How Do You Treat Spammy Hubbers?
I read in the HubPages tutorial section that hub hopping will increase your profile score and it did. I enjoy hub hopping so having my score go up is a nice benefit.
I also enjoy reading hubs that generally I would not seek out.
However, reading new hubs that are hot off the press can be either an enjoyable experience or an adventure into the world of Spam.
In my "hopping" I often click the hubber's profile to see what else they have written that I might enjoy reading, noting their profile score and scores on any of their other published hubs.
And sometimes I come across hubs that are pure advertisement for some personal agenda, otherwise known as Spammers!
New to HubPages? Here's a Great How-To
Spam Attack by awordlover
My definition of SPAMMERS is:
- hubbers who write one hub (non-descript, advertising or self-promotional),
- enter their hub topic in the search box and
- then go on a hub hopping spree visiting all "like minded" hubbers
- leaving a short comment on each visited hub (it is usually copy pasted from one to the next),
- click SEND COMMENT,
- click SEND FAN MAIL,
- click FOLLOW,
- asking others to FOLLOW them
and in no time at all, their own profile score shoots up. Why?
Because leaving comments and fan mail makes one curiously go to visit that hubber so they get hits on their hubs and profile views, and "nice hubbers" click FOLLOW on them as a return courtesy. Most of all, they don't even look at the hubber's content. They just click FOLLOW.
I am seeing too many hubbers with thousands of follows (click on their recent activity) where they leave comments ASKING to be followed back.
Writing The First Hub - Observations by awordlover
HubPages requires new hubbers to write one hub, although I have seen profiles that are months old and still have no hubs listed. Maybe they unpublished them right after, I don't know.
But some people write that first one and then abandon HP for whatever reasons - health, writer's block, loss of interest. Often I have found a "first hub" is either introductory (hi, my name is and I'm new here), or it is promotional for some company they have a vested interest in, or the hub is just plain non-sensical (making no sense).
Some are poems without rhyme or reason, throwing out random thoughts with no connection at the end of the poem.
It seems they just want to get it over with, so they can fill the requirement.
Lately, I have found new hubbers writing hubs that are either spam or purely promotional, i.e. being linked to a personal website for their business. These are the hubbers who write one hub, or up to five hubs in the same subject (of their business) in the hope that they can get free advertising at HP.
After I left a comment regarding using hubs as advertisement, one such hubber wrote back to me saying that after giving it a few days, having written only one hub that his business did not increase as much as he thought it would, and he decided to abandon his account.
Other hubbers are little more determined (or are they dense?) and write up to maybe five hubs to see if it generates business for them on their website (in hits, actual sales, etc.). If they don't see any dramatic increase, they usually abandon HubPages and look for other ways to get free advertising.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think following someone on HubPages (or any other site) should be earned and you should only follow those you hubbers you are genuinely interested in following.
If someone asks you to follow them, and their topics are of no interest to you, do you feel compelled to click FOLLOW?
Many people do.
Many people don't care how many or what topics they follow. They just want to see a high number next to the word.
I'm not in the numbers game. I don't care how many followers I have, nor do I go out of my way to follow people just because they left me a comment or they clicked FOLLOW on my profile.
If you have to ask for people to follow you, is it the same as earning the followers due to your own merit or content?
I'm all for free enterprise and think everyone in this world should have the opportunity to make a success from their business. But I just don't want to see it happen here at HubPages.
Each of us has a different experience here at HubPages because of the different genres in which we write. My health hubs attract a certain type of reader just as your computer technology hubs or poetry hubs attract a certain type of reader.
Like some hubbers, I have notifications set up so that within a few minutes of someone leaving me a comment. An automated message is sent to my email box, which remains open on my desktop all day. Usually I moderate the comments within an hour and for the most part, the comments are favorable.
But if it is a self-promotional comment, who asks me to follow them back (especially when they have only one or no hubs showing), I don't allow the comment.
Sometimes when I go to moderate comments, it is already gone, maybe because the person thought better of it and deleted their comment.
Because "life happens," sometimes it takes me until the next day to reply. By that time, the "mystery commenter" has already visited dozens more hubs and left the same comment on each one.
I know this, because I can see it on their profile page by looking at their recent activity. I am very aware that my visit to their profile page just generated another hit for profile view number to increase. But in the interest of educating myself, I am willing to risk it. :-)
What Would You Do?
What do you do when you come across a purely promotional hub or hubber?
Ghost Hubbers (Spammers) - my observations
A case in point: I had 14 comments on my hubs by "ghost" hubbers (my nice name for Spammers) - people who joined HubPages, left a comment on numerous hubs and when I click on their name (if I can still click on their name) it is often a dead link, meaning they deleted their account on HubPages already - either on their own or they have been banned by HP.
Many times when I use the search tool for their name, it either comes up with a profile page with only one hub written or else "not found".
If you can click a commenter's name, it should take you to their profile page. Often, I find that their profile pix is a silhouette, which usually means that they never even finished the "Edit Profile" process.
Regarding other commenters on whose name I can click, my visits to their profile usually show links to their highly promotional hubs and/or personal business websites. Some links even led to hubs that were maniacal in structure and verse.
Doesn't anyone proofread anymore? And some hubs make absolutely no sense at all. After reading some of these hubs, you have no idea what their point was. I just wonder "What were they thinking???"
Upon clicking a Spammer's name to see what they write about, there is usually one to five hubs on the same exact subject complete with links to an off HP website for that business, and the list shows that the commenter has been very busy visiting umpteen other hubs and leaving similar or the same comment in a short period of time.
- What to Do if Your Hub is Moderated
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- Subjects to Avoid on HubPages
An overview of subjects that fall into restricted content areas, are not ad safe, or run against the publishing standards on HubPages.
Do You Moderate Your Comments?
I have my settings set so that comments are NOT automatically published, meaning I have to approve or deny each one.
I do this on purpose because of precisely this type of commenter.
I think all hubbers should use this feature, so that spamming and some rude comments do not publish to the hub, that otherwise would be best left unpublished because of content or tone.
I have visited many hubs where a spammer has left the same comment on each one and because it auto-published without a reply, I know the hubber had their settings set to allow anyone to comment.
Check your notifications often to see who left you comments, especially if you allow comments to post without approval.
Check in often to see what people are talking about "on your hubs".
There is enough advertising on our hubs in sidebars; you don't need commenters to "use your hub" to get free advertising for their business.
Start removing anything that is not flattering to you, is promotional of other websites off HP, and comments that sound like the person might have been drunk when they wrote them....you know the ones -- they make no sense.
Take control of this, and it will leave a better impression on your visitors when they read your work and then scroll down to read comments that other readers left for you. Reading the comments of others often prompts me to leave my own. If I see a bunch of spam comments, I am not inclined to leave my own comment.
My personal opinion is that I don't think auto publishing comments is a good habit to have. It is my opinion. Some hubbers are so active in publishing (or have a busy life) they just don't have time to moderate.
In that case, at some point you should visit the comments of each of your hubs and exercise the "Delete Comment" button to anything that is as described above.
- You should be protective of your hub.
- You own it.
- Treat it as you would a prized possession.
- Don't allow people to write whatever they want in the comments of your hub.
- Be choosy what you want your visitors to see when they read your body of work, including the comments.
- Be watchful that your work is not copied
Read Them And Leave Them
Personally, when I am hub hopping, if there are a lot of comments that people leave to promote their own agenda, I often don't leave a comment at all. I read and move on.
Because it tells me that after the hubber wrote the article, they didn't moderate or respond to comments, and abandoned the work to the masses to let anyone write their thoughts - good, bad or indifferent.
If they don't care enough about the work after they wrote it, I don't care to comment one way or the other. Just my opinion.
Do not copy this article.
HubPages Is A Great Community of Writers
Because we are a serious and great community of writers, I think we should all do our part to help police this problem better.
Hub hopping is one way we can help HubPages with this problem. Flagging and reporting the hubs while you are hopping goes a long way to helping the staff of HubPages weed out the bad apples.
What do you think?
© Feb 16, 2012 Anne DiGeorge
Update: Since awordlover wrote this hub last year, HubPages has implemented a quality assessment waiting period to each hubber for publishing hubs which is just a great idea. Before hub hoppers even get to see it, HubPages can decide if it is worthy or not.
Progress is happening!
Click here for ways you can help HubPages!
Updated October 3, 2013 by Fiona Powers, a member of awordlover's team
Updated 2/2/2014 by Rachael O'Halloran to replace pixelated Copyscape logos and correct format issues with photographs
© 2012 awordlover