HubPages is under attack. HubPages content did not get hit by a Google slap and views did not tank due to Google algorithm changes; it is the victim of negative SEO.
To see the nature of the attack:
*Go to a Google search engine on a computer with no cookies saved on it.
*Enter a random username and the word Hubpages without quotation marks.
Notice how there are several thousand results that do not belong to the HubPages user? Notice how some of them are highlighted by your security software?
For something even more disturbing, enter the title of a Hub and the word HubPages.
Notice how there are several thousand results that pop up that are not the hub, some of which your anti-virus software does not want you to click?
I suggest you try my username plus HubPages to see what I am seeing and because it is an invented name previously only associated with me and less than a bare handful of others. I also suggest you try the word Gruldak and the word HubPages together so you can see the results I see and, again, because it's a word I made up that should have almost no results but my serialized science fiction novel.
I've gotten similar results for every username I've tried this with and for every uniquely-titled hub I've tried this with.
I only have about 150 hubs but there are literally thousands of questionable and potentially harmful websites associating themselves with my subdomain. For every piece of quality content I write and publish on that subdomain there are thousands of spammy, malware-infested websites with my subdomain as part of their URL or content.
Google doesn't "hate" HubPages because our writing sucks; it "hates" the domain because it's associated with hundreds of thousands of potentially harmful or clearly spammy websites.
I checked out mine and see what you mean. Before the last big Google penguin, all of my hubs showed in these results at the top. Now, all this spam is coming first and my hubs are at the bottom and many pages in.
Looks like an algorithm change has placed the spammy sites above ours. Paul might need to find out more from Google about this one....it doesn't make much sense to type in "hub name" + "author name" and get something very different to the original hub.
I see what you are saying, very sad, but what can we do?
It's to do with Google's algorithm. As long as we are being paid our usual amounts, I wouldn't worry, since no one's really searching for "hubpages" apart from hubbers here anyway. But it would be good for the HP team to take note that this is happening.
But doesn't getting the domain and subdomain associated with spam/malware pages harm them?
Don't know. But unless you want to file thousands of reports for Google, there's not much we can do except point it out to HP, as it looks like it is happening to every single hubber's subdomain.
I looked up mine and I just can't be filing all those reports. Besides, they get pictures from one hub, stuff bits and pieces of another hub or copy parts and put their own pictures. They put my hub name and hub pages but the link does not go to HP. It goes back to their own site.
This thread is me trying to point it out to HP.
If you are trying to bring this issue to the HubPages staff, this is entirely in the wrong place to do that. They don't monitor "freeform discussions" for reports of site problems.
I find the forum extremely difficult to navigate. Which forum is the correct forum to bring issues to staff attention? It isn't a bug or a technical issue so I did not know where to put it. I was hoping someone who knew where it should go could offer some advice.
That's not good. Hoping we get some answers about this.
You mean jusy type in my username and see the results?
I've just done that and my hubpages profile was first because I'm logged into to Google but after that it was pages and pages of my hubpages name on other sites with no related content and no links back to my work. I got up to page 10 and didn't find any of my hubs.
It's weird because they all say christin53 on hubpages but there are no links and the pages are just rubbish. they haven't stolen my work just my name.
Now wait a minute Kyl, are you suggesting HP is under cyberattack? With traffic falling like rocks on the side of a mountain it's plausible, but is it really happening?
If you don't think the nonsense pages and pages with MalWare on them with our URLs sometimes even in their URLs is a cyber attack, what is it? How would such activity be profitable for the people creating such pages?
If it isn't a cyber attack of some sort, what purpose do several thousand badly spun, utter nonsense pages associated with an individual hub even serve? No one is going to click ads on such a site and advertisers aren't going to buy ad impressions from them so where is the motive?
If they are just spamming, scamming, and phishing perhaps it isn't a cyber attack but it still may have the effect of one.
Most of these pages, when you look into them, have nothing to gain from bringing HubPages down - they are not deliberate cyber attacks. They are trying to use HubPages to drive traffic to their own sites in some way or another. Sometimes they are copying our Hubs on to their sites, sometimes they are using our Hubs to redirect somewhere else, etc.
As you say, because they are such spammy, scammy sites, they can have the effect of a cyber attack (if we accept the theory that links from poor quality sites can harm a domain).
As MakingAMark says, I'm not sure what the solution is. There will always be spammers and scammers looking for a steady source of material for their schemes - and as other article sites have declined or died, HubPages is now easily the best such source.
Since Google naturally places spammy yukky links WAAAY below our wonderful pages in search results, I don't think there's much to worry about, except Google's perception of HP AS A WHOLE.
As individuals, if you type in your hub title and come first for that in results, the spam pages aren't going to be able to steal much from you, especially because they are bad visually and don't make much sense in their chosen language. Anyone with half a brain isn't going to sit, pondering and reading the spam sites for insights into life. The very minor % of idiots that do are quite welcome to them because I'm not sure I'd want them interacting with my subdomain. As I said, they'd have to be total morons not to get desensitised to spam at some point.
I know peoples' perception of HubPages as a whole is important. I know Google's perception of HubPages as a whole is also important. The HubPages' domain is affected by the content and reputation of our subdomains and the word HubPages appears in our URLs.
I admit I haven't gone through and looked for every hub of mine because of time constraints but I've found individual hubs with several thousand trash results each. I've created an average based on the hubs I sampled multiplied by the number of hubs I have. That number comes out somewhere between 50,000 and 150,000 for my account alone (allowing for my lower traffic hubs which may only have a few spun copies out there), and almost every trash webpage has the word HubPages on it somewhere. That is not just bad press for me, but also for HubPages.
Only 175,000 lenses or thereabouts transferred from Squidoo. Four random hubbers with a hundred or so hubs each may have more spun/trash/malware sites associated with them than the entire number of lenses HubPages "bought" from Squidoo. Let that sink in for a second.
How many hubs exist? Even if my account and all the other accounts I checked were flukes and we assume a far lower average number of trash pages using HubPages' name on them it still leaves us with way more trash pages using HubPages' name than there are hubs.
I'm having the same issue with spam URL's. I keep reporting it to google as spam. I reported 12 instances today. Some of the spam URL's which use my username and Hubpages in the title contain what looks like links to other Hubpages articles, but infact is just a block of text from the original Hupages Hub and the link redirects to a spam site like "Congratulations you have won!" pages. So when you report these spam URL's to Google you're helping other Hubbers too! I did notice that when I clicked on some of the URL's in Google's search results showing "StricktlyDating Hubpages" some of the pages were already removed, but still show in the google results. Please continue to check for and report these sites to google when you have the opportunity to do so.
Why are you reporting these to Google? If you want the information removed, you have to file a DMCA with the hosting service for a website. Google only hosts for Blogger/Blogspot.
I'm reporting it to Google because they remove spam URL's from the Google Search results when I report them. Also some of the pages are spam page redirects. For many of the spam pages I've found there is no host known, the URL's transfer to an advertisement page, or reloop back to the page, it's not like copied content for example on Blogger where I also do file DMCA, it's just spam in their search results, they don't want it there just as we don't
It doesn't have to be a copyright infringement to get a site or a URL removed from Google's index.
Google is very keen on having spam links reported - because removal of such links from the Index improves the experience for everyone. That bottom line is what they're about - improving the search experience.
This is why they have a link to a spam report
This is the page to check what you want to report against the right route to report it https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools … port?pli=1
My guess is Google will love sites which are very good about reporting spam (as they define it) - just a thought!
On the other hand those reporting "spam" when it's not run the risk of undermining their credibility.
If you have the Chrome browser, there is an extension you can get to report spam to Google. It puts a little flag icon on your browser. When you land on a spam page, click it, write a one sentence reason and submit - it really couldn't be easier and I wish DMCAs could be done this way!
Actually it gives me quite a sense of satisfaction to do, because it's so easy and I enjoy helping everyone in this manner and have done so for many years. Obviously, if it was my own hubs being duplicated, I would file DMCA instead. But the spam button is WONDERFUL and glad you all agree.
We found all the spammy sites at Webmaster Tools a few months ago. I was going to disavow them, and some hubbers spent time on this task. Any positive results recently?
If you go back to the beginning of this thread, I think you will find that she is not talking about spam links here. Spam links are a completely different matter.
Exactly. The pages I have found look as if they link to HubPages, but they actually just use the text of the URLs, the text of our usernames, text from our hubs, and our hub titles to link to a myriad of different URLs. So when they use the HubPages URLs as anchor text the text of the HubPages URL is what the readers see and click on, but they get sent to websites that can infect computers with adware or other malware.
An example sort of page would be the contents of a hub spun out of understandable English with photos that appear stolen from completely unrelated hubs or articles and links anchored to text and anchored to the hub writer's username and/or to their legal name, the hub's title, and the HP URL of the hub.
I think people sometimes forget our readers are people just like them. I think so much focus is put on writing for Google that sometimes we forget that those "Google views" are actually views from people choosing to click on hubs that come up in search results. Maybe that's why everyone here is underestimating the harm that could be caused by having actual human beings see the word 'HubPages' in what they perceive as a HubPages URL just before their computer gets slammed full of adware. Humans communicate with each other and they can also use their browsers to block websites that they perceive as harmful.
I have been using a tablet I can easily wipe back to factory settings to look at them after I stupidly clicked on what looked like my hub URL early in this process and had to clean a bunch of adware off my PC.
When you come across these, report DMCA. But if you google your hub title and a page other than yours comes up, you can report that too - see my hub on stolen hubs to find out how. Google says that all original content should be top in search results, if it's not, report it!
Basically Google is supposed to place your original article at the top of search results and in very strange circumstances, occasionally one might not be - report it as mentioned above (from my hub's link).
These spam sites are annoying and we're not used to them, but remember that we are gettng the bulk of the search views, not them (or we should be, anyway).
Ultimately, I am worried about Google perceiving HP as a problem child due to these sites, rather than worrying about individual impact on my subdomain, due to reasons stated.
I've noticed this for quite a while. I'm tired of playing the DMCA game with these people. And the smart ones make it hard. It's frustrating to the end that I don't even look anymore. Here's an example. This person used two hubber's names, myself and Phyllis Doyle. This is a cached url. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s … &gl=us
This is serious. I hope that something can be done. Is there anything individual hubbers can do about this?
They can be removed with Google's spam removal tool but each one has to be reported. They repopulate much faster than they can be removed.
I haven't checked each and every hub title and URL but I've gotten thousands of these results on each one that I have checked. If it holds true for all of my hubs, that means it's likely there are literally more than a hundred thousand of these contaminating my subdomain alone while also contaminating the HubPages domain name. Now multiply that by however many hubbers there are.
There's no way any hubber has the time to file enough reports per day to stay ahead of this. Also, unless the problem is addressed by HubPages and the attacks stop, getting your own removed probably won't help much. The HubPages domain is associated with hundreds of thousands of questionable websites because of these attacks. Polishing up your personal subdomain's reputation seems highly unlikely to sufficiently mitigate the effect of those attacks.
Google traffic has not dried up on my clients' websites or on my blogs. It has increased with every new Google algorithm released.
This one is kind of interesting to see: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/valeant.hubpages.com
Wow. Am I reading it correctly as showing you have no measurable search engine traffic?
Alexa rankings are estimates. Unless you certify your site with the Alexa code, certain metrics aren't tracked. More accurate metrics are found in Google analytics.
Alexa stats are only reported from people using the Alexa toolbar. As that tool has fallen out of favor, it's about the most unreliable stats you could ever attempt to use for your site.
I get a few of my hubs on page 1, but mostly other strange stuff.
When I put in Ramkitten2000 and HubPages, I do not see anything of yours on the first page at all. All I found was a single Pinterest post on page four that is actually about one of your hubs.
Try it after removing all your cookies and making sure you aren't signed in to Google.
I wish I hadn't searched with the word Hubpages behind my user name. I am finding so much copied content from lots of users at Hubpages that it make me sick. Mainly they are using Hubpage photos with user names to take readers to another page of theirs with no link to the original work.
I think Kylyssa has a very good point. What you've described suggests that, in metaphorical terms, the eye is not so much "off the ball" as "not even on the same playing field".
Bottom line - improving hubs and improving moderation are admirable activities for us all to be involved in but ultimately are of absolutely no consequence if HubPages continues to be a target for sites wanting content for use on spam websites off which they hang their own adverts - on our content!
Thing is - targeting of lens content for spam sites was NEVER ever this bad on Squidoo. So one has to ask the question "Why?"
There again it was always my impression that the Squidoo HQ team worked with lensmasters to take down the major spam sites.
I don't know if the HubPages HQ team does this - but I've seen nothing yet which suggests that it does. Maybe Paul Edmondson or somebody else can explain what happens?
The message that I take away from this is HubPages is NOT a good platform for original content because it's a great BIG target for spammers. It seems to me that it's much less likely that your content will be used/duplicated on spam sites (ie what Google does not like) if your content sits on your own much smaller blogs and websites - of your own making.
Original and quality content is highly valued on the net so a site which has it is going to be well placed for the future.
As far as I know, there hasn't been much work between HP headquarters working with hubbers on spam, malware and copied content issues, but I have been away for awhile so I don't know if I missed anything there.
You have to remember, that if you publish a hub, NEVER remove it or spammy copies will beat your hub in search results from that time forth and you'll have to go manually remove them all with DMCAs.
Google displays the original content higher up than the copied content in search. If you search for your hub title in inverted commas (eg "Hub Title Here") in Google, it should always come first if it is an original title. If a spammy site who has copied your content comes first, you can report it to Google here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pw1KVO … Y/viewform
Hubs will always be copied and pasted around the web in a myriad of ways. This is the downside of being on a site like HP. The upside is that many more people besides Google readers can see it and give you more ad revenue, a community and feedback.
As long as your hubs sit at the top of Google for their titles and aren't being beaten by scraped content (as mentioned above), you'll be fine in search results. Whether hubs are copied by 1 or 1 million spammy sites, if you're sitting at the top of the heap by keeping your hubs live, you can still reap the benefits.
Yes, you can post on your own sites, and if you have one niche, it would be a wise thing to do. However, for someone like myself, who has a variety of topics, HP provides better traction by backing up my various topics with similar articles.
Also remember that as long as you are at the top in search results, the rest of the spammers all have to come and visit your hubs and basically pay you for their presence.
I use Google Alerts to keep track of copied content. Anything too irritating and close to my original gets DMCA'd. Anything just plain spun or annoying gets flagged for Google Spam (a one click process). I spend 5 minutes a week on this stuff. It's a small price to pay for me as having my own site takes far longer to maintain, to update, to test etc etc. I hope HP gets the current mess sorted out with quality and continues to stay online. I am staying as long as it does.
My main concern at the moment is that Google might downgrade HP standing in search results (quality issues with content) causing everyone to lose traffic because they're on HP. However, having said this, HP has weathered many and far worse storms than this before and better than other writing sites before. I am choosing to have faith that Paul will not let us down this time. I'm not going to lose the link juice and longevity that I have - these doom and gloom conversations keep coming up from time to time and we're still here.
I, for one, am still earning and still increasing views month-on-month, regardless of Penguins and Pandas and whatnot. It pays to write original and quality content on here. You just have to be prepared to be patient, to keep your hubs live and to keep improving and growing your subdomain.
My understanding is that Google "sees" questionable and harmful sites associated with a domain and then shoves domains associated with malware and spam lower in search results than other results on the same topic. They do so to protect their users from malware and to keep them satisfied by not serving up spam and crap instead of useful results.
Or am I wrong about Google making note of domain names associated with harmful, spun, and spammy content?
Wasn't the whole point of the HubPages subdomain policy to allow individual writers to specialize and build recognition for their subdomain and to disassociate their work from spam/junk hubs? Wasn't it a move to increase the ability of individual users to rank well with Google? If Google can tell your domain is associated with spammy hubs or a junk hubs, couldn't it also tell if your domain is associated with webpages hosting malware, spun content, and spam?
It's also not just Google to be concerned about. Actual people click on those results that have our domain names, sometimes our complete URLs embedded in their URLs. If they see the word HubPages frequently when they accidentally click a trash/malware/spam search result, they will not realize the source of the nasty stuff is not HubPages.
A fair comment. This is where the problem becomes bigger than individual hubbers and needs Paul to chat to Google about what can be done for HP AS A WHOLE if there are problems with associations with these sites in Google's algorithm - Paul? How's it going?
Here's an article about negative SEO. http://moz.com/blog/preparing-for-negative-seo
Here are the main points I take from it:
Successful negative SEO is rare.
Google has safeguards against the attacks.
Sometimes it looks like negative SEO but isn't.
If your site has had bad practices (unnatural link-building) in the past, it could be vulnerable because it will be seen as a site that would build bad links.
@Suzanne - what you said applies to anything anybody writes anywhere on the internet.
My point is that I want to minimise the DMCAs I need to serve i.e. I don't want to be associated with a site which attracts spammers and does nothing about this.
You also missed the point I made about Squidoo. Although duplication of content by spammers was a problem from time to time on Squidoo, concerted effort by both lensmasters and the Squidoo HQ team succeeded in removing the worst spammer sites from the Google Index.
The point is that since the transfer of content to HubPages very many ex-lensmasters have been observing that the spam problem is far, far worse now their content is on HubPages. You aren't necessarily reading about it in this forum but that's because for the most part, very many lensmasters continue to discuss matters of common interest in other places. The HubPages spam problem is a constant topic of discussion. It's one of the main reasons why the content from hubs is being removed and transferred to new sites.
Do I want to be on a site which is a magnet for spam? Answer = "no"
Do I want to see this issue being recognised and addressed effectively by HubPages? Answer = "Yes"
It's also a case of being incapable of serving enough DMCA notices and spam reports to even put a dent in the problem. I can't set a program to search online and automatically file DMCA reports or related reports but the folks slapping up those unethical pages can and do use programs to generate them by the thousands.
I think that the word thousands has been taken as hyperbole by some when it is being used literally.
Google does care about whether your domain name is associated with spammy, junky, and harmful websites or not. Humans who read online also care about whether your website name is associated with trashy spun content, malware, and spam.
This is an interesting correlation as it appears to be equally true for those who have been on HP for a while. I've noticed my screen name, urls, specific lines from my hubs show up on more spammy sites since the transfer of content to HP. I never wrote on Squidoo.
I personally think HP is ripe territory for spammers to find content since so much of it now is on one site. Until this is dealt with in a way that can help all of us, I see it as a constant battle. For me, it's not worth it. I don't write online to put food on my table. But I dislike intensely that spammers use my name and parts of my content to use on their spam sites. Much of it can't be served with a DMCA.
I think one thing that could possibly help is to completely get rid of scores because HP spammers feed on profiles with high scores, high traffic hubs, etc. They lurk in forums looking for their targets.
I agree that HP needs to do something, but I don't know if it can ever be eliminated. We're like sitting ducks. It's a huge problem.
It's doubtful that it's all negative seo, but it is spam.
@MakingAMark, I am not having a go or anything (you are a beautiful forum presence) but we ARE just another website in Google. Hence issues which apply to us could apply to anyone and answers could be sought from anywhere. I understand there is a lot of hidden issues which are not presented here, and I welcome your voice in presenting them.
Let's hope Paul comes back with news on this.
By the way MAM, did you know that Google will automatically place your hub first in search results above spammy websites because it is an original and first copy and if it didn't, you can report that? Read my hub on stolen hubs to find out more.
I agree with you that any associations by the Google algorithm with spam and malware in determining HP rank could be a very very big problem - more than us individual hubbers could manage by ourselves.
ok, so I looked up my username with hubpages and one of the links using my name goes to an article about Gwyneth Paltrow and how she steams her lady parts like a spa treatment - LOL - oh my. It's not funny - but it is, because people actually pay good money apparently to do this... There's a reason I don't get out much apparently - what on Earth?
I don't understand why some hubbers think they get more traffic. There are some sites that link to hubs. We get traffic from these but we are talking here of sites that copy, mention your name and the article but the link goes back to their site or any other sites they own. Some even copy at random from different hubs and these are associated with your name. Damaging publicity for you. What can we do other than making all those reports?
I guess we can choose whether or not to worry about things we may or may not be able to control.
And we can point it out to the Hubpages staff, in the hope that they will look into it and advise.
This isn't cancer or a natural disaster; there are people behind it so we can do something about it if we can find a way to get HubPages to notice, to understand, and to care.
I sent an email, filled in a survey explaining the problem, and I'm pointing it out in the forum. I think there's nothing wrong with that. I think the way to get HubPages to notice is to get more people to notice. I'm hoping to get a hubber who is respected by staff to notice. Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way, but it's all I could think of. I'm hoping someone who reads this will know how to get things done. I know being silent sure doesn't work.
As long as Paul notices and takes heed, the rest doesn't matter. He has and he did in this thread, so we can leave it with him and get on with our writing (and hope for feedback).
You are probably right.
I have serious trust issues because I'm used to my input being treated as stupid or malicious as it was at Squidoo when I (and a whole lot of other people) kept pointing out what they were ignoring or just plain doing wrong. Obviously, that isn't the fault of Paul or anyone else at HubPages.
It was hard to be so fond of a site and to know what was destroying it while watching people get banned from forums for pointing it out. I cannot truly express how fond I was of the pre all Amazon products all day Squidoo.
I am autistic and the sort of content I have on HubPages and had on Squidoo represents my personal voice. I don't know if you can understand that, but it means a lot to me. It's the writing I want to create, not the writing I have to create for money to survive. It's the voice that does not come out of my mouth. When even a single example of my personal voice gets twisted and used to cause harm, I feel it.
I already know HubPages is much more ethical than Squidoo and I know that they don't ban or publicly chastise users for pointing out problems. I know they treat us like we are necessary rather than just a necessary evil. I already know they actually sometimes even ask for hubber input.
That's why I really, really don't want the owners to lose a bunch of money and I don't want HubPages to go down the drain like Squidoo. HubPages values its contributors in a way Squidoo did not in its last years. That's important to me and even more-so because I know how rare that is. I truly want to keep this platform for my personal voice, this place where it is treated with far more respect than it has been on any other content farm.
I've made my input so I guess I should just relax and focus on other projects.
What exactly do you think that HubPages' management can do about this?
They can investigate and find out which handful of people or businesses are behind the phenomenon. The pages are so similar that it seems to me there can't be all that many people behind it.
HubPages isn't helpless. Squidoo, for all its many and outrageously glaring faults, did not allow such sites to proliferate. They got them taken down. I do not believe the HubPages staff is less capable than the Squidoo staff was.
I'm pretty sure you think I'm stupid and foolish, but undeniably smart people are saying the same things.
Post a link for a URL here and someone will help you find the information. Include XXX or spaces in the URL so that it is not clickable.
HubPages does not file DMCA notices on behalf of Hubs. If the staff at Squidoo spent its time getting all the plagiarized content removed, it obviously didn't help the site retain good search engine traffic numbers.
I don't think anyone thinks that you are "stupid and foolish" for asking for help. But I do find it difficult to understand what exactly you want help with since you stated on another forum thread that you do know how to file DMCA notices. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/127467? … ost2689106
I'm not asking HubPages to fill out DMCA notices for me; I'm asking them to investigate the many thousands of spun/spam/malware pages that have sprung up with HubPages name on them or in their URLs per hub and not just my hubs. I don't know how to file either spam reports or DMCA notices in bulk. I'm not using the word thousands in exaggeration. There is not enough time in the day to file enough to stay ahead of them. They are generated faster than any individual can possibly file the reports to get them removed. It takes longer for a human being to file a report than it does for an automated program to put up a trash page.
Allowing for human frailties, an eventual decay in speed due to fatigue, and adding in time for some inefficiency due to time required to investigate the URLs carefully to avoid infecting one's PC, let's say it takes an average of two minutes per domain to file spam reports and five minutes per domain to file DMCA notices. Minutes add up. Assuming 90% only require spam reports and only 10% require DMCA notices, a mere hundred would take about 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete. With the number of spam/trash/malware URLs per hub that exist, it would take at least a year for me to complete, assuming I put in that four hours reporting them every single day. The reports likely won't do a darn bit of good unless absolutely every other hubber does the same for their own accounts, either. Mind you, there's a lot of overlap as most of the trash pages use more than one hubber's name and content at a time, but it would take a hell of a lot more than just me removing them one at a time to fix the problem these things are causing HubPages as a whole and to do it in time.
Given time, I could provide thousands of samples, but here are a few:
There are a lot that are longer and just show ... in places on the Google results but I didn't care to mess around clicking them to harvest the full URLs using this computer.
Squidoo routinely got rid of giant cluster-fs of such pages so I can't believe HubPages is helpless to do the same.
This isn't just my problem. It's not happening to just my hubs. It's happening to HubPages. If a user clicks a link anchored to the word HubPages and comes away with a PC full of adware, they aren't going to block Kylyssa or whatever other username; they'll block HubPages. That isn't the sort of name recognition a site wants.
I looked at the first three on your list. The first link didn't have your name on the page at all. The second one just had 'Kylyssa On Hubpages' and the third one had the two-word name of one of your Hubs and 'Kylyssa On Hubpages.'
There is nothing there to file a DMCA notice. If all of the links are like those, you should probably just quit worrying about them because there is nothing you can do, they are not plagiarizing your content and they will never rank highly for 'Kylyssa On Hubpages.'
The first came up on the first page of Google results for Kylyssa Hubpages and did contain the word Hubpages. If you are absolutely certain Google doesn't care about HubPages' name being on hundreds of thousands of these sites, I guess something else must be wrong with HubPages and I'll drop it. I was under the impression that Google did care if your domain was associated with spam, trash, or adware. I thought that if only one in a thousand pages using the word HubPages was on a reputable site it might affect how Google sees the word "HubPages."
Google would care if there were spam, trash or adware on your HP subdomain, but these aren't on your subdomain. And, how many people actually search for "Kylyssa Hubpages?" Not many, I would imagine. When "Kylyssa Hubpages" is found on another site, it is considered a citation. Citations are actually good, no matter where they are found. Google knows that your subdomain on HP is the main reference and that the rest are citations. Citations are a social signal to Google.
By the way, Squidoo didn't do such a good job of preventing that kind of thing either. All of these links have Kylyssa and Squidoo. Just search for Kylyssa on these pages:
Did you notice the last two? "How to secretly kill a small dog" and "How to secretly kill a chihuahua?" You've got to have a sense of humor about it!
It is an interesting problem, this subject of "Reads" isn't it.
First, if I look at my Traffic Report, I presently only get around 100 reads a day, directly from Google.
I get 20-30 from Pins.
I get 5-10 from an RV-centric site of mine and another 2-8 from other Hubber's links to my data.
And, I get anywhere between 10 and 20 from miscellaneous sites.
The biggest change for me has been the drop from 300-500 a day from Google down to only 100 or so. That my friend s, is the problem for me, and possibly some of you.
Google people BUY products, and I make money from them. Hubbers are notoriously tight and rarely spend money, even if they are great readers.
When my hubs were lenses, the majority of my views came from Google, right up to the end of Squidoo. Now, the majority of my hub views come from Pinterest, facebook, and other organic backlinks. Some of my hubs get most of their traffic through Google but those getting the most views no longer do.
That is not the case with my content that is not on HubPages. My other content and my clients' websites still get most of their views from Google.
I am having the same problem. I am getting just 250 of my views from Google. Most of the rest are from Pinterest or other sites. At one time, I was getting 2000 views a day from Google, but not for a long time. Everytime Hubpages gets hit, it goes down a little more. At this rate, someday it may be 0. Thank goodness for Pinterest. I get as many views from them on some days.
Things we can control:
1) Whether to be dependent or independent
2) Where our content is located
3) Which third party sites we associate our content with
This problem will come up with all the big sites and eventually trickle down to all sites listed in Google. I have always thought that the HP community were pioneers, this still appears to be the case.
Moving to other sites will only stop this problem temporarily. Merging with larger sites who want to retain their income is helpful for our resources and knowledge. I suggest we see if anything comes of it and what we can do before running off to face the problem by ourselves in 8 years time, on our own blog.
I don't agree that all sites will face this problem.
What we are talking about here is a very large site where the wealth of content seems to create a SCAM/SPAM MAGNET against other sites which are far smaller, do not have the history/credibility issues that HubPages has and do not have the same problem with spam - on a like for like period of time.
Of course any site which puts content on the internet faces the problem that it might suffer from people who try to copy and/or spam/scam it. That's accepted.
The issue is whether or not one's content is on a site which actively ATTRACTS the spammers and scammers.
I don't like what I've seen since HubPages started to host my content compared to years past and compared to other places where I host content.
I choose independence and a much reduced problem with scammers by removing myself from a site which is doing a very good impression of being a magnet for content for splog blogs and the like.
I'm grateful to HubPages for taking my content in when Squidoo bailed out, but going forward I will decide for myself where my content is hosted and which third party sites I associate my content with and typically these will be website hosts rather than article sites. This is partly because of Google's well known views about article 'farms' (it doesn't like them - mainly because of quality control issues).
The speed at which I move content elsewhere will be entirely determined by the speed with which HubPages gets to grips with the current problems which are being observed by very many ex-lensmasters - not just Kylyssa.
I'd also add I'm just one voice among many who have come to the same conclusion.
Thank you for adding your very logical insights. It seems so obvious to me and I see so many others coming to the same conclusion that it astonishes me that some apparently cannot see how this phenomenon would affect HubPages negatively.
When a website has a problem other websites don't seem to be having, it seems only logical to find out what that website is experiencing that other websites without that problem are not.
Suzanne, I think the point is that it's "big sites" which are affected by this problem. I have had a dozen blogs over the last seven years and never had a problem with theft -- and I don't expect to have a problem, ever. Individual blogs just don't have enough new material being added to interest them.
The article thieves need quantity, so they look for sites where large numbers of articles are added daily. That's why HubPages has always been a target and will become more so as other rev-sharing sites disappear. If all revenue-sharing sites disappear, then perhaps individual blogs will have to start dealing with this more, but I doubt it.
Hi MAM and Marisa, I agree with you both, it's big sites that have this problem - at the moment. There are far more smaller sites that are lesser known and therefore are less likely to be spam magnets. But what do hungry ants do when the huge food source is eaten and devoured and all the other medium sized food is gone? They run around looking for ANYTHING to put their grapplehooks in. I agree that HP needs to figure it out, soonish. I'm hanging for that particular moment. But if they don't, we will face the ants going nuts on our smaller sites at a later stage, when the big and medium sites fall.
I feel it's better to alert HP and work with them now, while they have chats with Google and access to resources individuals don't have, than to face this issue alone, on your own blog, in the future.
I've faced this issue on my own on my blogs for the last nine years and dealt with it speedily and adequately. It's not been a big deal for me. That's because there are ways of limiting the damage on blogs e.g. truncated feeds which greatly minimise the problem for bloggers if they use them.
Surely, no matter what topic we write about, there will always be big and medium sites, run by large companies to promote their business. For our blogs to become targets, all generalist high-volume sites would have to fail -- and even then, your blog would have to be about a popular niche to be vulnerable.
I used "duck duck go" as my search engine. (Type it into google and then do a search.) It does not track searches. I typed my name and +hubpages in the search window. All the results were appropriate results. I only looked at the first page or two.
Typically, when we get a report of a site that has done large scale copying we report it to google's ad team. They can take away their ability to earn, although that doesn't get the content down. In most cases I've researched, I don't believe our site is getting hurt in the rankings, but this is something I keep an eye on and discuss.
Over the next three weeks, I have a few people that I've lined up to talk about negative SEO with and what we are seeing on HubPages. I'll post back what I learn.
Fantastic Paul that would be really helpful!
I've always thought the people and staff on Hubpages are great pioneers and at the forefront of content publishing online - any knowledge is good knowledge in aiding our quest for world domination!
These new issues could help us learn something we might not already know and might provide insight into solutions that solve other headaches too
I'm very surprised by your response. I guess your view rather depends on whether you are relying on results from the past or analysing results right now.
As more and more article content sites disappear from the web (as Google takes down the content farms), there are going to be fewer and fewer sites that the spammers can go for "free" content. HubPages is one of the few left standing - and guess what that means for duplication for spam purposes?
In my opinion (and the opinion of more than a few ex-lensmasters) HubPages appears to have arrived at a place where it is now a magnet for those wanting text for spam sites.
Analysis of HubPages results needs to be benchmarked to be meaningful. The rate of duplication of content from HubPages compared to that experienced when content is placed on sites elsewhere (e.g. Squidoo previously and own blogs and websites right now) is outrageous.
You may not be unduly concerned about it - but the content owners who have become aware of the comparative rates for duplication and the likelihood of content placed on HubPages being duplicated certainly are concerned. High rates of duplication seriously undermines their credibility as writers on the Internet. Which is one of the reasons why so much content is now being moved off HubPages.
Bottom line - who wants their content on a site which is a magnet for spammers?
You know views for HubPages have dropped dramatically. This massive flood of trash webpages is something happening to HubPages that is happening nowhere else I, or anyone I know writes, or at least not on anywhere near this scale. Maybe it could be the thing that is different, the use of HubPages URLs on thousands of questionable pages for each hub, that is responsible for why Google's algorithm changes have brought more views to other sites and fewer and fewer views to HubPages?
I really, really like HubPages. You really won me over after the transfer from Squidoo and I've kicked myself for not moving here years ago. You have the ethical strength Squidoo lacked and it's clear that you see hubbers as people, if not as writers. I don't want to watch HP go down the tubes like Squidoo did.
Many lensmasters saw exactly what went wrong and knew it spelled the end of Squidoo when Squidoo made several extremely bad decisions several years ago to catch short-term money. We repeated those issues over and over again and it only resulted in some of us getting banned from the forums for pointing out the growing assortment of 900 pound gorillas in the rapidly shrinking room. I kept it up even after the sale of Squidoo, before we knew about it.
We watched as Hubpages figured out those same things as they applied to HubPages and saw HubPages surviving the Google algorithm changes. People even pointed out that HubPages was doing better after doing the exact things we suggested Squidoo should do.
Let me tell you the first fatal mistake Squidoo made. They stopped seeing lensmasters as people with anything of value to contribute and started seeing them as enemies approximately three months before they put an end to the original SquidU forum several years ago. It spelled the end of Squidoo because when we pointed out the things obviously wrong with where Squidoo was going (adopting a thin content ad copy approach as opposed to a rich content magazine/content library approach and so on) they reacted by cutting off two-way communications and banning members who too vigorously suggested that trying to sell ads on ads wasn't a fantastic idea.
You have a pool of people with a vested interest in HubPages' success who provide the content you sell ads on. I'm just asking that you keep an open mind. Please don't get tunnel-vision on us.
Good points from MakingAMark and Kylyssa. I said thanks to Paul above because he is going to look into it further, but like MM and K, I feel that being a spammer magnet is only going to make these issues grow tremendously. We've all noticed the proliferation of copied content from a few years ago to what is going on today. The amount of complete copies of Hubpages websites have grown and now we're seeing this issue of being further down in rankings than some of the spam....though it isn't a search our readers are likely to use, it is concerning all the same.
This will not go away and needs attention. I hope Paul can find something useful out for us.
Kylyssa, you made me laugh with the 900 pound gorillas and the "selling ads on ads" comments
Thanks for looking into this.
The problem is, it isn't a site or even two or three or a dozen, it is thousands of different URLS.
Hoping that Paul will continue to keep us updated.
It happened to me too. I looked up my username with hubpages and I just found my profile page with many unrelated links. There are many of them, I don't know how to report all to Google, sigh.
These are also known as scrapers, but I didn't know HubPages attracted them in the droves. This destroys organic search results and it's serious. Has to be addressed by an active legal team, otherwise it will choke the life out of this place.
This is the only issue brought to light that has given me reason to question HubPage's vitality.
I write long blog posts and had terrible problems with scraper sites for a while when it became very popular.
I solved it by putting my blog on a short feed which means they only ever capture the first paragraph of any post now. This had a major (positive) impact on the level of scraping and as a result I've kept it on a short feed ever since.
Given that fair use includes short quotes my feeling is that abuse of the short feed can be ignored. However if anyone takes more (ie I KNOW they have actively copied if they have images or text from the full post) I go straight to Google (for deindexing) and the domain registrar (re removal of the page with the copyright infringement).
I've found domain registrars are often very co-operative.
To my mind it's like comments. If you don't moderate them you get tons of spam in your comments. Same thing with feeds. A full feed attracts spam.... just a thought....
I don't discount your actions. The problem is you can't personally scale that up to neutralize the scrapers w/o burnout.
I agree. You can't neutralise scrapers - however it is possible to "dodge the bullet" by becoming a much smaller target. The necessary actions are
1) Remove content from a site which has become a magnet for scrapers
2) Place content on a site which is much less likely to be a target (i.e. not a large article site)
3) Keep RSS feed minimal
Frankly, my expectation is that unless HubPages gets much more involved in actively seeking out and neutralising the large scraper sites that will become the solution more and more hubbers adopt.
I'd also comment that IMO those most likely to be proactive and adopt such a strategy are those most likely to have prior experience of fighting scraper/spam sites and/or those most likely to be generating income for HubPages.
You are exactly correct. If filing the spam reports/DMCA notices takes about five minutes each and I take no breaks or rests and work forty hour weeks filing them, my current scraper/spinner issues would take about four to five years to resolve, assuming no new nasty URLs pop up in that time.
I'd rather live and do something productive instead.
When you say they are thousands of URL's, are they really thousands of different domains?
You only need one DMCA per domain, on which you would list a sample of the URL's relating to that domain. File the DMCA with the hosting company, and most hosts will take the whole site down if there's evidence of wholesale scraping - you don't have to list every single URL on your DMCA, just enough to demonstrate what they're doing.
The URLs start with different things. They seem to have different domain names. I just looked at the first few hundred or so but each URL starts with something different. I've only found a few with the same domain names.
Here are some samples. I could go on indefinitely as far as I can tell. Or are these somehow all the same domain with different URLs? If the URLs are all different, how can I tell if they are the same domain? By looking at the Google search results it looks like literally thousands of different URLs to me.
I could keep going forever. There might be a real backlink or so mixed in here but at a glance they weren't anything to do with any of my hubs and many of them redirect to different pages and it's not all the same pages.
Several years back, I had this happen to my website. I complained to Google and they were all taken down within weeks. Maybe that would work for us?
They're your sites Kylyssa - it certainly wouldn't do any harm to report them to Google. Just make sure you use the right form.
How do I bulk report URLS to Google? The Spam form only takes a few related URLs at a time but I need to send them a lot, I estimate there are about 100,000 URLs. If there's some way I can report a thousand or more at a time it would be worth the effort.
I'd like to repeat that my use of the word thousands is not hyperbole.
How did you report them? Did you go through and cut and paste all the URLs into a document and then send them to a specific Google email or put them into the Google spam form or something different? It would take me a few days to a week to get them all copied into a document but it would be well worth it if there were something I could do with them afterward. Obviously, that would be only the ones associated with my subdomain but it might help and others could do it if it worked for me. I'd even gladly help others with theirs after I got my own done.
I feel so violated by all my hubpages being used like this, I can't even write any new articles, very sad about the whole thing.
I think my writing days are over
Give yourself a rest and make sure you spread your eggs over a few baskets. Leave all your hubs up! Everyone was talking doom and gloom 3 years ago and the site soldiered on, still making earnings for people. Even if you don't want to write again, leave your hubs up to earn!
Yes, HubPages attracts the scrapers in droves, and it is even worse since Squidoo disappeared. Let's face it, the scrapers are running out of article-writing sites to scrape from!
I was surprised today when I found that one of my stolen articles had been taken down. Several months ago I found one of my articles scraped on a blogspot blog. I sent the DMCA to Google and today I found it had been taken down. This is the first time I have had to do this and pleased Google got it off.
Unfortunately, the word thousands was meant literally in the OP. It's easy to file DMCA notices and spam reports on one or two or two dozen pages but the fact is, for at least many of us, there are thousands to file and the pages pop up quicker than we can file them.
This is disturbing. This would probably explain why it shows near zero views for me and a sudden lower score. Just searching under my other account here, Sandyspider on HubPages and I see that there are many of my links and part of what I have written tied to other sites. I am even on a chlamydia system site with my Hubpages linked.
Be careful going through these sites. I noticed that I have thousands of pages as well. One that I had opened stated that the Trojan was ready to download. I could not get out of it and booted out of my browser. Then done a complete scan on my computer.
Just to give you a heads up when finding these scammy sites with your content or URL.
That's exactly why we don't want them associated with our domain names. I looked at them on a tablet PC that I can easily reset to factory settings because it has very few apps on it.
I did a search with other sites that I am on and it looks more like it was a HubPages hit. It is nearly impossible to report thousand of pages.
I'm hoping HubPages will look into this and that at least someone understands that my use of the word 'thousands' when I say there are thousands of them is meant literally. I have individual hubs with thousands of them. My first chapter of Gruldak hub has thousands of them all by itself.
I just don't understand why this doesn't look important at all to many people here. Google views are rising on websites we write on that aren't HubPages. Nothing else I can find is really different and I'm absurdly good at seeing patterns and things that don't fit them; that's part of what puts the savant after the autistic in my case.
It's an outdated talent but I can do human reverse look-up using a telephone book to find a single phone number in it as quickly as I can turn the pages and glance at each one. This pattern and its odd thing out are much, much easier to spot.
The thousands of spun/scam/malware pages (per individual hub in many cases) are the only things I've found that are consistently different across the board.
The point is that while each individual might only have one or two associated with each domain name, the hubs and the HubPages names associated with a scammer/spammer domain name will be very many and various.
That's precisely why this thing becomes totally rampant IF the main site (i.e. HubPages) does not dedicate resources and get involved with getting these sites taken down.
HubPages can go to Google and report a long list of spam sites duplicating hubs operating off one domain and get them deindexed - if it chooses to.
Bottom line it's nothing to do with AdSense and it's everything to do with the integrity of the authors and the content on HubPages.
So the bit that really puzzles me is why would HubPages put so much effort into unfeaturing and unpublishing at one end of the equation while (it appears) more or less ignoring what's happening re. duplication at the other end?
How does that support a healthy business model?
Can anyone link me to Google's bulk spam reporting tool? I'm interested in finding one that can accept a lot of URLs from all different domains at the same time, preferably in batches of about 500 to 1,000 per go.
There is no 'bulk spam reporting tool.'
Google's Spam Report or its Scraper Report is not going to get a site removed from the Internet. Only filing a DMCA notice with the hosting service for the website will get it removed. Unless a page has duplicated at least 100 consecutive words of your content, you are probably wasting your time filing a DMCA notice.
The spam report is only for reporting webpages which outrank yours and are spam. In other words, if you have a Hub targeting the keywords 'how to grow corn' and a spam site or scraper site outranks your Hub for that phrase, then you can report this to Google with the URL of the search results page. This is why you must report them one at a time. The report is used just to improve Google's algorithms so that spam pages do not appear in search results. But, the pages will still be on the Internet and there are other search engines.
A better way to go after one of these sites is to contact the advertisers.
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