It's funny how we come to expect the same responses from the same people!
'Related search' on all our hubs is a serious issue which does seem to violate Google guidelines. They also detract the viewer from the page, and the earnings not even being shared with hubbers is galling.
I don't like them. They are ugly, prominent and full of spelling/grammatical errors.
I do actually think that the OP's idea of "notifying Google" is ridiculous. I don't think there is a violation of Google's guidelines.
But it is strange to see hubbers who are so ready to defend HP when they add these ugly links to the prime real estate of our pages, from which we have no chance of earning.
My feeling (perhaps mistaken) is that I am not losing much money because of these links, but I can't be sure.
The fact is that they uglify my hubs, which all advertising does, but I can't earn from them. I think they treat the reader like an idiot, nobody wants to land on a page of ads.
Why would anybody defend HP for doing this to our content? The sad fact is that there are better ways of monetizing the site, which would increase their and our earnings. But I guess HP have chosen the lazy option.
It's not a case of defending HP, it's a case of this argument has been covered extensively before and nothing changed - it just seems a waste of time to go over the same arguments again. If things were going to change they would have changed....
Is it against Google's TOS? - no - it's skirts the line, but does not break the TOS as there are no Ads on the first page.
Is it against HPs TOS? - no - there have always been ads that are 100% HPs - these again are not Ads on our articles. Is it morally wrong -yep - gotta agree there - while HP haven't done anything wrong in terms of the TOS, they are deceptive Ads.
At the end of the day I cannot do anything about it, and HP will probably justify it by saying that the extra income derived from this keeps other development going.
Ahh but isn't it a problem with protesting any unfairness. Most of the people don't like the unfairness, but they don't bother to join the protests because they reckon "it will not do any good", "I will be wasting my time", "I will look ridiculous, it is uncool to look so committed to something".
You just never know, perhaps there is nothing against that could be done to change HP's mind about this. Perhaps if more people joined in and protested more loudly, TPTB would reconsider?
I am not really bothered sufficiently by the related qrap to launch an all out protest about them. But I dislike them, and I reckon HP is not treating us very fairly in this respect, so at least I will not ridicule somebody (even a sock puppet) who is protesting about them.
I'm not ridiculing anyone. I'm saying either use the bathroom or get off the toilet. If he's going to complain to Google, then go for it. He doesn't need to make SEVERAL threads about it to try to convince everyone to do the same as he is. He simply needs to write an email.
Everything else is soapboxing.
I am not ridiculing anyone - I simply agreed with the sentiment that this argument is getting boring as it's taken up 90% of the forum over the last few weeks.
There are very valid arguments - but it seems that when people have counter arguments that don't conform with the forum entry they are called 'a-- lickers' or they should simply not make a comment - now that's democracy working for you eh!
I'm tired of not being allowed to have an opinion other than one that confirms that those against everything that HP does are the only ones allowed to have an opinion.
For the record: I agree that the related searches are not good -they skirt the TOS, they look crappy and they add no value to my readership. I just know that unless they are not making HP money then they are here to stay - another 400 forum discusssions isn't going to change that. I do sincerely hope I am wrong...
I have no opinion whatsoever about the related ads. I do get tired of people getting their panties in bunches over what is a completely voluntary activity. You don't like it? Leave.
The constant whining is annoying.
I'm not defending HP, I'm just saying I don't like drama.
Which always pisses off those who seem to want to roll around in it.
While it's a voluntary activity Melissa, many people invested the time to write Hubs prior to the Related Searches. To me this is a major game changer. They invested their time given one scenario and then found a much less fair system. Yes they can leave - or just stop writing.
I truly understand a certain amount of bitteness. The Related Searches are the most obvious adverstising on a Hub and they give the Hubber nothing. They were instituted in silence, the explanations were vague at best, and it took a great deal of persistence to get an honest answer.
I also think it might be helpful to people who are considering writing on Hubpages to understand how these work. It isn't obvious. They look like Google Ads and I think many people are nervous about clicking on those. Therefore they might not understand that they don't get a share of them.
Perhaps the people who are constantly bringing it up, hope to have it changed. They haven't thrown in the towel. HP requires writers and the writers deserve better than the Related Searches.
I agree that people have invested time in HP. I agree that it's crappy.
But it's still voluntary.
It is up to each person to decide whether it is worth it to stay on or not. It's like any other freelance work, you either accept the terms or you take your writing elsewhere. In employment, you either do the job or you quit.
In neither case do you spend HOURS arguing with the business owner on how he should change his business to suit your needs. That's just not how it works.
Yes, there is bitterness. I understand that. However HP knows full well how everyone feels about it. Another thread isn't going to change their mind. At this point all the threads do is spread MORE bitterness.
The bottom line now really is either accept it or move on.
Notifying Google is going to endanger every member of HP - every Google Adsense account will be suspended....even if they don't suspend every account, there will be a loss of revenue for every HP member when HPs account is suspended - there will be no Google Ads on any hub...
It happened on Wizzley a few months back......
My problem is that some good writers have left to write elsewhere. I don't know if this was the issue or something else. A lot of the writers that I have followed still have their old work here, but aren't writing anything new.
HP has lost some good writers. They've lost some bad ones too.
The thing is they are still here. If they allow the people who complain about EVERYTHING to make their decisions, they won't be.
Face it, if those writers could do a better job of running a website why are they still here?
I have no problem with people saying "Hey, I disagree"... It just gets tiring if that's all they ever say. I mean are we still going to be hearing about this in a year?
TPTB have heard what everyone has to say. It's done.
New faces will move in to replace those who chose to go their own way.
Most people ignore socks- they come and go, then re-appear and who knows what else.
I always ignore socks, they appear just to cause trouble. But, it doesn't help when legitimate concerns are quelled- it gives power to trouble makers.
This issue can be discussed democratically, Simey saying there's no point, stop it, will not help. The related search bothers me, not because HP are making additional money from our pages but the way in which it's done. HP may need revenue, absolutely fair enough- but there's other ways in which they, and we, can do so. Just ignoring an issue will not make it go away- it needs to be aired, without insulting people, or calling people names.
And Melissa, unless anything's changed, I'm not aware that you are the spokesperson for HP, so I think as far as hubbers with concerns go, they've not had any feedback yet, it's not done.
I didn't insult anyone and I didn't call anyone names. However, it is my opinion that this whining is counterproductive and brings down morale in the first place. I think that in some cases, that's the entire point. I think there are people who complain just because they like complaining. Honestly, I think there are more of those people than not. Those who are truly unhappy have picked up and moved quietly, without the drama of a thread.
It is completely Simey's right to say that there's no point. I also think there is no point and I will post it as often as I like. I might be more willing to accept everyone's complaints as valid if the same people didn't complain about EVERYTHING. Seriously, same drama over ever single change made.
And I'm not trying to represent HP. Contrary to popular (and ill-informed) opinion I have no special relationship with HP. I'm just another hubber, with every bit as much right to complain about the constant belly-aching on the forum as the belly-achers have to complain every time HP blows it's collective nose.
I didn't say that you insulted anyone, that's not what I meant. Simey said he'd been called a brown noser, or whatever. I was trying to say that there's no need for that kind of language, or insults. A conversation about related adds can be had without insulting people and their opinions.
It's Simey's right to say that he thinks there's no point and he wont pursue it, but it's not his right to tell the rest of us that we shouldn't. What we do is none of his business, that's it.
I know you don't represent HP, whatever other people think, that's what I was pointing out, that it's not done because TPTB have not responded appropriately yet.
I would argue that HP has responded. The ads are still there, despite hundreds of posts and several threads.
I think Paul basically said we don't share in those clicks, so there's your transparency.
I think it's a matter of they've already done it. They aren't discussing it and nothing's changing unless they feel like changing it. I seriously doubt a few more threads are going to help.
What does happen is we turn on each other. Those who come to the forums for help are overcome by pages of negativity. So it's go along with the whining, complain about the whining and get jumped on, or stop interacting with the community at all.
So, which do you think drives more good writers away? A single ad or a whole forum full of constant complaints?
I can't remember exactly how long ago,(I've slept since then) but some time ago, HP wanted to associate Amazon with HP ads. There was a lot of debate, disagreement and it looked like it was going to happen, but it didn't. Was it the protestations from hubbers or was it other factors? Who knows, HP were slow to respond, but either way, it didn't happen. Personally, just because HP haven't decided to come here and re(?)broach the subject doesn't mean they're not going to. Whatever the outcome, they have things to consider. But people voicing their concerns over this matter, which arguably is worse than the Amazon debacle because at least then, people had the choice as to whether to promote Amazon products or not, does not make them whiners, or consistent moaners, just people who want HP to respect the initial agreement. If HP need more revenue, they can work with writers to find it. The community is full of ideas.
Honestly, I hope that they don't remove the ads specifically because of the protest. I'm not sure that constant turmoil should be rewarded.
It's like not giving my children an ice cream cone because they wouldn't hush up about it.
There is a difference between rational conversation and what happens here on these forums. What happens on the forum is a bloody witch hunt.
I didn't see the thread and I'm not going looking for it, but I'm sure many of the same faces posted in it. If it turned out to be a good thing, it's coincidence. I think it just encouraged more of the same negative behavior.
Frankly, since we don't have any information but what effects OUR bottom line (if that, mostly it's just speculation a good part of the time) then we shouldn't be making decisions about what HP does. And HP's information really is none of our business. I honestly think that catering to everyone that complains weakens the company as they are no longer necessarily doing what's best, they are doing what's popular. Let's face it, here the popular vote is obviously the relatively un-informed vote.... Unless the majority of people are running successful content sites? And I have seen the few that decided to do it on their own... and failed miserably.
With that said, by all means everyone complain as much as possible. It's your right. However I think the staff should do what they do when the same bloody bug is reported in 20 threads. Close any new thread on the subject with a link back to the one. That way everyone has their opinion but it doesn't take every other thread to complain about it.
One issue, one thread. Would that be enough space to gather all the torches and pitchforks?
Unless it can be proven otherwise, the ads are breaking the rules of adsense placement. I posted the link earlier that shows they ARE breaking the rules. Personally, I don't care if HP loses its adsense account if they're going to be reckless and I'm pretty sure it would not affect my own account.
Most major sites have moved to a Paid Advertising model instead of the Pay Per Click model. Very few sites use both and this is one of them.
Like I said before, report away. If they are and they lose their adsense then we all go elsewhere. If they aren't then Google ignores the reports.
However if at this point they give in to the protests then they can expect them to never end, they will just have to keep kowtowing. They might as well flush the business down the toilet anyway.
The problem here is what some people see as protest, others see as concern. Concern for a site that many of us care about. I wouldn't have stuck around for 4+ years if I didn't care about the site. Except for the OP (who apparently is no longer among us) I know every single person in this thread is an active and engaged hubber who should also be concerned. Some are a little more outraged than others and the outrage is not something I would support.
I never said anything about reporting... maybe it was the OP. While I don't give two sh**t* about adsense, many of my friends here do and I would hate for them to lose that revenue if it can be avoided.
I don't follow every thread on this subject but I have only seen one response to the related search links and that was to state that HP will not be sharing that revenue. That has never been my concern. My concern has always been that of transparency for us content providers and to the end users.
I think that if the Paul's don't address this issue, "they might as well flush the business down the toilet" because these ads create thousands of super thin pages with no content for the sole purpose of showing ads which is a clear violation of Google's Adsense placement rules. Sure they can most probably survive without an Adsense account if it came to that, but I doubt they would survive another huge slap by Google for providing so many new thin pages.
And I can see that too. And if that was the point of these kinds of threads, it would be one thing.
The alleged violation to googles adsense policies was not used by the OP as a way of voicing a concern, it was used as blackmail... They didn't like what HP was doing and decided to threaten to tell mommy if they didn't get their way.
That's the attitude of quite a few of the consistent complainers... They don't like it so they are going to throw temper tantrums until they get their way.
I'm loathe to encourage that behavior in children. In adults, it is completely unacceptable.
Either way, I'm sure TPTB have read this thread and taken it all in (I'm sure I'll receive another ban for it) and if they feel they need to change it, they will.
I just hope to God that if they DO have to change it, they find some way to discourage these types of threads in the future. A "please mail all complaints to the team" would be peachy. A one thread limit would be peachy. Hell, at this point the forums aren't serving any purpose except hostility, it might not be a bad idea to take it down.
I think the pages are generated on the fly rather than being 'hard-wired' on the site.
You appear to believe that voicing concerns equates to a temper tantrum. Yes, I've seen temper tantrums on these forums and I don't like them either. However, I don't think that asking for more transparency (in a reasonable way) negotiating terms, or looking for other ways to monetise so that both HP and the writers benefit is throwing a temper tantrum. It's a mature and reasonable way to find solutions and reach agreement. That is not constant turmoil.
As for catering to everyone that complains, that's a none argument. Folding to those who make unreasonable demands would certainly weaken the company, but listening to the community and encouraging dialogue strengthens the business and the relationship with writers.
I know that threads are started by socks who generally just want to cause trouble for the sake of it- I don't usually engage in those forums, I wouldn't give them the attention they so desperately crave- but we're not all socks who just want to cause trouble.
No Hollie, I actually don't believe that voicing concerns equals a temper tantrum. That's why I don't post in most of the threads that do voice concerns.
I do believe that temper tantrums equal temper tantrums. I've seen quite a few of those here, to the point that in the forums they far outnumber legitimate concerns.
Mature isn't gathering in a visible area of the site to call people names who don't agree. Mature isn't trying to silence those who disagree with intimidation.
It is almost impossible to hurt my feelings personally. I just don't give a crap enough to be hurt. (Although the attacking my kids thing was a bit over the top, but water under the bridge) However, there are people on here that do get upset when called names. They do get upset when everyone jumps on them for expressing an opinion.
I feel like jumping back. I'm a bitch like that.
Right now I'm watching Simey trying to make peace. I think that's awesome and I think it's something I couldn't do if I were him, especially since he didn't do anything wrong but was attacked for it. If I were him, I wouldn't give the people who attacked me the sweat off of my butt, but now he's trying to help.
Yet no one has apologized to him for treating him like crap. (That I've seen)
Melissa - I feel that we're all in reactive mode and are getting upset. Often words do not exactly state what we mean and get misinterpreted. There are some good arguments on both sides and a more formal approach will do more than bantering (IMHO) - the passion on both sides is good in a way as it does help to get many points out - and believe it or not it does help me focus on what the argument is really about and helps me dismiss the rhetoric.
Arguing is an important element of getting down to the bottom line and I feel that the 'peace' I've come up with is the best way to move forward....
I wasn't attacking Simey, Melissa. And I certainly haven't called him names, here or elsewhere. But I do stand by my original point, that Simey has the right not to pursue this if he doesn't want to. In fact, I wouldn't call him boring for not doing so, or state that his reluctance to pursue something is boring me to tears. On the other hand...that's what Simey is saying (or has been saying) to those who want to raise the issue.
Hollie - did you read my suggestion? and my comments that words will never convey the meaning or can be interpreted different ways? I have been called names on other places, but while it does get me a little uptight at times, it really doesn't matter and I am stupid for reacting.
I really feel that my idea has a better chance of getting a response from HP - and I hope that one thing people will learn from this forum is that I do listen and take all opinions on board, and due to this passion I decided to propose a different approach.....
Of course you and anyone is free to argue that my idea is also pointless....
Yes, actually you kinda were Hollie. At least from my POV.
He said something and you accused him of trying to shut you up when he wasn't. And I'm also a firm believe that if you stand by and let your friends bully someone, you are just as guilty as them.
Just like those who stand by and let someone bully gays and call them names yet still are the bullies friends are just as guilty when those gay kids get beat up.
Sorry, but you absolutely DID insult at least one "whiner!" That'd be me.
Voluntary? Pfft... HP changed the goalposts by shifting important elements of the ad program. They did it without my consent, and they did it only after I've spent hundreds of hours writing content for the site. I haven't published anything since, and will eventually move my material if this doesn't change. This is not extra work I'm "volunteering" for either, thanks.
While I'm sure there are people who repeat the same arguments ad nauseum, one thing is pretty certain: NOTHING will change if no protesting takes place.
When and if that happens, I'll bet you won't "volunteer" the boost in your earnings to thank those whiners who spoke up to effect changes that benefitted you, though!
It's far better to feel superior to them, isn't it?
All things considered, I'm not sure "feel" is the right word, it implies lack of surety.
Interesting, so your response to anybody in power doing something unfair is that the little people should just 'cope'?
And you feel you can ridicule anybody who complains about TPTB, because you are SURE that you are superior to them?
They can cope because they feel I personally insulted them by stating general opinions.
I can feel superior because if I'm going to be accused of something, I might as well have the pleasure of doing it.
I could not possibly care less about anything else they said, nor do I care about anybody else's feelings of unfairness or TPTB that supposedly caused those feelings.
Nor, apparently, do more than around 60 hubbers out of 107,000 or so. That's a whopping .0005 percent who give a crap.
I am opposed to the "related search" advertisement, and will continue to be opposed for as long as they are displayed. I support Hubpages overall, but it is a business not a cult. So I will express my opinions whenever I feel like it.
One of the things I like most about Hubpages is that they don't object to us having opinions and expressing them, even when they are negative. The same behavior got me banned from the (now defunct) "Today.com" content site.
There are plenty of threads in these forums on topics that irritate people. But the subject lines tend to be pretty clear so only those still interested need participate. Hubpages seems to have no trouble just sticking to their decision and ignoring redundant threads.
It also appears to be part of a larger trend. New Hubs no longer have the large adsense block in the upper right hand corner. This was one ad block that might have captured the reader before they got to Related Searches. If a Hubber tried to arrange products to compete with the Related Searches, they no longer can. A large strip might have steered the reader away from Related Searches. HubPages took care of that with their limit of two.
While HP has been able to give rational explanations about these changes. Such as they hope taking away the large adsense block will bring back traffic, the fact is that Hubbers now have to rely almost solely on the HPads program. Impressions is about all they've been left with.
I had a Hub almost finished so I published it. Until I see some strong pro-Hubber monetization schemes, I don't see any reason to write any more. The old adage that Hubbers have to do well for HubPages to do well isn't that true anymore. They can siphon off the traffic from the hubs very efficiently now. One Hubber packs up and leave another newby arrives. HubPages still gets their traffic.
Every writing site on the planet learned what Google thinks of hubris, when Squidoo got stomped. We can only hope that HubPages was smart enough to clear all relevant design changes with Google first, before implementing them.
"(Note- I am not protesting through my real account for the same reason that any sane person would consider before risking their years of hard work.)"
Er, in what way does a post complaining about adverts risk anything? Surely that is nonsense. If you are going to "stand up for what you believe in" - better imo to stand up as whoever you are.
As for the adverts.
Spammy, crap, rip-off.
I stood up. As me.
By the way - I think I've worked out why this isn't against Google's TOS.
If you search for something on Google - at the bottom of every search is a 'Searces related to XXXX' - if you click on these, it leads to search results that includes Ads at the top and on the side, plus additional search results.
This is similar to what HP does aside from the fact there are no 'no ad' based searches.
Therefore it isn't infringing the TOS, it's using a tehcnique that Google uses..
I still agree that it is unethical...and not good for our hubs!
If a politely worded protest would get me booted, I would not want to be here. I don't see Hubpages as being that thin-skinned.
The problem for the OP is that the other account is banned for the forums (at least I think!) Thus the only way to make this polite protest was via a new account. In this case, even though I'm bored of the argument, I support the OP being allowed to voice an opinion....
Oh OK. It is confusing. Apologies Mr.Bestedex.
Serious how? There is zero evidence it costs hubbers traffic. Zero evidence it costs hubbers money. It has been explained, so the "transparency" issue is a red herring. It follows the rules set down by Google AND by HP, in spite of the fact that some wish to call them "ads" rather than the "links" they are.
They are ugly, but so are ads, and in any case that seems to be opinion rather than fact.
So what is the "serious issue"?
I think in the absence of data we don't know one way or the other. But if it made no money, I doubt it would be there. So, IMHO, it could well be a serious issue.
Not quite true...
Publishers are encouraged to experiment with a variety of placements and ad formats. However, AdSense code may not be placed in inappropriate places such as pop-ups, emails or software. Publishers must also adhere to the policies for each product used.
Google ads, search boxes or search results may not be:
Integrated into a software application (does not apply to AdMob) of any kind, including toolbars.
Displayed in pop-ups or pop-unders.
Placed in emails, email programs, including webmail, or on pages where dynamic content (such as live chat, instant messaging, or auto-refreshing comments) is the primary focus. (Does not apply to AdMob.)
Placed in emails, email programs, or chat programs. (Does not apply to AdMob.)
Obscured by elements on a page.
Placed on any non-content-based page. (Does not apply to AdSense for search, mobile AdSense for search, or AdMob.)
Placed on pages published specifically for the purpose of showing ads.
Placed on pages whose content or URL could confuse users into thinking it is associated with Google due to the misuse of logos, trademarks or other brand features.
Placed on, within or alongside other Google products or services in a manner that violates the policies of that product or service.
The links lead to ads that are on pages that contain no content at all plus the sole purpose of the page is to show ads, so in this case Hubpages is breaking the rules.
Good point. So HP may lost their adsense account. Not hubbers; that is not our page. If HP loses their account, it is serious as we're probably not going to have HP to publish on, but it IS their choice.
I find it very difficult to believe that HP would not have checked Adsense ToS before adding the related ads. I wonder if they come under the "Adsense for search" label.
Don't really have much to support this, rather than the hope that they are not completely rank amateurs and that they checked that what they are doing is legit.
The fact that HP has never announced the "related search ads", despite apologising, makes things worse for a major policy shift about revenue sharing. The same applies for the disappearing act for the 250x250 adsense ad (right top). Why no announcement! Why no change to the Learning Center Information for the Related Search. All these changes DO affect revenue for hubbers and the ' revenue sharing deal' that authors consider when publishing pages on HP. Are "Related Search" permanent? Have I missed the announcement?
"We don't make formal announcements about small ad tests because they are frequent and may change. I know there was a lot of concern with our previous lack of announcement regarding the Related Search units and we regret not announcing it beforehand. We do plan to keep the community informed of all permanent ad changes as we make them."
Remember when HPads started up? And a select few hubbers were put into the program without notifying the rest of us? Why no screaming then? It certainly wasn't "transparent".
Your proof that your revenue has dropped? Don't provide it, please, just tell me how you came by it and what makes you know that it is from the related searches?
So HP screwed up and neglected to notify you they were putting ads up. They apologized. Can we drop that end of it as there isn't anywhere else to go with it?
I STATE AGAIN **SHOUTING LOUDLY**
I DO NOT LIKE THE RELATED ADS, THEY ARE MISLEADING, UGLY AND ADD NO VALUE TO MY WORK.
DESPITE WHAT SOME PEOPLE THINK I AM NOT AN 'A** LICKER' or 'BROWN NOSER' - I SIMPLY THINK THIS ARGUMENT HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH AND WILL NOT ACHIEVE ANYTHING.
AGAIN - I HATE THE RELATED ADS AND WANT THEM REMOVED.
Going on and on about something is a tried and true form of low level protest.
I cannot win. I get accused of being a brown noser even though I was not doing anything of the sort.....trying to prove I am not being a brown noser gets me different critisism...
Um, you are talking about two different people. When in a forum you will encounter more than one point of view.
You may as well give it up, Simey. I've said the exact same thing - I don't like them and want them gone - but as soon as you say anything (anything at all) other than gripe you're a brown noser. Even the self evident fact that they're legal withing our agreement with HP makes you a brown noser. You have to claim they're not, even when it's not true.
Simple solution - HP adds a paragraph to the LC describing the Related Search ads, why they were introduced, admitting that the revenue is not shared, and how they affect revenue for authors. If they are permanent then an anouncement is warranted. If they are not then those who dislike them live in hope that they will be removed.
I personally would like HP to announce other changes in ad placement on the Pages. The removal of the 250x250 ad (top right), until a hub gets a minimum of 100 hits, should have been announced as well. This costs me 50% of revenue for every new hub, and so I have ceased publishing new hubs until the test 'for a few days' is over. No announcement about this either. Being keep informed is important to me.
If that one ad is costing you 50% of lifetime revenue for every hub I'd say you have a major problem, and it isn't from HP. As the total income for all ads, after ads go on, is around $.003 per visit, those first 100 hits are going to earn you 30 cents per hub; if that's truly of great concern you're in the wrong business. Either that or chucking out two dozen hubs per day!
HP is the only site I know of that offers the 'incentive' of pulling a major ad off the page for the first 100 hits of a new page. Revenus varies with CPM for the ad. When is the experiment due to end? Will this ad remain on all other pages? I would like to know the answers?
this month compared with last month, so why are the experimental pulling of ads continuing.?
I don't recall the answer, although it does seem like I saw one.
Didn't know it was for 100 views, though - I though all ads were pulled until featured.
I worked out what is happening by looking at my own hubs including some recently published. I also emailed about it. If you look at the latest list of hubs published (http://hubpages.com/hubs/latest/), none of them have the top right ad 250x250. When I look at my hubs the ones that have 100+ hits have the ad in place, those with less than 100 don't have this ad. So if you publish a new hub, it won't have that ad in place until after it gets more than 100 hits (for me anyway). There is no announcement about this. This is for featured hubs, and it is unrelated to the ads being pulled while a new hub is pending. My publishing is curtailed while this income penalty applies.
I'm seeing the same thing - I have a few hubs that are several weeks old but still haven't seen 100 visits and none have that ad. They DO have the tall one to the side, but not the 250X250.
Still, without any visits, I don't see that I'm losing much income. A few pennies, maybe, but that's all.
If you are tired of these threads then don't read these threads???
Ignore the thread then, because you actually have no right to tell others not to continue a conversation that is important to them because you think it's a waste of time!
You have the right to engage or otherwise, not to tell others when the conversation should end.
Sure he does. It's an open forum. Ran...er I mean Bestedex can display his unhappiness at HP and whomever feels like it can display their unhappiness at Bestedex for posting his nonsense.
Free speech doesn't just work for the side you agree with.
I can say it's silly buggers all I like. As I haven't personally attacked anyone, it's all good. Same for Simey.
So yeah, he absolutely has that right... in as much as anyone does.
Em, no Melissa. He doesn't have the right to tell me or anyone else that the conversation needs to end. That is the complete opposite of free speech.
He can disagree, that's absolutely his right. He can say that HE disagrees BUT doesn't think it's worth the conversation, but he absolutely does not have the right to tell me, or others, that the debate should be over because that's what he has decided is the way forward.
He absolutely does. He can say anything he likes within TOS.
Whether you chose to ignore it or not is up to you.
But hey, nice trying to shut him up! Free speech for all, as long as you agree with it.
It seems a shame that he seems to care about everyone's opinion of him. And that everyone seems to be taking advantage of that to silence him.
No, I'm not trying to shut him up, Simey comes across as the one who's trying to shut people up because he's attempting to tell us when we should, and should not, protest. I'm saying he has no right to tell me or others whether we should continue the conversation or not, see how that works? I'm not telling him to agree, disagree, I'm not calling him a brown noser- I'm not even supporting the OP, who appears to be a sock, admittedly.
I'm merely saying that Simey has the right to engage or otherwise, but not to tell me what to do!
You have the right not to listen.
By telling him that he doesn't have the right to say something, you are doing the same thing you are accusing him of doing.
It's a bit of a double standard.
I've seen a bunch of "You can ignore these threads if you don't agree" well, so can the people saying that.
No, I'm saying he doesn't have the right to tell me what I should and should not pursue. I'm not telling him what he should and should not pursue, none of my business.
So, you see, this isn't about just engaging or otherwise, this is about him telling us that we are not to pursue something we think is important, because he doesn't think that it is. He still has no right to tell me what to do.
If he wants to protest the price of oranges and stage a demo outside his local supermarket, that's his right- I wouldn't engage, I don't think it;s worth it- but that's his right- none of my business. I'd just disengage.
If it's on a public forum, it's anyone's business that wants to post.
I never saw him say to stop posting. I saw him saying he thought it was a waste of time and he was tired of the whining.
I'm saying exactly the same thing, because it is my right to say it. I guess it could be said that if you don't like it you could ignore HIS (or my) posts. No one is forcing you to interact.
No they're not, that is my choice. I still have them, just like you and Simey.
And, I still have the right to say that my protesting is neither of your business. Although, in fairness, if Simey hadn't have tried to tell us what we should and should not protest, I wouldn't have responded to a Sp's thread. So I suppose that was a bit self defeating, there's better ways to deal with the issue.
If you feel it is your right to say whatever you wish without anyone disagreeing, that's your view. You likely will be disappointed in life, but you can have any view you like.
Just remember your views don't have any more validity than any one else's. So you can't silence anybody any more than they can silence you.
That's fair, I think.
Of course they don't, I accept that, so why does Simey think that I do not have the right to protest, because he wouldn't?
Why are his views more valid than mine?
And btw, I made it perfectly clear, several times- that he had the right to disagree or otherwise, but not to tell me what to do. So, why, all of a sudden, have you decided that I think he has no right to disagree with me? That's not how the conversation went, I have no idea where you have plucked this from.
Ok... I must be missing it. Where did he say for you to stop posting? I think that's what the root of our disagreement is.
I've read through but I must have missed it.
Is it different than me saying that I wish these threads would dry up and everyone would go back to doing whatever it is they do when they AREN'T complaining?
Edit: I seriously have read through 3 times now. I'm fairly certain he never says that anyone should stop posting.
Is disagreeing somehow saying you shouldn't post?
I'm not trying to shut anyone up - like everyone else here I'm stating my opinion. I have openly agreed with the opinions of others on here.
Where exactly have I done this? You've accused me of this three times in the forum? I've stated I found the forum boring because it re-iterates something that has been repeated dozens of times. I said that I felt that it wouldn't achieve anything. At no point did I say that anyone else has no right to comment.
For the record. I have never read any post by SimeyC that was in any way derogatory or insulting or condescending.
With that said, if HP shares the revenue or not one way to look at these ads is that they are an opportunity for a business (HP is a business so far as I know) to make money. The more they make the better the chances that HP will be healthy enough to remain active. Think about what would happen to our accounts, articles etc if HP ceased to exist.
I don't like these ads but agree with HP right's to use them. Let them make money and use it to perhaps improve the site (which is one of the best out there as it stands right now).
Moral of the story: the healthier HP is the better off we are.
HP is making money, they get 40% of the impressions from out hubs, 40% of Amazon sales etc. etc.
They (and we) could make more money if they made it so Amazon is not blocked by adblocker (the way wizzley and Squidoo do), they used other monetization options (like Zazzle as wizzley does), etc.
If they cannot function as a business with the 60/40 revenue share, they should be straight with us, tell us how matters stand and what they will do.
The aim is to improve the site, but these "related search" links which lead to pages of ads are actually quite spammy. Google doesn't like pages with too much advertising, so putting these ads on, definitely doesn't improve the site.
I stated in this thread that the OP had the right to start the thread. I simply stated that I am bored of all these forum entries. I have not and never will tell anyone to stop - I'll simply tell them my opinion. Isn't that what forums are all about?
The fact that these ads appear on pages with no content is not a huge problem... there is an easy work-around for this. The pages they appear on need to become subdomains. Google allows adsense to be placed on undeveloped domains, however publishers are prohibited from using text and images designed to confuse users. I think the scrolling text link is pretty confusing to users.
Melissa why would you get banned in because of anything you said in this thread?
Honestly? Because someone is bound to take it as a personal attack. I got banned in another thread for pretty much saying the same thing about the situation in general and somebody took it personally.
I actually kind of understand it, because these thing really do seem important to some of the posters. I'm cool with that. Different things matter more to different people.
What matters to me is the general atmosphere of animosity just sucks the life out of the forums. It's not even interesting arguments anymore. It's just seems like people set around waiting for something to be up in arms about.
If anything is killing HP, it's the fact that newbies come and see all this crap being spewed on a regular basis. The people who are most gun-ho about the "Down with HP" sentiment enjoy that. It's like they want to see HP fail so they can say "I took down another content farm... haha, serves them right for doing something I don't like"
While I have the potential to be a ripe royal bitch, I actually use it fairly seldom, but it seems like every time I come to the forums I see the majority of people reveling in just being pissy. It sets my teeth on edge.
I actually use to come on the forums to ask for advice... then as I learned some stuff, I came on to offer advice to those who were asking. You know, actual help. I realize I'm not some great knowledge bank but I have some knowledge. Now it's just thread after thread of "HP Sucks but instead of leaving I'm going to spread my anger"
I probably should just stop logging in and likely will when I've finally hit my negativity quotient (which is pretty damn close). However if everybody else can complain about what's killing HP, I think I should be able to give my opinion too.
This thread and the score of other ones like it? Yeah, that's what's doing it. If HP knew what was good for them they'd cut the forums off like the cancer that it is. Then everyone can either take the writing platform as it is or leave it... But an HP community? That's quickly becoming a joke.
Well I don't think any of your comments even come close to a personal attack. So I can't believe they'll ban you.
If HubPages would explain why the Related Searches is so good for Hubbers and why they're staying it would go a long way towards shutting people up. It's truly remarkable that they've ignored it all,except for one or two cryptic remarks. Worrying about cash flow isn't childish, it's business. Mine is as important to me as theirs is to them. That's why I'm concerned about the pervasive trends I'm seeing here.
I absolutely love the way Hubs look and would love to write dozens more. My own business sense tells me not to for a while. You have no idea how much I wish that wasn't the case.
I'm assuming the related search is not good for hubbers. Some of the decisions aren't going to be. Some decisions are going to be good for HP alone.
The 40 percent they take isn't good for individual hubbers either.
QAP isn't good for some hubbers. You see the billions of threads in here about people getting angry their hubs failed, or went idle from lack of traffic.
Hell, subdomains weren't good for some hubbers.
Oh my God, if you weren't here for the summary fiasco... please read the threads that a simple change like notifying when hubs didn't have summaries caused.
There was once chick (I think) that gave a very long winded goodbye over a simple change to the hubtool.
The apprentice program... oh holy crap the drama.
The Elite status thing... *shudders*
Hub of the Day threads.
Instituting the hubad program...
I honestly could go on and on... and it's by and large the same people in each thread. Others come and go but there is always this core of just really unhappy quarrelsome people.
HP has always answered them too, to one extent or the other. The answers have never been sufficient either for this pack. I really can't even blame HP for throwing it's hands up. HP answered this one. It didn't make anyone happy, but it was an answer. I'm pretty sure that's all we're getting as it was like 2 months ago and nothing since.
IMHO, they did it to make more money. Good on them. Last time I looked they weren't a non-profit. For most of the people complaining, the difference might be a buck or two a month... if there really is a difference. It's not worth being nasty over a buck.
Well Melissa, you said you were tired of these thread, and yet you spent a huge amount of time here,i t seems to me, including reading Hollie's posts 3x.
This is rather strange behaviour for somebody who doesn't like these threads. Most people would have just left them alone, nobody is compelling you to read them.
Yes people complain loudly and at length about changes. Actually this particular change seems to me more worthy of being complained about. Whereas the other things you mention are mostly HPs attempts to get from under the Google slap, and improve things for everybody. The related searches are here only to make HP money.
"I really can't even blame HP for throwing it's hands up."
You're not just feeling bad for HP, though, are you. Every time it is attacked you feel you have to jump in and defend it. My feeling is, they are grown up enough, they should be able to take a little aggro in forums.
"IMHO, they did it to make more money. Good on them. Last time I looked they weren't a non-profit."
Yep, well I am not a charity either. I would like to make some money from publishing hubs. When I and others signed up, the revenue share was 60:40. Now they have put these floating links on my hubs to their ad pages. In a strictly technical sense the revenue share hasn't changed, but for all practical purposes it has. Sad things is there are other ways they could increase revenue for both hubbers and themselves.
Nobody is compelling you all to write them either.
Just letting you guys know that you are turning the forums into crap and ruining the experience for others.
But that's the goal of it for some of you all isn't it? And those who speak out are verbally ripped to shreds and called names, because they don't agree with your little pack. You spend hours just sitting around talking about how horrible this place is. Leave then.
I'm not worried about HP's feelings. I am actually just working on my own feelings here. You guys seem to think you have the monopoly on the time you have put in here. You don't. I've put literally thousands of hours in on this site. So I think I get to express an opinion on those who are ruining it with nastiness.
If HP dies because of the pack's nastiness, you have absolutely no one to blame but yourselves. Then you all can go and run your websites all on you own. Since most of you all complain about how little views you get on an established platform, it should be fun to watch you all carve yourselves out niche sites.
I'm personally just sick of the nastiness. I'm sick of the name calling. I'm sick of the herd running off those who don't agree with them. You guys pick a target, like Simey, and then go after them until they shut up. It's hateful, nasty and immature. Then you all sit around and laugh because you've managed to do it.
I don't give a crap about the ads. I give a crap about what used to be a community and is now just a pack of rabid bullies. What I am mad about is that HP, in it's attempt to stay "neutral", has let you all run unchecked. Personal attacks and all.
You know when I've got your back? When you all can have a reasonable conversation without personal attacks and attempts to shut people up by intimidation. Until then I don't take ANY concerns you have seriously. I'll be in the threads showing you all just as much respect as you show everyone else.
If you are that sick of the nastiness, perhaps you should stop contributing to it yourself.
Yes, you did not technically call anybody names, you made sure not to do things that would get you a ban from the forums, but your response to the OP wouldn't exactly be used as an example of the contribution of a good community member either.
Now, I didn't agree with the OP, I didn't think HP were doing anything against Adsense ToS, and I said so. But somehow I managed to say it without resorting to sarcasm. On the other hand, I don't think your response qualifies as trying to have a "reasonable conversation"
If you feel that I have personally attacked you in this thread (or anywhere else) then I apologise, it certainly wasn't my intention to do so. Can you please point out where you feel I've been intimidating and tried to shut you up? (Honestly I don't think it is a doable thing to try to "shut you up", so I wouldn't even try it, and that is a compliment btw).
I think we cross-posted.
The OP and I had a conversation in another thread and it was carried over to this one, but no my comments weren't nice. They weren't respectful. It was a SP who had started several threads and posted in several more for no other reason than to stir crap.
Believe it or not, I wasn't trying to avoid a ban. I'm shocked I haven't received one yet. I'm not personally attacking anyone because it's a whole group mentality I'm pissed off about.
Like I said in the post to Holly, if you are friends with someone who is being a bully and calling names and you allow it to continue you are implicitly agreeing. If you don't see it this way, that's cool. You have your own thing going on.
But that's how I see it, and I respond accordingly to that opinion.
And I thank you for the compliment... such as it is
Edit: I didn't think it was me that anyone was trying to shut up. That wouldn't have really bothered me.
Only 14 people have joined this long tread. I am the 15th. Pathetic.
What we really need to get rid of the deceptive Related Search ads, is to stop bickering among ourselves and spread the truth to hubbers outside this forum thread by email, asking them to post just one short sentence here:
I herewith join the protest against unpaid Related Search Ads.
All this bickering, name calling, finger pointing and pouting has got to stop (I include myself as a guilty party).
I’d like to propose a new approach that is more businesslike, professional and formal.
1) Someone writes a draft letter detailing the concerns about the relates searches.
2) This letter is circulated to many members including those who disagree
3) All members can offer suggestions to edit the letter etc.
4) A finalized letter that is approved by the majority is posted on the forum or a hub is created.
5) The letter will include the number of people who approve of it, disapprove of it or don’t have any opinion.
The letter cannot be accusatory but must simply list known facts and concerns.
Some elements I’d like to see:
• Members are concerned that the term Related Searches is misleading as it only leads to Ads.
• Members are concerned that the revenue of the related searches is not shared and that this potentially breaks the revenue share agreement.
• Members are concerned that the related searches are potentially breaking Google’s TOS and could lead to HP having their ads suspended or even individual members having their Adsense accounts suspended
• Members are concerned that the Relates Searches do not add value to hubs.
• Members are concerned that the majority of members of HP do not realize that the revenue from the related searches goes 100% to HP as it has not been formally announced.
In my opinion a more formal approach is likely to at the very least get a reply from HP especially if it’s backed by a large number of ‘approvals’.
I think this is a good idea. Errrr.......are you nominating yourself to write this letter?
I really don't care who writes it - I'd probably prefer RG or the OP to write it - or someone who isn't on either side. I'm willing to do a draft if that's the concensus, but that was not my intention with my post!!
The biggest point is that it gets passed around many hubbers and agreed by the majority - one of the most imortant things is that we have to state that 999 hubbers agree, 123 hubbers disagree and Mark Ewbie drew a picture!
I have a few people interested in this idea, but not many have replied? Is this a good idea? Should we move forward? Any other better ideas? Anyone want to volunteer to write the first draft?
I think its a great idea but a better approach would be to create a hub with the ads turned off on it. I think we can get more hubbers to share the hub than we can get through email responses. I also think that once we get a definitive response from HP, the hub can be pulled. Draft the hub and allow others to sign it through the comments, polls, etc.
A hub will reach many more hubbers than a post in the forums considering the majority of users here never even visit the forums.
I would imagine so, I mean, as long as it's not offensive (or the tone isn't one of black mail, which I don't agree with either) I can't see it being a problem. I suppose it's critical of HP in terms of the related ads, but if the criticism is constructive...
Does anyone mind if I draft a document that would form a hub? I'll share it with whoever wants to see it - it'll include most of the points I've read here (and any others people want to add) plus will have quite a few polls - these would tell HP (and us) whether there is a true consensus about the related searches!
I support it. One key point for me is that it changed the partnership between authors and HP 'we're all in this together, sharing'. Trust is important. Once HP put its own ads on the article pages that partnership changed, not just in terms of income.
Here is a suggestions for your draft SIMEYC:
Make it shorter. Don't write a Hub about it. This issue is not for outside readers. We don't want the whole world to know about our struggles and bring HP's reputation down. This is an internal affair.
What all Hubbers need to know is very basic: I suggest circulating an email on these lines:
Dear HubPages author and Colleague,
Did you know that the scrolling Related Search feature in the side bar on your HubPages domain are not related searches at all, they lead to pages and pages of mostly unrelated adverts. We do not get any income from those ads and feel that the partnership between authors and HP has been broken. Furthermore, we feel that the Related Search feature is
take readers away from our hubs (increasing bounce rates),
and spoils our reputation as authors.
Some of us have started a protest against the Related Search feature.
Our demands to HP management are simple:
Either remove the Related Search feature or if that is not possible, then at least share its revenue 60/40 like all other adverts accessed via our domains.
If you wish to join in the protest about the Related Search ads please reply to this email stating your HubPages user name with the sentence: "I wish to join the protest against Related Search ads."
Thank you for your co-operation,
The protest team.
I would be happy with shared income + Change of Heading => Identifying them as ads
They should be labelled as ads (as appears when you open the link unit)
Related Ads by Google
But that would decrease the number of people clicking on them, surely.
If we are to assume that that the 'related search' is there purely to drive more income to HP, it still comes down to HP needing money.
Have you noticed that the prize fund decreased with every competition?
That suggested a lack of funds.
(Competitions were run to increase number of hubs, and the competition element was to encourage quality hubs).
Then they 'found' the money to employ the MTurk people, oh and to pay for the apprentice program.
It strikes me they were spending money they didn't have, in the hopes of raising the site's profile.
Now they have introduced 'related search' on every published hub, to recoup some of the money.
I am pro-HP. I always have been, despite any or all protestations or comments I have made to the contrary.
I have devoted three years of my life to them. I do not want them to fail.
If they are in severe financial difficulties, I am happy for them to take a bigger proportion of open, honest earnings, at least until such time that they are back in the black.
I would prefer that to seeing them go under.
Somehow the 'related search' ads on my hubs grate on my nerves. It was the wrong approach. It was deceptive.
The topic here has moved on to whether or not Simey should make a hub about it to gauge the views of the writers.
Personally speaking, I wouldn't bother. TPTB read the forums and will not be swayed by hubs or their comments.
I doubt if they are swayed by our open forum views either.
But how are you going to circulate the email?
I did, and I think we've just had a *virtual handshake* I also don't want to be confused with people who've been name calling- that really isn't my style. I say my piece (hopefully) without insulting people.
As I said before - sometimes words can be taken out of context or misinterpreted. I have pretty thick skin.
I think we all need to step back and understand that we all want te same thing "HP to succeed" - once this is understood and once we understand that often frustrations creep into our forum entries then we can perhaps have a better, more objective conversation.
Oh - and yes we did have a virtual handshake!!!
People disagreeing with Simey doesn't mean they were bullying him, and in fairness, I once remember a forum poster accusing me of not challenging you about a comment you'd made because you were my "friend". I pointed out then, as now, that I'm not responsible for other people's thoughts or opinions, and I don't remember you disagreeing. Having said that, I haven't seen one poster call him names on here, and I would also like to point out, that the same people who you feel are attacking Simey have also said, in another thread, that he has the right to voice his opinions without being called names. So you're way off the mark here. Furthermore, stating that someone does not have the right to to tell me whether I should protest or not, is in no way akin to homophobic bullying- I think that remark will simply not fly.
Also, Simey has accepted, in another thread, how his comments might have across, and I have accepted that he didn't mean to come across that way. So, it appears that you are the only one who believes that I was attacking him.
No, but people calling him names does. He was being called names in an area you go out of your way to frequent and you allowed it, so obviously you didn't have a problem with it or disagree. I would think anyone who can protest so loudly on the forums can obviously say "Hey, it's not right to call other people nasty names".
I'm not off the mark. In my opinion I'm right on it. It's mob mentality. You're a part of it if you don't speak up. Sorry. I'm actually quite fond of you, so I really don't like saying it. But if I didn't I would be doing the same thing you are.
I think you are justifying your behavior. That's also on you. But I saw you participating in the conversation where he was being called names and I didn't see you speaking up. So I'm clumping you in with the people who were doing it. If you don't want me to do it again (and I'm sure you don't care one way or another) then step up next time.
You were attacking him. You don't see it that way, that's on you. I do.
But anyway, he got his apology. So I'm good.
I think you are justifying your behavior. That's also on you. But I saw you participating in the conversation where he was being called names and I didn't see you speaking up.
I was participating in a conversation that was about Egypt and drinking red wine, and the conversation you're referring to happened hours before I'd even gone to that thread and by all intents and purposes there had been an amicable agreement between the two parties- the matter was resolved. If you're going to read the thread then read it properly, and take note of when people posted. Why on earth would I begin to stir up trouble between Randy and Simey , hours after the disagreement had been resolved? When I had something to say to Simey, I said it to him, no name calling, no attacks and didn't say anything behind his back.
Melissa, you appear to want to think that I was attacking Simey, but the thing is, you're keeping the negativity going. Whatever disagreements there have been have been resolved. Maybe you're being defensive because there has been a lot of negativity in the forums, on that we agree. But you really have to differentiate between disagreements and bullying. When I see *real* bullying, such as the young woman who's hub had been ripped apart because she won HoTD, I speak up, loudly and clearly, and I wouldn't give a toss whether anyone agreed with me or otherwise. I guess we just have a different opinion of what constitutes bullying.
“As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.”
― Marcel Duchamp
What a shame certain people went out of their way to disrupt this thread and make it go off-topic.
As a reminder, it was all about whether or not the 'Related Searches' on all our hubs were unethical and illegal.
Can we get back on-topic, please?
Sure... The first post is me posting very well drawn picture of someone sleeping. Let's discuss.
Yep, that image kind of freaks me out slightly. Now I see what has happened. Some genius mod has removed the point of the thread.
As the artist I suppose I need to explain what the creative process was behind that controversial image. Our hero, the yellow guy, was stunned to realize that the related ads were not generating income. He has temporarily passed out.
Bloody hell! That completely changes the nature of Melissa's reply and renders all the following messages irrelevant!
You sneaky editor you. Now my post makes no sense.
I think it's important that these issues be discussed in the forum where all Hubbers can learn about Related Searches and discuss the impact. People might not understand that they should be concerned about these items.It's a cautionary tale to people who might be considering investing time here.
Even though people might not be participating here, they may be reading this thread.
I was using a similar system to the "related ads" on one of my websites about two years ago. The click through rate was PHENOMENAL, it blew me away - and probably earnt me more than any other single piece of effort I've ever made on any site I've owned.
No mistake, I was getting a HUGE CTR on a similar system (which I'd still be using today if they hadn't disappeared overnight).
..... so I bet not only do Hubpages get 100% of the revenue, but I bet it's a stonker of a CTR.
That's very interesting......I always assumed they would have a bad CTR.
Of course every click on RS is a loss of a potential click on something we could actually earn from.
True - every click on RS is a potential loss of a click.
Looking at my own CTR for adsense, it hasn't changed. It is also extremely low (I use HPads) so don't think I would see a 10 or even 20% change if it DID happen.
However, that also includes clicks through to my other hubs. Here, I see a 10% gain if anything - certainly no loss. The percentage of visits coming from my subdomain is greater than it has ever been.
Looking at my data, and only my data, there is no detectable loss of traffic because of RS. Traffic is down because of the google update (timing was far too close to be coincidental), not from RS links.
I'm not sure why you think a Hub would get more readership. Whenever I'm considering writing on a forum, I always check out the forums to see what their existing membership is writing about. I also google them. It's a wonderful hint about how they work with their community.
I have to say that people have repeatedly commented here about Wizzley losing their adsense. Their response to their members was phenomenal. They explained the situation clearly and kept us apprised of the situation. They also have chitika available which we were able to use during that period. They were honest about what happened and got it fixed. We also had viglink which allows us to individually monetize our Wizzles with thousands of companies. It's a very different culture. Perhaps because many of the founders were Squids.
I think, writing a Hub about this is a lot of unecessary work, because certain Hubbers are uncomfortable with these topics. That I really don't understand.
I think a hub is the best approach if we want to get it to as many hubbers as possible. I would guess that only 1% of ALL hubbers ever visit the forums, let alone participate in them. So, this issue is probably something they are certainly not even aware of. This hub can be our "seat at the table."
The hub should not be a threat, it should be a voice for our common concerns and a request for a definitive response that should be entered into our User Agreement. A debate on those concerns can be had in the comments instead of filling up the forums. If someone creates yet another thread on the topic (and I'm sure someone will) we can just point them to the hub.
@SimeyC I support you drafting and publishing the hub. I think it should demonstrate our (Hubbers who have voiced an opinion) concerns. I don't think it should contain a defense for HP on the topic as they have not publicly given a defense or any type of explanation other than to say they are not sharing the revenue generated by those ads.
Personally, I don't think we are entitled to any share of that revenue because the ads are not on our hubs, they are on pages with absolutely no content with the sole purpose of showing ads. I for one, do not want my Google adsense account associated with those pages because I believe they are in violation of Google's ad Placement rules and my major concern is that HP will lose, or have their Adsense account suspended... and since you need an adsense account to participate in the HP Ads program, how will this affect us... No more rotating script... no more 40/60 split.
Aside from that concern is the fact that the linkunit capsule provides no additional value to our readers... I can't put in affiliate links in my content that I know would add value so why are they putting these links that add no value?
The scrolling box makes the linkunit seem more important than it actually is. The "related search" title of the box is misleading and confusing.
If HP wants to keep them, why can't they only allow them to show on their own 40% of impressions?
My draft is going to point out concerns and have no commentary based on my beliefs or any other beliefs. It'll also be seen by most people on this forum prior to being published.
I support Simey drafting it as well. He is a reasonable and balanced person.
I agree janderson99. So the demands would read:
Our demands to HP management are simple:
Either remove the Related Search feature or if that is not possible, then at least
rename them as " "Sponsors" (or something)", and share its revenue 60/40 like all other adverts accessed via our domains.
Hi Marisa, I saw you were in from other threads and wished you on board here. Must be telepathy.
Re:"But how are you going to circulate the email?"
Private messages to Hubbers on Facebook?
And we all have a small list of hubbers email addresses.
Perhaps the letter could also ask people to spread the word to hubbers they can contact?
But you yourself Izzy say:
"Somehow the 'related search' ads on my hubs grate on my nerves. It was the wrong approach. It was deceptive."
So what do you suggest we do about it?
Let us start by asking the people here on this forum and move on from there:
To motion 1: Asking fellow hubbers to join the protest by email or any other form of private message.
To motion 2: "I'd rather they changed the agreement to 50/50 and get rid of the RS."
Are you in or out? YES, or NO?
Sue Adams -YES for motion 2 but at 55/45% -
zzyM -YES for motion ?-
Please no long posts, simply copy the above list and add "- YES for motion 1 or 2 after your user name on the above list.
Will this work?
Well said Izzy: "HP would do well to remember that most writers want them to succeed."
Sue, I think the issue here for some people isn't necessarily about the money that hubbers might be losing, but how HP have gone about it. I'm with Izzy that if HP are really struggling financially, I'd rather they changed the agreement to 50/50 and get rid of the RS. But I do think that if they were more honest about it, the community would come forth with lots of ideas to generate income for HP and ourselves.
There are many ways forward, but as Janderson says, trust is really important. I think what happened on Wizzley a few months ago highlights how writers and content sites can work together in times of adversity. Although Wizzley lost Adsense for a few weeks, they didn't lose any writers, to my knowledge, because of it. Why? Because they were completely open and transparent about what had happened. HP would do well to remember that most writers want them to succeed, but they also want honesty too.
It's all about being open and honest at the end of the day.
I don't really want to lose those few cents, but hey if it means the difference between staying afloat and going under, I know which one I'd choose.
Just get these damned 'related searches' off my pages. I'd be a fractionally less annoyed if they were spelled correctly but I'd still be annoyed because they are there, and I don't get a share.
In, I guess.
But I see no point in including me amongst those against the 'related search' on another forum. I have made my views clear here, I think.
A certain other hubber did her best to derail this whole discussion, but an open forum is where it should be discussed.
Yes it is true that only that only a small proportion of hubbers visit the forums.
I would guess that the vast majority of those from non-English speaking countries would be confused by the language used (not all, in case someone considers that comment to be racist).
I, myself, have at least 10 other subdomains. My other personas do not visit the forums.
If everyone has that many or more, that would partially explain the disparity between total hubbers on HP, and those that visit the forums.
Between ESL hubbers and spammers, the difference is probably made up.
HP is not known for listening to hubbers. Just maybe, this time they will.
If we are asking them to remove what is potentially a great money-maker for them, then we have to accept their financial difficulties, which is also our problem, and agree to a solution.
Please say YES to either
Motion 1: Asking fellow hubbers to join the protest by email or any other form of private message.
Motion 2 by Hollie: "I'd rather they changed the agreement to 50/50 and get rid of the RS."
Sue Adams -YES to motion 2 but at 55/45% -
zzyM -YES to motion ?-
I'm not sure I understand the options exactly.
Of course I'm in for option1 getting rid of the RS
I'm not just gonna say to HP-hey why don't you take another 10% in revenue share. Personally I think we would lose more than we lose from RS.
Doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer it from RS, but I would like to see the case for it. Everybody is assuming "HP really needs the money"- who knows what really is going on. Why don't they try to monetize better, make amazon immune to adblocker etc. etc.
Yes Squidoo has a 50-50 revenue share, but they give 5% to charities, so they somehow make do with 45%. Not sure why HP should need 50%.
I think it is silly for us to just vote for HP to help themselves to another 10% of the revenue at our expense, just like that. I mean if it is a case of- we have to do this or HP disappears, then I guess I would agree, but really...........
I've already cast my vote in favor of SimeyC drafting a hub on the issue. I don't care if it is made public to the world, it should be. There is no Us against Them because 'Them' can join 'Us' anytime they wish.
I am NOT in favor of an email campaign. I do not want my private email address shared with just anyone and I rarely respond to email requests made to me here on HP by any user I do not know.
As I see it, we share revenue generated from clicks originating from our hubs through a rotating script which shows our code 60% of impressions and HP's code 40% of impressions. The related search linkunit may be on all of our hubs but the page it leads to belongs solely to Hubpages which shows HP's script 100% of the time.
HP has chosen to sneak in some ads that are neither part of the Impressions program or the Hubpages Earnings program. The related searches linkunit is in gray area, but taking up prominent space on our hubs.
Section 9 Hubpages Earnings Program states, "HubPages Earnings Program may place unpaid public-service, charitable, and/or default/placeholder ads on Your Hub."
The related searches do not fall into any of the above categories.
Section 3 Permitted Uses states, "You are solely responsible for Your Hub Content." So if this is the case, why are these ads placed in my content without any permission, or promise to share benefit?
I also agree with Livewithrichard. I don't think it's a good idea to make demands, rather just put the case forward in a hub. As to offering the 10%, that was not exactly an option to put forward. I was simply saying that *if* there were financial difficulties, there were options other than RS- such as different split or other monetisation options. Not a concrete *let's offer 10%" it was merely an example.
If the related search is a great money earner as already been suggested on this thread, then why not reduce the share of the overall split, but share the related search with us?
That way, ugly though they are, we would not object to having them. Win, win all round.
Just looking for solutions....
So, what was your problem accepting the related search ads, before?
Were you not talking loudly how Related Searches ads are unethical? It seems it was not about ethics, ....it was about envy.
They are unethical because they are prominent on all of our hubs and we do not get a share of them.
Envy does not come into it.
So, do you believe that the 'related searches' ads are beneficial for the people who unsuspectingly click on them?
And by the way, it's their website, and they decide the rules. If they think that they will not share some 'specific' ad earnings with hubbers, what's unethical in that?
Did they promise that they would always go the way that they started with?
Creating and maintaining a website is a lot of effort. Those who use the service provided by them, should understand that. They promised 60:40 adsense revenue share. And they are on it.
It's all like a tenant asking the landlord to behave the way he or she wants. Isn't that unethical?
That's a bad analogy, because a tenant simply pays rent to his landlord in return for lodgings.
We are not employees of HubPages, but we are closer to employees than tenants in that HubPages earns from our labour, we don't just passively hand over rent. If we provide labour, then we have the right to complain about our terms of engagement.
Our contract with HubPages sets out the 60/40 rule. Yes, they can change the rules any time they like, but any contract requires both sides to deal honestly. Most Hubbers (except for a few conspiracy theorists) believe that up till now, HubPages has been transparent and honest with Hubbers about earnings - which is more than can be said for some other sites. So to find they are not paying the agreed share is a betrayal of trust, which makes it a bigger issue than just a few ads might seem to be.
Not taking sides here, just explaining.
'God is in the kitchen' was always my favorite amongst your troll names.
So, get to it. Plenty of fools for the taking.
By the way what happens if you see God in the kitchen?
Are you a troll? At least, your behavior says ...
Lol. That would be a new one.
As I said before, you lack discipline as a troll. You got this whole thread moving along sweetly then you got overconfident.
I think there's loads of possibilities Izzy, and that's certainly one of them.
People are off their heads talking about changing the revenue share. I can think of nothing more harmful to the interests of writers on this site. I can only assume it comes from people who earn next to nothing (I wouldn't complain about losing one sixth of nothing, either).
As to the RS ads, suck it up. I have a feeling they are making a more practical contribution to this site than this thread.
Started by a troll, fuelled by the traffic-dispossessed and potentially harmful to the money-making writers... Delete the whole string of pious nonsense.
I don't think there is any point, either in the protest Hub or in the email campaign to Hubbers as it's currently proposed.
The fact that staff have not visited this thread says it all. I've seen them do this so many times.
When Hubbers are angry about something, management will respond to the first forum thread on the topic. After that, if they've decided they will not be swayed, they simply ignore all further discussions and wait for things to die down - and if that means some Hubbers leave the site, so be it.
So they will also ignore a Hub or a petition.
What might work is an email campaign asking individual Hubbers to send an email to Paul Edmondson about this. Not a standard email - each Hubber should give their own view in their own words, so PE can see the depth of feeling. An email box chockful of emails just might make him think again. Anything else is a waste of time.
The intention of a 'hub' is to have plenty of polls - at the very least it can give HP some solid information about how members feel - is it only 10 or so members against them, 100? 500?
The Hub isn't a protest - it's a way to gather information in an objective way about concerns - it isn't making any judgement in any way..
....And that hub will earn you some ad-sense clicks too.
I mean, many.
I will disable ads.
Are you saying that you would deliberately click on my Ads just to get my account banned?
Will you disable the ads? I mean, the 'related searches' ads too? That's fantastic!
When you disable Ads, it removes the related searches as well.
Your campaign has no hope. Still, I will not discourage you. Go on. Let democracy win the world!
I got critisized for saying a similar thing way back at the beginning of the discussion! Personally I feel the Hub will help summarize the concerns and with polls will show how many people really are worried or annoyed.
HP will see the poll results - whether it changes anything, who knows.
They have visited this thread and have removed the SP/OP on 2 occasions... seems he has come back with a 3rd persona.
Sure, they're waiting in the wings, but since they haven't shut this thread down, I see no harm in an open discussion where HP will see our concerns.
1. I'm not asking for a share of the revenue from the Related Searches... the ads are on HP's own page and impressions do not originate from my content... I'm not entitled to share in that revenue.
2. I'm not asking for a change in the revenue split... I'm happy with what we have.
As I stated, I don't want a share of the related search revenue, I would rather be allowed to disable the linkunits on my share of impressions.
I'm renting out my content to HP for a 60% share of the revenue it generates. How would HP feel if we all removed our Amazon and Ebay capsules and replaced them with Text Links, thereby cutting HP out or any share of that revenue? Same thing is happening with the Related Searches, IMO.
They will never allow anyone to disable those ads, as it goes. If they could afford to think like that, then they wouldn't have to place those ads, in the first place.
Personally - I think having an option to disable these Ads would work best. If you don't like them, disable them - if you like them and feel they are necessary for HP then keep them.
BTW I have a draft of the 'hub' - how should I share it? I can 'post' it here, or I guess I can create a shared document?
Everyone here is playing dress up in their own special way.
I am going to be this:
Then, I can tell the steam trains where to go.
Does anyone want to be a steam train?
Would you like to be a train?
You could be Emily:
I think she is Welsh but you could pretend.
I'm ok with the Welsh part but she looks rather sombre- not me at all.
Not sad, disillusioned. But in all honesty, I'm not sure what a disillusioned face might look like. *runs to the mirror*
Thomas's little friends have yet to discover disillusionment.
So you cannot be a train.
Shucks! But what I want to know is, who is the bloke in the blue suit behind you?
I call him Epsilon.
Anyway. I have been looking for some good trains for people.
I'm going to start with Gordon. He is shocked, by the rs ads.
Who wants to be Gordon?
Maybe this has been suggested, - I didn't read the whole thread - but what if HubPages is not able to share the Related Searches revenue at the moment. Maybe they are working on it as we speak or it's not possible at all. You know, Google has a say in these things.
Yes, I am, by the standard definition of trolling. I don't know what that is by the way. Do you?
For what it's worth - here's the shared document. Feel free to send me comments, make suggested edits, or let me know of items I have missed...
Looks good to me Simon. Maybe ask an open ended question as the headline for the comments capsule to gather additional related concerns... add an image... place the polls side by side. It looks like you have covered everything without making any demands.
Am I allowed to make some suggestions?
You have a lot of polls there. Some are vital, others are not. This one is the most important of the polls (and it's not on the list):
The 'related searches' ads are taking visitors' clicks away from hubbers' time split. Do you think this is a theft?
Can I amend it slightly to be less conforntational?
The 'related searches' ads are taking visitors' clicks away from hubbers' time split. Do you breaks the shared ad time agreement?
OK. What about adding this option:
* I will answer in a comment.
The question that I suggested is much better. But I guess, with that question, you will not have it published.
You're taking the troll seriously? You might as well talk to a garden gnome.
It needs an image so I would suggest PDS's cat and the "Let's talk about related search" caption.
Hey, Hollie. I actually created 2 of them. The one I posted is the kinder, gentler one. The other one goes to the darkside... I'm contemplating posting it, but for entertainment purposes only.
SimeyC, I am nominating you as the Henry Kissinger of the internet. Your document is truly well done.
Side note: For you folks that slept through your history classes... Henry Kissinger, who was a writer, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman, was famous for his negotiating skills, especially his ability to open lines of communication. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger
Added to that, his nobel prize was taken away from him. The nobel committee found him unsuitable for some reason.
SmileyC is the Thomas Jefferson of the internet. ....or something like that :-)
Henry Kissinger? That evil war criminal? What has Simey done to you that you want to insult him like that????
Looks good to me. Good job, well done!
I do not know if it is legal or ethical, but what I do know is that I am only thankful to have a platform like HP. Squidoo drives me round the bend!
Just to state a boringly obvious, but relevant, fact: the trolls don't care about this site.
They care about whatever grievances they have been nursing for long years and which have found a new and convenient target in the site they have chosen to infest.
And frankly, the ones we have here are a dull lot.
According to your definition of trolling, perhaps Randy Godwin can be successfully classified as a troll.
"Where do you suggest I report it? Even when we know they are using the RS to draw visitors from our time split they--TPTB--just ignore the complaints. I think spreading this theft over the net will get the word out about HP. It worked to shrink Helium's article base and those who write there. It is now merely a has-been site and HP will suffer the same end."
http://randygodwin.hubpages.com/hub/Son … t-11987434
(scroll up a bit)
Pretty trollish statements. . . aren't they?
Aren't you feeling a bit sarcastic, are you?
(And please fix the link... it's not showing.)
I'm not Satan's minion.
"Accusations like 'theft' are a long way from being tenable."
What about what you do here all the time? Name calling, insulting people whenever you choose like, calling me troll, or anyone else for that matter, and then you can't even back that up. And then, when you're frightened, you even delete your comment.
Are these all tenable, Mr. Will Apse?
(I should have kept a copy of that post that you have just deleted up there. If you change your mind, then email me those words. I'll put it to good use.)
I am washing my hands of the whole business.
You have nothing to lose, but Randy does.
Will you stop mentioning Randy?
He has nothing to do with this thread, much as I'm sure he would have liked to have been involved.
You, Melissa and someone else have already used his name in vain.
One thing I really like about Randy is that he is willing to stand up for what he believes in. He also comes across as fair.
He is not a troll, nor the type of person likely to create troll accounts.
He calls a spade a spade, and he has a place to do that, as you well know being a frequent visitor.
I'm putting this just in case you're feeling sad about Randy, your friend, and the tragic loss that he is about to encounter-
"Thanks for that, Hollie. When comes to my principles, losing a few hundred bucks a month will not sway me at all. Other content farms have made the same mistake of thinking they could do anything they wanted to, to their detriment I might add. I'm an honest person and I expect HP's staff to be the same. I don't think that is asking too much of a partnership."
http://randygodwin.hubpages.com/hub/Son … t-11989115 ((scroll up)
And I'm not the one "washing my hands of the whole business", either.
OK SimeyC, I read your Hub draft and changed my mind. Go publish it, then we can all complete the polls and share it with our followers.
PS: I din't know until now that the O.P. Bestedex has been banded from HubPages. Does anyone know why?
I think you've put that together really well, Simey. And you've given those who are pro RS the opportunity to voice their opinions too.
Hollie: thanks - it was important to ensure it is as objective as possible otherwise the stats mean nothing.
Am I allowed to flatter you? Nope. I think I should tell the truth. You've done a good job, and I think I might not have done any better.
Still - I think some of the polls are unnecessary, and may distract attention from the core issue, which is that HP is displaying those ads on the hubbers' time-split.
Otherwise, I appreciate your effort. Thanks and well done!
Thanks - much appreciated.
As for the polls - I wanted to give the readers as much choice as possible - some may disagree and feel that other points are more important - therefore I tried to include as may of the potential concerns as I could.
One interesting thing is that some people will ignore some polls therefore this will also help hihlight the most important concerns..
Hmm, well he's already had the plastic Jesus. And the signed portrait of Simon Bolivar. And Che's death dribble. And the little thing that slips inside your nose to keep it pert and pointy. And the alligator shoes that sing Dixie. And the last echo of the rebel yell.
What more could you get for him?
What about this?
Secure steering handle, in case he gets in trouble!
"I am washing my hands of the whole business."
It's not you that is depressing me, at this point.
There has to be something worthwhile that needs attention. Ah, I know! I'll clean out the cat litter.
It has to be more wholesome than this....
BTW I'm going to approve most of the comments - if anyone feels that any comment is over-the-top let me know and we can discuss whether to delete it or not. I don't think I should be the 'censor'....
I just commented. If you like it edited, tell me. Have you thought of putting one or two youtube videos into that hub? It might make it more engaging!
What about this one?
I've approved it - the only concern I would have is the word 'theft' - perhaps 'like theft' or 'alleged theft' or some less confrontational word would be better - I won't censor it, but if generally people feel this is too strong a word we can edit later. The comment itself is written in a way that isn't confrontational and explains the situation....
OK. I'm putting an edited version of that comment. You decide which one to keep.
I found the word 'alleged' to be most suitable.
re: your comment:
HP does not assign the split based on time, but on a random basis for each and every visitor.
You have a mistake in the comment, that HP's code is assigned 13 hours - it should be 9 hours if you wish to stick with time.
And finally, the statement near the bottom that "we" wish the RS removed is out of line. "We" may or may not wish any such thing; that is the purpose of all the polls.
Instead of advising me here, you should better comment on that hub. That would be more helpful and constructive.
Well, I thought about it. Decided that rather than fill the comment sections with content that HP can't use I'd put it here when I saw you were discussing the comment. The thinking is that we're asking HP to study that hub carefully, and they don't need a bunch of comments complaining about other comments to wade through - better to put it here.
That's a good thought. But it would be still better if you directly comment onto that hub, and suggest these corrections.
That way, there will be more engagement and progress to the conversation.
Unless, of course, you're not willing to join.
Overall, I'm not. I've already said my piece; that those links (links, not ads) are not illegal, violate no TOS and are no more unethical that a hubber putting in links to their own (monetized) blog, site or affiliate and drawing traffic away from HP - a most common practice and the sole reason an awful lot of hubs are written. I find no decrease in traffic originating from within my subdomain or from within HP in general - they aren't drawing traffic away from me and I don't believe any hubber that makes the claim they are. I don't like them, I think they're ugly and wish they were gone, but there is no valid reason to demand their removal.
For my efforts in actually examining the question, I'm a tool of HP, I'm a brown noser and am pretty much attacked just as Simey was. So, no, there isn't much reason to say any more.
The only reason I posted here about your hub comment is that the information is flat out wrong and I didn't like being included in the "we" by merely participating in the hub. The whole purpose of that hub is to give HP a feeling for what individual hubbers think; you have lumped ALL of us into the same group demanding removal and that simply isn't true either.
You see, you could have felt yourself safe, because that *we* didn't include you. And you calling it 'flat out wrong', is you being flat out wrong. I guess you didn't see that, did you?
We shall discuss all these points on that hub. You have a few points here, and I think they need to be addressed.
And still, I must say this, you could have informed us with these (the valid ones) points, by writing a comment on that hub, and helped the discussion. I don't know why you have this peculiar reluctance to participate into anything that is helpful and constructive, and which can benefit this website.
I respect your opinion but you are no spokesman for HP. Let HP show me where Google Adsense allows ads to be placed on pages with no content for the sole purpose of showing ads. Not going to happen, because it IS against Adsense TOS.
They use to allow ads to show on parked domains that have no content but that was retired 2 years ago.
That is my main concern and it should be the concern of every single Hubber that has an Adsense account and participates in the Hubpages Earnings Program because if it is found that HP is indeed in violation and lose their account, how will that affect the rest of us considering that in order to participate in the HP earnings program you have to associate your Adsesne account?
I'm making no demands for a share of that revenue. I only want transparency and for HP to come out and publicly tell us that those ads are not in violation of Adsense rules of ad placement and that keeping them will no way affect the HP earnings program.
It has always looked like normal adsense for search stuff to me. It is a long time since I used it myself, or came across a site using it. Are you saying it has been banned or something?
This page is from Oct 16, 2012:
https://support.google.com/adsense/answ … ic=1705820
"Can I display ads on non-Google search results pages?
If you have non-Google search results pages on your site, you're welcome to place Google ads on them."
I think the key issue is that there are no 'real' searches - just Ads. Google is very unclear whether this is a violation or not!!!
It was only ever a search of 'related' ads. I remember using it for pages that simply refused to monetize. It never made much money but it was a question of something being better than nothing.
I have a feeling it's the same thing here. If HP really are desperate for cash, you and others are essentially trying to destabilize the whole site. Which is why the troll is so anxious to help, of course.
He has no interest in the success of HP, only its failure.
The troll. . .
"Of course, Simone's hints earlier in this thread (that the site is struggling to find the money for QAP) might have been misleading. Those ads might be funding the staff's taste in fast cars. Then I could get outraged and envious at the same time."
Will, it is quite confusing but I believe that even non-Google search pages must have some content on them in order to place Adsense ads and pages cannot be created for the sole purpose of showing ads... which is what I believe the related search links lead to.
Placing ads on a blank page does not affect me except that it may kill HP. As I have no input, nor reason to give HP any input, on what is legal or what might kill their business I have nothing to say about the pages they put up themselves.
And if HP can survive without adsense, I can always kill HPads and use just adsense myself. I'd lose eBay; as it brings me maybe $5 per month that doesn't bother me.
By the way, you have made a valid point, and I would like to provide an answer.
The point - "those links (links, not ads) are not illegal, violate no TOS and are no more unethical that a hubber putting in links to their own (monetized) blog, site or affiliate and drawing traffic away from HP - a most common practice and the sole reason an awful lot of hubs are written."
Answer: "There are definately a lot of hubbers who put affiliate links (including amazon ones) in their content - it's not as visible as the related searches, and is slightly different in the fact that it's not as misleading - but it does in a way do the same thing.
However - it's not on every Hub - and HP could change their TOS to remove all affiliate links." (by SimeyC)
http://randygodwin.hubpages.com/hub/Son … t-11990160
They could, but they have not done so. The could also prohibit even the two links allowed to commercial sites, but they have not done so. So, hubbers continue to direct traffic away from HP, just as HP is directing traffic away from our hubs. Seems very much to me like the pot calling the kettle black.
As far as removing those links, I don't see any agreement in that hub to do so. And I most definitely don't see any agreement that it would be reasonable to prohibit hubs backlinking to hubber owned blogs and sites - doing so would raise an uproar that makes this one look like a kindergarten squabble.
Well, here the kettle made the pot black.
We, hubbers, are asking them to remove the 'related ads', and they can remove our links too. Most hubs do not have affiliate links (and HP earns through those links on a 60:40 basis, by the way), but every hub now has a set of 'related searches' ads.
It rather makes a good court case.
And the backlinks to hubber owned sites and blogs taking traffic from HP? Should they also be removed?
Somehow I don't think you're going to find much hubber agreement on this matter.
You should consider the ratio of backlinks and 'related searches' ads. That would be amusing.
By highstepping for the third time over the issue, I presume you do see the irony in claiming it is ethical for hubbers but not for HP. Enough said.
Excuse me, but the links in our hubs MUST lead to relevant content. HP gave us the "Sole" responsibility for our content. Their 'Related Searches' do NOT lead to relevant content. So, IMO, you have no basis for your argument. There is no irony to look at.
Yes, this is HP's site, but they gave me by agreement the sole responsibility for my content even on their 40% of impressions. Until anyone here can show me otherwise... Enough said!
Neither do 80% of the ads on the hubs; they are most often based (in my experience) on reader history. The few times I've paid attention the RS's are the same. Nothing new here, is there?
For that matter, if I disable HPads, I have the option of removing reader history from adsense ads, but never do so. It pays better to leave that reader preference in there.
Not the same... RS ads are served using the Category term the hub was published in along with the Title to the hub for the purpose of serving Google ads with related terms. The ads served on your hubs that you see are not the same for every searcher... Google serves ads based on Geo targeting, and yes some of your recent search history if you are logged into Google. If you're not logged into Google, the ads that are served come from meta data on the page. Reader history has no bearing on those not logged into Google, which is the majority of non-HP traffic.
Besides, that has nothing to do with your claim of unethical behavior of hubbers.
You are correct - how relevant an ad is has nothing to do with claiming HP unethical behavior by directing traffic away from a hub while the hubber does exactly the same thing by directing traffic away from HubPages. The only real difference is that the hubber in question is typically writing the entire hub with the intent to do so; HP can only hope that a random visitor will see something they like and leave the hub.
So you are correct - why did you bring it up then? I certainly never addressed ad relevance - you did.
Maybe I misinterpreted what you wrote just a few responses back:
Unless you were referring to the response before that. Hubbers are not being unethical as we are allowed 2 links as long as it is to relevant content. As long as those links are relevant, it is our right to place them regardless of any benefit to HP by their own agreement.
Of course many of us are writing with the hopes that a reader will click away from our hubs through a link that will earn us revenue, you included with all your ebay and amazon links. But if a visitor clicks away through one of those revenue generating links both HP and the Hubber have agreed to the revenue share.
Unlike the links that leak away from our hubs that we are not entitled to, even though we were given by the User Agreement, that we are solely responsible for our content, those links skirt around our share agreement. Is it unethical... no... Is it underhanded... Yes. It would be akin to me taking my Amazon or Ebay capsules down and creating text links containing my affiliate code... would that be unethical?... NO Would that be underhanded?... Yes.
The 80% was in reference to the fact that most ads are not relevant to the hub. They come from the readers history instead.
The textual links to Amazon (along with backlinks) is what I refer to, not an Amazon capsule. I don't find them unethical, but just as you say they are a little underhanded and skirt the agreement. Backlinks aren't unethical, either, but they do accomplish the same thing that HP does with the RS; draw visitors away from the party that has potential income at stake. I don't find either one really unethical, it's just ironic that hubbers are screaming about HP drawing traffic away (with RS links within the agreement) while they do the same thing. So we are in basic agreement; textual amazon/ebay links, RS links and perhaps backlinks are all basically ethical but are also a little underhanded. The skirt the meaning of the agreement even though all are technically allowed. You just don't find it as funny as I do that people are complaining to high heaven about HP doing something they do themselves.
A final thought on being solely responsible for the content on our hub: that is not strictly true and never has been. HP provides 8 links to other hubs, all of which contain ads and none of which we will be paid for. They provide more than a dozen links to various other pages of HubPages, some of which contain ads that we won't be paid for. They even provide not one but two links to sign up with HP; links that we will not be credited for and which are often more prominent than those we supply ourselves. HP puts a dozen or so ads on our hubs, which we WILL be paid for.
But we are not responsible for ANY of that; we have little to no input on any of it. Those links are all on our hubs whether we like it or not and it is very obvious that we cannot be responsible for any of it. We are responsible for the content we put there ourselves (for legal liability reasons, I'm sure) but not for what HP puts there. This is nothing new either, then - that HP puts a good deal of content on every hub including links to pages with ads we will not be paid for - and there is no reason to get upset about it. Much like everything else on this thread, it's a lot of hoorah about nothing.
Especially when you consider that HP also provides links to your hubs. Indeed, analytics tells me that I have hundreds of links originating from within HubPages; links that I did not put there.
Didn't you lose a point there, did you?
("You should consider the ratio of backlinks and 'related searches' ads. That would be amusing.")
Now, as you've lost your point, you're trying your best to distract, and divert the attention elsewhere. Let me save you-
Yes, perhaps it's unethical for hubbers to place commercial links on HP's time split. But then, hubbers didn't design this system of placing commercial links on hubs, nor they implemented it. I'm not sure how much you can really blame them, really.
Blame them? Not at all - it is accepted practice by both hubbers and HP. Nor is it unethical, or in any way outside our agreement. It may skirt the edges of that agreement, and it will cost HP a few $$, but that's all.
All of which is exacly what the RS links are. They are no more unethical that a textual Amazon link or a backlink taking a reader away from HubPages. They are NOT outside our agreement, however many people make the claim they are. They DO skirt the edges and push the limits, and they DO take traffic away from the hubber, just as a hubber placing a backlink takes readers away from HP.
So what's the beef? That it's the hubber paying the price this time instead of HP?
"it is accepted practice by both hubbers and HP."
Sorry, Mr. wilderness, but it isn't.
The backlinks violate the contract (60:40 Revenue Share) the same way that ''related searches' ads do. I'm not sure why HubPages even designed this system of placing commercial links on hubs, and then implemented it. Are you?
As the 60/40 split refers ONLY to ads placed on the hub, not to revenue ultimately collected from any links, it very definitely does NOT infringe on the agreement.
The textual Amazon links probably do, but even then an argument could be made that the split refers only to ads placed by HP, not by the hubber. Either way, HP has presumably decided that the small income they lose from the few hubbers that do that isn't worth pursuing. I doubt that textual links are as effective as a capsule and we're only allowed two per hub - the income produced from individual hubs probably isn't much and most hubbers don't try to "cheat" HP by using textual Amazon or eBay links.
As for why commercial links are allowed; many backlinks are placed there for information purposes, purely as an enhancement for the reader. Or to send the reader to a rare location to purchase a specific item - I do that very occasionally even though I receive no income for it. As backlinks are the sole reason many people write here, HP will earn from the hub (just a smaller amount) and I would assume they are willing to take that loss to retain the hub. Again I'm guessing, but I would imagine that in the early days that's the reason most people came to HP - to gain backlinks for their other sites - and the income was necessary to maintain the site.
Dropped by SimeyC's excellent hub and answered the polls and added my 2-cents worth in the comments section. And thus begins, no doubt, another interesting day... Feeling optimistic about everything in general.
I'm not trying to destabilize the site. I'm trying to get objective statistics which will be useful to HP when planning for the future perhaps. I am also trying to approach it in a way that removes the arguing and creates a more professional and useful discussion.
Google are not very clear on whether using 'related search' as a term that leads to a page of Ads is against their TOS.
Report the site. Get an answer instead of all this stuff. If they haven't done their homework on the legitimacy of their ads it will soon be noticed anyway.
Why would I report the site? Not only does that threaten Hubpages, but it also threatens everyone elses Adsense account. I have previously stated that I expect that HP has done their home-work. The hub doesn't represent all of my views on the matter, but simply collects them in one place....
And the issue still is 'theft', and not adsense legitimacy. Though that counts, too, because HP losing its adsense account will affect all hubbers, and it will affect negatively.
I knew the following thread existed, but didn't spend much time to really go through it. I've just finished reading it, and I've no doubt that those 'related searches' ads are indeed unacceptable.
Here is Paul Edmondson's explanation for the ads (he is telling why those ads do not break the Revenue Sharing Deal (60:40) on HP):-
"Jon, sorry for the confusion; you have it right.
A little more clarity. Revenue earned on Hubs and profile pages are part of the HP Ads program where Hubbers have the capability of earning. Search, topic pages, and tag pages, when they existed, have never been part of the shared-revenue program. This hasn't changed since we launched the company nearly 7 years ago. We have always excluded pages from the program where we control the content on the page like we do with the related search pages (search), topic pages, and like we did with tag pages in the past.
I know it can be a bit confusing because Hubs have undergone several iterations of design through the years, but I hope this clarifies things for you.
Pardon any typos, I'm feeling a bit under the weather."
After that, the Opening Poster of that thread, janderson99 asks Paul Edmondson some questions, and raises some points, which go unanswered. Those are-
"Is it possible to opt out of 'Related Searches'?
Could you develop this as an option?
I can't see how this provides any benefit for me.
It simply draws people away from my articles, my related article links and the ads that I share the revenue for.
I think to call them 'searches' is misleading as they are simply pages of Google ad links."
I bet that HP knows fully well what those ads actually are. That is, leeches.
I saw your comment on the Hub - what I'd prefer to do, rather than clogging up the comments sections with 'snapshots' of the forums, is to add a section that provides a link to all the forum entries (including this one).
My concern is that you will be critisized for showing only the parts of the forum entry that you want to providing a link to the full thread gives the reader the option of making their own opinion....
Any help on finding all the forum entries would be useful. I'd also like to do a direct link to the 'official' answers so the reader can go directly to the comments made by Paul, Simone etc.
Doing this I think would be more objective...
It's the other way round. I first made that comment on your hub, and then thought to put it here as well.
The content of this post is really independent in itself. . .
However, if I start allowing 'parts' of a forum entry to be posted on the Hub then others will simply cut a paste other parts and it'll end up as a reiteration of the arguments and not be constructive.
I understand you highlighted Paul's repsonse - I can do the same with a direct link to it....and to all the other HP Staff replies..
OK. Then delete that comment. I'll drop the link to the above forum post.
We really need more people to vote - 34 is a little disappointing! Hopefully more people will vote on the weekend!
This Blog is not directly relevant but may signal why HP started to look for improved adsense ads
This is a very important link as it is the first reference to the Related Search Ads that I can find.
Paul E clearly identifies them as Adsense Ad units. People complained about relevance, spelling etc. Many people also believed that revenue would be shared via Ad Program.
Does anyone know the exact Date? [Google Search shows March 4 2013] for the post which is indexed.
The following extracts are insightful
Paul Edmondson posted 3 months ago
"Many of the adsense features we have access to are not available to individuals (custom js ads, AdX etc). The custom JS ads can't be served with any ID other than the HubPages ID. It's always been that way."
"One thing to add, you can always switch out of the HP Ad program and compare the results."
Just in case folks missed it the other dozen times...
I like the ads on the bottom of the forum. Just noticed 6:05 pm EST!!!
Enjoy the revenue HP!
The ads pulled from ALL NEW hubs for the first 100 days are going to be gone for MONTHS
"We do not formally announce ad tests because they are not permanent changes. This particular test will require a few more months to run before we can assess whether it has a positive impact on long term traffic."
Geez months is pretty permanent!
I have only published one hub since the pending stalled my stuff from being indexed for months. This one was indexed in days so I have been working on some new stuff. The only conundrum I am having is where to place that first photo. Do we have to go back in one hundred days to reorganize our work? Luckily, I am working on @ a 10k word hub which will probably take me a few months. By then, hopefully the dust will settle.
Finally I understand why the forum is so disorganised and there are three of four threads running about the same thing.
They might pay for any thread you don't start. These ads are not going to cover the bandwidth.
"As the 60/40 split refers ONLY to ads placed on the hub, not to revenue ultimately collected from any links, it very definitely does NOT infringe on the agreement."
Well, the commercial links posted by hubbers on their hubs, do take Adsense clicks away from HP's time-split , but HP has allowed it because they too, earn out of those links, and the amount of loss they suffer is almost negligible. It is more profitable for them to keep those links (posted by hubbers), than to remove them.
On the other hand, hubbers gain NOTHING from the "related searches" ads. Do they lose anything because of it?
And does that break HubPages' Terms of Service?
Can't imagine how you're figuring that HP earns anything when a reader clicks either a textual Amazon link OR a backlink to another site. It doesn't earn them a penny. I do agree that the loss is negligible, although over a million views it would be significant to me.
Hubbers also lose from the RS. As HPads is nearly all impression based ads they will still be paid for the visit, but they lose any potential earnings from amazon/ebay capsules, from readers that don't come back from the RS link and follow the backlink to their other site or to other hubs. Again, the figure is negligible for individual hubs and for hubbers in general. I won't try to guess a $ figure, but am positive it is very low. I have not, for instance, seen a loss of traffic from within my subdomain. My own interlinking is as effective as it ever was.
I don't find anything in the TOS that says Hp cannot put whatever links they want to on our hubs, so no it does not break any TOS rule.
1) HP doesn't earn anything from 'either a textual Amazon link OR a backlink to another site'. Agreed. But without them, they would look foolish. So, it's still profitable for them.
2) The trouble is, that HP would not have placed those 'related search' ads on all our hubs, if it wouldn't earn them money. Those types of ads do earn a lot of money, and their only aim is monetization. And that money will come at the expense of hubbers' adsense clicks.
The temper of online visitors, in general, is fickle. RS ads have a pestering nature, they're on a floating-box, and their number is 11. Eleven ads. It's simple calculation that an online visitor's tendency will be to click over the RS ads, which will take them elsewhere. If they still stay within the hub, it barely seems that they will search for the hubber's adsense and will click over it, to make the hubber happy as well.
Plus, most hubbers would like to get rid of the RS ads because of ethical, and aesthetic concerns. RS ads are ugly, and they are misleading for the online visitors.
3) It is stated in the HubPages TOS that HP can not place any advertisement on a hub, other that adsense ads, charitable ads and placeholder ads. There are clear definitions on this subject, just as it is clearly defined that hubbers can't place more than 2 commercial links per hub. There are limits. And HP has infringed its own rule. RS ads are illegitimate, according to HubPages' own Terms of Service.
1) Saying that HP will look foolish by not allowing commercial links seems like quite a jump. So does saying that those links they do not share profit in earns them money. As far as I'm concerned it's nothing more than a rationalized "reason" to gripe - no substance, just gripe.
2) I'd be interested in what your research has produced that allows you to say they make "a lot of money". Is that 10% of HP's earnings? 1%? .001% What have you found? Please include the source of your data along with calculations.
I would also be interested in seeing your "simple calculation" that shows an "online visitor's tendency will be to click over the RS ads" and at what rate that will be. Include, please, the calculations showing the percentage of clickers that back up to return to the hub.
Yes, hubbers (including me) want them gone for aesthetic reasons, and because they detract from reader experience. I think we've beaten the ethics to death already - I find it humorous that hubbers think HP is unethical for posting income producing links we don't share in while hubbers post links HP doesn't share in. You don't.
3) Been over this, too: HP has posted not a single ad on our hubs that we don't share income in. They have posted nearly 30 links, over a dozen leading to pages with ads that we do not share in. It has been so since day 1 and does not violate the TOS. We all know and understand this, but still see the claim being made - the only question is why people keep saying it.
You're doing a good job on behalf of an HP staff.
Well, that took a good deal longer than expected, but it finally came.
From one of my earlier replies to you:
"For my efforts in actually examining the question, I'm a tool of HP, I'm a brown noser and am pretty much attacked just as Simey was. So, no, there isn't much reason to say any more.
1) You are rationalizing 'a rationalized "reason" to gripe', too much.
If HP didn't allow those backlinks, then the respective hubs would have lost the relevant value that those links had for the content of those hubs. Hubbers can go without backlinks. HP can't. Very often, without proper links, an online article looks quite foolish, and the website too.
2) Your request that I should provide you real-time website data as how much traffic hubbers are losing because of the RS ads, is quite amusing. Because you're flatly mistaking me for HP management, and you should have, if you were really interested to find out, voiced them a request on this forum, to communicate that data. Seems like you're not.
The simple fact is this - if RS ads don't earn money, then they wouldn't be there on all over our hubs. And if they really don't earn anything, then why don't HP pull those ads down? I didn't find any reason there.
I think I had beaten to death about "HP is unethical for posting income producing links we don't share in while hubbers post links HP doesn't share in". If your memory is lacking, then find the answer here-
I think any sane human being will consider the so called 'RELATED' Searches ads as betraying. They are no way 'related'. HP needs money, and they can't find ads which are relevant to the contents of our hubs - so they have developed a wicked trick to drive online visitors to a specific page to click certain advertisement links. It's pure scam.
3) I have just found out the depth of your understanding of the HubPages' Terms of Service. I'm not impressed.
Absolutely, a backlink to a PR0 blog is extremely valuable to HP. It's great SEO, isn't it?
Yeah, I thought your claim to be able to calculate home many visitors would click away on RS links to be amusing, too. Nevertheless, you DID make the claim and I trusted that you could back it up. I'm obviously wrong and hereby apologize.
3) Ditto. Apparently you can't tell the difference between an ad and a link. Nor between an adsense ad and one from Drano or any of the dozens/hundreds of other advertisers HP uses. Nor between a page put up by HP and one put up by a hubber; HP puts exactly zero RS ads on our hubs. Every ad on our hubs is either shared or all to the hubber.
You've won. . .
1) It seems you're not interested to know the real-time data, concerning the RS ads - yet you have claimed to be really 'examining the question'.
2) You're trying to suggest that though RS ads are fraudulent, they should be simply there, because HP's TOS allows them to do that.
3) Every online advertisement, in the final analysis, is a link. "Related Searches' links, very shortly, end up being 'ADS BY GOOGLE'. So, the RS links are actually counterfeit Google ads, because that's the role they're playing.
I think they're ads, and if they are ads, they're not placeholder ads, so it breaks the HubPages' TOS.
And even if HP proves that the 'related searches' are merely naive links, and can't be classified as ads in any way - those 'links' still break the 60:40 Revenue Share deal between HP and writers.
[wilderness posted 26 hours ago]
"As the 60/40 split refers ONLY to ads placed on the hub, not to revenue ultimately collected from any links, it very definitely does NOT infringe on the agreement.
The textual Amazon links probably do (violate the 60/40 split), but even then an argument could be made that the split refers only to ads placed by HP, not by the hubber.
Either way, HP has presumably decided that the small income they lose from the few hubbers that do that isn't worth pursuing. I doubt that textual links are as effective as a capsule and we're only allowed two per hub - the income produced from individual hubs probably isn't much and most hubbers don't try to "cheat" HP by using textual Amazon or eBay links."
I find this post to be very enlightening. It sums up the conversation, in a way.
Here is another enlightening post:-
[Reality Bytes posted 7 days ago]
"Taking the keywords from our hubs to funnel traffic to their own revenue sources.
I want HP to earn from my efforts, no problem with that, but let me ask one question.
How many links can we place on our OWN hubs leading to other pages we own outside of the site? I think HP should stick to the same agreement! If I am not wrong it is two (2 links)!"
by Dr. John Anderson 7 years ago
Today, via an email from staff, HP has revealed that"The revenue from the Related Searches ads is not shared"These groups of RSS style adense ads appear down the right side, and the bottom of all hubs, irrespective of whether the ad program is tuned off or on. They first appeared on hubs...
by Dr. John Anderson 7 years ago
This issue has been raised many times in the past – but given the 20% drop in traffic it should be rectified urgently (good enough is no longer sufficient (IMO)Links to unrelated pages is something that Panda and Penguin have hit sites for. If an author puts an unrelated link on their page they get...
by God is in kitchn2 7 years ago
Well, many know, that I have been wrestling with this "related searches" ads thingy for quite a few days now. I took me some effort to figure it out what it actually is, but I got the answer. I'm finished with the calculations... almost. Here is the final analysis, with solutions:-1) The...
by Brenda Durham 7 years ago
I just noticed that there are advertisements underneath the threads in the forums. Is that normal?
by Juliette Kando FI Chor 7 years ago
We lost the keyword feature but now a list of HP chosen keywords appears as "Related Searches" in the side bar & at the bottom of Hubs. I believe that these so called "related searches" are actually links to Adsense & HP ads. I daren't click on them on my own pages...
by Don Bobbitt 2 years ago
I have been using HP for over 7 years now, and I do make a few bucks from my writings. I can say that you will never get rich or even make a living off of HP, but you can make enough to, as I tell friends, "go out to dinner a couple of times a month". But my point here is that as I watch...
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