I had a look at some random pages on Dengarden and it is obvious that some pages have never been checked over by the eds. I am guessing these are lower traffic pages since management say they focus on high traffic hubs.
Here are 2 of the worst examples:
Long lists of spammy links (11): https://dengarden.com/gardening/Growing_Herbs_in_Pots https://dengarden.com/gardening/home_herb_garden_ideas
I saw a few right-floated Amazon capsules, too. Plus a few non-standard titles etc.
I looked at about 20 pages and found 5 with issues.
Hello, Will, I am not on dengarden, and can not make much input here. Thanks.
Thanks, Will (and Brandon for bringing to my attention.) We are working through a lot of the articles on Dengarden, but I will send these to the editor of Dengarden. Can you send me the other problematic articles that you found?
To be honest, the only ones which worried me were the spammy link articles.
I only mentioned the right floated Amazon capsules to make my point that at least a good proportion of articles had probably never been looked at by the eds.
If there are more spammy links hiding in the low traffic pages they will be harming the site.
I did see pages with Amazon links that in my opinion should never have them.
But that is up to you.
Personally, I wish you would just go for a standard SEO approach and bump all the product related pages into a separate directory (labelled "Shop" or whatever) and get rid of Amazon ads completely everywhere else.
OMG. That last paragraph. I have a feeling you have seen some Squidoo like articles here. None other than the famous Squidoo amazon sales articles need to go to a shop sector, but luckily HP does not allow those kinds of articles here.
Your cries of pain are understandable but HP needs to think seriously about why the niches are underperforming.
One thing to look at is how our niche sites differ from other sites.
The most obvious thing is the scattering of Amazon ads throughout. I have never seen another site, that relies on search engine traffic, at least, that uses Amazon ads the way HP does.
Anyway, time for a drink. If I post later expect nonsense, lol.
Well I got Amazon ads on my Dengarden hubs and they rank #1 for their terms and also have the snippets, so just Amazon is not the issue. Also, I know of many others with the same results. Enjoy your drink. Looking forward to the nonsense, lol.
All discussions well noted. Well, I am going for some refreshment and will be back later. I seem to be a complete stranger to the Dengarden site. Thank you, and no need to laugh here. While I enjoy my meal, enjoy the day. Or should Isay help yourselves? Thanks again.
Yep, same here on Exemplore. I usually restrict myself to one in-text link, and articles rank highly.
Can you share the floated Amazon article. That should have been algorithmically fixed, as we don't allow floated capsules anymore.
As for the sites declining, our test on doing small, impactful edits on a few sites has been incredibly successful! We are seeing huge growth (on average 30%) on those sites. I would suggest that Hubbers edit all of their content at least once a year, even if they are small but meaningful edits. The analogy is that you need to tend your garden,—you can 't just plant the seeds and leave it. Google loves fresh content, as they should!
Yikes, no way Will! I agree there's a lot of low-quality articles that need to be removed altogether but I would be very disappointed if Amazon links were taken away. A quarter of my income here is coming from them.
This is the thing - they're nuanced and they need to be used appropriately. When used in a wise way, they enhance an article. For instance, I have an article about how to remove cat urine from fabrics and the Amazon links I have in that article help my reader to make a shopping list. I'm helping them solve a problem.
Look at sites like Bustle. They do a lot of "how to" beauty articles and include in text Amazon links there. That's immensely helpful when someone is trying to figure out how to undo their bad dye job or get rid of a zit before their wedding day, you know? And it's an opportunity for the content creator to make some extra income, one that I REALLY appreciate.
As Robin is saying, it's helpful to go in and edit content. Once a year is okay, I try to get in there once every quarter and make sure that my titles and organization are on par. You're absolutely right that we need to be SEO focused but a large part of that is individual creators keeping up with Google updates, editing accordingly, and always maintaining high quality (which is what ranks best in Google, even if sometimes the algorithm temporarily throws us down).
This is a big deal and since it's on the HP tutorials section it may go unseen. I, therefore, wrote an email to the team with a link to this thread.
Just before I go, another gripe...
Why does HP use such small fonts? Don't they want people to read stuff?
Maybe switch to Verdana, too.
Most people on phones can just use their touch screen to enlarge text. I do it on my laptop. Otherwise a quick Ctrl and + makes it larger.
With plethora of articles available on the same topic, isn't it more convienent to go back and pick another site?
That's at least two clicks plus the added time + the need to read the description and choose another option. So I think not. But if the reader does not know how to do it, then yeah.
What I meant is, readers are more likely to read through an entire piece with attractive and bigger fonts. Wouldn't you want to switch to something more eye-soothing?
This is what I often wonder. They need to reconsider the font.
A lot of articles here have big blocks of text. Combine that with a small font and the page can look very unfriendly.
My heart sinks when I see the average HP page.
Having said that, most visitors use mobile and the sites look fine on mobile.
Wikipedia v wikihow v reelrundown all at 100% zoom in chrome:
The difference is significant. Even if you cut dwell times by a small percentage it will have an impact.
Font size could be increased, but the previous font you suggested was not really authoritative imo.
Increasing the size of font and using many more paragraphs is better for the mobile reader and since about 90% of traffic is mobile HP needs to optimize for it.
The added bonus of making these changes is that it significantly increases CPM because the page is much longer allowing more ads to be inserted.
This has been well tested.
I keep meaning to email Paul about this but haven't got around to it yet.
But I used the magnifier on my laptop. I will try ctrl plus later to experience the reality.
Too difficult to look for right floated amazon capsules at present. If I did not imagine them...
But imperfect headers, I have on record.
I hope we all realize that we are on the same side, here, incidentally. British people are disproportionately loyal and cynical in equal measure,
So bearing that in mind:
https://dengarden.com/pest-control/Hand … -A-Salt-20
Quote (take "sic" as read):
"The Guns Patrern and Power at a Longer Distance
The fly control gun says it is effective at three feet and my test prove it is. Just like a shotgun, the pattern is spread out more at longer ranges, but it shoots enough salt to mostly kill mosquitos and mortally wound a large fly at this range. It is possible that big flies will require more than one shot at 3 feet range."
We all have off days...
I was very drunk when I posted that last comment. Then I woke up this morning with a horrible feeling I had offended someone. So I was very glad to see that smiley. Phew.
Hope the mosquito safaris are going well, by the way. Does Paul have the heads of the large flies mounted?
It's always the way, a man has a few drinks, then the small blurry writing and floating Amazons start appearing.
Also this from Google search:
What is going on here? The niche sites getting mixed up in G's brain?
Looks like Google still has those indexed from when HP/Maven had the sites recommended/related sections linking all across the HP sites.
In regards to your OP, I've seen questionable and down right terrible work on all the niche sites that I am on. I even had several of my very old articles from when I first joined HP many many years ago moved to Dengarden and other sites that were TERRIBLE! Not worthy of moving. I was actually embarassed I had wrote some of the content that was moved. Worse part was the editors that picked and moved them didn't even bother to edit the articles beyond a few commas! The one that was moved to Dengarden I had to edit, because the first text capsule (4-5 paragraphs) had so many errors it was almost nonsense. I honestly have no idea why it was even picked. It still doesn't get traffic and it just went through another HP edit a month ago and has seen a whopping 8 views in the last 30 days.
There are major descrepancies between editors (even those from the same niche site). It has allowed so many poor performing articles to get moved to the niches. These are not just articles that were moved right away when they were set up, but also when they brought in the new team of editors. Some of my articles that get zero traffic, and have pretty much since I wrote them were getting moved and I was having to drop everything just to make them niche site worthy (and still they get zero traffic).
I will never understand how they decide what articles get moved (and where they end up) and what doesn't, because the editors/HP do not follow a specific set of rules. Each niche site supposedly has their own, but even those are not followed from what I've seen and experienced.
I don't know what is going on, but it's getting really frustrating. I've actually stopped writing and submitting, because I cannot get any of my articles moved. The ones that I finally do get moved, don't even end up on the right niche site and it takes several more days to weeks to get it to where it fits. My articles that get decent traffic and have been recently updated go nowhere, despite seeing subpar articles all over the niches. Seeing them choose articles I haven't even updated in 6 years and move basically unedited (even though they need to be) is disheartening.
I don't have much content on Dengarden specifically, but I do have a few. Poor content is not solely on Dengarden though. Owlcation, specificially the theology section is a hot mess. I understand that theology is not everyone's cup of tea, but that is what makes editing that section so much more important. If you're not knowledgable in what you're editing (beyond basic grammar) it causes a lot more harm than good. I've had several articles I had to rewrite and change just to fit arbitrary guidelines that don't fit for this particular subject, but because it's on Owlcation there is no leeway supposedly. Although a quick peruse through the seciton will show it's full of stories and people's opinions. As a result, the integrity of the articles in my opinion gets jeopardized, because I'm not free to express the views and opinions held by many other people of faith, even if it lines up with what scholars say as well.
We need educated and knowledgable editors if they are going to be editing specific topics (math/sciences, theology, subjects that have their own jargon like RVing for example, or anything academic related really). Theology isn't the only subject I've seen editors screw up, but I think it's one of the more important ones soley because it's on Owlcation and Owlcation is suppose to be entirely 100% academic. The theology section affects so many more subsections than any other niche site except probably Dengarden. I know they made the niche sites to be topic specific, but these two niches simply have too many topics that are not related on them which causes traffic concerns. Pile on poorly written/edited articles and it's only going to get worse.
I think editors will like to ask writer permits to move certain articles to niche sites. I still had no idea why one of my poems was a move that way when it is already featured. They say it is of high quality. I had written the editors for further clarification. Till date, not a response has been received.
As pure copy editors, focusing on layout, syntax spelling etc, I reckon the HP eds are fine.
They seem to avoid fact-checking/rewriting on more specialist pages unless they have the particular educational background required.
To be honest, after looking at a lot of pages on Dengarden I'm coming round to thinking that the site is pretty healthy.
It seems to have left the "millions of low quality profiles" debacle behind and there are only faint echoes of the adult content that flooded our sidebars last year.
I might carry on trying to shame them into looking for spammy links, comments that bring pages into disrepute etc etc, mainly because a few certainly exist and many more might.
I'm glad you haven't experienced those kind of edits. I have, although some of my articles are definitely not specialized per say but I've had editors flat out tell me they know nothing about the topic yet they still tried to rewrite sections of it anyway. I know TT2 had a lot of issues when HP first started editing her articles as well. She is well versed and specialized in her topic. Some of it may have come down to personal preference, but if that's the case why change it at all? Changing it to the editor's choice creates an article that doesn't sound like the author wrote it.
Not to mention editors are going through and adding bio's to every single article they accepted into niche sites without them. Editors are in no way qualified or specialized in every author here to write/edit bios for us. It was their mistake accepting articles without them, now they should be sending each of us an e-mail asking us to go and put one in. Is it a pain & a waste of their time? Sure, but it's a waste of my time having to rewrite it anyway. Why write something that is just going to get deleted anyway? There are better things they can and should be doing with their time instead of writing crappy bio's. Every single one of my bio's done by an editor looks like an elementary student wrote it and it adds zero credibility to my articles.
These editors need to be schooled for a month or two. How come, they can edit what they have no understand about? Or is the tool of understanding the English language the only qualification?
The editors are writing "Author Bios" for you and not just choosing one of your already written bios for hubs that have none? If I understood this right, all I can say is: Hmm... interesting.
I've had this happen to me on an article I had on HealDove. The editor rewrote my bio to make it sound as if the event I described had happened to me personally, when in fact I was just using an example to illustrate my point. I changed the bio back, but as I didn't like that level of interference, I later removed the whole article from the site and have since published it elsewhere. Of course, HealDove is no more so I don't know whether that editor is still with us.
HealDove was just rebranded so I would think it's very likely that the editor is still here. If this is what's been happening, I assume it's not just that editor, but actually something they've been asked to do.
Yep that's right. They've been doing it since the addition of bios. I've said something to the editors/Robin and said something on other threads by Kristy/Samantha and I always get the same response. "If you don't like it you can always change it.", or my favorite "I took info from your article. I didn't make anything up."
That's great but that's not the point. I'm the author it's my bio. An editor that knows nothing about me except what is in the article is not knowledgable enough to write my bio. No one at HP apparently sees a problem with it though, because it keeps happening and the newest bio created by an editor was by far the worst one I've seen created.
They should not write bios. If an article does not have a bio, don't move it to a niche site then. Ask the author to write a bio and then resubmit.
A lot of articles were moved to niche sites a few years ago even without editing and a bio. As HP editing staff have noticed them they have tried to fix that. Yes, you are correct in that they never should have been moved. (I do not think this is happening anymore.)
They should give authors a period of time to add bios to existing articles. Failure to do so will move the hub from the niche site until an added bio. Even with hundreds of hubs people would work on adding bios to the ones that bring in most of the traffic. Also bios can be added to multiple hubs at a time so for most authors this won't be a huge problem
They use to send e-mails when simple fixes like this were needed. Seems like that is no longer the case sadly.
I went through and deleted all the editor created bio's and either created my own or added an already created one. Took me less than 10mins. There really is no reason an editor needs to be writing one.
I had an article moved within the last few months that wasn't edited outside of a few comma's or dashes, and it really needed to be. The quality of editing is not equal across the board, nor is it comparable within the niches between different editors.
I can't speak for certain if they are still moving without bio's as I have not submitted any new articles in several months, but they were still crossing over non bio articles as late as Nov/Dec of last year (At least some niches/editors were).
I also received an automated e-mail for an article on Soapboxie that passed their review and doesn't have a bio. Funny thing is I have a bio already created that would work for that article. It wasn't added and a new one wasn't created. Although I'm not sure if a human or robot actually looks over and sends out those review e-mails. I was always under the impression that a staff member has to review every article that is edited to make sure it still passes. That's what it seemed like HP staff was saying anyway.
A few obscenities (look away if you are sensitive to these things):
Sorry all, just running through the shock/horror stuff on dengarden to make the point that it would be a good idea to explore the lower reaches...
Good detective work Will.
It looks like Dengarden needs some serious weeding.
Thx. I would encourage people to take a look at some of the other niches.
Yes.. This is terrible and it's been like this! All of mine are Dengarden articles
Those are some good catches. I can only imagine there are many more like that.
I did some searching on Pethelpful. The only blatant examples I could find were on comments.
Unfortunately, not everyone moderates comments. Everyone should.
Comments go through some kind of approval process too, right? Some times I do not get a notification and that's when the comments are spammy. I get to see them (and approve or permanently delete) when I get a notification for a new comment and go in to approve it on the hub (not the comments section on the accounts page).
I have read that staff goes through and approves them. However, there must be so many each day that I do not think they can keep up with it. I have my account set so that individual comments must be approved before posting but not everyone does this. (The Pethelpful writer that had the f word in her comments has not looked at her account in years. The most recent comment though was from a few weeks ago, so she must not be approving comments.)
I have just been spending 20 minutes now and again looking at these things but after a while you get to spot things pretty quickly.
There are a lot of weird things on dengarden, lol. Links that will not open if you right click them (but work fine with left clicks), people linking to zazzle stores in picture captions, a lot of broken links...
Anyway, heading to the coast today, wash the bees out my bonnet.
Dengarden, the latest horror series on NetFlix you should not miss. Lol.
I thought hubs had to be approved before they could get on dengarden?
Yup and some that moved in the first phase were not as well scrutinized, it seems.
I think that some low quality articles have slipped through. When the niche sites first started only a few were accepted, but I remember a period back in 2017 that many were sent through.
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