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Caution: HubPages and Traffic Exchanges Don't Mix
Traffic Exchanges are websites where you click adds or links in exchange for credits. The credits can then be used to get traffic to your website - or Hub. Some examples are: [oops, mentioning them by name can be considered promoting them which is a violation that can get a Hub unpublished].
There are some informative Hubs about traffic exchanges (see links below). And so this Hub will not address the details of how traffic exchanges work, but only how HubPages deals with them and how your Hubs and account could be affected.
HubPages and Traffic Exchanges
“Content about, linking to, or receiving traffic from traffic exchanges”
There was no warning, the Hubs were un-published immediately.
After removing the links from the traffic exchange, I tried to re-publish the Hubs, but a window came up saying to remove all traffic from traffic exchanges, and then wait 7 days before publishing. It can take 3 days for approval after that, so my Hubs were down for about 10 days.
Some Facts According to HubPages Forums and Questions:
- HubPages has had this unwritten rule against traffic exchanges for at least 6 years.
- This unwritten rule is a common point of confusion to new Hubbers who can only go according to the written rules in the TOS at first.
- HubPages used to give a warning for traffic exchange use, but now un-publishes the hubs immediately.
HubPages in its TOS does however, reserve the right to delete Hubs and discontinue accounts “for any reason”. Apparently, this is the clause that applies to un-publishing Hubs for traffic exchange use.
As mentioned above, Hubs are now un-published without warning due to traffic exchange use. It takes 7 to 10 days to get the Hubs back up if the author immediately removes the exchange traffic, meanwhile HubScores and Author Score will suffer greatly.
Yet another danger, again not mentioned in the HubPages TOS, but shows up in the email after the fact is this: HubPages stated that the hubs may have been un-published due to “Content about, linking to, or receiving traffic from traffic exchanges [emphasis added]”. So technically, this Hub and the ones linked to below are at risk of being un-published due to content about traffic exchanges. However, I believe that HubPages would rather have new Hubbers be warned than to let them find out the hard way. Some Hubs also link to traffic exchanges, and so they are also vulnerable.
Traffic exchanges are not, in the end, good for your Hub traffic or the Hubpages community anyway. The reason is bounce rate - how long people view the page before they close it. Traffic exchanges cause a high bounce rate because the required viewing times are only 10 or 20 seconds. After that the person will only stay on your hub if his interest was peaked - which is unlikely since he wasn't searching for anything related to your hub. He wasn't searching for anything at all, but rather just trying to generate traffic to his own website.
Google Adsense Account
There is evidence from Hubbers to suggest that traffic exchange use causes Google to permanently disable your Adsense account (see comments below). Also, yours truly is one of the data points. Google will not admit, deny or comment on this or any other reason for disabling accounts - other than "TOC violations, or "invalid click activity". After my Adsense account was disabled, I waited a good six months and tried the Google appeal process, to no avail.
Having no Adsense account means you cannot receive revenue from any advertising ever with your Hubpages Account (all the other revenue methods require Adsense first). You cannot start a new HubPages account, in order to get a new Adsense account, because Google only allows one account per person. The only remedy is to move your hubs to another article directory that offers alternatives to Google.
A high bounce rate sends the message to Google and other search engines that your Hub is not very interesting to those viewing it, since they "bounce" out of it so quickly. It also sends a message that Hubpages in general does not have interesting content, which hurts the entire HubPages community.
Even if you don't use traffic exchanges, they could cause you major problems. If someone out there, inside or outside of HubPages, doesn’t like your Hubs, your profile, or you, and if they have enough evil bones in their body, they could send traffic from a traffic exchange to your Hubs and get them all shut down.
For this reason and also the possibility of account deletion "for any reason", it's a good idea to maintain a copy of all your Hubs on a hard drive. This way, you can easily publish them to a new HubPages account, or an account in a different article directory if desired.
Informative Hubs on Traffic Exchanges
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