Last night I went in an edited a capsule so that it would be full width, which is what HP wants everyone to do. The article I edited has been published and featured since 2012. When I went in and edited, however, the editor that read it decided that it was no longer going to be featured. I was told to proofread the article. (To avoid any confusion, I do want to point out that I will just delete this hub before paying someone to proofread it. The traffic does not justify it, which may be why the editor did not want to spend any time on it.)
Seriously? Isnt this why it is not worthwhile for us to edit articles any longer?
If so inclined I would appreciate any comments/suggestions.
https://hubpages.com/animals/Is-My-Dog- … Other-Dogs
Don't delete it. I can see a few things to fix. You helped me with my dog so I'd be happy to have a go at it tomorrow, if you like?
Let me know. I'll contact you when it's done so you can let me have your email address.
The one quick edit I can see is that at the very bottom it is not full length and there is a links capsule. Personally, I would remove the links capsule. Don't delete the hub, it has a lot of potential.
I think I agree with you on the article on eye contact, but the listing of intelligent dogs is relative and I think that link should stay. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
No. Links capsules of this sort are outdated and "clunky." If you want to include the links in your article, then you should make them inline links with relevant anchor text. Keep them related to the article and link them appropriately in the inline text of the article. Not only are they more apt to get clicks this way, but it is more visually appealing to the reader and more likely to pass the QAP.
Thanks so much for your help. I know I can approve, but I have not had an article unfeatured for years, and was upset, to say the least.
If you have any ideas you can just use the email on my profile page.
Thanks again, so much!
I don't want to give you a hard time, so I will just give you a couple of observations.
The article comes across as having a very personal and rather eccentric perspective. For example, you suggest that your dog is your therapist and that she practices walking meditation everyday. This could make sense if you framed the article in a humorous way, perhaps.
You use some words in a way that will have negative connotations for native English speakers. You talk about 'manipulating' a new born puppy to induce 'stress' and make its brain work harder. That sounds rather cruel. Both 'stress' and 'manipulation' have negative meanings in everyday speech.
If you said 'handling a puppy promotes early learning' that would sound a lot more dog friendly.
I reckon you need some kind of scientific evidence to back up you claims or perhaps references to the experience of professional dog trainers/handlers.
The Amazon ad makes the article look like a selling exercise. Also, that book is rather old (1994) and the info is inevitably dated.
Will, thanks for your observations. Are you familiar with seizure alert dogs? It is not a humorous matter for those persons suffering from epilepsy.
Manipulating puppies to cause stress is part of the super-dog intelligence protocol, a program designed by the US army. Just handling a puppy does not do the job.
You should explain this in the article. And also be aware of reader sensitivities.
OK Doc, I'll take a close look at the first section so that you can see the kinds of problems you are having.
First, I would not subtitle this section. It's an intro, and should not be part of the main composition.
The first part should read
All dogs have a basic (level of) intelligence based on their natures.
For example, they are easy to
(and these items should be bulletted)
house train because it is natural (for them to) not mess up their home,
bite-inhibit them because it is natural (for them) to respect (their) leader and
obedience train them when we ask them to perform natural movements like sit and lie down.
But is it natural to (expect them to)learn new words and odd behaviors? (You shouldn't begin a sentence with a conjunction, so this sentence should read):
Given this information, we need to ask ourselves whether it is natural for them to learn new words and odd behaviors.
This should be the end of the first section because it is a lead in to the second one.
What I see here is you leaving out important words that help to clarify what you are trying to say. I also see misuse of conjunctions and other punctuation marks.
When you are used to doing something, you would tend to communicate differently than when you are trying to explain something to a reader.
If this section is an example of what is going on throughout your hub, you can save it by using language and techniques that clarify your points and also using accurate punctuation.
Hope this helps.
The title is at the top because this is not an introduction. When you read an article on the internet, and the first part of the article is a long introduction, do you just bounce out of there and look for something worthwhile? Most people do. I think it is vital to get to the important information right away.
Your next point, about putting bullet points on the list of dog´s innate intelligence, is very helpful. I will do that when I edit. Thank you.
Can you give me a better idea about your comment on the improper use of conjunctions?
Here's an example of an incorrectly used conjunction:
"Maybe not easy, but it can definitely be done."
A conjunction is used to connect two complete thoughts (sentences) with a comma following the first sentence. "Maybe not easy" is not a sentence, therefore following it with a comma and a conjunction is incorrect.
Instead you should write something such as "This may not be easy, but it definitely can be done". This may not be easy and it definitely can be done are both complete sentences.
When writing formally, you cannot use the same language you might use when speaking.
Also, I would disagree with you about not having an intro paragraph. All good writing has a beginning a middle and an end. The beginning tells readers what you are going to say, the middle says it and the end tells them what you just said. To leave one of these sections out is incorrect,
Furthermore, introductions do not have to be long. Check out some of my hubs to see what I am talking about.
Thanks for that information. I wonder about your comment about writing formally, however. We are not writing formally. We are writing to provide information to the reader in an entertaining way (so that he does not stop reading).
I think that goes back to the comment about having an introduction. One of my articles is "How to save a choking dogs life". If you were to open up that article and read an introduction you will probably just be angry--instead of an introduction I go immediately into the steps on how to save a choking dog. Did I learn to write an essay like that? Definitely not. Does it help more readers? Probably.
By the way, none of these changes helped this article at all. It still gets almost no traffic. I still do not know if it is better to revamp an old article that Google has already sent back from page one just delete it and write a new one that they have not decided upon.
By writing "formally" i mean don't write as though you're writing to a friend. An intro can and often should contain an outline of the basic information you want to share, so there's no reason why someone would want to stop reading or become angry. Also, an intro can be crafted to be entertaining. Obviously, it's up to you to produce articles however you see fit. I'm just sharing what I do. I will add that every single one of my articles on both of my sites here has been moved to niche sites, so I must be doing something right!
TT2 I know you're an English teacher so I hesitate to disagree, but I can't help it. The way people write is changing, especially online, and one of the things young people expect is that feeling that you're "writing to a friend". That style of writing is what will get those young readers coming back (and I don't mean 15 year olds, I mean anything up to 45!). In this day and age, if you're not using sentence fragments, you're probably doing something wrong - and no young person would have a problem with the sentence you quoted.
In your case, I suspect a large part of your audience is more mature people because those are the people who are touring in their RV. They are still old-fashioned enough to appreciate the style in your writing, so it's perfect for your audience. Mark is a vet and he knows his audience, too. His friendly writing style is working very well in most of his articles, so I very much doubt that it's suddenly an issue in this one.
As for introductions - in Mark's case, I think he's right to get straight to the point. When someone is looking for help with their RV, they're probably a bit annoyed or confused or frustrated, but they have the time to smile at a few humorous sentences. When someone is looking for help for their precious fur baby, they may be anxious or afraid and they just want answers, so they're likely to have no patience whatsoever.
To each his own. I am giving the best advice I know how to give, but whether you disagree or not, I do believe that if we let the standards of good writing (aka clear, organized communication) go, we are making a big mistake. Language is, after all, how we communicate with one another. If we alter the way we do it, we are in danger of losing clarity. This, I believe, is a big mistake.
Thank you again. We all have a lot to learn from each other.
Google never makes firm decisions. It's fluid and they review it regularly. Therefore it would make no difference to delete it and write a new one on the same subject - the existing one has just as good a chance at traffic.
I wonder if the problem is the title. Is anyone searching for it? Have you tried looking at the auto-complete?
The team just edited one of my articles today that does not do well with Google (no problem with the title). It has a lot of page views, but almost all from Pinterest and HP, and after editing it was moved to Pethelpful. I will be curious to see if it does any better with Google down the road.
You say there's no problem with the title. How do you know?
Good point. I guess I do not know, but I do know that the title is short and appropriate. (9 Cutest Small Dog Breeds is the title I make the titles easy to search for and may throw in a special phrase but do not try to make them catchy and unfindable. Some of my similar titles get hundreds of page views per day, and I am not sure what the search numbers are for this keyword but it should definitely be getting a lot more views than it is.
Robin had a few suggestions on how I might make the page rank higher in Google, but changing the title was not one of them.
As you know, I'm not a very reliable resource for improving hubs, especially yours, which are well written and informative...but I do see a couple of things HP told me they frown upon.
Beneath the paragraph following the heading "Is My Dog Really More Intelligent:" you have a sentence in bold face. HP doesn't like bold face or italics, etc. to show emphasis. Also, below the image of the keyboard, you have a sidebar with a couple of links to other articles. I think that's a no no, too. I used to do that and when they edited my hubs for inclusion in the specialty sites, they edited those out.
BTW, from the image, it looks like Ajej is a hunt 'n peck typist. She's better than that! Remind her: left paw on ASDF, right paw on JKL:
Hi Bob, I think the link capsule is okay as long as it relates to the subject matter of the hub. The email from HP didnt even mention that, which would have been easy enough to fix. The editor commented that I should proofread this, and then she unfeatured it.
This is an oldie, but...
(I think this her typing on of those "What I had for breakfast" blurbs from Bubblenews. Remember those?)
You may already know this but just in case - you don't need to change ALL half-width capsules.
If you do nothing, your existing half-width capsules will become full-width automatically. The only problem is, they'll become full-width ABOVE their related paragraph, not below. Sometimes that can look nonsensical - the Amazon product will appear before the paragraph mentioning it, for instance - but sometimes you can get away with it.
It is SO disappointing that HubPages can't find a programming solution to allow the capsule to expand BELOW the related paragraph instead. If they'd been able to do that, it's likely no manual adjustments would've been necessary.
Yes, and HP has convinced me to leave well enough alone. I am not going to bother editing hubs that do not get at least a few hundred page views per day. If they want to unpublish some of my articles later because the information is showing up in the wrong place, I am not going to worry about it.
As you point out, Marisa, this is so disappointing.
People will always be able to suggest ways to improve the text on any Hub, but frankly I don't think it's necessary and it's probably not what the editor wants. I can see the following problems, which were absolutely fine back in the day, but go against the current rules:
1. You have links to your other Hubs. If those Hubs are on the same site, that's fine. If they're on another site, it's not (e.g. Pethelpful Hubs can link to Pethelpful Hubs but not ones on Hubpages.com). Also, the links must be directly relevant and useful in the context of the Hub - they can't just be other Hubs about dogs.
2. We all enthusiastically adopted the advice to use Callout capsules for headings. Turns out HubPages made a mistake - Google doesn't read them as headings so it's bad for SEO. So now, they want us to put the headings back in the text capsule title line.
3. The Amazon link should be fine, but your description is a good illustration of how to get a capsule snipped. You say it's good to give your dog intelligence tests, but you don't say you've used and recommend the tests in that book. You need to say that, or at least convey that impression
Personally, I find that requirement intensely annoying. For instance, I trained in flamenco but they didn't have DVD's in my day, and the books I used are out of print. I find DVD's or books by asking dance students, or by getting them from the library, but I don't need to use them - I'm retired! So strictly speaking, I shouldn't be allowed to put them in Amazon capsules because I don't have "personal experience" of them. Balderdash, I say! I get around it by saying things like, "For my money, this is the best book currently available on...." or other phrases that use "I', "my" or "mine". Those seem to be the magic words.
The email from HP told me to proofread the article, and it also told me to submit it to the forums if I wanted help. I read your other forum about that issue, and I was hesitant to put this on the forum, but I thought it would be helpful to have others look at it before I just deleted it.
I will check those links and make sure they are falling in the same site. Thanks.
Good idea on the callout capsules too. I regret having edited so many of those hubs and adding those capsules.
The Amazon capsule was not snipped. It sounds like I should change it anyway though.
That's exactly why I posted to say editors shouldn't use the word "proof read". I suspect they're using the word incorrectly.
In my experience, a Hub would VERY rarely be unpublished for a few spelling and grammar mistakes. It has to be really bad before that would happen, and your Hub is certainly not in that situation. For it to be Unfeatured, it has to be something that's breaking the rules, and your links and Amazon capsule are the most likely culprits.
That makes sense. I have read many featured hubs that have terrible grammar and many, many spelling errors.
So are we dealing with another example of editor incompetence?
No doubt, but more importantly poor grammar and spelling lower a hub's ranking with Google.
That's true, but it's a balance. As you know, we have to please both Google and the reader.
I've occasionally run an article through a grammar checker. If I implemented every change it suggested, I would end up with a textbook-perfect article - but to modern ears, it would sound stilted and overly formal. It's not going to engage the modern reader.
I'm sure you've had the same experience reading Victorian or Edwardian English. It's grammatically perfect, but we find it rather quaint. I'm afraid younger readers feel a bit the same about our generation's essay-writing standards.
Yes, but our younger generation is not the only one reading articles. Also, if we bombard them with substandard language, eventually they adopt it and all sorts of problems ensue. Once, when I was visiting the Dominican Republic, I couldn't figure out why I could not understand the Spanish the locals were speaking. I finally met a native speaker from Colombia who told me she couldn't understand it either! The reason was that they have no requirement for kids to go to school there, so they were using verbs in infinitive form rather than in conjugated form. This is what happens when; you slide away from basic structure in language. People do it, but in the long run it can create all sorts of communication problems. Personally, I want people to understand what I am saying. Most skim anyhow, which is why we use capsule titles, so I don't see the problem here.
I have the same problem with some of the best astrology books. Many I own and would recommend are out of print, and not available on Kindle. Some can be found on Amazon used. But even if I try to follow all the rules, I never make money on Amazon capsules, and almost never use them.
I still believe the administration takes down ones that do follow all the rules, even when I swear I have used something and found it helpful. They will say almost anything to tell you the product is not related to the hub topic. I've written a hub called, "Capricorn Moon Sign People" and in it, had a book about all twelve moon signs in the Zodiac. It's not worth it to publish a whole book for one Moon sign, they don't exist.. It was removed.
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read this article and point out its mistakes. I edited this morning using the comments from this post, and after receiving a very helpful email from TheRaggedEdge, and it is now featured again.
It is a much better article now and very well written, congratulations. But the scientist in me still wants more references, lol.
For example, you talk about the “The 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds” without a reference. Does that come from the Coren book?
Also, the idea that early manipulation of a puppy promotes intelligence is the kind of assertion that would need some kind of solid evidence to convince me.
You have already got some superb feedback and some great constructive criticism here. I don't feel any need to add to it, but I did want to point this out. I've seldom seen this kind of discussion (especially outside of HubPages Forums) where community members go out of their way and help someone among us who is clearly upset.
Constructive criticism is as rare as it's required, and rarer still is its effectiveness. Egos clash, misunderstandings prevail. But not here.
I just said "wow" to myself.
I am very glad to be a part of such a graceful community.
You guys all rock! Keep the great spirit up!!
I'm new and so am spending some time browsing the forums and such to get the hang of Hubpages. I agree, the openess is great.
About the article itself, could it be that the comments posted after the article are the problem? The first comment I see after reading the article is a half dozen paragraphs long all mashed into one paragraph. It also has rambling sentences filled with commas instead of periods. On top of that the comment is extremely personal in nature.
I was just wondering if the comments must be held to the same editorial standards as the article itself? Perhaps it's a comment triggering a warning? Again, I'm new, and just curious.
I have a lot of comments like that in various articles. Sometimes people just want to tell me how great their dogs are. I agree with your evaluation of the comment but it did not cause the problems with HP. With Google? Maybe it does. I have heard that if you have comments with profanity, it can affect your article. Perhaps having a rambling comment hurts too.
I read your article until I noticed a mistake. You have "is will" in one of your sentences. I would go through the article and do some clean up. This is a writer's dilemma, we've all been through it. Good luck.
I'm not sure if someone suggested this already, but since your hub isn't updated for it yet, I'm going to say it anyway.
Your titles are not in APA style: Use this for help if you need to https://capitalizemytitle.com
Thanks for the heads up. I will change this.
Do you have any idea if the title capitalization tools helps at all with SEO? I know it is a good practice but am just wondering if the article will rank any better.
No. Capitalization does not help with rankings. This has been tested by some guys I follow. But it is necessary if you want to move your hub to a niche site. I know the first step is getting it featured again, but I'm sure it can be worked on. It's a good hub.
Getting featured is no longer an issue. It was unfeatured for about a day, but I have not seen an unfeatured hub on my account page in years so I was kind of suprised.
Haha okay. Yeah, it could happen to anyone. You said it was featured for 5 years or so right. One Amazon capsule they don't like and it could end up being unfeatured due to the current guidelines.
Their email told me to proofread. theraggededge was nice enough to go over the article line by line and send me a bunch of suggestions.
Marisa thought the problem was the Amazon capsule too. Editing these old hubs can be pretty tricky.
Same problem here, the moment I re-edited some capsules in the articles they became no longer featured. I then looked at them and did some re-editing, but that made no difference. Many of my articles do not get all that much traffic, so I started to promote them again, but that seems to make no difference. Now I'm just leaving it. I will be careful with any new article and link them to my two blogs and share them on social media, but that is all. I'm lucky if I earn 1 $ a month here, but then I never signed up for the earning opportunities, that was just a bonus.
I recall some of the Hubs you asked for advice on. Based on those, the problem is that your Amazon capsules break the strict new rules about Amazon products.
Most people run into trouble because they recommend a type of product and then choose one at random - under the new rules, that's not enough. You must give a recommendation saying why you're recommending that particular brand of the product, based on your personal experience. If it's a book, you need to word your recommendation in such a way that it's clear you've read it yourself.
In your case, I recall that the books you featured were your own, which puts you in an awkward position. Self-promotion is not allowed, so if you admit the books are yours, the Hub will be unpublished. However, you may feel uncomfortable pretending you are not the author and giving it a review as a reader.
The easy option, if you want to keep the Hubs Featured, is to remove the Amazon products.
I, too, have been told to proof read some of my hubs, and when I do I notice things such as italics used for emphasis, which I'm fond of doing, so I change those. I'll find better images to use, reformat capsules to group text into longer paragraphs, and other things that I've come to learn HP does and does not like. And I used to use a lot of Amazon capsules, but now I just eliminate them.
That should help a lot. I find I am an awful proof reader. I have to read the article several times before I feel OK with sending it off to a niche. I read somewhere that once we read words the wrong way one time, our eyes just accept the wrong spelling. It helps to read it, walk away for a bit, and come back when you've had some time away, to do it again. Or if you have someone else in the house that is willing to proof read it for you, that's good too..
The kind of "fixing up" you discuss really makes all the difference. I often write long hubs, but have a bad habit of using large paragraphs. People have short attention spans, so I use lots of pictures and have found it's better to have a lot of small paragraphs. I have one article about a musician, and it has song titles, book titles and album titles, so it's my "go to" one, to see what needs italics and what needs quotes.
Pixabay.com is good for nice images. If you need a particular person, wikipedia.org will have it, or will take you to wikimediacommons.org. If you click "details" you will know if they allow the picture to be used, or call it a creative commons license. Some photographers use that, but ask you mention their name.
It's a pity to just eliminate them - you're missing out on the opportunity to make money. HubPages is very strict about how you use Amazon capsules now, but they are allowed if you use them properly.
The rules are:
1. The product must be directly related to the MAIN topic of the Hub.
2. You must say why you recommend that particular brand or model of the product
3. You must write that recommendation to sound as though you have actually used the product (tip: make sure you use "I", "my" or "mine" in the sentence)
So for instance, it's not enough to show a bottle of calcium tablets and say, "These tablets contain calcium citrate which is less likely to cause constipation". You have to say something like, "I prefer these ..... (brand) calcium citrate tablets, because they are kinder to the stomach."
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