What. The heck. Is this.
And why are some "writers" given access to these formats but not Hubbers who have been here for years and years?
I've lost a bunch of monthly earnings from sales over the past year. Some of that is because of the actions of HubPages themselves. Now I see that HubPages has set things up so that some writers (I guess they are writers) now have an advantage.
I have articles about the best betta tanks and best heaters and other reviews. I have another account with tons of niche reviews. I would have loved the opportunity to present them in this format.
So, why are some writers given an advantage and the opportunity to create articles in this format and how do you get to be one of those writers?
How can we apply for this or have our articles considered for this format?
As an aside I followed the link you provided. Then I clicked on 'Home' at the top of the page. That led to what appears as the normal PetHelpful page where it shows "Popular Articles" and then "Featured Author: Eric Dockett".
This is daunting. HP has more staff now, too. I suspect the HP staff wrote this page. I'd like to hear their reasoning behind this move. Ideally, they ask the writers to do this and earn revenue from Amazon. Unfortunately, that is not how it always works.
Wow. This is nothin more than reviewing Amazon products. I've seen many sites that compare pet products (or any for that matter) and they give Amazon links to each. The difference between those and what HP is now doing, is the author receives the views and states that s/he is an Amazon Affiliate.
So, what's the point of this new site? HP/Maven reaps the benefits of clicks and authors are left out in the cold? Are they taking the links from our individual articles and creating a cash register for themselves with disregard to the authors who posted them within our reviews?
HP needs to come into this thread and enlighten us.
To be honest, in reading the intro on that page, it could use some work. It's not a smooth read at all. The word 'that' can be omitted in most uses. As it is now, it's very clunky. I wonder who wrote it?
I delved a bit into the cat area and took a brief glance. Some of the reviews could use a going-over by the editors for grammar. When you go down to the bottom of each page, it shows the author and a brief bio. Click on the author's name or photo and you're provided with their EMAIL ADDRESS! What's up with that? Also, it's not clear if the authors are HP writers or not. I tried Googling one author's name as Name on Hubpages and received this from Google: "It looks like there aren't many great matches for your search." Conversely, when I use the same search term using my name, the entire first page resulted in links to my profile page, articles, and even comments I've made.
Yes, I think we're owed an explanation.
So who are these reviewers? And, as Eric expressed, why aren't HP authors given the opportunity to be Amazon affiliates, as are the PetHelpful reviewers?
Our apologies for the delayed response. We were testing out a new partnership and layout, but due to disappointing results, it will soon be dropped.
We are definitely not planning on banning Amazon links on our Network Sites. We may try rolling out a new format for review articles at some point in the future, but there's nothing currently in the works. Thank you for your patience!
Thank you for the reply and explanation. This is some good news at least. However, I am still left with major questions and concerns about how this whole thing went down.
We understand your concerns. The intent of this test was never to undercut HP authors or supersede their work. The quiet testing of this new layout was meant to avoid causing any anxiety. We're sorry that things didn't shake out that way, but please know that all changes made to the platform are designed (and duly tested) to improve the quality of our sites and thereby increase traffic and earnings across the board.
How does using writers outside HP, who use poor English, and provide misinformation, improve the quality of our sites, increase traffic and earnings? Why would you not reach out to the loyal writers in this platform?
It is peculiar that a media company, one that makes all of its earning from content, would approve and test, on the Internet, such puerile content. There are over 100 articles, once you drill down into reviews for cat and dog products.
The quality control is so lacking that an article on "hay for rabbits" has this listed as one hay bags key benefits:
Sizes for most keyboard types
Great for large wrists"
It is concerning when the powers that be demonstrate contempt for the work of those who develop the products off which the company is surviving. The only reason to try such an experiment is for one to be unaware of everything that has happened via Google algo changes over the last 13 years.
There is no problem with the format, however the execution, the lack of quality control, is astonishing.
Something similar occurred when Maven took over Sports Illustrated, and the highest paid writers were dismissed. Eventually, it was discovered that one of their crack, new writers was, in fact, a high school student, masquerading as a sports authority.
If they want to increase Amazon sales, they should unchain the current writers, and give the editors a new set of instructions for spammy vs. informative sales content.
They also might consider a different affiliate program that pays a higher commission rate. I expect Amazon will soon do away with the affiliate program altogether.
I have always thought of HubPages as a business arrangement between writers and the site. It is becoming harder and harder to think of it that way. In my mind I always imagined, as a business person, I would move on when the arrangement changed.
I hope it hasn't changed, but events like this sure make it feel that way.
This account will be passing 10 million views in the next few days. I have a niche account approaching 16 million views, and another with over 5 million. There are many writers here capable of drawing traffic like that. It is so hard to understand why HP would look to an outside source for sub-par content and imagine any way that would benefit us.
As you said, if HP wants amazon sales (which apparently they do) they need to address how they manage writers and let us do our thing. There can still be editorial oversight. Not everyone knows how write review pages correctly. But the ones who do can make HP and Maven a ton of money if they give us the proper tools and get out of our way.
I also agree with what you said about looking for other affiliate programs. I can recommended a few in the niches I write in, if it matters. I'm sure other writers can as well.
I feel like I need a break from HP after this. I have a bunch of articles I want to write, but I think it is time to step away. I will keep my articles updated, but I need to work on other projects for a while.
I still love you, HubPages, but man this was a tough one.
I note at least two things that have been huge irritants/obstacles to and for me:
1) No huge video at top of page
2) Numerous Amazon links, and links in a format not seen elsewhere on these niche HP sites
I have had articles snipped that included only one Amazon link, with stated reason: “too spammy,” or “it doesn’t appear you’ve used the product,” though I had.
In reviewing this, I feel like the applied “rules”are different for some, though perhaps someone on the HP staff can explain so I don’t have to fill the gap in understanding with my worst possible imaginings. Hope you hear from the Team on your question because I’d like to know myself for planning purposes going forward.
I'm trying to assume the best here, but my blood is getting a little warm.
Like I said in my post, I have another niche account on a topic where I am an expert with literally hundreds of knowledgeable reviews. After all these years, if HubPages brings in some outside person to write reviews that supersede mine without even offering the opportunity I am going to be furious and more than a little hurt if I am being honest.
I am sure there are many expert writers here who will feel the same on various topics.
Hmm, interesting. It looks like an attempt to tackle that last crippling algo update, much of which was focused on Amazon.
Maybe they're trialing it, Eric? An experiment?
I do some best guides, though not as many as I used to, I hope they find a format that Google doesn't crush. I would be interested in joining too, or rewriting some of current material. Provided it works, of course.
I like the pages. They look good. They will certainly outrank any other reviews already on the site, I suspect. So, if you have such a review, HubPages has decided you lose. Thanks, HP!
I just don't understand why they wouldn't have called on existing writers to provide the content, or opened the format up to long-time Hubbers.
Is the next step to ban Amazon on any other pages? Who knows.
I have to be careful here. I am feeling more than a little salty about this. I'm trying to assume there is a good explanation.
It is a good look, no doubt about it, certainly better than what we’ve seen in other places on the platform. I think it always best to get all the facts first; I feel certain there’s something we’re missing.
It's impossible to predict if the rankings will be good without data, I believe.
We see the page as a visual thing, as do readers, but Google sees it as a bunch of code. A lot depends on how visitors to pages react, it's true, but there's a technical side too.
I expect they will roll it out if it works. If it doesn't work out, it will be quietly dropped.
I assume that a sizeable chunk of HP's income has always come from Amazon. I assume that it was the majority of the income before Hub Ads and remains substantial.
It seems like a constant battle to find something that Google can live with, but I think they have to keep trying, because they (like us) need the money that Amazon provides.
The awful thing is that between Google algo hits and Amazon Ass. cuts in commissions, the pot just keeps getting smaller and smaller...
Very true. However, the template for the new pages are more in line with other review sites around the web. We used to be able to create something like this with the old HP template. Obviously, its impossible to compete with that now with the current template we have to work with.
As you know, for any search term, search engines tend to rank only one or two pages from a given website. It really feels like this is HP saying, "These are the pages we want to rank for those terms."
But you're right. We'll have to see how this goes. I have a lot of concerns right now that I'm really hoping won't pan out. No sense in getting more worked up over it, I guess. For now.
I mean, I understand your upset. But it's not always clear to me whether it's better to be a guinea pig or not in situations like these.
Most of my review type articles are roughly structured this way anyway: general description of item, pros and cons lists, so it would be easy to covert them to new format, if required.
My Amazon sales are actually recovering at the moment, I suspect that might just be seasonal, but I don't know. Just happy for anything after the dreadful few months we've had recently.
It doesn't seem like a risk to me. I feel like if I had access to a template like that for the past several years my review articles would look and perform a whole lot better. I'd take that opportunity in a heartbeat.
You are right about search engines only wanting to rank one page from a domain, but when there are multiple pages on the same topic the chance for any of them to rank well drops a bit.
That is the reason I do not write on some topics that others have covered, because it would do harm to the other writer and not get me much traffic either.
I try to avoid topics that already exist on the niche site as well, though not everyone does. Either they didn't look, or don't realize it matters.
In this case, it is HubPages themselves stepping on toes.
This whole thing is so frustrating.
Just yesterday I started my own niche site about freshwater aquariums. Once that is done a bit I will begin one on tomatoes and other nightshade plants. I think it is time you consider doing something similar. It is very obvious that the writer is no more kept in the loop on this platform.
Previously we would have at least been informed if there were some tests going on.
There have been a few things that have left me feeling a bit salty, but this is just salt on the wounds for some writers here.
We need clarification for sure, I'm with you all on that. We may be individuals when we write but sometimes we need to feel we're part of a collective effort here. A simple, professional, straightforward message would suffice, minimum input but maximum effect.
Minimum input, exactly. We would not have known for who knows how long if Eric hadn't pointed it out. Moreover, the guides are suggesting bad products from the two I checked out.
I think someone went through best-selling lists and picked those as the best.
I always thought of a WordPress site as my contingency plan. I own a few domain names. I just wonder if it is worth it these days. Amazon rates have dropped. It is harder to rank than ever. I can never seem to find a theme that does what I want it to do. LOL.
I am certainly considering it, though.
Ezoic has opened its doors to low-traffic pages. They have good CPMs around 20. Far better than Google Adsense. Amazon can still be a part of it. How comfortable are you with HTML? I build pure HTML sites. I never find what I want with Wordpress, etc.
I know a little HTML as far as making small changes, but I wouldn't be confident in actually building something and not having it go kerplunk.
A theme similar to what those review pages look like would be perfect, with a separate section for blog posts.
I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.
I think you're right, they're testing it. I checked a couple other niche sites, they didn't have a section for reviews.
There might also be some purpose/advantage served by sectioning off the reviews from the other articles? The reviews are where most of the Amazon links are usually.
It certainly looks like some sort of test to see if Amazon links can be made less "toxic" in Google's eyes to me?
Amazon links are not toxic, that is just a false notion that has stuck around from the days when people had nothing but amazon links on their pages. Those pages were toxic.
Amazon links with the right markup rel=sponsored makes it clear that they are ads. The myriad of display ads (taking up almost the same space as the text) we currently have on our pages is what is probably toxic, not the amazon links. If any of us had articles where the links could be considered toxic the articles would not be on the niche sites because they would not be of a high enough quality.
I'm using everyday language to express a concept that's real, and has been discussed numerous times by Google, HubPages CEOs, tech media etc.
HP has to maximize its Amazon income to survive. Google has other priorities.
Of course, I'm not saying that HP deliberately puts material in the niches that it knows to be "toxic", that's a straw man argument.
Yes, in the past being the key phrase.
Google never said they were bad, not once. They have always said user experience is important. Googles John Muller specifically said affiliate links are NOT bad. https://www.seroundtable.com/google-use … 28951.html
That is why I say " it is just a false notion that has stuck around from the days when people had nothing but amazon links on their pages".
What I am getting at is that if HP were really concerned to test things out this is not something they have to walk on their toes around. So it does not explain why regular authors don't get to have affiliate links like that.
Brandon there has been a big argument raging about how the pie is shared out for over ten years. To see it in terms of "user experience", a Google term that's deliberately vague and has a meaning that doesn't correspond with the everyday sense, can appear a little naive.
What proportion of the Amazon and other revenue available vie search results goes to Google, what goes to the big corporations, what goes to medium and smaller companies, and what individuals get has always been the larger context for the struggle.
Google control that via the search engine results.
When Google didn't own YouTube, videos didn't appear in search results. When they bought YouTube, it's not long before videos start appearing at the top of search results. That's all explained by Google in terms of "user experience". There are many more examples of this.
This isn't a fair fight. Google writes the rules and changes them whenever it feels like. That's the larger context here for me, not the vague "user experience" thing that Google pushes and decides what it means from day to day.
I agree. But there never was an issue with Amazon links is the point, not in the past and not now. Maybe in the future, but at the moment there is no problem with amazon links. The problem is spammy pages. 10 best gifts for mum's 60th birthday and the article is nothing but 10 links to Amazon.
Also, Google does have user experience in mind because if they show crappy pages on the top rankings people are less inclined to return to Google. They do priorities their own properties and there are many legal cases in European courts about this issue which they deny.
IMO, HubPages way overacted with the Amazon policies a few years ago. It was always hard for me to understand why Amazon links were harmful here, yet the sites my pages compete with are plastered with them.
That's why I say this new reviews template is a good one. The design seems to finally give writers the power to compete with other review sites out there.
If we are ever included in it, anyway.
Yeah, they even have a table of contents that is by default hidden which is nice.
I have no view on the new templates either way, as I don't have access to the test data. (I don't believe Brandon is able to accurately assess it either)
It's important to remember that HP is a business and relies on revenue to survive. For sure, they could say, "Lets do it because it looks pretty". But if Amazon reviews end up on page 5 of Google search, the company would disappear pretty quickly.
Like it or not, money, revenue, business dominates. If you don't see or accept that, then lots of things that happen will seem strange or nonsensical, including HP's reaction to having its Amazon revenue slashed.
Well, in this case, I am going to have to say let's agree to disagree because I don't want to continue talking about it. I provided a link of what Google themselves have said, something they almost never do about a topic.
You are right, HP is a business and my fear is that they are killing the goose to get to those golden eggs. Time will tell.
Looking through these "reviews", at least the aquarium ones, there is so much information that is misleading, just plain wrong, and possibly dangerous.
For example, whoever wrote the article on betta fish tanks chose terribly. Those tanks are way too small for betta fish or any fish for that matter. These are the kinds of tanks I routinely advise responsible fish keepers to avoid. They are marketing gimmicks.
What are you doing, HubPages?
Yeah, I looked at that just now. I guess those tanks are fine if you want your fish to just survive. Hopefully whoever buys one of those tanks does frequent water changes.
I would never put anything in those tanks.
I've spent several years on this site as an advocate for responsible fish keeping, especially when it comes to betta fish. I have written over and over about how betta fish need an appropriate tank, with proper filtration, and tropical temperatures.
I literally have an article called "Why One-Gallon Tanks Are Bad for Betta Fish"
And, I have one on the best betta fish tanks. It would have been pretty awesome to convert it to the reviews format.
I have a 4.5 gallon for my shrimp and it seems small for a Betta. Can't imagine a betta living in 1 Gallon. I kept two guppies in it (4.5) during quarantine since I got them from a pet store and I felt it was small for them.
A small colony of shrimp might be okay in a smaller tank, as long as you keep the water clean. They are hardy little guys. I've also used small tanks to raise snails to feed my puffer.
I always suggest a 5-gallon or bigger for a single betta. The actual volume of water is only part of the problem. These small, toy tanks usually don't come with a proper filter, and the filter they do have often just makes things worse. And there is often no way to fit a heater in there. Betta need tropical temps around 78 degrees F.
There are some great options out there for betta tank kits. The ones in that review aren't among them.
In my opinion, of course.
Is PetHelpful the most lucrative niche site on Maven/HP, bringing in the most money? Maybe that's why it's being tested first, or maybe the only. It's interesting that the writers were not informed, at least via email since it involves making money off of their work. Or is this something new stated in the TOS? I looked at a few other niche sites that might be high money earners and I didn't see a Review section.
PetHelpful is the must lucrative niche site on the network. The second and third is Owlcation and Dengarden from what I understand, not sure which one, in particular, is second.
Good to know about Owlcation, just had an article transferred there and have a couple other ones that have been there for awhile.
Interesting to know. Dengarden makes sense, never would have thought Owlcation. But that is about education so it probably gets a lot of hits from students.
These are numbers from a while ago, the previous staff member had given us a list of the way sites were to be updated and a few of the top trafficked sites were the ones they decided to begin with.
Owlcation does have tutorials on things that are not on their own niche site as well. So it can be quite broad. For example https://owlcation.com/agriculture/Growi … icken-Feed
Bumping this so staff doesn't miss it. Surely Mondays are very busy after the weekend. Hopefully, today someone from HP can find a minute to clarify some of the things discussed in this thread.
I can't find any link to this page from the site itself. Is it work in progress that isn't supposed to be really live yet? Or maybe just a giant ad page that someone has paid for? There's no option mentioned here:
It seems to be a new category. On the PetHelpful main page after home, dogs, cats etc. there is a reviews section now. It may be a testing page though because if I go to Pethelpful.com it doesn't show up, but if I go to pethelpful.com/review it does.
It's in the footer, all sneaky-like.
Between "About Us" and "Editorial Policy"
These are not paid ads. They are amazon sales pages, created by someone at HubPages, either the editors or other writers they brought in. They are already ranking in the SERPs.
HP writers are not cut in on this, from what I can see.
I am holding out hope that HP staff will eventually explain how this is beneficial to the community. Right now, it looks like they are stepping on existing writers and creating a revenue stream they don't have to share with the writers.
Hope I'm wrong. Would love staff to tell me so.
Edit: I am certainly unhappy about this. I have at least three articles on PetHelpful that HP has stepped right over with this new content. But I really am trying to give HubPages the benefit of the doubt here. I don't mean to come off so negative.
Hopefully this is somehow something good.
So I read a canine fish oil supplement reviews page, because I am familiar with these products, and I find that it breaks every writing rule we have been taught to live by.
There is no mention of anyone's personal experience with the products. The pros and cons often contradict themselves, i.e. "Most tasty" (pro) "dogs might not like the taste of texture of it" (con).
There are seven products with 7 links. I can't even publish a hub with one product link, for several years now.
The information is very broad, unscientific and uninformative. And it reads like English as a second language class homework. Perhaps HP has been hacked. See below.
"How We Choose The Best Fish Oils In Our List
When it comes to choosing health supplements for your dog, you look for worthy and natural products from companies with a good reputation. We made it easy for you because we have found the best fish oils that you don’t need to search for. You can maintain your dog’s overall wellness and health with these supplements, but before buying fish oil supplements, you should always look for the best fish oil because there are many brands selling the same thing, but the quality is not good at all. So, one should always check the reputation of the company and all the ingredients that are essential for your dog’s health."
I do not see how HP staff are ignoring this thread.
I wasn't paying attention to this issue too much because I'm not a big Amazon guy, but those are some pretty egregious violations of rules we normally have to follow - links and "personal experience". I'm still guessing this is a test, probably the hope is that whatever comes of it will benefit the site as a whole.
"Most tasty" (pro)
"dogs might not like the taste of texture of it" (con)
Obviously, the most tasty pro was human tested... It was a con when tested by dogs
Yeah, in the betta tank review they recommend a bunch of tanks, and in every "Con" they say the tank is only suitable for temporary placement or very small fish.
Why even recommend those tanks? How does this help the reader? It's just confusing. LOL!
If only there were a group of writers they have called upon to be "everyday experts" for the past decade who could help them provide accurate information in these reviews.
I will say, and have noted before, review pages like these, which we have been precluded from writing on HP, rank well. Whether I am searching for reviews on washer/dryers or dog products, these types of pages appear on page one in the SERPs.
I agree. They do rank well.
Like I said above, I sure would love to have access to that template on my big niche account. While I've been struggling to keep my pages in line with HP's policies, sites with pages like that have been flying by me in the SERPs.
I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Yes, there are whole websites that do this (top products) and nothing more. When I used to work on SEO on the side, most of the websites were either small businesses or people having affiliate sites like this that used to rank.
This seems like a way to cut us out of revenue.
I've checked out quite a lot of the emails on these reviews. Where the email name matches the writer, it is always a gmail address, and if you google the name it leads nowhere. More worryingly, many of the emails are generic leading to Grace, Head of Content Monetization at advoncommerce.com
I think it's time to start heading for the lifeboats.
Yes, that is why I decided to get started on my own sites and I would also recommend others to seriously begin looking for other options. HP will continue to need quality content on the site for the review pages to even stand a chance of ranking, so HP is not going to go down but writers do not seem to matter much anymore. Those of us who are here for a long time can see the difference.
These latest revelations are a bit disturbing because, if the reviews aren't the result of hackers, they must be internally produced, which deliberately undermines the work of established writers.
You are right Brandon, veteran contributors have experienced all kinds of ups and downs over the years, from Google updates to loss of excellent members of staff. In hard times, HP has done great work, riding the storms, continuing to reward writers and their quality content. So what's going on with these reviews? Why can't writers be kept in the loop? Are they the result of rogue members of staff due to lack of leadership? Or are they to be a regular feature?
I have over 400 articles on Owlcation. Over the years I've built up a solid educational base for traffic. I'm still earning reasonable amounts and don't have to rely on Amazon hardly at all, but understand that many writers do. I feel for you guys. I hope HP sorts this issue out real quick.
It is not just those who earn from Amazon that are worried, the lack of communication. Tomorrow they will make some other major change that affects you and me. All this time we had ups and downs, but they were because of Google and it seemed that the HP team was with us on them. This is what makes this different.
I do not have as many articles, but I make quite a bit, enough to live off on during some months.
You mentioned Ezoic; do you have a hub that explains their model and what their traffic and audience growth do for the websites.
I am using blogger and Adsense and I earn pennies a day. I have not done anything to that site in a while, so traffic has dwindled down to 15K views a month from 30K. Would I need to move to Wordpress or do they have their own platform they would convert it to?
I have not used Ezoic yet. I first heard about it from Susana here on HP if I am not wrong. But they have recently opened up their service to all sites and you do not need a minimum amount of pageviews to qualify. I remembered about them again when I saw their ads on a website I visited.
I will be applying to them with my new site in a couple of months. They work with self-hosted sites of any kind, I am not sure if blogger is an option. There are a few ways to integrate their ads with your site and I do not think blogger makes any of these possible.
There are quite a few articles on Ezoic if you google and look on youtube. You can continue to have Google ads along with Ezoic and run experiments (they do it) etc to see which works best. They have google ads in their mix too.
The situation is worrying. I’ve just read an article about the best fish tanks on the review site. The title and every subtitle in the article contains the term “fish tank” (or fish tanks). As Solaras has said about the article that she read, it breaks a writing rule that we are expected to follow.
Eric, thanks for bringing this bit of chaos to our attention. It does not begin to represent HP as I knew it when I started almost 13 years ago, nor does it represent good writing on any level. Someone above said, "Time to start heading for the life boats." Yes. I hung on 2 years past what made sense, hoping HP would come to their senses. Plus, last year, I made surprisingly good money considering my small number of articles. But that income has dropped in half, and it is an insult to be encouraged to write for this pittance, on top of the injuries HP/Maven have inflicted. I now hate seeing my own articles. Most are tutorials, and the new, "clean" format destroys the flow and readability of this style. For example, splitting photos and their captions with invasive ads, and cramming photos into a tiny gallery format that negates the purpose of being able to load full-size photos. I've also had series split up onto different sites without regard to their connectedness or purpose. It's become a game to guess what kind of insult we, as writers, will be thrown next.
The most disturbing thing about this thread is that not a single HP staff member has come on and said a word in 5+ days. It's like being in a co-dependent relationship: they expect us to blindly accept their actions, all the while putting out for them, just for the fun of remaining in "relationship".
For those saying that HP always told us about every test in the past, my memory is very different.
I remember that "scandal" in around 2012, for instance, when HP had the covert test idea of paying a bunch of writers, including me, to write more hubs. We all had to swear to secrecy.
That worked out for a while, until someone let slip in the forums that they were being paid and a lot of people got (understandably) annoyed. The test wasn't successful anyway, as they were only paying $3 or $4 for each hub, not really enough of an incentive. I could understand general irritation about that one.
I believe that HP are running small scale tests all the time. I don't really care if I know about them or not, provided that the benefits are ultimately passed on. The general decline in customer service communication is another matter.
I thought that changes to Amazon Ass. commission percentages were handled badly from a customer service perspective. I thought not being paid late could've been handled better.
But I'm not terribly concerned about hearing about every test that goes on.
Well I will say that this experiment is something akin to the last days of Squidoo, and we all know how that turned out.
Sorry to the authors of these sales/review pages, but not only are they poorly researched, and the style is that of a 4th grader.
On another note: pageviews are way down, and I see that the "Other Articles Recommend for You" is now buried in the defunct comments section.
Why? It used to be on the sidebar, so people wanting more info on that topic can easily stay on HP and read more from the same author or others writing in that space.
You keep calling this a test. Respectfully, what do you think they are testing?
And if the test goes well, how do you envision it helping HP writers?
This seems like a change in monetization strategy to me.
And the cat is out of the bag at this point. If it is indeed a test with end results intended to benefit the community, why wouldn't HP say so by now?
Look at Glassdoor reviews of HP, the golden goose is being squeezed out. According to those reviews, suggestions by staff are not taken into account anymore either and all changes are made with short-term views (hence my golden goose analogy). I did not want to post this publicly but I could not find the option to email you.
It has been a week since you posted. If anything is being tested it is our patience and loyalty to the brand.
I agree this is very different than simply testing some new page style.
Bringing outside writers in to create these subpar pages does not have the same feel as testing out video placement for example. If they really wanted to test a page like this, I see no reason not to bring in good quality long time HP authors with experience and knowledge. It would look better than whatever this is suppose to be. At least ask those that are being stepped on by this new content if they want to participate. Going outside established authors definitely feels like they are looking for a way to monetize with the advantage of not having to split the revenue.
I was part of a program back in 2012. I have no idea if this is what Paul is referrencing as I made more than a few dollars from it. Whether that was a test or a program from the early years I have no idea, but it comes off better in my eyes because they were using actual HP writers. I can see why writers who were not given the opportunity would be angry, but at the same time if they were testing the revenue ability of a program it would have been best to test with current writers that were either already earning or had good potential to earn based on the quality of writing. I think it was a flawed program anyway because it was mainly for getting writers to create a lot of content and they didn't care about quality back then. However when you know better you do better. Whatever this is, it is not better.
This page comes across very differently. Add the lack of communication the past few years and there is no other way to feel than an unimportant part of HP. Most of the staff "updates" were coming after writers had already noticed and were talking amongst themselves. Communication after the fact frankly doesn't cut it. I agree with Brandon. The only thing being tested is our patience.
A new partnership with producers of spun content. I cannot believe the experiment was posted online, attached to the most lucrative of the niche sites.
"Water covers over 70% of the earth, and humans or basically every living thing in the world cannot exist for long without it. However, for a substance so versatile and supreme, you'd expect it to show some restraint when it isn't in a container."
Actually, I expect water to show no restraint, when not in a container.
The quotes above and below come from a review of horse water buckets (a $19.00 item earning $.19 in commissions). I spent years in the stables growing up; who would put a tight lid on their horses water bucket, to keep him hydrated lol. Not to mention that its color should match with the interior of your home....https://pethelpful.com/review/horse-water-bucket/
This quote, below, is comical. If you don't have room for a water bucket in your car, where are you going to put the horse?
"Is water bucket portability important?
Imagine a scenario where you need to carry a bucket for a camping trip, but there's absolutely no space in the car to fit a normal bucket. Wouldn't you rather have a portable water bucket that can be folded into a compact form only about 30% of the initial size? So, if you often find yourself needing to carry or travel with a bucket, you should consider going for a collapsible or portable one."
Judging from the poor grammar and nonsensical/unnecessary phrases and sentences (in order to meet word count), it seems HP/Maven has gone to the content mills where sub-par, English-as-a-second-language writers are willing to write copy for $3 flat rate. I see reviews and product descriptions all over the Internet that immediately scream non-English speaking writers. The mills attract wannabe writers from countries who have very low incomes/currency values. To them, $3 is a fortune. If HP wants to go the review route, why not hire or encourage seasoned HP writers who have a proven track record with writing reviews? Why go outside the stable? And why is this thread being ignored?????? Seems we caught them with their pants down, doesn't it? What they're doing is only going to bring ratings/rank down in the eyes of Google, not to mention consumers.
This development is very discouraging. This is not the way to motivate HP authors.
To be fair, Staff did pop in to say they were abandoning the experiment, although it is still out there on Pethelpful right now. Embarrassing content.
They could have done a writing contest for the reviews pages, and chosen two good pages for each product line. Two good authors would likely take the review in different directions, and staff could make minor alterations to keep them from being redundant.
Where was the implementation and subsequent abandoning of the experiment posted? I never saw it.
I'll copy and paste it as that is easier:
Our apologies for the delayed response. We were testing out a new partnership and layout, but due to disappointing results, it will soon be dropped.
We are definitely not planning on banning Amazon links on our Network Sites. We may try rolling out a new format for review articles at some point in the future, but there's nothing currently in the works. Thank you for your patience!"
I think the concern is that we were left out of the loop and not that the current response was missed. The same concern as Eric posted in reply to the message.
And I guess that means that this tasty review format, that could be populated with real pros and cons and a nice fat Amazon button, is not in the near future for our hot hands. Shame to waste the formatting.
Exactly. This was a great idea ruined by poor execution.
In my opinion.
Yeah and if we were informed we could have all contributed to giving ideas instead of letting it all go down the drain.
Amen again, Brandon.
They should have trusted us to contribute; not gone outside HP to test something that affects all of us. Had they chosen good HP writers, the experiment may not have failed. We could have all gained, but instead we're all paying the price for poor execution.
Here is where the travesties reside: https://pethelpful.com/review/
It has not yet been abandoned; it exists on PH for the world to behold.
Wow. This is just funny!
And in response to it being a failed experiment due to the disappointing results, if it were a test at all, it was bound to fail when it was set up like this. Even when they ranked, not many would click on any product and end up buying.
This reminds me of another experiment - the video on top of all the hubs. That video is a big earner so it stays. It began with the video being a part of the theme which was acceptable in the sense that it needed some work to take down, etc. But in the end, it stays because it is a big earner. What is not taken into consideration is that every single person visiting a page on the site is forced to see that video and an ad on it that loads with the page loading. Of course, this ad now has views and is "worth" a lot.
Someone who knows how to run tests properly should be doing future tests. Or the current person should be given the freedom to do it properly.
"It comes in 3-color combinations; a way to keep children upbeat and an eye-catching feature for stables."
'It' is a hoof pick.
BTW - If they had wanted to do a Horse Water Bucket review, and had spoken to someone who writes on horses, they might have found products like a commercial livestock tank, made by rubbermid, $288.00.
Then they might have suggested water heaters/de-icers for cold climates $50.00, Stock tank care $25.00 (to cut down on the sludge that builds up) Salt lick, $17.00 - and that is how to build a reviews page. Give them a couple of options for the water bucket/trough and the other items they will need when equipping a horse stall/paddock. And you have a chance to sell $375+ instead of $19.00.
I'd like to know what would happen if I were to write one of these type of reviews and submitted it to a niche site. No doubt it would be rejected out of hand as overly promotional. But if that has changed, please let us know, and we will get busy writing reviews with excellent grammar, knowledge of the subject and pricy options.
Once upon a time, Amazon was 50%+ of my earnings.
I think you can. I have one that is a review. I wrote it when researching a cooking range for a friend of my mum who lives in the US. https://dengarden. com/appliances/slide-in-electric-range-with-downdraft-review (space between the .com since we are not allowed to link to our own work)
It is now outdated as the products are changed a bit, but it is still just those two options according to an email I received from a reader two days ago.
There is no amazon link though since the product is not available on amazon. But it does rank well. If you want to write something like that give it a shot, I don't see any reason why it won't be moved to a niche site.
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