Right now, people can suggest any form of SEO activity at all. Link exchanges, automated linking services, whatever - no problem.
You know, I hadn't thought about it before (in terms of posting in the forums, that is), but our forum posts are actually indexed in Google.
So point well taken.
I think it's more important for the voices of Hubbers to be heard whether you like what they're saying or not. It's more important than Adsense TOS. HP could always exclude Adsense from the Forums if either company is worried about it.
Often the mention of it comes about because of discussion. And people wade in with the pros and cons, as well as highlighting the dangers and consequences.
If people can't discuss it, they won't learn.
I agree with that to some extent, but often there is NO mention of the techniques being disliked by Google. We also have some Big Names that regularly insist that it's just a game and they can do whatever they want.
I don't think that should be allowed on a site that uses Adsense.
So mention it.
And quote official Adsense programme policies and Terms and Conditions.
I have on occasion. Maybe less now than before. And I have also seen others quote extracts and post a link to the source of reference.
Yeah, right. And then one of the "It's just a game gang" comes in and says that it's ok to do anything at all because it's not illegal and they just think it's a game.
Who do you think the newbies listen to? The guy making $6,000 a month with automated backlinking or the people making $1,000 a month or less?
If you've got a link to official Adsense TOS and the newbs don't want to listen, then there's not much more that can be done. At least you've put it out there.
If on the other hand it's a matter of speculation and opinion you may need to loosen your stance. Not personally, but in the way that it is communicated to others.
Don't take it to heart when others don't take the same hard line approach that you have.
I think a hard line is needed. It's lack of a hard line that causes the crap here and it's lack of a hard line that could cause Google to devalue this site.
But I've pretty much given up on that. I asked HubPages if they were going to tighten up - they looked like they were heading that way, but then they yanked all that from the TLC and went back to pablum. At one time, you could point to stuff there that spoke against that kind of stuff, but it's gone, so I assume they like their cut of the big money more than they care about what they said they care about.
Business is business. For some, anyway.
So I give up. There is no sense in preaching against alcohol in the nightclubs.
I see your hardlined opinion as going way past the expectations of the Adsense and HubPages ToS.
I don't believe in extremes. I believe that those who are doing the wrong thing (as defined by Adsense) will eventually get caught. Jumping up and down about it and wanting to be dictatorial doesn't win respect let alone support.
I learned most of what I know thanks to discussions on these forums.
These tactics are mentioned on plenty of other sites, often with no discussion or dissent, or any warnings about the fact that they're "black hat". I'd much rather see people come here to the forum and ask about them first, than just go ahead and use them. Sure, some "Big Names" will say go ahead, but others will present the opposing view, and the person can make up their own mind.
Well, I'm not going to bother presenting any opposing views any more. As someone said just this week, "if HP doesn't want me using automated backlink services, they should say so". But they don't. So who am I to contradict the Mighty Ones who brag about it?
I have wondered about this myself. It's almost a "do it till you get caught or scolded" type of moderation on some forum subjects before you actually know what goes.
I don't automate (anything) but I figure that Google and the other SE's know exactly what goes on.
It's all business. Even if someone has 'gamed' the system - if their content is smack bang on page one and gaining exposure for ads that redirect profit back to the SE's I reckon it's up to the SE's to decide what to do or not to do with it.
I see that kind of content well placed time and again. And I haven't noticed it vanishing either. Business is rarely hand in hand with ethics.
Like I've said before - if the SE's aren't coming down on it like a ton of bricks ... And let's not forget that you can buy ad placements that run attractive incentives to buy these automated systems.
It might not be ideal, it might not be right - but it just might be the right of the business owner to decide what is and what isn't acceptable. Sucks - but there it is.
As for HP allowing such posts - that is theirs to decide. I can't remember seeing blackhat SEO tactics littering up the forums. We're usually too busy pushing religion and politics
I wish I could agree. I don't. Neither religion nor politics are important. Politics is a bunch of people that ultimately all eat from the same trough.
Left, right, socialist, capitalist - their interest is themselves, not the likes of me and you. Blame Obama? Blame the coalition government in the UK? Hogwash. They're puppets.
And religion is a business. They all dislike each other, vie for the biggest pot, crow from the highest pulpit - and like politics it's all about the $'s, or the £'s - or whatever the local currency is.
Money PC - that's what talks. And BS makes it all walk.
Ayup. That's the "everybody is doing it" argument.
My problem is that at one time HP looked like they were moving toward tightening up. Then they reverted right back to normal state. That upset me. I'll either get over it or I won't. I doubt very many people will care very much either way.
However, if enough of us cared, HP would have to listen.
I won't hold my breath on that, either.
I didn't say I thought it right. I like to think I have a a good work ethic. I like to think I have good principles in general. I was just saying.
Most (most) of the people who are regulars in the forums have good ethics, A few don't.
At one time, I suggested we throw around some ideas that might lead to a suggested code of ethics for HP. The sneers over that were palpable. It seemed everybody hated the idea - including everybody who definitely has good SEO ethics themselves.
I am NOT bringing that up again, by the way. I understand that nobody likes it and nobody wants it. Certainly not those who make their money by fooling Google, but not even those who are completely honest. So don't bother to tell me that I am an idealistic fool or that I'm trying to inflict my morality on others - it's a dead horse and I am NOT in its saddle.
What you fail to mention is that you went the hardline approach, broadcast the fact that if everyone didn't agree with that stance that you wouldn't respect them, and then finished it off with a flounce (said you were leaving the site).
What everyone hated was your whole approach to it. And that your interpretation of the rules was the one and the only right way to read them.
You come across as a nice guy, when you're not standing up on your soapbox.
I don't have any problem with that. I do not respect people who game Google and don't mind saying that again,
And I may still leave. It is still on my radar. I'm not sure I like HP. I like most of the people in the forums and I like the people I follow, but I'm not sure about the site overall. I am just not sure.
But I give up on the soapbox because it is plain that nobody cares about honesty even when they practice it themselves. Apparently it doesn't matter how you make money: just making it makes you someone to admire. Even if you wouldn't do those things yourself, surprisingly.
So don't worry about the soapbox. The voting trends are obvious. Nobody cares and this was just a little graffiti to say that I still do. It is meaningless.
Yes, and I asked HP by email what their intentions were. They said they intended to tighten up.
Si far I have seen just the opposite, but I remain hopeful. Do I assume you'd prefer that I leave now?
I would prefer if the site didn't have flouncey people and martyrs.
I'm confused as to what exactly you're looking for, here. We have tightened up quite a bit, and will continue to take down rules violations as they come to our attention. We are currently understaffed as far as moderation, and while we are expanding our mod team, it's a complicated job and requires extensive training. You can help us by flagging any rules violations you see, rather than simply complaining that we don't catch everything the first time around.
As far as your original post, content promoting traffic exchanges (which are an AdSense violation) are a violation of our rules as well, and Hubs containing such content are removed as soon as they come to our attention. Once again, you can help accelerate the removal of such content by flagging it.
Please do let me know if you need any further clarification about our rules or intentions.
There also seems to be an increase in the number of hubbers complaining about some of their hubs getting moderated after months of publication.
What they don't seem to realize is that there is simply no way to keep up with the pace at which new hubs are appearing, hence the hopper and the constant encouragement to flag inappropriate content.
As far as I'm concerned, moderation is doing a very good job and if at any point they find any of my hubs to be in than perfect compliance with the TOS, I'll be more than happy to rewrite these.
I'm not referring to hubs. I assume you are doing the best you can there, though clearer guidelines really would help.
I'm referring to ethical SEO. I wrote to HP in October because it did seem at that time that the TLC articles were starting to take a tougher attitude but on the other hand there were still conflicting actions (such as lauding someone who admits to using automated services to create thousands of fake backlinks to his content).
The response I got was "We are in favor of ethical SEO practices. In light of the recent confusion on this topic, we are in the process of modifying and expanding our Learning Center entries that cover this issue."
In actual fact, the TLC articles were weakened after that. You don't promote unethical practices, but you don't condemn them either. That means that when one of the link-wheeling, automated backlink people starts yapping, there is nothing to point them at. As that other poster said to me when I said that automated backlinking services are frowned upon:
"I learnt about it here on Hubpages. If they don't approve of it surely it shouldn't be on here."
What can I say? He's right. You don't condemn it, you write blog articles glorifying someone who blatantly does that, why shouldn't all hubbers do the same thing?
But, as we've seen here, I'm thoroughly hated for daring to ask for honesty. What IS SEO ethics about if it is not about honesty?
I'm about ready to give up. That bothers me a LOT. I hope you can say something that will change my feelings.
there will always be those who haven't even read the adsense TOS, or will mention I must have read it wrong!
I mean the only thing that HP should do when someone violates the adsense TOU is to stop displaying adsense ads on their hubs. Why on earth should HP disallow discussion of adsense strategies in forum?
I think in a forum like this you should be able to talk about what you like within reasonable limits. Even when these topics are brought up people will normally say they are not as good as they sound and also there are no google ads on this forum. People learn about the negatives and need to know what exists anyway.
I think some of the things you say are correct but you are too extreme as Darkside says and also say them the wrong way.
did you read this article in NYT about black hat SEO? it was published today. it's quite interesting. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/busin … r=1&hp
The whole thing with trying to build massive amounts of links to one hub seems like it would automatically be an alert on google's radar. It seems like a large investment of time that could be spent working on something that may prove more effective in the long run. Why do people want to risk losing their google adsense account?
another article regarding SEO practices http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/busin … f=business
J.C. Penney denies being the source.
That's interesting if true, because it means SOMEBODY thinks this could damage them with Google later.
Poor Google. They need to fix this and it is incredibly difficult.
And they did:
And the company did. On Wednesday evening, Google began what it calls a “manual action” against Penney, essentially demotions specifically aimed at the company.
At 7 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, J. C. Penney was still the No. 1 result for “Samsonite carry on luggage.”
Two hours later, it was at No. 71.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Penney was No. 1 in searches for “living room furniture.”
By 9 p.m., it had sunk to No. 68.
In other words, one moment Penney was the most visible online destination for living room furniture in the country.
The next it was essentially buried.
So much for the theory that creating bogus links for a competitor can't hurt them.
Because they believe the Big Names here who tell them that there is no risk. Every time this comes up, one or more of them will jump in and say "If that were true, you could damage a competitors site by an aggressive link campaign."
They then usually go on to say that Google has never, ever punished anyone for this. Of course they have, and your link is just another example of many.
But people won't listen, because they like to hear that they can cheat their way to success. Sometimes they can, I agree, but Google is working hard to prevent that.
Ultimately, Google will win. Certain folks think they are so much smarter than Google, but they do not have Google's resources and, over time, Google will win.
I watched your lively debate with occasional hurling toys out of the pram by several parties - with interest. I came to the conclusion that both sides are right to some extent. At the moment heaping on backlinks of any kind correctly - as in to the correct targetted product from the link - still works just fine because as you say, they dropped from No 1 to no nowhere when the links were removed.
On the other hand I agree that if Google are making efforts to improve the quality of webstuff then backlinking has to change in many ways. I for one would be pleased to see pressure for quality to put the places to get the things or info that I want to the front page and the countless variations of bland mis or no-information with an ad beside it - to the back of the queue.
Reality is being submerged in fake representations of it and quality is the key to putting it straight.
Quality isn't either the issue or the cure.
Many quality hubs are supported by linking campaigns that are not in line with Google's wishes. Some of them might enjoy good SERP without the games, some of them might get there if nobody else were playing games, but we don't know because the games are being played.
The only cure is for Google to be able to provide appropriate results without being fooled by fakked links. That is i tremendously difficult task and one that they may fail to reach.
I have faith, though. I think they will solve it.
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