It isn't just mine, but I'm hearing others suddenly have a list with white circles on many hubs. Many were recently approved by QAP. Some have hub scores in the 90s or upper 80s.
What is the reason for this and what are we expected to do about it? How do we get these hubs featured again?
Merry Christmas. The timing for this is terrible. If these hubs are going to earn anything, it is this month.
I have one that unfeatured today. It as a 91 hubscore and a red up arrow. It was one of my best lenses and has thousands of pinterest repins. It's not a sales but a craft hub. I am going to take it off of hubs if my very slight changes don't change it's status.
Virginia, I came to Hubs with 353 pages. I'm now down to 199, and I'm moving them as quickly as I can to my own blogs. Pardon me if I'm paranoid, but after all we've gone through before, I'm figuring it's only a matter of time until every one of the ex-Squids are reduced to nothing.
Looking at the posts on the forums about this, it appears to be affecting Squids. It shouldn't be, because your Hubs are supposed to be exempt from these checks for the four months, unless you edit them.
It's possible this is a bug, and if it is, then you need to report it in the Technical section of the forums, which is monitored by staff - not in the Community section where it will be seen only by other Hubbers.
The more people who report it in the right place, the more likely it is that HubPages will do something about it.
What happens if you report anything odd is that you get a standard automated reply - you query that and get another standard automated reply
I've put in many support tickets (so to speak) and I've NEVER gotten an automated reply
Undoubtedly good advice but ex-Squidoo people have been here before (nature and timing) and once you've had you leg chewed off, you tend to hop warily.
Yes, this sounds like it might be a computer glitch to me. I don't think the staff has totally fixed the issues with the new server they installed, and with so many people reporting this problem, I'm betting this problem is the result of that. The only way to know for sure is to contact the team and ask!
Time Traveler2: Paul Edmonson chimed in but we really didn't get a straight answer. As to reason Squidoo content was hit, in spite of grace period, that subject has been avoided completely. I got a brainstorm on that one.
Hub is unfeatured. Hubber goes to Squidoo account to do something with those unfeatured and not edited at all yet. Now they click the edit button. OOOPS!!! That hub is not out of the Grace period.
So instead of out right welching on promises, just unfeature those now hubs which will force writers to hit the edit button and problem solved because once that button is hit, no more grace period.
Hmmm...interesting take on this, but are you sure it is just the former Squids who got hit? How would you know that?
It is possible you are right, but on the other hand, this may just be HPs way of dumping spam sites. I do not know because I have not seen the articles that got hit. I still think this may just be a glitch...we certainly have had plenty of those lately!
It's not just the former squids. I got hit, too and I've never heard of Squidoo until HP bought them out. I emailed Matt because 3 of my poems have been unfeatured. This is his response:
All Hubs must pass the QAP.
I looked at your Hub and suggest that you remove the products as they are not directly related to the Hub and make it appear like an ad.
You can find more about the QAP here.
Here are some general tips for creating great Hubs.
http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/Elem … tellar-Hub
http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … y-of-a-Hub
Try to aim for an 8 or higher on this table.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Matt @ Team HubPages
I have since removed some of the Amazon capsules. We'll see what happens.
i have 3 hubs unfeatured, already edit and changed the text, add in images of my own. Still unfeatured for 3 days already. Anyone having the same problem?
peachpurple, perhaps start a separate help thread for that issue, which is a bit separate from the one being discussed here. I'd say it's best not to mix up the problems and keep this thread here focused on the sudden "unfeatured for quality" wave that hit yesterday.
I must be lucky, mine are all still features. I think it is because Squidoo had locked most of my very best Squids, with lots of quality content, already. Not much left for Hubpages too do for me
I had one. I did what I always do: removed it from HP and will decide later if I have anywhere else I want to put it.
Yes, we do need to know what is happening, why it is happening and what are we supposed to do now. Thank you for starting the thread Virginia.
I have a lot of half-circles. Hubs not featured for lack of engagement, not quality. I don't have any white circles, and the others, I'm okay with, as they are mostly just poems anyway.
I don't make enough money on here to matter, either. It takes me a full quarter of the year to make the payout threshold, so I don't stress over 'spending money.'
Virginia, It's not just the gift recommendation hubs that were hit. Some of mine were informational, written in my own words with many good photos. How can hubs about hummingbird banding studies and nesting woodpeckers or hubs with scores in the 90's be promotional or poor quality?
"Overly promotional" just means either:
(a) you have more than two links to the same website
(b) you have links to unrelated Hubs or websites (all links on Hubs must be directly related to the subject)
Done and done... no more than 2 Zazzle links and all others are on the subject. Since no reason was given for the unfeaturing of 25 hubs, I'm racking my brain to guess why this happened.
It seems to be a secret why our hubs were hit. I've had a whole pile clobbered for no reason that I can see, These informational hubs have scores in the mid 90s, and just one (tastefully) inserted product for sale on each.
Did the filter come over from squidooooo?
Had the same thing happen and some of my best Christmas ones at that.
I have been updating the ones with lack of engagement but never had one for quality. I am surprised to see one that has a high score and an arrow up. It has lots of my pictures and maybe two ads. I don't get it.
Of course, it's not affecting any of our old accounts. Only the squidoo imported ones.
Mine are 4 years old and are affected.
I have had a few affected which have nothing to do with Squidoo. It appears that most of those hit, and hit hard, are the ones who have had their Squidoo lenses transferred when HP took the Squidoo content, and whatever else they got from Squidoo.
It's not only affecting squidoo transfers -It's affecting all hubbers. HP needs to do something. It's pointless to unfeature a hub for traffic when it has over 4ooo hits!
If the hub pages were running correctly we'd be getting plenty of traffic! You cannot convince me that when they allow spammers to copy the entire website and do nothing about it - that it is for our best interest.
Yes, my original hub account was not affected when I checked last night. Only the Squidoo transfer lens was hit.
Oh, yes, that's what I always say to people when bad things happen to them but I'm hunky-dory. It makes me feel SO good about myself.
Today I got my first ever un-featured for quality hub, and only yesterday I was saying in another thread that I'd never had one. They must have heard me! :-) It was a gift hub too.
Oh well, it was only one, and when I checked it, I could see why it was hit, It's now updated, and waiting for QAP.
Hope this doesn't happen to us too often!
Oh i thought it was just me. You see, I got one hub unfeatured (quality) yesterday too. It's weird because it follows the format of my other featured hubs. I tried to edit it and more content but to no avail. Do you think it's some bug or something?
I had over half my hubs unfeatured for "quality," even the ones I updated yesterday that passed through and went up dramatically in rank. Almost all my Christmas hubs are now unfeatured.
There is no way I am wasting time "fixing" over 100 hubs four weeks before Christmas in the hopes they will find them worthy to feature again.
OMG, I feel like my head is going to explode, this is exactly what we went through at Squidoo......I can't go through that again.....I just can't.
That's exactly how I feel. I was cautiously optimistic that this site might provide the platform needed and my hubs were coming along nicely (passing QAP and gaining in rank and some red arrows). Then BAM, just like on Squidoo, the rules changed and we are guessing what is wanted.
I feel deflated and mistreated.
I'm with you Virginia, in feeling somewhat mistreated. Another Squidoo situation is just what we don't need!
Funny, just before I started reading this thread, I was considering moving some of my hubs to my own website and blog, and this situation has only confirmed this thought.
Some of my work will stay here, of course, as I want to give HP a chance - I've only been here for four months, after all, and who knows, perhaps traffic will improve. We'll see.......
I see I am not alone. One of mine, a Christmas hub and one about a pet peeve topic. The sad thing is that when I posted the link to one of my hubs in groups of those affected by adoption, I got an outpour of please add this book and that book which I did. After several months, it is unfeatured for quality. Yet, sales pages are flying high around here. Getting ready for a move again. I have sites ready for my content. I wanted to wait until after the holidays, looks like I might be moving sooner than planned.
It crosses my mind that if you want to get Hubs featured, you have to make sure that someone is reading them. The way to do that would be to tweet them regularly or pin them onto Pinterest - especially if they are craft hubs.
That is good advice for the ones with the half-circle (not featured/lack of engagement). For the ones with the full-circle (not featured/quality) there's some other issue going on here.
Many of these are getting traffic and have the red up arrow.
I don't normally post here - but how ridiculous, Pages that have visitors and are making sales are now unfeatured for quality, months after they were fixed to meet the standards here? No warning just unfeatured without any indication as to why overnight they have dropped below the quality standard?
I can see I will be busy moving pages to my own sites in the New Year.
It isn't just Squids being affected. However, so far it seems that the majority of those hit are Squids, but is it their Squid transfer HP account,or an HP account they had before the squidoo transfer.
If the hubs didn't meet Quality Standards then that should have been flagged when they were edited - which for me was many months ago. Utterly ridiculous and so reminiscent of the poorly handled unpublishing at Squidoo!
To address Marisa's suggestion of reporting this elsewhere - surely HubPages monitor their featured/unfeatured numbers because this is basic management information? On that basis they should be questioning why hundreds if not thousands of hubs have suddenly become unfeatured.
Well, I'll admit - unlike many other people here, my unfeatured hubs were of the dreaded "shopping list" variety, so I probably shouldn't complain. That being said, they went through QAP successfully, were receiving steady traffic, and had enough words to offset the Amazon module count.
Too bad no clear reason is given, so I don't know if I should just give up and delete the affected hubs, or do something specific like add more content or remove some Amazon modules.
I'm not a squid and I've only had one hub unfeatured for quality, but I must say it was a crappy one made only for sales that didn't contain much in the way of unique or useful info. Sounds like HP is cracking down on these kinds of hubs.
About time too IMO.
You're making an inaccurate assumption. Many of the hubs that have suddenly been unfeatured, supposedly for quality, are not sales pages and are, in fact, very high quality.
And it is absolutely ridiculous that hubs that passed QAP, sometimes multiple times, since coming from Squidoo and that had very high hub scores (some even at 100) are suddenly unfeatured without explanation. It's a real kick in the teeth after all the work many of us have done to edit dozens and even hundreds of lenses-turned-hubs ... after jumping through countless hoops at Squidoo. I see that HP is no different. What a let-down.
And for those who are not affected, who feel the need to post just to say that everything is hunky-dory since it's hasn't affected THEM ... I hope it makes you feel good to make that announcement.
I'd also mention that it's rather hypocritical to bleat about sales pages on a site that's funded by ads.
Very much so.
If HP does not want hubs that are at all focused on sales, then they should have thought twice about taking on (or buying) Squidoo content in the first place.
And why have guidelines for us to follow if, even after we edit like crazy to comply with those restrictions, they're suddenly going to slap these hubs with a low quality label and unfeature them? What a waste of LOTS of our time.
Well, hopefully someone from HP staff will come along with a specific explanation for all this. Right now, it just feels like cruel joke to me.
I totally agree. I've never wanted to and mostly haven't written sales articles but I did have one that was basically that kind of article--I was trying it out--and it had quite a few amazon ads on it. That was the one, the only one, that was unfeatured for quality yesterday. And I agree with HP doing it to Hubs like that. Everyone and the site is better off without them.
Nobody who has come over from Squidoo is going to relish going through the "guessing game" again.
There was a 'mantra' which was repeated over and over again after the Squidoo debacle - and that was "never put your content on other people's sites". At the same time rather a lot of people didn't feel like having to move hundreds of sites elsewhere PDQ - or missing out on their final Squidoo payment - and so they arrived at HubPages
...and lo and behold it came to pass.....the mantra is again being repeated.
I foresee an awful lot of content moving off HubPages as fast as other sites can be created. That way at least we stand or fall by what we think or know is OK in Google's eyes.
Exactly, I'm sorry that I didn't follow the example of top lensmasters who created their own sites and are enjoying the benefits of traffic and sales on those right now.
There are those who truly understand SEO and how to get visitors and those like me who have no clue or are writing in hugely competitive niches (and no, I won't give up on a music degree and 40 years experience just because kids have more street cred and computer education). I write on bigger sites because of the inbuilt SEO that drives readers to quality pages that would otherwise be invisible. To me, it seems that Google wants to make the internet the plaything of hip kids, big companies and computer experts. To do this they need to kill writer sites. They tried to kill Hubpages before and failed, they tried to kill Squidoo and succeeded. They succeeded because Squidoo failed to understand why they were being hit and tried all sorts of theories to raise traffic. They tried everything except admitting that Google wanted them out. The answer would have been to target smaller search engines and social media but instead they punished all the writers, both good and bad. If hubpages becomes untenable for me I will have to employ someone either to make my sites visible or teach me how (and at my age I am probably a lost cause). I can't afford the former and the latter will take time I no longer have.
I'm not a Squid and it just happened to me; without any warning or explanation, one of my hubs has the dreaded white circle of death. It is well-written, well-documented, informational, and not overly promotional. Several others received the half-white, half-black circle, which doesn't bother me nearly as much as that one good one that has been shot down.
Wow, I just found the white circles hit me too - 17 of them, some of which I thought were still supposed to be in the grace period (I didn't have the time to fix them yet as some were going to take a good hour to two hours each to rewrite for HP). Others I HAVE updated, fixed, and had QAPs now of anywhere from 83 to 94.
I did just start a discussion thread about this in the technical issues forum...hopefully we will get some kind of answer there:
Paul that is an interesting thought when you look at it that way. Too many products, but site is right their to collect their 40 percent of sales! Doing happy dance though because my one big sale which was a shocker goes to me not the site.
Yesterday I had an information page unpublished for being "over-promotional"; a page that teaches the basics of guitar improvisation using graphics I produced myself. It had a mere two links to my own tuition website which is free to access. It was apparently considered a gateway page - but it led to a service I provide entirely free of charge (and I have 40 years expertise in that area). After I deleted both links to my site it was republished, but still has a grey spinning circle. I was not impressed.
Today I re-edited another informational page that had been unfeatured for poor content. I see that most of these unfeatured lenses are about gifts or Christmas. Gifts - OK, if there are too many products listed then perhaps we can understand it but some are totally incomprehensible. I have two pages on which essential videos have disappeared - they are not sales pages - one is about Christmas classical music and that is now unfeatured for "content" - another music page too. Is there a pattern emerging?
I noticed one of mine became unpublished too. Check the number of outbound links in each hub.
Lisa: They grey circle is for it not going through QAP yet.
That is crazy, I have seen your guitar hubs and they are for those who are interested in guitars, learning to play one, etc.
Thank you Linda, I do appreciate that. I had an email saying it was published but perhaps QAP is a different process from republishing? Who knows. I have to go to the dentist today which scares me far less than going through loads of hubs trying to figure out what I did wrong. Oh well! Happy Christmas everyone I am sure it will work out.
Lisa: Yes, it has to go through QAP again which can take up to 24 hours if not longer. Sometimes the hub is featured again in a few hours but that is rare.
Once you review the hub and remove the excess links (if that is the case) republish and it goes to quality control. See if that helps.
You're assuming that is the issue, and that's not the case for I believe most of us here.
The ones I've had unpublished for quality, many have already been through QAP, and if they had too many links would have been flagged for a violation at that time. (Being flagged for excessive outbound links is different from being flagged for quality, and if there were too many links a warning about being overly promotional should have appeared when in edit mode.)
misterhollywood: A couple of mine got slammed and they have Amazon capsules, not outbound links at all.
Hi, Linda - they are considered outbound links/too sales"ish" too from what I gather. See what happens if you remove one of them or two. I know this is crazy!
HP says no more than 2 text links to same domain.
They also say 50 words per product.
My products are less than what HP requirements are. Most are 200 words and more per product.
I have read many times on this forum that there is NO LIMIT of two Amazon products per hub. If you think there is maybe you could be more helpful and point to the place in the HubPages FAQs where it says this.
You've linked twice there to a thread you started which essentially only contains content from you. I thought self-promotion in the forums was banned?
Surely more appropriate links would be to official HubPages FAQs?
I'm not promoting myself or my hubs. I'm allowed to post links to other threads
What I posted is from Hubpages facts and I posted links.
I posted them to help
There's no reason to be rude to me, unless you want me to be rude to you, so back off
I am posting the truth about support, and what I say is current, not from the past
Here's another post of mine on personal attacks
I'm not being rude - I queried something on the basis I'd understood the rule was no self-promotion. I didn't realise this excluded other threads. If that's the case then fine.
For what it's worth I'd always rather see the original statement and not somebody else's interpretation of it. "Chapter and verse - from the bible" as it were
It's not my interpretation, it came from the Hubpages facts section, and someone else expressed, they would rather see it written than links posted to it.
Nowhere did I promote myself.
I'm pretty well known on the internet, and I don't write here for money
Your rudeness was in the "Bully for you" statement
There are no rules about posting links to other threads.
Yet when someone does post to help others, we are attacked, and that IS against the rules.
No profanity, and no attacks
Sorry - it's the language which divides us again problem.
That's a very old colloquialism in the UK and wasn't meant to have the meaning you appear to attribute to it.
"Bully for you" means "good for you". Bottom line - that's not an attack although its use is sometimes ironic.
For reference see http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_boar … s/114.html
It's also been well used in the US in the past (eg remember Roosevelt and his use of "bully for you"? http://www.shapell.org/manuscript.aspx? … ly-for-you)
I'm curious where this is stated in the FAQ or Learning Center. There is only one product link per capsule.
You are right, it's one product link per capsule of at least 50 words or more
I don't know why I keep typing 2 (it's not the first time)
You may have been thinking of the old capsules. We could put multiple products in those.
Then, somewhere along the line, they changed the capsules to hold only one product.
If people used the old capsules and have not touched their hubs for a year or so, or they just kept same products, there are hubs that still have the old capsules, I had not been here for a year, at least. I went to hubs to check for broken links, products gone, etc. I had the old capsules. When I hit edit, a weird message came up because of it saying something about one product per capsule because capsules had changed. However, as long as I didn't touch those capsules then the multiple products would have stayed as they were.
I know it is crazy. I am simply saying go through ALL of the unfeatured hubs and look at how many amazon capsules exist, how many outbound links are present ... all of it.
Some of us have done that multiple times before. We've followed the HP restrictions ... uh, guidelines. Our hubs have passed QAP, often multiple times. At this point, rather than playing a ridiculous, time-consuming guessing game, a clear, specific explanation from HP STAFF would be most welcome.
If they want to get rid of those of us they brought over from Squidoo, they can just come out and say so. Buyer's remorse perhaps.
yup - jumped through the hoops, got approved...
Ramkitten: "Buyers remorse" I can't help but laugh! HP knew Squidoo was a site where there was a ton of sales pages, yet they went and did the deal anyway! Another thought is that Squidoo had something they wanted, but to get it, they had to take the content. Now the deal is done, get rid of the content they didn't want in the first place..
I had already left Squiddo with exception of 2 lenses that I took and ran with when the announcement came out. Funny thing is they did this around Halloween, and now again when Christmas is at our back door!
2 holidays going to be messed up. I don't do well with holidays,but there are plenty that do. Some of those writers could take the weeds out of my yard and sell them, when I couldn't give them away.
With your theory, you are saying that no more than 2 text links to one domain which is a rule. But you are also saying that no more than 2 Amazon capsules are permitted because they link to Amazon which is not what HP says!
If your theory is correct, then every hub on HP with more than 2 products should be flagged this morning.
That's a complete waste of time on any site where they change the filters every 5 minutes
What we need now is an explanation for why so very many hubs have been unfeatured all at once when they have passed filters before.
Yes, thank you for your suggestion. I'm sure you mean well
How about one Amazon capsule and one outbound link? As for the outbound link - a text capsule stating that all photographs are taken by myself with the link to my non-commercial website
These are informational hubs, scored in the middle to high 90s with red up arrows, book sales and comments
Crazy is indeed the word
here we go again - perfect timing - when they assured us everything would be fine over the holiday season - what happened to the 4 months grace period? I only have 4 with white circles but you can see the pattern. Same old, same old. Funny it is only my squid transfer account that is affected. Like many people I am working to take my work off Hubpages but when I ask if they would pay me out the $36 dollars in my old account they said NO I would forfeit that. Didn't we have the same argument with Squidoo?
Happy Christmas Hubpages.
What kills me is that HP first said 50 words of text to each product listed. When descriptions were added to capsules, those words were not counted, but now they are. So now, if somebody has 300 words, and adds another 200 words of product description they can now have 10 products vs the 6 that would have been allowed under the old method of word count.
So if someone writes 1000 words, whether it is about the topic only, or a mixture of content vs product description, which allows 20 products according to HP rules, then why are hubs being unfeatured with 1000 words of content and less than 20 products.
Tired or racking my brain.
I think I'm done. I have had good sales on one hub and I will leave it but the rest of them will be finding new homes. My standards are higher than those of hub pages so it's time to strike out on my own. I am a grandmother raising a grandchild (teen) and my time needs to be better spent with his life than trying to guess what Hubpages wants.
Lisa: I had a niche site. However, even though I was getting traffic, I shut it down recently. The reason was that there are those who have sites on same topic whose site owners are more into what is going on, have sources for their information, and are able to keep their sites updated. When I did my site, I didn't concern myself about keywords. The niche was adoption. So, there really isn't a lot of keywords there, not for what our sites are doing.
I see the same for your guitar blogs. Music, types of music, Gibson, Fender, and the various types of Gibson, etc guitars.
I don't see a lot of articles like those you write. When I do, it is a music store, or someone who is promoting themselves as a guitar teacher.
Has anyone noticed that HP is trying to get the look at feel of WikiHow? Notice that if you let them do your artwork now (HP Editor) that they change the entire hub to look like a wikipage.. Just saying ...
My concern is that this unfeaturing of an article will not only confuse the Google search engine process making it more difficult to get Google traffic in the future but that it will also kill the redirects put in place after the Squidoo transfer. This unfeaturing seems like a fancy way for Hubpages to effectively shoot themselves in the foot.
Squidoo take-on was September? Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec. Maybe that is the four month grace period up?
I guess it is arguable whether it should be January but as for the effect of it...
Unless HP were planning to CHANGE their rules rather than SUSPEND them - the day of QAP reckoning was going to happen sooner or later.
In other news I notice HP is now ranked 90 on Quantcast - a significant drop.
Nope. They had already been edited and gone through the QAP process.
And it's happening to hubs with HIGH hubscores.
Four months should be an actual four months. We are only on the second day of December, that doesn't count as a "month" by any standards I'm aware of.
But you're ignoring what has been said in this thread already by myself and several others:
* some of mine which got unfeatured were ones I had already updated to remove all violations and now had decent QAP scores.
* some of mine which REMAIN featured still have violations on them because I haven't updated them yet since the Squidoo move.
* other hubbers who were NOT part of the Squidoo transfer have been affected by this as well
If it were strictly related to the Squioo import then surely, ALL hubs which still had violations should have been unfeatured, yes? Not a random assortment within a single user's account. Unless this is some kind of scan going through specific categories at a time with some kind of new quality standards to consider.
OK - I assumed it was the sales pages that exceeded the normal HP rules and which came across as part of the take-on.
We are just playing guessing games without a steer from HP.
We were advised that when hubs were edited their grace period ended and they became subject to QAP requirements.
Having edited all hubs within the first month and having continued to edit them since they have presumably been through QAP each time. So one can only assume:
1. We were misinformed and they did not go through QAP when they were edited.
2. There is a change in requirements and hundreds/thousands of hubs no longer meet the standard.
3. There is yet another bug on what appears to be an incredibly bug-ridden site.
4. Someone made a mistake and applied a set of filters incorrectly
5. A combination of 1 to 4 above.
Once edited, the grace period is over for that article. 4 months was only for those articles that had come over, and not yet been edited.
My hubs have not been on HubPages for three months - not everything arrived on Day 1 of the transition!
I think it's safe to say that if HubPages is honourable about the grace period than this has nothing to do with what has happened
Yes, I've had a few and I kept trying to add/remove stuff from them to figure out just what was the issues with them, but to no avail
I do not understand that at all as I worked so hard on them before I even transferred them so none EVER had skulls and only a few had quality warnings because of a few photos that were blurry or bad links that have been fixed.
One, called "You Can Be Green" is FULL of information and tips and has gotten rave reviews for years !
No, many of the now-unfeatured hubs are not sales pages whatsoever. Many, if not the majority, have been through QAP, some multiple times and some very recently. There seems to be no logical rhyme or reason for all this.
Update: I resubmitted my hub that was unfeatured after removing several links. It has been approved now and featured.
That's good to hear!
My hub is still pending, but hopefully it will be featured again soon. I removed some capsules and added more text.
First, I appreciate the feedback. I love HubPages and have been committed to the site since I originally conceived of the rough idea in a bicycle storage closet in San Luis Obispo over 9 years ago. I remain committed to this day.
It's a very different environment from where we started. I believe that in order to best serve the community, it requires us to continually adapt to forces in the marketplace. The largest force is Google. It dominates search on the desktop and perhaps more importantly for the long term success, it dominates search on mobile.
We are constantly working to improve the site, understand Google's algorithms and building a site where all types of people can share their interest and passions.
In today's environment, site wide quality matters. If we were to leave spam content featured, I believe I'd be risking the long term health of the site and the community. We know it's painful to see Hubs de-featured and we have been incredibly frustrated as well. At the same time, I believe we have to make some very hard and complicated decisions to improve the site to best serve the community for the long haul.
Recently, Google put a manual action on a couple of subdomains for pure spam. We analyzed the accounts. We came up with a few ideas on how to identify swaths of content highly likely to be defined as pure spam. We sliced the data in a few different ways. We came up with multiple thresholds and had our moderators review them. We tightened the criteria till the sample was 97% spam. We also analyzed our user satisfaction metric and found that on average users were satisfied much lower than the overall site average. My belief that in the best interest of the site and community, we improved our ability to detect spam and have taken another step to improve the overall quality. There are more steps to take. I'm hoping the new Hub layout is ready to do soon!
I'd like to add that while we see plenty of content created to deceive search engines, gain links, or spit people out to another site, that today, well intentioned people can very innocently create pages that Google defines as spam. These nuances add to the frustration that we share.
If you have Hubs un-featured, my advice is to take a second look at them. Edit them, add original content that requires in-depth knowledge. Make them the best they can be. The more we all do this, the better we will be as a community.
Also, if you have a URL for a Hub de-featured for quality yesterday that you think was a mistake, email it to me via my profile and I'll take a look.
[updated to send me mistake URLs]
So in essence you are saying that the hubs which you have unfeatured are spam. I am loathe to post hubs here because my perception is that there is a predilection in this forum to offer uninvited critiques and belittle people.
However, I am finding it hard to reconcile the use of the term spam with pages which are attracting visitors and making sales. But if that is how you define spam then I had best work on moving my content elsewhere.
Yes, that precisely. Looks like I've got a lot to move to my own sites as well.
Such fun to have so much work to do now during what's the busiest time of the year - and what always used to be my most profitable.
Merry Christmas, indeed!
[Edit to add]: I also don't appreciate what feels like we were lied to about the grace period for transferred lenses. If I'd known this was coming I would have been much more pro-active in moving certain content off Hubpages two months ago instead of expecting to have until after the Christmas season.
Sockii: Going to do the same thing. There was some things with my sites that I needed to do, but I guess that will wait til moving day is over with.
I wonder what happened to the hubs that are copied and pasted here, spun, etc from other sites? Oh, they aren't spam, they are just stolen content.
HP says 50 words of text to each product and that product descriptions in capsules count towards the word count, then how can HP complain about those who followed those rules?
What it is in effect saying is that HP rules are not tight enough. IMHO they will never be tight enough. They weren't tight enough at Squidoo and they can't be tight enough here because whether Google is the biggest player or not, it has an agenda that no big writer site can thrive under. You only had to see some of the absolute junk sites that soared up the charts when Panda was first applied to see they do not like individual writers gaining from a corporate SEO approach.
me too - I would never have taken all that time sorting to fit and I certainly don't consider my hubs as spam - ever the ones that dare to make sales without Goggle help - how very dare they - all profits are rightfully Goggle's because Goggle is God
Oh I've also noted a box appearing alongside my hubs with Amazon ads that are completely unrelated to the text, instead they show stuff I have been searching for online for myself. A bit hypocrital given how careful we have to be to ensure any product we add to the article is totally relevant and totally necessary.
Mine were not spam. No questionable diet pills (unlike some of the ads that show up on the hubs - I'm looking at you banana ad!), no links to Clickbank, magic blue male pills, no copied content. Heck, one of them had my highest Hubscore of all!
Like Pkmcruk, I have no intention of inviting vitriol from other Hubbers by posting links to any of them. Three of four are now deleted and moved. I'm going to take a breather and then tackle the last one.
That last one, by the way, was a gift idea page with over 1250 words, all original content, all hand-picked by me, and I happen to own quite a few of the products mentioned. The rest I want as gifts myself!
Hi, Paul. Can you expand on this phrase:
"well intentioned people can very innocently create pages that Google defines as spam."
Apart from the criteria mentioned above, what defines this 'unintentioned' spam in Google's eyes, and how does HP define and identify it.
One example I've used before is google put a manual action on a site for spam where the author wrote about a family incident that caused quite a bit of stress. At the bottom of the article a few products were placed on it to help someone relax - bath soaps, candles.
I don't think the author was intending to spam in this case, but it did have a manual action.
Hello, Perhaps Google saw it as an attempt for a person to profit from a stressful family situation. I don't know the article, but I'm inclined to think that it's in bad taste to profit from distress. Trying to sell relaxing soaps and candles seems contrived. Perhaps a self-help book would be better. There may be exceptions. The article would have to written well.
Do these manual site penalties appear in the Webmaster Tools for the subdomain that the authors can see and access on their own Webmasters accounts, or they only reported to HP for the 'mother' domain?
Did HP contact the Hubbers who received the manual penalties?
Yes, they will show up in your webmaster tools account. Yes, we notify authors when we see manual action on their subdomains.
I am a bit confused. If hubs are being unfeatured due to manual actions, and those manual actions on which HP is taking this action *do* show up in the hubber's WMT, what is the explanation for the many unfeatured hubs for which Google is *not* giving notice of a manual action in the hubber's WMT account?
It's HPs preemptive strike. The unfeaturing pulls those articles out of Google's sight, before they get a manual slap. Now you have a chance to examine what happened and correct it before Google puts a permanent hurt on you.
Thank you. I was actually asking for clarification re the precise wording of the specific message(s) posted here by Paul Edmondson regarding the "manual action", but it always helpful for any of us web writers to be reminded again of the importance of Google's webmaster quality guidelines. No doubt, in order to target this preemptive strike, Mr Edmondson and Hubpages are drawing on direct communication with Google that is not available to the average WMT account holders, and are not merely interpreting Google's wishes with a broad and panicked stroke, Squidoo style.
prremptive strike - now where have I heard that before?
I' guessing the problem is is due to the text in Paul's example having little or no relevancy to the products offered. While we would think that the hub about relaxing was least-spam of all, the Big G doesn't see it that way. Their skewed algorithms want a soap expert's analysis' on the product woven throughout the hub/post.
I think we need to rethink what G deems as spam.
If one has several Amazon ads featuring 'best pillows for sleep apnea,' they (Googs) want to see 'pillow talk' (no pun intended) woven INTO a few mentions about sleep apnea. More talk about pillows than sleep apnea.
We've long-believed the reverse is true (and I still think so) but Googs sure doesn't. Perhaps they deem the sudden 'subject reversal' from sleep apnea to pillow talk (or in Paul's example, a sudden shift from relaxing to ads about candles, etc.) is trickery and therefore, spam.
Which is a really good point from a reader's perspective as well. If I am specifically looking for information on the best sleep apnea pillow, I would like to know why each pillow is the best. I likely already know what sleep apnea is. Tell me if cotton is best or polyester and why. Does shape have anything to do with it? Why, specifically, are the products listed relevant? Giving a definition of sleep apnea in no way helps me.
Okay, I'll bite.
This page gets raves whenever I post the link somewhere as folks love the ideas so I have NO idea what the quality issues could be as It has tons of tips and only a few links:
<link snipped - please email links>
Hi Diana: That's a very nice Hub. Maybe the issue is that the 3 links are on top of each other at the bottom of the hub. Perhaps if you spaced them out more throughout the article it would help. Paul just mentioned that a manual action was applied to a hub that had 3 links at the bottom of it.
Also, are your links no follow?
Not really related to the links, but the writing is done mostly in separated sentences, some just phrases. You also use "lol" and emoticons. It's going to get "dinged" for grammar and mechanics and likely for organization.
I looked at the hub. No different than what happens with poetry hubs.
It is better then one continuous paragraph.
Frankly, I don't mind it since it is easier for me to read. There are a few sentences I would have put together. But even then, they hub would only have multiple small paragraphs which is not a law breaker, nor a grammar breaker.
Hello all !
Thank you for taking a minute to read it.
The whole point of my being here and writing this casual, yet helpful page is to show some of my personality and be somewhat lighthearted so that the average person WANTS to read it and then I'd be able to reach a larger audience to do the most good
I went to college and can write a dry, boring paper with the best if them that NO one would want to read.
I will try to separate the links more - thank you !
Should the links be "no-follow" ?
I think a lot of people don't understand that the way you write for online MUST be completely different from the way you'd write for a book or an essay or a term paper.
For an awful lot of online readers text must be easily accessible - hence that has to be the number one priority or else people switch off fast and go elsewhere
The links too close together must have been the problem as as soon as I fixed that, the page was featured again.
Thank you !
Paul, it seems to me that most of the people complaining are ex-Squids. Whatever happened to the amnesty?
Squids were told that their Hubs would have immunity for four months. I understand they can be unFeatured for lack of traffic, but the complaints are all about unFeaturing for Quality. In many cases the problem seems to be excessive or irrelevant links - so weren't they included in the amnesty and if not, why are they only being penalised now, not months ago?
And are you saying you did a major exercise on deFeaturing Hubs, which would have a major impact on Hubbers, and didn't announce it? That's not the HubPages I know.
http://hubpages.com/squidoo/faq#grace-period is the faq on the grace period. I would encourage folks that have rules violations to fix them up.
I'd call this more surgical - It was applied across the site. We sort of have a rule of thumb that if it's more than 10% of Hubbers impacted we will announce it, but I'm always happy to discuss these tweaks with the folks that have concerns.
"I would encourage folks that have rules violations to fix them up." [Paul Edmonson]
The simple answer to that is many people who have now seen the difference between a promise of a grace period and what actually happens in reality will only be working in future on removing content from the site.
Consequently working to fix red skulls has now stopped being any sort of priority for very many people who are now not planning on staying.
I think Paul you need to realise that the tenor of the conversation in this thread is as nothing to the tenor in private groups elsewhere on the internet.
There's a very strong feeling that we've been duped and that we're back on the "let's guess what will fix the problem" rollercoaster again - and frankly for a lot of experienced ex-Squidoo writers with good quality content enough is enough in that respect. We're simply NOT going to go through that sort of guesswork again. As a direct result a LOT of people are now planning on moving content - following all those who have already done just that.
What I would like to know - and I'm sure a lot of other people would also like to know - is what do I need to do ensure that I don't get booted off the site for NOT fixing my remaining violations while I now switch my focus to removing my content from this site, deindexing it from Google and transferring it to a new site.
If I need to unpublish hubs I will unpublish them - however I'd very much value a warning so I can do that. For example, it if it's got a red skull and it's not fixed by whatever date you say then I'll unpublish it before that date. So far as I am concerned, if it becomes unfeatured then it will also become unpublished as well. I've wasted my time in the last few days trying to get straight answers to questions and getting automated replies to my queries about changes. As a result I'm not wasting any more of my time and putting in any more effort to jumping Hubpages hoops.
Put very simply I can find no good reason to stay.
The feedback I'm getting from experienced authors with expertise and focused and good quality content is that it is doing much better on their own specialised and niche sites and ebooks. Google actually likes them!
Lenses that came over as Featured have been given a grace period of four months (until mid-January 2015)
So that didn't happen?
Actually, they were deliberately vague about the "grace period" and now have changed the wording of the FAQ so that unfeaturing ex-lenses for "lack of engagement" or "quality" is not something you are protected against. Basically, they can do what they want, regardless of what they told us in the beginning.
Thank you for showing us your commitment to HubPages and for addressing us personally. For such a big site, with thousands of writers, it feels very homey and personal. I have found that the HubPages staff is very receptive to our concerns and I am also excited when we ask for changes, and they are made.
The reason I write for HubPages is that I love the platform, I love how it is run as a gaining speed start-up, and I love that you set the professionalism bar high. Our friend and foe, Google, is an ever changing mechanism and we must adapt or we will die--end of story. I know a lot of people don't like change, but to stay competitive in any business venture, change must occur.
I want to be known as a professional writer and I want my work on HubPages to be seen as professional work. We must set the bar high. The New Yorker, USA Today, and The Times don't let junk pass through and neither should we.
I am proud of all that the HubPages team has accomplished and I am excited for what is to come. I care deeply about this company and want to see us all excel. Thank you for your commitment to excellence.
I personally remain committed to flagging fraud, inappropriate material, spam, and poorly written articles. We, as a community, all need to be more proactive in order to achieve these goals.
I was excited to ask SIRI a question and to have her pull up a HubPages article as her number one source. This war between Google and Apple might tip in our favor, especially if the smart phone platform is optimized.
Why is poetry being unfeatured for quality? Is not quality in the eye of the reader?
Poetry has its own set of criteria for evaluation. http://hubpages.com/help/hub_hop_table#creative
Just to make a distinction, I don't believe all hubs being unfeatured right now are part of the "squid slam" or whatever. QAP is going on as usual.
Well in this case not as usual, because the use of new anti-spam criteria that came in two days ago has already been described.
Actually, on the manual QAP side, it really is business as usual. New hubs and edited hubs are going through normally.
How can hubs be spam when they have followed the rules set by HP?
Funny, if the hubs that were hit with defeatured, then why does Google have one of my spam hubs on page 3 of Google search engines.
Some hubs, according to hubbers have very few products, if any at all, yet they are called spam.
Most of the hubs hit are from the transfer of Squidoo. Does this mean HP did not know what kind of content Squidoo had, wonder why Google slammed Squidoo?
I also agree with the ads that appear on hubs that have nothing to do with our hubs! That makes a lot of sense to me. I would call that spam.
Well, speaking for myself, let the content migration begin. I guess HP doesn't want articles about Search & Rescue, long-distance backpacking, travel destinations, preparedness, navigation techniques and other outdoor skills. It's all just spam, anyway, right?
Actually, this is probably a blessing in disguise. Happy trails, HP.
It is clear sales only is not what HubPages wants to see. I do have Wizzley to transfer my product ideas to and my blog can use more posts to up Adsense earnings. It was a style of mine to list product choices from amazon and ebay as visual examples with an easy link. The way the Squidoo did the selling modules brought products front and center and it Was visually good, but did give the importance of a sale forward too.
It is getting harder and harder to satisfy Google and platforms in the 2.0 arena. Since I like 2.0 I will move certain articles elsewhere and keep the others here. I was hoping the sale hub would be okay till the end of the shopping season for this year.
If that was the case then wonderful writers like Ramkitten2000 wouldn't have been hit.
These new automated "spam" filters are apparently as wonky and unreliable as Squidoo's were. And since HP just seems to be following in Squidoo's footsteps more and more, I have no faith that all these changes to scramble and try to get in Google's favor are going to do a bit of good.
If there are certain things you don't want hubs to do, how about saying exactly what they are rather than unfeaturing swathes of hubs overnight and leaving us to try and guess why? I understand wanting to suppress spam, but alienating your high volume dedicated content providers in the process would be very counterproductive. You need us feeling like we know how to follow the rules and making "not spam" for the site overall to have a high ratio of "not spam" to "spam". Sudden changes according to unwritten rules, breaking the written rules (e.g. grace period), and telling those effected "you looked like spammers" does not encourage that kind of participation.
Wow, I feel ill. My one hub that suddenly became unfeatured is absolutely not remotely spam. Wow.
On the plus side I created a hub today on my other account. It had no links to other sites and no Amazon ads either. It was a genuine how-to page on something I did today and I took my own photos as I did it.
I wrote it in natural language - not stuffing it full of keywords - and without anything in mind other than giving a potential searcher what they might want to know.
It passed QAP and now waits for a search visit.
I am 100% behind the tightening of any screws on HubPages. Maybe it means my pages have more chance with Google.
Yes, let hundreds of hubs that are informational and not spam in any way, be unfeatured by a mechanical filter. Let hundreds of your fellow authors have their income damaged when there is no reason for it other than google panic. Let hundreds or thousands of people remove their work from Hub Pages completely because they are done with being treated unfairly.
Yes, let all that happen, because it may mean that your pages have a better chance with Google.
It is the people like you on Hub Pages that are assuring me that to get my work and myself off this site as soon as possible is the right decision.
I can't move everything because I will get my next payout. I worked to hard for it. But in the meantime, I will simply be moving bit by bit and leave the crap I don't care about here since crap is quality. I will make changes though like taking every Amazon product off of the ones that I leave. I don't want to be leaving spammy hubs from which HP gets 40 percent of sales if there are any. Then there will be more space for even more unrelated Google ads!
Fellow authors? What on earth are you talking about? Is this some club for people where we all make friends and pussy around?
I write for my purposes not as part of some mutual supportive group.
I think you have made that patently obvious by your first post. You care for no one but yourself. Hope that works out well for you, but I doubt it.
The support group will all say everything is OK - when it is not. They will say there is nothing wrong with the links, ads, keyword stuffing, etc. - when there is.
That is not real friends.
All I can say is you obviously have no idea about what real friends do and how they help you out by being critical of your efforts in a constructive way - they don't pull punches and they also make helpful suggestions. I've belonged to small groups of experienced people who have become very real friends as both an artist and a writer and believe me real friends are apt to tell you the unvarnished truth!
You must be thinking of the happy clappy fans that attention seekers get.
Mark is an awesome guy. You should take the time to get to know someone before you dismiss them. I know your frustrated, and rightfully so. But, listening to others without resorting to attacking someone character is the mature thing to do.
Solares: That is how HP links capsule is set up if that is what you are referring to.
Links I used at end, took readers to another hub on same topic.
I do the no follow thing on outside links anyway.
This reminds of Sqidoo, your lens is okay today, but not tomorrow. What do you do to fix it! Who knows since you followed the guidlines and rules. It is a guessing game!
Hi Linda: I was referring to two links that go to her site that I assume sells things and an Amazon link all in close proximity to each other at the end of the hub. I was suggesting that she double check that the links to her site were no follow, and that she space those links out more in the article.
Solares: I am too stinking mad to bother to go back and see what I may have missed. With my eyes, it takes 100 looks to catch everything. I am sure that you were giving your honest opinion and trying to help.
Thank you ! I moved one of the links and also removed the HTML from it so that folks can copy/paste it if they want to go there, but it isn't a real link any longer.
I will check to see if I clicked the "no-follow" box.
THANK YOU !
Just wanted to say that what Paul has shared here makes a great deal of sense. Google has made many modifications to its algos over the past several months These same algos impact all websites and not just HP. A few years ago, it was probably OK to have articles (hubs) with different links and products featured. Today, Google is looking at everything with a keen eye.
Generally speaking, my hubs only contain two links now. One to an authority site that is directly related to the material I am writing about. The other link is a back-link to a related webpage (i.e. deep link). That deep-link however is something I double check to make sure it is materially connected to my HP content.
A few weeks ago, Search Engine Land posted the "Winners and Losers" with Panda 4.0. HP was on it but so were TONS of more sites.
One of the worst things that can happen to a site is a manual action. This means someone from Google manually (meaning a person) went in and tagged a given page or domain as "spam". Do that enough times and Google will de-list your website. Not saying that is happening here but I am saying I think it makes sense to prevent anything like that from ever taking place.
Just saying here that we as Hubbers need to be able to adapt to a very competitive, difficult and challenging environment. I don't like having to change my hubs either BUT I sure would rather fix them up and have them listed well as opposed to them getting a manual action. Most all of us have amazing content. Just renovate your hubs a bit and resubmit. Chances are better than good your stuff will be re-featured.
As an aside, if you own a blog or a website, you might want to take a cue from what is happening here to avoid any problems.
I completely agree with you. Anyone who tripped the filter should be taking another look at their hubs to see what might be the cause and to learn from it.
As you say Mr. HW, this is an ever changing atmosphere, and HP and all writers need to adjust to the new rules. What was recommended 2 years ago is very often anathema now.
Indignation won't help your blog, if you transfer a flagged article to it, one which in all probability Google will eventually take a wary eye to.
HP is not trying to be arbitrary and change the rules on us to suit their whims. We all took a hit here in September. I am glad they are proactively trying to resolve the situation for everyone's best interests.
Yes, the cue I've taken is that sticking to my own websites and blogs is much preferable than using any shared content platform. At least on my own sites, I am the only one responsible for maintaining standards I'm comfortable with, and being accountable - and profiting - from them.
For the past year or so, while first Squidoo struggled with Google, and now HubPages, content I've moved to my own sites and continued to build there has only increased in traffic and earnings not decreased. So I am comfortable with what I'm doing online. I'm just not that comfortable doing it here any longer.
"As an aside, if you own a blog or a website, you might want to take a cue from what is happening here to avoid any problems"
I've got a blog. I've been writing long posts about art and artists for the past nine years. They frequently have lots of links in them to other sites. It's also highly rated.
While HubPages traffic has been crashing, my traffic has not wavered at all during the recent Panda/Penguin rollout.
The trick is to get your specialised content off a shared content site (with enormous variety in terms of focus and quality) and onto a very focused niche site - and Google will love you!
Amen to that. I have been talking about this on the forums for some time now, and everybody ignored me because they were making money, so who cared? Now people have taken hits, and from some of the things I have read here, it is very obvious as to why this happened to them.
Quality writing is about more than getting views or selling products, it is about grammar, structure, word usage, paragraphing, thoughtful use of graphics and proper placement and type of ads.
People can "think" they are producing quality work because their articles are popular, etc, but this does not mean it is good.
One of the best pieces of advice given is to look at that message top right of the edit page that tells you what to do to improve the page. So what do you do when faced with a page that has no suggestions of how to improve at all and yet has been unfeatured for content? Don't tell me it is for grammar or spelling because I am a qualified English teacher. (Unless it is for using Oxford spellings rather than Miriam Webster's and I would have thought HubPages was big enough to accept that we spell words differently in the UK). Someone somewhere has decided the subject is spam and dinged accordingly. I don't know if it is a Google ding because I have no idea how to access Webmaster Tools for some message or other on something I do not understand. Spam subjects for me so far include classical music, Elizabethan music and how to improvise on guitar. I have not exhausted the list. I am not angry and I am quite happy to go through every one of my hubs over time and follow any suggestions to improve them but when there are no suggestions given what should I do?
email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Give them the URL to the post you feel has been unreasonably tagged. Ask questions, get answers, and modify accordingly. Take charge.
It may be a simple change. Investigate before you get yourself all pissed off.
Then, instead of slamming tons of hubs, dancing around the situation, change the stinking rules that are clear and concise.
Tell me a one paragraph hub with nothing but pics and videos to follow is quality content.
We need to also consider the number one spots on Google search that have zero content and are pure trash, but Google puts em up there!!!
Google puts them up there because they have bought into adwords... we haven't - it's as simple as that.
LisaMarieGabriel I wish we had a like button so I could Like Like Like your comment lol.
No kidding! Sites pay Google to be at the top, even crap sites. Point is Google contradicts itself!!! In other words, line our pockets we turn our heads and will leave your site alone. However, if you don't line our pockets we will slam your site.
It's the "new" Google - they have to pay their new shareholders, don't forget about that.
But although they must rank them high because they paid for, they also naturally rank high stolen content, site scrapers, duplicate content, spun and unreadable content, copyright infrigement and more. That is where the problem lies.
If anyone has not read reports of hundreds of spun and copied articles ranking above originals I would be very surprised. There is a thriving industry in spinning software. Frankly that disgusts me, but if those sites use it AND pay for adwords Google seems to turn a blind eye and until individual DMCAs get filed the stolen content remains and stays highly ranked. As for unfeaturing because traffic is not Google traffic I can't believe my eyes. It takes time to establish an article on any site; most Squidoo articles lost all their "link juice" on transfer, some are losing even more now the redirects are broken, and Google now treats them as new articles. I am willing to be patient, but I am shocked by that approach. Deeply shocked.
Linda, I don't disagree. My sense is that HP doesn't have the luxury of putting out a bunch of guidelines and waiting for Hubbers to comply. At this very moment there is a penguin refresh happening. There's also Panda. In an ideal world all of us would be able to do what you are saying but right now many sites like HP are trying to avoid problems. I'm including a link here to one of the refreshes happening
http://searchengineland.com/google-peng … ing-209886
I agree HubPages can't afford to waste time, BUT there is no excuse for not warning Hubbers that it's about to happen, even if it was only 24 hours' notice.
Paul may say this change was expected to affect less than 10% of Hubbers, but it's clear it has affected many Squids - and people with high quality ex-lenses at that.
When you make a big change, there's always the chance that the impact won't be as expected, so it's just plain stupid not to forewarn people. Not to mention rude.
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