After all, what's to lose? It's not like you're going to miss any sales.
As to what's to win, in borderline cases, a slightly-less commercial hub just might be enough for Google to become fond of it.
What say you?
This is actually a question I would like an answer on. I debate even using any Ebay or Amazon capsules because I don't want to come off like I'm pushing sales. On the other hand, I thought that having more of a mix of different kinds of capsules like pictures and polls makes a hub have more appeal to google. ?
If used in moderation, I don't think they look cheap. Hubpages Amazon module is very small compared to some. Sometimes, if you don't have a lot of pictures they can even add a bit of interest to the page. Most surfers find lots of plain text off-putting.
One of the problems I find, is that sometimes not a lot of thought is put into choosing the products. If you're writing about something and then pick a very good book related to the topic, AND you fill in the Amazon module with a couple of sentences about why you chose that particular product it makes it look more like a recommendation rather than a desperate "I want to make some money!"
For example on my frog pages, I often link to the exoterra tanks that I keep my frogs in. I haven't actually sold any, but I think it looks like: here's the caresheet for keeping the frog, and here's a link to the terrarium I keep my frogs in. If somebody came to my page looking for information about keeping frogs, they might actually find that useful.
There is absolutely zero evidence that Google dislikes "commercial" Hubs.
This myth came about because HubPages introduced a rule limiting the number of eBay and Amazon capsules. That was NOT because Google dislikes them. It was because Google dislikes too many of them.
Google doesn't look at advertising in isolation. It looks at the ratio of advertising to text. If there's plenty of text, Google has no problem with advertising of any kind.
HubPages has restrictions on advertising which err well on the safe side, so you've got nothing to worry about.
Are those capsules a turn off to hubbers? They don't bother me when I see them on others' hubs, but I don't know if that is typical.
As a hubber I will try to buy amazon products from fellow hubbers; no capsule means no sale. In those cases they don't bother me.
On the other hand, if I'm not looking for a product to buy then I don't like them and doubt others do either. So unless I'm writing a hub specifically to sell something I usually won't use them. The exception might be a task I'm describing that requires a specific, unusual tool or product - I'll put it in then thinking that many readers will never have heard of such a thing and an ad might help them understand. Plus I might even sell one or two; I write on electrical work and put a little push on nearly every hub for a little cheap tester and actually sell several each month.
canthearmescream, I normally only have one or two small products on a hub. If I am looking at pages on a web and find a really spammy page that has dozens of products for sale, I notice who the author is and try not to click on that persons other lenses, hubs, sites, etc.
Marissa, Hubpages does have restrictions, but even if they are followed a page can have way too much advertising. I know you feel that most readers do not go on to a second page, but I think that is incorrect. I think they only go on to a second page after they have found something good and non-spammy on the first page they searched for.
PDS, this is a good suggestion. I am going to try it on 10 hubs that have very little traffic. Maybe it will help, and it sure cant hurt much!!!
I'm not sure the pile of corpses over at Squidoo would agree with you... And again, low-traffic hubs, what's to lose?
I kind of slipped away from the "low-traffic hubs" factor. I guess I was just wondering in general. But yes, I would be interested if Amazon and/or Ebay capsules help or hurt a hub and it's traffic.
They have no restrictions on the number of Amazon capsules at Squidoo, so you'll notice many of them are over-saturated with Amazon ads. That's the problem, not the existence of Amazon ads per se.
Technically they do have a limit of 20 modules. But this includes the basic module, in which you can put multiple products.
I think the main problem on Squidoo, is that people use their own affiliate links, pasting in the HTML in the text box. There are various tools like squidtools, as well as WSO's that will produce this for you. Squidoo has no control over how many people use.
I think they got flooded by marketers who bought the "make a lens in 10 minutes" products and published pages that are basically nothing but Amazon products. Of course they have now developed new filters and are deleting these pages and banning accounts.
So that one or two products doesn't turn you off? Do you find the hubs without any products more appealing than those with one or two items?
Cantuhearmescream, if I am reading an article just for information (like a "how to" type) I would just as soon not see any, but really dont notice if there is just one or two small ads. The ones that are really bad are the articles with five articles per capsule, and numerous capsules.
I doubt anyone clicks on them, but they do serve to make the author look cheap.
So if your hub has, say, 1,000 words, what is the optimum number of Amazon and eBay products to feature?
There is the idea circulating at Squidoo right now, that its recent slap was due to too many Amazon links and that Google started seeing it as a "gateway" site. But it is only one idea of many, and personally I don't buy it. As Marisa says there is no evidence that Google dislikes affiliate links per se, it dislikes pages that have no original content, and don't add anything to the link.
I think the reason Squidoo has flopped is because of a proliferation of pages that basically had a short introduction followed by a looong list (up to 50 products) of Amazon stuff. For example "Best Angry Birds Socks" followed by nothing but links to angry bird socks in Amazon.
There were WSO apps that would basically generate these pages for you at a rapid rate, and Squidoo was flooded with these gateway pages.
I imagine that because HP does have a rule against that (50 words per Amazon product I think), and the hubs I've seen have far fewer Amazon modules on them than lenses on Squidoo, we are not in danger of being punished for this by Google.
On the other hand, as you say if a hub has low traffic, it will hardly hurt to remove the Amazon. I will do this to at least some of my hubs. I am now writing "best blah blah blah" hubs, with more Amazon modules, so I'd hate to tip the scales (although really I don't think there is much danger of that). I actually never sold anything from my hubs, even the ones with decent traffic, that were not product reviews, so I truly don't think it will lose me money.
A lot of writers also happen to be published writers. And what is the one thing that published writers all have? Books, yes. And where can you offer and display your latest book? Not on Google, and no other advertisers on Hub Pages ... except Amazon. Take away Amazon, and you remove an incentive for all those writers to be here.
Rather on picking on Amazon, writers should concentrate on getting their writing up to standards. And picking on writers and casting them adrift is the same in some businesses as cutting your customers and users adrift. Not terribly smart.
A good publisher will CULTIVATE and GROW writers. A good publisher becomes a place where writers flourish and enhance their skills.
I was looking at some of the high ranking lenses not long ago. I was surprised to find even some of the highest ranking lenses have tons of Amazon products. I mean a LOT of products and in capsules spreading across the whole lens. Then, there is a banner that pops up along the bottom of the screen, which I found to be super annoying. I closed it, then went to another lens and it popped up again. I closed it, then went to look at another page and the thing pops up every single time a new lens loads. Between the overload of Amazon products and the annoying banner across the bottom of the screen that repeatedly pops up no matter how many times you've previously closed it, I quit reading lenses.
The Black Banner of Doom (TM) was part of Squidoo's testing of new things. It enraged almost everybody who used the site and is not there now. Hopefully most people were irritated by it and the testing will show it has a big negative effect. Mind you there was also an advertising banner that ppl can only see when not logged in, not sure what the status of that is. Hopefully it is being withdrawn, as Squidoo tries to be less advertising heavy.
What I think basically happened is that while Squidoo was getting Google love (something which puzzled me for a while) they were trying to make as much money from it as possible. Now that the love is withdrawn they are removing some of the advertising (hopefully) and will put a stop on too much Amazon (it is unclear what they regard as too much). Hopefully they will find the golden middle.
I never understood why Squidoo was ranking so high in the search engines with all the clutter either. It only makes sense that this would catch up with them. I hope they can find that balance as well.
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