Some Niches Seeing Increased Traffic

Jennifer, an EzineArticles Expert Author, recently wrote in and asked:

“A large percentage of your traffic is gone, like 90%, or that’s what I hear. Is that true?”

Here’s my video response to Jennifer’s question:

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

Here’s a summary of my points from the video:

  • First and foremost, the 90% rumor is not true. Google’s recent search algorithm update did have an impact on our traffic, but it was to the tune of about a 10-35% decrease. We’re still serving over 1 million visitors to our site every day. Some niches actually gained traffic from this update.
     
  • Google tweaks their search algorithm just about every day (sometimes more) and that adds up to about 300-500 updates a year. Up until these changes, we’ve never been hit negatively with any of these tweaks during our 11-year history.
     
  • The goal of the update was to go after low-quality, thin content. We completely agree with Google on this update, and we’ve made sweeping changes to our Editorial Guidelines and internal review processes to combat low-quality, thin content.
     
  • Keep in mind that we’ve raised the bar on the acceptable level of quality every month since we launched EzineArticles.com. In the last few weeks, we’ve done about a full year’s worth of “quality bar” raising in an effort to weed out thin, derivative content while identifying and highlighting the absolute best content.
     
  • We’re more proud of the content that we see on EzineArticles.com today than we ever have been, and we’re really excited that the highest quality content is getting its chance to shine.

You can still use EzineArticles.com to find a voice and find a home for your high-quality, original articles to build your credibility and get increased traffic back to your website or blog.

Any questions/comments?

51 Comments »


1
R.G. Kennedy writes:

Thanks for the post. Which niches have seen increased traffic?

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 9:02 AM

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Some that have never been on our radar are front-and-center. There has been both a blatant and subtle shift in terms of which niches are seeing more activity.

But, we’re not going to share which ones are in break-out status right now because we don’t need what we call, “niche ambulance chasers” who aren’t true experts in their niche, but they chase whichever category is hot right now. I’m not saying this is what you do; I’m saying this is the reason we don’t actively share niche traffic reports.

I’ve often thought we should produce a monthly or quarterly in-depth niche traffic report along with our own analysis of the data. One part of me is worried that it’d be used to game us while another part of me thinks that people who truly care about their niche of expertise would buy or want to have access to as much data as possible about how to exploit their own potential for success by producing more high quality unique content that is in most demand by their prospective customers.

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2

What I understand is writing skill alone is not sufficient. You should deliver. s it not true?

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

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Writing skill is only one part of the equation.

Being a true industry expert in your niche has A LOT of weight today; and your landing page URL must have a high contextual relevancy to your content so that the 100-150k of people that we send to your URL have a positive experience.

The question we ask ourselves, “Would we be proud to publish your article and will we also be proud to send our traffic to your website?”

ie: Will your article and your website landing page make us and everyone who referred traffic to us, look good for having done so? If so, then you’ve achieved credibility.

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3
Howeler writes:

The bigger question remains: How much traffic was lost to our websites since EzineArticles was hit by the “Farmer/Panda” update?

From my analysis click through rates from my articles is way down.

I’m sure others have seen the drop off as well.

Another big question right now is how much Google has devalued anchor text links from EzineArticles. (that is something only Google knows)

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM

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Uhm, this is the reason I did this video… :) and like I said, it ranges from between 10-35% down with an average somewhere between that range.

As for what Google values or devalues, that changes daily and I won’t be speculating.

If you focus on high value, highly unique content… over-time, the rest takes care of itself.

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Howeler writes:

Hi,

You misunderstood my statement Chris, not YOUR traffic but the amount of traffic from your domain (EZ) to my websites is way down.

This is why I have used EZ and EZ had always referred a good amount of traffic to the websites I write for…not anymore.

Frankly you should be concerned about how Google is grading your out bound anchor text links.

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Understood.

Not every member was impacted the same way. Some saw a 100% drop (if their account was determined unsavable and terminated) others saw a 90% drop, some a 10-35% drop and still others are seeing a 10-50%+ increase.

All,

I should point out that if you produce high quality original content, you’re a genuine expert in your niche/industry and your landing page URL is a real business or organization that is relevant to the topic in your articles; you should expect to see your traffic begin to rise again this year, and next year as we continue to weed out the lower quality articles combined with the fact that we’re deflecting tens of thousands of articles that no longer make the grade that previously competed for attention.

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4

I think as a CEO, you should be happy with the outcome resulting in a higher quality site. Great job finding the problem and being honest with your readers!

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM

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Steven,

I am happier about the quality of content we’re accepting this past month!

I know this wasn’t an easy month for a few thousand of our members who had to adjust to radically higher quality thresholds, but I bet even they feel better about the quality of the articles they are putting out now. Several thousand members also didn’t make the cut and we’re still evaluating several tens of thousands of articles that need improvement or deletion to be worthy of today’s standards. Each month, not only is the new content raising the bar in value, but we must also review articles back to day one to ensure a consistent and positive end user experience.

This is an ongoing process for sure. Expect to see new tools for authors who are on the edge of having their lowest quality of content to be given a 2nd chance to stay published if they improve specific metrics we’ll share with them. More on that in April.

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Todd Crawford writes:

Great news!

I am excited to see how this unravels over the next year. Hats off to EzineArticles for taking immediate and appropriate action.

This brings true competition to the table. Why should quality authors with good business’s have to compete with poor writers who pack their articles full of keywords and crap just to draw hits?

Great move by Google and Great move by EzineArticles!

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5
Bob Reiss writes:

I am all for upgrading content,however I strongly disagree that more words equals higher quality. Many times it is the reverse. It is harder to write shorter. You need to think through what you’re going to say,plan more be more concise and i believe your reader will appreciate this. A lot of the fluff disappears. In our early school years teachers mistakenly gave higher grades for volume. Many carry this lesson through adulthood. You should consider going back to your lower word count.

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 3:09 PM

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Bob,

There is no doubt, you’re right.

The truth is: The masses cannot write high quality articles in low word counts. Perhaps it’s a competitive advantage for you to be able to do so.

Our new Diamond Level of membership has an exception rule that allows you to submit down to 250-400 words while everyone else is required to use the 400 word min…and as high as 600 words for certain saturated niche topics.

One major advantage that the new 400 word count rule created is that our anti-derivative filters are more accurately able to auto-reject “fluffy” content vs. a 250-400 words article submission. ie: Thin content that doesn’t offer unique/original value sticks out at 400 words moreso than it did at 250-400 words.

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6
Robin Taborelli writes:

I agree with Bob Reiss. I am in the process of submitting articles. I find some work does do much better with the lower word count. I write in a very concise manner. I find an article becomes more difficult as I try to expand its length.

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM

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7
Alan Johnstona writes:

Enlightening Christopher Thank you I just write from the heart and review and amend my own articles about 10 times before I press ‘publish’ I have got to page 2 Google in less than 2 months but it really is a hard slog as a newbie I am desperate to get guest bloggers, but even then I would review their articles over and over again. Seems Google are actually really getting to the heart of what makes a site and it’s contents readable, useful and what you searched for.

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM

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8
Robin Piggott writes:

Great series of comments and responses! While checking on progress of a re -submission over the last few days I thought I would have a look at another article in my niche,recently published.

The article in question has a shed load of grammatical mistakes and a visit to their web site was to say the least entertaining. The site itself was pretty good but there were some real howlers!

Glad to hear that the standards are being tightened up Chris even if it was propelled by Google.

Keep up the Weed Control won’t you?
Robin

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 4:09 PM

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9
Zachary Scott writes:

How do we right completely unique articles in niches that have already thousands of articles on the same topic?

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

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10

Altough I agree with Bob Reiss that it’s harder to write shorter articles, content ought to be rich in details in order to give the reader a good user experience (for example, understandable, actionable steps they can take) and this usually means longer articles. For me, it’s hard to give rich, helpful details, set those details in the larger context, and do it all in a 300-word article. But I can do it in about 600-700 words.

Christine

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 4:25 PM

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11
Derek Armson writes:

I read a number of respected SEO sites after the recent algorithm change (SEOMoz etc) and many were suggesting that EzineArticle’s traffic was down. The percentages varied quite a bit from the 10-35% quoted here to 90% on some so I can see how this figure is being banded about.

They were also quoting Hubpages as being down 80% and Squidoo 65%, personally I haven’t really seen a drop in traffic from either.

However, all Google is doing here is re-stating their raison d’etre to provide the best possible search results for their searchers…and of course the best way to do that is by providing unique, original and useful content.

If everyone did this, there wouldn’t be any issues with algorithm changes! Q.E.D.

Just my two pence worth.

Cheers

Derek

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 5:08 PM

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12
Haze writes:

Chris, I have seen an increase, and almost all of my sales have originated from EzineArticles. So I KNOW that my articles are good, and they’re doing what they should be doing. I am in a saturated niche, only I have drilled that down to a deeper level. Are ALL subniches in the same category as the ‘parent’ niche? I did apply for diamond level, but got denied. Now I’m afraid to submit any more articles. Should I be? Or should I take my chances. I’m afraid only because I got denied for diamond.

Thanks in advance,
~Haze

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 5:28 PM

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13
Usman writes:

I have seen an increase in my article views since the last algorithm update but my CTR has gone low. I don’t get this problem at all. My articles are still accepted wihout any problem. One more thing, do i have to be a platinum author before I apply for Diamond level?

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM

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Usman – You do not need to be a Platinum author to apply for Diamond Level. Just be certain you meet the minimum requirements:
1) At least 10 live articles
2) A completed bio with author picture
3) A history of writing high-quality, value-packed original articles

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14
Wayne writes:

Hi Chris~

I guess the only real question I might have would be, “what specifically constitutes a thin article?” Of course the big complaint everyone has with Google is they are so arrogant and secretive with their rules, how is anyone supposed to know what is right from wrong. So about all I can do is just write the best I know how, on subjects I am familiar with and forget about Google. They’re going to do what ever they do and it makes little difference that anybody knows their rules.

Wayne
Chicago

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 5:54 PM

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Thin content doesn’t deliver an ounce of quality. In fact, when you read thin content you are left wondering what you were supposed to pull from it. These article types have no point and are written for selfish reasons as they provide a poor user-experience.

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15
Kelly Smith writes:

Christopher,

If anyone thinks that it is only EzineArticles.com that has been hit by the new Google Farmer update, they are sadly mistaken. It is quite possible that most other article sites received a far greater hit than you did and I appreciate your honesty and optimism regarding this issue. I personally welcome the new update as there’s far too much article spamming out there online. I am certain that this is not the end of Google’s quest to provide the most valuable and relevant information to their customers: those who search the Internet using their search engine.

I have pounded on this issue over and over again that every attempt to “game the system” will always produce a negative result. I applaud Google for trying to keep everybody honest. Although I know there are number of people who have made millions of dollars using unethical terms and methods, they only hurt themselves and us in the process.

I know of people who create websites around specific, highly targeted and profitable phrases, and get them ranked in as little as 10 minutes. They may only last a day, a week or at most a few weeks, but eventually Google finds out what they’re doing and bans them through all space, time and eternity, never be found again. But they really don’t care-this is all they do and they create hundreds of websites like this. They make so much money in a few days that it’s on the first page, that is totally worth it to them.

Obviously, this is wrong because if something is legitimate, it will stay on the first page in its proper position.

We have far too many people in this industry that have reduced its value to be something less than used car dealers or even lawyers. Sometimes I’m even ashamed to call myself an Internet marketer because of the tactics I have seen people use. Even though I have a Masters degree in Internet marketing, it’s sometimes painful to tell them I’m a part of this industry.

No please don’t think that I have anything against Google, because I most certainly do. This is also a company that is run by people and I have seen legitimate companies disappear overnight because someone at Google decided to not accept their account anymore. In many ways they have far too much power and I think there needs to be a balance to this issue.

If Google doesn’t police themselves in the same manner that they police the rest of us, something will happen to them too.

“Pride cometh before the fall.”

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 7:09 PM

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16
Paydayloanrage writes:

No doubt, EzineArticles remains my favorite article directory. Keep up the good work.

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM

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17
Tom Bradley writes:

I’d be grateful for more instruction about “low-quality, thin content” and some of the other terms discussed here.

In my mastermind group there has been talk for sometime that keyword stuffing is frowned upon, so that makes sense. But it seems that so much of this is subjective…or is it. That’s what I want to learn.

Tom

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM

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18
James Lamborn writes:

Hello Chris,

Interesting video. I was surprised to learn of this reduction in traffic from Google. For my own articles, I’ve noticed a slight increase. I think article writing is still one of the best ways to get your site seen on the web.

I’m not a natural writer but I do see the benefit of submitting new articles to your site.

Before I go! Thank you for the tutorial videos. Very helpful.

All the best.

James

Comment provided March 28, 2011 at 9:13 PM

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19
Alessandro writes:

Just to let you know, I did not see any traffic drop for my website.

Comment provided March 29, 2011 at 1:21 AM

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20
Khalid Osman writes:

Good video, Chris. Thanks. I long time ago hesitated to bring this topic here, which actually has nothing to do with the EzineArticles. The doubts about those claimed to be articles directories rose since many years ago, when I asked Chris about another website taking the theme of the EzineArticles to build another website; a case I saw as (not good) to use to compete with others.

It is also a duplicate way of duplicate content that could hurt more than three sites and this may explain the behaviour of Google algorithm.

Well, the issue is that some of the articles directories use articles written by others or taken from other directories, such as go-articles to absorb all the benefits from them by implementing many methods before referring any visitor to the source of the articles.

They strip the articles first from any direct benefit the writers must have from their articles. They do this by linking the titles, tags and the keywords, which belong to pages on the original websites of those writers, to pages on their websites… giving them deep linking than that thoughts for the writers.

They link at the last step back to the articles directories that they have taken the articles form them and may even neglect to give links back to the articles writers. I noticed one of them using my articles on EzineArticles, without giving any link to my website, but he links after, maybe ten processes to the EzineArticles.

Frankly, I got angry of this and deleted all my articles from the directory. I felt like I have no protection and my articles have no protection, so anyone can invest, or better say exploit them, strip them from any benefit, I expect and then, just smile because he hurts the writer.

Love and peace to all.

Comment provided March 29, 2011 at 1:27 AM

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I hear you Khalid…

Even when you do everything right, even when you put your articles on your own website or anywhere that it’s clear that you are not giving syndication rights, people will still scrape your site without your permission. I probably don’t have to tell you that there are complete nations of people on different continents that have no respect for any intellectual property rights.

The best strategy to protect yourself from this is to remove all of your content from the Internet and never post online again. Obviously, that’s not an option for most folks.

Over time, the best option is to build a strong brand for yourself, keep on producing high-value, highly original content year after year, and over-time, you will be rewarded with traffic, attention, media exposure, credibility, etc…. but it does take a pretty big leap of faith to begin that cycle.

Lastly, I wanted you and everyone to know while we can’t stop article content theft completely, we have invested heavily in anti-scraping tools that we’ve been building and honing for years plus we have people on our security team that monitor these stats daily, make adjustments, tweaks and continue the fight to protect our members and ourselves from those who attempt to abuse our platform.

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Janna writes:

Chris, I’d love to know more about this anti-scraping tool and how it can help members. I stopped posting articles on EzineArticles a few months ago because everything I put up ended up on splogs with no attribution. Personally, I’d like to see syndication become optional or require permission from the writer. Thanks.

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21
faisal farrukh writes:

Well, i just watched the video……it is good what CK said…..if it is true…….unfortunately…i do not know the truth……..but i like to believe in CK…….but………for me……CK sound like less confident……it is like making ‘assurance in words’…….rather coming up with some solid evidence……..credible enough…….verifiable…….anyway..we all are good …..if we need to push more for better quality…..am with you guys!!! Want to see you lead on the march, A……….gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain!

Comment provided March 29, 2011 at 2:41 AM

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Thanks.

Much of what we know (data, analysis, metrics, differentials) that I did not share, was not shared on purpose. It’s competitive advantage stuff. :)

My main point in sharing this blog post was to set the record straight that we didn’t lose 90% of our traffic and that we’re still serving in excess of a million daily visitors (1.5 million yesterday).

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22
Elvena writes:

The changes of the G algorithm makes my website ranked higher. The things is I always update my niche website and give useful content to my visitor, I think that is the most logic why it is happen

Comment provided March 29, 2011 at 3:02 AM

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23
SEO Bedford writes:

Since the Panda update I’ve noticed an increase in views on my articles here on EzineArticles. As an SEO it gives me the creeps when I hear “Google update” but I must say that Farmer/Panda update didn’t affect my sites and in fact help to clear out most of the junk in my niche.

Comment provided March 29, 2011 at 4:23 AM

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24
Khalid Osman writes:

Thank you, Chris :-)

I now have no doubts that the EzineArticles takes great efforts to protect its database and membership from those you called complete nations of people that have no respect for any intellectual property rights.

Thanks for your efforts and for your reply. Good way to go. Wish you all the best.

Comment provided March 29, 2011 at 12:08 PM

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25
Patrick Phelps writes:

Hey Chris.
First I want you to know I am fascinated by your work, and the mission/goals you have set for EzineArticles.com. I have been receiving your emails for quite some time and have literally saved every one of them. I am currently blueprinting my website and plan to actually go online within the next couple of months. Your articles have opened my understanding enough to ensure my success.

The question I have is this… It seems as though the “niche of the day” is extremely fluid in regard to what’s hot as far as search terms go. Is there a way to ascertain an historic pattern of search terms, and to possibly extrapolate what niches may or may not be popular in the future?

Comment provided March 29, 2011 at 8:37 PM

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Patrick,

The answer is YES.

In fact, it’s scary how much can be predicted from this data, especially at this scale with millions of articles live and millions having been hand-rejected; lots of patterns show up to draw current day and future conclusions.

I’ve often thought there are more uses for this data, such as predicting economic recovery or doom, political balances of power, human sentiment across a wide range of issues, or even to justify various hypothesis’s.

It wasn’t until the past 6 months that the technologies are finally being built or becoming possible with our developers to extrapolate new distinctions. Think in terms of the same problem-set scale of Facebook or Twitter as we now track billions of transactions monthly.

In a small way, our TITLE WRITING TEAM and TRAFFIC SEARCH TERMS projects were the starting gate of how we are helping our members to leverage existing data to predict a higher chance at future success while also increasing the relevancy of your articles to your ideal customer base.

Keep in mind, we’re not interested in helping “niche ambulance chasers” but we are interested in helping genuine experts in their chosen niche to go deeper and more relevant-to-their-customers-base than ever before.

Expect to see more insights shared in the coming months & years. :)

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26
Sunglasses Case writes:

Google does change its mind rather often, indeed. The fact that EzineArticles are going after higher quality content is good for all of us.

Comment provided March 30, 2011 at 2:56 AM

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27
stephen byrne writes:

Hi Chris, great video.

Though it takes a little longer to get our articles passed I believe this can only benefit us and improve our writing skills, so well done and thank you.

With all that has been said about a drop in traffic, funny enough I have seen a great rise in my article views (and sites) and wait for it, this is in the Halloween niche, weird, but I suppose people always need costumes.

I will keep supplying EzineArticles with what I deem to be and hope are great informative and sometimes fun articles, keep up the good work.

Comment provided March 30, 2011 at 5:49 AM

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28
Chuck Bluestein writes:

The main rule of SEO has always been to make sure to write for the people first and foremost. Also I believe in the law of reciprocity.

Comment provided March 30, 2011 at 9:25 PM

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29
marcus ollison writes:

Hopefully the increasing of the word count will add more quality articles from each and every individual writer.

Comment provided April 1, 2011 at 3:53 AM

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30
Kingsley writes:

Main secret should lie on providing high quality content steadily. They may change it per hour but they wont write off quality contents

Comment provided April 3, 2011 at 6:11 AM

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31
Emeka Peters writes:

I dont know whether to remain with EzineArticles or leave it. I am no longer making money from my articles.

Comment provided April 4, 2011 at 4:15 AM

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32
Laurence Hansen writes:

Overall, this is a great development. Ultimately the best traffic is based on linking between sites with relevant and authoritative content. The more EzineArticles is required to host only high-quality content, the better it serves the broader Internet community. If Google hadn’t done something, the market would have anyway. Focus on quality and positive results will show up in the end.

Comment provided April 4, 2011 at 3:42 PM

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33
Cool Pictures writes:

We are voting for better quality articles!

Thanks for sharing tips.

Regards,
Photo Editor of photo-help.com

Comment provided April 7, 2011 at 8:22 AM

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34

Bummer about the loss of traffic. It’s in all of our collective interest to make sure Ezines succeeds through better content. I like to think I write GREAT content.

Comment provided September 14, 2011 at 1:02 PM

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35
Website Company writes:

After Google timely (can say frequently) updates its looking more harder to place content on article sites,As Quality matters lots. I being writing article sometimes coll-ash with already published one and article sites not going to reward for my content.So its being difficult but a good in aspect of found something new with content.

Comment provided April 6, 2012 at 3:41 AM

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36
Tarek Obaid writes:

I needed to thank you for this great read!!

I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to
look at new stuff you post…

Comment provided February 14, 2014 at 6:46 AM

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37

Your style is unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, guess I will just bookmark this page.

Comment provided November 8, 2017 at 1:24 PM

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