Why is it that excessive links to Amazon products seem to be permitted when they are added to the body of hub rather than as a Module on the side? In my naivety, I did not realise that this was permitted. Will these links survive when hubs are selected and moved to the niche sites?
If that is the case Sally, I either don't think such hubs will be chosen to move, or they will be stripped of the Amazon advertising first.
My concern is that I took a look at some of the writing of our own staff members/ moderators whose writing one would assume are impeccable examples of 'how to write a hub' and are not. There is something to be said about learning from example so I went looking for one.
What I found was that there were excessive Amazon Ads and links to Amazon products written within the body of the text rather than in a module to one side.
I prefer to see an amazon module which is placed in an open and honest way and was unaware of this practice. I did not even know it was allowed. An Amazon link which is posted within the body of the text appears to me to be a way for us to circumvent the rules, for unless one clicks on the link you will never realise it is an Amazon link. For me as a reader, a link placed within a hub interrupts my reading experience and takes me off the writers page, in fact I may never return to complete the reading experience, especially if it is placed very early on the hub.
In one case I encountered a hub which had a YouTube link to a non existent video, The original poster of the video has been banned from YouTube for flaunting YouTube regulations so the is a dead link which needs editing. It goes to show that we really do need to edit our hubs regularly and this can become a full time occupation as we well know.
I really would like to know if placing an Amazon Ad as a link rather than a module is acceptable practice.
I've had Amazon links within the body of some of my hubs, and they got unfeatured until I removed them. That was early in the switchover from Squidoo. Since then, they've simply been stripping all affiliate links within the body of hubs. No notification or warning. I only found out by accident, when I checked out a hub with a copyright warning (turns out someone had stolen my content over a year ago, replacing my affiliate links with their own. They have since taken it down, but that hub still has a warning notice it).
Personally, I get the impression that Hubpages wants total and complete control over our ability to make money off our hubs through product sales. The less we are able to sell products through our hubs, the more likely a hub is to be re-featured. I've had several hubs that did not get refeatured until I removed all of my Amazon modules, not just reduce the number of them.
Well, surprise surprise. After posting here, I checked my hub stats and there was a warning on two more of my hubs. They are how-to hubs, and the warnings were that I had "too many" Amazon capsules. Nothing about how many are too many, so I just got rid of them all, since apparently I am not supposed to make it easy for my readers to buy the tools needed to make the object my how-to is about.
And this is why I've stopped writing hubs.
You are right Sallybea and it perplexes me too.
One of the Hubs they moved to Bellatory had several Amazon capsules, illustrating the products I recommended.
What the editor did was remove all the capsules and turn them all into text links.
As you say, I have two problems with this. One is that I'd prefer to make it more transparent that I'm advertising a product. The other is that without the product image, the reader is far less likely to click the link and go to Amazon - so I'm pretty sure it will lose sales.
Marisa I am so glad you agree. If I were looking to buy a product, especially on a 'how to hub' such as mine, I would never go to a link to buy it. I sell regularly and I know which hubs are achieving sales and I have never inserted links to achieve these sales. Transparency is very important to me.
Wow, this is a very sneaky practice that I didn't know was occurring.Especially if even HP staff are engaging in it. How can they be so strict at reducing the number of clear Amazon and eBay capsules, while allowing this?
Those were my thought exactly and whilst not wanting to point fingers it should be said that if it were not for the earnings I receive from Amazon Modules my earnings would be almost halved with such low CPM's at the moment. A comparison chart of how much is earned from these links versus the earnings from Amazon links within a hub should be published. One might ask the question, why have Amazon and E-Bay Modules if we are being discouraged from using them?
Jodah, for Amazon capsules there has been a big mismatch between what HubPages says they allow, and what they allow, for some time.
I had personal experience of it some months ago, with a Hub about ballet DVD's. I reviewed four DVD's on the Hub, and added an Amazon capsule for each one. The Hub is 1300 words long. Each product is, obviously, completely relevant to the text (being the DVD I'm reviewing!!).
Under the official rules, that Hub should be acceptable. After multiple attempts and an email to the staff, I discovered I could have only THREE Amazon capsules, not four. Why was not explained.
So obviously, the official rules are meaningless.
Swapping capsules to text links is a new development, I haven't seen it mentioned before and it seems to be a decision taken for the niche sites. Many people have simply had their Amazon capsules stripped completely before they are transferred, but some are getting converted to text links instead.
The staff apply both links and Amazon Modules to their hubs, in some cases there are more than five modules to a hub and several links too. For a longtime I have limited myself to one Amazon and one E-Bay hub regardless of length as this was something we asked to reduce.
This happened to me on one transferred hub for four products. I was able to place two back into the article after discussing this with the team. I left the other two as links.
This is the one article where I had the most ads. For many people, four is nothing. For me, it is a lot. I'm sure my income will be reduced quite a bit as a result, but it is what it is.
In all the hubs I had "snipped" and transferred to niche sites, all Amazon capsules were deleted. In the comments, readers ask where they can get the product, or which brand of the product they should buy. I emailed team about allowing me to place text links to the products instead, but they have not replied.
Now reading on this thread that editors have done exactly that, I'll try and put an amazon text link back in and seen what happens.
Yes, Sue - I have one that was transferred where they deleted three capsules and replaced them with three text links.
My first thought is that HP have decided that the Amazon modules contain too much duplicate material and they are a hazard. But if that is so, why have they not told us?
Also, if the modules have been converted to text links, who gets the commission?
Not something I had even considered Will. HubPages has a unique opportunity to cream off the only the best writing from the Mother Ship. Surely those who contribute to it's success will be equally rewarded. Not sure about those who will be left behind.
One thing puzzles me. Why do we not have a message to readers on our hubs to say that we earn commission from the sale of Amazon products. I am obliged to have one on my own website. Have I missed it? Perhaps this is only for EU regulations!
I confess I had never tried to create an Amazon link before but I just did it. You use the normal "chain" icon and you can put a search term in the box, choose "Amazon" and then select the product. So I'm assuming that creates the same type of link as a capsule.
Would the commission split remain the same for a link rather than a capsule?
I just tried it too. You can also search using the ASIN to go straight to the exact product you want.
I hope HP staff visits this thread because I'd really like to hear more about best practices for using these links as well as confirmation on the commission split.
I missed this, just a small section of a quote from one of Paul Edmonston's forum posts. it seems that links are the new flavour of the month.
Products heavily contribute to algorithmic penalties. Only use essential products and consider using the text link option over the capsule'
Never even knew you could make an Amazon text link here. I thought that they were only available through your personal Amazon account.
Could you provide a link to the post that you mentioned?
edit: just found it in http://hubpages.com/community/Challenge … oduct-Hubs
I always assumed the direct link he mentions meant a non-affiliate link or your own link acquired from Amazon. I should be paying more attention. Or asking more questions.
Strange, I took the extract from a very recent forum post made by Paul but it was not from the link you posted here. I can't find the relevant one. Wish I had added the link to it them but was not sure I was allowed to do so. It was quite long in orange text and there was a lot more interesting stuff on the post.
Maybe your browser history would help. Don't worry about links to forum threads, by the way. I don't think anyone would ever complain.
Thanks, Will, that was a useful, I had forgotten about my browser history, been a long time since I did that. Here is the link, reason I could not find it was that it was not an original thread posted by Paul http://hubpages.com/community/forum/135 … ly-is-live
Thx. The whole thing was worth re-reading. I obviously failed to understand the part about txt links.
Personally, I dislike text links because readers have no idea where they might go if they click one. They serve the purposes of search engines and not human beings. Perhaps I should experiment with them anyway. We all need to make money.
I think I will wait to hear what the commission structure is for a link purchase. I like pictures not blue letters when I buy something. Images are definitely the thing which inspire me to buy.
Often, the main reason I used Amazon capsules is the pictures. Since Paul Edmonson says that text links are OK, I wonder if using just the picture from Amazon, with a link, would be the same as using text. That would be great, I would actually prefer that to using the Amazon capsule. I'm not sure if that's legal or OK with Amazon though.
If you are promoting or recommending an Amazon product, you are allowed to use the product image.
What you can do is use a text link, then put the product image in a photo capsule above or below the paragraph.
I used to put the Amazon link in the "Source" box for the photo, but there 's no point in doing that now, because most readers won't see it.
I agree, Will. If I'm going to sell something I'd rather be upfront about it, and I think the reader would have more confidence clicking on something that makes it clear where it's going. Ah well, what do I know?
You can make this sort of thing with current HP set up (text link with small photo floated right):
It doesn't look too bad (in the flesh, at least, pics on HP are not the highest quality) but you need photoshop or similar.
Only the text is clickable which is the main drawback.
Personally I have suspected for some time that the management team at HubPages have not read the Federal Regulations on ecommerce in any detail. My guess is that Google does - and constructs its algorithms accordingly
For example: Online Advertising and Marketing https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/busines … -marketing
Native Advertising: A Guide for Businesses https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/busines … businesses
It's all about enabling consumers to be very clear about when they are seeing an advertisement i.e. how to be upfront and transparent about what's an advertisement and what's in it for the host site.
Place disclosures on the main page of a publisher site where consumers will notice them and easily identify the content to which the disclosure applies.
Advertisers should assume that consumers don’t look at everything on a publisher site. In deciding which content items to read or watch, consumers’ attention is likely to be drawn to certain focal points on a screen. The disclosure that an ad is commercial content should appear near the ad’s focal point. When browsing the main page of news or content aggregator sites, consumers typically look at story headlines on the site. Placing disclosures near a native ad’s headline increases the likelihood consumers will see them.
Link ads unaffected by AdBlock
A recently moved-over to niche site article was snipped of its Amazon capsule. But I feel that my readers have a right to know where they can purchase a product discussed in the content. So I inserted a text link to the product in the content.
Then I did the following experiment:
1. I disabled AdBlock and found quite a few ads on the page.
2. Then I enabled AdBlock. All the ads were gone except for my direct text link to my Amazon product!
Whether this sneaky practice to stave off AdBlock is condoned by Federal Regulations is doubtful, but current HP policy encourages us to act in this way.
That is interesting. I never use an Adblock but I can see how the HP policy encourages people to act in this way. I also wonder if by adding an Amazon link after a move to the Niche Sites whether or not your hub will be returned to the 'mother ship'? I wish these points were made clear before people start experimenting with ways to circumvent the rules, if indeed there are any!
SallyBea: I actually added two back on a niche site hub, but I discussed it first with the team. Their take on this is that they are trying to stop people from adding back ads that make articles look spammy. If people do this, they'll have problems. In my case, all went well.
HP use a script acquired from the Squidoo takeover to stop adblockers banishing Amazon ads. Seems fair enough to me.
On the other hand, affiliate text links are intrinsically spammy, unless it is made plain where they will lead.
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