EzineArticles Bans Site With eBay Ads – Poor Decision?

By Mark / September 17, 2008

I had a load of articles I just submitted rejected by ezinearticles. The reason given was that the resource box was against their guideline . I went through their guidelines with a fine toothcomb and couldn’t find any reason why articles with resource boxes that were accepted last week weren’t accepted this week.

My first email to the helpdesk wasn’t replied to , this is the first time I have had this happen to me but I have heard a lot of people mention this problem recently. So after 3 days I sent a 2nd email and had an immediate response.

Thanks for your emails, and I apologize for the delayed response.

I’m sorry for the confusion, but we are no longer accepting links
containing auction items.

Please edit your articles so they do not link to a site containing an
online auction, and you may resubmit for review.

It seems that ezinearticles have now stopped accepting articles for sites that display  any eBay auction listings.  Now I could understand this and support it if the sites had no or very little content. But the sites in question have  several unique articles on them and provide lots of useful information. The eBay ads are carefully selected to be relevant to the article.

There is still nothing published about this and I’ve checked several forums and it seems that some people are having their articles rejected whilst others are having no problems yet.  I’ve even heard of some people who have had some articles go through and others have been rejected with the same resource box.

Hopefully Chris will post about this in the ezinearticles blog so that we can get a proper discussion going about this. It’s one thing arbitrarily rejecting anything with an auction listing (remember an auction listing can be just 1 or 2 items in a site with 10 or more high quality posts) but many of these contain much more content and info than adsense sites.

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Mark

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11 comments
Sunshine

Wow…Thanks for this update.

Trying to conduct business on the internet is definitely keeping me on my toes. Changes are being made at a dizzying paste it seems. However, I know it’s just the way of the world.

I guess we must either Lead, Follow or Get Run Over:)

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John at WebsiteBuildingBiz

I noticed an affiliate program link on the EzineArticles homepage. Do you think they’re cracking down on auctions because they’re moving ahead with a plan to dominate the affiliate article business on their own terms?

Conversions might go through the roof in the future if articles can take readers directly to a sales form.

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Mark

I suspect the affiliate link is more to do with the premium services aspect of ezinearticles… but it will be interesting to see if we can link direct to their signup page!!

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Peter

This is interesting – I accept that EA have an obligation to do what they can to prevent their readers being directed to spammy sites, but not allowing links to sites that have a particular kind of legitimate content… what’s the basis for that I wonder? I mean, what’s the difference between a page containing content plus AdSense ads and content plus eBay ads?

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Mark

Well how about this… ezine articles seems to think that this site is worthy of being linked to whilst my 10 article site with 5 ebay items isn’t..
weekendeasycash.com/eBay/findebayproductstosell.htm

Please copy and paste as I don’t want to give rubbish sites like that any links!!

How cockeyed is that

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Peter

Oh boy… if that site was recently approved then ‘cockeyed’ would be an understatement…

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Mark

It was accepted within the past 2 weeks

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EzineArticles Guy

Mark,

That article has been identified, removed and our editors have been trained further on this issue.

As to your specific issue with us not accepting, our Managing Editor is looking further into it.

I respectfully recommend that you share with your readers the URL of yours in question that our editors rejected so that both sides to this issue can be seen by all… otherwise it’s a one sided debate, right?

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Mark

Chris,

Thanks for a reply, good to see that you took action against that site and that you are looking into the eBay issue further.

There is no point in me showing the site in question as I’ve removed ebay ads from it and replaced them with adsense as I wanted the articles to be accepted.

However here is a very similar site.
http://learningmassagetherapy.com/

I am sure you can see that it actually gives a much better user experience than having Adsense Ads all over the site.

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Peter

I think AdSense is a good comparison to eBay – they are both well respected and legitimate ad types but have the potential to be abused.

It’s great that the previously mentioned article was removed because it linked to a page which had excessive AdSense advertising and little content, but then we don’t expect ALL articles that link to pages containing AdSense will be removed, because AdSense in itself is a perfectly legitimate form of advertising. And the rules should be applied in exactly the same way to any other form of advertising, for example eBay.

I don’t think there can be any hard and fast rules here. For example, eBay listings can often be more targeted than AdSense, so we might be inclined to give eBay even more latitude than AdSense.

Take a situation where an article about ‘how to find the best widgets’ has a resource box link to ‘find widgets up for auction’ that points to a page containing lots of widgets up for auction. You could argue that’s exactly what the visitor is looking for.

I guess a good position would be to mimic Google and aim for a good user experience. In this case, if the resource box link makes sense in the context of the article, and the destination page delivers on the resource box link promise, then I’d say it’s all good…

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Travis

I think this new editorial rule needs to be revised. Some common sense needs to be applied here. If you’re linking to a page with good content what does it matter how that page is being monetized? As already mentioned here, how are these eBay listings any different than AdSense or any other affiliate offer I may be promoting?

And what if the link in the author’s resource box makes sense contextually? For example, if I have something in my resource box that says, “Visit to get the best deals on iPod shuffles.” Obviously, it would make sense for the link to go to a page that sells iPod shuffles! If I had an ecommerce store and I was linking to a page with just iPod shuffles for sale, would that be denied?

There needs to be some common sense applied here. If the eBay listings add to the user experience and the page being linked to isn’t just a spammy eBay page, then it should be allowed.

There has to be a reason why eBay listings are being singled out. I just hope Ezines doesn’t get out of control with these silly rules. If it’s eBay today, it will be AdSense and affiliate offers tomorrow.

Travis

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