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Heads Up for Writers

  1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
    TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago

    Suddenly the team has turned its attention to my articles and has begun snipping away.  I can see why they are doing this, but have discovered a problem.

    In the early days, when I placed ads, I would mention the product within my text and say "like the one shown here" because I was told this would be enough.

    Well, things have changed, and it is no longer enough!

    The problem is the snipper dumped the ads, but did not change the wording...so now I have hubs with words that point readers to products that are not there any longer!

    So, if you have been snipped, I advise you to go back and check your own wording, if any, to make sure you remove it.

    I did email the team about this as I think it is a serious problem that lowers the credibility of a hub.  I also asked them what would happen if I inserted appropriate wordage and put the ads back in again.

    Am awaiting their response, but do not want to do this until I feel it's OK.

    My only other choice is to check every one of my 100 + hubs to fix the issue before they get to it...so I'm not looking forward to what I'm facing.

    Good luck with this one, guys!  This is what happens when machines "snip" instead of people.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      You don't need to check the wording in advance - and in fact you can't, because you have no way of knowing WHICH Hubs they're going to snip.  All you can do is wait and see what happens, then react when and if one is snipped.  You will be notified every single time it happens.  Sure, that means your Hub will be published for a few hours or days with some text that doesn't make sense - but it will only be for a short time, and that's not crucial. 

      If Hubs are being snipped, it's very likely because those Hubs are in line to be moved to a niche site.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

        I was only thinking of having the moderator remove the wording, not me.  If you're going to remove an ad, OK...but if you leave wording that points to a nonexistent ad, it's going to look weird.

        I couldn't have known that wording was going to exist without checking the capsules where the ads appeared.  I had thought this would have been done, but obviously, I was wrong!

        My post was meant to warn others to carefully check for this problem if an ad got snipped.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image93
          Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

          I understand that and the warning is useful - but you did suggest you were going to try to pre-empt the problem by checking all your Hubs, and I'm just pointing out that would be a waste of time.

          1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

            Good point.  I just thought that if my wordage was not correctly done, I could change it and possibly save ads that might otherwise be snipped, but I think I'll just wait.

  2. EricDockett profile image95
    EricDockettposted 8 months ago

    Bots do not snip. Human moderators snip. If your Hub has been snipped it means a human person looked at it and decided to remove your products.

    I've had cases where snipping didn't hurt the Hub. In other cases, by removing the products the moderator altered the entire focus of the Hub. If you are trying to help someone solve a problem, and you offer a product as a solution, when those products go away the entire Hub needs to be re-worked.

    I agree its a problem, and I think the only solution is to be aware of when moderators/editors visit our Hubs and fix them as needed.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Although Christy Kirwan says moderators do not change content, in this instance, I think they should check for irregularities.

      Since I write in a specialty area, any ads I place help people find the products they need, most of which cannot be found at your general store!  So, they do have value...but you have to present them correctly, which I did not.

      1. Solaras profile image91
        Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        They don't care how you presented it.  They just have a directive that has been narrowly construed: ads are BAD!!! Links are BAD!  Make them all go away.

        It's happening so fast to so many hubs that the snipping and unfeaturing cannot be carefully considered. Just wholesale slaughter.

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

          I have to respectfully disagree.  Obviously you are upset and need to vent, and that's OK, but you need to keep things in perspective.

          What worked in the past no longer works in the present.  It's that simple.

          We all need to look at our ads and honestly ask ourselves if they really are necessary and if they really are well explained and clearly relate to our hubs.

          I have had some ads snipped, but I have tons of links and, so far, only one has been removed.  So what you are feeling is just a knee jerk reaction to what is going on here.

          In my mind, this team is doing whatever it thinks necessary to save the site, which I think means improving whatever is necessary to get hubs ready to move to the niches, where the real views have a chance of coming in.

          You are complaining, but several of your hubs already have been moved.  Me?  Zero.  So I actually have more to worry about than you do!

          1. Solaras profile image91
            Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            2 ads in a 2000 word article; that is overly promotional? Are you kidding me?

            1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
              TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

              It's hard to know exactly what you are referring to without being able to see the article you are talking about.  Overly promotional can mean more than just how many ads you use.  For example, it can mean pushing your own work too much or linking to the same outside site too much.  There are limits on these things, and they are not new.  It is just that now the team is enforcing their rules, whereas before they did not.

              1. calculus-geometry profile image85
                calculus-geometryposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                That is not entirely accurate.  It's a combination of more enforcement of existing rules and the addition of new rules.  Why are you trying to shut down Solaras when you complain so much about others doing the same to you? She is a far cry from the biggest whiner around here.

                1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                  TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

                  What in the world are you talking about?  I was simply trying to shed some light on this issue.  There was nothing personal in any comment I made.

                  We all understand that things have tightened up, and although we are not happy about some of the changes, I think it's very important to try to understand why things are happening.

                  Everything I said is true and, as I said, earlier, I can see why Solaras and others are upset, but I also know that being upset isn't going to change a thing.  You either have to decide to go with the flow or walk away.

                  Nobody is trying to "shut anybody down", and I don't recall ever feeling that anybody tried to do that to me.  Let's stick to the topic here, OK?

              2. Solaras profile image91
                Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                I have two links to an outside domain - they are the source URLs for two of the images. The rule, since I have been here, has been a limit of two links to any domain.  It was enforced automatically, you could not publish the hub when it detected more that 2 links to a single domain.

                This has been a complaint made by Making A Mark in the past.  She wants to link to multiple resources on the same domain, but is limited to two.  Now that rule has changed?  Says who?  If they are changing the rules, they need to get specific about the new policies and how they are defining overly promotion. How does HP see its future?  Do they intend to turn HP into a monastery, living of the alms of ever decreasing ad revenue.

                1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                  TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

                  You are absolutely correct.  That is the rule.  I was only using that as a possible example.  If I were you, I would email the team and ask them for specific information about why they snipped your hub.  That's the only way to really know their thoughts.

                  People do make mistakes, and maybe this is what happened here.  It can't hurt to ask!

                  1. Solaras profile image91
                    Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                    It's not that it has been snipped. It is unfeatured for Quality, after having been featured for 3 years.  One of them actually made the leap to Pethelpful, and now languishes in limbo.  Whatever serp ranking it had has perished with the move and subsequent unfeaturing.

                2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                  TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

                  This is a quote from the learning center:

                  If you receive a warning about your Hub being overly promotional, or if your Hub is moderated for being so, your Hub has been identified as excessively promoting another site or sites.

                  It may...

                  Have too many links
                  Contain an excessive number of Amazon or eBay products
                  Repeatedly emphasize keywords and/or phrases
                  Appear to be solely designed to procure backlinks
                  Solely promote a products, site, good, or service
                  Be keyword stuffed

                  1. Solaras profile image91
                    Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                    It's not any of those things. In fact it was moved to Pethelpful and then unfeatured for quality. So eyes have been on it, and there is an edit thingy symbol, but no edits made for a month.

                    It was getting steady Google traffic and making the occasional decent sale. I have been going back and forth with a moderator, and now I am done. Screw it.

          2. Solaras profile image91
            Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            Making a Mark is absolutely correct in saying that the only way to make money on the Internet in the future is through sales revenue.  CPM is less than half of what it was June 2014.  I expect that trend to continue.  I have three times the page views I did then, and make the same income from the Ad Program.  Amazon sales are 2-3 times my Ad Program revenue.

            Removing ads that sell will be the death of HP. Period.

            You lose revenue, you piss-off writers and they leave.

      2. EricDockett profile image95
        EricDockettposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        I understand what you mean about your products. I try to do the same in my niche topics. When those Hubs get edited or moderated it is very frustrating. Like you, I feel I know my topics and my audience and make mostly good decisions about products. When HP gives control of my Hubs to someone else it is disheartening.

        I also certainly have cases where I could have been smarter about affiliate ad usage. I've been going through my Hubs and trying to improve them (taking HP's advice) and in some cases deleting Hubs altogether.

  3. Solaras profile image91
    Solarasposted 8 months ago

    It's mad hysteria. Staff is going insane, destroying hubs senselessly. "I have a memo that tells me what is allowed. I interpret that to mean no links whatsoever, and all products capsules are bad things." HP HQ needs to oversee what these monkeys are doing.

  4. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 8 months ago

    One of the problems with HP is that everything needs to be done 'at scale'. This means algos and automated filters.

    Sometimes the automated filters are human, flying through a page a minute. Sigh.

    My own feeling is to let this whole upheaval follow its course and look for opportunities later.

    1. Solaras profile image91
      Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      You are correct. We have an instance where the lowest paid and least experienced staff members are making the most important decisions about the products in HPs offerings, on the fly.

  5. Sam Montana profile image85
    Sam Montanaposted 8 months ago

    HP continues to change the rules and I would think that writers are spending more time rewriting their articles than writing new articles.

    A year or so ago, I know the rule was 50 words per Amazon ad and now I think the new rule is 300 words per Amazon ad (Amazon module.)

    I can certainly understand that the ads have to be completely relevant to the article subject, but what about the Amazon ads that are in a module with 50 words or in a separate module.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Those have to be placed above, below or beside a capsule that has 300 words that relate to the product,and the product has to be defined in terms of why it is better to use than similar types of products.  It's pretty specific.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        That's the very first time I have ever read such a thing.

        As far as I am aware, the 300 word rule is simply that there must be 300 words of text in a Hub for every Amazon capsule.  Those 300 words do not have to be related in any way to the product, nor does the product have to be mentioned in the text.  The product must be totally relevant to the subject of the Hub but it does not have to be mentioned.

        Where did you read that info?

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

          Frankly, I can't remember, but I know that was my understanding of the new rule.  Why else would you need 300 words in a capsule if it does not include a discussion of a product you are trying to advertise?  Wouldn't you place the ad close to the text capsule because to do otherwise would make it less relevant.

          I sure wish I could snap my fingers and find the info, but I can't.  However, if you are right and I am wrong, I've done a heck of a lot of work for nothing!

          1. Marisa Wright profile image93
            Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            You don't need 300 words in a capsule.

            Do you remember the old rule?  It was a RATIO of 100 words of text to every capsule.  That didn't mean you needed 100 words IN each capsule.  It meant that if you had 1,000 words you could have 10 products, spaced out any way you liked.  Those 10 products could all have been listed at the end of the Hub if you liked, all that mattered was the ratio of text to products.

            All that has changed is that the ratio is now 300 words to 1 product.

            However there is an additional rule, i.e. that each product must be totally relevant to the subject - and the safest way to ensure HubPages understands that, is to include a direct reference to the product in your text.

            What HAS changed, for the new sites, is that the ratio appears to be much, much, much lower - but they're not telling us what it is.

          2. WordCrafter09 profile image85
            WordCrafter09posted 8 months ago in reply to this

            All I've ever seen is (apparently) what Marissa has.  Unless there's some even new rule the 300-word thing was once considered a "new rule" and was kind of big deal when it was it first introduced.  If there's an even newer rule that's another thing but this particular one (as Marissa explained it) hasn't been "new" for a long time.  (Some people coming from Squidoo-only, I'd think) could have missed the time the "new rule" that Marissa and I have been thinking is the latest rule on here was made a "new rule". 

            If there's an even newer one it would be good to have it publicized/clarified more on here.  As far as reasoning for the (kind of) "any 300 words per capsule", it was (as far as I understood it) to eliminate Hubs that were big splashes of Amazon capsules and had little information in them other than re-hashes of what could be found on Amazon on anywhere else selling the item.  "Heavily-Amazon-capsule" Hubs aren't, for the most part, my thing; but I have a few offline that I've held off with until I see what's going on. 

            Either way, it would be good to see this 300-word thing clarified/updated.    I do think I recall a time when the number of words that were "out-and-out with" the capsule may have been raised some, but I may just be thinking of the the words-per-Hub/number of Amazon capsules thing in general.

            1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
              TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

              Since I can't find the reference, I have to assume that Marisa is correct...she usually is!  I've tried to research this issue and explicit info about numbers, etc. is hard to find .  I really wish they would clarify this in simple language so that all of us would have a clear understanding.  It would avoid a lot of confusion, not to mention hard feelings!

              1. Marisa Wright profile image93
                Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                I agree - especially for the new sites, where it seems to be a whole new ball game.

                1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                  TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

                  Guess you were right about something else you posted here.  I've just been informed that 16 of my RV hubs have been moved to a new niche site that will be called AxleAddict.  Guess they haven't announced it yet.

                  All 7 of the articles that were snipped and/or edited were included in the 16.  I was sure surprised when I saw this and can only hope that this will improve my page views!  We'll see!

                2. Solaras profile image91
                  Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                  I am assuming that they have paid consultants to tell them how to improve business with Google.  I know the value of many consultants...

                  What if they are wrong? What if HP is cutting its revenue nose off to spite an over exaggerated problem with Amazon capsules and links. Half the time when I search for something - usually a review, the first non Amazon page is just a list of links to products on Amazon with two to three sentences next to each image. So riddle me that Batman - how can those be on search engine page one if too many Amazon capsules is really a Google no-no?

                  I am very skeptical of the advice they are working off of.  Staying alive by eliminating a known revenue stream for a hope of good things to come...  I don't want HP to fail!

                  1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                    TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

                    Nobody does, but we can only hope that the new niche sites will work.  If not, I think it's over for all of us.

                  2. Marisa Wright profile image93
                    Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                    +1,000,000!

                    I have also had the pleasure of working with consultants many times, so I know what you mean!

                    I think the idea of moving to niche sites is a good one so I'm pleased they've taken that advice:  however there attitude to Amazon ads borders on paranoia and I, too, feel they're cutting off a solid revenue stream for no good reason.  It seems they've taken the advice that too many affiliate ads can be harmful, and exaggerated it out of all proportion.

          3. Christy Kirwan profile image
            89
            Christy Kirwanposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            Just to be clear, 300 words per product is still the bare minimum to escape being automatically unpublished by the QAP. But our product guidelines are not about the ratio of products, but rather the relevancy and whether they are absolutely necessary.

            If your Hub is a sales Hub (like Top 10 Books for Teens) it would make sense to include all 10 of the books you discuss, and all of them would be allowed to stay. But you have to talk about why the books are the best, what you (or your teen) liked about them, etc. Demonstration of personal experience with each and every one of the products is key.

            If your Hub is not a product Hub, it is unlikely that the reader is there to shop, but rather he/she is visiting to gain information or to learn to do a task. Products should only be included that are absolutely necessary to the reader and that he/she is unlikely to have already. If a reader is searching for cake recipes, you should not include a product capsule for a mixing bowl because it's likely that she already has all the equipment she needs. However, if the recipe requires an unusual or specialized type of mixing bowl, it may be appropriate to include as long as you explain why it's absolutely necessary, what you like about it, and why your reader should buy that version instead of a different brand or type (or why she needs to buy it at all).

            Adding products you don't mention in the text and/or adding products you demonstrate no personal experience with virtually guarantees they will be snipped if your Hub is selected for sites.

            1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
              TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

              +1

            2. janshares profile image87
              jansharesposted 8 months ago in reply to this

              This is extremely helpful, Christy. Although my hubs that were chosen for the new site  had no ad capsules, I found this information useful in clearly explaining how to connect a product to the article. I never knew it was so crucial until now. I've been more conscientious about making reference in the text about books. I will re-check older hubs to make sure I'm using the few product capsules that I do have, correctly.

            3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
              TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

              Question:  If a hub was snipped and then moved to one of the niche sites because the product was not correctly connected, can  a writer go back and fix the problem without having a problem?

              1. Christy Kirwan profile image
                89
                Christy Kirwanposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                Yes, though we advise caution when doing so. If you constantly add back products that Moderators believe are excessive or unnecessary, it's possible to be blacklisted for sites on an author basis, meaning your Hubs would no longer be eligible for selection.

                You should be ok as long as you add products correctly and include a lot of detail, but do be careful of adding too many.

                1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                  TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

                  In just about every case so far, which is a small hand full, there was only one ad.  At the time I placed them I really didn't know the best way of doing so, and then the rules changed, which made it worse!  You make adding ads back in sound ominous, so I'll have to think about whether doing this is worthwhile.  Thanks.

                  1. Christy Kirwan profile image
                    89
                    Christy Kirwanposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                    This is mostly intended as a precaution against Hubbers who add back products we have snipped without making any other changes and/or try to stuff a ton of products in after a Hub has been chosen. If you're following the product guidelines, you should be fine. smile

  6. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago

    Yay!   What's interesting is, that means they've been moved without being put through HubPro first, which has to be a compliment to your writing!

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

      I think only one went through Hub Pro, but the changes were almost nil.

 
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