I have just discovered that the 'ad levels' option has been changed on HubPages in a way which really restricts flexibility for Hub page writers. Instead of having the options for 'high', 'medium', or 'low' level advertising, or 'no ads' at all, we are now just being given the options, 'ads' or 'no ads'. I have two questions;
1) Were we informed in advance about this, and has it just escaped my notice, or has it been introduced without warning?
2) Why has it been done? It's another change on top of so many recently, and it seems on the face of it an unnecessary and inconvenient one. On nearly half my hubs I set my ad level to 'medium' because whilst I had no problem with ads further down the page, I disliked having an ad - possibly ugly or unrelated to the article - right at the top of the hub. Now if I have to choose between the two, on many of my hubs I'm going to have to get rid of google ads all together, which surely is to no one's benefit financially - mine or HubPages? That is the option I'd choose, because to me the aesthetic appeal and integrity of the article I'm writing is currently more important than earning a few pence from advertising revenue. But why's it been done? Why can't hubbers be allowed to choose the level of advertising they have on their hubs, and whether they have ads right at the top of an article for which ads may not be appropriate, or whether they just opt for ads lower down the article or at the end?
Yes it ws announced - there is a discussion about the reasons here:
What? Why wasn't that an Official HubPages Announcement? The change doesn't worry me personally, but sneaking it under the radar like that is not appropriate.
Thanks SimeyC for the link. It's clearly not an issue which apparently bothers many HubPage members, but I am glad to see from the forum correspondence at that link that I am not the only member who disliked the restriction on personal choice about ad levels which this change brings about.
I hadn't noticed this, but since I've always had my ads set on "high", it wouldn't affect me.
You have to remember that HubPages exists to make money. If you choose to reduce your income by reducing the number of ads, you also reduce HubPages' income. I was always surprised HubPages allowed us to affect their income like that, so I'm not surprised they've got rid of the option.
Consider this: if HubPages is not profitable, it won't be worth their while to continue running the site, and we will lose this platform for our writing. That would be a shame, and a few more ads is a small price to pay IMO.
Thanks Marisa, but in my case as I say it's counterproductive, and HubPages will lose out by this change. They can put a hundred ads if they like at the bottom or sides of the hub, but in some cases having an ad implanted right near the top is intrusive or not in keeping with the nature of the hub. With billions of web pages for readers to choose from our hubs have to stand out both quality-wise and aesthetically. If the hubber decides that an ad at the top makes the layout look amateurish, or if it jars with the content of the article, then I think we should have the right to avoid having one in this position. Alun.
It's very easy to avoid an ad in the top right hand corner. Just place something there yourself, like a photo or a video.
That is of course exactly what I do. But the ad is then placed immediately below this. It does not resolve the problem of having inappropriate ads amongst the text of a hub, and it doesn't resolve the layout problem. Anybody who uses text dividers to separate the text capsules to make the page attractive to look at, and anybody who arranges their hubs and the amount of text in a capsule to avoid blank spaces under capsules of text or photos, will appreciate that ads in such a position can still create big problems with attractive hub lay out. I take an inordinately long time making my hubs as attractive as can be - ads in such a prominant position can make this a much more difficult task. That's why I will sometimes limit them to the bottom of the hub by choosing the 'medium' ad level option. That is no longer available.
I understand why layout is important to you - it's one of the reasons I switched from Helium to HubPages, because I could make it look good (of course I subsequently discovered I could earn a lot more money, too - and keep my articles - but that's another story).
However, the bottom line is that HubPages must improve its profit to survive. You may not know that just before the first Panda in early 2011, HubPages had only just broken even. Go and take a look on Quantcast and see what traffic (and therefore income) has done since then. It's obvious that HubPages must have been running at a loss ever since.
You may not like the prominent ad near the top of your Hub - but although it may look ugly, all the experts say it's the most productive place to put an ad. HubPages is not going to ignore that advice in their current situation. The fact is, if you want total control over your layout, the only place you can get that is your own blog.
Thanks Marisa; I'm not sure that this will improve HubPages profit because according to the forum post SimeyC mentions, only 0.6% of hubs actually had the ad level set to anything less than high. And I suspect most of those hubs were set to 'medium' or 'low' for a reason - I suspect that like me, most of those who deliberately chose to have a lower ad level on selected hubs would rather get rid of advertising altogether on those hubs, rather than have intrusive ads among the text, so profit will go down (slightly) on those hubs for both the writer and for HubPages.
Nonetheless I do take your point about HubPages's problems - it would explain why so many changes have been undertaken in recent months. I just don't like it when those changes impact on our choices as to how we organise the layout of our pages, but I guess this ad-level change is clearly not a restriction which is going to upset many people, so I'll just have to accept it. Whatever the reasons for HubPages's actions, I hope that soon they hit on a formula which does improve traffic and profits all round, and maybe then we can have a little more stability in the layout of the hubs. I'm sure we'd all like to see things settle down a bit after so many changes in recent months. Cheers for your contributions. Alun.
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