Now I've got your attention I have a query which has been niggling me ever since I joined HubPages! I can't find an answer to it hence this new discussion.
My understanding is you must NOT promote your hub in the forums - as per the note top left on the page when you start a New Discussion - see below
Please note that forum posts that promote your own Hub will be deleted and may result in the closing of your HubPages account. Do not start threads for the sole purpose of promotion or posting links. Please use the Forums in the spirit of community! Post a New Discussion
However I have repeatedly seen Hubbers advertising the fact in discussions that they have written a hub about a topic - usually one relevant to the discussion.
Now, in my book, that rates as promotion which the "post a new discussion" note clearly indicates (to me) is not allowed. The fact they haven't left a link seems to me to be neither here nor there, since the statement made is clearly intended to prompt a search to find that hub - whether this is via taking a look at that Hubber's account or using a search query. Otherwise wouldn't you just say "In my experience...." and leave it at that?
So my queries are as follows:
1) WHY is the statement on the start page for new discussions different to the one in the HubPages Forum Rules - which is....
Promoting Hubs or other sites: This includes linking to your Hubs or any site that you have a vested interest in promoting. To be on safe side, we recommend that you establish a presence in the HubPages community before you post any links in the Forums. The only Forums you’re allowed to post links to a Hub in are the Improving Your Hub Forum and HubChallenges Forum. HubPages Forum Rules
2) Is the definition of promotion limited to "drop a link"? I'm only asking as the HubRules statement (above) seems to suggest this whereas the 'Post a New Discussion' statement (top) certainly suggests to me that promotion goes beyond just dropping a link e.g. reference or repeated reference to your topical hub might also count as promotion.
I've certainly read discussions where there has been repeated reference to the existence of a relevant hub - which is what prompted this discussion.
3) Are Hubbers ever allowed to mention they have made a hub but NOT drop a link - Yes or No? If Yes, why does this not count as promotion?
4) If you are allowed to make reference to your topical hub, are you ONLY allowed to do so in a discussion started by somebody else (i.e. you didn't start a discussion to mention your hub as very relevant to the topic you've raised - even if you don't link to it)
5) Are there any circumstances where it is OK to mention ANY hub and link to it (other than the Improving Your Hub Forum and HubChallenges Forum)?
I'm asking because I'm finding the application of the rules confusing - and I want to be clear what the rules and also highlight what I think may be a potential source of confusion as to the definition of 'promotion'.
PS Does anybody know the correct protocol to quote from HubPages rules as the quote code wouldn't work for me?
I can only tell you based on my own experience. I've written a few Hubs designed to answer common questions, because I got tired of repeating the same advice over and over in the forums. You will often see me saying, "I've written a Hub about how to credit photos (or etiquette, or blogging etc)". In all the years I've been here, I've never been told it was a problem, never had a post deleted and never got banned for it.
I've always understood the rules to mean that:
(a) you must not start a thread or write a post with the sole purpose of promoting a Hub
(b) you must not post any links to your Hubs except in the Improving Your Hub section
but there is nothing wrong with referring to a relevant Hub if it's helpful to an existing discussion.
The reason links are not allowed is to reduce spam - because if spammers thought they could get backlinks by posting in the forums, they would create threads just to get the links.
I don't have time to make a lengthy response, but in short, a hubber should not start a thread for the sole purpose of promotion, link or no link.
If a thread has been started by someone else and they have a hub about the topic, it's ok. I think it's a bit tacky to see it mentioned on numerous threads. Or the hubber could simply answer the question in the thread.
Both responses to date make complete sense to me.
It was the repeated mentioning of a hub which I thought maybe strayed over the line and became active promotion.
"You may mention your relevant hub once per discussion" might be an appropriate 'middle way' which satisfies the 'avoidance of promotion' problem while also being helpful.
Plus tidying up the scope for confusion between the Rules and the New Discussion preamble might also help.
This is a fair point. I can see how that first sentence on the start a new discussion page might be confusing when read alongside the messaging on the forum rules page. We should be able to tweak the message on the start a new discussion page pretty easily to make the wording clearer.
As to your question about how to interpret the Hub promotion rule, Marisa and rebekahELLE pretty much nailed it!
and your view about the second sentence of my response is....?
That was what prompted me starting discussion in the first place. I've seen this a few times and I've only been reading these forums for less than a month.
I also made a suggestion as to how to deal with repeated promotion of a hub in a discussion which might usefully be incorporated into any textual changes being made.
Apologies for not addressing that point, MaM. The point of this rule is to reduce spam and encourage meaningful discussions in the forums. It's much clearer to have a "no links to Hubs" policy than to say "well you can have links in x and y scenarios, but not z or w" etc. In forums where linking to Hubs is prohibited, you can mention your Hub if it is relevant to the discussion and will help further it. If you see that someone is mentioning their Hub or linking to it (once or repeatedly) for the sole purpose of self-promotion, please report the post(s). However, I think it can be reasonable to mention a Hub more than once in a thread. For instance, if someone didn't read the original post, and you want to direct them to it, you could mention the Hub again.
TLDR; it's less about the number of times a Hub is mentioned / linked to and more about the intent behind it.
You can however promote your Hub Pages in forums on other sites especially if they allow signatures with links. Do on topic posts and give good to great information.
If you can do this then you will get good to great traffic from forums. I get great traffic from forums doing it the way I am saying. And if you do it this way it is not spam.
That's very true.
Since Google's Penguin update there's been a lot of chatter about links in forums being worthless, but I haven't found that to be the case.
The thing is, it doesn't really matter whether Google is "counting" those links or not - the point is that if you can get established on a forum and people welcome your advice, real people will follow those links.
However, the way backlinks are viewed now, if the forum where you left the link is not on the same topic as what you are trying to get a backlink for, Google is gonna lessen the juice.
Because just leaving indiscriminate backlinks everywhere you ever post is now classified as poor practices.
Very true but I said on topic posts. And in these I'm not going for link juice I'm going for traffic. I have Hub Pages where this has let one Hub Page get up to a million views in a month. And I've done it several times. I also do it with my own sites and one simple little blog got 5 million views in September.
What I keep trying people to get is that they don't have to live or die by Google. There are other opportunities out there for traffic. And people should be harvesting some of that traffic.
I was assuming people wouldn't be posting links on a forum unless it was on a special interest forum on exactly the same topic as the Hub. But thanks, I probably shouldn't take that for granted!
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