Nobody else seems to have picked this up, (and accuse me of cross posting if you wish as there is another dormant thread) but the new eBay Partner Network (EPN) policy effective Monday states
Publishers may only place links and/or promotional content on sites they own. Affiliate links on third party sites such as Craigslist, MySpace, etc. are not allowed.
And in the EPN forums it has been clarified that
For blogging platforms like Wordpress, weâ��re requiring that publishers use the download-and-install versions of the products so that they have full ownership of their sites. For other promotional methods such as Twitter, etc, it is ok for your links to lead to your own websites that have links to eBay, but not to lead to eBay directly.
I read this that as of Monday all new hubbers will be breaking EPN policies if they put the ebay capsule on their hubs if they're new to EPN. It comes into force for existing EPN members from 1 August.
So we have 10 days to take the ebay capsules off our hubs or risk being banned from EPN.
This is serious. Any Hubpages staff available to comment?
Most likely, the HubPages development team will be able to remove all user affiliate information from the existing eBay capsules without requiring authors to actually disable the capsules. Alternatively, HP could roll their own affiliate info in 100% of the time which might help to fund additional development.
If the eBay listings still add to your content and were not solely to gain revenue, I would submit a feature request specifically requiring that the affiliate information is removed on August 1 rather than removing the capsules from your hubs. In the event that this policy changes you will not have any work to do in order to begin earning from eBay again.
The right to make that change is reserved in the Terms and Conditions, but with the condition that, where possible, an email notification would be sent 2 weeks in advance to everyone who is affected. I hope HP decides to handle this on a global scale to protect its users from being blocked.
Any word on what action Squidoo is taking?
I have raised this question many, many times in both my hubs and in the forums. People have stated that it won't affect our EPN boxes here on HP. But, I don't buy that. I'm getting rid of all my EPN capsules in my hubs. Better safe than sorry...
Interesting. I just signed for EPN a few minutes ago following the instructions given elsewhere on the forums. Part of the instructions state to use your profile URL (http://hubpages.com/profile/yourprofile) as the URL for your website on your EPN application. I followed that instruction. It'll be interesting to see if they approve or deny my application based on that. Perhaps they have come to some sort of special arrangement with HubPages but they don't want to publicize it? Who knows.
Good point. Yes, I'd like to hear what the HubPages team knows about this, too.
I seem to remember reading from somewhere, I don't remember where, that eBay may make special arrangements with some websites about this change. I suspect that that's what Squidoo and HubPages have done, but I'd like to hear for sure.
I'm also concerned about my Blogger blogs with eBay modules. Seems like the modules need to go now.
What I'm trying to do is second guess eBay's intentions here. It looks like they're trying to protect themselves legally...but I'm not sure exactly from what. Being linked to spam, possibly.
From their blog entry in May, which didn't really cover these changes, it seemed as if they wanted to eliminate publishers who don't drive a lot of traffic. So maybe that's what they're thinking. But that doesn't really make sense.
Or maybe they want affiliates to have more control of their websites because otherwise the affiliates won't have the ability to program the sites as eBay insists, or something similar. They mention that they want to be able to track the origin of the traffic being sent to eBay. So maybe, as someone on the EPN forum thread said, they now want only webmasters and techies as affiliates. Which seems a strange regression to former times, when there were only techies and academics on the Web.
Whatever the reason, the problem is that eBay is lumping together all third party sites, yet there is no single model for "third party sites"--this is the Internet, for heaven's sake, with new business models springing up practically every minute!
It seems like they're using this form of logic:
We don't want people promoting Doodads who will hurt our program.
Some people promoting Doodads who hurt our program come from Tallahassee.
We'll therefore outlaw all sites originating from Tallahassee.
(For Doodads and Tallahassee, substitute eBay products and third party websites.)
Well, I didn't ever bother with the Ebay capsules. Now I know I won't have to anyway.
Still, it's a shame- especially for the people who do use them.
The problem with affiliate programs is they have become victims of their own success. When Amazon first created the whole concept of affiliate programs, they were still somewhat new. But over time they had so many affiliates and made so much money from it they eventually became a household name. Now they can afford to be choosier about who they let in, which is why they've begun cutting off entire states from their affiliate programs for tax reasons (like North Carolina).
Next it will be the international crowds probably, meaning outside the US.
Very true... Amazon is currently turning against their international corporate customers, eBay will probably follow a similar path eventually.
Companies that have used Amazon's DropShip (for automated purchasing from Amazon) for years simply have to place all orders manually starting in December since Amazon is closing non-US access to the service. Even companies ordering 50 products a day as gifts with the system receive no discounts or commissions but nonetheless, restructuring will cut it.
While it is just speculation, I believe that the cutbacks in the eBay Partner Network serve to make room in the budget for the new, more customer-focused eBay Bucks program.
Instead of paying people for advertising products, they are paying buyers 2% cash back on every purchase - mostly people who were going to buy something anyways. Unarguably it will help to sway some buyers if they can get a discount on future purchases, but it is also clear that eBay sellers will lose a lot of talented and hard-working promoters.
Both programs have their place, but I believe that this change in eBay policy is timed to open the doors for the release of the eBay Bucks rewards program.
Interesting news. I just signed up for their affiliates program two days ago. Still not heard anything back yet. If my application is accepted it may not be as big an issue as you suggest. I shall wait and see.
Thanks for the information.
Given the short amount of time eBay's given us to respond, most likely we'll switch to running the HubPages eBay affiliate code 100% of the time and give authors a tool to remove eBay capsules from all of their hubs in bulk. It's disappointing the way they've handled this.
It's bizarre that eBay didn't work with HubPages and Squidoo, since the relationship both sites have with writers pertaining to affiliate marketing is cooperative, not antagonistic. Even more bizarre, they've actually been accepting some people with HubPages URLs into the program this spring. This is just so strange.
Thanks Paul for jumping in and clarifying this. If we can remove all our eBay capsules in bulk it will save alot of time.
Damn, that renders about 70% of my hubs pointless, not good news.
Bummer. My ebay income is actually doing better then adsense. Oh well.. Looks like in August we'll all be spending a lot of time switching over to amazon for those that can, in place of the ebay ones.
Im sorry that those hubbers earning loads from eBay will be affected. I've never been pleased with eBay. Refusals without giving concrete reasons for doing so.
I quit using the EBAY capsule moons ago but I am glad that this information was brought to our attention.
Is everyone sure that eBay really means to nix HubPages? The quotes from the eBay person in the EPN forums are concerning, but they didn't seem that clear to me, or definitive. A lot of "etceteras" were thrown around. Never did any *eBay personnel* use the term "HubPages." What they said was:
"For blogging platforms like Wordpress, we’re requiring that publishers use the download-and-install versions of the products so that they have full ownership of their sites. For other promotional methods such as Twitter, etc, it is ok for your links to lead to your own websites that have links to eBay, but not to lead to eBay directly. "
To me, this does not necessarily sound like it includes HubPages, and in fact, in their May blog post that they refer to regarding the changes, it was other models that seemed to be affected, but not HubPages or other revenue-share sites where accounts are laid out as on HubPages.
On the most recent update, all that was said was:
"Publishers may only place links and/or promotional content on sites they own. Affiliate links on third party sites such as Craigslist, MySpace, etc. are not allowed."
Although this SEEMS to imply that HubPages would be affected, this appears in the section where they're talking about code of conduct breaches that are deceptive practices. It's possible they may just mean third party sites where it is considered spam by the owner or users of the site. And HubPages is not really like Craigslist or MySpace--I'm not sure it counts as an "etc." here.
They say in their blog post from May, referring to nixed business models:
"We will be working with the small number of remaining affiliates using these models to transition to other business models or swap out their links for other merchant links."
So all I'm saying is...I'm not real sure that HubPages IS excluded. Furthermore, doesn't it sound like they'd work with HubPages to negotiate?
Maybe it's my eternal optimism, or my wish that this gets resolved...but it seems that there might be hope. Am I deceiving myself?
See Paul Deeds comment in this thread.
Prepare yourself for some disappointment.
Thanks, I did read his remarks. I'm fairly new to HubPages, but I've found the HubPages officials to be awesome at contributing to relevant forum threads.
I noticed that he mentioned this was happening surprisingly quickly--that HubPages only had a short amount of time to respond. Then it struck me that eBay claims they announced this in a blog post back in May. So I thought about it...and that blog post from May doesn't seem to apply to HubPages...at least, it didn't when I read it and studied it way back when: http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/e … ss-models/ What do you think?
So I'm thinking with indomitable hope, if not optimism, that it's the weekend, that maybe, just maybe, there hasn't been time to negotiate or get in contact with eBay. Since HubPages has negotiated with Google for an extra AdSense spot on hubs, then I thought, hmmm, maybe there's yet hope with this particular goliath, too...
And let's not forget the fact that they accepted me as a new partner based on my nonfiction HubPages account right around that time. So why is eBay accepting new partners from HubPages when the business model is no longer kosher? Admittedly, they could have since widened the broom to sweep some more sites away, but...
Slim hope, I know, but I would really hate to see eBay vanish from HubPages, so I'm reaching for the straws, one by one...
Unfortunately it looks like eBay is on its way out of Squidoo, HP, blogger, infobarrel and similar sites. It just goes to show how important diversification of income in this business.
Lissie - I just read your blog post. Thanks. This issue has been on my mind for a while. I was actually thinking of having epn audit all of my websites to make sure i'm 100% in compliance w/them. i don't want any nasty surprises.
if i were 100% dependent on EPN capsules in my hubs and squidoo lenses i'd be quivering in my boots now...
thanks for your blog post.
We have an email out to them awaiting clarification, but if we don't get a positive response we'll try and get the tool in place that allows you to remove ebay capsules or convert them to amazon by the end of next week so that you all will have time to update your hubs by August 1st.
Its amazing that no direct information was sent to us (at least not to me). Instead, I learn from people who pay more attention to EBAYs forum posts (for which I am grateful)
I agree that this was first mentioned back in May, but it's only very recently it has been clarified - and it's still a bit ambiguous. Maybe they will backtrack. If you search through some of the EPN messages there is reference to special cases, for example, EPN seem to have been working hard with Pepperjam to keep them in the fold. But that is a different business model.
Right now though, I'm certainly not creating any new hubs targetted towards eBay products.
by the way - i asked both EPN staff and HP staff this question and did not get a response. honestly, i have have very, very few click-thru's on my EPN capsules here on HP anyways and MUCH better results on my own domain names. i think the way to go is to make ur own websites then use hubpages to pre-sell the customer and drive traffic to your own URL.
dawei888 - I must give you credit for also noticing this change. It was because your original thread was getting no response I started a new one, as we were marching towards the edge of the cliff..
From what I can see in the Squidoo forum this will not affect the ebay modules on Squidoo - only if anyone was using their own EPN links to avoid revenue sharing.
I have never managed to get membership of EPN so do not have ebay modules on my hubs but I have a lot of ebay modules on my lenses as the affiliate is Squidoo itself and not me.
This is going to be a lot of work. I have my own EPN affiliate code all over Squidoo, so this is going to take a lot of editing. And, I think I have them on almost every single hub here.
At least at HubPages, the admins have expressed their interest in making a tool to help you convert eBay modules to Amazon. If you're going to spend the time switching modules, start at Squidoo or find out if they're doing something similar.
Additionally, HP has discussed taking 100% of the EPN impressions to avoid letting anyone get banned form EPN just for having a hub. Read back to Paul Deeds' comment, there will probably be an official announcement coming out about it very soon.
I'm pretty disappointed in this. Ebay has been a great tool at earning revenue for me. For them too I'm sure. This will be a mistake on Ebay's part, as I'm sure Hubpages and the other sites they're basically banning from using them sends a good bit of traffic their way.
Does this affect blogs as well? I have several EPN widgest on my blogs (non blogger, wordpress, etc. They're domains from orble). I'd hate to have to go through and remove them. Although, they don't give me that much revenue to begin with, but it's comforting to know they're there in case of.
The new terms also say unless the thrid party TOS say that it's ok to use Ebay. Wouldn't that be the case here?
Paul, I read that everything has to be implemented by July 20th.
Will the tool allow us to see what hubs have ebay capsule on them so we can decide if we just want them deleted or if we want to replace with amazon. I don't want amazon in replace of all my ebay capsules; in most of my hubs, I'd be able to just replace the capsule with a picture or video and not the amazon capsule. Some of my hubs have ebay bc amazon didn't have any products I was trying to promote, or some of the hubs already have the amazon products I want and don't want to add others.
What disappointing news.
I've done pretty well with ebay on HubPages, better than Adsense overall, though lately my Adsense is catching up. Losing that revenue stream will put a significant dent in my online income, and most of my best performing ebay hubs were specifically written with ebay income in mind and can't be readily replaced with Amazon capsules.
I have a few hubs like this as well. But there's nothign that we can do. I'm just hoping that the tool will show us which hubs have ebay so that we can decide how to change them.
Yes, me too. I'm more interested in quickly knowing where all my ebay capsules are than having the ability to delete them en masse. Some could easily be deleted without harming the content of the hub, but in other cases they're "written in" as it were.
Yep.. Same here. There are some hubs where I could delete the capsule and replace with a picture but not another affiliate capsule, and others that I would be able to replace with an amazon capsule. I want to know where they are without having to go through over 500 hubs.
Boooooooooooo! to Ebay...I wonder if there would be a possibility of replacing ebay with something else in time as it's loss would feel empty to me....oh and kontera is a dead affiliate for me and many others too.
Lets wait and see for the clarification before anyone does anything drastic....like burn an ebay t-shirt and put it on youtube!
Umm, not that I make a lot with Ebay, just a change around $100 a month - but all of it comes from HP and Blogger... Busy week editing ahead
Boo hoo. I saw another thread where this question was asked - but at the time, the full wording of the eBay t's & c's seemed to imply that you were OK so long as the site specifically sanctioned eBay ads.
Sounds like that wasn't the case after all. It will mean a lot of editing for me. I've been getting rid of all my Amazon capsules because they will only pay me in gift vouchers or US dollar cheques (which cost a fortune to bank), so it's not worth it for me. Unfortunately I'd been replacing them with eBay capsules.....
I feel for you Marisa. At least I have less then 20 hubs, and about the same number of ebay posts on blogger..
Waiting with bated breath to hear the reply from EPN to Hubpages.
This all is a real bummer--I have certain hubs that do very well with ebay--just recently I had a high dollar sale--Wonder what their problem is???
Yeah, with her more than half a thousand hubs it's quite a job to fix them all
This is really sad news, thanks for the update and the tool for removing ebay from capsules. This sure make the adjustment easier.
Marisa, Misha, yes it will be a challenge. I'm just hoping HP can figure a way to list which hubs have ebay and which don't so that I don't have to go through them all. I don't want to replace them all with amazon either, so ugh it'll just be a pain. Hopefully, HP won't have to get rid of the ads.
I don't understand how it says only if the site says it's ok to not at all unless you own the site all in the same revision.
Same here Misha--they say an issue has been logged--they also have me as a "super user" at their site--I pointed out what they would be losing by having me take these ads off my hubs--Maybe the figures are sinking in--they will lose a lot of business I believe
Between my hubs, blogspot blogs, and lenses, I have taken down 486 Ebay links in 24 hours. If this is what they want so be it. I was just starting to crank things up to a revenue stream. I'm tempted to quit them all together. Once companies start treating affiliates like this, it usually doesn't get any better.
That was tedious and dreary, now I can start writing again.
I'm starting to feel a bit the same way. Thankfully, most of my Ebay promotion is on my own websites so the only Ebay links I really need to remove are on Hubpages. But even so, I'm wondering about the wisdom of continuing to promote Ebay to the extent that I have. They are a big part of my income so I would be screwed if I lost it... so I think I'm going to start putting more effort into other eggs I can put into the basket! I just find the constant adjustments to their Terms to be a bit ridiculous.
Me three. I'm not going to touch my hubs until I've heard more from Paul, etc. and I've spent the day working on a ebay niche site I have in the hope of being able to recoup some of the loss I'll be experiencing if ebay on HubPages is indeed a goner. But I'd been planning on starting on a few more niche sites based around ebay and now I'm seriously questioning the wisdom of that.
As Lissie says, diversify, diversify. Especially combined with what happened to Gamergirl's Adsense account, I'm feeling kind of down right now. I've put so much work in and have finally been feeling like I'm getting some results, but one measly blog post has wiped a third of my online income just like that, and if I happened to pick a fight with the wrong person, or even just catch an unscrupulous competitor's eye, most of the rest could go just as quickly. It's very discouraging.
I also went to newyorkaffiliatevoice.com to find merchants that haven't desserted New York affiliates in light of the new internet tax law. I think that i'm going to start working with them. So that if Massachusetts does pass it next year, I'll still have a revenue stream, if I lose Amazon and other merchants.
i'm in the same situation as embitca - most of my money comes from ebay. i'll never get my head wrapped around their TOS.
That must have been very dull indeed - at least you've got it done and out of the way, though!
We have until August 1. Why not wait until we get official news?
It's still a nessecity for other websites specified in the new TOS such as certain blogs and Squidoo lenses. So those would still need to be taken away. The HP ones just may not need to be removed. The others would still need to be removed.
Because I want to clean out the cache of the webpage by then. I don't want them to make one cent that I'm not going to get credit for. If it's still cached page on google and someone clicks on it, they'll find the link to click through.
Besides it's done and I'm moving on. There are tons of affiliate programs that are just as good. Unfortunately there not available for hubs. But I have my own sites.
I'd like to add that my earnings via ebay this month is a fourth of what it usually is. I'm not sure if anything else has changed throughout the month or if they really had a lot of problems throughout the month with reports. Or maybe it was just a slow month (but I haven't seen a month this slow since EPN took over the program).
I'd also like to hear from the team in regards to if we have to remove the ads will the tool they create show us which hubs have the ebay ads on them, so we don't have to go through them all. Or if this is just not a possibility.
I'm not touching any hubs until I hear what's going on. Until then, I just won't add ebay to any new hubs.
I'm still concerned with my blogs, as I don't own the domain... Guess I'll fiddle through those tonight, and replace with amazon ads where I can :-(
Bigmikeh - I emailed ebay and all HP staff about this and never really came to a conclusion.
So, here's what I did: I deleted all the capsules from my hubs and put links to my sites.
I'm now putting up YouTube vid's and writing hubs on how to make ur own EPN sites on ur own domains. It's a pain in the neck the first time but once u get the hang of it u can have a new site up and running fast.
Then, u just use HP to drive traffic to ur site.
I appreciate u brought up this question - it's so important for many of us on here.
Frankly I don't want to do any new sites for them. Looks like too risky of a business. I will try to save as much as i can, but that's it.
Misha - Hmm...Interesting comment - So how are you expanding your biz online? CB? CJ? Thanks. I know those guys can drop u like a bag of bricks so best not put all eggs in 1 basket. 4am in asia here now - i sleep. thanks.
I was giving it a fair amount of thought lately, and looks like the least risky way is to sell your own products. I am working in this direction.
I personally go with CJ over CB. It is easier to convert sales for real products that you can hold in your hand, in my experience. That's one of the reasons I've been so happy with Ebay. They are really the only game in town for vintage stuff, but if you stick to new goods then there are plenty of other merchants.
Oh, and I just took a ridiculous number of Ebay capsules off my hubs. I had no idea I had so many LOL I think I stuck one on practically every hub! The hubs that I made just to promote vintage or collectible stuff on Ebay look very naked and sad.
hi getitdone - interesting comment. i don't want to be too pitchy here in the forum but i'm writing a series of hubs on how to get ur own websites up and running so u can simply use ur HP hubs to drive traffic to sites that link into ebay. i never had any luck w/my epn capsules anyways. in 9 months i got just ONE SINGLE sign up from a HP EPN capsule!
also - i'm w/misha the long-term real way to make money online is to develop your own product or service that helps other people. thanks, david
Yeah, don't really need help with that as I already do it.
I've had plenty of sign-ups from hubs and I'm at the $40 ACRU level, but the bulk of my income is from actual sales on my own sites and not sign-ups, though the ACRU payment is certainly nice.
Hubpages was a small contributor to my EPN income, but it is still annoying to lose. Backlinks are great and all, but I like multi-tasking -- backlinks and an earning opportunity at the same time is ideal
I have decided to wait until I get official word from both Hubpages and Squidoo before I take anything down. From what I am hearing Squidoo lenses may not be affected, and maybe Hubpages staff can find a way around it.
The annoying thing about this is that an eBay staffer did respond to the question on the eBay forums, specifically mentioning Squidoo, but didn't answer it:
“Can we use affiliate links on third party sites like Blogger, Twitter, Wordpress, Tumblr, Squidoo or article sites where we "own" the IP of the content but not the actual site?”
For blogging platforms like Wordpress, we’re requiring that publishers use the download-and-install versions of the products so that they have full ownership of their sites. For other promotional methods such as Twitter, etc, it is ok for your links to lead to your own websites that have links to eBay, but not to lead to eBay directly.
We haven't received any response from eBay yet. I imagine they are deluged with emails right now.
Since existing customers have until August 1st, I'd recommend waiting a bit, since 1) no action may be necessary, and 2) if it is necessary we will remove links with your eBay affiliate id from the capsules for you in order to protect your eBay account (you could also remove your eBay affiliate id from the affiliate settings page). However, if you want to get started editing your hubs, here is a list of your published hubs that contain an eBay capsule.
Thanks for the update, appreciate it, that link above though doesn't seem to be doing what it's told. It's showing me all of my hubs, regardless of whether they have an eBay capsule or not.
Thanks so much!
I'm going to wait a little longer before I actually start editing the hubs in hopes that you can come to some arrangement with ebay, but I really appreciate that you've made this process so much easier than it could have been!
This is very sensible advice. I'm going to wait and see! I've even included eBay capsules in the two Hubs I've just published (optimist, me).
Thanks Paul! Only 177 to edit!
For many of my hubs the ebay wasn't so much an earner as a way to ensure live coanging content where there is no new or rss. Eg dead people don't attract much news in a new capsule!
Anyone got any good suggestions to add changing bits to a hub to replace ebay?
No I'm not moving to NH, who says they won't be next. Might just move to Montreal, if they'll have me though. It's a great city with wonderful food and music.
Didn't (and don't) have to do anything, thanks to my laziness--never did get around to adding any eBay capsules. But I read through these posts and do want to express my appreciation for the way you (and the rest of the HP crew) are staying on top of the issue to the best of human ability.
I never even knew about sites like this until I took an online social marketing course in late 2007 through early 2008. Wrote a little for Squidoo and EzineArticles, did a few minor things with Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Revver, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, and a bunch of others. Never done a blog, likely never will. In the end, the ONLY site I now use/visit/write for on a daily basis is HP.
Wise or unwise, I'm just a one-basket kind of egg picker, and my fortunes are going to rise (or fall, but hopefully not) with HubPages.
Thanks for the update Paul. Please keep us posted. I use eBay a lot on my hubs and was making good money with the program. Many of my hubs would be useless without eBay. This really stinks. I am hoping you can reach an agreement with eBay. Fingers crossed....
Thanks for the list of hubs with ebay on them. It narrowed me down to 208. Ha
I'll be waiting until the official word before touching them.
I just posted on the forum over on ebay--they will surely lose much income if they follow thru with this.
When are they supposed to give official word Whitney?--I already deleted some
Luckily I do not use eBay hence I will not be wasting time switching over!
My coin hubs are full of ebay ads--people love them because they don't have to go search through tons of junk to find good stuff.
I found key search words and have some great ads--I have made money on them--by doing this, Ebay partner will be losing a lot of income--Hope they can work it out.
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