I just got this in my email;
A link to your Hub: http://hubpages.com/living/your-balcony-garden
We wanted to let you know that Your Balcony Garden was reviewed by a moderator and defeatured for not meeting HubPages' quality standards. Don't worry, you can edit your Hub to give it a chance to become Featured again.
I don't understand it. This has been my top hub, even back on Squidoo. It's been a featured hub since the switch. I've added minor tweaks and edits to keep it fresh and have never had an issue with it, unlike others that suddenly stopped being featured immediately after editing.
Now, suddenly it doesn't meant quality standards? Based on what? I'm honestly insulted by that. It's my top hub for a reason!
I had another hub suddenly unfeatured as well, due to "spammy" elements. Yes, this one does have a lot of amazon items on it; it's a craft hub and each and these items are on the tools list, each with its own text box explaining it. In the past, I've had hubs suddenly become unfeatured, only to be featured again after removing all amazon modules. No other changes.
Is hub pages trying to discourage people from actually making money through amazon sales or something? Because that's what it looks like.
I am getting incredibly frustrated and angry over this. What's the point of having hubs at all, if they are just going to be arbitrarily unfeatured out of the blue, or if hubbers are coerced into removing their sales modules, just to get their hubs featured again.
This is getting ridiculous.
Your hub is full of great information and photos. I am sure it is the Amazon ads that are the problem. It is not a word to ad ratio problem, you have plenty of words. There are just too many ads. I would pare them down to the most relevant ones.
It's the ratio. It's a new change. They don't really look at the relevancy of the ads even though they should when moderating.
I've had the same thing happen to three of mine this week.
Any site which doesn't look at the relevancy of the Amazon modules to the topic in question and the overall hub doesn't deserve my content.
I have a simple rule - unfeature a hub and I move the content off HubPages.
Maybe not straight away - but the next action on that hub is to remove it. I don't second guess what is required to feature it.
Do it more than a few times on lenses/hubs which have stood the test of time and I move LOTS of content elsewhere (to new websites where they get LOTS of traffic via Google). All that happened this week was HubPages created an incentive to get my third new mega niche website up and running.
Of course if HubPages wants to employ quality assessors which diminish its income stream that's entirely up to HubPages. It's their business model.
However it does occur to me that they might want to QA their assessors as well as our hubs.....
TIP: if assessment is automated then HubPages might want to look at how many of us use text boxes for the narrative which goes with the Amazon modules because of the wider range of text effects which are possible.
Did you look at her hub? It has thousands of words. HP certainly advises only using highly relevant ads, and only a few of those.
Anna, yes I do think HubPages is becoming paranoid when it comes to Amazon capsules! They are also misleading - claiming that 100 words per capsule is enough in their rules, but obviously telling their QAP team to apply a different standard.
Having struggled to get similar Hubs through QAP myself, I think I can see what the problem is.
HubPages now expects you to choose products with care and to justify your reason for choosing them. In this Hub, you talk about an idea and then offer two or three products that would suit, but you give no indication why you chose those particular products - you could've chosen them at random. Sometimes you even throw in a product long after you've stopped talking about it - for instance, you've got a book about vertical gardening, for no apparent reason, in the section on bugs. If you're suggesting it as a good book on bugs, you need to say so!
With books, I think HubPages wants you to add value - don't just find a load of books on Amazon, choose one or two which offer the best advice and explain why you recommend them in particular.
One more thing - you're using an Amazon capsule and a highlighted text box to explain it. With the new mobile layout, that will look weird (and the blue background will disappear) - you now need to put the explanations inside each Amazon capsule using "add a description". Since most of HP's traffic comes from mobile users now, they place a huge importance on how a Hub looks to those users. There are no side-by-side capsules in mobile view.
That's part of the frustration. The only reason those capsules are spread out like that, instead of next to their topic, is because of the comment at the top in edit mode, saying there were sales capsules too close together, consider spreading them out. So I did.
I am getting sales from those capsules. Not alot, but better than the ad revenue from HP. Why would I take away something that is actually earning me more money than the ads? That's what's really irritating me about having to remove the amazon capsules to get a hub featured again, and why it feels like HP is deliberately trying to make it so that hubbers make less money.
I just updated a hub. I decided not to take out the ads because they are relevant. Got the message that it is now 300 words per ad.
As a few others have mentioned, it is the sheer number of Amazon capsules that is causing problems with your Hub. It's an excellent Hub, so I hope you will consider removing some and republishing.
What, then, is the exact limit? That should be made public so we all know and can stop guessing.
No, the max number of Amazon modules or capsules or whatever they are. That's what the response was--that the "sheer number" of Amazon modules was the cause of the hub in question being unfeatured. So what, then, constitutes that "sheer number"? I'm not talking about the word-to-Amazon module ratio.
That was recently changed without any announcement.
No, I mean the maximum number of Amazon capsules allowed, not the word-to-Amazon capsule ratio.
Mark and lobobrandon are correct; the limit is 300 words if you have 3 or more products (the limit is 100 words for 2 or fewer products), however, meeting that requirement does not ensure that the Hub will be Featured. Products must also be directly related to the content and not excessive in overall number (even if the Hub is very long).
OK, so what is "excessive"? Is it different for one person or one hub versus another? If that's the cause of a hub being unfeatured, then I'm assuming the MTurk folks are given a maximum point at which they unfeature a hub?
A rule like that would, I assume, be applied to everyone and every hub evenly, so it would be great to know what that limit is.
It varies depending on the subject of the Hub, the length of the Hub and other factors.
For example, if you are writing a Hub on great gifts for 10-year-old girls and you list your daughter's favorite toys, what she likes best about them, whether they are well made, etc, listing all the products is probably appropriate. But if you're writing a Hub about how to paint furniture, it is unlikely that your reader is there to shop and a high number of products is not appropriate. Use your best judgement, and when in doubt, leave it out.
Just want to quickly jump in and add some clarification on the word-to-product ratio. There are actually two limits, but one is more of a guideline than a hard rule.
The 100 words per product limit: This is the rule that was announced in January. If a Hub has fewer than 100 words per product, it will automatically become unpublished by the bot. There is no manual review here.
The (newer) 300 words per product QAP guideline: This is a style tip that you see in the HubTool if your Hub has fewer than 300 words per product. This exists as both a warning and FYI. Hubs with fewer than 300 words per product often tend to be defeatured after manual review, but they may not be. It's a good idea to have at least 300 words per product, but ultimately, if your products meet our other requirements, this ratio does not really matter. Christy already went over what those requirements are in various other posts here.
I have had hubs unfeatured that had only a couple of amazon capsules. Since the emails are so vague, I didn't know exactly why they were unfeatured. After several tries, I finally took all amazon capsules out, and suddenly they were featured again.
*This* hub, however, did not get the "spammy elements" email. It got the "quality content" email. So it got unfeatured, not because of the sales capsules, but becuase it apparently isn't quality content. My most popular hub and one that actually gets product sales and suddenly its content is not considered quality anymore?
It is the norm anymore. I logged in the last two days to simply unpublish yet two more that suddenly, after a few years, became unfeatured due to below par quality standards, lol.
It does give me food for my blog however.
At one point, I do recall, I had close to 200 hubs here, and they have become unfeatured to the point of me having 40 here now.
Before the latest change, HubPages did not want more than two Amazon modules together. I see that you have several. It is a good article and just commented there. But I know if it were mine, they would have unfeatured it a long time ago. But that is because it is me.
You could try adding those Amazon products to a blog post, then have a link in your hub to connect to that. This is what I have done in the past.
No disrespect but when you get about half way through your hub it is wall to wall Amazon products side by side with a couple of small text boxes...
From what I've read the new rule is 300 words per amazon module.
Yes, it's 300. In my other lens that got unfeatured, I have amazon modules for all the craft items needed to make the craft, and each item has text to explain it. But 300 words? No, not all of them. I don't need 300 words to explain what the bobby pins are used for, for example. I'm not about to ramble just to pad out a description to satisfy an unknown entity.
P.S. If HubPages is really concerned about spammy looking adverts wholly unrelated to the content of the hub it only has to look at its own Advertising Policy and decision-making and the nature of the adverts which turn up in the side column.
Now those are the ones that Google really does NOT like....... because that's what consumers tell them!
Yep, I've been waiting for the axe to fall on some ex-lenses. I'll make a decision then. It does seem silly to come down hard on the relevant-to-topic Amazon capsules, while at the same time showing so much irrelevant junk on the rest of the page.
If HubPages want to "get in with Google" it needs to remember that one of the criteria used by Google for displaying adverts is RELEVANCE to the viewer.
Amazon modules showing products relevant to the topic are way more appropriate than totally irrelevant display adverts.
Less and less of my income comes from the adverts side of things.
I looked recently at the profile of the adverts payout since I joined HubPages from squidoo last year. There's been a steady slide in daily payout - the trend has been down, down, down!
I can't help but think Google has HubPages on some sort of blacklist because it still hasn't got the message about the adverts which HubPages is responsible for on each page.
In case anyone here is not aware, you can turn ads completely off on any Hub.
Thank you, everyone, for your responses.
Every one of those amazon modules are there for a reason. They used to be better organized, but I saw that "warning" at the top saying to split them up, so I did.
This hub is not only consistently my most visited hub, it's also getting amazon sales. I've had people buy books and even entire raised bed garden kits. Those modules (I refuse to call them ads; ads are what HP sticks in, not the content related modules I include myself) feature products I spent a lot of time carefully choosing. One of my major points in the hub is that people can do a lot of gardening in limited space, and I wanted to show some variety in products that will help them do that.
My writing time has been extremely limited over the past while, and I'm very slowly getting back to a place where I can start writing again, but with all the issues that I've been having with HP featuring and unfeaturing hubs, I just don't see why I should stay here.
I think it's time to do some research and find another platform for my content. HP is just getting worse and worse. I honestly get the impression they are trying to prevent writers from actually earning anything except through their own ads, and the ads that are showing up on my pages, I have not been happy with. They are far more distracting than any sales mobule I've put in myself.
I agree with the ads being far worse than the sales modules you put up. I have a hub on Range Hoods with like 13 Amazon products, but the hub is over 3000 words so that's fine for now.
Is it possible for you to make sure you have at least 300 words per amazon module? There is no better platform than HP out there. Unless you want to begin your own site. But since this hub is your most trafficked hub and you're making sales, I'd suggest to try and comply to the new rule until you set up your own site and get it to rank well on search engines.
You may just need to add 100 words or so or remove just one product to pass the new rule. It's worth it especially no that the hub is going to be on the main hub pages domain.
Btw hubpages is doing it's best to make sure the hubs are high quality and to get rid of solely sales hubs with no real information. Sadly that affects the really good hubs too.
This hub has been fine for more than a year, so it's weird for it to suddenly be unfeatured.
I simply don't have the time or energy to make up fluff and pad a hub that is already very text heavy.
I did a minor edit last night, which put it back in the waiting list for moderation. However, I'm going to be out and about in just a short while and will be out for most of the day. Tomorrow is even more heavily scheduled. It frustrates me to have to get nit picky over a huv that has been doing the best of all of mine. In the past, when I've had a hub suddenly unfeatured, with no real idea of why, I've learned that removing all the amazon modules has been the only way to get them featured again, even if I only have a couple of them and they are related to the hub. Which is why it seems to me that HPs goal is more about keeping people from making money from anywhere but their own ads, than caring about related content.
Well HP earns from Amazon too. Their ad code shows 40% of the time. So if you're earning well from it, they are too. The reason is not the HP ad program, that's for sure. Hope it gets approved this time. They should offer an option to show it to a staff member when the hub is doing well it's clearly not taking the site down in Googles eyes.
An override option or something of that sort.
I really don't think adding text is the answer, you already have a lot of it. If anything, I'd edit some of it down. Adding some sub-headings would make it easier to find the information people who search this subject would be looking for.
I can understand that attitude perfectly and it makes sense - what I'm trying to explain is, that's not how HubPages sees it these days. Unless you write some words to show WHY you chose those particular products, the QAP team assume the worst (i.e. that you've just picked them at random).
I'd say you're in a place where you have to choose - is it worth rejigging Hubs like this through trial and error until they get through, or do you start your own site? The only problem with starting your own site is that it's absolutely ESSENTIAL to stick to one topic, and you have such a variety of interests. However, I could see your gardening Hubs alone making a great basis for a gardening blog.
Your reasoning makes sense ... but the reason Christy gave for this hub being unfeatured was: "it is the sheer number of Amazon capsules that is causing problems with your Hub. It's an excellent Hub, so I hope you will consider removing some and republishing."
So, from that response, it appears that no amount of explaining the choice of products or added verbiage will change the hub's status back to featured unless she removes an unspecified number of Amazon capsules.
Well, that was a response to my question. So thank you for that. But that's highly subjective, leaving writers/ hubbers to do the guessing game.
As far as the changing goal posts with the text-to-Amazon capsule ratio, since that has in fact changed, it would be helpful to have yet another icon next to hubs on our dashboard that fall below the limit. Although reaching that limit doesn't mean a hub will be featured or re-featured as the case may be, it would be good to know which hubs need more babble ... um, text content .. in order to even have a chance.
There is no one solution that is appropriate for every Hub. The reader's intent matters a lot. If the Hub is one that is geared towards shoppers (e.g. "Everything You Need to Get Started with Painting Furniture") it will likely be appropriate to add more products than otherwise as long as you actually have personal experience with the items and they are helpful to your reader.
We also don't want people adding the maximum number of products they can escape moderation with. Instead, writers should ONLY be adding minimal products that are necessary to the reader and make sense.
In that case you should instruct the moderators more carefully. One of them just defeatured my hub about turning my van into a temporay camper due to spammy elements being amazon capsules not related to the topic. There might have been one of them, but I truly wonder if that moderator actually read my hub, because how more related to the topic can an amazon capsule of a portable toilet be when I describe and explain (with photo) why a portable toilet is a very needed item in a temporary camper. This hub had 3100+ words and 9 relevant capsules, so it was well within HP rules. This defeaturing really pissed me off.
"If the Hub is one that is geared towards shoppers (e.g. "Everything You Need to Get Started with Painting Furniture") it will likely be appropriate to add more products than otherwise as long as you actually have personal experience with the items and they are helpful to your reader."
If only that held true. That's not been the response from others on the HP team.
Edited to add: Even with plenty of verbiage (above the minimum ratio), personal experience expressed in that text (specifically, I've hiked those 2,174 miles at one shot) and items selected as a result of that experience for readers, I've been told that a hub can't be "geared towards shoppers."
I'm so weary of all this. I don't have the time to hunt for new homes for my content or start a bunch of websites for Search and Rescue, long-distance backpacking and other niches I'm into, so my best bet is probably to get my next payout and, for my own mental health, hit the delete button on the whole account.
This HubPages Blog Post may be helpful. It offers concrete examples of spammy product Hubs versus product Hubs that are ok, plus information on how to tell the difference.
Ramkitten, please don't! You're a writer, you know you should never delete anything you've written, because you never know when it might come in useful later.
One point about niches - long ago (in internet terms), the secret to successful blogging was to have separate blogs on small individual niches. Nowadays the key is "authority", which means you need a LOT of content on a BROAD subject area. For instance, I used to have several blogs on different styles of belly dancing - but when I combined them into one site with different sections for each style, I got far more traffic than I ever had for the individual blogs. You might be able to create a blog with a mountaineering/hiking focus which would encompass quite a lot of your writing.
I absolutely agree.
I've removed content from HubPages and created two new large mega niche websites which have each got 6+ former hubs on them so far with more to come.
My experience to date is that Google loves them - traffic has quadrupled. Plus having a linked blog on a website makes it very easy to keep the site refreshed.
What you must do is use Evernote or Safari's "save page as" to save complete hubs with LIVE LINKS. That way you can archive your content and then reuse it elsehwree with very little effort.
When I say very little effort - I actually mean apart from the whooping it up you will do when you realise that with a little extra effort you can also create a mobile friendly website which looks great!
"Mega niche" - I like that! I have been told that I should combine my websites on different dance genres into one big dance website. I'm not quite ready to do that, because I believe that ballet dancers would trust a site about ballet more than they'd trust a site about dance in general. But it does seem to be the way things are moving. Big is beautiful, PROVIDED it's got a clear focus.
I always made all my lenses on Squidoo in clusters with a minimum of six lenses in each cluster. Some have an awful lot more.
They used to generate traffic for one another when they were interlinked - in ways allowed on squidoo - but not possible on HubPages because they would far rather my hubs were linked to ones which are wholly irrelevant to my readers and/or complete rubbish. (This is one of the main factors driving me from the HubPages site - because they just don't get how to KEEP traffic once you've got it.)
Anyway, what it means is that you can pick up the content and move it to another site and set up a mega-niche website which packs a punch right from the off.
Plus the scope is broad enough to be able to update with fresh content on a regular basis.
In effect I reinstate my interlinked lenses - but as a website with separate pages for separate topics - which then link back to what would have been a hub page and then all the hub pages link back to the home page for the mega-niche. It works really well as a model for getting traffic. I'm getting huge traffic from Google and many of its country based operations
"Writers should ONLY be adding minimal products that are necessary to the reader and make sense."
Ask 10 people what constitutes being necessary and making sense, and I'm sure we'll get 10 different answers. Too subjective for a content farm website.
OK, I've spent enough time on this.
Ditto. So much for the value of an 83 rating that they've been honking about for so long.
Have they? I've never seen that. You may be confusing it with the fact that if your score is under 85, then links WITHIN Hubs are no follow. That's of no consequence to you whatsoever, unless you are trying to promote a website or blog in a Hub.
This thread explains why all my hubs are going to "no feature" status and tanking. Very few are remaining featured.
I am still hoping to transition to Hubpages desires, but not very optimistic at this point.
Thank you again to everyone for your comments and suggestions.
I finally had a chance to check my hubs list and...
Both of the hubs that got unfeatured are now featured again.
In my balcony garden one, I honestly cannot remember what I changed when I edited it. Oh, yes. I remember now. I added a boarder to the first photo at the top of the hub.
The second hub, the craft one that got unfeatured for "spammy elements", I added one sentence to a text box about a product. That's it.
Apparently, that was enough.
Which is great, but now it makes it even more confusing as to why they were unfeatured in the first place.
Oh, for crying out loud. I just got another one! Out of the blue, like the others. Unfeatured for "spammy" elements. This was another "how to" hub, and every single one of the sales modules is direcetly related to the content of the hub and materials needed to make the item.
I am getting really pissed off now.
My theory is that a disgruntled HubPages employee is now working for MTurk and is binning all the good hubs!
It's just so flippin' random!
I've started deleting some of my product review hubs. These were ones that were done as squidoo challenges.
I'd really like to find some other host for my writing. I don't have an appropriate blog for them, and I don't want to start a whole new website. I don't have the time to do the research for alternatives right now, though. Since the switch from squidoo, I think I've only been able to swing one new hub.
Anna -- please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you want to learn more about what you can do to get your Hub Featured again. I know that most of the emails don't tell you exactly what the issue is. However, we recently started sending custom notes to Hubbers as part of the general defeaturing email. We don't have the resources to write a custom note for every Hub, so just shoot us an email if you still have questions.
Well, I didn't get a direct response.
Instead, I got another email telling me that 5 hubs, including the two I mention here that had become featured again, have been unfeatured.
The craft one is still for "spammy" elements. The others for "quality content."
I'm not going to bother fussing with them. There's no point.
Time to move on from hup pages.
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