Why Are Editors Snipping Relevant Links?

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  1. EricDockett profile image96
    EricDockettposted 6 years ago

    This is getting silly. The last few Hubs I updated had all links to other Hubs snipped, even though these links were (a) on the same topic (b) helpful to the reader and (c) pointing to the same niche site. I really try to understand why Amazon links are removed, and I get why links to other sites would be snipped, or links about some other topic, but it made absolutely no sense to remove these links. 

    So, is this a new thing? Over the years, one strategy I have developed is to write numerous Hubs on the same topic so I can logically link them together. Apparently that's out the window now.

    I truly wish these editors would spend their time on things that would actually help me, like tracking down and fixing errors and typos in my Hubs. Proofreading is something I struggle with, and I sure would appreciate an extra pair of eyes. But the links in my Hubs are NOT something I need help with.

    Unfortunately, the lesson I am learning here is simple: Don't update your Hubs. It's a shame, because I do believe that regularly assessing and improving old content is important. But, if it is just going to trigger an editor to swoop in and muck it up, why bother?

  2. Marisa Wright profile image87
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    I agree, it is annoying. I recently had a Hub about assertiveness moved to a niche site.   I had researched and found several good reference sites on different aspects of the topic.  I was told I could keep two and must delete the rest.

  3. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
    Paul Edmondsonposted 6 years ago

    Eric, thanks for the post. We are going to review your comments about internal links today. Useful internal links should be good and encouraged. Will you share the article so I can take a look at the diff?

    1. EricDockett profile image96
      EricDockettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, Paul, I really appreciate that. These are the articles in question:

      https://pethelpful.com/fish-aquariums/L … ium-Plants

      https://owlcation.com/stem/Colossal-Squ … ea-Monster

      Actually, the plant one was snipped twice for some reason.

      I can understand a link snipped here and there, and I can give the editors the benefit of the doubt in many cases (I think some of the links on the squid Hub may have gone to another niche site), but that plant article just seemed like the editor decided to remove all links, no matter what. Every link talked about aquarium care, and every link pointed to PetHelpful.

      I think it is a very bad thing when writers are afraid to improve their articles because it will mean a visit from an editor. I really hope you guys can get a hold on this.

      1. lobobrandon profile image87
        lobobrandonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        May I ask which articles you linked out to form the aquarium plants hub? And if possible also where you linked to them, exactly?

        I know that every editor is different, but my internal links have never been snipped unless they pointed back to the HP domain. I even have a link to an external site (my own site) which isn't snipped, because it adds to the hub.

        1. EricDockett profile image96
          EricDockettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          As I said, they pointed to PetHelpful - the same site the snipped Hub is on. They were other articles about aquarium care. They did not point back to HP.

          You seem to be suggesting I made some poor decisions. After 5 years and over 12 million views on three accounts I assure you I know how to link my Hubs together.

          1. lobobrandon profile image87
            lobobrandonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            That's not what I said. I wanted to know, because I intended on writing a new series of hubs and I wanted to make sure that I do not write and then realise that they changed their mind on what is allowed and what is not when it comes to interlinking.

            1. EricDockett profile image96
              EricDockettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Okay, fair enough.

              Any attempt to figure out what editors will snip or change appears to be a blind guess at this point. I sometimes use the term "versus" in my Hub titles, abbreviated as vs, like Blue vs Gray. Some editors leave it alone. Some change it to vs. with a full stop.  Some change it to Vs. Who knows what they want? Consistency would be nice. I'll do whatever they want on that, as long as I know.

              Anyway, more to your point, my links were in-text and part of the flow of Hub (not link capsules or lines that stood out). For example, in the sentence "Live plants are one way help reduce algae in the tank" I linked to a Hub specifically about ways to reduce algae in a fish tank. If the reader wants to know about other ways to reduce algae, they can go there for more information. Or not. But, if they came to the plant Hub because they are having an algae issue (as some people will), now they have another resource.

              I discussed preforming water changes, and linked out to a Hub with more in-depth information on that.

              When I discussed semi-aggressive fish species, I linked to a Hub on that. Because some newbies don't even know what semi-aggressive fish means let alone whether they have one in their tank. It's helpful info.

              To me, this seems like standard operating procedure on blogs and article sites all across the web, and its something I've done here for years. If HP wants me to include all of that info in one Hub I'll be writing 10,000-word articles. The point of writing multiple Hubs on one topic and linking them together is that you are providing the reader with a massive resource of info rather than one page they happened to find in search.

              1. EricDockett profile image96
                EricDockettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                Also (responding to myself here) if the editor is going to insist that those links are somehow not closely enough related, can I please get an explanation about how it is then okay that my Hubs about songbirds are linked to Hubs about leopards and alligators in the sidebar?

              2. lobobrandon profile image87
                lobobrandonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                OMG. If these were the links I fear what is going to happen. These are perfect links and are definitely an added resource. And not just extra information, they are vital sources of information to get to the roots of a problem. Please re-insert those links and let us know what happens. Just make sure you stick to the same niche site, that is important IMO.

                1. EricDockett profile image96
                  EricDockettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  I considered adding them back, but was concerned the editor would just remove them again. And I fear updating any other Hubs as well, in case the same thing happens.

                  I was going to email the Team but started this thread instead. I hope Paul isn't offended, but I worry unless writers speak up nothing will change.

        2. paradigmsearch profile image60
          paradigmsearchposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Alas, unless Paul E. does something, that external link is going to be dead and gone by the end of the day.

          1. lobobrandon profile image87
            lobobrandonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            It's been there for a few months. And the hub was updated after I did that too.

            1. paradigmsearch profile image60
              paradigmsearchposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Then may the sunshine continue to smile upon that link. big_smile

              Also, Paul E may have put a screeching halt to everything, until HP can figure out what to do about all this. Or not.

              If your link does disappear, please let us know. It will be a major clue as to what is going on around here. It will be interesting to see how all this is fixed/resolved. I wonder if a version of my solution will be used.

      2. Karla Clark profile image60
        Karla Clarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Hello Eric,
        We apologize. We hired a few new editors, and one of them snipped links that met our guidelines. We have since recalibrated, and must, again, apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you and others. We appreciate your feedback, as we are always looking for ways to improve the HubPages' experience for our authors. We will work even harder to do better in the future.

        1. EricDockett profile image96
          EricDockettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you, Karla. I appreciate your honesty, and I appreciate the attention that Paul and the rest of the Team have given this issue. I will fix the damage.

          I have to admit it disturbs me more than a little that HP would give someone who doesn't know what they are doing access to my Hubs and allow them to make changes. I understand the need to train, but maybe they can work on practice Hubs before altering live content. And, this has been my objection to the editing process from the beginning. I've worked very hard on my content here, and I would hope that anyone who is going to alter it would be on-board with my overall vision, and discuss it with me before making changes.

          But it is done, and hopefully this thread has been a positive dialog for both writers and HP management. Thank you again. Despite these bumps in the road I remain very pleased with the direction HubPages is going, and the overall job the Team is doing.

  4. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
    Paul Edmondsonposted 6 years ago

    Thanks. We will take a look today.

    It is a good idea to update articles and we do our best to encourage edits that improve the reader.

    We will follow up later today.

  5. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 6 years ago

    Eric, you are right. Being afraid to update/edit articles, because of our fear of the the editors, is a miserable way to live. My hub count has dropped from over 90 to a grand total of 10 because of this and certain other factors. When an editor went after 12 of my hubs at once, that's when my real exodus began. Basically, if I have to overhaul it, then I might as well move it. Hopefully, things will settle down now. Too late for me, but hopefully others can still benefit.

  6. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
    Paul Edmondsonposted 6 years ago

    Eric, I got called out of the meeting today, but I'll check with the editors to get the feedback.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image91
      Jean Bakulaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I feel that the editors are overstepping themselves as writer wannabes. I published a hub about A Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony about two weeks ago. The Editor said it would be much more interesting (it was well written and interesting) but she insisted I rewrite it showing my own experience with Japanese Tea Ceremonies. I am not an expert in the subject, but thought it was interesting, read about it, and my son runs a Japanese karate academy, so I knew a little besides the research I ALREADY did to write the hub.. But she forced me to write it as if I throw tea ceremonies all the time. She took off a picture that had all the ingredients and utensils necessary to prepare the tea, and put it on Delishably. It wasn't a recipe, it was about a custom from a different culture. Now it's My Experience of
      Japenese Tea Ceremonies, of which I have none. I had to make up stuff to humor this editor. And without the picture I put back, nobody could see all the ingredients and utensils necessary to do it.

      Then I had a hub on Spinditty about my fave Bob Dylan album. Normally most of my pictures and You Tube Videos except for one are taken off when edited. But she insisted on 4 pictures, more videos, or it would be taken off Spinditty. She also said my paragraphs were too long. I am guilty of that when I write 3,000 word hubs, but this was less than 1500 words, and looks cluttered now. It was such a personal album for Dylan it's hard to find live videos of the songs, but I explain each one.

      But I recall when we were allowed one picture at the top of a hub. These editors have to use the same set of standards. I have written a Word document to Team@hubpages.com, because my issues with what some of these editors have expected are completely absurd. I wrote it days ago, and am having conflict about an Astrology fictional piece I wrote about people who have Venus in Leo. It was a little story I made up. She said it sounded like I was giving advice, there is no advice there. And all this has held me up for two weeks now with the same few hubs, being asked to rewrite them to a point where it changes the original premise of the hub. I hope someone replies to my email with the Word document explaining other issues, because I was very angry about the Venus in Leo one.

      Your editors have run amok.

    2. EricDockett profile image96
      EricDockettposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Paul. I appreciate any feedback you can give.

      It's (sort of) good to see I'm not the only one having these experiences. I don't mean to make it sound like I'm being persecuted by editors or something. They are often fair, or at least harmless, in their decision making. Whoever manages the Hubs for my big niche account does a fine job, usually.

      There are also cases like we have outlined here, and I wish HP would take a look at some of their processes.

      In my mind, editors would be most helpful it they would:

      1. Proofread and correct grammar, spelling and usage errors.
      2. Flag blatant violations of link and sales capsule abuse.
      3. Offer feedback to writers (not snip and threaten) on how to improve their Hubs.
      4. Make an effort to communicate with writers as equals before making any changes - not lord over us.

      Also, I would love to be able to have a relationship with the editors and feel like they have some sense of value in what I am doing, particularly whoever edits my big niche account. I would like to be able to know them by name, reach out to them for their opinion, and know that they will ultimately trust my decision making.

      The editors are obviously well educated, and I assume HP wouldn't have hired them if they didn't know something about online writing. But many writers here know something about online writing, too. If we could all work together, wouldn't HP be a better place?

      Unfortunately, as it stands this is sometimes a one-way, paternalistic relationship that leaves many writers feeling frustrated and threatened.

      These are just some of my thoughts. As I said, often the editors are fair, but I wish HP would look at some of their practices. I can keep on plodding on as things are, and HubPages is doing really well right now. But I think it could be a lot better, or at least more hopeful.

  7. makingamark profile image66
    makingamarkposted 6 years ago

    I came to the conclusion some time ago that some (not all!) of the editors are just plain ignorant and/or have no idea how informative articles in the real world get written (i.e. through research and the fact that reference to authoritative sources adds credibility not diminishes it!). I'd love to know whether any or all of them have ever written for the web successfully in their own right.

    Some Editors (again not all) are also IMO applying "HubPages" rules without an ounce of common sense.

    I don't update and rarely dispute anything any more - I just move the content.  Mainly because I don't want content on a site where SOME of the Editors behave in an ignorant fashion.

    Asking people to write about a topic as if it was a personal experience, when they have no personal experience of it but have thoroughly researched it, is just plain wrong IMO.

    Not everything that is worth writing about is something you can have personal experience of - unless you count an awful lot personal reading and research!

    I entirely agree with the sentiments of Jean and Eric and endorse the experiences of Marisa and Paradigmsearch

    IMO  the quality control of some of the editors has become very lax.

    IMO how some of the HubPages Rules are articulated to Editors + how the performance of those same Editors are reviewed and quality assured + how Editors are recruited and trained need reviewing and revising if these are the sort of things which have been happening

    For the record Google encourages internal links to relevant other pages on a website.  They help with navigation for the site bots and help indicate which pages are authoritative (which obviously only applies if internal links are used in an appropriate fashion).  They also help with enabling traffic to other relevant pages/articles/hubs when people become interested in a topic - and why is that bad?

    What I can say authoritatively - from personal experience - is that you have good quality/well researched/authoritative content from a cluster of articles/hubs on the same topic on a niche website (of your own) and link between the different pages - where relevant (i.e. create internal links) - then
    (1) Google will love you - because this is what they want to see and
    (2) Google will send you traffic. smile

    1. Jean Bakula profile image91
      Jean Bakulaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for verifying for me that I am not going out of my mind. I spent 3 weeks making sure all my hubs on niches met the standards, but they change so much I don't even know what to do. If I put one picture, they want more. If I put 3, they take them off, even if it's a long hub and needs something visual.

      But they pretty much accepted those. I'm having issues with either hubs I'm still trying to move from HP to niches, or even articles I wrote on other sites that are decent, and publishing them. They were all sites that required ten good pieces to be accepted. I did get an answer from an editor regarding a fictional astrology piece the editor said wasn't fiction. I made up the story line and characters. It's not instructional as many of my astrology hubs are. We have come to an understanding that fiction goes on Letterpile, instructional and informative ones on Exemplore, and if I write about couples who married, or about compatibility, they go on Paired Life. It's been like pulling teeth.

  8. Alison Graham profile image94
    Alison Grahamposted 6 years ago

    I have had many similar experiences the latest being in my article on diaper rash, the video about how to give your baby an oatmeal bath was removed - I had explained why oatmeal baths were beneficial in a text capsule and inserted the video for guidance. Now the article is, in my opinion, diminished because of this edit. In another instance, I had a full width photo edited to be a right-justified photo and we know that these are all automatically going to become full width -so what was the point of that.

    Like other commenters, I am now beginning to worry about editing hubs in case 'snips', etc., are detrimental.

    However, I must add, that where I have received an email prior to edits saying that the hub was going to get edited in order to move it, the edits have been very good and new images supplied beneficial - these hubs are gaining views.

  9. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
    Paul Edmondsonposted 6 years ago

    @Eric, we totally get that feedback and appreciate it. The authors are tremendously important and we are doing our best to preserve the opportunities for writers for years to come.

    We will keep working on our processes and communications.

    Here are two major things that guide our decisions.

    Our short and long-term strategy is to satisfy readers and Google.

    Our mission is to be the go to place for everyday experts to write useful, media rich pages on topics they're passionate about.

    Thanks again.

    1. makingamark profile image66
      makingamarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Doesn't your mission mean that in order to recruit and retain good authors you must have practices where writers feel well respected rather than threatened or intimidated or just plain frustrated?

      I totally endorse Eric's view that there needs to be more mutual respect evident in the principle and the application of the processes.

      IMO excellent communication and co-operation should be the principles underpinning interaction between authors and editors.

      After all without the authors and their content, the editors wouldn't have anything to do....

      My mission is to put my content on sites where the process works well, gets loved by Google, generates traffic and earns money - and doesn't give me any frustration or headaches... smile

      I don't suppose I'm the only person who thinks like this....

  10. paradigmsearch profile image60
    paradigmsearchposted 6 years ago

    There is a solution.

  11. alexadry profile image95
    alexadryposted 6 years ago

    Same here. I just noticed some internal links that could have interested the reader to read more have been snipped yesterday. The article in question is:

    The anchor links removed were "high arousal levels" and "medical problems." The articles linked went in depth on these topics (causes of high arousal levels and possible solutions) and (underlying medical problems that could cause aggression). I think these more in-depth links could have enticed some readers to read more.

    1. Karla Clark profile image60
      Karla Clarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Alexadry,
      As I stated above, we are currently training new editors, and one of them snipped beyond our guidelines. We apologize that your articles were adversely affected by this. Feel free to add back the internal links that were removed as you were right to include them.

      1. alexadry profile image95
        alexadryposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        OK, thanks!.

  12. Daughter Of Maat profile image94
    Daughter Of Maatposted 6 years ago

    I've had several articles that have been moved to niche sites and all of the links were removed and they were links to articles in the series. It's almost like they don't want us to use any internal links anymore. And like someone else said, I've had editors tell me to add my personal experience to an article that I wrote based on my medical expertise. I've also had editors tell me to add references to articles when, again, I wrote the article based on my medical knowledge and 21 years in medicine, which is why I put that in my bio for those articles. I find that presumptuous at best.

  13. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
    Paul Edmondsonposted 6 years ago

    We love the feedback and try to listen and adjust.  Thanks again Eric for pointing out the issue.

    On internal links.  We believe they're a good thing for users and search engines - The core of our stratey - Satisfy readers and Google. 

    We are kicking off a project to improve it across multiple dimensions.  Stay tuned.

    1. lobobrandon profile image87
      lobobrandonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That's good to hear. Looking forward to it.

    2. Terrielynn1 profile image85
      Terrielynn1posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      What really surprised me was when an editor is editing what another editor had just done. They snipped a basic snip that was done only a couple days before.

  14. Will Apse profile image89
    Will Apseposted 6 years ago

    I reckon you need to be careful with internal links. If you are linking to any page, it should be on the basis that it is of significant value to the reader. If you are merely linking to your own pages in the hope of getting more traffic then those links are self serving. They are as likely to frustrate readers as help them.

  15. janshares profile image94
    jansharesposted 6 years ago

    yikes Dang. This thread is disconcerting. Makes me wonder if I should have question the removal of some links from my edited hubs! I don't even remember which hubs and links now. hmm Oh well. But I'm glad it was caught and corrected.

    1. Will Apse profile image89
      Will Apseposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I'm just hoping that it will not lead to a flood of hubbers linking to non-relevant pages. The fact is that internal links are not going to get you much extra traffic but if the sites fill up with self-serving, and essentially spammy, internal links, it could do us harm.

      HP dumped  pretty much all of its 'aggressive' niche site interlinking recently without negative effects and probably with positive effects, which suggests the conservative approach is worthwhile.

      It is important to remember that a lot of people are not 'surfing the internet' for pleasure, they are trying to solve a particular problem and will not welcome meaningless digressions.

      You certainly do not want visitors to think that they are being given the run around for the sake of getting a few more dollars from them -- which was a well established technique in the past.

  16. Angelo Grant profile image86
    Angelo Grantposted 6 years ago

    I am happy to see that one of the co-founders is paying attention to the concerns of the authors. I shared some ideas for making HubPages greater, check them out here and express your opinions on what you think would resolve issues like the one being discussed above: https://letterpile.com/writing/If-I-Wer … f-Hubpages

    1. Jean Bakula profile image91
      Jean Bakulaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I think at the very least we should know the name of the editor and be able to respond to that one. For the first time, in the Japanese Tea Ceremony, the editor at least explained her rationale for demanding so many changes. I still don't believe my hub belongs on Delishably, it's a Japanese cultural ceremony, not a recipe. But I did receive a capsule with her message and was able to reply to her. I have about a dozen Greek myth hubs in misc. in Exemplore, and don't think that's right either, but they are getting read a lot, and that's the goal.

      I still brought it to the attention of the team, and doubt if they ever would have answered had I not complained in the public forms. I also had another hub where it was too short to add so many pictures and videos, and write several types of astrology articles that are all over the place. We did also resolve that to my satisfaction. As long as we can communicate with the editors, it is at least a situation where our work is respected, and sometimes their input is good.

    2. makingamark profile image66
      makingamarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Love the Gangnam Style analogy!

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image87
        DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        WTH is "Gangnam?""

  17. makingamark profile image66
    makingamarkposted 6 years ago
  18. Marisa Wright profile image87
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    This thread has several answers from Robin which are relevant to the discussion:

    https://hubpages.com/community/forum/14 … lated-hubs

  19. lifegate profile image79
    lifegateposted 6 years ago

    That' strange, Eric. I'm getting all kinds of links added to mine. Reds and blues and underlines - just click on one, and away we go!

    1. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds like you have a virus or malware on your computer.

  20. Rochelle Frank profile image92
    Rochelle Frankposted 6 years ago

    Ok, I saw some of those underlines  in my hubs and didn't know what they were... when I clicked on one it took me somewhere else-- and I thought we were supposed to remove links so I edited it out.
    I wish we were better informed about this.
    I don't understand why diverting readers away from our articles is a good idea.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Editors very rarely add links, they are more likely to be inserted by malware


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