This is what web spam looks like, if it had to be summarised in one photo.
Actually, no it isn't. The links in the photos are to other hubs on this same site. They aren't advertisements. When you have a website and it links to other related pages it isn't considered "Spammy".
The idea of related hubs and suggested hubs is to keep people on HP longer, which in turn makes the site appear less spammy and helps with Google ranking (in theory anyway). What Google doesn't like is high bounce rates.
What could be considered "spammy" here are the numerous advertisements per page, but the other hub elements are not. I think that the sheer volume of ads is a bit much.
As for the hubs chosen, hopefully that will be tweaked to be more relevant. On some of my hubs; the recommended hubs are not really aligned with my subject matter which is concerning. I'm not sure why you consider others hubs "dodgy" - unless your complaint is they aren't related to the original content of your hub. If they are truly offensive report them to staff. Nothing in that image leads me to understand why they would be dodgy though.
I agreed 100% with this!
Individual hubs could be considered a bit spammy but the photo posted isn't really spammy, cluttered for sure, but not spammy.
Yes, in fact Google wants a site and pages to be navigable, including having breadcrumbs and links to other places on the site.
I look at what the advert layouts look like when I land on a page, not when I scroll down to the bottom.
Go to espn.com, an authoritative sports site, and click an article. Look familiar? How about usatoday.com (click on read story for any article). Yikes, indeed.
This is what the top notch programming professionals see as the best option for internet content and advertising.
HubPages is going with the flow. Hard to imagine anyone being penalized for spam when their layout and content is quite similar to the major sites.
What is webspam?
"Webspam (also referred to search spam) is a phrase used to describe webpages that are designed to "spam Google search results" using SEO tactics that are against Google publishers guidelines. Pages that use webspam to improve search engine results page (SERP) rankings typically use black hat SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing or cloaking, the latter of which involves employing misleading redirects and/or doorway pages of websites.
In April 2012, Google announced its Penguin-codenamed "Webspam Algorithm Update" that better identifies websites using aggressive webspam tactics." -- webopedia .com
I find spammy content fairly easy to identify, and I agree about the clutter in the image. There may be some spam within it but I've seen a lot worse. Anytime a hub has tons of links to product sites or constant promotional links, then it's more often spam than not. It's interesting though to see and think about.
The Google-served related hubs thingy either repeats the related hubs on the side, or by default it directs you to the most popular hubs on HP (some great and some dodgy) when it can't find something related. I agree with Susi that when you reach the end of a hub you are treated to a cluttered mess that looks spammy. Also, Choice Overload
I'd like to know what difference it makes to earnings if a reader goes to another of a hubber's hubs via the Previous/Next or More by the Author vs the google carousel at the bottom.
Have we been told what difference the various 'paths' make - perhaps somewhere else on a forum thread?
Just because you see it everywhere does not make it "right" irrespective of which sites are doing it.
I seem to recall that Google takes a stance on things when it decides things have got out of control. Their bottom line, so they say, is the quality of the reader experience.
So one has to ask what does it look like to the reader....... and does it provide a good quality experience?
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