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Can we talk about MFA?

  1. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 7 years ago

    I got pretty upset in another forum post about MFA junk.

    It costs all of us honest folk money and time.  We hate it, Google hates it, but it goes on.

    It goes on right here.  A little HubHopping will turn up reams of it.  It's not illegal, the most you can usually do is vote it down, which I understand does not  mean much anyway.

    But honestly I detest it and I do not like the people that do it.

    When I read someone talking about doing some keyword research and cobbling up a post to match, I want to think that they are putting real effort into that post.  I want to think that they intend to produce something that adds new information, or explains something in a different way, or looks at it from another angle or at least has some humor or pathos  or some sliver of personality!  I want to think they at least care, and even if they write badly and do sloppy research, at least they had good intentions.

    But I really don't think that's common.  I think there usually is no intention but grabbing some Adsense. 

    I know Google works hard to stop this stuff.  For my part, I really want them to succeed.

    How about you?  Do you admire these people or detest them?

    1. profile image0
      Kathryn LJposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I know this sounds thick but what is  MFA?

      1. Arthur Fontes profile image88
        Arthur Fontesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I agree what is MFA?

        1. kmackey32 profile image81
          kmackey32posted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Now I dont feel so dumb cuz I was thinking the same thing... lol

      2. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Made For Adsense.

        Sorry.  No other purpose but to make money. Rehashed, repetitive, zero content value.

        1. Lisa HW profile image80
          Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I was thinking you meant "Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) since I've noticed you're from MA.   smile.....  MFA?  I like that. 

          Your "MFA" ?  No.  I don't really think anyone thinks much of it.  I'm under the impression, though, that a lot of it just kind of kicks around in the way for awhile (on here), until it goes somewhere (wherever it is that crap goes).  lol

          1. BennyTheWriter profile image82
            BennyTheWriterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I was thinking "Master of Fine Arts", as in the college degree  smile

          2. Pcunix profile image90
            Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            My aunt may or may not have given them a good pile of money.  I say that with little certainty because although she definitely had the money at one time in her life, she seemed to be in financial disarray equal to her mental confusion when her sons finally closed her down and put her in a home (where she seems to be very happy and where I write her every week even though she may no longer even know who I am).

            Anyway, some years ago she told me she was going to give them a six figure bequest.  Whether she really ever did, I do not know, but her heart was in a good place.

            Not related to the thread at all, of course :-)

      3. rebekahELLE profile image90
        rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        the only MFA I know is master of fine arts.

        mad for adsense? they will always be there, I'm sure. it's tiring to see the junk in searches, I agree.  going to an article and seeing nothing but google ads until you scroll down and see spun or inferior content is such a waste of time. it's one reason I don't leave that 'so called' prime real estate blank in all of my hubs. if they want to click, they'll click.  it really depends on what kind of article it is. it's trashing the internet for sure.

    2. lrohner profile image84
      lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I take it then that you also detest spammers, scammers, politicians and used-car salesmen? smile

      1. Jane@CM profile image60
        Jane@CMposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        You forgot insurance sales, attorneys, direct sales & MLM, - but I guess they fall under scammers and spammers lol

      2. Arthur Fontes profile image88
        Arthur Fontesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Always the used car salesmen references. Oh Well better then being a Politician smile

      3. mega1 profile image80
        mega1posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        also church ladies who ring your doorbell on Saturday night to bring you a covered dish because they heard you were losing it!

        1. WryLilt profile image86
          WryLiltposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Don't forget about telemarketers!

    3. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I think it would help get accurate responses if you posted a couple of links to examples.

      The whole purpose of HubPages is to write articles to earn money from Adsense, so everything on the site should be MFA.  So the question I'm not clear on, is what's your idea of junk?

      1. Lisa HW profile image80
        Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I'm under the impression that the junkiest stuff doesn't earn well, even if the author thinks it's going to.  In general, junk writing is frowned on.  There IS such a thing as a good, "money-aimed", Hub that may not be great literature, but that's excellent and "high-quality" for its own purposes.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image94
          Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I agree with you, Lisa - the question I'm asking is what Pcunix's definition of "junk" is.  The junkiest stuff - short, spammy, over-linked - is against HubPages TOS and shouldn't survive long.

      2. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I guess we have a different view of things.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image94
          Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Pcunix, are you saying you don't agree with my definition of the purpose of HubPages?

          You may not want to use HP for that purpose, but you can't deny that's why the founders of HP founded HP - it's a business, after all.  Their income comes from Adsense/Amazon/eBay,so it stands to reason they want their writers to write in a way that maximises income from Adsense/Amazon/eBay.

          HubPages have said many times that they believe writing quality Hubs is the best way to do that, but it doesn't change their objective.

          1. Pcunix profile image90
            Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, I do disagree.

            I think Google is going to solve the problem and I don't think HP or anyone else wants to host junk when that happens.

            But even before that, bad neighborhoods get bad reputations, so I doubt HP wants that stuff here now.

            However, I wasn't just speaking of HP.  I was just curious how many people think that earning money by whatever methods is acceptable.  The "eat first" philosophy - is it ok to write content that you know has no particular value other than earning money?

            Is it ok to fool Google with a-b-c linking and other schemes? 

            I get the impression that for many, if it's not illegal, it is fine.   I feel it hurts all of us.  That's just my opinion.     I can't do anything about it.  I can speak up and hope some might feel some shame, but I doubt that would happen very often :-)

            1. Marisa Wright profile image94
              Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              PCUnix, I think we're talking at cross purposes.

              If I write a quality article about dance, but I choose an "angle" which will attract the kind of readers who are looking for a solution and will therefore click on ads, I've written an article that is Made for Adsense.

              Relache also has that philosophy when she writes her Hubs.

              I don't think my articles are junk and I certainly don't think Relache's are junk.  I'm just wondering whether you do, because of the fact that they're MFA.

              1. Pcunix profile image90
                Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I think Sunforged answered this for you rather well and provided a great example from here.

                When I see something like that, I'm disgusted, but as noted, there is nothing to be done - it doesn't violate the TOS and she has plenty of friends or hired hands to vote it up.

                Other examples would be a "review" that includes nothing you could not find in the manufacturers specs page.  Just lazy, unimportant, useless junk, but then promoted like gangbusters to fool Google.

                You see people bragging about this stuff in the forums.  When I see someone talking about researching a keyword and then jumping into everything they did for backlinks and indirect backlinks and they go on and on about all that and never have anything to say about the article itself, gee, I wonder why that is?

                It is possible that they also put effort into writing a decent post, but it seems unlikely.

                In the forum that set me off, I got "I have mouths to feed" and "eat first, morals later".  What would you make of that?

                Of course it's easy to assume.  These folks aren't necessarily putting their posts here, and they treat their other sites like state secrets, so you can't go see whether it is good or bad.  But honestly, that makes me suspicious too.  Why would I NOT  want to send you to something else I wrote?  Why would I want to hide it?  Maybe there is another reason I'm not seeing, but my first guess is that there is nothing of value to see.

                Is there a reason I am missing?

                1. Marisa Wright profile image94
                  Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Well, I can see why, if they're in a forum where we're discussing how to improve our income rather than in a forum about the article topic.  I don't find that strange at all.



                  You and I aren't so different on that score, Pcunix.  I don't feel comfortable with most promotional methods, even though they're recommended by Hubbers I like or admire.  I've tried signing up for backlink networks and article marketing sites but have never lasted longer than a week or two.  I piked out of one program when we were asked to create "microblogs" where the posts were nothing more than links back to the sites being promoted.  It all feels too much like littering to me. 

                  In fact I have three blogs which I'm very uncomfortable with, because (unlike my three main sites) I started them to exploit a niche, not out of genuine interest. I've never been able to find meaningful content for them.  The average internet entrepreneur wouldn't care about that, but it bugs me.



                  That's obvious - if it's a successful "selling" Hubber like Nelle Hoxie, it gets to the point where other Hubbers are watching them like hawks.  Every time they write a new Hub or create a new site, other Hubbers are scrutinising it to work out what her keywords are so they can jump on the bandwagon. Keeping thing private is just protecting her business (and by the way, Nelle uses her own sites for backlinking and doesn't do much promotion otherwise).

            2. lrohner profile image84
              lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              McDonald's not only adds little nutritional value to one's diet, but many (if not most or all) of what they serve is pure garbage. Last time I checked, not only were they making gazillions of dollars, but nobody had smacked them down as you say Google will do to the majority of Internet marketers.

              I believe this entire thread was in response to something Misha said in a thread a day or so ago, and not just to those horrid little MFA sites out there that SunForged has pointed out.

              I agree with you that there are many, many, many sites/blogs/hubs out there that are about as empty as McDonald's nutrition, and I also wish they would all go away. But I'm not going to make sweeping generalizations about people who know how to use SEO and assume they're all garbage-mongers.

              1. Marisa Wright profile image94
                Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I agree and that's why I was pushing Pcunix to clarify what he meant. 

                I asked a friend of mine, who's in Marketing, for her reaction to my qualms about backlinking services and article marketing.  She couldn't see what my problem was - her view was, provided my basic product was worthy, then backlinks and articles are just marketing techniques and perfectly OK.  She releases hundreds of press releases and places hundreds of ads in magazines for her clients, what's the difference?

                So while I can't shake my reservations, I don't think I have the right to start passing judgment on others.  Provided, of course, that the stuff they're promoting is worthwhile.

                1. Sufidreamer profile image79
                  Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  I can see exactly what you are saying, Marisa - I asked myself the same questions. Maybe because I have a background in retail, I tend agree with your friend. I also equate generating backlinks with sending out flyers or taking out magazine adverts to publicise an offline business. I like your friend's ethical marketing attitude - "provided my basic product was worthy." That is a good one - I like Peter Hoggan for that reason, too smile

                  So, I don't have a problem with microblogs or shetoldme etc. because my entries are a teaser, and people can easily follow the link to the full article - what I don't like is to add extra stages and send people through a long chain of links before finding the original. That is poor customer service, to me. Others probably disagree and that is cool - it is just my take on it based upon my time working in shops and customer service!

                  My argument is that you still have to have quality, informative content, or you will waste the time of your potential clients. In that, I agree with Pcunix, as SF's links show - that particular content is truly atrocious and without value. There are some sites (EZine, for example) that I ignore when researching, as most of the stuff on there is just like that. sad

                2. Pcunix profile image90
                  Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  It's your last sentence that is important and I have said that over and over again.

                  However:  shady marketing promotion does run some risks.   Even if you are trying your level best to produce decent work, grey hat promotion schemes might come back to cause you harm someday. 

                  You don't think we should "pass judgement" on stuff like SF provided links to?   I think we absolutely should.  I think that kind of stuff can devalue HP for all of us and should not be here. 

                  That's my personal opinion, of course.  HP may be making money from it so may not agree.

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                    Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    Seems to me that Big Daddy G is taking care of it themselves. I notice a bunch of hubs by one these spun MFA producers that have the ads disabled - the gaps are there so ads are turned on - but I see no ads:

                    http://hubpages.com/hub/Ground-breaking … ccessories

              2. Pcunix profile image90
                Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                Actually, some smacking down of junk food places is taking place (and McDonalds has started adding healthy foods and improving older offerings because of it).

                No, this was NOT a specific response to Misha.  If you check my hubs, you'll see I've been writing about this stuff long before that.  If you checked back to my main site, you'd see I started writing about it years ago.

                Misha did seem to be saying that he didn't care about quality, and then he backed off from that and then he came back talking nonsense about manure and flowers, so who the heck knows.  As i said there, the hubs he's put here at HP aren't junk and as he treats everything else as a secret, theres no way to know if he is doing the same elsewhere or not.

                Nor did I make any "sweeping generalizations".   Go back and read what I wrote and what he wrote.  He's the one who seems to be saying junk is fine - or else it isn't, depending on which post you want to read.  I consistently bent over backward to give him the benefit of the doubt and am still doing so.

    4. jaymelee23 profile image62
      jaymelee23posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I don't blame you. You can turn them in. Where you see the the ad on an MFA and it says "ads by "Google". Click on the "ads by Google" and it will give you a form to report the site. Now that Google is cracking down on MFA sites, I see a lot of made for Amazon sites now. I've found some decent sites with 1 page that I know are are made for Adsense and are actually pretty good if they have lots of info, video etc. but 99 percent do not. There is nothing wrong with Niche sites but when they are same ugly layout, thin content etc... it's just spammy to me. You can spot them very quickly.  I hear that Google has workers in India who check over sites... they spend less than 30 seconds on each one.. Note: If I stated anything that has already been said in this thread then I apologize. I just skimmed the thread.

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        No matter how many they have hired and how quickly they can check them, I think the producers can crank  them out more quickly :-)

        1. jaymelee23 profile image62
          jaymelee23posted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Yep.. it takes very little time to do it. I'm sure 1000s or even hundreds of 1000s are made every day. At least if they are caught then they run the risk of losing their Adsense account forever.

  2. waynet profile image49
    waynetposted 7 years ago

    I've seen lots of them MFA sites and they usually use Adwords to get to the top of their keyword searches and typically they just consist of banners with minimal content, alot of smart people now are employing people to write articles that are made for adsense and so all they have to do is pay for the articles to be written and they build up vast quantities of unique articles.

    But there are some draw backs to this aswell, as there are some real crappy writers out there who will write for peanuts and as a result write crappy articles that aid to the clutter on the Internet.

    If you're going to write for adsense, make it work for you and don't cut corners!

    1. Lisa HW profile image80
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      What goes on is you get people, who can barely put together three lines, thinking they're going make "Big Bucks" by "writing" online.  More and more sites seem to be requiring people send in writing samples and get approved.  I don't think that's a bad idea.

  3. Shadesbreath profile image86
    Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago

    Pcunix, I think I may have inadvertently written my last hub just for you.  lol. 

    I'm a realist, I get that it happens.  I used to play online games a lot and it used to always strike me as such a waste when people would exploit glitches in the game rather than play.  It's the same thing with what you're calling MFA.  Whenever there is a score (money is a very popular score) people are going to try to "win."  The purpose or intent of the game or the information system or whatever elese is never going to be important to all people.

    Priorities are different for different people, and what constitutes "honor" for one person is "foolishness and blindness" to another.

    It all comes down to what an old salesman told me when I was young and complaining that I thought one of our company's key sales tactics was wrong.  He said, "Eat first.  Have morals later."

    The question then becomes, how full do you get before you switch the morals part back on?

    1. Lisa HW profile image80
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Another question may be, "Are you going to choke on your food?"  hmm

      I don't think people have to give up either their morals (or whatever the artistic equivalent would be) or their aims to produce decent-quality writing (even if they don't always manage to accomplish those aims).

      Writing a wide variety of things in venues other than HubPages, my best writing is often some sales-related thing (or other business-type) thing that does its job in perfectly clear grammar.  My more engaging writing, however, is more likely to be found among some of my less money-focused material.

      I know I don't achieve great quality in every piece of writing, but I think if a writer tries to aim for quality, regardless of where or what he's writing, that's the important thing.  There are all  kinds of "decent-quality", and HubPages gives writers the freedom to choose what kind of writing they want to do   Junk is not encouraged, so I'm not sure there's really a debate here.   smile

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Exactly.   Few of us are "great writers".  All I hope for is intent, not perfection.

        1. Lisa HW profile image80
          Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          There's no doubt, though, that when we run into some half-baked  thing, written under the delusion that it's going to earn money, it's aggravating on a number of different levels.  hmm

  4. sunforged profile image69
    sunforgedposted 7 years ago

    The traditional MFA site or article is specifically created to be so badly designed and written that it makes the ads appear as a better choice than reading further.

    The keywords are there but the text generally says nothing or is spun from a PLR.

    Catering to adsense is quite different than the MFA model that PCUnix is referring too. 

    heres an only moderately ugly MFA style template for a site

    http:// shotglasses.com/  (dont want to give them the link)

    heres an example of a MFA designed hub http://hubpages.com/hub/What-to-Do-if-Y … ous-of-You


    youll notice it is either spun or intentionally written to be unreadable and no effort is placed in composition

    1. Aficionada profile image92
      Aficionadaposted 7 years ago in reply to this



      OH.   MY.    WORD.

      1. sunforged profile image69
        sunforgedposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        They have 1400 of them!

        1. Aficionada profile image92
          Aficionadaposted 7 years ago in reply to this



          --- part of the reason for my reaction! (That plus the stats on the profile page.
          lol  lol  lol  lol)

          This thread does help to explain some of the garbage I have seen and wondered about.  Now I will wonder no more.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Sunforged, that's why I was asking the question.

      A lot of Hubbers wouldn't know what MFA stands for or what kind of Hub Pcunix has in mind.  I hadn't heard the acronym until he mentioned it recently.

      If he were posting on a forum where everybody knew the definition, that would be fine - but the phrase "made for Adsense" doesn' have any negative connotations for the average Hubber, including me, that's why I was asking him to clarify.

      Thanks for the example, that makes more sense.

      1. Lisa HW profile image80
        Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Count me among those average Hubbers who didn't have a clue (obviously).  Live and learn....        What a piece of work that example was, eh?  roll

    3. Sufidreamer profile image79
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That made my eyes bleed! That is what I think that PCUnix meant - that, or articles outsourced to somebody with a very poor grasp of English.

      I am fully in agreement with PCUnix about that type of empty content. I waste a lot of time wading through that type of crap when I research and, ultimately, time is money. I know some of the guys here use article spinning software - personally, I detest it, because it strips all of the personality out of the article. I am with Peter Hoggan on that one, although others are welcome to disagree and probably have a different perspective.

      IMO, Google has become much better over the last year or so - most articles on the first few pages of a search are pretty decent and informative, although there is still a lot of crap out there.

      I can see what Marisa is saying, too, and largely agree - however, I notice that most of the decent Adsense and Amazon earners on HP can also write and inject personality and passion into their work - SF, Frogdropping and Ryankett are just three examples that spring to mind, as people whose 'sales' Hubs I enjoy reading.

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Yes - personality, humor, a different take..  All things that add value.

        1. WryLilt profile image86
          WryLiltposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Maybe the fact that google is cracking down on squeeze pages will eventually get to these types of pages as well. We can hope.

          And I've found people like to read personal experiences. And generally if I write a hub about something it reminds me of something that happened to me or a friend... or a friend of a friend. Whichever way, I usually leave a piece of myself in my hubs.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Sufi, that's why I was asking PCunix to be more specific.  Taking the term "made for Adsense" literally, my immediate thought was of those quality Hubs which are clearly made for Adsense.  I was indignant at the suggestion that something "made for Adsense" was by definition "junk", which is how I read his OP.

        I now understand there's an established meaning for MFA which I wasn't aware of.

    4. sunforged profile image69
      sunforgedposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Unfortunately, the example hub has been unpublished, so for future readers sake here is another example from the same profile:

      http://hubpages.com/hub/WhyStillSingle

      1. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        This is a good example of why Accolades aren't such a good idea. 

        This Hubber has an accolade which says she "writes particularly  engaging hubs which visitors love to read from start to finish".

        !!

      2. Kyriana profile image73
        Kyrianaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Yikes! I only made it through the first paragraph. I know I'm still new here and I'm sure I make mistakes but... wow... it was ... well I can't think if anything nice so I will shut up

        1. Pcunix profile image90
          Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          There aren't any mistakes there - it's all deliberate.

          The question is how an automatic parser can figure out if it is junk?  I would think the big clue is the constant repetition of a single word or phrase.  That ought to tell Google that this is junk.

          That there are no comments is another signal.

          I assume that Google does at least that much.

          I'd like to see what the 76 Useful, 15 Beautiful, 12 Funny, 13 Awesome on the profile relate to.  Does this person actually have good things mixed in with posts like the sample?  Or were those done by friends/employees/partners?

          1. Medora Trevilian profile image68
            Medora Trevilianposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            All my hubs are MFA. So far, there are no comments. But if there are sales generated as a result, why would Google strike them down? Besides, I consider my writing high art.

            Don't you know that repeating a single keyword over and over again is also a well established feature of sermons, poetry and devotionals?

            1. Pcunix profile image90
              Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              Read the whole thread, please.  Your hubs are not MFA.

  5. sunforged profile image69
    sunforgedposted 7 years ago

    MFA used to also refer to sites that bid super low on adwords and then had page sthat only had adsense ads on them...there was  big crackdown over the. years and they are not as commonly seen, at least not in search results

    as explained here: http://aldebaranwebdesign.com/blog/arbi … c-traffic/

    often these type of sites are what leads to the "blacklists" you can find for suggested advertisers to block

    but since there is no content on these sites that is probably not what PCunix refers to, but these were the original and most accurate examples of what MFA meant ..

  6. Research Analyst profile image77
    Research Analystposted 7 years ago

    If a publisher is an affiliate for adsense and they write on a topic that covers a specific subject and the article gets relevant adsense ads, isn't that a "made for adsense" article? Isn't that the whole point of writing on topics and subjects in the first place?

    1. Sufidreamer profile image79
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Research Analyst

      I think we covered the confusion in terms a while back - we all seem to be condemning the articles that have been put through a spinner, or are made of rambling, empty content that offers nothing to the reader.

      Many of my articles are certainly made to attract adsense (or Amazon) - thus, I have no problem with that! smile

      1. Research Analyst profile image77
        Research Analystposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Okay sufidreamer, thanks!

    2. Pcunix profile image90
      Pcunixposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      No.

      MFA doesn't mean quality posts and it may not even include low quality when the creator just does not know any better.

      There are examples and deeper explanation in previous posts in this thread.

  7. BennyTheWriter profile image82
    BennyTheWriterposted 7 years ago

    I admire a person's keyword research efforts, but not if ALL they care about is making money (which usually shows through carelessness about correctness, readability or responsiveness to readers).  That's a turn-off to me.  Just reading keyword-laden nonsense makes me feel like I'm getting ripped off in real life.

    On the other hand, good quality keyword-rich articles can be great to read.  The type of researchers who actually care about their brand are the type I want to learn from.

 
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