Further reading added by editors?

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  1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
    Shesabutterflyposted 13 months ago

    Has anyone else experienced editors adding a further reading section to the end of their article? I have not had an article edited in quite some time and I'm not sure the best way to go about this. Email them or change/remove the links myself?

    Three of the four links are exactly what I wrote and are just repeats of each other, not to mention linking to outside competition. How exactly is this helpful? They aren't resources nor is it "further reading". Why not link to other related niche site articles?

    1. Miebakagh57 profile image69
      Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Sheasabuttfrfly, I had not this experience. But editors that add a further reading erring if the lind they add is not related to the topic, nor aiding traffic.                                                All that you can do is to e-mail team@hubpage to find out why. Have a nice day.

  2. Glenn Stok profile image96
    Glenn Stokposted 13 months ago

    I looked at your article on “How to Start a Freshwater Fish Tank.” That was the last one edited, so I figured that’s the one you’re taking about, but I don’t see the “further reading” section you mentioned. Maybe you already removed it.

    The links were probably going to quality sites on the same subject. The purpose of adding links to quality sites is to increase your ranking with Google. Those sites might have had a high ranking, and Google gives you points for including them in your article.

    That subject was covered in one of HubPages' weekly newsletters a few months ago. I remember it also mentioning not to use Wikipedia as a reference because it’s not ranked well. So I changed all my references to other sites with better quality.

    I guess I gave you more than you asked for. Hope it’s helpful. smile

    1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
      Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I have not done anything with it yet. I initally saw it when I was looking at the link they sent in the email. I went to Pethelpful and I saw it before the Q&A just now. Maybe it wasn't live quite yet when you looked? I checked the email right after I received it. I don't read the weekly newsletter, as I don't write here anymore. I simply keep tabs on what is happening to my published articles so that is helpful to know.

      The links go to Petco, fishkeepingworld, and fishkeeping guide all of which can be hit or miss with their information. The other is SprucePets which is a site exactly like HP and is our biggest competition for most of the niche sites. Pethelpful is already on a downward spiral it seems. Linking out to a more reader friendly site sounds like a bad idea. If I was reading on HP and found that link I would bookmark Spruce for future reference. That's assuming they didn't already read the link when they searched the topic title and found it on page 1 in the search results.

      I don't mind the links so much as linking to exactly what I wrote. If I'm advertising further reading, the links should contain similar yet different content. Not my exact article rewritten by someone else on a better platform. SprucePets specifically has exactly the same content as HP. If you want to link to it for good graces with Google then why not select similar content not my exact article?

      In the long run I guess it doesn't matter. No amount of updating is going to save this article, because it is such a saturated topic and there are better sites out there. It already appears on page 2 when I look, but I know that's likely not accurate for everyone.

      Edit to add: I finally read through the Spruce article. It's full of misinformation or things I would not even agree with. It doesn't appear staff even read it, although I don't know if they would even know what they were looking for if they did. It looks nice and fancy, but when you get to the meat of it, the information is not 100 percent accurate. Linking to Eric despite being an HP article would be better in my opinion. If I can't do that, I guess I'll look for new links that have accurate information.

      1. Solaras profile image93
        Solarasposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        You can link to Eric's article. 

        There is a "links" capsule you can use, and put in his article address or search for it. 

        You can title the capsule: Suggested Further Reading or You Might Also Like, and push the HP link capsule further down the page, so people will stay with the articles you suggest for them.

        1. EricDockett profile image96
          EricDockettposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          I would be grateful of course (assuming you mean me) and it would be much better for the site. But honestly, any related PetHelpful article would be far better than what they've done here.

          Ideally, she could write more aquarium articles and link to those.

          1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
            Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Yes I mean you! smile Honestly, I think this was one I initally wrote for that program when I first joined based on the topic the staff gave me at the time. I would write more, but I wouldn't want to compete with your articles and it's really only a hobby for me. Not something I'm super passionate about. I would love to link to some of your work though, if I can switch out all the links without having the article removed from Pethelpful.

            I know Adrienne links to some of her's with further reading, but they are her articles and I belive she did that herself? I only noticed when I went looking for other articles that had a section similar to what was added to mine.

            1. EricDockett profile image96
              EricDockettposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              You are certainly welcome to link to any of my articles if it helps. I would just make sure they are related and helpful to the reader. You really don't even need permission. smile

              The one caution I'd give about linking to other writer's articles, and why I rarely do it, is because you have no control over what they do with that article. They might decide to take their content down, or alter it in major ways.

              I won't be taking my content down any time soon, unless things go horribly off the rails here.

              1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
                Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                I generally don't link for that exact reason as well, but if editors are adding links and updating photo's without actually checking the article for errors (found several I need to go in and fix when I was comparing to the links earlier), I thought I might need to have some links to keep the article on Pethelpful when that was the main edit.

            2. Solaras profile image93
              Solarasposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              I use the links capsule for my own articles, that I think are related and something the reader might like.

              It works; once I add the link, after it has been moved to a niche site, a new article gets instant traffic from an established article.

              1. EricDockett profile image96
                EricDockettposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                That makes sense and that's a good use of that capsule. I used to do the same and I agree it is very effective. The problem is, years ago editors started removing those links and we were advised not to do it.

                The reasoning at the time was because they already had a related article section at the bottom of every Hub, and it did a decent job of passing readers on to related articles. Even if your articles didn't appear at the bottom of your own hub, they would appear on other people's. It worked pretty well.

                That is no longer the case. HP briefly had a related articles banner a few weeks back but I don't know what happened to it. The bottom of every Hub is a mess of ads and nonsense, and the Hubs that do show up there aren't related.

                If editors are allowing it (and there is no reason they shouldn't) I think it is time to start adding those related links again. It is smart SEO.

              2. Shesabutterfly profile image94
                Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Do you keep the descriptions? I'm working on editing this article now and I'm not sure if it's necessary to keep the description that shows up when I insert the link URL or if I should delete it completely, or create my own.

                1. Glenn Stok profile image96
                  Glenn Stokposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  That's why I don't use the link capsule. You have more control merely by using a text capsule to create your list of links to references or further reading suggestions. Make a bulleted list of the titles and make each one a text link. There's no need for descriptions unless you want to include that.

  3. EricDockett profile image96
    EricDockettposted 13 months ago

    I see them. Those links have no place in your article and they should be removed, not only for SEO purposes but also for credibility. You are right. They are no more accurate than PetHelpful, some are competitors, and we are directly sending people away from PetHelpful by including them.

    Whatever editor thought this was a good idea needs to understand how damaging it is. It isn't like Owlcation where you include references, or like a PetHelpful article where you need to cite medical (vet) advice.

    YOU are the authority on the subject. You don't need to cite anyone.

    I hope this was done by a new editor who made a mistake. If this is a new process, HP will be shooting itself in the foot. They should know that.

    I would rather see a "further reading" section that allows writer to link to more of their related pages. This keeps readers on the site and increases page views. The way this is set up is like they are purposely trying to damage traffic.

    To make matters worse, all of the "related articles" at the bottom have nothing to do with fish, which I am seeing more and more. They should be related, meaning more articles about aquarium care, not about dogs and cats, so people are more likely to click through.

    If they can get past the ads anyway.

    1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
      Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I agree the "related articles" section is completely useless and should be reworked. Especially for Pethelpful.

      That is the only reason I would link out so that if someone wanted they could find actual related content, but I agree I think it should stay on HP. You (Eric) have some of the best authority I've read online in regards to fish keeping. I realize all sites are prone to misinformation at times, but to purposefully link to a page with misleading content on it, when there are better articles at HP seems pointless.

      1. EricDockett profile image96
        EricDockettposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks. smile

  4. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 13 months ago

    They've asked me multiple times to add a further reading/reference section at the end, which I've done, I can't remember them ever doing it for me.

    If you don't like what editors have done, I think just change it. As long as the sources are considered reliable and you cover all your bases as far as the content of your article, I assume it will be good?

    Maybe HP staff will chip into this convo at some point?

    1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
      Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I wish HP would chip in or at least ask me to do it myself. I received another email about a quick edit and the editors yet again added another further reading section to one of my Pethelpful articles to top competion sites and a New Hampshire SPCA site. I don't even live in New Hampshire. I don't know why I would post a link for people to a specific organization that I have no affiliation with nor have even heard of.

      Anyone else on Pethelpful experiencing this? I'm assuming this is the only site getting a work through currently. Is this a new requirement that was mentioned in a weekly newsletter that I missed? If this is the new standard going forward, I would like to know. I will do it myself if I need to, but I don't have the time to keep undoing editor's "improvements".

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
        PaulGoodman67posted 13 months agoin reply to this

        My view would be to do it yourself and add sources/further reading to all your pethelpful articles, where appropriate, and especially those that involve health advice for animals, or "expert" advice. Certainly do it with your best ranking stuff.

        I don't have many Pethelpful articles, but HP did a similar thing some time back with Owlcation when the site dropped in Google rankings. I ended up just going through some Owlcation articles adding sources myself, rather than waiting for the email telling me to do it.

        I think the editors are normally good with SEO, but they don't necessarily know the subject matter intimately like an author does.

        That's my opinion, anyway.

        1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
          Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          I'm glad they didn't touch my Owlcation articles when they did that (they don't need ref either). These are not articles that need references and none of my articles rank well on Pethelpful, which is why I'm assuming they are doing this. I have never had a hubpro edit be advantageous, so I really doubt sending readers to our competition (who have better platforms) will be helpful at all.

          I'll add links to my last two articles, but I still wish staff would comment on the reason for this.

          1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
            PaulGoodman67posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            My assumption is that it’s to do with how authoritative Google interprets the site as being, likely through interpretation of reader reaction. I see it more about restoring the site’s respectability than what’s typically meant by SEO.

            Further reading/sources give a stronger impression of authority. Initial reaction of readers counts for something even though it can seem arbitrary. I just add the reference section, even when I know my info is accurate.

            We’re in a situation where we’re competing with other sites that might appear at a glance to be more trustworthy, so I think everything helps.

            That’s my take anyway.

      2. Solaras profile image93
        Solarasposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        If these paid for "recommended" articles are generating revenue for the site, I am NOT seeing any of it. Seems like an end run around paying writers for the revenue their work is generating.

        1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
          Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          I don't know how we would earn money linking to articles outside of HP. Am I missing something?

          1. Glenn Stok profile image96
            Glenn Stokposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            What you’re missing is how Google reacts. When you reference high ranking articles, then Google increases ranking on your article.  That has the potential of being higher in the SERPs and could result in much more traffic.

            There was a note in the weekly newsletter dated April 14, 2021 telling us not to reference Wikipedia, because they are not necessarily considered a reliable source. That note explained to look at the references Wikipedia uses and select from those to be used as references for your articles.

            1. EricDockett profile image96
              EricDockettposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              These aren't references, though. They are articles with the same information she is presenting. In some cases they are our competitors.

              Links to authoritative sources help. I don't see how links to competitors that are on the same level as Pethelpful help.

              1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
                Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                The last one I changed all the links to Pethelpful articles and after review it passed. I did the same again for this one and added an American veterinarian association site simply to broaden the scope from their NH site link.

                If they are accepting Pethelpful I don't know why they simply wouldn't link to those in the first place or at least to authorative sites and not our competitors.

                I'm still not understanding the need for any links though. If they were sources sure, but like you said they are blog or other writing sites just like HP with pretty much the same information that's in my article. I'm not referencing any site, I'm simply slapping a link at the end of my article sending readers away from our pages to read what they just read.

                It could be a coinsidence, but I find it very interesting that after these links were added to the first article I can no longer find it on the first 10 pages of Google. It still ranks high on Bing, but I can't find it on Google which is where most of the search engine traffic comes from. The two Pethelpful articles that pop up now don't even match the keywords I searched, but they also don't have "further reading" sections. Another coinsidence?

                That article was far from being a top performer for me, so it's not that big of a deal in the long run. However, if this is the future for HP articles, I hate to think of the day when this starts happening to my top performers.

              2. Glenn Stok profile image96
                Glenn Stokposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Thanks for clarifying the difference between references and authoritative  sources, Eric. I stand corrected in my terminology.

                I took a look once again at that note in that weekly newsletter. HubPages said “you also want to add credible sources to back up your information.”   

                Credible is the same as authoritative. So you’re right. I would have been more correct to say that we want to link to authoritative sources to improve our ranking.

                And to the point that Cholee (Shesabutterfly) made, we need to be careful to only use authoritative sources that don’t directly compete. That makes sense, as it can have a negative effect and pull down our ranking.

                It’s a fine line we cross because to be recognized as an authority ourselves, we do need to show sources that back up our information, especially for YMYL articles to rank well.

                1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
                  Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                  Would any article linking to Amazon for example be considered YMYL simply for the recommendation and link despite the article not really being about that product? That's the only way I can see my first article being categorized as YMYL. If that is the case, wouldn't it be better to link to other sites that recommend the same product rather than sites that don't mention the product at all considering that would be the whole reason for the YMYL tag?

                  In this new article I guess it's YMYL, because it is about buying a cat? That wouldn't be a big decision in my opinion, but I guess it qualifies as a purchase of a "goods" even though I don't link out anywhere. I do have a note about not buying online via wire transfers though. Would those few sentences alone make it YMYL, because I'm talking specifically about finances?

                  These are not articles I would have coined as YMYL before reading that post Solaras made a few days back about the changes. This is all so confusing. That post made it seem like any article can be twisted into being YMYL. If that is the case then all articles remotely close to being YMYL should have links, and I'm not seeing that. Not even on Pethelpful. I don't know why two of my articles on different subcategories would have links added when there are several in the first subcategory identical in content to mine that still don't have links. I'm assuming they are doing it by subcategory and not author, because it has been two weeks since the first article was edited.

                  Based on this I would only need the link to the AVA website, because they are the only authoritative link that I posted. The others are simply other Pethelpful articles. How many authoritative links are necessary? It doesn't make sense to have a section dedicated to other articles with only one or two links. However, I don't even know where I would get more than two other links that are not duplicates of each other.

                  The whole "further reading" is throwing me off. Do they want actual further reading (in my mind that means similar content to expand on what I wrote, not authoritiative same content backing up what I wrote), or do they want authoritative credible/resources to back up what I said, because these articles are now YMYL? The links editors are posting are not authoritative (with the exception of the NHSPCA) and wouldn't help.

                  One link in the first article was actually borderline counterproductive, because it didn't have factual information and there were several spelling/grammar mistakes. I'm assuming that works against my articles linking out to material that is not up to par.

                  My main frustration is that the editors never asked me to do it myself. Paul said he has received e-mails in the past from staff asking him to add links. I have not once been asked about anything the editors have added to my articles. I have not had the best luck with editors in the past and this new development is really rubbing me the wrong way. If this is the new standard, because these articles are now YMYL, tell me. Give me the chance to do my own research and link to articles that I feel compliment my work. Don't go putting in subpar links that I have to quickly change out or delete.

                  Everything I learn about SEO comes from the forums here. I am not tech savy and honestly do not have a desire to learn much beyond what I can do to improve traffic and searchability, but I am not actively searching those answers out. I simply try to stay up to date within the forums, because most author's bring the information down to a level I can understand. If Solaras would not have posted those updates, I would have no idea standards for YMYL were changing.

                  1. Glenn Stok profile image96
                    Glenn Stokposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                    Cholee, I appreciate your frustration over this, and I find it as challenging as you do. You asked me many questions in your previous post, so I'll do my best to answer all of them in a Q&A format below.


                    Q: Would any article linking to Amazon, for example, be considered YMYL simply for the recommendation and link despite the article not really being about that product?

                    A: If you link to an Amazon product that's not related to the article, then it most likely will get snipped. Google considers that spam. The Amazon product isn't what makes your article YMYL. It's the content of your article that falls into that category.

                    Q: In this new article I guess it's YMYL, because it is about buying a cat?

                    A: I would assume the same as you had. Any subject dealing with money or life is YMYL, and buying a pet qualifies as such. So providing references to credible, authoritative sources will help support your information, as HubPages suggests doing.

                    Q: I do have a note about not buying online via wire transfers though. Would those few sentences alone make it YMYL, because I'm talking specifically about finances?

                    A: Yes, I would think so.

                    Q: This is all so confusing. That post made it seem like any article can be twisted into being YMYL.

                    A: You gave the best answer to that yourself. See your previous Q above. However, if it were only a small statement in passing, and not the premiss of the entire article, then probably not. That might be why you notice some editors enforcing the rule and others not.

                    Q: How many authoritative links are necessary? It doesn't make sense to have a section dedicated to other articles with only one or two links.

                    A: I would say that you need to provide a credible, authoritative source for each YMYL statement you make in your article. But that's your judgment call. If you make statements that readers might question, then you definitely need a credible source reference in that case.

                    As an example, I included 17 reference links in my article about "How to Benefit From a DNA Test at Home With the 23andMe Kit." I'm not an authority on DNA, so I made my article possess more authority by adding those references.

                    Q: I don't even know where I would get more than two other links that are not duplicates of each other.

                    A: I'll tell you what I do. When I write articles where I make statements that require proof, I search for that online. Then, when I find a credible source, I use that as a reference.

                    That effort helps more than you might realize. For example, when I do my research, I sometimes discover that I was not accurate.
                    So, I correct my article before I publish it.

                    Q: The whole "further reading" is throwing me off. Do they want actual further reading. . . The links editors are posting are not authoritative.

                    A: That's a question that only the editors can answer. I can't guess what their reasoning is in that case. It's possible that they are experimenting to see what works. Personally, I don't like those dozens of links to unrelated articles I see at the bottom lately. It's too much. I'm worried that Google might consider that spamming.     

                    Q: One link . . . didn't have factual information and there were several spelling/grammar mistakes. I'm assuming that works against my articles linking out to material that is not up to par.

                    A: Definitely! I agree 100%. It would be best to get rid of it and complain to the editor who put it there! I wish we had a liaison to communicate with about things like that. Samantha left in February, and then Tessa left HubPages in July. Since then, there has been no replacement.

                    Q: My main frustration is that the editors never asked me to do it myself. . .  I have not once been asked about anything the editors have added to my articles. 

                    A: I have a different experience. A number of times in the past, an editor would email me with suggestions or something that needed updating. I was always glad for the heads-up and quickly worked on the changes. 

                    I'm not sure why you are treated differently. Is it possible that your emails are not getting through or going into your spam folder? I never knew them to make changes without informing us first.

                    Q:  If Solaras would not have posted those updates, I would have no idea standards for YMYL were changing.

                    A: I'm not sure which of Barbara's posts you are referring to. If it's her post in the other thread from a week ago, I didn't see that she said YMYL guidelines had changed. She was referring to the update about ad usage. Barbara, if you're reading this, please correct me if I'm wrong.

                    Google did update the general guidelines on October 19, 2021. But YMYL is the same. It has always been related to EAT and still is. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

                    Here is another article that explains it well:

                    https://www.semrush.com/blog/eat-and-ym … y-content/

          2. Solaras profile image93
            Solarasposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            To Cholee:

            I misunderstood what you were referencing.  My comment was towards the "Around the Web" section, which on one of my articles contains 37 sponsored content links, mixed with 10 or so links to Pethelful articles. The sponsored content links are unrelated to the article, but as sponsored content, HP/TAG/Maven must make some money either from click thrus or by displaying the links to our readers.

            I do not believe I am seeing any of that income as part of a revenue share.

            Further, does Google consider those links spammy?

            1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
              Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              I was wondering if that's what you meant after I posted. I hate that section with a passion! I think that is the new norm unfortunately. Most other sites I have been on have the exact same "Around the Web" with the same sponsored links. I find it spammy and it makes the pages load ridiculously slow. I don't think it's advantageous to us as the authors at all. Maybe HP/Maven is seeing some money, but I agree I haven't seen any uptick in revenue.

              1. Solaras profile image93
                Solarasposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Indeed, my income from the last couple of weeks makes me feel like a moron for spending any time editing or creating new hubs.  I am sad about me and my earnings.

  5. Solaras profile image93
    Solarasposted 13 months ago

    Hi Glenn and Cholee:

    I am responding out here, because everything has gotten so deeply nested, I had to start clicking "see more replies" to get to your part of the thread.

    Yes, Glenn I was referring to the expansion of the YMYL definition, that now includes any group of people. Age ranges was especially odd, because I would expect that talking about toys for school children would now be YMYL, which seems excessive.

    As far as nobody monitoring the forums anymore, I think they are, but are quiet about it, unless they (Matt Wells) have a direct suggestion to make, like "try this."  I say that because I believe, and I could be wrong, that they took some action on one of my complaints about the video ad at the top of PetHelpful. I was not able to close the ad easily, and now I can.  Perhaps that was a glitch they corrected on their own, or someone saw the comment and looked into it. Regardless, it's better now, and I am glad for that.

    1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
      Shesabutterflyposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      The groups of people also had me confused. I have several articles about toddlers that I was thinking would now be categorized as YMYL which if they are, I agree would be excessive. I do need to make time and update them, I know at least two I have not updated much if at all since publication. Now I'm thinking I'd be better off adding links to them just in case. If they don't need them, I'm sure staff would remove them before reapproving the articles anyway.

    2. Glenn Stok profile image96
      Glenn Stokposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your reply, Barbara. Yes, I read that same thing in Google's updated guidelines, and I agree with your sentiments.

      As for monitoring the forum, Matt has been good at keeping an eye on things and responding. So I agree with you on that too.

      All is good. smile

 
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Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)