Using Amazon to reference sources

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  1. alexadry profile image95
    alexadryposted 2 years ago

    Hi all!

    I had a Amazon product link removed because apparently it didn't meet the necessary requirements. The link went out to the book I have used as a reference in the article and have paraphrased the authors' statements.

    Doesn't this imply that I have personally used this book? I own this book and read it fully and if I thought to add it as a reference, this means I find value in it.

    Isn't this 100 percent relevant to the content? The book is about fascinating facts about dogs and has a whole chapter on dewclaws and how dogs evolved.

    I don't think the topic is commercial.

    Would the reader feel like I am selling something for my benefit? I personally don't think so, if that was my intent, I would have written an article around the book and insisted in talking about it more.

    Most of all, I like to link to the book being sold as a courtesy to the author, just an extra way to thank him/her for going into depth on a subject and helping me provide valuable information that benefits readers. I think it's a win-win. I personally do not really care about making sales, it's more of an additional way to thank the author, on top of providing credit.

    I didn't link to the book under the reference section, but in the heart of the article, after the paraphrased statements in the portion where I state: "points out (author's name) in the book :(name of book hyperlinked as an Amazon link to book).

    So for this Amazon link to be accepted do I need to add something along the lines of "I own this book, and have personally read it from start to finish, found it interesting and recommend you read it too?" To me that sounds more as if I am really trying to sell it!

    1. Matt Wells profile imageSTAFF
      Matt Wellsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Every product in an article should contain significant and useful information as well as your personal experience and opinion. Just add a little more content and you may add the Amazon product back to your article.

      1. alexadry profile image95
        alexadryposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you so kindly for responding Matt. I will try to add some content, hopefully without making it appear as if I am trying to sell it.

  2. Pamela99 profile image86
    Pamela99posted 2 years ago

    I don't understand why they remove Amazon books. I don't think they should have removed your book when you used it as a resource. You actually should be able to have the link for people to buy books that are part of your article.

    I had one removed yesterdays and no other changes were made I'm the article. I don't see what right they have to remove any book ever.

    1. alexadry profile image95
      alexadryposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Same here. The only edit made was removal of the book.

  3. Jodah profile image91
    Jodahposted 2 years ago

    They have removed Amazon links to books from my articles quite often, especially if the article is on Letterpile. The last one I complained about because it actually contained a review of the book and they agreed to reinstate it.

  4. Brenda Arledge profile image81
    Brenda Arledgeposted 2 years ago

    Try to rewrite the paragraph which describes the book. 
    Write it in your own words and mention how this book has helped you.
    Then resubmit it.
    They seem to remove these alot.

  5. NaturallyInspired profile image94
    NaturallyInspiredposted 2 years ago

    I've never had luck with books either. They always remove them.
    Your article has to be recommending the product somehow. I think because you added the link as a reference, they don't find it relevant enough to the article. I know that doesn't make much sense.
    I agree with Brenda. You should write a section or at least a paragraph about the book and add your Amazon link to that section. You can still mention it as a reference but don't include a link.
    Hubpages is so picky about Amazon links.

  6. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago

    It's difficult to comment on this specific case without actually seeing the article that you're referring to.

    Please link to it.

  7. Glenn Stok profile image96
    Glenn Stokposted 2 years ago

    I haven't read any of the articles referenced in this thread, so my comment here is purely for information and not judgemental.

    All the requirements for Amazon links need to be followed carefully. And I always make it abundantly clear that I own and use the item. As for books, I discuss what I learned from the book and my opinion. That makes it evident that I had read it myself and therefore know what I'm talking about.

    I would avoid placing an Amazon ad to a book if the article is about something else and not actually about the book. Using a book as a reference does not make it 100% related to the subject.

    As an example, I wrote an article reviewing five books by Benjamin Franklin he wrote about self-improvement you can find in my profile. I put five Amazon capsules in that article, one for each book, and none were ever snipped.

    The method that worked for me to avoid removing Amazon links for books is to focus the entire article 100% on the book (or books) being discussed without adding anything unrelated. And, of course, follow all the rules:

    1. alexadry profile image95
      alexadryposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Glenn for sharing your helpful thoughts as usual. I am debating now on whether I should or shouldn't add it.

      1. Glenn Stok profile image96
        Glenn Stokposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Adrienne, Remember when we met at Maven's Conference in Canada? They talked a lot about advertising on our content. One of the crucial factors is matching the ad to a reader's interest.

        My takeaway from that conference was knowing how the article's subject determines why the reader is attracted to it and what they want from it. So from that perspective, I try to keep the reader in mind when I decide if I should include an Amazon link or not.

        1. alexadry profile image95
          alexadryposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Hi Glenn, I sure do, what a wonderful experience that was!

          In some articles, it's really a no-brainer, like if the article is about a dog pulling on the leash, authors will surely be appreciative if I share my go-to equipment and make it easy-peasy for them to find where to shop for it, however, at other times, I debate it.

          I mean I would like to link to this book because 1) I used it as a reference  to go in depth on the subject 2) the author will likely be appreciative of that, 3) if the readers were interested on the subject of dog claws, they likely will be interested in learning more interesting facts about dogs (at least I am!, I have a super big library of dog books).

          However, the problem I have is that it won't read well adding my experience in the way I have linked the book. I feel it ruins the flow of the article and acts as a distraction so I am still debating on it! I may just let it go this time.

          Thanks for your great insights!

          1. Solaras profile image95
            Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            BTW what was the book you referenced?

            1. alexadry profile image95
              alexadryposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Hi Barbara!
              It was Stanley Coren's Do Dogs Dream?: Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know. It's not my top favorite book, but has lots of nuggets of in-depth info that's not easy to come by and happened to find there some interesting stuff about dewclaws I wasn't aware of, that is also backed up by Adam Miklosis' research.

          2. Glenn Stok profile image96
            Glenn Stokposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Hi Adrienne,

            You added some excellent additional insights yourself!

            This is leading to a great discussion that I think will be useful for others considering using Amazon in their articles.

            If you write an article that is purely a review of the dog leash you use, then an Amazon capsule or link should be acceptable.

            I have written several reviews of products, and I find some of them to work very well for Amazon revenue. The same goes for reviews of books. But if you merely reference the book, it could be considered spammy if you try monetizing the reference.

            You’re absolutely correct that it “acts as a distraction.“ Sure, the author would appreciate the reference, but they might also be upset if they see you making money from it.

            So, you might ask, why is that any different with a full review? Good question. The answer is that a full review is something people would seek out if they were considering buying the book. Since they are already considering a purchase, it’s fine to provide a link to make that purchase.

            The idea is to know your reader and know their intention. I read that somewhere. I think it was in one of HubPages’ weekly newsletters.

            Since you have a “super big library of dog books,” you probably have a lot of material to write several review articles where you can include Amazon. That’s what I did with five Ben Franklin books I have. Only I put them all into one article since they were related to the same theme.

            All the best,

            1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
              PaulGoodman67posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              That's a clear, detailed and, in my view, accurate explanation of the situation, Glenn.

              I would add that HP has to be strict on Amazon links, because in the past HP has been punished by Google for allowing what Google sees as arbitrary or overly commercial Amazon links.

              1. Glenn Stok profile image96
                Glenn Stokposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                That’s right, Paul. That’s why they have those rules. Oh, and thanks for the positive feedback on my explanation.

            2. alexadry profile image95
              alexadryposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Glen, thanks for all the helpful advice, I really appreciate it.
              Hopefully, we'll all get to meet again one day again in the near future!

              1. Glenn Stok profile image96
                Glenn Stokposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                You’re very welcome Adrienne. It would be great if HubPages would arrange something like that again. It was a pleasure meeting you and the other Hubbers who were there.

                1. Solaras profile image95
                  Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Yes! It was great meeting you guys too!  I am still wondering why we were selected lol.

                  1. Glenn Stok profile image96
                    Glenn Stokposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    I was wondering that too. lol. Maybe they narrowed it down to those of us that were earning enough residuals to cover their expenses of our plane fare, hotel, and meals. Their 40% cut would have paid for it in a few months.

  8. Solaras profile image95
    Solarasposted 2 years ago

    Maybe when the pandemic is over, and gas and flight prices get normalized, we could just plan a HP get together in a fun city or beach.

    1. Glenn Stok profile image96
      Glenn Stokposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I would love that too. Of course I don't expect the Arena Group to offer an all-paid affair. But it could be open to anyone who can afford it and wants to meet other Hubbers in person.

      1. Solaras profile image95
        Solarasposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Maybe if we could combine it with some sort of pre-existing convention that would benefit the writers as well (website design, copy writing IDK).

        1. Glenn Stok profile image96
          Glenn Stokposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Yep. That’s something to keep in mind.

          1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
            PaulGoodman67posted 2 years agoin reply to this

            I might be interested in that, too. I missed out previously. But I think it would be fun.


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