At the risk of opening another storm of confusion regarding links (affiliate or otherwise) and having searched but found no definitive answer (really HubPages, why do you include non-HubPage results when we use the the HubPages Search?), I would like to know whether it's a good idea to supply image source URLs:
"Optionally, add a caption and enter the name and URL of the image source when attribution is required. (Source URLs in photos are counted as links for purposes of determining if a Hub is overly promotional)"
I usually include as many relevant images as possible with each article I submit and, in the interest of transparency and attribution, I dutifully include the URL to the image's origin. Wikimedia Commons is a great source of legally, free-to-use images, so I might have five or six images from it in a single article. Therefore, I would have five or six image URLs. Not only that, those images would all be from Wikimedia Commons' domain.
My simple question is this: Although I've never been informed of being overly promotional, by attributing source URLs to images am I being penalized somehow?
Below each image on Wikimedia Commons is a link to its license. Some licenses require you to provide a link back while others just require attribution. Some don't even require that.
Most important to understand is that some images on Wikimedia Commons cannot be used on HubPages. Some images on Wikimedia Commons do not allow commercial use. Since you get paid from HubPages you are considered commercial, so you need to check the license for that permission also.
I understand the various licenses on Wikimedia Commons. Each and every image spells out its license requirements, something I abide by completely. My question relates to the HubPages side of things: does HubPages deem multiple image URL attributions to Wikimedia Commons (et al) in an article as overly promotional or not, based on the photo capsule help verbiage "Source URLs in photos are counted as links for purposes of determining if a Hub is overly promotional"?
I understand your concern, but it would be best to have someone from staff give you an answer. However, I can tell you my opinion with a "play it safe" solution...
• Since the links are not part of the visible content, but only visible when one clicks on the "Source" link, it shouldn't trigger being overly promotional.
• Links to obvious source sites like Wikimedia Commons wouldn't trigger this issue.
• To play it safe, if you have many images from the same source you can avoid the issue by placing a single link at the bottom of your hub stating something to the effect "All images in this article are courtesy xxxx site." Make it an anchor text link if the license requires a true link.
Hope that helps.
Wikimedia Commons is whitelisted which means there's no limit to the number of links you can use.
However, having multiple links to one source can cause problems with Google, which will reduce your traffic (which is one reason why HubPages limits it). So it's still important to reduce the number of links.
You can do that easily by understanding the licences better.
I opened one Hub at random and notice that you're crediting Wikimedia Commons even when the photo has been released into the public domain. That's not necessary - the whole idea of public domain is that NO credit is required. Just state it's public domain as the source, but don't put a URL in the source box.
Oh wait - I see you're stating the photo is Public Domain even when its on a CC licence. That's not right! If the author has released it under a CC licence then you need to name the AUTHOR (not Wikimedia Commons) as the source, then paste the link to the Wikimedia Commons page as the URL.
WC does provide fancy links but they are confusing to use on HubPages. Using the author's name as the source and linking it to the Wikimedia page will satisfy the requirements.
My thanks to both Marisa and Glenn for your suggestions. I was operating under the impression that "the more info, the better", but I will in future not provide URLs for Public Domain images. As far as labeling a CC as Public Domain, that is clearly an error on my part. Also, thanks to theraggededge. I wasn't aware there was such a thing as a whitelist.
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