Please Get Rid Of Purposely Unclear Rules

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  1. Kylyssa profile image87
    Kylyssaposted 8 years ago

    I understand you've decided to take a cue from Squidoo and you've chosen to make at least one rule unclear on purpose. It's creating more work for everyone and alienating the people who produce the content you sell ads on by either making it clear you don't trust or respect us or that you are so disorganized you can't list the rules correctly. Neither gives users confidence in the website.

    I'm referring primarily to the word minimum requirement for Amazon capsules.

    In the FAQ it indicates 100 words are required per Amazon item for sale but the actual rule has been changed to 300 words per capsule. Staff has said something like that 100 words is the minimum for the automated review by algorithm to allow a hub to remain featured but human beings doing reviews use a 300 word minimum.   

    People reading the rules want to know what the actual minimum to get and keep their hub featured is; they don't give a rotten rat's bum about which filter they'll fail, human or machine. They don't want to fail either a human review or a review by an algorithm. Why not give everybody the tools to avoid failing both by giving a minimum of 300 relevant words per relevant Amazon product in the FAQ?

    There's also a missing rule. Staff have implied that letting us in on the actual number of Amazon capsules allowed per hub would result in abuses.

    The reason staff has given as to why the FAQ doesn't tell us how many Amazon capsules are allowed per hub is that you don't trust us to not somehow take advantage of it. First off, most of us don't cram our hubs full of Amazon ads. Secondly, you can ease your fear and distrust by putting another sentence in the rules stating that no hub may be created primarily for the purpose of selling merchandise. Third, if you think carefully about how you write the rules, the worst anyone can do is follow the spirit and intent of the rules or have their hubs unfeatured.

    Please don't turn into Squidoo. We're not the enemy; we're your partners and we'd like to see you succeed for reasons both selfish and otherwise.

    1. Jodah profile image90
      Jodahposted 8 years agoin reply to this


    2. Millionaire Tips profile image89
      Millionaire Tipsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      The reason they can't give you a number is because it is not really quantifiable. It is about common sense and intuitive feel.

      I could tell you about my favorite product and make you feel I am out to sell it to you, or I could tell you about my favorite product and bore you to tears, or I could tell you about my favorite product in such a way that you want to run out and buy it right away.  Either way, I am telling you about my favorite product, but only one of those ways is going to open your wallet.  It doesn't matter how many words I use.

      The key is to avoid boring the reader, and to avoid turning them off by making them think they just got stuck with a sleazy sales pitch.

      Also there isn't a rule that you can't write a sales pitch.  If your reader is looking for advice on how to choose a certain gadget, then you are not boring the reader if you help them figure out what qualities to look for and which one is the best.  It is about the topic of the hub.

    3. Marina Lazarevic profile image77
      Marina Lazarevicposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the feedback on our product rules, Kylyssa. I agree that there is a lot of room for improvement and please take my word that we are working on clearing these policies up. One big challenge is that our previous rules sort of conflict with new information we have regarding how Google views Amazon links in Hubs. We are trying to find the best approach to products that is fair to Hubbers but that also protects the entire site from unwanted search algo penalties.

      To quickly clear up the 300 vs 100 words per product thing: 300 words per product is not a rule, it is a tip (or suggestion/guideline). A Hub w/ 300 words per product could still pass the QAP. Often times, however, these Hubs don't pass the QAP which is why the tip exists. This tip appears in the HubTool itself (so that Hubbers can see it right as they're editing)  on Hubs with fewer than 300 words per product. Our intention is not to be unclear. I hope to get our messaging updated in the next few weeks. Thanks again for your input.

      1. Kylyssa profile image87
        Kylyssaposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I'm glad to hear you're getting rid of the confusing 100 word minimum from the FAQ and replacing it with the real suggested minimum. It will save a lot of headaches for everyone involved! Thanks for responding so quickly.

        [edited to add]

        Whoops, looks like I read that wrong. Do you still intend to use the inaccurate 100 word suggested minimum in the FAQ for some reason?

        If having fewer than 300 words per product is highly likely to cause the MTurkers to fail a hub, why-oh-why would you tell people a minimum amount lower than an amount that would actually get their hubs through QAP?

        Is the intent to discourage new writers? Giving rules that don't match what the human QAP process accepts and almost guarantee failure can do that.

        1. Marina Lazarevic profile image77
          Marina Lazarevicposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          More coming, but the FAQ entry has been updated. Sorry for the delayed response, was on vacation the last few days.

      2. makingamark profile image69
        makingamarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I would just ask that you tell us PRECISELY the same thing that your tell the MTurkers! smile

        I'd also like to know whether you mean what you've learned about how Amazon modules are viewed on HUBPAGES by Google - or how Google views Amazon modules generally.

        Let's face it, there's a lot of Amazon associates out there on other sites making money from placement of products on their sites so one might conclude that Google has no issue with Amazon modules per se.

        I'd like to know what research you have gathered in relation to a question which Google posed back in 2011 when identifying the checklist of questions to ask re. a quality website was

        "Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?"

        1. Marina Lazarevic profile image77
          Marina Lazarevicposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I'd also like to know whether you mean what you've learned about how Amazon modules are viewed on HUBPAGES by Google - or how Google views Amazon modules generally.

          I mean how Google views Amazon modules specifically on HubPages. More information about this in Paul's recent Hub, but I think (based on your comment) that you've already read it. smile

  2. Ramkitten2000 profile image91
    Ramkitten2000posted 8 years ago

    Kylyssa, you are so good! Lots of +1s from me!

  3. Ramkitten2000 profile image91
    Ramkitten2000posted 8 years ago

    I think part of the problem is the subjective nature of this and the people (MTurks) who are making the decision to feature or not to feature. How well are they trained? How good ARE they at actually making a proper decision?

    When we edit an unfeatured hub and send it back through, is it a different person evaluating that hub each time or the same person over and over again?

    Where is the line in such a gray area?

    I recently wrote to the HP team about a hub that had been unfeatured. I've got personal experience with every item recommended in the hub (in this case, books and documentaries on a very specific subject, and there are, I believe, six Amazon capsules with more than the 300 word-to-Amazon capsule ratio). I write about that personal experience and why I chose those items. Once I received a response, I made the minor change recommended by the staff member, but still no luck with MTurk. In the meantime, I'm wasting too much time going round and round with this, to the point that I'm giving up.

    1. Ramkitten2000 profile image91
      Ramkitten2000posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I'm just following up on my comment. On the particular hub I was talking about, I emailed the team again, saying that I'd followed their suggestion and resubmitted, but the hub was again deemed not worthy of featuring by MTurk. The result was that HP felt the hub IS okay to feature and did so.

      So... that tells me that MTurk folks aren't all up to par when it comes to interpreting HP's guidelines and determining what is or is not quality. That's why more clear-cut rules would be helpful and not relying on people getting paid a nickel or 15 cents to quickly review a hub. Why would they want to spend much time reviewing a hub if they're just getting a nickel or so apiece?

      I appreciate HP taking another look and featuring the hub once again, but ... yeah. That could have been a lot quicker and easier.

      1. makingamark profile image69
        makingamarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this


        It's been my view for ages that a lot of the problems reside in the calibre and knowledge of at least some of the MTurkers.

  4. viryabo profile image94
    viryaboposted 8 years ago

    I had a hub that I had to work on because of this 100/300 minimum words per Amazon capsule issue. IMO it was doing fairly okay before it became unfeatured but I worked on the word count and also reduced Amazon capsules.

    It became unfeatured soon after, DESPITE having the 300 minimum rule! I was so angry, I just deleted the hub - it will be nestled elsewhere.

    Hours after, we learn we can turn Ads off and leave Amazon capsules be if a hub generates sales through Amazon. If I hadn't deleted the hub perhaps I might have just turned it's Ads off.

    I'm just so tired of CONSTANTLY tweaking/changing. The goal post keeps shifting. I can barely keep up!

    1. Kylyssa profile image87
      Kylyssaposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Having at least three hundred words per Amazon capsule won't guarantee that your hub will be featured but using fewer (the old 100 word minimum) practically guarantees it won't stay featured.

      1. makingamark profile image69
        makingamarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Making me me jump through hoops repeatedly guarantees I will find a level playing field with no hoops somewhere else! smile

  5. WriteAngled profile image74
    WriteAngledposted 8 years ago

    As far as I am concerned, the fact that HP is using failures who are incapable of getting work in real life and thus accept being paid a few pennies through MTurk to rate hubs is evidence enough of the contempt with which authors are treated here.

    While this situation persists, I have no reason to add any fresh content here. Any hub rejected by MTurk or by the robot will be moved elsewhere.

    I came here some years ago thinking I could earn some more or less passive and residual income by writing about my interests. That has not proved to be the case, so I see HP as a failed experiment. It was never going to be a serious competitor to my real work and income anyway. I am certainly not willing to pervert my sense of self-worth by accepting the judgements of my hubs made by an automaton or by unqualified MTurk slaves.

  6. Millionaire Tips profile image89
    Millionaire Tipsposted 8 years ago

    My understanding is that Mturkers are not the ones who decide whether something is spammy.  I haven't done it for a while, so things may have changed, but when I was doing it, the only thing you could do is to give a rating - provide a number, on the various categories.

    I think that it is a computer program that looks at the words to product ratio and decides whether to bring it to the moderator's attention.  My guess is that anything with less than 100 words per product gets the quality ding, and anything between 100 and 300 gets a moderator's review.

    Blaming MTurkers is not fair.  These aren't necessarily people who can't find jobs elsewhere.  Some people just use it to supplement their income.

    Most Hubbers have no problem deciding whether a hub is a bad one, a mediocre one or an excellent one.  Give the MTurkers a benefit of the doubt that they can also do the same.

  7. Marisa Wright profile image84
    Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago

    Why would there be a difference?


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