I just read an interesting evaluation and theory of what happened to our traffic stats over at Potpiegirl's blog
http://www.potpiegirl.com/2011/03/my-th … #more-1770
She evaluated these SPAM phrases:
1. Penis Enlargement
2. Get Your Ex Back
3. Acai Berry
4. Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
5. Credit Card Debt Relief
6. Male Enhancement Pill
7. TV for PC
and compared them to 5 sites and the site with the least amount of SPAM phrases in ratio to their indexed pages was eHow.com which was unscathed by the new shift.
I think we as a community should come together and determine the most over saturated SPAM phrases and ask that Hubpages no longer allow these topics to be published.
I'm not asking for the ones that are already here to be removed, the damage is done and those pages will have to stand on their own. I'm asking that we no longer allow certain topics to be published and flood our community with junk.
I think the same keyword filters can be applied to the forums as well to keep the spammers at bay.
Check out the link I posted and sound off here on your thoughts.
The problem there is that there could be potentially some great hubs on #2 and #5 if written with integrity without anything to sell.
The others though, I agree, get rid. To be honest I thought that #1 and #6 were no go areas anyway?
No doubt that there can be some good and usable information, the problem is the terms are considered SPAM terms and are over saturated across the entire web.
Did you check out Potpiegirl's stats on the way she tested her theory? I really think she is on to something here.
Last week I flagged 3 new hubbers with more than six hubs each about the topic "getting your ex back". Don't know if they are one and same hubber but all the hubs are all spunned badly making the hubs really low quality.
Exactly my point. I'm not trying to point out any particular author, only the TOPICS that are over saturated and add no real value.
For example, Hubpages has over 11,000 pages indexed for the term "Acai Berry" Really? How much info do we really need on that subject?
Are you flagging those topics for admin? Because that's how the system was created to work. If the community on the whole had taken action to consider those all spam then we wouldn't have that sort of content on Hubs.
I have a few pet peeve, Hub TOS violations that I purposely look for and flag on a weekly basis, but I doubt more than a tiny fraction of users are actively that involved in helping to improve the site. Most people want admin to do it all for them.
Flag them for what exactly? They don't violate any TOS. The problem is the topics are over saturated. The algo shift seems to hit on quality and how much quality can there be in a 250 word or less hub on topics like the ones mentioned above. By the way, those topics are taken directly from Potpiegirl's evaluation on her post and are just a sample of what most users of sites like HP and Squidoo consider SPAM.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if it's 250 words or less and on an over-saturated subject, can't we flag it for low quality?
If the Hub is purely promotional and contains no real content (ie, is just a sales pitch), please flag as overly promotional.
That would account for 90+% of all product hubs here. I'm only referring to the purely SPAM topics:
site:hubpages.com “Penis Enlargement” 989 indexed hub pages
site:hubpages.com “Get Your Ex Back” 26,800 indexed hub pages
site:hubpages.com “Acai Berry” 11,200 indexed hub pages
site:hubpages.com “Reverse Cell Phone Lookup” 1,170 indexed hub pages
site:hubpages.com “Credit Card Debt Relief” 1,210 indexed hub pages
site:hubpages.com “TV for PC” 4,610 indexed hub pages
site:hubpages.com “viagra” 3,470 indexed hub pages
site:hubpages.com “download movies” 2,330 indexed hub pages
This is just a small sample and sure I am doing my part locating low quality hubs and flagging them but I don't think that allowing these spammy topics to continue to be published is helping the legitimate authors on this site.
Penis Enlargement as a topic clearly violates adsense TOS, isn't it so?
Are there word count rules for poetry and short story fiction? And there shouldn't be. I'm not concerned with the low word count, it's the spam topics that I believe are hurting us.
Yes they do. One of the criteria for evaluated a substandard hub is "Contributes nothing new in a heavily saturated topic."
ETA: So they don't ban the topics, leaving the door open for good hubs to be written. But ineffective copy that's just a rehash of everything else out there is substandard.
I suppose there's no point in me writing the acai berry url I saved ages ago.
I saw that article you linked the other day Richard, and its excellent. I didn't know that was a spam and overused subject. Is there a list anywhere or a method of finding out topics that are over-saturated on the web?
I'm not sure Izzy. I think in the article she mentioned that Squidoo asked the community to determine what they felt was spam and then she took those topics and compared them to the indexed pages of the sites that were hurt the most last week. Her results turned up an interesting find, eHow had the fewest indexed pages of those sort of topics and they seemed to fly by unscathed in the recent shake up.
Not only that, but writers are specifically prohibited from doing any "SEO" writing by the Demand Media editorial guidelines, nor is the word "keyword" mentioned in their guidelines at all. We just write -- pure and simple. The closest thing we do that could possibly be construed slightly SEO is add a couple of related tags at the bottom.
its a non-issue but since Ive been working on something that incorporated aspects of pot pie girls theory .. its fresh in my head
the list of spam topics isnt community generated
to be a stickler .. How would a random flagger know what has already been presented in a "overly-saturated" topic? That would assume familiarity with a great number of pre-existing hubs and articles.
and plus w/o publish dates - who is contributing to a saturated topic and who is the originator of a saturated topic?
Exactly why it needs to be addressed at the initial stage through filters. I have filters on my Article directory that search for terms that I selected and are against the Google Adsense TOS and they are denied publication when caught.
Speaking of over saturation, I often wonder how one more hub can be written with a title like, 'how to make money from google', aren't these articles just basically saying the same thing over and over, with a new title?
I think somehow it needs to be harder to sign up and begin publishing. I've seen profiles of people signed up for less than 30 minutes with over 10 hubs?
I read the PPG article the other day, and I too think she is onto something.
But she does say that the "kicker" for her (snag in her theory) was/is HubPages. She says we are "okay" in terms of the overall presence of these seven keywords - compared with Ezine and ArticlesBase.
She went on to guess at what other possibilities may have triggered the slide here, including (1) the presentation of the onpage ads, (2) the possibility that topic oversaturation here occurs with different keywords instead of (or in addition to) these seven, and (3) perhaps a large number (or percentage) of no-follow links on this site.
Besides her guesses, I wondered also if perhaps there is a combination of factors involved in our case - those she mentions (especially oversaturation) and also a relatively high percentage of Hubs with inadequate editing (poor language skills/conventions like punctuation and grammar) and/or too-short articles that haven't been caught yet.
I'm sure that this theory is just the tip of the iceberg and I don't have the data to confirm or deny the ad placement.
The low quality content is certainly a contributing factor and probably the only way we can catch it is through human eyes and community effort. My problem is that if the spam topics are contributing to the problem then it doesn't matter how much we flag, the spammers will just continue on with another hub.
Oh, actually I quite agree with you about using filters to prevent publishing of unacceptable Hubs in the first place. That's so much better and easier than trying to track them all down via HubHopping. I would like to see a filter that would trap the poorly written ones too, but I don't know how that could be done, except in the case of too short Hubs.
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