Amazon used to account for half my earnings on HubPages with sales happening every day. Now for the past five days (July 28 – Aug 1) I had zero sales.
I’m still getting Google traffic to my articles that have Amazon capsules and Amazon text links. So I’m wondering what changed.
Hopefully the HP team might have some clue. Anyone else notice this awful change with Amazon?
I see the same happening. I have had nothing since July 28th until today.
I don't get that many Amazon sales throughout the year - I rely on Google traffic - but did notice some earnings on a sale recently, dated July 22nd. A week later, July 29th, these were deducted. So I earned a little but then it was nullified. Not sure what that means?
I am not having that issue. I have Amazon earnings showing for every day for the past week. They amount to about half of what my HP earnings are for that time.
Thanks Sherry. That shows it's not a problem with Amazon.
It's strange that all of a sudden sales revenue has stopped for me even though Amazon shows sales. However, I just noticed that those sales were not shipped yet. That would explain why the revenue has not been posted yet.
Amazon is my saving grace right now. I am making sales.
Since the beginning of July, I have experienced traffic drops on most of my top performers. Part of that traffic has returned, but it certainly was an abnormally low period.
I do not earn from Amazon, but I see the trend bearing similarity.
Yes, there's been a catastrophic fall in Amazon earnings.
Much of this site's trouble with the Google algo over the years has been over Amazon. I'm guessing we got hit again and HP are working on it.
One thing that makes Amazon hubs so sensitive, I've found, is that people are way more likely to click and buy when article is number 1 in the SERPS, or at least very high up. Clicks and conversions seem to drop off dramatically if the article falls in rankings, even just one or two spots.
That's what I suspect has happened (I'll be honest and say I'll not analyzed the stats)
In my case, I think that both clicks and conversion rates are lower. I mean they're always bad in late summer, but not this bad!
I guess HP will either fix it through technical measures or there will be even more draconian rules introduced regarding articles with Amazon links...
I'm not sure if it has anything to do with Google Algorithms. I’m still getting Google traffic to those articles.
Interestingly, my Amazon Detailed Report page shows I had two sales since July 28th, but no earnings. It's also unusual to have days with no sales.
I'm thinking it seems to be an issue with Amazon not posting sales. I hope HubPages staff looks into that.
My experience is that all my hub traffic dropped by well over 30% following the series of algo changes. That included the ones with Amazon links.
Are you saying that your hubs with Amazon links didn't lose traffic?
I am still getting lots of Amazon earnings, just dramatically down since the algo hit.
All my hubs lost traffic, same as everyone else who posted about that issue. But what I'm saying is that my Amazon hubs didn't lose any more than the average loss experienced across all my hubs.
To put it another way, it's clear that the Google Algorithm changes affected our traffic. But I don't see that it affected hubs with Amazon ads any more than those without Amazon.
I'm still getting the same number of clicks on Amazon ads on average, just no sales.
I may have missed your last sentence when I replied earlier. Now I have two questions in relation to your last sentence:
1. Since July 28th have you had Amazon earnings?
2. Since the Google Algorithm changes, are your Amazon hubs hit worse than non-Amazon? In my case everything is down about the same.
I have two main sources of data:
The first is that not all my Amazon links were shifted over to HP. I have a lot of them and a number remain my own and not replaced (more through accident than design, but useful in this situation). HP statistical Amazon data is almost non-existent, but the data from my own/independent links on here tells me that not only have clicks on here diminished dramatically, but conversion rates have been hit harder (there's many more people clicking but not buying now).
The second source of data is my 11 accounts. Some of those accounts are hub-ad orientated, some are Amazon focused, and some are mixed. The ones focused most on Amazon incomes have done the worst proportionately.
The above are what my thoughts are based on.
While a coincidence can never be ruled out, the timing and data evidence suggest it's algo-related.
I have an open mind, but am yet to see anything that undermines my interpretation.
The HubPages Amazon Program report does show clicks, sales, and shipments. So I just took another look, comparing back in time.
10% of my clicks usually resulted in sales. But I see that clicks were suddenly reduced since July 28th. I still had two sales, although that’s low, since I usually had a couple of sales every day in the past.
The present problem is that those two sales were not shipped yet. So no revenue is posted. Amazon never had such a long delay with shipping before, but it could be a result of the specific items I have listed in my hubs.
The one thing the HubPages Amazon report does not show is which hub resulted in the sales. That would be useful.
We could be stuck with low Amazon sales for some time. Even if HP can fix issue, we still may have to wait for another big Google algo update before much changes.
This feels a bit like what happened in late 2019, but worse in some ways.
I did a bit more analysis. My clicks have halved. But conversion rate has als dropped from the 15 or 16% percent it was earlier this year to around 8% now. Consequently Amazon sales are only a quarter of what they were.
Thanks for that additional info, Paul. I went back to my May report to compare, and I noticed my clicks dropped to a third of what they were in May. So you did better than me, losing only half of the clicks. Nevertheless, I know that still hurts as well.
I’m beginning to wonder if browsers (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) are beginning to block Amazon ads. I mostly use capsules, and only a few hubs use text links. In the past I noticed that ad blockers did not block Amazon capsule ads. That may have changed. Any thoughts on that?
Amazon capsule ads are blocked by my free Adblock plugin for years now. That is why there have been suggestions to use text and not capsules, also for years now.
In addition to that, the new layout we switched to means more ads between text, and more flashing gadgets in general. There are way more things for readers to click, which means they will be clicking Amazon capsules less often. Capsules used to stand out. Now, for most readers, I suspect they just fade into the barrage of ads they are seeing.
Text links are better I suppose, but there are so many things competing for the reader's attention on these pages now. It seems clicks and sales are naturally going to suffer.
Clicks, sales and of course traffic as we are already seeing.
Your explanation makes the most sense, Eric. That could mean that we can’t expect much from Amazon anymore, with Maven placing so many ads on our articles.
Until recently, half my revenue from my articles on HubPages were from Amazon. That may never happen again. I wonder if the Maven team realizes that. Besides, 40% of the lost Amazon ad revenue went to HubPages/Maven, so I would think they should be concerned about that.
With a heavy sigh I came to the conclusion a few months back that actions taken by Google, Amazon, and HubPages themselves have dramatically damaged the outlook for sales revenue on this site. Like you, better than half of my earnings used to come from Amazon.
It is sad, but we must roll with the changes I suppose.
What Eric said makes sense, but these are changes that have been in place for many months and should not affect you all of a sudden. Did you contact the team about it?
No, Brandon, I didn’t contact the team about this. Ever since Tessa left, I don’t have a direct contact anymore, other than emailing the team in general. So I haven’t bothered. Anyway, as I mentioned a few days ago, sales and Amazon revenue started showing up again, although much less than the good old days.
Alright, cool. At least it is no bug with your account.
That’s true. I thought the same thing for a while when I saw zero sales three days in a row. But when I looked at the more extensive reports, it showed that Amazon didn’t ship yet. The revenue appeared when the items were shipped.
By the way, in reference to your point about contacting the team, I posted this thread in the “Official HubPages Help»Ad & Earnings Questions” section of the forum for that reason. But they never chimed in here.
Thanks Brandon. Which Adblock are you using?
I’ve tested several Adblock plugins and discovered that they did not detect Amazon capsules as ads, and therefore did not block them. That’s why I continued to use capsules on most of my articles.
In addition, I did use text links too, but they didn’t bring many sales. I guess the experience is different for everyone, and must be based on other factors.
On some hubs I included text links in addition to capsules, and luckily editors never snipped them for overuse. They probably knew why I was doing that.
Anyway, I appreciate you chiming in with that information that you have an Adblocker that does indeed block Amazon.
Outside of a return on the 28th, I have had earnings everyday since then. All told, enough to buy a Happy Meal and McDs.
Amazon just posted earnings for those two prior orders. And I see another sale pending shipment. Hopefully whatever happened has been resolved on their end.
As this 5 week old thread has suddenly done a Lazarus and sprung back to life, let me say that my Amazon income has also come back to life to a degree.
6 weeks ago it was down by around 2/3. Now it's down by about 1/3.
So, there's been an improvement of sorts. Part of it's no doubt due to seasonal factors, but it's still better than nothing.
That’s great, Paul, that your Amazon sales are improving again. In my case, I found out why I was missing sales. I dug deeper into the stats and looked at the items on Amazon that I was listing. It turned out that they were out of stock with one of my biggest sellers. Once that was resolved, I'm earning from sales again.
That goes to show how important it is to keep an eye on the availability of the items we write about.
Glen, that's great news. Now, you have additional knowledge of the circumstance. It just goes to show us that hard work pays off.
I'm not jumping for joy, but things were truly dire in summer, so it's good within that context. I don't think I'll ever have the Amazon earnings back that I had a few years ago.
I check my Amazon links every few months and amend products/articles where necessary. It takes me a few full days, but it's worth it. A couple of years ago I got lazy and it cost me. Nowadays, I try to stay on top of things.
Yep. It cost me too. Amazon sales usually account for half my earnings on HubPages. When I ignored the issue and merely was wondering what was wrong, I was losing big time.
If I would have simply looked at those items on Amazon sooner, I would have noticed the words, “Out of stock!” Then I could have made the adjustments sooner, as you do.
That's happened to me too a couple of times. I haven't checked it out in detail, but this article mentions setting up UptimeRobot to monitor for a product being back in stock. Maybe it's possible to use this or similar utilities for monitoring Amazon links and checking for "out of stock"?
https://www dot cnet dot com/tech/services-and-software/create-a-personal-robot-that-alerts-you-when-a-product-is-back-in-stock/
Initially, when HP introduced the broken link scanner, I thought hurray! because I thought it would be detecting "broken" Amazon product links too! Alas, this was not the case!
We get notified about duplicate content, etc. but the thing that I'd really like HP to give me for Christmas is notification of Amazon product links that don't work for whatever reason...
It's a little crazy really, I will have a look at those products you mention, Eugene, it's tiresome doing it all manually, when the internet is almost completely automated.
I'm also convinced that there are plenty of negligent hubbers who have links that they never check, which can't help the site overall.
That’s a reasonable assumption, Paul. But the fact is that when an item is temporarily not available, the Amazon product listing does not become a broken link with 404 error.
Instead, it remains as an active page and simply includes a message somewhere on the page saying the item is no longer available, temporarily unavailable, or out of stock.
I think Eugene's suggestion might work, using the Uptime Robot Monitor, but we would need to monitor for all possibilities.
Yes, that's why I put "broken link" in quotations for Amazon, Glenn. I'm familiar with what the Amazon pages look like. The truth is that there are a lot of things that can happen with a product.
It can go out of stock. The name changes sometimes, though it's the same product. Sometimes it becomes archaic. I've seen all sorts of things happen over the years with the products.
That's why there's never been an HP "broken link" detector for Amazon, I believe.
I always try to update ad-orientated hubs at least once/year. Amazon hubs I try to check/update at least 4 times/year. It's a major job, I have a lot of them.
Absolutely correct, Paul. The points you mentioned could be a reason why we see so many Hubbers complaining about not making money from Amazon.
You’re right that we need to keep an eye on all our hubs that have Amazon capsules or in-text links.
The filter in the stats report to show Amazon hubs only shows those with capsules, not text links. I keep a list of my articles that have Amazon items, so I can go through that list to check once in a while, as you recommended.
I took a quick look at the description of the uptime monitor. Thanks Eugene. That looks Iike it might be useful for monitoring Amazon products for out of stock.
It’s not meant for that, so it has to be used backward from its intended purpose. For example, It will notify “up” when “out of stock” suddenly appears. When we get that alert we would know we need to replace the item in our article with a similar alternative that is available.
The problem is that we don’t know if Amazon uses the same term each time when an item is out of stock. And it’s case sensitive too. So this idea is still experimental. But thanks for bringing this tool to our attention.
Not having an issue. Had three Amazon hits in the last four days. Seems to be on Owlcation articles ... traffic there seems to be up as well. Plus Ive got a 09/11 article ... that always helps this time each year.
I recently updated an article of mine, originally posted in 2013, that is a review of a mattress topper. It's one of my top viewed. However, when I attempted to embed a link to the product, I was unable. I know HP frowns upon the out-and-out Amazon capsule, so why am I unable to embed a link, as they prefer?
To further explain, I'd originally bought the topper at Big Lots. HP editors deleted many paragraphs of my review, including where I bought it and those where my personality explained what led up to the purchase in the first place. I wasn't pleased that, after all these years, they eliminated half of the copy (and my personality), but thought I'd watch the stats to see whether or not their edit made sense. So far, I don't see a difference. I'm willing to remove the references to Big Lots, but why am I unable to include an Amazon link? I've checked Amazon to see it they sell this topper and the answer is yes, they do.
So, why can't I embed a link and earn off this highly-read review?
You might not be doing it correctly. First, look up the ASIN number in Amazon’s listing of the item. Then go ahead and highlight the text in the hubedit tool and click the link icon. Enter Amazon's ASIN number of the item in the search field and select the item that appears below that. The highlighted text should now become an Amazon link.
Amazon used to account for about 3/4 of my total earnings... real nice when the percentage was around 8% on a couple of items selling on a regular basis that were in the 30-40 dollar retail price range. Yes it has dropped a lot, but still some revenue. The percentages went down suddenly and steeply.
by Alison Graham 16 months ago
I have shipped items showing each day and a value of sales but no earnings showing? Is this only me or is this a known glitch that HP are working to sort out?
by GreenMind Guides 3 years ago
A few weeks ago my earning percentage dropped from about 10% to about 5%. Is it just me?
by Holle Abee 11 years ago
Someone told me that she purchased products from Amazon via my hubs last week. This is not showing up on my affiliate account - not even any clicks! Why?? She said she got an email from Amazon that the items have been shipped already. I used the Amazon capsule to display the items on my hubs.
by Bev G 10 months ago
No Amazon earnings for six days! At this time of the year. I've not seen anything like this for years - it's usually a really good time for me
by Christy Kirwan 3 years ago
Heads up! We’re changing the way we calculate Amazon earnings for participants in the HubPages Amazon Program (external Amazon affiliate users will not be affected).The changes we are making are necessary for the HubPages Amazon Program to work properly on AMP pages. Plus, authors will have more...
by James M Becher 6 years ago
Is there any way to find out which Amazon products sale? I found that I had an Amazon sale that made $0.88, and I went on my Amazon affiliate site to check and it has no sales listed--probably too soon to post there. I'd just like to know what sold--whether it was one of my books...
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