Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

By Mark / October 27, 2009

If you have read my blog a few times you’ll know that when I start with a disclaimer that I am going to rip someone a new one! So here is my disclaimer.

I really like Ezinearticles and Chris Knight , Ezinearticles and Chris have provided a platform that have allowed myself and hundreds of other marketers to make profits from our sites. Even as I write this I am drinking coffee out of an EZA Mug. Several thousand dollars a month of my income can be directly attributed to EZA. Of course Chris also profits from my articles so it’s a good symbiotic relationship.

I completely respect Chris’s rights to do whatever he wants to do with ezinearticles and change the rules when he feels it’s for the best. Surprisingly that’s not what this post is about .Occasionally Chris seems to say things without thinking them through. Maybe in a bid to lessen the impact of his “War on Internet Marketers” (dare I say that EZA has been built to the position it is today largely by internet marketers?) he posted a video and a post last night about the statistics of the Problem articles they have.

http://blog.ezinearticles.com/2009/10/derivative-content-be-gone.html

The part that make me angry is the following

Get this: Over 142,000 articles are currently in “Problem Status.” Of those, 41% are under 399 words. Compare that to those that are over 750+ words which account for 1-2% of the total. That means you can significantly increase your chances of having your article accepted purely by increasing your word count to the 400+ range. Watch for a full blog post this week with the details on this internal stats study.

Thats the type of stats a politician would quote to justify something that is basically unjustifiable.

Let me explain more, The stats mean absolutely nothing without something to base them on.

142,000 articles in problem stats …against how many live articles?

41% are under 399 words ..Ok but what percentage of live articles are under 399 words?

2% of articles of over 750 words are problem articles .. so how many live articles are over 750 words?

It could be that when we know all the stats that articles less than 399 words are statistically LESS likely to be in problem status.

Additionally no mention of why the articles are in problem status is made. Surely unless it is due to article length then the stats above mean absolutely nothing. How does an article that is in problem status due to a keyword stuffed title have any relevance on the article length?

I realize that Chris is trying to make people improve the quality of the articles and I fully support that, but more keywords doesn’t mean higher quality. I’ve often spent time trimming a 500 word article down to 300 to get the facts across quicker. Unfortunately most people just skim read the articles so the shorter and more concise the article the better. Of course if they get bored they are more than likely to click one of Chris’s Adsense adverts!…hmmm

How about this for a compromise if Chris is happy to move the resource box to the top of the article I will happily write 1000 word articles all day long

There is absolutely no need for Chris to justify the recent rule changes but by using weak statistical data with nothing to support it he is doing himself a disservice.

Before I go there is one stat that would end this discussion right now.. whats the average CTR of 700 word articles against 300 word articles?  I suspect it’s considerably different!

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Mark

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10 comments
Linda

I had the same reaction to Chris Knight’s video, Mark. He didn’t mention what percentage of all published and submitted articles are under 399 words, but I would be willing to bet that it is a high percentage. Especially compared to articles over 700 words. That would make it pretty obvious that there are going to be more of those articles in problem status. I have a couple of 600 word articles that get a 30% CTR. But for the most part, it’s my shorter articles that get the clicks. Quite frankly, with his overuse of Adsense all over our article pages, it’s a miracle that anyone reads our articles at all these days! That big block right after the title is a real killer, since it pushes the article itself almost below the fold.

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John

Excellent point. I followed this from your post at the WarriorForum. I wonder why many don’t follow and comment on this. You know what – they are all afraid and “kissing EzineArticles” ass and don’t want to say the truth. I think Chris is a hypocrite – he’s using our articles to make tons of money but don’t want to reward us. Your point is 100% true – if he wants us to write 2,000 word articles, no problem, he should put our resource boxes right up there – before the article begins or by the side of the article, instead of his adsense ads!

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Shaun Baird

It will be interesting to see how things pan out from this. After all EZA is (or was) considered a main weapon/tool for marketers, but let’s see, and things like this are good for throwing up the question of “what can we do to protect our own interests” like Mark points out, diversification is something I’ve long understood and believed.
It could end up being a blessing for smart marketers if the shaky marketers get thrown out out of the rankings, allowing new opportunities to open up for smart marketers.

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Lance Winslow

Maybe we ought to all discuss feeding the third world children instead?

http://ezinearticles.com/?type=txcat&cat=Arts-and-Entertainment:Humanities

http://www.worldthinktank.net/pdfs/Honduras.pdf

http://www.worldthinktank.net/pdfs/Nairobi.pdf

http://www.LanceWinslow.org

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Mark
Twitter:
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Touche Lance,

I find it morally reprehensible that you should stuff a comment with your links.. 🙂

But hey I still approved it

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Zack Lim

Hi Mark,

I have found your blog through twitter and I would like to say that you have a fantastic blog that contains lots of useful information 🙂

I do not think that Christopher Knight is implying that articles that have less than 400 words are junk articles. I have read it somewhere in the EzineArticles blog that you can still submit articles that have less than 400 words if it is a quality article that contains good content.

Personally, I think that they will still approve any articles that have less than 400 words as long it is a good article that contains unique content. This might be a blessing in disguise as it will remove competitors who are using derivative content which means more traffics for marketers who are providing good articles.

Just my humble opinions 🙂

Zack

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Mark
Twitter:
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I totally agree with you Zack, My point is that using statistics to suggest that 400 word article are of a poorer quality was not a good idea as statistics can be made to say anything.

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Sarah Bolme

I think many of the articles in “problem status” may actually be older articles. Interestingly, I received an email from Ezinearticles just today stating that one or more of my articles contained “bad links.” Since I have not posted on article on Ezinearticles for over a year (shame on me), my articles are older and one or more link in them has probably expired.

I just didn’t see any information about the “age” of the problem articles and I suspect it has to do mostly with older articles.

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Peter

I love the way you write.. Going to keep coming to your site now, found it on google

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Rich Russell

I have heard another intervie with Chris Knight where he talks specifically about affiliate marketers and EZA. He says that the rejection rate for affiliates is double that of non affiliates, something over 80%. (that makes the normal rate 40% which I find shocking).

He goes on to say that the big problem is garbage, spun content or people submitting PLR content with hardly any changes. I would say that people who do this only have themselves to blame. The more of them who get naffed off with EZA and go away, the better I like it.

EZA is still a great source of traffic if you stick to the rules. Personally, I write unique content and I have never had an article rejected, regardless of length. I would say that at least 90% are less than 400 words.

Rich

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