So apparently an editor decided to go berserk on seven of my Hubs today, but I did not receive a single email notifying me of the many changes they made. The only way I noticed was by looking at my account and seeing the little red notices next to each Hub. Why no notification?
The editor also basically re-wrote one of my Hubs. What's up with that?
They snipped an amazon product which I literally showed images of in use throughout the Hub. And several others that were discussed in the Hubs.
What the heck is going on here?
It looks like I have some work to do to get my Hubs straightened out after this mess. Ugh.
This happened to me too but I have no idea who did the changing since I was sent no notification. The editor changed a bunch of things and referenced a site that I never use three times, almost as if she was trying to send readers there since my article was useless.
Whats up with that?
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Thanks, I have been working with HubPro editors for several years now. I am familiar with the process. Going in and rewriting an article, and including references to a site that I never used, are not part of process.
(I already edited the article and deleted those changes. As Eric points out, however, it is a lot of work, and not something I think I need to waste my time on.)
It was a lot of work for the editors too, I imagine.
Did you see the other thread, a few months ago, where someone had a similar experience? They posted about it on the forums and Robin replied that one of the new editors had done the wrong thing. She apologised and the editor was spoken to.
So perhaps this is the same thing - I'd be sending an email to the team @ hubpages.com to let them know precisely which Hubs were affected so they can investigate and identify which editor is out of control.
Yes. I was the one who started that thread, too. I posted here because I hoped HP staff would see this and respond.
Maybe there's nothing to respond to and I'll just have to deal with it. But at the very least I would think notification should be sent when these changes are made.
Edit: Maybe you were referring to another thread. I posted about an issue a couple of months ago where editors removed links incorrectly.
Yup. I also wrote about it happening to me Editor had things completely rewritten. Other stuff just erased for no reason I could think of, etc. Robin sorted it out, though.
Eric, Thanks for posting. Editing is a major part of what makes HubPages unique and we are planning to double our investment here in 2018. I believe it’s the core of what has lead to our long term sustainability. We do this for the benefit of the community. At the same time, as an author that has had my articles snipped, I get the frustration. I have a bit of a unique vantage since I have visibility across the corpus. From the community side, I see how it has preserved our sites and made them viable. If we don’t edit aggressively I doubt we have a future. So, we have committed to this hybrid blend of content creation that we hope leads to a bright future.
We always try and make the articles the best we can with premium edits, when we make mistakes, we try and improve. Please share the link to the article and we will take a look and see if we can improve our processes. You definitely should receive an email notification for a premium edit.
Thanks again, I just wanted to add a bit of color, but also to let you know we are committed to growing and improving editing. If things don’t look right, just send a shout.
Hi Paul. I appreciate your response, and I understand how the editors have become a key part of how HubPages works. They frustrate me sometimes, but for the most part I agree they that they have played a role in the success of the site.
HP's commitment to constant improvement is the reason I have chosen to spend thousands and thousands of hours creating and updating content here over the past six years, instead of building my own sites. My work has paid off in big ways, and I would hope that writers like me are viewed as an asset to HubPages,
In other words: I'd hope you see the writers, not the editors, as the core of what has led to HP's long-term success and stability. When things like this happen, it sure doesn't feel that way. As a writer who has been here a long time and earns pretty well, I promise you I am way more committed to the success of the site than an editor who has been there six months and will leave six months from now.
If HP is committed to expanding the editing program in 2018, my hope is that you are also committed to improving communication and teamwork between editors and writers. I am more than willing to engage with editors and discuss ways to improve my work.
As it stands, when an editor swoops in and makes massive changes without even telling you, it's demoralizing, and it creates an atmosphere where writers feel bullied and lorded over.
I do appreciate your response, especially on a Saturday. I don't mean to be so negative. I do see the positive changes over the years, and I appreciate everything HubPages does. I just think this editing process needs a major overhaul, and I hope you can see my words as constructive feedback.
Great comments! I enjoyed working with the editor when she contacted me, suggested changes, and then when I said "sure" she went ahead and made them. As you point out, if the communication is good most of us are willing to change things and improve.
Totally agree. I love the changes hubpages have made, and I'm definitely earning better as a result of those changes. I do take pride in my work, and I am more than happy to co-operate with an editor. Just, every now and then, I wish the editor would get in touch with me and discuss something!
For sure. Authors are the life blood of the sites.
We will work to improve the communications - each year we get a bit better.
Feel free to post a link if you would like us to take a look.
"each year we get a bit better" - I'm not convinced about that.
We know for sure that editors have added "expert reviews" to Hubs with NO discussion with authors. You've got TWO reports on this thread of high-handed editor behaviour on Hubs, from established authors with a strong track record of good writing. Like I said, not convinced.
And often in the time it takes to get a hub moved from the HP A/C to a Niche one, there are two editors involved, which just makes it frustrating. It can't be a long process, and having to explain our purpose to two people who will view it differently, is just a confusing way to handle this.
I had to contact Robin about a dozen hubs on the wrong niche, and after time the "team" agreed with me. But she said I had to conform to the Owlcation rules. The only rule that fits is to footnote at the bottom, the rest would only be suitable for a dissertation, not a hub. Some rules are just silly for articles of a certain length, even though I have a few 3,000 word ones. They were a hell of a lot of work and the products of either years of study or the reading of many books which interested me at the time.
Here's one example:
https://pethelpful.com/fish-aquariums/H … e-Easy-Way
This Hub has been viewed over 145,000 times and has made monthly if not weekly sales since 2012. Or at least it did before the editor just got hold of it.
You can see it is a tutorial on how to change the water in an aquarium with a water changer. It includes not only 2195 words describing how to do so, but several photos of my very own aquarium and very own water changer device in action.
The editor removed affiliate capsules showing the product, even though it ought to have been pretty clear that the product in the capsule was the same product shown in the photos and described in the text.
I suspect they did this because they were following the "letter of the law" and I did not mention the product by name and say how much I love it. In some cases I think that's appropriate, but in most cases I believe sales capsules are better used in situations that are "information with the opportunity to buy".
In other words, write a super-informative article that's helpful to the reader whether they choose to buy or not, and then show them the product and they can decide for themselves.
For five years it has been clear to Google and readers that this is a helpful article that informs the reader, while also offering a solution to their problem. Isn't that what we are going for here on HubPages?
Why was this not clear to the editor?
You can see I edited it to include a text link, which in my opinion is way more spammy. It jars the reader out of the narrative and shoves the product at them. It's like those old radio shows, where George Burns suddenly stops in mid-skit and starts talking about shaving cream or some kind of dish detergent.
There is a reason advertisers changed the way they present products to consumers. People are okay with ads. They don't like being unexpectedly pitched.
It's the difference between "Hey, there's that product this guy is talking about. Maybe I should check it out." and "Why is this guy talking up this product so much? Not sure I trust him now."
Anyway, I would have loved to explain all of this to the editor but they did not bother to contact me before, during or after the editing process. In fact, they edited so many of my Hubs in such a short period of time I can't image they gave much thought to anything they were doing.
I would like to see it evolve to the point where editors work with successful Hubbers to come up with the best solutions for improving their Hubs. This thing where editors have free reign to make any changes they want may work when writer aren't paying attention and don't care about their content. For those of use who do care, have worked hard to write and improve our content, and have stuck with HubPages through the good and the bad over years, the current process is extremely disheartening.
Heck, I just updated a Hub that had been around for 7 years and they immediately unfeatured it.
(Not the first time that has happened by far)
That's why I don't update or write here any more.
I never know what they are gonna do to a Hub.
Overall the editing has definitely been good for me personally, and without doubt good for the site.
I do think that HP have to communicate well with writers though. A personal message from an editor explaining what has been done and why goes a long way, and is certainly better than some vague and generic flagged message, or nothing at all.
I personally would prefer all the editor's comments to be available via the accounts page, I'm not so bothered about emails, which aren't always easy to manage if you have a lot of hubs.
First, let me say, it is in our near future to go through all of our editing emails and look for ways that we can improve our communications. We have an enormous task in front of us; there's a lot of editing to be done, and we want to be able to communicate our process better with Hubbers. We have also hired quite a few editors lately and there is a learning curve, so we appreciate the patience.
I took a look at all of the articles that were edited in the last week, including the link you sent. I'll start with the linked article. I think in this instance, you just need to add one sentence of personal experience with the product. It was not evident to me that the product is in the photo, and I have no way of knowing from the Product Capsule that this is the best product for this type of water changer. Personally, I like in-text links, and if they are linked when the product is mentioned, the reader knows what they are going to get when they click on it. This edit is an easy fix for you, and your product will meet our requirements.
Here are the other edits I saw:
* APA in your title (a requirement for Network Sites),
* APA in your subtitles, and a grammar edit in the first sentence, (also a requirement for Network Sites)
* Products that need personal recommendations (should be an easy fix! and a requirement for Network Sites)
* Minor grammar edits on one article that were necessary, and a title change to APA. (a requirement for Network Sites)
* One article looked drastically changed, but that is an issue with our highlighting (I can see why it would be jarring!) If you look at the before and after shots, you will see that the only thing changed in this article is a comma in the summary and APA in the subtitle. No links were added.
As for you not receiving an email, you absolutely should have, and I have no idea what happened there! You should have received an email for each edit. You may have found a bug in our system, and I'll get back to you soon with an update. In the meantime, can you double check for me to make sure that the email didn't go into your junk folder?
I do appreciate this feedback, and we are trying our best and listening. I hope after my explanation you will see that the edits are consistent with the edits that we have been doing since the launch of our Network Sites.
This sounds pretty fine to me. I use capitalizemytitle to help me out as once suggested by Paul.
Hi Robin. Thank you so much for looking into this. It appears you've really put some time into it, and I appreciate that tremendously. Here are a few thoughts in response:
First, I'll never have an issue with an editor fixing my grammar, spelling or formatting. Well, I guess that's not entirely true, because they've made one or two mistakes, but generally I am very grateful when an editor makes these kinds of corrections (believe it or not ) To me, this is the main benefit of the editors. They find and fix mistakes I miss.
You're right; the emails went to my spam folder. Odd, since I get everything else from HP with no problem. That one's on me.
I do think it was clear that the product was the one used in the images, but if that's not clear to anyone else perhaps here is a case where communication with an editor may have been helpful and saved me from some elevated blood pressure. Instead of hacking away at my Amazon capsule, maybe they could send an email that says something like, "Hey, I've identified affiliate capsules in your Hub that I feel are not in compliance with our current site standard (or could be done better, whatever). I recommend (changing to a text link, adding a personal recommendation, whatever)."
Then, I would hope, the editor would be open to discussion. In examples where they truly felt the change was needed for the good of the site, we'd have week to comply with the email or the editor makes the change. Because when the editor just goes in and makes the change on their own it's very frustrating, and it means I have to go back into the Hub and do what I would have done if the editor had just explained what was wrong.
I think a little communication and understanding of what editors want would go a long way. I know you and I have had many conversations that started off with me being a little frustrated and ended with me having a better understanding of what HP wants, and even a better understanding of how to create quality articles. You had some outstanding advice on featured snippets in another thread last week. I love learning about that stuff, and if Hubbers know more about those kinds of things the editors may have less work to begin with.
Because all I know is my Hubs that were changed were puttering along just fine on the niche sites since PetHelpful launched, getting lots of traffic and making lots of sales, apparently in compliance with site standards as they were on the day they were moved. Then, from out of nowhere an editor comes in and lowers the boom. Very frustrating, and communication would have been helpful. (Although not if my messages go to my spam folder, I suppose. Again, on me. )
These are just suggestions. I do really appreciate the time you and Paul spent on the this, and your patience in dealing with a such a curmudgeonly writer as myself. I have drastically altered my approach to writing here over the past few years, and I will continue to do my best to evolve as the site changes. I hope you take everything I say as constructive criticism. I do appreciate HubPages and the opportunities this site has given me, and I want to see HP succeed well into the future.
One more little note and then I'm done, I promise.
Here is the Hub the editor hacked up:
https://pethelpful.com/fish-aquariums/D … their-Tank
I agree that mostly they rearranged things, but in their original edit they had moved the Amazon capsules so they were right-floated and even with the text capsules (?). That means when everything goes full-width soon, the affiliate capsule would have been above the text discussing the product, which makes no sense. You can see I made the change so the capsules are in the midst of the text, which will look better on mobile and sort of better on desktop. (I really miss being able to right-float and wrap capsules in text.)
And I really hope my capsules don't get snipped, because the editor was okay with them, she just put them in the wrong place.
This is a case where, I feel, if I were able to work with the editor during the process this Hub could have ended up much better than it is right now. I will probably take another crack at fixing it up when I have more time.
Hi Eric, I just wanted to offer a suggestion that might be helpful to you in relation to your comment that you “really miss being able to right-float and wrap capsules in text.”
I noticed in you hub that you do not use the description field in the Amazon capsule. If you put the text that you want to wrap around the capsule in the description, then the result will be with the Amazon image on the left and the text wrapped around the image on the right. This will look the same on mobile and on desktop with the capsule being full-width.
Therefore you can control exactly where the text appears in respect to the image, and that will not change once the right-floating capsules are made full-width because you’re not right-floating the capsule. Just the text is right-floated within the capsule itself. That's the best of both worlds!
Hi Glenn. I have tried this approach with a few of my Hubs. (We've had this conversation before. ) My main problem is it pushes the "Buy Now" button away from the product, and tacks it on at the end of the text. So, you end up with the product floated left (effectively) and the text wrapped around, but then the "Buy Now" button suddenly appears at the end of the capsule but separate from the product.
To me it looks weird, but it does offer two clickable links in separate places. If HP could code it so the "Buy Now" stays near the product no matter how much text is in the capsule then I'd agree it would be the perfect solution.
Or, if someone could offer up a logical argument that separating the product from the Buy Now is somehow better for readers, I guess I'd be okay with that too.
I just went through the tracking ID's on my own site and I have a check price on Amazon button instead of a buy now. This is placed at the end of the review and at the top the image is also linked. The button at the bottom has 7.33 times more buys than the image (Sept 1st onwards for 90 days checked). And this works much better than the button at the top (tried this a long time ago).
My logic is that people are only going to click to buy once they've completely read what you have to say about a product. To be honest, on HP I use text links at the end, and not the capsules with a lot of text as I don't like what it looks like. The Amazon capsules are one thing I prefer at Wizzley (I'm not active there anymore) and it's something I kind of emulate on my own website.
Hope this helps. Experiment for a month and see what happens, maybe?
That's interesting, and quite compelling. I wonder if the Buy Now button would function similarly, and if HP keeps data on this kind of thing.
I agree about the Wizzley Amazon capsules. When HP announced everything was changing to full-width I was hoping they'd changed our Amazon capsules to something like that.
Hi Eric, Putting the Buy Now button at the top of the text, as you mentioned, is spammy. The reader may not be ready for it yet.
On the other hand, having the Buy Now button at the end of the text works very well. Here’s that logical argument you asked for. You just need to write the text in a way to engage the reader to want to make the purchase. They see the image, they read the text, they are ready to buy, and what comes next is the Buy Now button. That’s a perfect sequence. That’s the idea behind it.
There’s another benefit. It hides the Buy Now button from the initial ad. If the reader truly wants to check out the item before reading any further, they can click the title. As you noticed, you get two ad links for one capsule.
Interesting. I've been told that putting the buy button at the end of the article means it is less likely to be bought because people don't always read to the end of the article.
If that's the case then you're not writing well enough to retain the people. As long as you're providing useful information they will stay on, the moment they feel they aren't getting something out of the article, they're going to leave.
Lobobrandon, the advice commonly given is that a product placed at the very end of a Hub is unlikely to make sales. I believe that advice is still valid, but it depends what you're writing about.
You're talking about an article which is a review of a specific product. That is a different matter, because the whole purpose of the article is building up to a purchase decision, so there is some sense in placing the "buy" opportunity at the end.
However if you're writing an informational Hub and offering products which are relevant and helpful to the topic, you want to offer them during the article, where they are relevant to the text - not tacked on at the end.
My bad, since we were talking in the context of the Amazon capsules I assumed we were discussing about the buy now at the end of the text box (description section) of these capsules.
If Tess was talking about the entire article, then I would suggest placing the capsule or text link at the end of the section where you finish talking about the product.
I definitely do not agree that including the Buy Now link near the image is "spammy". And it wouldn't really be a the top of the text anyway.
For years, my method with affiliate capsules was to write 300-500 words of informative text, then split that text roughly in half at a logical spot and put it into two text capsules. I'd then sandwich the Amazon capsule between the two text capsules and float it right.
This gave me a clean, neat ad in the midst of the text which did not distract from the reading experience. And, since I pay attention to where I am placing the ad capsule, it will look good on mobile, with about the same amount of product-related text before and after the ad capsule.
Again, I'm not trying to pitch people and convince them to buy anything. THAT is spammy. I'm going for "free information with the opportunity to buy". I want to tell them something about a product they will find useful whether they click anything or not, and then show them the product in an unobtrusive way in case they are interested.
This approach has led to thousands of click-throughs and hundreds of sales on a weekly basis across my accounts. So, you can see why I'm a little irked that HP is taking away my ability to right-float ad capsules and changing the criteria for placement.
Writing a bunch of text in the ad capsule gets me close to where I want to be, but not quite. I would prefer a more elegant solution.
I understand what you’re saying. Nevertheless, the reason why HP is taking away the ability to right-float ad capsules, and all capsules for that matter, is because over 60% of our traffic comes from mobile now. (And I notice mine close to 80% at times when I watch my Google Real Time). Since mobile only shows one column, right-floating is being removed so our hubs look the same on mobile and desktop.
I just did this to one of my Amazon capsules. It looks great, makes a lot more sense to someone scanning an article that has been changed by an editor. Thank you for that piece of advice.
I took a closer look and we sent out HubPro email notifications for the edits on the 1st when the articles were edited. You might need to double check; maybe we're getting lost in a spam folder! Yikes.
I appreciate the thoughtful reply, and I agree with you. I will talk with the editing team about your concerns. I truly wish we could have a dialogue like you suggest with all Hubbers for edits like these, but as you can imagine, that can get really time consuming. However, that being said, maybe we can make some allowances for Hubbers like you that are active and will do the work. For us, if we implemented this system with all Hubbers it becomes a bit of a cat and mouse game, we ask them to change something, they don't do it, we need to come up with a process to check again, they still haven't done it, do we email again, do it ourselves, move the article back to HubPages. The process gets muddy and very time consuming, and you can see why it's a lot easier for us to go in and make the edit ourselves! We do have a process right now to ask authors for changes on articles on Network Sites, but if the changes aren't made, the article moves back to HubPages. We don't want that to happen in this instance!
The snip or edit is suppose to streamline this process for us, but I understand that maybe it's not the best situation for Hubbers like you that put a lot of thought in the placement of their product capsules. Perhaps we can just communicate it better in the final email to you, so you can go in and make the changes needed when you have the time. Again, I'll bring this up in our editing meeting.
As for the Amazon Capsules, I looked at the original and after editing snapshots, and it looks like the products were always half-width, although I do agree, it's a good idea to start moving them full-width so you know where their exact placement will be. I do apologize for the inaccuracy in the highlighting. We have tried to make this system better, but it's extremely difficult technically.
Lastly, I understand the frustration for authors that had their articles moved to a Network Site, and now we are asking for changes. It makes sense why authors would be confused as to why the article was okay before and is getting traffic, and now it's not up to Network Site standards. When we launched our sites, we all worked extremely long hours to assess articles, and we made mistakes. In addition, our standards are always changing, e.g., the current product standard was not in place when we launched the sites. Unfortunately, this is the nature of online writing, and our standards will likely continue to change. Hopefully, we can be a partner with Hubbers in making articles better to meet these standards.
Thanks again for the dialogue. It's helpful to hear the feedback, and I promise we will try to do better. Our writers are what makes the site so unique, and want to support those that are putting in the effort and time to make their pages better.
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