I just looked at a hub. Although most were to other hubs by same person, I counted 8 not 2.
Close friend of mine at Yourtango.com just told me lots of articles there being removed. And guess what - you have to pay to write on that site as an expert! Looks like other sites are rapidly responding to Penguin refresh. That particular site got dinged REAL bad a year or so ago.
Is Google going on a "content farm" blitz?
Google has been on a constant content farm blitz from the very first Panda roll-out.
It does not hold multi-topic sites in good regard. It has consistently made very clear over a long period that it has no time for what it calls "content farms". Try counting how many multi-topic article sites have gone down the pan in the last two years.
A HubPages which had completely different DOMAINS for different topic areas might do better in the future. If it remains multi-topic on one domain my guess is that the writing is on the wall.
I had already decided to start moving my Hubs elsewhere because they are not getting anywhere near the amount of traffic or sales that they did on Squidoo even in the last few months before the site went under. Some of the top traffic hubs have been unfeatured due to quality, including some that had not yet been amended in the four month hold period which isn't yet over.
I had already unpublished about 100 of my hubs in order to get them ready to move. Looks like HP is now pushing me out the door. Ironically, the same types of pages are doing just fine on my own sites with traffic and sales and I am not getting them here. Disappointing in many ways.
There is a lot of talking here about individual hubs, and/or changing the rules, work involved, decisions made and not made about staying here.
I do not say this to put anyone down because I too have white circles. but I was thinking maybe Mr Edmundson became similarly stressed when he got the two manual actions on a couple of subdomain accounts?
He offering that information showed me HP's is trying to be transparent. So how are we to handle Google in the future?
Paul Edmondson - do you realise you are starting to sound just like Seth Godin?
I appreciate that you do not want Spam Pages on Hubpages. Squidoo HQ said the same thing. "Oh joy" we all said, "finally the site is going to get cleaned up". Then we watched as the filters flagged up quality pages and good writers stopped publishing, because they were fed up having to continually jump through hoops.
Personally, there's nothing Hubpages can do to me that will hurt me as I vowed just over a year ago (when I voluntarily left Squidoo and deleted a lot of quality content) to never, ever put myself in that position again.
I am lucky. I have a husband who earns a decent wage and I pick up income from self employed projects offline. And, although things are tight, we do not find ourselves in dire economical circumstances, like a lot of my online friends. But while whatever you do cannot hurt me, I would hate to see my friends and others receive yet another kick in the teeth, like the one they received from Squidoo.
Your post seems to assume that all the Hubs that have hit the filter are spam pages according to your interpretation of "what Google wants". How can you be sure that your interpretation is correct? And, if it is correct, why not give more specific guidance, instead of leaving us to guess what is and is not acceptable? Particularly as many of the unpublished pages, have been edited without problem - until today?
The majority of people on here want to do what is required of them. Given their bad experience on Squidoo I believe they all appreciate that it is not a matter of trying to get around the filters. They want to publish content that won't hit the filter. Period. So, instead of making them feel they are doing something wrong, why not give them more help to get it right?
Reading the threads on here today, I just have a horrible feeling of Deja Vue.
AJ2008, I couldn't have said it any better than you just did. Thank you for voicing our concerns and feeling so well.
Nancy I am just so upset at what happened to so many good people on Squidoo and would hate to see the same happen on here. So many people took a leap of faith by allowing their content to be transferred here and I would hate to see them hurt yet again.
The last sentence hit the nail on the head!
I have other things going on, but one of my hubs hit was a Christmas hub. Easy fix! I removed every stinking Amazon capsule from it and told my readers that they can find every item at Amazon. I do not have one link text or otherwise leading them to Amazon. Oh well! Funny part is that I use my own Amazon account, but since HP gets their 40 percent, this hub has been getting a lot of hits on the products.
Don't want spammy hubs now do we. Let's see if it gets featured and then unfeatured again! Nothing surprises me here anymore!
AJ2008, I'm going to do my best to tackle this since your questions hit at the heart of where I spend a lot of time thinking about.
After Panda we spent a ton of time analyzing what google liked and what they didn't. I came to the conclusion that Google was trying to find sites that people liked and while we could never re-engineer the algorithms, we could possibly find ways to determine what content readers liked and what they didn't. Today, we use a combination of human inputs and machine learning algorithms and our results now correlate with changes we see in Google. Getting back to the pages that were not featured yesterday, we were able to take examples of pages given a manual spam penalty. Then build criteria around those pages to identify swaths of content. Then we had humans review the swaths. Lastly, we overlaid our user satisfaction data over it to see if this swath of content was something users liked or not. When all three of these line up, we feel highly confident that we are identifying problematic content.
I should add, that these definitions are much more strict than what we used to interpret as spam. I don't like the word spam because it feels like a personal attack. I think we all learned some successful ways at creating content and washed and repeated it. Now, the rules changed and we are trying to find ways to adjust.
Here is the help document that was linked to from our webmaster tools account with the manual actions https://support.google.com/webmasters/a … 77?ctx=MAC
Getting on to the critical piece of your comment. How do we help people? We have tried numerous things. Warnings in the Hubtool, check boxes and a deep learning center - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/Elem … tellar-Hub
More recently we started HubPro to offer editing services to Hubbers. This has been the most effective way at helping people at a Hub level, but we are pretty limited in our resources. I wish everyone could have a HubPro Editor and this would be a moot conversation.
I think one of the challenges is that feedback stinks. I don't like to hear I'm not doing a good enough job (it hurts my feelings) and I think most other people are more sensitive than people think or will say.
The other challenge is each Hub is very unique. The topics diverse and one size doesn't fit all when it comes to individual Hubs.
Writing is deeply personal. People on HubPages are writers. They're putting themselves out there. That's incredibly brave. We try and be helpful, but it's not as productive as we would like.
I'm working really hard to find ways to improve the overall quality of the site that's within our means. I'd love to hear more suggestions. My goal is for all Hubbers to have the opportunity to be successful within our community.
Paul, can you explain how this is not a betrayal of the promises you made to ex-Squidoo members?
I'm not affected by this myself, but I am embarrassed to see HubPages treat its newest members like this. We are better than this, surely. They were promised time to bring their Hubs up to standard and now that promise has apparently been broken - and even worse, WITHOUT WARNING OR EXPLANATION. Some ex-Squids have had 100 Hubs unFeatured.
I can't see how this is covered in the FAQ. This mass unFeaturing was not done by the QAP. And the FAQ clearly says, "Lenses that came over as Featured have been given a grace period of four months (until mid-January 2015) before they can be unpublished for rules violations (i.e., content warnings and moderation flags)."
Whether this possibility was covered in the small print or not, I would be very worried about this if I were you. Many of the best ex-Squids already have blogs and websites and they are all talking about taking their content and moving it to those sites. You are in danger of losing all the best Squidoo content that you paid for, and being left with the dross. That will not be good news for HP. I think some grovelling is in order.
We are very happy to have the Lensmasters join us on HubPages.
This update wasn't intended to be a sign of disrespect and if it came across that way, I apologize.
Our hope is we can strengthen the site. Show people pages that have quality issues and give them a chance to update them.
I should mention that we didn't go broader because the error rate was too high, but it's a good idea to look at your Hubs, especially your highest trafficked Hubs and see if they resemble Hubs in your account de-featured for quality.
Often times a Hubber has a style that flows through all their content.
I've taken a note to expand on what we announce.
Many of them have already updated all of their lenses, and having done so their grace period is up.
For others, would you prefer a manual slap to your domain, so that all of your content here is polluted?
If I had experienced a mass unfeaturing, I would not be outraged with HP; I would be terrified that all I had worked for was about to get flushed down Google's toilet. I would begin in earnest searching for the issues and making corrections.
These are not arbitrary hoops for people to jump through. It's a legitimate warning. If you tripped the HP filter, you may be on your way to a Google smack down. By Paul's comment it was less than 10% affected, so those with a formula that worked well in the past, may be looking at a grim future if they just move their articles without making adjustments that would pass the HP filter.
Google is fickle. No way around that. HP is not trying to Dis you - this is intended to help you, regardless of the holiday season.
On the contrary. As Paul so elaborately and politely explained, he is trying to clean up the site to make it more Google friendly. People are welcome to take their content elsewhere if the cleansing process proves that such content endangers the site as a whole.
But what you are missing is that many of us are simply tired of shifting goal posts. This has become a last straw for some now in moving not just unfeatured but ALL of our content off HubPages, as soon as we have the time. For me this will include some hubs I've had featured as Hub of the Day, Editor's Choice, etc. It just doesn't feel safe to keep anything on a platform that, as an analogy, seems to be using hand grenades instead of sniper shots to take out "bad content" (without being willing to clearly define what is wanted, same as went on with Squidoo.)
We're tired of having good content caught in the accepted casualties. We've been through this for some time with Squidoo and now it feels like a repeat of exactly the same kind of action and behavior from TPTB. I only had not quite 10% of my hubs hit, but it was more than enough for me to no longer feel safe and welcome here.
This is exactly right, and how many of us feel. And as has been said before, the same content on other sites has been doing fine.
If you're looking at trying to understand how to tackle the problem - and people are telling you that the same content does better elsewhere what does that tell you?
I agree with you Sue.
I had many Amazon capsules on my Squid/Hubs pages. Have deleted about 60 of them, they were what Squidoo encouraged us to make, I didn't like them myself.
I have redone all my hubs in the last three months.
Just had seven more unfeatured for quality, just deleted them, I wasn't happy with them.
Amazon and eBay are product sale sites and Google Classes them as spam.
Thanks Paul for all you have done for us Squidoo transfers, I think you have been fair, so lets all move on and correct our work to HubPage standards and be happy.
Google does NOT classify Amazon and eBay as spam.
That's a myth that has grown up at HubPages for no reason at all. Even Paul Edmonson doesn't say Amazon is spam - if he thought that, then Amazon and eBay capsules wouldn't even be allowed!
I can prove they're not spam. Just go and take a look at my website (linked on my profile). The last Panda was very kind to it, and traffic increased by 50%, so it's obvious Google likes it. Yet if you click on any of the links in the top bar, then click on any of the pages which come up, you'll find yourself on a page with 20 or 30 eBay capsules!!
The secret, as Paul says, is that every single eBay or Amazon ad has to be completely relevant to the subject of the Hub. If you do that, you don't have to worry.
Thumbs up to Marisa.
If Amazon were spam then Amazon would not be ranked by Google.
Now if you'd like to look at the relevance of the actual adverts (placed by HubPages) on individual hubs to the actual subject matter and content of a hub that would be really interesting.....
I agree. One of my blogs did very well after the last Panda and I have Amazon ads on it, eBay ads and affiliate links from Share a Sale on it, and ads from AllPosters too. I have not got around to no-following any of those either.
That easy to say until you are the one with half your hubs unfeatured for no obvious reason.
If hubpages can write a filter to catch those hubs, they should be able to write a blog post saying what criteria are being punished--the same criteria that got hubscrores of 90-100 as recently as yesterday.
Have you read any of the content by some of the Squids who are complaining here? They write high quality material and I can well understand their mystification at having their work unFeatured without explanation.
Paul, I understand and appreciate what you're doing. I also understand the limits of having to use automatic filters on a huge database, and having to try to guess what Google is going to do next.
I haven't checked my account today, but my opinion won't change no matter what status my hubs are. If some are unfeatured, I'll figure out how to get them featured again. That's life on the web.
Thanks for making this platform available where I can make some money on articles that I can't use on a blog!
That is fascinating to me to learn about the process you've gone through, working on improving the site. It's good to know how much work you've put into keeping the site strong.
Paul I have zero problem hearing I am not doing a good job or need to fix this, this, and this. But in my case today it isn't clear to me what I need to fix exactly.
I had one hub I published today that was my highest ranking squidoo lens, but not published here finally republished today and then unpublished saying, "Needs Improvement - This Hub is unpublished because it did not receive high enough ratings to meet HubPages' quality standards or because it contains spammy elements." I got an email also saying, "It looks like your Hub is not cleared for publication because it did not pass the Quality Assessment Process." But neither tell me what the issue is.
Now, I get that my particular style of writing may not be for everyone, and it may not be right for HP. Before this piece 4 years ago, I very much tried to write professional, relevant, and high quality content but it was not working for me or our business.
Out of frustration I decided to write about my personal journey. It was the good, the bad, and the ugly about working from home, self publishing, and the marketing nightmare. It is a personal story based on experience, and it is funny because this is the piece that changed my writing style and also my path in many ways. People loved the fact that I was able to not only tell them by writing, I could show them exactly where I went wrong. Yes I have links to different things because it is relevant to my story, not to sell something.
So I am really not clear on what exactly needs to be fixed. Is it considered spam to link to things that are relevant? Is it my writing style, (my writing reads like I'm speaking it because I do speak it.), or is it the content since it is a personal journey and not about one single thing?
Help understanding this would very much be appreciated so I know where the problem is.
I took a look at your Hub and it wasn't no indexed for quality. Look in my account and you should see the reason.
I can see it was updated, so it will likely be featured once again.
I just wanted to say I read all your posts today and I am so glad I got rid of all my amazon and ebay capsules and links way back when. Of course, in my case and my hub topics, they weren't making any money for me anyway. Looks like Google really is on a rampage concerning those things, even the slightest deviation from the hub topic seems to really set Google off.
I went to my account and searched through every possible thing I could and found nothing that told me the reason. But I did go in and publish it again so I will wait and see it the small changes I made have fixed the issue.
Thanks Paul, I really appreciate this explanation. I sympathise with your position and the everchanging "Google" environment. I just wish they could stop changing things so often, but we have no control over that and just have to roll with the punches. I love this site so would rather you do what needs to be done to protect it than just put your head in the sand and ignore it. It does mean a lot of work for us all but that can't be helped. As writers it is difficult not to take it personally having our hubs un-featured, but we just have to understand it is effecting everyone, an get over it.
I so agree with you, Jodah. Thanks for speaking out.. For one who appreciates HubPages as I do, and you, too, Jodah, it is saddening to see HP take all the brunt for what is a major issue with Google, which affects us all.
I am grateful that we have Paul Edmondson, who is here for us, to reply to our concerns and do the best he can to provide explanations and clarity to issues. I may not agree with everything at HP, but I sure appreciate Paul, the staff, and the opportunities HP gives us.
Thank you, Paul Edmondson.
What I really DON'T understand is - why are HP trying so hard to pander (no pun intended!) to Google? There's a whole new world of readers out there who don't even use search engines at all - they use social media instead and sites like pinterest to find things of genuine interest to them.
All this trying to figure out what Google wants / what it doesn't want seems like a waste of time to me because it is so completely fickle. What is good one minute isn't the next. Shouldn't HP be focusing on OTHER more sustainable ways of getting traffic?
As to getting unfeatured content - I'm not spending my valuable time fixing pages if I feel they merit no genuine changes. So if they are unfeatured, they will be moved elsewhere. A well-written, good quality page should not need constant tweaking or editing to keep it featured. That just seems very artificial to me. Look, if it's been through a 'Quality' process when it's written and it's got a good score, why does it then need to be altered at a later date? Again, all these things just to appease Google!!!
I am still trying to figure out why my Salvador Dali page was unfeatured for content yesterday. There is no guidance in the top right! This seems to be a pattern. Some pages could arguably be improved and have suggestions, but when there are no suggestions or warnings it is just weird.
Who cares about Google anymore, it is seldom used as who wants to see a bunch of irrelevant ads and keyword spammed junk when you do a search ?
I don't see the difference between having status with Google or having status on social media. Using social media becomes a matter of hype and marketing and pleasing a fickle public. It has it's own limits. I'd rather have a position in the search engine where loads of people can find my work. I think social media is a connections game; you have to have connections. Don't like that game in the real world or the cyber world.
It seems to me social media is also dependent on a search engine. Part of the problem is a lack of choice in terms of search engines. It seems likely, because it's happened in the past in other industries, that the monopoly on search engines will be broken up; with subsequent opening up of opportunities. It's a reasonable projection that that is what will occur in the future.
+1 In the very near future, but we can only hope.
Yes, Google has a near monopoly and a very clear conflict of interest between providing the best user experience and delivering users to pages where their Adwords advertising active.
If it can be demonstrated that Google shows preferential treatment to its advertisers over those who do not use their Adwords or are in competition with them (i.e. sites with affiliate advertising), then they would have a serious anti-trust problem.
I think a bit of give and take and understanding is required. No system is perfect, especially those with automated elements. Some mistakes do occur. While I agree that precise details about the causes of the problem would be nice, there are practical reasons why this may be too time consuming. I have generally been able to identify causes why some of my hubs have been unfeatured for quality. HP staff have usually been helpful in providing hints as to the likely causes when I emailed them. A few edits generally has rectified the problem. One objective is to eliminate 'sleeper' authors who are not active or are unwilling to edit their hubs. The first automatic pass is to get rid of this 'dead wood'. IMO
That suggests to that there is a pattern in how they write their hubs, a formula if you will, that has tripped the HP algorithm.
I think for anyone who writes online for profit, it would be necessary to know what search engines like and don't like. That's part of our responsibility as a writer. If your account has been hit hard with unfeatured hubs for quality, there has to be an obvious pattern or style of writing that isn't working.
HP is putting the clamps down, manual slaps affect the entire site.
As you say Mr. HW, this is an ever changing atmosphere, and HP and all writers need to adjust to the new rules. What was recommended 2 years ago is very often anathema now.
HP needs to lay out the new rules, in specifics not generalities rather than have many of us who follow HP rules jump through hoops over and over, and play the guessing game!!!
I gather from what Paul wrote that tangential links are one of the issues, stacked up at the end of a hub. He has mentioned it before with regard to tangential Amazon links, and now it looks like they are on a search and destroy for links that an algorithm would deem unrelated.
I do not disagree Solaras. I would simply say that if Google is actively targeting sites for penalties - as in right now- sometimes an organization must act swiftly before the whole company is (meaning us) is impacted.
I would rather HP take swift , emergency action to save the site than spend months rolling out new guidelines during an active fire ...while everything burns.
Do any of us want to wake up to news that HP was delisted from Google? There's a Panda update happening right now
Put out the fire - that's número uno!
You can't put out the fire unless you have water to put it out with.
You have a house fire caused by some electrical issue. Okay, you fix the damage, but never fix the electrical issue that caused it. Or better yet,fire is determined to be electrical but nobody tells you what the issue is or how to fix it.
Just a brief comment - I had already read a lot of articles HubPages, years before I came here from Squidoo. There were, and are, so many hubs that are simply awful. The grammar is horrendous, the content is fluff, and I was greatly surprised they were even published.
I wonder why those still remain, while so many excellent articles have been "unfeatured"?
jananderson99: You said: One objective is to eliminate 'sleeper' authors who are not active or are unwilling to edit their hubs. The first automatic pass is to get rid of this 'dead wood'. IMO
Totally agree on that one! There are accounts here that have zero hubs because those spend time in forums and asking stupid questions thinking they will make money that way, and hubs that have not been touched for years. WE have who knows how many forums started but since they were spam, the forum name is there but it is empty.
If the hub is not quality, then it should not be featured until it has passed QAP for real!!! Why have a hub pass QAP today, then unfeature it because of low quality!!!!
"Why have a hub pass QAP today, then unfeature it because of low quality!!!!"
The rules are different - QAP is a general score with a threshold. Other specific rules are applied for a 'quality' test. I know the details are not provided, but that is the way it is done. These tests also occur at different times.
I think people are reacting to the "Low Quality" reason given for unfeaturing a hub, because it sounds insulting. I think it's fallen into that category just for a lack of a better category name.
QAP is done by people, as I understand it, MTurkers and Hub Hoppers. Google does not use people to rank articles, it uses algorithms, and if you want to play Google's game you need a program to help you do it.
Only in extreme cases do we see them take the time for a manual action. It's scary that we have subdomains getting manual actions from Google. If your Hubs have been flagged, you should be concerned about your content here and on your blog. Once your articles are flagged by Google under a manual action, I think you can only throw them in the trash bin.
Solaras, I think your last statement in this post is pretty harsh. I have deleted some of my Hubs because I knew they weren't my best effort. But to say that "once your articles are flagged by Google under a manual action, I think you can only throw them in the trash bin," takes little consideration of the position of those who have had Hubs unfeatured that have been receiving views and making sales. I've already begun making my alternate plans, so I'm not one of those people. However, I do know quite a few excellent writers here, who have never bought into the "sales, and more sales," ethic in their writing. Their content is about as pristine as online content can be. Yet they have over 100 "unfeatured?" Something is wrong with this picture. So for four, five, six, even seven years work, someone should "throw them in the trash bin?" Easy for you to say, obviously, and not very kind to writers who have worked hard to maintain their writing reputation. Shame!
Perhaps I was unclear in what I was trying to say. I am not saying that great writers work should be thrown in the trash bin. I was saying that after you get a manual action by Google on your subdomain, those articles will be worthless to transfer unless you rewrite them to the extent that they are completely new articles.
What Google did to all sites in September was a complete surprise to everyone. Little sites may have fared better, while bigger sites took a big hit. That may not play out the same way on the next update. The same algo updated may play harshly on little sites with similar links and advertisements.
I don't consider this action by HP as a condemnation of any writer - rather it is a warning. "We found that Google may target sites like yours, please make repairs or potentially suffer the consequences. " Do not take this personally; I think that this is HP trying to protect everyone. Those flagged and those not.
Google did NOT attack all sites
It did NOT target, for example, specialised topics on niche sites written by experts - which is precisely why such content would be much better elsewhere - where it can be safe from the Google attacks on article websites - or "article farms" as I think they are wont to call them.
Joining the discussion like carabinieri, sorry for that.
I disagree with your last sentence as one of my own sites got a manual penalty for spam in last September. Right on time for Halloween season which is the niche that site relates to.
I submitted a review request to Google and the manual penalty was removed right away since the site is affiliate marketing oriented and lives thanks to sales.
The site as a whole was reindexed in the 2 weeks and is stronger than before as even though Halloween has ended, it's still getting 1/4 to 1/3rd or its traffic peak of October.
In the meantime, Bing took the lead in searches for my sites and reverted back to mostly ignored when Google reindexed it. To be honest, while Google disregarded the site, it was getting its fair share of the traffic through Bing. Perhaps not 100% what Google sent to it, but it was HIGH QUALITY traffic; hear : buying traffic as a site like that lives on sales only; and not just Web browsers that Bing sent to my site.
Google instead sends both web browsers who aren't buying and buyers... Since I don't have any other ads on the sites than links to Amazon and other affiliate programs, my site only needs buyers.
So I just don't think that a site that is manually penalized by Google can't get back in its good graces (Oh my God, Google's good graces, how awful!) but it also ticks an interest in other search engines. I'm also convinced that Google's power may be lessen, and that it's up to us.
Giving no prior warning or guidance how to avoid or remediate the problem with those hubs is pretty much guaranteed to make people feel worse than necessary about getting unfeatured in this way. Something as simple as a blog post would have made a big difference. Like: "hey, we will be cranking up this anti-spam filter and it may catch a few of you and we are sorry about that, but just edit your hubs with these 5 key points in mind and you will be featured again in no time! And sorry squids, we changed our minds about that whole four months thing."
A Matt Cutts video that says nothing as usual. He says one thing and Google says the opposite.
He was hired as an Engineer for crying out loud.
Here is a link to his disclaimer: https://www.mattcutts.com/blog/disclaimer/
Links don't cut it anymore. We think Google>>>>doesn't cut it anymore. We are working on it doesn't work on it anymore.
It truly appears as though there wasn't a conversation with proper people at Google, that this was simply another guessing game.
Editors program: Apparently the complaints about that one have been ignored.
When people follow the rules, follow guidlines as HP puts them, there is nothing for them to do!!!! When people write informational hubs with no links, no products and get told that they were unfeatured because they were considered to be spam hubs is beyond comprehension. Do not provide the rules and guidelines then turn around and tell people that their hubs are spam. Hey, we only followed HP directions!!!! Yes every honest writer here has a right to be ticked off at the response we are getting from HP, plus waking up to a 100 or more hubs unfeatured. I was more fortunate in that respect. Don't tell people that they have 4 months to get their content from Squidoo fixed for HP then yank the rug out from under them. Again, they were given the same guidelines and rules for HP, but like the rest of us, we get slapped for following HP instructions
If you can program a filter on what to look for in order to unfeature a hub, then why can't you spell out for us, exactly what it is about our hubs that is unacceptable? It should not be a difficult matter to let us know exactly what is triggering the filters so that we can fix the problem and bring our hubs in line with all new policies.
I do not think that asking for transparency is asking too much, at this juncture.
We were actually told the four months would be up when we started to edit our pages. What is sad is that those who did edit and pass QAP have now been unfeatured whereas those who have made no effort whatsoever to improve are still up until the end of the four month grace period. I personally unpublished all pages with violations until I could find time to deal with them properly many did not. When you have a lot of pages it takes time to edit each one. We can't cry unfair when the rules were set out at the start, but it is perfectly understandable that people might query decisions that unfeature informational content as "spam" when it clearly isn't. It is also perfectly understandable that those who have been through a whole series of arbitrary processes elsewhere that failed to work should experience that deja vu and sense of frustration.
Has anyone seen a pattern to the Hubs that are being unpublished, like word count? I think Google's main concern is short articles, the more words the better. That usually comes up when Google talks about content.
Totally agree Nancy! One of my hubs that should go into the trash:
It was about a billion dollar a year baby selling business called adoption. It was book reviews about: One woman who got a 5 year prison sentence for helping adoptees reunite with their families. Another about a baby stolen from her father, her mother had died. She never knew them. The buyers took her to another country. She lost her heritage, her native language and her family. All she has now is a gravestone to visit in her homeland, but she cannot afford to pay for the trip. Another where one wrote about being bought by wealthy family, and her life of abuse. Another about corruption way back in the 20's that involved judges,the woman who became a millionaire from stealing, selling babies, and even murder.
Solares: Would you tell me which trash bin this hub should have gone into!!!
Last week I had 13 hubs receive a half circle for lack of engagement (never had that happen before in 5 years at Hub Pages) I updated all those hubs and they are all featured now. After reading this forum post I checked my account and saw one hub defeatured completely with a full white circle due to quality (another first). I checked the hub and the only problem I could see was that I had too many Amazon ads for the amount of words. Normally I only place a maximum of two Amazon ads on my hubs but for this one I must have been carried away, and had five. I deleted two ads and added some extra words and resubmitted it. Just have to wait and see.
So it isn't just ex Squids that are being reviewed or hit.
People on Squidoo did the Happy Dance, and look what it got them!!
HP does need to provide new rules, guidelines since the current ones may not be working well.
Now they start unfeaturing hubs and writers went through this numerous times on Squidoo without any real guidelines or told what they had done wrong. Over and over they fixed lenses. Many gave up and pulled their content.
HP is doing the same thing. People cannot fix what they do not know is broken!!!!
Unfeature the content may very well result in a mass run to the nearest exit sign with hubs in hand. So big deal!!!
Now, since HP still has not told writers what to do, what not to do since current rules and guidlines set by HP, there will be more writers, the ones that stay, the new ones that come in, and do exactly the same as many of us have done and that is follow HP rules and guidelines.
So, would someone stop doing the Happy Dance and tell us what unfeaturing hubs is really accomplishing? People can edit over and over again, guess what is wrong over and over again til the end of time only to see hubs pass QAP then be unfeatured again, over and over again.
People can pack up and say I am done, but what has that accomplished because until HP stands up, stops walking around the issues, and says this is how hubs need to be written and not written, nothing will change, not in the real world anyway
I thought Paul explained it in his note. Google is targeting various sites. In order to save the entire site, HP took universal actions.
There are nearly a million "hubs" here - does anyone think that the handful of people who operate HP have time to do a quality check on each and every one of them. All they can do is guess what Google is doing and take necessary steps. Yes, it would be great if they had the time to do a roll-out of expectations but with a Panda update happening right now - they didn't have this option. And again - once you get a manual action on a sub-domain it impacts everyone ... meaning your hubs too!
Does anyone remember e-how? Where are they now? How about ezinearticles.? Hmmm.
I am very sorry people had hubs de-featurued - some of mine were too.
Nobody is doing a happy dance. It's more like fighting to stay alive from near as I can tell. Does that sound dramatic? Maybe.
My hubs were unfeatured too. I had to clean them up. I didn't like having to do it but I did.
Remember folks, we are not owed ANYTHING. HP doesn't owe us a place to post our work. Forgive me but I am just tired of people bashing the leadership here. They obviously did this and realized it was going to tick a lot of people off.
Want to get mad? Get mad a Google!
Yes. These recent measures taken by admin are a reasonable and intelligent response to Panda. I'd rather see the site thrive and glad that admin are doing something to ensure the safety and vitality of the site.
It works well that my approach when my few hubs were migrated were immediately unpublished (by me). I've been gradually unveiling them after giving them a good going over. I've also been generating new content. I didn't realize when I left this morning for work that migrated lenses were the hubs in question. I am sorry for all of you who are affected, Hubbers and migrated Squids. Pulling together to support each other through this is the best strategy I can think of for now.
+1 You have done exactly what I would have done given the same situation. It may be more tedious and take more time, but in the end, you wind up with quality work that will endure and not be penalized. Good for you!
I just read an article that there is a great deal of unhappiness with Google right now as they seem to be rolling out the same Penguin update they started in October. In case anyone is interested...
http://www.webpronews.com/google-pengui … rce=EOACLK
In the words of Yogi Berra, "It's like deja vu, all over again."
The only thing that surprises me about this, is that there are so many people surprised by this.
One thing that did help me when a Squidoo Lens would become unpublished was to publish it again and start tweeting it or some other form of social marketing to get views. That always worked to keep it published, as long as it was getting views. I write this knowing that many here have had hubs unpublished that were getting many views already. But Shawnjgourley, you might try tweeting your hub.
SAm: Sam: HP has been unfeaturing hubs for lack of traffic when their traffic consists of social networks rather than a ton of Google traffic.
Okay Linda, that makes it tough to get traffic for new articles, since they are most likely not very high in the search engine rankings.
Exactly. Then again, it can take months maybe longer to rise in google search, if ever. Again, we are being penalized by HP.
Hi Sam I just wanted to let you know that you are correct and the language she is using is not correct. It is not "a ton" of google views. For example, I have one hub that has had over 25,000 views from Pinterest, over 21,000 views from Facebook, and only 244 from Google. That is enough in HP view.
On a previous thread about this problem, HP staff stated that to keep from being unfeatured all a hub needed was a "heartbeat". 244 views in a year is not much, but it is a heartbeat.
This conversation came up the other day. We were told that if out traffic is primarily social network sites, little to none Google search engine traffic, our hubs may become unfeatured for low traffic.
If it is all social networks, that is correct, but it does not take many Google views to keep a hub from being unfeatured.
I did not even want to get into this Squidoo discussion since "unfeatured for traffic" is different than the issue most of you are having with "unfeatured for quality" but I did want to let Sam know that it is a good idea to try and get more traffic from social media sites like twitter.
I am not ready to move hubs yet. But since our unfeatured hubs have been called spam, I am removing most of, if not all Amazon products from my hubs. When I move them, I will add products then. I might lose sales, but I won't be the only one that loses out on sales.
My original HP account had zero hubs unfeatured yesterday while my account for my Squidoo pages had 37 unfeatured. Pages on both of these accounts follow a similar format of text/ads. So in my view this change was for the most part directed at transferred lenses.
Same here, though I didn't have as many products on the original account hubs, but the 5 or so informational transferred hubs that were zapped were much the same as the original Hub account and yes, I had come to the same conclusion.
Janet is a well established writer of very popular sites who is much respected by ex Squidoo lensmasters. IMO her analysis rather undermines any credibility in the "surgical site wide" description of this recent filter change
This now very much appears to be a change which has targeted transferred lens/hubs inside the grace period.
I agree - also, I think CEO Paul's post above (I think the first one) - is pretty clear that this is in fact a filter aimed only at former squidoo-lenses, because the filter isn't good enough to be applied to all hubs. If it's not good enough for all of them, it's obvious that former squids have reason to complain. I don't - because for some reason this filter hasn't hit me - but still.
Didn't Google go after content farms 4-5 years ago. They have always been after Content Farms, maybe they are on another feeding frenzy.
Not necessarily so, brakl2, some of us agree with Linda, and we are not alienated. Too many excellent writers from Squidoo have had this kind of treatment since landing here, and I do think it's targeted. HP bought out the competition, doesn't mean they have to keep our writing or writers as part of their site. If Google is on the rampage on content farms, perhaps we'd better tend our own gardens instead of trying to grow something here.
Why can't you be kinder about this site? You have made money here, and have been here a long time. It can't be that bad.
I wonder if sometimes writers accidentally appear to be overstuffing with keywords. Some articles can become 'loaded' just in the natural course of writing. Yes, reading it makes perfectly good sense ... but if you were to stop and count the actual number of times a word or phrase appears within it, you might get a surprise.
We have to remember there's technology doing the counting.
Nancy. I love the people from Squidoo. and wish that all would stay. It hasn't been an easy transition for you. Too many things have happened, but I wish we could all stick together and see this through. However, I know people must make their own decisions. Maybe tomorrow, things will be better.
brakel2: Money? I have had one payout since I started 3 years ago. For a year, I didn't do anything here. In fact I moved most of my hubs. There was a big exodus by long time writers here who were making money.. What does that tell you.
Unfeaturing hubs expecting hubbers to guess at what they are supposed to do is beyond ridiculous. Squidoo played the guessing game.
Having our unfeatured hubs called spam is an insult to say the least when we follow HP rules and guidlines which apparently are no longer correct. It is easier to unfeature hubs, have hubbers remove their content and move it, leave HP, and let new people come in and follow the same rules and guidlines that we have been following so they can repeat the same cycle all over again.
Well, HP I took care of my spam hubs. I have removed every Amazon product, with the exception of few that I need to copy ASIN numbers for and stash them for later use. No sales now for sure. Oh well, HP won't earn from my sales since that is considered Spam apparently. Who knows what spam is since there were hubbers who write totally informational articles with zero products on their pages.
I have already started deleting hubs.
As time permits, I will be moving them elsewhere.
Bottom line, until HP changes, nobody who puts their content on this site can change what they are doing. Frankly, I don't have the time or energy to revamp, revamp, ravamp, and revamp again like we had to do on Squidoo, just to get hubs unfeatured, featured, unfeatured again. That game is old and tiresome.
If you don't know what is broken, you can't fix it. HP doesn't want to tell us what is broken, provide new guidelines so we can fix it, the only fix for many of us is to take our broken hubs elsewhere.
If only as former Squids and even long-time Hubbers, those who want to pack and leave so as to host their pages else where would be paid the amount they're owed even though they haven't reach the $50 min threshold, it would be fantastic.
As we can see many don't want to jump through hoops any more, nor spend/waste time refining their pages. I'm not ready for this either although I don't have any unfeatured Hub for quality yet.
My former lenses don't even get 1/10th of the pathetic and miserable traffic they got on Squidoo in its last days of agony, the Halloween season was a mess, the Christmas one is also a mess - though I had only 1 Christmas lens left - so I'd really like to move those 30+ former lenses to my own sites so as to make them reward me for the work I did on them so as to please Squidoo's ever changing hallucinations and now HubPages new rules.
I have nothing against HubPages, joined in the beginning with another account which I plan on leaving here. But the former Squidoo one, I'd like to move it - Christmas is now officially ruined but Valentine's Day might get me the lost money back. However, I reworked all former lenses so as to comply with HP rules so I'd like to get my payment. Sadly it hasn't reach the $50 threshold yet.
I have to say I wish I hadn't spent the many hours I did fixing things following the transfer of lenses to HubPages. But there is a definite lesson in that about how I use my content going forward.
Although I only have four hubs (so far) unfeatured for "quality" I feel insulted by this whole episode. The tone of many of the posts in this thread does nothing to alleviate that. Such is life though and again a significant learning point for me there too.
I also continue to find it hard to reconcile this accusation of creating "spam" with the fact that the pages in question have been generating visitors and sales. Whilst HubPages is unable to provide information as to which pages generate the sales I feelfairly confident in believing that the sales are coming from the now unfeatured for "quality" pages because the products being purchased.
Yes, most of the pages I had unfeatured were in fact successful pages. There were exceptions of course, like my teaching page and fan page about Kate Bush... Repeating what I said earlier, while there are featured and unedited pages here with violations it seems odd to go for those people who have made the effort to improve their pages.
Now tell me that this makes sense. I removed every Amazon product off of one of my hubs that was flagged yesterday.
I did not add content. In fact, I removed some content, making the hub shorter. In fact I did it for ha ha's just to see what would happen.
This morning, the same hub is now featured again!!!!
Linda, I just took the 2 remaining Amazon links and the 1 to the USGA banding lab off of my Banding a Hummingbird hub. Since it was unfeatured 2 days before the net was thrown I have added a quiz, counted and changed/removed words, added content. The only links left are 2 to Zazzle prints that are of the hummer in the article. Maybe I have too many full size photos. Is there such a thing as too many photos? At over 1200 words this shouldn't be happening. Perhaps I should remove the 2 links to related hubs.
This is what we are and have been going through... guess work, maybe it's this, maybe that. It's maddening. I have a magazine article to write today, so this craziness must stop. Perhaps when I come back my informational hubs that were edited and approved, then unfeatured will be featured again.
Bumping your comment to stress this is not just about product pages!
It is a guessing game that we have to play over and over. The thing is just because hubs were unfeatured doesn't mean that they were garbage hubs.
Some of those I see this morning, poorly written, nothing but product description with more products than rules allowed, copied content from other sites makes me sick to my stomach that this is allowed.
There were hubs yesterday hit for quality even though they fall under the Grace Period for the Squidoo transfer, meaning they haven't even been edited yet after the transfer.
We were told those hit had spam hubs! Where is the spam?
It is easy to tell people to get over it when they haven't been hit, at least not yet. What are they going to fix when they do get hit??? Oh, I forgot, they get to play the guessing game!!!
I went to Hub Hopper this morning just for laughs!
I guess this is a stellar hub!
338 words, most of that is product description for 1 out of 10 Amazon products.
Linda, it must be very discouraging to have only made payout once in three years after putting in as much time and effort as you obviously have. I understand now why you express such frustration in the forums.
LongTimeMother: I removed over 90 percent of Amazon products from my hubs, leaving only those that I need to make note of ASIN number for later reference. One of the hubs that I removed every product from, also a unfeatured hub,was featured again this morning. I did not only remove products, I also removed content. This makes no sense at all.
Hub Hopper had a hub this morning: 10 products for 338 words. 2 paragraphs and most of that was a product description. Obviously, this hub was not flagged, yet our flagged hubs yesterday were called Spam. This makes no sense either!
Linda, if you were on Hub Hopper and saw a substandard hub, I trust you rated it accordingly. Hub hopping is one part of the process to identify hubs that should not be featured.
You don't hub hop to view 'stellar hubs'. Our role when hub hopping is to help prevent the progress of hubs that don't meet quality standards. It was your chance to 'flag' that hub. Did you give it a poor rating?
I'd be interested to hear from any other Squids or Hubbers who weren't caught in the "net."
And open myself up to rude comments like that directed to FatFreddy? No thanks. The people on here have told those of us not affected to shut our mouths and stay off of their forum.
Mark There have been comments such as those with unfeatured hubs should simply toss them in the trash can. Nice huh!
That is CLEARLY not what I said. If you will reread my comment, you will see that I was talking about the viability of an article or group of articles that have had a manual action applied to them by Google, not the HP filter.
Someone commented that they were able to request an appeal to a manual action, and were successful in that. However many may not be successful, especially if Google itself is over run with requests for appeal that tax their resources. Once your articles have been marked by Google as spam, you may only have 2 choices, toss the article or completely rewrite it, which is the same amount of work or more as is starting a new article from scratch.
Funny thing happened on the way to the forum.
I not only removed a lot of content, but I also removed every Amazon product from one of the unfeatured hubs. The content I removed was needed in the hub. So what happened? It is featured this morning.
I saw another hub, 10 products for less than 400 words, and the content was mainly a product description. Now is that what HP calls a Stellar hub while the rest of us who have followed rules, guidelines tell us that our hubs are spam and need to be trashed.
Remember, if you weren't hit yesterday, you may just be hit tomorrow!
I am a Squidoo transplant and all I've noticed since the weekend is that my views are up a tiny bit and my Amazon sales are up a bunch.
I didn't fix anything. I trashed em, not by putting them in the trash can either.
By the way, we have plenty to complain about!
We need to understand that HubPages is not a shop for selling products. It is supposed to be a site where readers can find useful, new, unique, and revealing information on what they are looking for on the web (on what they are "googling"). If readers want to go shopping, they'll go straight to eBay or Amazon. They don't need HubPages for that.
Summary of guidelines to have hubs featured again
Apart from poor spelling & grammar, degree of usefulness, interest and uniqueness, the main issues to check on unfeatured hubs are:
1. More than the allowed 2 links per domain and those 2 links per domain should be relevant to the content.
2. Too many (no more than 2 or 3 to be on the safe side) or unrelated Amazon and eBay capsules without the required 50 words description.
3. Ignoring the ever so useful "Need Some Goals Box" in Editing mode. Make sure all the boxes are ticked.
4. Not formatted for Mobile platform. Ensure that all text and images are set to full-width.
5. Poor quality images (pixelated) and not properly accredited images.
Provided people revise their unfeatured hubs to meet all the above points there should be no reason for their hubs not to be featured again. For those hubs that cannot meet the above standards through lack of content, interest, or through over-commercialism, I advise to delete those hubs or move them elsewhere.
I know this is a lot of work but it will be worth the effort in the long run. Motto: Quality versus Quantity.
If that is always the case, then explain to me how in past years, in December, I used to wake up every morning to 20-30 Amazon sales from my Amazon-product centric lenses on Squidoo. And I was pretty much small potatoes compared to some who put full time effort into lens creation. If people were going straight to Amazon every single time to look for products, that wouldn't be the case.
Guess what? Some people who browse the web DO want guidance on products, and DON'T just go straight to Amazon. A curated product lens used to draw in plenty of traffic, and sales. I'm not talking about endless "shower curtain" lenses either. I'm talking about curated collections of products on a tight theme, designed to specifically target what people are searching for. Offering alternatives and personal insight.
If no one looked for products except via Amazon, then I shouldn't have had 6 sales in the past few days that are definitely related to several product-centric lenses I had transferred here to HubPages. Oh, but the two lenses that clearly were related to most of those sales are now unfeatured for "quality", and here they were the ones actually making money, and based on my personal experience as both a jewelry maker and poultry farmer. Go figure.
Totally agree with you here Sockii. Since we transferred here I've had no sales on hubs which used to sell products from curated lenses. Those lenses were dedicated to very specific items, and included information about the subject as well as the products. They used to receive a fair amount of traffic, but no more.
I learned something in this thread about featuring and Google. I am less concerned with hubs unfeatured for content because unless we can't actually see a reason on the dash there is no reason we can't improve them. The ones I am concerned about is those unfeatured for interaction because the definition of that is visitors from Google. If Google is not sending visitors any more because redirects don't work, links built up over time are lost and those articles are now considered new meat then making them invisible to Google DOES mean you might as well trash some previously very good informational pages or rewrite them - unless you can get traffic from social media.
Having said that, I find it sad that social media traffic is not counted as interaction. Why? Because those pages were not in violation of anything on HubPages but Panda hit the new subdomains first and had the writers not been active improving the pages they would still be in the four month grace period and thus featured. I am not a fan of moaning because it achieves far less than just getting on quietly and improving what we can but I don't like Catch 22 situations.
Nate: Are you referring to a blog, or a hub on hub pages? Some people refer to their content here as blogs.
Nate: Okay! I am seeing what you said repeatedly. I just shut down multiple sites and blogs I had.
My Experience with this: Most pulled back up after editing in 24 hours.
About a third of my hubs were downgraded to half circle, last week. As I've been editing them, I realized most of them did not have proper titles to the modules (a Squidoo left over issue) . I corrected them and made sure the Hub has at least 700 words and they all except for 2 got back to Featured within 24 hours.
I have 2 that were downgraded for quality. They are product reviews so I will edit them or remove them. Not sure.
I had assumed that the engagement ding was because I simply wasn't getting any traffic and they wanted me to try improving them.
So far hasn't been the major problem for me that it's been for others. Sorry the Holiday hubs are being effected. There should be clearer communication on that.
I have had 2 Hubs un-featured out of 51 and these were not particularly Sales related one was a non autobiographical background Hub about me. All of the links from this Hub are to institutions where I was schooled or worked. There are only one link to each and the Hub is not promotional in any way, it is strictly factual and after being un-featured for quality reasons I put it in my personal profile featured Hubs. Yesterday it got 5 visits and a vote as interesting Hmm! It also has a Hub score of 90 (not a quality Hub?!!!!).
I do not know how this quality check was performed, but it was not people power as anyone reading this particular Hub would realise that I did all of the things mentioned and attended the institutions and all wording was my own from personal experiences. I linked to their sites to avoid copying and using their words inadvertently, as I likely would have as they educated and trained me.
There are no violations of the HP quality guidelines here, I checked again as I could not understand why this QAP approved Hub (once Lens) now became taboo. Paul your algorithm is flawed at best or just plain wrong!
The second Hub also a former Lens was about our personal experiences is purchasing a yearling Dutch Warmblood and raising it ourselves. I do not believe that any of your staff are likely to be able to judge this lens (now Hub) as very few people ever purchase a World Class Dressage Horse. We did and this Hub is our personal story of how we did it and it is of great interest to horse people who may wish to save the $100,000 or more that would be required to buy a horse of this class at a rideable age (5 years plus).
Paul please look up the registry and auction prices for foals and fillies out of Sandreo and Florestan that have been registered as KWPN. Then and only then come back and read my Hub in light of that information. I admit that some of the promotions on this Hub may have been tacky compared to the horse, but how many people can even find the $10,000 to $15,000 to buy one as a yearling? I was not going to sell real animals on HP!
The information in the Hub is all real and all the links are relevant to the content, plus this Hub had passed QAP many times since being here. I am very angry and unimpressed.
Please Paul do not become another Seth Godin! I was an Internal Audit Manager in IT for over 30 years and advised on business and banking standards. One thing I see clearly as an issue here is the monopoly power of Google. They want to control all of our personal data and what we do with it. They scraped this from our accounts and mercilessly bombard us with their adverts, Now they do not want to pay the small player anymore. They are going the way of big business and sports teams that use TV customers purchasing power to charge ridiculous prices for advertisements so they get rich and the average person stays poor.
You and I and most of the writers here know that this is plain wrong the money comes from everyday people and it really should be being used to provide internet and TV services for free. The large corporations are abusing their position by buying politicians to ensure they do not pay the higher taxes they should on this money that is gained by usurious practices.
If you do not agree re-read the Bible on usury and Jesus's reactions to the Pharisees etc.You have to stand up for what you know is right. There may be some spam, but it is going too far when suddenly high ranking material is getting pulled for no good reason. That would be like saying it is OK to kill one person out of a crowd if the rest were saved. Murder is Murder no matter what the justification is.
Ether way to not inform people of a sudden change that makes all of the known rules invalid suddenly is not good manners at best and at least it is a form of bullying. Given the trauma of the sudden demise of Squidoo it was even more so in this case as many are still suffering PTSD from that one!
Just a suggestion, IMO: The KWPN one has two Amazon links that are not closely related to the topic. Try deleting these and see whether the hub gets featured. Paul mentioned earlier that obscurely related Amazon product links can cause manual penalties. Perhaps HP has developed a 'quality' filter to find similar potential problems to avoid manual penalties on the site. See this quote.
"One example I've used before is Google put a manual action on a site for spam where the author wrote about a family incident that caused quite a bit of stress. At the bottom of the article a few products were placed on it to help someone relax - bath soaps, candles. I don't think the author was intending to spam in this case, but it did have a manual action."
The items were both horse related in my case. I really do not think I could advertise the real animal on HP it would not be the correct forum. The gift items however would be affordable and appropriate gifts for horse lovers who are my target audience and as you rightly point out there are only 2 items.
I have not received a Google manual penalty either!
Although I see there are a group of people who are simply (and sadly) not reading other people's posts before they leap to judgement about "sales".
by Faith Reaper 5 years ago
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by Sheila Craan 12 months ago
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by David Livermore 6 years ago
Let me preface this by stating I am not trying to be mean or a troll. In fact, I avoid the forums because I don't want to get involved. But with so many posts about the topics I'm about to discuss, I wanted to put in my two cents and to offer a reality check to old and new hubbers...
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I've been making a screendump of my overall hub stats each day to try and keep track of what's going on so I can work out "what works on HubPages" and what doesn't. The aim is to determine some sort of priority about what to do next.Up until now I've been focused on the traffic data and...
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