Recently Paul Edmondson made a statement about ads which has caused some confusion.
He has suggested that if you are using Amazon ads on a Hub, you should turn off other advertising. I can understand his reasoning, BUT it will backfire badly if you don't do it right.
The theory is that Google doesn't like to see too many ads on a web page. So, if you're going to ADD ads (i.e. Amazon capsules), you should turn off other ads to restore the balance. Sounds fair, right?
The snag is that with the ads switched ON, you earn money from views and clicks. With the ads switched OFF, your only chance of earning money is if someone actually buys something from your Amazon ads. So you'd better be absolutely sure your Amazon ads are tempting and convincing, otherwise you'll earn zilch!
I'd say you need to know whether your Amazon ads are working before you even THINK about turning off ads. If you've had a Hub for a while and are not making sales from the Amazon capsules, then I'd be more inclined to get rid of the Amazon capsules than turn off the ads.
This is where the absence of feedback on the totality of sales via Amazon and how they arose on specific hubs leaves hubbers totally in the dark.
One of the things I did before leaving Squidoo (where we got 100% feedback on Amazon sales - and got 50% of the associated income) was to download all the sales data from the lenses which converted well and consistently over the years - right back to the beginning. As a result I have an awful lot of giant spreadsheets where I sorted the data over the years and highlighted all the key products which made regular conversions.
Personally I think the sales data feedback on the Squidoo site is one of the key reasons why Squidoo always did much better than HubPages at selling products and making income to run the site and reward those who made lenses which converted.
I KNOW what makes sales on my hubs - but only because of my Squidoo data. I also know which other products which make occasional sales and are worth keeping. (Those moderating my hubs certainly don't have better data than I have!)
However hubbers are, by and large, almost completely in the dark
* they don't get COMPLETE data about sales because of the way the income model works (i.e. sales which get credited to HubPages are missing!)
* they don't have ANY sales data which relates any sale directly to a particular hub - so they have no idea which hubs make income and which ones don't. So I don't see any way people can be certain about which ones to remove adverts from because of the way the hub converts modules to sales.
* they haven't got a clue which hubs generate sales via Amazon even if they don't have any prompt from the hub. For example I have hubs about drawing books which don't contain any products related to the activity of drawing - but they have consistently generated sales of pencils etc without any prompt from the hub.
I'm very glad I've got my squidoo data - plus the data I have from my other sites which generates via my Amazon associates reports.
I think if HubPages wants to look at promoting Amazon sales then it needs to take a long hard look at its feedback to hubbers.
Here'e my concern/question: Will pages with the Ad Program/Adsense ads turned off be granted greater leeway and allowed to show more Amazon products before being labeled as "spammy" and de-featured?
In one of my niches, many people who run their own websites monetize 100% via Amazon. It is a topic that lends very well to this, and it probably would be worth considering shutting down the Ad program for pages on that topic.
However, for this approach to be effective Hubbers would need the freedom to do to it correctly, just like these other webpages we compete with in the SERPs.
Turning off the Ad Program while maintaining a strict limit on Amazon links would not be helpful to the reader, the Hubber or HubPages, and in my opinion would be a huge mistake.
I absolutely agree.
We were told that the top converting Amazon product on Squidoo was books - consistently year after year.
Books on a topic make a very suitable topic for a hub (or any other website) as one of the things that Amazon does really badly is group books on a topic.
I'd be very happy to have absolutely no adverts on my book hubs and stop having MTurk people label them as spammy because they have too many amazon modules - when actually the intention is to educate and inform by showing the range and choice of good books on a topic.
As it stands my book hubs are currently top priority to move off this site following the recent spate of "unfeatured" hubs.
Edited: when did capsules become visible even with ad blockers turned on? I don't remember these being visible in such condition... ???
Well I've just checked a hub with the AdBlock on and off on three different browsers (Chrome, Forefox and Opera) and on each the adverts in the side column and the banner at the top disappear with AdBlock - but all the Amazon modules remain visible.
AdBlock does not count Amazon as an advert
AdBlock used to consider Amazon capsules were ads, because that was a big complaint when Squids first transferred over - at that time, ad blockers blocked all Amazon and eBay capsules on HubPages whereas Squidoo had managed to get around it somehow. I assume HP has now worked out the same workaround.
In the past, with Ad-Block+ turned on, I couldn't see the Amazon capsules at all, katherine. That is why I asked...
Remember the threads that were discussed as to why HP bought the Amazon module designs from Squidoo but never adapted them so as to make them visible with ABP turned on? As I recall pretty well that Squidoo modules were visible while HP capsules were not (never been since I joined, but it looks like they made use of Squidoo's whole code in the end).
Was last year when they implemented the "new" design
I think, as my rule of thumb, if I have a hub that consistently sells, but gets less than 50 views a day, I would turn off the HP ads. If I have a hub selling Amazon products and getting 50+ views a day, I will leave it be, and run both HP/Adsense and Amazon capsules.
Paul even suggested that people switch HP ads off IF you are already making sales through the Amazon ads. He didn't say just switch them off just because you have Amazon ads on a Hub.
Thanks, Marisa, for this warning and clarification. I get an Amazon sale so rarely that it's a celebration for me when it happens. I see that I'm taking a big risk turning off my ads, especially for those hubs with no Amazon capsules, which are most of my hubs.
I'm shooting the dice to see if traffic increases enough to make a difference with readers who will stay on my page longer, click on links to my other articles, and possibly share them. It may not be significant yet but it does raise the probability of sending more traffic to those hubs with ads still on and those with Amazon capsules. We will see. So far, traffic is up.
Because your hubs get so few sales Paul's advice to you would be to remove the amazon ads. I agree with him. If they're not converting then your visitors aren't interested in buying. It's better to avoid potentially annoying visitors with superfluous ads.
Thanks, Susanna S. Just discovered I need to turn ads back on for some hubs. Yikes!
I apologize if this is off topic from Marisa´s original post, but I am wondering if I recommend an Amazon product in a hyperlink (instead of that huge ad that gets splashed in the middle of the page) are the sales incomes handled the same way? Does the hub author get paid if the reader clicks on that hyperlink and buys the product?
I am not sure, but it may be that if you use a link instead of the HP capsule, your hub will be found to be spammy and therefore unfeatured. I tried something similar, and could not get my hub featured until I removed it. It has been a while, so I may have had a different scenario and yours may work.
I did it this morning when I published the Tibetan dog names hub, and since you mentioned that I had to go over and check and make sure it passed QAP. It is already featured.
As you have mentioned in the past, we never make any Amazon sales off of those hubs so I just recommended that people buy the dog tag from a pet store or click on the Amazon link. I was just curious to learn if there was a split on those sales--at least I did not have to add another ad to my webpage!
You probably tried to use your Amazon ID in a hard coded link. That would get unfeatured because you'd get revenue on all sales and nothing goes to HP. You need to let HP generate the link by choosing the Amazon option when creating the text link. Then it properly works with the 60/40 impressions.
If you use a hyperlink generated by choosing the Amazon option on the link, then revenue works the same as Amazon capsules - you will get paid for sales that convert on your 60% of the impressions.
Marisa, you are definitely correct with all this. That's why Paul said to turn off ads ONLY on hubs that were successfully getting Amazon sales.
Since that day, I am experimenting. I shut off ads on a couple of hubs that were getting at least one Amazon sale every week or so. It's too soon to tell if it's working, but so far I got three sales in five days.
I also shut off ads on several other hubs that have Amazon ads that aren't doing so well, but that did get a sale or two once in a while. I want to see if they generate more sales being that the reader sees no other ads that might take them away. So far, no benefit there ( as I expected ).
As for hubs that get no Amazon sales, I agree with you on that one too. For a long time already I have always removed Amazon capsules that weren't working to make Google happy.
This is an ongoing experiment.
Maybe HubPages told Adblock the Amazon ads were not ads but recommendations.
They surely used the code they bought from Squidoo but forgot to let us know...
If the AdBlock had STILL been blocking Amazon modules on HubPages an awful lot of transferred lenses would have left this site before now.
My recollection was there was a short hiatus while there was a problem with an update and then it reverted to Amazon modules being visible.
What I say is that I NEVER saw any mention of a change. That is why I asked: only noticed that today. In reality this didn't bother me because I never saw any kind of annoucement (same case as with the new 300 words rule that applies in some cases and doesn't in others).
Just a note...
Twice in the past I have turned off ads for a month on my zero-traffic hubs in the hopes of enticing Google those hubs were worthy. It had zero effect.
This does not contradict Paul E.'s advice re: the Amazon scenario however. I've had zero success in my Amazon endeavors, but for those who do: believe Paul E. The man is not stupid; HubPages is an amazing accomplishment.
To be honest - and not wanting to be in any way disrespectful - I'd rather hear a comment about what happens if you turn the adverts off from somebody who has been successful when using Amazon on HubPages.
The impact on those who have never been very successful has got to be very difficult to determine because this could be for all sorts of reasons unrelated to the use of Amazon.
First you have to see a benefit for those who know they can sell - then you might be able to work out if there is a potential benefit for those who have never sold or only sold very little.
I like you. No offense taken. I'm just saying: Believe the Man.
All I'm saying is that I believe data.
Preferably a proper test with a set of control data done by somebody with a personal and sucessful track record in getting Amazon modules to convert on a variety of sites
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