I know that many people don't like HP cracking down, but I personally am hoping that HubPages will continue to find new ways in 2012 to encourage the good writers on here and discourage the spammers and spinners - I really do think that it helps the site's reputation overall with Google and the wider internet community!
Can't say that I agree with you. In the marketing field we find ways for our downline to duplicate what we do. I freely give my articles to them for this reason. Spinning is just a way of putting quality articles on the top rated sites. The only real reputation with Google is the number of unique hits you get to your site or hub. Google is in the field of getting traffic not quality writing.
Hahaha! Google only cares about traffic, not good writing... okay.
No I disagree. Google very much cares about how the person that lands on a page behaves. If the person stays on the page and makes it clear they read the page, then the person shares the page - bet your britches Google knows it, and they then know that someone liked the page.....this is how they seem to be evolving and one of the ways they judge what is or isn't quality content.
Yes, no internet user/searcher wants to read a spun article.
Ooops, this is the one I meant to reply to. It was kinda funny.
What if we're at the bottom of our downline
And how come no one is giving our subdomains content?? So unfair...
In which world is stealing my article, spinning it into crap make it quality? I fail to understand Lipnancy's point. Moreover, isn't original the order of the day? Isn't Google now bent on weeding out duplicate from the internet? I thought that was on of their main goals with all the Pandas and Penguins.
Define good writers for me. It would seem you mean 'ethical' in some way?
Being able to write in English is always a good starting point.
(I don't see what ethics has to do with it?)
I think this opens up a huge can of worms about filters for the 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly writers' and how you will apply filters to weed them out. People need the chance to start writing and improve. Surely the 'duplication test' is enough and the subdomains. I haven't seen any creditable research that shows that the overall 'Quality' of articles on Hubpages affects everyone in their 'Yellow Submarines'. If people write poor quality articles using spinner tools the ratings of their subs will be downgraded ('Red Submarines') - surely the Subs is the saviour.
There are *huge* logistical and technical problems related to filtering/policing/moderating a big site. I read people saying that everything should be individually looked at by a human, but HP have to use blunt tools like simplistic rules and computerized analysis, otherwise there would not be enough money to pay us, and they they wouldn't make a profit.
In anothe forum thread, Mark Knowles argued that HP should have put more energy into cleaning up the site last year, rather than relying on introducing subdoms, which he described as trying to 'game' Google.
I think HP were right to do both myself - clean up and introduce the subdoms. I think that the clean up could carry on and go further however, in order to see off any future problems. After all, Google is assessing entire sites nowadays, not just individual posts.
That is why we all need to do some hub hopping once in awhile. You still see the bad stuff show up once in awhile.
I suspect that the 'bad stuff' is there all the time and hub hopping barely scratches the surface. It concerns me that the situation might get worse rather than better. (I don't know what the solution is. But I do think HP need to keep on the case.)
It's not just the low standard new stuff you can pick up hub hopping, there is still a lot of old dross on the site that needs weeding out
Holy Cow, Batwoman! That's a lot of dross. It's scary. My laptop has now started wobbling under the pressure of all the crap that lies beneath.
They should take a torch to the lot of it.
I thought there was a magic number below which a Hub simply self destructed like the tape message at the start of Mission Impossible?
Nope, and a lot of that stuff has been around for two or three years. It's one of the reasons why good writers get annoyed when their hubs suddenly get flagged or even unpublished for something relatively minor or eminently fixable, when this dross is allowed to float on for years.
I sometimes get into flagging mode, but its a bit like Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill - a never ending task!
And that is why I've stopped hub hopping. If HP can't get its priorities straight and targets people for minor stuff while leaving the real crap untouched, then I'm not going to get involved at all.
Put it this way: if I knew that my local police force was arresting people for chewing gum on the street while ignoring real crimes (despite knowing of their existence and location), then it would make me very disinclined to help them.
Great analogy, although I always think of the stable one instead
@ Paul - I like what another site does - one is not allowed to link up one's Adsense account until one has added a certain amount of content. I believe it discourages those who are out to spam the site silly - also, just reaching the point of having added a certain amount of content doesn't do it (allow you to link up Adsense) unless you also have a good quality score - good, lengthy content etc. However, something similar on HubPages is unlikely to discourage spammers - they just want to get their links out there (or get paid for posting low quality articles here for somebody else) and they don't worry about the earnings they could make - so, yeah, I don't know what the solution is either.
The HP team and HP Authors scratch each other's backs but we can help with offering suggestions, idea's, tips we may learn from the blogoshpere it's all part of developing and maintaining a positive working 'partnership'.
I agree, something needs to be done, althought I don't know what that thing is. Unfortunately, all the crap on this site hurts earnings for the good writers because of the traffic they take. And whoever said spun articles is a good thing, have they even read a badly spun article? Their sentences make no sense! Spinning does not create quality content.
If we all just say, google is interested in traffic so it doesn't matter what kind of crap you put in an article, we've lost the meaning of being a writer.
Agreed! Spun articles suck. And Google search results are all about matching up phrases that appear in both the search phrase an Internet user used on Google when looking for information about something, and in the article that contains that information the person searching Google was looking for.
See how easy it is to find cr*p on this site? You'd think HP's diligent moderators could do the same instead of spending time nit picking other stuff which doesn't have such a bad bearing on HP. Makes one wonder what the heck they are thinking and certainly doesn't instill confidence in the powers-that-be making the decisions here. Yeah, like I want to be mentored by these guys!
+ 2 (too!)
Of course we are effected by this crap! Directly and Indirectly... but others, including HP clearly Earn or Gain Value From It! What in Reality.. does that say?
It says, hard cheese for honest folk, Rob! Apparently, HP still makes money off of these cr*ppy articles. But we've asked for reasons before as to why such junk is so hard to remove, especially those which garner lots of page views. So far, no one from staff seems willing to address this issue. Hmmmm. Sometimes what is not said speaks louder than what is.
Absolutely Randy! In my corner of the world, my personal and corporate experience both dictate that "It ain't what's being said... it's what they don't wish to say and/or accept responsibility for!"
Mate... please don't get me started on my ethical beliefs!
I understand what you are saying, Rob. Having spent my life being self-employed and having to deal with many businesses, I've learned to always look further than what IS being said to what ISN'T and why it isn't. And this is especially so on writing sites and other online businesses.
This is because those running the show do not have to face the customers--or writers in this case--eye to eye and look at them when they are spinning their tales. This often emboldens them to also ignore any complaints which may--and usually does--arise in this business. More's the pity!
Google's main goal is to make money, much as is the goal of HP. Google already has the ability to tell copied content from original because of their access to the original published dates of articles. They should be held accountable when they rank copied content above the original, but they aren't.
Until Google is held to higher standards by the law, then there can be no chance of ever having a truly fair search engine for those of us producing original content. One has to spend even more time just making sure our work isn't stolen because Google's lack of integrity and greed deems it to be so. I'll be pleased when this corrupt entity is knocked down a few notches. Thankfully, I'm getting more Bing and Yahoo traffic these days with the combination of the two now surpassing Google's searches. Go team!
This is one of my favorite topics. It's a really hard technical and community problem, but that said, we have more people working on ways to fight spam than any other part of HubPages. In the last few weeks, we've been attacked on several spam fronts. There was a comment attack that came from China, a scripting attack and another threat that could have taken down the entire data center we are in - it's crazy. Largely, the community is protected from some of the worst attacks.
From the community stand point, we all have different views on what quality is. There are some really good examples of people that have really interesting and helpful things to say, but don't have polished writing skills. My belief is there should be a place for people like this on HubPages. Earlier in the thread it was pointed out that people improve. I think that's true. Heavily moderating these people doesn't seem right.
As far as the rules go for publishing a hub, this is tricky. There is a lot of content within our rules that people are very polarized on if it's good or bad. Our policy has been is if it's within the rules we leave it. The set of heuristics does an ok job, but it's not perfect. If we or the community acted as the editor for what is good is challenging. Take a Barrack Obama Hub or something politically or religiously charged. The thumbs up and down arrows heavily indicate that people use these based on their beliefs and preferences - not necessarily if the hub is good. We aren't sure how to handle these types of editorial decisions.
As for spun and pure spam, that's an easy one. If we can find it it comes down. The moderators take down violators regardless of traffic. One Hubber a while back was nearly 2% of total traffic and that was removed (that's large).
As for the future, we've been building technology that detects more spam that is getting tested now. I'm also meeting with Deeds and Micki this morning to discuss how do we prevent spam from ever getting indexed. What ways can we work as a community to keep the site clean from spam? If Hub hopping gave direct feedback on how the data is used, would people use it more if they could see it was keeping spam off the site?
I think feedback would help enormously.
There is always a worry that you are being too stringent when you flag and the more information we have to hand might mean more appropriate flagging and less staff time following it up.
I wonder if you have a system which prioritizes fagging for certain "quick win" situations such as those not in English- an easy decision- these could be deleted and on their way by a moderator in seconds, perhaps this is what you already do.
As an open pubishing platform if a peice of writing is well written; is not liable to start world war three then it should be published- despite the fact that many may not adhere to the opinions and beliefs stated in it.
Both America and Great Britain have a fairly good freedom of speech; although ours has been eroded over time. It is in our interests to allow others from other countries to enjoy this freedom (OK I will get off the soap box now)
I would be very interested in learning how the Hopper works at your end, both generally and directly.
While I agree we have freedom of speech, that doesn't allow people to violate policies on a privately owned site. Opinions are fine - and i certainly took some heat for publishing a controversial hub a while back - but if the site has guidelines about quality and other standards, as guests of the site, it's our job to follow the guidelines.
Two Bob's worth =>
I suggest a two level system be developed:
Internal - subject to current rules and filters. These would be published on HP and would appear for internal search but would not be indexed.
Prime - Subject to new rules and assessment - indexed after review requested by author who is aware of the criteria.
This would deal with many of the quality issues raised. Established writers would have their articles straight to prime. New writers would need to establish their ability to meet the quality criteria. This is what other sites do.
What do we do about an interesting topic with poor sentence structure, misspelled words, poor grammar, and no periods at ends of sentences? When I find these people, I flag them. I want to understand what to do when I find a hub like this. I appreciate all that you do to help us and guide us in the right direction.
Yes, most of the not in english content is automatically caught.
Yes, what comprises "quality content" is subjective. For the money oriented entrepreneur earnings at any cost determines quality. To those wishing to provide needed and searched for information-- written using proper grammar and spelling--without misleading the searcher in the process, "quality content" means something else. Hmmm. Which should we choose?
"Guests of the site" doesn't properly describe our relationship with HP, IMHO. If so, we are "paying guests," as 40% of our time (not our earnings as some think) is a fairly good recompense for our being allowed to be guests here.
To be able to deal effectively with Feedback... one must be Open to having a degree of feedback that may well be more direct and honest than one chooses to accept.
Further... It is Very Hard for many of us with outgoing, open or 'extrovert' personalities to understand those from other cultures, who don't understand or care to understand us, due to their 'introverted' or closed personalities!
(And visa versa).. Many major misunderstandings on this site occur for such reasons!
I too find straight talk is discouraged here. I suppose when one is used to "telling it like it is" it's difficult to understand the mindset of those who've always had to knuckle under to authority just to keep their jobs. It hasn't always been this way, but it seems more the rule than the exception in this day and time.
Apparently, we are a dying breed, Rob.
I do, the one I "got" from you died from homesickness!
ER.. how do you get away with using these live links, Irohner? I was warned by HP not to use them, thus my Ewbie image signature instead of my old smilie I used for years.
Dunno, Randy. This is the first that I've heard that we couldn't use them. I haven't been told otherwise, banned or had any other action taken because of them. I would think that if this was a new rule, they would have taken the ability to post them away. Seems like that would be a fairly easy thing to do, no?
My experience here has been that while people want to be able to "talk straight" when making comments in regards to how they feel the site is being run or their money, many of those same people wish to reserve the right to not listen to straight talking when those comments refer to their own or someone else's Hubs.
I agree, but that's pretty much human nature. It's the same with parents who want schools to enforce academic and behavioral standards...until it comes to THEIR kid. Try giving a kid anything less than an A on his report card and watch the fur fly! Criticism is hard on the ego, but done correctly, can bring really positive results.
Well, since you are famous for your "straight talk" here, Relache, I suppose you've had experience with both sides of the coin.
I remember one a while back that I flagged, not sure it is the same one you're referring to. As a member here, I think it gives us a great satisfaction when we know that flagging does actually result in getting rid of these kind of spammers. The one I (and probably others) flagged changed avatars and locations frequently. The content was not so obviously spun to a casual reader. The profile had hundreds of hubs.
yes, I would. Even a few minutes a day could get rid of a lot of spam if more hubbers were actively hopping.
Randy - I sort of view our relationship with HP as being a bit similar to hairdressers who rent space from a commercial salon. Sometimes they pay an upfront flat fee & sometimes they pay a percentage of the traffic they get. In return, the salon owner maintains the building or space, pays utilities, often pays for and places advertising, provides equipment and pays for reception staff who take calls and make appointments.
The salon owner has the right (eve the obligation) to set some standards and requirements. The hairdressers can either go along with those guidelines in exchange for being able to come tinwork, do their thing and go home without worrying about a broken sink or a problem with a staff member, or they can go out on their own and rent space, hire staff and pay for or personally do all that extra work.
I feel we get a ton of support from HubPages' management and staff. I'm not personally ready to launch and maintain my own website. Maybe someday, but it would be in addition to HP, not in lieu of it. I'm thankful for the learning tools here, the professional advice, the supportiveness and the incredible work they're doing to update, improve and better commercialize the site.
I also think it's worth the trade-off of what we 'pay' for being here. HubPages, last rime I looked, was #60 of the millions of sites on the Internet. Unless I committed a major crime and made it to the top of the news on every network, there's no way I could personally gained that level of exposure at this point in my online writing career.
The rest of it is up to me and whatever ability I acquire to write hubs that stay abreast of Google's whims (which are there through no fault of HP) and to produce current content that's well-written and competitive. Similarly, a hairdresser, not the salin owner, is responsible for his/her personal skills and ability to produce work that follows current trends.
I'm glad to be here - and happy to be a paying guest.
Geez - please excuse errors. Must get over habit of using a mobile device with 2-point typeface to compose long posts. Or even short ones. So sorry!
I will take in consideration you've only been here 5 months, Mary. You haven't obtained high traffic and suddenly lost 80% of it literally overnight because the "hair salon" allowed other "hairdressers" to affect your earnings because they have no experience nor care to do a satisfactory job.
It does make a difference in one's "stay." And yes, I can simply move to another "salon" and try to take my customers with me, but that entails chucking 3 years of work to start all over again. I'd rather things be handled well from partnership aspect rather than from a "guest" position. If I had my druthers, that is.
When you've been here a while longer you may see thing a bit differently, but I do see where you are coming from. I was there once myself.
I agree with your point. I'm more aware than anyone else that I've only been here five months. I will say, though, that I have a long career in writing that goes back many years before I joined the site. I'm on HP because I decided late last year to write online in addition to (or instead of) other outlets. So I know I'm still a learner. Would the analogy be better if I compare it to writing for a magazine for a fee rather than publishing your own periodical?
I don't give my work away as a writer, and writing has been my main source of income for many years (either on staff or freelancing). I agree that people come to this site because they respect the content. I would not write for a site or publication that didn't earn that respect.
Not really trying to downplay your experience, either here or on the other venues you written, Mary. Just meaning to point out you haven't observed the best or worst of times here yet. Believe me, it does make a difference in one's attitude. But you're smart enough not to be told this by myself. I'm glad you're pleased with HP as it is now. I used to be and hope things change for the better for all of our sakes, HP included.
Thanks Randy (by the way, it's Marcy, not Mary). I've seen enough folklore anecdotal stuff here to know there are many things I've yet to experience. And I'm making no predictions about how well I'll weather those ups and downs or whether I have the stomach for it. I respect everyone who's been through the bad stuff, and I've tried to read everything I can to learn what happened, what the Panda release targeted, etc. etc.
My saving grace now is that I don't rely on HP for my income, and even though I hope to build it up, I started out thinking of it as a longterm goal, not easy money that would come quickly. I'm thankful for the experienced writers here who share their take on things. There will never be a time when HP does not have new writers on board - this year is my year to be a newbie. Maybe one day I'll know enough to help the next batch of new writers the way all of you have helped me.
My apologies, Mary. I have problem with not checking the name on a familiar avatar photo occasionally as there are so many names to remember here.
I too have never depended on my HP earnings for a living, but unlike you I have no more than five or so years invested in this writing business. I write for my own enjoyment. The extra cash merely vindicates spending my time doing so.
I do appreciate your opinion, Mary. Don't ever stop voicing it.
Thanks, Rady - I always enjoy your posts! Signed, 'Mary'
Lol this is funny as you now have Rady instead of Randy...
That was deliberate, Cardisa - poking back at our favorite Site Snake.
As I'm sure you know Paul E, in the literary world, a valued place of which I've been an integral part of for many years, it's an extremely easy task for even a reasonably competent individual with average intelligence to identify and edit, or possibly even eliminate "Poor Quality" writing from a platform before significant, irreversible reputation damage is done - Most readers know atrocious writing violations when they see them and will avoid said site in the future -
When Hub Hopping, or simply visiting 20 profile pages in random fashion, if you find 5 in 20 are of acceptable English Language Standards, you've embarked upon a generously giving excursion - Using a simple English Grammar Principle Test, at least 15 of 20 could very easily be removed from circulation for basic "Quality" issue infractions pending re-write remedy or permanent purging for attaining dubious status as "Unsalvageable" -
Apparently, from the thrust of your comment and browsing the site, applicable standards are much lower here at HP in a sincere, yet possibly ill-advised effort to accommodate sub-par writers who may not be English Language Fluent or sufficiently knowledgeable, verses the vast majority of global venues that insist upon an association with individuals who had previously attained and subsequently maintained, an acceptable degree of expertise in writing ability, in-depth knowledge of subject matter, and lofty creative talent levels. All of which unquestionably bolster individual credibility and result in a positive reflection on the host site if applicable -
Therein sits a primary issue - I understand there may be exceptions to every rule however, Premium expert writers / artists / photographers absolutely deserve premium consideration - I'm not sure it's possible to successfully reconcile or integrate an "Open, Anything Goes" style writing platform, which appears to be the case here at HP, with staff's desire to be recognized by the intergalactic federation of universal communities as a serious, legitimate information disseminating contending force -
Merely possessing knowledge which some individuals might consider as valuable, does not a writer make - At least not an expert writer -
+2 for AP's excellent post. While I truly feel readers respect HP and the overall quality, I'd prefer some tighter standards regarding all of that. I know I've flagged hubs that I felt should be unpublished until they can meet better quality standards, but often they are still published. If the goal is to allow those writers to learn and grow, maybe there should be a process that requires them to rework substandard hubs?
AP - you have a great point about knowledge in an area not equating to the ability to write about that topic cogently. Also, having experienced something (anything) once or twice doesn't make someone an expert in the topic. Or a writer.
I would refer everybody to CMHypno's comment earlier in this thread and the shortcut she posted:
Everybody needs to go have a look. Why is this stuff here, just vegetating?
It's mainly all promotional garbage.
Surely it can be removed with a few deft clicks.
I'll do it for minimum wage and a set of guidelines.
I started to do the same, Horatio, but it has been done repeatedly over the last year or so and apparently is ignored by staff.
The Hubber scores were low, but the content is varied in quality. I also see hubs that have high scores or rankings due to getting many comments and votes from friends. Groups of writers who are on FB together and click & praise hubs out of friendship. They're not trying to game the system, but the fan club approach raises the hub's stock and (of course) earns ad revenue. And the hub gets a high score, even if it's very poorly written.
I've sometimes wondered whether Google factors in how well a site (any site) polices itself in terms of quality. If they aren't doing that now, I truly think they will be in the future. Even with subdomains, it's possibe for bad content to affect the bigger picture.
I've been using Google quite a lot lately for searches and I'll tell you quality doesn't have much to do with what shows up as #1. I'll ask a question and get a site that does have that question, but no answers. They've got a long way to go. How they are coming up with there search results is beyond me.
Hubpages may not be perfect, but they do better than some of the answers I've been finding on Google as #1.
It's probable that more people would do hub hopping and flagging if HubPages didn't keep HIDING the hopper. I can't find it at all right now.
@Marcy... don't let young Randy wind you up too much... Sadly, since his really bad hair cut, he's not been the same!
Especially now that he has to wear that pointy silver hat during the day!
Hey what's all this pokin around? Is that appropriate forum talk??
Ha ha ha, Rady's fun to tease... I have a feeling he's venomous though!
That's right, everyone team up on the poor defenseless dumbasp!
lmao awe, you can take it... it's a sign of affection anyway... tee hee hee
Here Para, Try this juicy red apple I've got just for you!
Snake flesh does taste a bit like chicken, Marcie! Some refer to it as Goodflesh!
You are bad! I've tried to live down my last name for years! I won't even try to make a wise remark about yours. You win!
Wow, I go away from the forums for several days and when I come back a thread I started 2 months ago has sprung back to life! :-)
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