We would like to address the collective concern regarding the “Recommended” content that has started to show up on article pages. This is a brand new technology, personalized to each individual to drive engagement. Due to a bug, there has been unwanted content popping up for some of you. Your feedback has offered some valuable data, and allowed us to disable such suggestive material. We appreciate your patience, and will continue to update the community as information becomes available.
Are you suggesting that MTO being a part of Maven is also a bug? MTO comes up as a listed website on their main domain.
When you consider that the recommended content was showing articles from all over the hp/maven network it's not unreasonable to think that MTO was showing because it was a new addition to Maven. Now that I'm not seeing MTO "articles" I'm also not seeing the shift from niche site to niche site, or niche to hp and vice versa.
No, the excessive amount of said content being displayed was the bug.
It's not so much the excessive content... it's the extreme porn content displayed on innocuous hubs. After all, we are told by HP that our content must be suitable for a 13 year old to read... yet here we see 'Secrets of doggy style' or whatever it was. What will Google Adsense peeps say when they see it? Surely it violates their policies?
Is this an initiative by Maven so that HP will lose its Adsense account? It certainly seems that way, because sooner or later that is what is going to happen.
I haven't seen any ads like that, but it is a great concern if others are seeing it. That could destroy HubPages.
I wonder if it might be malware that some people have that causes porn to be superimposed over (or replace) existing valid ads.
Have a look here: https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … t-the-heck
See the first sceenshot. They are MTO ads.
Thanks Bev. I actually saw that post the other day. What I meant was that I'm not seeing those ads when I read hubs.
That's because the bug was caught and corrected within an hour of its appearance!
Thanks Samantha. Good to know they were stopped.
But I still don't understand why a recommended hub that has nothing to do with the hub it's placed on would be better than a recommended hub that actually is related in some way to the hub it's placed on.
Please tell me what the benifit for me or HP is to see '400+ Dirty Truth or Dare Questions', 'Short Stories for Middle and High School', 'Are You a Witch? ' and 'Signs a Dog Is Dying' as recommended hubs on an article about living below sea level???
And only when I click the page renew button a few times the word recommended changes into related and then I see the normal somewhat related hubs appearing.
Mto staff are not ads. They are "articles" written by a website that Maven acquired.
That’s really very bad news. If that’s true, Maven going to destroy both of us? Where did you hear that Maven acquired that website. I’d like to know the reference so I can follow up since I wrote a hub about investing in Maven. I may need to update it.
You can go to the maven dot com and search mto in the find your Maven. It comes up under entertainment gossip.
It's a website with no Maven identifiable markings (think Maven key, search bar, ect). Similar to Zebrahorn, Av Network, ect. They are like the hp niche sites in that they have their own urls/websites, however these sites are not required to have any Maven markings like the hp niche sites have to.
You mean maven dot io - Not .com. I looked. Thanks. Okay, so as far as I can tell, it’s not porn. But I wonder who approved the porn-type ads that link to those articles.
I always use themaven dot com, it takes me to the same place as Maven dot io.
I don't know. I never actually saw porn ads just very suggestive and explicit article titles with pictures that can be found on the mto site.
Sorry, I didn't mean ads. They are actual articles.
You’re confusung me. Those are ads about articles. When you click the ad it goes to the article. Do you mean something else?
Glenn, I don't see them either, no matter how many times I reload or how many times I clear my cache. People are seeing this in place of the related articles from what I understood.
They are snippets of articles. Just like we see snippets of related hubs.
My technology Hubs currently have Fashion and Beauty Hubs as recommended articles and judging by the titles really make my pages lack credibility. For example “Pubic Hair On Woman” and “Men Who Wear High-Heels”. It’s very frustrating these articles appear as though I’m recommending them, when they have nothing to do with my writing! I’m so embarrassed! I don’t want to share my Hubs on social media until this changes. Surely I have enough similar Hubs in Technology which can be recommended rather than recommending random fashion articles from this category some of my readers could find inappropriate.
Several others have seen these articles and very similar ones as well. I agree it's embarrassing and really drags the quality and credibility of our articles down. Especially those that are COMPLETELY unrelated.
As I understand it, most of those articles are coming up only on the HP main site and not the niche sites anymore (they were before so there is nothing stopping it from happening again), but it is still harmful to our whole network. Hp's main site is already being dinged for bad quality and still being a content farm, so showing these types of articles (that have a very specific audience) on all sorts of unrelated articles is not a good thing in my opinion.
Before Maven we would hardly ever see articles like that (if at all) because the quality is either poor or they do not get a lot of traffic. There is a reason they are on HP (rather than the niche sites), and we should not be recommending them to viewers. Especially to viewers that are reading high quality unrelated content.
Just because HP is a holding place for articles before they possibly get moved to a niche site does not mean we should stop caring about what happens on the main site.
I'm sure my articles have nothing to do with pee and pubic hair, once the page refreshed, the recommended section was more normal, but I'm happy I grabbed a screenshot.
Thanks for the update, I still don't see the recommended section myself, just popular and related, but it's nice to know what's happening.
I've found that it doesn't appear the first time a page is loaded but it then appears when the page is refreshed.
Brandon, I just clicked on some of your hubs and this is what I found on a HP hub about tomatoes. So the bug hasn't been removed at all!!!
Titia, it has been confirmed by staff that it’s not a bug. Maven acquired that seedy website. Now it’s up to us to make our feelings known about having those suggestive “porn-type” ads for their articles on our hubs.
Our feedback is valued. Seems like that's the extent of it now.
I wouldn't be calling them ads. They are not ads. If anyone clicks on those MTO staff articles it will take them to exactly what is being shown (just like it does for our hp articles). You will see bikini pics, graphic footage, and whatever other vile and questionable stuff they have posted about.
WoW. Go MTO. I know people do, but I still need to ask. Do people actually read shite like that?
You'd be surprised Brandon how many people read that sh*t. I think that's why Maven aquired them. They bring in the money.
Glenn, like Shesabutterfly said, they are NOT ads, they're articles with pictures and videos. You don't see them because they don't appear anymore on the niche sites and all your articles are on niche sites. Brandon however still has some articles on the main HP site and when I click on those or hit the renew button a few times, the MTO articles appear and 'related' has changed into 'recommended'.
I don't think it's just that. Glenn can you take a look at one of my hubpages hubs and let me know if you see them? Because I do not see them on my laptop. I only saw it on my university work computer. I just checked right now a few reloads and nothing just the related section.
I am not complaining I am happy I don't see them. It's just me hoping that at least some of the readers out there too do not see them.
Samantha said the recommended section is new technology. Do you think it's possible they did not roll it out for everyone? I tried different computers, as well as my phone, and tablet using different browsers and I only saw the recommended section.
The recommendations are looking a lot better, but still needs some work. I'm curious why some of us have it while others do not.
Oh Cholee, guess what? After checking Brandon's hubs and not finding any MTO ads (links), I checked a few of yours and I see one under the "recommended" listing. It's in your hub on "Cinnamon Apple Muffins." After a refresh it showed a new list of recommendations, but none by MTO Staff. It just appeared once.
I've seen it on that article at times as well. The mto staff use to be all the recommended suggestions, however I'm finding them less and less (similar to what you just described). I'm thankful for that, but still slightly worried Maven picked up this site in the first place.
Maven needs to sell ads, this site gets a lot of views and I'm sure people view hundreds of articles when they land on one. Definitely does better than us in terms of number of pages per visit. People who like gossip are going to go bouncing from one to another lol.
I understand that. I know several people who would eat that garbage up lol. I'm wondering if it will harm the HP niche sites though since that is content we have been told to stay away from. I know HP's main page has articles with similar content just reigned in a lot (no swearing, graffic pictures, ect.), and those are what I'm seeing in my recommended section now with one or two articles that I would MAYBE actually read (not really related, but closer than what I've been seeing the last few days). Maybe since HP already contains tamer but somewhat similar content we will be okay?
Do the individual Maven websites affect the niche sites if they are not linked? I'm assuming Google sees all and can tell who is on the Maven network despite what is being linked where...Although I thought the individual sites got a leg up (since they do not look like content farms) and that's why the niche sites were staying separate. Gives Maven traffic, but allows hp to stay on Google's good side since we are not all on the same url (sorry not sure the right terminology).
We are all considered as separate sites. Even if Google knows that we belong to the Maven network and lets say Google hates MTO, they will not harm the niche sites, because the niche sites are separate entities from MTO.
But if we link to them like it's happening now, Google, if they consider MTO to be spam, will say we are linking to spam and hence we are not a safe portal for their users, hence we get a drop in rankings.
A lot of ifs in there. But in short, if we link to spam we are damaged too. What is considered spam to us and to the bots is a different story.
I just checked her hub and reloaded 6 times. Nada. You hopped to the other side of the fence. The grass is greener on this side, Glenn. Try and come back to the Related realm and away from the Recommend fantasy.
Brandon, I just checked several of your hubs. I even refreshed a few times. I don't see any of the "MTO Staff" ads (links).
Titia, I think we just have a minor failure of communication. I know they are articles. But I'm referring to the ads in our hubs that POINT to them. Those are ads. Aren't they? ... And that's what concerns me. Some readers see those recommended suggestions and in my opinion it degrades our hubs. They are not related to the subject and are inappropriate.
As for me not seeing them, I don't see them when I read other people's hubs either. It seems to be selective in some way. I only know about it from this forum and from a direct search in TheMaven.
No Glenn they are not ads. They are Regular links not paid links. They are in place of the related section that you are seeing. I saw this only in the university and not on my computer. You're right that only some people see it, because I don't, at least not on my computer.
Okay, we have different terminology. And that's okay. I know they are not paid links. I know they are just Maven links. But in my mind they are advertising articles on Maven, so I consider them ads.
Thank you for the update and for addressing the concern.
Hi Samantha - Thanks for the update. Could you please address a couple of things?
Could you explain why when you search, in many article descriptions on the results the MTO article is what is described, having nothing to do with the title, the content being grossly inappropriate and in some numerous cases offensive such as when it indicates it includes an actual sex tape of a teenager having sex with her boyfriend. It also says "by MTO staff" looking like all our content falls under MTO and is written by a group of their staff.
Is it possible to tell us how long this bug has been a problem and to give an honest assessment of what kind of damage it may have done?
Could you clarify what this means exactly? "This is a brand new technology, personalized to each individual to drive engagement."
I think the biggest concern we have though, is just the lack of communication from staff. It seems like there are repeatedly different "bugs" and changes that keep occurring and we are not informed of anything until one of us catches it. Even then, there may still be no comment from staff even though there might be several thread with conversations and requests for input from staff which go largely ignored. There are thread related to massive traffic drops, continued decreases in CPM despite increases in views, issues with editing, ads that serve to funnel traffic from HP to Maven (and despite some reports of HP writers seeing some traffic from Maven that is not the case for many of us), seeming drops in quality across HP, and Maven ads that directly compete with one of that authors articles. Luckily there are several HP writers who have a wealth of info and can make suggestions as to what might be occurring for some of these concerns. But we shouldn't be the ones trying to come up with answers which may or may not be accurate. We need more information and regular updates from staff before we discover a change or problem and become concerned over it. A little transparency goes a long way. For the most part, we are a very loyal bunch and will stick by HP provided we are assured they have our best interests at heart. Of course we understand that being acquired by Maven there will be changes and that we might not always like them. That's just business. But when something might affect us in terms of earnings, traffic, or the continued existence of HP we have the right to know so we can make decisions on our own behalf.
Know that the there are many of us who are dedicated to HP and are in this for the long haul. We are willing to take on a good deal of the editing piece in terms of helping new authors learn what it takes to get an article featured or moved to a Niche site and to explain a lot of the technical parts of being successful here. And though we don't say it nearly enough we do appreciate all you guys do and understand that with doing double duty (or even triple duty) working for HP, the niche sites and Maven you must be crazy busy. Just please try to keep us in the loop a bit more. Thanks!
The MTO descriptions only show up for me if I actually search for the term MTO staff, however it is still unsettling (espeically considering MTO is a part of Maven). If I'm looking for a specific subject or article those that came up when searching MTO staff all look normal.
I'm also curious about this "brand new technology". My recommended section is a mess even if it is not showing MTO staff articles anymore. Most articles that appear are not related, or even in the same subject matter (Similar to what Titia is seeing). I'm also seeing poorly written articles (on niche sites) that have no structure, are riddled with spelling/grammar errors, incomplete sentences, ect. Or I'm only seeing articles by one author. This is not making me want to engage with the recommended section. If these articles are suppose to be "personalized to me the individual" there are more bugs that need to be fixed in my opinion.
Samantha, Hopefully, this situation will come to a close quickly, and we will be able to chuckle at it in the future. Per Natalie's comment, thank you, Natalie, I couldn't have said it better, there are some issues that need addressing. I ditto what Natalie posted. Please fill the vacuum and let us know what is happening per her comment.
I'm glad to read that it was a bug and I truly hope those filthy MTO articles will disappear for ever. I still saw one on one of my hubs.
I don't know what 'a brand new technology, personalized to each individual to drive engagement' means, but clicking on my hubs I often see that the recommended content has no relation whatsoever with the article (one of my Photography hubs links to hubs on Dating (100+ sexting examples to turn a guy on), Home Improvement (smelling sewer gas) and Dogs. I really don't see the connection here and what good it will do.
Natalie, that is an excellent post. I hope staff read it.
Natalie totally hit the nail on the head. Communication from HP has been awful lately. We hardly ever hear from you.
Also when we are communicated with it's in this weird corporate speak that sounds like a robot wrote it.
Can we get back to a place where HP staff and writers communicate with each other in a human, open and honest way please?
+1 "weird corporate speak . . . like a robot wrote it." I concur, thought it was may lack of tech knowledge.
Absolutely. I agree. The sentence I asked about was a good example. Plus, even when staff does communicate it is very short and doesn't really address all our concerns. I just want to know what is going on with HP currently and what the future looks like.
Could someone from HP kindly explain exactly how a "brand new technology, personalized to each individual to drive engagement" is going to work?
Otherwise, I have to make assumptions and fill in the blanks. And my guess right now is that it is yet another way to funnel traffic away from the niche sites and over to Maven sites.
I really wish Maven would leave the niche sites alone. It took forever for HP to recover after Panda and it was such a long, gruelling slog. But HubPages figured it out, eventually, and the niche sites have been very successful.
Why mess it all up now?
Whatever else happens, if Maven keeps the HP niche sites humming along as they were they'll at least have a reliable source of cash coming in.
Tinker with the formula too much and risk killing off the whole thing.
Oh I'll tell you what type of content HubPages would prefer. Think in terms, and please don't think I'm sexist, who is grading your paper. Most likely it's a womanl So why do you think they have ready-made ready to go recipe outlines availble? Let's face it, who enjoys or does mostly cooking?
I'm a bachelor and ironically I don't even know how to boil water propery.
I know there are some men out there who like to cook but let's be realistic.
Yes I'm still going to refer to that time when the Hub Of The Day was how to knit a cap with animal ears on it. Oh sure, more than 51% of males do THAT type of activity!
Yes it's me. Thank you for having me back to terrorize you all in the Hub Pages Star Chamber. Yes I'm going to bring up the subject of my poor 87 year old dying mother who thinks I'm lying through my teeth when I tell her I won an Accolade on HubPages - the popular accolade. I'm not going to capitalize it because obviously it's of zero significance and importance to the local community Star Chamber.
Bear in mind that I'm risking expulsion from this site when I bring up this sore subject. Much like the near almost dictatorship of an unnamed Administration where if you're caught making disparaging remarks you could find yourself on the outside looking in.
I think they're used to me by now so I'll take that risk thank you. But after an unspecified amount of time it's taken off your profile forever. It really did exist mother, it really did. Meanwhile she pat's my head and assures me that SHE believes me.
Okay sorry, I'm getting a little dramatic there and off subject I realize. But please just change the rule on this one little thing please thank you. Oh and I promise to write an article very soon here.
Of course my last one was not very well accepted. I can understand that. Yes it was on Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully AKA known to Los Angelenos as the Voice of God because he could be heard everywhere.
So if you're considering to do something on sports, male bonding or any other testosterone filled subject, you're 80% of the time going to have a woman judging it and reading it for you. Lots of luck!
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to hunker down in my bunker as I take on a barrage of expected and allowed verbal and written abuse from women who historically almost try to disallow any kind of obvious pro-male viewpoint or stance.
Does this flak jacket make my butt look big? INCOMING!
Natalie, That was an excellent post you left yesterday. You addressed all the important concerns. I'm troubled to see that you didn't get a reply from staff yet. So I just sent an email to Robin and Paul about the possibility that the code of that "new technology" might have a bug allowing hackers to replace good ads with porn.
I have not seen any of those ads myself. I would suggest everyone who sees those ads should run a malware check. I recommend malwarebytes. It's free.
This is all new stuff, and we are tinkering to find the best ways to recirculate traffic within the Maven coalition. The “Recommended” section has replaced our internally generated “Related Content” section. During a recent test of the new system, the click-through rate increased significantly, and went largely unnoticed until the MTO bug popped up. Because they are awesome, our product team was able to remove it within the hour.
Maven will have a widget similar to our "Recommended" feature available within the next few weeks. Some people will click on these and some won't, but stimulating viewership and keeping readers around longer will benefit everyone involved. These cross-domain recommendations will hopefully increase visitors and promote the recirculation of content across all platforms.
Our team will be experimenting with making ad revenue changes to help authors and the company thrive. But yes, I agree, this process can be frustrating and absolutely nonsensical at times…
Something I can say (rather confidently), is that the fluctuations with individual ad partners, as well as with traffic, are both random and totally normal.
I hope the glitch is showing any MTO material at all. We are not permitted to put such explicit material only hubs, so the links and ads should also not include it.
"MTO News’ enormous success is credited to the editorial content’s ability to emotionally connect with the needs and interests of our audience, through African American culture. MTO News doesn’t just report the scoop; it relates to the experiences of its readers, through the lens of celebrity."
OMG! Tell me you just made that up. I refuse to go check it out on their website. I'm sure they connect with a lot of their audience, but it definitely doesn't represent "culture" of any sort.
Their top Organic traffic term (they have loads of organic traffic) is beyonce pregnant with 49500 average monthly searches. How does something like this go on for months to get a monthly average? The next popular term is Nicki Minaj "insert synonym for the rear end and Khloe Kardashian "insert a different synonym for the rear end".
EDIT: In the top 10 there's another one called giant "insert another third synonym for the rear end"
Our audience is going to love checking these out, the diverse culture that website represents.
History.com also joined the maven network, why can't the test period show some of those posts instead.
And it gets worse. I'm shocked, I really am. I just looked at one of your HP articles, Brandon, and there's an ad for artificial turf!
Just joking (there was one though).
I got an idea I am gonna look at one of my hubs from the uni computer to see if I see this stuff. I want to see what kind of stuff is on my SEO tutorial. Maybe some other weird tutorials from there.
I see recommended on my HP hubs but not on the niche sites. Niche site still show related and they are really related. The recommended are also on the HP domain right now and not MTO, but they are not related at all. I see the same Pubic hair one as DrMark posted. I'm wondering whether that article is seeing a boost in traffic. Seems to be on top of most of the HP articles I checked out.
It took me awhile, but I still found a few mto articles this morning. They are a lot less frequent but still there. Not surprising as Samantha said the bug was the frequency of which we saw them, not the actual articles.
Wish I was seeing the related articles. I still only see them for a flash of a second then the recommended section pop ups. They are getting better on the niche sites, but still unrelated and nothing I would want to read.
It looks like Maven is assuming that our articles on HubPages attract an audience that wants this kind of filth. This is very disturbing.
Well, this has been an educational experience. As an online writer I think it is important to always be learning.
For example, I have learned that I should spend less time writing about fish and birds and more time writing about celebrity rear ends and who had intimate relations with whom. That is apparently what Maven and HP thinks our readers want to see.
Evidently it is totally acceptable for the niche sites now. I assume it will also be acceptable to link my aquarium and birding articles to my new ones about celebrity butts.
So, this pretty much explains the constant decline in traffic for the last 1-2 months?
Nope this is new. The drop I still blame the qna pages and site load speed.
Lobo, would you advise writers to disallow the Q&A feature on their hubs? I originally thought it was meant to boost traffic.
The team would say otherwise and they have all the stats. I can only use SEMrush to track the websites and gather their ranking data and correlate what I see here with the SEO work I do for my clients and the fixes I make there to get them back up, etc. This helps me spot issues on other sites. Plus we all learned from the 2011 panda update.
All signs point to this being a bad feature. The team did not respond to my last question on the stickied thread about the QnA https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … c-concerns and there were replies to other posts. So I would think the answer to my question would prove my point.
Stoping questions on your hubs will not help you recover or prevent losses from futher updates, it needs to be all across the board because we are all one entity on each niche site.
Take for example, this question: https://owlcation.com/question/what-doe … nopes-mean it has it's own URL but if I google the exact question on search, this hub ranks better than that question: https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/Snopes-and-Facts and in my opinion every question on a hub is related to the hub and it would be better if the hub ranked instead.
So, if I were you I would keep the QnA thing active to see what people are asking and then add relevant content to my hub. I'm not sure if this answers your question or brings more up.
Thanks for all this Lobo (and Glenn et al). What with the Google update, QnA issues and now these awful Maven ads/links popping up out of Bugland, seems we're in a mini-cycle of doom and gloom! It's good to have a staff member reply with an explanation, thanks Samantha, but I sense some trepidation in the air. Porn and butt are on the rise and we have to stem the tide, so to speak. I guess we'll just have to keep vigilant, prod members of staff for answers and hope that someone with a bit of clout can keep HP relatively clean, free of low-life detritus.
My traffic is still healthy and earnings are good - I'm sure that goes for many contributors to niche sites - so I would hate to see the show go down the pan just when things are working out for a lot of decent writers here on HP.
Thanks for the details-- so I guess even if all of us (from HubPages) stopped it wouldn't help. Did this feature come from Maven or HP? I don't really think I've had any Q's on my non-niche hubs.
Don't need to answer this, as I guess we can't do anything about it.
If all of us on HP stop it will solve that problem. But remember, that most of the writers do not visit the forums and among the many that do not all will read this. So it's never going to be all of us unless HP does it from their end. It's a feature of HP not Maven.
Q&A has no direct correlation to traffic, and in fact, the feature can actually improve traffic via keyword search results: https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … -concerns.
I can confirm that the same ridiculous articles are showing up on my recommended section as well. How did I not notice it before?
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