`s good to be able to hear your comments, rather than just read them. Some of the stats for rejections are amazing, it must be very frustrating for you when authors either don`t bother reading the rules, or, they don`t want to follow them. Glad to see your standards aren`t being compromised.

Comment provided November 20, 2008 at 7:00 AM


Phil writes:

My article was rejected because they said that the url in the resource box was wrong. Can someone tell me what’s wrong with this resource box:

Whether you are going for bright and glittery, or soft and peaceful, you will add a feeling of joy and cheer to all who see it. If you can’t find any Christmas yard art that really depicts your personality, you may want to create some of your own. This can be a great activity for the whole family, and you will have something that really says who you are. No matter what you do, add a little bit of Christmas yard art and enjoy the season.

I really would like to know why my url is wrong because the same url has been used the the past a was not rejected.



Comment provided November 26, 2008 at 1:53 AM




The landing page has excessive auction items listed and not enough unique or original content. I know this is a subjective call and sometimes a hard line to draw, but we ask ourselves this question: What percentage of the content on the landing page is unique original in value to our users who leave our site to go to yours. If the unique value is not present, we are slow to accept articles with a link to a site like that.

Lately there has been an influx of database driven ebay auction sites and we’ve been rejecting a lot of them from a lot of authors based on the idea that they are not delivering our users into a positive user experience.

Comment provided November 26, 2008 at 12:17 PM


Phil writes:

Thanks for the info. Now it makes since. I thought the url was wrong and was looking for ways to change it. I just started to add the eBay listings to the front page. I will take them off if that’s the problem.


Comment provided November 26, 2008 at 5:08 PM


B. Durant writes:

I’d be interested in knowing why you are so strict when it comes to linking to other websites. I understand quality control but listening to the interview it was almost as if you’d rather not see any links at all but being that this is the world wide web you hold your nose and swallow it down.

Comment provided December 9, 2008 at 9:23 PM


Geoff writes:

I`ve not had any of my submissions rejected thus far for improper use of links. The thing is some people probably don`t bother reading the rules and put too many in, or in the wrong parts of the article.

Personally I like to put just one or maybe two in the resource box which I think looks better, though I do realize that sometimes there may be occasions where a link is appropriate if placed in the main body.

Comment provided December 10, 2008 at 5:58 AM



B. Durant,

I replied to your question in a brand new blog post today:

Comment provided December 10, 2008 at 6:40 AM


Dr. Molly Barrow writes:

Well done. Thank you.

Comment provided December 11, 2008 at 8:57 AM


Ejvind Jacobsen writes:

I just want to thank you for spelling out what needs to be done in order to have articles accepted in the first try.

Comment provided December 16, 2008 at 2:12 PM


Rocky Torres writes:

My first submitted article entitled “Over The Internet!” was not approved. Now I’m about to submit my 2nd article. But anyway, I already wrote 2 comments for, Do You Heart EzineArticles? and #18 of the Top 50 Websites for Professionals. Thanks!!!

Comment provided November 11, 2009 at 6:07 AM


Joyce writes:

Thanks for finally talking about >Most Common Problem Article Reasons <Liked it!

Comment provided May 1, 2014 at 7:10 PM


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