Quality Matters

We are not stating anything new when we say that quality matters in your articles.

It does.

It always has.

The end user-experience is important to us and should be to you. The value you provide in your articles matters since it’s not only an investment in your future as a credible author, it’s an investment of time to your reader. Getting traffic today isn’t worth the cost if your reader quickly realizes that you’re not in it to help them – that your intent was selfish – and they’re gone as quickly as they came.

In an effort to help you succeed even more as an expert author in your niche, we’ll be moving forward with 5 changes that will be effective immediately. This is round one.

Effective Immediately:

  1. Increased Quality Checks – We’ve doubled the review time per article that our Editors are allowed to focus on format, grammar, spelling, and consistency.
  2. WordPress Plugin and API – We will no longer be accepting article submissions via these tools.
  3. Deadlink / Link Diagnostic Center – If your article contained a dead link, we previously would unlink it within 35 days of your first notification and send you 5 notifications to encourage you to fix it. This process will change and if after 2 weeks your link has not been fixed, we will unlink it. You can always edit your article at a future time to update your link.
  4. Basic Plus Membership level – You were previously allotted 25 article submissions in this membership level if you did not meet the Platinum membership requirements at the end of your first 10 article submissions. This level was established to help you gain the additional experience and understanding to achieve the Platinum level (quality with quantity). What seemingly occurred was a vicious cycle of the continuous adding of 25 submissions if you still did not meet the requirements. This is no longer effective.

    The standard 25 now becomes 10. We’ve done this so that we can monitor your progress more efficiently and help coach you on what it will take to earn Platinum. It also weeds out those who fail to or are unwilling to learn. If after those 10 additional submissions we feel that you are not gaining momentum, you will not be allotted any more submissions and we will no longer accept future article submissions from you. Your value in using our platform is to increase the effectiveness of your writing. While not always an easy feat for non-writers, we all need to learn.

  5. New Minimum 400 Word Count – We’ve been talking about this for a few years now and made the decision that effective immediately, we’ve increased the minimum word count to 400. While we know that we run the risk of frustrating a few experienced high quality authors who can write well in fewer words, we feel that it is the best choice to make. We have not discounted the fact that quality can come in 250-399 words and we are working on an idea that spawned four years ago (but never became live) where we’ll offer another membership level and reward those authors who define the high standards of quality. In fact, along with other amenities, this membership level will be hypersensitive to quality and NOT quantity. More on that will be discussed in the following weeks.

For now, these are the changes that will immediately be going into effect. Watch this Blog in the coming days and weeks for more information.


Edward Weiss writes:

What about ‘page’ quality? Does that matter to you too? Because if you keep raising the font size on your Google ads, more and more people will start reading the ads instead of the article.

But wait … that’s the point isn’t it?

From a once but no longer EzineArticles fan.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM


Edward, We haven’t changed the font size in more than a year.

But, I can tell you that we’re reviewing today a whole series of new page layouts that will address the number of ad units per page change recommendation that a few have made.


Zoraya Tonel writes:

I am a Basic Plus author with 32 live articles. I’ve been working hard to create quality article to qualify for Platinum Level. Now that you have changed the rules from 25 to 10 submissions, is this rule retroactive? Thank you.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 4:26 PM



We are not going to retro this change. Moving forward, you will be given 10 article submissions when you have used what you currently have. If in those 10 submissions you have not earned the Platinum level, your account will be suspended.

Our focus will be to help you understand why Platinum wasn’t achieved at the same providing you tips on how to correct those actions in future articles.


Daniel Euergetes writes:

“If in those 10 submissions you have not earned the Platinum level, your account will be suspended.

Our focus will be to help you understand why Platinum wasn’t achieved at the same providing you tips on how to correct those actions in future articles.”

This confuses me a bit…

Experience tells me (and that of other writer’s) that a single reject will cause one not to earn the Platinum Level.

What’s the point of being given tips and how to correct them in “future” articles if that one bad article has condemned an active account to one in suspension once the rest of the articles have been written?

What do you mean by “future articles?” The ones you have left…or the suspension eventually lifted and the opportunity to submit more.

From what I understand, once suspended…always suspended.


Daniel Euergetes writes:

Well, I’m only a BasicPLUS member. My comment probably doesn’t warrant being answered.

Sorry I asked.

Hope you can all get this thing sorted. Evidently people like me in EzineArticles is a dime-a-dozen, and probably warrants me to move on to where that’s not so true.

@Bryan: Hey, you are a Premium Member! See how quickly you get a response? Don’t get it wrong…you DO have a voice and EzineArticles has heard you!

Be happy!



I assure you there is no bias. I apologize for the delay in my response… the comments are plentiful. :)

Your journey doesn’t have to end after the 10 submissions. Although what may feel like a hard rule and in some cases is, we’ll work with you to get you over your hurdles. As long as there is progression in your learning curve, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Future articles means what ever you have not yet submitted. If you have 10 left in which to work with, it means that you have 10 future submissions. Sorry for the confusion. I hope that helps.


Daniel Euergetes writes:

I can appreciate how busy you folks must be at this point. Wow, what a mess!

Just one more question and I will call it good and let you attend to others.

Thanks for responding. I seriously got thinking there would be no answers.

If, in the ten submissions I get in my last opportunity to prove myself worthy of becoming a Platinum Member, and one of those submissions goes into Problem Status…have I blown my chance of upgrading and winding up with my account suspended?

Sorry if this is very elemental, and I assure you, is my final question here with the issues at hand.


Bryan Hufford writes:

My question is this – how can you differ and identify content that is “unique and original”?

You see, I’ve seen plenty of writers after these changes who have THOUSANDS of articles that cover the SAME topic. They are, essentially, delivering the same articles, just in different wording each and ever single day. They are easy to spot, too.

So, how is it these guys get their articles approved, yet when I wrote an article in my targeted niche today, I get denied for “not enough unique and original content”? The article quality was far above most of the garbage I’ve seen recently. The article also met all criteria as stated.

Anyway, it makes no sense. I’m interested to hear how this will work, since it doesn’t seem to be applied across the board. If some people are “favored”, then I’ll be moving elsewhere and taking my Premium membership with me.

I’m all for filtering out garbage articles that make no sense, have no purpose and are riddled with grammatical errors, but to deny articles that MAY have some similar info to what’s out there and presented in a different context makes no sense.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 4:45 PM



As Chris previously stated in Saturday’s post, we have tightened our proprietary anti-derivative software to reject another 10+% of article submissions that are not unique enough. We expect this to have an impact on future submissions. This is our first step and we will continue to focus on that quality measure and tweak it as needed.

I’ll address your specific article issue with you privately.


Bryan Hufford writes:

Penny – Please e-mail me and let’s talk so I can understand how you guys are identifying what’s original and what isn’t.

For example, take a look at this article that was recently approved just a couple hours ago:


Nothing there is “unique and original” – it’s just the same ol’ advice in a different tone. Doesn’t even read well, period.

So, that’s what I’m getting at here. If there is going to be a bigger change, it has got to be across the board in my eyes. Are the articles even read or are they simply ran through software to determine what’s good quality and what isn’t?


Bryan Hufford writes:

I forgot a few grammatical errors that I saw in seconds without even looking hard at this:

“most folks thinks this is a contrary statement with respects to losing weight”

“When coming home from work if the weather allows get of the train or bus one stop from home and walk the rest of the way”

C’mon, really? Frustrating when articles like this are coming through and my article gets denied for “not enough unique and original content”. I’ve got over 700+ articles on here alone, so this isn’t my first rodeo. Just doesn’t make much sense.



The article was removed and I addressed this with the editors. This process will tighten as the days move on and they (we) are dedicated to approving good articles and educating along the way. We appreciate the feedback.


Dita writes:


I hope your new changes will result in consistent and, as Bryan above mentioned, across the board evaluations. I also write in the weight loss niche and in the past few months I have seen instances of what really appeared to have been favoritism. I was truly disturbed by the inconsistencies. It did not make sense.


Bryan Hufford writes:

Not to sound like a broken record here, but it still blows my mind at some of the articles I’ve seen approved today. I thought these changes were effective now, yet I’ve still seen tons of articles that are poor quality slip right though.



I assure you that every measure it being taken to prevent this. Our editors have been and are continuing to go through these changes and learning how to apply them to the reviews. We are on top of it.


Jan Chilton writes:

I will get flamed badly for saying this, but I would truly advise Chris to refuse to allow articles on any of the subjects that get so much spam on the internet. No gambling, pharmacy drugs, weight loss, lawsuits for drugs or ambulance chasers, insurance quotes. It’s not so bad for the articles, but the links to those sites may very well be what Google is targetting. I don’t let them post comments on my blogs….


Chess McDoogle writes:

This is very big news and without any warning.

Shouldn’t an email be sent or notification be published on author pages?

Lots of writers are going to have to go back and modify drafts they planned on submitting and fix existing articles that are now getting denied for the unexpected new word count rule.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 4:51 PM



For now, the 400 minimum word count will not affect articles that are live. You will not be required to add more content to a live article that you edit. This change only affects new submissions moving forward.


Jonathan writes:


This is very important and I think it should remain so.

Authors who want to edit articles with less than 400 words should be allowed to do so without having to add more words.

It will just make the articles look fake if more words need to be artificially added.


Scott Broadbent writes:

Does this also include articles that have already been submitted under the old word count minimum, but had not yet been approved? This would potentially impact 18-20 articles I have sitting in pending status before the change went into effect.

I typically aim for 300-350 words per article, so this may mean going back and ‘fluffing’ up an article I succinctly summed up in less than 400 words, which echoing Johnathan’s comment will make these articles look artificially fake.

The word count hurdle is much easier to deal with when you start writing an article with the word count in mind, rather than having the word count retroactively change. I don’t know how many articles I’ll have to go back and fluff up.



Anything that was ‘queued’ up was not affected by the minimum word count change.


Lars writes:

I hope you will go back and audit previously approved articles.

The biggest problem I see with EzineArticles is with older articles on the site which were approved and published before you evolved your review process to your current standards.

Give the writers of those articles a chance to improve their articles, then if they don’t, unpublish their articles and 301 redirect those article URLs to each articles’ category page.

I would suggest you begin by querying the site for articles published before the fall of 2009 and under 400 words.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM


Nicola writes:

I think it would be a good idea to change your author guidelines and submission page to reflect this change (especially the word count!), and perhaps put a banner on the Author Area and Submission page.

Can you also please clarify what will happen to people/articles that are currently pending that may fail your new guidelines eg.

If a Basic plus author has submitted all his alloted submission, but is not quite ready for platinum.

If an article is less than 400 words – will it be rejected as a problem – or will the author be invited to resubmit with no “penalty”


Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 5:37 PM



We are working on these changes and will be updating the guidelines shortly.

If an article submission attempt is made and the article is below 400 words, you will be alerted immediately. The article cannot pass our pre-submit rules with less than 400 words. If you are Basic Plus member now you will be given an additional 10 article submissions providing your account is in good standing. When they have been provided to you, we will offer you tips on how to succeed with these 10 and how to achieve Platinum status. We will provide you details specific to your past submissions and offer recommended changes for future ones.

We would also recommend that you use this time to ask questions. If your articles are getting rejected and you don’t understand why, ask questions. Our member support is eager to assist you in reaching the next level.


Mike Marlow writes:

Why have you discontinued the use of the WordPress Plugin?

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM


Kathy writes:


The plugin just copied your blog post word for word to the EzineArticles.com website. That is called duplicate content. Part of the major algorithm changes at Google recently were to reduce the amount of duplicate content in the search results.

Read this post on Matt Cutt’s blog

Duplicate content on your website is now bad for rankings. In the past it did not matter as much.


The problem with duplicate content is that the original article usually ranks lower than many of the copies. I believe that this is the issue that Google is trying to address in the post you’ve referenced from Matt.

Google has tried to reduce the number results that show the exact same article by “hiding” duplicates in the “see more like this” link. The problem being that the original often got hidden while the scraped/spammy site got listed.

This change could hurt sites like EzineArticles as authors post an article on our blog and then copy it to EzineArticles and other directories. If the algorithm works properly then the original blog post should be ahead of the EzineArticles entry and the syndicated copies. All of these should be ahead of scraped and/or spun copies.

Whether this actually works out in the real world remains to be seen.


Jan Chilton writes:

I’m pretty sure the only time that happens is when the original article is on such a low ranked site…or perhaps a HUGE site that doesn’t get spidered immediately and Google doesn’t feel it’s important enough to rank well. They still have something equivalent to their old “supplemental index”. They just don’t talk about it or call it that now. But if there are no links to the article, or perhaps the navigation on Ezines is not optimal for each article, they won’t keep it. In affect, Google swallows it and then either spits it out or puts it in a pouch in its cheek.

Then several days later a site with more pagerank or importance or just not as large has the same site…and Google swallows and processes that page first.

Sorry for the metaphor-speak, but it it easier than trying to explain my vague knowledge of the scientific end of things.


I have experienced this several times with articles that I’ve written on my own sites and then submitted to EzineArticles and other article directories.

They get picked up by autoblogs (one was a link farm of 1,000 sites) and they all get ahead of me in the search rankings. I don’t mind EzineArticles being ahead of me — they have authority and PR that I don’t. But the autoblogs? That just hurts.

Here is an example where I searched for the first line of one of my articles (using quotations):


It now shows the EzineArticles article and my blog in the top spots with the syndicated versions following. I’m not sure if this is do to the personalized search favouring sites that I have been to before or the new algorithm looking at what is the original though.


Kathy writes:

Also read this article which explains recent algorithm changes which have impacted EzineArticles.com.



Darrell writes:

Hey Chris

I think personally you are doing the right thing and taking the right steps. Of course, you still need to reduce the amount of ads on the page as that just makes for a bad user experience. I know you are looking at that. It will mean less revenue, but if you do that, along with the new changes, things will hopefully improve.

Based on your size of this article directory, do you actually follow up with Matt Cutts or people at Google to let them know what you are doing so they can monitor the progress because clearly they at some point need to be aware of these changes to get you out of the penalty box.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 5:44 PM


Mako writes:

Wish they had gone further.

It took “years” to figure out that articles under 400 words are 90% uninformative and likely to be crap?


You should to 500. Or 750. Cut the “authors” (god knows I use that word loosely for EZA) down dramatically.

And not implementing NOFOLLOW will wind up something you will retreat on at some point in the future, as you’ve given those that whore EzineArticles out for backlinks no deterrent through any of these changes.

You’re too worried about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If you want back in Google’s good graces you need to eliminate the “Internet Marketing” quotient from your equation.

That’s reality, and why you were slapped so hard.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 5:49 PM



A good writer can write a quality article in 250-399 words. It is possible, however the likelihood of any article being approved under 400 words was far less than one exceeding it. We believe the sweet spot is between 400-750 and encourage it.


Jonathan writes:

This isn’t true. Some people write short articles which are great. There’s no need to go above 400 words and the idea that “forcing” people to write 750 words will somehow make articles better is ridiculous.


kal writes:

i dont mind the new 400 word count, but now you have changed the links in the resource box to nofollow.

some people use these links for traffics while others backlinks. you have just shot your self in the head ezine i guarantee this will be your downfall

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:00 PM



The links in the resource box remain dofollow. No changes have been made to this.


Shannon writes:

I think these are good moves. Looking forward to seeing a new layout. Thanks for taking action.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:05 PM


Jeff Stevens writes:

I have personally found it harder and harder to write under 400 words anyway. Lately my articles have been coming in around 800-1000 words as I’ve stretched my writing muscles.

I look down at the word count and see that I’m already up to 335 words and think to myself that I have so much more to say.

My one question is that when I was kind of a newbie on this site, I do have the sub-400 word articles in existence.

While that style of writing is a thing of the past for me, will those articles go away? I’d hate to think that Ezine would retroactively blow those articles off the site but I also understand that you might have to apply a universal rule to the site.

At any rate, I think it’s a good move and I look forward to continued improvements to an already great site.


Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:14 PM



No final decisions have been made on what we will do about previously accepted articles under the word count. For now, they will remain.


Jeff Stevens writes:

Thanks for your response Penny…I guess I’ll just wait and see but in the meantime, I’ll keep on writing the 400+ articles :)


D.K. Fynn writes:

Hello Chris,

I was just telling someone about your post on your reactions to the Google update.

I have a question about the 400-word minimum: what about articles that are already in your directory that are less than 400 words? Will they be removed?

I have one that I like, and it’s 398 words. I’d hate to see it get removed.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:16 PM



See my reply to Jeff above. As of now, those articles will remain.


D.K. Fynn writes:

Thanks, Penny.

All in all, I think these are good changes. If all article directories implement rules like these, the amount of nonsense content on the Internet will decrease drastically.

I really should’ve added 2 more words to that article. Or heck, why only settle for the minimum? I should’ve added a couple hundred more informative words to that article (though it would’ve been hard to do so without diluting it).

The tricky thing with the word count–and I know others have brought it up–is that a good, concise writer can get their message across in less than 250 words. It depends on the scope of their subject and the scope of their focus.


D.K. Fynn writes:

And another thing: what about articles that are in the queue for being accepted right now? Does this limit of 10 also apply to them, or does it apply to any new articles we submit, beginning now?

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:20 PM



This is a upgrade process. Once you have used what submissions you have left we will review your account for an upgrade. If you are not eligible for Platinum, we will explain why and provide you with 10 more submissions with which to work with. The goal is to get you to Platinum and help build your credibility as an expert in your niche.


Lance Winslow writes:

I am very glad to see these improvements. I 100% Agree that this is the CORRECT road to take as the Internet and Search Engines evolve.

I am happy to see this aggressive approach to weeding out any junk-articles that anyone may attempt to submit here.


Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:23 PM


Colin Noden writes:

A good response to this situation. It keeps the site within your initial vision and motivates us to produce quality. I like the feedback aspect of your editors. And I like the new standards. It keeps the spinners at bay. Time to hatch some of those articles in my incubation folder.

You know? It sounds like the good ol’ days in a way.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:25 PM


Platinum with 1200 Live Articles writes:

Please don’t delete our articles.

If they’re not original enough – good enough for the search engines… they’ll get deindexed soon enough if not already.

I’ve written over 1200 articles that are live – I’m platinum and YES a lot of my content is saying the same thing over and over in different ways.

Consider this…

It’s like what Chris said in the past – you have to have your own “unique selling proposition” (see Chris – I listened).

All of my articles might be similar – but they’re in MY VOICE and MY ANGLE and no one else’s.

So when deleting content – please keep that in mind.

Some of your platinum authors have worked very hard pounding on their keyboards to win writing contests or to simply “dominate” a particular category.

My mass of articles made me $109,000.00 last year just from traffic from EzineArticles.

Chris – My income is already going to drop substantially – please don’t delete content that we’ve poured our hearts into writing to be able to succeed online.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:32 PM


Arsham Mirshah writes:

This makes me REALLY happy!

With Google’s recent algorithm change which devalues the spammy content hubs – This move by Ezine is brilliant!

Sounds like there will need to be more effort put forth from the Ezine staff – did you all do a hiring round recently?

Ezine was already the highest quality content hub in my eyes, this just made it better…

DOWN with SPAM! Quality FTW! :)

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM


Doc Sheldon writes:

Penny- I think that from EZA’s standpoint, these are good changes. As an author, yes, they’re inconvenient and unnecessary, because, of course, all MY articles are top quality.

This last Google-ism has a lot of folks scratching their heads, trying to figure out where the new lines are drawn. I’d wager there are even a few at the ‘Plex that aren’t entirely clear on it. I think you folks are taking the best approach, however, in attempting to ensure the best content quality possible. We’ll roll with it, and we’ll get over it. ;)

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:46 PM



Good move Ezine!
I was beginning to lose faith in any further article submissions. My articles are from my heart and soul to network and share knowledge with others. They are not re written by any software, I felt like I couldn’t compete with that.
Thanks for renewing my faith

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 6:49 PM


Mike Faulk writes:

Great. We can all afford to get better. I’ll take greater pride in my published articles when I know they met a higher standard.

By the way, getting better applies to Ezine as well. In your notification article, under item 4, second paragraph, third sentence; that sentence is incomplete. Perhaps you meant to write “are” unwilling to learn?

What’s good for the goose…

We all need to have some fun now and then! Thanks! Mike

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM



What error?! Just kidding. Thanks for pointing it out. I fixed it. :)


Mark writes:

Personally I think that regards to ads on pages, perhaps you should consider starting your own ad network.

This way you could dramatically reduce the amount of visual clutter, better quality ads… think of fusion ads. Quality ads on quality articles.

I know it’s a sensitive thing for you guys since it’s your revenue source.

I do think though that though the future for EzineArticles will be more ‘in-house’ development though. Keep us posted.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:07 PM



Ads are on the discussion deck this week. We will keep you all posted.


Mark Demers writes:

I know it may make it harder to get articles approved but i welcome the challenge. I submitted an article 2 days ago and i hope it will be published.
The word count was well over the minimum and i spent a good 7 hours writing it.
I think with these upgrades you`ll see more happy readers and not as many writers therefor making the whole process more exclusive. I bet that articles on E-Zine will carry more weight in SEO now too.
Personally i think the word count minimum should be 500 words to make the articles worth reading.

Thanks , Have a Great Day!

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:10 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

Those of you who suggest pushing the word count UP aren’t doing yourselves any favors. Personally, I’d rather read a well written 350 word article than a poorly written 500 word one.

But let’s just keep Google happy. After all, you don’t want to upset this giant douche bag of a company. God forbid if they drop you below the top 20 results.

Down with Google!

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:17 PM


Denise Rutledge writes:

Not one of these changes has an impact on writers who care about what they do. I quit using the WP Plugin when I realized that it was messing up the formatting. I care about how my articles look.

It also makes sense that deadlinks should be unlinked if they’re still dead after two weeks. 35 days was a long time.

Setting a minimum word count of 400 means that authors have to make a little more effort to make sure their articles have something of value. That’s not a bad move. I can write a really good article at 350 words, but it’s not that much more effort to add 50 words.

My only concern with the changes would be for those writers who can’t make it past basic plus after 20 articles. What constitutes “momentum?” I would encourage considering offering a second 10 article opportunity (for a total of 30) as long as some evidence has been seen that the author is catching on.

I realize that there is no reason that EzineArticles staff should have to teach authors how to write, but I have seen some very inconsistent applications of the author guidelines. Some have been downright contradictions.

Of all the changes that are going into immediate effect, this is the most significant change. It’s a logical step to take, yet should be administered with some level of compassion. 30 articles is still less than the previous “round robin.”

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:33 PM



We will offer recommendations to each author that faces this scenario. Our goal is to increase the quality in the article and provide the tools to make it possible.


Chris writes:

@ Mako, Comment # 8

You said:

“If you want back in Google’s good graces you need to eliminate the “Internet Marketing” quotient from your equation.”


So we should all just contribute “open source” articles then? Turn EzineArticles into an AdSensed version of WikiPedia?


That is their one and only profitable business model, and one that is slowly slipping as Google’s results continue to degrade, and as other major ad platforms (like Facebook) offer legitimate alternatives.

Just like how EzineArticles is scrambling right now with knee-jerk policy changes to try and appease Google (and I’m wondering why they’re publicizing this), Google is scrambling to clean up it’s index with bandaid solutions in the race for relevancy and internet dominance.

Your solution of turning EzineArticles into a feel-good, communist collective of charity writers who work for free (or no reciprocal benefit) isn’t a solution – it’s a death sentence for this company.

Maybe this will serve as a wakeup call for EzineArticles, who, so far, is basically in a “partnership” with Google whereby their entire business model is based on AdSense revenue and maintaining visibility on another site that they do not control.

Who wants to bet that these policy changes won’t do a damn thing to help EzineArticles in Google’s new algorithm changes?

We’re talking about a company that happily bans loyal advertisers for life because they don’t fit the boring corporate mold.

Google has grown too fast, and they’re arrogant. We are seeing the growth curve begin to shrink, though – and they are too.

Writing’s on the wall.

Bottom Line: Use Google, don’t depend on them.

Bottom Line #2: EzineArticles needs to evaluate their BUSINESS MODEL. Not try to “appease” an indifferent entity that thinks it’s a Deity.

What has happened today will probably not be reversed.

But the RESULTS can, if the business model of EzineArticles is shifted away from sole dependance on Google.

EZA needs to realize who it’s customers really are, and serve them.


Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:34 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

No worries Chris. Mako lives on a different plane than the rest of us. You know, the one where reality doesn’t count.


Janna Chan writes:

I agree 100%, Chris. Google traffic should be the frosting, not the cake into which you throw all the eggs in your basket.

Even if everything went back to normal tomorrow and EzineArticles got its traffic back, what prevents Google from saying at any point, “EzineArticles, we’re suspending your entire Adsense agreement for no particular reason. Sorry your whole business model is now dead.”

That did it to a lot of affiliates a couple years ago.


Janna Chan writes:

I meant, “they did it to a lot of affiliates with supposedly “thin sites” a couple years ago.”


John writes:

@Chris: You said “Just like how EzineArticles is scrambling right now with knee-jerk policy changes to try and appease Google (and I’m wondering why they’re publicizing this)”

My thoughts exactly. EzineArticles seems to have been running in circles for the last week, looking for ways to “fix” this problem. And doing it publicly rather than behind the scenes until they have a firm course of action.

If my business had taken a potential 50% hit, as Chris alluded to in his original post on this last Saturday, I don’t think I would be making any snap decisions. It might hurt in the short-term, financially and image-wise, to sit back and do some analysis of the problem first, but I think that’s a much more balanced way to attack the issue.

The way it’s being handled appears to me as though it’s intended to be seen by Google, to try to “convince” them that the changes are going to clean up EzineArticles’ act somehow.

I assume that EzineArticles has other sources of revenue than just Adsense since they’re selling Premium memberships and the article course whose name escapes me at the moment. But I don’t think it’s a rash assumption to say that Adsense provides the majority of their revenue.

I hope they plan to lessen their reliance on Google in more ways, otherwise I can’t help but wonder if we’re all going to be talking about them in the past tense in a couple of years.


Ezines Writer writes:

First, remove the ads; as you are planning on changing.

Second, make the articles 100% exclusive to EzineArticles, because if authors submit articles to any other places, it’s STILL a content farm. It’s still a content farm, because the same articles are all over the place.

What would make you considering pushing this option more? I know everyone is talking about no follow/do follow more extensively, because that would seemingly affect them immediately, but it seems people brushed over the exclusive content idea.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:35 PM


Ankur writes:

You mentioned that for basic plus authors , if we submit 10 articles and if any one of these 10 articles are rejected then , the account gets suspended

Is this what you meant or did I misunderstood something?

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 7:39 PM



A Basic level author receives 10 article submissions, after those 10 if Platinum is not earned, they receive Basic Plus with another 10 submissions. This is a total of 20 article submissions.

A progression of growth needs to exist in those 20 articles. If you are learning from your mistakes, you will not be suspended. It’s when you fail to grow and won’t invest time in learning that you will not receive any more submissions and your account will be suspended.


Erik Heyl writes:

Many of us don’t have the time to do ONE article in SEVEN hours. I value my time more than that. I will say though that a 400 word minimum is good. Dragon Naturally Speaking helps A LOT as well. That said, I’ve always hated artificial word counts. The way I write is that when an article ends naturally, it just is finished, regardless of word count. Happily, mine generally are 4-500 words anyway. :)

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 8:04 PM


Jan Chilton writes:

Chris, I think I’d re-think that dead link policy. I’d make it immediate if possible. Can one of your programmers write something that will catch a dead link when the article is submitted and reject it? Can the reviewer click on the link and test it? In my PERSONAL OPINION (to clarify) I think Google may upchuck a page with a dead link. I don’t think you should let the article be spidered if there is one in it. Just my 2 cents.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM



We do this already and have from the beginning. All article links must pass our software on submit and through two human editorial reviews before it is approved.

The dead link system or better known to you as the Article Diagnostic Center checks your links after your article is live. This is when the notifications to the author begin.


J Chase writes:

Good move on Ezines part. I had three rejected last Saturday, after over 100 articles accepted with no rejections. After getting those three emails, boom, boom, boom, I thought someone had had a bad Friday night

But then I got to read the blog you issued Saturday so I thought there was a connection.

But I had two approved today, but no response to my email on what the specific problem was with those three that were rejected. One rejected said to contact Ezine which I did, no response yet.

My question is, will you continue the HAHD which could lead to low quality articles or will you modify it to include some sort of quality scale.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 8:41 PM



The changes apply to all submissions. HAHD is not immune to those changes.


Tia writes:

The only issue I have is that you haven’t stated a proper process for being reviewed for platinum. I don’t remember how many articles I have live – maybe 13. Some are from three years ago now.

I KNOW my articles are good enough to have gained platinum level but I hardly ever write them here. What now? Are you going to allow us to request platinum level? I don’t get it.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 8:44 PM



We automatically review your account when you have used all your article submissions. There is nothing for you to do to be considered for Platinum other than continue to write high quality content.


Tia writes:

Thanks, Pam.


Mark Jang writes:

I submitted a few articles that were going through the approval queue prior to EZine being spanked by Google — since 2 of them are under 400 words, I presume I will have to add more content?

Also, will you be deleting existing content from your site? I agree with a few previous posters, in particular Bryan Hufford, where he talks about the stringency of these new guidelines — there is clearly a lot of spinning in the article marketing world but I feel the new guidelines here will also place limits on existing writers who do nothing but contribute quality articles in good faith.

I do however like the idea of creating a dedicated membership for the 250-399 word count — after all, why write for the sake of writing? I’m far from being a big contributor, I’ve only posted about 400 articles, but I will remain a loyal contributor to EZine; the service is good and it’s far superior to other article marketing options out there. FAR, FAR superior.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 8:56 PM



This is a step process as we continue to focus on low quality content. See today’s blog post that covers 3 areas of focus.


Denise Rutledge writes:

HAHD “could” lead to low quality articles only if the editors aren’t doing their job. Participating in HAHD#6 has been the best thing I ever did.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM


D.K. Fynn writes:

I signed up for the a HAHD once last year, but didn’t finish it. After writing 5 articles on Saturday, I know I can do it if I put my mind to it and focus.

Heck, I could go for 200, high-quality, informative articles in 100 days. That’d be awesome.



I hope that these changes help to eliminate the spammy techniques used by some. I work hard to produce articles and it gets discouraging to see them slip into obscurity so quickly by those who pump out page after page of automated stuff.

I haven’t submitted an article in a while since it seems so pointless. Maybe the changes will make it worthwhile again.

I think you also need to revisit the article syndication rules again. There are autoblogs out there that are posting hundreds of articles from EzineArticles on a monthly basis — some spun and others not. It doesn’t help those of us who try to live within the rules.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM


Randy Pickard writes:

Good job of reacting to the new environment. I think you made good choices. However, I’m also pleased that you did not change word density (which already causes me problems) or add no follow to the signature file.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 9:29 PM


Susan writes:

I think these are excellent implementations. I recall reading an article at one time that was of such low quality, parts of it didn’t even make sense.

Stricter guidelines can only help your reputation and ultimately the authors’.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 9:43 PM


Nick Kellingley writes:

In general I’m all in favour of these changes, but I think the kill the account based on two failures during the basic stage is a bit unfair.

I had two articles rejected in my basic phase – both for the same reason, and both incorrectly in my opinion.

One was an article on opening a new business in China – it laid out the company structure options in China and was rejected for not being relevant enough to China – so I deleted it because there was no appeal and changing the title would have made the article meaningless.

The second was an article where I talked about the car body modification market in China – which was also rejected for the same reason. I took China out of the title and it was accepted – I’m kind of sorry about that, I should have deleted it too because without China in the title most people reading it will just be left confused as to why it wasn’t in the title.

I’m a platinum member now, have not changed my writing style one jot and still have no idea why there is no appeal function for the rejection process.

What’s particularly galling for me is not that these articles were rejected but that so much rubbish has been accepted when these were rejected.

I’ve never had an article rejected for any other reason either, not poor writing, not bad grammar, not sales copy, etc.

I’ve been publishing on here for just over 2 months and have published 108 articles so far for reference’s sake.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 9:50 PM



We’ve always been strict on localized niche articles. Speaking generally and not specifically about your account or articles, these article types must deliver specific details in the location for without the location, the article would be pointless.

The same applies when removing the location from the title and leaving it in the article body. I talked about this in today’s blog post. I agree with your gut instinct here as it does not provide a good experience.

We don’t want authors to fail. What we do want is for them to learn from their mistakes. We’ll continue to do our best in educating along the way.


Nick Kellingley writes:

Hi Penny,

Thanks for the reply – here’s the article I was talking about – please have a look and tell me how the content is not relevant to China.


I wasn’t gaming the system so much as responding to frustration. I write exclusively about the Chinese auto industry when I write in the automotive section. I felt strongly that this article was abitrarily rejected at the time, for using the word China but with no appeal process, it seemed simpler just to get it published (and in the end it’s the one article I don’t reference from my client’s site because of the headline issue).

The same went for my other (now deleted) article, I’m not sure how delivering a specific breakdown on the 3 company structures available to foreign investors in China wasn’t relevant to the country – except it’s possible I didn’t use China often enough in the body text for an automated system to see the relevance?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.




I understand your confusion. I wouldn’t be proud of the title without the locale because it doesn’t make sense. This was an error in rejection. If you would like me to change it to reflect the original title on submission, I can make those changes for you.

In examples like this, we can only learn from them if you provide us with your feedback. I will be sure to address this example with the editors.


Nick Kellingley writes:

Thanks very much Penny, yes please if you could change the title to include the location that would be great.

I feel better knowing I wasn’t going mad, and also that you kept this discussion in the open rather than taking it off blog – it makes me feel confident about e-zines openness. Much appreciated.



Sorry for the delay … the blog has kept me a little busy. :)

Here: http://ezinearticles.com/?Car-Modification-in-China—Where-the-Markets-Going&id=5681471

Much better!


Steve Johnson writes:

I’m glad to see you’ve kept your comments section open and you and your team are reading and responding to the posts here. I wanted you to know I’m grateful for the excellent service I’ve received from EzineArticles over the past several years, and I’m sure that you will chalk this up to a learning experience and will manage to bounce back from this. I am confident that you will turn EzineArticles into an even greater success in the future! Best wishes and keep truckin’ brother!

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 10:08 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

I second that!


Erik Heyl writes:

I’m curious: does the 400 word count apply to articles that were submitted BEFORE the new guidelines?

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 10:34 PM


Scott Broadbent writes:

I have this same concern, though I haven’t seen a response yet so far. Considering I may have 18-20 articles I’ll need to fluff up in order to meet the new minimum, even though I was doing my best to write in good faith under the old minimum.

Perhaps these pending articles will be allowed through since it would be a simple matter for the system to cycle through those articles in the pending stage and place into problem status those that retroactively no longer meet the word count.

Should I spend the time now to edit them, or work on more quality content?


No. This change applied to all new submissions.


Nick Kellingley writes:

Strange but true… I’ve just googled some of my article keywords. The results are now higher on the page than they were before the rollout. So I don’t think that every article is being clobbered here…

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM


Jennifer J writes:


It sounds as if EzineArticles will consider mass deleting ALL old articles under 400 words retroactively in the future, yes?

If that is under consideration, isn’t that kind of arbitrary considering you also said that SOME people actually do write good articles in less than 400 words?

I thought quality is the most important thing to EzineArticles… mass deleting old articles under 400 words doesn’t address quality, it addresses word count.

I’d feel betrayed if all of my articles under 400 words were deleted in the future since I was following your rules at the time of submission.

I’d then delete all of my 400+ word articles since EzineArticles would’ve lost my trust. Multiply that by 100’s or thousands of people.

Don’t make me go up to Lambeau Field and protest with my Chicago Bears! :)

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 11:23 PM


Nick Kellingley writes:

I agree – I’m trying to corner the technical writing niche, and though I haven’t got many (if any) articles less than 400 words, the guy who is currently ranked 1st in the niche has. I’d like to complain about that, but his content is pretty good and relevant and he’s addressed single issues concisely. It would be a shame to jump to the top of the hill based on a mass deletion of all short articles robbing the guy who not only followed the rules but also created decent content…


Jonathan writes:


Any changes need to be done moving forward, not to punish authors who stayed within the rules.


Jennifer J,

I can reassure you that we’re not going to delete all old articles under 400 words.

That’s simply not going to happen because it doesn’t need to happen.

We’re also selfishly motivated to keep the best content live; so if any article that’s under 400 words rocks the world, it deserves to stay live.

If you or anyone here has written thin content in the past, there are no promises that can ever be made for keeping that type of content live.

I know the concept of ‘thin’ is subjective but I can also tell you that we are working on a massive rewrite of our editorial guidelines that will give a huge boost to uncover the gray areas. Expect to see that before March is over… perhaps sooner.


Russ writes:

Thanks Jennifer,
You guys are the #1 article directory what do you think is going to happen you will lose your ranking? Of course not. Obviously you didn’t bother to think this move through.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 11:30 PM



Very useful and timely. I particularly support the ones of quality and word count. Basically a writer should become an author, not anybody. Congrats and thanks.

Comment provided February 28, 2011 at 11:40 PM



Change is inevitable-always, and in all ways. For sure, I shall follow the instructions. Also, thank you very much for the ‘Training Articles Series’. Each article, no doubt, is of great help.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 12:09 AM


Nick Kellingley writes:

If quality does matter – how is material like this getting published?


It may be grammatically correct and spelled correctly too – but it’s junk, pure and simple. An advert for IKEA without a single shred of useful information.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 12:46 AM


Jan Chilton writes:

That is far from being spelled correctly throughout and perfect grammar. Judging from all the missing plurals, it came right out of India or Pakistan. Whoever wrote is is almost certainly not English-speaking.

That’s about exactly why Ezines is being included in the content farm penalties, sorry to say. I would bet anything the new algorithim is picking up those common foreign spelling errors.


Paul writes:

What’s sad is that people are paying money for others to write this garbage for them.


Jan Chilton writes:

Sorry, I meant to make the below post a reply to your comment, Paul.



I agree. The article was removed and will be used as a training tool for our editors.


Kathy Nicholls writes:

Sorry if this is a repeat but I’m not seeing the comment I left earlier. I am wondering why the decision to do away with the WordPress plugin? It was sure a convenient thing and now will take more time in the day to submit things. Does that also mean you won’t be accepting blog posts as articles? Thanks.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 1:05 AM



We discontinued all API services for now, including the WP plugin.

While occasionally something quality would come in, the ratio of low quality garbage was too high.

Will we still accept blog posts as articles? Most articles could be blog posts, so yes… for now.

The real question you asked was, will we accept articles that are exclusive to the author who wrote them but not exclusive to EzineArticles? Currently, that answer is still yes.


Kathy Nicholls writes:

Thanks. I have been doing mine that way since you came out with that plugin and it’s worked for me so am sorry to see that go. I haven’t had any trouble with mine getting approved other than once forgetting that I had a reference to a video that was in the blog and not in the article, which was easily fixed.


Jan Chilton writes:

Very little. As I said in another post, one of my customers who has multiple websites is paying some guy from Pakistan $7 per page to re-write some fairly long articles that were written on another website. That’s why there’s so much of it around. Those people are begging for work, and business people can’t resist getting something for practically nothing. He said it was cheaper to do that and then pay somebody to edit it and correct the grammar than to pay an American to write it.

I have it all over my website that I do NOT outsource, I will not take phone calls about it, and not to email me and waste my time. I get at least two emails a day from people in India begging for work. I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 1:50 AM


Paul writes:

I know it’s very little. I used to run an article site and got tired of the crap coming out of India and the Philippines. These articles are submitted directly from the outsourced country and point back to businesses in the US.

Out of curiosity, I once emailed a business that had one of these bad articles linking to it. I asked if they really wanted me to publish the article — it was that bad. The reply was emphatically yes. They didn’t care how bad it was.

I banned both countries from accessing my site. I finally tired of it all and shut the site down completely.


Jan Chilton writes:

I’ve banned most of China, Korea, and Japan from my site. I feel like it will only stop when I ban almost every freaking foreign country!


Janna Chan writes:

$7/page? Wow, I see tons of ads on the major outsourcing sites requesting articles for less than $2/page.

I think the 400-word count is good for two reasons. One, it promotes a responsible text/code ratio. Two, it discourages people from paying $1 for 40 250-word articles. Having to up the price to $1.50 per 400-word article would knock at least lsome of the less-than-savory article submitters out of business.

I know it would be hard to enforce, but I’d love to see articles directories ban any kind of outsourcing. How can someone be an expert in his/her niche if all his/her content is written by someone else?


Tia writes:

Banning outsourcing? I think I get what you mean but it should be worded differently.

Being an expert in your field does not make you a good writer. I would say this: MOST experts should not even attempt to write their own articles, and many who have tried to do this eventually realized that writing is not their strong suit. Outsourced writing is the not same as outsourced ideas or thinking or intelligence.

There’s a reason some of us majored in writing.

I’m not a freelance writer nor do I provide outsourced writing services, but I wanted to jump in here because your statement as-is is completely off base.



Nick Kellingley writes:

I’m not sure I agree about MOST but I do agree that many experts in their field aren’t great writers.

I ghostwrite on occasion – I use the person I write for as my data source and then create for them something that they’re happy with.

And I charge a whole heck of a lot more than $1 an article too…


Janna Chan writes:

Thanks, Nick. I don’t think everyone has to be a great writer, but I do maintain that expertise consists partly of the ability to convey one’s thoughts to another in writing.

Thus anyone considered an “expert” on anything should be able to write a coherent 400-word article all by himself/herself. We’re not talking about creating the great American novel here – more like the capacity to pass English 101. This is just my opinion.

Also, I’m glad you make more than $1/hour. However, I think (I know) article directories bring down the wages of professional writers by providing a market for poorly-written $1/article content pieces.

Thus I think the Google slap will be a boon for writers because webmasters will have to pony up for well-written articles instead of trying to get by on outsourced drivel.


Nick Kellingley writes:

I agree that $1-$2 article writers drag rates down, I live and work in China and often find myself competing with fools who will write for peanuts for work.

Fortunately it doesn’t take long for folks to work out that their writing may be cheap, but it isn’t any good and devalues their brand. I then charge even more to fix the mess they leave behind than I would for having done the work in the first place – a neat win-win situation for me.

But I disagree that being an expert means being able to convey yourself in writing, I’ve met illiterate people all around the world who are complete experts in their fields and can’t write at all.

I have many English and American friends who can’t write for toffee either, but they’re all smart folks many of whom have made millions in their fields of operations (something I’m yet to do, despite being a half decent writer).

Writing is a skill. It’s one you can learn, but not one you need to learn if your time is better spent doing what you do, and it’s worth more than the money you pay a writer.

I won’t write on a subject I don’t research, and I’d never publish without an actual experts approval (what’s the point?). But I do write about topics I’m not an expert in, that’s my job – I’m a writing professional.


Janna Chan writes:

Thanks for your insights, Nick. I view expertise in intellectual terms but that’s clearly not the only way to look at it.


Nick Kellingley writes:

Before I came to China I was a training and development professional, my job has always been to communicate to others what some people find self-evident but hard to explain.

Expertise is intellectual, but communication skills don’t neccessarily go hand in hand with that intellectualism.

Some of the projects I’ve worked on have been enormously challenging – training 400 ESL speakers in the ins and outs of telecoms technology in Egypt for example. It meant changing my own communication style to reach my audience – not everyone can do that, not everyone needs to when someone will pay me to do it for them.

It’s that difference that makes the world go round for me.

And thank you Janna for a great discussion.


Janna Chan writes:

Likewise, Nick, regarding the interesting discussion. I, too, have lived and worked all over the world. It’s a funny place. Many of the experts I know work for peanuts while almost all millionaire net gurus seem like hacks who got into a new get-rich-quick business model at the right time.

Best, Janna


Janna Chan writes:

Thanks for your comments, Tia. I guess my post wasn’t very clear.

I wasn’t suggesting that article directories disallow the practice of hiring an English major to proofread work. I was referring to the type of outsourcing that includes finding someone else to think and come up with ideas for you because you don’t want to put words down on paper youself. That’s the type of outsourced work you usually find in article directories.

As such, I maintain that for every expert outsourcing content-creation because he/she is smart but can’t write for himself or herself, there are 550 people paying someone in a developing country $1/article so they can game the article submission system with mass submissions designed to make people look like experts.

Hence banning outsourcing would be a net gain for the article marketing model. However, I realize I’m suggesting something that’s more wishful thinking than anything else.




Scott Broadbent writes:

In a free market, of which this very much is, a professional will be paid as much as the market will pay him.

If he feels he should be paid more than he currently is, perhaps he has overvalued himself and therefore priced himself out of the market. Perhaps he should be writing for himself, and selling the product of his time, energy and knowledge to the market, for a price he feels entitled to charge, presuming of course anyone would buy it at his price.

There will be times when outsourced crap imports will flood the market, but the market eventually finds a way to correct itself, otherwise the market loses it’s value (of which Google is well aware of).

Anyone who outsources the writing for their niche should make sure to do sufficient quality control to ensure that they can stand by the work being produced, or otherwise suffer the consequences as your reputation gets ruined.


Janna Chan writes:

I agree. While Google was indexing garbage along with quality content, web masters didn’t see the need to pay a premium for good articles.

Now that the pendulum is swinging in the other direction, I think professional writers will be back in vogue.


Kathy writes:


The problem with banning outsourcing is that even if you could correctly identify the outsourced articles from the authentically written ones, you would be throwing out lots of high quality content that actually generates money for this site along with the garbage articles that you want to get rid of. You would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I can assure you that a lot of the revenue this site generates is from search engine traffic generated from outsourced professional writers that know how to write properly structured pages and properly titled pages for maximum ranking potential, maximum traffic and maximum click through.

That is certainly not something that would be in anyone’s best interest to prevent or discourage. It is not in the best interests of this website.

The problem here is with the review process alone. This website needs a complete overhaul and redesign of the way it determines article quality and acceptability. Crappy articles should not get published. Good articles should not get rejected. Only a person who knows the subject matter or the reader herself can really judge whether an article provides any benefit whatsoever. That is why you must have a review process that extracts truthful opinions from people who understand the subject matter and also extracts truthful opinions from people who read the articles.

Any other system is going to provide less than optimal results. The review process is the problem.

The current review process here has two major flaws.

1) It lets too much spam get through
2) It discourages some of the highest quality writers from publishing here because of its cookie cutter approach to determining quality. Too many good authors have their articles rejected insultingly because of something trivial that should not matter and does not really reflect quality.

Fix the review process. Scrap it and start over from scratch. Period.

P.S. Chistopher and Penny if you are still listening – Your comment captcha is still screwed up on this site as it has rejected three comments on me over the last two days. I am certain that I typed the captchas in correctly. Talk about frustrating – lose a comment after typing a nice long one out…Grrrrrrrr….


Janna Chan writes:


Thanks for your thoughts. We all have different views about the complex ethical issues surrounding outsourcing of any kind.

I only meant to reference the worst kind of outsourcing (e.g. paying someone a $1/hour to create garbage for search engines) in my original message. I think most people agree that kind of content benefits no one but webmasters trying to game the search engines.

About your other point regarding the quality of content on EzineArticles. In 2003, when I joined EzineArticles, I saw a lot of good stuff. Now I see virtually nothing but drivel.

It may be drivel with no spelling or grammar errors in it, but the information presented in almost all of the articles is so vague and/or convoluted it’s of no value to anyone.

Let me put it this way. I get great Excel tutorials from Ehow all the time. By contrast, does anyone ever visit EzineArticles to learn anything?

Only EzineArticles knows what’s really up, but my gut feeling is that the editors are doing their jobs.

Perhaps the problem is that EzineArticles no longer gets very many quality submissions from good writers because people who write well feel they get little benefit from submitting material to the site. Thus the editors publish the best articles they can find in a cruddy pile because they can’t reject everything.

In that case, fixing the editing process won’t help EzineArticles get its Google ranking back. Instead of worrying about things like no-follow links and word counts, EzineArticles needs to figure out how to get good writers back.

Again, the above is just my opinion based on what I’ve observed about the site over the years. I could be wrong about everything.

Best – Janna


I believe that fixing the editing process is the only thing that will help — and bring better authors. Currently, it is hard to get an article to stick because of the sheer numbers of poor articles that get approved. Those who write better articles don’t see the benefits that an article directory is supposed to provide for the hard work that they put in.

Putting tighter editorial controls will thin out the pile so that each article will have a better chance of exposure for a longer period.

This may not be the best for EzineArticles to make money as they’ll have less pages to get page views, but maybe it will bring more targeted, quality page views, especially if Google is tweaking its algorithms in that direction.

Maybe they need to restrict the number of articles that an author can post in a given time period in a given subject. I know that some people can crank an article every 10 minutes but is this the stuff that will make EzineArticles a success?


Kathy writes:


Your point about fixing the review process is dead on.

I disagree with tightening the editorial controls. Their current editorial control system has proven itself to be a broken model. By tightening the controls they will simply reject even more of the good articles which will discourage good writers even more. That is why so many better quality writers refuse to publish here now.

I look at it this way – Spammers will continue submitting articles regardless of how tight your controls are. However, people who write good content will quit submitting after a few rejections. You see, spammers have cheap ways of generating and submitting their crap. Real people doing this one at a time cannot afford to waste much time trying to get one article published here. The benefit of getting that article published here simply is not high enough.

So any controls that you put in place that make it harder for a good writer to get their stuff approved is self defeating. You will decrease your quality even more.

Some girl or guy getting paid to check links and look for certain keywords in some kind of assembly line manner is going to still let bad stuff in and keep good stuff out.

The current model this website uses to review articles is simply a faulty model. You cannot band aid it. You cannot tighten controls on it. You must scrap it and reinvent it. I don’t understand how people cannot see that.

The only real way of identifying truly valuable content is to extract the truth from the readers and other high quality writers. They are the only ones who know whether the content is good.

This seems like such a no brainer to me.


Janna Chan writes:

Thanks for the proverbial food for thought, Bill. Your logic is good. However, I don’t think improving the existing EzineArticles information dissemination model alone will bring good writers back at this point. It’s too simplistic, too dated, and too “something negative” for Google’s new algorithms to swallow.

Why put quality content on a low-ranked Adsense-drenched page here when you can set up an interactive Facebook account that builds a brand 100 times better?

Ehow and About.com pay writers for content. Not much, but enough to build content that’s good enough satisfy Google. EzineArticles may have to go that route if it wants to survive at all.

What’s needed here is a major change to a business model, not a long series of band-aids meant to staunch the bleeding.

Best – Janna


Lance Winslow writes:

Please let it be known that there are millions of dollars at stake here, it has been reported in the news that the parent company of eHow and others are attempting to do some big financial deals on Wall Street. The promotion of eHow on this blog is “HIGHLY SUSPECT” and I ask are these posts a recruitment play to suck good article authors from this website. Further, it has been reported on blogs, WSJ, and other places that eHow was hit too, big time. So, “Dear Wallstreet – stay away from any financial deals with eHow, it’s a dog right now” – Further, I am so utterly impressed with eHow, their submission system, and that whole website that I wouldn’t invest in it, if it were the last website on the Planet.

EzineArticles is so much better than eHow it’s not even funny, and to compare the two is a complete slap in the face to EzineArticles. It’s like comparing an Olympic Athlete to a high-school track runner who ditches practice and smokes pot behind the bleachers. I am sorry, but STOP TRASHING EzineArticles and promoting eHow.

EzineArticles will get through this and it will succeed with the article authors who care as part of their team – any article author that defects now, fine, get lost, because you are not a team player, that’s my opinion. If you want to win in life you need to stand for something. I stand behind EzineArticles. Stop trashing this great website.


Janna Chan writes:

Hello Lance,

I was about to say adieu to this blog because it’s taking up much of my time, but I’m glad I took a last look.

I know you have 20,000 plus articles at stake, but please get your facts straight before accusing me and anyone else busy intelligently comparing EzineArticles to its competitors of being part of a conspiracy theory.

What you’ve said constitutes slander as you can’t back it up. Fortunately it’s so silly I’m not concerned that anyone will take your post seriously.

Instead of posting whiny non-sensical rants, I’m being honest with EzineArticles because I think its management team is great, and I’d like them to find the proverbial Phoenix in the ashes. Google’s made it’s decision. Calling people traitors and just hoping everything will go back to normal won’t work this time.

If you’d taken the time to do any real reseach (or even read my other posts for that matter) about the subject in question you’d know that Ehow and About.com pay their writers. They don’t just publish material from anyone who can come up with a username and password.

And since they’ve virtually stopped taking applications for WRITING JOBS to my knowledge, there’s no chance EzineArticles writers will EVEN BE ABLE to migrate to Ehow or About.com in large numbers.

I also think your “conspiracy theory” information is coming from a suspect source. Today the Wall Street Journal reported that Ehow has jumped in Google’s rankings even though the quality of its content appears inferior to that of sites that have been dinged by Google’s new algorithm.

If Rupert Murdoch (the owner of the WSJ) wanted to buy Ehow.com at a low price, I think he’d contrive an article about how the site is failing, not how great it’s doing.

So no, I’m not an Ehow spy. I’ve simply implied strongly that Ehow and About.com are superior to EzineArticles right now because they provide helpful information on real subjects such as using Microsoft Excel and Publisher. By contrast the vague unresearched info reflected in your post is reflective of the content of many of EZA’s articles, unfortunately.

If you disagree, find some concrete evidence to back up your claims, please.

And don’t worry. Much as I’ve enjoyed the great opportunity Chris et al have provided to weigh in on some interesting issues, I do have some other things to do. So I will fade away giving you the chance to save face by claiming that I was a spy after all.



Lance Winslow writes:

I think eHow is a worthless site, that’s my opinion. Why are you vehemently defending them and promoting them on this blog, makes no sense, and is highly suspect. I suspect there is more to it than that. I am very suspicious of this due to the major money behind eHow, I don’t like anything about that site at all. I too take the Wall Street Journal and read it every day as it arrives at 3 AM my time in California. I have two file boxes here filled with articles I’ve clipped from the WSJ from geo-politics to economic happenings in Asia, which I often reference in my own articles.

eHow is not superior to EzineArticles in my opinion. About.com is okay, but I have been underwhelmed in many of the folks who write for them, and I had taken many of their online newsletters in various categories, but subsequently now de-subscribed. I find the information often trivial in many of the industries, stuff anyone in the sector knows, and it is just obvious. I don’t like it. I do not find those sites superior to EzineArticles. And there are tons of articles here on Microsoft Excel and Publisher here too. Along with every category they have, and a lot more of them too.

When it comes to About.com and my assessment of the categories I used to subscribe to, I found their category on Franchising and the author limited in knowledge, scope, and not aware of both sides of the coin in the franchisee/franchisor relationship. I don’t think I’d brag about that site, I am unimpressed, completely underwhelmed in every regard.

As far as I am concerned eHow has not impressed me either, and I was rather upset with today’s WSJ article “Google Reorders Web’s Winners” by Amir Efarti, which mentioned EzineArticles when it stated this site has everything from “erectile dysfunction to how to fix leaky faucets” as a relevant description of this site. OBVIOUSLY – the author doesn’t know jack about this site which has 700 categories ranging from “Future Concepts to Articles on Education” because that’s the EzineArticles I know, and YES, I ought to know, having some, I lost count now, thousand articles here. So, I’d say my observation counts for something.

To suggest EzineArticles is trying to rise from the dead is really pushing the limits of reality, considering my traffic here is already up to almost 65% of what it was the day it dropped off the cliff when Google did the reset. I’d say everyone needs to hold tight on condemning this site.

But thanks for you concern anyway.


There are lots of different areas that articles can be posted to, including Facebook, your own blogs, guest posting on other blogs, etc.

However, the thing that I like about article directories is that it gives the article a chance to be syndicated in other areas. This can increase your exposure as well as building positive SEO.

There are also less hassles than you would have to deal with if you published them yourself.

However, the current state of EzineArticles and other article directories makes the content that we work hard on difficult to find. With stricter controls there will be less competition and the overall quality improving. It seems that Google is still able to pull the good articles out of the article directories, so eliminating the poor articles should increase the overall credibility in the long run.

I don’t think there are any easy answers though since the internet continually evolves and presents new challenges.


Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed, yes, it does appear that Google is able to pull the good articles out of crappy 3rd rate article directory websites.

In searching many of my own titles as a sample, I’ve been able to find them around the internet. It also appears that Google is able to skip certain categories of articles here as well. I am beginning to think it’s not an algorithm at all good is using rather an artificial intelligent decision matrix software and they are re-combing all the article directory websites and putting the good content back in. Meaning this site being so huge will take awhile, and then they are further refining their system.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Google has one employee just assigned to this website during this change. It’s not a single algorithm, no way, their sifting process is far too good for that. I think there is much more to it. And I’d stand to wager that I personally will significantly benefit from all of this. Along with the other article authors who are extremely efficient, and write the best and most informative articles.

And once again, I bet on EzineArticles, because, I am quite certain with a few tweaks here, and the completion of Google’s first round of changes here, this website will become a winner.


Nick Kellingley writes:

I think e-zines, e-how and about are all reasonably different sites.

I like the layout of e-how much more than the others but I find the content a bit limited.

About is awful – I can’t believe they pay for content most of it is really badly written and the layout is the worst of the three.

I’ll keep writing for e-zine though, it gives me the results I want. And there’s a lot of high quality stuff outside of the SPAM niches – though let’s be fair there’s some real junk too.

I’m hoping this latest quality drive will make a big difference in results for the future too.


Mellissa writes:

I’m OK with the changes about the Deadlink / Link Diagnostic Center, but I keep having the same problem over and over:

When I have a deadlink and I change it, many times I receive a message from the Editorial Team sugesting that the Title exedes the minimun required character Number.

The think is that most times the Title doesn’t exedes the 100 character minimun (the proof is that they were approved under the same rule)…

But even more shocking is that fact that they tell you to fix the title when the reality that the system doesn’t allow you to do it.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 1:59 AM


Ezines Writer writes:

I agree with the above post. I have made titles many times, and when the character count is anything from 98 to 100 itself; it will come back saying that there is an error or the title is too long and to fix it.

I hope that EzineArticles can address the issue with that, but I think that’s simply an interface issue? Or, if the issue is not resolved, does it mean that you really don’t accept 100 characters?


Mellissa and Ezines Writer,

The title character limit is 100. I’ll pass this along to our developers to troubleshoot it.


James Martell writes:

I feel the post at SearchEngineWatch.com quoting Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal saying:

“The change announcement by Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal included “Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking–a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries–and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites–sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites–sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”.

The above quote pretty much sums it up when talking about these recent improvements…”it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites–sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”.

The statement that kicked of this thread says “We are not stating anything new when we say that quality matters in your articles.”

The article directories should have been all over this from the start. They had a good thing going, but they let the quality slip way below where it should have been. Way below.

I feel bad for all of the people that got sucked into mass creating content for FREE for someone else’s website. If they would have placed real content on their own sites and then gathered in some real backlinks all would be good.

As the headline for this posts states “Quality Matters”.

No shit Batman.


PS – Here’s a link to the SearchEngineWatch.com article:

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 2:13 AM


No doubt James that we let quality slip too far… and thus, the over-correction that is happening… to ensure the content that we accept is USEFUL, relevant, quality, and delivers value.

As for our members: We delivered them and continue to delivery millions of visitors who discovered their articles here and wanted to find out more about them on their own website.

The point of the EzineArticles platform is to help give a voice for experts in all walks of life to share their expertise, gain market credibility, build a platform of their own, gain media exposure and more.

While other article directories may wither from this update, I expect EzineArticles will survive, thrive and become an even better platform because of these changes.


Melissa writes:

Your filter is backwards. You are supposed to keep the GOOD authors, and QUALITY content. You’re banning the good authors, penalizing them the most, and are kicking the potential one’s around.

What’s left, after every crackdown you do, is just pure junk. We really get to see what you consider “quality” to be, and what REAL junk you are passing through when you get harsh with good authors. I can give you link after link of articles that are not even beyond 280 words, and offer the MOST derivative content ever, and were approved in the last day.

Funny what shows up when your supposed “improvements” are implemented…all that I see whenever you do this, is a huge lack of competition in heavy niches, BUT all that’s left are really, EXTREMELY poor articles. Funny that’s what is left when you crack down.

Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Honestly speaking.

A REALLY good example of what is left in a heavy niche now is the following author (be sure to check out ALL of her articles):


This person barely makes the MINIMUM word count, and has been regularly submitting, and getting through. They are a platinum author still, funny eh? OH, and guess where this gem was found? Sitting on the front page of their lovely niches, because you took away the GOOD authors.

I wonder if this girl is your DAUGHTER, because only someone who PERSONALLY knows an employee of EzineArticles could get away with this crap. Is this what you call QUALITY content? Is THIS a good author to you? Is THIS what EzineArticles wants?

COME ON! I am about ready to hit my head against a wall here. Some writers try so hard with their content and tips, and make immense efforts to increase the content they offer in word count, complexity/explanation, and all kinds of things.

There is no way you can tell me that this author’s 250 word articles are extremely well written, informative, and are not derivative.

Not only this, but you consistently let this author through. I can show you plenty more examples of other authors. I am not trying to specifically pick on this author, but really, there is NOT ONE article I can click on where I can say it meets the standards you claim to implement, nor the quality, nor the content originality.

Nothing here goes. It’s like playing Russian roulette with you guys trying to figure out if our content is what you want, or not; because you have no clear set guidelines for anyone at all. I’d really like to SEE you explain this one, or even try to justify that?

I’d like to see what solution you have to offer to the fact that when you do these crackdowns oddly enough, the content that is left and isn’t filtered is this type of content? Where is the real clarity here? Honestly?

I am extremely frustrated with your editorial team at this time; and I know I am not alone. I do not believe you address to the Google problem was clear enough for authors in the end, when the content which is left over after your ‘filter’ is exactly what Google hates.


Kathy writes:

Outstanding and spot on!

Extremely frustrating when you have a great article that gets rejected because of some company protocol that is utterly absurd.


James Martell writes:

You said “I expect EzineArticles will survive, thrive and become an even better platform because of these changes.” I agree.

The one thing I have always though above EzineArticles is that the articles are a little thin.

The Internet is loaded with articles that are simply rehashed content from other sites. Many do not even share a person’s name or place.

I remind students of my trainings that a real article, one you would see in a newspaper, magazine or print publication is a story about something that has happened or about to happen.

The usual 5w’s. The who, what, where, why and when. There’s too many articles that miss a lot of this.

Good luck with your recovery.



Nick Kellingley writes:

“The one thing I have always though above EzineArticles is that the articles are a little thin.”

I figure that it’s unlikely I’d pay for writing tuition from somone who actually posted this comment.

You appear to have journalism confused with factual article creation. The writing styles are very different, and your 5 w’s rarely appear in “how to” articles simply because they are page fill for thin articles trying to bulk up the word count.


Janna Chan writes:


Other issues aside, kudos for personally handling a crisis so graciously and effectively.


Gregory Wight writes:

I mentioned on another post that Google claimed that duplicate content was not a penalty unless it was found on more than one page of a site. In other words that if you have content on your site and it is on other sites you would not be penalized. This is rubbish.

Google has penalized one of my sites that has ranked 4 for over one and a half years and dropped it to a 3. The only changes that are on the site is one new author that publishes on over 30 other sites by spinning the articles (a little).

I am now dropping the author and his content to see if that will raise the ranking back to a 4 when they (Google) rolls out new changes.

This is not the last change for Google and we can expect even bigger changes, but remember that Google is driven by advertising income and profit. If they allow their profit index to cloud their judgment and user performance then they will continue to lose profits and traffic.

Facebook has eaten into their traffic a little, but more importantly it has eaten into their advertising profits. More people are spending more of their time on Social Media sites and less time searching on Google, and while on Facebook they are clicking the ads.

I do not know how this will all play out but by keeping quality of content foremost, EzineArticles will continue to be on top.



Thank you Ezine.

This will truly help us sharing quality articles online.

Ezine’s truly the best!

A blessed afternoon.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 2:26 AM



Thank you, Ma’am.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 2:28 AM


Ann writes:

I think we all agree about the fact that quality matters.

The problem with this Basic vs Platinum system is that once authors have the Platinum status they start doing quantity and many times quality is no longer the main focus.

Publishing 10 (or 20, or 50) articles on the same topic targeting the same keywords is not quality, even if the articles are spelled correctly and the grammar is correct, too. It is spamming and this is why EzineArticles could be viewed by Google as a content farm just like eHow.

You might want to think about it if you really want to improve the quality of your content. I think this is much more of a concern than a few spelling errors in a 500 word article.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 3:54 AM


Ezines Writer writes:

Others have already discussed keywords in the other blog post; wherein it was mentioned that sometimes there are only so many ways to say a certain thing.

In the end, do you want to have to use terms that few or no person would understand what it even means? Clearly the main issue for most was the huge traffic loss, and ranking drops.

Had that not happened, would there have been an issue to begin with? NO. I do not see how taking away an authors rights to use the ‘same’ keyword, therefore is a correct move.

It is possible for one author to have one topic, and to produce 50 completely different articles on it. When I say different, I mean each of them attacks a difference stance, different tips, and presents new ideas.

I can see why it is that you may not come across such an author or articles very often, but I have (and I am not just talking about myself here, I have found other very capable writers on EzineArticles).

EzineArticles did attack the issue you suggest, which is more so derivative content: having the same tips over and over, by cracking down on it. They addressed it more than ever once again in the post above as well, that their rejection rate will increase for articles that spawn out ‘typical’ material.

I don’t think that banning or disallowing words, be they keywords or not is the way to go about getting rid of duplicate content, or derivative content. Remember that there is already a keyword limit in titles and in the articles.

Perhaps EzineArticles could however re-evaluate the keyword limit again, to help prevent authors from simply writing articles that attempt to target the SERPS with what looks like a strong emphasis on the keywords, instead of on the content itself.

But that’s the issue of EzineArticles evaluating it, in which case they may in the future; but I still stand by the idea that it is possible for writers to use keywords effectively and to write as many articles as they want to on a subject. It’s not like you will find 50 of an author’s articles all ranked for the same keyword on Google under EzineArticles anyway.

Thus, I don’t think their purpose is solely to reduce quality; but rather to expand on their vertical or niche. If EzineArticles starts taking away the rights of authors to write in Niches again, well, hands will fly up in the air again.


Jeff Stevens writes:

I think this is further evidence that the internet is growing up.

I’ve always contended that even though most of us have been online for well over a decade (some, longer) that the Web is still an infant as far as what it is going to be someday.

The “wild wild west” days of just throwing up content and having people go to it simply because it’s online are morphing.

The “wild wild west” days of stuffing keywords into a site, blog post, or article just to rank it are morphing.

What I think were morphing into is relevance and value.

Not that Ezine hasn’t always preached those 2 elements, but I think that now in 2011 and beyond, they become even more critical.

I for one support rewarding the legitimate authors and punishing the people that don’t provide real value.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 6:01 AM


Gregory Wight writes:

This is much more than simply Internet morphing, and it is less about content than about money.

Google is losing traffic. Not because they are adding advertising, but because more people are spending their online tine on Facebook and Twitter. It all adds up.

There may be more and more people online everyday but there are also more and more people spending more time on Facebook and Social Media sites. This is why Facebook advertising has grown to be so lucrative, and the costs to advertise have also increased.

What Google is doing is trying to recapture some of the traffic it is losing to the social media sites and the advertising revenue that has dropped exponentially.

We will see how these recent changes affects the users. If the users are sent to sites that are not reflective of their searches then Google will lose out even more to other Search Engines that want the traffic.


I agree Gregory!

That’s why we have to be CERTAIN that when our QC editor clicks APPROVE and every single time we publish an article, we need to have a higher feeling of certainty that we will make the search engines look good for having referred their traffic to us and our author.


Jeff Stevens writes:

Since Chris and Penny are monitoring this blog, I’d like to ask them a question that has concerned me for a little while, but especially now with the new rules.

Specifically, how will you determine the value of similar articles?

My niche is dating and an article targeted at a guy trying to stop being shy and another article targeted at a guy that is sick of being the “nice guy” are 2 separate articles with 2 separate sets of keywords but the articles will be similar in voice, because I know what I know regarding my niche and there might be some cross pollination of advice in each article.

Now, I do sit down and write a fresh article for each key word (or phrase) but ultimately my principles are weaved through each article so if you viewed my body of work you might think I was re-writing tired content, but I am not. Each article is a creation unto itself.

However, just like the financial adviser that believes bonds is the way to successful investing, I have certain beliefs that are universal to me in my niche, so just as you might see bonds mentioned in several of the adviser’s articles, you’ll see similar principles weaved through mine.

My main concern is someone will look through my 100+ articles and say, “well he mentions so and so thing in a lot of his articles, he must be just copying stuff to rank for keywords, let’s delete 50 of them.”

Just like the financial adviser that might weave bond strategy through his articles, I weave my strategy through mine but I absolutely do write a fresh article for each article title (takes me about 30-45 minutes to create one).

What is your take on that? I’m sure a lot of authors that write in the same niche are in the same boat I am.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 6:27 AM


I’ll let Penny also respond if she has time.

Your topical area is currently targeted for a tighter set of standards. I know that’s probably unfair, but if you write in an area that has a lot of spammy content, then you know the risks.

Jeff… several hundred thousand articles are at risk for this very issue. It’s one we’re not going to tackle lightly nor in this blog comment or post.

I just looked at another dating author who wrote 100 articles on ‘how to get your ex back’ and that welcome mat has been exhausted. We will most likely stop accepting derivative content if you don’t find a way to say something new.

If you want to say the same thing 100 different ways, we are at odds but if you want to say something uniquely different in 100 articles, we’re open to that. You might have a core set of philosophies or strategies that you teach but if every article is a rehash of another article; we’re at a dead end.


Edward Weiss writes:

You said it friend … a dead end. I’m the preeminent expert in what I do. And I pretty much operate the way Jeff does.

What do you think most of your ‘authors’ do? They target keywords they think will get picked up by Big Giggy and write their articles accordingly. Do you actually believe most here research the topic before writing about it?

Nope. Most probably do what I do and freewrite according to the title of the article. This results in articles that are ‘different’ but somewhat similar in nature.

If you refuse this type of article, you will lose a lot of authors here.


Paul writes:

IMHO, EzineArticles has unwittingly fostered the “say the same thing 100 different ways” approach. But there is a bigger problem here and at any other article/content site. Articles written by people who probably know nothing about the niche they are writing about.

You can spot them easily by their titles because they contain these telltale phrases:
– A Few Facts About …
– Significance of …
– Details About …
– Essential Things About …
– The Best Types of …
– Historical Facts About …
and many more.

Do you ever see that kind of banality anywhere in professional print or media? Doubtful.

The body of the articles is also a let down. Rarely are the “things” essentially the best details but instead they deliver insignificant historical facts.

I just picked the first author from the home page of EzineArticles. He has submitted articles into 20 different categories — anywhere from 30 to over 300 articles per topic. Judging from his writing, he is far from being an expert in ANY of these topics. He’s probably getting paid to churn out these articles for someone else. And the company who pays him doesn’t care how stupid it makes them look.

I realize that weeding out this type of article would require your editors to become more subjective but that is what’s needed to boost your quality. Longer article body text will not solve this problem.

The reality is not everyone can write well. It’s hard enough when you know your topic. The vast majority of content on the web is barely first draft quality written at 5th grade level.

Quality writing means that the medium does not get in the way of the message. Properly edited drafts are able to achieve this quality. The author who writes an article for $2-$7 for someone else doesn’t care a whit about any of this.

Here is a link to the author if you’re interested:


Scott Broadbent writes:

“I realize that weeding out this type of article would require your editors to become more subjective but that is what’s needed to boost your quality. Longer article body text will not solve this problem.”

Weeding out those type of articles would also require the editors to have some familiarity with the subject matter at hand. I likewise agree that longer article body text won’t solve the problem.


What kind of background do the editors have with regards to how they are reviewing articles? Are editors assigned to specific niches they might have a knowledge about to make the kind of decisions as to whether the author even knows what he’s talking about? or do they just grab work from the queue on a first come basis?

There are advantages and disadvantages to the format. On the one hand, it gives anyone the ability to write an article who can follow the guidelines, on the other hand you can’t guarantee you’ll get quality content as a result.

Finally, you weren’t kidding that review time would increase. I have 32 articles all sitting in the stage 3 queue (Pending Quality Control Review), and haven’t had one go live since yesterday (and it was only a small percentage no less).

Last suggestion I have is that the categories and sub-categories need some description to explain what that sub-category was meant for. As an example, by looking at the articles posted in the Relationships:Conflict category, “conflict” is all about getting your ex back, which makes no sense… and I’ve yet to figure out what it’s intended for.

It should be noted, I’m likewise in one of the categories that will apparently be targeted for a higher set of standards. It would be about time, as there is no way a reasonable person can write as many articles as it takes to move to the top of the rankings without doing article spinning (one reason I’ve broadened out from my original niche of Online Dating).


Melissa writes:

To the poster above….you say that no one can reasonably produce the amount of content they need to get ranked, in terms of quantity, without resorting to article spinning in the end.

It’s called: hiring writers. AND NO, these writers do NOT spin. I have written for others who have hired me for content, and was able to write more than 25 per day. I am being modest here.

But there is a HUGE misconception in terms of quantity and people’s ability to produce it adequately. I hear lots of people talk about how it’s impossible to write so many good articles in one day, and that a person would only write poor quality the more they wrote.

This is untrue. If this thing were really true, we should say that halfway through the day, EzineArticles editors would get tired and work poorly; or that Surgeons get tired and cut the wrong places etc….

An EXPERIENCED and CONSISTENT author can write quality content frequently, without having to resort to a spinner; or if they find it to be too burdensome, they can hire other writers as well.

There are authors on Ezines who have 5000+ articles. One author has 22,000 articles.

Who is going to sit and spin 22,000 articles too? Any time a person wants lots of content it’s going to take a lot of work and time, end of story.

Sure some people do spin, or try to, but even that in itself is not always so simple nor easy either, and I just don’t think you have ever seen a writer who was able to write tons of articles over and over…. as many people may give up and resort to lazier options like spinning.

On the other hand I COMPLETELY agree with your stance about editors being inexperienced or not knowledgeable to even gauge or judge what quality content is in niches.

It’s not like they are experts in niches, they are simply editors. Their niche is editing. Thus, I don’t see how it’s fair to even have editors judge whether or not someone is failing in a niche or whether or not an account should be suspended for writing on the same keyword or topic consistently.

I would think it’s fair for them to gauge derivative content, because that IS something an editor can notice, if they are actually reading and watching all of the articles that are submitted….they’d be able to pick up on content which really is just spun over again, or content which is derivative.

However, people writing on “how to get your ex back” that phrase alone, to me, is not derivative….because there are so many things that can fall into the article itself for tips, suggestions, plans, all kinds of things.

In that area, I’d say it would only be fair to kick people out of that niche, if you actually had an expert look it over. Which I do not see happening. Why would Ezines invest in that, when they can just pick and choose instead? Hey, that’s more fun to play duck, duck, goose with authors in their own niches, and say hey…you’re the goose, now run around, and we’ll ban you!


Scott Broadbent writes:

Even when you hire authors to write content for you, you can run into a situation where one article while varying in some respects to another, is simply a variation on a idea, and have nothing particular original or unique.

Perhaps I have a higher standard when it comes to what is original or unique (or beneficial to readers).

I was perhaps harsh in my statement of ‘no way a reasonable person can write as many articles…’ as I know there are some authors who do produce quality content or have it produced for them. If it matters, Sean Mize who is the top author has been like a mentor in my time here, particularly because I know he knows what he’s talking about, and encourages his clients to produce quality content.

There’s just a large number of authors out there who, as people have complained about, seem to produce a lot of poor quality content.


stephanie Fox writes:

Hi All

I agree with the 400 minimum word article submission, because I have seen articles on here as little as 200 words! That’s a twitter post not an article. So I welcome the new changes on here! Thankyou ;)

P.s. If it was my way I would make it 500!!!

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 6:42 AM


Jan Chilton writes:

Here is an article pertaining to real estate sites that is very interesting about what we are seeing with duplicate content from the sites that are making static pages of the MLS listings. They are almost always duplicates of the national board of Realtors, (realtor.com) and the local MLS board. Look what they are seeing with it and with “branding”. It will only be available to read free for about 48 hours.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 7:20 AM


Rebecca writes:

I agree with the 400 word minimum. Even blog posts are at least 400 words (sometimes 350). As a freelance writer, I write on a variety of topics because I want to show my range as a writer. It’s important for me to submit articles that are ‘high’ quality, otherwise it will hurt my credibility.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 9:12 AM


Gerald McConway writes:

I am more disappointed about not having received a bit more notice. My article writing company specializes in EzineArticles and we probably have well over 100 articles in the loop that will not be accepted because of the word count.

We are adding the extra 100 words to our clients articles complimentary versus dealing with the mess of figuring out the upcharge, but the short notice, in my opinion, was very unprofessional. It would have helped quite a bit to give us a 7-day warning.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 10:12 AM


Sorry Gerald.

There may be a day when our highest level membership may be allowed to submit 250-400 word articles but we haven’t released any details about that yet. Just thinking about it.

We drilled hard into the data and the spammiest content is under 399 words. It’s just the way it is. I know I’ve seen articles in the 250-399 word count that I’ve been impressed with, but that is RARE.


Gerald McConway writes:

I agree 100% with the 400 word limit, it only helps my business. My point was that it would have been nice to have more notice in regard to the implementation of the new rule.

Fixing the articles that we have is going to cost us at least two days of work with no income. My point was that if we had more warning regarding the change, we would have been able to submit all articles already completed and moved forward from there. As it is, my writers and I are spending the next two days emailing clients that 300 words is no longer an option and adding 100 words to the articles that I was expecting to be able to submit today.

I am pretty sure that my company is not the only one scrambling because of this.


Scott Broadbent writes:

Since you keep track of information such as Click Rate, # of views, comments, etc, I would be curious on knowing what size of articles gets the most results.

As an example, OK Trends, the blog of okcupid dating site (http://blog.okcupid.com/) goes through a lot of statistical calculations to see what works and what doesn’t for different users.

What I’d like to see is a break down by article size which generate the most in the various categories (URL Clicks, ezinepublisher, comments, views, etc).

Break it down by word count such as every 50 words (250-299, 300-349,350-399, etc, and let’s really see what article size works the best.

Do you actually have hard data that 400+ articles perform better than sub 400 articles, or are you hiding behind the claim that the most spammy articles are sub 400 words?

EzineArticles could use a (better) user feedback mechanism. Take a look at Slashdot where users can rate other users comments (but you apply this to articles). Users can rate articles on a scale from -1 to 5 (yes, that’s negative 1) and tag the content such as informative, insightful, boring, funny, spam, etc).

Then you’d have a powerful tool to rate authors by, and so instead of ranking authors by number of articles produced, which only encourages article spam, you rank them by the quality of the content they produce.

Perhaps this is too simple a solution to the problem…

Spam and low rated articles would then sink to the bottom, promoting quality content.


One thing that I don’t understand (and I’ve seen it asked elsewhere in the comments) is why there needs to be any limitation on the size of articles?

If the editorial process is in place then poor quality articles of any length shouldn’t make the cut.

The only reason I can see for a minimum word count is to keep the link density within a range that the SE’s like.


Henrik Blunck writes:

Thank you very much for clarifying these optimized rules. As a Premium member with approximately 250 articles published I am happy you are focusing on maintaining high standards.

Anything other than that would invalidate the work we have already done, so this is truly much appreciated.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 10:43 AM


Melissa writes:

Does this mean that everyone will be suspended, or that everyone will have to go through the process that you described, so that everyone who submits now will have to go through the process? It would be FAIR to put everyone through that process, but I doubt with my experience that EzineArticles will do such.

Also, you haven’t clearly defined what quality content is at this point and time, according to you NOW. Who is deciding what quality content is here? I see lots of different opinions and views in the comments as to what could be quality and what could not be quality.

You also talked about admonishing authors who choose to write on something like Phone Search. I am not sure how it’s fair to assume that every single article written on that subject will be of poor quality; or that it’s fair to even say that articles written on that subject are derivative.

IF, the article’s sole purpose was to drive the reader to click their author box in such an obvious and too sales strong manner, then I would understand. However, looking over that niche, I do not see that it’s even always the case.

What about articles that offer general tips (tips that don’t even specifically just concentrate on phone search)? There is still a lot here that is not clear, but should be made clear. ALSO, why do you approve articles and then place authors and accounts into a problem status or suspended account state after the fact?

It makes no sense to see articles being approved THEN to have the account suspended. I have had personal experience with this in the past, the last time you did your supposed crackdown. I wrote quality articles, they were approved each and every single time.

YET, you’re writers would put me back into the basic plus again and again. Also, they didn’t offer any insight into how I could improve, except telling me that I was no longer allowed to write in any of MY niches, because basically your editors are unable to adequately weed through or read articles in verticals, so you ban the entire topic or subject?

I found this to be extremely unfair, especially when you kept on approving my articles, everything went through fine. It’s really discouraging to see everything go through, and know it’s fine, and know it’s good; and to have your editors come back and say that my writing is still not up to par? On what basis?

Sometimes I feel like EzineArticles just picks on authors who submit more, or authors who are more prominent; especially in hot niches. I say this from the experience I describe, where you can’t tell me anything that I can improve, because basically I meet your guidelines; yet won’t let me pass forward anyway, just because.

I am POSITIVE that there are other authors out there experiencing this now. If you head over to the WarriorForum or other internet marketing forums and look over the last crackdown, you’ll find authors who are saying their content was easily approved, no problems. But they were small time authors.

Then you find the big time authors who have quite a different story to tell. I am just saying it should be even across the board. Don’t pick on the guys who are the big shots only, because THOSE people are trying the hardest, and are willing to improve more than anyone else. YET, you hit them first, and the most; in an unfair fashion to boot.

I would suggest that your editors get MORE clarity. How about, INSTEAD of accepting articles and suspending people, maybe you should stop it where the problem starts and let the authors know. Just cutting everything off and getting a notice that my account isn’t in a good standing is disheartening.

Exaggeration, but you’re lucky people haven’t had a heart attack from this, or an extreme panic attack….to go in and see everything is fine, and then get a slap on the face out of nowhere, without explanation.

P.S. Why do we have to email you to find out what is wrong? Maybe when you say something is wrong, you could let us know. I mean you are clearly looking at the accounts here.

Do we really have to come and email you about it and ask? Honestly. Isn’t that just obvious? Why not, then adapt a system where you give REASONS and ANSWERS UPON suspension, the sort of USEFUL ultimatum.

It’s not useful for ANYONE to log in and see things suspended without answers. That just makes everyone freak out even more. I don’t suppose you want your authors whining and freaking out as I just did here, do you?

Fix it.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM


Derp writes:

Seems to be another over-correction. Already seeing people saying that otherwise good articles are not being approved now. While that is the point, traffic is going to drop even further as a result of this correction, no? I suppose you’ll have to find the sweet spot, but I don’t think EzineArticles will ever be the same. I think a TON of writers are going to leave ( because most people aren’t even capable of writing well to begin with ) and EzineArticles pays its employees with adsense, as we all know. A 35% decrease is a massive drop. I see some layoffs in the next few months, unless they can gain their authority back quickly.

On the other hand, many people are happy to see this slap. No longer do we have to see 250 word ezines ranking above our quality, content-filled sites.

In any event, if people are still relying on EzineArticles this much to generate traffic and/or build their business, then this drop in traffic is the best thing that could ever happen to you. If you know anything about real SEO, EzineArticles makes up a tiny fraction of what you should actually be doing to drive traffic to your site. Basing your business off of another business thats business is based on how another business perceives its business is not a good idea!

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 11:51 AM



If those people who say their good articles didn’t get approved now disagree with us, then they should email us to find out why.

I can’t guarantee they will like what they hear or if we will be able to respond because many write articles about specific topics/products/concepts that we currently ban but don’t share publicly.

I do agree that no one should build their business alone on EzineArticles. That would be crazy-talk. Instead, we are just one tool you can use to help build your traffic and market credibility.


Lance Winslow writes:

Derp, I must say that was indeed an interesting point about traffic quantity to boost traffic VS. quality to boost search engine rank to ensure traffic. Still, I guess the right ratio of quality, and type of content vs. quantity is paramount. And I have no doubt that some authors might leave or become unsure of what to do now, or leave because they were big abusers – but, I am pretty proud of EzineArticles for getting out here and tackling this problem.

I did talk to Chris via the email system back a couple of months ago, as there was a bit of buzz around the Internet that this was coming forth. They have been on top of this all along, simply waiting to see what Google would actually due as opposed to the massive speculation. New they know, and EzineArticles has an abundance of data so they will be much better at figuring out a solution than anyone else in this online article sector.

Believe me EzineArticles Teams kicks butt, and they’ll figure this out, make some adjustments, and this is merely a speed bump in the long run. EzineArticles is a long-term company, I’ve been here since 2005. The best thing us authors can do is to listen, work on our own mirrors, and go with the winning team. In fact, I’d say that’s why we are all here right? Sure it is EzineArticles is number one. Let’s work together, we can all handle these challenges. We are all on the same Aircraft Carrier after all.


Derp writes:

I don’t think the affects of this slaughter will be over for at least 6-12 months. That is, it will likely take EzineArticles that long to begin rebuilding its authority. (maybe not, what do I know?)

I think the real issue here are the editors. They have no real incentive to ensure that only the highest quality content is published. Of course, they have their paychecks, but if you’re reading hundreds of articles a day, and really have no incentive other than keeping your job, what do you have to gain, really? Not much. I doubt they care much if EzineArticles regains its authority.

I think Chris made some good first steps, but I also think that the editors need to be kept VERY happy. After all, they’re the ones pressing that accept button.

The bottom line: this is going to be a very painful transition for all involved.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 1:58 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Okay, I understand your concerns, however it has been my experience here, since 2005 that poor editors don’t last long, and good ones have many years of seniority now. And yes, even someone like me who has written 22,600 articles gets a few rejections from time-to-time; titles not acceptable, too controversial of political content, etc.

The editors here, are quite genuine, they are real people, they really care, and it’s a pretty strong team. And when I say that, I come from a background of founding and running a franchising company which served some 450 cities in 23-states. It’s hard to develop a team as strong as EzineArticles has. And this isn’t the first speed bump in the road. Chris is not a quitter, and his team is from Milwaukee – hint; they won the Super Bowl.

So, yes, everything is a challenge when the game gets changed and someone steals the cheese, but hey, that’s the nature of the Internet right? So, I agree Chris has jumped on this like any true entreprenuerial and executive warrior would have. I would have, but I’m retired. I say we all support Team EzineArticles, and let’s win back-to-back Super Bowls. Adversity builds character, the EzineArticles team already has character – imagine what they will be like once they work through this – UNSTOPPABLE!

I only bet on winners, I only post my articles here, and I’ve been rewarded with high-quality targeted traffic, and at my Think Tank we are looking for high IQ innovators. I’ve been finding them, and this has been the best way. I am a believer BIG TIME. Let’s win together. We can do this.



While we’re on the subject of changes to article guidelines, would it be possible to allow the use of strong, em and the h2 through h6 tags? I can understand the need to avoid overuse of these tags so a limit similar to 1 h2 tag per 100 words might be sensible.

I like to use strong vs b and em vs i in my markup so having to recode them every time I submit an article is a pain. Also, converting all my subtitles from h2 to a paragraph with bold …

This would make it easier for the search engines to get a feel for the content as well, part of what the h tags are used for. I’ve never fully understood why they are not allowed when the editorial process can be used to screen abuses.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM


Dan writes:

Over the years, I have had to shorten my articles from their original 450+ words down to about 300-325 because the increased ads on the site.

Whenever I wrote longer articles which were filled with more tips and better content, I typically lost a good percentage of click throughs because the readers were getting lost with all the ads.

You can have whatever word count you want, but keep in mind that many are using the site for traffic and exposure. If you compete with the reader’s attention too much, authors are going to do the bare minimum or whatever is practical to increase clicks. In any case whether the minimum is 250 words or 1000 words, it will be to shorten the articles to get more clicks.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 5:44 PM


Andrew writes:

Make the word count 340 minimum. 400 is too strict and 300 too low so set the gold standard at 340 Learn to compromise guys and find middle ground. I know what Im taling about.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 6:32 PM


Shira writes:

Although this is short notice, I can see how the quality must be improved to remain a viable article directory with Google.
I hope that you guys at EzineArticles will provide an additional means of training to fast track authors that are stuck at basic plus level.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM


QuickBooks Help writes:

I am one of those authors who can write a great article in under 400 words. I hope that Platinum level authors are given more latitude in the future. This is one of my all time top articles here and it’s 255 words:


I remember quite clearly having to ADD words to meet the minimum count at that time, which was 250 words! Please reconsider the minimum word count for authors who earn your trust.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 10:28 PM


Dear QuickBooks Help person,

Even before reading your comment, I did not trust what you were about to say because you proved that you are ONLY here for SEO.

Look at your anchor words “QuickBooks Help” used instead of your name in your comment.

This is a business/professional industry discussion. If you and others here want to be taken seriously, you need to use your NAME as the link instead of a keyword stuffed thing.

To assist you:

Please see #5. Thanks! :)


Jennifer Thieme writes:

I responded to your comment below, but the more I think about your reply to me, the more upset I feel. I’ve been a Platinum author here since 2006. If I violated a comment policy, a private reminder would have been far more appropriate and respectful. To publically state that you don’t trust what I’m about to say, then accuse me of ONLY being here for the SEO…. wow, just wow. I certainly would have been fine with you deleting the offending comment. I am considering closing my account here and moving my articles elsewhere. Obviously you don’t value me or my contribution. The lack of respect you showed me is not acceptable.


Jim Sanders writes:

You wrote a bunch of fluff about print clearing, which most of the intro was story fluff, for a few words to walk someone through the process, plus stuff it with quick books keywords….and you call that a great article? You Ma’am are delusional, sorry to tell you.

Did you give any potential reasons why it happened? Did you cover anything? Your whole “article” about clearing a print spool, contained about a paragraph pertaining to the actual title of your “article”. Sorry to tell you, but that is the EXACT kind of crap that EzineArticles was nailed for.

I won’t even go into your profile pic.

What you wrote there was plain and simple, an SEO game to get links to your quick books services, training, or whatever. It wasn’t about the reader or giving them other options. What is YOUR particular option didn’t work for them? Instead of giving them a couple potential solutions, you filled the “article” with fluff instead.

Chris, on this one, I’d not worry. Better to loose the paid platinum if she was than the continued slaps you’ll get if her content is normally like that.


Jennifer Thieme writes:

“Fluff”? At almost 33K lifetime views? I have several comments there from people who thanked me for that information. I have also had a couple people take the time to go to my site and contact me via email to thank me. It is still among my top three monthly articles even though new computers haven’t shipped with XP since sometime in 2010.

You obviously didn’t bother to read the comments, because if you had you would have seen that people did NOT think it was “crap,” and they DID think I covered something… hey you might have seen that it actually SOLVED their problem, contrary to your accusations.

My point is that good and useful information can be shared in fewer than 400 words. I still stand by that statement.

Quite frankly I would like an apology from both you and Chris but I doubt I’ll get one. I have been a loyal fan of EzineArticles since I joined. That EzineArticles mug that he so generously sent was truly my favorite mug for a long time until my friend accidently dropped it and it broke. This may sound corny but I almost cried when that happened.

Getting attacked and disrespected like this is beyond belief.


Scott Broadbent writes:

That’s the problem for articles that have a relatively simple, short and concise explanation to solve a problem, but require another 100-150 words to meet some minimum requirement to be deemed quality content.

Using the article as an example, what additional useful content would you add to it to bring it up to the minimum word count if you removed all the ‘fluff’? Then of course you now have to add even more content to get above the new minimum word count.

Considering the comments that were posted on the article, the information was useful for someone.


Jim Sanders writes:

I don’t know Scott, maybe for starters OTHER ideas for print que clearing? Wouldn’t that be more useful to someone than the fluff she added? I’d think so. There are a number of things she could have chosen to add to that article relating to such problems, she chose not to, to submit something quick and easy to game the system, like so many others do.


Jennifer Thieme writes:

Also, Jim: where are your articles here at EZA? I searched for your name but only found one regarding parking cars. Is that yours or do you write under another name, perhaps another spelling of your name?

Oh and one more thing: how many people link back to EzineArticles from their homepages? Not many, I can assure you, because anybody know knows about SEO would advise against it, especially in niches that have nothing to do with writing or marketing like mine.

I do. I link back to EzineArticles from my homepage, even though it’s not a good SEO policy. Why? Because I believe, or at least I did at one time, in what Chris is/was doing. I felt strongly that he gave me a leg up, and I wanted to return the favor even though it was not a smart thing to do from an SEO standpoint. Does that sound like somebody who is only here for the SEO?


Jim Sanders writes:

Can you say new member? Can you say 2 around 700-800 word articles sitting in que since the 24th? That might be why you don’t find anything of mine.

You got comments, that’s great. And how many people bounced through that page, didn’t get anything out of it, and didn’t say anything? That’s right, neither you nor I know, but I’ll bet Chris and Ezine has an idea.

You seem to assume that high traffic means something. It doesn’t. It doesn’t mean that they all even read the article at all. How many of that traffic hit there because of your SEO game, and clicked away? That’s right, you don’t know that either.

Comments, out of the number of page views to comment ration, what is that by chance? Have you figured it out? 4 people, out of how many page views? And you want to tout how great that article is?

If you do honestly do much of anything with SEO, you’re also naive there as well. Traffic means nothing in volume, nor is it an indication quality either. Millions of us hit bullcrap pages daily, and millions of us click off of them just as quick.

Appology when you’re the one talking how great that article was and I point out how you’re delusional? I don’t think so.


Jennifer Thieme writes:

Let me try to turn this around. Let’s pretend for a moment that we’re in a bar having a drink. Would you have talked to me or about me (within my hearing) like you did? I really doubt it. At least, I HOPE you’re not the sort of person who would do that.

Likewise with Chris’ reply to me. I goofed, I violated a comment policy. It was purely accidental and I was quite willing to have the comment removed. I actually would have PREFERRED that he removed it rather than treat me as he did.

Had he and I been face to face would he have replied as he did? No, I really do not think he would have. He would probably have been more gentle and understanding. He was harsh, too harsh, and you followed his lead.

I think this is a good lesson that whatever interactions we have online, it’s important to remember that there’s a real, living, human being on the other side. People goof, they make mistakes. When you’re dealing with somebody and there is some sort of history, it’s probably a very good idea to give that person the benefit of the doubt and err on the side of gentleness. That is what I believe in and what I am trying to do and show now. Yes I got defensive; I’m a fighter at heart and I cannot STAND to be misunderstood. It’s a weakness of mine. Really, what should I care about what a couple of strangers think of me? It’s laughable! Yet being misunderstood is like nails on chalkboard to me…. I really cannot stand it one bit.

At any rate, I hope this clarifies things and calms the waters a bit.

I still do stand behind my original intention: that shorter articles should be allowed for authors who can prove they’re capable of them.


George writes:

An article in the Wall Street Journal said that advertising on a page mattered in the last Google change. Anyway, I hope EzineArticles.com takes this into consideration. I’m not suggesting eliminating all advertising, but if visitors are clicking on a high percentage of ad links compared to the article resource link, that could very well be a deciding factor in Google directing traffic because it would tell the Google that the content is of poor quality whether it is or not. EzineArticles is known for quality content – to humans anyway. I would look at some of ezinesarticles.com competitors (ehow, etc) to see how they are monitizing their traffic. Just a friendly suggestion.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 11:12 PM


Ben writes:

Chris, just a couple thoughts:

1. Get better captchas ones that will make it tough for the autocrackers to do their job. This will cut down the auto spun content submitted (not even sure if you use them or not – I never posted here just AB)

2. Google is clamping down on quality, but the very nature of article directories present rehashed content over and over again. Sure some articles have crappy grammar and say basically nothing of value, but I think the one point that hasn’t been explored yet is the value of fresh ‘current’ content.

Lets face it how many times can person rewrite an article on how to get their ex back without severe keyword cannibalization of the Articlesbase website as a whole. Pretty much you deliver tons of stale content in bulk.

Google brags about how many number of new search phrases get used each year (millions/billions). Probably more to do with people chasing down info on current events and what not. Why not give Google the content its craving: fresh, clean, current, modern, and relevant.

Plenty of sites out there have similar content that is distributed every where via rss feeds and scrapers. Think of the “brand name news” type sites (the newspaper websites & tv news stations) that do a ‘classier’ form of article spinning and call it journalism. Its the same news over again written a bit differently, but at least its about fresh and current topics and events.

If Articlesbase adopted a similar approach encouraging (rewarding somehow -> more exposure, in content interlinking between your own articles or something like that) current topics at least you would be giving the web something of value that is new. Heck, make it easy by listing some topics for each category that are either “hot right now” or are under represented in the articlesbase index. Change some of it up every week.

It will diversify the articles delivered to your ezine customers as well as deliver worth to the search engines. If someone is building backlinks it gives them relatively unique content to pull from to begin with by using topics that are a week old compared with ones that have existed since the beginning of time.

In total it would help give Google everything it wants: unique content, relevant results for its customers, and improve the overall search experience.

Comment provided March 1, 2011 at 11:57 PM


Ben writes:

meant “make it easy by listing some topics …. under represented in the ***EzineArticles*** index. Sorry about that.


Jan Chilton writes:

I’ve been reading reports from the most important real estate marketing sources such as Inman.com and several regular SEO experts. Everyone is talking more about duplicate content than anything else. In our case, websites that are displaying static pages of MLS listings are duplicating what Realtor.com, Trulia, and Yahoo Real Estate are displaying, and it’s hurt a lot of websites.

The only mention of “low quality” in the discussions is generic “ad-speak” about how the Realtor is the best for buyers and sellers, etc.

My point is, by general consensus, any website that is showing duplicate content, including blogs that have copied MLS listings or newspaper articles have been shot down. I think this talk about “quality” articles is barking up the wrong tree.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 1:21 AM


Paul writes:

Jan, you may be onto something here. How many articles are just copied from one’s website to EZA?

However, that doesn’t explain how Buzzle made the top 25 biggest losers list published by Sistrix. Buzzle supposedly accepts only content written specifically for them. Who knows how they enforce this.

You can view the Sistrix list here:


Jonathan writes:

Hi Paul,

Buzzle probably check this with copyscape.

They want to be the first place where the article is published. Later you can use it elsewhere.

The fact is that no one can know for sure why some sites were hit by google while others were not.

Ehow, for instance, wasn’t hit. Why is a big mystery.

The main point is to make EzineArticles better without making it too difficult to write on and get approved on. It’s a tricky balance.


Janna Chan writes:

Thanks, Paul. I just looked at Buzzle and its visual appearance is awful enough to make me want to ban it. The site is nothing but a long series of links.

The author terms-of-use section is less-than-well-written. However, I don’t see anything that prohibits using content you’ve submitted to Buzzle on your own site. It doesn’t appear to be an “exclusive content” hub as others have maintained.


Rachel King writes:

Well done guys! I’m glad that you’re implementing stricter rules. One question though:

When will you remove those hundreds of thousands of articles that have been written by “not-speek-English” authors? I like EzineArticles very much and it is sad to see so many articles in appalling quality.

I mean, if two editors are hand-checking all the articles, are you sure they’re doing good job if they cannot even spot an article that doesn’t make any sense?? I’m not talking about spun articles, I’m talking about articles written by people who cannot use English properly.

Mobile Phone Deals – Boon For The People

Peruse a Few Palm Springs Vacation Rentals

What is “boon”, what is “peruse”? Modern English doesn’t use such words!

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 3:55 AM



We hear you loud and clear.

English as a second language members need to have a native English editor review their works before submission to us. We were too lenient in this area and it’s one of the areas that we’re focused on changing this week forward.


Melissa writes:

Just because YOU don’t use those English words, that does not mean that those words are outdated nor does it mean that someone’s English is poor. I had a native English speaking recruiter edit my resume once, and they used the term/word perusal.

I had to figure out what the word meant, BUT, that doesn’t mean that his English was poor. It just means that my understanding of the Language is limited.

I disagree here. That is not a valid example nor proof of anything related to those whose mother tongue is not English.

Also, I find Chris’s post to be discriminatory. But then again, that where ignorance leads the masses.

P.S. Chris, I saw how you magically deleted the author’s account I mentioned in the comment you didn’t post.

Wonderful how you want to hide what it is that you are doing here. Shouldn’t you be upfront with people? I guess not. Everything you are saying in your replies is the EXACT opposite of what you are really doing, and what is really going down.


Nick Kellingley writes:

I think there’s a thin line here, you’re right both of these words are perfectly OK to use in written English. However in both these titles the context is abysmal.

In the first the title should read; “Mobile Phone Deals – A Boon For the People” the lack of the indefinite article tells me this is bad without looking. Worse “a boon for the people” is poor use of the word, a boon tends to be used to describe a favour hard won – not a load of old rubbish from a mobile phone company.

In the second “peruse” is poor, it’s clunky and archaic when “browse” would work much better. “For your perusal” is a standard in some business communication but not for an easily accessible information piece designed to reach a wide audience.

I don’t know the nationality of either author, and don’t much care – but a title is indicative of content and neither of these give me any desire to read further.

I also think there’s no need to cast aspersions on Chris, the process here has been pretty open and enabled anyone who wants to say something to do so. As long as they meet the blog posting rules that is.


Melissa writes:

You really think the process is open?

How about the process of banning authors from their own niches, without telling anyone about it?

What about him admitting that he won’t even talk about it, because he wants to keep it under the table?

What about removing articles from authors, and authors themselves (whole profiles)?

He also mentioned kicking an author who wrote on “how to get your ex back” 100 times; thus he is at war with anyone who writes on the same keyword even.

There are lots of things going on here, that he is NOT being upfront about, nor will he from the looks of it.

You say there is no reason to cast aspersions on Chris, simply because you are believing what you see, which isn’t a hell of a lot to be honest, all you see is what he says.

He is doing the opposite of what he says here, that’s for sure. Did you notice the big authors disappearing from the front page too? Some of these authors have been with Ezines for years and years, and that’s how they are treated?

If someone even just complains about an article in here, it gets removed. Notice that either? So if I complain about my competition, I should expect them to disappear. What kind of dirty game is this?

How about accepting the articles from authors, letting them pass through, and then logging into your account to see that you’re account is suspended…without warning, nor reason.

How about EzineArticles claiming you should email them, and not even responding to it nor giving any answers?

This is pure crap, and you DO NOT know what is actually going on. I would believe that you don’t even have that many articles out, just from your opinion, which means that you really can’t know.

Some of these people have 10,000 articles, 14,000 articles….2000 articles…..lots of articles here. That goes way beyond what you even know, that’s for sure, when authors whose otherwise perfectly fine and ACCEPTED content suddenly gets wiped from the table; or their entire account gets suspended….without warning, RIGHT AFTER they literally accept articles from the author.


Nick Kellingley writes:

Melissa I think e-zine articles is a business. Which means that first and foremost its responsibility is to make money.

If that means ruthlessly culling the mountains of crap that have fallen through the editing process – so be it.

Chris doesn’t owe us an explanation about any given act. He doesn’t even need to offer us space to complain about what he does – though I think it’s smart PR to do so and says a lot for the confidence he has that what he is doing is right.

If you write 14,000 articles of rubbish and make a living from it, then you’ve done nicely out of e-zine so far. If they choose to stop you from using their space, you’re free to take that rubbish elsewhere.

That’s the rules of the game, pure and simple.

Chris and his team are entitled to change those rules whenever they feel like.

While this is a symbiotic relationship between “us” (the writers) and “them” (e-zine articles) they don’t actually owe us a damned thing. If people don’t get the terms and conditions they shouldn’t sign up in the first place.

They’ve obviously decided that the way forward will be quality – don’t deliver on that, don’t get space – simple as.

They’ll hit a few roadblocks on the way and not everyone’s perfect all the time – so stuff will slip through, but I’m all in favour of a step in the right direction. But that’s because I’m confident in the quality of my content. And if I’m wrong, I’ll be free to take my stuff elsewhere won’t I?


Melissa writes:

Their editing process seems to remove and take away everything, and leave crap. Look at my reply in post 50. Magically they removed that author’s entire account after my post.

Why would they do that? Her articles were plastered all over the heavy niches, after they decided to remove other authors from the dating and relationships niche since the Google slap.

That’s what was left over. I suggest you google her name to find the cached versions of it, just for a good eye opener. If you really think that their filtering process gets rid of thin content and leaves the thick and strong articles, you’re SORELY mistaken.

EzineArticles is NOT so much of a business as it is a service. They provide a service, and THAT’S how they make money. If they piss of the authors who help run the service, what do they have left?

They have removed Tina L. Jones from the expert author list. That lady had 10,000+ articles out. She’s been suspended, her account. They are suspending people left right and center…..people who have been here and have met the guidelines years after years.

Why is she suspended and others too? OH, because she writes on the ‘same keywords’… The quality control you are talking about is NOT what they are actually controlling here. The guidelines they have in place now, and their new public approach is not even what they are really doing.

Remember WHO it is that gets EzineArticles clicks to begin with. If there were no articles, there’d be no reason for traffic to begin with. Some of these authors have brought in millions of views.

A person doesn’t just get millions of views from CRAP. Now chew that…but I doubt you will. I hope then, that you come to realize EXACTLY what I am talking about to it’s fullest extent.

Then your comments won’t be so lovely anymore, and you won’t feel as you do now.


Nick Kellingley writes:

Melissa you’re clearly hurting here – so I won’t drag this out.

But you’re wrong – the last time I checked the top 30 articles here, the top two were bull**** that involved mobile tracking services, and another was a penis enlargement technique article – millions of views yes. Utter rubbish, yes.

Because you’ve hit on a niche that gets lots of searches and thus lots of hits doesn’t make your article quality, it just means your SEO is excellent that’s all.

I think the current filtering process is not strong enough – I’ve said as much here in other posts. But I applaud the efforts being made to correct that.

If that means upsetting authors who’ve managed to slip past the editing process 10,000 times – I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. If their content isn’t rubbish then I’m sure they’ll get their accounts back in the long run.


Melissa writes:

You don’t even understand what is going on. Getting an account back is not possible when EzineArticles chooses to ban niches altogether for authors.

But, I don’t expect someone as small time as you to understand that.

Also, not every author on here is working on SEO, as directly as you think. The millions of views are also spread out among all the authors. If a person gets ranked, that’s another story, and that’s their efforts then.

I am not talking about that. I am talking about articles which have natural views. That’s obviously something you’ve not enjoyed yet, which is too bad.

I’d like you to show me the articles you are talking about. In terms of being in a niche that has high traffic, that isn’t specific to an author’s views.

There are tons of articles on here, and authors who have minimal views in their niche, and their niche is a high traffic niche. So your idea of how the traffic works, is not correct, as it doesn’t guarantee that an article will get millions of views.

Not only this, but not many authors on here actually have an article with over 1 million views, there are only a select few who do; and in that case, that means there are only a select few people who are able to effectively use SEO then.

You still haven’t said what I am wrong about, aside from mentioning that you saw some crappy articles in high traffic niches.

I saw some crappy articles too. Now what? Still waiting for you to bring something valid to the table, aside from a disagreement, when you want to say I am wrong.

P.S. You think that authors have slipped through 10,000 times in a row? Are you kidding me?

That’s just insulting your Beloved Chris Knight now, to say that. Come on.

Clearly, YOU have no clue.


Nick Kellingley writes:

No need to get personal Melissa, in terms of “small time” – I think I’m probably number one in some of the niches I’ve been aiming for, which aren’t neccessarily the niches e-zine ranks them under (which in many cases are way too broad in my view).

I think Chris has admitted the failings in a system which allowed 10,000 sub par articles to come through.

I’m guessing you, or your friends, or both have lost out to these changes. If that’s so, you might want to examine the plank in your own eye before checking out the mote in other’s.

The three articles I referenced were in the 30 all time most viewed articles on the site – that’s pretty compelling evidence that you can get millions of hits on any old rubbish.

And yes, there really are only a few masters of the SEO game – it’s too much like work for me. I think genuine contextual search isn’t as far off as the spammers believe and then most crappy content will fall off radar.

E-zines is positioning themselves well for that in my opinion.

I know your opinion – it’s getting to sound like a stuck record, and when you don’t get told what you want to hear you get personal. So this will be my last response to you, please calm down, take a deep breath and then do some real soul searching.


Kari writes:

Nick I have to say you said it very well in your first post.

Yes, we do supply ezines with the content to make them money so they do owe us some mad respect… but they are a business first and foremost and they are allowed to do what they see fit for their business.

And Mellisa not all of the authors who got a finger pointed at here (not cool by the way) have been deleted. There is one mentioned earlier from someone named ‘paul’ who I believe that is still on the list of authors.

While you’ve made some good points the reality is that things change and you have to move with those changes when they come – good or bad. Being able to adapt to issues that come your way is part of being successful. It is what it is, and your complaining about it is not going to change anything.

Of course, others may have a different opinion then me but I’m not going to sit around and let things I have no control of waste my time that I could be using more efficiently.


Janna Chan writes:

Nick and Kari, I think you’ve presented some good advice, yet some people are clearly in the “anger” and “denial” stages of grief respecting the demise of their EzineArticles business models. Seeing how all this shakes out in month or two will be interesting.


Scott Broadbent writes:

“They have removed Tina L. Jones from the expert author list. That lady had 10,000+ articles out. She’s been suspended, her account. They are suspending people left right and center…..people who have been here and have met the guidelines years after years.”

While Tina L. Jones was removed from the Expert Author list, which I noticed a few days ago her bio page and articles are still accessible, and several articles of hers each day do get published. Does that mean she has been suspended?

While I think people who have been around and produce quality content should be treated differently than someone who is unproven, exempting the long-time person or giving them favorable treatment from the quality control process will only lead to a decline in the quality of work they produce.

It is natural for anyone who has some level of seniority in a position to relax their standards. They’ve proven themselves in the past, so often feel they don’t need to do so in the future.

A person will only produce their best when there is a chance of failure or some level of competition.

In the case of the author writing 100 articles “how to get your ex back”, exactly how many articles can you possibly write on that subject? 4 or 5, perhaps 10 if you’re lucky and you’re sufficiently detailed. It’s articles like that that get the hammer coming down on a website such as this.

Considering that there is very little that is unique or original on the internet nowadays, I’m all for 100 authors writing on a similar topic and seeing which one rises to the top in regards to quality, but when the same author rights 100 different articles that don’t say anything that he hasn’t said before, he’s simply inflating himself to the top as a ‘top author’ when someone who writes semi-original thoughts only manages half of what he might write.


Melissa writes:

Tina’s articles are still appearing, because of a process called SCHEDULING. She has scheduled ahead, and they were PRE-approved. Though her account is suspended, those were already approved thus they will go out. BUT, she won’t be able to get anything else in now.

Honestly, I see a lot of people who don’t actually get it or understand it. You can write anything under the sun on the ex back niche or topic. There is a never-ending abundance of ideas, because it all boils back down to human nature, relationships, understanding the mind, psychology, health and improvement, success, etc…

All of those things tie into it. There is just so much that can be said then, so many things….but the main topic itself still stands at getting one’s ex back, BUT there are just so many things to consider when doing that, and so many possibilities for authors to write on in that very subject alone.

Thus, I disagree that one author can only write 10 or 15 articles max on it. I STRONGLY disagree. If that’s a person’s expertise, that’s a persons expertise.

Imagine if a PhD Engineer was no longer allowed to do Engineering work because people come along and say “hey, you’ve done too much….there’s only so much you can do!”

This applies to any profession where there are experienced and knowledgeable people, where they DO have to do the SAME THING over and over and over….and find new ways to do it.

I think this is ridiculous the crackdown on niches, more specifically on keywords themselves….and the excuses and reasoning that has been given for it.

Suggesting that a person can’t do something, doesn’t mean that it cannot be done. That just means that there are clearly authors here who do exhaust their mind on a topic, and thus can’t generate any new content on the same subject.

Ezines is saying you can’t write on the same subject. Basically you can only write on it once, and that’s it.

They are also penalizing authors for having written on a subject extensively. These are the same authors who they allowed in for years, and are now treating them as though they are spammers practically.

What ODD behavior! Not only this, but they don’t have qualified editors who KNOW and UNDERSTAND the niches on a professional level, so we (the authors) have inexperienced people deciding for us whether or not our articles or content are valid in terms of their ability to address the issue itself (the issue being the topic).

If the authors were really so bad at writing in these heavy niches….(yes we have seen some questionable content), how did these niches become so popular and heavy in traffic….SPECIFIC to EzineArticles?

Why are people choosing to go to EzineArticles then, for these articles? Why are they choosing to read these articles? Come on here.

Honestly! If these articles really helped no one, and 10,000 articles from one author or ALL authors in the relationships niche or conflict niche, or dating niche were truly crap….you wouldn’t have seen NEARLY the amount of traffic.

You wouldn’t have even seen the traffic climb. You also wouldn’t have seen these articles getting ranked. People are complaining that crappy articles, and sites are replacing EzineArticles ranking….so then people should AGREE then that Articles on EzineArticles DO in fact offer a hell of a lot more than what is elsewhere on the internet, EVEN if it is in the same niche, on the same topics consistently.

The Google slap is not the ACTUAL result nor is it correctly representational of anything real here. I think people can agree on that as well; because I have seen so many comments and threads talking about how EzineArticles articles are far better quality than what is sitting on Google now.

I have also read a comment which suggested that Ezines was not slapped for having content in the same niches, but rather for not being in one specific niche. EzineArticles has everything, and that’s not specific enough for Google.

The places that get ranked in google concentrate on one niche specifically these days, just as EzineArticles wants our author box to match up to the article, as well as the title….and everything has to be really relevant together….well hey, Google is asking for the same thing here.

So EzineArticles is labelled as a content farm now. That’s not because there’s so much in one niche, because obviously that has kept EzineArticles going. The traffic is heaviest to certain niches, and the need was being fulfilled by providing more and more content to heavy areas. People wanted more and more information.

If that need was truly not being fulfilled by article writers here, no one would have bothered coming to EzineArticles after some time. Come on.

EzineArticles is removing the wrong things here. Increasing quality is one thing, that’s not REMOVING anything, but is IMPROVING.

BUT, blocking authors from heavy niches, or their own businesses, well that’s another story. Also, punishing authors who are more frequent or submit the most content has nothing to do with increasing quality either.

I say that because of what I wrote above. And also because of my previous response as well.


Janna Chan writes:

And do we believe Ms. Jones wrote all 10,000 of those articles herself or outsourced the whole process to a content sweatshop in a developing country? If it’s the latter, there is some justice in the world.


Rachel King writes:

Melissa, there’s nothing discriminatory in what me or Chris have said. There should be two ways non-native English authors can get their articles accepted:

1. Learn English properly
2. Hire a native English editor or content provider

It happens to be so that the main language of EzineArticles is English. And that’s the ONLY reason why decent English is demanded. It’s not against any particular nationality or group.


Nick Kellingley writes:

I love a touch of irony.


Janna Chan writes:

Rachel, I think saying “people with limited English skills” would have been a more politcally correct and accurate way to convey your thoughts. My dad, who only spoke Chinese till he moved to the U.S. in his twenties, is one of the best English editors I know. By contrast, many native English speakers do not write well.


Scott Broadbent writes:

Such occurs in many aspects of life (work, academics, relationships, etc). Those who have an incentive to improve, will do so, while those who are not motivated will either not improve, or are more likely to decline.

The failing “education” system hasn’t really helped matters any.

Whatever quality control that is being used must give writers, even those at the top of their game some incentive to always be improving, and not merely churn out more of the same.


Janna Chan writes:

Hello Rachel,

Modern English does use those words. They’re just not used correctly in the contexts you’ve cited. I think that indicates that someone with limited English skills was relying on a Thesaurus to write article titles.




Les Line writes:

Hi Chris,

I think this is excellent news. I was a bit miffed when I didn’t manage to achieve Premium Status with my first five articles, mainly down to a stupid little mistake I made in the first two. However, I don’t think its a bad thing to “set the bar” higher in order to achieve quality and value.

I get very up tight about the large quantities of very bad quality content on the internet. The ‘nets vast enough to bury most of it and experienced users can make judgments about value fairly quickly. However,it destroys trust and makes it very much more difficult for new internet users to find reliable free content that is genuinely helpful.

I hope to join you on the Formula Course over the next few days. I don’t think I write badly, but I need all the help I can get!

Les Line

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 6:57 AM



Just for clarification: You meant that you didn’t achieve “PLATINUM” status as that is a status that can’t be purchased and must be earned whereas “PREMIUM” status is our paid level of membership.

I have no doubt that you’ll improve because ‘intent to improve’ is the important first step. :) Good luck!


Ernie Mann writes:

Alright no more EzineArticles for me, I heard you’re taking away the follow link in your resource box and making it nofollow. Also it’s taking way too long to get the article approved. I understand wanting to improve quality but those changes are not needed and really affect my content. I’m guessing this is just the beginning of ezines strict overbearing rules and I bet more users will will jump ship.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 9:25 AM


Jennifer Thieme writes:

Chris – my apologies. I saw another commenter do this and thought it was a good idea. And I can assure you that I an not ONLY here for the SEO… if I was I’d certainly submit more articles than what I have. I do believe in what you’re doing. Sorry to offend and that this didn’t come across in my original post.

I do stand by my original statement: that I hope you will reconsider the word count minimum for authors who earn your trust.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 9:52 AM


Jan Chilton writes:

Look at this new post on Search Engine Watch.
I should also point out that Matt Cutts and Google read articles and comments on Webmaster World and this site very closely. Chris, you are mentioned in the article but not at what I’m posting here…


very niched sites whose content you would be hard to find in too many places, e-commerce sites with good unique content but copied by competitors or whose navigation takes up too much of the total content on a given page… the list grows every day as site owners start to feel the impact of lost revenue. Mahalo, one of the hardest hit, is reducing staff by 10 percent.

Then this good news!

Google Fellow Amit Singhal told Wired “no algorithm is 100 percent accurate. Therefore any time a good site gets a lower ranking or falsely gets caught by our algorithm — and that does happen once in a while even though all of our testing shows this change was very accurate — we make a note of it and go back the next day to work harder to bring it closer to 100 percent. That’s exactly what we are going to do, and our engineers are working as we speak building a new layer on top of this algorithm to make it even more accurate than it is.”

Update: Cult of Mac has been “reinstated” in Google’s results, and Kahney said “Matt Cutts, tweeted me yesterday, saying Google had likely seen my post and would get it resolved. …the changes were already in place early this morning, which makes me think Google is slowly tweaking its algorithm to get better results.”

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 11:24 AM


Jan Chilton writes:

Note the part about “whose navigation takes up too much of the total content on a page”. Didn’t someone say here that each article had a huge amount of links? That may be part of the problem too.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 11:27 AM


Adam writes:

Honestly guys – I hate to be one of the naysayers – but I’ve been following this Google Update VERY closely. This is my life they are messing with, as well as yours – so I take things like this very seriously. I like EzineArticles a lot, and leveraged it heavily – so it pains me to say this.

Please please please take this advice into account: They are not attacking the quality of your site. I say again, They are NOT attacking the quality of your site. They are attacking the core model of your site.

They don’t like the idea of content farms, and they have shown how much they dislike them. All you are doing is making this a higher quality content farm – but content farm it remains. There were dozens (probably more) of other sites that already HAD the changes you are making for the positive, and they STILL got slapped. I’m sure you know which sites I’m referring to. In order to get back into their good graces you will need to make a lot more changes than what’s already been stated – which is damn near impossible while keeping the integrity and site model the same.

Do I think Google is right in doing this? No. I’m not defending them in any way, but it’s time to face reality. There were plenty of sites that got hit that were VERY useful to me and other people – yet Google doesn’t think so.

My advice would be to wait it out. The changes you are making WILL NOT change Google’s mind any more than it already is. I’m sure you realize this. However, Google MAY revert some changes because of the flak they are getting from high quality genuine sites. All you’re doing with some of these changes is losing potential writers – which is the core of your business model here – it’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth to submit an article.

This is all my opinion of course, but I feel I do have a good grasp on what’s going on.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 11:41 AM


Janna Chan writes:

Hello Adam,

I think that everything you’re saying is patently obvious. EzineArticles was not a dolphin caught in a tuna net. Google made a special effort to undermine EZA’s credibility. It doesn’t like the article directory business model generally, and the quality of EzineArticles content has degenerated markedly over the years.

I think the EzineArticles community is going through the “anger” and “denial” stages of grief right now. Once acceptance mode kicks in I hope it will embrace a new means of sharing information that is community-oriented and less dependent on Google.


Nick Kellingley writes:

Actually one of the interesting statistics that came out of Google was that of the sites most affected 83% of them were in sites that Google Chrome browser users regularly block.

It’s useful to know that people were choosing to block sites that were highly impacted – because in the future these options are going to play a bigger and bigger part in web browsing.

If we want people to read our content, we need to make sure it’s not associated with content that people see, classify as spam and then block.

It’s been largely ignored in this debate so far; and where we can all say with a certain amount of meaning “don’t kowtow to google” we all have to kowtow to Internet users. They’re our clients and e-zine articles’ clients too.


Janna Chan writes:

I agree, Nick. Unfortunately, what you’re saying translates into a good reason not to post on EzineArticles at all right now which is probably why people don’t want to talk about it.

As I pointed out elsewhere, content hubs like Ehow or About.com get lots of traffic for specific useful subjects like “how to use Excel’s Solver feature” or “how to match hues in Microsoft Publisher.” By contrast, no one seems to come to EzineArticles to learn anything unless they find reading 30,000 articles about how to break up with your girlfriend meaningful.

Ehow and About.com have always encouraged a selective team of paid writers to use references and quotes…something EzineArticles actively discourages because it takes away from your “expert” status.

I’m not sure I’d talk about the death of my business model publicly either, but I do hope that the excellent management team at EzineArticles is doing something to save the site besides trying to win back Google’s favor.


Jonathan writes:

The main thing is for EzineArticles to not panic and not take rash action against authors who played by the rules.

If an author needs to delete articles because they’re similar, let him or her do it. All these articles were accepted by editors and most authors tend to repeat keywords in their titles.

A high number of articles is not indicative of bad quality.

There are authors here who are writing for over 4 years. To create 2000 articles is, on average, less than 2 a day.

Up until recently people got prizes here for this kind of submission rate.

Let authors know what they need to correct and let them do it themselves.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 11:53 AM


Melissa writes:


EzineArticles is already panicking, and has already punished and banned older authors or authors who have submitted a substantial amount of quantity in terms of article submissions.

They are kicking people out of their niches, banning authors whose articles they accepted (not even rejecting their articles), removing entire accounts (authors, and their articles), disallowing bulk or higher submissions etc…

So they have already started to practically beat up their authors. Authors who have no warning for any of the above, and authors whose articles are being accepted and not even rejected. It would be understandable if the author’s articles were being rejected, but EzineArticles happily accepts the articles, happily puts them through….without a problem status, without grammatical or spelling errors, without sales or promotion problems: WITHOUT ANY OF THE ARTICLE REJECTION REASONS EVEN BEING PRESENT.

That’s because the article WAS NOT rejected, and was accepted as being perfectly fine, AND this occurs AFTER they increased their derivative content software recognition standards, and AFTER they had their last crackdown.

So these authors are still meeting every guideline, so EzineArticles decides that because these authors write in niches and on topics that they think would get them slapped by Google again (they are clueless as to why they are getting slapped!), authors suffer.

In the end it’s the SENIOR authors who can actually adapt, BUT EzineArticles is giving them the slap. They have been adapting this entire time, and have been through EVERYTHING with EzineArticles….including the previous crackdowns, which they ALSO made it through. The older authors, and more consistent authors, are the ones who WILL adapt, because they don’t give up.

New authors, however, don’t really know how things run on here (but that’s also because you’re also not too clear with your guidelines anyway).

What Ezines doesn’t realize is that older authors took this site from it’s startup place, to what it is now. EzineArticles is now on Alexa’s top 100 most visited sites list.

This doesn’t occur from small time authors, or new authors who quit, or new authors who are not consistent.

Go through any of the public internet marketing forums, or even just internet forums, and look at the comments from most people. Lots of authors feel like it’s time to pack their bags now, and not even bother with EzineArticles just because of their “I don’t give a damn” attitude when it comes to easily kicking authors in the wrong way for the wrong reasons.

Lesser submissions = lesser articles = lesser traffic for EzineArticles in the long run.


Adam writes:


I’ve read all your posts and have to say I agree with almost everything you’ve said – they’ve done and are doing a lot of injustice to a lot of good writers.

HOWEVER, in the end – like someone else said – it’s their site and they can pretty much do what they want. Yes it’s a service, and they make money through this “service”, but I think you’re forgetting EzineArticles is a website, hosted on an account just like a 2-page website hosted on a baby account at hostgator. Hell, GOOGLE is a website, hosted on servers, providing a service. Are you going to tell them what they can and cannot do?

They don’t owe their authors anything. They are responsible for the content they AND their authors publish on the site – and if they want to change something or delete an account or their whole site altogether – they are in their rights to do so. You can cry and moan all you want about it – but it doesn’t change the fact they can do what they want. Who’s going to tell them what they think is good quality vs what isn’t? If they think the quality isn’t up to par, they won’t accept it. Regardless if you think it is, or I think it is.

They are a business first and foremost, THEN a service. They do not have to provide you with the service. Nobody is going to tell me what I can and cannot publish on my websites. Sorry that’s just how it is.

And if they think their actions will help their business grow in the long run, they are within their rights to do what they will. Any business is.

Obviously they think the actions they are taking will help them. Is it going to piss a lot of people off? Probably. I’ve produced thousands upon thousands of articles on their website, and they’ve made me really mad in the past about some of their actions – so I understand a lot of your points, and where you’re coming from.

I’m probably repeating myself – But in the end, they will do what they will. Nothing you, I, nor anyone else can change it.



We take each action on every account very seriously and have worked individually with many authors to help them through problematic areas. It’s the most valued piece of my position. With that being said, an author who loses their account and the articles for continued rejections sees it coming. They are warned.

Those authors that are not warned make up a small percentage. Those consist of malicious accounts and they shouldn’t be warned.

I agree with your comment on the guidelines not being clear enough. We are in the process of rewriting them now. This is not a new project but it’s a timely one. Expect to see it soon.


Shannon writes:

Is there any way that Penny could write a post in the near future about what is meant by original and informative? The reason I am asking is that I had an article rejected twice this morning and I can’t tell you the last time I had an article rejected in this niche. (It is the marriage niche.)

I do realize this niche is under new scrutiny and more articles are being rejected. But I’ve never had a real issue with my articles in this niche. I don’t mass produce tons of articles. I probably average one per day or less on this topic. And my articles are long and quite dense.

I did rewrite the article based on the suggestions (add strategies, techniques, etc.) But the article was rejected a second time. I emailed support and will of course try again with any suggestions they give me.

But I was wondering if Penny could perhaps clarify for every one’s benefit. Because going forward, I don’t want to submit anything that EzineArticles doesn’t really want or is going to cause a problem.

Rather than get my articles in problem status, I’d rather focus on something else in another niche until I really understand what is wanted in this one. That’s why I’d really appreciate some clarification before I roll up my sleeves again. Just continuing to submit if things have drastically changed only clogs up the que. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 1:50 PM



I recently wrote one in early February: http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2011/02/original-and-informative.html

I’ll take a peak at your account and address your concerns with you privately.


Shannon Dean writes:

Thanks Penny. That would be great. I really appreciate it.



I reviewed it. The article is live. I didn’t see a message to our team from you so consider this your email. :)

The editor made an error which I addressed. I apologize for your confusion.


Shannon Dean writes:

Penny, you rock! Thank you for doing that! I reviewed that article countless times today to see what I should have done or said differently. It is a relief to know I wasn’t entirely off base.


William Post writes:

I am wondering how this is going to affect speed of review and approval. I will admit that once in a while I hesitate before writing here since it takes so long to get verified.
If the process gets even longer…

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 2:16 PM



It has impacted our review speed by doubling it for everyone except for Premium members (same or next business day).

I expect that we’ll fall behind by 6-14 days for a while but as we get more efficient at rejecting the article vomit, our editors will have fewer articles to review and thus we’ll be back to meeting our article review targets.

As you can probably imagine, this is not a time when we can just hire or buy our way out of this backlog by increasing our team size. We’re at 75+ full time team members right now. I apologize for the delay and know that this delay won’t last forever and we will be back to our normal review times in the near future.


Jeff Stevens writes:

Actually, Chris and Penny…I agree with Shannon and would love clarification.

I have no problem with following the new rules of Ezine and will happily do so but just want to make sure that my effort is directed in the right place.

My work commitments outside of writing on Ezine total about 70 hours a week and I put about 30-45 minutes into each article so I want to make sure I have the best information going in so that I can save myself and your editors some time.

Now, I am speaking as a writer that has earned platinum status so I do know how to fall within Ezine guidelines :)

Also, knowing what I’m allowed to do with my niche would be helpful too. I don’t want to get blasted over derivative content and I don’t think I would, because I do work hard to make each article a unique experience, but with the new rules, I’m just not sure.

I won’t write about a ton of different niches, simply because I’m not an expert in a ton of different niches. I co-host a syndicated radio show for dating (I have my show on 10 US Radio stations in 5 different markets) so I have an expertise in that and I write about it. I also am good with public speaking and have written about that and I just started a blog about coffee (because I love coffee), that I will write about soon.

My point is, I won’t be doing a ton of niches but the niches I do, will have a lot of useful content, simply because I know a lot about what I write about. I’m not one to write just for the sake of writing or rep products, affiliate-wise, just to make a buck. When I write about something and direct traffic, I always make sure to provide value because I want long term relationships with my readers.

Again, I work hard to make sure that each of my articles is unique, provides value and is on a topic that I am an expert in so I don’t think it would be too much to ask of Ezine to give me some direction or feedback as to how I need to tighten up my writing to be even sharper.

I view Ezine as a GREAT site and want to continue a long term relationship with you. I welcome your direction and feedback as we adapt to the new world.


Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 2:33 PM



See the link I provided above to Shannon. If you have any questions, let us know.


Melissa writes:

How far behind is EzineArticles in terms of responding to emails?

Last time you had a crackdown you said you were behind on over 3000 of them. At least if you are behind, can you let people know?

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 2:49 PM



We are not behind in our Member support team. We are responding to author’s within 12-24 hours.


Jack Krohn writes:

I have brought this up before and thought I had it figured out-guess not.

I used to post articles to my blog then submit to ezine and other directories. my posts were being ripped off from the blog so appeared as duplicate content to ezine.

now I submit to ezine and other directories first. when they are published then post to my blog. still getting ripped from the articles on the other directory.


writing these articles twice is no fun and time consuming. aside from the obvious any suggestions?

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:31 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

My suggestion is to only post your articles to EzineArticles and nowhere else. The other article sites are not even close to this one. Further stay away from trendy sites like eHow and those. Post only quality articles, you will be very happy with the results, as you will get “real” serious inquiries to your website. Additionally, stay on topic, and don’t bother trying to just get a “ton of article views” by posting stupid articles of a sexual nature, it’s not worth it, those folks are not looking to buy anything. Target your audience, think from their perspective, and never try to manipulate Internet Surfers or trick them with your titles to get them to surf in, because, they will just surf out anyway.

Only submit to EzineArticles, skip the rest, seriously, it’s a waste of time posting to those other sites, and many only stay in business a 18-months on average before they are over run with spammy articles. Seriously, EzineArticles is the best place to post “QUALITY ARTICLES” and for those who don’t want to post good articles, not speaking to your articles Jack, but those who write crap. Well, go post them anywhere you want, because as I understand it, those folks won’t be able to post them here anymore. Good riddens.


David Black Jr writes:

I have enjoyed being an expert author in my niche and writing interesting articles for my readers with high click through ratio… I loved that the articles could be short and sweet with out extra rhetoric. NOW, you “Ezines,” are actually shooting your selves in the foot by this new 400 word count minimum. I disagree with it in totality.

Especially, since you launched it with out having a 250-399 word program also ready.

I believe you are playing with things here that will damage your business and mine also! You are already doubled my time in produce an article, what curve ball are you going to throw out next?

I request you return to the 250 word min. ASAP!

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:35 AM


Jack Krohn writes:

David Black said it very well. maybe even both feet.

One day you encourage us to write more articles, a few days later you put criteria in place that slows and perhaps stops article submissions.

I have been submitting for close to 5 years. I am sorry I cannot even remember what I wrote yesterday sometimes so have used copyscape to keep me out of trouble. now that is worthless.

You are bouncing articles for being “similar” which is a subjective criteria. Only objective criteria should be used.

It seems to this observer that you are overreacting to a problem and punishing and threatening the hand that feeds the mouth.

I have had a serious problem with folks plagerizing my stuff without my knowledge or permission. You tell me to contact them and follow the guidelines. SURE. people who cheat don’t have and scruples and don’t care what the guidelines are.

Guess I am more upset than I thought.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 12:38 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

David, I am one who also agrees that someone can write a good article in 250 words. And I can tell you that in my many areas of expertise, I can put information into an article which might help an entrepreneur in business save money, make more money, and retain customers better. And over the years, becoming a better and more concise writer I too, like you can put it into fewer words.

Still, EzineArticles is correct in their assessment that most of the thin-content crap submitted is that of the shorter range articles. Yes, I feel like I am being punished for actions of various scammers who are working the system, but I understand this new rule. “Most people” cannot write good articles of 250 words, thus the change.

Personally, your request sounds legitimate for YOU, and for ME, but EzineArticles is not like our government, they don’t have unlimited article reviewers to review the abundance of junk submitted which generally would have fallen in the lower word-count ranges. There are exceptions of course, I am one for instance, and you believe you are too, yes, we are harmed somewhat by this, but prudence is important, and there has to be a cut-off somewhere so this bar is being raised.

I have decided I can live with it, do I like it? No, not really, for instance, in out Think Tank folks come up with new innovations and ideas, many can be explained in a basic abstract of 150-200 words, and with an introduction and conclusion, these ideas, some could change the world, or the industries they represent could easily be submitted in a 250 word article. I’ve now had to add in a further dialogue or put 2-ideas together to make it come out to a 450 average word count.

I’ve also had trouble with submitting poetry, as you can’t just keep adding to a poem, other wise you ruin it. Also with humor category, adding more to a joke makes it run-on and ruins it. So, what I’ve done is work to create additional poems along the same theme, or humor, no that isn’t easy, but sometimes it works. So, I hear you COMPLETELY on your request, but I also understand the reality of the beast, as humans here have attempted to submit far too much crap of low quality thin-content to the site, and generally those do land in the 250-350 range word counts.

Will a higher word-count help? Yes, it will make it more work for those who are lazy and want to put out garbage, no it won’t stop them all, but it surely assists in reviewing. Which at EzineArticles is not a volunteer job, the reviewers must be paid, and unfortunately and I believe ONLY temporarily, EzineArticles might take a financial hit meaning less money to pay reviewers to sort through the onslaught of debris, so raising word count is one of many criteria which will assist them. That is the reality I see.


Lance Winslow writes:

Okay so, I’ve been watching my traffic and I was at about 8,000 article views per day, and that went down to 1700 after the Google changes, now I am back up to 4500 article views per day already, I am more than half way back up. I have never outsourced articles to anyone else, I’ve never used spun derivative software, I don’t rewrite articles, and I would never write on trivial topics, or questionable content such as penis enlargement, or crap like that. I have 10,425,000 article views, and I don’t even do SEO keyword strategies, I don’t try to manipulate the system, spam search engines. I have a 4500 title library at home, and I’ve actually done something in the world. I spend 2-3 hours a day scouring the news, read 80 trade journals a month, and read through the WSJ, NYT, LA Times, and many foreign magazines. I read 10-12 research papers a day and I write between 5,000 and 18,000 words a day on an abundance of various topics.

I LOVE EzineArticles, and I HATE people trashing this site here – how ungrateful.

Let’s be honest there have been folks who have taken advantage of this site, and now they are crying because things are changing and the cheese has been moved, not by the benevolent Chris and his team, who have put up with the onslaught of crappy submissions they have to review everyday, but by the “current” major search engine in the world. I am a little miffed that people who don’t care about anything but using EzineArticles to get traffic for selling silly trinkets, scams, and crap by posting large numbers of trickey little SEO strategy articles without caring about their customers – have the audacity to complain now. It’s their fault, so new changes are afoot, adapt or die. Stop and think about each submission prior to posting.

I LOVE EzineArticles.

Don’t ruin it for me, and stop complaining, get with the program, do your homework, create great articles. And if you are doing that, everything will be fine, and if you are doing that, you can call me friend, because friend we will continue to be great together with EzineArticles. I believe in Chris and his team, they rock, and we will win together.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 3:20 PM


Jack Krohn writes:


think you may be right about other directories. not sure of their value at all. I look at it this way too the stricter the criteria the less competition the better positioning.

all this reminds me of my apt bldg. I wanted to start a whinery for all the geezers-ha!

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM


Adrienne "Rocktivity" Collier writes:

All you’re going to end up with are fewer writers who have figured out how to cram 300-350 words into 400. How does that improve “quality?”

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM




We appreciate your continued contributions to the discussions. Know that we hear you and we are taking all your comments/suggestions into consideration.

This thread has run its course. As Chris stated, there will be plenty of additional threads this month to share your insights, thoughtful suggestions and we will continue to listen, learn and improve our decision-making along the way.

We can move on to Tuesday’s discussion:

or Tuesday’s:

Thank you all!

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:21 PM


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