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Hopping The Hubs -- Now I understand

Updated on June 13, 2017

Pre Amble

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 Rest

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.

The rest?

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.


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    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      Thank you Kenneth. I wrote this some time ago...a will show you that this site went from 12M to 6M and now to 3M

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Nice going. Great writing. I loved it.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      It is not change for change sake; it is that too many people use Hubpages as Spam sites. They are physically selling sneakers or baby clothes or wedding dresses and pretend to write an article about the above but are actually writing ad copy with links to their shop.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Norah - Having recently joined Hub Pages as a political writer, I can tell you that ya'll are a breath of fresh air. So far I am enjoying the interaction, the intelligence and forethought of so many of the writers.

      Any forum should constantly evolve as it grows and changes are good when needed but not changes just for changes sake.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      When a site becomes as large as Hub Pages unless one has some kind of hurdle pre publishing, people will take advantage.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I hopped quite a few, it's how I found you.

    • Norah Casey profile image

      Norah Casey 6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area


      I am the Chief Moderator here at HubPages, and I assure you we are human. We review flagged hubs, q&a flags, forum flags, profile flags and we handle all support emails. We were caught by this Google change painfully understaffed. Not an excuse, just a fact. A growing website has growing moderation demands, and we want only the best moderators handling the publishing status of your content.

      We are all putting in extra hours and trying our very best to make HubPages exactly as it should be. Before this change, we were finalizing moderation policy changes to increase quality on HubPages that we will be releasing in the coming weeks. We only ask for your patience (and your flags).

      If you ever have any questions as to why a piece of content was or was not moderated, please do not hesitate to ask me.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 6 years ago

      It was terrible. Really really bad stuff. There was bona fide spam and crap which was chock of those SEO words.

      Hubpages has Got to hire human mods.

    • SheriSapp profile image

      SheriSapp 6 years ago from West Virginia

      I haven't hub hopped for w while, but I have done some in the past. Many of the very same articles kept re-popping up. Usually, I would visit the author profile before reading as profiles let me know if this is a person who has any views similar to my own. Maybe I should give it another whirl, dodging the crap of course...LOL!!