Hi Hubbers! Please be sure to read today's blog post about spam and product capsules. In the post, I invite you all to ask questions in this forum thread. Paul E., Robin, and myself will be monitoring the thread over the next couple of days. Ask away!
I just pinned the monkey mask from this one: http://hubpages.com/sample/aj0hb
So what happens to hubs that fall in the "bad" category? Are they unfeatured? Or would they be unpublished?
And is this something that the algorithm already takes into consideration. I have a couple of hubs that are a listing of items (10 best), but I have personally tried all the products and I'm not sure whether they would fit into the bad or the ok category. If they are inappropriate, would they already be unfeatured?
Hubs that have spammy elements will be unfeatured—not unpublished unless they have rules violations that go beyond what is being discussed here.
If you are giving personal, hands-on recommendations about products and why you prefer them, you should be fine. 10 Best... Hubs can be great when Hubbers have personal experience with their products and their intention is to help the reader not to only sell products. Great questions!
I think this is a good thing overall. In my niche, many of my competiors (both on and off hubpages) are what I would call spammy. It really upsets me because bed bugs is a serious issue. Even though my first experience came from volunteering with a community outreach program in a poverty stricken bed bug infested neighborhood(then accidently taking some home), I often get outranked by spammy people who don't care.
I have a question though. Sometimes I recomend people get a bed bug mattress cover. Then I add a link to a good example. Mostly because if people don't by a machine washable one, they have to replace it instead of just washing it. Do I have to spesifically give the name of the brand that is in the ad? That is fine, because I know which one works, but previously I have just recommended getting a mattress cover, but not neccesarily mentioned the brands name.
We recommend only including products in your Hub that are specifically mentioned and recommended. If you know which one works, then definitely only include that mattress cover and tell your readers why you recommend that cover over others. This is useful information to your readers!
Amazon has a lot of Spam, and they even sell it. Here's an example of a Spammy page on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/SPAM-Classic-12-O … words=spam
They actually have 6,090 pages of Spam, but it should be easy for the site to clean up all the spam pages. All you have to do is search the site for Spam.
Luckily, Hubpages is much less Spammy. We only have 400 pages of Spam here.
It's weird that you didn't use one of those hubs as an example of Spammy product hubs.
I am completely on-board with reducing the spammy feel of HubPages articles. However, this is not just about cleaning up the articles themselves. Some of those AdProgram ads scream SPAM! No more obnoxious ads, please! When I visit a page with those kinds of ads, I often close it very quickly because they are distracting, tacky, and give the impression that the article is not from a trustworthy source.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you for selecting one of my articles to be used as a "good" example! That was a real thrill for me!
I cringe every time a new requirement is set in place by HubPages because you are requiring revisions to an already existing body of work, some of which has been online for years, written when different guidelines were in place.
I now have to sift through hundreds of hubs over the different profiles I have just to try to prevent becoming unfeatured. With the kind of time I have available, this is going to take weeks for me to do.
And if any hub I have is not up to muster because of these new guidelines, I will most likely have to track someone down for an explanation for each unfeature. Can HubPages at least place a "Notes" section in the hub template so a reviewer can just place a blurb in there so we know what needs to be changed?
I'm really not looking forward to this process.
Will hubs that are unfeatured for spam be using the quality code, or will they get their own code?
It would be nice to have a separate code for spam so we know specifically what kind of error to look for.
Where can these codes be found in our hubs and is there a list of codes to refer to so I can understand what they mean? Thank you, Millionaire.
For those who don't already know, the stats page filtering option can make things quicker and easier.
http://hubpages.com/my/hubs/stats?categ … ule=Amazon
http://hubpages.com/my/hubs/stats?categ … psule=Ebay
Why not just wait and see? If something becomes unFeatured, it won't disappear from Google instantly - you will have several days to fix it up and send it through QAP again before it's at risk of getting de-indexed.
Agree with you about the Notes section.
That's a good idea.
When will the unfeaturing start to happen? Basically, how much time do we have to review and fix our hubs before they might become unfeatured?
We've already started defeaturing Hubs for containing spammy elements. The process will be gradual, but Hubs with spammy elements that have recently been published or edited (i.e., pending in the QAP) will be defeatured sooner than other Hubs. If your Hub is defeatured for quality (spam related or not) you'll receive an email letting you know.
I am hopeful that I can feel good about the hub I published today, because it is featured now.
Someone made a suggestion about Notes section in the hub where authors could be told what they specifically need to change. I think that's a good idea and more productive than just saying 'Quality".
I am one the (un)fortunate few who are being penalized by this new policy. My Google rankings dropped from Page 1 to Page 15 overnight. Where's the justice in that? I have a hub about Ceramic Cookware that has 1200+ words and only 4 Amazon Ads. I even have a section warning readers about "What NOT to Buy". Yet I went from Page 1 to Page 15. I have another hub about Gordon Ramsay Recipe that has 3 Gordon Ramsay Amazon Ads. Page 1 to Page 16 - Overnight. Another hub about Kitchen Knives - 3 Amazon Ads - Page 3 to Page 21 - Overnight. In short, my 3 best performing hubs have been virtually black-balled. How can I recover?
I'm sorry that your Hubs dropped in rankings so suddenly, but it doesn't sound like it was a result of defeaturing. Unfortunately, it's tough to hypothesize about what happened without a more thorough investigation. For starters, I recommend that you ask fellow Hubbers for feedback on your Hubs in the Improving Your Hub Forum (feel free to post links). You could also read the How to Update Hubs to Increase Traffic Learning Center entry. If you're still stuck afterwards, feel free to email us!
Thank you for the suggestions. In fact I have followed many of the suggestions in those two Forums. I have increased word counts. I have added Polls. I have verified my photos for copyright issues. I have found good, short related videos for the given topic. I have included related links to articles that can help the reader. I have limited my Amazon Ads to 4 or less per article. I speak from the heart and through personal experience. I read other people's hubs and leave comments. I am not claiming that I am a great HP citizen but I am a "fair" HP citizen.
Your ranking on Google has nothing to do with HubPages - the only way HubPages can affect your ranking is if they unFeature your Hub, which will remove it from search results completely. So if you are looking for answers, you need to ask yourself why Google might be penalising you.
I have come across confusing info regarding the rule:
"Your Hub can have a MAXIMUM of 2 links to any one domain. Links in the image source field in the Photo Capsule count toward this limit."
1. Does this rule only apply to links to other websites, exempting links to our own Hubs or other pages on HubPages, or...
2. Does this rule apply to any website , including HubPages.com and our own sub-domain?
This rule has been in place for yearss and has not changed, and it refers to other websites, not internal links (i.e. not HubPages or HubPages sub-domains)
Thanks, Marisa. You are correct. This rule applies to other non-whitelisted websites, not to HubPages. We have a few trusted websites that can be linked to more than twice, e.g., Wikipedia and Flickr, but most websites can only be linked to twice. You can link to other Hubs more than twice but the links must be related. We recommend only linking to other high-quality, relevant, and useful Hubs and websites.
Read it. Followed it. Scored an 84. Still labeled as spam. Feedback was vague. I just removed an add and link (even though it was allowed). Due to vague feedback I'll probably end up eliminating all ads and links. http://hub.me/aj6Bm
Just a reprint.
I am so glad I scrapped my Amazon capsules many moons ago. Saved much grief I did.
There were a few that the layout was horrible because of tsome text and then multiple products eating up the page, so I clicked off.
The Good and supposedly bad Reviews, well I disagree with HP. One they call a good review because it was personal, well so was the one about the automatic vacuum cleaner, the robotic one, was personal as well and just as good as the other ones.
The one about the TV IMO was garbage, made little sense and why a pic of yacht, etc on a hub about a television.
The TV one was listed in the bad category. Are you saying you liked the Roomba one? There wasn't a lot of explanation of how it was used, and there were no negatives listed at all. It wasn't a balanced view. There were no negatives mentioned except the price, and even the price wasn't discussed further as a comparison to other vacuum cleaners, etc.
The Roomba Hub is a first hand review but we would expect more depth for such a pricey product where plenty of other reviews are available. Additionally, there is no need to have three product capsules for the same product. Finally, as Millionaire Tips pointed out, the review is not balanced at all - the primary motivation is to get the reader to buy the Roomba rather than inform.
I have a question:
Are all hubs, including those published prior to the introduction of QAP going to be filtered?
Great tips! What I loved the most was the examples given! I bookmarked the page! Thank you!
I just finished reading one of your good examples, and I will go back and read the others. I don't think I have ever included more than one Amazon or eBay capsule on my Hubs, so I think I'll be OK. Those products were related to my Hub.
I do think this is a good idea on the part of HP. I've seen some Hubs with far too many products.
The examples were great. I especially loved the masks! The article was awful, but the masks were amusing to view.
Whenever we have examples of what HP wants, and what HP does not want, it is helpful. The blog post should be a "classic" in the Learning Center. It would have been helpful to many of us who were imported from Squidoo.
HubPages is right. We need to up our game on this one. I know there are lots of folks who are frustrated by this change, but inevitably this change will improve quality, readership, and traffic.
Content development is an iterative process--and if you're going to be writing on the web, you just need to accept this; this is why I love HubPages. They stay ahead of the curve on what's working and what's not. This strategic insight helps ensure we continue to get more readers, more exposure (and more revenue). It's all about thriving.
Every time HP issues a new mandate, I've implemented it, with the understanding that they have done the research, they're connected to the industry/trends, and therefore know what they're talking about. And guess what? Everyone of those changes has not only improved the quality of my content, but also my readership and traffic (and revenue).
I'm actually kind of excited to start on this refresh--keeping me on my toes!
None of us have a portfolio of perfect hubs, of course - we can't be 100% up to scratch, as the playing field does keep shifting and it's almost not humanly possible to keep up entirely (especially if we write on many platforms) - but *iterative* improvement is definitely the way to go. Always learning, aiming for agile, always trying to keep ahead of the curve... Such is the online writing life.
chefmancave: I scanned the cookware hub. What popped out was your images. You say courtesy of Amazon. Amazon does not allow use of their product images the way you used it. Kohls, are you an affiliate of Kohls. If not I am sure they have their content, images etc copyrighted. This is part of Kohl's legal notice: All materials you see and hear on this Site — including, for example, all of the page headers, images, text, illustrations, formats, logos, designs, icons, photographs, programs, and video or audio clips (individually or collectively, the "Content(s)")— are intended solely for personal, non-exclusive and non-commercial use Articles on writing sites are considered commercial use. So using their images is against their policy which makes them illegal to use. You need to provide a Amazon link to their product images.
Actually you can use Amazon product images, provided you have a link to the product somewhere on your page - it doesn't have to be in the photo capsule itself, it can be in an Amazon capsule or a text link.
I would agree about Kohls, though - I can't see any links to Kohls in the Hub and therefore even if chefmancave is an affiliate, he can't use those images.
When it comes to product reviews I am one of those people who only takes notice of writers with their own photos. If I can't see you own one, I won't believe you talking about it.
Does HP give extra brownie points to hubs featuring original photos?
Has this new policy affected the HP algorithm for hub ratings? Some of my hubs, including hubscore average, decreased to lows I've never seen before this announcement. Coincidence or something else? I edited a few low scoring hubs, deleted a couple of amazon and ebay capsules even though they were related to the hubs. It only made things worse. It feels like QAP is tougher as a result of this change. I already read the stipulations on Blogspot. Just wondering if all hubs are now given a closer look resulting in lower ratings.
Yes, it does affect hub ratings and scores. There is more coming in regard to scores. I think the latest blog post spells it out rather plainly. Things are going to continue to tighten.
Spammy elements are things— products, links, text— that tend to make Hubs (even totally innocent ones) spammy, regardless of the intent of the author.
I'm getting rid of most of my Amazon capsules and I'm taking a very close look at links.
Thank you very much, rebekahElle. I always appreciate your concise, veteran advice. I had a feeling this was the case and will get to work on making some changes with links and videos as well. We'll see what happens.
rebekahELLE, it's been two weeks and I wanted to revisit this. Things have gotten worse with my hubs despite editing and deleting a bunch of links and ad capsules. I wanted to ask specifically about your statement, "There is more coming in regard to scores." What did you mean? It sounds like you were referring to more than just QAP changes regarding spammy hubs due to product ads.
Edit: Not worse, as some hubscores have gone up a few points. But overall, my hubscores are much lower than in the past. Curious and trying to keep up.
All that I know is that HP is tweaking how hub/hubber scores are calculated and refining the rating system for accuracy. Things we can do, especially for older hubs that haven't been updated, is "to look for ways to improve substance, grammar and layout of hubs". Your scores are very good, janshares. We tend to obsess too much about scores.
There will always be fluctuations. You're an excellent writer.
Thanks, rebekahELLE, but I'm curious as to what's going on when I see drastic changes. I'm a little OCD, too.
I think HP is working hard to keep up with the changes that have taken place with Google algorithms and how search works. Google has become more aggressive with their webspam policing and sites like HP are always a target. I wouldn't take things personally if scores aren't what you would like to see. If you like to follow SEO stuff and how it's changed over the past 5 years, I've included a link. I listened to a great presentation on the Moz blog recently. The first video with Rand Fishkin speaking is excellent and he's great with graphics as he speaks. Anyone creating content online can benefit from his talk. It helped me understand more what HP is doing and why.
5 Years of SEO Changes and Better Goal Setting
I guess I don't need to worry about spammy product capsules. HP won't accept ANY of the product capsules I've tried to put in the last two hubs I've tried to write. I have 559 words on one of them and it still won't accept a product capsule related to the material.
What happens when you try? Do you have an ad blocker on?
I have a Product Hub that earns me more than $100 on Amazon Products every month and I really hope that it does not get classified as spam and unfeatured/deindexed.
I'm working on overhauling some of my hubs. I've got a few open DMCA complaints with Google on a handful of my hubs. I know that once I start to edit my hubs, the stolen content will not match my new content in its entiriety. I'm not sure if this will be problematic for Google or for you in your content review processes, but just wanted to bring up.
So have I, 8 of them! Do you or anyone else know how long it takes for the copied material to be taken down?
Sorry for being off topic here. I searched or the answer but couldn't find it.
Normally, it shouldn't take more than three days if you filed the DMCA notice with the website's hosting provider. The law requires that the host give a notice to the website's agent and allow 48 hours for a response. If there is no response, the host MUST remove it immediately.
However, Blogger/Blogspot (now owned by Google) sometimes takes 7-10 days. Is there a particular hosting service that you are having problems with right now?
t aaron; I could be the use of words butt and buttock, possibly numerous addresses for Weight Watchers.
Thank you, I will make some amendments accordingly. I don't know what the magic threshold for keyword presence vs stuffing is. Still trying to figure that out.
Nothing to do with keyword stuffing. It's just that HubPages applies the Adsense rules about "adult content" extremely strictly. That's not surprising, because without Adsense, HubPages couldn't survive. They've seen other writing sites have their Adsense suspended for breaches of policy, so they're taking no chances.
Google's robots can't read context so they rely on rude words - so HubPages does not allow any rude words. Butt is one of those words.
Well, there are a lot of 'butts' on here:
I'm recalling the famous case of the Hubber who wrote about water butts and had her Hub unpublished for adult content...
That must have been before my time here, but I did a search and there is a Hub about 'water butts.' (That's not an American term, so I had to figure out what that was.)
I can't recall when it was but we all had a good laugh on the forums about it! I think it is a British term.
It certainly is a British term, but of course we have a different word for what you call a "butt"!
So what do you call a "water butt"?
A butt is a liquid measurement, smaller than a tun but bigger, if I remember rightly, than a hogshead. The Duke of Clarence drowned in a butt of malmsey, once upon a time.
I've read the blog post, checked all links. If I am a reader in the sense of passer by, so if I'm not specifically searching for the Hub I end up on, I'd close all of them right away. Reading online is tiring, and too long texts don't make it, unless one searches for specific topics like History, science, etc.
Commercial pages do not need ten thousands of words nor personal stories to encourage the potential buyer to click on the "buy" button. But HubPages NEEDS commercial pages.
Anyways I'm not posting in this thread to comment on samples: there's is no accounting for tastes.
All of this is deja vu. I've seen it on Squidoo, with the result we all know.
But the one thing I question is the punishment on here against anybody daring to add Amazon ads on their pages. These along with eBay and Adsense are those that enable to platform to live. Without them, no earnings, no money to pay the staff, the system, the coding, the maintenance, and so on.
So, is the platform bound to die?
Amazon capsules don't show up when the browser's ad blocker is turned on. What do these capsules mean to search engine robots? That they are actually ads?!?
There is mention that HubPages acquired Squidoo's technology or part of it, somewhere in these forums. And indeed, they copied Squidoo's Amazon modules layout. Is there any way to copy their entire code? On Squidoo Amazon were NOT ads. They did show up even with ad block in full motion.
They were text/link modules. And thus considered as that by search engines.
I don't know if it's still in their policies - and they most likely straightened them since then - but when Amazon Omakase was released, we couldn't use it in conjunction with Google Adsense. Omakase was against Google's policies. All technologies similar to Adsense were strictly forbidden on sites that would run Google ads.
Regarding advertisements Google has strict rules. What if the adjunction of those Amazon ads would violate G's policies? I mean, when too many of those ads are too many?
Before penalizing all your writers why didn't you run a test using Squidoo's technology? I mean: text + product link + image link -- they might have passed the filters with flying colors provided that there aren't too many of them and that their text was different than the one on Amazon?
If all those Amazon capsule links were automatically provided with a "nofollow" tag that can't be removed even if the Hubber's score is above 85, they would be simply ignored by robots.
Wouldn't this help instead of keeping writers off from generating money for both HubPages and themselves?
As far as my traffic on here is concerned, those changes didn't improve its rate. And I seriously doubt they will improve in the future. I unpublished a lot of Hubs that are going to be moved because I already lost too much money since the big move from Squidoo and don't intend to keep losing the benefit they generated for myself even in the latest Squidoo's months, when the site was agonising (and here, I refer to Amazon and eBay sales not to tiers payments).
Pages removed in mass, also remind me of a very bad time on Squidoo. Because I'm still unsure that mass deletion of pages is a good sign for search engine robots.
I will be giving more consideration of Amazon text links to an item vs using the HubPage Amazon module. Perhaps that is also hindering the spam meter?
I scrapped most of my hubs and moved them. So no more guessing games at HP.
Now my sites are getting the sales and 100 percent of commissions go in my pocket.
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