I just happened to be viewing one of my hubs that has been deemed a sleeper, and I noticed that the Amazon and Ebay advertisements in the capsules displayed on the hub has been increased in size. This alarms me, as I have many hubs with various text capsules with these capsules within that were "fitted" just right to not create any gaps in the overall appearance of the hub. (Screen shots are included at the end of this post.)
With this note, I went and checked some of my hubs and indeed, to my non-surprise, I now have these wide white gaps in various hubs where the enlarged ads have pusheds thing down and around.
This is yet another thing I will have to do, go through 115 hubs to check all of the capsules. At this point I will simply drop all capsules. There was no notification to my knowledge about these increased sizes. Apparently no forethought was given to how they would push around other capsules on the page if the sizes of the ads within were enlarged. The capsule ads are simply too big. With the other ads that are displayed it now appears that we are selling ads with a little bit of text included.
Some of the hubs listed below have become white gap/space horror stories... They look like they were put together by a child now.
These are some of my hubs that I have noticed so far that will need the capsules simply dropped from them for the reasons stated. I will not change them for now so staff can "see" what I am writing about.
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/What-I … Of-Clutter
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Your-F … -Potential
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Hurric … tic-Region
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Tradit … tew-Recipe
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Howard … nd-History
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Buy-Th … e-and-Save
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/How-To … ed-Venison
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Fast-a … et-Lasagna
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Low-Fa … d-Sandwich
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Optica … and-Photos
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Natura … enaline-UP
http://dalehyde.hubpages.com/hub/Those- … 3D-Tattoos
and the list goes on.........
I caught that too, and started a thread a little before you did.
Haven't noticed the ebay capsules (I don't have so many of those) but indeed the new button on Amazon lengthens the capsule and causes that beautiful white space. (NOT)
I've asked if this is a test or something permanent that we'll have to deal with.
I just added screen shots. I searched and could not find a thread under this forum topic for reporting technical issues for the same thing. Sorry about creating a secondary one. Maybe they can combine the two.
It hardly matters. With your screen shots this makes a better thread, anyway.
According to HubPages, these changes were made on purpose to help your Hubs. They say this is even based on research.
While I often find admin's ideas to be in a direction I support, I have to say I've ALWAYS had a lot of problems with how they choose to execute their plans. This latest adjustment and the poor-quality manner in which it happened is, from my POV, a clear sign that there is some desperate scrambling taking place as we head into the big holiday season.
You may be right on that reasoning.... but implementation certainly could have been handled much better. It would seem that some prior testing should have been made and members notified how this would be effecting their hubs and what the members would have to do to make their hubs presentable once again.
Wow I didn't notice they got bigger till you pointed it out. I better check on my other hubs too ^_^
Eeeeesh. I'm not 100% opposed to a larger amazon/ebay capsule, but I know it has already really messed up some of my hub layouts that I really wen tout of my way to integrate these capsules into elegantly.
You would think that before HP went and made a change like this they would have the courtesy to send out a mass email for a heads up. I mean, not everyone hangs on the forums or their blog. I'm okay with the change but come on at least give us the opportunity to be proactive instead of reactive.
If you see in the above post the suggestion was that we could have larger images for Amazon capsules. However the main result seems to be a 'Buy now on Amazon' button. The call to action button in some cases now appears to be larger than the Amazon images.
Maybe people click thro' to Amazon on HubPages to view a larger version of the image, elsewhere I think it might work differently.
I think the OP was right in raising this query. When larger product images are available by using selection and choice it makes a page with more impact and more like a magazine type of layout. By choice I mean that when building the capsule you can select the style and size that the Amazon product is displayed in. I have been working with that system elsewhere and the visual difference is incredible.
Thanks for the link. I certainly missed that post. Working full time and dealing with all the changes here on HP recently hardly leaves me time to scour the forums and such for any new post about features. There should be a better way to advise us of changes rather than having to be glued to HP forums and the constant monitoring of our hubs.
I would note that that thread was created two months ago. The changes I am speaking about are very recent. Nothing more recent about across the board implementation of this new Amazon/Ebay feature.
I'm not even bothering to look. After all, if I edit any non-zzzed hub now, it is going to be taken out of circulation for at least 24 hours.
So as far as I'm concerned, as long as there is a penalty imposed for editing hubs, none of mine are going to get edited/updated until they get zzzed, when there is nothing more to lose by editing.
What do you mean by a penalty for editing hubs and being taken out of circulation for 24 hours?
I haven't seen that at all, WA. I've edited several hubs this week and none have gone to sleep.
The exception is a newly published hub that is still pending. Any editing seems to reset the clock, taking longer to come out of that status.
As I understand the new policy, every time a hub is edited it is taken into "idle" status for about 24 hours until it has been "evaluated".
I think this is only for new hubs. I've just edited a hub now and it remains 'featured'. I've never noticed a hub I've edited go to 'pending'.
Not true - I've edited dozens of Christmas hubs recently to update for the new year and none of them went into idle status. New hubs go into idle status - if you edit them while in this status, then the 24 hour idle clock resets to zero. This is probably the same thing for other idle hubs.
My understanding of the new idle system is this...
*New hubs- 24 hour approval before being featured. However clock resets if edited whilst still in pending status. So don't make any changes until this happens.
*Featured hubs...edit away, no change.
*Idle hubs- Much the same as new hubs. 24 hour approval (?) Not sure about the re-editing aspect and clock resetting though.
Feel free to correct any anomolies!
No, that is not correct. You can edit featured hubs without a problem.
Paul E. mentioned it in the very long forum thread about idle hubs.
I have some of those ugly white spaces also. I don't like it. It could drive a reader off the page. I may just hide or delete some capsules.
I hope that is the case. I have not dared to edit a single hub since this idle policy was imposed, since none of mine have had the zzz sign yet.
I just noticed the giant Amazon capsule this morning! Sheesh! Now I can't recall which of my older hubs feature Amazon ads and must go through them all. I had, in the past, cut down on the capsules, but don't know how this change will impact my hubs. What a mess.
Apparently this is actually only a test, although the hope is that it will work out and become permanent. For now I think I'll leave mine and take another look in a month or so.
It's just too much work to go through 150+ hubs if it isn't going to be permanent.
A fair warning would be nice about such a test. After reading that post it appears that the "test" may be going on for some time if the results are being based on improved Amazon sells and such. I feel strongly about the appearance of my hubs and would rather not be a part of a test that disrupts the flow of my hubs to the viewer.
I was thinking of deleting the capsules, however, if nothing happens within the next day or two, I will go to each hub and simply "hide" the capsule until a final resolution is made. So my Amazons sells will certainly "fail" the test as I will not be participating in it with the hidden capsules.
The size has been adjusted again and it looks much better now. I quite like the change now it's the right size.
I know it's a pain and we are all affected. I do think, however, that the new capsules could be better at attracting readers to buy things. I hear around HP that when people make money they do so from Amazon and not the pennies we get from the Ad Program. But, that's just rumors. I, having only earned $1.07 from Amazon, am interested in anything that could possibly increase my earnings. That being said, I did spend considerable time moving things around on my hubs. You're right, Dale, a warning would have been helpful. Sorry you feel frustrated. I know you're not alone. You are not the first complaint I've read. Good luck!
In actuality I make more from page views that from Amazon. I am all for increasing the Amazon revenue, but but agreeing to the way this was implemented. For those of us who have over 100 Amazon capsules, that is a lot of work to go and make adjustments due to size and all. I simply don't have the time.
I am torn between leaving them the way they are and letting folks think I don't care how my hubs look, regardless of how much time and effort I put into the hubs for a good appearance at the time when the capsules were smaller, or, as I mentioned, simply opening each hub and hiding the capsules until resolution is reached and/or I manage the time to go in and figure out what needs to be done to the hubs to do away with this unprofessional looking "white space."
If it helps, I hear they are working on improving it so you may want to leave them alone until it's all settled. If you're anything like me, though, it'll drive you nuts and you'll feel compelled to fix them. I make more money from AdSense, too. But that's only because I make so little on Amazon so it's nothing to brag about. I keep hearing these fantastic stories of fabulous sales. Ah, well. Maybe some day! I'll have to check out your writing, Dale. Hundreds of Amazon capsules means that you have been very busy.
Well not "hundreds" of Amazon capsules...."over a hundred," haha! I just have a mere 115 hubs.
Quite the opposite with me, make little off A adds, but then I have not posted any lately. I have done better with hub ads.
From my point of view, the spaces seem to be created by the "Ads by Google" that are placed direcly under the Amazon capsules. The Amazon capsules seem to be catered to fit exactly along with my text capsules, then it's the "Ads by Google" that isn't text wrapped correctly. The "Ads by Google" ones seem to be tied to the text capsules themselves, yet pushed all the way down by the Amazon capsule, thus adding the space in the text to the left of the "Ads by Google."
Perhaps the "Ads by Google" is still going off of the old size of Amazon capsules? Since it's a fairly new thing, I would wait a while to see if anything changes, or is updated.
Looks like the problem has been fixed, or nearly so.
The descriptions in the amazon capsule are now missing, making the capsule shorter. In every hub I checked, including 2 that looked horrible, the huge white space is now gone. That makes sense as the button is smaller than the majority of the descriptions were.
Of course, it also means that the hub itself needs to be discussing those same products to be really effective. Sticking in an amazon product that is somewhat pertinent to the hub but not discussed never did get many sales and now it will probably get zero.
I still am not seeing any changes in the hubs I have listed.
As for the items being related, all mine are. When I used "keywords" versus actual products, I had some hubs flagged because the keywords will let unrelated items slip in at times.
Do you still have descriptions, Dale, or have they been taken out and it didn't help?
If the former, maybe it's taking some time to get throughout all HP. Not a programmer, so couldn't really say.
As far as being related, there's related and there's related. If you're discussing TV's, maybe a review, and throw in a capsule with a pair of rabbit ears in the hopes that someone needs them, that's not really pertinent. If you're discussing universal remote controls for TV's and show some from amazon that's not only related but will need little to no discussion. The title still gives enough information, usually to go with if you're already talking about the product.
I see lots of hubs like that. A recipe hub that will show a baking dish or oven glove without ever even discussing just why such a thing, or that particular dish, is needed. I doubt that it will ever do anything at all without the description.
Of course, there are also Hubs that talk about things like travel destinations and provide links to products such as luggage. Sometimes a description really isn't needed.
But you seem to be more of an expert Hubber than me. I could be wrong. But I think sometimes if a reader is looking for something, such as travel destionation ideas, they may also be thinking about luggage and plane tickets.
It has been my experience that if you really, really want to sell on Amazon you will write a hub dedicated to just a few products and those products will be the subject of the hub.
If you want to sell luggage, write a review of a particular brand and model of luggage. A hub on visiting New England just won't sell luggage. It might sell a stay at a B&B if you review that B&B, but not luggage.
There are always exceptions, of course, but in general those that are successful on amazon are salesmen, pushing one product or one type of product.
Nor is it just me. That concept came from more far more experienced hubbers than I, but I have found it to be true as well.
Last check, Wilderness, the descriptions and all were still there. I would think the descriptions should remain for sure.
I agree on the related items and strive to make sure they are actually hub related or topic related.
I reckon staff is on vacation. I shall check back later and see what they have to say upon their return.
Looked at your hub on feng shui door mats. No descriptions, just the title is left. Still a white space, just above an ad, and that seems to a particular problem that others are seeing as well.
Same thing for a hub on clutter.
Ditto for hurricane season, but part of the problem is that one title is really long. The eBay capsule also shows a white space, and it has no buy button.
Beef stew the same. You might move that bowl of stew to the very top; it would make a great lead in photo and would help considerably.
I don't think you're going to see more improvement. Looks to me like the change has been made and you have what you have; you might want to wait before changing things to see if it is permanent, but I wouldn't expect any better tomorrow.
I can think of only one other thing - have you ever played with the font size on your browser to make the print easier to read? I did that with the exact results you're seeing; it lengthened the text capsules but not capsules with lots of graphics.
Everything looks the same to me as when I first posted the thread here.
Once, or if, staff responds I will make the decision on how to deal with it. I do know for a fact that these white spaces were not there a week ago as I checked the recent hubs and such.
As for the font size on the page, that would adjust things for me, but not for the viewer who is popping in via the search engines.
You may be correct, what we see is what we have. I do not have the available time to try to come up with additional text which would simply be filler text, to fill in the white spaces. Nor do I have the time to go and search Amazon for other related items that "may" show a shorter title.
If this is in fact the way it is going to be, I will go with the option of simply deleting or hiding the Amazon capsules.
As for the Ebay capsule, to me, there has been a change in the overall size of that capsule as well. On the hub you refer to, the "hurricane" one, that white space did not used to be there.
Due to the lack of response by staff, it is making it seem like it is "my" problem, and my problem only. With that in mind I will probably simply loose the Amazon capsules over the weekend when I have a day off from work.
Thanks for checking things out and giving me your insight and thoughts. Always do appreciate that.
You misunderstood the font size thing. I changed mine as my vision deteriorated, increasing the font size but didn't give a thought to what it would do to the hub. I wrote hubs that I saw with the larger font, making them look good to me, but to others they were bad. People reported white spaces, but I simply didn't see them.
Eventually I figured out what the problem and reset my font size to normal, increasing the entire page size to compensate. Then I had to go back and fix everything I had written with the large font.
Just thought that maybe you had done the same thing. I had a really hard time back then trying to convince people what had happened - no one else had ever done that.
I have few ebay capsules, and haven't noticed anything there. Normally I set an ebay next to an amazon as a comparison tool for the reader, and if you're right it increased at about the same rate.
Sorry I can't help more, Dale - I tried. I wouldn't actually delete those capsules yet, though. Hide them for now, maybe, but I don't think this is set in stone. Hopefully after the final decision has been made HP will let us know.
I bet I've got a few of those that I don't know about...
Some good advice and I shall probably follow it.
As a matter of fact, now that you explain the font size and the page including the problems, well I have not had the problems while creating a hub, however, I have increased the font size for the same reason you have given and forgotten to change it back and other's pages here and elsewhere would at times look funny.
Hi Dale. Sorry that we messed up the layout on your Hubs. As you saw on the other thread we're trying some things to see if we can increase purchase conversion on the Amazon modules.
Thanks so much for posting all of the example links, very helpful. In response to the size issue you reported, we decreased the size of the price so that only new additional height is from the button itself. So the size issues with your Hubs have decreased by about half.
We're going to leave these modules as is for at least a week while we collect data to assess impact on conversion performance. Once we see how it performs, we'll make a decision on next steps. We'll update the post in the feature suggestions forum when we have new information.
One pretty quick fix is to just not put those modules in the right column. If they take up the whole Hub width, they may even convert better as well as not introduce the gaps. Perhaps not ideal, but it's a single click and doesn't require you to to write filler text (which I can't imagine would be good for conversion, or anything else).
Thanks for the response and the information. I will take the time to do as you suggest, move the capsules out of the space on the right and such until a final decision has been made. Also, thanks for the apology! I am sorry about my impatience on the matter, but it is on my "important" list of things.
If the final decision is to leave them at a set size that is larger than previously, then it will simply take time to rework each hub that is effected by them. Applying your solution to taking them out of the right column should work until then.
Lot of interesting points in this thread but I'm just wondering what happened to the ban on self-promotion in the forums...???
This is a support page for staff and they ask for urls and screenshots...
Ah, OK - didn't mean to cause personal offence
Hahhaa, this happened just in time for me to get a really big surge in traffic to my Hub most negatively effected, format-wise, by the change. Or perhaps because of the change? SEO mysteries.
I hope this gets changed after the week trial. The "Buy from Amazon" button looks silly and too flashy. I'd much rather widgets that blend in without saying 'HEY BUY ME BC WHEN YOU DO THE SITE OWNER GETS A KICKBACK!'
And, don't think I'll go through my hubs to figure out which ones got screwed up bc of this... Sadly, I'll just leave them alone and funkified.
The larger text looks cheesy, and the button is too flashy. If you're goign to make anything bigger, make the image bigger and leave the rest alone.
Perhaps an option in the Amazon capsule to include, or not include the button?
Hubs that focus on a specific product or service sold on Amazon might benefit from this "Buy Now" button. Others, with passive advertisements, as you said, might find the button distracting.
Even hubs that are geared to sell products look overwhelmed and cluttered with the large font and 'Buy' button.
Even the ads have increased font size. Looks silly and junky. Sorry guys, this is another update that I dislike.
There has been no change to the text size in the ads.
If your Hub looks overwhelming and cluttered them maybe it is. Try removing some products. Much cognitive research done in the last decade has shown that human beings are only capable of comparing about 3 items at a time, and only about 2-4 attributes of those items. When you include more items or attributes than that, the decision becomes too complex and people can't decide, so they don't decide. They go with the default option, which in this case is to leave your Hub without purchasing anything.
I try to stick with 3-5 options. I think it may be best to stick with none, but that's sad bc HP used to be my biggest platform to sell Amazon and Ebay.
The font appears bolder and wider than normal for both HP ads and Amazon.
There's also been some research showing that, given three loosely equivalent options, people pick the first one. So put whatever one you want them to choose first.
I'll look into the font issue. It does seem big.
Just thought I'd put my input to this topic.
My sales were decimated with a mixture of the algo change, the Google slap and the HP ad changes.
Now that I have spent about 12 hours re-arranging capsules on hubs knocked out of shape by the bigger size capsules, I think the time has come to see if sales rise before you make further changes.
Obviously if they don't, you adjust, but give it some time first
Hmm. The purpose of these modules is to sell products. For Hubs where it's more important to blend than sell products, I suggest you remove the Amazon modules. They likely aren't generating any revenue for you anyway so you're probably just distracting people for no reason. Anything that "blends" will not get noticed and therefor not get clicked, so they we want to make them "blend" less if we want them to perform better.
It's difficult to say how much it works, especially since a lot of my sales oriented articles have extremely messy formatting after the change. Like I said before, I kind of like the idea, but I'm still feeling a little cold on it. It might be something as simple as offering the option to have the new or the old capsules display. I like the idea of having options.
At this point, I'm willing to try anything that doesn't sink my SERPs position any further. Despite the up and down traffic rollercoaster, after things settle down I've been stagnant for a year and if this Christmas is a bust I don't know what I'm gonna do.
I get a lot of sells from those hubs I try to blend products into. Well, used to pre-Panda when we got really good traffic. On average, these used to generate more revenue than those that were product-selling hubs in regards to Amazon widgets.
When designing a website, I've found more resources that actually suggest blending ad widgets to make them blend in order to get the best results. HP is already doing the opposite with their ads here; they are big, bold, and stand out.
The more pleasing to the eye something appears, the more likely someone is to click or check it out.
The more obnoxious, the more likely someone will just click off the page altogether.
I think you're onto something, here.
Actual SALES sites, like Amazon, Ebay, Etsy...everything is integrated nicely. The fonts match and are all in the same family, color schemes are coherenent. I think with this "Buy Now" button there could definitely be another option to change it into a text-only link (the button is an image), or change the color. It would be easy to do a small frame around a bit of text that said "Buy Now" where users could easily alter the color scheme, or size.
Actually, I think the main issue here is that the "Buy Now" button doesn't really match HubPages.
It's simple Branding. You want the look and feel to bleed your brand and website. What do you want people to think about your website, what emotion, thought-process, etc.
You don't want buttons that don't match, fonts that vary, etc.
You want your on-site and off-site promotions to all match. These widgets just don't flow.
Thanks all for the perspectives and I appreciate the replies. I agree with pretty much everything that's been said. They're all interconnected pieces of an experience, and each site, and perhaps Hub, is a unique experience. "Flashy" on one site won't work on another, and in the end it frequently comes down to aesthetics, brand and positioning. (All of which have unique levels of complexity on HubPages. This is why I love it. ) But I've also been surprised often enough to always pursue actual behavioral data to inform decisions. (I also love being surprised.)
I think it is easy to overlook how 'savvy' internet shoppers are now.
From the things I have read* they go through more research and only purchase when they have refined the choice down to the option that suits them best. There may still be impulse buys but the growing trend may be that they are informed shoppers not confused by choice and who are also looking for a page that looks professional in appearance. It is likely that more shopping in the future will be done via mobile devices so pages looking good on them will also be of growing importance. I understand this, I am just failing at putting it into effect as my Amazon sales have ground to a halt.
* Articles about - ZMOT for example.
Where Hubpages shone in the past, people had already done their research, they knew what they wanted to buy, and they just needed that final push. (and Hubs were up there on page 1).
If, for example, someone wanted to buy a new television, they would listen to TV adverts, or billboards, then to friends recommendations, then they would go online to look around.
By that time they have put the names of the manufacturers into search , and read the official bumph that all sales sites seem to carry.
They might have noticed another similar product, but noticed the same stuff was being written about it.
So they use the terms 'best' 'top selling' 'best selling' etc to find out what other people are buying.
Not everyone trusts the product reviews the likes of Amazon carries.
But when they hit upon a site, which might be Hubpages, and they find a hub that says what they want to hear, having already read about the product, then there is every chance they will click on that link.
Especially when it says "click me" or "buy now".
It's just how they are, the general public, of which I am a member.
If they click through to Amazon on your link, you have a 24 hour window of opportunity for them to buy something under your referral link.
Have you looked around the web and noticed how few sites actually bother to say anything different than the official bumph?
As hubbers, internet researchers and web writers, it would be impossible for us to have tried every product we write about, but we can condense everything into one hub that other people have said, and bring something new, interesting and ultimately sellable.
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