This is an extension of my earlier question posted here, "Regarding HubPages policy about Hub publication of material published elsewhere on the Web."
The same *core* issue is at stake in this post — HubPages says that we may NOT "...publish Hubs or Hub Content that are identical to, substantially similar to, or derived from other Hubs and/or content published elsewhere on the Web..." — but the concern this time relates to possible inappropriate, wooden application of that policy.
In my writings elsewhere I frequently...
• Quote others.
• Provide citations and links for those quotes (and often for other material)
I'm concerned that HubPages might inappropriately apply its prohibition of "...identical to, [or] substantially similar to..." to such content INAPPROPRIATELY, for the following reasons:
1. Quotes are quotes are quotes are quotes. Honest quotes MUST be "...identical to.." the writings of the original author, which in cases of high-profile statements may quoted dozens of times on the Web by others (albeit sometimes incorrectly, unfortunately; I personally always try to find and read the original to ensure accuracy and proper contextual understanding).
2. The same requirement applies to citations/attributions. Though bibliography STYLES may vary, citations MUST be "...identical to, [or] substantially similar to...": the same citations everywhere else — again, maybe at many places on the web.
If a HubPages computer detects such identical content, it presumably will flag it as unacceptable, yes? I'm further worried that, subsequently, rigid-minded human evaluators might woodenly penalize an article that has this type of identical or similar content.
I suggest that prospective penalties for such reused content — whether by HubPages staff or search engines — are patently ridiculous, for the reasons stated above. But, reality is reality. So, having started drafting my first Hubs — which will almost certainly contain quotes — I'm quite concerned about how HubPage 'powers-that-be" (or for that matter search engines such as Google) will flag such content. Are my concerns justified?
You can use quotes, they just should not make up the majority of the content of the hub. Below 5% is generally safe.
HubPages is not Wikipedia, nor are you writing academic papers.
If you look at your average newspaper or magazine, you'll see a much less formal citation practice and that's how you should do it on HubPages. In particular, if you're going to cite a website, ALL you need to do is state the name of the website, and turn that into a hyperlink. No need to go into any more detail, because the reader can go to the website and see all the detail for themselves.
One problem you may find with citations is relevance. ALL links within a Hub must be directly related to the main topic of the Hub, and must add value to the reader's understanding of that topic.
I notice a lot of more academic-style writers (and you may be one of them), who give references for everything, even things that are only tangentially related to the main topic. So for instance, you might be writing about David Livingstone and provide a link to a modern site about Lake Tanganyika (where he was found). A knowledge of Lake Tanganyika is not necessary to understand David Livingstone, so that is not sufficiently related and would not be allowed.
My posts will concern issues of truth. Accordingly, I want to demonstrate the reliability of my information — to enable readers to verify that I'm not fabricating it. Some sources can indeed be hyperlinked,* and others cannot — they're from book material to which I cannot hyperlink.**
My concern is primarily that non-hyperlink citations will be interpreted as duplicate text.
None of my citations will be tangential to the main topic.
*Can I embed citation hyperlinks INLINE in text-capsule sentences — making hyperlinks out of, say, quoted-author names?
** ...unless I link to Amazon listings of such books, which might look like I'm trying to promote the books — which in some cases is the LAST thing I'd want to do!
I provide references on many of my hubs and it has never prevented them from being featured. It's optional, but certainly not forbidden.
Maybe you could touch on a very related question that I faced just minutes ago. I'm writing a 'Series Introduction' capsule and, prospectively, an 'About the Author' capsule. Given that every Hub in my series needs to have the same 'Series Introduction' capsule and the same 'About the Author' capsule (I don't plan on changing my persona between Hubs!), do you think that such reused content --- if I keep it brief --- will get flagged as forbidden duplicate content, assuming that a human and not an unthinking computer will make the final decision?
Update: I realize now (newbie that I am) that I can write a profile --- which presumably any reader can access --- that will prospectively cover what I wanted to put in 'About the author'. So my question applies primarily to a reused series-intro capsule.
No, you cannot repeat the same Series Introduction capsule at the start of every Hub. And in fact, HubPages isn't the ideal place to choose for a Series, because the navigation on HubPages will make it very difficult for readers to follow the series from start to finish. If each Hub can also stand alone in its own right, that may not be a problem - but if it is, then I'd give some thought to that before you begin.
I would recommend you give thought to starting your own blog for the series. If you want to place advertising on it, then I'd suggest Blogger: if you're not concerned about that, then I'd recommend Wordpress.com. Both are free to use.
On a blog, you can write your series posts in sequence and won't have to worry about any rules about duplication, citations etc. The other advantage is that readers will be able to "follow" your blog to be notified when you publish a new post in the series. You can get followers on HubPages - but they are fellow writers. There is no way for readers to follow you on HubPages.
On HubPages, YOU can see your Hubs all in one place on your account page - but most readers will see your Hubs all mixed up with the thousands of other Hubs on the site. You will not be allowed to use the same introduction for every Hub, and you won't be allowed to add links to the other Hubs in the series.
Each of the Hubs, though interrelated, will have stand-alone value. They will not need to be read sequentially either.
Too bad that I can't use even two or three sentences of common intro, because I need to explain a common approach and objectives each time. Saying that quite differently each time (e.g. six or seven times differently), simply for the sake of being different, would be...well...just plain stupid. If HubPages is that sensitive to common verbiage, I suggest they have a very serious hang-up, maybe stemming from Google-Panda phobia. (Or maybe the problem is that Google has become idiotically hypersensitive.)
But I'm confused when you say I cannot add links to other Hubs in the series, which I'd sometimes want to cross-reference on certain topics. I thought that links to other Hubs were allowed. In fact I came across a forum, in which you participated, that seemed to affirm the ability, and sometimes the advisability, to inter-link Hubs
Thanks for the blog suggestion. I'll check into that as well.
You are spot-on about the reasoning. As I just said on another thread, I find that HubPages can be a bit like that person who reads that too much salt (or coffee or sugar or whatever) is bad for you, then obsessively sets about removing ALL traces of the substance from their diet, even though that's unnecessary and may even be harmful. You can see it happening with Amazon capsules, for instance - over-use can certainly be harmful but there is no reason to worry about relevant, well-chosen products. Yet HubPages does!
However I do think they could be right to worry about a first paragraph that's repeated across multiple articles. Google sets great store by the opening paragraph so you don't want duplication there. Devil's advocate - does the reader really need to understand your approach before you start every time?
As for links - if you are going to refer to another Hub within your text, at an appropriate place where it's relevant to the discussion, you should be fine. What is not allowed is to have a list of other Hubs in the series at the end of the Hub. You'll see it sometimes on older Hubs which haven't been through QAP recently, but they are increasingly being disallowed. I had one just recently.
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