Hopping The Hubs -- Now I understand
This article was originally written in 2011 but was never published.
In 2017 Hubpages ended the disaster of 'Hub hopping'.
"Hub hopping", for those who do not know, was a practice in which contributors were invited to judge the work of other contributors.
This sentence alone should send up flares.
But it didn't.
Six Years of Draft
I had never 'hopped hubs '.
I seen the invitation, I had
gone about my business.
Subsequently, when Google
changed its Algorithm in late
2010 and Hubpages was
smacked down as a 'Content Farm'
I took the plunge.
I say this with all solemnity; Hopping Hubs was not for the squeamish.
Strolling Through The Cow Pasture
There were and are many items submitted to Hubpages which require full time human moderation. Not the repulsive A.I. which doesn't know the difference between American English and English, or can not differentiate between 'Spammy Elements' and a link to another article which gifts further information.
By requesting a contributor to judge the work of other contributors the door is open for the unscrupulous to read and steal another writer's work.
For an honest person, it is a stroll, in most cases through the Cow Pasture.
Proselytising is the Least of It
The number of articles which sound like they belong in the Christian Science Monitor is staggering.
At least half of all articles are that kind of shove it down your throat church spam.
Those who aren't Christians who read that stuff, are happy they aren't.
When I ventured into 'Hubhopping' I didn't vote them down, I skipped them, the same way I skip other tract dispensing obstacles in a cow pasture.
A number of articles were pure SPAM, the type of stuff you see posted as comments on sites that don't allow the author delete or deny options. This crap is written as an article but is selling something. One long advertising blurb.
Nearly a fifth of all articles I hopped within a thirty minute period were SPAM. Unapologetic straightforward Spam.
The image describes 98% of the rest of the stuff I read. I say 98% because there were actually two articles which should be published. Both were well written and interesting.
Two sentences or a paragraph of gibberish, or some personal tripe that shouldn't be posted anywhere but a private blog.
I am talking stuff so bad they insult the pile of crap which decorates this section.
There were articles which exploited Search Engine Optimization terms.
Articles that were written according to formula.
"All over the world people are interested in SEO. Many people
are talking about SEO. How to use SEO is very important."
On Monday the SEO might be Global Warming. On Tuesday it could be Fire Alarms. On Wednesday it might be Potato Chips.
The same article with different Keywords.
The article says nothing, but having fooled Google's Search Engine, it would sit at the top of the heap in a Search.
Now I Know Why
When Google's new policy was announced, with sites being labeled Content Farms one would have thought the battalion of Spammers, crap writers and SEO skunks would be quiet.
Just for a little while.
Just for a few days stop.
Stop because their actions harmed hundreds, thousands of other people.
Their actions damaged and partially destroyed the very site they used as their Stage.
That being on the last page of a Google Search search hurts everyone on the site labeled a Content Farm.
Hubpages was slapped down by Google, and went from 12 Million hits a Month to 6 Million, then to 3 Million, then to less than half a million hits ...
Went from paying contributors $50 to 50c.
But That Was Not All
Hubhopping did not simply focus on the bad items. If it had, if it worked, then Hubpages would have bounced back quickly, with a battalion of users racing into the cow pasture to clean it up.
Many people Hub Hopped so as to destroy good articles, get them unfeatured.
When an item is unfeatured it is Not visible.
If you took an item marked with an empty circle in your account and published it as is on another site, a plag checker would not flag it, because it doesn't exist. It is as private as were it on your own computer.
So, If someone hub hopping sees this really good item you wrote, and copies it, then flags your item, so it is unfeatured, then runs across and publishes your item elsewhere, it is Home Free All!
No More Hopping
It took Hub Pages over six Years to realise that Hubhopping didn't work, in fact was harmful.
Other sites learned the hard way not to let one writer vote on another writer's work.
The problem that Hub Hopping was supposed to avoid has continued, despite the ending of Hub Hopping, because letting A.I. decide what is good writing and what is not only works when the audience is made up of A.I.
Humans have different ideas.