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Caution: HubPages and Traffic Exchanges Don't Mix

Updated on February 19, 2016
Hubber Score goes from 80's to 20's due to Traffic Exchange Use
Hubber Score goes from 80's to 20's due to Traffic Exchange Use | Source


Traffic Exchanges

It might be tempting for new Hubbers to use traffic exchanges to get a leg-up on Hub traffic. Since they are not mentioned in the HubPages Terms of Use, traffic exchanges may seem perfectly acceptable. But the results can be devastating and permanent to your Hubpages account. So this hub will serve to forewarn new hubbers.

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examples are: [oops, mentioning them by name can be considered promoting them which is a violation that can get a Hub unpublished].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

Since HubPages does not prohibit the use of traffic exchanges within its Terms of Use, I sent some traffic from one of them to my Hubs - less than 5 hits a day - just to see what the effect would be.

HubPages Unwritten Rule
HubPages Unwritten Rule | Source

A few days later, I got an email from HubPages saying that my Hubs were un-published due to “TOS violations” (apparently, TOS refers to Terms of Use, since HubPages doesn’t publish a Terms of Service - see link at the very bottom left of this or any HubPages page). The email didn’t say what the violation was, but gave a long list of possible violations. The list included:

“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 Terms of Use Policy
Hubpages Terms of Use Policy | Source

HubPages Terms of Use

In order to double check for anything about traffic exchanges in the Terms of Use (TOS), I copied it into a word document and did a search. The TOS does not mention traffic exchanges, link exchanges or anything related. It does not even contain the words “traffic”, “exchange” or “exchanges”. It does use the word “link” 16 times, but none in relation to exchanges. I couldn't find any mention of traffic exchanges or the like in the Learning Center either.

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.

Dangers

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.

traffic exchange no warning
traffic exchange no warning | Source

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.

Precautions

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.

© 2011 A Little TRUTH

Comments

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    • A Little TRUTH profile imageAUTHOR

      A Little TRUTH 

      4 years ago

      Sounds like a good plan, Benjamin. I got an Adsense account with only about three hubs - but thousands of words each. Thanks for your comment and voting.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 

      4 years ago

      Hi A Little TRUTH. Very informative hub. Thank you for the advice on traffick exhange. I am still new and the advice will help a lot. I have not reapplied for a Google Adsense account after they rejected my first application saying I do not have enough content (I had only published 10 hubs). I am trying to work on hubs of at least 1150 words and see how it goes. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • A Little TRUTH profile imageAUTHOR

      A Little TRUTH 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for the comment, Josh! I don't know how I missed it until now.

    • Josh Wilmoth profile image

      Josh Wilmoth 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      I will definitely keep this in mind! Thanks for the information.

    • A Little TRUTH profile imageAUTHOR

      A Little TRUTH 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for your comments icciev. See you around the hubs.

    • icciev profile image

      icciev 

      6 years ago from Kuwait

      Hi A Little Truth, and thank you for your comment, for the link and for checking out my hubs, exploring the Internet for new and useful opportunities has been my passion in the recent days and I like to share it with others so they can get use of it as I am doing, thank you again for highlighting this important information regarding hubpages policies for traffic exchange. Indeed it saved me a long with all hubbers a lot of possible problems that we could had with hubpages without knowing this.

    • A Little TRUTH profile imageAUTHOR

      A Little TRUTH 

      6 years ago

      icciev, you’re very welcome, and thank you for the link. Your hub is a nice, concise and informative review of Traffic Swarm, and so I added a link to it on this one. I see you have at least one other hub on a traffic exchange. I’ll check that out and maybe link to those too.

      It looks like you have MANY concise and informative reviews on various websites – which provides a good reference and is a time saver.

    • icciev profile image

      icciev 

      6 years ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and advice, I have update my hub to include a link to your hub, thanks for sharing such a useful information, voted up.

    • A Little TRUTH profile imageAUTHOR

      A Little TRUTH 

      6 years ago

      Gypsy, so that's what happened to my Adsense! The email alluded to improper clicking, and I couldn't figure it out. Oh well, I understand it's just chump change anyway unless you have many thousands of reads. Maybe they will let me get another account in a few months.

      Satori, nice to hear from you.

      Thank you both for your readership and comments.

    • Satori profile image

      Satori 

      6 years ago from California

      My condolences on your nabbed Hubs! This is good information to any HubPages author to have, and I appreciate your presenting it.

      Be well,

      - Satori

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      At least you get your hubs republished if you get disallowed by hubpages.My Adsense was removed by google for TOS violation and that is for ever! Waiting to read your tainted hubs when back from the wash!

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