Screenshot, Sept. 2010.
EzineArticles: A Review
EzineArticles.com is an online article directory. Users submit articles in exchange for visibility and the option of adding hyperlinks to a website of their choice at the bottom of each article. The site is arguably the best-known article directory, and according to Alexa, has the highest volume of traffic of any online article directory. However, EzineArticles took a severe hit in traffic following the Google Panda update. Its traffic has continued to drop sharply ever since.
My Experience with EzineArticles:
I have had a consistently positive experience writing for EzineArticles.com. As of first creating this page, I had written and published 37 articles; now I have over 100 published on the site. [View My Articles] The main strengths of this website include:
- Newly published articles are more quickly indexed by google, and consistently rank higher in search results, when compared to similar articles published in other article directories. Before the Google panda update, I found that articles on EzineArticles ranked higher than most of my own blogs and sites, including cazort.net, but this has since shifted: the value of EzineArticles for quick google placement has greatly diminished.
- From my experience, EzineArticles is the only article directory that has sent a significant portion of traffic to my websites. The only possible contender is Buzzle, which sent a similar amount, but which I stopped using because of their minimal user interface, lack of good author tools and unprofessional treatment by their editorial team. After the panda update, however, the amount of traffic from EzineArticles started to fall off, and is now negligible.
- The user interface is well-developed, feature-rich, and easy to use. Published articles are easy to modify, and statistics are available on views, URL clickthroughs, and keywords that readers use to find your articles in search engines. These features are not offered by most other article directories.
- Although I think that the editorial oversight is a bit weak for my tastes (too many low-quality articles slip through), I think the oversight is much stronger than at any other article directory.
- The staff consistently replies quickly to inquiries and has demonstrated a strong commitment to creating a positive user experience.
My experience with other article directories and similar websites has not been as positive. In particular, I would recommend against using hubpages, which I think is a scam. I have also had very poor results with GoArticles. My experience with Buzzle was better than any of the other sites but still nowhere near as positive as EzineArticles. In my opinion, all article directories other than EzineArticles are a waste of time.
EzineArticles, in my humble opinion, is the best article directory. It has no real competition, and is the only article directory worth using. People wishing to "move up" from EzineArticles would need to break into a completely different category or take a fundamentally different approach, such as publishing their own blog or website, writing for other blogs or websites, or writing for a reputable magazine or news source.
What would make it 5 stars?
Although the overall tone of this review is positive, I have chosen to give only 4 stars (or happy faces) instead of five. I think the following improvements would bring the site up to five:
Stronger editorial oversight. Although EzineArticles is widely regarded as a "stricter" website among the article directories, I will say that legitimacy is a weak point of all article directories. Article directories attract self-promoters, and in the worst cases, spammers and people cranking out large volumes of worthless writing in ill-conceived attempts to promote their websites. EzineArticles may be better at maintaining quality, but in my opinion, it is still too weak. A number of articles slip through the cracks that are overly self-promoting, have sloppy writing, and occasionally, grammatical errors or poor English. This ultimately discredits the website; stricter editorial oversight would enable EzineArticles to break into a new category of legitimacy.
Restore discussion forums. EzineArticles recently removed their forums due to declining participation. This disappointed me greatly, and seemed a bit like a cop-out. The forums needed improvement and needed greater integration with the rest of the site and the author tools, in order to encourage participation.
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