Editing Your Article After It’s Live?

“Helm, Full Stop!” I yell as Captain.

We’ve got to address an issue before we continue on our journey together and I’d like to get your input prior to making some hard decisions.

The Issue:
After we accept and publish your article, we inform the search engines via our sitemaps that there is a brand new quality article for them to discover (and hopefully index). Unfortunately, if the search engines don’t find your article (after we just told them to find your new article) because you decided to take it down to edit it, that creates 2 problems …

  1. They inform us that they were unsuccessful in finding the article. That’s bad, because now the chances of that article getting indexed are significantly lower.
  2. Worse, our reputation is on the line. When we tell the search engines that there is a new article for them to crawl and index, that article had better be there for them to discover! Otherwise, we’re wasting their time and resources, which makes us look incompetent.

The Data:

  • Last month, members edited 22,993 articles that were previously live. These articles were removed from the site for 1-4 days awaiting a full re-review before going back live.
  • 19,153 of those articles (83.3%) edited by members didn’t improve the article body and only changed something in the Resource Box.
  • Hundreds of thousands of articles annually are at risk of not getting indexed at all because of this issue.

Here are two options we could pursue to fix this issue:

Option A: Discontinue allowing any articles to be edited. Period. – Move the 2 full-time people we dedicate to reviewing newly edited articles and use their labor to accelerate the review of new articles. Your only option to fix an article will be to remove it completely – it won’t be allowed to be submitted ever again. Nor will our Member Support Team be allowed to edit your article for you.

Option B: Put a 30 day lock on all new live articles. – They cannot be edited within 30 days of going live no matter what. Member Support would not be allowed to edit your article for you. After 30 days, you’d receive 1 “article edit credit” to edit each of your live articles (once per lifetime). When you consume an “article edit credit” to edit your article, your article would remain live on the site during the re-review phase. Upon re-acceptance, your edited article would go live, replacing your current article.

Why the “Article Edit Credit” system? We want to discourage members from frequently editing their live articles because the majority (83.3%) are not adding value nor are they improving spelling/grammar or sentence structure. They are simply revising their Resource Box.

Your thoughts? Option A, B or other ideas?

UPDATED TUESDAY DECEMBER 15th 2009 4PM CST:

Because this blog post is now over 400 comments with less than 24 hours since it was released, I’d like to thank everyone for their input! :-)

Clearly this is an issue you have great interest and passion for communicating your thoughts/concerns. We’ve received hundreds of private email responses as well.

Rather than respond to every blog comment and repeat myself several times over and over again, I’m going to share our updated position as of right now:

Why do we pull the live article off the site and put it into an inactive status in the first place?

It was a built-in mechanism to discourage members from frequently editing their articles because it’s our belief that you can get a higher return from using your time to write new articles instead of hyper-optimizing your existing articles combined with our fear of showing a high page mutation rate that looks like dofollow link rotation (look at this issue from a search engines perspective… if you saw 250,000 links change in less than a years time…you’d think something weird is going on perhaps). If our resource box links were rel=”nofollow” someday… we might feel differently.

An “article edit credit system” is not something we can implement overnight. Should we implement such a system, we’ve already agreed that legitimate dead links should not count as part of your edit credits as a concept because it’s in our mutual best interests that your dead link be changed to a working valid link.

Articles To Stay Live During Edit:

We’ve decided that immediate action is needed that can’t wait for an article edit credit system, therefore very soon we’ll be changing the edit process over to keep your article LIVE while it’s being edited by you and upon our acceptance of your edit, the new version will replace the old.

This solves two of our challenges:

  1. When we tell search engines that your content is here where we told them it was, they will find it and thus your chances of getting your article indexed goes up.
  2. When members edit articles that were previously accepted that wouldn’t be accepted with today’s standards, there was no recourse for a member other than lose the live article to become a DRAFT that wasn’t able to be re-submitted for review without it meeting today’s standards. In the new system that will roll out before December is over, if our submission form won’t accept your article or your article gets rejected by our team, your live article isn’t touched throughout the whole time period that you make changes. Additional guidance will be forth coming on how this system will work as we’re whiteboarding it yet.

Article Titles Now Locked On Edit:

Article titles will no longer be allowed to be changed once an article has been previously live. If you want to optimize your article title, we suggest that your next new article submission is the best place to experiment with new article titles. This change has gone live as of the past hour and it only applies to articles that were previously live. You can edit and change your article title up to the point that your article gets accepted and published.

Main reason for the article title locking on live articles is that changing the title = changes the URL because the title is in the URL. Changing the URL after its been published and announced to the world is no longer ok. We’re standardizing further the URL structure so that when we tell the search engines of the URL of your article, we want them to find it as we said it would be.

UPDATED THURSDAY DECEMBER 17th 2009 2PM CST:

This blog thread will remain open for a little while longer so that your voice and ideas can be heard. Please know that we’re no longer asking for votes on either A nor B because we’ve already decided thanks to your input of nearly a thousand emails and blog comments that we’ll be keeping the articles live during the EDIT process.

501 Comments »


1

Things don’t need to be so complicated if an author only wants to change something in his or her resource box, the article title or category. I think that these changes should be treated differently.

You should have two kinds of editors:

1- The ones who will only check resource boxes and other details, and

2- Editors who will check the article body.

This means that each author will have to specify the alteration made in each article. This way the modifications will finish faster.

Many times I want to change an article’s category for example, but I don’t do that because it won’t be live for a while… it’s not that simple. Why should it be so difficult, though?

I believe that we should be able to modify our articles if necessary, for many reasons. Many times we work hard writing an excellent article, but it doesn’t have the impact we were expecting. We have to test and see why. What if it had another title? Is it in the right category?…etc.

You cannot imagine how many times I wished I could simply change the title of an article, after seeing the reaction of the public, or after perceiving one or two details I didn’t see before.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 1:55 PM

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Carla Drake writes:

I agree with Christina we should be able to edit our resource box and the title without the complication.
Editing the body text should be treated differently.

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Ilene Drexler writes:

I agree with Carla. We should be able to update our resource box (what if our contact info changes 4 years after the article was written) without going through a reapproval process.

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Roy writes:

I totally agree. Really, if majority of articles being edited just to change something in the resource box, then it makes sense to maybe allow editing for resource box only, but leave the title and body as it is by default

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Casey Overbeek writes:

I like Christina’s suggestion.
I’m very new here and submitted about 15 articles and not until just now hoping to add a resource box to them.
Still learning lots

Casey

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Joanna Poppink writes:

Couldn’t you rewrite the article with the changes you want and submit it again?

Joanna

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Ron Parrs writes:

These are good & reasonable ideas to build in. With the technology available, it should be relatively easy to have “check boxes” as to what has been edited or modified. If the body of the article, for example, has not been edited, why waste time wading through hundreds of words when either the title or resource box is the only part needing to be checked.

Having one available “edit credit?” Not enough, you may need 3 or 4.

Having a 15 or 20 delay in presenting the article to the SE after a publish or edit. That’s a good idea. That would force the author to be really sure of what he wants published. Even if it’s at day 14.

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Jane van Velsen writes:

Personally, I think Option A. Easy, simple rule to follow and why keep editing what you’ve already written?

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Bill Beaver writes:

If 83% of the edits are on the resource box why not address that issue first. Why can’t the resource box be linked to the editor and be updated rather than take the article down?

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2
Allen Graves writes:

Hi Chris,

For what its worth, we have implemented a system that takes any article editing request and places it in a “hold file” until an editor is ready to review it.

While the edited article is in the hold file, the original article is still out there for the SEs and everyone else to see.

Then, when the article is reviewed and approved, the one in the hold file replaces the original article immediately. So the article is never “missing” when SEs, RSS feeds, site , etc… try and access the article.

I am not sure if this is something you could do with your system, but it sure sets up a win-win situation. Plus, you could still implement and backend rules and regulations you choose.

Respectfully,
Allen Graves

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 2:11 PM

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Dave Harris writes:

I would have thought that this was almost the perfect solution.

I would add that there should be 2 types of edit button – “content” and “other”, the latter meaning resource box, category, title etc. Articles where only the latter have been edited should (i presume) be very quick to review.

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Fran Love writes:

I agree with Allen and others who think editing is a good idea for authors and EzineArticles.

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Christopher S writes:

I am not sure what the implications are when it comes to indexing. But changing the article title might effect the index. I am sure the each article address has an SEF url addressed to it so if that is changed then the whole indexing procedure will be reset and re-index or even worse the search engine will point to a dead link.

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Allen Graves writes:

You’re right. I didn’t think of that because our URLs do not change dynamically with the title.

I believe Chris has implemented a no change rule for the article title.

Allen

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Janet writes:

No editing. The statistics speak for themselves- the edits are not adding value. We all get in a hurry- and this is a good reminder/motivator- to take our time- and do it right the first time. You can’t make an article available and then “take it” off line – it ruins the system for everyone.

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Rod Farrell writes:

I agree that Allen has the best solution.

As an editor I don’t want my article taken offline for the period it is under review, but at the same time I want to be able to edit out of date information, whether it is a resource or part of the subject matter ( I write on SEO, which has an ever changing set of rules).

I also don’t think that there should be a restriction on the number of times an article can be edited, otherwise you end up with a lot of outdated articles that are of no value to anyone and then all EzineArticles become suspect.

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Wendy writes:

Allen Graves has the perfect solution.

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Barb L Collins writes:

It certainly sounded like a good one to me.

I’m just a ‘newbie,’ and as such am particularly in need of editing my early writings as I learn what works and what doesn’t. Especially title changes that would attract more readers.

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Brocha Weiss writes:

I agree with the solution posted here. I don’t think it needs to be so complicated either!
If you take either option A or B you will have very unhappy writers on your hands with lots and lots of complaints! I think your popularity rating will go down.

Allen Graves solution makes the most sense, unless you have a situation where someone needs to correct an important mistake in the article they wrote and didn’t catch it right away.

I like the idea of selecting which section needs to be changed, this will make it more efficient for your proof readers.

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Mark Garnham writes:

I like the idea that Allen Graves has promoted because it makes logical sense and is easily managed. Frankly I can’t understand why so many people have to change something in their resourse box anyway – I never have. Sometimes I may spot a mistake in the article content in which case I want it sorted immediately, but the entry in the resource box is always the same.

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Robert Mollers writes:

Hi Christopher,

I would definitely go for Allen’s option too because I wanted to say something similar :P

Unfortunately I can’t remember where or when I’ve seen this before, but I thought it was a great way of preventing a live article going into “pending for review” mode (therefor “missing”) after editing it again.

Personally I think it’s the perfect solution.

Regards,
Robert

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3
Adryenn Ashley writes:

I think a 30 day lock should do it. I know I’ve blown it a couple of times, but I never took it down to redo it. Life isn’t perfect, and we live in a YouTube world now where perfection isn’t expected.

That said, always have your resource box info tight. That’s you one shot at getting traffic, so do it right the first time!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:26 PM

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Yes, that’s a key point… I hear war stories where an author with 7 articles live will spend the equivalent same time tweaking those 7 articles over a year period that they could have simply written 7 more articles in the same time period!

Action, Iteration, Improvement, & More Action. :-)

[Reply]

Anthony writes:

But wouldn’t those 7 additional articles more than likely violate the dirivitive content issue?

[Reply]

Anthony,

Not if they write 7 NEW articles unrelated to the original 7.

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Alev Absman writes:

1>”Life isn’t perfect…” : Nothing is, but it needs to be perfected.
2>”…perfection isn’t expected.”: ??

As times change, the metrics and definition of perfection changes.

They have a practical problem there. Close to 90K edited articles in addition to another 90k newly submitted articles is humanly impossible to be handled. Let’s give them some respite too.

30 days lock in seems practical.

[Reply]

Alev Absman writes:

I have a couple of more things to tell too. But this is not in continuation to my earlier statement but about how EzineArticles has turned itself into a money making machine for them.

Most of the times, the ‘EDITING’ looks like a drama with no human editors involved. The editors appear so dumb and junk heads that they seem to be unable to even make out whether the resubmitted article appeared first on EzineArticles.com or other sites which picked up the article from there and if that was not enough, they flag it as a straight lift. What? You call a resubmitted article a lift? (Now my account is suspended and they aren’t caring for my explanations)

Often, the so called editors (the same people who demand PROPER ENGLISH) prove that they are not doing their basic jobs which the designation is supposed top mean. Either they have an answer template, the kind which the university evaluators have for checking students objective type papers or they fall back up on the robots to tell whether an article is good to be published.

Isn’t it common to see articles being turned down for no reasons to funny, non existent reasons? But the funniest part is when they accept the same article with insignificant changes with practically no change being made to what they had pointed out. Doesn’t it show their abilities split wide open? Or is this all done with specific designs to push authors to buy premium memberships? Not sure but this thought has crossed my mind since they introduced this premium level. I have been rejected the platinum status for silly reasons which can also be proved as their creation.

I know this is a serious business for both the parties. But being a person who has seen EzineArticles rise over time, I can say that this is not going in the right direction now. I may be wrong in assuming things about EzineArticles but why give such an impression in the first place?

It’s a month, almost, since they suspended my account and went into hibernation? Don’t know whether they restore my account after this comment. But the truth has to prevail, anyway. They get their salaries out of our hard work and what we get in return is this allegation meted out. Huh.

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4
Clair Schwan writes:

The 30 day lock make the most sense.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:33 PM

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Scott MacAdam writes:

I agree with option B – for new writers to EzineArticles, after writing an article and having it published I received e-mails from you telling me how I could change my article and what I could add to my article to get people to visit my website so I have gone in and done those things. I also didn’t fill out the entire info on myself not realizing that I could and went back and added that. I can see where this would tie up your resources – is there a way for people with less then 5 articles only to go in and re-do as needed while they learn and then after five articles – so the 6th and so on, you allow them to edit one time if needed after you lock them for 30 days? Is there a way to flag the articles to show the changes that were made only? Thank you for allowing us to give you input.

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5
Debbie writes:

Why not only allow editing (of content or resource box) within 24-48 hours. Then lock it for editing. Then, you can allow indexing.

Problem fixed. :)

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:34 PM

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6
Maggie Dawson writes:

B

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:36 PM

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7

I’m with Christina on the need for two sets of editors. My vote would be to separate the resource box from the article(s) for the purposes of editing, and concatenate the two on view. Surely in these days of SVN, CVS, other revision control methods, this approach is not beyond the realm of possibility?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:36 PM

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8
Daveda Gruber writes:

I found one word left out of an article just published. It makes the whole difference. I am an editor for others but sometimes the internet is not perfect. I am a writer of 9 books. I am a poetry site owner and help others learn. My articles come up quickly as a Google search on my name brings up at least 20 pages. I choose to have a one week option to edit before a search is initiated.
Daveda Gruber

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:39 PM

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9
Neil writes:

Why do you have to take an article *down* while it’s being revised? The article that is published was approved to be published in that form. The fact that there is potentially a new version on the way doesn’t mean you have to remove the first version meanwhile. The new one can just replace the old when the times comes. A bit like the rest of the Internet really…

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:39 PM

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10
Cheryl Pickett writes:

Just curious, what happens when links are broken and need to be fixed? Does the same issue occur with taking the article down and then putting it back up again? How would that effect the article credit system?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM

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11
Sheralyn writes:

I like option B! :)

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM

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12
Erik Ottem writes:

Option B of a 30 day lock allows the vast majority of your authors to move forward. There will always be oops moments, but this allows some changes. No changes ever is too severe.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:43 PM

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13

I’m with the 30 day lock, but either would actually work okay for me.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:43 PM

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Karl Foxley writes:

Apologies.. didn’t intend to use my URL for my name field (wasn’t trying to game the site).

[Reply]

14
Ashley Bolivar writes:

I would vote for option A. After the article goes live, that’s it. It’s out there for all the world to see in it’s glory.

Look, I can’t tell you how many times I make errors in what I write and eventually I find the mistake, however, the simple typo or error on my part does not take away from the actual impact of the article.

If anything what I have learned from past mistakes is to just save the work, come back to in the next day or two and read through it again before I finalize the piece.

The problem is when people are trying to crank out one piece after another. Sure content is king.. but it should be said that “GOOD content is king”.

Take an extra day before you publish and review your work.

Dare I hit submit without review right now… I do. :)

Ashley Bolivar

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:44 PM

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15

B

I had to edit an article recently because I found the rules on the listing in the most-read section had meant that my 420 word article were 30 words short of the required 450 words required. If the rules change and people want to get ranked, they are going to change their articles.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:44 PM

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16
Ged Cusack writes:

I like the idea of a seperate editor for resource boxes but if resources don’t permit that I’d agree with the 30 day lock

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:44 PM

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17
Kim writes:

your post contains good feedback before stating your question. well done.

I’m for B. I like the two people from A going to help edit first submissions.

thanks for all you do do!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:44 PM

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18
John Wood writes:

I am about to make changes to links in my articles and was planning on editing them to keep them working.

Also, over time I want to revise my articles as I learn more, so no edits for a certain time (1 to 3 months) after submission would suit me fine, but I would not want to be limited to just one edit in the life of an article.

So I would like to be able to edit my articles from time to time.

Could the resource box edits not be done without you having to check them or the whole article again?

THanks for all your hard work

John

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:45 PM

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19

Either A or B is fine. After 30-days, it would be highly unlikely that I would make a change.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:45 PM

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20
AndreaC writes:

I’d have to go with the 30 day lock.

While I have never edited an article shortly after submitting, I have had to edit an article (notified by your team) due to a bad link. I’m also finding myself updating my resource box due to a change in my online activities.

If editing a resource box is not suggested, what would be your alternative suggestion.

Thanks for taking our feedback into consideration.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:45 PM

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21

I like the idea of keeping the original one live until the switch. The problem seems to be in the removal of an article that the search engines are looking for and this would fix this.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM

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22
Colin Boyan writes:

I like Allen’s suggestion about the “hold file”.

Perhaps another step you could take would be for the editing controls to provide a way for the author to choose a limited change to the article (e.g. title change only, category change, resource change) or a hint of the purpose behind the change (grammatical or spelling correction).

This would give you a way of implementing different rules or controls depending on the extent of changes and make it easier for your editors to review and approve changes. If the only change is a modification to the title the editor doesn’t need to review the entire article body – just the title.

I don’t like the suggestion of removing the ability to edit articles. I would be hesitant about delegating or outsourcing my article processing if I though that one mistake in the article generation could render it less useful with no way to correct it.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:48 PM

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23
John canivan writes:

option A sounds good to me. You have a limited number of resources. Once an article is published it should not be edited but deletion should still be an option.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:49 PM

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24
fortwilliam1 writes:

Do not allow editing, period..
Do the work properly the first time..

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:49 PM

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25
Matt Ellsworth writes:

We have the same problem, and I’ve often been at a loss of what to do about it.

The credit system sounds good, the suggestion to continue to show the old and update from the new once review sounds like the best (but the most complicated)

Unless you can break up the resource box edits from the article edits. We have been thinking about separating the two and letting the author pick the resource box and then store it separately, less to review.

I’m glad to hear that we aren’t the only ones with about 1 to 2 day wait on modified articles.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:53 PM

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26
Bob writes:

I have inadvertently done this just because I wanted to copy a resource box into another article. It would be helpful if a) There were a notification that editing an article will cause the article to be taken down, or b) articles being edited were not removed from the site while being edited, or even c) in addition to b), add the ability to edit just the article’s resource box.

If none of those options work, I support your option B.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:53 PM

[Reply]

27

I love that you asked all of us for input. It does seem like alot of work on your part to do small revisions. My vote is “a”. No edits. If your work is more efficient, then it is also better for all of the writers who want their work approved quickly. Hope this helps and thanks again. I love your organization, Beverly

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:54 PM

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28

I vote for plan B. It seems to strike the best balance between a need to correct an egregious error and the time/resources/bad blowback from having authors pull their articles just to pimp their resource box. Thanks for thinking through this!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:55 PM

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29
Jack Krohn writes:

Door #2. I am probably as guilty as anyone of this annoying practice. Upon further review, as they say, my changes were due to lack of planning and thought. So I will be more thoughtful and your workload will drop significantly-:}

Sorry for the trouble-a major PITA on both ends. I will do better.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:55 PM

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30
Dave Baldwin writes:

Here’s another option to consider if practical – might you consider doing away with resource boxes and just displaying the author bio beneath the posted article, or allowing Expert Authors the option of foregoing a unique Resource Box for each individual article?

If that’s not a feasible option, I would vote for choice A. Choice B wouldn’t add any particular value for me, and it sounds like it creates more overhead than it’s worth.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:55 PM

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31
Dany Ray writes:

I agree with both Kristina and Allen above have good and practical suggestions.
Separating the content editors from the resource boxes and other details editors, that sure speeds up things and save resources.
Keeping the article live while verifying the edited version, is another way to keep integrity and continuity.
The editing limit is a useful idea, but I think it will be more efficient by adding up the credit for all recently published articles into one credit total, so an author that publishes more articles, but ends up editing only a few, will be able to that several times with the credit he has accumulated when not editing the other articles. Editing resource box or other items other than content should count as less than half of the credit required for content editing.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:56 PM

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32
Greg Davis writes:

Option B 30 Day Lock if this is something your site can manage without much problem. If not let everyone know they need to be 100% sure of what they are submitting because there will be no corrections made to the article or the resource box once it is submitted.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:56 PM

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33
Laura writes:

On site website content changes. Hence a need to edit the resource box. (valid links, etc.)

I agree with separate editing for resource box and content.

I go for the option b, BUT i do not agree with a once in a lifetime edit credit. Agreed an edit credit, but once per 6 months or something. But to lock out someone from editing their article permanently can result in inability to update data to “current.”

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:57 PM

[Reply]

Laura writes:

I’d like to add, also, that every once in a while I get a problem article, but they are not “specific” as to what I need to do to fix it. It is very vague.

So i try to guess, fix it, resubmit, they have a problem again, vague in nature, I try again, same article goes in 3 times. that could be shortened if the problem articles issues could be specific in order to fix them with one simple resubmittal than several attempts trying to “guess” the issue.

[Reply]

Julia writes:

Laura makes a very pertinent point here. The issue of ‘current’ content.

Say for example an author submits an article reviewing software and describes how to do certain tasks with that software. Down the track the software is updated and the method used to perform those tasks changes.

All of a sudden you have an obsolete article. If the article cannot be edited because the ‘edit credit’ has already been used then there is no option but to delete the article entirely and submit a new one containing the new information.

Not an ideal situation!

Apart from the single edit rule I say go with option b. A 30 day lock is a great idea. After that articles should earn one edit credit every three months with a maximum of 1 edit credit at any time.

[Reply]

34
Mike writes:

I personally would like the ability to tweak my resource box as needed… how else can we boost the response rate of our articles?

Why not give higher level members (platinum etc..) who have gained the trust of EzineArticles the ability to change their resource box without the article being pulled for the time of the review… the resource box changes could be reviewed “live” so to speak.

This would be yet another reward for reaching the platinum or whatever level.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:58 PM

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35
Greg Mangin writes:

I believe the problem would be solved if the resource box were separate from the article but “bound” together so that the resource box could be edited since that’s what 83.3% are editing.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 4:58 PM

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36
Jennifer Vogel writes:

I don’t know if this is possible or not, but if articles could have a one-time opportunity for editing with a time limit of 1 or 2 minutes that would be perfect. That way, authors must know precisely what they need to change and will act quickly before the session times out. Most revisions should not require more time than that any way, if they have been thought out in advance.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:00 PM

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37
Barbara writes:

I’d really like to be able to edit the resource box. I’m okay with you locking the edit for 30 days, but sometimes over time, as webpages or offerings within my business change, it is really nice to have that reflected within the resource box.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:01 PM

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Candice writes:

Exactly what I was thinking! Also, it would be great to be able to edit the resource box without putting the whole article back into edit.

[Reply]

38
Daniel Bernal writes:

Option B. 30 days locked in

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:01 PM

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39
Jerry writes:

Plan B should do just fine.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:02 PM

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40
Marcus writes:

I understand the problem this is creating for Ezine and if I have to choose from the options it would have to be the 30 day one. I am concerned with once only opportunity to edit an article that this will lead to many articles becoming redundant if links and contact information in resource boxes especially can’t be changed. It is just a fact that things change very easily and fast on the Internet so wouldn’t it do more damage all round if what was out there was no longer relevant because of outdated information in the resource box?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:02 PM

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Laura writes:

I totally agree with Marcus.

what i see people doing is creating new articles with the new information, and having old and informative data on the internet. hence, two articles same stuff, one updated and one not.

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Barb L Collins writes:

Also agree.

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Sherry writes:

I fully agree with Marcus on this one. I try to avoid changes, but occasionally things happen and the links in the resource box require updating.

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41
Jeffrey Austin writes:

Personally I would discontinue editing after approval. My articles seem to take 2-5 days to get approved but I usually catch an error or mistake right away, within minutes after posting it.

We seem to rush ourselves sometimes to get articles submitted, but if we would just take an extra 5 minutes before we submit, these corrections if needed would be adhered to.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:03 PM

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42
Jackie writes:

I would very much like to be able to edit the Resource box in future, without editing any of the article content.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:03 PM

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43
Nev Allen writes:

A 30 day lock would be fine. I am a bit of a perfectionist so if I get something wrong, the punishment of seeing my bad workmanship for 30 days would hurt and I would try harder to get it right first time.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:04 PM

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44
Donna Tosky writes:

Did I get one of these options correct….only one edit allowed? If this is the case I will likely not publish with e-zine. In the future, I may want to reroute folks to a different landing page/website than I originally did…(of course this type of thing happens over time but nevertheless…it happens) I’ll be interested to see what you do about this.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:04 PM

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45
Douglas Welpton writes:

I attempted to edit my article by clicking the button to see it displayed. My efforts to correct sentence structure did not take. The only way I knew to change it was it hit edit. I did not realize all the consequences and I wanted my article up ASAP since it is about the time subject of Tiger Woods. I do not know how to edit what I have written when I first put it up if nothing happens when I type in my changes–please inform me. Thank you.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:04 PM

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46
Natalie L. Komitsky writes:

Option #3

Have you seen the Word function compare documents? It shows exactly what was changed between an original document and an edited version. If you could program your editor’s software to show exactly what was changed, it would be a 5-minute task to recheck an article.

I’m thinking that the ideal situation would be to have a limbo period, say 24-hours following initial approval, in which the author could make changes before the article is sent for indexing. After this time frame ends, it’s final – period.

There is just something about hitting send that magically causes you to develop x-ray vision for these outstanding errors.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:05 PM

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47
Okan writes:

Option B Chris…. This is not a very hard decision. Thank you for checking with the community. That is more significant that what you will do. Option B gives “ANY” writer the option to be human :) Enjoy your days.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:05 PM

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48
Rosana Hart writes:

The first option is really draconian. We all make mistakes or we change a url.

The 30-day one works for me ok.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:05 PM

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49
Phil writes:

How about leaving the old revision live until the new revision can be reviewed? Wouldn’t that solve the issue easily?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:06 PM

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50
Mike Nardine writes:

Leave the original article there until the edited one is ready.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:06 PM

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51
Michele marik writes:

I vote for Allen Graves solution – keep the old (approved) version of the article up and only replace it with the edited version once that version gets approved. No broken links.

But I can see where you don’t want to waste the time of your editors (I edited my articles several times the past week – adding bold-face for keywords, changing punctuation and spacing…) and I suspect that a busy editor would have wanted to smack me by the third edit.

So I recommend also putting in the 30 day lock on new articles.

Best of all worlds – no broken links, people CAN continue to edit, but your editors get a break on the massive volume of changes.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:06 PM

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52

As has been said, a six-monthly period would allow contributors to update their content if needed. And the comment on whether the title might need changing is valid too.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:09 PM

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53
Steve writes:

I vote option B.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:09 PM

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54
Paul writes:

Hi Chris,

Yea, I know I’ve been guilty of this a time or two.

I like the idea of going live and getting posted ASAP (like you do now). That post could be locked for 30 days.

But, as many of us think about our changes within minutes or days of submission, maybe allow us to make the edits and submit, and it will automatically update after the 30 period. That way I don’t have to remember to go back in a month to resubmit.

Thanks. Paul

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:11 PM

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55
Rocky Cole writes:

I would go with option B if forced into an all or nothing box. I will also echo the comments of a previous poster who stated (I’m paraphrasing) EZINES is not the only place to publish content, and that many of us that are using EZINES are also using other sites. I guess I will just say what a lot of people are thinking, if EZINES is not user friendly and does not allow changes, people will go elsewhere.

My recommendation would be think out of the box and come up with some other solutions than the two limiting ones you have proposed. You may be shooting yourself in the foot with these.

Respectfully submitted to EZINES and all users.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:11 PM

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56
Lambert writes:

Just keep the old article live until you approve the new version.

Then after approval replace the old article with the new.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:11 PM

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Laura writes:

Lambert has the best idea so far.

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Ted writes:

I agree with Lambert. I found it odd that the old article was pulled down during this edit approval process. All articles should be locked in pending an edited replacement whether new or not. Once an article has been indexed it should be available period.

[Reply]

Alysyn Curd writes:

Neither one of these solutions is a solution. They are both win-lose for the author.

Lambert and several others have it right. To keep the old article live until the new is approved is such a simple solution to this problem that it’s almost silly. However, HOW to make that work (technically) may be another story. I’m not sure, is that the reason it wasn’t offered as an option?

I think you guys (at E-zine Articles) are too close to the problem –which I understand is a big one– considering you’ve only 2 dedicated editors.

DO THIS:
Implement a system where authors have the option to “edit,” keeping the original live until the new version is approved.

Also implement a short list of criteria for editing live articles, where authors must indicate WHY they are making changes. Rather than applying “rules and restrictions” supply “guidelines” based on the reason/category for “re-writing” live articles.

For instance provide guidelines for:

1. Minor body corrections (spelling, grammar, punctuation).
2. Major body changes and/or additions or omissions.
3. Fact corrections.
4. Resource box changes.
5. Title change.
6. Link repair.
7. Link/Site re-directs.
8. Market (response) testing.

No matter what the reason, if the original article remains live until the new replaces it, that works all around. Doesn’t it? Let authors know that there is a “wait” period, based on the reason/s for the change before reviewers can review.

To discontinue editing altogether is unacceptable and I think everyone knows that. That is only provided to make your second alternative seem the less of the two evils, when it too, is unacceptable.

You’ve done the right thing to ask your authors. The answer is right here.

Please let me know how I can help. Do you need volunteer editors?

(As I am guilty of editing a recent article that was in review status –probably 100 times over the course of a month– I was sure that was why I got this notice, lol…)

I was planning to “fix” a live article written for a client who has since removed the site it points to. (My first edit of a live article, not something I wanted to have to do.) THAT is certainly a reason to edit.

I’d prefer it could stay in place until the new one is created and approved. Don’t you agree?

[Reply]

Paul writes:

You stated 83.3% are simply revising their Resource Box.

Changing information in the resource box is just second guessing, meaning the author isn’t really doing their homework or doesn’t even know what they want in the first place. IMO, a majority of the articles have this problem and the authors could keep changing things ad nauseam.

I like Lambert’s suggestion but I would put a limit on the number of times this could happen. Make an option on the submit process that this article should replace a prior one already submitted.

Most authors don’t realize that continually changing their resource box confuses the search engines instead of improving upon their SEO intentions.

[Reply]

Cheryl Hughes writes:

I disagree that changing the resources box is just second guessing. I have changed my resource box, yes I am one of the guilty 83%, after my website went through a major overhaul. I needed to correct my link to point to the most relevant change. I can’t say I personally like either suggestion, but B would definitely be the better of the two options.

[Reply]

Michael Skinner writes:

Lambert’s idea seems cool to me.

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57
Michael Anderson writes:

The solution is really much simpler. The problem is that articles may be missed by the SEs during re-editing. So, when an article is changed, simply leave the existing article live (for the SEs), while the modified copy is edited. When approved, do an instant substitution of the new for the old. The SEs are happy and the article authors are happy.

If you start punishing the authors with restrictions and credits, etc., they’ll take their articles to another directory. That’s what I’d do. Remember that your relationship with the authors is symbiotic: your need happy authors and the authors need a reputable directory. We, the authors, don’t give you articles from altruism, and the resource box changes are important – the resource box is why we give you articles.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:12 PM

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58
Misty Lackie writes:

If I had to choose between the two I would choose option B. It would be really great if we had the ability to change just the resource box without having to loose the indexed article in Google or have to wait for a 30 day lock.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:12 PM

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59
Andy T Scott writes:

Hi Chris – I like the idea of only being able to edit the resource box seperately from the article content. If I put up a new site, or blog I may decide that it is a better target for my article traffic, so the ability to change it is important. Perhaps a limit on the number of changes allowed is a good idea.
As for the article itself – if your editors have checked and approved them, there is really no need to be making changes to them. If an author comes up with new ideas, or new ways of presenting them, then a new article seems the obvious solution.
If I had to vote on one of the options though, I would choose option A – no changes permitted, as a way of eliminating this problem. This would force us all to be more careful.
Thanks for your great newsletter, by the way. I find them extremely helpful.
Andy

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:12 PM

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60
Joel D Canfield writes:

B. 30-day lock.

For one thing, those who find one thing they want to change will have 29 more days to find the other eleven fiddly bits they want to fiddle with.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:13 PM

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61
Mark Minks writes:

I recommend an option C:

Once an article is approved it goes live. After that, allow someone to edit their article any time they choose while at the same time keeping the existing article live on the site. Only after the new version of the article is approved does it go live to replace the previous one.

This offers several benefits:

1. Allows approved articles in all cases to be found by search engines.

2. Allows authors to correct spelling mistakes or grammatical errors found only after publishing an article.

3. Site quality goes up for search engines as once a page exists on EzineArticles the only way it goes away is if it’s permanently deleted…no more page disappearing while being edited etc. leaving site visitors with a negative experience when they click through to a page that’s supposed to be there and isn’t.

I’ve left several misspellings and grammatical errors in articles exactly for this reason…I didn’t want to pull the articles and make them unavailable to people just to correct a few errors. Unfortunately this has kept the articles from being as high quality as they could be, and I can’t help but wonder if other people have chosen to leave minor errors in their articles for the same reason. My proposed Option C would be an elegant solution that addresses this issue as well.

This Option C would be no different than when we make updates to existing web pages on our sites…we don’t delete the existing page but rather leave it up and available to website visitors while we edit the content offline. Then once we’ve updated the content offline and approved it, we push it up to the web to replace the previous version of the page.

The question is, would your technology support such an implementation?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:13 PM

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62
Jack Garcia writes:

I understand your predicament. The first option is too harsh. I think that the second option is a better proposition.

Keep up the good work

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:13 PM

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63

The 30 day option is better than the other.

For me, I’ve recently gone back and tweaked older articles as I’ve gained a better understanding of article marketing. So, for example, I’ve changed article titles to make them more compelling and in some cases I’ve also changed the resource box URL I want to link to.

It’s nice as a writer to be able to go back and correct past mistakes in articles I may have made from a marketing perspective in order to be able to make the articles I’ve already written more productive for me.

Not being able to edit old articles lowers the value to me of the article base I’ve already created.

Thanks.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:14 PM

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64
Alice writes:

I think the 30 day lock down is the best idea, people need to realize that e-zine articles is offering a very valuable service and the resources are not unlimited.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:16 PM

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65
Michelle Houser writes:

If I have to pick between only the two options, I’m definitely going with Option B. The idea of never being able to re-publish my article or not being able to fix an error would drive me crazy!

I’m also wondering why you can’t have a system where you have a copy of the article out there for the SE’s to see at all times until the article in the hold file is approved and then it could replace the article that is showing for the SE’s. That seems like a more reasonable solution and everyone wins!

You won’t be stuck hanging when the SE’s come looking for an article that isn’t there and we won’t be disappointed when we can’t edit or reprint our article that we worked so hard on.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:17 PM

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66
Chip Morgan writes:

Chris,

I think the 30 day window should be plenty and would still allow us to fix minor things or to tweak a headline later.

Let’s face it, if an article needs more rewriting than a simple fix, it’s easier (and usually better) to just write another article.

Actually, I think the “Law of Unintended Consequences” will be in your favor if you implement this change. If we (authors) know we can’t fix something, we’ll proof it better before we submit it. That way, your normal editing “goofs” will probably go down as well!

I have to laugh, we are so spoiled in this day and age. Let’s contrast our editing “problem” here with traditional publishing. When it’s printed on paper, it’s that way forever!

Chip

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:17 PM

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67
Ian Whyte writes:

Chris
Just tried to submit a comment and made a mistake in the email address.

System returned a separate WordPress > Error browser tab with message Error: please enter a valid email address and all my text disappeared

Looks like there is no way of retrieving my comments. A bit lethal as all appears to be lost

Ian Whyte

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:17 PM

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68
Ron Bailey writes:

The 30 lock up seems like the best Idea to me. Until I hear a better one.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:17 PM

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69
Casey Overbeek writes:

I Like Christina’s solution

I am new and just finished my resource box. I would like to add it to the 15 articles I have already posted

Casey

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:18 PM

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70
Ric Morgan writes:

I vote for Option A

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:19 PM

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71
Allen Howard writes:

I have thought from the beginning that people should be allowed to edit the resource box only. This should not require taking the article offline at all.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:19 PM

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72

I vote for the 30 day lock. This way if someone wishes to improve reads, change the article resource box, increase SEO after 30 days then they have that option. It may make sense to let the writer know within the guidelines of whatever changes happens.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:19 PM

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73

Hi Chris,

Another way you can handle this problem is allowing leapfrog.

This way the author who wants to edit the article after it is live can edit it while the original article is still there for everybody to see then once the author has edited the article then compare both the articles and see which is better in terms of spellings, grammer or anything else.

The better article replaces the other article.

Hope this helps.

Thanks and Regards

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:19 PM

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74
Gordon writes:

While I would favour option A which would not allow for editing, I might propose an option C. That option would be to provide a facility to have the resource box updated enmasse should one have something new and relevant. I.e. as in my case with the publication of a book after a number of articles had been written.

Just a thought.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:20 PM

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75
Rhonda writes:

My concern would be where folks have changed their website address or other info in the resource box, making any future link difficult (which is the point, right?)

I liked the idea someone had about separating article body from resource box for the edit purpose.

If only allowed a choice between the 2 options, I vote for the 30-day one.

Thanks for asking! Appreciate you asking for our input!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:20 PM

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76
Jeanne writes:

I vote for the 30 day lock but give authors the ability to edit just their resource box. Sometimes things change, and it needs to be edited.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:21 PM

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77
Dany Ray writes:

I think that both Kristina and Allen above have good and practical solutions.
Separating the content editors from the resource boxes and other details editors, that sure speeds up things and save resources.
Keeping the article live while verifying the edited version, is another way to keep integrity and continuity.
The editing limit is a useful idea, but I think it will be more efficient by adding up the credit for all recently published articles into one credit total, so an author that publishes more articles, but ends up editing only a few, will be able to that several times with the credit he has accumulated when not editing the other articles.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:23 PM

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78
John writes:

This is crazy. You’re saying you want to stop people updating their resource box, i.e. their links? So you end up with a lot of dead links on the site? Then what is the point of this thing telling us about dead links, if we’re not going to be able to update them?

Seems like you are just shooting yourselves in the foot here.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:23 PM

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79
Rachel writes:

I think separating the resource box from the article is a good idea. Would it be possible to enable switching to an already approved resource box? This way if someone wants a new resource box, they create it, wait for it to be approved, once approved, they are able to switch it in the desired articles instantly without review since the review already happened. That way the article does not go off line.

As far as the options, I would prefer the 30 day option rather than the all or none choice. Thanks for asking for our input.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:23 PM

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80
Marcie Snyder writes:

I prefer the B option, 30-day lockout. However, only one edit per live article may not be sufficient in certain cases.

How about allowing people to ask for a 2nd editing ticket if and when needed!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:25 PM

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81
Laura writes:

One last thing. The BIO box is my TAKE, the CONTENT is my GIVE. I want to be able to edit my TAKE throughout the lifetime of my GIVE.

Also, my credibility lies in my GIVE, so if I cannot update that info to be credible, I don’t want my name attached to it.

I still want the option to delete my articles at anytime. And after I do, who’s to say i don’t “rewrite” it and resubmit it? what constitutes “ever again?” (option A)

I cannot control my TAKE, I may not want to give.

what will be the control points for deciding if an article is one “never to be submitted again” or a “new” article?

I cannot see either of these plans as viable solutions.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:25 PM

[Reply]

Laura writes:

Spoken respectfully by the way, to the Captain (el capitan), keeper of the helm, by a known plank walker ha ha.

[Reply]

Dennis writes:

I absolutely agree with Laura here. Option A and B are both unacceptable solutions.

[Reply]

82

I would certainly choose option B, the 30 day lock.

I understand that resources need to be productively deployed, so can see the need for a 1-edit restriction. Would it be possible to somehow indicate the changes a la MS Word revisions? It’d save a tremendous amount of rereading, since I imagine most edits are for a keyword or two, and a URL or two.

I also like the idea of leaving the original in place until the edited version can take its place.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:27 PM

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83
Walter Reade writes:

Authors need the option to modify articles. And we also need the option to modify the resource box. I vote for Option B at a MINIMUM. Better would be three credits.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:29 PM

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84
Jacquelyn Lynn writes:

I agree with treating edits to the article body and the resource box separately. I’ve gotten involved in new business ventures and want those new urls in my articles (or want the old urls or information removed because of a change in business relationships), and I’m sure I’m not unique in that.

Of course, I can understand the need to limit the number of those kinds of edits in some sort of reasonable way, but I think finding a way to make changes to the resource box without taking the article down would solve most of the problem.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:30 PM

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85
Lisa Wolfe writes:

Lock it. However the only thing I ever see that may need to be possibility edited is the author sig. line on occasion. The article itself should have been proofed prior to submission in my opinion and should be ok to lock that part from further edits.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:32 PM

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86
Jeff writes:

I like option B. Sometimes we have to change our URL of our website or direct the articles to another website. This option give us a one-time change per article. I think that’s fair and reasonable. I don’t like option A.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:33 PM

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87
Clair Atwell writes:

I opt for option #2

Thanks for keeping us posted as to what you experience
also. Thanks for the service you provide us.

Clair Atwell

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:34 PM

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88
Wendell writes:

My last edit was due to discovering I could add anchor text links in my article. I didn’t know or think of it before. With that said, you could add a check list popup before you hit the submit button saying are sure you’re ready to submit?
Have you:
1. checked to see if you have adding you anchor Text links?
2. Added the correct author name?
3. Triple double checked your spelling and grammar?
4. So forth and So on.
That’s my 2 cents. Hope it helps. But people will need to edit due to the mistakes that will happen or new discoveries.
My next article is how to make sure your e-zine articles are perfect before you submit them. :-)

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:35 PM

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89
Terry Retter writes:

There are some legitimate reasons to need the ability to change an article – situation changes, people essential to the content change, etc. These edits could be treated differently from a resource box change. Plan B would seek to address most situations fairly well.

Generally your better off writing another article than trying to make prior articles perfect.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:35 PM

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90
Stuart Fish writes:

I agree with mauch of what has been said above. I would vote for option B with a few tweaks.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:37 PM

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91

Option A – get professional – if an article is published in a magazine – its printed – final. If you write a book it printed – final. Get it right before you publish. Take personal responsibility. Let it sit for a few days, re-read, revise, then when you are 100% certain, then submit. If people knew they couldn’t change an article other than remove it completely there would be greater care and attention given to their submissions.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:37 PM

[Reply]

Julia writes:

While I agree about getting it right first time I think that in this instance that doesn’t entirely apply because unlike a magazine that gets forgotten as soon as the next issue comes out, these articles remain LIVE on the site indefinitely. The content of the article could be 100% correct when submitted but six months down the track could be entirely obsolete. Human error isn’t the only thing that creates a need for an article to be updated.

How would it look if I had created a review of Windows 3.1 in 1993 and wasn’t allowed to edit it? Well doh! We’ve had Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, XP, Vista and now Windows 7 since then. That stupid article written on Win 3.1 is hardly current anymore is it?

My point being here that information changes over the years as technologies and knowledge get replaced with newer products and theories get proved. We’re on a medium that allows obsolete information to hang around indefinitely so isn’t it better to be able to update?

[Reply]

92
Mike writes:

Simple. Approved articles that we wish to edit should NOT be taken out of use UNTIL you once again approve them.

There’s NO reason to take an approved article offline while you review potential changes. Only swap out for the new article when it changes are approved.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:38 PM

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93
Maria B. Spicer writes:

“Just keep the old article live until you approve the new version.”

Is there a problem with this idea? It seems like an ideal solution. No matter how hard I try, I always miss some minor grammatical/spelling issue the first time I publish, and I can’t stand having those errors out there with my name on them!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:38 PM

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94
Julie Fuimano writes:

I don’t usually edit articles so the 30-day lock seems best to me.
I also like the idea of having the resource box separated from the article or separate editing from content. Thanks for asking – :)

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:38 PM

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95
Different Laura writes:

I’m with those who suggested separate editing for the article and the resource box. Sounds like that would eliminate a large percentage of the problem.

I want to always have the option to change something in both areas if at all possible, although I will of course try to make sure it’s perfect before submitting.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:39 PM

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96
Bonnie Jo Davis writes:

I vote for the option B a 30 day lock and then one chance to edit after that. I think time is better spent writing new articles.

Bonnie

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:41 PM

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97
Emma writes:

If you have the capability of leaving the original article live while the edits are waiting for approval, then I don’t understand why that hasn’t been the default method of doing things all along. Never understood why you do it the way you current do and remove the live article from the site until the edit is approved.

That said, I’d go with Option B with a less draconian rule about edits. I think the 1 credit per article is a great idea, but that the credits should be pooled. Most of my articles will never need to be edited, so if there’s a handful of articles that need to be edited more than once in the future, I’d like to be able to use those unused credits to take care of them.

I think this solution would help cut back on some contributors’ compulsions to edit and re-edit over and over again instead of contributing a new article because they would have a limited number of credits to work with.

And rather than making a no exceptions 30 day rule, how about just leaving the original article live and putting the edits in a low priority queue, with no guarantee that they’ll be looked at in less than 30 days. So that way if you team of editors has the time, they’ll do it, if not — no pressure. At least the original article will still be live.

Honestly, we all make mistakes and while I look at my articles several times and check the preview, sometimes I just don’t catch the error before the article goes live. If it’s a glaring error, I would think that would have as much impact on your reputation as a dead link that Google can’t find. Or do you not care if your contributors look incompetent as long as Google’s spiders are happy?

On second though, I think no 30 day rule would be better. Just leave the original article live until the edit is approved.

How would dead links be handled? Sometimes I need to edit a resource box because I messed something up or because I’ve moved a site or moved a page, but sometimes I need to edit because my host has died or whatever. I would hope I’d always be able to edit those articles with dead links.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:41 PM

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98
Donald writes:

Of the 2 options (neither of which seems particularly attractive) I would vote for B. This said, I think that provision should be made for additional editing where this is necessary to fix a broken link. It doesn’t do either the author or EzineArticles any good to have articles on the site with broken links.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:42 PM

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99
Lucy A Rudnicka writes:

Thanks for this explanation. I”m the one who frequently edits the live articles. I do this because I’m watching the statistics and trying to improve on them. Also, the more I learn about SEO, the more I see that can be improved and that leads me to make changes to my links or my anchor texts.

I definitely support option B. I think it would be a pity if we could not edit our articles at all. But now that I know the problem, I will be much more mindful. And I’d appreciate any other ideas how we could make the crawl engines happy and still be able to make changes, if they are needed.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:43 PM

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100

I guess I prefer option B.

I know as a newbie, it has been nice to have the option of freshening up or adding to my articles. However, I may need to do this more than once.

I did not realize that articles were being edited once they were submitted.

Anyway, I love EzineArticles! I appreciate the “how to” emails you send. They have been so helpful.

Whatever your decision, I will probably continue to use EzineArticles.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:43 PM

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101
Kayla Fay writes:

There are times that both need to be edited. I like option two better than the first, but I’m with Lambert. I think that the best would be to keep the old article live until the edited version is approved.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:44 PM

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Laura McCallum writes:

I understand that every edit has to be manually reviewed, otherwise the quality would go down. How about when we submit an edit, we indicate if this is a minor edit, like they do on wiki, for spelling, grammar, or other minor edit- and in that case, can the edit be immediately, automatically approved without editor interruption? Nobody likes article down time, and if this was automatically updated, no wait, and no need for editor to go back and re-check. Only those that significantly change the article would need editor re-approval. Do you trust us to do that? I often hesitate to improve my e-zine articles for this very reason- the wait and loss of traffic, even if it is just for a typo that I discover after the fact.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:45 PM

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103

I understand everything you say and have no problem. My concern is that I am in the process of resetting my website and information in past articles containing my old resource box is outdated. Is there any way, I can just make one resource box edit and not have to take down any articles. It is frustrating to me to edit a resource box, have my article taken down, and have that same unedited article rejected, especially since I didn’t edit the article, only the resource box.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:46 PM

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L.Pierce writes:

1. They inform us that they were unsuccessful in finding the article. That’s bad, because now the chances of that article getting indexed are significantly lower.

2. Worse, our reputation is on the line. When we tell the search engines that there is a new article for them to crawl and index, that article had better be there for them to discover! Otherwise, we’re wasting their time and resources, which makes us look incompetent.
————————————————————–
This is serious. You don’t charge us for placing our articles. You help us to get exposure. You make it easy for us and we should make it easy for you. Given the options you have presented Option B seems to me fair.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:46 PM

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Rob Gordon writes:

Hi,

I definitely think B is the best option of the two. However, if the only change most people are making is their resource box, and there may be many good reasons for wanting to do this, could there not be a third option that would allow the URL in the resource box only to be changed, for instance. I do not know if you have the technology to do this but it would seem sensible to me and then it might be possible to allow people to change the URL (if this is the most changed thing) live.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:48 PM

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Kristy Bennett writes:

I do not see option A as a viable option at all. Option B is tolerable but is a potential annoyance if there has been a grammatical error overlooked that just needs to be fixed – I’d likely forget where it was within 24 hours of noticing it.

I don’t see why an edited article when resubmitted cannot remain published in it’s previous state until changes are approved or rejected. (In which case, the old article would remain in place).

Good luck with your decision!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:49 PM

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Patricia Weber writes:

Seems like the 30 day lock is fair to all.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:49 PM

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Gary Silverman writes:

I don’t have a problem with either solution except the parts that say we’d never be able to submit that article again or that we only get to edit it once, ever.
Here’s my problem with that. My articles typically deal with investments, taxes, financial planning and the like. If I wrote an article about Converting a Roth IRA, and posted it back in August, I would have needed to change it at least twice due to changes to the law. Under either of those systems I would either have had to take the article down, never to speak on the subject again, or leave up what would now be false information.
The first choice would make writing the article in the first place a bad use of my time. The second choice would be opening up liability issues.
So, if there was a way that we could justify an extra edit, that would work for me.
Doing so would lead to a problem for you as you’d now have to read through thousands of justifications (like a Strunk & White violation). So I suggest limiting it to a non-grammatical factual errors that need correcting. Then give us three strikes if we try and abuse it.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:49 PM

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109

Just between you and I, I like “B.” Thanks for asking!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:49 PM

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110
Peter McLarty writes:

I am all for Option B, the only reason for altering resource boxes is because you want to direct traffic to a new site for the same, this would be so affiliate marketers can direct traffic from one site to another based on the success or not of an article. I am an affiliate marketer in that I promote products of my sites, to support my other sites, so I am not against those. Perhaps with option B you could make it so that it is possible to purchase additional credits, all articles get granted one initially on posting and each two years perhaps gets an additional credit. This slows the rate of change and might also be of help.

My 0.02c

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:49 PM

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Virgil Cook writes:

I am fairly new to articles but option B sounds to me like it is something that would work for everyone. Is it possible to do option B and make it so we can change our resource box without affecting the content of the article? That is my two cents…

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:52 PM

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Janit writes:

I think Option B, the 30 day fix, is very generous.

I don’t expect anyone to babysit my writing, proofreading, typing or editing skills.

If you don’t have a system for catching your own mistakes – then get one.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:53 PM

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113

Simple Solution, i’m surprised to hear you dont’ have this already in your systems.

Just leave the old article up until the new edit is approved. If it’s not approved, the old article stays where it is.

It’s not rocket science :)

Anthony.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:53 PM

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Richard writes:

I’m stunned. So you are saying: I may have a great, well written article, but if, over time, the Resource Box needs an update with a working link or more timely information then you are asking me if it is better to (a) delete the article forever, or (b) update it once and never again. That’s pretty cavalier. Chris, I think you can come up with more fair-minded, realistic solutions. Either that, or I have completely missed the point.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:54 PM

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Khalid Nasr writes:

I think a 30 day lock should do it. The BIO box is my TAKE, the CONTENT is my GIVE. I want to be able to edit my TAKE throughout the lifetime of my GIVE. Another way you can handle this problem is allowing leapfrog. Just keep the old article live until you approve the new version. Then after approval replace the old article with the new.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:54 PM

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Nicki Goff writes:

Door B sounds like the best option. As professional writers, we should all be doing our editing long before we click the submit button.
However, I can see the need to sometimes re-edit the resource box as sites and hosts change, and links are outdated or die. Maybe you can think of a solution for allowing resource boxes to be changed more often.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:54 PM

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Cheryl G Burke writes:

“B” sounds fair enough to me!
Happy Settling of the Dilemma!
Blessings on all of you for this Christmas Season!
Cheryl G

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:55 PM

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chris writes:

Why not have a third option – do not automatically ping the SE when an article goes live. Instead, have a ”
Notify Search Engines About My Article” button that the user has to hit once the article is live. Before its live, the button is grayed out.

They can only hit it 1 time per article. Until that is hit, the article can be edited as much as needed. Once that button is hit, it locks the article for 30 days. Once the thirty days are up, the article is editable again, but it will never ping SE again for any changes of any kind. This would discourage people from re-editing their resource box.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:55 PM

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119

I agree the 30 day lock is fair. This is supposed to be a win-win situation for all involved.

As one commentor said, sometimes we are going to miss the mark, but that’s life. If we are missing the mark that much, maybe we shoud be re-examining more than just a title or resource box :)

That said…an occasional goof should be more than remedied by the 30 day window.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:56 PM

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120
Anita Boser writes:

Option B is my vote, although it also seems there might even be a better solution since authors feel the need to make changes at times to promote their business or add relevant content to an article.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:56 PM

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121
Steve writes:

I agree with Rosana, option A is draconian. Sometimes mistakes are made or links need changing for many reasons. We are not robots here and I really think if Ezine goes down that route there will be a whole lot of authors voting with their feet.

If these two options are the only one’s on the table then it’s option B for me, but I have to say it feels a little like Ezine using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:57 PM

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122

To Add:

Both ideas are very limiting, and seem quite backwards.

If you’re worried about search engine rankings and 404 not found erros, Update your systems to do the “update once approved” instead of limiting authors who want to edit their work / resource box to match their new sites or tracking system urls.

I’m still surprised you don’t have this in your systems already… a site this big, and something this simple isn’t already operating? WTF?
A.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:57 PM

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123
Joanna Poppink writes:

What about a combination of both options?

If I want an article to go up fast, maybe because it’s associated with an upcoming event, then I check a box that says I will not edit. The article goes up ASAP.

If I want editing rights then I check a box that says I chose the 30 day lock.

Thank you for asking us!

Joanna

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:57 PM

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124
Travis writes:

Option B

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:58 PM

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125
Tom writes:

B but…

Don’t like the lifetime rule.

Keep original live until the ‘system’ is ready for the update.

Have the resource box (and maybe other boxes) as a separate update so the reviewer doesn’t have to reread the article.

Have a way for the writer to comment on the changes to make life easier for the reviewer.

Would also like a writer-to-reviewer comment box from the beginning. I have submitted a couple articles with made up words. Fortunately the reviewer “got it’ but I would have liked to point it out so it wasn’t thought to be a spelling error or bad grammer.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:58 PM

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Colin writes:

I think the best option would be to allow one edit one the main article but seperate the “resource” box so this can be edited whenever required.

As stated previously I often need to re-edit my resource box in order to include more relevant links, updated info , so why no deal with them seperately?

Regards
Colin

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 5:58 PM

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127
Lillea Woodlyns writes:

Lambert’s idea is my pick:

‘Just keep the old article live until you approve the new version.

Then after approval replace the old article with the new.’

If that isn’t possible, then option B. I think it’s good to give authors a chance to correct mistakes and urls, etc. given the format that Ezine offers and the changability of the web in general.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:00 PM

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128
Cosmin writes:

I think that B it is the best option.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:01 PM

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129
steve pease writes:

I would recommend you allow small changes without having to put the article through the approval process completely. Let the article go live again right away. My opinion.

Merry Christmas

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM

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130
Stephen Parkin writes:

I would have thought in this day of RSS feeds that the resource box could have been made up-datable in real time somewhat like a blog. The idea of keeping the article live until the new version is checked is the next best. My blog based sites do not lose their ranking even when being updated, so I rather feel there may be a better technological solution if you look in the right places.

Unfortunately neither option A or B as put forward is fair to the writers as a permanent freeze does not cater for the changing world we live in. I rather feel many writers may leave to other sites that are a little less dictatorial. This said if these were the only options then I would go with B.

My two cents worth I really do appreciate the value of Ezine and would not leave over this, but there is a need to make changes, some of which may appear to be minor but I have improved click rates to nearly double just by re-ordering the resource box paragraphs. Therefore I believe you should try to accommodate these changes even if they seem minor to you. However it needs to in a way that does not absorb too much editorial time and which does not lose the Ezine ranking, I like the keep it live until the change is approved and the 2 tier system. I am aware that this may take time to implement and in the short term the 30 day rule seems a practical stop gap measure.

I apologize for the length of this but I was thinking as I responded not the best way to write!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM

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131
Laura writes:

30 day lock on content, one change per month if needed, new 30 day lock after each change. in other words, one change per month ongoing. no accumulation of unused monthly edits.

Surely you realized as your article base grew, that your staff size must follow. Is ezine saying they do not plan to sufficiently man the site to allow for future growth?

also, separate editing for resource box with unlimited changes. That is what we get for writing articles for free for ezine, we should retain control of it. we are not getting those ad dollars, Ezine is.

sounds like ezine is willing to take the hits for outdated material and invalid links that might exist from dead material in the content.

We as writers must determine what we want our names attached to (ending sentence preposition).

Okay, nuf said.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM

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Lis sowerbutts writes:

I agree – its mainly the resource box I want to edit as sites evolve or change or even get deleted. EzineArticles had a big campaign a little while ago about broken links (not good as far as G is concerned either) – the solution to a broken link is an edit :-)

I think the article should be locked for 30 days – that should get it indexed. But after that writers should be able to edit – the trick of course is not to delete the “current” version until the new version is approved – that way google never gets a “lost” page but does see an updated page – all good from a SEO point of view

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132
Taylor writes:

I don’t really like either option.

Why shouldn’t authors be allowed to edit their resource boxes? If you know anything about marketing, you know that offers must be tweaked and revised to improve performance.

If an article is getting a horrible CTR, it’s the author’s job to make changes to the resource box so that it does. We have every right to be able to do that!

Why should we have to wait 30 days and have horrible CTR on an article that may have taken hours to research and write?

I know some people post articles here out of the goodness of their hearts or whatever, but most people I personally know post for one reason – money.

If we cannot do everything possible to ensure that we get that, there’s really little point in posting anymore.

EzineArticles is still doing just fine in the search engines from what I can tell. When I’m doing keyword research, I see your site in the top 10 so often it’s shocking.

So why is this even an issue?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:03 PM

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133
Ely writes:

Why removing the article the moment, when the author decided to edit it? Keep the old one live until the new update is submitted, reviewed and ready to go live. Especially, if the only change is the resource box. That will completely eliminate the issue with the search engine.

If you just want to minimize effort for reviewing, prohibit changing the article, only allow changing the resource box. That will be much easier, and that’s what most peole want — optimize their resource box for maximum CTR.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:04 PM

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134
James John writes:

1. some from of Option B for resource box adjustments.

2. The article to stay live until adjustment is made and it keeps the same url.

3. Also, for article not to be added back to category page as if it is a new article because it is not, it should keep its same spot where it was before.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:06 PM

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135
Nic Turner writes:

Just a thought. But maybe it would be possible to have author updates to an article placed below the original content. It is nothing new for an author to discover new information and add to an article. I have seen this before where there is a link Author Update (date).

This way the original article stays, gets indexed, but so does the update!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:07 PM

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136

Keep article in place and let the authour submit an edited copy kept on the computer or on a CD. No reason to have blank pages.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:07 PM

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137
Paul writes:

Hi Chris,

I would have thought that it was obvious. Well at least to me and Allen Graves above.

It is just like a website. You do not take it down to to edit. Otherwise it’s gone! Just like the articles?

You have two copies:-

1 live and 1 dead copy.

The live is obviously on the web server as well as stored at EzineArticles.

The dead copy is is only stored on EzineArticles until it is edited
by the author and flagged that it has been edited.

When the flag is spotted by EzineArticles the edited article can then be reviewed by EzineArticles. If article passes the review stage the copy can then replace the live one on the webserver.

That way EzineArticles does not have to waste Staff hours and replacement of the article can be automatically achieved by a script.

Reviews already take place when articles are re-edited so you will not be doing any extra work.

It’s just that you will always have a live article on the web.

That way you do not have to make any changes to anything apart from storing an editable copy of each article.

Yes it will increase storage but it will save a vast amount of time and valuable resource.

Above all EzineArticles will never ever have to look silly or foolish in Big Gs eyes.

Nor anyone elses for that matter.

Hope that helps Chris.

You should send me a few hundred $ for a nice xmas pressy for that one Chris :o)

Oh and a couple to Allen ;O)

Regards

Paul.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:07 PM

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138
Brice Champwell writes:

Having the able to edit our published articles without taking them down while waiting for approval after being re-submitted.

Making changes to the resource box & the category should be allowed without having to resubmit the whole article.

When editing the body of an already approved article a copy of the original article should remain published, until after the edited version is approved and re-published or unless the title changes.

* Questions just popped up as I was replying; if you change the title of an already approved article doesn’t that affect SE & RSS feeds?
* doesn’t the SE & RSS feed use the article title to index published articles?

That’s why I say that the title and body should be edited as one and making changes to either would cause a re-submittal.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:09 PM

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139
Lynn writes:

I like the idea of keeping an article live and then replacing it by the edited version. I don’t know what that would require of you and your staff, however. As a newbie in the internet marketing world, I know I have had to make changes in my resource box, not the articles themselves, because I found out I did something wrong or something else would be more effective. So I also like the idea of separating the editing so you can edit the resource box without having to edit the article. I appreciate the exposure ezine allows me and all the work you all do to provide this for me and hope a win win solution can be found for both of us.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:09 PM

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140
Bob writes:

Leave it live as is until changes can be approved or denied.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:10 PM

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141
Casey writes:

My two (or 1.5) cents is that I agree with Lambert and Emma. Why can’t the ezine just keep the old article live until the new one is edited and approved. As long as it is not approved, the old version remains live.

I also agree with Emma that the author should have the full ability to edit articles. Penalizing the author for changes only reduces the accuracy of the information that you provide. This, I think reduces what I think you are trying to accomplish–being a database of current information.

In order to be a true database of information, revisions are required, because errors can happen, and information needs to be updated. If authors cannot easily revise their material, your articles will become outdated and outmoded, reducing your reputation as being a reliable publisher of current knowledge.

I also believe that either A or B will reduce the number of articles you will receive. Authors will choose other, more flexible publishers of ezine content.

Okay maybe that was 1.75 cents.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:15 PM

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Kirk McGowan writes:

Of the 2 options presented, the 2nd would seem the most viable. However, a focus should be placed on defining the problem in terms of requirements…
1. A previously posted article temporarily under revision should not cause the search engine indexers to fail. So you need a way for the indexer to at least think the article is where it expects it to be. In all likelihood, this should be the previously posted version.
2. Changes/revisions to the resource box need to be handled independently from the main body. (83%+ is a significant piece of data)

Perhaps the real solution to meet the requirments is neither of the 2 posted options?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:17 PM

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143
Sarah Ludwig writes:

Plan B is the way to go.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:18 PM

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Ian Patterson writes:

Option A was not an option at all, only a guide to get option B voted.
Option B s not a good option either.

The resource is altered to improve the writers take and should always be available.

So many people said this before me – Leave the original online until the edit is approved. Not sure why it wasn’t like this in the first instance.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:20 PM

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MIchael Beck writes:

Isn’t there a way to pull up an article so that the resource box is always the latest version? That way, up dating a resource box doesn’t edit the article at all…

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:21 PM

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146
Marty Hobson writes:

I definitely vote for Option 2. A 30 day penalty for my own mistake is more than fair.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:23 PM

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147
Paul writes:

I vote for the 30 day lock option. I have only revised one article after approved, and not for resource box. I would imagine better planning by authors will ensue.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:23 PM

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148

Is it possible to have the resource boxes reside separately from the articles in such a way that an author editing his/her resource box can have it reviewed separate from the article and, once approved, new links from the articles to the new resource box are automatically achieved.

Regarding the comment about authors reworking an article, it may be a policy that the article can be submitted as a replacement and the replacement made once reviewed or added as an updated version leaving the other article in place.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:26 PM

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Meggin McIntosh writes:

Option B – and I really like some of the suggestions that are coming in on this one. You opened up a lot of discussion!! I know you’re listening/reading. Appreciate the discussion!

Meggin

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:32 PM

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Diane O'Connell writes:

I’m not thrilled with Option B, but it’s certainly a better Option than A.

Since it seems that most of the “edits” are to the Resource Box, is there perhaps another option? Some way to allow global edits to the Resource Box, for instance, that would change the information on already posted articles?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:33 PM

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151
David Adams writes:

I think it is important to be able to update your resource box from time to time. Perhaps an author is doing some split-testing to find the right conversions, or has added some new programs to his portfolio. I suppose the reason is irrelevant. The resource box is the only area the author can showcase his wares and I would hate to see that option eliminated.

On the other hand, the article body could easily fit into the option B, in my opinion.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:35 PM

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Terry writes:

I go with option B, a 30 day lock on articles and the credit system. Authors need to remember they have to do their due diligence and quality checks before submitting articles for publications.

Authors also need to remember that the articles are supposed to be of quality and informative instead of something slapped up quickly for backlinks or profits.

Give your best and you will get the best in return. As my grandma used to say, “you reap what you sow”!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:36 PM

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george writes:

I have had to edit articles when the ezine editor has changed the classification to something that was completely inappropriate for the content, so I had to change it back.

I like the idea of keeping the original approved article posted until any modifications are approved. While any system has the possibility for abuse, that seems to be the fairest idea so far.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:38 PM

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Jan Smith writes:

I am disheartened to see so many disrespectful replies in this thread. Personally, I find some of them very offensive.

Chris didn’t have to ask us what our preference would be; he paid us Authors the compliment and courtesy of asking us our opinion and alternative ideas.

Some of which have been thoughtful and delivered in a courteous and respectful manner. It is these ideas that are more likely to be considered and reviewed, I believe.

Anyway, they have made the reading much more enjoyable and thought provoking, so thank you to those special people.

Getting back to the original question, my vote would be for plan B. I think the idea of being able to accumulate editing credits to be a good one as most of my articles rarely get re-edited so I’m not often affected by this situation but I would like to know that I can do it should the need arise at some time in the future.

I don’t understand why so many people lately have been taking “pot shots” at EzineArticles over receiving money for advertising. I’m sure Chris and crew love their jobs and if they are to continue doing the great job that they do we need to feed them! Be real and fair, hey?

Another thought for the pot that I’m sure many probably won’t agree on is why not sell editing credits to those who frequently want to edit their articles? This could be a fair way for all concerned.

I have thought about editing my older articles to refresh them to try to ‘gee-up’ the SE’s but decided that this isn’t fair or right. If any one wants to do this, then I think they could ‘pay’ for the privilege.

Anyway, that’s my opinion for today :-)

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:39 PM

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155
Karen Sielski writes:

I plead guilty to changing some of my resource boxes. As I learned more effective strategies, I made improvements. And when my first blog got hacked and I had to start over with a new one I had to change some resource boxes. If I had not been able to do that I would have been a very unhappy camper!

Even 1 lifetime change per article seems too restrictive to me! I would prefer an option where non-content changes are tracked and handled more efficiently. I would also prefer the original article be left in place for the spiders while the new one gets reviewed and republished.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:40 PM

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Jean Tracy, MSS writes:

I don’t mind being draconian.

You already do so much for us. You pay your staff. You get good positioning for us on the search engines, you teach us how to write good articles, you give us tips so often.

I vote for A. It’s our way of saying “Thank you.”

Jean

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:40 PM

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157

Option B.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:43 PM

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158
Drew Tomlinson writes:

I vote for a combination of most of the above:

1. Allow two types of edits, “content” & “other”. The “other” should be able to be reviewed very quickly and allows authors to keep links current.

2. Keep original article in place until new article is approved.

3. Use “edit credit” to limit editing and keep it under control so most ezine resources can be directed toward reviewing new articles.

Cheers,

Drew

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:45 PM

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159
Daniel Scott writes:

I wish that when I changed my resource box in my profile it simply updated it for all my articles … I can’t imagine what people with hundreds or thousands of articles would do if they wanted all those past articles to have their Twitter link.

Personally, if I have to choose one of the two options I’d say B. I agree with what other people have said in that, if it’s my name on the content and there is an issue which I can’t go back and fix … I’d definitely have to think long and hard before submitting it here.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:45 PM

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160

Option B sounds fine. Thank you.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:46 PM

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161
Grant Gerver writes:

Dear Chris,
You already know how much I love being an EzineArticles platinum author. But, I don’t feel either option is viable or fair. We’re both each other’s bread and butter. We should be able to edit whenever we need to without our originals being taken offline until the edits are approved. And, why not allow us many more resource boxes?

The back end and nuts and bolts of your site are way beyond my expertise, however, with how big you have become, there ought to be a work-around to accommodate your writers other than to have what I think are unfair A and B choices.

I obviously will accept whatever you decide, but I feel it is my duty to lay it on the line for all of us.

There is no website or service on the face of the Net that can’t use some improvements to make it even more powerful and user-friendly regardless of how powerful and all-encompassing it already is.

Thanks for entertaining my suggestions.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:46 PM

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Joan Gosselin writes:

I’m all for Option B.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:47 PM

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Susan Moss writes:

The choices you present seem not to be the best. However,of those choices, Option B would be the logical one.
I do, however, agree with those who suggest the original article should be live during any alterations being made. Once the corrections, etc., have been made, replace the live article with the corrected, approved article.
Surely, that’s do-able.
Thanks for asking us.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:47 PM

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Carolyn writes:

Debbie’s idea of allowing 24 hours for edits before submitting to search engines, but then lock for only 30 days.

Change happens, and it shouldn’t mean making older articles obsolete.

Carolyn

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:48 PM

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Paul Fischer writes:

I also vote for B. 30 Days.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:51 PM

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David writes:

The only reasons I would change an article is because of grammar or an error of some sort. But also because I might have reason to change a product page and this would give my Ezine Article a dead link. Am I right to think this would be prohibited?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:53 PM

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Mike Affiliate writes:

I think the 30 day freeze or something longer makes the most sense. It appears that you have a mechanism for determining what has been edited so if the only change is in fact in the resource box then it should be relatively simple to check and not require a complete re-read by your already busy editors.
I am certain I am among your “edit the resource box” statistics but if we don’t have the ability to modify this information many of our articles will likely end up pointing to websites that no longer exist. Or alternatively, will end up with articles pointing to a website that is no longer owned by the author of the article because the original registrant allowed the domain to lapse and a new person registered.
As a relative newcomer to the biz I can tell you I will have a number of domain names I initially registered that I developed sites for but will not renew the domain name registration and the site will be abandoned.

So limit the frequency but there should be some opportunity to change the resource box.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:54 PM

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Ruth Seebeck writes:

Chris,
I can see your issue, but I also know that the resource box is VITAL to your authors. And having valid info in that resource box is critical to both the author and reader.

Is there some way authors can edit the resource box ONLY without an article re-review? I know that my bio needs updated on several prior articles (tho none in the past two weeks or so).

Live links and resource offers change. Since your authors anticipate lifetime accessibility of their articles, it’s important to be able to change their resource boxes, even when the content is still ‘fresh’.

Thanks for thinking of ways to deal with this problem. As an author, I certainly don’t want Google to ‘lose’ my articles. As a business woman, I do want my readers to have my most current bio information.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:57 PM

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Lis sowerbutts writes:

Thats a good idea – as Chris said 80% odd of the revisions are for just he resource box – so only allow that to be editeed – this would significantly reduce the amount of editor time.

Chris – the stats are hardly surprising – we provide free content for the right links – links are far more likely to change than the article body – which is probably written as “evergreen content anyway”.

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Rich Gately writes:

Mr Knight,
I would have to vote for B if those are the only 2 choices,, Many good ideas here ,but the one i like the best is keep original live until any edits are complete (if any) then replace with new article. We are human, mistakes and circumstances beyond our control do happen. Hope you find a viable solution !
Regards,,
Rich G.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:58 PM

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Brooke Martinez writes:

I like option B the best.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 6:58 PM

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Ken Harthun writes:

It’s a bit of a Catch-22, but I go for Option B. I’ve only edited a live article once and only because the root domain link redirect would have gone to a resource I was no longer using. The option to have one chance to fix an issue like this is a good idea.

Broken links in authors’ resource boxes would not reflect well on the author or EzineArticles, methinks.

Ken

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM

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172

My vote goes to option B.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:02 PM

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Joan writes:

The authors are not the problem. The authors don’t pull the articles offline, EzineArticles does. It’s the way the system is implemented. EzineArticles is the one creating the problems with the search engines.

Ian Patterson’s post said it best.

And for those submissive people who are willing to accept whatever’s decided, in case you don’t know, EzineArticles monetizes our articles with Google Adsense and makes money from our content. If they want to continue getting that ad revenue from the authors, then do what Ian suggested. If the rules become to constrictive, I’ll go elsewhere.

Quality controls are one thing, but editing needs to be loose. Quit taking pages offline and the problem goes away.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:04 PM

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Richard Walsh writes:

Go with option A. Make everyone spend an extra 2 minutes reviewing their work before they hit the submit button. The numbers speak for themselves.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:07 PM

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Karen C Groves writes:

How does your decision affect dead or deleted links? I’ve had some and got my resource box corrected as soon as I could. Keeping the article live until the change is edited and approved would be acceptable to me. Your A or B are not acceptable to me.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:08 PM

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Andrew writes:

Option B definitely sounds like the best.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:08 PM

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Scott Reynolds writes:

This could go almost any direction and get very complicated.

On the side of search engines and SEO I would say lock them. This would make for better articles on the first try plus leave all search data in place (title, description, keywords, ect….). Also as you stated, it can free up editors and make submission faster.

But we are all human and make mistakes, the internet is constantly changing, links change, and in the interest of more readers for everyone we know title, description, and keyword changes sometimes are necessary.

Your constant quest for quality articles is appreciated.
Making it harder for authors to edit will increase original submission quality. (I hope!) Keeping the old article live while edits are being approved will keep search engines happy. Limiting number of allowed edits per article in designated time period would cut your work load and improve quality of edits.

I would like to say A, do not allow edits for your ease of operation, better first submission quality, and once the article is placed it will stay where people can find it. But I think it will ultimately degrade the articles quality over time. Top SEO of the entire site should be the goal. Edit or not, every author will benefit.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:09 PM

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Joe writes:

You should definitely put a 30 day lock on new articles, if for no other reason than to have the indexing run smoothly.

Since you are going through the trouble of submitting them to the search engines, we should at least wait until they have been properly indexed before making changes.

I am not an expert but I think the titles are of the most importance to the search engines, so maybe the other parts can be changed without disrupting the search engines probe.

Body changes and resource box changes can be split up into two different workers. I suggest the user should have to wait from 1 to 3 weeks for update. However, old article remains live until updates are addressed.

I foresee software down the road also for you guys that can automate some types of revisions the user make to their articles, thereby reducing the work load on your staff.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:09 PM

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Mark S writes:

Option B please! It would be good to give authors one chance to edit an article for whatever reason. I don’t see any need for more edits than that.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:09 PM

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Marcus writes:

I have an alternative proposition to tackling this problem.

Educate all Authors who want to edit the article that there should be a certain given minimum extend for change (that goes beyond editing just the resource box), to warrant acceptance for an edit of the article.

This is not unsimilar to how certain criteria must be met before the article can be submitted for publication.

The challenges would then be:
– to come up with that minimum criteria/structure that qualifies it for an edit
– to implement it, ie. the programming part.

Thank you.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:11 PM

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181
Alex Mitchell writes:

I prefer option B.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:11 PM

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Judith Dudley writes:

Option B is the best option. For those that truly do make a mistake, this gives them the opportunity to edit one time. Thank you for giving us the forum to give feedback!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:11 PM

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183
BEN KIRK writes:

I am evidently the cause of this problem although I respectfully request the correspondence sent to me by Ezine. Unless mistaken or a misreading of the message to me, I was told to take the article down and correct it. Being a complete newbie at this I did not completely understand what was supposed to be corrected, hence the delay getting it back. Hopefully the whole system will not have to be changed due to my shortfall in the working knowledge of the system. The same mistake will not occur the second time. Sorry for all the trouble.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:13 PM

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184
Robert writes:

Why are articles coming down in the first place? This makes no sense. If the URL isn’t changing, then search engines are not de-indexing anything. If someone wants to edit content, then let them.

Not to be a dark cloud here but I suspect that the editing being done is more impacting your Adsense revenue potential than it is impacting any “author” impact.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:18 PM

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185
Brenda-Lee Thompson writes:

My first gut, as a former self-employed business person is Option A. If your resources can be better spent uploading new content, then we all win. Also, if the majority of edits happening are strictly to the resource box, then again, Option A seems the best answer.

As writers, we submit an article to a magazine or newspaper and once it is in print, there is no opportunity to make changes. Why should Ezine be different? The one get-out-of-jail-free card to edit the article once is definitely a reasonable compromise for everyone, but I think we as writers should respect Ezine resources. We should make sure our article is right before we submit. There’s no rush to submit — prep the article and sleep on it and review it one more time before you submit to Ezine.

I am understanding more and more every day in the world of web writing that the search engines are really the “boss of us”. If we (or by extension, Ezine) tick them off, nobody is going to win and our great avenue for publishing here is all for naught.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:20 PM

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David Stewart writes:

Hello Chris,
You make some interesting points. I think the point about your reputation is a bit exaggerated. But if editing must be curtailed it does create some issues for the authors. Its no surprise the resource box is most often edited since it in some ways is the most important, as it is key benefit and when not working its going to get changed. Content may not be evergreen and need periodic updating. I do not think either options are great but I do not think restricting editing for 30 days is too much to ask.

Best Wishes

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:22 PM

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187
Melisa Phinney writes:

I agree with option B-The idea of keeping the current article live till the new update is published is also a good idea, though it sounds like it may not be feasible for Ezine.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:26 PM

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188
Justin Stowe writes:

I like Option B. I know I’ve had to chance the resource box of articles before, so it would be nice to have that option- even if I have to wait 30 days to do so!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:33 PM

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189
John Maher writes:

Frankly, I think we should treat our articles in EzineArticles as published pieces. That’s to say, if we want to edit it, it should be a minimum of 30 days. Seems to me that it’s our behavior that must change, and I fear that Option A smacks a bit of a bureaucratic solution to a management problem: penalizing the 99% to account for the erring 1%. It’s a bit harsh to lead with.

That said, you provide a very useful service, and have the right to determine you own editorial–and publication–standards.

Option B seems more reasonable for the time being. I suggest you try it, and leave option A as the Big Stick in the wings for those of us who simply refuse to learn good publication manners.

Seems, at the end of the day, if we aren’t satisfied with our articles, we should wait to submit them until we are. Then leaving them alone shouldn’t be so difficult.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:34 PM

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190
John Owens writes:

I think that the structure of the article is what is causing the problem.

If the majority of people are editing the resource box then separate the resource box from the article and allow it to be edited without having to take the article down.

Regards
John Owens

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:34 PM

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191
Maura Brennan writes:

As a former textbook editor I can sympathize with your problem. However, I don’t like Option A because there could occasionally be times when certain information in an article becomes obsolete, or new findings need to be added.

Option B would take care of that situation. So I vote for Option B. The 30 days is a very workable timeframe.

A stricter policy toward revisions would force authors to proofread more carefully before initial submission. I know…that’s the editor side talking. But the author/teacher side agrees.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:39 PM

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192
Drew Tomlinson writes:

I’m not sure if my comment will be posted. I submitted but never see the comment and get no notification of acceptance.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:41 PM

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193
Joan Nowak writes:

Of the two options you stated, I prefer B. However, if we can differentiate between content edits and resource box edits, this would be my preference.

Over time, the resource boxes will need to change — so being able to do this easily (without removing the article) would be a huge benefit — and save your editors time in the process.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:42 PM

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max thweatt writes:

This is my first article and was fortunate to receive the
author award.It seems like the 30 day period is the better of the two evils.why not just make the rules and everyone is in the same predicament.It might even make all writers a little more cautious with their submissions.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:43 PM

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Marie Lyn Onggo writes:

I’ll go for B. But I also saw several good suggestions written by other co-authors above. Hope those will be accommodated to solve the issue.
thanks

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:44 PM

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196
Olivia writes:

B is fine with me.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:50 PM

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197
Madhan Kumar writes:

Hi,

I sometimes go to edit options to see what keywords i have used for my best performing articles. There is no other option to view my keywords. Within few seconds of viewing, the system autosaves and moves the article into draft mode.

If you give an option to see all items under the view mode like article title, characters left, Abstract Summary / Article Summary, Character left, Article Body, Character left, Keywords, Word count and author sig box etc.. then i may not go to the edit option at all.

Regards
Madhan.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:51 PM

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198
Cheryl writes:

I agree with Christina Sponias .

Regards,

Cheryl Veon

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:56 PM

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199
Andy Andersen writes:

I totally understand your dilemma. There have been a number of great alternatives posed here including the Hold File concept and multiple levels of reviewers, but if the only options are A and B… I vote for B.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:56 PM

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200
V K Rajagopalan writes:

Even though I have more than 500 articles live at EzineArticles, I have never once edited my existing articles. It does not mean that all my articles are perfect. Definitely No! I have continuously improved as an author. I know that I am writing better articles / resources boxes now from the statistics. I would rather write a new article with improved techniques rather than keep editing an existing article.

An edit might be required to the body only when the author feels the content is completely out-of-place or misleading due to changed circumstances. And, changes might be required to the body or resource boxes when a link is dead for whatever reason.

Even though, I am not for making any changes to the articles, the above reasons might crop up anytime necessitating an edit to an existing article. So, Option A is not practical and I feel it will hurt EzineArticles & the author more if above problems are allowed to linger.

Option B, I feel, is again not practical, in its present suggested form, as the above mentioned problems might crop up any time or any number of times.

So, in my opinion, the solution could be:

1. A relaxed Option B. The author applies for a change giving reasons and once approved, can make the changes. I understand this can increase support requests but article edits could be controlled to a reasonable limit. And, during such edits, existing article continues to be live and after the edit, the changed article replaces the old one. So, the live state is never affected.

And, if appropriate

2. EzineArticles can charge a nominal fee for each change request. Such charge would restrict the article edits to only the necessary ones.

Thanks
Raj

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 7:57 PM

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201
Ionel Roman writes:

option B is the best for everyone:

you guys at EzineArticles would reduce the amount of work that needs to be done and we, the members would start treating article submission more seriously.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:03 PM

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202
David Walshe writes:

I’ll leave it to others woth more experience to comment on proposed solutions.
I just like the fact that you asked your customers before imposing a unilateral policy. That’s a nice… and sadly, unusual…. touch. Well done!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:03 PM

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203
Alex Wilson writes:

If there is to be only the two options, I would support Option B.

However it is absolutely crucial that authors are able to maintain the integrity of their GIVE and most especially of their their TAKE. The cost to authors of not being able to do going forward could be very significant–even disastrous.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:05 PM

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204
Daniel Legare writes:

I like the 30 day freeze option. Seems to be the most flexible solution.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:06 PM

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205
Carl Moore writes:

I have not intended to edit my story “A Raccon Named Henry”. if for some I may have clicked the wrong button I am sorry. Please bring “Henry” back on line for me. I am so sorry if I messed this up. I won`t do it again. If I can figger out what I did to stop the story of “Henry’ thank you all Carl

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:09 PM

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206
Steve Wickham writes:

I think option B makes a lot of sense and enhances the EzineArticles service and name.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:09 PM

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207
Gonzalo Chagas writes:

I think option B will do it.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:12 PM

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208
Davis Fiedler writes:

Keep it simple. Do not allow editing. The writer, literally has FOREVER to edit the article before they post it. Please DON’T penalize the thousands of other article writers by holding an article 30 days.
C-Ya

Davis

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:18 PM

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RK writes:

I do understand the problem faced by EzineArticles but at the same time option A will be to strict. There is a geniune chance of person messing up with URL in resource box first time around.

I think option 2- which is a 30 day lock is better.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:20 PM

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Michelle Mangen writes:

I vote for Option B. This seems to be the most feasible and allows for things to “change” – even if only in the resource box as we are all “human” and things do change from time to time. :-)

Of course, whatever you decide is fine by me. I’ll comply!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:20 PM

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Jeff writes:

30-day lock is best.

The other method is a nightmare to publishers not being able to update articles and links, would mean creating 301 pages instead..

The worse of two evils is the 30 day lock.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:21 PM

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212
Anthony Maughan writes:

Option B

30 day lock down is better.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:22 PM

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213
Jonathan Huie writes:

1. If your resources were unlimited, I’d say just keep the article live while the edit is in queue. But that’s not realistic.

2. How about keeping the resource boxes completely separate from the article content. For example, article A has its own content, and is associated with the author’s resource box #2. Whenever resource box #2 is edited and the edit approved, the revised resource box #2 automatically appears with article A and with all of that author’s other articles that refer to his resource box #2.

3. As far as the article body, I’d say lock it forever unless the author wants to delete it permanently.

4. In any case, there needs to be an exception for editing or removing bad links, because dead links are harmful to your SEO.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:24 PM

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Justin Maestas writes:

Option B seems better of the two.

I would like to to see the resource box separated from the body of content.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:25 PM

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215
Tricia Deed writes:

I am new to this and I had assumed that once I edited and submitted my article, it was to be left alone because your staff needed to do whatever they do for the article to go live.

Having made that assumption, and I guess the rule that I placed on myself that once I click the submit button it’s a done deal.

I did not understand plan B, as I don’t know what would be a realistic time frame.

Hope this helps

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:27 PM

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216
Mary writes:

If you ask people to change a bad link, then that is all that should be changed.
If one changes more then that option B should be followed.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:31 PM

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217
Steve Owen writes:

Of the two choices I would prefer the 30 lock, seems to make more sense than not being able to edit it at all.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:32 PM

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218
Marcus writes:

Option B

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:34 PM

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219

Please separate the resource box so we can change that at any time. Thanks.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:35 PM

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220
Joanne Sperans writes:

I’m with Christina. Edits to resource box should be allowed, and a lock on article edits sounds fair. We shouldn’t be wasting our time editing and re-editing, however, there are times when we realize we need to update or add more info, and having our articles frozen or not allowed to be reposted seems harsh. Thanks!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:36 PM

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221

I definitely prefer choice B. I am in the process of reorganizing my websites, and therefore would like the option to change the resource box links. Also, if you are short of editors, I would welcome the opportunity to be part of the EzineArticle team.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:38 PM

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222
Angela writes:

Option A will be a good guideline for all of us.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:42 PM

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223

I think preventing people from ever editing the article may leave this site with lots of broken links in the long term. We all re-direct our activities at some point in our online business.

And this credit system can become more complicated than it needs to be.

You should have a 2 tier edit system where we choose between the content or resource box. (Titles should not change) Once the article in edited, then the old one should stay indexed until the new one has been approved. This will solve your problem of the article not being found in the search engines.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:43 PM

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224
Robert Reddin writes:

Hi,

Your stats say it all. >83% of revisions are to the resource box. Solution, subject only to keyword density not being exceeded, such changes should not be treated as revisions to the article.

I suspect that I am in a similar position to many authors in that over time, the address to which the link in my resouces box points may change. That would only happen for a good reason, but it has happened.

How about giving a choice on making revisions of changing the article or amending the resources box?

If the former, your suggestion of a 30 day lock period is reasonable; if the latter there should be no such restriction.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:52 PM

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225
Raymond Barnett writes:

Option B appears to be a reasonable approach that should be able to effectively solve the issue. Option A could be held in reserve and implemented only in the event that Option B proved to be unsuccessful.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:53 PM

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226
Bob writes:

Option B sounds much better. There should be an opportunity to edit the article once. Option A is way too drastic in my opinion.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:54 PM

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227
Rita O'Brien writes:

I prefer option B. I think it is fair for EzineArticles to lock new live articles for 30 days. I think that authors needed be more cautious on both the content as well as the stuffs put in the Resources Box before submitting any article.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:56 PM

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228
Steve writes:

My deepest apologies. This was the first article I’ve ever submitted. I’m just trying to learn the ropes, so-to-say, now that I’ve been told I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 8:59 PM

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229

B, except I don’t like it either.

Why not, as others have said, leave the original up until the revision is approved, then replace the original with the revised?

That sounds so simple to me. I must be missing something.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:00 PM

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230
Bluelambda writes:

I disagree with both options. The only option acceptable to me is to keep the old article live while it’s being reviewed.

The articles submitted to EzineArticles are still _our_ articles, please don’t forget that.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:00 PM

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231
Merlin Avenell writes:

Option B sounds good to me.

Merlin Avenell

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:05 PM

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232
Stan writes:

Option B is simple and fair.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:08 PM

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233
Christen writes:

I would prefer Option B because then at least we got a chance to edit our articles and at the same time the search engines will at least discover our articles so that we can rank on Google and get more visitors.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:18 PM

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234
John C Bishop writes:

Dear Chris,

Thankyou for the opportunity to give you some input on this issue.

I think it is extremely important that we retain the right to edit our articles, for two main reasons:

First, by editing the content part as needed, we can update and improve it to keep the information current and valuable to your readers. That is one of the big advantages this format offers… and it would be a shame to throw it away.

Second, by testing various resources boxes, I have doubled my click through rate… and I’m not done yet. Not allowing changes in this area would cost us
traffic and money.

So whatever you do, PLEASE don’t take away our right to edit articles as needed!

John C Bishop

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:22 PM

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235
Lorraine writes:

Option B works for me … I hate type-o’s and sometimes have to back and correct :)

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:26 PM

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236
Joanna Poppink writes:

Option B seems best.

We can always put an e-mail address or a website
address in our articles asking readers to check for updated information.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:29 PM

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237
Dr Jacqui Dodds writes:

I would like to support option B: Option B: Put a 30 day lock on all new live articles.
Thanks, Jacqui

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:30 PM

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238
Graham Morfitt writes:

3rd option (and the most attractive in my opinion)… You have reviewed the article, approved it, and submitted it to search engines. The worry is that people take it down to edit it. So my suggestion is to leave the “edited” version in limbo until approved as a replacement for the original article. That is to say, leave the original article online and searchable. If the edited article differs by an insignificant amount (ie footer), then OK to replace the original. If significantly different, then enter it as a new article.
The goal is to keep the original articles that were approved available to the search engines. So, I suggest doing exactly that.
Thanks.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:30 PM

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Phil Hayes writes:

I think Alan Graves has the right idea. We live in an over regulated world already so restrictions to solve a problem when it can be solved much simpler & without the rigid restrictions is just crazy.

I also like the two edit button options of Dave Harris.
These two methods or a combination of both…people can & will work with…
Both Plan A & Plan B are terrible & will result in massive unhappiness.

There are occasions when a website needs to change hosting…lock the resource box & the article is now useless to the author…& that could well be hundreds of articles…all in one action. Links get broken from time to time & need to be fixed. Bio’s may need to be updated from time to time.

I can so no insurmountable reason to ever lock anything

By all means though…lock a new article only until crawled by the search engines. What would that be…say a week or so?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:33 PM

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Paul Felice writes:

I think it makes sense to choose option A. Initial quality could improve if author’s know that what they submit is permanent, much like it would be in a print magazine.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:38 PM

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Kevin Vail writes:

May I suggest that you contemplate the opposite of the “30 day policy”, in so much as you look at putting the articles in a 30 day “non live” file, that allows the author to make changes to the file?

From there, you can send out multiple messages, throughout the 30 days, to remind the author that their message is due to “go live” in “x days” and that “if you need to make any further changes, please do so, before xx”.

This may afford you the opportunity to find a mix in both worlds?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:44 PM

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Maggie Dawson writes:

An option I don’t think I saw mentioned might be to approve certain resource box text, and allow articles to be updated with it without review. For example if I create a new resource box, THAT needs to get approved (whereas now it is approved/tested every time) but then I can stick on the end of any approved article.

Could cut down on review time for your editors. I personally only have 5 resource boxes I ever use, so by your own standards, your editors would have to read 15% less text every time they approve an article…

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:48 PM

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Perry Rightmond writes:

Option B with the 30 day lock, credit. Good idea.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:50 PM

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244

Option A is simple and is used by other sites. Maybe that’s a strike against it as far as you’re concerned; but Option B is far too complicated. You’re going to make things hard for yourself and your contributors. The less complicated a system is, the less you have to explain to new contributors. Make it seem too complicated, they’ll go somewhere else!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 9:54 PM

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Rudy writes:

I think you should stop articles from being edited after being approved.
Save the resources, and if you have to then make the approval process more robust.

Better articles equals less need to edit once approved.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:00 PM

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Sal Capobianco writes:

The 30 day lock would seem to be the way to proceed.

Thank you for allowing our input prior to making a decision on this.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:08 PM

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Ron Cody writes:

i’d go for the 30days lock. :)

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:08 PM

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248

Option B. You said it best Chris, anyone would be better off writing a new article for all that effort. There are occasions when a serious error needs to be corrected so we do need that one shot. We authors would like to maintain our reputations as well. I’m hoping that I’m speaking for all of us.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:09 PM

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Sal Capobianco writes:

Proceeding with option B makes the most sense.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give our input prior to proceeding.

salcapobianco.com

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:10 PM

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Ellis Jackson writes:

I like option B but there needs to be more credits. Authors need to be able to test different call to action phrases in their resource box to get the best results. It is almost like pay per click ads. You test until you come up with the one that gives you the most clicks. I usually do not update to much but I would still like the option to do so from time to time. I like the idea of just leaving the old article up until the edited article is approved.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:16 PM

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Rafael Marquez writes:

I vote for B.

I do like Allen and Lambert’s ideas of leaving the old article live until the new one is approved.

Question: won’t having 2 similar articles somehow penalize us for having content similar to what’s already published?

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:23 PM

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Emily Erickson writes:

I once changed a title. It caused the whole article to disappear from Ezine existence, and when I resubmitted it, it ‘was too similar to something you submitted previously.’ (That robot hates me.) I changed another title, and the article was immediately reapproved.
Changing a resource box is like changing an address; it is necessary. Changing a title is advantageous to this site because this site makes money with beaucoup ads applied to the articles, and if the articles get more exposure, so do those lovely ads. So, why is the site complaining about personnel who service the articles that the ads feed off of? This looks like a pretty cushy business to be in, to me.
Waiting 30 days to make a change sounds OK to me, but unnecessary. Other sites don’t have a problem with this, other sites who don’t put ads on the articles.
Methinks Mr. McKnight doth protest too much!

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:27 PM

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Maria Plasterer writes:

I agree that option B sounds completely reasonable. Some folks mentioned the possibility of resource box edits operating independently of content edits. That seems like a great idea if at all possible.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:28 PM

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Mark Sierra writes:

My vote would be for Option B rather than A. And special exception/effort needs to be paid to the resource box, for sure.

Sometimes an author’s strategy needs to change which some times requires us to take down a site in favor of a new one. Being able to update the links in the resource box when that occurs would be very helpful.

Thanks for making EzineArticles a high quality resource.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:31 PM

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Michael writes:

I haven’t read all the comments so forgive me if I am saying what someone else has said. I think the simplest way to get around the problem is to keep the un-edited version of the article on the site for 30 days after approval. The author could still edit it and resubmit it but the revised article would not appear on the website until the 30 days had expired. Let me illustrate what I mean.

I write an article and submit it. Eventually it is approved and goes live. I view it and realise I need to change something so I edit it and resubmit the article. The live article remains as it was – it is visible to the world. Eventually the revised article is approved and goes live and replaces the article on the website.

While this requires a bit of programming it seems that it would avoid the problem of search engines not finding the article and authors being prevented from editing their articles.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:32 PM

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sean writes:

Why not just make the resource boxes dynamic, so people can modify their links on a seperate page to their articles and those links will then update on any article pages that use that resource box. Youy probably wouldn’t even need an approvals process for this as the length and number of links could be controlled easily.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:43 PM

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Roger Willcocks writes:

Split the category, resource and body.
Keep the original live unless the editing person specifies otherwise (say for legal reasons they want to change it) until the new version is approved.

Allow switching of approved resource boxes automtically, or manual changes with approval, but say no more often than once per 3 months after an article is 30 days old.

That lets someone fix initial mistakes easily, but stops content bait and switch style tactics.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 10:49 PM

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brandt writes:

Published articles should not be allowed to be edited.. Allowing authors to edit articles after they are published encourages bad practices. Writers who work for newspapers cant change newsprint after the fact. Articles once published should not allowed to be edited and the burden should be on the authors to double and triple check their work before publishing it. Otherwise it makes for a habit of not checking things as well as one should because they know they can just change it later. As for editing grammar or misspelled words, it could be a simple wiki style difference in changed words check. If the changes are less than x(low) percentage of the entire document then allow minor edits and dont burden the editors with having to re-read the article. For changes to content as changing of opinion or correcting a mis-quote of another, that should be resolved with footnotes 1 or 2 liner references that the author can add after the fact, but go on the bottom of the article under (Authors post comments).

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 11:03 PM

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Robert writes:

I vote for option “B”.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 11:10 PM

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Ruchira Roy writes:

I agree with a comment that we should have a check box to tick on what segment has been edited. It will definitely save a lot of time for editors in your team. I think you can also try and put a limit to the number of times an article can be edited. In this case Option B seems the best.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 11:15 PM

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Sammy writes:

While I understand the problem faced in indexing, it is also true that as a newbie I needed to edit my articles often – many times for testing what worked and what didn’t. After submitting 10-15 articles, now I can do it right the first time.

I would vote for plan B, but with some modifications, please. 1 edit credit is just not enough. Must be 4-5. And while the article is being edited, the original article must not be taken down.

So search engines can index the original article and the edited article can just replace the original after editorial approval.

That way its a win-win for the authors and EzineArticles.

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM

[Reply]

Sammy,

It’s not a win-win for us as it means we pay the price (editorial labor to re-review your article edits) while you learn how the system works.

In our viewpoint, you should use new article submissions to improve on what you learned from the prior submissions.

But, if your edits were to improve on the quality of your article body, we have no problem investing the labor to re-review your article. It pleases us when a member wants to improve the quality of their work… but most just want to rotate their URLs.

There is a day coming when we won’t allow a link rotation because of the unnatural page mutation rate issue threat I’ve mentioned below… unless the link is dead (which I agree we should allow an edit choice).

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Carlos Gonzalez writes:

I second what someone else said above…that if I end up with only one additional chance to edit an article…ever…I simply will not publish with EzineArticles. There are plenty of other ways and methods to getting backlinks for my sites than publishing an article through EzineArticles.

To have just one other chance to change my article…ever…is just ludicrous. Why bother?

The short of it is I won’t.

I value the ability to change what I write to make it even better. I am part of that 10% that improves their articles and not just the resource box.

To expect me to only once ever have the chance to improve what I write is downright ridiculous.

Just my two cents.

Carlos

Comment provided December 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM

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Nick Nutter writes:

Option B with the proviso already made that articles containing dates, times, prices, data that changes over time, should be allowed more than one lifetime change. I admit my changes were due to a redesign of the web site that created bad links from my articles.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM

[Reply]

Nick,

I should have stated in the original blog entry that DEAD links would have triggered an automatic free edit credit as we’d always rather allow you to edit the article than be forced to make the article delete decision (where we both lose).

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Nick Walsh writes:

Hii Chris,
Thanks for posing this questions. Even though I am a newbie, I would prefer to have option “A”. If we are to ever get good at this, then there is only one way that is going to happen. We know the rules going in and we live with it. I think by offering option “B”, you are opening up the platform to lesser quality material be mere fact that the authors lack the foresight to properly think it through.

EzineArticles is a terrific resource and if handled properly is a powerful business tool. I would not want it’s power diminished by my ignorance or lack of forethought. If I don’t think an article and it’s ramifications all of the way thriough, then so what! I lose the power of one article. But EzineArticles, by alowing me to edit, loses much more. And THAT is not what I signed up for. I paid a premium price for a quality service and i want it to stay that way.

Please don’t lower your standards!

Sincerely,
Nick.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:14 AM

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265

Firstly, I am sure you have looked at various options.

Fundamentally, the article and the resource box are two discrete entities. Perhaps a more elegant methodology can be developed to manage these.

Ideally, articles should be reviewed for content. Resource boxes should be edited similar to articles. I can’t understand the incredible high number of resource box changes, but a separate “gate” system seems to be the better solution.

Having one credit per article should work as long as it can be shared amongst all live articles – incentive to write new articles. The alternative is to update the article with changes and submit as a new article.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:14 AM

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Todd Hardy writes:

Not much option really.. It is obvious what option we would pick..

B,,,B,,,B

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:17 AM

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Sherry writes:

There are a lot of really good ideas mentioned in response to this subject. Judging by the number of people commenting, I’d say it is one that is very important to them.

I like the following suggestions,

Leave original article live until update has been accepted.

and

Have the ability to edit the resource box separately from the article content itself.

I don’t see either suggestion as a lowering of standards, simply alternative ideas to deal with a problem.

If only one response is acceptable of the two choices, I would go with the 30 day lock on article changes.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:24 AM

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Mahendra Sharma writes:

I think the option #2 is reasonably good. Allow them to edit once in life time and that too after 30 days.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:41 AM

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Donna Tosky writes:

I get your concerns. I think if you enforce either of the two thoughtless options presented you will be selling out on those that are the foundation of your business. Best to take care of those who take care of you. Best we all take care of each other.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:49 AM

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Mike writes:

Chris,

Please don’t mistake all “B” votes for consensus. You’ve set up two bad choices with “A” being so horrible only “B” is seen as the only possible choice.

Neither is a good option.

C. Leave original articles in place until edited article is reapproved. Sure, put some limitations on edits…but NOT the draconian ones you suggest above.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:57 AM

[Reply]

Mike,

If we made it even easier to Edit your articles without any consequences (like your article being removed from the public site during the re-review period)… then we fear a massive scaling of members will edit their articles to change links causing a high unnatural page mutation rate… causing the search engines to perceive that we’re gaming them (something that is *not* in our collective best interests).

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Eddyz writes:

B

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 1:14 AM

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Edgar Jabas writes:

I vote for B but I like Allen Graves idea too.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 1:23 AM

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Nick Walsh writes:

I’m not sure I follow some of the comments. They don’t make sense to me. Why would anyone want a amateurish site? If you can’t make a final product before your post, then perhaps you should be posting on a “wanna be” ezine site. I pay top premium for this site and expect high standards.

Come to think of it, why would any one post an article that is not finished? That baffles me. I am an SEO expert and to change your post after its done is just nuts. You hurt all of us this way. EzineArticles gets less authority in the market and that hurst me. Overall, the value of EzineArticles goes down.

Chris, you were tough enough in screening the content, don’t soften on us now!

You can’t recall an email when it’s sent. So you put some thought into it before you click “send”. Do the same here.

Don’t devalue my membership just because you can’t plan.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 1:50 AM

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HOW TZE writes:

I vote for Option B, as this will make both the editor and the writer be more cautious in every article they are going to write and publish, as if they don’t do it properly, it will stays there for 30 days that may affect their “expert” personal branding.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 2:34 AM

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Kay Green writes:

B – with the best will in the world, any writer will from time to time spot an error that needs correcting – but to be honest, the way you describe the search engine issue is a bit over the top. We don’t have human indexers throwing down their pens in despair and saying, ‘where’s that article you asked me to index!’ Search engine ‘crawlers’ are automatic and routinely seek and index anything that goes online. They also routinely pass over what isn’t there without having tantrums.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 2:37 AM

[Reply]

Kay,

Right, the search engines are non-emotional.

I can assure you that our members would become very emotional if we don’t help ensure that their hard work is discoverable and indexable by the major search engines.

That’s what this is all about.

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Simon Kerridge writes:

Option A

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 2:47 AM

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Neil Cleere writes:

I would consider myself as one of the culprits that often change articles to tweek them shortly after they are accepted, particularly in the early days.

As I became more experienced this happens less and I had considered the impact this may have on the searche engines not being able to find the article. Now that I know that it may render any such amended article useless clearly something has to be done and I would not have any problem with option ‘B’. It is simple and forces me to be more diligent in my checking before I submit my articles to begin with.

Neil

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 2:49 AM

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Julie H Walker writes:

In my case I only went in to edit it because I thought it was published and when I went back to it it said draft still as no photo and no author details so was only 65% finished. I added these quickly then published then checked and I had done one of these items wrong so had to change it. I do not agree with either A or B. I prefer ‘C’! I think you should allow 2 hours after going for review to edit as most people will click to publish and then check it for a last time and find something wrong. After this time it would be OK for option ‘B’. But what I would like to say is that nowhere did I see a notice saying that I was doing anything wrong by editing! If there had of been I maybe would have been more alert.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 2:49 AM

[Reply]

Julie,

Just for clarification: Your author photo and bio details are unrelated to your articles.

If you upload your author photo and bio details, then you’ll get an extra free page called our “Extended Author Bio” that is separate from the public Expert Author View.

We’re not calling any member wrong for EDITING or wanting to EDIT a previously live published article.

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carol gibson writes:

Thirty days seems o.k.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:07 AM

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Geoff writes:

From memory the only time I`ve ever edited my articles is within a few minutes of submission. And even that`s rare. By coincidence I submitted my latest one yesterday and edited it in its pending status. As for the problems you`ve raised at the beginning I didn`t realise things were so serious, with so many editing live articles.

I`d go for Option B with the 30-day lock.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:08 AM

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Dave writes:

I agree with some of the other commentors. This poll is bogus. 2 bad option with one being slightly “less bad”. Honestly its kinda insulting Chris.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:09 AM

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Jim Murdoch writes:

This is not a blog site and I think we should distinguish EzineArticles.com from the regular blog sites and blog posts. This is more like a magazine and archive all in one. An article printed in a magazine had better be right. After print there is no change possible. If some personal change is necessary, a new email address or website address, at least here we have the possibility to change our profile.

I think the quality and SE response should take priority. Whatever it takes to have the SEs hungrily looking at our articles let’s do it.

Of course most of us are probably struggling to understand the whole SE and keyword war. But that comes with research, time to find out and experience. If you can’t wait to learn then pay to learn. There are plenty of courses on SE optimization.

Now if only I was the expert I could sell my services right here :)

Jim

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:18 AM

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PS3 writes:

It appears the controversy is between both editor and authors, so perhaps authors should get a final chance to approve any changes editors made to their resource box and links first. Before making the article live, authors should see exactly how it will be when published, (tags, formatting, links, special attributes) then sign it off to go?

For me, nearly all the edits I’ve ever made are because of the external linking rules. Now I’ve got more experience I don’t need to re-edit, when i started nearly all of them needed re-editing to meet the standard, learnt by trail and error.

Chip

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:42 AM

[Reply]

Sony,

Authors already do get the final say as to how the article will appear right before they submit it.

By making it easy to EDIT your article after it’s live encourages members to be sloppy… as many have already stated in the comments above.

If you know you won’t be able to change your article or that changes will be limited, I am certain more will be careful to double, triple check their work before submissions.

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Gilbert PRIEUR writes:

I have no real point of view on the subject, I’m quite old and remember a time when we had no possibility of publishing articles so easily…

Let the captain choose the way to follow. He normaly knows what is the best for the ship (sorry the site). He just has to take the responsability of his choice.

Nevertheless many ideas are right and Chris YOU’ll have to make YOUR opinion.

Good luck to you I’m sur it will be a good decision
Gilbert

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:49 AM

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Ami writes:

Honest truth is I edited my biobox after you came up with the new biobox rules about a year ago

People may just have been editing old article bioboxes to become compliant with your new rules

I really do not think any intentional hanky panky is going on

Just making authors aware of the implications regarding indexing should sort this easily

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:51 AM

[Reply]

I’ve submitted no new articles lately because I’ve had several job changes and the whole resource box issue is a pain. Like 83% of other people I don’t feel a need to change my article content, but the resource box is another issue. As I read Christopher’s article, the answer seemed to scream out at me: separate the resource box from the article. Technology makes this easy, and for many authors a single standard resource box that can be changed regularly (the change being effective immediately when the author’s articles are next viewed, or after a quick approval process) would be ideal. This would also ensure all my articles have a consistent resource box. I suspect that many of that 83% of changed articles is actually the same change being made by an author to all of his or her articles, so a single resource box option may dramatically reduce the number of edits overall. Allen Graves idea is also a good one.

[Reply]

It’s not in our best interests to allow members to frequently edit all of their Resource Boxes as this will appear to be an unnatural page mutation rate.

In other words, it’ll appear that you’re gaming the search engines by frequently changing your links out. We have purposely made this process difficult as we don’t want to encourage you to change your links. Once an article is submitted, the only good reason to change your links should be that your business is dead and you want to replace with a non-dead link in lieu of deleting the article (where we both lose).

[Reply]

Belinda Nelson writes:

I really appreciate the fact that you offer a link checking service.

I recently had a link that needed to be corrected and was notified by EzineArticles.

My members dashboard with clear instructions made it easy to modify this particular problem.

In the interest of EzineArticles and members, I would definitely keep the link checker.

It’s a great service.

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Maggie Gee writes:

I think it’s important to still allow editing of articles, for the following reason:

Recently I was advised by EzineArticles that my Resource Box had invalid url links in it. This was because I now have a website of my own which I needed to promote, and am no longer promoting the old url – one of which anyway was no longer working. Therefore I had to edit all my articles to put in a new Resource Box.

I agree that it’s wrong and silly to keep editing articles for the sake of a spelling mistake.

Is it possible to allow SOME editing (for an important reason such as above)?

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:11 AM

[Reply]

Maggie,

Most people aren’t editing to correct a spelling mistake. No, they are editing to change the links.

What happens when your article is edited is that it takes us the same amount of time to review your article as it did when the article was originally live.

In other words, every EDIT you make to an article has to be reviewed as if it was a new article.

There’s more to it… see my further responses above.

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Helen Harrison writes:

I can understand what you say about revisions. I was wondering whether it would be possible to have a system where it is possible to distinguish between changes in the resources section from changes in the article itself. Each resource section has a name tag so once its cleared, your team wouldn’t have to review future changes from one cleared resource section to another resource section.

I know I have made changes to the resources section as I know no longer had on offer what was linked to the resources section.

I am not a technical person so I don’t know how difficult it would be to achieve what I’m suggesting!

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:12 AM

[Reply]

Helen,

The Resource Box is already a separate field from the Article Body, even though we display it as one on the live site.

[Reply]

288
J.B de Lartigue writes:

I vote for B

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:28 AM

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289
Anita writes:

I like two edit buttons idea, I think it would simplify process a lot. If its not possible, then plan B I guess.

Anita

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:41 AM

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290
judah lyons writes:

option A

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:44 AM

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Neil writes:

Option B makes a lot more sense to me. Sometimes issues change and for honesty sake should be edited not to mislead anyone.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:49 AM

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Marty writes:

I agree with J. Murdoch and N. Walsh. Preserve the integrity and authority of EzineArticles above all else. There are plenty of garbage article sites already. I think we can all agree there is consensus that this one stands above all the rest.

Having said that, there are times when a correction may be required.

Option B sounds reasonable to me. It maintains a vehicle for making changes, creates some consequence and sets limitations for the author (which should reduce the number of non-essential changes), and effectively resolves the 2 problems noted.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:59 AM

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Robert Hayes-McCoy writes:

Keep it crisp, clean and clear.

Option A is far and away the best option – more professional, more focused and more disciplined.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 5:03 AM

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294
Temi writes:

If I have to choose, I will go for option B. Removing a live document hurts the writer as much as it hurts EzineArticles. I have published articles and sent the links out, then find a typo, edit and lose its position. Who knows who else has been looking for my articles via my links without success.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 5:08 AM

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295

Thank you Christopher for bringing this to our attention.

I “resubmitted” 55 articles last month – all just minor changes to resource box with the addition of an extra “deep” link per article – and had no idea it had this impact. I was expecting the articles to go back on line almost immediately and not to stay offline for about 2 days whilst they went back through the full review process.

I also see that Google has “dropped” visibility of those links which seriously concerns me.

You can of course make the system less flexible and restrict the number, nature and timeframe of alterations, alternatively [as others have suggested] adapt the system to allow for the reality and need for this type of “tweaking”.

It is clearly deeply significant that so many of us are doing this – and it maybe this is your “supplier base” telling you something? I strongly suspect that most of us have far better things to do with our time than just tinkering with our articles for the sake of it.

The trade-off for all of us thousands of authors submitting to your site is [as you very well know] not for the satisfaction of being published but simply the added value in terms of traffic and links to our sites. i.e. we publish as a critical part of our online marketing.

Given that any form of marketing and esp online marketing is a constant iterative process of testing and re-retesting it is desirable and absolutely necessary that EzineArticles allows the automated functionality to facilitate that – and in a way that is “google sympathetic” and that does not compromise EzineArticles quality standards.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 5:19 AM

[Reply]

Stephen,

The fact that we take the article off the public site during the EDIT is a built-in mechanism to discourage editing due to the fact that most edit only to change links.

I’m going to answer this same question multiple ways. See my other responses for more insight…

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296
Andy Beard writes:

The biggest area of abuse is probably with links so the easy way to solve the problem but avoid unnecessary workload would be to allow trusted authors to edit text without need for review.
At the same time you could have a wiki like feed of what has been corrected that is much easier to monitor.

If a link is modified or added, that would require review and until a review happens nofollow the links.
Only review the links after 30 days unchanged.

Thus you are removing the incentive to change links as I am sure happens with people looking to rank a new site quickly by changing links within existing articles.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 5:38 AM

[Reply]

Andy,

This will never happen (allowing trusted members to edit their articles at will without any post-edit Editorial review).

You’d think we could just trust folks to ‘do good’ and ‘be good’ and while I believe most people are ‘good’… the reality is we’re not ready to turn over full control to trusted authors.

Interesting suggestion to add NOFOLLOW to links. Hmm, will think on this further.

Do you think we’re at high risk for allowing dofollow links in the Resource Box right now?

As far as we’re concerned, we’ve often thought the backlink value from EzineArticles.com has been muted since 2005 or so and that the real tangible value we deliver is the hundreds of thousands of clicks we deliver daily to our members as a whole… but I’m also very aware that some perceive the dofollow links to be a major deal.

Your thoughts?

[Reply]

Andy Beard writes:

I was suggesting that the full review system might be overly onerous for textual content.

Someone tweaking an article for more focused SEO, grammar, fixing typos or an improved call to action isn’t a negative for EzineArticles though I do understand that bad boys might be tempted to add content that isn’t acceptable.

That could be easily handled with a 3 strikes rule possibly with severe penalties such as all articles pulled for abuse.

Changes can be monitored without the need for an article to be pulled off the site or having to be officially reviewed and rereleased.

Links are good if they are to good resources and it is a major issue for many authors.

Backlink value can be muted because it is likely only a certain percentage or # of backlinks from a domain are valuable… some interesting things could be done with subdomains.

However from a trust perspective, Google is less worried about the content of articles, and more worried about the quality of links.

Your biggest quality control effort (from an SEO perspective) should be the quality of links.

After that you should concentrate on indexation where there are some issues.

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297
BruceMcc writes:

Some of the comments suggested a 24 hour period after submission to allow changes, then lock the article for 30 days. You can do this yourself. Write the article and don’t submit it. Wait 24 hours to think about it, make changes to the landing page, whatever. When you submit it your article should be ready to go. You wouldn’t send a book to the publisher, let them print it, and then ask to make changes to it would you?
I vote for option B.
BruceMcc
fasterdigital.com

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 5:58 AM

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298
BA Mallow writes:

Option B would be preferred.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:06 AM

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299
Paul James writes:

Option B works for me.
I’m not a quick writer of articles, or a frequent re-writer, so it would be good to know I had at least one opportunity to fix an article if something was seriously wrong. Also, leaving the original article ‘up’ while a revision is in progress is fine. I’m not sure why you don’t do that now.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:07 AM

[Reply]

As I’ve already shared in a previous comment, we don’t do it now because we fear members will massively scale their article editing activities and this will take away the disincentive to edit articles.

ie: We don’t want to make it easy to frequently edit your articles for URL changing reasons only. See other comments of mine for more reasons.

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300
Lynn writes:

Christopher, you said it yourself so nicely: “What happens when your article is edited is that it takes us the same amount of time to review your article as it did when the article was originally live.”
There is your problem. Reorganize and sort that out. It’s almost ridiculous that it takes your stuff 4 days to re-review articles that has changed only the resource box?! That’s two lines of text!!

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:13 AM

[Reply]

The DELAY is created on purpose to discourage frequent URL changing/swapping. We think of this as an unnatural page mutation rate (at our scale, this is a threat).

Also, we want to review the article as a whole plus new links have to be tested / visited to ensure they meet guidelines.

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301
evelyn vereen writes:

Thank you for the opportunity to assist in what seems to be a major change to this service. I vote for Option “A”.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:26 AM

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302
Fiona writes:

My thoughts are:

Keep the original article live until the switch.

Have a separate facility for editing the resource box. I got a new domain and had to do some changing.

Put a 30-day lock on the articles to allow for easy indexing.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:41 AM

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303
dawn worthy writes:

B

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:48 AM

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304

Hi. Why not just see how this plays out? I know that I will check my articles even closer to avoid extra work involved with re-submissions.
If forced, I would prefer “Option B.” But my only problem with that is that if I change my resource box on an article(s) and then I see a typo, I would have to live with the typo or my article would have to be deleted and I can never resubmit that article again. That’s a little on the harsh side. Like you said Chris, most people are trustworthy and I think almost all of us can be trusted to make a sincere effort to avoid all this extra editing.
I changed all my resource boxes last month. I was hoping that all of my articles did NOT have to be resubmitted. I don’t know it it’s feasible for your staff to not have to read the entire article again just because the resource box was edited.
Anyway, thanks for requesting our feed back and I truly believe that we can be trusted to check our articles more thoroughly and it will become a non-issue. Thanks.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:49 AM

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305
Bob Coulson writes:

I favour option B ,but like the idea of seperate editing for resource boxes. It is not always the case that articles need to be edited because of typos or errors in the original draft – the beauty
of publishing online is that articles may be revised or brought up to date as things like legislation or other matters change.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:51 AM

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306
Darrel writes:

When an article is submitted, I would think that it is sent in it’s best and most edited form. If I felt I might have a need to go Back and re-edit an article, then to me, that is saying it was NOT ready. There really should not be an issue here if we took a little extra time and made sure the article was as good as it was going to get at the time of submission.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:56 AM

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307

My biggest problem with your editing, as I told you recently via your contact form, is that your editors are INCONSISTENT with capitalization of my article titles — as in sometimes correct and sometimes INCORRECT. (I am still waiting for a response.)

I put one of my articles back into edit mode in an attempt to fix what an editor had fouled up capitalization-wise, but it was to no avail.

If you could fix this basic problem, then I very likely would almost never want to edit a live article.

Beyond this, I vote for Option A.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:56 AM

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308
Kath Anderson writes:

option b

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:01 AM

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309
Grant Gerver writes:

Why, I believe you’ve got a tiger by the tail (forgive the pun). But, this is how you get things done for the better. Give everyone their input, then go back to the drawing board and make EzineArticles even better. The writers are certainly speaking! It appears it’s all about the resource box(es). That’s where most of the action is taking place, and that just has to be flexible. Is there a way for you to contact Google, the monopolistic dragon itself, to discuss this matter? Thanks.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:07 AM

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310
David McKee writes:

Why not take option C: If only the resource box has been changed, then leave the article as is (with the original resource box) util the resource box has been checked for TOS compliance. Then, just change the resource box – no need to inform the search engines at all!

IF the article is changed, then use two other options: if only spelling and grammar, AND the author is a high quality author – just let it go, no need to tell the search engines.

Only if significant content is changed get your editors involved. The other things I mentioned could be automated. This would relieve a lot of work from your editors and speed up submissions!

-David T. McKee

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:15 AM

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311
Gerry writes:

Hello

Article authors have the resposibility to fully check an article BEFORE submission so in my opinion, you should not allow them to be amended once live.

If an author notices an error afterwards, then he will either have to live with it, or he can completely rewrite the article and resubmit it.

Devote your valuable human resource elsewhere!

So, I will vote for your OPTION A

Thanks

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:15 AM

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312
Sam writes:

Funny this should come up today – I very rarely edit my articles, but I had to change one this morning. It is a review article of a course I’ve used that has just undergone some significant updates – so I had to modify my review in light of these updates in order for it to stay relevant.

So I do think that there should be an option to edit where there’s a genuine need to do so, as in this case. I reluctantly vote for option B, although as others have said, allowing the original article to stay live until the edit is approved would be better.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:32 AM

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313
Jeff Herring writes:

Hi Chris!

Wow, 346 comments to your blog post in one day…think you hit on something here.

I recently edited the body of several articles when you change the word count requirement to over 400 for the article to be eligible to be in the tip 15 viewed in the last 60 days.

I’m glad you made that change because it made my articles better.

Thoughts and suggestions:

=> whatever changes are made to the edit and review process, keep the dofollow links in the Resource Box. EzineArticles provides a “too valuable” service in traffic to change that – remember the goal to the number non-search engine source…

=> once an article is submitted and published, no changes for 30 days – if you have messed up, oh well, that will teach us to slow down and make sure before submitted

=> after 30 days allow one credit for a change to the article body, with current article remaining live until the article change is re-reviewed – after the one change, charge a fee for any further changes

=> after 45 days, allow one credit for a resource box change – this allows those learning to make a change to a well trafficked article – after the first change, charge a few for any further changes, with the already stated exception for dead links

=> with that said, here is what I teach my students: unless you have a heavily trafficked article, your best bet as you continue to learn new article creation skills is to use those new skills and energy going forward in your next articles, which allow for high quality and high volume…

Thanks for making EzineArticles the number 1 non-search engine source of traffic,

Jeff

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:34 AM

[Reply]

Jeff H,

Others within the search engine community (not the SEO community) would disagree with you and that the DOFOLLOW is a liability, not an asset to us.

You might think it’s an ASSET to yourself (as it is in the short term) but I’ve been thinking it’s a liability for at least a year now. The fact that one of our competitors overseas went to 100% NOFOLLOW is proof that they believe I’m right.

I wouldn’t be surprised if 100% of all sites who syndicate content from us use NOFOLLOW on 100% of the links. It’s not in their best interests to allow DOFOLLOW.

Ironically, I also believe that all search engines FOLLOW all links that include NOFOLLOW because it’d be against their mission to be comprehensive to deny following those links.

For now, the dofollow will stay on resource box links.

Lastly, we agree 100% that efforts of iteration and improvement should be on NEW ARTICLE creation rather than hyper-optimizing existing content.

[Reply]

Jeff Herring writes:

Thanks for your response Chris!

It could be that I am unclear about some things:

Could you explain from 3 points of view the difference between DOFOLLOW and NOFOLLOW tags and the results for each:

1) From the Search Engine perspective

2) From EzineArticles prespective

3) From the Article Writer perspective

Thanks…

And yes, effort should be focused on moving forward and not on past articles…

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314
Marc writes:

The dead link issue has been mentioned already but I’ll cast my vote for option B.

“What about dead links”? popped in my mind immediately when I read about option A. Funny that it would have escaped you and your staff. Then again your set of rules are growing and getting more complex with each month. Soon you’ll need to dedicate staff to comb through the various implications of each policy change that you make.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:34 AM

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315
Jay Tishendorf writes:

Neither option is very good. In fact, both rather stink.

Surely the technology is available to allow the writer to edit a copy of his/her article while the original remains online. Your editors could then review the edited version as they get to it, and simply replace the online version with the edited version when their review is complete. A simple, seamless operation, it seems to me.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:39 AM

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316
Ian Patterson writes:

Edits should not be for content. The content should be proofread and edited before it goes online. The same goes for title and category. Leave it and move on to another article.

The issue is mainly with resource boxes. Again, we should all spend time getting this correct. The reason resource boxes are changed is to correct a broken link. The broken link is often the result of a third party changing their website structure which is often out of the hands of the writer (if they are freelancing).

Someone suggested global edits to the Resource Box. This is a definite ‘no no’. Although a resource box remains essential the same, the difference is in the link. A global edit would put the same one or two links from every article I own to the same one or two website pages. They need to go to the page relevant to the article content.After all, that is why we are writing articles. To get backlinks to pages.

The option that most seem to favor is option ‘C’. Keep the original online until the edit is approved. If it a resource box update, approval may not be necessary.

As a side note, someone suggested that certain elements are taking hits at EzineArticles and we should be pleased they asked our advice.

I, for one, am not hitting at anyone. I just don’t want to see a good service go bad. As for asking our advice, of course they should ask our advice. We’re the customer!! I just wish more services would follow suit.

Okay, nuff said. I vote option C.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:39 AM

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317
Belinda Nelson writes:

I recommend option A!

Keep your reputation and improve on quality.

A lot of time goes into reviewing each and every article that is submitted.

The authors should spend time making sure their articles are ready before they are submitted.

If they want to practice article submission, there are a lot of other sites they can practice at.

A big bonus of an internet business is having smaller operation costs.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:46 AM

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318
Dan Elder writes:

Chris,

The problem is self-inflicted (for example, your email training series doesn’t even begin until after articles have been submitted, which generates the need for revisions of existing material to incorporate what’s been learned) and the solution is simple:

Leave the original article live while the revision is being approved. Search engines can then find a live file whenever your site is crawled, regardless of what version it is.

Second suggestion: If the majority of revisions concern the resource box, then approve the resource box contents separately. Allow unlimited changes to articles using a standard, preapproved resource box.

Rational – It’s perfectly reasonable to be able to edit articles and associated resource boxes to keep content current. Remember, it’s an article on a topic, not a blog!

Revising an article on a particular topic to incorporate new information keeps it fresh and out of the archives.

Revising a resource box is also perfectly reasonable, to incorporate URLs for new landing page, new accomplishments, change contact info, etc.

Finally, freezing an article or otherwise refusing to allow me to edit it would be a major disincentive to continue on EzineArticles.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:54 AM

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319
Pat Hastings writes:

Option b looks good to me.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:56 AM

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320
Brent writes:

I discovered a misspelled word after my article was published. I did not want to take down the article to have it corrected. If in such a situation it is possible to have the editors correct without the whole resubmission process it would be helpful. Monumental waste of everyone’s time to take down and then resubmit for something so small.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 7:56 AM

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321
Veronica Hay writes:

Chris, I understand where you are coming from. I think Option A is not really an option at all. There will be times for most people when they may want to edit, either an old articles or articles or they may need to change the resource box. As we grow and learn more, things will and do change.

Option B is better in that one would think twice before posting an article knowing that they would not be able to edit it for 30 days.

I just want to say thank you for the valuable service that you offer. I for one, really appreciate it.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Veronica Hay

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:01 AM

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322
Terrie Anderson writes:

Option B looks good. As well, Edits should only be allowed for typos, spelling, spacing or resource box update only. ie when you complete a new resource box and save then it gets added to all relevant articles.
Content as such, should not be able to be edited, it is not necessary. If content is so different then write a new article! Otherwise leave well enough alone.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:10 AM

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323

Chris, I know that you dont want to see your editors busy with the same old articles, but Ive noticed that each time that I dared changing an articles title for example, it had better results.

Sometimes the changes we make are positive for everyone. The right title is very important for an article! Sometimes we understand which the best title is only later, for many reasons. I dont know if I should talk more about this matter here, because this thread is already too long…

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:10 AM

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324
Marilyn Katz writes:

Option C – Just keep the approved article live until the revised article is approved. That’s what WordPress does.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:12 AM

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325

My view is that when an author has composed his article and proof read it the by submitting the article he/she is in effect signing off on it. Therefor why the necessity to edit? EzineArticles’ reputation is more important as they provide and excellent service to all of us. If one wants to edit the resource box then it should be done before submitting the article, i.e. plan the contents before the article is written, ask the question does the contents involve a change to the resource box

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:13 AM

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326
Donald Payne writes:

I like the idea of a thirty day hold on ones article. There are many times when a person’s focus or direction has changed and as a result their thoughts change. For example my main focus is Life Coaching but in recent in recent months I have switched my focus to Finance and Success Principals. This change has created a new web site and also my blog has changed. My articles are still relevant to my field of expertise but my profile information would need to be edited. That being said, I recommend a thirty-day delay on all submitted articles. The exception to the rule would be for those who carry platinum accounts with unlimited submissions.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:13 AM

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327
Sandra Gehring writes:

Option B

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:17 AM

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328
ed alexander writes:

Option B works for me.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:26 AM

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329
Mike writes:

Am I right in thinking that when an article is in ‘edit’ mode you take it offline?

So a spider/visitor would see a 404 message if they were looking for the article (assuming it was indexed in the first place)?

If that is the case, then that’s your problem.

Leave the original article live.

User performs the edit -> EzineArticles reviews -> replaces original.

If I had to choose between A or B I would plump for B

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:40 AM

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330
Roy writes:

I think the following:

Why not solve the problem instead of eliminating the entire option.

1. There is a reason why most of the edits are insignificant–why not ask the users that are doing the bulk of the edits to find out why and then address that issue–that should help substantially reduce the volume.
2. Editing is important to keep your articles current.
3. There can be 2 types of edits: resource box and article. Resource box edits would involve less review.

Thats my thoughts!

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:45 AM

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331
Dmitry Dubkov writes:

I think option B is the most suitable for articles. It will make the author think twice to put the article on line. Such things as resource box, and titles should be carefully prepared beforehand. And I think that if the article did not find readers, it means there should be another kind of the article. Changes in the same one will not bring popularity. The lock for 30 days is enough time to estimate it.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:46 AM

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332
Darrel writes:

Option A is right… We are authors and once my books were “Published” I no longer had the option to say “hey, stop the presses… I want to make a little change.” We should always try to write as if there is NOT an Option B.
I am not a “without Mistakes” writer in any way. I even found a tiny “oops” in one of my novels AFTER it was published. Hell yea I would have love to have gone back and fixed it. That… was not an option. It just made me aware and I took even More time on my next novels. {Learn and move on.}

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:53 AM

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333
Bryan Stevens writes:

Chris,

Obviously, I would choose “B” from the offered choices. Since you have offered “free” revisions for dead links, I think that is a reasonable compromise.

I hope you don’t decide to “no follow” links. I don’t really know if that is a major deal or not, but every little bit helps when it comes to ranking.

Bottom line, EzineArticles is a valuable resource for all of us doing business online. You and your team do a really good job of balancing the needs of both publishers and authors, and this dialogue is evidence of your commitment in that area.

Thanks for giving us the chance to have some input into policy decisions.

Merry Christmas,

Bryan Stevens

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 8:53 AM

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334
Stephen Parkin writes:

Chris,

I have read through all the E Mails that you appear to have spammed everyone with as a result of your concerns and it seems that everyone is missing the point.

1. We earn valuable money for both you and Google by our existence and the advertising commissions.

2. The articles are ours and need to change with the times this is E commerce not paper and ink!!!!

3. EzineArticles is large enough that if you talk to Google they should listen to you. Tell them that there will be dynamic changes in the articles and that they should allow it the same as they do with Blogs! Google send approx 50% of my traffic and I get about 20% from EzineArticles the EzineArticles is way more focused and valuable!

4. People are like horses you can ask them to do things for you but never insist. Try arguing with a 1200lb animal! If you impose then they will walk!

5. In your corner people should remember once picked up by other publishers no more changes can be made in that version of your article.

6. The product is EzineArticles the very nature of the E world is that it changes constantly, and this problem is part of that. You were right to raise the issues but I believe did not handle it as well and with as much fore thought as you are expecting all of the authors to apply.

7. I suspect that your technology needs updating to keep pace with your own success as many good points have come through. I am sure that you do not really mean to stop changes, as this is where quality comes from. However too many changes for spamming reasons harm us all.

8. Maybe you should run a training and certification process for new writers that needs to be completed before submitting.

9. Finally the FTC and Google etc. keep changing the rules and the pitch so the job is hard, but you chose to do it an by and large do it very well. EzineArticles is the most powerful site to have our articles on and we do appreciate you. Just please do not become a dictator ever! Google and MS are already the best at that!

10. Remember it is the speed, reach and flexibility of this medium that makes us choose to use it and it is this that needs to be preserved in everything we do on-line or we will lose out to those that understand this.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:02 AM

[Reply]

Steve Taniredjo writes:

I agree with Stephen Parkin very much as he has just revealed a very important point to consider.

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335
Kieran Gracie writes:

Option C, then B, but definitely not A. It seems to me that some authors need editing flexibility for serious reasons and not just because they were careless in the first place.

Also, after these rule changes, please can we have a period of consolidation before any more rules are moved around?

EzineArticles is still the best creator of good backlinks for me, so thank you for being there and putting up with my mistakes.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:05 AM

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336
Robert L. Bacon writes:

Hi Chris,

As someone who edits material for a living, when I initially received you E-mail last evening expressing your issues related to controlling the editing of published articles, I felt, wow, you’ve got to be kidding. But after having the opportunity to sleep on it, I think the best tactic would be to leave an article in place and non-editable once it is published, much the same as would be the case if the material is sent to a site for republication. But I’m not going down without a fight.

When you are encouraging your membership to write large volumes of material, I don’t think it is out of line to expect requests for remedying miscues, especially from those of us (and likely a substantial portion of the EzineArticles constituency) who want our work to be as good as we can make it.

I am the first to admit, by the way, that I have pulled live articles, sometimes to change a title to try to better address SEO nuances, a miasma I constantly slog through with great trepidation, or for more terrestrial reasons such as coming up with a better way to phrase something. And then there is the case of a typo that got through undetected. Finally, I deal with the royalty publishing industry, and like any business there are instances when something materially changes. When this occurs, I feel it is important to modify any of my narratives that were impacted by any changes in the business model to reflect currency as best I can.

To further support my position, if Wikipedia enables changes, as well as the Zimbio’s and Squidoo’s of the world, I think this answers the question of the importance of enabling if not encouraging editorial flexibility–whenever it is deemed necessary.

And now a few words on the Resource Box, something I have communicated with you personally about in the past. For me, this is the single most important facet of the entire EzineArticles process. And it is daunting because of trying to figure out what will appeal to an audience as well as pass muster with the article sites that choose to accept material. There is a lot of conflicting information out and about regarding what is best, and all I can do is try different ideas. If someone changes a Resource Box, I don’t feel that person should be penalized. If anything, the writer should be praised for trying to improve, which is what editing is all about anyway, right?

Regards,

Robert L. Bacon, Founder
The Perfect Write®

P.S. I’ll likely want to edit this letter later but can’t. See the problem?

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:10 AM

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337
Vann Baker writes:

I say Option B is best.

Some articles have to be updated at some point. I have some articles on various websites that have been up for 10 or more years and when dealing some topics like the Internet, they just become outdated and need to be updated at some point.

For me, having a 30 day lock on the article is not a problem – I’m careful about editing before I release the articles anyhow.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:21 AM

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338
Karin writes:

I think option B sounds very reasonable.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:22 AM

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339

When we decide to change something in an article it doesnt always mean that we made mistakes; sometimes we understand that there are better options.

I think that the smartest solution would be to let us authors easily change our articles. At the same time you could reduce the editorswork by sharing the editions depending on their type, besides keeping the old articles live until the new editions take place, like Allen Graves suggests.

And I think that the dofollow links are very usefull. I dont like the idea of having nofollow ones.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:38 AM

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340

I agree with the writers who think the resource box should not be treated the same way as the article.
I disagree with the “reward and punishment” system. We are no longer at school. A thing is allowed or not.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:51 AM

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341

(The word useful should be written without double “l”, Im sorry. Im used with the automatic correction of my old laptop, but now Im using my new Brazilian notebook, and I didnt regulate the English spelling… I may have made other mistakes, writing in a hurry…)

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:58 AM

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342
Victor Labott writes:

I agree with option B.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM

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343
Tonya B. writes:

It seems to me that option A would work better technically (for the search engine value). I have been one of those authors that edited an article in either the resource box or the content last month – the purpose was to update the information so that it was accurate for the reader.

But – there wouldn’t be anything wrong with just writing another article and removing the old one if it provided better search engine results.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:17 AM

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344

I am taking Jeff Herrings course on Article Marketing for Beginners and I agree that there are times when articles need editing but for me most of the time it has been my own fault for getting in a hurry. I think EzineArticles is the best and I hope to be able to keep submitting here. I have learned to make better use of my time and move forward.

I like B because it would at least give us one shot at making a change. EzineArticles has made me be better because I know the guidelines are strict and with good reason. I think we should all strive to do it right the first time. That is what I am working on. Thank you for letting me submit to EzineArticles and thank you Jeff Herring for pointing me in the right direction with Article Marketing. What ever is decided I will try to be better and still qualify to have my articles submitted.

Sincerely Gail J Richardson

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM

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David Norton writes:

I vote for option B a 30 day lock. I am new to writing and the amount of mistakes I make require constant editing. By providing the opportunity to edit an article only once will allow a person to make the corrections when their writing skills have improved without placing a heavier workload on the editors of EzineArticles.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:26 AM

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Lalitha Brahma writes:

Interesting thread. I learned a lot about editing, new technology and the purpose of resubmitting live article. Personally, I don’t have any problem following the rules of EzineArticles.com
Thanks.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:44 AM

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Tom Neher writes:

I would vote for option A. I really try to edit my articles before they are submitted. The only time I go back is when I am notified by EzineArticles that there is a problem.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:57 AM

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Jim Hoffheimer writes:

I understand the need to have a delay for editing to make sure the search engines have a chance to find the article – so I could support that.

However editing sometimes is necessary. I came back to articles that I had created some time ago and found that some of the formatting had changed. Most of the spacing was gone and I thought the article looked unprofessional. So I went back in and corrected them. Had I had only the choice of deleting them or keeping them as they were, I would have deleted them and left EzineArticles.

Also, sometimes events happen in real life (changes in laws, for example) that could make an article no longer accurate, which would reflect badly on the author (and indirectly on EzineArticles) In many cases, a new paragraph might be all that is needed. To disallow editing is a disservice to EzineArticles and its authors.

I have not read all of the 392 posts, but I agree in principal that separating the process for changes to content vs the resource box makes sense.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:05 AM

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Virginia Perry writes:

I think the 30 day lock makes sense, more sense than the other option. However, if there is a way to treat changes to the resource box differently than substantive changes to article, that also makes sense. I would hate to lose the ability to revise or to expand existing articles in light of changes in the law or more recent experiences which could be included in an article and expand the substantive content.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:15 AM

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Doug West writes:

I agree with Alan and others. Why does the article have to be taken offline in the first place! The one you have up has already been approved. Just leave it up until any changes have been approved, and then make the change. Then the robots never see a blank page.

I love your site, but seems to me that you all do an awful lot of unnecessary nit picking!

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:24 AM

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Douglas Hanna writes:

Given only two options, my vote would be for B.

Having said that, I would like to also say that I find the whole idea of restricting our ability to change bioboxes to be appalling. I suppose there are authors who contribute articles just for humanitarian purposes, but IMHO they miust represent a very small minority. I think that the overwhelming majority of us contribute articles to drive traffic to our sites. If I believe an article should be linked to a different site because it would increase my click-throughs, why shouldn’t I be able to do this? I have articles I wrote two and three years ago. The SEO world has changed dramatically since then. Do you want me to feel that once I submit an article, I can’t go back and change it two, three or four times a year as my sites and Google changes? It seems to me there must be an Option C that would be more fair to both EzineArticles and to us authors.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:24 AM

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Douglas,

Nope… because every time you change your article while a couple hundred thousand other members change their articles; we believe this creates an unnatural page mutation rate that borders on search engine gaming behavior (something not in our collective best interests).

But I can just hear you and every one of our members thinking that you are just one member… what possible harm can be done, right?

The issue is our scale. When a high percentage of our site mutates (that’s not a derogatory word) and those mutations are not value-added mutations for the reader (ie: the 83.3% of link changing)… it doesn’t look good and we think it’s high risk behavior.

[Reply]

Chris Hartpence writes:

See….the thing is, I think we are not getting the full picture here.

What I mean by that is this:

1) 83.3% of all “article edits” are actually “resource box edits.” Okay, I got that, but….

2) “resource box edits” != “link edits,” and yet here, the clear implication is that 100% of the time, when a resource box is edited, the link it swapped. This is patently untrue, because as a member of EzineArticles, I’ve edited my own articles to give the resource text more “punch” but have never touched my links.

Not once have I actually changed a link.

And, I’m not alone. I know this because I talk to other article marketers about their various strategies.

Now granted, I don’t have access to the backstage pass to look at the stats, but overwhelmingly, when I talk to article marketers who are editing, they’re trying out new verbage in their resource box to get a better clickthru…NOT to swap links.

So there seems to be a bit of hocus pocus going on here wrt the statistics, and it’s an important and compelling difference.

Secondly, there’s STILL NOTHING on google’s radar or in ANY Search Engine/SEO forum I can find *anywhere* on the web that indicates ANY trouble whatsoever with this supposed “page mutation rate” and how it’s such an awful thing in anybody’s mind, which is the main stated reason for the rules change.

Since it’s not on Google’s (or anyone else’s RADAR) and no one is talking about it (except here), I have to draw the conclusion that it can’t be “high risk behavior” or else surely someone, somewhere would be mentioning it…even if only in passing.

So my questions remain:

* of the 83.3% of article edits, what % of those are simply to experiment with text edits to improve clickthru rates, and what % are actually to edit the links (and then, of the link edits, what percentage are to replace a DEAD link vs. just plain ol’ swapping out). The initial statistic given is far too broad and doesn’t cover any of these important distinctions.

* where can I find some information about the search engines who are up in arms about “unnatural page mutation rates”? Cos again, I’ve looked, and not found anything.

[Reply]

Chris H.,

Our reasons “why” are largely irrelevant seeing how:

1) We’ve already agreed to allow you to continue to edit your article after it’s live and

2) We’ll be rolling out as soon as February a system that keeps your article live while it’s in editorial re-review so that it doesn’t disappear during that time frame.

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Ken writes:

There are many great ideas presented here. I would, however, just to keep it simple, I would go for option 2.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM

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Brett Diethert writes:

Thank you for the opportunity to have input on new policy, and your concern that those policies serve the writers, the editors, and the readers.

Grounded in that concern, a technological and editorial solution will be found that allows EzineArticles.com to continue in its work of connecting.

Brett

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM

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joanne daubney writes:

I say option 2.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM

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Doug West writes:

You guys are the bomb when it comes to the search engines. Results don’t lie. So whatever you feel is best for SEO, I don’t think many of us can argue with you!

Keep up the good work!

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:56 AM

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Dave Sweet writes:

Hi Christopher,

I don’t like option A at all, please don’t adopt this one!

Perhaps something like this might be looked at?

(1) After an article has been approved, it will not be published for 7 days. During this time, the article can be modified as many times as the author wants to.
(2) After 7 days, if the article is still acceptable, it is published. Then no modifications will be possible for 30 days.
(3) After that, articles could be modified whenever the author wants to, with the proviso that after they are modified, approved and published, they cannot then be modified again for 3 months from their new published date.

Hope this is helpful.

Kind regards,

Dave Sweet (Dr.)

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:59 AM

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Nick Walsh writes:

I can’t beleive the number of comments that indicate they like B because they might find a grammatical error! Whoa!! That’s the whole point. EzineArticles is NOT your “whiteboard”. Consider it to be your published book.. or article.

Who gives a rip if the there is a typo! We are all human. Many of us running businesses may have edited late at night and possibly missed a typo. Does it really change the tone and content? NO.

When the internet started, we used text based BBS systems. Everyone understood that material was pretty much live. Misspellings or typos were taken in context. Today, we are much better at editing since we have the benefit of spell check.

I am assuming that most folks do their articles in Word or some similar word processor. It will do you spell check and your grammar check. If you are writing directly into a simple notepad, then you are working with a consideable increase in the risk factor.

If EzineArticles decides to carry all the lazy folk who won’t do their edits prior to publising, then EzineArticles will get bogged down with work that is unnecessary.

I vote A … or as we say in Canada I vote “Eh”

:)

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:07 PM

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358

Chris, I cannot understand why you believe that “When a high percentage of our site mutates (that’s not a derogatory word) and those mutations are not value-added mutations for the reader (ie: the 83.3% of link changing)… it doesn’t look good and we think it’s high risk behavior.”

There are sites where we can post our articles directly and change them many times, without any problem. Why do you believe that “it doesnt look good”? Will the search engines analyze what kind of change was made in each article? Why shouldnt we change our links?

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:24 PM

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Adam Cohen writes:

Option B seems reasonable, if you take the time to get the article right in the first place it should never need editing anyway.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 12:30 PM

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Bodeen writes:

I vote for Option B.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 1:39 PM

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Robert writes:

I’d prefer to have the ability to edit when I need to – after all they are my articles.

I suspect that a lot of editing is done because the author discovers a new technique for getting more click throughs or discovers a better keyword combination etc.

As some have said here we should slow down and do it right the first time – that’s good advice, no doubt, but if we’re realistic I think we’ll recognize that ain’t gonna happen.

The other thing I’ve found is that when I edit an article that’s been up for a while I get a flood of new traffic once it goes live. I have done that a few times just to generate traffic! For some reason they disappear from the search results over time. Resubmitting them gets them up for a while again. So that may be why some edits occur. If you figured out a way to remind the search engines that you have content around a particular keyword ….. but of course I have no idea how all that stuff works.

Just don’t take away my ability to edit my stuff.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 1:40 PM

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Marilyn Muir writes:

I’m a fairly new author with E-Zine with only 35 articles up and I do edit my work carefully but still problems occur. I don’t like the idea of having no options if there are real problems. Two editors to do all those articles is just mind boggling to me.

I sent through the first few articles with nothing in the resource box because I was learning. I have not taken them down to change them because my author profile is available to anyone interested. I understand your need to limit redos but a simple change to either resource or title is far different than changing content. I have a couple of lame titles I would like to change but have decided it’s not worth taking them down.

These articles take time to write and my time is better spent writing new articles then rewriting old ones. My return for writing free articles is exposure in the marketplace. I choose not to jeopardize that return.

Option A is definitely a no for me. Option B is better but I’ll wait to see what all this dialogue produces as a final result. I appreciate the opportunity to give input.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 2:18 PM

[Reply]

Marilyn,

That’s two Editors to do the article re-reviews only.

In addition, we have dozens of full time Editors who do the first time article review as well as the QC (Quality Control) review of each new article submission.

Sorry, article titles are no longer editable after an article has gone live. See new comment added to this original blog post.

[Reply]

363

I vote for option B. I spent days writing my first article on Tradition and left it overnight to simmer before submitting it. If we are careful, we should be submitting articles that have no need for change.

As to the resource box, I have a need to edit my resource box because I switched web hosts and redesigned my site. In the process my blog address was changed, so the link in the resource box is no longer valid. I don’t expect this to happen again and I wouldn’t think that many others would have this problem.

As professionals, we need to be careful to look at everything before submitting.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 2:34 PM

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Neal writes:

I agree with several of the others. Allow just the resource box to be edited. That would not take as much time to review.

Not allowing articles to be updated would not be good for the quality of the articles….

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:33 PM

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Mildred writes:

My vote’s with option B – the 30 day cool off editing period. Personally I draft, redraft and draft again my article before I post it up just to make sure it’s all perfect (that’s the journalist in me!) so I wouldn’t be affected by either option, but for others, I say allow a grace period of 30 days, so option B.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:45 PM

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Tony writes:

Ideally, the article would stay on the site while it’s being reviewed. I haven’t really edited any articles but it if it doesn’t work like that, then it would be worth it to both EzineArticles and the authors.

If I had to pick an option, I’d pick option B.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 3:47 PM

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Bob Grady writes:

I think you should not permit articles to be edited after they are published.

Why? Because that’s what EzineArticles.com is going to do anyway.

It falls perfectly in line with EzineArticles’ money hungry adsense efforts.

EzineArticles changes its policies daily — whenever they feel like it. They also reject articles for no apparent reason, and NEVER upgrade accounts from Basic Plus that clearly qualify.

Because of EzineArticles’ authoritarian, make-it-up-as-you-go terms of service, I know longer use them and gladly use their competitors.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:03 PM

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Emily Erickson writes:

Amen to this. Mr. Knight: If an article no longer serves the purpose of the AUTHOR, if the author’s net address has changed or whatever: WHAT IN THE WORLD WOULD KEEP HIM OR HER FROM DELETING IT? It benefits YOU with the author’s contact info crippled, and NOT the author. That is what I would do if my web site address or blog address changed. Why give you the profit of putting ads on my work when you don’t care whether I get anything out of my work? I mean, that is what makes pimping illegal . . . .

[Reply]

David Croucher writes:

Sounds like sour grapes to me, Bob. Such a cynical comment! Are you enlarging your own experience to project it onto everyone else?

I took a while to move off Basic and eventually to Platinum, but it finally happened in a rush as I got to realize just what EzineArticles’ system was there for: to give me the best possible articles for the best possible exposure.

What makes this site so popular with customers and search engines is the high quality of the articles. What pays for that (instead of us paying) is that popularity, which makes the Adsense ads worth placing. It all knits together as a win-win situation.

Learn the reasons for the rules and you, too, might benefit from Platinum membership.

Emily: how can the site owner benefit if authors leave? This whole forum is so active (and allowing YOU a voice) because Mr. Knight values your view, as well as other people’s. Doesn’t sound like ‘pimping’ to me…

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********************************
********************************

All,

Because this blog post is now over 400 comments with less than 24 hours since it was released, I’d like to thank everyone for their input! :-)

Clearly this is an issue you have great interest and passion for communicating your thoughts/concerns. We’ve received hundreds of private email responses as well.

Rather than respond to every blog comment and repeat myself several times over and over again, I’m going to share our updated position as of right now and then I’ll amend the blog post to include this updated position.

Why do we pull the live article off the site and put it into an inactive status in the first place?

It was a built-in mechanism to discourage members from frequently editing their articles because it’s our belief that you can get a higher return from using your time to write new articles instead of hyper-optimizing your existing articles combined with our fear of showing a high page mutation rate that looks like dofollow link rotation (look at this issue from a search engines perspective… if you saw 250,000 links change in less than a years time…you’d think something weird is going on perhaps). If our resource box links were rel=”nofollow” someday… we might feel differently.

An “article edit credit system” is not something we can implement overnight. Should we implement such a system, we’ve already agreed that legitimate dead links should not count as part of your edit credits as a concept because it’s in our mutual best interests that your dead link be changed to a working valid link.

Articles To Stay Live During Edit:

We’ve decided that immediate action is needed that can’t wait for an article edit credit system, therefore very soon we’ll be changing the edit process over to keep your article LIVE while it’s being edited by you and upon our acceptance of your edit, the new version will replace the old.

This solves two of our challenges:

  1. When we tell search engines that your content is here where we told them it was, they will find it and thus your chances of getting your article indexed goes up.
  2. When members edit articles that were previously accepted that wouldn’t be accepted with today’s standards, there was no recourse for a member other than lose the live article to become a DRAFT that wasn’t able to be re-submitted for review without it meeting today’s standards. In the new system that will roll out before December is over, if our submission form won’t accept your article or your article gets rejected by our team, your live article isn’t touched throughout the whole time period that you make changes. Additional guidance will be forth coming on how this system will work as we’re whiteboarding it yet.

Article Titles Now Locked On Edit:

Article titles will no longer be allowed to be changed once an article has been previously live. If you want to optimize your article title, we suggest that your next new article submission is the best place to experiment with new article titles. This change has gone live as of the past hour and it only applies to articles that were previously live. You can edit and change your article title up to the point that your article gets accepted and published.

Main reason for the article title locking on live articles is that changing the title = changes the URL because the title is in the URL. Changing the URL after its been published and announced to the world is no longer ok. We’re standardizing further the URL structure so that when we tell the search engines of the URL of your article, we want them to find it as we said it would be.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:06 PM

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Katie writes:

I think a combination of the 30 day lock and Allen Graves suggestion would be the best option. The 30 day lock from changes and then the pending folder if someone chooses to use their edit.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:13 PM

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370

Thanks Chris for taking some immediate action. As someone who has submitted articles to this site for 4.5 years, I believe you and your staff have been responsive given the increase in authors and articles since that time. If an author has a problem with EzineArticles, then he or she should find another site. Sometimes I believe people forget that this is a business for you and you need to make decisions beneficial to your bottom line while still respecting both the authors and the advertisers.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:35 PM

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371
Michael writes:

Further to my previous comment, I would like to add the following.

While some edits may be simply URL changes, if there was some sort of VERSION CONTROL SYSTEM in place it would be easy to see via a “File Compare” function whether the article had changed in CONTENT or merely URLs and this would mean editors would not have to spend a lot of time approving the link changes.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:41 PM

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372

OK, Chris! Thank you for your explanations about the impression you give when massive changes happen.

I accept your rules, even though I would prefer to be able to change the article’s title sometimes. Now I’m going to be very, very cautious when choosing my titles…

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 4:56 PM

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Sibusiso Jali writes:

I go with the 30 day lock period instead of deligating the article review task to just 2 ft employees. SO it has to be OPTION B.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 5:31 PM

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Clare Wadsworth writes:

Choice B would be better than not allowing edits at all. Occasionally, I spot an error I overlooked or have learned more about the subject I have written and would like to edit it. Thanks.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:05 PM

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Chad Briggs writes:

I vote for option B.
I understand your concerns, it is no different than running any other well oiled business.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 6:31 PM

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376
Chris Hartpence writes:

I dunno, Chris. I mean, I GET that you want to continually “raise the bar” and all that, and I’m even mostly on the same page as you, but here lately, it almost feels as though the “war” against affiliate marketers is spilling over to all writers in general, and we’re NOT the enemy, I promise! :)

To this:
***Why do we pull the live article off the site and put it into an inactive status in the first place?

It was a built-in mechanism to discourage members from frequently editing their articles because it’s our belief that you can get a higher return from using your time to write new articles instead of hyper-optimizing your existing articles***

I’d say the following: It is well and good that it’s “your belief” that our time would be better spent doing one thing and not another, but at the end of the day, if I WANT to keep tweaking my article…I’m gonna. If you change the rules, then I’ll simply delete the article and resubmit it (and then, you’re back where you were, cos you just told Google that the article was there, and I deleted it, so it isn’t anymore)….that doesn’t solve the problem for anyone, it just shifts the pieces around a bit.

Given that these articles are plain text (no graphics, no embedded vids, etc), I’ve never understood why the article just wasn’t left live when a revision was ordered and a “working copy” created for editing purposes (which is the position you’re taking, per your notes).

I’m not sure I buy into the do-follow link rotation argument either, as the effect (if you could even manage it) would be nominal, at best, and likely more trouble than it’s worth – ie – easier to just write a second article than try to “rotate links” in tandem with G’s indexing, etc.

I’m not sure that the new “article title locked” rule is going to do what you’re hoping it will, as wouldn’t it just prompt folks to delete the article and resubmit if they wanted to change the title as well?

Why make the author jump thru all the hoops? Creating a better reading experience is a noble enterprise, but like it or not, the writers are part of the equation too. Throw ’em a bone once in a while…again, we’re not the enemy. ;)

-Chris

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 9:16 PM

[Reply]

Chris H,

For quite a few years, our system already blocks the resubmission of an article that has been deleted. We also give an automated courtesy warning upon an article deletion that our system won’t accept it again should you want to resubmit it.

Yes, I understand our members are a critical component to the equation that makes this site, this platform and this system work. That’s why you’re involved in the discussion with us as we navigate changes designed to ensure the continuity and expansion of our mission to deliver you more traffic and exposure to your articles (even if it means changes that some/many don’t approve of).

[Reply]

Chris Hartpence writes:

Thanks for the reply, Chris!

And as I said earlier, I mostly agree with your goals. It just seems to me that here lately, your war against affiliate marketers is becoming a war against the authors as a whole, and it honestly won’t do us any good if we have more traffic coming to articles (as you mentioned above) that we can no longer make strategic changes to as our situations dictate (beyond a dead link, I mean…the greater bulk of internet marketing is experimentation, and if you can’t tweak, and you can’t delete and resubmit, then you can’t experiment).

What I’m saying is…your recent moves give the impression that you’re…I dunno if “resentful” is the right term, but something close to that, of the notion that anybody but EzineArticles can make a profit online, and it’s your site, so it’s not a democracy. If it really bothers you, then take out the resource box altogether. BANG! Your revisions drop by 83% overnight, and your authors get to tweak their profile pages only.

Granted, you’ll likely not need as many editors, as I suspect that submissions to your site would drop drastically, but you’d win the war in one shot.

-Chris

[Reply]

Ok, it’s just not true.

If you make a profit from your dealings with EzineArticles, I’m happy for you and the ecosystem that we have the privilege to be a part of.

But, I hear what you’re saying. You’d like to hear more happy fun positive stuff.

Agreed. :)

As far as experimentation, we agree more with what Jeff Herring said, where you experiment with NEW articles instead of over-optimizing your existing articles (that many do).

With the competition of content supply about to skyrocket beyond your wildest imagination in 2010 (watch for a new video coming soon from me on this topic), most will be left in the dust if they don’t increase their article inventory. That’s what we aim to help our members with.

[Reply]

Chris Hartpence writes:

Well sir…I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. :)

I appreciate that you’re trying to improve the reader’s experience, and generally support that effort…but not at the expense of treating authors like second class citizens (in the best case) or an outright enemy (in the worst). Not allowing authors the freedom to change their own content is, IMO, overly restrictive, and I’m willing to bet it’ll cost you contributors. Your ballgame of course, so your rules, and maybe a little attrition is part of what you’re after, but I believe these recent moves open the door for your competitors and give them an opportunity to gain ground simply by giving the author a somewhat freer hand where his/her own materials are concerned.

HELPING your members increase their article inventory is one thing. MANDATING it by denying them any other option is quite another, but again, your ball, your field, your rules.

I just happen not to agree.

-Chris

[Reply]

377
Emily Erickson writes:

It’s too bad you have to make it so difficult for people to give you their work for free for you to sell the use of it. We are not hooked, this is not a drug. It seems to me competition will move into this vacuum as you kill the geese that lay your golden eggs. The less rewarding an experience you provide to writers, the less they will write for you. I don’t even write for search engines or Google, I don’t care about that (Maybe I should), and yet I find submitting articles to EzineArticles fraught with senseless obstacles, like the time the yellow robot box accused me of ‘trying to sell something in my article’ when I was writing about bringing up a newborn sparrow. And isn’t ‘selling something’ what most of your writers are writing here for? And how did the robot come to the conclusion I was selling something then? Is it set on some random timer? And then there was the time I wrote a story and mentioned my name in it, and that was a no-no; so I changed it to ‘she’ each time, and the aritlcle was accepted. Sheesh! I agree with the writer (Bob Grady) who said EzineArticles is ‘senseless’ and I agree with the Basic Plus remark he made. I have many articles classified (in only 2 months or so of writing) as expert yet no more can even be submitted because the robot says I have reached my maximum number. What? Is this supposed to pressure me to pay you to accept my lovely articles for free (to pay to be ‘Premium’) for you to make money on them? Six articles since then are already accepted and published by another site, because your site blocks any more.
And I see the ads you attach to my work . . . omigod! Here is a scholarly work that says “Tarot does not have to be some silly parlor game” and silly Tarot ads are lined up around it!
If you have only two editors, you have some serious robotic participation . . . and it shows.

Why in heck don’t you hire some clerks to service your product?

Writing for Self Growth puts most authors FIRST under their names in Google, and Self Growth does not hassle anyone about any article changes. I don’t see them whining about any of the things you find so onerous here, either. So I doubt Google is such a problem re changes in articles.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:01 PM

[Reply]

Emily,

Well, that’d be an insult to our Editorial team.

86% of our Editors have 4 year college degrees and 88% have an Associate Degree or greater.

CLERKS they are not.

Yes, I know we make article review decision mistakes. This is why we have a 2nd QC editorial team who reviews all of the 1st Editorial review of every single article… to minimize our chances of making mistakes before our members see our end decision per article.

You’re not the only one to misunderstand about how many editors we have…so I guess I failed to communicate that properly. We have many, many dozens of full time Editors.

Lastly, you don’t have to be a Premium member to submit articles. The first 10 or after your Basic Plus 25 are used up, your account is up for review. I’ve already sent your private email internally and your account will be reviewed today as it was already scheduled to be reviewed.

[Reply]

Alev Absman writes:

“CLERKS they are not.”

But in fact, they are, although not by their designations. There are so many instances many of us can give to point to this.

Having dozens of them to filter out “mistakes” only takes the burden off next level editors but when you are talking of the quality of submissions and just going by the basic guideline that doesn’t go beyond the clerical aspects of editing, you are only proving yourself wrong.

I, for one, perceive editors on the same lines as offline magazine editors who sweat it out to try and get the submissions evaluated in real sense by working on aspects like the presentation, sequencing of arguments or postulating the points etc while grammar and typographical issues are basic.

I don’t disagree with Emily Erickson

[Reply]

David Croucher writes:

Emily, I met the same problems as a beginner, and thought that 1) some EzineArticles rules-robot was chucking my content out before an editor got to see it, then 2) when I finally satisfied the algorithm, a human editor was too picky and arbitrary – just as you said.

What it turned out to be was that I was regularly breaking a sensible rule in a completely different part of the article, and in my rewriting sometimes had this in and sometimes had it out of the content. So it took a long time and some fruitful dialogue (once I’d dared to ask) to sort it out and learnt the rule, which was reasonable. Maybe you’ve been in the same place.

Mr. Knight, Sir, after reading ALL the submissions here again to get the feel of it all (as I’m sure you have) I’ve come to the conclusion that option (B) has it, with – as many have said – more than one (infrequent) edit allowed.

And maybe (by occasional special request) a free change of link for some verifyable good reason, like transferring part but not all of a blog to another place. This would likely need a one-time change to a batch of articles out of the whole, not just one.

Another idea from my own experience: that a submission needing changes after an editorial rejection have at least the offending text highlighted. I know that the editors can’t write back – far too time consuming – but this simple feedback would have been so helpful to the tyro I was.

And I guess that means that it would help this month’s newbies who scratch heads over a rejection, knowing roughly where the offence lies but not knowing just where to look.

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iwankp writes:

Yes, option A is better than B, because its very simple option.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 10:55 PM

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Jan Bear writes:

Is there any way to disconnect the article from the resource box? Websites change; links change, emphases change. The article may be evergreen, but the writer isn’t necessarily. I’d like it if the resource box at my profile automatically attached itself to past articles without taking them down to edit them.

Thanks for asking.

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:37 PM

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Jay Jennings writes:

Sheesh, It’s gonna take me a day to read all these! =:)

This may have already been mentioned, but in case it hasn’t…

1. Article Title Locked — The major problem I have with that is twice in the past couple months an editor has changed my article title — specifically, a pound-sign # was changed to the word Number. Which meant that my Tip #1, Tip #2, series was then screwed up.

With the article title locked I’ll have no way to fix something like that in the future.

2. If +80% are changing resource boxes, why not allow JUST a resource box change? Seems like an editor could check just a resource box change MUCH faster than checking the whole article for edits. And the article could stay live even while the new resource box was in the editorial queue. When it’s approved, just “push” it into the existing article.

Jay Jennings

Comment provided December 15, 2009 at 11:55 PM

[Reply]

Jay,

Reason that our team changes the # sign into “Number” is because # signs break URL’s that include the title. These break RSS feeds, widgets and even email mentions of the URL.

If the article TITLE wasn’t included in the URL, then you could use a # sign without any worries… but alas, the TITLE is in the URL and this is a good thing, minus the tradeoff.

We don’t want to make it easy to change your URL in the Resource Box unless your link is dead.

If the article body is an exact match upon edit, we already know this and don’t have to manually check the article body again, but the software we wrote and use will need to check the totality of the article to make sure the new resource box doesn’t alter something that would be against the guidelines.

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381
John McPhie writes:

I think it’s vital that the search engines view articles from EzineArticles as being ‘top notch’…they need to be treated in a way that produces optimum effect.

A 30 day bar on making any changes or deletions is sensible.

I suggest you get on and do it asap!!

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 3:42 AM

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382
Willie writes:

I will prefer Option A.

There may be a need to edit articles, so discountinuing allowing this is not advisable. However, if you lock it for a while and then allow editing, that will be fine.

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 4:33 AM

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383
chaitravi writes:

Option B.

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 6:23 AM

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Sunganani writes:

I think option B is the way forward. Option A seems punitive for those honest mistakes.

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 8:25 AM

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385
Lynn Jacobsen writes:

There are times when a link may change due to an update to a website and it’s necessary to correct the problem. I think it’s important to have the ability to correct link errors. This will help credibility with search engines and readers. As far as changing article content I feel that once the article is published the content should stay the same. Thank you for the opportunity to provide my input. Lynn

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 8:42 AM

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mg writes:

Either option seems extreme. No matter how much I proof I always seem to find something to correct after I publish my article and I like to be able to go back and edit.

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 10:23 AM

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carlos writes:

Chris,
My two cents:

Your revised approach is much more sane and just. It benefits you and helps us, article marketers, to continue to optimize our marketing.

I want to thank Allen Graves for his suggestion.

Your statement regarding implementing the inactive status in the first place: “… because it’s our belief that you can get a higher return from using your time to write new articles instead of hyper-optimizing your existing articles …” Why don’t you let us be the judge of what our time is worth?

I find it inconceiveable that any search directory noting a “high page mutation” from a site of your stature would penalize your ranking without first inquiring as to the cause.

Thank you for keeping us informed and for choosing a sane alternative.

Carlos

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 10:59 AM

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388
mark choiniere writes:

I’m not following the “magnitude” of this issue. I’ve written 14 or so articles and all pointed to my web site where my blog is hosted. My book was printed on 24 Nov 2009 and is not listed on its own website. I thought it would be convenient, easy to accomplish and cause no ripple in the pond if I updated my earlier articles to include the website. When I checked, I discovered that some of the earlier articles I wrote did not include the original web address, in the first place. So I edited those to add the address and compromised by linking my second site to teh first to address all the other articles.

While I had the articles under edit, I thought it worthwhile to crrect a few nits and nats (obvious errors). These were not substantive or even minor changes by any stretch.

It strikes me that it would be a simple matter for you to simply add an editing or administrative-type feature whereby an author can do these relatively minor updates without upsetting the applecart of the search engines or the fabric of the universe.

Having said that, I don’t know if the articles I modified were part of the problem or issue or not. It certainly was not my intent to cause any issues. I don’t recall seeing any caveats or warnings about ramifications such as these mentioned in the event that I saved the draft changes I was making.

Not sure how to help here.

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 1:29 PM

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mark choiniere writes:

And I should have added, you need to come with a different methodology to update the resource block if 83% of the effort was focused therein.

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 1:31 PM

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Bryan Pickell writes:

I think a 30 day lock is fair. The ability to edit an article periodically to keep it current would be nice.

cheers,
Bryan

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 3:02 PM

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391

Today I was thinking about the impossibility to edit our articles’ titles and I remembered many things that I had forgotten.

The article’s title is basic, because if it doesn’t have the right keywords and if it doesn’t induce the readers to read it, nothing else matters: the content may be great, but nobody recognizes it, the resource box may be very efficient, but nobody ever gets there, etc. So, we really have to spend time choosing our titles: this is a crucial matter.

Now that we cannot change our titles at EzineArticles we’ll have to implement all the knowledge we have acquired online about “how to find good titles for your articles”, instead of simply giving the title we believe that is the best one for each article, without doing any research, and without spending enough time with this basic matter.

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 4:19 PM

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Utibe writes:

I like the idea, it is a welcome development

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 4:25 PM

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Jay Jennings writes:

>> Main reason for the article title locking on live articles is that changing the title = changes the URL because the title is in the URL.

You could still allow editing of the title, just don’t change the URL on an edit. It might mean the URL is “…why-dogs-play…” and the article is “Why Cats Play” but a URL isn’t for people, anyway, so if it doesn’t exactly match is that a problem?

Jay Jennings

PS – Of course, if you dynamically generate the URL from the title then you might need to add another column to the database, but that’s easy. =;)

Comment provided December 16, 2009 at 7:26 PM

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394
Mark Thompson writes:

Looks like some sanity has been bought to the situation at last. Chris it might be an idea to establish a panel of people who submit regularly who you could run stuff like this past before making decisions.

I always get the impression that the EzineArticles team and the contributors are often not singing from the same hymn sheet. A more symbiotic relationship would benefit everyone.

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 3:02 AM

[Reply]

Mark,

That’s an excellent point.

If I could have a “do-over” on this blog post, in retrospect, I’d have only sent this to our blog list and twitter rather than all members so that I/we could take a smaller beating than this massive beating.

I’ve often thought of this blog as our advisory board and it’s here that we learn what’s important to our members, how things should change, what’s not important, etc.

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395

Jay,

Everything can very easily be changed online, but the point is that EzineArticles deals with too many authors, there are many of them who are quite dishonest, the impressions given to the search engines when massive changes are made puts EzineArticles reputation in danger, this is not a public article directory, but a site that belongs to Chris Knight, what means that he is not obliged to accept doing whatever we authors may desire, especially because our changes have a certain cost, therefore we cannot demand too much.

As an author I wish we could make many changes in all points whenever we would wish to, even though I personally never change anything in the article body or in the resource box. I have only changed sometimes a few articles titles or their category, but I know that other authors need to make many changes and this is why I defend our freedom to do so.

However, the way things are, we have to make a deal with Chris, and accept his conditions without demanding too much.

There are many other article directories where you can make many changes, but they are not in the same position of EzineArticles…

Whoever is not happy with the new rules, is free to use other sites and make there all the modifications that are not allowed at EzineArticles…

This is what I personally do, when I dont like something at EzineArticles. For example, one of my best articles was not accepted because of its title, however exactly the title was attracting many readers… I didnt change it and I submitted it to other sites. All them liked my title and my article very much, and Im receiving many visitors from them. You can do the same when you are not happy with EAs rules.

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 8:10 AM

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Chris Hartpence writes:

See…thing is, this “page mutation rate” seems to be a fiction. What I mean by that is this:

If it was something Google cared about and didn’t want happening, you’d think that going to google.com and typing in “page mutation rate” would bring up pages of dire warnings from various Google authorities about being careful about such things, and all the consequences to you and your website if you AREN’T careful about such things.

Except there’s not.

You’d think that websites like Wikipedia wouldn’t even EXIST (they have HUGE “page mutation rates” and are in a constant state of flux)…and yet, what we find is that Wiki prolly has more page one rankings for search terms than ANY site on the ‘net.

So I’m not buying it.

I’ve not seen or heard a peep from Google about it, and sites with higher “mutation rates” aren’t being penalized.

It sounds to me like, for whatever reason, Chris believes we have too much freedom with our own material, and wants to control it, and “page mutation rate” is a scary sounding term to help pin it on.

$0.02

-Chris

[Reply]

Chris H.,

We don’t want to make it easy for you to change your link often. I’ve already shared our position on this. If you want a new link to a different website of yours, our recommendation is that you submit a new article… unless your link is dead in an existing article, in which case we’ve invested heavily to help you reclaim lost traffic with our Article Diagnostic Center.

When a Wikipedia page mutates often, it’s rarely a new outbound link that is being added because they clamp down hard on self-serving links… and those that do get by, get reversed pretty quickly.

[Reply]

David Croucher writes:

Thanks for that, Mr. Knight.

So can check that I have the TITLE problem clear:
Because the Title text necessarily becomes part of a link – for our benefit – it would be counter-productive to break that link because we’d lose traffic.

Then the correct way to test different Title wording for good traffic would be to write a fresh article with the new title to go alongside the old one. Correct?

——————
MODERATOR COMMENT: Yes, David, that is correct.

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396
Geoff writes:

I`m really surprised by the furore over these new suggestions. Do authors really do THAT much editing of their live accounts? It`s never really occurred to me to do it with mine.

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 10:57 AM

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397

If it has to be A or B, I vote for B. However, I really like the idea of making the resource box a separate editing issue.

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 1:18 PM

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398
Gert Hough writes:

Updates to this post prove that the guys at EzineArticles know what they are doing. And I also feel that I have made mistakes in the past writing articles sometimes with only one link, sometimes with not as many words in the link text as I could have had and sometimes finding a horrible grammar mistake staring at me :-)

Thanks for keeping the system alive and well. How you do it is up to you.

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 1:51 PM

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399

I think you ought to go with option B. Seems the best for both authors and EzineArticles

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 3:09 PM

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400
Dan writes:

Option B

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 7:10 PM

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401
Lisa writes:

Interesting how passionate everyone was about this one. I like the final consensus. Sounds like a good plan to me. :p

Comment provided December 17, 2009 at 8:44 PM

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402
Liam writes:

Encouraging either the ability to edit later or coming up with something creative to allow for editing conducive to a “schedule” decided upon by authors and E-zine would have the same effect. It says it’s OK to have errors.

This is not authorship. An article is a Broadway Production. What you’re saying is that it is OK to publish a high-school play and call it Broadway material.

If were not possible to edit after a certain period of time – the overall quality of authors and article writing would be greatly improved.

In addition, occasionally everyone would be able to see thaqt from time-to-time, even seasoned pros make a mistake or two.

Comment provided December 20, 2009 at 10:31 AM

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David Croucher writes:

I reckon I’m not alone in disagreeing with you, Liam.

To use your simile, NO Broadway production, EVER, comes out on Broadway as the first version, untested anywhere else, with only grammar and spelling ‘made perfect’. Each of these star quality shows will have first gone through dozens of revisions by several hands, polished and brought to its peak. THEN – after the first run – it gets published.

We’re not doing that. We’re lone authors in the main, working to deadlines with a stream of articles being penned. Each one has a finite time we can afford to work on it. Some articles will have nuggets of gold in them; other will be gems to be passed around (just as we all want). We can usually be proud to have done a good job, at the least. But Broadway it ain’t!

Yes, of course some authors tinker too much, and this needs to be stopped as it affects the credibility of us all to some extent. But that problem is being addressed.

What nearly all of us need is the ability to do rare rewrites as the factual base or market conditions change, and to redirect links occasionally (following a reorganization, for example.)

You’re right that we mustn’t be sloppy and publish poorly written material. But all of our readers have some critical judgment. They can see whether an article is a ‘high-school play’ – often well done – or if it has star quality. And the editors weed out the junk to keep up the standard: thanks, guys.

We now seem to have the happy medium that
1) will prevent the sloppy work getting through,
2) will restrict edits so that we take care from the start and
3) will satisfy the search engines that our community is stable and worth high rankings.

That will do for me.

[Reply]

Liam writes:

The goal here should be kept to the greatest good for the greatest number.

Your 3 point strategy clearly asserts that position.

This is a solution emergency that all shall benefit from – not a debate.

Yes?

[Reply]

David Croucher writes:

Yes!

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Liam writes:

I thank you for that!

-Liam

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403
Lois Bernstein writes:

I vote for option B. The only time I have edited an article was to change a title for better ranking or to link to a new page. Cutting out any editing would be a travesty. I understand there are those who abuse editing, but don’t take it out on those of us who do it the right way.

Comment provided December 22, 2009 at 3:22 PM

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404
Jeff Persons writes:

I vote option B the 30 daylock

Comment provided December 23, 2009 at 10:25 AM

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405
Jan Bear writes:

What if the editors edit the article in a way that makes it less effective? In one of my edited articles about half of the contractions were changed to not-contractions. If I had meant “do not,” rather than “don’t,” I would have written the whole article differently. Is there a guideline about not using contractions? Is there an editor with a hobby horse about them?

I haven’t pulled the article out of circulation to change the contractions, but it’s a little embarrassing to have it sound so lame.

Comment provided December 24, 2009 at 4:17 PM

[Reply]

Jan,

It would seem odd that we would change contractions. This is not typical and not part of our normal editing process. I emailed you so we can discuss this privately.

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406
Britt Malka writes:

I wanted to submit some new articles today under one of my pen names, and I wanted to use the same resource box. So I clicked on “Edit” on one of the published articles, copied the resource box, and wanted to leave the site by going back to the previous site.

I got a warning message telling me that changes were not saved, and clicked OK, only to find out that my article was now marked as Modified and Not Submitted/Not published.

I made no modifications at all to the article, key words, resource box or anything. Just copied what was already in there.

Maybe others than me made this mistake? And can you republish my article, please?

Comment provided December 29, 2009 at 12:29 PM

[Reply]

Lisa writes:

Hi Britt,

In the future, click “View” instead of “Edit”. Any time you edit, even if you make no changes, it will send your article to modification status.

Don’t worry, however, because these are reviewed quicker than regular articles. My modifications have always been same day- sometimes as quickly as hours after the edit was made. Your article should be back in place soon.

Hope that helps,
Lisa

P.S. If you’re just copying a resource box, you can do this without opening any articles by going to the tab for your resources boxes. You find this under profile manager under your author names.

[Reply]

Britt,

I addressed this with you yesterday via email. :)

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407
Maria writes:

Hi Chris,
I have been away so I am only just catching up with e-mails.
To be honest, I am surprised that people would even think to edit their articles after publication. I would have thought there was a clear understanding about the Google process that takes place after approval by EzineArticles. Personally speaking I do not have the time to go back to articles and re-edit, and as I spend more time than I should ensuring I have said what I wanted to say in the first place, I really do not want to do a post mortem. I realise you are not soliciting votes now, but I guess option B would be more acceptable for those with more time on their hands! Good luck! Maria

Comment provided December 29, 2009 at 7:03 PM

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408
daryle writes:

Actually this protects publishers because who wants an article that is not indexed? I am sure people whine about this but in the end it helps them

Comment provided January 2, 2010 at 4:38 PM

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409

Anyone notice the change we just implemented?

Articles now will stay live while they are being edited so you don’t risk losing your article from being indexed by the search engines or from your friends who might be surfing your article during the middle of an edit that awaits human re-review.

Full details will be out in a new blog post shortly…

Comment provided February 4, 2010 at 1:31 PM

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Lisa writes:

Awesome! This is very helpful. Glad you made the change. Thank you.

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410

The new Article Re-Review System details:
http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2010/02/articles-remain-live.html

Comment provided February 5, 2010 at 12:31 PM

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411
Gouri writes:

There should be some option to edit the resource box of the published articles without the whole article being pulled back to drat for review.

Comment provided May 13, 2012 at 3:08 AM

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412
Mali Hafiz writes:

I tried to edit a published article and the article did not show up

Comment provided December 22, 2012 at 5:19 PM

[Reply]

Mali,

I have forwarded your comment to our Member Support Team. They’ll be contacting you via email to help you resolve this.

Marc

[Reply]

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