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How Do You Deal With Spammy Hubbers?

Updated on January 17, 2019
awordlover profile image

My articles are written from my perspective as a long time writer on HubPages, a retired healthcare professional and an educated patient.

Traveling Man denotes hub hopping
Traveling Man denotes hub hopping | Source

Hub Hopping

The HubPages tutorial section says that hub hopping will increase your profile score and, for me, it did. I really enjoy hub hopping and reading new articles hot off the press. So having my profile score go up while doing something I enjoy is a nice benefit.

Hub hopping gives me an opportunity to read hubs and topics that generally I would not come across.

However, reading newly written hubs and the work of new hubbers that haven't been moderated yet can either be 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. I note their profile score and the scores on their other published hubs.

But sometimes I come across hubs that are pure advertisement that have some personal agenda. These are known as Spammers!

Pick your battles when dealing with spammy comments. Delete, don't compete.

You'll read the good, the bad and the ugly. Choose your replies wisely. Sometime no comment is the best comment. HubPages is a nice place to read, write and learn. It's not about hub wars.
You'll read the good, the bad and the ugly. Choose your replies wisely. Sometime no comment is the best comment. HubPages is a nice place to read, write and learn. It's not about hub wars. | Source

Spam Attack

Please don't mistake this as a recipe for success. It isn't.

It is the plain truth of how someone - a Spammer - infiltrates our writing community, causes havoc as he flits from hub to hub, littering the same copy-pasted comment everywhere.

The gender "he" is being used generically.

A SPAMMER is someone:

  • who is an opportunist with a main objective to make money fast (News Flash: HubPages is not "that" kind of site)
  • who has figured out how to scam our system to increase his hubber score by doing little or no work
  • who writes one self-promotional hub which usually smacks of an advertisement,
  • who looks up hubbers writing on same topic, then goes on a marathon hub hopping spree with an agenda, but doesn't read any hubs.
  • who abuses our HubPages FAN MAIL rules and ignores networking etiquette by leaving comments to say he is FOLLOWING each hubber and boldly asks (or demands) for a FOLLOW BACK.
  • whose tersely worded message is copy-pasted like graffiti in the comments of the articles of every hubber that he Follows, with the sole purpose of racking up as many FOLLOWERS as possible. .

In no time at all, the Spammer's profile score has escalated to the mid 90's and now outranks even the most successful HubPages writer. Why?

It is because they figured it out the formula. The nature of the beast is that the more Followers and visits to their profile, the more their scores will increase. By spending as little as four or five hours hub hopping, dropping comments hither and yon, the time investment pays off when they see they achieved high scores far quicker than someone who has been writing on HubPages for a couple of years.

They also learned that while good writing is important, it is not absolutely necessary to rank high enough on the site to gain Followers, hoping this will increase the popularity and sales of their product.

The mistake is when hubbers FOLLOW BACK. They are giving the Spammer exactly what he wants.

There are some hubbers who are too busy to go view the profile, so they just click FOLLOW as a return courtesy, never reading the work of who they Followed.

There are other hubbers who are curious and will go view the profile - even if they suspect he is a Spammer - on the off chance of finding someone whose writing they like enough to Follow too.

If the Spammer gets enough people to Follow him back, he will have succeeded in two different arenas: 1) by hoodwinking a lot of people to follow him blindly even though his hubs have no redeeming literary qualities and 2) in scamming the system that is in place.

Usually anyone who has to ask for a FOLLOW BACK doesn't have the art of writing as their priority. Their priority is making money over producing good writing. For these types, generally their articles do not warrant the Follow.

What Would You Do? Pick One Answer

If someone Follows you and asks you to Follow Back, do you

See results

New to HubPages? Here's a Great How-To

Writing The First Hub - My Observations

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 article and then abandon HP for whatever reasons - health, writer's block, loss of interest. Often I have found their "first hub" is:

a) introductory (hi, my name is and I'm new here), or

b) it is promotional for some company they have a vested interest in, or

c) the hub is just plain gibberish - makes no sense.

Some are poems without rhyme or reason, just throwing out random thoughts that leave the reader hanging because there is no wrap up or conclusion at the end of the poem. They tell me it is a style of writing poetry. I am an iambic meter gal.

Some first hubs that I've read seem like they just want to get the first hub over with, so they can fill the requirement.

When you come across one or more hubs that are purely promotional, linked to a personal website for their business, they are looking for free advertising on our site.

Our moderators can only monitor so many hubs so they need hubbers to send a message to alert them.

After I left a comment regarding using hubs as advertisement, one such hubber wrote back to me saying that after he gave his one hub a few days, that his business did not increase as much as he thought it would, and he decided to abandon his account.

Despite my inclination to reply that all things need time and that Rome wasn't built in a day, I didn't want to encourage him.


HubPages Network of Writing Sites

HubPages Network
HubPages Network | Source

Advertising on HubPages

Years ago, when I first started writing on HubPages, the site was pretty new. There was all kinds of marketing to promote HubPages. There were a lot of businesses who joined just to use HubPages to advertise. Although these types of accounts are shut down pretty fast, there are still some lurking here and there.

HubPages now has a network of sites. There is no reason why writers can't find a site to publish their work. Each has different guidelines working under the same code of ethics that HubPages is known for.

Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do a quick Google search "Advertising on HubPages." This is Thalamus

The site is literally a clone of HubPages, much like the Russian site of a few years ago
The site is literally a clone of HubPages, much like the Russian site of a few years ago | Source
When your readers arrive, don't leave them unsupervised. Moderate your comments.
When your readers arrive, don't leave them unsupervised. Moderate your comments. | Source

Delete comments of disabled profiles.

If a name is grayed out so that you can't click on it to visit the profile, you can either delete the comment or keep it if it offers value to the conversation
If a name is grayed out so that you can't click on it to visit the profile, you can either delete the comment or keep it if it offers value to the conversation | Source

Following others

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 "Followers."

I'm not in the numbers game. I don't care how many followers I have. I also don't out of my way to follow people just because they left me a comment or they clicked to FOLLOW me.

Make it a choice, not a requirement.

Your Audience - Don't Be Afraid To Delete Comments

I'm all for free enterprise and think everyone in this world should have the opportunity to make a success from advertising their business. But I just don't want to see them advertising it 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 different 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.

If someone leaves self-promotional comment, or asks me to follow them back (especially when they have only one or no hubs showing), I delete the comment.

Sometimes when I go to the hub to moderate comments, a mystery commenter left a note but I can't check out their profile.The name is not clickable because their profile has either already been disabled or there is a conflict of some sort. If I can't click to view the profile, I delete the comment.


Don't let people use your hub comments to advertise their business

Always moderate your hubs. Delete all comments that have promotional links to the Spammer's website or business
Always moderate your hubs. Delete all comments that have promotional links to the Spammer's website or business | Source

Ghost Hubbers (Spammers) - My observations

A case in point: One day, on one of my hubs, I had 14 comments from "ghost hubbers" ( Spammers). If I didn't have my notifications set to moderate comments first, then these would have been auto-published. These were 14 people who joined HubPages, left a comment on numerous hubs, then just up and quit HP. All 14 of them! What are the odds!

Their names were grayed out and not click-able. Their profile pictures were a silhouette, depicting an inactive profile. These are Ghost Hubbers. Delete their comments to keep your thread tidy.

If you suspect someone is a Spammer, and if you can click on their name, it should take you to their profile page. A quick look at their "Activity" might show they have been busy leaving similar comments on umpteen other hubs, asking to be Followed Back.

Moderate Your Comments

Whether you are on vacation or working in the garden, you can check notifications to moderate hub comments. Do you check?
Whether you are on vacation or working in the garden, you can check notifications to moderate hub comments. Do you check? | Source

People Are Talking On Your Hubs

I have my settings set up so that comments are NOT automatically published, meaning I have to approve or deny each one.

I do this on purpose, precisely because of this type of commenter.

I think all hubbers should use this feature, so that spam and rude comments do not auto-publish. They 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. The reason they are still there is because comments were set to auto-publish and no one is presently watching the store..

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. Also remove anything that is promotional of other websites that don't belong to HP, and also 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 when they scroll down to read comments that other readers left for you.

Reading the comments of others often prompts me to leave my own comment. If I see a bunch of spam comments, I am not inclined to talk. I move on.

Checklist

Once a week or so, you should visit the comments of each of your hubs and use the "Delete Comment" button for anything that is not appropriate, spammy, self-promotional or otherwise offensive.

  • You should be very protective of your hub. After all, you own it.
  • Treat your work and the vehicle (HubPages) as you would a prized possession.
  • Don't allow people to write whatever they want in the comments of your hub.
  • Unpublish any hubs that are unflattering, have broken links or need more work until they are ready for your public.
  • 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

Move on without leaving a comment on any hub that is spammy with links to any business.  If the hubber didn't think enough to moderate the comments for spam, chances are that they won't see your comment anyway.
Move on without leaving a comment on any hub that is spammy with links to any business. If the hubber didn't think enough to moderate the comments for spam, chances are that they won't see your comment anyway. | Source

HubPages Is A Great Community of Writers

Because we are serious writers, I think we should all do our part to help police this problem better.

Hub hopping is one way we can help HubPages staff.

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: HubPages has implemented a quality assessment (a waiting) period for each hubber before publishing hubs which is a great idea. Before hub hoppers even get to see an article, HubPages decides if it is worthy or not.

Progress is happening!

© 2012 awordlover

working

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