eHow Scam- Using Google Image to Steal Traffic From its Own WCP Writers

6:26 PM Posted by GloryBug


eHow's Newest Scam- Stealing Traffic by Using eHow WCP's own Photos Against Them in Google Image Search

I have had some niggling thoughts lately about eHow's use of US WCP writer's profiles to artificially prop up their faux UK site, but even more so, I've been thinking about all the recent photo bugs writer's have been experiencing.  Not being able to publish articles with photos, photos disappearing from articles... while at the same time being told by Julie in management that one of the components of the secret eHow WCP algorithm pay is photos.  Think, think, think, I told myself.  Follow the money.

eHow management gave me a clue when they quoted part of their TOU when a writer asked about their profile image, avatar or photo.... and that part of the TOU states eHow can use any 'material' including photos, pretty much as they see fit.  But, I really couldn't find any examples of  eHow using my photos on anyone else's articles.  I asked point-blank in a forum if eHow felt they had the right to use my photos on other people's articles, but got no reply.

So, I looked at it from a different angle.

Google Image Search
I'm not sure how many people use Google Image search- I'd guess quite a lot.  I use it a lot.  When I am searching for a particular term, it's so much easier to sort through visuals than to have to read each article to see if it's what I was looking for.  For example, if you search the term 'SparkleJet' on regular Google, the first link to come up is a link to my fiance's band's discography.  Please don't click on that- they get no residuals if you buy from there!  However, 2 slots down is his band's Myspace page.  Click there if you'd like.  But, let's suppose you were not interested in my fiance's band.  Or in web designers.  Or most of what appears on front page Google.  Let's say you want to read about Sparklejet Gretch Guitars?  If you look up in the left-hand corner where it says 'web, image, video', etc.,  and click on 'images', it will take you to the Google Image pages where you can see pictures of guitars and find the page you were really looking for.

What does any of this have to do with eHow?  Glad you asked.  Using that same type of search, follow me here....
Let's say I wanted to find out how to lose weight by drinking vegetable juice.  If you type the term 'lose weight vegetable juice' into regular Google, in the 6th slot is an article called 'How to Lose Weight with Vegetable Juice'.  Yay- that's my article!  But, don't click on that, click on the little button at the top of the page that says 'images'.  See that 5th picture, the one with the veggie juice and the celery?  That was taken in my kitchen.  But, it's not titled correctly.  In my article it is titled '8oz of vegetable juice'.  If you click on it, it takes you to my article.  Good.  But wait.... there's my pix again, in slot 7.  This picture has been resized, and is bigger, though.  And, again, it's not titled correctly.  When you click it, it takes you to an article ON eHOW titled 'How to Understand If Vegetable Juice Can Help You Lose Weight'.  Whoa..... I didn't write that article!  How'd they get my picture?

Hmmm.  if you change the search terms to 'how lose weight vegetable juice' I'm now in the Google #3 front page slot, but when you click 'images', my picture is now in #6 slot.  But, it's the bigger resized pic, and it leads to the other writer's article.  Now I can't find my article at all!  WTF?

If you Google 'how clean pond filter', my eHow article is #1 on Google front page.  Dang, all that work promoting and backlinking has paid off!  Then I click 'images'.  Yay!  My picture is the very first one.  I click on it, and for some reason it leads to a different article I wrote for eHow.  That's ok, though, because it's about cleaning pond filters as well.  Wait... that second picture, the larger resized picture?  That's mine, too, even though it has the wrong title!  Why is it that when I click that picture, it takes me to a different article written by a DS flat-rate 'contributing writer' instead of my article? 

If I search Google for 'fat koi', my article is the number one listed!  When I click on 'images', I find my picture of my poor bloated fish as #9, and it's titled correctly.  But it's larger than the picture I remember.  Hmmm.  I click on it, and no surprise, it's a link to "How to Determine the Correct Depth of a Koi Pond",  written by a 'contributing writer'.  Why do all my pictures link to 'contributing writers?  Oh, yeah- they're the Demand Studios eHow writers who got paid a small (5-$15) one time writing payment for their articles.  My actual picture that links to MY article is on page 2, in the #28 spot.

?????????????

eHow/Demand Studios couldn't possibly be using my Google Image links to divert traffic away from my articles, could they?  If someone clicks on ads on MY article, eHow has to pay me a secret magical amount, but if someone follows a link from my picture to a 'contributing member's article, and that reader clicks on an ad, eHow keeps all the money.  That couldn't be it, could it?

For 'perfect hash browns', my article is #4 on front page Google.  In Google Images, my picture is in slot 4 and 5.  The first, resized, larger image is not titled correctly.  It leads to a video on eHow that I did not make.  What are the chances that if someone liked the picture, they'd click the first, larger picture?  The second picture is also using someone else's title, but it does lead to my article.

I have spent all day checking out my photos on Google Image, and other eHow writer friends as well.  What I've seen is that eHow has resized our photos and is using them to provide links to other people's articles, most often to articles written by flat-rate DS writers.  Often, that picture link appears before our picture linking to OUR article.  Sometimes I can't even find my picture being linked to my article at all.  I've also found my Google Image search bringing up unrelated photos, articles, titles of mine, as well as articles, videos and articles of unrelated writers and topics.  It appears eHow is using our pictures to create a massive spiderweb of backlinks that don't neccessarily help us at all, but rather help eHow to direct traffic to articles where they do not have to pay residual income.

When is Stealing Not Stealing?
Now, it does appear to be true at this time that eHow/Demand Media is not specifically taking OUR pictures and POSTING them on other people's articles.  But, is it really any better for them to be posting them on Google Images and using them to take traffic away from our own articles, essentially stealing our traffic and our revenue?  It appears to be purposeful, since all of the photos being used (and every one of my photos is being used) have been resized.

Please let me know what you think.

Suicide Food

10:02 AM Posted by GloryBug

Using Images of Animals Happily Telling You to Eat Them

I thought I was the only person bothered by commercials and ads using pictures of animals saying "EAT ME!".

Exploitation much?  It's actually not that much different than having ads of women holding baseball bats saying "Beat Me!".  Which, this website, SUICIDE FOOD details in all its horrific glory.  They show ads of animals exhorting you to eat them, sadistic ads of certain animals offering their friends up for the eating, and of the undercurrent of sex and death in the advertising of meat.

It is a VERY interesting and disturbing site.  Visit it.

SNL also did a really good parody covering all those same issues- CLUCKY CHICKEN= he even eats himself!

That said, this morning when I was taking Z to school, I didn't see any prostitutes on the way (surprise, surprise), but I did see an interesting sign.  It was at the same place I'd bought coffee before, and had a drunk black man with yellow eyes approach me and ask if I wanted to 'party' with him. (I had declined).  It's good that Z is in the gifted program, and his school is in a good area, but you have to drive through a pretty dicey area to get there.

Anyway, I saw this sign for fish and chips.  It was hand drawn, and featured a pretty mean, scary looking fish with a huge mouth full of red razor teeth.  And then here's the kicker- the 'artist' had given it a Blow Hole, as in Whale.  Are we to presume that they are serving Whale meat?  Or does the artist think that all fish have big scary red teeth and blowholes?  Have they ever seen a fish?  Maybe the artist was the guy who asked me to party with him at 8am?

Who knows.  I thought it was strange/funny.  But, you should check that site out.

Demand Media Announces $80 Plan For eHow Writers

2:28 PM Posted by GloryBug


Demand Media Announces New $80 Per Article Plan For Writers

Demand Media, the parent company of Demand Studios and eHow, as well as other companies, has come out with a couple of announcements recently.  They announced they were actively seeking UK and Canadian writers, and have also announced they are planning to pay eHow writers $80 per article.

Now, What Could Be Wrong With That?

Well, part of the problem with that, the announcement, is that it's a bit misleading. 

  • eHow has two writing divisions, Demand Studios writers who write for eHow as 'Contributing Members' at a low flat rate per article, and eHow Writer's Compensation Program writers, who write for residual-only earnings, and are called 'Users'. (Who else calls their writers 'users'?)  This plan was not offered to the WCP writers, even though they are called eHow writers.
  • This plan also wasn't offered to the majority of the CMs, either.  Somehow, Demand Studios hand-picked 50 lucky writers to participate in this program.  How those people were picked is anyone's guess, kind of like the secret algorithm used by DM to pay the WCP writers.  They've hinted that maybe they'll pick a few more writers at a future date... maybe.
  • This plan is supposedly for 'featured' content.  Which CMs already have published on front page of eHow, for a low flat rate.  It makes no sense to pay $80 for a featured content article that last month was being written for $15 or so.
  • This plan supposedly will require more words and more research to create 'higher quality' articles, and need to have expertise in the topic (the eHow directory already claims that CM writers are experts, and that WCP are just 'regular people') - yet eHow spokespeople consistently give interviews claiming their CMs have high quality articles, and that they are sweeping or weeding out the low quality articles written by WCP writers.  Why should they offer to pay more when they already claim to be producing high-quality articles at $15? Essentially, it appears they are admitting their featured CM articles are low-quality, and they are now going to pay more to fix that perception?
  • How much space is really available for 'featured content'?  Even with a pool of 50 writers, how much featured content can really be fit on eHow front page each day?  5 new features each day for a year is less than 2,000 articles a year. (Demand Media claims to produce 4,000 articles per day- none of that is high enough quality to be featured?).  Why in the world would they suddenly decide to pay a select group of 50 people to write 6-7 new articles a month at $80 a pop, when those writers were supposedly chosen for being 'the best' already, and from a business standpoint, should be expected to continue writing for the pay they were already getting.  Why not just give them a bonus?  Why announce that they're going to be paying 'eHow writers' $80 per article?
  • How did these 50 people get picked?  Are their names going to be released so that people can see the quality of work they were chosen for?  Are any WCP writers on that list? Employees?  Moderators?
  • Why was this announced at about the same time as the announcement that Demand Media is opening up eHow to writers from the UK and Canada, neither of which will be able to participate in the WCP, and supposedly will earn about $3-10 per article? (And is that pay in American dollars?  Who knows.) Could it be to counteract the bad press Demand Media received for using eHow WCP articles on a mirrored UK site without paying for use of their articles?
How much more likely is it that this $80 plan for eHow writers is just a publicity stunt to get lots of UK and Canadian writers to sign up and write for pennies on the dollar?

Here's an example of the high quality articles Demand Studios has been paying flat rate for, from an author they claim is an 'expert', rather than just the 'average person' CWP writers---

How To Remove the Wax Coating from an Orange
Step 1-
Warm running water can help remove surface dirt.Rinse the orange thoroughly under warm, running water to remove any surface dust or dirt.

Step 2-
Gently rub the the entire outer skin of the orange with a soft-bristle or vegetable brush, as you hold it under the warm, running water, to help remove the wax.

Step 3-
Rinse the orange again before turning off the water. Dry the orange with a clean towel.
Is this really the kind of expert that is in the pool of 50 CM writers chosen to get paid $80 for featured articles?
.

The New eHow Scam - Canada and the UK?

3:16 AM Posted by GloryBug


Is Canada and the UK Next on the List for eHow?

eHow is getting a lot of negative buzz on personal blogs and even on their own eHow forums lately.  Based on the discrepancies between how Demand Media (the parent company for Demand Studios and eHow) pays its flat-rate eHow writers and supposed revenue sharing eHow writers (WCP) are paid, and the drama that has ensued after Demand Media mirrored the US eHow site as a UK site without the benefit of paying its writers, many writers are understandably not that impressed with Demand Studios integrity.

What's surprising is that Demand Studios appears to be forging ahead with plans to hire flat-rate writers in the UK and Canada, when you'd think what happened with the UK fiasco in the last 6 months would have made them think twice.  If not, it certainly should give writers in the UK and Canada who are considering writing for Demand Media pause.

Here's just one recent comment left on the eHow WCP forum- I can't claim to have written it, but I think it sums up well what UK and Canadian writers may have to look forward to, and why they (and the general media, frankly) should take a serious look at what eHow has been doing the last year.

Forums » eHow General » eHow Feature Feedback & Suggestion... » Here's the Deal, eHow.
posted at 3/7/2010 1:21 AM PST

gottareeson

My suggestion is that you turn your corporate attitude around, and recognize and respect your members' rights as consumers to make informed decisions about our investments on eHow, and begin to act accordingly in good faith.

Your actions to date have demonstrated nothing but chronic bad faith by consistently stonewalling, ridiculing, and censoring your members' persistent, legitimate questions and concerns.
It doesn't matter if you plan to sell eHow tomorrow or go global in "UK, Washington." Because each and every eHow representative may ultimately be held liable for his or her actions in a court of law, and most certainly in the court of public opinion.

No one who represents Demand Media or eHow to the members of this site has given one sign in a year or more that they understand or care one bit that there are human beings who are being significantly harmed by the continued lack of good faith here. Everything about eHow is a complete waste of time for its members, and a joke to its reps.
Bernie Madoff laughed too, eHow, but there comes a time when the public says enough is enough. And I don't expect your humor will play well with your Brit and Canadian audiences when they wake up and smell the switch you plan to pull on them.

You know that your corporate actions are not legal. Your CEO went to law school. Unfair competiton, corporate conflicts of interest, fraudulent inducement, and bait-and-switch tactics have been illegal for decades. You just figure you're slick enough to get away with it. And you might be right, but then again, you might not.

So go right ahead and delete this post, as you have all of the other posts that hit too close to home. It's already been documented that it was posted, and therefore seen, by your staff.

This fight is going off your turf, since you clearly don't have the decency to fairly address it on your own.

The eHow UK Fiasco- All Primary Questions Have Been Answered!

12:14 AM Posted by GloryBug

eHow Writers- You can all rest easy now

According to Rich, the eHow Community Manager, all of your primary questions have already been answered.  According to him, anyway.  I know there have been a lot of questions about the WCP, about eHow not paying US writers for using their articles on the cloned UK site, about their 'generously estimated' compensation, about the articles being redirected instead of removed, and about their declining earnings.
Which made me curious, so I searched through the 65 plus pages in the eHow UK site and US member articles forum thread, to see how many answers I could find.  I have posted a list of the most commonly asked questions by members at the bottom of this post, so you compare.  See if you can find how many of the questions have actually been answered.  I've only been able to find a couple, and they aren't the answers originally given.

Let me know if you think these questions have been answered! Also, please let me know if I have missed any 'answers', because I know a lot of the forum comments have been deleted.
______________________________________________________

3/2/2010 2:26 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked to address a list of compiled questions from the 65+ page thread- Questions at end of page)

Hi Guys,
It would be appreciated if everyone plays nicely on the forums. We are alll grown ups here and it's really unnecessary to step out of line. However, at this time I believe I've answered all the primary questions that many have asked and I'm referring to people not only on this thread, but outside of this thread as well. If I do have any updates, I'll be sure to clue everyone in. The one I'm particularly focused on getting resolved is the lag in profile updates on the UK site. I've heard that some people have seen updates made, but I'm wondering how many other folks are still experiencing this issue? Thanks.
-Rich

Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked about profile and article removal, with several writers providing screenshots proving that articles have UK URLs)
In Response to Re: 01/22/2010-- UPDATE on eHow UK site and US member articles
Articles are not housed on the UK site anymore. If they were on the UK site, then they would have a UK URL and they do not have them. And, thanks for flagging inappropriate posts and maintaining the quality of the site.
-Rich

2/25/2010 11:07 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager  (On being asked WHY profiles were still on the UK site, why profiles remain on the UK site, and why there is a delay in the redirect for people with slow computer connection- they are dropping off and not redirecting at all.)
Really guys... let's keep it down a notch. If you see an inappropriate post, please flag the post and we will investigate and remove. I see two questions that some of you keep asking, and here are my answers.

a) Profiles will remain on the UK site. I've stated this before. I'm looking into the issue to see why there is a profile update delay  Ideally, whenever you make changes in your profile, it should update on eHow, no matter if it's US or UK. In the meantime, I will ask you to be patient in this matter while the tech guys are reviewing this slight glitch.

b) Re-directs are a non-issue whether whatever connection you are using. It maybe a little bit slower to process if you're on a 56K connection, but generally speaking that's what happens when you don't have high-speed internet.
-Rich

posted at 2/22/2010 11:14 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why he asked US writers to become a part of the new 'Global Community', and what reason anyone in another country who is not getting paid to write would want to either.)
In Response to Re: 01/22/2010-- UPDATE on eHow UK site and US member articles:

The WCP is not necessarily the only feature available on the site. There are other features, which the greater community--writers and non-writers alike can enjoy, whether they are in the US or the UK or any other country. However, we will ensure to accomodate our US writer community as we continue to grow. Thanks.
-Rich

posted at 2/21/2010 11:45 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked whether eHow planned to continue the WCP, whether it would continue to pay as is, and whether it is planned to eventually stop it.)

Yes, we will make sure to accomodate to our writers' needs. However, I must clarify and say that today's WCP payment algorithm is not based on "ad clicks." We do not disclose in detail how our algorithm works, but we do indicate in our writer resource page as well as our TOS that many variables are considered when payments are issued. Thanks.
-Rich



2/18/2010 6:16 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why UK profiles cannot be updated, as some writers avatars are still wearing Christmas hats.)
In Response to Re: U.S. PROFILES TO STAY UP ON THE UK SITE :

The fix I was referring to is to be able to update your US profile and have that reflect on the UK site. It's weird that's it not doing that, so I'm seeing what can be done. Thanks.
-Rich

2/18/2010 1:18 PM PST (On being asked why the UK profiles cannot be updated, why the profiles have not been removed, and if not, why the profiles are there at all, as they are not listing member's articles.)
Rich - eHow Community Manager
In Response to Re: 01/22/2010-- UPDATE on eHow UK site and US member articles:

To answer your question, profiles will not be removed from the UK site. eHow.com is growing and as a result, we're expanding to international markets and audiences. As we expand, we want our community to grow with us-- therefore, we're inviting each member to truly become a part of a "global" community. However, the bug you mentioned has been noted and I'm seeing what can be done to get this fixed.
Thanks.-Rich



2/16/2010 3:01 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why UK articles were not being redirected, and why articles were not removed as originally stated, but were redirected instead.)

Hey Guys,
So, re-directs should be working optimally and all user-submitted articles that show up on the UK site should be re-directing to your US articles. Thanks.
-Rich



2/13/2010 1:25 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked if the WCP was going to end, and if so, when.)

 Hey Guys,
At this time, there is no plan to stop WCP. Also, smiley28, not to knit picky, but please follow the forum guidelines when it comes to site quesitons and bug related inquiries-- you need to clearly state in the title post what your post is about and you violated that rule.
I would urge everyone read the forum guidelines before posting because when you don't follow them, they can be deleted without warning. Thanks.
-Rich



2/10/2010 3:37 PM PST (On being asked a multitude of questions about why articles were not removed, why they were redirected, and why the redirection was not working.)
Rich - eHow Community Manager

Keeping everyone in the loop here... we're still working things out. I'll let you know when the fix is released. It'll be real soon. Thanks.
-Rich



2/9/2010 7:42 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (Same questions as above.)

Just wanted to make sure I keep everyone in the loop. We're still working out the fix, but I'll have more details for you soon. Thanks for everyone's patience.
-Rich



2/9/2010 3:49 PM PST (On being asked why articles were not redirecting)
Rich - eHow Community Manager
Look guys... if I didn't care, then I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be proactively wanting examples, so this issue can be rectified.
-Rich


2/9/2010 3:17 PM PST (On being asked why articles were being redirected instead of removed, and why articles were not redirected.)
Rich - eHow Community Manager
In Response to Don't shoot messengar but if you aren't following the Site News -.UK thread then maybe you should:

Before you start going on a rampage and creating unnecessary drama, I haven't seen a single link that shows me what you're claiming. In order for me to tackel the issue, I need an example versus having you making multiple posts on something I can't even see for myself and help the broader community on. If you can direct me to the right direction, that would help a alot.
-Rich


2/8/2010 12:21 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (Same questions as above.)

Okay, I don't know how this thread became a topic on forum moderation, but going back to the UK site. I'm working closely with the team and we will get the "articles not re-directing to the US" error fix in today. I'll keep everyone posted when it gets done. Thanks, eHow peeps!
-Rich

2/7/2010 11:26 AM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why new articles were being published on the UK site after being told the old ones had been removed, and then told they were redirected instead.)

Hey Everyone,
I've read the threads, and some of you have made some valid points. I'll provide an update early this week. Thanks for everyone's patience on this and I do apologize on behalf of eHow as to what has happened this weekend with the newly published articles not re-directing from the UK to the US site. I want to make sure this gets sorted out as quick as possible.
-Rich


2/6/2010 10:30 AM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked various questions.)
In Response to Re: 01/22/2010-- UPDATE on eHow UK site and US member articles:

Design,
I understand your frusturation, but there is no need to pick on, Julie. However, we're doing our best to handle this one thing at a time. Anyways, please be patient as I will have more answers to the community's questions. Thanks.
-Rich


1/25/2010 8:31 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why it was said that articles were redirecting when they were not.) 
In Response to Re: 01/22/2010-- UPDATE on eHow UK site and US member articles:

Posh,
Which articles are you referring to? eHow articles created by members have been re-directing to the US site. Please specify where they are showing up? Are you referring to the ones on your profile? Thank you.
-Rich


posted at 1/25/2010 8:44 PM PST (On being asked why the UK site is actually based in the US and is on servers in the US.)
Rich - eHow Community Manager
In Response to Re: 01/22/2010-- UPDATE on eHow UK site and US member articles:

Actually we have an office in the UK.

posted at 1/25/2010 9:17 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why it appeared traffic was down, why profiles were still on UK site if articles were being redirected, why they were being redirected if they'd supposedly been removed, and asking to have personal pictures removed from the UK site.)
In Response to Re: 01/22/2010-- UPDATE on eHow UK site and US member articles:

Well, even if your profile is on the UK site, it doesn't take away traffic to your articles. With the re-directs in place, readers are going to your original articles. As for your photo, I believe you should read section 5 of the terms of use. As for any other questions you've asked, please wait patiently. Thank you.
-Rich

1/24/2010 3:15 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why the US articles had not been removed from the UK site as promised.)

If I don't have answers for you right now, I'll be sure to have them later. I just need everyone's patience for now. Especially now, since I'm not even at the office at the moment and it is the weekend. Thanks :)
-Rich

1/22/2010 5:08 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (Same questions as above.)

Get the up-to-date scoop on the UK stuff here (some good news!):
http://www.ehow.com/forums.aspx?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3aeHow+GeneralForum%3a100Discussion%3af7351708-e40d-4cf3-b8ce-8d448de8303d
Best,
Rich

1/22/2010 5:08 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked what would be done about US writers articles appearing on the UK site without pay.)

Hi eHow Peeps,
As promised, we finally removed all US member articles from the UK site as of yesterday. However, some are still claiming that they are seeing their articles show up on the UK site, which is somewhat correct, but please make note of the URL structure of those articles before jumping to any conclusions. If you click on the US member article on the UK site, you'll see that it will be re-directed to the US version of the article. Our tech team made sure that all traffic will go to your US article and there should be no possibility of traffic going to a UK version of your article. We will need to wait until Google or any other search engines re-index those article pages as well as the UK site map, so once that happens, they shouldn't show up on the site search results as well as search engine results as UK articles. Until then, you may see your articles in the search results as UK articles, but when readers click on the link, it will take them to the US version of your article.
Example:
An article that may show up as this: http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_5284237_freeze-yellow-squash.html on the search engines or on eHow UK will be redirected to here: http://www.ehow.com/how_5284237_freeze-yellow-squash.html. Basically, any indication of a UK article created by a US member will be re-directed to the US version of that article.
Once the search engines re-index those article pages, you will gradually see your UK articles removed from the search results. Just know that all traffic to your articles from here on out will be going to your US article and won't be going to a UK version of your article.
Thanks!
Best,
The eHow Team
1/20/2010 4:13 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager

Just wanted to ensure everyone that I haven't forgotten about this issue, but we are coming very close to getting the articles removed. Wait for a follow up notice from me when it actually does happen. Thanks.
-Rich

1/18/2010 9:21 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked when US articles would be removed from the UK site as promised.) 

I've already stated what the next action is. I rather not sound like a broken record, but if you want to know what I said... I clearly stated that I will update the community once I get better idea of when articles will be removed from the UK site. And, again, thanks for everyone's patience.
-Rich

posted at 1/17/2010 8:37 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (When asked when US articles  would be removed from the UK site.)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

I didn't say "eventually." Eventually is pretty much too open ended in my eyes. This is going to happen real soon. I want to make sure I get an accurate date before telling the community. I'll provide more details this week.
Thanks for everyone's patience.
-Rich

1/17/2010 8:28 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked when US articles would be removed from the UK site, and whether new articles would still post there unpaid.)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

Once we remove all the member articles that process will stop. As stated before, the setup process takes some work and once we do the execution, the articles should be removed and also make a stop to any new articles from posting on the site. Thanks.
Rich

posted at 1/17/2010 8:31 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (Same questions as above.)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

I hope people are reading my posts, but as I stated in my previous post that the execution process is not a flip of switch, it does require some set up time. I'll be sure to follow up with everyone once we are in full effect. Thanks.
-Rich

1/17/2010 4:43 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked when US articles will be removed from the UK site.)

Hey Guys,
Leave the speculation at the door because I'll make sure to inform the community the progress of when then articles will be removed. As stated in the initial thread post and this is how we are dealing with this issue, we will be removing member articles from the UK site. There is preparation involved to get the articles removed, so it's impossible to get it done in a heartbeat (I've stated this in a past post). Just know that it will get done soon and I'll will keep everyone posted on the progress.
If you want any information on the UK website, please make sure to get the answers from the actual source who can give you the right answers and that would be me. Any other information, should be read with caution.
Thanks,
Rich

1/15/2010 4:29 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why removed articles were showing up in search engines, and whether the UK site was a US clone- it was later admitted it was a mirror site)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

Well, Lovinglife... you don't really ask me with respect and half the time you're just making smart remarks. I don't treat anyone in the community that way, and I would appreciate you would treat me with equal respect.
But going back to your question... if your deleted articles still show up on search, then you need to blame Google because we have no control over how articles are indexed. However, eventually those articles will be removed from the Google search and any previous search results associated to eHow will not exist.
As for your concerns about the UK being a cloned site. It is not a cloned site. It is actually a UK site as we are in early stages to go international and UK is our first project. We are still in the process of getting the site together, and you will see that our priority will be to make the site more localized to the UK audience. This can't be done overnight and will be a work in progress. We'll keep everyone posted.
As for the removal of member articles on the site, as stated before... I will keep you posted.
Thanks,
Rich

1/15/2010 1:34 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why UK versions of US articles were showing up on Google, often at a higher ranking.)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

Once again, when you place quotes around search phrases, that is not necessarily how people search truly search. The results will be a little out of place if you do searches in an unorthodox way. People will more than likely not search in this manner. Thanks.
-Rich



posted at 1/15/2010 12:10 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked what was being done about US articles being on the UK site, and why comments from certain people/subjects were being deleted.)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

I agree that everyone has the right to speak up, but I do not agree with posting for the sake of stirring up chaos, which is sort of the impression I'm getting here. You've stated your point and I've noticed you've been arguing with some of the members who don't agree with you. This is not what I would like to see on the forums. Your point was loud and clear and please make sure to read the forum rules to get an idea of how to behave on here. Furthermore, as promised, I will follow up with the community on the progress of the UK article takedown. Thanks. Best, Rich

I have to keep civility on the forums... that's my job. Forum posts get deleted because there are multiple posts on the subject and it just makes our job harder or it could've been a post made somewhere where it shouldn't have been. The bottomline is I've deleted posts in a manner that has been stated on the forum guidelines. I wouldn't just delete a post without good reason. And, I think I've been fair on the posts being made on here, Posh. I just don't appreciate it when people are only here to create a chaotic environment. Thank you.
Best,
Rich

1/15/2010 11:46 AM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why earnings were down since US articles were posted on the UK site, and about writer compensation.)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

At this point, people making claims that the UK site was the cause of the dip is an assumption. I've been looking outside of eHow.com, and I'm kind of disheartened by the few erroenous comments being made about the site. I mean, we can't please everyone and that's quite evident (even though we would like to), but the attacks being made by the few are quite caustic and untrue. I can promise you that we do indeed care about our members. However, working on the site for 3 1/2 years and seeing this community grow into what it is today, it makes me want to reflect a bit. If you look back at what we've accomplished, I believe we were able to deliver on many requests the community had asked for in the past and we did this within means. All I'm saying is we will do our best to get things situated and for those of you who are anti-eHow now, I'm sorry that you feel this way. But, I would like you to look back and see that there were many times we came through for our members and whether you appreciated those moments or not is really up to you. For those of you who are moving forward with us and still showing support, we really do appreciate it and love you all for sticking with us. I'll keep you updated on any UK website related news-- whether it be information on how it affects you as a member or just our progress in expanding to international territories. Thanks!
Best,
Rich
1/15/2010 10:42 AM PST




Rich - eHow Community Manager

Posts: 5702

First: 4/11/2007

Last: 3/5/2010 In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants: (EHow is STILL putting my new articles up on the UK site! Crap! Almost a full week into the 'we're taking the US articles down over the next few weeks. Crap!)

Guys,
There are a lot of articles on the site and it will need to be done in batches. Thanks for your patience. I'll let you know when every single member articles have been taken down. Thanks.
Best,
Rich

1/12/2010 9:24 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why it appeared only comments that were critical of the US articles posting to the UK site without payment. were being deleted)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

Actually, I've been deleting comments that are irrelevant to the topic at hand and any comments that are for the soul purpose of instigating a commotion. This is not a free for all forum, where you can just say anything you please and get away with it. The site is welcome to all, and we welcome feedback, but I will not allow people to be uncivilized on the forums nor anywhere else on the site. We enjoy everyone being on the site, but if you don't want to be part of the community and only here to cause trouble, please do not post here because your post will be removed. Thanks.
-Rich

1/11/2010 8:31 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked how eHow could have published US articles on the UK site without compensating US writers.)
In Response to Re: 01/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants:

Please review section 5 of the terms of use. It clearly states that we have the right. However, one of our priorities is to make sure we are looking out for our members and maintaining a relationship with our community goes beyond a contract. Thanks.
-Rich

1/11/2010 1:38 PM PST

Rich - eHow Community Manager
 In Response to Re: 11/11/2010-- eHow UK website and WCP participants: (So by the end of January or beginning of February all of the WCP submitted articles will be off of the UK site? Or is eHow going to start the process in a few weeks, but the process may take a while? Please do keep us updated, thanks.)

We should start the process shortly. What I meant was that NO member articles will exist on the UK site in a few weeks. We have to take them down incrementaly, since the number of member articles is quite large.
Thanks,
Rich

1/11/2010 6:19 PM PST

Rich - eHow Community Manager

Hey Guys,
Another thing, I just want to make sure that no one thinks that the UK site is a mirror site or a cloned site. The UK and the US site are different in the sense that UK people do not necessarily search on the same article topics as the US folks do. It'll be one of our priorities to make sure that the content on the UK site will cater to the UK audience. The UK site is quite new and it's our first attempt to expand internationally and we still have long ways to go. I think there is this slight misconception that the UK site is growing at an exponential rate. However, like with any birth of a new business, it requires a lot of tending and this is our first effort to go international and our mission is to localize the site to meet the needs of the UK visitors. Bottomline is the site is still new and we're still figuring things out.
-Rich


1/11/2010 5:12 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager  (Same questions as above, plus, what will be done to compensate US writers for the use of articles that are paid on in the US.)

We do reserve the right to repost content on our related websites. But, we truly value our members' feedback and have closely listened to your comments regarding the UK site. Since we’re unable to compensate writers for their participation with the international property, we will be removing the articles. Thanks.
-Rich

1/11/2010 9:06 AM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked whether US writers would be paid for eHow using their articles on the UK site.)

Dear Members,
We’ve noticed the buzz around eHow’s new UK website and specifically the questions of whether WCP participants are paid for their articles shown on our sister website. We appreciate all the comments, as our community is what makes us special, and wanted to clearly address your concerns. At the moment we do not have a system to pay writers for their articles hosted on eHow.co.uk.
We’ve listened to your voices and since we are unable pay WCP participants in the UK, we’ll be removing your articles from eHow’s UK website within the next few weeks. We’ll keep you posted on our progress and thank you for your patience and commitment to eHow.
Best Regards,
The eHow Team

1/8/2010 8:11 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked whether US writers would be paid for their articles being posted on the UK site.)
Thanks for doing this, guys. Just so you know that many of the decisions we make are really heavily dependent on your feedback, so I'm trying my best to come through for everyone. Thanks for your patience.
-Rich

1/8/2010 7:36 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why comments from people critical of the UK clone site and lowered earnings were being deleted, and about UK earnings.)
In Response to Re: UK clone site earnings issue:

Things get deleted when there are one too many similar posts on a topic. That's why we urge people to post on an existing thread, so that'll help streamline the responses and help us see the largely discussed issues within the community. However, some members can be quite unruly and any posts they have made will be deleted as well. As long as you're being civil and not trying to stir up chaos, then we can have a mature conversation on the forum. Thanks.
-Rich

1/8/2010 7:26 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager  (Same question as above.)
Hey guys,
Just to clear things up...
a) it's never good to post pertinent inquiries in the community chatter. The community chatter is your guy's lounge area and if you want official word from the staff on certain issues, PLEASE post them in the approrpriate places.
b) I've seen a few multiple posts on this issue. I would be prefer to streamline what I read, so I can look through a series of posts rather than jumping around to different posts at a time on the same topic. This would also help the staff out so they can do the same and it does bubble up the issue at hand.
c) I've already made a few comments on this issue, and I've said that we are looking into this issue and we will have a resolution on this matter shortly. We do listen to you guys and take your feedback seriously. It just doesn't really help much when the few who jump to conclusion start seeding assumptions that only breeds chaos within the community.
Once again thanks for everyone's patience and please wait for an answer from us soon.
-Rich

posted at 1/8/2010 7:31 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why there needed to be a cloned UK site at all.)
In Response to Re: UK clone site earnings issue:

Believe it or not, but there are subtle differences in language use and of course every piece of content doesn't apply to them, like for instance-- "How to Celebrate Independence Day" wouldn't work for those guys in the UK.
-Rich


Re: Am I paid for the UK site? When do links come down?
posted at 12/29/2009 12:56 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager

Hey Guys,
This is a great question, but the UK site is barely new and it's not even in full force. Once we start fleshing out the UK site, we'll have more answers for the community. For now, please be patient as we expand the site. Thanks.
Rich


Re: Has anyone elses earnings dropped off considerably?
posted at 12/14/2009 7:34 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager

Okay, guys. As I've stated before, I've already looked into this because a few folks have brought it up on the forums and there is no issue with earnings. And, if there ever was, we do catch those. Regardless, like I said, I've checked with finance and everything is good. This conversation always spreads like wild fire and when person complains then some newbie thinks that something is wrong with earnings, when that's not the case. Bottomline, I've checked and everything should be fine. It could just be a slow month for some. Thanks.
-Rich

12/14/2009 7:23 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager
In Response to Questions about our articles/videos on eHow UK: (Regarding pay for content on the UK site, and why earnings were down.)
1. We have our own algorithm so it's based on that.
2. If you delete articles on the US site, yes, indeed your articles will be removed from the UK site.
May I remind you that the UK thing is not what could be attributed to your decline in earings. Some folks are not even complaing about this, but you should remember that it is the holidays and usually earnings tend to drop during this period. Thanks.
-Rich

12/10/2009 3:51 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (On being asked why earnings were down.)

Okay, guys. Just as I thought... it's just a slow month probably, but our system is functioning properly so there shoudn't be any issues with earnings. Thanks.
-Rich

12/10/2009 2:58 PM PST
Rich - eHow Community Manager (Same question as above.)

Hey guys,
I'm looking into this, but I'm sure earnings should be working fine. I'll let you know. Usually, it does start slowing down a bit at the end of the year. Thanks.
-Rich



-------------
Here is the question list I compiled after going through the thread- These are questions that have been asked repeatedly for over 65 pages, and to which I believe Rich is claiming have been answered.
2/25/2010 2:14 PM PST
glorybug

I guess I'll go first-
Why was it first said that our articles would be removed from UK, and later changed to 'redirected'.
Why is it that some people claim their articles are not being redirected, or that because of computer issues that the redirects are slow or aren't working.
Why are our profiles still on the UK site when there is no obvious reason for not removing them.
Why can we not change our profiles.
What is the real reason for loss of earnings by those who think it is due to the redirect.
Why were we told US writers could not be paid for use of their articles on the UK site, but there are UK writers who are being directed to the US site, implying they are being paid.
What is really meant by 'accommodating' writers.
What is meant by encouraging US writers to join the global community.
What benefit can there be for encouraging people in other countries to join this 'global community' if they won't get paid.
Why does it appear that admin swoops in to delete posts, admonish people, and to write posts that do not answer questions, but merely adds more questions.
Does eHow plan to do away with the WCP, and if so, when.
Is eHow planning to use writers' articles in the 'global community' without paying, like they did with the UK thing.

Here is what the questions list has morphed into after being edited/added onto-
thirdstone
UNANSWERED QUESTIONS TO DATE!

Why was it first said that our articles would be removed from UK, and later changed to 'redirected'.
Why is it that some people claim their articles are not being redirected, or that because
of computer issues that the redirects are slow or aren't working.
Why are our profiles still on the UK site when there is no obvious reason for not removing them.
Why can we not change our profiles.
Why did so many writers earnings slow or stop once the redirects took effect?
Why have many of our articles fallen so far in Google searches of them right after the redirects?
What is the real reason for loss of earnings by those who think it is due to the redirect.
Why were we told US writers could not be paid for use of their articles on the UK site, but there are UK writers who are being directed to the US site, implying they are being paid.
What is really meant by 'accommodating' writers.
What is meant by encouraging US writers to join the global community.
What benefit can there be for encouraging people in other countries to join this 'global community' if they won't get paid.
Why does it appear that admin swoops in to delete posts, admonish people, and to write posts that do not answer questions, but merely adds more questions.
Does eHow plan to do away with the WCP, and if so, when.
Is eHow planning to use writers' articles in the 'global community' without paying, like they did with the UK thing

WHY did you (Rich) say in the very first post on 1/22, "As promised, we finally removed all US member articles from the UK site as of yesterday." ...when in fact they were not removed at all? That certainly appears to be on outright lie!
A DAY AFTER THE REDIRECTS - Most articles just stop earning, articles begin to vanish off google searches or can only now be found on google by adding my name to the article search, and my earnings are no longer climbing - all happened right after the redirects. Please read this several times, slowly, so you finally begin to understand the redirects ARE AN ISSUE.
TOO MANY LOST TOO MUCH and the 10 bucks is not compensation when people lost hundreds because of google redirects on the UK issue... WILL EHOW RECONSIDER AND ANALYZE the ACTUAL losses and start addressing those losses?

eHow Earnings and Algorithyms

1:59 AM Posted by GloryBug

Earning Money Writing for eHow Just Keeps Getting Harder

Anyone familiar with writing for eHow knows that the pay is a secret. That all by itself is weird. It's based on some magical algorithym that only the Man Behind The Green Curtain knows. It is supposedly based on a recipe of views, adclicks and 'secret spices', while at the same time not based on those things at all. Sometimes it's claimed that it's based on 'popularity and quality' and 'usefulness'. Whatever.

One thing that IS clear is that somehow it is based on adclicks. I know this, because I don't have so many articles there that I can't watch how many views each article gets, and how much at any one time an article gets paid. Therefore, I know that either eHow or an advertiser is paying me more for one article than another, and since the ads that run for the higher paid article feature more expensive products, it's clear that the advertiser plays some role in how much is paid. I should note at this point that because the algorithym (who gets paid by 'algorithym', anyway?) is secret, in truth, it could in possibility be changed every day, or be different for each person. Meaning that if Campbells Soup pays $1 per click, you could get .25 one day, and .17 the next. Or maybe .35 if you are deemed 'popular' (whatever that means!). That gets me back to the ads.

How Can You Make Money on eHow if There Are No Ads to Click On?

I am going to dissect my article "How to Make Vegan Gnocchi" first.

When I look at the article, front and center is my title. Good! However, just to the left of that is a listing of other eHow articles that are essentially competing already. This is good for eHow, especially if they are articles written by Demand Studios, because they are paid a one-time flat rate instead of having to pay residual earnings to an eHow CWP (Writer's Compensation Program) like me. If they moved that down the page a bit, maybe someone would be tempted to actually read my article!

Next, I see on the right hand side that there are listed 6 'related ads'. The problem is, they're just listed. No tempting pictures- but at least they are on topic with my article. Moving further down, I see a large picture ad for losing 'inches off your stomach' on the left side, which is not related to my article. On the right side of my text is an ad for losing weight with 'LiveStrong.Com' (owned by eHow's parent company, Demand Media). It's large, and also off topic. Under that is another large ad for LiveStrong.Com Tools. It looks like it's daring you to stop smoking (it's also daring you to click on it instead of reading my article!).

Under that, is the same list of 'related articles' from other people, albeit formatted differently- larger and with video options. On the fip side, under the display ad for 'losing inches' is another picture ad (but smaller)urging me to 'dare to lose weight'... with LiveStrong.Com!

Finally, AFTER my article, right underneath, there are 4 Google ads, 1 of which is relevant to my article. Off to the side of this is a random listing of other articles I've written, which may or may not be relevant.

So, What Is My Point With All of This?

Well, I didn't begin writing with eHow just because I like to see my name in print. I've been writing for over 20 years, in full-time paying jobs, so I don't need that. I started writing with eHow because I was promised pay for that. When I first started, I was very pleased, and could see how if things continued, I could do quite well. The problem is that it didn't stay that way. There have been many things that have played into that, not the least of which is the mess eHow made by mirroring the US eHow site into the UK, and allowing their own articles to compete against themselves- with no pay. But, I am going to guess something else might be a part of it lately, especially after eHow began their Garden Blog and started developing their own 'departments' that use flat-rate articles.

What I do know is that ad-clicking plays SOME part of eHow WCP earnings, so it stands to reason that I would be wanting some good ads on my articles. It isn't good to have large display ads that are off topic taking up the best real estate on my articles. Now, normally, this would occur if you had a poor title or didn't keep a focus on your keywords... but this is occurring because eHow is placing their own ads in those positions. It also appears that having two large ads about losing weight has affected the other Google ad topic as well, considering that most of the smaller Google text ads are on topic. I'm not sure what to think about that, but I have heard Google and eHow are quite cozy, so who knows.

What this tells me is that eHow has determined that it is better financially to fill up most of the compelling ad space with redirection to their other sites/projects than it would be to share any earnings made if there were other ads there that I could earn from. I am pretty sure that clicking on any of their ads does not figure into our pay algorithym. The ads for 'eHow's Home and Garden Blog', 'LiveStrong.Com', 'LiveStrong.Com Tools', 'LiveStrong "Dare to" series', 'eHow Get Your Degree' and the rest of the lot are recent additions--- what was there before? Is it possible that the re-working of the layout and the amount of redirection eHow is adding back to itself in the articles is adding to the loss of earnings so many writers are reporting?

I am going to go through all my articles (I note that some of them have not had all the eHow ads stuffed into them- maybe they haven't created their own eHow network for those genres yet?) and get an idea of which articles are performing best for me, and what the ratio of eHow-driven advertisement is on those pages. Please do the same, and let me know what you come up with!

Keywords Matter in Ways You Never Think

4:47 AM Posted by GloryBug

Keywords- do they really matter?

I recently started a new blog that I plan to use to detail all of the cats I have adopted or rescued over the last 20 something years, which I named 'Cat Adoption Stories'. It seemed like a perfect name for all the cats I've adopted or rescued, and I hope other people post their pictures and stories as well.

The problem is, the only relevant word the ads were seeing on my page was 'adoption', meaning that all of the ads were about adopting overseas children, adoption options, blah blah. Nothing that has to do with cats or any other animals. I do have to say that as an adoptee, I really didn't appreciate all those 'adopt foreign children' ads on my page. I'll probably get paid back for that here by having a ton of those Google ads on this page. Sigh.

Anyway, I carefully went through and slowly removed each reference to that word and replaced it with 'rescue' or 'pets', and I checked the ads every time I removed the words. I can say I did not get appropriate ads until I removed every reference to the 'A' word except for the original title. It appears that Google ads does not recognize the link between the 'A' word and animals, pets or cats. So, I have replaced every reference to the 'A' word except in the blog title. Which I think is sad, as so many wonderful people 'A' or rescue cats all the time!

It is sad for cats or rescue groups, that they cannot use a perfectly acceptable word on their websites because it has been 'monetised', but I think this is proof you can get around it.