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Do NOT sign up for backlinking services

  1. Jason Menayan profile image61
    Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago

    There is a lot of bad SEO (search engine optimization) advice out there, and the use of automated services that procure backlinks to your Hubs is one particularly egregious example. Using services to get backlinks can result in your Google AdSense and/or HubPages account permanently banned. Yes, we are absolutely serious. Once you lose your AdSense account, you can never get it back.

    We strongly suggest focusing on crafting a search-friendly title as the only SEO strategy you should follow. Please read this Learning Center entry on how to do that:
    http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/choosing-right-title

    If you want to promote your Hubs safely, and not run aground of Google's or HubPages's rules, you can read this guide:
    http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/a-gu … acklinking

    Focus on a search-friendly title, and exceptionally good content, and backlinks will build naturally on their own. smile

    1. Sally's Trove profile image98
      Sally's Troveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Why this warning now?

      1. paradigmsearch profile image90
        paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        My guess is that HP is seeing more and more accounts that are being victimized by this.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Because the recent Penguin update specifically targeted dubious linking practices, and Google is now actively hunting down backlinking services, which they weren't before. 

        Almost without exception, the links you get from these services aren't worth having anyway.  What you get varies by service.  It may be a link in a "directory" or a "bookmarking site" - just a list of links, and we all know Google hates those.  It may be a link in a blog post - which sounds good, but you have to look at the quality of the blog, and usually it's full of keyword-stuffed and either spun or duplicate content.  We all know Google hates those, too.  Or finally, it may be "likes" or Tweets - I don't think Google has worked out how to identify fake likes/Tweets yet, but they must have noticed all the ads offering the service, so I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

        Bottom line is - if a service is publicly offering to create backlinks, Google knows they exist and they're out to stop them doing it.  They're not doing anything illegal so Google can't stop them advertising - but if they can identify their network of sites, they can de-index the lot overnight. That's what they did to BuildMyRank (which used to be one of the big players).

        There are a few private blog networks, which don't advertise and which only accept quality articles.  However good luck tracking them down!  Besides, they're expensive - it would be hard to justify paying the monthly fee unless you're a serious internet marketer.

        1. jacharless profile image82
          jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Well, there goes Twitter, FB shares, Pinterest, Mr Wong, Delicious, Reddit and more.
          One major reason is because Google just acquired Meebo -which is exactly like StumbleUpon- for content discovery, based on categorized bookmarks and includes social media sharing.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image94
            Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            They're not paid services.   However, links on directories and social bookmarking sites were downgraded long ago - way before Penguin.  It's been obvious for ages that both directories and social bookmarking sites had lost their original purpose, and were over-run with webmasters promoting their own stuff - and Google was just as aware of that as everyone else.  Posting on Delicious, Reddit, Stumbleupon etc. is a newbie tactic - the real internet gurus were saying it was a waste of time two or three years ago.  Twitter, FB and Pinterest are different animals (Pinterest is no follow, for one thing).

            1. jacharless profile image82
              jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Actually most are paid discovery, but not referral/affiliated paid discovery. In short, API developers are paying folks to tweet, pin, share -even play games (Zynga) etc. True, "real" SBMs have been flooded with spam and good to see things getting resolved; bulk-link or link-swap "scams" getting the kicked to the curb. But, make no mistake, paid discovery via Google is the end goal. StumbleUpon is possible the best free & paid discovery SBM out there. Real UV for a very good price, so I would hardly call them the "newbie" tactic -especially since the likes of MOMA and other high end businesses use it, not to mention every top tech review recommends them.

              Either way, Jason makes a point, back linking is redundant. Sitemap & Syndication is really the way to go. If you have to back link, my vote would be SUpd and not Google, Yahoo/Bing services and be patient for them to kick in (6 months minimum).

              James.

        2. thisisoli profile image61
          thisisoliposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Penguin had nothing to do with dubious linking practices, that was an entirely separate april update.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image94
            Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this
            1. thisisoli profile image61
              thisisoliposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Look at the 52 april update.

              Penguin was and always has been a content value update, things got confused when some idiot did a before and after test, failing to take in to account the huge number of other changes that went on that month.

    2. Denmarkguy profile image96
      Denmarkguyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      From Jason: >>>  Focus on a search-friendly title, and exceptionally good content, and backlinks will build naturally on their own. <<<

      Yup. Agree 100%.

      Attempts to "game the system" seems to be part of human nature. In the end, a empty package with the world's most carefully researched and developed wrapping remains... an empty box. Zero content.

      Think about who you are, when YOU search for stuff. I don't know about you, but it &$#()'s me off when I am searching for something and I get a page that tells me "Here are 47 (mostly broken) links to pages about that subject, many of which are useless." When I encounter such things, all I want to do is jump through the wires and STRANGLE whatever idiot created it.

      Add something of value to the overall content of the web, and you usually WILL get read. What's more, quality content doesn't tend to be subject to the wild traffic fluctuations associated with thinly disguised content farming promoted through dubious linkage... and the subject of google's attempts to make it go away. 

      Google searches accounts for less than 25% of my hub traffic, so I just can't lose sleep over "what google is doing" and "whether my keywords are turned 37.2 degrees north." What will come, will come. I direct my energies at creating and building "organic" traffic. Some comes from my blog, some from web sites, some from forums, some from facebook interest groups... and from a large number of links added around the web because someone read something I wrote and went "Wow... he knows his stuff, I'm gonna share this."

    3. Cardisa profile image91
      Cardisaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      @Jason, I noticed that I cannot link to Social Monkee on my profile page, are they dubious as well? I haven't backlinked in many months but I want to know if they are considered bad.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        They do offer a paid service. They're offering links on their own little network of directories and social bookmarking sites - which are unlikely to be worth the effort.

        1. Jason Menayan profile image61
          Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          In that case, I'd avoid them, Cardisa, even if you are not using their paid service.

          1. Cardisa profile image91
            Cardisaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks Marisa and Jason. Will end my subscription. I have NOT been linking though.

    4. Trish_M profile image86
      Trish_Mposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Hi smile

      What about 'Pingler'?

      I was advised to use it, by a member, but wonder, now, if it is a good idea???

      1. thejeffriestube profile image84
        thejeffriestubeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Pingler is a little different. A ping is simply a service that says, "Hey, this website might have been updated, check it." Just remember, do NOT use it too often. Google (and other search providers) get annoyed by that.

        1. Trish_M profile image86
          Trish_Mposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Hi smile
          Thank you for your helpful response smile

  2. Gordon Hamilton profile image96
    Gordon Hamiltonposted 4 years ago

    Jason, I hope you don't mind me including a very sore personal experience which backs up your post 100%.

    Back in the Spring of 2008, when I was incredibly naive re online protocol, I had a site (not a Hub) which was doing very well with Google and had fabulous traffic levels from a number of sources. I earned decent revenue from it. Someone told me about a service like this, which could "help" the page do even better. I had to fill in a simple, online form with my URL, what (if memory serves me correctly) was a 100 word summary of my page and include what I wanted to be my principal tag. It took me two minutes and cost me a long term fortune.

    In no time at all, my Google traffic died. Four and a bit years on, that page (which still exists) has had not one, solitary Google hit since. Needless to say, the revenue went with the traffic sad

    1. Jason Menayan profile image61
      Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you for sharing this, Gordon. Hopefully it will help many others who are thinking about doing the same thing.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image90
        paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Someone needs to round Jason up to 400. smile

      2. Living Well Now profile image79
        Living Well Nowposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        What about opening up the feeds so we can syndicate our Hubpage content on Amazon? Seems like it would be a win-win for hubbers and Hubpages. Hubbers get a little extra if someone subscribes and Hubpages benefits from exposure on Amazon.

  3. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image94
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 4 years ago

    Jason -

    Question - if we 'share' hubs on various sites, and if we have a group of friends who do this as well (we share each other's work, which is commonly done) do you think that triggers Google's downgrading of a site?

    Does Google somehow recognize which sites were commercially promoted and treat that differently than sites that are 'shared' through social connections?

    Thanks for posting this - I've heard of these services, and it's always been with a 'stay away' warning. But I know they're still out there.

    1. Jason Menayan profile image61
      Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It is entirely possible. It's hard to know where they draw the line, but automated services that blast links to a bunch of sites where you have absolutely no real presence is clearly bad, as you noted.

      1. Pamela N Red profile image90
        Pamela N Redposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Jason, do you think RedGage is a bad idea? I use it but thought since it wasn't duplicating content it was safe.

        1. Barbara Kay profile image84
          Barbara Kayposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I like Redgage too. I'd like to have the answer to that one. I get a lot of traffic from them and have earned a little money too.

          1. Jason Menayan profile image61
            Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            If you're solely using Redgage or any other site to promote your Hubs or friends' Hubs, then I would say that's a bad idea. I don't know the site well enough to comment on it, but if you're using it responsibly and authentically, and not primarily as a promotional vehicle, then I think that's probably fine, although if most people are using Redgage as a promotional vehicle (I have no idea if that's true or not) then the site might be considered a link farm by Google.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Link exchanges - any system whereby webmasters collude to visit each other's sites and artificially increase traffic - are against Google and HubPages TOS.  However, I doubt your efforts are anywhere near big enough to trigger Google's filters.

      It's important not to confuse links that can cause a site to be penalized, and links that are simply ignored, or given very little value, by Google.  There's a lot of hysteria at the moment about "bad links" hurting your Hubs, which is a fundamental misunderstanding of what's happening.  The people being penalized are the ones who (as Jason said) create hundreds or thousands of backlinks artificially.

      1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image94
        Marcy Goodfleischposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Just to clarify - I don't know of any quid pro quo activities. I was referring to people who become familiar with the work of people within a group and sometimes share a piece they particularly like.

        I think you're right, Marisa, this is way different from the type and scale of link-trading you mention here.

        1. Marc Rohde profile image85
          Marc Rohdeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I would expect the reciprocal links to be of long-term value if when they are on related and high value sites.  If your colleagues are all producing, content of related quality and the show you some “link love” it will boost the trust Google has in your content and vice versa.  This seems well within the context of what Google is trying to do—help users identify valuable content.  What critical is that all sites provide real quality content.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image94
            Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            The important phrase here is "on related sites".

      2. thisisoli profile image61
        thisisoliposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Not necessarily true the updates are algorithmic. Just add many smaller sites got hit as larger ones. Most of the changes cams as part of the anchor text algorithmic change which attacked unnatural link spreads, ie. Too many backlinks with keywords in anchor text over brand/generics.

        The actual number isn't so important, as the percentages.

        That's before even delving into site/author categorization.

  4. Angela Brummer profile image73
    Angela Brummerposted 4 years ago

    Good information thank you!

  5. michememe profile image77
    michememeposted 4 years ago

    I am glad I never learned how to do backlinks. It sounded fishy to me. I'm new here. I wasn't willing to try anything, that would jeopardize my growth as a writer and reading other's hubs. Thanks for the information. Greatly appreciate it.

  6. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 4 years ago

    In my case, ignorance is bliss when it comes to backlinking.

  7. JKenny profile image92
    JKennyposted 4 years ago

    What about if you submit your URL to RSS feed websites? Do they count?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      That's a very good question. Personally, I think if they're not downgraded now, they soon will be.

      After all, Google's goal is to weed out self-promotion.  Clearly, the only person likely to submit a site's RSS feed to a RSS feed website is the owner. So it's by definition self-promotion.

      1. JKenny profile image92
        JKennyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Hmm..thanks Marisa. Admittedly it was something I did a while ago. Don't do a lot of backlinking now, apart from FB. I'll have to cut down, I guess. As for the RSS feeds, I'll just have to wait and see.

      2. Living Well Now profile image79
        Living Well Nowposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Your RSS feeds are limited by Hubpages to the Hub title, first pic and summary. It's not a full feed. If submitting a feed will cause a downgrade, then thousands, if not millions of useful blogs will be hit. I don't see that happening.

        1. Pcunix profile image88
          Pcunixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          While I would agree that RSS is probably harmless (because Google knows it is RSS and probably gives it little value anyway), do you seriously think Google cares how many sites its updates affect?

          Googles goal is accurate and useful search results.   If accurate and useful takes fifty million sites out of the mix, so be it.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image61
            Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Google's goal is "adequate" search results that make their shareholders and major advertisers a profit. wink

            1. Pcunix profile image88
              Pcunixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Sez you.

              If Google does not continue to provide better results than Bing and the rest, they will lose billions of dollars in revenue.

              If you want to call, that "adequate", fine.   Whatever adjective you choose, Google cares about  the happiness of the folks DOING the search, and not the sites that result from that search.

              1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                What a naive view you have. Does Fox want to bring us the news as well? lol

                Google is a Corporation and "cares" about market share and profits.

                1. Pcunix profile image88
                  Pcunixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Duh.

                  Exactly my point, Mark.  If they do not retain their position as King of Search, they lose their advertisers.

                  But keep on spouting away.  It's amusing.

            2. jacharless profile image82
              jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              +1  {no Google pun intended}.
              Am waiting until the end of the year to see what "final" results comes to light for New & Improved White Hat for the Big Three.
              Interim: Duck Duck Go!

              James

              1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I am going with under-optimized links and pages. If you went to town and added the top 20 semantically related search terms according to the google keyword tool to your page and tags - I suggest removing 75% of them and making sure the anchor text you desire is ion less than 20% of your incoming links.

                And be sure to include some social networking markers in and amongst.

                1. jacharless profile image82
                  jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Have found just logging straight Title like "My Dog Skip", a matching link my-dog-skip.htm works wonders, coupled with correct authoring, description and one keyword per 200 words of relevant content. I even did a test to place each keyword as it appears in the content to see how well it is picked up. Not disappointed by the result. Can't say anything regarding this for HP, as I am holding 100 hubs in archive until...well, you already know. smile

                  Back staging "My Dog Skip" to 20-1,000 or more locations is a bit excessive.
                  Places like WordPress, Tumblr, Tweets, etc ultimately do more harm than good. WP especially, because that whole slug thing and those "seo plugins" like Yoast. Complete forced indexing/boilerplate.

                  /directoryname is also a vital asset to better indexing. Trial-error finding there. lol

                  James

          2. Living Well Now profile image79
            Living Well Nowposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Useful is the keyword wink

            Google isn't going to nix useful content. That's how they make money,  by providing relevant search information. Hubpages is in it for the money too but their model is becoming antiquated. How many hubs have been written about SEO optimization, keyword tool, backlinking and the amount of money you could make doing this while working at home? That's Hubpages niche and the kind of content farming that Google is looking to plow under.

      3. Pamela N Red profile image90
        Pamela N Redposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I fall under that "ignorance is bliss" category. I wasn't smart enough to figure all that out so haven't done it yet; sounds like it may be just as well.

  8. culveraxel profile image61
    culveraxelposted 4 years ago

    Thanks for this useful information ! In my view, Hubpages.com is for sharing your knowledge.

  9. Pcunix profile image88
    Pcunixposted 4 years ago

    And yet this site is still full of.. umm, misguided people.. recommending splattering self created backlinks everywhere..

    Just do a search for "backlink".  I've been warning people about this junk for years but the tide of opinion has been entirely in favor of self-promotion..  I'm glad to see HP warning against this.

  10. paradigmsearch profile image90
    paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago

    I'd say, "Play nice." But I can tell that both of you enjoy this. big_smile

    1. Pcunix profile image88
      Pcunixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Let's just remember that Mark is a big fan of fooling Google with fakery and purchased backlinks..  and I am not.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image90
        paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Paradigmsearch tosses popcorn bag into microwave...

      2. Mark Knowles profile image61
        Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Not in the slightest. Far as I can tell - over optimizing your site with masses of internal links and optimized "search friendly" Titles is at least as damaging as building over optimized external links.

        Fooling Google? lol

        1. Pcunix profile image88
          Pcunixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          No comment.

          I think anyone with a moderate amount of memory or ambition can remember or find the truth.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image61
            Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            No doubt Sunforged will be along to remind you that you do not practice what you preach. wink

            1. Pcunix profile image88
              Pcunixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Yeah, another Google game player.  Like anybody should care what he has to preach any more.   You have a conveniently short memory, too:  I responded to SF's ridiculous "reminders" quite thoroughly.

              Face it, Mark: the world has changed.  You want to pretend you've never been an advocate of gaming Google, fine.  You were always on the side of pure white hat and that's the story you can stick to.

              1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                No - you justified your linkbuilding as acceptable because it was "relevant" lol. Face it PCUnix - the world has changed and building quality backlinks instead of automated garbage is where it is at.
                Google gaming? What is that exactly?

                Spending $50 million a year on adwords? lol

                1. Pcunix profile image88
                  Pcunixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Your sentence says it all:  "building backlinks".   Fakery.

                  And I did no link building.  What I did was what was common practice in the years before Google - I let people republish my content.  SF, obviously unfamiliar with that world, assumed that I was creating duplicate content.  I stopped doing that many years ago, but I did not go after those who had taken content in good faith under a CC license.

                  The other things I did that would now be frowned upon was answer people seeking help in Unix forums by giving them links to pages I had written that answered their repetitive questions.  Again, that was long, long before Google even existed as a search engine, never mind for Adsense. 

                  But why do I bother?  Talking to people like you is like handling snakes.  Wherever you try to grab, they just wriggle away.

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                    Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    What was your justification for all the fake links you built to game google with?   

                    Sorry if I got the reason wrong, but I thought that was your justification. It is OK to build links as long as it is relevant.

                  2. Mark Knowles profile image61
                    Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Really? I go write an article on another site and link to my site here - as hubpages suggests -

                    "Another backlinking alternative is to backlink to HubPages from your own personal blog or website. The best way to do this is to write complementary blog posts or pages. For example, you can write a blog post about a barbecue, and link back to a recipe Hub on a recipe you used at the event.

                    Additionally, you can embed the HubPages widget into your blog or website. It makes it much easier to present your latest Hubs to an audience of people not on HubPages.com.

                    You might also backlink to Hubs from other article sites on which you write."

                    http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/a-gu … acklinking

                    This is fakery? Yes?

                    Automated links with a hubpages widget - fakery? Or not?

                    The real issue is finding sites. wink

              2. sunforged profile image64
                sunforgedposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I see your memory is slipping - You have never responded to any straight question I have asked you in your entire time here. That snake analogy was apt, just misplaced.


                Here is your history of "legitimate link building"

                http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/93024?p … ost1985803

                and here is your in depth response:

                http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/93024?p … ost1985900



                Whatever though ... enjoy yourself - one day - for a week or two, you will be right.

                But, then we will all be searching by speaking to our mobile devices, internet enabled televisions and using VR glasses to walk around youtube.

                I would have appreciated a scoop on betting on Secretariat in 1973 ... it wouldnt help me now, perhaps, opportunity knocks but once wink

                A little bit more on the thread topic.

                When did the "chinese wall" between Google search and adsense fall? ANyone have an authenticated source that links adsense account loss with unsavory backlink profiles?

        2. Jason Menayan profile image61
          Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this
          1. Mark Knowles profile image61
            Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            "Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles"?

            Not sure where the bit about masses of internal links is either. Perhaps you could point that out to me? big_smile

            1. Jason Menayan profile image61
              Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Repeated/boilerplate titles are usually employed by commerce sites that use the same title for hundreds of products, as the description goes on to make clear.

              I think the essence of what Google wants, and the essence of a search-friendly title, is captured at the beginning:
              "Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It's often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it's important to use high-quality titles on your web pages."

              1. Aficionada profile image93
                Aficionadaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Jason, would titles of articles in a series appear to Google to be "repeated/ boilerplate" titles? I don't have many at all, but I do have a couple, and now I wonder whether they could look bad to G.

                1. Jason Menayan profile image61
                  Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  It depends. Are they differentiated enough from each other? We do not recommend ever using "part 1, part 2" or "continued/more" in titles, because searchers, and by extension Google, dislike them.

                  I think that advice from Google, though, was talking about automated title generation for lots of pages with the exact same title.

                  1. Aficionada profile image93
                    Aficionadaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Well, major Ooops on my part! I've had in mind to change them, but haven't done it yet. Interestingly, though, one of them is my best-performing Hub.  Technically, I haven't used precisely the wording you mention here, but the titles are definitely not "differentiated enough" from each other.


                    That part leaves me out, but I'll still do what I can with what I do need to change.

                2. Marisa Wright profile image94
                  Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I'd second Jason that these are a problem.  I've seen the advice given several times.  Google is looking out for people who spin articles. One of the ways they try to spot that, is to look for matching or nearly matching titles.  And since robots are dumb, they don't see the #1, #2 after the title as significant.

      3. EmpressFelicity profile image83
        EmpressFelicityposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Are you and Will Apse related by any chance?

        The Google Fanboy Twins lol

        I've spent far too long on these forums... I'm getting [even more] cynical.

        1. paradigmsearch profile image90
          paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Forum thread aside, I've concluded that pretty much everything is agenda driven in life. big_smile

          1. thejeffriestube profile image84
            thejeffriestubeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            And.....that agenda is usually MONEY! LOL

  11. Pcunix profile image88
    Pcunixposted 4 years ago

    I'm done with this thread.  I've had yet another reminder of why I detest these forums.

    Please carry on.  Build your fake links and be happy.  Who cares?

  12. Peter Hoggan profile image85
    Peter Hogganposted 4 years ago

    Have a look at the results Google is currently producing, are they any better. No they are not, they are just different. Link building was a technique used by SEO's in the past and its goal was to influence google results to favor their clients or themselves. This was definitely gaming google and there is no other way to honestly describe it.

    Google want you to buy links from them, they have fat greedy shareholders to satisfy. Really, if it was truly a quality thing you would think that after all the recent updates results would have improved, fact is they are still crap.

  13. thejeffriestube profile image84
    thejeffriestubeposted 4 years ago

    Suddenly it becomes clear why this is relevant content. This first, then a boatload of comment/link spam shows up. Methinks somebody might be dealing with fire.

  14. paradigmsearch profile image90
    paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago

    Odd check re chrome.

  15. shazwellyn profile image83
    shazwellynposted 4 years ago

    Past Behavior:

    I was wondering if past backlinking behavior (say relating to articles where this form of seo was the acceptable norm) has an effect on now?

    Three years ago it was a completely different ball game in terms of SEO, but what if all the strategies adopted then, can penalise us now? 

    Do we have to unravel all the links created from then on?

    1. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      No. The worst that can happen is google will write asking you to tell them where you built fake links so they can devalue those sites or they will already have devalued them and you lost traction because of that.lol

      Several people have already tried getting a site penalized by building crappy links at them and it doesn't work.

      Just go bury your crappy links under good quality ones the way Hubpages suggests. Guest blog posts, your own blog, other web 2.0 sites and some social networking sites that you are active on.

      The automated link services stopped working over a year ago - not sure what the hooha! is all about now. You are simply wasting your time using them now.

      And I have never, ever heard of anyone losing their adsense account becaus ethey built crappy, automated backlinks to their sites.

      Personally - I am glad to see the back of these automated linking services, despite what Mr Unix says about me. Any fool could use them. Now you need to know what you are doing. wink

      1. shazwellyn profile image83
        shazwellynposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        So, supposing we have already been penalized for past behavior and our traffic has been affected.  Has judgement already been called and there is no redemption?  What can be done to resurrect traffic on our good content?

        1. Mark Knowles profile image61
          Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          You don't get penalized for past behavior. Hubpages is suffering a different type of penalty. Personally I think they over optimized their site and Google seems to be penalizing over optimization, be it on- or off-page.

          Nothing they or I have done has resurrected my or the site's traffic. The overall site traffic for the last year jumped up with the subdomain switch, then was static and is now seen a steady decline since Feb this year - when you consider how many new pages have been built over the last year or so, that is not good news.

          http://www.quantcast.com/hubpages.com

          I personally have written off the stuff that lost all traffic and am now trying a new approach. If HP ever fix their video encoding, I will upload more videos and see how that goes.

          You have to adapt and HP's business model has changed somewhat. They now no longer look for evergreen content. What they need is new stuff being published all the time. Try video and try for social networking bait.

          You may need to write things off.

          Plus you can try doing what I already suggested in my last reply to you. wink

          1. shazwellyn profile image83
            shazwellynposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            With gratitude, Mark x

      2. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        ...and the only people who got emails like that, were people who did a LOT of self-promotion.

        Over the years I've tried various backlinking strategies like directories, social bookmarking, Social Monkee, and even dabbled briefly in a couple of paid backlinking services.  When I heard people were getting these emails, I waited for mine, because I knew I would've gained a few doubtful backlinks from those experiments - but I didn't.  From what I understand, Google is looking at percentages of good vs bad links.

        1. shazwellyn profile image83
          shazwellynposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          You know, what I find is strange, is my old content - as a percentage - has a greater number of hits than my new content.  My new content is still good quality but is just not 'getting out there'.  My new content has just been left without any back linking or self promotional 'kick starts'.  Some of my best work has been created in recent months, like my Bluebell story, for example - it just is not being read.  My motivation has decreased - why bother writing something that isn't given the opportunity to bring other's joy?

          This is where I am at and, as you know from our past endevours Marisa, there were definite signals to suggest that Google was going this way.  However, it seems that today you are doomed if you game the system and doomed if you don't. 

          Personally, I just want to create good content that gets read on Hubpages with a passive income - is this too much to ask?

          1. Mark Knowles profile image61
            Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Passive income is a myth. The sooner you accept that if you want to make money in an ever-changing environment like the internet you need to be ever changing yourself - the sooner you will stop finding this so frustrating.

            1. ripplemaker profile image90
              ripplemakerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Mark, I am learning this truth..just like the other things in my  life, I have to evolve and be open to changes and possibilities.  And going with the flow of life instead of resisting helps a LOT! smile

              1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Yup - and in this case it needs to be "going with it" instead of trying to force it.

            2. shazwellyn profile image83
              shazwellynposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              So, are you saying forget about the cash incentive and accept that my articles will never be read?

              I can change... just need to put it 'out there' as to how.

              PS.. not frustrated, just resided

              1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Perhaps - yes - I don't know your specifics, but I have certainly needed to write off and drop a good proportion of my work. What I consider to be my "best" work almost never gets read.

                But - what I actually said was that passive income is a myth. wink

                1. shazwellyn profile image83
                  shazwellynposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I just want my good stuff read and Google isn't really spotting the good stuff.  I really want to be creative and NOT competitive.

                  I know resistance is futile.  I love to write.  I am glad we don't have to do that spinning anymore - it was soooo time consuming, but at least it got read and helped to make a difference to people's lives!

                  Anyway.... plod on, eh?

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                    Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    It has always been difficult to get creative stuff found - a lot of people I know have gone over to Kindle e-books, but I feel that will become over saturated very quickly also.

                    Plod. Plod. Plod...... big_smile

                  2. TFScientist profile image92
                    TFScientistposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    As an online writer you need to write about things people are ALREADY searching for. This is not the place to set trends or to discover new talent.

  16. Cheeky Girl profile image86
    Cheeky Girlposted 4 years ago

    Signing up to services to get you back links or "buying" backlinks is a dodgy idea. I am bombarded by Twitter offers to "buy 1,000 twitter followers" there every day - and it is a slippery slope. Google likes natural links and relevant links.

    Guest blogging is no harm, if done properly. An author is always allowed to have a backlink to her / his blog os website. What Google does not like is over-optimized pages. They are suspicious of Anchor text (links) that are stuffed with keywords, to try and game the search engines. Google constantly update the search algorhythm. And while the changes take place, everyone is second-guessing what the outcome is going to be, and trying to stay ahead of the game. Smart Hub authors are always looking for ways to increase their presence and traffic and thus their income. This is what "monetizing" our writing does to us. It just has to be done carefully.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I agree, I think genuine guest blogging is the way of the future.  We all need to learn to be more generous to other writers in our subject area, and be willing to offer/accept guest posts.

    2. robie2 profile image93
      robie2posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      well said-- I totally agree.  In life and on Hubpages, it's either adapt to new conditions or  die on the vine.  This too will pass.:-)

  17. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

    It already is filled with junk. Why does everyone think they're a writer worth reading? Even here on HP, I'm continually amused by the thread topics. It's like somehow because we write articles, we think Google should grant grace to those who suddenly find ourselves lost in the serps. Some point fingers and blame and whine, but come on.. When I saw that one of my hubs lost rank, I wasn't too happy. When I really got honest and read it, I saw that it no longer deserved that ranking because it was written more for a specific time frame.
    Even the thread about the new layout amuses me somewhat. It brings out the cynical, doesn't it?

    1. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It certainly does. The game changed last February and - you have to adapt to the new reality. Strangely, the people who are most likely to build crappy links are the ones least likely to be on this thread.

      I have lost traffic and rankings to some pretty good quality, evergreen articles that I consider to be at least as good as the top 3 currently ranking, so sometimes it is a matter of accepting the new paradigm and adapting. HP is not the easy place it once was, and Big G certainly has their own agenda.

  18. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

    You are a smart enough, experienced writer/marketer to accept that truth. I think too many are not.

    Your post reminds me of a favorite quote of mine about change (which is life),

    It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to
    every object; beware of this stumbling block.  -Paul Gaugin

    1. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I like that. Needs must and this is how I feed myself. When hubpages nosedived I needed to find alternative ways of doing that. No matter the BS talked about me, I like hubpages as a platform, but have got to be realistic.

    2. shazwellyn profile image83
      shazwellynposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I hope you weren't attacking me Rebekah... I thought more of you than that... I didnt think you were judgemental.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image92
        rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Not at all. smile I didn't read the entire thread. It was more of an observation of comments made over the past months here at HP. You will notice I included myself.

        I only write part time. I've learned so much at HP. I'm really quite happy if anyone finds one of my hubs and learns something or simply enjoyed the read.

        1. shazwellyn profile image83
          shazwellynposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          You must have pricked my conscience... feeling quite sensitive over the issue as many people probably do.

          There is a lovely feeling when you have helped in your own way and when you see no one reading, it hurts.

          Anyway... enough of my whining!  I wish you lots of success and well smile

        2. CMHypno profile image88
          CMHypnoposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          People generally don't like change, which is unfortunate as we live in a world that is changing ever faster.  Also it is only natural that when people have put a lot of hard work into something, and it seemed to be working that they get angry and frustrated when the rug is pulled out from under their feet.

          The really smart cookies like Mark adapt really fast and continue to thrive, but most of us take a bit longer to wake up and smell the coffee. I think that we have all written some good stuff and some not so good stuff, but like Mark said I don't think that people who aren't really interested in writing actually visit these threads.  It is the hubbers who do care about writing good articles and improving.

          Maybe we all got too hung up on making a big income, rather than enjoying our writing and earning some pin money?  But for hubbers who depended on the income they were getting, it must be hard to make enough adjustments to fill the gap.

          This used to be a very supportive community, so lets hope that we can all continue to show some empathy

          1. Jason Marovich profile image86
            Jason Marovichposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Well said.  And here's hoping traffic and income returns to those hit the hardest.  I'm still a believer that the most informative and beneficial content will rise to the top, whatever it be date stamped with.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I didn't read it as attacking you, at all.  More of a general observation, aimed at all of us (including herself!).

        I wrote a forum post along the same lines recently.  Like others, I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself because my HP account finally got hit by this most recent update, when it had been flying high through all the others.

        Then one day I thought - who do we think we are?  Everyone in the world has  opinions on favourite products, hints and tips on how best to do their hair, lose weight, make compost etc etc.  Before the internet, we'd have been happy just to bore our family and friends with them. Now we not only put them in print, but we're offended when they're not read by thousands of people!

        I do have some Hubs which add real value to a subject.  For instance, I wrote my Hub about cataract after-care after I'd spent two frustrating days hunting for the information myself.  But most of them are just me sharing my pet tips on something that's just not that important, no matter how lovingly I've written them.  Maybe, as Rebekah says, we all need to take a look at ourselves!

        1. PaulGoodman67 profile image89
          PaulGoodman67posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          To be honest, I generally approach it like a job.  I don't really expect anything deep from my HubPages stuff.  Infact most of my online work is pretty boring.  It's a downer getting hit, of course, but I don't think it's anything personal.

          I write more personal and fun stuff elsewhere and don't expect to get any revenue from it.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image94
            Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            But that's exactly what I'm saying.  How many of your Hubs say much about a subject that's not covered adequately elsewhere?  Yet we feel entitled to get readers and earn money from them, even though we may not be qualified to write them.

            We're all writing articles for the internet as though we were writing for a hard-copy magazine, but it's different.  A magazine is published one month and pulped the next.  If someone writes an article in January about blue widgets, people will read and enjoy it - but by December, it will be forgotten (unless you go to a library).  So if someone else writes a new article on blue widgets in December, it will again be read and enjoyed - even if it's covering similar territory.  On the internet that's not so - the January article is still there, so what's the point of writing a new one in December (except for the selfish motive of making money, of course).  Of course, we may tell ourselves that our version is written s-o-o-o-o much better, but is it really?

            I think we should count ourselves lucky we got away with it while we did.

        2. Angie Jardine profile image90
          Angie Jardineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Very well out, Marisa ...

          We just have to do our best and enjoy juggling with words. I have never tried to game Google, as the term is, as I am completely hopeless at being cute with back links, SEO et al.
          Writing useful info. well is the only name of the game  ... if we make a few bob out of it ... that’s just a bonus.

          1. Angie Jardine profile image90
            Angie Jardineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Sorry ... that should be ‘very well put'

            1. PaulGoodman67 profile image89
              PaulGoodman67posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              If nobody made any money, the site would have to shut down - therefore the writers who bring in the big revenues are important, in my opinion.

              1. PaulGoodman67 profile image89
                PaulGoodman67posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Of course, Google is concerned about the internet being flooded with lots of similar articles on the same topics, as it doesn't want to police them.

              2. janderson99 profile image85
                janderson99posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                It is interesting that most of the commentators offering advice have written very few articles lately.

  19. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 4 years ago

    So true!  If a writer is spending plenty of time on the Forums, this same writer sure doesn't have time for writing Hubs--don't you think?  Plenty of new writers on this site, but the ones with experience have vanished.

    1. Jason Menayan profile image61
      Jason Menayanposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      They're still here. Many of them spend less time in the forums, though, since, as you say, time is better spent publishing Hubs.

      1. Keith Engel profile image84
        Keith Engelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Aye that is correct Jason, though relatively new here. I wasted enough time on video game forums writing out lengthy posts at times in conversation. I would rather be spending my time writing new articles or going back and editing old hubs as I find out more about the Google SEO and the like.

      2. Will Apse profile image90
        Will Apseposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        But where would you be without your world class community of self-appointed advisers?

      3. Chemistry Book profile image79
        Chemistry Bookposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        So sweet!

  20. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 4 years ago

    Now that's a good (and smart) call, Keith Engel!  Other than taking a few days off from the writing recently, I do like to write at least one Hub each week.  Sometimes more if I'm in the mood.  I know nothing about backlinking and have not attempted to do this in the 12 months I've been with HubPages.  Which has turned out to be a blessing for me.  I have not been attacked by the black and white animals, so I continue to do what I've been doing all these months.  I just write about a number of subjects because that's the way I think and live my life.  Sorta scattered, but no matter what, I have decided to keep writing those Hubs!

    1. ktrapp profile image90
      ktrappposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Hey Arlene. Perhaps "know[ing] nothing about backlinking" is bliss. I have perused many a hub in the last 10 months about promoting hubs and have completely steered clear of doing so. There's nothing wrong with backlinks per se; but trying to "game" the system with them is what's biting people in the tail.

      You know me...I say, concentrate on content, content, and content and hope for some good organic backlinks or legitimate social sharing. I recently got a great backlink from a magazine to one of my hubs less than 48 hours after publishing it. Not only did I get an influx of traffic to my hub, but the "authority" of the site with the backlink probably lends credibility to my hub/sub-domain too. On top of it, some of the traffic via the magazine link shared (Facebook/Pinterest) the hub. These are the kinds of backlinks Google likes; the kind that organically connect the Web one site at a time.

  21. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 4 years ago

    Hey, k!  I always appreciate your knowledge because I know what you mean on the subject of backlinking!  My one and only product review on the Dog Silencer Pro has gotten a lot of attention from the time I published it.  But not because of backlinking.  I sent a copy of that Hub to the manufacturer, and they asked if they could use it on their online advertising site.  One of the writers here on HubPages tried to explain backlinking to me, but I just could not get it.  DUH!  So I quit trying to understand.  If I'm going to focus on anything, it will be all about SEO.  This "technique" of backlinking explained to me involved hooking my Hubs to online writing with the same subject.  I was also told that hooking my Hubs this way will not always be appreciated.  WHAT???  So when it comes to backlinking, I pass.  All I do is write, put my work out there, and improve the Hubs that I have.  I have never had much interest in backlinking, so I won't do it.  Having your work in a credible magazine is truly a much better way to go.

    1. Keith Engel profile image84
      Keith Engelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Arlene

      I think writing on a wide variety of topics though is the best way to approach this site. I am currently focused on two topics, video games and politics. Yet, I understand that not everybody is going to agree with view my political viewpoints so in order to broaden my fan base I write on video games. I will soon be doing articles on literature and the fantasy genre here shortly as well to broaden over into another different fan base so to speak. I will also begin writing on philosophy. Thankfully being a book worm, a philosopher, and interested in a wide variety of subjects I never run out of topics really. I also have my various poetry that I have published. Though I am very tempted to yank these on the account that the poetry isn't a great money maker and they are my lowest scoring hubs keeping my over all hub score and the like lower than it should be. I actually try to write 1 or 2 articles a day. Though usually only one.

      Ktrapp,

      As I said I am learning new matters everyday concerning all of this. While reading the advice and link provided by Jason earlier from google about titles and the importance of good summaries, I've gone back and shortened considerably many of the titles of my hubs and worked on my summaries over the last couple of days, google fetching all of them as well that is tiring to say the least. I also went ahead and added some "backlinks" to my own hubs but after reading this matter apparently such "self promotion" is frowned upon. So back I go to reedit these hubs now to remove certain links. The only two links I will keep consistent though is the Line Image Credit hub that I use my lines from since I use my referral tracker on this and my magazine layout hub figuring I got the first compliment today on the design of a hub today! So that meant a great deal to me actually.

      Keith

      1. ktrapp profile image90
        ktrappposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I certainly don't think all backlinking is a bad thing or is frowned upon, but I would just make sure the topic of the links is really related to the hub they are placed on. If the link from one of your hubs to another is relevant and adds value to the user then that's a good thing. But it's excessive linking and backlinking services that can cause problems.

        1. Keith Engel profile image84
          Keith Engelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Ktrapp

          You are correct, yet I did see a sudden nose dive in my traffic all of a sudden after I started doing this on a limited basis. It could have just been one of those things, don't know. Yet, I am removing them now. Unfortunately what I think may be a related topic to one of my articles the computer brain of the SEO may not though.

          So I am going back and fixing this. I am also trying to get a grip on how to use the Webmaster Tools and the like in trying to figure out and understand the matters concerning this aspect. I am just shy of 7000 view total now and traffic source is spread out as Hubpages being 4k of my views then google being 1k, myself next, then all the other various Google services for other countries. I haven't sat back to total up my Google views form all the forms of google, but a rough estimate I would say is roughly 2000-2500 of my view are from google over all and then of course other sources as well like facebook and the like. I need to get that google number up. Also I can't get my impression number in Webmaster tools above the 1600, I keep plateauing there for whatever reason.

          Of course I suppose that the topics I am writing on, Video Games and Politics currently, is one that is an overcrowded and highly competitive field in online writing. I also can't write on topics that seem to get more traffic sources and awarded hub of the day. I just can't write on instructional how tos and play it safe on topics that aren't controversial. It just isn't in my nature or who I want to be as far as a writer.

          Keith

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