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Affiliate link changes coming

  1. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago
    1. sunforged profile image63
      sunforgedposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      More Backwards Compliance BS - Why cant you guys have had your act together when we were running around jumping through your last set of hoops.


      its not like any of your changes are genius thinking, this forum outlined everyone of these changes a month ago.

      Ever consider planning things out? It works great

      1. Mutiny92 profile image86
        Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Maybe this is the response to http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/69765   and the thousands of Acai Berry, penis enlargement, get-your-ex-back and debt relief hubs.

        I would be a huge proponent of getting rid of the thinly veiled website review hubs... ones titled like "www.friendster.com login" or "chaseonline.chase.com logon"   -- I feel like Don Quixote, though.

        Thousands of intentionally misleading hubs would go away, but so would millions (literally) of views from searchers looking for that website's login page. 

        [sarcasm] At least they will be able to click a high-value adsense link to get to where they wanted to go in the first place. [/sarcasm]

        Time to go find another windmill!

      2. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I notice News Capsules are going - can I say "I told you so?" smile

  2. Christene profile image83
    Christeneposted 5 years ago

    I have some affiliate links, but none like those mentioned in the post. We'll see how this goes.

    1. tritrain profile image75
      tritrainposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I wonder if that includes referral links too.

  3. subbuteoz profile image67
    subbuteozposted 5 years ago

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Anything to get rid of a lot of the dross in here has got to help.

  4. Mutiny92 profile image86
    Mutiny92posted 5 years ago

    The good: "We will also email Hubbers with affected Hubs that need to be fixed, with at least 2 weeks to bring those Hubs into compliance before we unpublish them." --- hopefully we have seen the end of "unpublish NOW, risk de-indexing, and seek a republish" ---

    The bad:  "disallowing certain prohibited affiliate links" --- While there are a few examples listed, it should address redirects - e.g. the link goes to a page on a website that is then automatically redirected to a "certain prohibited affiliate link."  Also, how will the policy be written regarding which affiliate links will fall into the "certain prohibited?"

    The Questionable: "In certain topic areas that have become saturated with low-quality Hubs published by affiliate marketers, we are disallowing any affiliate links and holding Hubs to a higher editorial standard."  What topic areas?  If HP is saturated with low-quality hubs in certain categories, it seems like it would make more sense to get those cleaned up first - maybe they are and it just wasn't explicitly stated.  Or eliminate those categories altogether.  I don't know what topic areas are being referred to, but it may be worth a look.  Why have a "higher editorial standard" for those categories?  Does that mean other categories have "lower" editorial standards?

    At the end of the day, there are certain subjects that don't provide a lot of value to many people and I think it is a great idea to have the worst of the topics find a home elsewhere.

    I look forward to seeing how this develops!

  5. sunforged profile image63
    sunforgedposted 5 years ago

    Im the only one who sees any backwards based editing AFTER this current huge sweep of amazon/ebay and "pixelated" images hunt to be a massive sign that HP has absolutely no consideration for our time?

    Sure there are tons of crap topics that could be wiped out - PotPie Girl and Squidoo brought that up days after Panda 1, we talked about it here.

    Now there is a blanket ban on "ebooks" - regardless of topic

    some subjects are undesirable.

    Get in a room, PLAN SOMETHING, communicate those plans to your users and then institute a change. Hire a writer or two even who can write in something besides doublespeak, then communicate with your members.

    I know of one big change to my aff and ref links - all my HP ref links will be redirected to a site with some consideration for its members.

    For the record, Im not even hugely influenced by this change, but I think its the final straw ..

    Ill join the ranks of RK,M, NH, MK, WT - as people who know how to recognize _____________ when they see it

    lol, at this btw, http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/W … 3706582913

    1. Mutiny92 profile image86
      Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      SF, I don't like the backwards based editing, but I like the google slap even less.  If going through this work will help reverse google's punitive measures, then I will do it (although, I would like to grumble a bit!)  I would like to know quantitatively if any of the work so far has helped.  I haven't seen any improvements in my page views, but maybe there have been some site-wide?

      I concur on the communication piece.  They should have never taken the draconian measure of immediately unpublishing hubs and including the statement that repeat violations will lead to the account being banned.  Not a good message to send to hubbers who have been working hard with HP for the past years.  I missed a few amazon vs. 50 word hubs and immediately corrected, but I am now an official repeat violator.

      There is a lot going on and a lot of people have lost a tremendous amount of income.  I concur with SF that a proactive communication plan be developed.  Many hubbers are craving more information and have to make tough decisions on how to make up for the lost revenue.  Couple that with the perception of quickly changing (or not quickly enough) rulesets and there is a risk of alienating a lot of the people who helped make this site a wonderful place.

      1. Eric Graudins profile image60
        Eric Graudinsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Many of the people who used to make this site a wonderful place have already gone. And the exodus is increasing.

        They're sick of the one sided, heavy handed administration in the forums, as well as the knee jerk decisions that have been recently taken in regard to their hubs.
        But don't worry about them - many of them are playing happily and splashing around in their own little private pond now.

        The current situation is the direct result of many poor decisions and bad housekeeping in the past.

        Will the last person leaving HubPages please turn out the lights.

        cheers, Eric G.

    2. EmpressFelicity profile image84
      EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this



      Yes, that seems totally unreasonable to me - it's one thing to write a spam 250 word hub with the sole purpose of acting as a landing page for an ebook.  It's another thing to write a decent hub with a couple of relevant ebook links in it.

      1. kephrira profile image60
        kephriraposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I agree.

  6. sunforged profile image63
    sunforgedposted 5 years ago

    Problem is, we have zero proof, evidence or acknowledgement that these changes will help or that HP has made any effort in stopping the new crap from being added.

    A Cynical person may notice that HP is devolving and shaping the site into a place that will best earn through their own HPad program and is severely limiting many of the reasons that attracted more "experienced" writers/marketers.

    They can stand to lose lots of past writers in a gamble that most wont put forth the effort to move their content and they can keep advertising in job forums and attracting a user base that is for the most part ignorant of other opps on the net.

    You will notice that the HPads occur more frequently when you are logged in - thats because the writers of this site count as hits to the advertisers.

    If I was really cynical, i would say that Hp is NOT a content farm, its a writers mill, attract new blood, send them around the site - get money from impressions - rinse and repeat.

    eventually they wont even need outside traffic - just turn on impression based ads and make me run through 400 hubs 10 times and you already earned a days pay. smile

    1. recommend1 profile image73
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Whilst I think you are being maybe a little harsh - you are also correct.

      I have argued in other threads that the changes have been too late, poorly thought through and the manner of treating the writer base as little short of arrogant.

      Most of the good information and advice has come from trusted hubbers rather than 'above', and you, Sunforged, get my vote as the most useful and well balanced advisor on this site.

      On balance maybe you are not being too harsh.

      1. Aficionada profile image94
        Aficionadaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I second that.

  7. Mikeydoes profile image80
    Mikeydoesposted 5 years ago

    thanks for the link. interesting.

  8. Mark Ewbie profile image81
    Mark Ewbieposted 5 years ago

    Preface: I am an amateur with no knowledge of web stuff and I have not made any proper money since joining. Therefore I know very little.  Compared to the likes of Sunforged, etc. I am a total novice.

    I agree that the way the changes are handled could have been better, and that sometimes it appears like knee jerk reactions, panic, headless chickens, etc.

    But faced with the savage drop in earnings for HP as well as Hubbers and the lack of transparency about the algorithm or what to do to 'fix' it - not wholly surprising.

    IF I was in charge the changes would have been a lot less user friendly and more harsh.  I am not sure as a business I would have bothered with any republication opportunity. Just delete and get on with it.

    I am going to assume that my fortune and HP's are entwined.  IF they can sort out the indexing and IF my content will fit within their 'new' offering AND we get some traffic back - that will be a result.

    After all - either they sort it or the whole lot collapses. That's their livelihood and my hobby. Motivation enough for them I think.

    So, not that there is a vote or anything, but HP gets my vote. I have nowhere else to go.

  9. sunforged profile image63
    sunforgedposted 5 years ago

    I may be harsh. I also would have been very harsh in my recreation of the site and would have been far more harsh in my standards prior to any google slap.

    But, I also honor my agreements. Users of this site invested time and effort based on certain rules, to have the site haphazardly change and break those agreements is something that should not go unannounced or unnoticed.



    Of course its a bit overkill... but this springs to mind.

    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."


    Its clear Google has given Hp the cold shoulder on how to fix this site..the recent blog post that precedes this one(linked in OP) proves that .. HP wouldnt be posting in the webmaster forums with the rest of us. Dont be fooled by Google Irelands ADSense repost its the wrong face.

    They are def ignoring the elephant in the room .. big ugly ads = users dont like them and they were pointed out as an issue in panda 1

    They are using the drop to further their advertising network. The level of nonsense that is passing as communication can only be intentional. They are way to smart to have made this many mistakes in dealing with their users.

    ***disclaimer*** writing is often about putting yourself in the readers shoes or imagining an experience from other perspectives, this isnt necessarily my unqualified perspective just a likely story, at least as likely as the one we have been getting.

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image81
      Mark Ewbieposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Hi SunForged.  I am grateful for your thoughts on all this, and have found them at least as interesting, if not more so, than the offical line.  It's like in the office, where the trickle down info from the bosses never matches the water cooler talk.

      My thoughts from a lack of knowledge perspective are "what am I going to do?"  And the answer is just keep on learning the 'trade' at HP, until either things improve, something better comes along, or I eventually give up.

      I suspect though, as an amateur 'ego' writer - I would probably write for nothing - anywhere they would let me.

      1. Karanda profile image84
        Karandaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Keep writing for nothing Mr Ewbie. You'll have plenty of readers for a long time to come. I'm with you on this one. Compared with other writing sites, HubPages is easy to use and they are doing all they can to bring the site in line with Google requirements.

        1. Mark Ewbie profile image81
          Mark Ewbieposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks Karanda - look at you and me with our 100's. I like HP, I like writing and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

          1. Karanda profile image84
            Karandaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            How exciting! We both got to 100. How depressing for me, you got there first, ouch. But I know why, a featured writer you are now, I could never compete with that. Cross those toes too, I still think HP is a good thing!

  10. skyfire profile image72
    skyfireposted 5 years ago

    Sell Ebooks <----

    So we're not allowed to link to kindle books, e-junkie pdfs of printed books, payloadz books ?

    Please for the love of hot babes, tell us what type of books are not allowed. e.g. 'Getting rich quick, forex, self-help'etc. or you want to ban all type of books/ebooks. I've one hub on darren rowse's -30 day blogging' book (ebook/printed), so let me get it straight do i need to unpublish that hub?

    1. Mutiny92 profile image86
      Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Sounds a bit like Fahrenheit 451!  tongue

  11. Amanda Severn profile image90
    Amanda Severnposted 5 years ago

    When I first joined I had no idea about SEO etc. I just wrote for the love of writing. The couple of Adsense cheques I've received in over two years of writing, were very welcome, but not life-changing. Over time I've tinkered with my hubs to try and get them to earn just a little more. I added News Feeds because those in the know said they were a 'good thing', and I've played around with tags and titles. Somehow though, I've never succeeded in producing anything truly commercial. Over the last few weeks my traffic has really fallen away, and my earnings have almost halved. I will probably carry on posting an occassional hub just because I quite like doing it, but I really feel sorry for the hubbers who depend on this site for a solid contribution to their income.

    1. EmpressFelicity profile image84
      EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this




      I am sooooo glad I've never tried to earn a full-time income off HubPages or other sites like it.  It seems that many sites of this nature start off being sweetness and light from a user point of view, but somewhere down the line the goalposts get moved. 

      For me the main value of HubPages has been learning about online publishing and writing for a varied audience, experience I am currently putting to use elsewhere and fingers crossed, I will be earning far more money than I've ever done here.

    2. Sally's Trove profile image99
      Sally's Troveposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Amanda, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  12. ThomasE profile image81
    ThomasEposted 5 years ago

    Looking at the changes, I'm out of here. I'm not actually affected by any of the rule changes in this latest attack on affiliate marketers, but I can't work in an environment where the rules change on a whim, with no evidence to back them up.

    Let's not beat around the bush: the first set of changes did no good. Panda must have recalculated their site authority for the international search when rolling out their algorithm.

    And, Panda hit hubpages harder on international search than US searches.

    Now, we randomly attack affiliate marketers again... but everything I've heard and seen suggests Panda is not going after affiliate marketers at all.

    You think google is going after ebooks?

    Seriously?

    So... ebook affiliate links are a feature of any of the other sites we know have been really badly affected? Wow. This is news to me.

  13. Richieb799 profile image64
    Richieb799posted 5 years ago

    I don't think I have many hubs with affiliate links and definitely not shady links about watching TV online or lead grabbing forms lol

  14. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    I'm not even clear after this blog post whether or not I will be allowed to continue with my Amazon.co.uk affiliate links. That will be a shame for me if they have to go because they make me money, and with the traffic drop and everything else, every penny counts.
    Oh and I was considering writing an ebook. This new ruling means I won't be able to promote it by writing a hub around it.

    1. ThomasE profile image81
      ThomasEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Presumably, you would still be able to link to ebooks, just not use an affiliate link to a site that sells ebooks.

      1. EmpressFelicity profile image84
        EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this



        In any case, it would be good to have clarification either way.

    2. EmpressFelicity profile image84
      EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this



      Oh yeah, I didn't think about the UK Amazon links.  I've got a few of those.  And I was also thinking in terms of an ebook at some point.  So that's not going to happen - at least if it is, I won't be promoting it here.

      Request to staff: can we please have confirmation about whether UK Amazon links are allowable, preferably BEFORE you unpublish the relevant hubs?

  15. lrohner profile image84
    lrohnerposted 5 years ago

    All of these changes and they still haven't figured out how to stop the nameless, faceless bots from setting up an account and posting hubs containing spun garbage.

    Or how to stop people from posting hubs that have little to no text in them, or that are stolen or duplicated from other sources.

    Uh-may-zing.

    1. tritrain profile image75
      tritrainposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Ugh, entire post lost!!


      Yes, I agree.  I wasted a lot of time paging through recent Hubs this morning flagging Hubs that were obviously mass produced. 

      Now we are constantly having to adjust our own Hubs to meet with the latest version of editorial standards. 

      Is this all a self-fulfilling prophesy?

  16. R-J-T profile image61
    R-J-Tposted 5 years ago

    I have not been very successful here and only a few of my hubs contain affiliate links but I think this is the last straw for me.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they got rid of everything soon except there program, which I cant use because I haven't got paypal.

    And a different thread asking for hubbers to show bad results showing in front of there's to make a case to show google wont change anything. Google has already stated they are happy with the change and they ain't going to change that because a few hubbers ain't happy with them.

    The reason hubpages took such a huge hit is because of the backlink issue here. Not many were/are backlinking there hubs. And now hubpages has lost authority those pages that were high off the HP authority dropped. Go back to them build links and I bet most will rise back up.

    Anyway sorry for the long reply and I know nobody cares what I have to say but who cares.

    Thanks

    1. recommend1 profile image73
      recommend1posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I care smile

      1. R-J-T profile image61
        R-J-Tposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks recommend 1.....just a shame HP dont care. Like somebody has already stated they are making these rash decisions without even asking there users what they think about them.

        When the e-zine article CEO had changes lined up he posted them on the blog and asked the users what they thought about them. He even admitted he was no expert on this and wanted the users to help make the decisions.

        The only thing HP is doing is asking us to be patient and don't panic while they are deleting loyal hubbers accounts with no warning, unpublishing hubs because of minor infringements of new rules, making big changes daily before they have even let time pass to see if the previous have been positive/negative. And they say we shouldnt be panicking.

        Why don't HP just find a way of stopping spun/low quality/scraped content from being published here 1st. Maybe have a 6 month period were all hubs have to go through a manual review, if the hubs are not up to standards ban the user, if they are then allow free pass after the 6 months. After all google did say that sites with lots of this content would be targeted. It turns out HP had lots of it and was rightly slapped.

        All of the changes at the moment all seem to be targeting users who write quality articles and are loyal to HP but also want to make some revenue from them two. Most of the low quality articles are the ones that are written in 10 minutes and include links to there website for backlinks. If anyone looks at the SEO forums they all talk about HP as being and easy place to get backlinks back to there site. And while some will write good articles 99% of them will just write any crap for a free backlink.

        Anyway my point is these people are still fine because they have no amazon capsules, no affiliate links, no news capsules, no ebooks because the only thing they want is free backlinks for there site. So while these people who couldn't care what happened to hubpages are not being punished the ones who do care are being hit from all directions.

        Hope it makes some sense.

        Thanks

  17. Sally's Trove profile image99
    Sally's Troveposted 5 years ago

    How ironic...HP is saying that links that carry an affiliate code to another site won't be allowed, while HP's referral tracker codes are actually affiliate links. This is a head-spinning concept. I can prolong the head-spinning by asking, What about the "join now" links we use in our Hubs and profiles on HubPages that are intended to channel money into our individual HP accounts? Will we not be "allowed" to use them on HubPages? I realize the HP affiliate links used on HP benefit HP by directing traffic within the site, but it's still ironic.

    As SF, R-J-T, and others have pointed out, effective communication regarding recent changes has been lacking. Having spent too many years creating and implementing corporate communications plans, I have seen how a this lack of planning can contribute to loyalty loss by eroding the credibility of the company. People get confused, frustrated, and then they start to bail.

    I think HP has great potential, and that potential could be enhanced greatly by soliciting and evaluating input in a formal way, and by thinking through the implications and effects of change before communicating a word of it.

    1. Mutiny92 profile image86
      Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      concur...even recurring comms that say "here is what we know.  Here is what we don't know.  Here is what we are experimenting with.  Here is the results of other company's efforts.  Here is where we made a good choice.  Here is where we should have done better."

      I suspect that a lot of smart people here will gladly help where they can.  Ask them and allow the community to work with you.

  18. Pearldiver profile image86
    Pearldiverposted 5 years ago

    As SF stated earlier... this is laughable and hopefully Not an example of a rudderless boat with zero direction or knowledge of how to row roll

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    Paul Edmondson
    Level 1
    4/19/11
    What are the best practices for open publishing platforms due to the recent Panda update? In particular, where high quality content on a domain has been negatively impacted on average as much as any other content?  Is it a question of content moderation, site architecture, both or something else?

    While we believe the democratization of publishing and earning potential is an important part of the progress of the Web, we want to avoid a situation where a portion of content negatively impacts the rankings of high quality content.  It appears HubPages has been impacted by this while YouTube has not, despite HubPages having a more strict content policy.  In Google's view, what is the recommended moderation standard that open publishing platforms should enforce?

    Open publishing platforms tend to use one of two domain models. Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger organize mainly by subdomain, while HubPages and YouTube organize all the content under a single domain.  Is there a recommendation on the best practice for open platforms regarding architecture?

    In an effort to give Google clues, HubPages' internal linking structure promotes the best content.  For example, we program the "related articles" suggestions with content that we think users will find useful, and we submit sitemaps with a set priority so Google knows the most important content.  We also understand the challenges of fighting off spam, spun articles and various forms of attacks; we believe we do the industry's best job of fighting spam in an open publishing environment where every individual can have a voice.

    Feedback from Google on open publishing platforms best practices is greatly appreciated.
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    pubcrawlercom
    Level 2
    4/19/11
    @Edmondson,

    I don't think site architecture has anything to do with penalization or promotion.  There hasn't been anything put out by anyone about this topic since Panda.

    Now if you are on Wordpress.com or Blogger expecting to be running a real site and have good ROI on what you are writing, get off those hosted platforms and onto your private installation.   You can be certain that platforms like that have many bad neighbors on the same IP, URL root, etc.   There could be an association penalty and expect to see that more clearly in the future in Google's search. Been recommending people host their site for eons (not my business).  Otherwise you are just sitting in their BS cloud and who knows who is doing what with your data.

    Producing sitemaps says to Google that you are a savvy web person.  Sets off the webmaster/SEO person flag.  If your software does this by default (like Wordpress) then fine.  But if it doesn't it's telling and Google labels you to watch and risk factor applied.

    Only reason to publish sitemaps is to tell Google there is something somewhere they somehow haven't discovered.   I find that usually means it's deeply nested content which Google seems not to care about.  Likely to be lower traffic pages and less valuable.   So exposing them to Google is giving Google a big list of you bad content likely and they seem to be using that to penalize a site now.

    Planning on imploding all of our sitemaps to Google, removing them and disallowing Google to ever get near them again.

    Sitemaps are rather unnecessary, unless we make search engines obey our mandates.  That they not rummage or free root through site, but rather are told what to grab, when to grab it, when to return to get it again.   Search engines won't comply with this so generally why bother?

    As far as using SiteMaps to prioritize your site.   I think that's mainly a myth also.   You have natural site navigation from your homepage that shows what is valuable on your site.   No sitemap is going to override that intentional order.
    Did you find this answer helpful? Sign in to vote. Report abuse

    _______________________________________________________

    I wonder if ALL those wwww.yahooooo hubs hiding and earning in the background have anything to do with our wee G problem? hmm
    Why Mr Edmondson would you allow such crap to remain on this site.... if you are genuine in your statements re Quality etc?

    When after 4 years of deceptive and misleading BS search engine stuffers as were generated by the entity 'Writers on Hub Pages' (the name of which in itself is an insult and indirectly points at all of us who write here!) - Originally 2640 BS articles which for 4 years generated income for management... WHY Now did you LEAVE 104 of those articles up on this site, after taking down 2300 of them?  Why not all of those articles?.. that act in itself contradicts everything you are promoting... Credibility-wise Why? hmm

  19. Pearldiver profile image86
    Pearldiverposted 5 years ago

    Of Course I Ask these Questions Only as an intelligent, logical and practical thinking person, who writes High Quality Content Here. I assume that you refer to the quality work which it seems, (by the continued presence of BS here and the constant denial of it) that the Quality Content acts solely as the 'Front' of the site, diverting attention from the BS stuff that lives out the 'Back' of it and generates questionable income? hmm
    Have you considered that previous 'Writers' point?

    Does the Anti E Book stance have anything to do with the fact that the Bulk of the Quality works here and Poetry have been scraped by parties (who continue to remain members of this site) and that such works have then repackaged and sold it throughout the world as the scraper's own E-Books that also contain links to their other interests? hmm

    Does this realistically not concern the management?
    Apart from loss of traffic and income, such an event would also clearly create a Duplicate Content Shadow on the bona fide writers here.. would it not?

    Of Course if you object to such questions and ignore the relevance of them, then in the absence of any straight and credible answers or positive directions that intelligent, logical and practical thinking people actually need to allow them to retain faith in a place that they have promoted (albeit maybe blindly) for more than a year of their lives... I guess you could demonstrate again the value of having such honest people on board and merely repeat this message!


    http://s1.hubimg.com/u/4948924_f248.jpg

    This was in relation to the 68aticles thread which was silenced in favor of the Thieves... Who Continue To Remain Members of HubPages and Continue to Provide HP with Income Opportunity, irrespective of the fact that they have actually helped reduce the income opportunities of others here! Does that make sense? hmm

  20. Jason Menayan profile image60
    Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago

    OK - get ready for a long response. I read through the thread, and here are my responses to some of the issues raised:

    - Why the rolling changes? While it would have been nice if we could read Google's mind, or if Google had told us exactly what kinds of content we had to get rid of in order to get back in their good graces, we couldn't and they haven't. And while we could have spent months analyzing the anecdotal evidence of which sites got their rankings back and guessing why, then we would face a barrage of complaints asking, "Why aren't you doing anything?!?!" Trust us - since the traffic issue affects us just as much as it does you, this is a top priority. When we've reached a reasonable level of confidence about a quality standard change, then we roll it out. To say "this is the last change you'll see again" would close us off from instituting another standard tightening-up that we might learn is crucial in Google's eyes.

    Believe me, I understand that that multiple standard changes can feel wearisome. They are not staged, and they are meant to act as quickly as we can, and also give us a chance to evaluate Google's response to them. We are trying to get your traffic to your Hubs back.

    - redirects - My apologies; I should have mentioned this in the blog post (I will amend it). All redirects will be resolved and the rules applied to any site we see in the chain or as the terminus. So, tinyurl and bit.ly are not problematic by themselves, but, if they redirect through or to clickbank, for example, then the link is prohibited.

    - misleading Hubs - If you see crap that is misleading (like "Facebook Login", etc), PLEASE flag it. That title is misleading and we have a moderation category for it ("Deceptively Titled").

    - preventing article spinners - We are working on it. A lot of spinning is obvious, but so much of it is so subtle--you really have to have a human read it, and see if it sounds "off"--that this is something difficult to automate. Sorry that we can't magically detect spun garbage, and no one is more sorry than our moderation team! (They're the ones who have to read through all that garbage day in and day out)

    - Google forum post by Paul - Yes, Paul wrote a blog post about it here.

    - wording of violation emails - We understand that some think they're harshly-worded. When we soften them, people complain that we're not being specific enough. If anyone has a suggestion on how to word them better, please, let us know!

    - eBooks - There seems to be some confusion about what's allowed and what's not allowed. There are some ebook purveyors (like clickbank, which promotes books like "How to Get Your Ex Back" and "How to get rid of Man Boobs") that attract people who spin articles or paraphrase marketing language in the form of a useless Hub. These are the types of links we are forbidding; high-quality Hubs with these links are extremely rare.

    If you want to promote your own ebook that you're offering for free, feel free to do so. If you're not sure if the ebook platform you're using will be prohibited, please just wait for an email in the next couple of weeks. I don't have a complete list, and exposing a complete list will just allow spammers to engineer workarounds.

    - Panda 1 vs 2 - Each person is different, but on the whole, Panda 1 (US) affected us quite a bit more than Panda 2 (non-US). You can take a look on Quantcast for overall site stats that are fairly reliable.

    - Amazon UK links - These are considered affiliate, but not prohibited affiliate links. This means you can use them, but not in those areas (like acai berries, how to get six-pack abs, etc.) that we've said are overrun with low-quality garbage. If you're not sure about whether you've written on one of these topics, just wait for the email in the coming weeks. In the future, you'll know as you work on a Hub, since an alert will come up telling you.

    - HubPages Ad Program layouts - Some have suggested that when you're logged in, you see more ads. That is not the case. Hubber traffic is miniscule compared to search traffic, and ad revenue from Hubbers is also miniscule. You can take a look at this blog entry to see how layouts look with Program ads, and with AdSense alone. It also explains why we reduced all ads. (Keep in mind that if you don't like the Program, you can always shut it off and use AdSense exclusively!)

    Whew! OK - props to you if you managed to read the whole thing. smile We don't usually patrol the Forums looking for any thread that we could jump in on (which is why we have been primarily communicating about these changes in the Blog, which has one, and only one, set of comments to respond to), but I'll try to respond to any other questions or legitimate concerns today.

    I'll also add for the gloom-and-doomers: at the beginning (as in, back in 2006), a lot of people were publishing Hubs even though there was no search traffic to speak of. We looked at the way the site was run and decided it was worth our time to publish, with the hope that the search engines would eventually recognize and "reward" high quality content with visitors. The Panda updates have made clear that Google can't or won't separate the wheat from the chaff, but expects us to do it for them. Here's to hoping they'll recognize our collective efforts again. smile

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image81
      Mark Ewbieposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Brilliant.  Thankyou.  That's all I need to feel positive about putting my own effort in.

    2. R-J-T profile image61
      R-J-Tposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Ye it's a lovely reply but the point of all this still stands, there are numerous changes being made without any thought on it from the hubpages community before making it.

      Why not before making all these changes put them up on the blog and see what the hubbers also make of them. If a massive majority agree with them then great, make the change, if a massive majority disagree re-evaluate it and then decide if its an urgent change that needs to be done or not.

      As HP staff have already stated, they also have no clue what exactly google wants, or doesn't. But what HP does have is hubbers who are also searches. So why not ask us hubbers/searches to point out what we think needs to change/stay.

      Maybe HP will get authority back in 1 month, 6 months, 2 years or never. Does that mean all is lost, no it just means we will have to work harder backlinking/promoting hubs. But unless a change is made to stop low quality content coming on here in the 1st place it will continue to bring the site down. Fix that problem and there is no doubt the site will improve for everyone.

      Thanks.

      1. Jason Menayan profile image60
        Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        That's not true.

        Since the very first blog post we've been paying attention to what users have suggested. I've heard suggestions come up in meetings that have been attributed to what someone suggested in a blog post or forum post.

        1. R-J-T profile image61
          R-J-Tposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Ye but we dont know what is said in the meetings. We are kept in the dark and then the change is made.

          Maybe I have missed it but I have seen no thread asking us what we think needs to change from HP staff, maybe I am wrong and there is.

          Maybe a suggestion a hubber has made and you have discussed in a meeting may not be the over-all feeling from other hubbers of what needs to change.

          So my point still stands you do not ask us for our opinions before you make changes.

          1. Aficionada profile image94
            Aficionadaposted 5 years ago in reply to this


            Ideas contributed in the forums by Hubbers usually get a great many, vigorous back-and-forth comments by other Hubbers.  In fact, it's a pretty rare situation when that does not happen.

            1. R-J-T profile image61
              R-J-Tposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Some changes will, and they are most likely the changes that wont make much of a difference for HP authority. But some changes will get a lot of people agreeing/disagreeing with them and that's what will make the difference and should/shouldn't be carried out 1st.

              For example the 50 words per amazon/eBay capsule will get many back-and-forth comments. But a change like getting rid of copied/spin/low quality content will get a majority agreeing with. Not the best examples but I hope you can see were I'm coming from.

              The only thing I am saying is it would be nice if instead of HP staff using suggestions from us and discussing it in there meetings we do not attend. Make a blog post/forum thread saying we have come up with these changes, do you agree or disagree with them and why. And what other changes do you think we should implement etc.

              That way we will all have a say and then HP staff will be in a much better place to see which changes are more urgent than others.

              Because the way I see it at the moment there are much more urgent changes needed while more minor ones are being implemented.

              Maybe I am all wrong and if so tell me to shut up. After-all I left school with no qualifications whatsoever so I am in no place to tell anybody anything.

              Thanks.

          2. Jason Menayan profile image60
            Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Here's your opportunity, R-J-T. What changes should we be making?

            1. R-J-T profile image61
              R-J-Tposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              But then we go back to the whole point of this all again. I am saying we need everyone as a collective to have there say.

              I wont be saying anything here but if you have more changes you want to make and a thread is made asking what we think of them and do we have any other suggestions I would be more than happy to contribute.

              And I have already said one, there has to be something that stops low-quality content coming on here in the first place. If there is no new low-quality content getting added to the site the old ones will all eventually be found, flagged and deleted.

              And by low-quality I am referring to under a certain amount of words, very hard to read/understand because of very poor grammar/spelling, content that has obviously been spin, copied content, and content that isn't very helpful to the reader/searcher. These are also the things google said they were looking to punish.

              I don't usually contribute in forums, or in any matter of life if im honest, but the reason I am here is because I really do think hubpages is a great place, especially for people just starting out trying to earn on the net. And I know its hard for you guys/girls to keep us and google happy at the same time. But many of the experienced hubbers (not me) just feel as if all these changes are being made without them having any say when they could also help out a lot as-well.

              If I'm wrong then I apologise. And there is nothing I want more than for you at HP to be very successful. And I know this is just as frustrating if not more for you at HB. I also know you do your best for us hubbers. And if nobody knows what google wants why not just see what hubbers want/don't and go from there.

              Sorry for another long post. Probably doesn't make sense but o well.

              Thanks.

              1. Jason Menayan profile image60
                Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                We've traditionally not made an overt request for ideas, since most Hubbers have (as they should) felt free to offer suggestions on their own. As you can see in Paul's first blog post on the topic, Hubbers weighed in with suggestions and many of them became part of the quality updates we made.

                We also have an entire forum where Hubbers can start new threads suggesting things to the staff. We really do read what people suggest.

                Since what affects your traffic, collectively, also affects us, we are open to suggestions. There are many members of the community, some in this thread, in fact, who know what they're talking about and are respected by the staff as much as the community at large.

                In terms of guessing what Google wants, a lot has involved putting ourselves in a visitor's shoes, as many here have mentioned. How would you feel about a page that purports to have an answer to your query, but instead points you to another site that's selling you a book for $40 for the answer? We all get annoyed by this; it's reasonable to think that if Google is doing its job correctly, it will want to minimize these sorts of pages in its search results, too.

                Thanks for the feedback, and don't be shy about offering suggestions. smile

                1. R-J-T profile image61
                  R-J-Tposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  OK thanks Jason for taking the time to reply, not something I am used to in real life, people taking the time with me that is.

                  But there is still the one question of how are HP going to stop low quality articles being published in the first place. If you can stop this Then like I have said the stuff that is already here will eventually be found.

                  We have to remember that HP has lost a lot of authority meaning that HP is not such a desirable place for webmasters to make crappy post only for a link. But when/if HP does get there authority back there will be a massive amount of crappy content only made for backlinks back here.

                  So the point is if there are 100 articles being deleted per day and 1000 being added it will be a vicious circle and HP will suffer because of it.

                  1. Jason Menayan profile image60
                    Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    We can't completely. We can stop empty Hubs from being published, but in most cases we're unable to detect low-quality content until we actually read it. You can only automate so much.

                    So one of the decisions we've made is to keep this an open platform, but to reactively moderate content that Hubbers flag or that we detect, that is not up to snuff.

                    We could go the other route of not allowing anyone to publish anything until it's been expressly approved, but that's quite a bit different from the way we do things, and, we hope, not necessary.

                    If a spammer keeps on getting his/her stuff unpublished, most will get the hint and realize it's not worth the effort to have a Hub on our site for a day or two.

    3. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      You have a whole army of writers here, how about posting the text of the violation emails and we'll do some editing for you?

      I'm sure there's a way to soften them without making them vague.

      I do wonder, though - I can understand the email being standard if it's sent by an automated process.  But if the email is being sent by a moderator who has only just examined a Hub, why can't the moderator add a line giving the specific reason, instead of leaving it up to the Hubber to guess?

      1. lrohner profile image84
        lrohnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Speaking from an editor's POV, you cannot imagine how extremely time consuming that really is. When editing, all too often I find myself making the darn changes because typing out what needs to be fixed would just take too long. So...I wound up coming up with some stock text, which is exactly what the HP team is doing.

        Also, it's a scientific fact that the brain begins to turn to mush after reading/editing/moderating roughly 10 of these articles. smile

        1. Jason Menayan profile image60
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          That's exactly right. Moderators moderate literally hundreds of Hubs a day. Providing a custom email for each is just not feasible. Keep in mind that our moderation team is large and growing!

          1. Marisa Wright profile image94
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I do understand that, and I certainly wouldn't suggest a truly personalised email.   

            I'm thinking more of a standard email with the option to add a final line, e.g. the end of the email would be:

            "The specific problem with your Hub is:

            ...."

            Even then, I wouldn't be expecting a lot of detail - just "pixelated image" or "unrelated RSS". 

            I get the impression that some Hubbers are getting a "substandard" email and haven't a clue what the problem is - so then the moderators get an email, which wastes more of their time, or have to vet the Hub more than once because the Hubber guessed wrong.  Or worse, you'll get someone like BaliMermaid deleting a Hub which has been earning you good revenue, because she can't work out what you're on about.

            1. Jason Menayan profile image60
              Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              OK, I see. Yes, "substandard" was a bit vague, and although we provided a list of what that could possibly mean, the moderation team has taken the step to create more specific moderation categories. So, now, for example, we have different categories for "poor formatting" and "pixelated images," giving the Hubber more specific information on what to look for.

            2. Michael Willis profile image77
              Michael Willisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              How about a list posted either in a Forum thread or on HP Blog showing the "standardized e-mails" and seeing if Hubbers have any suggestions that could help to make these e-mails easier to understand?

              Suggestions could be made and if Moderators/Staff see any valid changes that could be made, they could use them. This might make life easier for Hub moderators as well as hubbers in the long run.

              1. Jason Menayan profile image60
                Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Nice idea. I'll run it by the moderators to see what they think.

                1. Michael Willis profile image77
                  Michael Willisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Thanks Jason. I would be willing to look through them even to add suggestions.

                2. Aficionada profile image94
                  Aficionadaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Jason, in one forum Maddie posted a very specific (and very helpful) list of what traits would be considered "substandard." How about in the cookie-cutter style warning e-mail if you all include that entire list and have the moderator who mods a specific hub simply to put an asterisk or check mark or whatever by the specific problem? Then they would not have to type anything extra - just check off an item on a list.

                  Also, currently when there is a broken link on a Hub, that link is highlighted in yellow. Would there be any possibility of yellow-highlighting any of the other problems that constitute "substandard-ness"? I realize that it would not even be remotely possible for some types of violation; but could you all maybe discuss the idea and see whether there might be some additional infractions that could be identified that way, with highlighting? That also might help.

                  1. Jason Menayan profile image60
                    Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    That's a nice idea for those types of violations that we can detect in an automated way. Unfortunately, at least as it stands now, Hubs that are "substandard" must be evaluated by a person. But I can imagine that one day if we're able to detect, for example, pixelated images, then those notifications would be helpful.

      2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I totally agree with this Marissa, it would take seconds, and save time for moderators who have to keep clicking on our unpublished 'submit for publication' hubs to see if we have made the corrections that are required, even if we have no idea what they are and are bewildered as to what is specifically wrong on the hub in question.

        1. Jason Menayan profile image60
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          With the ~1,000 Hubs a moderator evaluates a day, writing a description of what's wrong specifically is really tough. Keep in mind that users will email asking what's wrong, a moderator will reply, and a large percentage of them will either play dumb or contest the "ruling" in a neverending email war of attrition.

          I will say that when a Hubber complains that they have no idea why their Hub was modded, and I have a look, I can usually identify the problem within a minute and can point to something in the FAQ entry on it that explains why that's not allowed. Maybe not 100% of the time, but probably 95% of the time. smile

    4. Mutiny92 profile image86
      Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Kudos!  I appreciate the time and effort spent on the reply.  This is not easy for anyone.  Please let us know what we can do to help.  I bet you will have a lot of hubbers willing to try new things in order to help.

      1. Jason Menayan profile image60
        Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, we are really fortunate to have a community that is as committed to making this a high quality site as we are. Thank you!

  21. sunforged profile image63
    sunforgedposted 5 years ago

    Thats a great response!

    Cant get behind any reasoning for rolling changes but its great to see some well composed and thorough communication!

    Well done, Jason.

    1. Jason Menayan profile image60
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks, sunforged. smile

  22. lakeerieartists profile image80
    lakeerieartistsposted 5 years ago

    Thanks for responding Jason.  I agree that the rolling changes are extremely wearying and that is saying it kindly.  Your response is helpful.

    Edited to say:  I am totally behind the Hubpages watchdog approach on the spam magnetic topics.  As far as I am concerned, doing away with them altogether would be great.  But your approach is close to doing that, since people won't be able to send traffic to junky, spammy products.

    1. Jason Menayan profile image60
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I would say it might be a bit of a consolation that those of us on staff who Hub extensively are forced to update our Hubs according to the changes, too, but maybe it's not. tongue

      But we really do stand by the changes, too. We had begun the process, ironically, of doing a major overhaul of our standards, about a week before the Panda update. Panda just made this all very much more urgent.

      EDIT: Yes, our approach is meant to eliminate the incentive to do that, and thereby eliminate the behavior.

      1. lrohner profile image84
        lrohnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Jason - Have you, the Pauls and the rest of the team discussed tightening up the signup/publishing process? It has been pointed out here in the forums several times that if you did something simple, like require a photo for a profile, you would probably cut out 50% or more of the spammy spun garbage.

        1. Jason Menayan profile image60
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, we have discussed that. There's an entire range of options we've discussed.

          The problem with that specifically is that once it leaks out that all you have to do to avoid getting labeled as spam on HubPages is to require a profile photo, we'll suddenly have thousands of new accounts with Britney Spears profile pictures. tongue

          It's a constantly moving target. But we are getting better at identifying the cruder versions of garbage.

          1. lrohner profile image84
            lrohnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Jason - I hate to be a pain in the arse, and I echo SF's, Sufi's and Mark's praise, but...

            What you said doesn't make much sense to me. I mean, as opposed to what? The thousands of new accounts that publish spam and spun cr*p on here without the Britney Spears profile picture?

            1. Jason Menayan profile image60
              Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I'm saying that the presence of a profile picture is a not a reliable indicator of quality Hubs. Spammers can put up a profile picture in a jiffy (especially if word spreads in black-hat forums that that's all you have to do), and there are lots of well-intentioned and talented newbies who don't.

              1. lrohner profile image84
                lrohnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Thanks for the response, Jason. And for the detailed update. Much appreciated.

  23. Sufidreamer profile image81
    Sufidreamerposted 5 years ago

    That's better, Jason - I second SF's praise.

    A few more in-depth communications like that, and you may well get people back onside.

    Have you thought about putting that in the Newsletter? A lot of Hubbers don't frequent the forums smile

    1. Jason Menayan profile image60
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks, Sufidreamer.

      The problem with the newsletter is that it doesn't have any interactivity (and not everyone reads that, either). Questions come up, so the Blog or Forum is where we can see and respond to questions. Some email team@, but there are scalability issues with that.

      1. bgamall profile image86
        bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I have articles written at hubpages, posted on BI with permission. That is no longer allowed. But these BI dup articles show higher on Google now. It didn't used to be that way!!! BI is a favorite. There are links back to hubpages that I put in many of the BI articles. But Google doesn't care about duplicate content IF you are a favored site. They swap content all the time.

        So, I think that this exercise is futile. Google has violated their own principles, allowing Reuters, AP, Yahoo, Atlantic, BI, etc, to swap like mad.

        Unless that is changed there is no way to compete. They syndicate and get more and more hits.

        1. Jason Menayan profile image60
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Who's to say Google will be fine with that tomorrow? As we've seen, "favored sites" are constantly in flux.

          People were surprised when eHow and other sites escaped Panda 1. They were slammed by Panda 2. Who's to say there won't be a Panda 3? Maybe some of the slaps will be reversed. Trying to stay optimistic. smile

          1. bgamall profile image86
            bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            No, they told BI to be careful with contributors, and put employee posts front and center, and they have more traffic than ever.

            And BI is so big they don't need Google. They have the Yahoo finance page, which puts Google's finance page to shame anyway.

            I don't speak for BI. I am just expressing my observations and what happened to me. I am more of an authority on BI than I am here. And yet I am the same person.
            All Google finance page is a bunch of links. At least with BI the link is within the Yahoo site. Google violates their own policy because their finance page is nothing but a two bit link farm.

            1. tritrain profile image75
              tritrainposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              What is BI?

  24. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
    mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago

    Oh Heck, now I am going to look at moving a load of my Hubs elsewhere, as I do use Clickbank and do promote certain useful ebooks relevant to my Hub topics, e.g. ebooks on growing vegetables organically on my growing vegetable hubs. I don't make huge amounts from Clickbank, but enough to not want to lose it. Excerpts.com had better get ready for an influx of my hubs that do promote Clickbank ebooks.

    These constant rule changes are getting to be really annoying. Surely they could find a way to allow e-books that are relevant to the topic of the Hub.

    1. bgamall profile image86
      bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Hubpages needs to think about that because ebooks were about 2 percent of all book purchases two years ago, 10 percent last year and are likely to be 20 percent this year. Not only that, the way ereaders are flying off the shelves it is the way of the future.

      Write hubs and put those hubs into ebooks.

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I might just do that bgamall, as you are so right about the book readers flying off the shelves right now.

      2. sunforged profile image63
        sunforgedposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        the ebooks restriction as I am translating it, is more geared towards the affiliate network that promotes it than the product itself.

        Clickbank and ejunkie for example ALTHOUGH THEY DO HAVE SOME GREAT PRODUCTS are filled with questionable ebooks. It easier as a site admin to say that they dont want to deal with weeding through those networks opportunities.

        I dont think anyone thinks that books in digital format via amazon, B&N and other less IM orientated publishers would be impacted.

        Its a shame for those legit writers who have taken advantage of the fact that CB has one of the best aff/distro networks but its not a great surprise.

        Again, I hate the backwards compliance issue, but the change is not ridiculous.

        and the commission on ebooks for digital readers is quite small, unless its your main focus and you sell in high volumes, its pretty much a non-issue.

        Have you sold even $100 in ebooks this year?

        1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
          mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Just to say I sold $194 of ebooks through Clickbank last year so it can be done, especially as I didn't have Clickbank on as many Hubs (obviously) at the start of that year. The quality of those books must have been pretty good as I only saw one 'return' and 'refund' on my Clickbank statement.

          1. sunforged profile image63
            sunforgedposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            lol - It was a question specific to BG and was specific to ebooks as he was presenting it (digital readers - traditional sources)

            Ive made that sum in a day off cb ebooks, Im quite aware that its possible, im also aware that promo and sales copy for the products is often quite poor.

            Well done though! beat sthe hell off a .20 cent adsense click doesnt it!

            1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
              mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Absolutely Sunforged, I don't regret using CB for a minute as I don't promote their 'tackier' books.

  25. skyfire profile image72
    skyfireposted 5 years ago

    Clickbank hosts wordpress themes as well but i can see that hubpages is going to be strict with affiliate hubs. So do i need to limit my focus to informative hubs ? or there is still room for affiliate hubs in future updates ?

    1. sunforged profile image63
      sunforgedposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I know I worry also .. CB has great software, themes and other tools that we use in this industry. Its a shame to think that any impetus to share these learning tools will be removed here.

  26. skyfire profile image72
    skyfireposted 5 years ago

    I was just thinking about the automation from HP side. I mean if they delete/unpublish the objectionable niche hubs - acai berry, get ex-back etc. with some auto-filter script then any links from these hubs to CB/E-junkie/Payloadz are likely to be removed. In such case they don't need to ban clickbank URL or bit.ly or domain redirection to other legitimate products from affiliate programs. Obviously, i'm assuming that they do this type of automation and are convinced that there is no harm using affiliate links on hubs.Just my 2 cents.

  27. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    Instead of banning affiliate links across the board, would it not be possible to only allow affiliate links if a hubberscore is over 90, for example. No spammer ever gets such a high score, or do they?
    I mean, this measure is to stop the spammers, right? Not the genuine writers and marketers.
    Also, if making a profile photo isn't going to be compulsory, you could still adjust the number of words for published hubs.
    I don't know how many words it takes to get rid of the message about not having enough content before publishing, but I would raise it.
    I'm coming across blurbs in the hopper of less than 200 words full of links back to the author's site. It's a backlink nothing more nothing less, because these hubs will only ever get read by hub hoppers and google spiders.

    1. Jason Menayan profile image60
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      We didn't ban affiliate links across the board.

      We've banned certain low-quality ones.

      1. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yeah, sorry when I said across the board, you have banned, or are banning, certain affiliate links across the board, no exceptions, so the like of Clickbank will be out? I don't use them but I know others do with some success. I really meant everyone here will not be allowed to use certain types of affiliates when some writers/marketers use them well and back up their affiliates with plenty of good original content.

        On a side note, did anyone see this link?

        http://politicallyillustrated.com/index.php/lpnh/2522/

        Money talks again if it's true...!

        1. Jason Menayan profile image60
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, unfortunately Clickbank and others will be out. And, as usual, exploitative users make us put restrictions.

          1. bgamall profile image86
            bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            So can we link to BN and Sony and Apple?

            1. Jason Menayan profile image60
              Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I'm pretty sure they're OK, but as I mentioned before, I don't have access to the full list.

              1. bgamall profile image86
                bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Cool, Kobobooks, Apple, BN, Diesel, Amazon and Sony are the premier ebook sellers and there may be more.

                1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
                  mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Might be a daft question, but do they offer an affiliate commission per sale made in the same way Clickbank does? I know with an Amazon product you would be paid, but don't know about the others.

                  1. sunforged profile image63
                    sunforgedposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    ^ Yes

                    B&N is in Google Aff Network

                    you can figure out the others by searching ("brand" affiliate network)

                    but who knows which of those networks will be allowed.

                    I expect that GAN, CJ and Shareasale will be whitelisted as they are all respectable

          2. kephrira profile image60
            kephriraposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            No clickbank links will hit me hard as I do make money from them. I understand that they may have a lot of spammers using them, but they do also have some good products. Banning all clickbank links seems uneccesarily harsh.

            When these changes come in, I don't think I will be able to make enough money from hubpages to make it worth my time.

            1. Jason Menayan profile image60
              Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I'm sorry the spammers spoiled it for you and other decent writers who wrote about products you actually used and knew about from personal experience. You are among a very small minority that do.

  28. skyfire profile image72
    skyfireposted 5 years ago

    There are some good authors under 90 hubscore and they hardly reach 90's due to low traffic or maybe some other factor.

    1. bgamall profile image86
      bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Money talks with authority. You are an authority site if you pay for it. That is why affiliates are taking it on the chin, as well as those who have good content on sites not deemed authority. I think Hubpages is too naive about the sinister nature of Panda. It was a money play.

      So, I think Hubpages may have to hire all of us as experts in certain fields.

      I don't think that this is such an easy thing to fix. I hope it is as I lost 2/3 of my traffic. sad

      1. skyfire profile image72
        skyfireposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        You're referring to OPA and Murdoch theory ?

        1. bgamall profile image86
          bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          All the old 1.0 news sites are back on top. What do you think? Murdoch knew about 911 before it happened. He is big media. He is not afraid to threaten any business model. He has done it before.

          He is a wicked and dangerous man.

          1. IzzyM profile image87
            IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Do you think if we all band together we could take him out?

            1. bgamall profile image86
              bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Lol, Izzy.

  29. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    I'd actually like to echo other users here who thanked Jason for his post. You know the one I mean - the long one.

    That was brilliant.

    In that one post he managed to reassure us, make us feel like part of the team and part of the solution.

    TeamHubpages here we come!

    This is a difficult time for all of us. But because we. the writers, don't own the site, there isn't much we can do except take direction from those who do.

    I. like many others, have invested a huge amount of time here. I believed in the site before I knew anything about keywords or backlinks or SEO, and perhaps found out too late the power of Hubpages.

    Even if HP never recovers, I have learnt enough to go forward on my own. BUT HP will recover, because we have a great team, great staff, great writers. Just read that hub by Mark Ewbie about Winnie the Pooh. Man that was fantastic. Remember you read him here first folks!

    TeamHubpages, go!

    1. Jason Menayan profile image60
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      And I'd like to thank you, too, IzzyM (and others who have been understanding of, if not always in agreement with, the decisions we make).

      You have to believe that Google can not continue ranking crap above high-quality work, unless it wants to undermine its own hard-earned reputation and its business model.

      And when Google does finish its experiment, or whatever we'd like to call the Panda updates, we'd like to be well-positioned to show only the highest quality stuff and get the rankings and traffic that our best Hubbers deserve.

  30. Eric Graudins profile image60
    Eric Graudinsposted 5 years ago

    Well, here's a suggestion that will fix many of your problems with spammy content, and allow more rigorous admin of other issues:

    Charge people an entry fee of $25 or so to become a member of Hub Pages.

    cheers,
    Eric G.

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I actually quite like that idea (post-Panda)- even if I would never have joined this site if it had been in force 18 months ago.

      1. Jason Menayan profile image60
        Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Therein lies the problem... smile

    2. Pearldiver profile image86
      Pearldiverposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I too would like to say "Thanks Jason."  Walking through the forums more often will always improve your ability to dodge the cabbages and spuds that many of us are able to lob. big_smile

      I like Eric and Eric's idea here and I believe it is a Very Viable solution to many problems, provided it is implemented with 'other benefits'
      - Which if explored from a totally different perspective could factually and commercially boost HP into becoming THE Preferred Platform.  That is after all, the position that (for whatever reason) has been lost, compromised and manipulated by secondary parties, etc.
      - I'm not that sure that indepth Strategic Planning has been applied to this site, as if it had, then the promoted belief that HP should adapt to Google, would not be the benchmark to making adjustments. Consider (as I'm sure you did in the adds program) - What If Google were not in the picture or a contributing factor in regard to HP performance, income and growth?
      - Perhaps if one or two the hubber 'resources' that you still, by the skin of your teeth, have here.. could provide you with that level of practical professional advice - you should consider exploring that option professionally. I believe that very point is one of the reasons 'other entities' are able to negatively influence HP.. Nothing personal, but I think you guys need this sort of help, to get back to your Core Business and Lead as opposed to Follow.

      Thanks for taking the time to respond Jas.. It's the First Step!

  31. R-J-T profile image61
    R-J-Tposted 5 years ago

    Its not a bad idea but the problem is if someone knows HP links would help there site they would have no problem in paying it. Where as someone who might want somewhere they can just write will not pay it. I think the only way around this is a set amount of time a hubber has to get all of there hubs manually reviewed, and they are only aloud to publish say 1 hub a day for the first 30 days to keep the load down for the HP staff. I really cant see any other way around this one.

  32. TerryGl profile image60
    TerryGlposted 5 years ago

    Hi Jason,

    Just as an aside, are you at all concerned about many seasoned hubbers mentioning in forum posts they are leaving or no longer writing at Hubpages?

    1. Jason Menayan profile image60
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      People have come and go since I've been at HubPages (about 4 1/2 years now). We understand that some changes may make us lose some valued users. That said, we haven't regretted any of the decisions we've made, and hope some of those users have second thoughts and return. smile (But, if they don't, we still wish them well.)

      1. Mutiny92 profile image86
        Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I suspect folks will double up their efforts when they see the results of HP's efforts reflected in their SERPs.

        1. Jason Menayan profile image60
          Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, they probably will. We're getting smarter, too, though. smile

          1. Mutiny92 profile image86
            Mutiny92posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I'm sorry...I meant that hubbers would redouble their efforts by publishing more once the work you guys have done causes our pages to move up in the rankings.

            1. Jason Menayan profile image60
              Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Oh, that too! I meant that when people's rankings go up because the collective quality bar has risen, it will attract exploitative spammers.

  33. skyfire profile image72
    skyfireposted 5 years ago

    I don't think it's good idea considering the current state of hubpages. There are some good CAPTCHA/ Anti-spam scripts that can prevent bots from getting in and also moderators should keep new hubbers under 10 hubs in editors queue.

    1. Silver Rose profile image76
      Silver Roseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Actually CAPTCHAs don't work any more because you can now buy DECAPTCHAS to decode them.

      Here's another suggestion. On the edit portion of the page, add a simple check box that people have to check to prove they arn't a spammer - but randomise the position of the check-box - sometimes place it on the left, sometimes on the right, sometimes in the middle, so that the bots won't be able to rely on a set format to get past it.

      From Hubpages point of view they just need to set three versions of the edit form, and randomly pop them in.

      Edited to add: HP don't even need three versions of the form. In the space underneath the "done editing" bit, where they sometimes leave us messages, they can place a randomised block with the "check me to prove you are not a spammer" field.

      1. Jason Menayan profile image60
        Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Not all of the spammers are automated. We've been able to cut down on the automated spamming to a large degree.

        The problem is the low-cost real human spammers who are paid $1 an hour to post low-quality Hubs. They're harder to detect and harder to discourage.

        1. Silver Rose profile image76
          Silver Roseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I think most spammers are automated - there's a tool that's just been released SEN---X which I'm sure you'll recognise which targets hubpages. You might have blocked the original version, but the new version is getting through.

          From the spammers point of view $1 an hour is actually expensive, when they can buy a relatively cheap tool.

          Anyway, why don't you implement my simple suggestion and at least eliminate the automated spam? That should get rid of at least 70% of spam, and hub-hopping can take care of the rest. At the moment, there is so much automated stuff, that hub-hopping makes no difference, it's almost a waste of hubbers time for all the difference it makes.

          1. Jason Menayan profile image60
            Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            It is a clever idea, and I think your point of randomizing it might be a good one. I'll bring it up with engineering. smile

      2. skyfire profile image72
        skyfireposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Not true. Ever seen abestweb's question captcha for new accounts ? They ask questions which are weird and can't be automated for answers.


        LOL. Bots can detect any position of captcha within page and in that case and so do manual spammers.

        1. sunforged profile image63
          sunforgedposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          He is referring to the non-captcha style anti-spam

          such as "Are you a spammer"  [checkbox] - this rather innocuous addition works on stopping spam comment submissions from bots that would otherwise get by normal capchas


          if it appears in a randomized location and even better has a randomized (check if yes, check if no, is this text red) , its hard to program the macro to respond correctly

          1. skyfire profile image72
            skyfireposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            true. I was thinking the other way, checkbox name-if not random then its possible or check all elements in page then find which one is refreshing or changing per signup or submission page. It's hard but not impossible. By the way there are few sites paying microworkers 0.001 per image captcha break so if not automation then this is another way spammers can get in. I still think first ten hubs should be under moderation.

  34. profile image60
    Mistress Cleanseposted 5 years ago

    The no ebooks affiliate rule seems pretty broad to me. I understand you want to keep the linking to bad sites down, but there are plenty of good ebooks out there.

    1. Jason Menayan profile image60
      Jason Menayanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Let me guess...about the Master Cleanse diet?

      1. bgamall profile image86
        bgamallposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Funny, Jason. But all the affiliates to Sony, Diesel, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles, and Apple should be permitted.

  35. tritrain profile image75
    tritrainposted 5 years ago

    We know who most of the regulars are, right?  We are the core that make up most of the Hubs.  Many have left in the past months/weeks/days for one reason or another.

    We are losing incentives to keep writing.  Amazon is probably going to pull its Amazon Associates out of several more states this year.  Ebay is very difficult to get into the program and may pull out as well.  HubPages Ad program and Adsense provide very little revenue for most of us.

    We each have limited time and energy to produce content.

    Some of us have one (1) way to generate some income and that is via referrals or other affiliates, not mentioned above. 

    I feel like the core writers are being punished or made to suffer and waste hours of our time.  Of course, this is along with the attempt to remove bad stuff.

    What is going on with the automated tools?

    Why is publishing so easy?  Squidoo required 9 modules to publish and warns if it is not meeting minimum standards.  Why can't HubPages do something similar?

    Why are these "quality" standards being pushed out one at a time, causing us to edit and re-edit Hubs, instead of taking the time to publish more quality Hubs.

  36. dablufox profile image60
    dablufoxposted 5 years ago

    I don't buy this goodie two shoes fluff!

    It's not hard to separate a shallow and utterly useless 150 word hub from a rich, highly thought out and valuable hub. I think I have done enough hub hopping to separate the two!

    Keeping in mind Hubbers don't get paid for hub hopping, they do it for love of the platform.

    But to have one off your most popular and commented on hubs which happen to contain highly research topical and extremely useful info flagged for a single affiliate link to a cutting edge product which is highly relevant to keyword and niche research as well as potential hubpage success is madness.

    I would hardly call Market Samurai a low quality affiliate product, if so have you used it?

    I have for many years now and find it indispensable which is why I am proud to not only promote it in a few of my hubs but also provide extremely valuable info on how to get the most of this tool along with self made utube videos!

    I would understand if HP flagged my hub if it had 150 words of fluff, but they don't!

    To have HP flag my 1200+ word hub on keyword research because of a single affiliate link demonstrates an endemic incompetence of HP staff.

    This is not brain surgery. If your hub is over 800 words, you are entitled to a single affiliate link. And only if you have a hub score of over 90.

    How hard is that! I cooked up this idea in the last 30 seconds.

    Not rocket science people!

    If hubpages deletes my micro niche marketing hubs, I will delete all of my hubs on the platform and go exclusively to wordpress and blogger.

    My advice to HP.....Don't bite the hand that feeds you!

    PS won't be hub hopping till I see an attitude change on HP towards high scoring/achieving hubbers.

  37. Moon Willow Lake profile image79
    Moon Willow Lakeposted 5 years ago

    Thanks for the link to that post as this was the first time I have read it. Just by reading the replies from those who I presume are HP staff members, I get the sense they are still lost on how exactly we can all overcome this. I also didn't like how they didn't have specific yes/no answers for those that had some questions on what was written there since how they wrote it leaves a lot to interpretation (meaning the questioners had every right to ask the HP staff); there was a 'wait and see' response from HP staff. I am going to stick around anyway and see what happens as changes are difficult and do take time.

  38. chasemillis profile image85
    chasemillisposted 5 years ago

    This is news to me

 
working