Over-Saturated Niche Decisions

aka: What do we do with all of these over-saturated niches?

We’ve come to a crossroads in a few topics of discussion and feel that bringing it to you will aid us in making the right decision. We are extremely grateful for your continued support and we continue to take actions daily based on your recommendations and the discussions in this Blog.

Today’s topic warrants collaborative discussion since the decisions we’re about to make won’t be easy. Before you respond or comment, we ask that you read all of the recommendations, weigh the pros and cons of each and offer your thoughts based on the totality of the information and the impact any decision will cause in each niche.

The following niche areas are the point of this discussion:

  1. Penis Enlargement
  2. Get Your Ex Back
  3. Acai Berry
  4. Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
  5. Credit Card Debt Relief
  6. Male Enhancement Pill
  7. TV for PC

Truth be told, all of these markets are saturated. There are penalties that come with market saturation of articles: 1) They all have a higher potential as being flagged as spammy, 2) They undoubtedly contain a high volume of derivative content, and 3) Because of their popularity, you can almost guarantee that many are spun (created with article spinning software).

However, there are many Expert Authors who add a tremendous amount of value in these niches. Their articles are educational, assist in life changes and allow for increased awareness. These are all very positive attributes.

HERE ARE THE OPTIONS:

  1. We apply a blanket ruling that prevents the admittance of any future articles on any topic listed above. You’re in agreement that the market(s) are too saturated and we should not allow any more articles in any or all of the niches.

    PRO’s: This ruling is easy. From now on we stop these articles at the door and we don’t discuss it anymore. If you don’t write in these niches, you feel you now have a level playing field because the noise level just lowered significantly. It also means that authors who write in the same categories, with all-together different niches, are not competing with these subjects.

    CON: We disqualify even the educational articles that provide REAL value (there is value to be had in all them).

  2. We implement a lottery system. We systematically allow only so many articles per month on these topics. Any articles that exceed that number will be rejected at the door.
     

    PRO’s: It’s a lottery, which is easy enough to implement. Not everyone may get the opportunity to publish, but we are not closing all opportunities. This helps with market saturation.

    CON: There is difficulty in finding a balance in quality and quantity. Just because the article is the first one to be received doesn’t mean it is the best one. We could close the door on some GREAT articles.

  3. We develop guidelines on trending topics. Trends come and go. We’ll allow these for a set period of time until the pool is full based on several factors such as complaint volume and then stop accepting them. It also means that we’ll review the relevancy of the niches over their life span. If we feel the market is overwhelmed, articles in that particular niche will no longer be accepted.

    PRO:
    All areas will be permitted to have their spotlight. We agree that not one topic is better than another and everyone deserves their chance (while the market is in demand).

    CON’s: Authors will feel slapped when we shut the door. Great articles by legitimate authors who deserve to be heard will never be published. The decision for when we pull the plug will be a difficult one. When do we do we say enough is enough? Or doesn’t that matter? Are the markets listed too saturated already?

    If this option were taken, we’d make decisions on whether or not these trending topics have over-stayed their welcome and move on to option #1 moving forward.

Care to weigh in on this topic? Please leave a comment below.

125 Comments


1
Jeff Lepage writes:

I think the lotto system would work the best.

HOWEVER, think that it should be a weekly or monthly type lotto. Weekly is probably better.

Where you receive all the articles for the week on those topics, and decide which ones are worth keeping, and chuck the rest.

This means that there will be an increased acceptance time of at least a week.

I think also, that only platinum users should be allowed to write for those niches, because they have proven they can write quality content. This makes it so that new writers have to prove themselves before they can write in overly saturated topics.

I hope that helps out a bit in trying to improve EzineArticles, because it is a great place to submit your articles, and I would like to keep it that way, as well as allow Google to see it as a great place too.

— Jeff

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM

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2
Tom writes:

I have another suggestion. In these over saturated niches what you really want is the cream to come to the top.

So… I would suggest a compare and kill system JUST in these niches.

Basically if you get 100 (imaginary numbers) submissions in a day for one of these niches after they pass initial review they get a comparative number which I realize will be subjective.

Then only the top 10 (Again imaginary numbers) get published with no penalty for the others other then not being published since they did pass review they just did not make competition.

In other words just add another layer of competition in markets that are over saturated to match the competitive nature of these markets.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:07 PM

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3
Jacquelyn Dunn writes:

I think the lotto system would be the best way to slow down a saturated niche allowing only the best quality articles to be published.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:14 PM

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4
Bonnie Jo Davis writes:

I don’t see the value of topics 1-6 at all. They aren’t even on my radar as something I’d read about. Topic 7 is about technology that is constantly changing that I think is valuable so perhaps a lottery system could work for that topic.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

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DevonK writes:

2, 3, and 5 at least have SOME merit – but ya; 1, 4, and 6 are sure subjective.

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Lance Winslow writes:

I agree with Bonnie Jo Davis, well stated, I could certainly live with that, and replace those categories with several other new and relevant topics that are not so questionable.

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5
Jordan writes:

Tricky.

I’m leaning towards option 2 at first glance.

With the lottery option, you could assign a quality rating to each article, then each week only publish the top X in the respective categories.

Make the writers really earn their place! This would keep out those you most want to keep out…

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:21 PM

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6
Charles writes:

Why not increase the quality requirements for these niches? At the end of the day you still want quality new articles on these topics, you just don’t want the spun junk that is all too often submitted.

So… why not increase the word count to a minimum of 600 words (this will get rid of many spinners as other directories don’t require such long articles), and add in a criteria that the article has to be adding real value (determined by you guys).

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:21 PM

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Charles,

Quality measures are across the board and applied to all articles. Being that these areas are so saturated, it’s difficult to determine the usefulness of them after time. Their popularity also tends to promote spammy thin content. Increasing the word count can also mean 600 words of fluff rather than 400. It doesn’t always solve the problem.

Thanks for the suggestions. Great thoughts!

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7
Shannon writes:

I am fine with the lottery system also. How are you going to differentiate in the relationship niche? I don’t do “get your ex back,” but I am in the marriage health / marriage saving niche. Still, I would certainly rather have a lottery than not being able to submit at all.

I sincerely believe that readers most definitely feel that they get value from my articles, judging from the emails I get. But, I do understand that there is a wide range of quality in all topics.

I’d appreciate it if you’d clarify when you have this information because at this point, I’m holding off on submitting more articles in this niche until I’m clear on what you consider ideal. Thanks much.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:23 PM

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Shannon,

We are only considering change on the topic areas in this post. This will not affect other niches.

Don’t hold off on your submissions. :) Thanks for the feedback.

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Shannon writes:

Thanks Penny. I had one rejected today in this niche for I think the first time ever. It shook me, but I do understand your need for changes. Upward and onward. Thanks for your reply. :)

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8
Nadine Huegel writes:

Hi Penny

Thanks for the opportunity to input.

My preference is for item 3 – trending guidelines

A lotto system still allows lesser quality articles to be accepted if within the allotted number. This system still means that lesser quality articles may be accepted ahead of better quality ones.

My preference is to err on the side of Quality

My Suggestion:
Possibly articles submitted from these over-saturated Niches be subjected to a longer approval time (say a week, 10 days … or whatever time frame seems reasonable) then all assessed at the one time, to see which ones are eligible for acceptance

Any articles submitted within the assessment time, go into the batch for the next review/assessment…

[I do realise that this may create extra work for EzineArticles assessors]

Many submissions on topics such as ‘get your ex back’, may be a first attempt at article writing (possibly even their last), not having attempted to learn the basics required by EzineArticles.

For those who are serious about Article Marketing for the promotion of their business, the willingness to learn should be all encompassing.

Reward those who DO meet the standards.

Kind Regards
Nadine

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:32 PM

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Jeff Lepage writes:

Penny – Read my post…it says the same thing you just did.

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Jeff Lepage writes:

sorry I meant Nadine….

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9
DevonK writes:

I think a house cleaning option would be most warranted (if don’t delete everything in those categories), however, I also don’t think any of those options are the way to go.

To clean house, since that is a massive undertaking, you could enlist the help of the rest of us. Have us go through those sections and “report” any problem articles we see. Those that get three or more “reports” can then be re-looked at and deleted if warranted. Since it’s in all our best interest to help clean the place up, you’ll likely not have to do much to get people to agree to doing so.

As to dealing with future instances of “Trendy Topics”, perhaps this is a perfect place to enlist a “peer-review” process. Allow people to apply for the position on a short-term basis (say one month) and have them review the submissions before “editing”. Those that don’t get approved by the “peer-reviewers” can then be scrapped before wasting the editors valuable time. It then allows Great works in those topics be retained, while removing the crap. You could then reward the “peer-reviewers” one month free Premium Membership (used after their month of peer-review).

That way you only reward those that actually did the work, and it makes it so they can get the most out of it the following month – when they’re not torn between writing and reviewing. All of which offers the best of both worlds, without added expense, time, or head-ache.

That’s my opinion on the subject anyway.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:40 PM

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10
leon Noone writes:

G’Day Chris,
I dunno.As I write on topics that are unlikely to become saturated, I can see that whatever you do will disadvantage or upset some authors.

A couple of things occur to me. How will Premium Members be treated if they write in a saturated niche?

Is it feasible to use views or click through rates to decide which saturated niche articles to reject?

Should you consider rejecting articles by author or an author/niche combination?

It occurs to me that if someone’s written, say, 10 articles on topics 1 and 2 you’ve mentioned, there can’t be much more that author can say.

If you sort this out and keep everyone reasonably happy, we’ll rename you “Solomon.”

Regards

Leon

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:51 PM

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Jeff Lepage writes:

Sorry Leon I highly disagree with your opinion about writing 10 articles on a subject and not having much more to say about it.

When getting into, or having lots of knowledge about any niche, should keep anyone writing for years to come. New things come out all the time within EVERY niche, and that again, can be written about.

There are even videos on EzineArticles stating that you need to think BIG when it comes to article marketing. Where you used to be able to get away with only writing 10 – 20 articles, which was then upped to 100.

Now you NEED to write in the range of 200 – 500 articles or MORE just to get noticed in a niche, and get the same traffic you could with 10 or 20 articles, 5 – 6 or 7 years ago.

— Jeff

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Jeff,

Very true. Authors who continue to research and find what their readers want can learn to write very topic specific articles in bulk. Prepping for a sporting event can easily be 10 good solid article templates. And that’s just the beginning.

Kudos for watching the videos. :)

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Leon,

Premium members are treated the same as non-premium members.The niche they write in is not relevant to Premium. What does matter is the quality of the article. The niche does not.

For the sake of this discussion, we listed what we feel to be highly saturated niches. There are members who write a high volume of articles in these areas.

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11
mo writes:

How would you go about deciding which topic should be limited? How would you decide which ones in the future? When would allow back a niche when that area has new and useful information to bring to readers? These questions can surely pose a problem for EzineArticles.

Further, as you pointed out, there are still good writers producing good articles in the niche mentioned above, though I have not read them, so I take your word for it.

Given the above, my feeling is, while I do not disagree with your initial selection of niche, it is better and paramount for EzineArticles to focus and use its limited resources on approving high QUALITY and UNIQUE value add articles, irrespective of niche.

I have no problem if EzineArticles becomes more demanding in approving articles for ALL submissions, and I suspect many recent articles in the above niche are probably just junk and should not have been approved in the first place.

Therefore, I do not believe EzineArticles should get into the business of censorship.

Censorship is an added burden and will eventually lead to more problems for EzineArticles to manage.

Just keep your standards HIGH and keep to it, since many have indicated that low quality articles are still being approved.

Mo

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:52 PM

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George writes:

I disagree with the censorship comment. Not accepting something based on quality standards is not censorship. Not accepting something because of the idea presented is censorship. Your standard of censorship would suggest every publisher on the face of the planet is guilty of censorship. And depending on the niche, there are varying stardards of what is acceptable to a publisher, online and offline. Ezinearticle’s is not saying they will not accept an article because they want to squash information about Penis Enlargement and the other niches.

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Mo,

All very good questions. We use data to tell us a lot about the niche and we research.

We don’t have the answers for the rest. They are questions that we have asked ourselves already. There is no easy solution but we do know that standards will remain high.

Thanks for your input.

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12
Char writes:

I suggest you institute a cut-off system — only allow so many articles in these saturated areas and then replace those articles with better content as it arises. That way you control both quantity and quality.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:52 PM

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George writes:

I agree with Char. Purge the older articles on a month basis. Can they be resubmitted without rewritting the article? Yes, if they met your current standards. Willing the articles that do not drive traffice be resubmiited? Will the one article wonders resubmit their articles? I think not. Is this fair to the writters in the saturated niches? If I had an article that was driving traffic in this niche, I would not have an objection. Just my 2 cent.

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George,

Once an article is submitted, it cannot be resubmitted. Our proprietary software would stop it at the door.

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Scott Broadbent writes:

In order to do so, EzineArticles would have to have some sort of numerical rating system to figure out which should replace which, and from what I understand, articles aren’t rated. Either approved or rejected.

Then of course we’re back to a subjective rating system where even low quality articles are apparently still being approved.

Deleting articles that were only a month or two old ignores that some of those older articels may be quality content EzineArticles would want to keep. Then of course consider that not all authors who may have wrote quality articles that should remain, may even be active, or bother to resubmit their articles.

I have said it before in the comments of a few of the other blogs, but EzineArticles needs a user rating system similar to what Slashdot has. Users rate articles from 5 to negative 1. You can also tag articles such as informative, funny, insightful, boring, etc. Put the power of rating articles in the hands of regular readers, and you can easily encourage them to give honest feedback about various articles. Those articles rated consistently low would be subject to follow-up review.

Of course, any rating system is subject to abuse.

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Scott,

We are thinking about that direction and have considered this rating style. No decisions on it yet. A good rating system is a human reviewed rating system. If we did implement one for readers to use, it would be managed to weed out what wasn’t relevant or malicious.

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DevonK writes:

I think anything you do in that regard should require people to sign in to use. Then ensure the writer (regardless of pen-name) can’t rate or comment on their own work. Don’t allow “anonymous” ratings. That at least would eliminate the problem of individual writers making their own work seem more important than it actually is. Though, as Scott said, “…any rating system is subject to abuse.” and he is totally right on that.

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Nick Kellingley writes:

I support writers not being able to rate their own work, but I think they should be able to comment.

Responding to people who are critical of your work or praising it is a sensible facility.

I know a couple of my articles have been reprinted elsewhere with strong reactions (some not so favourable) but being able to respond allows me to put my view alongside theirs.

Comments here seem to be strictly moderated so it should prevent the “angry author” raging at their audience.

Having said that – the comments system seems to be fairly low use anyway – I was looking at an author with 2,000+ articles the other day, over 1.3 million views and they had… 13 comments in total. Not exactly a ground breaking amount of input…

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13
Marte Cliff writes:

Since I don’t write for those niches, I don’t think I’m entitled to an opinion on this one.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 5:54 PM

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Jeff Lepage writes:

Marte,

Everyone is entitled to an option. The reason EzineArticles wants to do this, is because Google looks at EzineArticles as a whole, and sees a lot of potential junk articles that have gotten through the red tape.

This is seen as spammy to the big G. So what we need to do is make a decision on improve EzineArticles as a whole article directory. What this means to everyone who ISNT writing about those niches, is that your articles will be placed higher in the search rankings, BECAUSE EzineArticles is seen as a good directory again.

If you read some of the earlier posts, traffic dropped off by more than 35% for EzineArticles since Google changed its script. This has hit EVERYONE hard.

— Jeff

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14
Mark Conway writes:

While these topics are of no interest to me, the development of your policies are. At some point in the future, they may affect the topics in which I am interested.

I do not like the lottery system. It doesn’t really address the problem. Fewer articles of the same diverse quality, covering the same content are published. What has really changed?

I would most prefer that you simply make your content guidelines more strict for those topics. Be more editorially critical. Weed out the articles that don’t add new value. In the world of print publishing, submission rejections are commonplace. For areas where new valuable content is hard to come by, reject the submissions that are obviously repetitive. Moving to trending topics is one way to try to accomplish this, but that approach helps EzineArticles avoid having to make the really tough editorial calls.

Thanks for the opportunity to input on this.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 6:24 PM

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Mark,

I agree. I made a similar comment above. We haven’t made any decisions on this but quality reviews will weed out those articles that should not pass.

Thanks for the input.

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15
Jacob Schlottke writes:

Think about making them pay to submit and then checking for 95-100% uniqueness.

The amount you lose in ad revenue will be made up by people willing to pay to be listed for those areas.

You obviously don’t want to lose your best performing articles in this niche so people willing to pay to be reviewed are likely to have better, more search engine friendly content.

A couple more “quick fix” thoughts – On top of each of your article pages places 5-10 related articles w/ excerpts – and then split your articles (that are long enough) across multiple pages.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 6:41 PM

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Jacob,

Thanks for your suggestion.

Our Editorial bias is never for sale and we won’t be doing the pay-to-publish model.

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Jacob Schlottke writes:

Of course your editorial bias isn’t for sale.. which is why I said, “willing to pay to be reviewed”.

You would still have the final say as to which articles were approved and you would probably no longer have issues with over saturation of those particular categories.

A lottery system can be abused.

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16
Jennifer J writes:

Options 2 and 3 will only cause headaches and aggravation with EzineArticles and the people submitting.

If EzineArticles is uncomfortable with those subject matters and feels they’re degrading the EzineArticles brand, just close them and be done with it.

Options 2 and 3 are half-measures. And half measures almost never work.

You’re going to upset people no matter what you do, so you might as well do what you really think should be done.

Without seeing the TV/PC category or articles, I think that may still have some value for EzineArticles, but that’s just a guess.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 6:55 PM

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17
Alex Backlund writes:

I feel a lottery system would be the worst alternative. The very best thing with EzineArticles is that you employ human editors. You have already taken steps to improve quality by forcing writers to earn their Platinum status. Is it possible for your editors to limit saturation by identifying and rejecting “spun” articles? If not, cap submissions for trending topics and apply Class A type review criteria for these niches.

The core problem is that these niches are saturated because they are money making markets and “writers” submit articles for no other purpose than acquiring a back link to their website in order to rank higher in Google. The end result is that these niches get saturated with rubbish and duplicate content on the web as a whole. This is what Google is addressing with their ranking algorithms.

I favor EzineArticles continuing with quality improvement steps you have already started: 1) Insist on quality and make writers earn their Platinum status and 2) Reject duplicate content where the origin of content is niche website vendors, PLR providers or content farms. There are programs like CopyScape that can identify this type of content.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 7:04 PM

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18
CarlosP. writes:

Gentlemen,

I can see that our capitalistic system is functioning well. You, Mr. Knight, own this directory. You call the shots.

You can place as many junk ads as you want all over those acai berry, penis enlargement, lost lovers, etc., articles that you can squeeze in. It’s your business.

Cut them off. Options, slop-tions, maybe you shouldn’t have allowed some of those niches in the first place. But then, maybe they were just trying to realize the American Dream. Now if they are true entrepreneurs, they will find another way; they will go elsewhere, but then you will lose all those ad revenues! Oh my!

But it’s all about the bottom line isn’t it? I first published here about two years ago. I was so proud of my mug! I tried, I really tried to give my best as a writer and as a marketer.

I believed that ezines wanted only quality article-marketing articles (if you were an IMer). I complied.
Within a year, however, I began to realize that I was competing, BIG TIME, with my own primary directory.

I wrote an article that you and your staff deemed unacceptable, unreasonably, in my opinion. Nevertheless, it is your business and you call the shots. I didn’t like it, so I left, my prerogative, my business. I went else where.

So it is in this predicament you find yourself in. Do not couch your business decisions under the guise of doing what’s best for your authors.

You call the shots. Take the responsibility.

Carlos

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 7:13 PM

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19
Terrie writes:

You should decide whether to publish based on the quality of the article.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM

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20
Patricia Hines writes:

What I am understanding is that is not niche value or appropriateness that is the problem, but rather that these particular niches are flooded with too many articles.

I feel that option 1 should be used whenever any niche is saturated. A pre-determined saturation rate should be uniformly applied to avoid any misunderstanding that censorship is a factor. Consider re-opening the niche at a later date.

I also feel that niches that have extremely high volume should not be open to basic and basic plus writers, they should be reserved for the platinum writers who have already proved their ability and willingness to comply with quality standards.

The affected niches should be clearly identified so that authors will know up front not to write in those niches.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 8:11 PM

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21
Scott Broadbent writes:

I’ll make a recommendation for an Option 4

On problem topics and niche, I’d instantly establish longer review times, much like we do have now, by downgrading these topics in priority. Perhaps review only one article collectively from all these categories for every 10, 15 or 20 from other niches.

Other articles will get priority, so if an author really wants to write on these topics, they’ll be trading off a longer review time (for even Platinum and Premium members). This suggestion doesn’t impact editorial resources, it just shifts resources away from highly saturated areas.

Alternatively I’d only allow Platinum members who have gained what would otherwise be deemed a Seal of Quality to write on these topics.

Increased Quality Control and limiting these areas to proven writers I believe would be the most effective and fair way to control article spam.

I don’t agree with a blanket decision to shut the door completely on these topics, nor do I think a lottery system would work. Considering the unwritten editorial guidelines for article submissions I’ve bumped into, I can’t trust that any guidelines that were created would be followed nor applied appropriately.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 8:11 PM

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Scott,

New guidelines are in the works. You’ll see them soon. :)

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22
Ruth writes:

I don’t have any articles in these niches, so not sure it’s fair to give my opinion. But, these markets are more than saturated …. and would not mind seeing them closed

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 8:46 PM

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23
Nick Kellingley writes:

Of the 7 niches – I’d like to see them all go except for 2, 5 and 7 where there is real value add possible.

Of the others these topics are by definition thin in the first place.

I don’t write about penis enlargement for example – because the only way that works is surgery which is both risky and potentially disfiguring, the rest of the content is at best spurious at worst dangerous. So that’s all the unique – genuine content you could possibly allow on the subject.

Actually that’s not the only reason I don’t write on the subject – but it’s certainly a great reason not to bother.

I know people make their living in this area, but it seems to me that if you ban certain article types on moral grounds, than this type of article must go too.

The purpose of an article is to be “informative” right? Rather than cater for a legion of men who percieve themselves to be inadequate and are happy to chase rainbows for a fix.

It’s hard to claim that your focus is “high quality” content when you cater for areas in which there simply can’t be any high quality content.

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 9:03 PM

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Johnny writes:

There are actually real penis exercises that DO work. It’s real science, not bs. The top CB product for this has about a 2% refund rate. It’s real, so this shouldn’t be about taking the moral high ground. Enlargement pills, on the other hand, are a scam.

With that being said, men’s issues is a real blood bath because there is so much money to be made there. And, yes, there is only so much that can be said, so the articles do become very derivative, even if writing them by hand.

If that section is deleted, it will be very interesting to see where this content ends up next.

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Nick Kellingley writes:

No there aren’t Johnny, there are however a large number of men who don’t want to go to the shops and take their purchase back with the line; “No my ****’s still tiny.”

Basing effectiveness on refund rate is not science – it’s ridiculous.

Real science says – operations make your junk bigger, but at the genuine risk of leaving it so violently deformed no-one will want to play with it anyway. It’s why only men with genuine micro-penis are offered this alternative in an ethical health service.

The rest is junk, pure and simple. Sorry.

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Johnny writes:

Sorry Nick, but you’re wrong. There are massive forums dedicated to these natural exercises, and thousands of men who have gotten bigger from them. It doesn’t happen overnight- it takes months. And, no, it isn’t as dangerous as you’d like to think. It doesn’t involve any pain when done correctly. It involves the encouragement of cellular growth within the penile tissues over time.

As far as micro-penis’ go, that’s an entirely different story. Penis exercises won’t help there. And when I talk about enlargement, I’m not talking about adding 3 inches to your manhood in a week. Like I said, it takes months to start seeing any kind of gains.

Google “penis exercises,” and you’ll be sure to find massive forums with thousands of people reporting gains. I have nothing to gain from this discussion. I no longer use EzineArticles. I’m simply stating that much of what is said in the men’s issues section is real, and isn’t a scam. With that being said, I do support articles about pills being banned, because they certainly do not work. BUT PENIS EXERCISES DO, and I know for a fact that these systems are primarily what men’s issues writers are marketing.

The spamminess of these articles comes from their exaggerated titles (which EzineArticles has already cracked down on, and derivative content, which all saturated niches suffer from)

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Nick Kellingley writes:

No Johnny they don’t – “encouragement of cellular growth within penile tissues” may actually be the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Can’t happen – biology doesn’t work like that.

Indian Sadhu’s stretch their penises – they use a twig to do it and they continually roll and re-roll and pull their dangly bits over it. Sadly this causes total destruction of the erectile tissue – and in the end they have enormously long utterly useless man bits.

Penis exercises cannot make your penis longer without damage – fact.

You can lose weight and make the bit on the outside look longer – but a thin and healthy man, has no options when it comes to actually making it longer.

There’s also a strong factor of “belief” entering the equation when it comes to issues like this, and the fact that once again no man who has wasted months on this kind of crap is likely to admit his magic wand of love is still tinier than a hamster’s.

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Johnny writes:

Really? Go tell that to the the thousands of guys in those forums who have documented proof that they have enlarged their erections with penis exercises . You’re ridiculous.

You sound like some religious zealot refusing to acknowledge evolution.

End of discussion. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

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24
alex jacobs writes:

when will we know what decision is made and what it is?
is it going to happen right away?

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 9:03 PM

[Reply]

Alex,

No decision has been made. We don’t know that any option will be the best option. What we do know is that quality trumps it all.

Every article review contains a high quality metric and we’ll continue on that path.

[Reply]

25
Tim Gorman writes:

Very simple to fix this – Simply don’t allow the use of resource links in these oversaturated niches and I guarantee you won’t have to woory about any more submissions for thse topics.

If that seems harsh you could just no-follow the links for these topics and I’m willing to bet you would see the submissions still drop.

A lottery doesn’t ensure the best quality gets through and the first choice (number 1) might be better for topics 1,3,4 and 6 – Those are all spam topics anyway.

Another consideration might be to not allow links to affiliate offers for those topics.

Respectfully,
Tim

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 10:07 PM

[Reply]

I agree Tim that the lotto idea won’t work.

After reading the comments last night, I became convinced that the lotto idea doesn’t address quality and creates more problems than it solves.

Your solution of not allowing resource links is interesting yet it doesn’t solve the problem that if an excellent article gets submitted in one of these saturated niches, why shouldn’t that person be allowed a link to their website.

[Reply]

Name (required) writes:

Nofollow still allows them to have a link to their website in their author box…they can still have a link in the author box.

There is nothing wrong with that then, because it’s not like you are taking away someone’s right to promote or direct readers to a website….you’re just taking away their right to get link juice…which can be found other ways.

Not sure if that will stop spammers, since spammers only want people to click the link.

[Reply]

26
zahra writes:

In my opinion publishing and accepting articles could be based on” the quality of the article, its subject and time of the article, in another words, when the subject the article contains an information that is needed to be highlighted at present or now.

Best regards
Zahra

Comment provided March 2, 2011 at 10:49 PM

[Reply]

27
Janna Chan writes:

Hello Penny:

I would ban any material that should only be viewed by adults. There will be lots of kicking and screaming if you go with option number one, but adding more articles to a saturated niche makes no sense to me. I say ban them all for a month and see how that affects EzineArticles.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 12:51 AM

[Reply]

28
Paulette Salvia writes:

If a niche is saturated, I feel the best solution would be to place a timed moratorium on the niche (perhaps 1 year) until updated and relevant content becomes available.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 2:29 AM

[Reply]

29
Mark Thompson writes:

Well most of those topic refer to niches with a lot of poor quality and scam products. (Note i said Most not all)

Why not actually go through and remove the derivative content for a start… or just go through and remove the stuff that should never have been accepted in the first place.

Then from there on in apply the rules you already have in place.

I noticed how all 3 option are the ones that take the least amount of effort on behalf of EzineArticles, sorry Chris you guys are as much to blame for the current state of affairs so it’s time to expend some effort and rectify things.

Not one article was posted without approval of your Editors, so maybe it’s time they started to become part of the solution.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 2:49 AM

[Reply]

30
Jonathan writes:

Hi,

We can also do a quota system where each author is only allowed a certain number of articles in these niches in a set period of time.

I also believe that high standards may be applied to these niches with balanced articles given priority.

Let’s say a fitness author writes an article on how acai berries DON’T work for weight loss. This is vastly different than 99% of other articles in that niche which are just trying to sell stuff. It adds credibility to EzineArticles as a whole and is very much worth publishing.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 2:54 AM

[Reply]

31
Mark Thompson writes:

We apply a blanket ruling that prevents the admittance of any future articles on any topic listed above.

We implement a lottery system. We systematically allow only so many articles per month on these topics. Any articles that exceed that number will be rejected at the door.

We develop guidelines on trending topics.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 2:54 AM

[Reply]

32
Jim Sanders writes:

Why a lottery? Why not a list? Here’s a way to ensure each gets a chance instead of some being “lucky” all the time which won’t account for quality.

Saturated niches get a posting in a page calling for submissions, which are first accepted from those within those niches. You already have a quality scale for most authors, you have an idea where they stand on that scale.

Since you want to protect your business model, you start with the person at the top of that quality scale, and rank them in succession. As you take a submission from the top, the person drops to the bottom, as long as they maintain their quality, and the article makes it past filters.

If article does not make it past filters, it falls to the next, until it’s picked up. The list, in succession, gets one shot at the article submission process. This would help FORCE quality increases. People not wishing to submit quality do not get the benefit of approval. Competition drives quality.

This, at least, ensures quality through competition, and nobody gets a lottery win, they either provide quality or loose out. Want to hold authors accountable to quality, there’s an option for you.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 4:50 AM

[Reply]

Jim Sanders writes:

I normally get paid $100.00 an hour for my consultations, but I’ll give that one away, although I SUPPOSEDLY hate EzineArticles =)

[Reply]

33

Point number one always raises a smile. Who are these people who feel that they need that. There seem to be a lot of them in the world!

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 5:23 AM

[Reply]

34
Jonathan writes:

You can also decide that articles in those niches are only allowed for platinum authors.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 6:07 AM

[Reply]

35
Jim Sanders writes:

Sorry, off topic, couldn’t resist, it’s penis envy madness :)

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 6:11 AM

[Reply]

Jim Sanders writes:

That was for Girard’s comment, btw. Thanks to this blog and the failed captcha every other try, it posted in the wrong area.

[Reply]

36
Piet Venter writes:

I think the best solution lies in the purpose of the system. Is it for the sake of the publisher or for that of the reader. If your aim is to please the reader, then quality and usefulness is the answer. If, however, it must be the publisher, then number of visits to their links would obviously be the criteria as that’s actually what publishers are after – to get traffic through their atricles!

The answer? First find out what your priorities are and then decide who to please! That is in my mind the best way to solve the problem.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 8:07 AM

[Reply]

37
J Chase writes:

If these niches are saturated, then I see no value in continuing to put more articles in an already saturated market. I vote for number one,

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:41 AM

[Reply]

38
Dan Janal writes:

I think putting an apostrophe in “pro’s” is a sign that you need to train your proofreaders better.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:50 AM

[Reply]

39

EzineArticles,

you KNOW the answer. Why do you need to ask? You know that the HUGE majority of those articles is simply for the purpose of selling affiliate products.

You cannot say you want to change EzineArticles towards quality, and STILL debate whether to keep reverse cell phone, pe*is enlargement or acai berry.

You already know the answer what to do!

Eg, I also know that reverse cell phone is one of the MAIN traffic keywords which in the past drove traffic to Ezine. YES, you will lose even more traffic.

But you need to know what you want. Either go quality and revamp, weed out…or don’t. I thought you already had plans for a revamp, thats why i am puzzled you still need to ask.

Georg.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

[Reply]

Internet Marketing,

We like to hear your opinions on issues and have always been member-centric. We may not always be able to appease the mass but your input is always valued and considered in our decision-making process.

I also respectfully disagree with your feelings on the overall quality in these markets. There is a large quantity of very well-written articles that solve very real problems in all these niches.

We appreciate your feedback.

[Reply]

40

By the way, i myself made good sales with 1) and ezine. Its very subjective to say that 1) has no value, regardless of topic this is a market and there is big (excuse the pun) demand. Fact. Otherwise i never would’ve sold one of those :)

But for the sake of the overall health of EzineArticles and its future i would say to ditch it – even if it means i myself would lose sales in that niche.

There are enough other subjects to write about. If it means that (in the future) EzineArticles will become liked by Google again, i am all for it to drop those subjects.

G.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 10:37 AM

[Reply]

I didn’t see your comment before I posted the one above but I’ll leave it for the sake of simplicity and add more here. :)

There is no proof that these niches are good or bad or ugly for that matter. But we do know the market is saturated which makes them more prone to unethical practices that create spun or derivative content.

What is “too saturated?” Is there such a thing? And can an author effectively write thousands of articles in one area and still provide unique quality in every article? I think more than one author who walks the walk can defend how it’s possible.

[Reply]

41

If any one wants to continue with over saturated niches and gain some thing out of it, a system should be developed to make them share from their profit.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 10:54 AM

[Reply]

42
Casey writes:

I’m sure this has already been said, but it may work if you raise the word count to , say, 1000 words for these saturated niches. This will probably benefit everyone. It will likely weed out those people looking to pump EzineArticles full of derivative content; so while the articles may take much longer to approve, there will be fewer of them, and they will hopefully be of a much higher quality.

Moreover, authors in these niches will be more willing to produce great, useful content, because their articles will stay on the first page for longer periods of time, thus giving them more views.

At the same time, the lower number of articles being published in these niches will probably lose google traffic over time, since fresh content won’t be pumped into them as frequently. As a result, even fewer people will continue to write for these sections, thus allowing for a gradual, natural, and healthy reduction in submissions (and problems,) for these niches.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

[Reply]

I was thinking about this (raising the min. word count) too, but quickly realized its not practicable. Heck i can send you a 5000 words spun article…so number of words is not really an indicator for quality.

Maybe they need something like a rating system to up/down articles which are liked by people, similar to Digg. But again, i know such things can be abused too.

But ultimately real people should judge quality. If i write a 200 “sales letter” on my blog i dont get much visitors sticking around long on the blog, let alone returning visitors.

But write something longer, something GOOD..and it will pay off because people will see that you provide something of value.
And..that value is actually also in the uniqueness, providing something new…and not in the 1000th iteration of how good this or that system is to enlarge something :) The point is that MANY such articles are redundant since the actual purpose (providing information) is secondary – they are put there because people want to sell. Give me 1000 acai berry articles or how cool reverse cell phone lookups are..all of them are basically the same.

The DILEMMA here is that an actual article might indeed be of value, there ARE indeed people who want information on such topics…and the article might indeed give it to them..even if the article is basically just a copy of 999 others. So..the solution for all of this is really not easy.

[Reply]

43
David writes:

I think the lotto idea is good as well but further I think you have to contact the authors for the specific Topics and if that is indeed their “niche” allow for them to submit quality articles into the lottery system new people to the niche have to be measured against the current crop of top articles. That way you are 1. keeping a good to article chain and 2. giving people a basis for future submissions with comparative analysis!

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 11:29 AM

[Reply]

44
Shafir Ahmad writes:

Has EzineArticles been ht badly by Google on these topics?

Frankly, just because a topic has a lot of articles doesnt mean you stop accepting articles. Just tighten your editorial guidelines and make sure only good content makes it in. Any badly written, thin content should be weeded out, rejected.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 11:31 AM

[Reply]

Howeler writes:

A bit, but here’s the overall numbers:

OPI=Organic Performance index.

OPI_Today 35,691
OPI_Last 259,516
Difference -223,825
% -86.2%

PS. Capcha for this post: problem solving HA

[Reply]

45
Howeler writes:

People, especially Mr. Knight need to understand what Google deems as a “bad neighborhood”.

Which from my analysis EZ hasn’t been lumped into yet…

High levels of spam exist in all those niches, and from some searches EZ articles in these, are buried in the SERPS and have been even before the update.

EZ ask yourself “Will we except articles on the PPC’s Porn, Pills and Casinos?” No.

A massive clean up is needed across the entire site IMHO.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 12:11 PM

[Reply]

46

You forget one important thing!

If Google applies the “content farm” label to all sites which cater MANY topics (article sites being the prime example for this)…it doesn’t matter whether the individual articles get better.

It’s the fact of not being specialized in one niche which is responsible for the penalty – NOT the individual content.

There are indeed indications that google does not evaluate individual articles, but rather applies a general (negative) label to domains/article directories.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 12:15 PM

[Reply]

47
John Dir writes:

Since the EzineArticles business model is to benefit from the free submission of articles in exchange for providing a potential for click backs to author links, methods for limiting article submissions should incorporate an assessment of impact on the entire equation. Content performance can be great for EzineArticles, and poor for author return. Subjective determination of the quality of content should be made on both aspects of this partnership, and cuts or closure of any niche based on the strength of the benefits of this partnership to both authors and the business that provides them with a reputable platform from which to market their business. There is plenty of statistical information on tap to make a determination for how EzineArticles wants to adjust its acceptance of new articles, and possibly cull out existing articles that impact Google standings.

I suggest that any over saturated niches be assessed for change based on how articles perform on both sides of the equation. EzineArticles can determine which articles are not performing well for authors, for EzineArticles, or for both, and begin notifying contributors about which of their articles will be getting the axe based on quality and business performance. Applying that criteria should be enough to clean up any niche.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 1:10 PM

[Reply]

John Dir writes:

An appendum to my earlier post. Why not appeal to authors to clear out their own underachieving or outdated material? This puts some of the subjective resposibility in the hands of those who wrote the stuff. In my own opinion, an article with 85 reads and no click backs after six years is a pretty good indicator that I will feel no pain in ditching a post.

[Reply]

Scott Broadbent writes:

They are in the process of doing just that, except for those who now don’t meet the raised quality standards, they are suspending accounts and requesting that authors make changes before they’ll be reinstated.

Of course, they aren’t bothering to actually inform you which of your articles don’t make the grade, and just expect you to blindly review your articles and assume that you’ll know where the bar is on originality.

Of course, since they control whether your account is actually turned back on, you have to jump through hoops to satisfy them that you’re now meeting those guidelines, or no more submitting for you.

[Reply]

John Dir writes:

If one takes too big a bite out of the hand that feeds them, the place can turn into a ghost town very quickly. I am one to try to take the log out of my own eye before I try to remove the splinter from my brother’s eye. If I am blocked due to changes in quality standards, I will tend to burn the hoops rather than jump through them…:)

[Reply]

48
Don Tepper writes:

I took a look at a few of those oversaturated topics, and what I saw there is garbage. Poorly written slop, often virtually incoherent, just there to attract the search spiders and to sell a product.

Though the blog states: “However, there are many Expert Authors who add a tremendous amount of value in these niches. Their articles are educational, assist in life changes and allow for increased awareness. These are all very positive attributes,” I didn’t see any evidence of that.

I don’t like the lottery system. That gives bad articles a chance against ones that might provide some value. That’s not a solution to quality or value at all. It’s only a solution to limit the number of articles.

I agree with Georg, #37. Go with quality. Here’s what you do: Identify niches that are oversaturated, or are trending in that direction. You cited 7 of them, above. I’m sure there are others. Then you apply more rigorous standards to them. That includes both editorial quality and content. Although there will already by a lot of lower-quality items in there (causing the upward trend), from that point out you’re ensuring: (1) higher quality, valuable content, and (2) that the lower-quality stuff is cut off at the pass.

Tom’s suggestion (#2) might be a way to set the cut-off point for those–again, after apply more rigorous editorial and content standards. Charles (#6) also emphasizes quality. I’m not sure about increasing length, though (of the articles, not the male appendage!)–I looked at some pretty terrible articles in those 7 categories that were quite long. They just kept repeating the key words over and over and over again.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 2:17 PM

[Reply]

49
Lance Winslow writes:

Penis Enlargement – Remove Completely
Get Your Ex Back – One per month per account, and only Premium Paid Membership can post there.
Acai Berry – Remove – FTC is onto this stuff,
Reverse Cell Phone Lookup – Remove, it’s an SEO traffic grabbing trick.
Credit Card Debt Relief – One per month per account, or remove, too much fraud in that category.
Male Enhancement Pill – Remove – give me a break – None. Also remove the word penis, orgasim, and other words from this site, and never in a title. (no I am not a religious person, I just want more professionalism)
TV for PC – One per month per account, 5 if premium paid member

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM

[Reply]

alex jacobs writes:

thats never going to happen!!

[Reply]

Casey writes:

Lance,

If you want professionalism, go work a 9-5. The internet is the wild, wild west.

Really, you want to remove the word “orgasm” and “penis”? You’ve got to be kidding me.

That’s pure censorship. Utterly ridiculous.

[Reply]

omg its not about those words nor about censorship, you totally missed the point.

[Reply]

ok, nevermind, what he says is nonsense :)

[Reply]

>>
Reverse Cell Phone Lookup – Remove, it’s an SEO traffic grabbing trick.
>>

If there is traffic there must be a demand. If i write an article about “How to change the colors of my smurfs from blue to green” – no one searches.

But if i get 1000s of searches daily for cell phone lookup, SOMEONE must look for this and its legit to have this and serve this to the user!

Regardless of YOUR opinion. And yes, there is in fact also millions of people looking for male enhancement stuff. Believe it or not.

[Reply]

Lance Winslow writes:

Well, our opinions were asked for I gave mine, I will not CAVE in to online social forum or blog comment harassment of my personal character here. I have put in more time writing articles for this site than anyone else on this site for the past five years, all my articles I’ve done personally, I am a little embarrased when I see the home page of this site with titles of articles about “penis” or “orgasms” platered about, it quite degrading.

The problem with “reverse lookup cell phone” sites is that most of the articles do not send anyone to a site where people can actually look anything up.

Just because there are millions of people who want to buy pills to assist in sexual performance doesn’t mean every Tom, Dick, and Harry should be posting articles here to draw that traffic to websites which probably don’t even sell the pills anyway. Besides there is far too much fraud going on in that category, why should EzineArticles be an enabler to all that?

It makes this site look bad to have those articles constantly on the home page. It’s not censorship at all, people are welcome to take those articles and shove them up their other favorite article directory websites, and drag down the credibility of the other authors who might be posting there too on those 3rd rate websites.

Stop attacking my personal character – I can out write you. You can’t hire enough outsourced writers to compete with me. I will not be personally attacked for my opinions, observations, or knowledge in this venue.

[Reply]

Casey writes:

I’m not attacking your personal character. I will say, however, that if you’re embarrassed by seeing those words on e-zine’s homepage, then you’re probably a bit too invested in the site itself and the traffic it produces for you.

As far as men’s issues is concerned, if you even take a second to look at it, 99.9% of the resources contain links to enhancement products, so I have no clue where you got that idea from.

I don’t write on e-zine. I have no side in this battle. I wrote for ezine when I was a noob and there was still real money to be made; when the traffic was flowing like champagne and you could get an article stuck for a weekend and make 500 bucks. . . then you could get up the next morning and smash out about 45 articles and make another 200-300 a day. For that I’m thankful. Ezine gave me the bankroll I needed to start a serious business.

[Reply]

Lance Winslow writes:

Well, my wife mentioned to her friend that I posted my articles on EzineArticles, she showed the site to her friend while visiting, and on the home page were articles of a disgusting nature, with titles, unbefitting of such a great website – she was mortified and embarrassed, and I don’t blame her.

Indeed, I still recommend EzineArticles to fellow business people, most of them are in the real world, not just website owners, as a way to spread knowledge and develope clientele through informational marketing. But my wife has stopped recommending this site for the reasons I state above.

Those types of articles IN MY OPINION – are degrading, disgusting, and so highly inappropriate that a writer of the Wall Street Journal decided to mention it stating “EzineArticles a website with articles on everything from “Erectile Dysfunction to how to fix leaky facets took a hit from the new algorithm.” Wow, now that was someone’s opinion, a writer for the WSJ in coming and reviewing this website. That is not cool.

EzineArticles is better than that, and should definitely at MINIMUM reduce the numer of articles on these sorts of topics, if not eliminate the whole category. Sorry Casey, if I am not currently up on all the penis enlargment, erectile dysfunction, or men’s issues – they just are not relevant in my life.

Thanks for your comments, you made me think.

[Reply]

Nick Kellingley writes:

I kind of fall between the two on this topic. I agree that many of the articles that involve sexuality on here are just puff pieces for SPAM products – penis enlargement is 100% guilty of this.

But I don’t think it’s wrong to discuss “erectile dysfunction” – there’s real content to be had there behind the “cheap legal alternatives to Viagra” crap anyway.

If someone’s offended by the word “penis” they probably need to ask themself some soul searching questions as to why. It’s just a word and part of the body too – so half of us have one and most of the other half will see one sooner or later.

But… weeding out the offensive is important. I too feel that my submissions are degraded by being published on the home page around all the nasty approaches and the SPAM content.

[Reply]

50
CarlosP. writes:

Maybe this comment will be accepted, maybe not. I have tried to point out that it is the directory’s responsibility to decide what they want, not the authors’.

Saturation can only be defined by the publisher/directory. What about the Make Money niche? Article Writing niche? Health? …..

If the author cannot comply, he/she goes elsewhere. If the author doesn’t like the directory’s rules, they do not submit.

If the directory doesn’t like the topic, grammar, content, formatting, or whatever they reject the article, end of story.

Offline that’s the way it is. Why should this be any different?

Carlos

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 5:58 PM

[Reply]

51
Author With Solutions writes:

I disagree with all of the solutions offered so far, because they all boil down to cutting people out of their niches, in the end. One way or another, the solutions end up leaving authors left hanging high and dry; entire niches exiled, or unclear shots being called in the near future “depending” to result in the above once again.

I’m going to offer some solutions that can get rid of the “depending”, which can allow EzineArticles to get everything they want back, without having to take away the niches or the author’s articles….instead it will just CHANGE how the articles can be written, so that the content can actually become quality and unique information in the end.

These solutions tackle a wide array of problems that EzineArticles has, and in the end are more open than the original solutions offered (in my opinion). You won’t have to limit the articles in the niche, and instead will have a better method of rejection that actually targets the problems. You’ll also give expert authors the chance to really shine (I explain expert further down).

Since I see few benefits to the original tips (people LOSE), and many benefits to these solutions (people are still allowed to have and even GAIN), I hope they can be considered as an alternative, whether individually or collectively:

*************Solution #1: attack derivative content directly, by banning derivative TIPS, instead of banning entire niches. The result, is that experts get a chance to shine with their EXPERTISE being able to go beyond simplistic and obvious tips that can be found virtually anywhere online.

Authors who are truly experts will be able to generate content that has UNIQUE, NEW, and RELEVANT tips to their niches. This means that the authors SHOULD be able to generate completely genuine content that is THEIR OWN idea, or is not simply an obvious tip that is plastered anywhere that you see these niches online.

Expert authors should KNOW their niches well enough to go beyond the simplistic tips here. This works well for everyone in the end, because it means that EzineArticles gets better content, authors are still allowed to submit in their niches as long as they meet this guideline, experts are allowed to shine through; and the niches stay open for visitors and the public.

Here is how it should be implemented (an example):

***Authors can no longer write on the following tips in the get your ex back sub-niche/vertical:***

1. Give space/ignore them/no contact/don’t call them/etc…
2. Look better/improve your looks/workout/join a gym/dress differently/get a new hairdo/dress sexier etc…
3. Don’t act needy/don’t act desperate/don’t beg/don’t plead/don’t apologize too much/etc…
4. make your ex jealous/date someone new/etc…

Authors can no longer write on the following tips in the get your ex back niche:
It goes on from there, but it’s not specifically the KEYWORDS that are making the articles look bad, nor EzineArticles look bad; but rather the tips themselves in these niches.

If you open up most of the articles in the conflict niche, on the ex back subject….you’ll find the tips are general, and pretty much say the same thing in different authors articles.

But that’s because these authors are doing their research online by finding other ex back articles, and thus take the tips from them. So it’s a recycling of the same tips.

BUT, an experienced and well rounded author doesn’t need to do that, and should be able to generate their OWN tips that don’t revolve around simplistic and overly common tips like: “give space”.

*********Solution #2: attack keyword specific spam directly by disallowing explanations of the keyword itself (we (visitors/readers) don’t need the keywords defined, they are generally well known!) Allowing this to continue is like suggesting that the visitors or readers are complete idiots. They are not. Unless a person lives under a rock, they know what acai berry is, they know what penis enlargement means, they understand what it means to get an ex back etc….

Not only this, but explanations of these things are simply definitions in disguise. Definitions are short, so what does that mean? It means that the rest of the article is simply filler and fluff.

A prime example:

^^^^ Reverse cell phone look up- if an author just wants to explain what this is, and what it does….the explanation would be about as short as the definition in the dictionary….therefore we know the rest of the article is just fluff. If people are really searching for “how reverse cell phone lookup works”, they’ll find it, and that’s NOT what authors on EzineArticles are getting people to view the article for anyway, and we all know that. Thus, explaining what this tool does suggests that an author is simply after clicks and nothing else.

**********Solution #3: Disallow strong call to action in these niches.

The main reason why these niches look so spammy is because the call to action in the titles, articles, and author boxes in the end is misleading. Some examples in motion:

—-must know tips on acai berry that will shed the pounds! (then the tips are average, and don’t actually offer any advice that can be applied)
—-Get your ex back before they leave you for someone else! (but the tips just talk about giving space, and time. That doesn’t even tell a person HOW to get an ex back, it just tells them what to do in the meantime!)
—-Free reverse phone lookup searches! (it’s not free…!)
—-Stop a divorce today (the tips talk about a long term goal instead)
—- Get a big penis with natural enlargement (it doesn’t say how many inches can be gained, nor do the tips even suggest that the penis can become “big” with the tips, but simply that the tips may or may not work)
—-Get rid of credit card debt extremely fast (average tips that suggest a person budgets, which doesn’t get rid of the debt….but rather concentrates on managing what they have now?)
—-Get free TV on your PC (then lists places you can go to pay to get tv on your pc)

These are just examples, but the point is, that the main issue for these niches is their call to action; and the article not delivering….even if the article DOES address the title, it needs to DELIVER on the title.

That’s not exactly possible in these niches, as many things cannot be guaranteed in the niches (such as in the ex back, penis enlargement, acai berry) as the results in the niches are subjective to the user themselves.

Likewise, reverse phone lookup is not free, and talking about sites they can find it on, is misleading the visitors to think that the can find it for free somewhere online; when in reality the author is simply trying to get them to click their signature. This is not DELIVERING on the title truly.

Thus, disallow call to action in titles or these articles. Call to action in these niches takes away from the value. These are heavily trafficked niches, so we know millions of people are looking at them, REGARDLESS. BUT, millions of people are looking at them and clicking, because the call to action suggests something they want.

The only way to get the author to deliver then, on giving the readers what they actually want in these subjects, is to take away the marketing aspect and bring back the information aspect.

You can still allow links and author boxes; which keeps the marketing VALUE for authors; HOWEVER, if authors feel the need to have strong call to action on everything from the title to the article, without really delivering any information, they might as well make a sales page.

That’s what sales pages do. Sales pages talk about how great something is and pump the reader up so that they will WANT to get the information by buying. BUT, these are ARTICLES.

It’s time to draw the fine line between a sales page and an article; because I see a lot of authors confusing the two, or a lot of authors thinking they can get away with throwing a sales page like article on here all the time.

Readers don’t want a sales page, they want information. Be clear here, and the only way you can do that is by taking this suggestion and disallowing heavy marketing tactics to be used in these high traffic niches. That will most DEFINITELY add value again, because it will bring back the information; and will remove all the sales pitches/sales page-like articles.

***********Solution #4: Article templates must be original, in terms of STYLE.

I cannot tell you how many authors are copying each other on EzineArticles in these niches. I used to see one or two authors who had strong call to action, and suddenly it exploded and everyone was copying those author’s titles with the same words (call to action, keywords), same length, and everyone’s articles start to just look the same.

Likewise, I noticed that a few authors had a template that looked like this:

Title: 5 Tips to _____- Strong call to action that elaborates or tells someone to view it

Article:

BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO BLA BLA BLA BLA INTRO; Here’s how to _________:

BLA BLA BLA- yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda

BLA BLA BLA- yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda

BLA BLA BLA- yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda

BLA BLA BLA- yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda

BLA BLA BLA- yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda

Author box.

Take note that the “BLA BLA BLA” part of the tips is almost always bolded now (again authors copying other authors templates); and in essence you’ll find this template all over these niches.

So every article starts to look the same, whether they are 3 tips, 4 tips, 5 tips and onward…. It’s a short excerpt (usually bolded), an explanation, and then repeat.

This happens so much that really, all of the articles are just starting to look the same; although I see different authors names attached to them. Is it really ORIGINAL or UNIQUE if every single author is using the same template, same method of delivery, same types of titles, same types of tips etc….?

I say you stop this right in it’s tracks. Stop authors from copying each other so directly here, it really takes away from every author here, when the only way they know how to write is in that style, and in that specific format?

Come on here! Does every single article have to be in that format only? I would say it’s pretty suspicious that an “expert author” is only able to write in ONE stylistic fashion, and does this for the rest of their days as a writer?

They are only doing it, because it’s a marketing ploy and tactic. Genuine content doesn’t flow and follow this kind of trend, and can be stylized in ANY shape and form; not just one specific outlay.

Honestly speaking, this is the outlay you can find EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE online when it comes to articles. I think THAT has overstayed its welcome, and ENSURES that content stays derivative, because the format itself only leaves so much to be said, and the format itself was found and used by other authors copying each other here.

To put this into perspective, because some may argue that there are only so many ways to write something….Imagine if every single YouTube video had the same format. Imagine if a person came on the video, Said HI, waved at the camera….talked about the issue, waved again, talked about another issue, waved again….and continued till all of their points were finished.

What if this was the ONLY format that was used for videos, no matter who was creating the videos? Wouldn’t this become pretty mundane? Would it really be genuine then? Would it really be creative, unique, or even useful after a point and time?

No one would want to see videos there anymore if that were the case, because they’d finally get sick of it. But that is the case here, with EzineArticles….in these high traffic niches (and other niches as well).

A good author doesn’t need to stick to the template that everyone’s using, and use it in all 500 of their articles. Where’s the originality in that? How is THAT not considered to be derivative?

I say authors should have to make their articles more individualistic, and true to their real content. Not true to a template that the masses seem to use. It makes it really difficult to explain, elaborate, or offer value when the tips are crammed into tiny paragraphs, and a small explanation is given.

This also encourages authors to write generic tips….because generic tips are EASY to describe in the little paragraph by this template’s standards.

I might have more ideas; but for now I believe these offer more value, encourage more growth, and still give both EzineArticles and Authors a chance to work through the issues in these niches without blocking the niches or articles entirely.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 5:58 PM

[Reply]

52
Internet Marketer writes:

My opinion…

Have two sites…

One for absolute premium content…

One for standard fair…

Editor’s determine where they go and that gives authors incentive to write superlative content.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 6:08 PM

[Reply]

53
Author With Solutions writes:

***********Solution #5: Crackdown on poor article quality by requiring the tips to be a significant percentage (%) of the article in comparison to the introduction and unfortunate filler content (which I addressed elsewhere in my solutions)

I see a lot authors getting to be cheeky in these heavily trafficked niches by having a HUGE introduction and only 3 lines of tips…literally the tips only take up about 3 lines.

For example, the article looks like this:

Introduction, explanation, and filler wordsIntroduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler wordsIntroduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words

Introduction, explanation, and filler wordsIntroduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words

Introduction, explanation, and filler wordsIntroduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words Introduction, explanation, and filler words

TIP — BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA

Tip — BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA

Tip BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA

=================================

Put it this way…an introduction is supposed to be exactly that: an INTRODUCTION into the material itself. BUT, I see tons of articles simply being all introduction and thus FILLER content, rather than content itself.

This is especially true for articles which specify in the title how many tips the reader can find in the article itself. So we have someone saying there are 3 tips, and there ARE 3 tips…..it’s just that most of the article (50+% is the introduction itself).

In some cases I have seen 80% of the article be pure introduction and filler. What does that leave the readers with?

Not a heck of a lot.

Likewise, another thing to be considered here, is the fact that the tips may very well BE there; BUT on the other end of the spectrum we have writers who add their fluff or filler AFTER the tips as well.

So the tips, once again are literally only one line, or are not the main purpose of the article (though the title said the reader would get TIPS, not a huge introduction statement and closing statements?).

I believe this can help in these niches specifically, because it’s in these niches that I see this happening the most, more than a few times DAILY.

You want the articles to be about content….so make it that articles need to be %80 tips (the REAL content) AT LEAST, and the rest can be the introduction and closing remarks, should the author choose to have it.

Now, some may say that the fluff will simply be added in the tips themselves then; BUT, I already addressed the issue of fluff in tips with my previous solution suggestions; wherein I suggested that generic and typical tips get the axe; alongside with ensuring that a definition stays a definition.

Definitions should be short and to the point; if someone is defining something, then keep it to that. But I see authors simply defining tips, and adding tons of fluff as a result.

That’s because a definition isn’t exactly a tip; and elaborating on a definition doesn’t necessarily elaborate on a tip itself.

What I mean here is this: there is a stark difference between definitions and tips. Definitions can be used to help elaborate on tips, but shouldn’t be the soul purpose of explaining the tip itself.

I say this, because I see tons and tons of tips that are simply just definitions with fluff. EzineArticles is not a dictionary.

It’s a place to add much more than this, and if an author cannot; well are they really writing articles then? Or are they simply writing long dictionary entries to place on EzineArticles?

which brings me to my next point:

***********Solution #6: Ban “tips”.

This may sound completely outrageous, however let’s consider what a tip really is:

A tip is a useful hint or idea; or a basic and practical fact.

So it can also be a short and concise point, on a topic; and probably is, when it’s simply a BASIC fact.

This would mean that anyone offering tips is simply only offering BASIC material. Basic material in itself can be considered to NOT be high quality.

Just think about it….if we have a common fact, a common sense tip; how is that even unique? Not only this, but facts are generally delivered in a short and concise manner…are they not?

That would still mean that writers offering “tips”, simply only add tons ands of FLUFF to their tips, on top of the ‘tip’ itself.

I think you’ll find that a lot of articles in these niches focus heavily on tips. That’s because there is nothing else these authors can bring to the table.

They can not give you an extensively insightful article that elaborates on the nature of the topic itself. Instead they give quick bursts of information, which they can’t elaborate on, add any new insight to, and can’t make their own….because they are universal and general facts the authors are using.

Some people may agree here, because there may be some articles using the term “tips” that are able to elaborate beyond the simplistic level described here, but we know that is rare.

Since it’s rare, that leaves the same issue of authors only writing on “tips, tips, tips”. Tips won’t get down to the real issue if that’s how everyone’s writing, and that’s the way they choose to deliver their information 100% of the time.

It’s derivative as well, if you were to look into it. Like I said, the repetitive nature of the authors in these niches really destroys them. BUT, EzineArticles can tackle that by tackling the things that are actually making their nature repetitive, derivative, and not of a high quality standard.
——————————————————–

Some authors may disagree with me, but consider the fact that many articles are ONLY being delivered by saying “___ Tips”, and that’s the only way some authors write.

But should it be the ONLY way? Is this the ONLY way to deliver information? If it is, authors are sorely mistaken, and this is just one of the reasons why these niches have gone downhill: authors can’t branch out from anything and stick so strongly to one principal that they outwear the welcome mat for everyone.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 6:42 PM

[Reply]

Nick Kellingley writes:

I’d tend to disagree with this one – and not just because I have a few “tips” articles.

I think tips are one of the things that newcomers to a field are looking for – simple stuff, easily digested that helps them make small improvements.

However I also think that many “tips” articles are thin – with just a bullet point or numeric list with no in-depth discussion of how to achieve these things.

[Reply]

Author With Solutions writes:

I have written more; but my first comment has not been posted/approved yet.

This one has; which for now makes it out of context.

If newcomers ARE looking for simple stuff, that helps them make improvements; the format of how “tips” are used within these niches currently by authors most definitely falls short of that idea.

Thus, I do believe that disallowing the ‘tips’ outlay in these specific niches can help that issue. You said yourself that many ‘tips’ articles are thin; and don’t really have depth.

I noticed this too, and proposed the above as a solution to targeting the actual problems occurring in these high traffic sub-niches/verticals. It’s clear that authors want to just cram out as many articles as possible; which means that less time is spent on actually adding value.

The “tip” style articles are easy to crank out. A little market research or a simple Google search can show someone everything they need to write an article like that…and then we have 5000 articles like that suddenly.

The issue with tips, is that few are actually capable of giving them; thus we find plenty of authors just rewriting some other author’s tips that they found somewhere else, or even on EzineArticles.

It’s a recycling of the same things, not just on EzineArticles; but in general. Thus, I believe that EzineArticles should apply a NEW and more strict standard in regard to the whole “tip” stance; as a way to combat recycled, rehashed, derivative, and depth lacking articles in these verticals, and in all niches in general.

[Reply]

Nick Kellingley writes:

That’s fair, I’m in favour of stricter standards in general to improve quality. But not the outright banning of a category in which I think better writers can and do deliver value in.

[Reply]

Author With Solutions writes:

In essance that’s what I am saying. My original comment was finally posted, it’s #51.

I am just trying to offer solutions that would still allow authors into the niches, wouldn’t limit article submissions, and wouldn’t close the niches all together.

Their real issue is not closing the niches….as those niches also bring EzineArticles tons of traffic….it’s finding a way to MANAGE them, which EzineArticles doesn’t have a way to do yet.

The other issue is finding a way that’s not too strenuous on the editors either. I think my suggestions can be easily implemented, and don’t take too much work for the editors…as it’s can become more of a checklist, just like other approaches in the past have also become a checklist for article approval.

[Reply]

Author With Solutions writes:

I’m so tired that I can’t even write coherent sentences now.

I do hope that some other authors or members will pipe in with alternative solutions as well; because I can’t see that too many people here can even try to agree with the original options offered by EzineArticles.

It seems like it’s mostly a disagreement, or people are simply not sure. That’s not a good enough response.

People were mostly in agreement with increasing the word count, in the other blog post; everyone could see that the benefits outweighed the cons there.

In this case with the solutions here in this blog post; it seems the cons are outweighing the benefits; and even the ‘benefits’ themselves are not exactly as beneficial as they sound.

[Reply]

Author With Solutions writes:

Nick, you still brought an interesting point to the table about tips….about how they are concise and to the point; and that many readers may be looking for quick information or the “quick fix” solution that could help them in the moment…

In any case, authors can still deliver that, even without using the ‘tips’ format. If they are looking for easily digestible information; it’s in the CONTENT itself….not the formatting.

This ‘tips’ style that writers have is simply a format…and that’s why their articles are failing: because just SAYING tips and USING that format, does not mean that it’s what you or I discussed.

It doesn’t mean that it’s digestible, quick, common sense, basic information in it’s purest form: to the point, direct, and helpful.

I believe that very few authors can deliver on it, and taking this way still allows the authors who DO deliver a chance to continue; yet gets rid of the authors who can’t.

The authors who know how to use the whole “tips” format adequately will be able to deliver everything you said regardless of whether or not they are allowed to use that format any more.

I still think it’s a good way to weed out authors who clearly clearly can’t use the format, such authors who were simply hiding behind the format to APPEAR as though they were good authors….and to appear as though their content was good or valid; when in reality it was not.

[Reply]

Nick Kellingley writes:

You’re right I could rewrite anything I’ve written without “tips” appearing anywhere – but…

I got that nice new e-mail from e-zine this week that details what people search for your top articles with and “tips” comes up a lot.

Which suggests strongly that people use the word “tips” in their searches, and it’s something that is important to readers – not just authors.

[Reply]

54
Andrew writes:

Well with all the options you can miss a lot especially as you add to that list of saturated markets. If you reject articles in those niches some savvy marketers who know how to move article on top of search engines will stay away of EzineArticles and those old ones that may be already ranking there will be pushed down by other platforms which marketeres will switch to. Lottery and other options will hit that savvy marketer who know his stuff. So all options will eventually make EzineArticles not represented in search results for those niches. The best option is none of those on the list. Think about some more criteria on how to weed out bad articles such as the writer’s history in this niche, etc.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 8:26 PM

[Reply]

55
leon Noone writes:

G’Day Penny,
Yesterday I said you’d need the wisdom of Solomon. Now I’ve seen the replies!

You’ll also need the patience of Job, the amiability of the family black labrador, the hide of a rhino, the twinkle toes of Tinker Bell, the soaring athleticism of LeBron James and the saintliness of Mother Teresa
to get it right.

I admire your courage. It’s just as well that we authors aren’t an opinionated lot!

Good Luck

Leon

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 8:29 PM

[Reply]

Leon,

You made my day and made me smile. Thank you!

[Reply]

Lance Winslow writes:

Leon,

You sure have a great way with words, I like your style. Have you written any books I might have the pleasure of reading, as a reading (not just a writer) I have a thirst for writing with your style.

[Reply]

56
Alex Backlund writes:

We all know that the core problem is the search algorithms used by Google and other SE’s. Page Ranking is a “popularity” test where the amount and quality of back links to a website are more important than content quality. This is the price we all pay for relying computer algorithms i/o human editors. The SE spiders can’t read.

This forces people to write articles for no other purpose than acquiring back links to their site. Imagine if this was so in the printed publications industry – newspapers and magazines!

Google’s latest tweaks, aimed at improving the relevance of their SERPs, seek an improvement in the relevance and quality of content published. Could we one day hope for a search engine that filters published content like magazine editors do? Wishful thinking!

However, EzineArticles does employ human editors. If possible, take your cue from magazine editors and employ strict standards. A lottery, IMHO, would be the worst solution.

My recommendation is this:
1) Force writers to earn their Platinum status (as you have already done).

2) Set a quota for trending niches. Can you imagine a magazine publishing 5,000 articles on the same subject?

3) Reject poor quality and duplicate content outright, including spun content that says the same thing using different words. There are computer programs that can screen for this automatically.

Auto content populating networks that do not employ human editors have a far bigger problem. I tried a respected vendor – SEOLinkvine – and I have never seen worse rubbish than what they publish. EzineArticles stand head and shoulders above these places.

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM

[Reply]

57
Casey writes:

Penny,

I remember when you made my days hell and I hated you with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Now I couldn’t be more thankful. I’m off the e-zine crack and killin’ it! Thanks!

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:24 PM

[Reply]

58

Hey i am with ezine for ages and STILL dont have platinum because there was always some stupid mistake or something so i had to start from scratch with the 25 submissions :)
Ezine HAS a pretty high standard, or at least that was always my impression. From that point of view the Google penalty might not be all that just. Don’t forget it was Google in the first place who ranked all those Articles

Comment provided March 3, 2011 at 9:39 PM

[Reply]

59
Shafir Ahmad writes:

I like the idea of a quota, but not randomly, and maybe just one or two per author per month. And dont allow new authors into these categories till they have earned their right. Otherwise people will just create new accounts for their mother, father, brother, dog and cat to game the system.

In the end, it still comes down to quality vs quantity. Obviously EzineArticles can’t decide. They keep saying Quality without Quantity is not much use.

Comment provided March 4, 2011 at 4:36 AM

[Reply]

Scott Broadbent writes:

This whole problem is a result of the demand for quantity.

Ranking authors primarily by number of articles they have encourages people to thin out their content (ie three 400 word articles are better than one 1200 word article) to get higher in the rankings.

If the goal is to have at least one article rank in the top 5 or so for every possible keyword search, you don’t need a mass of articles. You just need effective articles that are properly optimized for google to deem them to be the most relevant search for anything anyone might search for.

Considering that EzineArticles put the bar so low that they would not only approve a mass of articles, but grant platinum status to authors, only to have that platinum status taken away and accounts suspended once the google hammer came down, just goes to show where EZA’s priorities were before.

Quantity vs quality is a balance that exists in a lot of areas. From my experience, quality work and service almost always declines when quantity becomes a a priority. Some people can manage the balance, but for the vast majority of authors that EzineArticles accepts submissions for, you get one or the other.

[Reply]

60
Jeff Stevens writes:

I write in the dating niche and support #3.

I don’t think #1 is right, just shutting the door without further review, the lottery system in #2 almost certainly ensures that some quality articles will be shut out.

#3, reviewing each niche for it’s relevance is what I would like to see. If a niche stays open, then it just becomes like any other Ezine niche where only the best articles make it through.

If it is closed, it’s closed because you’ve reviewed it and determined that there is too much out there on the topic, but at least it’s gotten a chance to spark some debate on your team before getting closed.

Comment provided March 4, 2011 at 4:37 AM

[Reply]

61
Kathy writes:

EzineArticles.com Management,

It would be exceptionally beneficial to your writers if you would share with us some information.

I am sure you can tell from your analytics exactly which articles have fallen out of favor with Google the most. It would be priceless information if you could share with us a list of the characteristics that these articles all seem to share so that we could better understand how they are scrutinizing things. Please share from the stance of the article itself as well as maybe considering backlink pattern similarities.

Everyone here can probably guess what many of those are. It would be far more beneficial coming straight from the person with the most authority on the subject, which is you.

If you share that information here publicly and are as detailed as possible then we writers will all have a better understanding of specifically what to avoid.

Thanks

Comment provided March 4, 2011 at 7:39 AM

[Reply]

62
Adam writes:

I think that it would be easy to separate the good from the bad in these niches. It’s not hard to spot authors that are contributing something to the niche, vs those who are just writing thin content to make a quick buck. If you’re reviewing other articles in other categories for thin vs original quality content, then why is it any different with these?

If an author or account continually submits thin content, do a blanket rejection on their articles in that niche. If an author continually submits helpful and useful content on a continual basis, let them through. Why does it need to be difficult? I think you’re making things too complicated.

This is just my opinion of course, but with all these changes – it’s not even going to be worth submitting articles to Ezinarticles. Look at what the other major article directories are doing in response to this “slap.” They aren’t punishing their authors, they are just raising a few requirements. That’s all you can do without alienating 75% of your author base.

Comment provided March 4, 2011 at 1:21 PM

[Reply]

63
Mark writes:

Get the editors to rank each article on a scale of 1-10 depending on how much they thought that article ‘stood above the rest’.

Include an algorithm that weights these articles higher in search results on EzineArticles.

But I think option two would be best.

Comment provided March 4, 2011 at 2:16 PM

[Reply]

64
Emmy writes:

The answer to this conundrum can be given in a few simple steps:

Step1 – Why is EzineArticles proposing these changes now?
Answer – Because google is slashing your SERP rankings.

Step2 – Why is google slashing EzineArticles SERP rankings?
Answer – Because, despite all the backlinks and content word count you have; most of it is web fluff (i.e. complete garbage)

Step3 – EzineArticles business model requires free content supplied by contributors and high enough rankings in google for that content to supply adequate advertising income to keep the whole operation going. So, what do you need to do to keep this business model afloat?
Answer – Bend to google’s will.

Let’s face it, without decent rankings in google, EzineArticles will die, and a resource will be lost to employees, contributers and readership.

So, google’s desire seems to be to get rid of the web fluff from its SERP. Therefore, EzineArticles needs to get rid of the web fluff it hosts.

Hence, holding a lottery is utter and complete nonsense. Can you imagine google serving up results to a search enquiry based on an internal google-run game of chance? No! If you do this, google will still be laughing as it waves EzineArticles goodbye from over the horizon.

Therefore, if you don’t have the resources to properly vet contributions – rejecting all but the very best of the cream from the top – then the only safe action is to put in place a blanket ban.

And, before anyone starts shouting that I am only saying that because it wouldn’t affect me, actually it would. But, google makes us participate in this stupid dance of getting backlinks, so I just have to play the game like anyone else who wants to succeed on the back of organic traffic.

You don’t have to like google, you just have to realise that google rules the world as far as generating organic web traffic is concerned.

Comment provided March 4, 2011 at 2:18 PM

[Reply]

Emmy writes:

p.s. I should have included a sincere thanks to EzineArticles for consulting its users on this topic. It nice to see a large organisation not behaving with arrogance and contempt for the people who generate its profit.

Cheers to the EzineArticles team!

[Reply]

65

I want to thank everyone again for weighing in on this discussion.

This thread has run it’s course.

Stay tuned… Monday we’ll unveil a membership platform for the best of the best.

Comment provided March 4, 2011 at 2:56 PM

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