Have you seen the new rules regarding product capsules? It's in the HubPages Weekly. We have to reduce products within each capsule from 2 to 1, as a way to prevent looking spammy by Google. Oh Lord, what a task. I've already started this morning, 14 hubs down, 37 hubs to go.
Question to staff: Since this rolled out yesterday, is there a new algorithm picking this up in our hubs? I ask because my individual hub scores began dropping like flies yesterday.
You mean you still have numbers that can drop? Really?
I had not heard about this. Thank you for posting this here. Sometimes when I make an eBay capsule, I put the 2 items in because most often the second item in the capsule is the item that really truly coordinates with the theme of my article. If I just put 1, it doesn't make as much sense. For example, I put potato peeler. The first item eBay put is an apple peeler. The second was a potato peeler. If I deleted 1, it would have deleted the potato peeler and left the apple peeler. I wanted the potato peeler, so I needed the 2 items in that capsule to fully represent what I was trying to achieve.
To fix that, CrafytotheCore, just write in "potato peeler" and you'll only get that one.
I was oblivious about the rule dropping the number of items allowed to 2 until two days ago. I dutifully went through all my hubs and changed the eBay and Amazon capsules. A few hours after I finished, I get the notice that the new rule is only 1 item allowed in each capsule. Ironic, isn't it?
Yes, I just finished lowering the products from 3 to 2-- probably about 70 hubs. And I do earn some from Amazon.
I am undecided just what to do here. While I do have hubs that can tolerate removal of a small number of products, I have quite a few others that have capsules with 6,8 or even 10 products per capsule and to remove the extra products will destroy the hub. Nor is it reasonable to put 20 capsules in a single hub; the number of Amazon/eBay logos will turn it into absolute spam to the reader, if not to google.
Most likely I will leave those hubs alone as long as possible, then delete them. A shame as they are the ones producing Amazon sales in many cases and I would expect to lose at least half my Amazon income without them.
Yes, I have seen the way you do your product capsules, wilderness. It makes sense when you're showing the "how to" steps and the tools you'll need. What a shame.
Wilderness - can you change the way you've entered the products to create just one capsule per product? The view will be similar for the reader, but perhaps Google won't pick that up in the filters?
I agree - there should be 'exceptions' to that 'rule,' in cases where the flow of the hub and the information is greatly supported by the capsules.
A couple of questions (and a big thanks to janshares for pointing out the new rules):
The HP weekly sounds like we don't have to tweak our existing hubs until we edit them? I agree it's a good idea to address the issue broadly, but that's a lot of tweaking, if someone has to go through all their hubs and make those adjustments. Any guidance from the staff?
Regarding Google's 'new' guidelines on spam & too many ads - does this mean (I hope) that HP will cut back on the huge number of ads we see when we access the site while not logged on? And what about those horrible and deceptive 'Related Searches' links that lead to ads?
Had I seen either of the two above issues prior to signing up for an account, I would not have put my writing on this site.
I am hoping the staff answers as to whether they can stay until we edit or not. It will take several hours to go through all of my hubs if I have to remove them right away.
Barbara, see the blog post announcing this change:
"We are reducing the number of products per capsule to one on all new Hubs (your older Hubs where you have chosen a specific product will not be effected [sic] unless you edit and change the capsule)."
I see nothing in that blog post asking people to update old hubs, although it might be worth trying if your subdomain has experienced a big traffic loss.
For what it's worth, I have very few Amazon capsules on all my hubs -- none with more than one product -- and have been scratching my head for the past month wondering why I didn't get hit with the traffic weedwhacker like everyone else. I'm not trying to be virtuous; I put sales-related content on Squidoo where I can embed AmAssoc links and keep 100% of my commissions. Funny how my Hubpages traffic is in good shape, but my Squidoo traffic tanked! (Of course, Squidtraffic tanked a few months sooner and is probably triggered by a constellation of site issues, but this might be one of them).
This is a very good comparison - thanks for sharing that info, GG. And yes, I read the new HP guidelines the same way you did. Your personal experience in comparing how you used Amazon here vs Squidoo is a compelling reason for us to go back and edit old hubs.
I am going to remove Amazon capsules entirely for what were my best performing hubs to see if that helps them. If it does, out go all amazon ads - they have earned me nothing...
Wondering what happened in the last two days to make them decide two products in a capsule is too many and now there should be only one. Seems like the total number of products per hub should be the primary factor in determining what is "spammy" but I guess Google doesn't see it that way...
I write a lot about bands/music so I end many of my Hubs with a discography list of the artist in question, with an Amazon box next to that which I fill with anywhere from 5 to 10 albums by that artist. It's never resulted in a lot of Amazon sales for me but I figure what the hell, I went to all the trouble to sign up for the Amazon program so I may as well make use of it.
So anyway, I've been using that format for almost the entire two years that I've been writing here... and now all of a sudden they're telling me I have to change it?
Pardon my Chinese, but.... Screw that.
I'm not going back into all 115 or 116 of my Hubs and fixing all those Amazon capsules. Some of us have a life outside of this site and don't have time to constantly jump through hoops every time the Powers that Be get a bug up their collective butts.
I think HP also stopped the floating ad - the skyscraper at top right used to ride down as you read the article. It's fixed there now. Maybe they got feedback from Google as to why we were being punished so vindictively.
This will automatically impact Hubs where the products were selected by using a search term. This causes many duplicate product listings.
In the amazon capsule where you can select individual products, going forward, you will only be able to add 1 per capsule, but we won't change existing hubs.
You mean existing hubs won't be penalized if they remain as is?
Should we no longer use search method, only put in one specific product?
I spent the morning slashing Amazon ads and my traffic is starting to creep back up...
You might be on to something, or it might be a coincidence. I spent some time early this morning doing the same, and when I woke up and checked my stats they were a little better than before. I hope there's a cause and effect.
Thank you for posting - Are you thinking that ads are part of the problem causing the decrease in pageviews?
Jan - I think the new guidelines mean we won't be forced to edit old hubs, but Google may still penalize them.
I hope it's not a coincidence and that this makes a difference. Let's see.
Traffic does appear to be up from this morning but I'm in "wait and see" mode at this point. I will delete more products and hope for a good weekend.
I take that back. I think I'm seeing my own views from going back and checking for/deleting products!! Ei-yi-yi! LOL!
I'm seeing some of that as well. When I logged in when I woke up this morning, things appeared better than they were the last time I checked my stats, which was on Wednesday. They are still a little up from then. My stats would be much better, though, if they included my own views when I deleted all of the product links. I went through all my hubs, but I'm still not done because now I notice empty Amazon capsules.
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