Instead of coming out with a blog post, forum post, HP hides. This is their response to what they think is spammy. NO ANNOUNCEMENT OF COURSE!
Thank you to the hubber who managed to see it and provide the link into forums about massive unfeatured lenses.
The information was also included prominently in the most recent newsletter.
Seems to me HP is just moving as fast as they can to try to undo the damage of the latest google updates which has crippled our traffic... I say bravo.
Linda: Do you realize that your are complaining consistently and more loudly than anybody else on the forums? Do you realize that you might better have spent that time reworking your problem hubs so that they can be featured again? Personally I am surprised that the team has not banned you from posting here because you are creating so much negativity and doing so much damage.
I honestly don't understand how anyone so continually upset with the site continues here. It baffles me that someone could spend three years complaining instead of moving forward.
I think HP does a decent job of listening to complaints. I would much rather that they're working on improvements, keeping the site alive and kicking instead of babysitting the forums.
Glad I'm not the only one. I've reported LindaSmith1 twice over the past couple of days for what I regard as inciting anger. I like to follow some forum threads even if I don't have anything to contribute, but this constant aggressive complaining and blaming is very irritating indeed.
I don't complain anything abt hubpages because i am satisfied with everything except the traffic
Newsletter 6:11 p.m. today. It is now 6:49 p.m EST. Sorry, but I don't spend my entire day in my email box.
It would have been nice if somebody would have announced this in a Forum post. but not much nice going around lately at HP.
I do not spend all day in mine either, but I open it when I sign on and check it off and on throughout the day when I get a chance.
I just signed on and saw the newsletter. I have not read it yet, this came first.
Linda, What is wrong? You are discouraging writers with all these posts.Things aren't great, but you are inciting anger. Put a smile on your face for awhile.
It's difficult for experienced writers to suddenly have the rug pulled from under their feet.
Maybe it's necessary for Hubpages to do this to save the site from Google's Panda, but it's hard for us to try looking happy when a huge amount of work lies ahead moving our unwanted content somewhere.
In the meantime, we are shut out of the most lucrative time of the year with these unfeatured hubs.
Or... conversely... you could do a bit of editing and get refeatured. I think there are plenty of people here offering to help... but THEY are being shut out by angry shouting. Those offering advice are being accused of coming down on squids... or whatever... because of defensiveness and hurt feelings. Keeping the fire stoked and the righteous indignation flowing is not making anything better...
So yeah, the negativity likely needs to take a back-seat now... if you do indeed want things up for Christmas.
I made the changes and resubmitted 10 the first day. Eight were featured again. The time needed is not sustainable and the Christmas shopping season too short, so I'll only patch up a couple of my best traffic ones for now.
The rest can languish while I set up my own websites to feature them. Fortunately I'm not dependent on my online earnings to put bread on my table. Others are not as fortunate.
Didn't Squidoo require high quality writing ?
How long was it between the time you heard you were moving, and the actual move?
Shouldn’t you have improved your hubs during that time
Actually they had very little time to do any work before the move - enough time for those with just a few articles, but impossibly short for larger accounts. So I do understand why they weren't able to do much before the move.
There were many high quality articles on Squidoo, the major difference between the two sites is that Squidoo actively encouraged authors to use lots of Amazon ads, which as you know is not the case here. And that seems to be one of the things this new filter has penalised.
That's why I asked if Squidoo required high quality writing.
Shouldn't their articles have been their best work, regardless of where it was hosted?
Sorry Deborah I added a bit to my comment later. Most of the Squidoo lenses haven't been unFeatured for poor writing, they've been unFeatured for having too many Amazon capsules.
Yes, and the person who is speaking the loudest about it, still has too many ads on a couple of their hubs,
The ads are easy to delete..
Yes they are, but that's not the point. For some Squids who have been affected by this, they need to revise a huge number of Hubs (some had over 100 unFeatured) - and they were promised that they would have extra time to do so. They are upset because suddenly, that extra time was taken away without any warning at all. I can see why that would be upsetting.
Deborah - you are treating every former lens now hub as if it's the finished article. The simple fact is that's not the case. Some still need editing.
The whole point of the grace period was to bring the transferred sites up to standard. You can't make quality judgements about such hubs when they are still in the grace period allowed for making changes to Hub standards.
Nonetheless Hubpages did - and without notice
Then why hasn't it been done ?. The time spent on here could have been spent editing hubs
Life! You know that thing which keeps going while techie types decide the algorithms/sites/rules are going to change yet again.
Also most new hubbers (and today I discovered that there are 25k of them) won't venture into the Forum because of the way they get treated by old hubbers. So that argument is almost completely irrelevant.
The point is not why hasn't it been done - the point is why hasn't HubPages kept a promise it made BEFORE lenses were transferred to HubPages as to how much time we had to get it done (ie 4 months - at the very least until the end of December 2014).
If they felt it was important to take action, then all they had to do was explain why, say what was going to happen and not label hubs as spam when they weren't - they were just ex-lenses which hadn't been revised. To break promises, ignore the need to communicate and label people as spammers is what hurt.
The consensus now among a significant number of ex-Squidoo people is that they won't be doing any more work on adjusting content to HubPages rules. Instead disillusion has set in and a significant number prefer to spend their time removing the content, deleting hubs and placing it elsewhere on their own sites.
Just keep an eye on the total number of hubs over the next few months as content gets unpublished and removed by new hubbers.
Did you read the quote from the learning center that I referred to yesterday evening? If not, you need to take a look.
The Learning Center guidelines made it very clear from the beginning as to how transferred articles would be handled. I was actually shocked when I saw it because anybody who looked at it...ever...would instantly realize that Paul did not have to warn anybody about anything because he made it very clear that hubs, even featured ones that were transferred and even those that passed QAP, could become unfeatured at any time based on the team's estimation of their readership and quality. This is true, by the way, for any article here, not just Squid hubs.
I am truly sorry that so many people took hits, but I do not think this happened just to ex Squids.
I keep hearing you and others warn about what will happen when all of the upset writers leave this site, but I will remind you that this site was doing just fine before all of you came here. My feeling is that each person can choose what he wants to do, but then, instead of handing out messages of doom, he should just go ahead and do it.
I also think that nobody really knows how many people have had problems, so forecasting a massive exodus is not realistic. We have had good and not so good writers leave before, and yet HP still stands. It will continue to to so because it is a quality site that tries to deal with problems as they arise, and so far, the team has done a darned good job of it.
I think you're maybe mixing up two completely different messages
Indicating people are taking content and leaving the site is informational. It's not a warning - it's just recording what is happening at the moment. For example, speaking personally, I've started deleting WIPs and unfeatured hubs and am busy building another site to take content - when I'm ready to move it. (Maybe some readers don't quite realise what's involved in moving content?) Plus I'm writing another book (plus participating in the marketing for the first which my publishers tell me will be in bookshops as from January). I know what some others are doing. I know a lot of people are planning on doing nothing until after Christmas.
Nothing will happen to HubPages when ex Squidoo people leave the site. It'll just go back to whatever it was before.
The second message is about the fact that Google really dislikes "content farms". That's a fact - and so far it has played out to date with very many "content farms" closing down. HubPages is one of the very few which continues to survive.
On that basis HubPages has got to be at risk unless it can work out what it needs to do to "sanitise" the site to make it acceptable to Google e.g. Maybe create another wikipedia and remove all the adverts and sales modules and any authors who really haven't got a clue what they're writing about? Then look for sponsorship to cover the costs of running the site. It's one option....
Of course the good writers will always remain good writers. Where they do their writing is another matter. Doubtless the clued up ones will examine all the options open to them. Some will stay with HubPagges and take their chances. Some will decide they are best off running their own sites. Others will look for other third party sites which are more compatible for their content. Some will give up writing articles and opt to pursue alternative ways of writing or being online or generating income.
Each to his own is what I say. Open your eyes to the possibilities and then pursue whatever works best for you.
PS I responded to your first point in a separate comment so won't reproduce here.
Yes, I finally saw your response, thanks.
When someone says something like "just wait until such and so a date and you'll see a bunch of angry people walking away"...to me that is kind of a doomsday threat in a way. Sorry if I misinterpreted your intent, but the truth is you cannot really know who is going to leave or stay, so there really is not much about a comment like that which is informational in nature.
Starting a new site takes a great deal of time and effort and there is no guarantee that the end result will be any better than just working to upgrade and remaining here. I know, because I tried it, myself. Had tons of views but made not one dime!
True, some folks can make this work well, but I'd sure like to see the stats on that one.
If you are able to make good plans for your work, that is great, but I'm not sure everybody will be able to do that. It matters not to me because I'm here for the long haul...but then, I do not do this for the money.
+1 This is true.
But, this is the reply that was referred to by MAM
I think we're running out of reply space!
Thanks Tipi for the reference - I couldn't find it when I looked.
@TimeTraveller2 - I don't think I said what you have in quotes (maybe another misunderstanding?) but if I did (and you can find a reference) I stand corrected.
I think what I tried to highlight was that the anger being demonstrated in this forum is as nothing to the anger being expressed elsewhere in private Facebook Groups. In other words that the handling of the "solution" - however much it was needed - was very unhelpful. Much better communication could have avoided an awful lot of the anger that was generated by the action.
By and large, the people I know who are talking about moving content (or have started and are continuing or making firm plans to start in January) are people who have written online for a long time and who know how to make it work for their content elsewhere - notwithstanding that they might like to take the opportunity to update and improve content in the transfer as well. Video blogging seems to have suddenly become very popular - especially given that also takes AdSense!
The advantage of the Private Facebook Groups is we can provide high level feedback on earnings from different places and sites and ways of communicating content - eg "this site works well with AdSense and that one doesn't etc." This then helps people to avoid fruitless endeavours.
I feel that the people here, including myself, was not only friendly, but we tried our best to help.
Then we were attacked and mocked by some, for asking questions, and making statements
We who have been on Hubpages for a long time feel loyalty to them. They've always treated us good, and so we have stood up for them.
I can gather more comments showing Hubbers being kind to the new people, than I can showing they were defensive against them.
Believe it or not, whatever you choose, but we want to be friends with you guys...and hope that can occur soon, and really hope you feel the same
Really Deborah - it's not needed. This is not all about what you did or what you read. This is about what other people saw and experienced.
If it helps you any, I'm very happy to acknowledge that there were many hubbers who were nice and friendly when we transferred over. However I certainly wouldn't extend that description to everybody I saw commenting in this forum - whether or not I was part of the discussion at the time. Speaking personally, I was hounded by one individual.
However this is a really redundant and negative point to dwell on and irrelevant to the subject under discussion.
Okay, I won't say much more about how hubbers were friendly, in this thread, but...
I recall giving a true statement, and your answer to me, was "bully for you". We have the same expression in America, and it is a sarcastic remark.
In one thread our staff forum monitor tried to help a person, and all she did was argue with him, and ignored his requests for more information about her technical problems. He finally had to give up.
Some of us feel you guys were unfriendly to us, not the other way around. We also understood why you guys were upset, but we don't understand why you are upset with the hubbers
Hubber here know that bad treatment of others is against the rules, and that a person can be banned for such actions...so it's doubtful anyone would have talked back to you guys, unless they felt justified.
Again, see you disregard what I feel, saw, and read, and say it is what others felt, saw and read that is important. Why is that ? Why are some (you guys) more important than others (hubbers) , in your mind ?
Nothing is irrelevant when it concerns treating others badly. I didn't hound you, but it didn't stop you...
I have to say that I'm as important as anyone here
Marisa, I much more agree with what you said here. http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2622167
( Google Penguin is penalizing sites for spam and unnatural backlinks / links. And, I would hope that would be a real concern for each hubber that plans to remain on HubPages.
HubPages software found spammy hubs and had to take action fast for the sake of the whole site, because of Google Penguin's manual slaps on sub-domains. I am sure they didn't want to hurt the little guys that got caught in the spam filters. HP is more than willing to work with hubbers to get their hubs up to better standards.)
If I owned HubPages, my first priority would be to HubPages.
Virginia: Do you really think that many of the writers here have not had them happen to themselves at one time or another and do not understand what you are going through? It happens to most of us at one time or another, me included. We understand, but we also understand that constant negativity and complaining is not the way to repair the damage. The real way is to either work on improving hubs or take your work to another venue. Personally, I would keep my work here, even though I might be upset, because in the long run doing so will make it better and help the site regain ranking, which will help all of us. This is what I have done and will continue to do, but I know each person must make his own choices.
Timetraveler2 - I've survived the death of the Writer's Compensation Program at eHow, the closing of Helium, the death of Squidoo, so I know we cannot expect permanence with online sites. I originally brought this issue up, not just for myself, but for the hundreds of writers suffering through it here.
I've postponed for too long the move to my own webpages. I hung in at Squidoo long past the time when it would have been wiser to move. I'm hearing success stories all around me from fellow writers who shifted last year to their own sites.
Hubpages is probably helping some of us to make that shift to independence.
I simply post what HP has posted in FAQ's. No alert! Yet, we get constant posts about the New Look coming! There are a lot of angry writers here right now and that honor belongs to HP! Of course, add the Squidoo fiasco for over a year, and then to see same happening here all over again. NO, not in the mood to do the "Happy Dance"
I can't say I see much in that explanation that has not already been mentioned in some form somewhere over the last several weeks.. In fact what is mentioned there is all good practice and should be considered on your own sites if you have them and want to keep getting the traffic that you have.
Google is getting tougher on every site; things have to change if we want to get traffic and that is the reality of the situation.
We can ignore what Google is looking for but that will just spell the end for the site and people's incomes here.
If you think the rules are wrong, and that you know best you have a choice - no one is forced to write here and follow the rules.
Mostly people got upset when the rules changed and no one could figure what they were. So maybe it is time to move on to discussing the new rules and helping each other get into compliance.
LeanMan: Rules have been followed. The Grace Period for Squidoo content was apparently welched on.
Wait til your hubs don't have the hub score high enough to suit HP, or that you are not getting the traffic to your hubs that they want, or some other lame BS and your hubs are deemed not worthy to wear the HP Crown!!
So all those who are doing the Happy Dance right now, oh well what can I say!!! Those you criticize now, will be able to say to you: I told you so!!! Right now HP with the newsletter has people focused on spam, but there is more there that I would imagine people have not even see yet!! LOL!!!
In what way was the Grace Period for Squidoo welched on... Seems to me you are a very negative person who is just looking for reasons to be angry with HP. I haven't been pleased with the traffic of late, but I am glad to see they are at least attempting something to fix the issue.
In the way that they were unfeatured for quality during the period they were meant to be safe from being unfeatured for that reason.
People are miffed for a reason and telling them not to be is just to to make them more annoyed. versus saying: okay I can see that annoyed you, but this is what you can do to get what you want.
The more people argue with those who found the moved goal posts disturbing, the longer this negativity will last. Especially if you also throw in some personal insults.
Really? The dates changed? I must have missed that (no sarcasm intended there, I am legitimately unaware).... I know there was confusion over the if you edit a hub it immediately went through the filters, but I was unaware of old lenses being unfeatured that didn't meet that scenario. I certainly didn't have any trouble with mine.
Imported squidoo hubs should have been immune from unfeaturing due to quality until the end of December. hence people being a bit miffed when that happened to them. The thing about being miffed is that a person needs to sort of work through that before they can then get on with dealing with the new situation. Something that should not take long unless a lot of people say that they rules never changed, or that being miffed makes you a bad person in some way. Then the person can get stuck in a loop defending themselves.
I love the way people expect more from others than they do from themselves.
It's okay for you to insult the hubber you are replying to, but he's not allowed, and it's okay for Linda to be angry, and vehemently express it, but not those who disagree with her !!!
Start with good quality hubs, and it'll be easier for everyone
There are some hubs with scores in the 90s and even 100 that went to unfeatured when the filter was run. Different guidelines were applied apparently and from what I can see, it is having sales capsules in the hub. Even hubs that passed QAP the day before, were suddenly unfeatured for quality.
From the HubPages TOS, point 13
THE SERVICE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS", "AS AVAILABLE", WITH "ALL FAULTS", .... HUBPAGES MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT THE SERVICE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, OR THAT THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, OR OTHER MATERIAL PURCHASED OR OBTAINED BY YOU THROUGH THE SERVICE WILL MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS, ....
So, as has been legally stated, if any information obtained via HubPages is not meeting someone's expectations, HubPages is not responsible for that.
That's probably why HubPages answers some complaints and not others.
Excuse me, but I am not a door mat to attacked on a personal level. I reworked mine by moving them.
The big issue is that Squids thought they had a 4 month grace period and it was welched on. Agreed?
Unfortunately, while I know you are trying to fight for Squids, your continual rants have prevented Squids getting that crucial message across. You have introduced all kinds of other complaints and attacks on HubPages - whether they are justified or not is irrelevant, because what they achieve is to muddy the waters, derail forum threads and distract from the central message.
So by dominating the threads with your rage, you're having the opposite effect to what you hope. Please calm down, ask yourself what you're trying to achieve, and either present your arguments in a reasoned fashion or decide that any further action is futile, pick up your bat and ball and start work on your new sites.
This is so spot on, Marisa. I fail to understand why anybody who is so unhappy continues to stay on a site they claim is so terrible, keeps threatening to leave and then states they plan to leave part of their work here if they do go. Someone earlier posted that people here are somehow making the complainers feel like they somehow are bad people, but that is not it at all. People are just getting tired of hearing the rants and excuses and are losing respect for those who go on and on with them. They would much rather hear people talk about what they plan to do to make improvements so that issues like this do not happen to them and accept help to do so when it is offered, rather than ignoring it.
When I read some of the responses, I also read them as saying the Squids are bad people, or at least dumb. If I think that and they're not directed at me, how do you think Squids feel?
If one more person says the ex-Squidoo lenses were unFeatured for a good reason so get over it, I will scream. That is NOT the point. A promise was made to the Squids, which was broken. There was a very good reason for breaking that promise, but there is absolutely no excuse for the way it was done - with no announcement, no warning, and no apology. I would be incandescent if they'd done it to me.
Explaining, over and over again, why the move was necessary and then saying, "so you were collateral damage, get over it" is not helpful.
As Psycheskinner said, the Squids are perfectly justified in feeling aggrieved. "Telling them not to be is just to to make them more annoyed. versus saying: okay I can see that annoyed you, but this is what you can do to get what you want."
Nobody with any brains is arguing that folks were treated poorly or that they should not be upset. Of course they should be upset and have every right to feel as they do. You know that I went through something similar and was very upset at first...and in my case, I never actually found a reason for what happened, which is unbelievably frustrating and upsetting. At least the ex Squids were given some hints as to why things happened...even though some of what they were told may have been pretty murky.
However, there is such a thing as beating a dead horse.
I agree with you about the dead horse, but my point is that even you have never sympathised with Squids about the broken promise. Not once. You, and others, have simply repeated what Paul said - that their Hubs need to be hidden from Google because there must be something wrong with them, so shut up and fix them.
When you consider that the reason Squids are upset is that many of those Hubs were getting good Google traffic, you can see why they think you (and others) are talking through your hat. Google does not send traffic to stuff it doesn't like! It's just unfortunate that some people took over that thread with rants, so that message has been lost on most people.
Yes, and I was getting good traffic too because Google loved me and then "poof"... so to me it means nothing that people were getting good traffic. Obviously I was doing something wrong and Google changed something and caught up with me...Paul was just trying to preempt that problem from happening and dropping HPs ranking even more.
Also, I have sympathized in many of my posts because I do know first hand how it feels to get dumped on, but I have little tolerance for whiners. Mea culpa.
Excuse me, but I am not a door mat to attacked on a personal level. I reworked mine by moving them.
And yet people seem happy to continue to engage with this thread which is a strange way to signal disapproval of it.
There is already a mess of it here. So I do not see my need to post something more in this mess. Better keep quiet and let things happen. We can do something positive than accusing.
HP is a business which needs to make money. If it doesn't, it will cease to exist. In a world of volatile SEO rules, where traffic can disappear overnight, it is not simple to take the right decision every time. And it is quite possible that the right decision can hurt some hubbers.
I don't agree with all the HP decisions, but if I need to say something, I will make a suggestion. The moment I will think HP is not good for me anymore I will move my content away.
HP gives us a platform to write on, we don't have to lift a finger for maintaining a server, writing code, or paying an expert to do it, do SEO, or even choose the best Advertising program. Heck, we even get a great commision with Amazon, 8% is pretty good.
If someone thinks they can run better a website like HP, why not invest, and run their own. Heck, if it's going to be better than HP, I'll write for them. Sure it hurts when you lose money, I lost money too after the move. But blame Seth for selling Squidoo. Oh no, it was his website, and he got to decide what to do with it... Damn!
And indeed, Google hates content farms, as witnessed by myself when I posted on Google Webmaster Forums. Everybody there, (you know those reputable forum members who are clearly hired by Google, but they don't mention it), seemed to have been in agreement that I should move from HP. I am not going to, because I think there is better here than on my own websites, despite what Google thinks.
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