Guide to Avoiding Excessive Links

Episode #7 in Gary’s “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” video series!

In this video Gary helps us understand how excessive links, the wrong kind of links and the inappropriate placement of links can cause articles to be rejected. He goes on to explain how the incorrect use of links can make even a great article look “spammy” and create a negative user experience.

Watch the video to hear what else Gary has to say on the subject…

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

To Recap:

  • Up to 4 links in your article = 2 self-serving + 2 non-self-serving
  • Too many links look spammy
  • Non-self-serving links should be after the 3rd paragraph
  • Self-serving links should go in the Resource Box

One thing Gary failed to mention: If you’re hoping to have your article ‘picked up’ by publishers for redistribution, then avoid putting any links in your article body. The fewer links you have, the better your chances are of being republished. Most publishers feel (1) self-serving link is payment enough to the original author for having provided the content.

To see all the videos in the “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” series, surf over to our video archive page.

Did you discover something new in this episode of “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection?” If so, please share it by leaving a comment.


Arthur Haule writes:

It seems to me that there should be some sort of exception or personal consideration for placement of links in an article. For example, I wrote an article which referred to the images on a coin. It would have been very helpful to have an image of the coin available from the very start so that the reader could see what I was talking about. Since optimum article length is 500 to 700 words, that puts the image halfway down the article. That seems more disservice than service. Especially since the link went to a jpg with no links off the page, no sales pitch, nothing other than “Here’s a look at what we are talking about.” So I canned that article. It could still have been done, but not nearly so effectively. Better no article than a bad one, in my opinion.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 8:46 AM


Chris Smith writes:

So the only place self serving can go is the resource box? Is that a change in the guidelines? Can those be anchor text?

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 8:58 AM


Georgina Miller writes:

I like these videos very much. Being new to writing and posting articles, it is giving me more confidence in submitting articles.

Thank You,
Georgina Miller

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 9:00 AM


Al writes:

From my experience. EzineArticles keeps changing the rules.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 9:20 AM


Geoff writes:

I have to agree with the added point about the fewer links the better. Like most writers, I want to see my articles republished, and going overboard on the links is a turn-off for publishers.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 9:22 AM



These videos are so well composed, they should be used as an example in presentation and production classes!

However, I agree with Arthur about the value of images and example pages right at the top of the article. There are many principles that are difficult for a reader to visualize or that could easily be miscontrued. It would be great to be able to start with a link to a graphic or page that demostrates a principle – especially since my main topics are web user interface and software!

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 9:28 AM


Gary Speer writes:

Nice presentation. But as I found out with a recent submission, the “self-serving” links are not so cut-and-dried. In my case, the link in the resource box was to my website — not to an affiliate link, but simply to my website. But whoever reviewed the article thought that link was going to a “mostly sales and not enough content” site — and rejected the article.

This happened 3 times before I was able to contact someone via the “Contact Us” form at to get the matter straightened out and the article accepted.

What’s the answer to that issue? I dunno.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM


Tara Kwasinski writes:

I’m a TOTAL newbie. I love to write, but just can’t figure out all of the trivial things and think it will be what keeps me from getting published. What is my web address. Since I don’t have a business of my own, is my webaddress just any that I’ve signed up with and have the most articles on? Also, would this be my URL? What is an html code? Also, since I don’t have a company, the resource box suggests a pitch, is that like in a profile….personal info or is that too non-professional? I’m also lost as to what to put for tags. I’m aware of FAQ, but it isn’t specific enough. I’m sorry to overload, but I’m not getting anywhere and I really want to progress. Any help is much appreciated!

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 10:04 AM


Jose Bulao writes:

I am very much encouraged by your comment here. I thought I was the only one having difficulties. Now I found you who seem to have more difficulties than I have.

Just keep on learning about the ruled of EzineArticles and the editors there help us.

Most of all, do not be discouraged. If you have something to share, write about it in EzineArticles.


Truby writes:

Thank you so much Ezine Article! Some people like myself learn better when things are shown as in these short videos. I

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 10:22 AM




Our quality standards continue to rise everyday. We deliver these changes in the blog so you can keep up ;)

Change is good as well as increasing quality metrics as we place a very high standard on a good user experience.


Exceptions are not made on allowing links above the fold in the article. It simply appears too spammy. Delivering what you need to the reader to strengthen your point can still be done effectively by not placing the link above the fold.


We do on occasion make the exception to allow (1) self-serving link in the article body providing it adds value to your article, your article length is longer so as to support it, and the article delivers good quality content. It must also be at the end of the article body so that it naturally rolls to the resource box content. We would prefer to have all your self-serving links in the resource box so that you can reserve your article body for the delivery or where you GIVE. This would apply to anchor text links as well.


I cannot respond publicly to what your specific issue was but I can say that the landing page quality is an important factor in our review. We check ALL links and review the content as well as ensuring they deliver a good user experience. Chris provided an excellent blog post here on the landing page quality and the importance of this experience.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 10:47 AM



I see the changes in the way works as upgrades, improvments to the system, and response to a changing web world. I wish more websites were as responsive.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 11:23 AM


chris writes:

Must also add that my first submission of one article only had 2 self-serving links but was rejected for having “more than 2 links??”
Furthermore I noticed various other articles being accepted that had links to “other” websites—so I cannot figure out what the rules really are

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 11:37 AM


marco brown writes:

Thanks the information is appreciated.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 11:41 AM


Arthur Haule writes:

Penny, thanks for the response. I understand the rules, I just disagree. That doesn’t mean I don’t think that you folks provide a great service. Stylistic and editorial guidelines exist for every publisher.

Art Haule

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM


Gary Speer writes:

Thanks, Chris, and Penny, for the comments and especially the links.

I can appreciate the tremendous opportunity all you good folks here at provide for all of us doing writing/marketing on the Internet.

And believe me, I intend to learn all I can to meet your requirements and to do it well.

Shame to waste such a great resource as you guys provide — and for FREE even! LOL!

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 12:03 PM



Tara K,

Your web address or URL is your domain name. If you don’t know what it is, then you probably didn’t register a domain name yet.

You don’t need a domain name to get published but is is kind of the main point for most of the experts who write & submit articles.

Some people who are just starting out promote their FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIN, MySpace, etc. Profile URL’s instead.

What is HTML code? Who cares. You don’t need to know ANY HTML to submit articles. Just use our WYSIWYG default article submission editor.

We don’t do tags or tagging, but your keywords are just 3-5 keywords that highlight the main point of your article. In the near future, we’re considering doing this for you based on the content in your article body.

Lastly, my advice: JUST DO IT… write it and submit it, and don’t worry about screwing it up. Inaction is way more expensive than wrong action.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 1:53 PM


Megan Winegar writes:

Thank you! I know this was confusing for me when I started because I was under the impression that any links could be in the article itself as long as it applied to the article. When my first article was rejected and I moved it to the resource box, I became confused again and thought I could only put one link in that box. I’ll probably start using my second one from now on, but I now like only having my links in the resource box, especially because I try to keep my article relevant to both my audience and my company.

Thank you for clearing that up!

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 3:53 PM


Maggie Kress writes:

I am a little confused because I did not think your article could contain any links. My last article was rejected because of my link to my email address. Please explain more what is acceptable or rejectable. I would have thought my email address would have my own and acceptable.

Thanks for clearing this up for me.

God Bless
Maggie Kress

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 5:58 PM


Ron Campeanu writes:

I agree that too many self serving links discredits an article. What has occurred to me is to place at least one link referring to an authors website where readers may buy a longer/full length version of an article.

The scope of the full length version that is ‘for sale’ could be placed at the end of the EzineArticles publication. In this way EzineArticles acts as a forum leading to a network of in depth material.

Perhaps that is a nice way to lead authors to capture the benefit of their intellectual property – all the work and their experience they have used to make people aware of their subject matter. There should always be a reasonable distribution of energy – authors deserve some return for their energy output.

Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 7:23 PM


Martin - Security. writes:

Thanks very much for the information, it helps to know what is and isn’t acceptable.

“We don’t do tags or tagging, but your keywords are just 3-5 keywords that highlight the main point of your article. In the near future, we’re considering doing this for you based on the content in your article body.”


Comment provided June 19, 2009 at 10:07 PM



Thanks for the info, I found it really educating especially on the placement of self links. In the past I have been placing these in the main article body.
In my last submission I had placed my blog in the resource box, the editors rejected my article because it had an extension as above.
This means we have to be open to new rules and submission guidelines to avoid rejection.

Thanks a lot!

Charles K

Comment provided June 20, 2009 at 1:12 AM


dev writes:

this is the person didn’t know any thing about article writing because i have submitted an article before few days back and after that i got some message that you have some grammatical mistake and i have changed all that and every thing was fine. and after doing all this i got the same message and again the same old story. i mean to say that these people are not taking any response and even are not co-operative and they are just pretending. and i have enough prove to tail that because i have submitted the same article last night to and now it is approved. so now in more confidently tel that this is the person didn’t know nothing about how to write article. so reviewers stay away from this person.

Comment provided June 20, 2009 at 1:25 AM


Travis W. writes:

What has helped me is to read the editorial guidelines EVERY time I submit an article. It really only takes about a minute or two of my time. EzineArticles has done a great job of making the guidelines one page, which helps.

If you read the guidelines each time it will reduce some of the article rejection. At least that’s my opinion. Yeah you can think you’re doing everything right and still have a few rejections. I know I have. But for the most part they all get accepted and I believe reading the guidelines has helped me.

The reason I read them every time is because “I forget”. There is no way I can commit them to memory so I scan through them real quick before I submit my article.

Comment provided June 20, 2009 at 10:50 AM


Larry writes:

Thank You for the Vids.
Very informative. I am a newbie to Ezine and can use all the help I can get on what not to do so my articles are accepted.

Comment provided June 20, 2009 at 3:12 PM




Your article can contain up to 2 self serving links and up to 2 non-self-serving links.

While it’s not a recommended practice, we will allow you to include your email address in your articles. Someone from our team will address your comment privately in the coming week.

Comment provided June 20, 2009 at 3:21 PM


Suzanne writes:

Thanks so much for the tips audios. They have been very helpful to me and I really appreciate the useful suggestions that you give in all of them so far. Listening to the audios has been well worth my time.

S. Manziek

Comment provided June 21, 2009 at 12:34 PM


Gunter Eibl writes:

It’s simply necessary to reduce the number of backlinks if you want to have any chance that your article gets syndicated and published somewhere else.

Just think about it, would you publish an article on your web site that is full of backlinks to other sites? Nobody would.

So don’t give a publisher a reason to reject your article. I prefer to not include any links at all in the article. The resource box is the place to “take” and start the sales pitch. The article itself is your “give” and should be free of it.


Comment provided June 22, 2009 at 6:03 AM


Marilynn Syrett writes:

Great videos. They’ll be of good help while writing articles…

Comment provided June 22, 2009 at 6:42 AM


chris writes:

Please Gary, please please help as this is getting more and more confusing!!!
I just clicked on the articles box and started looking at quite a few articles in random—articles that have been APPROVED. Everyone of them has got links(in blue,which means clickable) and yhe link takes you to a website.
Yet, I get rejected each time I try to do it—how am I doing it wrong??

Comment provided June 22, 2009 at 11:58 AM




Here are some tips to further clarify and help you understand what you can and cannot include in your articles:

– There is a total limit of (4) active or inactive links allowed in the article, which consists of both the BODY and the RESOURCE BOX.

– Maximum of (2) “Self-Serving” active or inactive links/URLs to a website that you own, control, or have an interest in. (Preferably confined to the Resource Box)

– Maximum of (2) active or inactive non-self serving links/URLs to a website that you do not own, control, or have an interest in which adds value to the article.

– No more than (1) self-serving link can be included in your article BODY. If included in the article body, it must be at or near the end of the article so that it naturally flows to the resource box content or it will not be accepted.

-No links are allowed in the first (3) paragraphs (‚¬above the fold‚¬)

– Affiliate links will be allowed if the link is a domain name you own which forward/redirects to the affiliate link from the top-level of the domain name. (This is counted to your total link count and is considered a self-serving link.)

Comment provided June 22, 2009 at 2:00 PM


jillbeth writes:

It makes sense to me to put links toward the end of an article. Who wants their readers clicking away from the page before they’ve read most, if not all, of it?

Comment provided June 25, 2009 at 5:25 AM



Excellent comment jillbeth. I had assumed that the links would open another tab or window without checking whether that is true. I just tested it, and it’s not. The new page replaces the article page. When links go to outside websites, most people use the target=”_blank” property to open the page in a new window. That allows both pages to be open at the same time. So, if you are using another web page to illustrate a point or show a graphic, your reader can see both at the same time by resizing their windows.

Comment provided June 25, 2009 at 10:15 AM


Melanie writes:

Here’s my mantra when it comes to the “links” rule at EzineArticles:

“Recycle – Reuse – Re-purpose – RE-PUBLISH” … that’s what I want people to do with my articles. :-)

Limiting the number and type of links placed in an article comes across to me as a measure of true professionalism.

Articles at EzineArticles always look “crisp” “content-rich”, and “clutter-free”.

Thanks for the clarification and for posting this, Marc!

Comment provided July 1, 2009 at 10:41 AM



I’m starting to feel the “advertising” and “link” pain. I’m guessing that the following problem is a result of different reviewers. I finally deleted an article because of the conflicting information I received:

This article was originally accepted. I changed the title (based on the great tips I received from your emails) and now it’s not accepted. The article is not about my own site, it’s about how many organizations get a site that looks great but doesn’t say anything. It has links to an example. I moved and changed content to match what was suggested in a direct email from a reviewer. That’s not good enough; so, I will put the article on other sites.

Comment provided July 2, 2009 at 8:24 AM




We just used your article as a case study internally…

I can’t reveal publicly the complete history on this particular article, but I can say that we should have approved the last update you made.

8 different editors touched your article… the last 2 failed.

Let us know privately/publicly if you’d like us to revert your author delete decision as I’ll make sure it gets published today with my apologies for the last 2 decisions our Editors didn’t get right.

Comment provided July 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM



WOW, I am totally impressed by your thoroughness! Yes, I would like to see that article published.

Personally, I’m tired of watching small businesses and organizations put their limited resources into websites that don’t even give a clear message – and then have to pay again to redo it. Am working with 5 non-profits in that situation right now.

Comment provided July 2, 2009 at 9:16 AM






Comment provided July 2, 2009 at 9:24 AM


Jose Bulao writes:

Thank you for this video and comments.

In the beginning I thought that it was just a case of honesty to acknowledge where the ideas came from. So, I provided the links to these ideas.

After leaning more about the policy on links I no longer put links in my article body. And I usually have only 1 link in my resource box.

I agree, it does look spammy if you have links all over your article.

Comment provided May 11, 2010 at 1:25 AM


greg prince writes:

I was under the impression that there could be no links in the article body. I think I will just stick with that. It seems to be a cleaner and neater look. It looks more like an advertisement when the article body has links in it. I do see where non self serving links can be beneficial at times though.

Comment provided December 21, 2011 at 6:56 PM


jenglai araojo writes:

You’ve got a helpful post here. Thank you.

I’m also looking for details on “broken links” issues. I have submitted a batch of articles recently and they were all rejected due to such reason. The link I have put is my main page. So I am wondering if you know places where I can get information. The EzineArticles guidelines do not seem to cover much.

Comment provided April 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM


Hi Jenglai,

A member of our Support Team will be in contact with you shortly regarding your articles. Please keep in mind, in order to ensure a positive user experience your links must always be in working order. A recent post we did that covered this topic can be found here:



RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.