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I'd like feedback on my Hub: Whitstable Campaign: Town Centre Supermarket

  1. Whitstable Views profile image79
    Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago

    Hi,

    Hi,

    I keep getting the message that my hubs could be featured, but no matter how often I change them, they never are. I keep getting told that they may contain "spammy elements" but I'm not sure what these might be. Many of my hubs were previously published in my local newspaper, the Whitstable Gazette, where I write a column. I think it is only polite to acknowledge this by putting a link to the paper in. Is this a "spammy element"? Also, I've written reviews of shops in my town, and put an address and a link for the shop, which is what I think you would expect. Is this a "spammy element"? This is very difficult to understand. If a review for a restaurant or a shop appears in a newspaper, you would expect a link to that restaurant or shop, wouldn't you? I'm trying to make my hubs the go-to place for information about my town, so naturally I want to put the information in.

    Here is one of the hubs about which I received "A Friendly Heads Up" and which I have re-jigged and re-written a number of times in order to get it featured:

    Whitstable Campaign: Town Centre Supermarket.

    Thanks!

    1. theraggededge profile image94
      theraggededgeposted 2 months ago in reply to this

      Remove the links and then see if it gets featured.

      If you took the photos then mention it in the image capsules.

      Also, this looks a bit 'newsy'. HP is looking for 'evergreen' topics.

      1. Whitstable Views profile image79
        Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

        So what's "newsy" and what's "evergreen"? Isn't this just a matter of interpretation? The shop has been there for the last ten years and is likely to still be there in an other ten. I'm trying to create the go-to site for information about Whitstable, but if I can't include the actual information - like links, names, addresses etc - then what's the point?

        1. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 2 months ago in reply to this

          As I said on another thread, if you are trying to create a "go-to site" then you're in the wrong place.  On HubPages you are not creating a site. It is impossible for readers to subscribe to follow your posts. You can't build a loyal readership because you can never know who your readers are.  And most of your readers will never notice that there's a place (your profile) where they can see all your articles listed together.

          On HubPages, what you do is write standalone articles which make money by attracting readers from the search engines.  The navigation of the site is then geared to drive readers around the site by topic, not by author.  It's also (probably) a dying site - HubPages is now creating niche sites (specialist sites by topic) and moving all the best Hubs to those sites, leaving only the leftovers behind.  I don't think they have a niche site where your topic would fit, and personally I wouldn't be investing a lot of effort into writing articles for the rump.

          I know some people will get upset when I say that - but let's face it, if HubPages was successful in its current form, they wouldn't be investing such a lot of people and money in creating the niches.  The niche sites are looking very promising and it's only good business sense if they start focussing on those and stop maintaining the old site.  I may be wrong, but I'm certainly going to wait and see.

          As for news vs evergreen - the question to ask is, will this article still be of interest to readers in a year's time?  If not, its not evergreen.

          1. Whitstable Views profile image79
            Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

            But once it stops being news it becomes social history doesn't it? My view is that everything I write is evergreen, because that's the way I write. HubPages is very short-sighted if it can't see this. Maybe I will just have to move on. I feel reluctant because I've spent such a lot of time and energy here and for all the jumping through hoops they make you do, the page always looks good in the end: much better than a blog. Oh well. As you say, if a story is unfeatured it's invisible, which means it might as well not exist. This is censorship isn't it, the very opposite of what the web was set up to achieve.

            1. Marisa Wright profile image92
              Marisa Wrightposted 2 months ago in reply to this

              It may be social history but how many people are still going to be curious about what happened in a year's time?  Social historians doing research perhaps, no one else IMO. That's why it's not evergreen.

              Evergreen is a Hub that's as useful and relevant today as it was three years ago.  Not just a historical curiosity.

              Articles can look just as good on a blog as they do on HubPages, it's just a question of having the right kind of layout and navigation for the blog.  If you're not worried about making money from your blog, then look at Wordpress.com - there is a free version and it can look every bit as good as HP.   You also get to be part of a community - if you follow people's blogs they will follow yours back.

    2. Au fait profile image91
      Au faitposted 2 months ago in reply to this

      One thing I noticed is that your word count is about 479.  HP prefers at least 600 words, and ideally 1150 words.  In fact they state 1150 words as the bare minimum in their instructions for a stellar hub.  It's also OK to have more than 1150 words.  Some of my 'hubs' are 5,000 words or more.  Exceptions are made for poetry, but otherwise the longer articles are preferred.

      After 7 years I would expect you to have visited the Learning Center many times, but just in case you have trouble finding it -- and we all do, I've included a link here.  For some reason it's not easy to find and you would think it would be the easiest page on here, but . . .   https://hubpageshelp.com

      Give special attention to the article on how to create a stellar hub.

      I would write a longer piece and include information that would interest a tourist. I think that might address the "evergreen" issue sufficiently, and it would add words.   Include local lore as well as current information.  You can put the political info you have in a special section of the article for locals.  I say political because it seems to be about taking out the old quaint/unique businesses in favor of modern new chains, and that's a local political issue that may or may not interest tourists.  By putting it in a special section (maybe a sidebar) it is easier for locals to find.  Lots of photographs or videos if you have some of the business or the section of  town you're showcasing would make it much more interesting also.

      HP wants to attract regular readers and it seems to me your best bet to do that is to appeal to tourists who will in turn bring business to your town.  Many people love the out of the way places that aren't so commercialized.  In fact I think there is a hunger for the less commercialized shops and restaurants that have become so common, but pretty run-of-the-mill, and lacking in unique and interesting character.

      Even your unindexed articles can be viewed on your profile page. If you develop a following as an author, your fans can access your profile page and view all your articles there whether Google has indexed them or not.

      To make sure all of your articles are visible on your profile page and available to people who visit your profile page, use the following instructions: 
      Go to your profile page.  Click on "Edit Profile."  Scroll down almost to the bottom of that page where it says "Show only Featured Hubs on my profile:"  Click on the 'NO' box and then all of your hubs will be visible again on your profile page.

      By clicking 'no' you are saying you want all of your hubs to be showing, not just the 'featured' ones.

      By writing information that would appeal to tourists you get the element of people searching though Google that HP likes.  You also provide a reference for locals about the lore and history of your town and you could advertise your URL through your chamber of commerce and elsewhere.  I would also include stories about special events (festivals, contests, etc.)  in your town that may be yearly events.  Also tributes to people who are historically important to your town or who have made important contributions to your town.  Everything you ever wanted to know about Whitestable and more.  smile

      1. Whitstable Views profile image79
        Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

        Hi Au fait, thanks for your detailed answer. My profile is already edited as you suggest. http://hubpages.com/@whitstableviews.

        Writing for tourists: yes, this is exactly what I've been trying to do. There are tourists hubs on there, and out-of-the-way shops, and pubs and historically important people and all sorts of things. The trouble is, if HubPages doesn't feature them, they don't appear on search engines, so they might as well not exist.

        The reason HubPages started unfeaturing hubs was that there was a lot of below par material on on the site at one time, but I don't think any of my stuff is below par. The reason the piece is so short is that it's from a column I write for the local paper. All of the pieces are 350 words long (give or take), which is what the word count for the column is. I was trying to gather them all in one place, and, in fact, the bulk of my 350 word columns are featured. It's just that I keep trying to get the 5 or 6 unfeatured ones featured and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It's not the length, or how come all the other pieces are allowed?

        A 350 word column is a very specific discipline in the writing trade: much harder to do than you might imagine. I also write longer pieces, and, in fact, books. Here's my other profile page where I feature my longer articles: http://hubpages.com/@cjstone. I'm considering moving on from HubPages as no matter how many times I rewrite my articles, there are always some that are unfeatured: this is despite the fact that I'm a professional writer whose work is good enough to appear in many national papers. Thanks for your interest. Good luck with your writing.

        1. Au fait profile image91
          Au faitposted 2 months ago in reply to this

          If you are talking about your hubs being unfeatured from time to time for no apparent reason, that is something we all deal with.  Go in and add or subtract a comma or some other minor change and it will again be featured for a time.  Most of the time when this happens it is because the hub doesn't get enough traffic.  Has nothing to do with quality, etc. Just go in and make a minor quick change and joila!  Featured again. There are a million small things one can do to an article so that it shows it has been updated recently.  Google doesn't like articles that are allowed to stagnate and never get reviewed/updated. 

          You may have the same problem at any other site you write on because it is Google that objects to information that is allowed (or appears to be allowed) to just sit the same way for a year or more.  By making a minor change it shows you are maintaining your articles.  Google likes that and readers also prefer up-to-date material. 

          I know and you know that some material doesn't change much if at all over time, but a lot of people like to think they're reading material written 10 minutes ago.  When the most recent update is posted over 6 months ago, it's time to make a change however minor to please those people who think something written this morning is better than something written last year. The psychological effect of a recent update cannot be overestimated.

          I was under the impression that you were unable to get any of your hubs published.  This is an entirely different thing and every one of us on HP deals with it regularly.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 2 months ago in reply to this

            It's not quite true that Google objects to material that's not updated. If that were the case, then Huffington Post or the New York Times would be heavily penalised, because they have thousands of articles on their site that haven't been touched for months and years!

            Google looks at the overall site when it comes to freshness.   If a blog is regularly adding new posts, it doesn't matter that the older posts aren't updated.  The fact that new posts are being added demonstrates that the blog is being kept current.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 2 months ago in reply to this

          It has finally dawned on me that we're all talking at cross purposes.

          Usually, people who request feedback are doing so because their Hub failed QAP.  Your Hubs didn't fail QAP, did they?   They were just unFeatured for traffic.

          You can tell by looking at the circle next to them on your account page.  If it's a white circle, there's something wrong with the Hub. If it's a half moon circle, there's NOTHING wrong with the Hub, it's just not getting enough traffic.

          The thing is, a Hub doesn't have to get a lot of traffic to stay alive.  So if it's getting so few visits that it's gone unFeatured, no one's reading it anyway.  So it's probably not worth losing sleep about.

          It's another reason why a blog would make more sense.   On a blog about a single topic, even if one post isn't getting much traffic, it's still forming part of an overall body of work on that topic.  Google likes to see a blog or website that offers a substantial amount of information on one subject, so even unpopular posts help bolster your reputation as a go-to person - so gradually, their traffic should improve. 

          Your low-traffic articles on HubPages don't have that effect, because Google doesn't see your HubPages account as a discrete entity - your Hubs are all mixed up with the other miscellaneous content here. 

          By the way I see you already have a blog.  How attached are you to it, in its current form?  I'd have thought your best bet would be to delete everything that's not Whitstable-related on that blog, and turn it into your go-to site.  It's got the benefit of age.

          1. Whitstable Views profile image79
            Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

            I think you're right Marisa: time to move my stuff over to a blog. I hadn't realised about how google views HubPages. You're right, it is more suited to one-off articles. Mind you this Hub got a white circle, meaning it's considered substandard: http://hubpages.com/art/Whitstable-People-Rupert-Hayes That's finally helped me to make the decision that I have to leave HubPages as they are obviously philistines. Oh well.

            1. Marisa Wright profile image92
              Marisa Wrightposted 2 months ago in reply to this

              There was a period, when the sub-domains were introduced, that Google did regard each of our accounts individually. However last year some time, Google decided to change the way it views sub-domains and authorship, and we are now all lumped in together again.  That's one reason why the niche sites have become necessary.

              I wish HubPages would stop using words like substandard so carelessly.

              Your Hub is not "substandard" in terms of its writing - it's just that it's breaking a rule of some kind.  I'm guessing the link to the Horsebridge Centre is the problem, since it links to their front page not a page about his exhibition.

              That's a perfect example of what HubPages considers an irrelevant link.  You've linked to the Centre in case people would like to check out its other exhibitions, but your Hub's topic is not art exhibitions:  it's one artist. Therefore you can only have links to sites about that artist..

              1. Whitstable Views profile image79
                Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                Marisa, thanks for your response. You really are a most diligent and helpful person, going to all this trouble to find out what may be wrong with my Hubs. But that's the problem isn't it? All of these nit-picking rules you highlight: it makes being involved with HubPages a chore not a pleasure.

                On the Rupert Hayes piece: I wrote to them to find out what might be wrong. They say the link to a Facebook page is a definite no no, and refer to the length, but, as I've said before, all of these pieces are short. They are 350 word columns, but most of the rest of them are featured despite that. They also add, and I quote: "the other Hub on Rupert Hayes is not featured for quality issues rather than spammy elements".

                In other words, someone somewhere has taken a value judgement on the Rupert Hayes piece and decided that is falls below par. This is censorship, no less, and it makes it impossible to work for them any longer. What's the point? This is certainly the only piece up on the web about this obscure but interesting artist. If people can't put "Rupert Hayes" into their search engines and come up with my little piece then it's a total waste of time.

                I was trying to use HubPages to set up a useful site about my home town, and what this has shown is that it is not possible. I still have my other less focussed page, which will remain as an archive of my longer pieces, but I will be closing down Whitstable Views and setting up a blog, as many of you have suggested.

                Thanks for taking so much time over this Marisa. I hope you continue to get some pleasure out of HubPages. I must say that it is totally gone for me.

                1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                  It's not censorship, it's just a moderator applying the rules. 350 words is too short to meet the new rules.

                  Hubs are not retrospectively checked for all of the new rules.  That means if you wrote a 350 word Hub some years ago, and haven't touched it since, it's safe.  But as soon as you make even a small change to it, that sends it through the system and it's checked against the new standards.

                  Frankly I'm a bit surprised that a journalist wouldn't have been more aware of how revenue-sharing sites worked, and that your account could never be regarded as a true stand-alone resource.  I'm glad you're now aware of it and I'm sure you'll find that a blog will work better.  I commend you to Wordpress.com as a good place to put it.  One advantage over Blogger is that there is a community - if you search for similar blogs you can build up a network of contacts and friends.

                  1. Whitstable Views profile image79
                    Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                    Marisa, no, I've altered nearly all of my 350 word pieces recently, and most of them remain featured. If the Rupert Hayes piece is being unfeatured for "quality issues" that means someone has decided to flag it for some other reason. I wasn't aware how HubPages as a revenue sharing site worked, so thanks for enlightening me on that. I'm already on Wordpress so will try to work up a focussed blog on Whitstable. Thanks again for your help. At least I know what I'm doing now.

  2. Shyron E Shenko profile image84
    Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 months ago

    Whitestable views, I think one thing may be considered spammy is the link to your newspaper, if it is published on-line then your article is already on the internet and that is a no, no.

    1. Whitstable Views profile image79
      Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

      No, it's not published on-line. The link is to the news site, but my column doesn't appear there.

    2. Shyron E Shenko profile image84
      Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 months ago in reply to this

      Whitstable, Views, HubPages do prefer "evergreen" hubs, but Hubbers are people who read everything and if you are looking to make lots of money, forget HP, if you are looking to become a part of a writing community then HP is for you.  If you read and leave a comment on someone's Story, Poem, Flash Fiction, DIY information. Then do it.  Read other Hubber's work so you can see how it is done.
      Welcome to HubPages and the best of luck to you.

      1. theraggededge profile image94
        theraggededgeposted 2 months ago in reply to this

        He's been at HP for 7 years hmm

        1. Whitstable Views profile image79
          Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

          Even longer: I have another HubPages site here: http://hubpages.com/@cjstone

        2. Shyron E Shenko profile image84
          Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 months ago in reply to this

          Good for him, 7 years, should be long enough to know what he needs to know.

          1. Whitstable Views profile image79
            Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

            I joined eight years ago, with this site, http://hubpages.com/@cjstone. HubPages was a very different place then. There were no unfeatured hubs, none of this censorship, and you could write what you liked. But then came the battle with Google, and everything changed. I haven't used the site for a long while but I just thought I'd give it a go again. I've been trying really hard to comply with the new rules, but, I think you are right, this just isn't the place any more for the things I want to do. It's such a pity though. I've spent so much time and so much energy trying to get this right, and the thought of having to move everything over to another site is so tiresome. I just don't know if I have the energy.

  3. erorantes profile image34
    erorantesposted 2 months ago

    You can write a little extra information on your hub and a few pictures. You can read the hub pages learning center. Good luck with your hub. I am looking foward reading your writing.

  4. Glenis Rix profile image82
    Glenis Rixposted 2 months ago

    I think that hub pages is the wrong platform for this type of hub, as the wider world is not interested in the information that you have provided. It's better suited to a community blog/ newsletter. I too have written about my home town - but it's a travel hub aimed at visitors - and it's featured. Perhaps you could transfer you hubs to a personal website and arrange to have it promoted in the local newspaper?

    1. Whitstable Views profile image79
      Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

      I think you're right Glenis. It may be the wrong platform. I've written travel hubs for tourists too, but I was hoping to be the go-to site for all things Whitstable. Maybe a blog is a better idea. Thanks for your interest.

      1. Shyron E Shenko profile image84
        Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 months ago in reply to this

        NO! Don't let anyone discourage you from writing on here or anywhere else. Go to other people's hubs and read look for hubs that have similar interest and see their layout.  (don't forget to comment on their hub)
        You have 44 hubs that are featured, how can you let someone tell you this is the wrong platform for you. 
        Please don't allow someone to talk you out of writing here.
        HP is a community of writers who care about each other.

        1. Whitstable Views profile image79
          Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

          I'm still on HubPages Shyron: look up CJ Stone and you'll find me. But I'm taking down my Whitstable hubs and turning them into a blog. I think that's the way to go, and I don't have to worry about HubPages staff censoring me, which is what I understand unfeaturing people's writing to be.

          1. theraggededge profile image94
            theraggededgeposted 2 months ago in reply to this

            HubPages is a business. It is developing a certain style, as evidenced by its requirements for articles that follow their preferred standards. They don't want personal pieces or short hubs. They are phasing out creative writing because it doesn't attract traffic. HP has to make money and, unfortunately, because the search engines dictate what appears in search results, they drive the traffic.

            I do understand that it's frustrating because your hubs don't fit the new HP style, but that's how it is. Your choice is to expand your hubs or to take them elsewhere. However, it's not censorship of your writing, merely a commercial decision.

            1. Whitstable Views profile image79
              Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

              Rendering material invisible for any reason whatsoever is censorship. You might say it is justified for commercial reasons, but it is still censorship.

              1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                Marisa Wrightposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                So if you submitted an article to the Whitstable Gazette and they said no thanks, would you say it was censorship - or would you simply acknowledge that as a publisher, they have the right to decline to publish?

                HubPages is an online publisher.    Why is it different?

                1. Whitstable Views profile image79
                  Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                  OK, I take your point. I guess the problem for me is stuff that they have published, and then subsequently unpublish. Not that any of this matters any more as I'm moving all my stuff to a new site.

                  1. LongTimeMother profile image96
                    LongTimeMotherposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                    Good luck with your new venture. I'm a little puzzled though. Why didn't you just put a link to your HP profile page on the bottom of your weekly newspaper column? That would have driven traffic to your hubs.

                2. Kylyssa profile image94
                  Kylyssaposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                  I think people assume that since HubPages doesn't pay for the material HubPages sells their ads on, it ought not to be so fussy about the material writers provide them free of charge. But even if you volunteer for a charity, you have to meet its standards, and HubPages is a for-profit business even though the product they sell ads on is donated for their use.

                  It's not like you can go volunteer in a soup kitchen and get away with making meals a third the size they're supposed to be and with food the homeless people you serve find barely edible just because you are giving your labor away. So it should really be no surprise that HubPages has standards since almost every organization does, and for very good reasons. Every job, paid or unpaid, should be about rendering a result that is useful to someone and short blurbs aren't really all that useful for a site like HubPages.

                  1. Whitstable Views profile image79
                    Whitstable Viewsposted 2 months ago in reply to this

                    Kylyssa, well you are right, there have to be standards of course, but my quibble is that all of these pieces have previously appeared in a newspaper, for which I am paid, which means that, in terms of writing standards, they have already passed the test. The problem is, by what standards are they being measured? Clearly HubPages must have different standards than the newspapers I write for, and I'm certainly not serving up barely edible fare here, and, while they are short, they all add up to something in the end. The problem is, I think, that they have an algorithm for deciding what is featured and what is unfeatured, so some of everyone's material gets unfeatured by them, without any human intervention, no matter how good it might be. I would describe this as standardisation rather than standards.

  5. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 2 months ago

    What this thread needs is a good murder and a psychic to bring Agatha Christie back from the land of the remaindered.

    1. Shyron E Shenko profile image84
      Shyron E Shenkoposted 2 months ago in reply to this

      Will, try "The Coors Accident or Murder …Flash Fiction Mystery Challenge"

  6. Let-freedom-rigng profile image62
    Let-freedom-rigngposted 2 months ago

    I am not really sure, but most publishing places want original material. Meaning, (even if it is your material), it had already been previously published elsewhere.

  7. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 2 months ago

    Given the space that this site gives to vile conspiracy theories, bad poetry, barely intelligible ESL pieces, impenetrable political rants and religious stuff that makes you fear for the sanity of nations, it is a shame that there is no room for Whitstable and its woes.

    Our worlds continue to turn because some people really do care about the minutiae of their local communities.

    The content in question is not going to hurt a site and it is a shame it has no place.

 
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