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Unfeaturing for Quality. Which Issues really Matter?

  1. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 16 months ago

    I recently updated a hub and it was unfeatured for quality.

    This is a page with over 180,000 views (search engines like it) and a view duration of 4.11 minutes (readers like it).

    There are a lot of Amazon ads but they are regularly clicked by visitors so they are obviously a valuable part of the page.

    These were the criteria used to reject my page (from the email):

    1. It appears to exist solely to sell products.
    2. It has many uncited images.
    3. It doesn't appears to supply not much more information than a person would find in the product descriptions on a site like Amazon

    So how should we judge quality?

    Should we use 'It appears' type stuff or should we use the hard data of reader satisfaction?

    1. brakel2 profile image88
      brakel2posted 16 months ago in reply to this

      The only thing I can think of is to have a general introduction and conclusion. You obviously wrote your own thorough material, so I don't know what that issue means. If they unfeature it, they will lose money. It appears that they might be afraid of a slap from Google. If it has no penalty from Google in Webmaster Tools, it should not be a problem.

    2. Nadine May profile image92
      Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      Will which of your hub was Unfeatured? can you type it in here without the http link, so I can read your post. I had two of my posts unfeatured and I cannot think why.

    3. Nadine May profile image92
      Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      Sorry I replied into the wrong box.

    4. Nadine May profile image92
      Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I have had two hub un-featured and after reading the comments on this forum I learned that in my case it could have been my titles, so I have changed them and we seem to have an opportunity to re-submit them. Sadly we cannot change the address link -name of the article, so I hope the staff will spot this and do it for me.

    5. Buildreps profile image94
      Buildrepsposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I looked at your profile page, and probably found the Hub you mean. You failed to mention which Hub it's about. It's the one with almost 3000 comments? Quite frankly, it is in my opinion not a quality Hub, and that's probably the reason for becoming unfeatured. The reading time has to do with the large amount of comments (if it's the Hub I think it is).

      The amount of visitors is not a measure for quality. The amount of visitors is a measure for incoming links, rank in Google for certain keywords, etcetera. You assume that search engines are the measure of quality. But why should this be?
      The mail you received from HP seems to be a  standard message.

      1. Will Apse profile image90
        Will Apseposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        Not caring about readers or how search engines react to ones' pages can be a very worthwhile approach for a lot of people, and good luck to them.

        Obviously, it is not a route I would take. And I don't think HP wants to take that route either.

        You got the wrong page, by the way. The one that was unfeatured only has an average number of comments. You probably stumbled across the page with around 3000 comments (which is another kettle of fish).

  2. Pearldiver profile image86
    Pearldiverposted 16 months ago

    Obviously you had excellent ranking etc. so before you get lead down BS paths with pathetic, illogical  reasons as those... I suggest you do what I had to do when the same thing happened to me and I'm sure many others...
    Have a look at who else on this site has recently published a similar version of yours & check their ID and link structure - poaching is rampant here.
    I think you will find that your subject and keywords etc. are being poached internally.
    "Oh shook horror they will claim we don't do such things!"
    Well they do and they do a whole raft of other things too, to skim a $ here and there, one of the most common being, redirecting our personal links from other sites like RedGage and alike, to their own Hubpagesdotme instead of to our hub as we personally had set up! 
    That is theft as far as I'm concerned! Of the lowest order given the level of intent applied.
    Drops in traffic - check your links
    Check your Google An. results vs your HP traffic figures at one stage mine was out by over 20000 .
    All of my referral trackers- redirected to guess who. Internal links - bad links.
    My branding of Pearldiver on hubpages, check it out - it's porn referral site!
    I've been here 6 years building a brand and promoting this place
    Many people who should have matched my trackers don't - I am aware they joined but via????
    Certainly not via my trackers.
    They cheat - Big time
    and I'm happy to publish a whole raft of screenshots etc. to support that claim. There is no honour in this game Will... so you check the links, the new material, and the pirate's cove, coz you are likely to be surprised or should I say, horrified like I was. sad

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 16 months ago in reply to this

      This is a shocker to me, and I am wondering if you have reported any of these people to the team.  Those who steal from within should be banned...absolutely and 100%.  It's just sickening to hear this.

      1. Barbara Kay profile image86
        Barbara Kayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        I agree. Report them immediately.

      2. Pearldiver profile image86
        Pearldiverposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        Sorry I'm late in responding. I'm still evaluating the whole extent and consequences of this issue. I have a huge job to do in regards to damage control and time constraints through other online commitments means a whole lot of candle burning, just to regain the previous ground once held. It is absolutely soul destroying as I've always loved this place, especially the people in the community I've had the good fortune to meet, become friends with and communicate with over the years. I really do appreciate the support and positive comments... So Thank you very much for that.

        @Will, noticed your update... and I'm very pleased you're making progress after the injustice  smile

  3. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 16 months ago

    I am not taking issue with your points, Pearldiver, but my focus is pretty narrow here. I am simply asking why should a page be featured or not featured?

    If the people who make the evaluation have no access to key data like reader satisfaction/user metrics how can they make a valid judgement?

    Paul Edmondson recently observed that view duration is one of the most critical factors in the success of a page because it is the best measure of how well you are meeting readers' expectations (and Google knows when readers are happy).

    If that is the case, how can it be ignored?

    Another stat for the unfeatured page is the 3000+ responses to it's poll. It is hard to get real engagement and real results these days.

    Destroying successful pages harms sub-domains and harms HP too.

    1. kbdressman profile image87
      kbdressmanposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I've received quality warnings on one of my hubs for having several amazon modules in it.  It's on studying for the MCAT.  One has to have study books to do that, so I linked directly to the books I used and recommend.  Two of the three sets of five books each come in box sets, so I put amazon modules to each of those boxed sets and then an amazon module for each of the individual books in the last set.  I honestly designed the hub with the viewer in mind.  If someone is going to be reading that hub, they're in the process of deciding how to study for the MCAT.  They want direct links to make purchases.  I don't want my readers having to waste study time searching for these books.  But, hubpages doesn't seem to see it that way, they see it is a hub with 7 amazon modules and border of assuming it's overly spammy.  Your question of what is and isn't quality and how hubpages judges that is definitely an interesting one.  I don't think there are simple answers... :-/

  4. paradigm search profile image82
    paradigm searchposted 16 months ago

    The day HP unfeatures a hub of mine that gets daily traffic is a day I would totally freak.

    I mean seriously, if Google likes it and the readers like it; then HP should leave that hub alone. I'd say more, but I don't want to get myself more upset than I already am.

    1. Will Apse profile image90
      Will Apseposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I think one big problem is that people who make these assessments have no real interest in the subject. They' look' at the page rather than read it.

      Why not trust the people who care about the things involved? If they are happy, then everyone should be happy.

      It is also worth reading through the Google Search Quality Assessors Guidelines. There are good affiliate pages and bad affiliate pages in their view (and in mine). If your page happens to be better than any other page available on the subject it is hard to see how it could be seen as 'bad'.

      1. Pearldiver profile image86
        Pearldiverposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        I hear what you're saying and I also had 3 top hubs blown away at the discretion of exactly the same people. You and I came through the period when it was black and white as far as what worked and what didn't. The majority of penalties came as a result of pulling traffic through 100s if not 1000s of hubs that were intentionally created to mislead searches for genuine companies, some of which had gained 10 - 20 million page views, they were all optimized and made a lot of income for this site.

        Every major company in the US had at least one hub written presenting itself to be the legitimate go to page for that company! What we ignore that issue? Exactly how few companies were there in the US at that time? What a scam, one everyone bar the culprits have since paid for... it's a very touchy subject, a bit like well..... you fill in the gap. No wonder the site writers were penalised sad

        While you and I and the bulk of the community wrote quality, these pieces of trash remained in HP. Reason #1 why Google went on the offensive. Given the 'blackhat' nature of linking through trash like that via our quality articles was in my view reason #2.

        At the time I built hubs in the 1200 - 2800 word range and every one of them had solid holding/engagement metrics, as yours obvious did... ignore what I posted earlier if you wish, but you will be ignoring the fact that this very problem you are relating to commenced at the time our links were screwed with - just go back and look at the threads of the day.

        Don't get me wrong as you often have, I totally agree with the questions you put forward - I know you are a logical thinker and I am similar. There was no legitimate logic in the changes that culminated in this problem, in fact it was a total about face from everything Both Pauls had communicated to us.

        You know it's sad that some of the real minds of the day ceased their relationship here for what they predicted back then has occurred to a tee. What they presented on this very subject drew a logical conclusion. Trust as you rightly point out is a crucial issue in all respects. The articles that should have been allowed to 'mature' across the board were I believe 'culled' for less than transparent and logic reasons in-house.

        It is very sad when you have skilfully developed a portfolio, gained key word dominance and achieved the predictable traffic results to have some ignorant entity, either knowingly or unwittingly destroy all your efforts. If it was a staffer or contractor, they were instructed in the act from above, end of story!

        1. Will Apse profile image90
          Will Apseposted 16 months ago in reply to this

          I remember those company pages, didn't someone have the top search spot for 'yahoo email login' once?. Not HP's finest hour, lol. But they have cleaned up their act to a large extent.

          The trick is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

          Also, in reply to Health Reports, I did contact staff but they sent the email quoted in the opening post (with surprising speed and efficiency I should say).

          Rather than simply moan about it, I have taken out all the amazon ads to see if it gets refeatured.

          It would be interesting to see how it performs with no ads. I think view duration will plummet and, after a while, so will visitor numbers.

          Anyway, sleep time in my part of the world, so goodnight.

          Update: just noticed that the page is now featured sans ads. I will see how it goes and return with graphs in a few weeks.

          1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
            PaulGoodman67posted 16 months ago in reply to this

            HubPages was a little "tricky" too in the early days, concealing Adsense links in the hub articles, like they were just everyday links.

            On a very general scale, however, I'm not convinced that the "corporate" internet that we seem to be moving towards is preferable to the "Wild West" version of the past.

            1. Pearldiver profile image86
              Pearldiverposted 16 months ago in reply to this

              Hi Paul
              Good post and point... it's certainly no squeaky world when it comes down to chasing golden peanuts, but for some the size of their trunk seems to lead them to believe that the rest of us are nothing more than plain old Dumbos!  I love it when the hard nut of honesty makes them splutter and choke!  :}

            2. Will Apse profile image90
              Will Apseposted 16 months ago in reply to this

              Sorry, I missed your comment before Paul. The internet is indeed only marginally better for readers after Panda and a good deal worse for independent writers.

              We have to plow on though and we have to get better at stuff.

              Mostly, I reckon, we have to get better with detail.

              In this instance it means:

              Yes, unfeature low quality pages but don't use subjective judgements when you don't need to.

              I got rid of every page with a read time of less than 2 minutes after the first wave of Panda hit and I haven't been much bothered by the algos since.

              1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
                PaulGoodman67posted 16 months ago in reply to this

                I did some ruthless editing too and expanded many hubs, often doubling or trebling word counts. 

                I also spread my material across ten accounts, putting my eggs in many baskets and spreading the risk.  It also allows for some experimentation.

                My view figures vary from account to account, but generally they are way up compared to last year.

                I have far less Amazon capsules than I ever used to, but like you I am concerned about pages with excellent stats (and earnings) getting purged by HP.

                If I lost my high earning hubs, or they were all de-Amazonized, I think HubPages would essentially be over for me.

                The truth is that you can set up your own Wordpress or even free Blogger site, and get lots of views without attracting all the heat that this site gets off Google (generally unfairly in my opinion).

                I have moved pages when faced with the situation that you describe.  They might as well be earning somewhere else, rather than sitting  on HP like duds.

      2. Health Reports profile image93
        Health Reportsposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        Send an email to the staff and ask for a personal review of your hub. Sometimes they come back and say it was unfeatured by accident. Christy Kirwan is probably the best to send it too.

        1. Nadine May profile image92
          Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

          Thanks for that advice. Now I have to find her email address.

          1. Nadine May profile image92
            Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

            I could never find any emails to any of the moderators but I have left a message on Christy's welcome box and left a comment on one of her post about her post, but she never replied on both accounts.

  5. Fiction Teller profile image60
    Fiction Tellerposted 16 months ago

    I look forward to seeing your update, Will.  I have a number of hubs, some that were HubPro edited, that will get unfeatured if I update them because they don't meet the new criteria, but are still my primary successes. I'm dreading having to update them.  I want to, but it could mean they disappear from the search engines completely. So I'm interested in any results you have.  Good luck.  smile

  6. ChristinS profile image93
    ChristinSposted 16 months ago

    Will, I'd hate to see you take out all the Amazon capsules.  Perhaps you could cut down to say the most important 3 products?  What helped for me was to put in the exact product ID in the Amazon capsule, this gives you the option to write your own description.  If you write your own custom description then they can't claim it's just product descriptions being pulled from Amazon.  If you do the "keyword search" in the Amazon capsule, you don't get the option to do a custom description, so just get the ASIN number or whatever it's called and plug that in directly and do your own custom descriptions.  Place the item very close in proximity to where you talk about it in your hub.  That has worked for all of mine.  Hope it helps.  Sorry that happened as obviously it was a good hub if had views that long with that kind of engagement.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I also think it's important to remember that each ad is a portal to the Amazon site and that anything ordered from someone who used that portal to get into Amazon is credited to the hub author.  This being the case, you don't need tons of ads.  One or two is plenty.  I am always amazed to see people ordering things like dog food off of my RV hubs!

  7. Nadine May profile image92
    Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago

    I'm so glad I saw your forum post on this topic. I suddenly saw that I have two of my articles are Unfeatured. I cannot think why. I've done research on the topic and created my own images for it. The other post might have had too many self promoting links so I removed then all, but the hub is still Unfeatured? Can this be a mistake?

  8. Buildreps profile image94
    Buildrepsposted 16 months ago

    Did you check all the boxes when editing? I mean at least 1250 words, 3 pictures, etc? And no spelling errors. I believe to become featured again that might do it. HP has its own standard, regardless view duration, and no matter how many views you had.

    1. Nadine May profile image92
      Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      My posts are usually well past the 1250 word count, I create my own images and always add far more than what is required and spelling? I edit all my work in MS before posting. I think my two titles were the problem. I do hope I hear back from the HP team. Thanks for your suggestions.

      1. Buildreps profile image94
        Buildrepsposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        I mean, all boxes checked. Not only at least 1250 words.

    2. Nadine May profile image92
      Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      The one post had 44 comments and over 100 views. The other post had 24 comments and 66 views. Both posts were written this year and updated this month.

  9. Virginia Allain profile image63
    Virginia Allainposted 16 months ago

    Good description, "de-Amazonized." I've de-Amazonized a few hubs just to get them featured. Unfortunately, I feel the reader is the loser in this, as those products were convenient links for the viewers.

    Too bad.

    1. kbdressman profile image87
      kbdressmanposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      Is there a human being behind these forced "de-Amazonizations" or is it entirely computer based? I can understand triggering these accounts for manual review, but clearly their computer based systems aren't doing a very good job of determining quality from not! (and if there is a human involved....maybe he needs to be fed, watered and given a cookie so he's in a better mood?)

    2. Nadine May profile image92
      Nadine Mayposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I'm more and more confused about the amazon links. Surely if the article warrant a link to a book on amazon, then surely Its appropriate to link the book?

      1. Will Apse profile image90
        Will Apseposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        Hubpages has always been a good place for me so I will not be too critical of the site or of the staff here.

        They are not mad. Any analysis of the reasons for a big Panda hit will inevitably come to focus on affiliate pages because poor quality affiliate pages are death for a site. Google has been working away at this issue for a decade. Most readers hate trashy, ad-plagued pages and Google has taken due note.

        At the same time, we all need to make money and pages that use affiliate links well will always be the big earners.

        The point for me is to serve those readers who want the affiliate links.

        It is not hard to tell which pages hit the right note. They get traffic and Amazon income everyday.

        In other words there is no need to be confused. Try the ads. Get sales, keep the ads. Fail to get sales and cut them out!

        HP staff will understand this eventually.