Against the recommendation of our management team, I wanted to share with you something we’re currently dealing with internally in regards to our Premium Membership service level.
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!
Key Issue: Our team has been at great odds with ourselves because we want to deliver excellent service to our Premium members, yet a high percentage of our Premium members are not ideal EzineArticles members. We’ve essentially accelerated the speed at which our worst members can submit low value, thin content into our system.
This further frustrates our Premium members because they are getting downgraded (most are at Basic Plus level), having their articles rejected and are being shown the word “NO” more often than they’d ever care to see.
It was my goal, by this time, to have muted the value of Premium membership by delivering Premium speed to all free members … thus, forcing us to find other things of value that we could package into our Premium Membership service level. Unfortunately, we’ve struggled ALL YEAR to deliver on that internal goal. If you only knew what we’ve done to reach this goal, your mouth would drop and hit the floor.
After much internal debate, we’ve determined that the real issue is the need to reject another 10-20% of low value content (from both Premium and non-Premium members) by tightening up our content filters even more. This is not something new – we tighten up quality standards every single month. But the rate of which we’re tightening down is accelerating.
What’s Happening Now:
We had already tightened up our anti-derivative content filters a few weeks ago and that’s currently shaving off 700 articles a day that never make it to our human editors for review.
Our next big pass at curbing low-value content submissions will come in the form of banning certain types of content that are currently in too high of market supply (think “Acai berry” type articles) and other commonly spammed articles with highly derivative content (think penis enlargement, get your ex back, dating articles, some types of finance articles). We’ve been slow to reach this point because we’re looking for ways to allow legitimate good ideal members to submit content on these topics while singling out the gamers who only want to submit really thin low value content.
Know that we’ll communicate in this blog which types of content we’re no longer allowing and we’ll be revisiting our Editorial Guidelines to include more information about the coming changes.
In the past, we’ve grandfathered existing articles in when new quality levels are set, except when a live article is edited, today’s standard is applied to that content. That means we would typically have allowed old articles that would no longer be accepted with today’s standard, to remain live in the site. We’ve reached a point where we can no longer allow that to happen. At risk are articles that are highly derivative based. If you’ve written original articles from your head and didn’t use any software article rewriter, you should have nothing to worry about.
There’s one more major issue that I’ll be sharing about soon in terms of a paradigm-shift that will be made in the coming weeks. Until then, I hope you appreciate the transparency and I’d like to enlist your continued support to help us properly navigate the key issues that will ensure our collective long-term survival together.