For those just joining us, Ezoic is a "web site improvement platform". They take your site content, repackage it and spit it out to the world. The engine selects templates and tests results: what is the bounce rate, how much engagement, what's the ad CTR and so on. The algorithm then gives more face time to the templates that perform well, but templates don't get to live on their laurels - testing never stops.
There is nothing that Ezoic does you could not do yourself, but it would truly be a lot of work and would command your full attention constantly. My site, the site you are at right now, has been template driven for years. I experimented with layouts and ad placements and at one time made a decent amount of money. That all changed in 2011 when Google implemented new search algorithms which were intended to weed out junk sites. My content was not junk, but I got caught by collateral damage and my search traffic plunged. You can see that plainly in this graph from Semrush.com.
There was a second plunge you can see in August of 2013. That's the one that really crushed me. It was from template changes I made and nothing I did seemed to help. I could not get the traffic back.
Toward the end of April in this year (2015), I stumbled across Ezoic. As I explained at the time, I didn't have much confidence that they could do anything useful, but I really had nothing to lose: I was in the cellar and really could go nowhere but up.
And up it has gone. The Semrush chart shows that plainly and ad income has followed suit. Things are nowhere near what they were before 2010, but they are much better than they have been recently.
That's all good. What I DON'T like about Ezoic is the the templates that have accomplished this. I think they are often garish and that ad insertions are far too aggressive. You can control a lot of that with settings at their control panels, but even so automated layouts can never match what a human would do. It can get really ugly.
One particularly galling thing is that their templates see "<a href" as potential insertion points. That's so wrong: that's not a block level tag and inserting an ad ahead of it often breaks up a paragraph. I'm hoping they fix that soon.
But it works. By all metrics, this site is improving: more traffic, more money, more user engagement. I can't argue with that. I don't like the layouts, I cringe when I see how cluttered with ads some pages are, but IT WORKS.
That's what matters and that's why I'll be staying with Ezoic.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2015-09-01 Anthony Lawrence
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