I once received a warning that switching off ads on one of my pages was against TOS because the page was considered commercial. It was a long, deeply boring and rather technical effort concerning Synthetic Biology (google if you dare).
I deleted the page (it never got any views anyway).
Now Paul Edmondson is suggesting that we turn off ads on pages with Amazon ads.
This is something I would have done years ago, if it wasn't for that TOS warning.
Anyway, preamble over.
Is turning off ads OK now?
Apparently so, but I don't quite get the point.
I don't think he is saying to turn of all ads, but rather to make very sure they are relevant and keep only the one or two most important ones on a given hub.
If we all turn off our Amazon ads, then why have Amazon in the first place? It is interesting that he did not mention Ebay ads. What gives with that?
I am totally confused by what he wrote, especially his comments about how important Amazon is to this site!
I think Will means keeping Amazon capsules and switching off the HP ads.
You have the money making impulses which we all publicly deplore.
But cannot quite help.
What I really want is an all clear as far as TOS is concerned.
Those impulses are pretty subdued lately. Does that make me less evil lol?
Glad that Paul is finally tackling these issues!
Commiserations, it is not easy to be evil these days in a profitable way.
I knew there was another word!
I spent a couple of years in a Methodist Sunday School when I was kid (they had stuff like day trips to Skegness to tempt the heathens).
I think the 'money is the root of all evil' notion was burned into me. Scarred for life.
What you said in your first post in this thread is different from the experience I had once. A couple of years ago I had a hub that was too controversial and disturbed the advertises. So HP told me I could keep the hub featured only if I disabled ads. That's the opposite of your experience. Weird! Isn't it?
Nevertheless, Paul's recent statement saying it's okay to shut off ads refers to the case where we have Amazon ads that are successfully converting. So HP still gets revenue on sales from their 40% of the Amazon impressions. No reason why that would be against TOS, IMO.
My TOS warning came about 5 years ago.
There was nothing commercial on the page, just a few links to .edu and .gov type sites.
I had nothing to do with the forums back then and did not complain.
I still have no idea what was on their mind.
I had that same experience writing on political topic as an experiment. I wanted to see if I got more views being controversial. I did with both and comments. But, the views never arrived from Google to warrant the Hub continuing. I became hesitant taking a side with community activity.
That's what I got, too. I decided to test it out on about 10-15 hubs last night. So far, the only thing I see is an increase in hub scores, therefore, average hub score. I will monitor for about a week and see if there are any other benefits, i.e., traffic and earnings.
Update: After just a day and a half, positive results appear to be holding. Coincidence? Maybe. But it's so far consistent across several hubs, especially top performers. Stay tuned . . .
Note about hub score increases: I'm aware that it has nothing to do with getting more traffic and earnings; just an observation I reported.
I wouldn't recommend getting your hopes up. This is a very, very bad time to be conducting experiments because as Paul just posted today, traffic is still being heavily affected by the move from sub-domains. Any benefit you see can't be attributed to changes YOU made, because there is so much else going on.
I wonder how long it will take for all of these changes to settle into some sort of regular routine.
Yup, so far although traffic is up, my first measure of earnings is not good. Monday earnings plummeted. I just turned ads on 5 hubs back on. Will keep you posted. Later gators.
You are obviously someone who could make a lot of money online.
You just need to give in to the dark side of the force.
Maybe a few facial tattoos...
I was talking about the Welsh Lady (the word 'lady' is not anathema where I live). But your quick uptake makes me think you are also on the cusp.
All those things have already happened
That is amazing. I had no idea that there were cases in which we can't turn off ads.
Yes, you can turn ads off hub by hub. http://hubpages.com/faq/#turn-off-ads
I really don't get this - in both conceptual and technical terms
1. How do we turn off ads on individual hubs?
2. If we also have to reduce Amazon modules, aren't we eliminating what brings in income to HubPages?
Is this just all code for "go away commercial hubs - we don't like you"? Why not just say that instead?
More to the point - if people reduce their Amazon modules and eliminate their adverts - what exactly is going to:
* create an income stream for HubPages to pay its bills (and staff)?
* create any sort of financial incentive for those who have been used to generating income in the past
* Isn't this a recipe for "an early bath"?
Anybody got any idea? It's got me stumped!
Or is somebody just being very clumsy and saying "adverts" when they mean "Amazon module" - which is NOT an advert and is NOT part of the income stream from adverts.
Adverts are things placed by third parties who don't write content for a hub.
Go to any page.
Go into edit.
Choose 'DISPLAY OPTIONS' (right sidebar). Then you have an option to show ads or not.
The confusing part for me is, why would I switch off an Amazon ad on a hub which was getting sales. Help!
Not the Amazon ad capsule. The HP ads.
Edit: the ones that are irritating and make the pages load slowly and most of the time, have nothing to do with your hub.
Sorry for the confusion.
If you are making money from a page with Amazon, switch off the HP or Adsense ads to reduce the burden of ads on the page (Google hates a burden on its readers) and also the competition for clicks.
Reading Paul's page makes it clearer.
http://hubpages.com/community/Challenge … oduct-Hubs
I did read it already which is why I'm embarking on the venture. I found it intriguing so I'm game. What do I have to lose? A few more pennies? I'll switch some hubs back if necessary. Thanks for this thread.
I didn't think you could switch off the Adsense ads, and why in the world would you want to get rid of the HP ads when they are the very things that produce the most income for many here?
Why doesn't the team limit the number of HP ads instead. That makes a lot more sense to me, but what do I know!
If you have a page that does well with Amazon ads it will be far more profitable than any page that relies on HP Ads. In fact, the HP ad income will be a tiny fraction of what Amazon sends you.
This is why affiliate marketing (Amazon or other) is so attractive to the lazy and greedy (I do not exclude myself entirely).
So, funnel (to steal a word from Paul) your readers into the deep pits of Amazon and away from the mere depressions of HP Ads.
I have a number of hubs with zero Amazon products. They never sold a thing, so I just removed them. I have one hub that produces 90% of my sales.
I assume that while the readers are on my hub, they are getting HP ads for similar products to what I am hawking, especially if they have been researching it for a little while.
I would expect that turning off HP ads for this one hub will have almost no impact on HP ad earnings, as this hub gets relatively few visitors a day, but has a high conversion rate. Sales may increase due to a lack of competition from the other advertisers, and Google may have greater respect for a page with no advertisements. Then both HP and I will earn more from that article's Amazon sales.
Regarding Paul's comment, if 5%-15% of the featured hubs remove Adsense or HP ads then that benefits HP in Google's eyes, since a percentage of the site is not spammy. Putting the site as a whole on the right side of the algorithm.
Let's go see if that is how it works. I am joining Jan in her experiment.
Christy's post makes it even clearer
I did not think Paul was very clear, he said Tip 1: If a Hub is regularly converting with Amazon sales, turn off ads. I thought he meant the Amazon Ads. I have never switched off HubPages Ads before because writers here state that they make more money from HubPages Ads! I guess I could not bring myself to entertain the thought of earning any less. It might be worth a try but there is always the other thing, edit a hub, even an ad and you are likely to fall foul of a moderator!
Anyway for better or worse I removed the Ads from the Hub which converts regularly into sales and will see what happens.
The edit resulted in an immediate link warning which I solved and improved the article.
I just wonder how HubPages are going to make their money if the Amazon Ads don't convert into sales>
What you call Amazon ads are NOT adverts.
They are MODULES which should be used for product recommendations.
The simple difference between adverts and Amazon is as follows:
* ADVERTS: Adverts are unrelated to the content of the hub, change over time and different adverts are seen by different people. Third parties choose what they want to promote. The author has absolutely no control over the content of adverts BUT can turn them off
* AMAZON: Product recommendations contained within Amazon modules remain unchanged no matter who reads the Amazon content or where they live. Hubbers get to control content of Amazon modules and what products we promote just as we get to create the rest of the unchanging content of our hub. They are controlled by the author.
The fact that something is a product does not make it an advert.
If the experiment doesn't work, I'll just turn them back on. I was also surprised to see how many hubs I had with no Amazon capsules. Had forgotten I already removed many some months ago during another HP crisis to improve the site.
I thought it was pretty obvious what Will meant.
Good idea too.
Could anyone make sense of this statement on Paul's page:
'We've heard directly that the value a site extracts from a visitor relative to the value it provides can influence the rankings of the entire site. What this means for us, is we have several ads on the page and when several products are added, we are likely on the wrong side of the algorithm.'
This for me is crucial. And incomprehensible.
He means - they have overdone the ads.
Interestingly, "wrong side of the algorithm" comes from a popular John Wayne musical number. It refers to cowboys who strayed onto the wrong side of the herd (or algo-cattle) causing them to veer uncontrollably into a chasm of SEO darkness.
I seem to recall that "you're overdoing the adverts" was something we told Squidoo repeatedly - to little effect.
It's all connected to what one site refers to as the "top heavy with ads" adjustment made to the Google algorithm in 2012.
Google has made the point repeatedly that consumers do not like too many adverts.
Personally speaking I'd far rather read a carefully curated hub with a selection of highly relevant and personally selected items from Amazon than ANY totally irrelevant yucky adverts placed there by somebody who is not me - and damaging my credibility in the process
Time to take make adverts or Amazon an either/or???
I thought I understood it to mean too many ads lower the value of the visitor experience. They leave early, don't come back, don't share the article, all of which lowers the metric which tells us (HP) how well that page (the site) is doing, i.e., "wrong side of the algo."
That's true, but why isn't the team lowering the ads THEY place on our sites instead of expecting us to lower ours?
I reckon this is probably the best reading.
There must be something measurable on two scales: the ads value for visitors vs the ads value for the site.
If a page with ten Amazon ads gets a five minute dwell time and 50 per cent of readers click an ad, that could easily get a tick from Google (despite the high number of ads).
If a page has 5 Amazon ads, a one minute dwell time and hardly anyone ever clicks an ad that deserves to be labelled spammy and dumped out of the SERPs.
Exactly which metrics are used to determine spammy is impossible to tell, but dwell time and ad clicks would probably do the job.
Edit: This is partial nonsense. I meant value of the ads for the visitor combined with value of the page for the visitor. I know that I am an idiot, There is no need to tell me...
Amazon products are also not adverts
To do a controlled test you would have to turn the HQ controlled adverts placed by third parties on or off. They are the issue.
I'm not getting why you feel Amazon capsules are not adverts. There is nothing to say that adverts are, by definition, unrelated and random. It is possible for ads to be targeted and specific to your customer and still be ads!
I am sure you are a member of some affiliate networks and are familiar with their terminology - they all talk about ads, even if you are selecting specific products to recommend. And since you have to use affiliate code to earn your commission, surely that is a signal to Google that it is, indeed, an ad.
I don't think it's useful to refer to Amazon modules as adverts because it confuses a number of key factors where there are some very important differences
1) Ownership: I own and choose the content for Amazon modules. 3rd parties who have nothing to do with my hub make the choices about the content of their 3rd party adverts displayed on my hubs
2) Control: I can choose whether or not to use Amazon modules. I can't control the content of the 3rd party adverts which appear on my hubs (however I can control whether or not they appear on my hubs)
3) Relevance: My Amazon modules are always relevant to the topic. 3rd party adverts are very frequently (99%) NOT RELEVANT to my topic (although I do acknowledge that this will vary from topic to topic)
4) Ad Blockers: Ad Block blocks the 3rd party adverts - but does not block my Amazon modules.
Why not use the phrase "Amazon module" and avoid confusing people?
If you only focus on semiotics you miss the bigger picture. It is normal to call a link to a sales site (which an affiliate has placed on a page) an 'affiliate ad' and common usage is good enough for most of us.
I agree it's normal - anybody who normally uses affiliate ads on different sites knows it's normal.
So now explain the reason why some people are very confused over the recommendations re "adverts"
I am ever respectful of my fellow hubbers and could not possibly comment.
I'm just observing the confusion and thinking about reasons why it might be happening - and possible solutions
You don't need to be disrespectful of fellow hubbers when it's very clear that a lot of people are confused. I don't think it's anything to do with them as individuals - I think it's everything to do with the language used - which is confusing.
In fact I'd go so far as to argue that engaging with that confusion is much more respectful if you seek to help them clear away the confusion.
To me it means HP should cut back on the number of ads they show when people are placing affiliate ads on their sites. Surely there is an algorithm for doing this, and it would resolve the problem.
I always thought they put too many ads on our pages, anyhow.
If you guys are right, it means that they don't want to cut their ad revenue, but want us to cut ours. Really?
I think it's a balancing act. I agree we can't shut off all ads, only some, and that HP needs to reduce the amount on the page when the ads ARE on. What stood out for me about what Paul said is that too many ads slow down the loading speed of the page. If page loads faster, more readers stay and aren't irritated by a bunch of ads. [Are they clicking on them anyway? Or HP gets paid just for showing them, I believe.] I understood faster page loading to mean more traffic. He actually said he has seen more traffic on his hubs after doing so. I don't know but I'm game to try and see what happens.
Page loading could be critical. I am going to have a look-see myself.
I have tons of hubs that have absolutely no Amazon ads on them. So, should I shut off the HP and adsense ads? Where will we earn any money in a case like this one!
The speed of page load has ALWAYS been a critical factor in Google's algorithm
I'm just surprised he's dealing with any advertisers who aren't told to make sure their adverts load fast anywhere they are viewed.
As a client HubPages can call the shots on this!
I have just begun reducing the Amazon Ads to 1 per page. I note as I do so that the Amazon Ads are stuffed with words (theirs, not mine) Perhaps this is part of the problem.
The Amazon module placed by us is NOT AN ADVERT
It's a product recommendation
An advert is something placed by a third party on our hub - and we have no control over the content
I think I'm going to try turning off all the adverts on all the hubs which have recently been unfeatured. After all any traffic they're now getting is coming from my sites which link to them....
Or maybe I'll just turn off ALL adverts period and see what that does.
I see what you mean about Amazon not being an advert but a recommendation.
I put recommendations for my product all over my site.
It is NOT an advert. I am merely helping people to see what they can use their credit card on.
For example, I wrote an interesting article about goats. I don't know much about them but I found some stuff on the internet. They have hooves! Who knew?
Anyway, I figured that the viewer might also want to join a circus...
I joined that circus and have made a few sales, won't make me a millionairess but whilst those products are there I live in hope:) Yours are looking good.
We can try the more simple explanation if you like
A product recommendation is something related to my hub - and I chose it
An advert is something somebody else chose and is nothing to do with me or my topic
Oh I like simple. Discovered that some goats have horns so yep... gonna have to add all that extra detail soon.
I am dying to use the word "semantics" because it might be appropriate but I am not sure enough of myself.
Checked Google images - because the wordy explanations made my head hurt - and thanks. Interesting. I learnt something.
Nope. Don't get it. It IS a pipe. OK it's a picture of a pipe. But I didn't go to university.
Thx for the clarification, Paul.
I hope you can get the Amazon issue sorted out in a way that stops the site from being being penalised but maintains Amazon income.
I think one problem is that many hubbers think of one or two Amazon sales a year from a page as being a good result (a few dollars they would never have had otherwise). Unfortunately, that approach is harmful to everyone's health.
I think it will need management intervention to change things.
I think maybe it would be good if Amazon capsules could be "retired" if they aren't regularly clicked on, rather like the hub pages that are rarely viewed?
I don't know how possible that is from a technical point of view?
I think a more interesting issue is whether or not this site can be all things to all people - and be viable as a business
It seems to me that it's a classic 80:20 problem
20% of the hub/hubbers probably make 80% of the income if any of the stats and polls I've seen are anything to go by
I'm being generous. I suspect it's actually more like only 15% of hubbers make payout every month (I'm one of them). It might be as low as 10%.
On the whole, based on experience elsewhere, that 10-20% know more or less what they are doing. Typically because they have used other sites and have their own sites as well - they have diversified their "investment of effort" portfolio.
In other words they know how to generate traffic and get impressions and they sell products - and they know how to move content.
That doesn't mean to say they don't need some rules of engagement and the more enthusastic ones don't need to be reined in at times.
However if the site is to be run on the basis of rules which suit the 80% hobby writers who are rather less good at making money for themselves then I can't see a viable business model for the future of HubPages.
There needs to be a way - within the rules - that the 20% can make money or 80% of the income goes out the door.
...and sites like this don't exist on fresh air. The 80-90% of hubs which don't get much traffic and make only pennies will not exist unless the other 10-20% actually make some money to make the business viable.
A site is never too big to fail.
It's emphatically NOT about how many hubs there are - it's actually about how many hubs are actually generating significant traffic and income.
Hence the preoccupation with what's happened to the traffic and how to get it back.
That's why too many adverts choking off traffic and interest is a really critical issue.
I agree - it's definitely time to do controlled tests to see whether people prefer
* a collection of highly products very relevant to the topic of a hub
* or an awful lot of poorly designed and completely irrelevant adverts.
I've switched adverts off on a bunch of unfeatured hubs - and I'll see what happens. My finger is hovering over switching all the adverts off.....
I will definitely be experimenting with turning ads off on product pages but it will be after Christmas. This time of year you can normally expect good click through on ads, plus decent income per click so I don't want to risk that.
That's a reasonable decision. But I've turned the ads off on all my Amazon hubs on all my accounts. I am hoping that it might give my more commercial pages a boost for December. I like the HP Ad scheme, but it is not my main earner. And Google Adsense has been hopeless for some time.
I hope you'll feedback how it works out for you. How long are you going to give it?
Of course it is too soon to know anything, but since I turned off HP ads on the one hub that sells Amazon products, sales have tripled for that hub.
Yeaay! Good for you, Solaras. There is hope that this works, especially for those who have carefully placed and relevant Amazon capsules.
I guess the impact of turning off HubPages adverts on hubs with products can only be properly assessed by those who get sales on a regular basis.
There is a particular hub that I have Amazon capsules on and I anticipate sales at this time of the year through Christmas to January.
I decided to turn off Ads and leave the capsules (just 4). If I'm promoting gifts, one capsule is hardly sufficient.
So I turned Ads off. Twice I tried. But the Ads still appear after I exit edit mode.
Why? Isn't 'off' supposed to mean 'off' HP?
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