Our War With Affiliate Marketers

Most affiliate marketers don’t write original content and if they do write their own articles… their articles are thin, regurgitated Frankenstein article spin-written by some software program… only to flip our end users to a clickbank site (ie: they added no value in the process).

Affiliate marketers fall into one of two camps:

  1. ~90% who have decided to scale their craft into hundreds and thousands of articles have become highly efficient at writing keyword loaded copy while making sure that their articles seldom deliver on the promise made in the article title…because if their articles delivered on the promise they made in the title…they fear our end users would never click to their website.

  2. ~10% are in it to share genuine expertise with original articles that came from their background…and they are doing this gig to explore a phase in their business life where they are trying to figure out how to convert traffic into dollars so that they can build their own products to sell. This is the type of affiliate marketer we welcome and even on some days, call “ideal.”

Our position and reason why it’s “war” and personal:

We want our million+ daily end users to leave with a positive experience. Delivering thin non-original articles only to flip the end users to a long sales letter page that further promises the moon and stars for only $49.99 does not always deliver a positive end-user experience.

Last month we cracked down on penis enlargement articles and rejected thousands of them that over promised and massively under-delivered. This month our Editors have been instructed that any article that is ‘thin’ in originality AND the end destination URL is an affiliate link; we’re going to reject for “Non Substantial or Not-Original-Enough Content.”

No, we’re not going to over-react and make a big move here. We’re talking about the subjective decision where the article missed the mark by 5-15% vs. where we would have previously accepted the article and let it pass.

We didn’t get to our current success together this many years by thinking ‘short-term’ oriented and the fact that our Editorial standards raise every single month should not be a shock to anyone. It’s the way it’s been since day one. Affiliate marketers who submit thin non-original articles are wasting their time submitting to us.

Lastly, some tips about how to get your affiliate-link-included articles accepted:

  • Be sure to read section 3 if you haven’t already in our Editorial Guidelines.
  • Do not increase your word count for word count sake. More words that say nothing is not better than fewer words that say nothing.
  • Insist that your ghostwriters (if you use them) must blow you away with original ideas, seldom thought about solutions, unique perspectives and not the same crap every other article already says about a particular topic. RAISE THE BAR.
  • Keep the spammy looking article titles to a minimum if at all. Hype does not help get your article accepted faster. Know we’re checking your article body to make certain that you deliver on the promise(s) made in your article title.
  • Don’t submit 10-1000 articles on same rehashed topic with only the words and tips re-arranged. Our anti-derivative software is being continually tweaked to reject this behavior.
  • Be proud of your articles. Most affiliate marketers don’t fight us when we reject their articles because they were not worth writing home to Mom about in the first place.

Hope this helps. :)

If you’ve got tips or advice as to how we can discourage affiliate marketers from wasting their time submitting thin non-original content to us, we’d like to hear it. Our end goal here is to raise the quality of the perception the marketplace has of the type of articles they can expect to find within EzineArticles.com. This focus also helps us look good to those who refer traffic to our members’ articles.

UPDATED Oct 25th 2009 2:30pm CST: Comments have been closed for this thread as it’s going in circles now. New posts will be shared shortly on what we learned from the exchange and the data we’ve been studying.

154 Comments


1
Jeff Herring writes:

Hi Chris!

First of all “Last month we cracked down on penis enlargement articles” is a great sentence fragment and one I bet you never saw yourself needing to write, huh?

That said, I’m glad to hear about the general crack down on affiliate articles, and I think saying that 10% of the folks that write affiliate articles do a good job is probably being generous.

The ones that you will be cracking down on are not even using good marketing strategy anyway – you are not going to develop any “know-like-trust” in a crappy spammy article and why would someone buy from something like that?

When I teach my students and members to create “affiliate articles” I stress the need for the article to be as good, if not better, than any other article they write:

1. Good enough to represent you well on the Internet
2. Give at least one “gold-nugget” of immediately usable information
3. Create a know-like-trust experience with the reader

Thanks for you and your staff for your attitude of “constant and never ending improvement” that keeps this a great place to be…

Jeff

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 10:03 AM

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Yeah, a lot of those PE articles were “stubby” on value!

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Matt writes:

Oh dear — I’m not even sure where to begin on this one. We recently went on a rampage to remove similar sort of articles from our site, and there were words in there i’ve never heard of…

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Jeff Herring writes:

Nice one, Chris

How small of them…

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John McCabe writes:

“Last month we cracked down on penis enlargement articles and rejected thousands of them that over promised and massively under-delivered.”

Kind of like the target market for those products? More than a little irony there, I think…

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Gerry Faehrmann writes:

Chris, pleased to see you have raised the bar on PE.

Where are we going with this?

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Allen Graves writes:

But if the article persists on the front page longer than 4 hours, you must seek immediate medical attention.

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Jeff Herring writes:

Well done, Allen

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M. Dawson writes:

Oh, my gosh. Thanks for this laugh, I needed it!

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Ronak Shah writes:

Me too… I’d the last laugh when John wrote:

Kind of like the target market for those products? More than a little irony there, I think…

:D :D :D Can’t stop laughing at that one huh? :D

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2
Steve writes:

Hey Chris,

How about getting rid of the ‘most published’ links which people love to manipulate, and put in ‘editors picks’. Then any original high quality articles your editors spot go in there to benefit from all the internal links, that way (some) people will be fighting to submit good quality articles to get those spots and you can reward people for quality?

Steve

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 10:09 AM

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Steve,

We’ll think on that. It’s been suggested before, but I’m thinking we need to do more internal research before we can consider it.

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Greg writes:

Chris,

I like Steve’s idea. I have been posting articles on EzineArticles for only a couple of months and I really like it. I believe it will be very beneficial to our consulting business.

I have noticed, though, that some of the most prolific “writers” are really just people with scores of fake Ad-Words blogsites. One guy I saw on here has hundreds of fluff articles on everything from bass fishing to sex techniques. Just a bunch of blah, blah rehash…and when you go to the writer’s sites, they are just minimal WordPress sites with the same fluff articles and loads of Adwords and affiliate crap.

I know it would be impossible to get rid of that stuff completely…I suspect it would be too hard to not unfairly penalize people. It just seems there ought to be a way to promote real writers over Adwords hustlers.

BTW…thanks for the coffee mug!

[Reply]

We’re taking a serious bite out of this type of member with a change to our software last week.

Yesterday alone we rejected 741 articles before our Editors even saw them, purely on the basis that they were derivative works previously submitted in another form.

On a normal day, we were already rejecting 250-500 articles for being duplicate or derivative based.

Once we’re confident on this new level of auto-anti-derivative rejection, we’ll have more bad news for those who don’t write and submit original works.

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Ronak Shah writes:

How do you differentiate between an original article and a derivative one Chris?

What do you mean by an original article and a derivative one?

As far as I know..

All writers on EzineArticles (or any other article directory) write after researching.

We learn from various sources.. so what we write is already there on the web for example. So, that does not make our articles original anyway. Most authors here learn from the community and then publish articles. There are very few authors who actually write what they self-experience or have invented the stuff they publish here. And someone who really knows his stuff ? Why would he/she publish articles on EzineArticles.com or any other article directory rather than publishing them on his/her blog?

Why?

Most of the content published on article directories is what I call “gimmick”. Why would someone want to publish their original premium quality content – their hard work on an article directory? It’s business…

Yes.. everyone wants to earn $$$$$

If you bend more towards your readers.. I am sure you’re going to lose more authors..

Chris, I really think you need to calm down and think how you can really make sure the articles published on EzineArticles.com are original…!!!!

Your main objective is to get quality content an dnot quantity content! Thus, the title of Our War With Affiliate Marketers is originally turning down a lot of affiliate marketers to your site!

Looks like you want all the affiliate marketers to stay away from your site!

Count 1, 2, 3… how many authors on your site are really affiliate marketers? have you ever thought of that one?

I understand you’re against spun content and ripped of plr stuff which has no value.. just fluff! You’re right.. Does going after affiliate marketers resolve your problems?

I think you’ve already turned away a few affiliate marketers and this post is enraging anger amongst people particularly when people have contributed to your site which has collectively made ezienarticles.com what it is today!

It’s authors who have made your site what it is.. without them, EzineArticles wouldn’t be what it is today..

What do you want?

Original Quality Articles ..

or

No content from genuine affiliate marketers.

I really don’t care as long as my articles are published here even though I have not even published 1 article as yet.

Seriously, you’re losing legitimate authors! I bet you on that one Chris! I am going through forums and people are really getting angry about the manner in which you’re expressing your problem.

If you’re going to get too tough on people who actually take so much time and hard work to write original content for EzineArticles (many folks just make money by publishing on EzineArticles – they make a living through your site Chris), you’re annoying them and making them feel WORTHLESS.

Instead of making things simpler, faster and easier; things are getting complicated. I find that you’re not able to handle the work pressure.

You’ve a legitimate concern and you’re right.. you must maintain the standard of content on EzineArticles. However there is a way to tackle this problem.

The title of this post is highly hateful and obnoxious to a lot of affiliate marketers who use EzineArticles.

NOT ALL AFFILIATE MARKETERS ARE PUBLISHING FLUFF CONTENT. Be fair Chris. Choose the smart way. Take a deep breath.

Be positive rather than negative about affiliate marketers. My 2c.

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You asked, “How do you differentiate between an original article and a derivative one?”

Answer: Proprietary Software.

An Original article is one that is not a derivative of any other article. Every article creates a fingerprint or unique style…allowing us to differentiate between two different people saying the same thing vs. two different people submitting nearly the same identical content.

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You know, there actually are some decent “Affiliate Marketers” but I sure have noticed a few deplorable ones. When you go to their website; they hype the hell out of everyone, basically promising to make people rich online. I truly wonder how many of them are “rich” themselves, and yes, I am sure many have done quite well and make in excess of 10K a month. Good for them. But, even if they do, “if” they hype their programs, as “MANY” do, no, not all, what they end up doing is getting people to think it is easy.

Then these “easy” or “Lazy” sign-ups to their programs take short-cuts and cheat, why? Well, that’s what lazy people do, it’s human nature. Worse, “some” affilitate marketers have instruction packages on “how to get rich” using their programs and in them they say; “go post articles” to EzineArticles.com and then they give them basic instructions of how to write an article. Often, these instructions are what get these new sign-up online marketers into trouble here.

Some of the “template” advice, and how to write articles, does not do justice to the need for quality. If Affiliate Marketers want to be respected, then perhaps they need to police their industry a bit, because “some of them” are making all the others look bad, and “some of them” are misrepresenting and over-hyping, additionally their advice is “substandard” when it comes to “how to do article writing and marketing” to promote themselves, their websites, and whatever product they’ve sign-up to sell.

Worse, the concept of someone running around and selling “derivative software” to “help” them with their article marketing is really problematic, especially when whatever it is they put into the “spinner” is already crap. Additionally, I am completed PISSED OFF, that I’ve found folks taking my articles and “spinning them” and submitting the derivative works under their names. I just wish I had all their addresses, because I am pissed.

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3
Allen Graves writes:

Chris,

For what it’s worth, my opinion on the subject may be even stronger than yours. The success of EzineArticles is not a one-sided deal where authors spend endless hours slaving over their keyboards and Chris Knight is sipping Mai-Tai’s on a Caribbean beach.

On the contrary, when you succeed, I succeed – when I have my articles published on your site.

It’s no secret that EzineArticles is the most powerful article submission platform out there. But if that were to change, the mass exodus to the other site would be devastating for you AND for those who have spent so much time and effort publishing their articles on EzineArticles.

Your need to “raise the bar” and continue tweaking your policies is not only expected, it is a relief for a lot of us to see you doing it.

When people realize that they too are getting something out of the whole thing, I believe they will have a much easier time complying with the ever-increasing scrutinization that is keeping US afloat.

And as a sidenote, other respectable article directory owners are also glad to see that you are stepping up the bar – hopefully it will spill over to the authors at the 2nd and 3rd tier directories. The redundant, crappy content has GOT to be stopped.

Thanks.

Respectfully,
Allen Graves

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 10:17 AM

[Reply]

Allen,

Great points…

The challenge continues that we can’t be all things to all people because it’s not in our future collective best interests to try to serve everyone equally.

The people I feel bad for are the newbies who are sold an expensive course that tells them to submit high volumes of thin content and then include your aff link. Reputation destroyers they are!

[Reply]

Allen Graves writes:

Yea – I think that conception is ingrained into the minds of a lot of newbies and veterans alike.

If you want backlinks, go post comments on autoblogs. Leave the respectable sites for the folks who follow TOS and common ethical standards.

Just my opinion…

Allies,
Allen

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4
Peter Eidson writes:

Let end-users report suspected violations of EzineArticles’ policies.

The eBay model for discovering and correcting violations to eBay’s policies is highly effective. They use tens-of-thousands of eyes of eBay members to monitor the actions of a few that can damage eBay’s reputation as an efficient market for buying and selling. When deviant behavior is reported, corrective action is taken by eBay.

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 10:20 AM

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Peter,

EVERY SINGLE DAY end users use our “REPORT ARTICLE” or “REPORT AUTHOR” tools to tell us what they think of our members or their content.

If we don’t catch or stop thin content writers, our members and users are quick to point out who disappointed them.

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5
Andrea Goodsaid writes:

Great clarity Chris!

People who choose to leverage quantity over quality are just plain missing the boat imho.

Maybe if you offered case studies or stats on CTRs on marginally spammy (ie. ‘ok but still – non engaging or immediately offering this ‘actionable nugget’ that Jeff speaks of) vs. a 10% article that’s not an encyclopedia but just a solid, useful 400 words or so … ?

It seems to me that ‘spinner writers’ are all about conversion (or they should be) — SHOW them (not tell them) that they’re wasting their time.

Also – the keyword stuffing is old school leftovers – there must be *some* way to get people to drop their urban myth thinking??

Or what about, like when you break the rules of the road, you have to go to traffic school … maybe in this case, have a three strikes rule before they have to “go to article school” – perhaps a reading assignment with varied multiple choice answers so the piece must be read and understood by a human in order to get back their ‘submit’ button?

Why should you waste your resources on endless review of the same old stuff from the same old people (different email)?

Those are my most immediate and absolutely unique to me thoughts on the topic ;-)

Pinky swear – grin.

Appreciate you!

Andrea

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 10:28 AM

[Reply]

Yeah, after I wrote this blog post, I thought… wow, I was really direct and perhaps a bit harsh in my feelings about this issue.

10,000 article submissions a week are deflected before we even seem them; 10,000 more are human deflected each week.

This drives me crazy because it’s such an expensive human waste of time for all parties involved!

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6
Mike Bond writes:

I heartily agree that the article title should live up to its promise. I’ve just had one rejected because it’s too much like another one I wrote. Quite correct. It should be rejected and I’m very sorry to have wasted the editor’s time.
My particular problem is that I can’t always remember what I’ve written before. Age and medications have a nasty habit of wiping the old memory board clean!
But at least I genuinely try. I really want my articles to be useful to people, and to repeat myself, I’m very sorry I dropped a clanger on this one,
Every good wish,
Mike

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM

[Reply]

Expect our software will continue to get smarter.

This is our goal… to have our servers give you more feedback and assistance to help you submit the perfect article each time.

[Reply]

I believe this to be true, and I also believe that the derivative software and AI software will also get better. I believe the software will get “SO GOOD” that eventually it will not be a problem, because it will be better than 80% of the human made articles posted by even the best authors. That is coming and soon even the Novels we read will be made by software and not humans. AI software will tell jokes, converse without anyone realizing it is not a human on the other side, and create fiction better than we’ve ever seen it. But for now, EzineArticles has it’s work cut out for it, trying to get rid of the crap using some sort of filter to save human editor time costs.

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7
Marte Cliff writes:

EzineArticles isn’t the only place people put articles that don’t deliver on the title. Some of our best known copywriters/marketers are doing this with their e-mail messages every day.

Big promise in the subject line – and all the e-mail tells is that you need the information and can buy it. Just click here. They don’t bother with the “tidbits” any more.

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 10:54 AM

[Reply]

Or worse, they include one or two word subject lines and you’re left to guess what their content is about. DELETE I say.

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8
Stephanie Clark writes:

Great topic and I agree with the comments. Quality should be a priority, as should intention. I, for one, would be quite willing to pay, say, $1/article to post to EzineArticles. This bit of “friction” (as Seth Godin recently blogged) would perhaps turn away spammer-type articles.
Thanks for bringing these concerns to the forefront! – Stephanie Clark

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 12:08 PM

[Reply]

Stephanie,

Actually, that amount of friction would not stop thin article spammers at all. They would be glad to pay it.

I’m pretty certain we don’t have any plans to charge for submission, but we do want to spoil or sour the milk for thin content writers who fail to deliver quality content.

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9
Robert E Darby writes:

Chris,
It is encouraging to see any movement toward high quality content. I am one who has one foot in both areas, that is; I do affiliate targeted articles as well as non commercial articles.
I find that I relate to many of the comments here having had memory problems due to age and lack of a folder called “published”, as Mike indicated, but most importantly, I believe much like Jeff spoke of, that building a solid reputation as an affiliate marketer is all about genuine quality content or you are just shooting yourself in the foot.
EzineArticles commitment to quality benefits all genuine participants in this industry. Way to go!

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 12:26 PM

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10
C.A. Perez writes:

Thank you, Chris

I want my readers to have a pleasant experience reading my articles and at the same time I want to be persuasive enough to have the reader click on my link. It’s an art form I want to master. I welcome your editorial policies.

As a newbie, I have signed many an opt in to learn “the secrets”. Fortunately, I have bought only a few. But, the emails! For the last two weeks of my 12 week career I have learned that there is a delete button on my email browser. My life is much simpler now.

Thank you and your staff for your vigilance.

Still learning,
Carlos

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM

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11
Ryan writes:

This is just what I would suspect any company should be doing to stay in business. I remember all too well what went on in the usenet forums. Once everybody decided that it was a great place to advertise then the “numbers game” spammers came out and made it unuseable. That’s how I think EzineArticles’ was evolving. I’m glad you’re “nipping it in the bud.” As a side note that is related, I notice that some pretty crappy writing is still getting by your editors. You would be doing yourself and those prospective writers a favor by rejecting those articles in kind. Your web site says the quality standards at EzineArticles is getting stricter, yet I’ve seen articles on the first page that hardly make sense when I open them.
I’m not encouraging discrimination against those whose first language is not English but either they should employ proof-readers for their articles before submitting them or treat their article submissions to your company as a learning experience. One day they’ll get it right. And your editors will probably have less work to do if this standard is employed.

P.S. – What about the possibility of opening this worldwide? EzineArticles in different languages?

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 3:48 PM

[Reply]

Ryan,

There will definitely be a day when EzineArticles is in other languages. We’ve discussed it internally. Sorry, no ETA is available yet.

[Reply]

I must say however, that there are “many” extremely great experts writing articles in “english” and it is not their native language, who’ve not only really improved but have some great information!

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12
Susan Fuller writes:

Good for you. We count on you keeping the standards high. It serves all of our customers whether we’re selling affiliate products or not. Let’s hear it for focusing on the customer first.

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 3:51 PM

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13
Sheila writes:

I think this is a HUGE step in the right direction. It may also effect how people view quality article writers (if they use copywriters that is), which many people do use. I think quality should be something we strive for in EVERYTHING we do online, or offline for that matter. The higher the bar is, the higher we will all have to reach to get thiere, which is great for everyone!

Sheila

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 4:00 PM

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14

Chris, as a long time contributor to EzineArticles, all I can say is great job. This is the reason why you’re the top article directory out there.

Keep up the good work and don’t let that 90% get you down.

Sincerely,

Steven Wagenheim

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 4:17 PM

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15
Jean Tracy, MSS writes:

It seems to me many affiliate marketers give me something of value the first time I give them my email. Then with every new product that comes out their new “best friend” created it and I get overwhelmed by their continuous spam. How annoying!

It makes me want to avoid all new “best products” and get on with my own work. The bad side is that I really might be missing something worthwhile. Nuts!

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 4:29 PM

[Reply]

Luke writes:

The answer to that is to have a separate email just for product-pitch email-marketers.

Keep product-update lists in your main email account.

The first time the product owner sends you a product pitch move them to the product pitch email address.

You cam do this easily using the address change/unsubscribe link that aweber provides.

This way you don’t get interrupted by people dissing your time. And you can look at 10s of pitches in one time slot.

[Reply]

16
Kenny Lee Jr writes:

I recently started to write for EzineArticles and in the process decided to read a dozen or so random articles that were published by various authors. I would say that most of them were quite good but there was a definite percentage of waste of time to read articles. I think you are smart to keep your standards from eroding your brand.
Kenny

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 4:36 PM

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17
Don Kiddle writes:

October 1

Hi,
Quite right – I admire your stance. Rubbish articles will quickly devalue any e-zine. My articles may not be well written but they do come ‘from the heart’ to the extent that I often forget that I’m supposed to be putting in keywords! But even so, none of us want the readers to start thinking it’s not worth reading any articles because the content is not worth a light.

Regards

Don Kiddle

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 8:07 PM

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18
Mike McMillan writes:

I do not spin my articles, nor do I hire them out. I’m not saying I go out and brag about my articles, but I can honestly say that they do come from my own experience.

I see more and more articles that were obviously spun and I’m not very happy about that. I know what you’re saying, Chris, about thin articles–but what concerns me more are almost incomprehensible jibberish articles with no value at all.

EzineArticles uses human reviewers as I understand, and I have always thought that if article submissions are allowed to turn into nothing more than depositories for software altered articles, eventually the search engines would respond in a very negative way. So I say good for EzineArticles.

Without a quality user experience, everything comes unraveled. No one wants that to happen!

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 8:10 PM

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19
Matt Bacak writes:

Good for you! Keep up the great work :-)

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 8:56 PM

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20
alyssa writes:

I think this is a very good way to cut out the crap from the directory.

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 8:57 PM

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We’re thinking it won’t cut the crap out but it will take another 5-15% slice into the worst of the thin useless articles.

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21
Jonathan Volk writes:

Hmmm Interesting

So lets say affiliate marketers submit 50% of the garbage articles would you say there will be a drop in EzineArticles adsense earnings?

Comment provided October 1, 2009 at 11:42 PM

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Allen Graves writes:

But at the same time, would you say there would be an increase in search engine traffic? Domain reputation? Subsequent, long-term traffic?

[Reply]

We are always ok with losing short-term ad revenue to get in return long term increased-trust perception with the marketplace.

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22
Willox Perez writes:

Great tips :) There must be a balance between quality and quantity :) So I definitely agree and I feel this blog and many of the other things you guys do to interact with the writers helps a lot and it definitely what separate you guys from most directories.

You guys take pride in the articles that you approve and allow here and is the same message you pass on to us writers :)

Keep it going!

“The best is yet to come”

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 2:12 AM

[Reply]

23
Luke writes:

“… are in it to share genuine expertise with original articles that came from their background…and they are doing this gig to explore a phase in their business life where they are trying to figure out how to convert traffic into dollars so that they can build their own products to sell.”

WOW. This is a *precise* description of where I am in business. Absolutely precise. Like it’s talking exactly about me.

I don’t have any strong opinions about EzineArticles. I don’t use you much. Yeah, short term methods will always die, so do whatever you must.

But I’m really surprised about that section because I’ve never seen that description of my business path before.

Yeah, as you’ve said, I’m doing affiliate marketing to develop my conversion skill to the point where I can release products on my own, based on my background.

I thought I was alone.

Nice article.

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 4:37 AM

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24
Carson writes:

I hope you continue to tighten things up as much as you can while still serving your long-term interests.
That being said, I have a few questions for you.

First, I noticed that you isolated “affiliate marketers” instead of the generic “marketers”. Does that mean your research indicates that affiliates are significantly more likely to submit substandard articles than are primary vendors?

Does that mean that a product owner who is straight-pitching his or her own stuff in the resource box will be subjected to different standards than the product’s affiliates?

Second, any editorial process in inherently subjective. Even a software-based solution will operate based on its creator’s subjective interpretation of quality. That’s life.

When someone in your position says that they’re going to be tougher on those who submit “thin” content, the alarm klaxons go off all over the marketing world (as I’m sure you’ve discovered a few thousand times since you started EzineArticles).

I’m guessing that many of the people getting worked into a lather over your newly declared war are probably on the safe side of the quality line and they just don’t know it.

I think you could put a damper on some of the alarmism while better serving your own goal of improved submission quality by providing some concrete examples of what will and won’t fly under the tightened standards.

I’d love to see what your editors consider “thin” or otherwise unacceptable–real examples instead of subjective descriptions.

Is there any chance that you might cook up a few “this ain’t gonna cut it” examples for folks to examine with a brief breakdown of the reasons why they wouldn’t pass muster?

Yours,
Carson

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM

[Reply]

25

Carson,

Fair enough request…

One of our rules is that we don’t “out” non-ideal members nor do we post examples of content we don’t accept. It’s bad enough that the member wasted their time and is now mad at us for not accepting it.

Which means, we’d have to recreate examples from scratch to show you what is thin vs. what is not.

Why don’t you just go look at ANY PLR article as an example of what sucks.

In the meantime, I’ll bring your request back to our Marketing Manager and Managing Editor and I think there is value in being able to show concrete examples of what thin vs. thick in quality looks like.

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 9:50 AM

[Reply]

Carson writes:

Well, you could always buy a few PLR articles and break them down as part of the set of samples, right? :-)

Thanks for considering the idea and good luck fighting off the next few thousand PE articles that are undoubtedly being spun from lousy source PLR as we speak.

Carson

[Reply]

Jeff Herring writes:

“Why don’t you just go look at ANY PLR article as an example of what sucks.”

Awesome, Chris, just awesome!

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26

Chris stated; “Last month we cracked down on penis enlargement articles and rejected thousands of them that over promised and massively under-delivered.”

How do you know? Did you try it? Just kidding, and I must say, I am gld to see such trash removed from this site. It detracts from all the authors here who really care and make this article directory a “cut above” and that’s where it belongs. Glad to see you are indeed looking into this, but of course, I also see there is more work to do in that regard.

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 1:35 PM

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27
Marte Cliff writes:

Lance – that was the question that popped into my mind when I read that sentence – I just didn’t have the nerve to ask it, even in jest.

Of course I agree with everyone here who is cheering on EzineArticles in their quest for quality offerings. And, as you said, there is still room for improvement.

I’ve read a few articles here that promised something and then said nothing. Reminds me of when my son was in high school. He said essays were easy because all you really had to do was put a lot of words on the paper. The instructors didn’t pay attention to whether they said anything or not, so you could just make it up as you went along.

Shame on those instructors, of course.

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 2:03 PM

[Reply]

Yes, shame on those instructors, I could not agree more, but with the “no child allowed to advance” unfortunately, I am afraid we are going to continue to see more of this.

Meanwhile, I was rather miffed when I recently got dethrowned as the most prolific online article writer by someone who basically re-wrote 4-5 articles 10,000 times. I mean come on, what a sham. I believe this is unfortunate, because it sends the wrong message as to what’s acceptable. And makes me wonder why I work so hard to produce content, just to be passed by a cheater.

I had encountered similar things in my business career over the years, but nothing this “in-your-face” and transparent. And really this isn’t sour grapes, because I love competition, I live for it. Legitimate competition that is.

I can recall in my years in track, I competed against athletes on steroids and usually beat them anyway, but racing against, re-writers, computer generated nonsense, $2 per article outsourced to India, and Frankienstein articles? Well, it’s makes a mockery of ALL online article writers and legitimate online article marketers. I am fairly disgusted with humanity over it all. But, if this is to what humanity aspires? Fine, that’s exactly what they deserve.

If article authors will not stand up for themselves, they don’t deserve this venue, this online article directory, or success in whatever it is they are offering online. That’s my thinking, as I reflect the reality of this post.

On a positive note; Thank God it’s Friday! Talk to you all Monday.

[Reply]

Jeff Herring writes:

Lance – Amen, and amen.

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28
Ajeet Khurana writes:

Very happy to hear this. There is just too much junk out there. ANY effort to clean it up a bit is welcome. Thanks.

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM

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29
Marte Cliff writes:

Lance – you’re right about the no-child thing. That is a whole other subject.

But don’t worry about my kid… he’s fine and just liked to toy with the teachers. We home schooled during the early years, so he was way beyond what they were teaching. I’m sure when he got to college he had to put a little more thought into his papers.

As for re-written articles. I’m all for gathering a few articles and re-writing the ideas and information in a different combination or from a different angle, but these goofy computer programs are just a joke.

Someone took one of my articles and posted it on their site re-written that way, and it was so bad that it had me laughing out loud.

I do feel compassion for people trying to learn our language. But… until they do, perhaps they should stick to writing articles in their own language.

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 6:47 PM

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30
Jay Jennings writes:

Chris – Wouldn’t increasing the minimum amount of words required also cut down on the “say nothing” articles? After all, how much real information can you give in 250 words?

250 words is more like a long paragraph than an entire article! =:)

Jay Jennings
ArticleArchitect.com

Comment provided October 2, 2009 at 7:19 PM

[Reply]

I suppose it would be interesting to audit the unique value being delivered in the 250-300 word count range.

Right now, we’re not in favor of raising the min. word count as our October plans are to take a 5-15% swipe into rejecting marginal articles that would have been previously accepted.

[Reply]

31
Valerie Mellema writes:

Thank you for this Chris. With the tougher standards, here’s hoping that people will drop this silly nonsense of spinning articles and using PLR content. I am a freelance writer and write hundreds of articles every month and 90% have to meet the EzineArticles.com standards. It’s been getting harder and harder these days because of the people who want to spin articles and pay $2 for “original” content. They don’t seem to realize that you have to actually put together coherent thoughts and do research to create articles with value and meaning and that all of that takes TIME, which equals money.

Comment provided October 3, 2009 at 12:13 AM

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32
Julie Davids writes:

It is very refreshing to me that EzineArticles is cracking down on the penis enlargement articles that over promise and under-deliver. It demonstrates to me that EzineArticles is more interested in long-term success than short-term success, which is often times short lived. I believe that authors who write quality content will be less motivated to submit their articles to an organization that allows articles of this extreme nature. Thanks for “raising the bar”- it will pay off in the long-run by attracting and keeping quality authors who deliver something of value.

Comment provided October 3, 2009 at 8:46 PM

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33
David writes:

I’m glad that you cracked down on affiliate articles. For sometime now, I’ve noticed EzineArticles not doing that well on google. ArticlesBase was outranking ezine. I was outraged. But the real reason is because of these nasty affiliates who provide stupid content.

I’m an affiliate article marketer too. I’m gonna change my strategy now. I wasn’t making any money now. So I tried to do what these guys did. But these guys suck.

they are ready to write 1000s of articles and give a direct link. And they just convert at around 0.25%.

Earlier when I used to presell using articles, I had solid conversion rates. It was around 4-6%. Also look for spammy articles in the Get Ex Back Niche(It’s the head bum’s product)

Comment provided October 5, 2009 at 1:11 PM

[Reply]

Rahul writes:

Hey, what an unfair take on Travis!
I think he really says that its just good intentions and solid content that can make you money. Check this out-
freeiq.com/youaregoodenoughalready?sp=140306af

Article marketing was used before Travis found the bum marketing method. Previously, it was used for a backlink. So what do you think people will work harder for a backlink or a sale?

[Reply]

34
Chris A Smith writes:

It’s a fast buck world. Always has been and always will be. Doesn’t matter if it’s article marketing, selling cars or developing the next drug for restless leg syndrome (whatever happened to that anyway). Quick profit is the American business mantra.

I’m an affiliate marketer and I hope I fall within the 10% you mentioned in your original comment.

You have to ask yourself why these spinners continue to crank out junk? Are the really making money with a 0.25 CTR? Of course there is no way to tell if their traffic converts and if it does what the refund rate is, but it just seems incredibly dumb to submit an article that might get 100 views and not get a single click.

When I first started last March my articles were averaging about 5% CTR. Today it’s closer to 25%. In other words, my single 25% article will deliver 100% more traffic than the spun piece of junk.

Perhaps if you could demonstrate that somehow and play on the greed motive. An article that takes 30 minutes to put together will send 100 times more targeted traffic than a spun article. Which is going to yield the higher conversion rate? Duh.

If you can take away the incentive to post spam by demonstrating there is a more profitable method, then perhaps you can get at least some of them submitting more substantial articles.

Comment provided October 7, 2009 at 12:46 PM

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35
Tor-S writes:

Hey Chris,

It’s good you lads cracked down on this, but i hope you lads aren’t going to give us affiliate marketers the boot just because there are a few or more who submit junk.

Some of us DO in fact spend allot of time researching the topic at hand, to help the end-user and recieve something for the hard work… =)

Comment provided October 8, 2009 at 4:02 AM

[Reply]

36
Geoff writes:

“Most affiliate marketers don’t fight us when we reject their articles because they were not worth writing home to Mom about in the first place.”

Love that bit. Yes, I can imagine that`s very true. I think the mentality of a lot of affiliates is akin to the spammers (sometimes one and the same)- throw enough mud at the wall and some of it will stick.

Comment provided October 8, 2009 at 9:28 AM

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37
Sam writes:

I also am glad you’re stepping up your quality standards – I always try to provide plenty of useful information in my articles, and still seem to attract visitors to my sites. And as I visitor, I think I’d be more likely to click through to the site of an author who has provided a udeful, well-written article, than one who has written a thin article that doesn’t really tell me anything useful

However, I don’t quite agree with what you wrote here:

“10% are in it to share genuine expertise with original articles that came from their background…and they are doing this gig to explore a phase in their business life where they are trying to figure out how to convert traffic into dollars so that they can build their own products to sell. This is the type of affiliate marketer we welcome and even on some days, call “ideal.””

I consider myself one of those who is here to share genuine expertise, but I’ve no plans to develop my own product. Instead, I promote only high quality products (that I’ve personally tried) as an affiliate – I’ve chosen affiliate marketing precisely because I don’t currently want to undertake many of the tasks involved with selling a product of my own (customer service etc). But I still pride myself on the quality of information provided on my sites, and I think I’m doing my visitors a service by recommending genuinely useful products that complement that content. So I hope you’ll recognize that affiliates can still provide high quality content to EzineArticles even if they’re not aspiring product developers!

Comment provided October 8, 2009 at 3:22 PM

[Reply]

Sam,

It’s ok with us if you never plan to develop your own product.

You’ll always be unfairly lobbed into the same category as other affiliate marketers, but if your content contains brilliance, we’ll be able to pick up on that I’m sure. :)

Your landing page will also factor in on our perception of your quality. If it leads to clickbank-type sites or get rich quick offers, this won’t reflect well.

[Reply]

38
Chris A Smith writes:

Chris

Let me just follow up on your last comment.

“Your landing page will also factor in on our perception of your quality. If it leads to clickbank-type sites or get rich quick offers, this won’t reflect well.”

Are you saying you anticipate a change in the guidelines and that affiliate pages, which are currently allowed if they reside on a primary domain will no longer be allowed?

I can appreciate your concerns but I hope you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. I’m probably one of the very few affiliates, and by the way I prefer broker because that’s what Ive done in advertising for the past 11 years, who doesn’t deal in IM schemes to make a million at home.

However, the products I do promote have real value to the audience (golf instruction, pet care, and hypertension information) and I would hate to see the visitor who consciously clicks for more information be sent to a site that I’ve developed rather than a professional web marketing firm.

I’m a writer. I’m leveraging other people’s talent to actually make the sale. Are you saying that now I will have to develop a new skill set?

Comment provided October 9, 2009 at 12:03 PM

[Reply]

I’m anticipating no change to the affiliate linking guideline right now.

We’re thinking about the end user including the referral source of each end user. Did we make the referrer look good for having done so and did we satisfy the end user by your content and the link they clicked? If YES, then all is good. If NO, then we’ll have a short-term relationship.

[Reply]

39
Dhanesh Maind writes:

Hi Chris,

There Is Only One Thing Constant Is Change, and for EzineArticles how true it is. Change for betterment is always admirable and acceptable. I hope your recent policies will actually deliver more value to end user and eventually articles will rank better and longer.

This will actually work for those who always put quality as a first preference. I personally feel that this will eventually help for affiliate marketers, product owners, readers and EzineArticles.

Regards,
Dhanesh Maind

Comment provided October 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM

[Reply]

40
Darren writes:

Hi Chris.

Quote: “Last month we cracked down on penis enlargement articles and rejected thousands of them that over promised and massively under-delivered.”

Would this not be the complaint department of the medical practitioner who completed this? Sorry, we all need some light laughs sometimes.

Chris, I’m sure you have already been made aware of this and it is something that you may need to keep your eyes on.

Some “so called affiliates” are creating pages on websites that hold some basic content, and once the article has been passed are stuffing redirects to affiliate sites.

Acai Force Max Review will show you the truth – light content, not the best spoken word and affiliate divert linking.

I know it is difficult to keep on top of, so I just wanted to shine a light, even though you may already know!

Best Regards

Darren

Comment provided October 14, 2009 at 2:15 AM

[Reply]

Yes, we’ve seen this behavior many times.

In fact, we fired half a dozen Premium members last week and downgraded more than 2 dozen accounts that were previously Platinum plus tossed thousands of articles during our cleanup sweeps.

In addition, several high volume members found their accounts suspended from future submissions or terminated all together.

Lots of tough decisions, but all had one thing in common: Trust was lost.

We’ve even been called “Nazi’s” in one of the Internet marketing forums. Sheesh… call us what you want I guess… we’re going to protect this ship against evil for the benefit of our million daily visitors and all those who refer traffic to us.

[Reply]

Carson writes:

I’m always amazed at the willingness some people have to slice their own throats.

Those who’d violate your TOS by redirecting to affiliate sites from their resource box links are a perfect example.

First, you’re cutting them loose. They’re losing their accounts and the potential that comes with them.

Second, even if they do manage to fly under your radar, they’re losing money. Almost every client with whom I’ve worked does better by linking to their own landing page at which they can pre-sell products, build a list, etc. The “send ’em to the affiliate sales page” strategy isn’t usually the best choice from a dollars and cents perspective.

Third, if their testing should reveal that the redirect would work better, I believe you still allow people to send traffic to an affiliate page via a redirect if they’re using a TLD. Thus, they could eliminate the risk of account loss by making a minimal investment in a domain name, right?

Keep on culling the bad guys, Chris. Any affiliate marketer who “gets it” isn’t going to mind.

Carson

[Reply]

41
Darren writes:

Guys and Girls,

I’m sure this is not the first time, nor, will it be the last. What amazes me the most is that they think by using a scantily clad landing page to get the article approved, then they hit it with a redirect straight to the affiliate page.

The danger is, some of these Acai / Health sites are using hard codes for affiliates, so even when you hit the page, it just simply displays the direct url with no affiliate link showing.

My gripe is just as much the article as it is the methodology. If it wasn’t so blatant a sales review for a product, I may not have even mentioned it.

Please, Chris, take a look if you already haven’t done so!

Comment provided October 14, 2009 at 9:04 AM

[Reply]

42
Maggie Dawson writes:

Chris, could you clarify this? I’m getting confused.

“You declare that you will not send in any articles with direct affiliate links in them. We reject articles with direct affiliate links. It is ok, however, forward/redirect to an affiliate link from the top-level of a domain name you own. For example, it is permissible to forward to an affiliate link from:

http://your-company-name.com/

…but it would not be permissable to forward to an affiliate link from:

http://your-company-name.com/page.html
http://your-company-name.com/subdirectory/
http://your-company-name.com/subdirectory/page.html

This is one of our many article quality standards.”

Are you saying people have just been planting direct affiliate links? I was under the impression that forwarding to an affiliate site by doing a 301 forward from your own domain name was fine.

Comment provided October 14, 2009 at 9:16 AM

[Reply]

Doing an affiliate link to a domain you own with a 301 rewrite is still ok.

I’m not sure for how long.

[Reply]

Maggie Dawson writes:

Thanks… I really hope this remains ok. I’ve got no plans to sell an infoproduct of my own, but have been driving some serious traffic to my brother’s websites through my articles with affiliate links to him, redirected through my own domains.

If you do decide to crack down on affiliate redirects, I hope you’ll allow on a case by case basis, because the possibilities for making money here as affiliates for legitimate businesses is through the roof. Not sure how people like me will do it otherwise.

[Reply]

43
C.A. Perez writes:

I think I need some clarification. I only have twenty some odd articles and I don’t want to get kicked out of EzineArticles.

I thought it was acceptable to redirect directly to a vendor’s page if you owned a domain that you are redirecting from. And, that domain (your domain) appears only in the resource box.

What are these other people doing? I don’t understand.
C.A. Perez

Comment provided October 14, 2009 at 9:33 AM

[Reply]

Members were sending visitors to their URL to a site that we wouldn’t object to during the approval process and then changing the redirect after approval to a site we would not have approved of.

Yes, we check landing pages.

Example:

Before article approval, sending a visitor to a site that sells how to optimize your website for Google.

After the article is approved, sending visitors to a site that talks about how to scam Google or dominate it or stomp them out or spam them.

When we find them later, the member gets terminated for scamming us.

[Reply]

C.A. Perez writes:

OK, I understand. Man, I must be a naive old goat. That would not have crossed my mind.

Carlos

[Reply]

44
Maggie Dawson writes:

The more I think about this, the more it seems like not even allowing domain redirects will be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

There’s got to be a way to get rid of bad affiliates without making it nearly impossible for good ones to redirect directly to decent businesses they’re promoting with valuable content.

Comment provided October 14, 2009 at 11:37 AM

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45
Chris A Smith writes:

Now I’m beginning to feel your pain. That’s not affiliate marketing that’s just a straight up scam.

Comment provided October 14, 2009 at 12:29 PM

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46
Christopher M. Knight writes:

This thread has made its way to both the Warrior Forum and the Digital Point Forum.

To answer a few from the Digital Point thread:

Thankfully 99% of our members articles are not affiliate link pushers. Then we’d be just as crappy as many competitor sites that auto-publish everything.

One guy had a great suggestion of not allowing .info domains in any articles. I like that one alot. I know of NO GOOD websites on this planet that end with a .info TLD.

Sometimes a resource box is rejected even though it meets the less than 15% word count of the article body because it uses up more than 15% of the vertical line count. Example: An article with 30 lines of article body should only have a resource box no longer than 4.5 lines long.

You are right… we don’t like PLR articles or articles that promote the benefits of PLR.

Sorry that we must use today’s standard of article review for any old previously accepted articles that you want to edit. No article is grandfathered. When you change your resource box, it takes us the same amount of review time as a brand new article, therefore we apply today’s standards of review. We’ve been long considering not allowing articles to be edited as that’s a significant cost center for us that delivers us no real value in the short-term, but I know it delivers lots of value to our members.

Some Premium members thought by paying us money, we would give them extra bias or leniency. Sorry, they just found out that we kept our word about how no editorial bias should be expected. Half a dozen Premium members were let go this past week.

Sorry, we don’t have the manpower to contact every member and let them know with a courtesy time frame heads up when an article needs to be removed. We receive thousands of end-user feedback as well as our own software continues to improve and as we perceive or identify content that doesn’t provide either a positive end user experience or reflect well on the site as a whole, we act.

Our perspective is that even though we would be nothing without our members, we will become nothing if we don’t act to protect the integrity of the site for the benefit of the daily million visitors and all of our current & future ideal members.

What amazes me is that so many members who have invested thousands of hours scamming our system have put up no fight directly with us to defend their content integrity when we terminate their articles or account. This tells us that they knew their content wasn’t above boards or it was thin rehashed article vomit.

Last week we lowered the article derivative threshold and that means we’re rejecting 700+ articles per day before our Editors even see the content. Guess what? ZERO complaints from our members that we’re wrongly auto-rejecting their content. WOW. Do we feel stupid…. but the end goal is to INCREASE the quality and perceived quality of articles found when brand new people come to EzineArticles.com.

Comment provided October 15, 2009 at 12:58 PM

[Reply]

Maggie Dawson writes:

LOVE the .com idea. I know some people would still be willing to pay to continue to spam but seems like it would weed out a lot of bad eggs.

[Reply]

Jay Jennings writes:

You said… “Guess what? ZERO complaints from our members that we’re wrongly auto-rejecting their content. WOW. Do we feel stupid…”

You may not hear about it, but I sure see people on the forums complaining.

If I submit an article and you reject it, for the most part I don’t feel like complaining does any good. It’s your playground and if I want to play ball I have to do what you say.

I recently complained about a decision you guys made but felt like I was putting my chance to gain Platinum status on the line (as I do now in writing this comment).

After all, you don’t need any single author, so kicking someone out for complaining isn’t any big thing for you.

So when you don’t see complaints over something you do, I’m not sure I’d be so quick to jump to the reason why. You’re looking at things from a different perspective than the authors.

Jay Jennings

[Reply]

C.A. Perez writes:

I reluctantly write this. I’m not one who thrives on confrontation. Sometimes, comments cannot go unanswered.

“Thankfully 99% of our members articles are not affiliate link pushers. Then we’d be just as crappy as many competitor sites that auto-publish everything.”

Am I detecting a “holier than thou” stance here? Look, I respect editors. Authors have a tendency to protect their written word with the ardor of a lioness. Editors ground their authors and help them improve their work.

I admit that article writing for the purpose of marketing sometimes takes an abusive slant. A slant that does not always show a favorable light on article writing/marketing. A slant that leads to writing crappy, gibberish articles. I also agree that such blatant activity should be stopped.

“One guy had a great suggestion of not allowing .info domains in any articles. I like that one alot. I know of NO GOOD websites on this planet that end with a .info TLD”

You cannot exclude a self promoting marketer, one who sells his own product, from the cauldron of marketers. They too must abide by your rules and definition of “link pusher”. Is it a fact then that those who push their own products do not use “.info”, “.usa”, “.biz” or any other suffix to promote their products?

To label a .info website as something less than godly smells of labeling a black man or Spanish surnamed, USA Navy veteran, 5th generation Texan, son of W W II combat veteran, as something less human. I just can’t buy that.

“Sometimes a resource box is rejected even though it meets the less than 15% word count of the article body because it uses up more than 15% of the vertical line count. Example: An article with 30 lines of article body should only have a resource box no longer than 4.5 lines long.”

OK – That sounds like a good objective and reasonable rule.

“You are right… we don’t like PLR articles or articles that promote the benefits of PLR.”

I can understand that rule/opinion. Is the submitter an author or a fake? If the material is not original to the author then it is plagiarized in one form or another.

“Sorry that we must use today’s standard of article review for any old previously accepted articles that you want to edit. No article is grandfathered. When you change your resource box, it takes us the same amount of review time as a brand new article, therefore we apply today’s standards of review.”

I can’t argue with that. You have the stats. I don’t. It is certainly a reasonable policy.

“We’ve been long considering not allowing articles to be edited as that’s a significant cost center for us that delivers us no real value in the short-term, but I know it delivers lots of value to our members.”

It is unfortunate that you are considering that action. It may not deliver a value to you, but it is a disservice to the author and to your visitors. If an author cannot correct a content error or change a resource box to reflect a change, personal or commercial, then your visitor will suffer for lack of accurate information. If it happens frequently enough, then ultimately he may not return to your directory, because he, the visitor, will not have had a ” positive end user experience” nor would it “reflect well on the site as a whole”.

“Some Premium members thought by paying us money, we would give them extra bias or leniency. Sorry, they just found out that we kept our word about how no editorial bias should be expected. Half a dozen Premium members were let go this past week.”

So be it!

“Sorry, we don’t have the manpower to contact every member and let them know with a courtesy time frame heads up when an article needs to be removed. We receive thousands of end-user feedback as well as our own software continues to improve and as we perceive or identify content that doesn’t provide either a positive end user experience or reflect well on the site as a whole, we act.”

That is unfortunate, but then that is business.

“Our perspective is that even though we would be nothing without our members, we will become nothing if we don’t act to protect the integrity of the site for the benefit of the daily million visitors and all of our current & future ideal members.”

Which came first the chicken or the egg? I feel your dilemma, but then that is business.

“What amazes me is that so many members who have invested thousands of hours scamming our system have put up no fight directly with us to defend their content integrity when we terminate their articles or account. This tells us that they knew their content wasn’t above boards or it was thin rehashed article vomit.”

I have no doubt that “scammers” would be reluctant to defend their evil ways. On the other hand, I wonder how many newbies are reluctant to defend their content integrity for fear of rejection. For authors, rejection is a PRIMAL fear. For newbies it must be paralyzing.

“Last week we lowered the article derivative threshold and that means we’re rejecting 700+ articles per day before our Editors even see the content. Guess what? ZERO complaints from our members that we’re wrongly auto-rejecting their content. WOW. Do we feel stupid…. but the end goal is to INCREASE the quality and perceived quality of articles found when brand new people come to EzineArticles.com.”

See my previous comment and I think Jay Jennings’ post is accurate. Have you ever tried complaining to the IRS?

Well, I’ve written my two cents worth of comment. I believe EzineArticles is the best directory in the field, the champion.

But, its leadership is best defined by its reliance on objectivity and quantifiable policies and not on a preponderance of subjectivity.

C.A. Perez

[Reply]

47
Darren writes:

Chris,

On a lighter, and slightly more technical one at that, would you please see if you can resolve the following.

Yesterday, I received 1 notification regarding this blog post, the day before it was many more. The approval team tried to send a question regarding an article link in the bio and it bounced, and now my account is suspended.

Going by how long it is taking to get articles approved right now, I have a sneaky feeling that my account may stay on the suspended list for some time.

I know some things are automated, but there is a delay in all departments right now, as the following will explain.

The reason for the article being rejected is one that no one can understand. If I go to the article in the pending or problem article area and click the link, it works – if I copy the link into the address bar, it works, and I have sent it to our web development team, and it worked for them – yet when it comes through the system you guys keep rejecting it as a broken link!

What could be the issue, because it is confusing the hell out of all of us now?

I know this is a long shot, but as I sent in a request by email a week ago regarding the same issue on another link and, still have not received a reply, can you please take a look and see if there is a resolve.

We have just paid nearly $25,000 to have the site structure built and, if it is throwing links that can not be used, I need to find out what to do.

Obviously, my account is suspended for something completely nonsense because the automated system that tells me you guys received my message last night came through fine.

And, I would like to say that I will get one from the blog post too – yet I can not do anything with my articles because of the automatic block in place.

Hold your breath, here goes…..

Comment provided October 16, 2009 at 2:22 AM

[Reply]

Darren,

We started today 2700 email support tickets in arrears. Even though we just doubled our support team, it’ll be several weeks before we return to our normal 1-2 day response speed.

We’ll get to your email in the order it was received. If you want to go to the front of the line, Premium Membership is an option.

[Reply]

48
Tristan Perry writes:

Some interesting views, and at first I fully agreed with it. However reading some of the comments, there definitely is an unprofessional “Holier Than Thou” attitude coming out.

I’m a web developer and internet marketer. All my articles to EzineArticles are 100% unique and are well written (IMO and the opinion of your editors). However some of the comments the EzineArticles staff are making seem like they are saying that IMers are criminals, and this is unfair.

As I say, I fully agree with the idea of cutting down on rubbish articles. But your comments are saying something different. For example:

“Thankfully 99% of our members articles are not affiliate link pushers. Then we’d be just as crappy as many competitor sites that auto-publish everything.” – okay, that’s unprofessional. I know you aren’t naming names, but do you think you’re divine or something?

[I]”One guy had a great suggestion of not allowing .info domains in any articles. I like that one alot. I know of NO GOOD websites on this planet that end with a .info TLD.”[/I] – a massive generalization. I just Googled “inurl:.info” and found 5 websites with PR 5 or higher, in less than 30 seconds. Including some charities. But according to EzineArticles’s employees, these charities are “NO GOOD”? Hmm…

Argue semantics all you like, but you just said that no good can come from .info TLDs. Well sorry, but you just said that a bunch of charities are no good.

“Why don’t you just go look at ANY PLR article as an example of what sucks.” – again, a massive generalization. You seem to think that you are gods, from the sounds of it. Of course, re-hashing PLR articles doesn’t really help EzineArticles. But you are still making unfounded claims since you are speaking on behalf of every PLR article out there.

“We’ve even been called “Nazi’s” in one of the Internet marketing forums. Sheesh… call us what you want I guess… we’re going to protect this ship against evil for the benefit of our million daily visitors and all those who refer traffic to us.” – calling you Nazis is a little much, granted, but now you are talking about a “war” against “evil”, and making massive sweeping statements. You are sounding very silly, or at least the employee who’s replying is.

So whilst I do agree with the original blog post, the comments by your employees on this blog post are becoming a bit of a farce. Even saying that some charities (on .info domains) are “NO GOOD”. Well done EzineArticles…

Comment provided October 18, 2009 at 4:02 PM

[Reply]

Tristan,

No staff member of EzineArticles has commented on this blog post but me…so please don’t blame anyone on our team.

I said nothing about charities on .info domains. If you search this page, you’ll find that you were the only one talking about charities and .info domains. Until you mentioned it, I wasn’t even aware that there were charities who used .info domains.

Whether I think .info domains are good or not is irrelevant right now as we’re not going to take any action on that suggestion by another member.

[Reply]

49
Tristan Perry writes:

To quickly add to the above – I write 250-350 word articles most of the time. This is since I am not a real fan of writing (or reading) essays, especially online. Research has shown that our eyes don’t read as well online, and if I wanted to learn a lot, I’d buy a book on the subject. Hence why I’m a fan of 250-350 word articles.

Anywhoo, I hope Chris (or another EzineArticles employee) can reply to my above post/OPINIONS.

Especially the bit where you seemed to suggest that some charities are “NO GOOD”.

Many thanks,
Tristan Perry

Comment provided October 18, 2009 at 4:06 PM

[Reply]

Tristan,

I never said some charities [who use .info domains] are “no good.”

That’s quite a stretch.

Until you mentioned it, I wasn’t even aware that some charities used .info domains.

Again, it’s not a point worth debating as we’re not going to take any action with respect to .info domains in Resource Boxes at this time.

[Reply]

50

I’ve had time to think about this thread and I’m reminded of an old zen saying, “Whatever you are FOR, strengthens you. Whatever you are AGAINST, weakens you”.

Therefore, I should have focused on what we were FOR (helping genuine expert authors get traffic and credibility enhancement using the EzineArticles platform) vs. what we’re AGAINST (those who’ve made it their mission to game our system with thin article vomit).

Comment provided October 18, 2009 at 8:54 PM

[Reply]

51
Tristan Perry writes:

Thanks for the reply Chris. Okay I can see that my .info point was a bit of a stretch, but I do feel that it was still a tad.. unwise to make such an unfounded claim against the .info TLD. Your last line:

“Therefore, I should have focused on what we were FOR (helping genuine expert authors get traffic and credibility enhancement using the EzineArticles platform) vs. what we’re AGAINST (those who’ve made it their mission to game our system with thin article vomit).”

Seems fair since, as above, I’m all for getting rid of the rubbish articles out there. That’ll benefit all of us in the long run. (I’d be in that 10%).

Comment provided October 19, 2009 at 1:17 AM

[Reply]

52
Sean Buvala writes:

Raising the bar is great.

Consistent decision making by your review team members would be even greater. You have a great service but it is a total roll of the dice to see if you get an editor that understands the rules and on that is afraid of their own shadows. Whatever you raise, please be sure to keep the training up-to-date for everyone on your staff.

Thank you for your site here. I had stepped away while you ironed out some issues. I’ll try again.

Comment provided October 20, 2009 at 3:45 PM

[Reply]

Sean,

Then you’ll be happy to know that we hired a 2nd full time Editorial trainer and we’re building a larger in-house training facility for re-training our current team in addition to new hire training.

[Reply]

Sean Buvala writes:

This is great news, Mr. Knight. Thanks!

[Reply]

Thanks Sean.

I toured it last night. Our current training center can train 8 Editors/people at a time in cramped quarters. The new training center is being designed for 15-18 people plus an instructor. I’ll post pics in mid to late November when it gets completed.

[Reply]

53
Jaime Taylor writes:

This is so funny to me. Everybody is just giving you a huge pat on the back for your “upgrades” to your service. LOL.

Look, I’m going to say what no one else really wants to say. Don’t for one second do I or really anyone else belive that you are “concerned” with the outcome of your “reader”. Your site is nothing more than a glorified made for adsense site that google happens to like. Google is the ONLY “reader” you are concerned about since thats the ONLY thing that directly affects your income.

You noticed something happening in your traffic stats or rankings that threw up a red flag that could come back and bite you in the rear end at some point and your making changes. You run a business, and there is nothing wrong with saying that. You don’t have to apologize for it either.

But, to come out and say that your “concerned” for your readers end result is crap. Your concerned what googles thoughts about the end result will be because that directly affects your income.

Your “guidelines” are so un backed up its rediculous. I’ve seen people get some of these “thin” content warnings, and articles deleted only to see someone else do the exact samething, the same day, and get away with it. Not on a small scale either, i’m talking about watching someone have 15 articles come out at the same time, all on the same subject and it be just fine.

I’ve seen inconsistancies about this “250 word minimum” but I’ve also seen people be told they won’t be allowed to submit any articles unless they are at least 400 words long from now on. Kinda goes against your own rules doesn’t it?

Marketers make up your site! If it wasn’t for marketers, there would be no EzineArticles. People outside of internet marketing don’t have a damn clue as to what EzineArticles is, affilate links or adsense.

Wake up people! Put your content on your own site FIRST, and then submit it to ezine if thats what you want to do.

But please, lets just call this what it is and not try and paint this big picture that you have the reader’s best interest in mind. You have YOUR adsense codes best interest in mind, and whats going to get you more clicks. Because the layout of these articles certainly doesn’t get any style points. Sometimes it’s hard to even tell where the actual article really is between all the adsense blocks on the side.

Sorry Chris. You’ve got a great business with your directory. No doubt you worked hard to get it to where it is, and you don’t have to explain why you do the things you want to do with it. Thats one of the perks of having your own business :) but don’t try to push the issue of what is really going on behind some kind of smoke screen.

Something happened, you saw something effecting your money down the line and you saw the need to do something about it. Thats it.

Just thought I’d say what a ton of people were thinking, but it seems no one was really going to just come out and say it.

Comment provided October 21, 2009 at 12:49 AM

[Reply]

Jaime,

When we protect the interests of the end-user by ensuring they have a consistent quality and positive experience, everything else about our business works itself out.

We’re also focused on making certain that everyone who refers traffic to us …looks good for having done so. That’s only good business and it protects the investment our members have made to submit their best original works.

The inconsistencies thing you’re mentioning is of great concern to us…which is why we’ve been hiring and expanding our development team to come up with smarter software to help weed out what the human eye can’t catch as easily.

It is true that we’ve told many members that we would like to see them write 400 word articles because the majority of their 250-400 word articles were too thin on value. It takes a very special author to write a high value article in the 250-399 word range. Rare when I see it.

Believe what you want. I laid out the cards as I see them.

The “something” that happened is that I perceived a future problem that needed to be solved today before we were forced to solve it by an outside force.

[Reply]

54

Jaime Taylor, well “big shot” know-it-all, let me ask you question of your Holyness and high and mighty self, apparently you are judging everyone else, by your own thought process. Sure EzineArticles has to make money, and yes, they’ll lose their unbelievable Google Rankings if they do not watch the “spammy” PLR and Derivative crap, but consider if you will that this is a mutual goal.

And consider that if the reader gets miffed, they will not click on anything EzineArticles [dot] com/this-is-an-article again and so, it does matter what the reader thinks, just like if the NYTs website started publishing crap, no one would go their for the news so no one would read the ads and no one would thus, advertise. We have a good win/win situation going, and we Legitimate Authors would like to keep it that way, otherwise all is lost and we’ve put in a lot of work to get here, all of us have.

I am not impressed with your inability to post a link on your name so we can see who you are, so if you have any integrity at all, you’ll email me directly and stand on your so-called moral high-horse without hiding who you are.

Comment provided October 21, 2009 at 7:19 AM

[Reply]

55
Andy Philips writes:

I am afraid I have to agree with much of what Jamie has said.

Many writers, both premium and non premium have been threatened with loss of their accounts if they do not write 400 word articles. This wasn’t a request, but they have been told to write 400 words or lose your accounts. There is a template being sent out with specific things in it, with small variations.

Unfortunately what Jamie says about 250 word articles is correct as well and many writers are still submitting 250 word articles with nothing but filler content, 15 -20 at a time in many topics, while others have an axe hanging over their heads and feel they cannot compete or get traffic.

Perception is everything and the perception many people have is either poor editorial control or that specific writers are being targetted, discriminated against and picked on. I’m sure its not true, it can’t possibly be can it.

while it is true that in some topics there is no way you can write enough information or content in 300 words in others you can and surely this should be up to the reader to decide.

Instead of all this “he said, she said”. if EzineArticles want people to write 400 word articles then they should change their template to 400 words instead of telling some people to write 400 word articles and letting others write 251 word articles. Somehow I do not see that happening.

Here is one of my favorite Zen sayings…”The tighter you squeeze, the less you have”

Comment provided October 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM

[Reply]

Yes, we discriminate against bad content.

Yes, we target members who have a long history of submitting low value content.

The only reason we haven’t raised the 250 word count limit is from fear that most members who currently submit 250 words of filler will just submit 300 words of filler… and this doesn’t solve the primary problem. That said, perhaps we should raise it anyway. Will need to do a comprehensive stats study first.

If the tighter we squeeze, the less we have… I’m ok with that with hopes “the less we have” comes from the more ideal members.

[Reply]

Dear Any Philips,

Why not tell me why, everytime someone trashes EzineArticles they fail to link their name to an actual user or website? Looks to me like a bunch of attack dogs are coming over here from the Warriors Forum trashing everything I stand for. This personal now. Why not email me directly so we can discuss this and use your real name and let’s see what you are up to these days? What are you peddling? This is a direct challenge, I will not have EzineArticles reputation trashed in this manner. I have invested more hours in writing articles here than you’ve spent in your business. Stop trashing EzineArticles, and pony up and un-cloak yourself. You want to talk trash online, then do it like a man!!!!

[Reply]

Tristan Perry writes:

That’s random. There’s no reason why I didn’t link to my website (http://www.tristanperry.com, top of Google for my name… takes less than 2 seconds to find…)

Most people “trashing” EzineArticles here (by “trashing”, it’s actually just “giving an opinion”, by the way) have given there real name.

Heck, via my name (which I never attempt to hide online) you can find my address, phone number, e-mail address and more.

Not putting a link in your name is neither here nor there – since there are, y’know, things called search engines (and WHOIS search sites) whereby you can find quite a bit of information out easily.

P.S. Please stop with the personal attacks (I know you haven’t personally insulted me, but it’s annoying to read nonetheless)

“Stop trashing EzineArticles, and pony up and un-cloak yourself. You want to talk trash online, then do it like a man!!!!” – lmao! ^^

[Reply]

Tristan, your attitude is mean-spirited, persnickety, and watching your behavior, I’d have thrown your butt off this site a long time ago, regardless of the length of your articles or their perceived value-less content by the editors here. Seriously, young man, you have an attitude issue, and I do not appreciate your attacks on the brandname of this website.

You are hurting the authors here with your sassy, sarcastic, and juvenile petty little games. Go play your video games until your heart sings, but stop trashing this website.

[Reply]

Andy Philips writes:

Sorry for taking so long to reply but Ive been busy with my business that does NOT rely on ezine.

Pony up and uncloak myself. Sorry but I only speak English, can you tell me what this means? If you are trying to imply I am hiding, from what, why is there a need to hide.

Where was I thrashing Ezine artices? I stated facts, not speculation, not opinion, not conjecture, facts. Calm down and read again.

I would take a step back and look at your posts, throwing stones in glasshouses is never a good idea.

Oh and BTW I do not post on the warrior forum or hardly ever. So please do not make assumptions.

what am I up to these days? What am I peddling. I am sorry to tell you, I am not peddling anything.

I had a message yesterday from a new writer on EzineArticles, asking me what to do as her articles were being rejected. She had been sent the same template telling her to write 400 word articles or she would get booted. In case I still havent made it clear. There is not a level playing field here and people are being treated unfairly and yes that is a fact too.

Do I care personally. No. Ezine is not a business model, but I do care when other people are being unfairly treated.

Ezine is Chris Knights and the fact that he will even allow people to say what they want on here is kudos to him but..some of the things being posted on here make me raise an eyebrow.

I am sorry to have to tell you this is my real name, I do not own a pony or need to get off one and I do not wear a cloak.

[Reply]

56
Tristan Perry writes:

Hi Chris,
I’m a tad confused. You (as a company) want to get better quality content, and this is something I fully understand and support. However some comments on this blog (made by the EzineArticles staff) and on your Facebook account seem very.. unprofessional. For example:

“We’ve been firing an average of 2 Premium members every day now as not being a good match. In some cases, we’ve had to fire members who were Premium, got fired, bought again and then had to be banned from Premium membership. We’ve had members plead to pay any price for speed or to be unbanned. One guy yesterday offered us $36k to accept his articles on top of our Premium membership fee with one exception: He wanted us to accept derivative content. No way!”

Surely bragging about “firing” paid members, and then giving a major insight into a very private (and sensitive) conversation between a EzineArticles member and EzineArticles staff, is very unprofessional?

As I say, I’m in this elusive (!) 10% and support a clamp-down. Although surely this will all be un-done if and when potential EzineArticles readers read comments like this?

Kind Regards,
Tristan Perry

Comment provided October 21, 2009 at 10:35 AM

[Reply]

Tristan,

Having to fire clients sucks for both us and the client. It’s not bragging…but it does serve a purpose: To make it crystal clear that we don’t give Editorial bias to Premium members and that it should not be assumed. Editorial bias is never for sale. We’ve made this clear on the sales letter pages but it keeps getting expected and we keep having to prove that it’s not for sale.

I’m sharing insights into our current thinking and which lines in the sand we are drawing.

[Reply]

Jay Jennings writes:

I saw it more as “straight shooting” than bragging and while I may not agree with all your decisions, I appreciate that you don’t sugar-coat things.

Jay Jennings

[Reply]

Tristan states; “I’m a tad confused.”

BULL, that is how all “high school rhetoric debat teams start their counter arguments, it’s Debate 101” and guess what, this ain’t high school.

This is real life and you aren’t confused, you are here to trash the GREATEST online article directory every created in the history of the human species. What is your problem.

In fact, I am glad Chris posted this information because it shows just what sort of nonsense these “cheaters” are willing to go through to destroy what we’ve built here.

You know what, I’ve spent cumulatively more time writing and posting articles Tristan, than you’ve EVER spent in all the businesses you’ve ever run in your entire life.

It’s not private or sensitive, its a con-game being played by a gamer of the system, its an attempted bribe, and if this were a government agency they culprit would be sitting next to Bernie Madoff talking about the good ole’ days.

Pipe Down – Tristan. I am not impressed by your attitude or failure to link your name to a legitimate website, UNCLOAK and come clean, DO IT!

[Reply]

Tristan Perry writes:

You’ve very childish. There’s no need to get personal.

Plus as I said earlier, my website is top in Google.

Search my name, you’ll find it.

Takes 2 seconds.

Sorry if you haven’t heard of Google.

So yeah… grow up and address the facts.

Ad hominem just shows that:

i) You can’t enter a real debate

ii) You think the other person is right

[Reply]

Tristan, I have no need to debate, facts are facts, you are here and posting on this blog to trash EzineArticles, you have direct intent. You could have posted your site along with your name; YOU chose not too. Why? You are willing to trash others while hiding behind the bushes, yelling out names. That is what guerillas do.

Next, I search your name and you are a 19-year old video gamer, with a website? WTH? This ain’t a video game, this isn’t high-school and no one is out to get you? You don’t have to go around attacking everything, and defeating the Virtual Enemy, you need to buy a mirror.

I guarantee you, if you ever do make anything of yourself in this life time, and ever do develop anything as great as EzineArticles, then you are going to want to enforce some standards too. But they way you are attacking this Brandname hurts us authors and I’ve spent more time writing articles in the last 5-years than you’ve spent in all your years at school!

Do you have any idea how long it takes to write 19,000 articles? Do you have any clue as to how studying I have to do in order to do it? I am putting in 100-hour weeks for like 5-years. And you want to trash this website, well then I have every right to tell you where to go – Don’t you dare trash this website, or Chris. You are just a 19-year old kid that has some growing up to do. Impress me. Stop talking.

[Reply]

Tristan Perry writes:

You are acting like a child. You are the one using petty personal insults.

In short grow up. Else, don’t attempt to enter a debate.

Not sure why I’m bothering, but let me address your “points” one-by-one:

>> Tristan, your attitude is mean-spirited, persnickety, and watching your behavior, I’d have thrown your butt off this site a long time ago, regardless of the length of your articles or their perceived value-less content by the editors here. Seriously, young man, you have an attitude issue, and I do not appreciate your attacks on the brandname of this website.

EZA are the ones being unprofessional. I expressed my opinion about this, just as Chris et al are doing.

>> You are hurting the authors here with your sassy, sarcastic, and juvenile petty little games. Go play your video games until your heart sings, but stop trashing this website.

Ad hominem just shows that you think I’m right. Stop acting like a child.

>> Tristan, I have no need to debate, facts are facts, you are here and posting on this blog to trash EzineArticles, you have direct intent.

Where have I trashed EzineArticles with direct intent?

>> You could have posted your site along with your name; YOU chose not too. Why? You are willing to trash others while hiding behind the bushes, yelling out names. That is what guerillas do.

My full name, address, phone number, businesses, and e-mail addresses can be found within 1 minute. (Whereas you only make it possible to get your name)

>> Next, I search your name and you are a 19-year old video gamer, with a website? WTH? This ain’t a video game, this isn’t high-school and no one is out to get you?

Grow up. Stop with the personal insults. I’m 19, yes, but I’ve achieved quite a lot thus far. Age doesn’t (or shouldn’t, in a mature discussion) come into the equation.

>> You don’t have to go around attacking everything, and defeating the Virtual Enemy, you need to buy a mirror.

What are you on about? You are the one using petty insults, not me.

>> I guarantee you, if you ever do make anything of yourself in this life time, and ever do develop anything as great as EzineArticles, then you are going to want to enforce some standards too.

Of course. Have you read my opinions? :-) I am IN FAVOUR of EzineArticles tightening up on standards. Where have I said elsewhere?

All I’m against is EzineArticles making unprofessional statements. We’re all business people, not children. That includes you, me, Chris and EzineArticles overall.

>> But they way you are attacking this Brandname hurts us authors

I’m an author. I don’t write rubbish. In-fact, I’ve never re-written the same article. Not even once.

>> and I’ve spent more time writing articles in the last 5-years than you’ve spent in all your years at school!

Good for you. Not sure what you are getting at, though. I’ve been very successful thus far, and (naturally) aim to continue to be.

>> Do you have any idea how long it takes to write 19,000 articles? Do you have any clue as to how studying I have to do in order to do it? I am putting in 100-hour weeks for like 5-years.

Again, good for you. But that is not relevant.

>> And you want to trash this website

No, I don’t. I’ve said I SUPPORT EzineArticles in that they are trying to tighten their standards. I don’t write rubbish.

>> well then I have every right to tell you where to go – Don’t you dare trash this website, or Chris.

Thanks for the threat. That’s real mature.

>> You are just a 19-year old kid

I’m a 19 year old business man who’s already achieved a lot more than 99% of people my age.

>> has some growing up to do.

I’m the one using rational debating skills. You are the one throwing around petty insults.

>> Impress me. Stop talking.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m not sure that I have to “impress” you? I given my opinion then you started throwing around childish insults.

That’s not my problem.

I welcome you to enter into a mature, rational debate. But at the moment you are just throwing around petty insults.

Grow up, please. :-)

[Reply]

Oh well, I stand corrected, you are a great and wonderful person, you are always right, you’ve done so much and accomplished so much, I feel humbled. You are right I was childish, and I do hope you will please forgive me, I had no idea you were so well-versed, so incredibly successful, so worldly, and so impressive in every way, shape, and form. I only hope one day, I can be half the person you are. You are part of that upper echelon of successful business people and one of the top video gamers and I do not know how I could possibly ever compare. And since you are so great and wonderful, I wonder why you are so worried about writing an “original” article or defending PLR. Because someone of your moral character, abilities, and writing skills clearly prove you do not need them.

[Reply]

Tristan and Lance,

Please keep your spirited debate aimed at the *issues* and not personally with each other.

I’d like to keep this thread unlocked and open and that’s the only way I can see keeping it open.

Thanks!
-Chris

[Reply]

Tristan Perry writes:

I’ve never personally attacked him, so that’s fine by me Chris :-)

[Reply]

Tristan, I’d like to personally apologize to you, and promise to never forget your name. You are a promising young man, and I’ll be folowing your efforts as you reach greater heights in your life.

[Reply]

57
Maggie Dawson writes:

My most viewed article, with a 23% click through rate, is 265 words.

Again, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Comment provided October 21, 2009 at 12:11 PM

[Reply]

58
Gary writes:

Bad behavior from an organization run by someone who has grown to think he is a god.

We need challenge for EzineArticles in my opinion.

This is what happens when no challenge exists.

Bad move Chris. Bad move.

Comment provided October 22, 2009 at 7:56 PM

[Reply]

No challenge exists?

You’re wrong.

There’s HUGE challenge going on right now from millions of players who are muscling in on a finite number of web visitors that exist on this planet.

We compete against every single article on every single website that delivers substantial high value content.

When EzineArticles fails our end users, we seal our fate, day by day…and thus, the reasons why we’re taking more action to ensure the content we deliver to our daily visitors rocks!

[Reply]

On any given day the number of Internet Users is finite, still we are lucky to have some 400 million Chinese who speak English starting to come online, and in the USA although the percentages of increase or very small, because everyone is already online, luckily it is increasing ever so slightly as in a few percentage points.

[Reply]

Jeff Herring writes:

Gary

Umm, no.

From numerous conversations with Chris Knight I can say that rarely have I met someone so dedicated to constantly improving something that is already great, and doing it with a spirit of humility as well.

I wonder if this is too much to ask or I am too naive to even ask: Could all the naysayers ditch their sense of entitlement and get to work?

Jeff

[Reply]

59
Rebecca writes:

“Most affiliate marketers don’t write original content and if they do write their own articles… their articles are thin, regurgitated Frankenstein article spin-written by some software program… only to flip our end users to a clickbank site (ie: they added no value in the process).”

“Don’t submit 10-1000 articles on same rehashed topic with only the words and tips re-arranged. Our anti-derivative software is being continually tweaked to reject this behavior.”

Both these points from this article really made me laugh. If anyone would care to check out the TOP contributor to EzineArticles.com in terms of number of articles submitted, you’ll see that all he does is rehash the same old articles over and over.

What makes this even funnier, is these rehashed articles are all about “How to make money from article marketing”. I wonder if he’ll be getting penalised? I doubt it.

All “Sean R Mize” does is exactly what this article is condemning. It’s a bit rich to come on here and say your “At war” with affiliate marketers who rehash a lot of crap content using article spinners, when that’s what your top “expert author” has based his account on! As for the selling of clickbank products, I’m going to have a wild stab in the dark that once you sign up to his opt in page from his articles, he may try to sell you something. And I’m sure somewhere down the line when he’s firing offers in to your inbox left, right and centre, there may even be a clickbank product in there!

Ezinarticles.com is here for authors to write articles and drive traffic to their website. Most people are not going to submit hundreds of articles just to grow your site so you can take down millions in adsense revenue. That is of course what this crack down is about, you making more money and reducing even futher your author’s click through rates. If anyone thinks it’s got anything to do with the other fluff in this blog post they are dreaming.

Just like all the other greedy websites out there, ezinarticles will like the rest, fall out of favour with affiliates getting screwed. Squidoo are going down the same path, there’s a fine line between keeping your contributors happy and raising your profit. I think you crossed it quite a long time ago.

Comment provided October 23, 2009 at 8:36 AM

[Reply]

Rebecca,

EzineArticles.com is here for many stake holders as a platform but what we’ve learned over the years is that delivering a positive end-user experience trumps most other priorities.

If we make sure the end users have a positive experience, EVERYTHING else works itself out.

We have nothing to do with Squidoo, but sounds like they are seeking the same thing we are: High quality original content created and produced by genuine experts in their niche.

[Reply]

60
Allen Graves writes:

Why cant you realize that if this ‘crackdown’ isn’t done, there won’t be an EzineArticles left to get all that traffic from! …whether they are raking in Adsense profits or not.

Times change, rules change. Get over it or get out of the way.

Allen Graves

Comment provided October 23, 2009 at 12:03 PM

[Reply]

Rebecca writes:

Why don’t you understand that EzineArticles will be a baron landscape when all the spun, rewritten crap isn’t published anymore… THIS MAKES UP THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE CONTENT ON THE SITE!

Without affiliate marketers churning out the articles for ezine, there will be no growth. Granted, there are people out there who will submit scores of articles without any self promotion but these people are few and far between.

Christopher also managed to avoid commenting on the top expert author on EzineArticles, who does EXACTLY what he says they are trying to clamp down on. Go to his page here: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Sean_R_Mize

Now everyone have a good laugh at how the first page, showing 250 articles, have basically all been spun from one seed article. Apparently software is needed to detect this as it can escape the human eye? Hilarious. Any idiot can see this is what this guy does. He’s used an article spinner with multiple tokens and then literally belted them out one after another, the layout of them all are even identiclal, it’s unreal! He’s obviously an affiliate marketer to boot who will sell sell sell to EzineArticles’ precious end users once they have signed up for his “free” article marketing report.

“We have nothing to do with Squidoo, but sounds like they are seeking the same thing we are: High quality original content created and produced by genuine experts in their niche.”

Yeah they are doing exactly the same thing as you guys, they’ve polluted all the lenses with infolinks, further reducing contributor click through rates and hiking up their profit. Kind of similar to the new layout you guys went with your adsense placement a while back which further crushed click through rates and undoubtedly boosted your adsense revenue by quite some bit.

I just think you need to be very careful. If your happy with the company standing still and not going anywhere, then eventually shrivelling as all your internet marketers and webmasters move on to other web properties, then carry on as usual. If you actually care about the majority of people who build this website, contribute content and are responsible for your adsense check every month, maybe you should go and have a look around some webmaster/affiliate marketing forums and see how people REALLY think.

“If we make sure the end users have a positive experience, EVERYTHING else works itself out. ”

This statement seems crazy to me. There would be no experience in the first place if it wasn’t for your contributors and authors. You have to understand that every time you tighten the editorial guidelines, change your adsense layout to the point where it drains CTR’s in half overnight and post blog posts about how you are “at war” with what is most likely not only your largest contributors but also will bring in the most traffic due to understanding search engine optimisation and getting YOUR articles and pages in to google. You cut all this off, what happens to your end user then? They go to the next hot property google falls in love with because all the webmasters now promote there instead of here because they’ve been pushed too far.

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On the issue of CTR, we delivered more than 6 million clicks last month to our members websites!

This is a million more per month than we were delivering before one of the ad layout changes that you think is draining CTR when in fact it is not.

What’s important to us in terms of CTR is that we aim to become our members highest non-search engine referrer of traffic. I am certain many members prioritize submission to EzineArticles based on how well their previous articles perform with us in terms of giving them more media/exposure and high-value traffic.

I will not be commenting on specific actions we take in regards to other members. I am not ignoring your comments.

I read for at least 2 hours a day on the forums that we don’t host plus I read every single post here. I think that makes me clued in on how quite a few people feel about the changes being made.

What’s your full name and a link to your website?

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I am completely “Blown Away” by the statistics this website produces. And every time I hear an affiliate marketer claim, that they are the ones who built EzineArticles, because they sent their sign-ups here, I think “NO – they sent their sign-ups here because this site is one of the only site that truly produces decent traffic in the article marketing grid of their marketing programs.”

If anyone wants to question my observations, bring facts, and if anyone wants to talk about EzineArticles, realize, I’ve been here since 2005, watched it grow, and have talked to more article marketers by email than “most” of the affiliate marketers out there anyway. Plus, with 19,000 articles, NONE ghost written, NONE software derivative, and NONE PLR, I know a thing about that too.

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Allen, that’s basically the reality here, good point.

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61
Mike writes:

Rebecca’s of the understanding that E-Zines exists because it publishes ‘spun, re-written crap.’ Thanks, Rebecca, that’s a real compliment to us all.

The size of your post is exceeded only by its incomprehensibility,

Mike

Comment provided October 23, 2009 at 8:05 PM

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John writes:

No Mike, what she said makes perfect sense.

Why do you think EzineArticles is where it is? Because every single Internet Marketing training course says “submit your article to EzineArticles” or “go to EzineArticles to search for keywords” and so on and so on. If it wasn’t for that, you could probaly cut the authors here by 85% or more.

I’d be willing to bet you that maybe 5% of the people that read those articles pay no attention to what the name of the site is. It just happens to come up in google for what ever they are searching for. Why?

Becaues Internet marketers do their keyword research, they do the backlinks, they do all the stuff with SEO that is needed to get those first page rankings. You don’t think this place started like that do you? You don’t think all those authors that don’t promote stuff do SEO do you? Most don’t, and when all that stops so will the rankings.

This place used to make you pay to post! Didn’t get enough people posting to keep that up did we.

Yes, there are some authors that don’t promote anything……but how many are there really? Not enough to make this place what it is. This place was built to what it is BECAUSE of internet marketers (affiliate marketers) and you are totally biting the hand that feeds you.

This is about nothing more than adsense revenue and thats it. You can sugar coat it any way you want about end reader results and this that and the other, but what it boils down to is money. And thats fine, just come out and say it.

All empires have fallen at some point, and this is the start of the downfall. Might take a while, but when all the internet marketers start taking their content else where, and training people to start taking it else where, you’ll be left with the topics that not many people want to write about…………like under water basket weaving. I bet those adsense clicks are worth a lot.

You can already see it starting to happen with a good amount of keywords that Ezine used to hold top slots for, which is what this whole thing is really about.

And Rebecca is dead on about most of the top authors doing nothing but submitting regurgitated garbage over and over. And she’s right Chris, you totally avoided that part.

This place is about as consistant with what is ok and what is not as the refs in the baseball games this week.

The truth is though, if anyone is relying on EzineArticles as a business model, your crazy! Never let any one place hold control over your content. Submit your articles to your own site FIRST, then let them have the seconds. Backlink your own stuff first, get your own stuff to rank and none of this crap will matter.

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We are taking action against all rehashed content submitters regardless as to whether they are high volume or low volume submitters.

We are shaving off thousands of articles a week that never make it into our system for human review.

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John,

You have stated; “Why do you think EzineArticles is where it is? Because every single Internet Marketing training course says “submit your article to EzineArticles” or “go to EzineArticles to search for keywords” and so on and so on. If it wasn’t for that, you could probaly cut the authors here by 85% or more.”

Wait are you saying the Chicken came before the egg here? EzineArticles was here first, then since it worked so well for article marketers, Affiliates started telling people and sign-ups to add “article marketing” to the mix, and told them that EzineArticles was the best place to do it. Actually, they are correct.

But EzineArticles is not the best, biggest, or most successful because of Affiliate Marketers, rather they are often the best “inspite of them” as I am beginning to see.

Further, “some” affiliate marketers have very poor “training” manuals and suggest short-cuts that are unforgive-able, and part of the reason we have the problem.

So, I think those who have online businesses should come to EzineArticles for training and advice and save their money from being hyped from “SOME” of the affiliate marketers out there. After all, there is enough “good advice” at EzineArticles on how to do it right, that these so-called training manuals are getting to be pretty underwhelming and almost plagiarism in many regards at “some” of the affiliate marketers anyway.

If new marketers online would come here first to learn, and if they’d ditch that assinine “hype” which they fell for when signing up with “some” of the so-called affiliate marketers, and then imitate that hype online, I bet we wouldn’t have so many “star-eyed” get-rich-quick scammer article spammers here.

I believe that the Affilitate Marketer industry better wise up, or find the regulators breathing down their necks, much of what they (some) are getting away with these days is borderline fraud. That’s the truth.

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Rebecca writes:

“Rebecca’s of the understanding that E-Zines exists because it publishes ’spun, re-written crap.’ Thanks, Rebecca, that’s a real compliment to us all.

The size of your post is exceeded only by its incomprehensibility,

Mike”

If you opened your eyes and had a look around then you would notice that this is exactly what the vast majority of the content on this site is.

Spun, rewritten rubbish, slightly altered to fool the automatic systems which sense duplicate copy. Then these articles send the end user to a very lengthly clickbank sales page.

I’m sure you are obviously above this kind of self promotion Mike. (Apart from the link you are using in this post, which leads to the longest clickbank sales page I’ve ever seen haha).

John has got it absolutely spot on. I look forward to see if Christopher will reply to these comments from myself, John and Darren (below), or will we just end up with the same ‘spun’ answer that’s been used in just about every reply on this post about the “end user”.

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You are wrong.

It’s hard to take your posts (or any posts from the other commentors who don’t uncloak) seriously when you don’t disclose your full name or a link to your website.

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62
Darren writes:

Mike,

Rebecca does have one very valid point though.

You know, when I left school I had pretty much no experience, no examinations, and all due to a real major problem in my youth. (I won’t bore you with it though)

I found EzineArticles by accident, and over this last year I have been learning so much about how to make things look right, improving and moving forward in tiny steps, not leaps.

If you could have seen my skill this time last year, you would fully understand just how much of an uphill struggle it has been, and how Chris’ service has carried me forward.

Personally, yes, I know I still keep making mistakes – but without the patience of Chris’ team I would have given up a long time ago.

What is really getting me cross is that I feel these people are placing this service in a danger zone.

Personally, I am starting to see things happen with not only my skill, but also my business too. Yet, if EzineArticles starts to lose the battle against visitor times, bounce rates and quality issues, then the chances of any article being viewed let alone arriving in Google results, starts to look very slim.

The objective in my eyes is to produce content that is legible, interesting and will hopefully attract people to our website. OK, I might have been stating the obvious slightly, but why should the site be punished for someone else’s complete ignorance and cheating behavior? (weighted toward the later)

36 articles in one day – a minimum of 10,000 words – thats not article writing, thats copy and paste?

In fact, lets be honest here and face the truth – this isn’t article publishing, it’s article terrorism. And the more it continues, the more innocent and honest people will get hurt because of it.

That was a great example that Rebecca made, one publisher averages 25+ articles a day, must be a world record?

Comment provided October 24, 2009 at 1:21 AM

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Ronak Shah writes:

I was just thinking of first writing 20 – 30 articles at one go and publishing them here at one go!

This may be unlike your strategy where you may write 5 articles a day and publish them here.

Many times people are just hiring writers to write for them and they publish the content here.

I’m a web copywriter myself.

Look, it’s not about quantity of content that is being published here.

It’s about quality of content that is being published here. Honestly, information that is free isn’t valued.

I don’t come and read articles on EzineArticles.com personally. I read stuff which is charged @ $97, $47, $197 or even $2000.

I believe content which has value is valued at a price tag. Darren I disagree with your statement that the volume of articles being published here has anything to do with quality. The quality can still be excellent.

And BTW there are people who write at 50 words per minute to 80 words per minute. 25 articles for them can still be a cakewalk if they have such typing speed.

Nothing personal Darren. What I understand is highly useful content that have “gold-nuggets” in them is what I understand as a quality article.

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Darren,

Article Terrorism = Using EzineArticles to spam search engines with 100s or even 1000s of PLR content, or derivative software created crappy articles

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63
Maggie writes:

Why does it have to be one or the other? Improving end user experience = more adsense revenue and better ranking. There is a service provided to us (article directory). In return, we provide a product (content). The revenue from that product (adsense) pays the service provider (ezine).

What is so hard to understand about this?

Chris only cares about his Adsense revenue. No, Chris is a saint who only cares about the end user experience. NO. He cares about both and that’s how business works.

Now would all you dorks arguing back and forth go spend your time writing a decent article instead? I have to unsubscribe from the comments to this article because this is like listening to an argument between a bunch of 12-year-olds.

Comment provided October 24, 2009 at 4:08 AM

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Maggie,

You just plain cool! I love your attitude and 100% agree. And I just bet if all the complaintants owned this website they’d be far more Machiavellian and ruthless, than mild-mannered Chris is.

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64
Ronak Shah writes:

I think Chris is against articles that are spamming his site with spun content… the same old rehashed spun trash (read junk)

Agreed, he has something to think about here..

It’s a valid concern however the manner in which it has to be reviewed has tremendous implications, both on the positive and negative.

I think he just needs to find a way out! We could help him out if he asks us to help him!

Best of luck Chris :)

Comment provided October 24, 2009 at 12:37 PM

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65

All,

Please post with your real names and a link to your primary website.

Without that, this blog entry is no better than some of the faceless drama threads that other forums have.

Comment provided October 24, 2009 at 1:01 PM

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66

Are article marketers who sell trinkets and crap causing legitimate “real” business owners to leave this site? YES.

How many have left?

Most. Most legitimate business people, with real businesses in most categories have stopped posting new articles. Why?

They have left because they see that in their categories all the other top-contributors above them are “Adsense Sites” and trinket sellers. So, why would anyone who has 20-30 years experience want to contribute more articles? Well, you could say that they should know that very few people actually browse the categories, most come directly from the search engines, most real business people do not know this because, they do not understand how the site really works, rather they just know that their articles are online and they are getting recognition and exposure.

When someone selling an Affiliate Product, who posts 400 articles to a category, and you click on the link to their site and find a “hype page” and a picture of a software box on how to do DIY home improvements and that online marketer who is a laid off mortgage broker who lives with his mom and is 22-years old, college dropout selling it is at the top of the Top Authors page in that category, well, the 30-year mason and contractor sees that and thinks, this is no place for me. Although he himself may have contributed 30 of the most excellent articles I’ve ever read in my life on the topic.

The spammy articles are driving away “real” talent, “real” experts, and those with 20-years experience in their industry. Then we see now that the Affiliate Marketers tell us; “look at all the content we bring EzineArticles because we recommend our sign-ups post here,” yes, but look at the all debris they are bringing and all the problems “some of them” bring and look at their cheesy websites that “many” many of them have, and would you begin to look at the over-hype, the misrepresentations in advertising law, and borderline fraud? Ouch. I wouldn’t touch “some” of those folks with a 10-foot pole.

I am not sold on “many” of the affiliate marketers out there, and whereas, I hear and see some of the comments here. I say, if this bother Affiliate Marketers, then you folks need to tell your sign-ups and associates that QUALITY is the KEY at EzineArticles, and that they MUST only post top-notched articles.

There are far too many folks selling garbage online, far too many folks over-hyping, and far too many folks taking short-cuts, cheating, and using this derivative software here. I am completely troubled, and want to make sure everyone knows that my articles are written by me, and well-researched.

Comment provided October 24, 2009 at 2:28 PM

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67
Marte Clif writes:

I’m with Maggie! This is all such nonsense.

Good articles and making money go hand in hand – for Chris and for all the rest of us.

In addition, this is Chris’s site. Nobody forces us to submit our articles. We do it because we see some benefit to ourselves in doing it – NOT because we’re such nice people that we want to help Chris make a living.

For all who are whining: If you don’t like it, don’t use it!

Meanwhile, go write an article or whine at your neighbors or do something besides complain here. You’re getting really boring.

Comment provided October 24, 2009 at 3:52 PM

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Ha ha ha ha! I love it! Alright Marte! Could not agree more. Besides I am getting tired of defending what I stand for and believe in here at EzineArticles, luckily for me it is giving me some decent ideas for content today.

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68

This is perfectly fine by me… makes all of us better and it keeps EzineArticles the premier article site.

Thanks for all your hard work!

Comment provided October 24, 2009 at 10:48 PM

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69
Chris A Smith writes:

Maggie hit it on the head.

At the end of the day EzineArticles is going to do what it thinks is best for its business.

No amount of flaming in this blog is going to change that.

So if changes are made that you think are unfair, what are you going to do? Sue?

No. You’re going to use GoArticles or ArticleAlley or Buzzel or one or more of the gazillion directories that you already are probably automatically submitting to.

If you are backlinking correctly losing EzineArticles will just be a bump in the road.

Its just another challenge, one of many, in running a business. If you have all your eggs in one basket don’t be surprised if they all break when the basket falls.

I’d really like to see a new thread started because this is beating a dead dog. Talk about regurgitating content.

Comment provided October 25, 2009 at 1:45 PM

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