Nice Post Simone

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  1. Mark Ewbie profile image82
    Mark Ewbieposted 11 years ago

    Yeah, I'm the class creep, paid HP employee and all round goody two shoes.

    But as I can't reply to Simone's announcement because it's locked - I just wanted to say how good it was, with a touch of class / humour / call it what you will.

    edit: Link...

    1. Mighty Mom profile image82
      Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Mark, what are you talking about?
      I missed the original post. Link? Thx!

    2. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      are the moderators volunteers?  ie they don't get paid for all this extra work reading through crap?

    3. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Mark!  Have I mentioned that I love you to pieces?  Between oli's post on my thread and this link to Simone's thread, I am now clear on what's happening with the Panda.



    4. Rik Ravado profile image87
      Rik Ravadoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Just read Simone's post. I'm 100% with Mark.  The real test of people is when they are under pressure and I think HubPages staff in general and Simone in particular are doing a great job under 'fire'.  We love you Simone and don't buy the puppies crap! smile

  2. Greek One profile image64
    Greek Oneposted 11 years ago

    i'm not an employee, goody two shoes, or an earner of any revenue whatsoever ...  So here is the text...

    Hello everyone!

    The Forums sure have been interesting lately!  Many Hubbers have noticed our new publishing standards and site policies, many of which have been introduced as a response to a search algorithm change (dubbed the Panda update) that Google rolled out in February.

    Many Hubbers have also had to tweak some of their Hubs because of these new standards. For those of you who are affected by these changes, we understand that it can be overwhelming to update your work, and we appreciate your taking the time to ensure that HubPages continues to be the best place to publish online.

    Many of you have had questions about our new publishing standards, are wondering why we’re not focusing on this, that, or the other thing, or are wondering how you personally will be affected by everything.  We’ve done our best to answer these questions, though because Forums are rather dynamic, our answers have been buried.

    In an attempt to make sure you aren’t kept in the dark or misled by anything going on in the threads (for, after all, this is the Wild West of the HubPages kingdom), we’ve decided to put all the answers in one place.

    Each time we see a question or comment that has not yet been addressed here, we will update this thread.  If you want to ask us a question that has not yet been addressed here, please leave it in the Need Help? Ask here. section (we simply can’t address everything that comes up in all Forum threads).

    With no further ado, here are your answers!

    Is there a description of all the new standards in one place?

    Yes. I’ve posted a blog post capturing all the new changes here. We don’t anticipate making any more moderation changes for the time being, but if we do, we will be sure to communicate them on the blog and through an email well before rolling them out.

    Please note that there are existing standards--those that have been around for well over a year--that we have been and will continue to be moderating for. We recently made some of those violations a bit more granular to make them easier to understand (for example, “substandard” was broken down into “poorly structured”, “dubious offers”, and others), but they’re the same violations that they always were.

    Why are all these new standards being rolled out? My Hub was fine a year ago; why not now?

    We’ve taken the recent Google Panda update (which affected just about every content community on the Web) as an opportunity to tighten up our content standards, to make sure that your best Hubs get the visibility they deserve with the search engines. We believe that it’s in Google’s best interest to show searchers the best quality content, so Hubs that present useful, well-organized, thorough, and eminently readable answers to searchers’ questions will be rewarded.

    To that end, we’ve taken steps to identify those Hubs that do not yet comply with our new rules, let you know about them, and give you time to make any necessary changes. While it it a time-consuming chore to have to edit your older Hubs, it is necessary to make sure that our visible content maintains a level of quality that searchers should expect.

    Please note that the changes have affected all of us, and are directed at Hubs, not Hubbers. All of us on staff have had some Hubs moderated, too, and have had to bring our Hubs into compliance with our rules. We’re not bad Hubbers any more than you are; we just have to meet with higher standards. We’re in this together!

    Why the rolling changes?

    The recent series of changes were rolled out to address Google’s Panda update and also to improve the overall HubPages experience for our community and readers at large.  With regards to the Panda update, while it would have been nice if we could read Google's mind, or if Google had told us exactly what kinds of adjustments to make in order to get back in their good graces, we couldn't and they haven't.  We wanted to move quickly to address the Panda update by implementing changes that we are confident will make a positive difference, and not get bogged down in spending months analyzing the anecdotal evidence.   When we've reached a reasonable level of confidence about a quality standard change, we roll it out.

    We completely understand that that multiple standard changes can feel wearisome. They are not staged, and they are meant to act as quickly as we can. We are trying to get your traffic to your Hubs back.

    That said, we expect to not have to roll out any more changes in the near future. We have done our best to be sensitive to how this impacts our community of writers while trying to move quickly at the same time.

    What’s the story with misleading Hubs?

    If you see a Hub that is misleading (like "Facebook Login", etc), PLEASE flag it. That title is misleading and we have a moderation category for it ("Deceptively Titled").

    Why are you not prioritizing spam and spun articles first?

    We are working on it. A lot of spinning is obvious, but so much of it is so subtle--you really have to have a human read it, and see if it sounds "off"--that this is something difficult to automate. Sorry that we can't magically detect spun garbage, and no one is more sorry than our moderation team! (They're the ones who have to read through all that garbage day in and day out)

    A crap Hub I flagged is still up. Why?

    We are working on that, too. Our moderation team is growing rapidly, so our senior moderators are splitting time between moderating, and training new moderators in order to expand our capacity. The turnaround time for evaluating a flag is currently about a week, but we hope to bring that down as more new moderators come on board.

    A Hub that was moderated was fixed. How long before it’s republished?

    See the answer above. We hope to bring the turnaround time down quickly. We really are working as fast as we can.

    What’s the deal with affiliate links?

    We do not have a complete ban on affiliate links. We are disallowing:

    - Certain affiliate links (like ClickBank and Wealthy Affiliate University) that have induced a lot of poor-quality, spun Hubs.
    - Any affiliate links on Hubs within certain topic areas (like multi-level marketing and how to get six-pack abs); the affiliate incentive has also encourage a very large quantity of poor-quality Hubs in these topic areas..

    In all other cases, affiliate links are allowed, although, naturally, all Hubs must adhere to our content quality policies.

    I use some affiliate links in my Hubs. How will I know if my Hubs are affected?

    Please wait for an email from us. If you have any Hubs at all that come under our new rules around affiliates, that email will let you know. Please note that the new affiliate standards actually affect a very small percentage of Hubs.

    I got a warning on my Hub. What does this mean?

    These are automated warnings triggered by some of the words you used in your Hub. Be sure to click on the warning and read the text below it. In some cases, those instructions might tell you that you might be writing in a content area that doesn’t allow affiliate links; in that case, if you have no affiliate links, you’re fine and can ignore the warning. In other cases, there might be specific suggestions or instructions we’d like you to follow.

    Since these warnings are automated, it’s entirely possible that they may not, in fact, apply to your Hub. If that’s the case, please feel free to ignore the warning.

    What’s with the wording of violation emails? They’re mean.

    We understand that some think they're harshly-worded. When we soften them, people complain that we're not being specific enough. We are checking to see if this is something we can have the community help out with (thank you for the suggestion, Marisa and Michael).

    What about eBooks? Am I not allowed to promote my own?

    There seems to be some confusion about what's allowed and what's not allowed. There are some ebook purveyors (like clickbank, which promotes books like "How to Get Your Ex Back" and "How to get rid of Man Boobs") that attract people who spin articles or paraphrase marketing language in the form of a useless Hub. These are the types of links we are forbidding; high-quality Hubs with these links are extremely rare.

    If you want to promote your own ebook that you're offering for free, feel free to do so. If you're not sure if the ebook platform you're using will be prohibited, please just wait for an email in the next couple of weeks. We don't have a complete list, and exposing a complete list will just allow spammers to engineer workarounds.

    What’s the story with the different Google Panda updates (1 vs 2?)

    Each person is different, but on the whole, Panda 1 (US) affected us quite a bit more than Panda 2 (non-US). You can take a look on Quantcast for overall site stats that are fairly reliable.

    Is SImone Smith human?

    Negative. She is a meat popsicle.  And just checking to see if you’re still reading.

    In reality, a lot of the misunderstandings that have lead to some drama in the forums come from not reading warning emails, warning messages, alerts, and site policy through and through.  If you get an email from HubPages, or see a warning on your Hub, please read it.  Chances are it will be quite reasonable.

    Can I use Amazon UK links?

    These are considered affiliate, but not prohibited affiliate links. This means you can use them, but not in those areas (like acai berries, how to get six-pack abs, etc.) that we've said are overrun with low-quality garbage. If you're not sure about whether you've written on one of these topics, just wait for the email in the coming weeks. In the future, you'll know as you work on a Hub, since an alert will come up telling you.

    What’s with the HubPages Ad Program layouts?

    Some have suggested that when you're logged in, you see more ads. That is not the case. Hubber traffic is minuscule compared to search traffic, and ad revenue from Hubbers is also minuscule. You can take a look at this blog entry to see how layouts look with Program ads, and with AdSense alone. It also explains why we reduced all ads. (Keep in mind that if you don't like the Program, you can always shut it off and use AdSense exclusively!)

    Has Paul Edmondson publicly addressed the Google change or given our side of the story to Google?

    Yes, Paul posted on behalf of HubPages in the Google Webmaster Forum in a thread where those who have been affected by the Google Changes have been asked to post.  He wrote a blog post about it here.

    So we’re not allowed to post affiliate links and we cannot put as many Amazon / eBay products in short Hubs... why are you trying to hurt our earning potential?

    Funny thing, that.  We have actually made those changes to protect the earning potential of everyone on the site.  We have found that excessive use of Amazon and eBay capsules, as well as a preponderance of affiliate links, especially when used in the mass volume of (largely valueless) articles in over-marketed topic areas, are not good for the health of our site- let alone the health of the Internet.

    We’re not banning all Amazon and eBay products from Hubs.  We’re doing our best to prevent misuse of these features.  People have used them in excessive ways to generate low-quality content.

    Why is HubPages changing the ad layouts and the number of Amazon/eBay products allowed?/

    Please remember that ad layout changes that lower your earnings lower our earnings as well. We earn the exact same way you do. We wouldn’t be reducing the number of ads allowable on Hubs if there weren’t a compelling reason to do so.  The changes we have instrumented are made to protect the earning potential of everyone on the site.

    Is HubPages trying to drive its best Hubbers away?  Does HubPages hate us????

    Yeah, it is a silly question, but a lot of forum posts have been hinting at this.  Let’s say that we DO hate you.  That we want to drive you away and make your life miserable.  And that we don’t want you to make ANY money.  How would that work out?  Well, the site would get pretty boring, and well... we would have to change our mission from making HubPages the best place to write online to... something else... maybe the best place to make writers miserable.  And we would also probably cease to exist.  Since without you, we’re nothing but a bunch of extremely good looking people.

    So, no, we don’t want you guys to go - we don’t hate you.  We want you to stay and feel loved by us.

    The truth of the matter is that every single thing we do on this site is out of love for the community.  We’ve changed our publishing standards because we want to ensure that HubPages continues to be a good place to write, publish, and be found online.  Consider things from our perspective, and you will hopefully see that this is true.

    If not, please do feel free to blame me, Simone Smith, for I is the one behind every single evil move that HubPages has made.  When I’m not busy drowning puppies, I’m busy thinking of ways to make you squirm.

  3. Greek One profile image64
    Greek Oneposted 11 years ago

    at the risk of criticizing such a lovely lady, she did NOT answer the one question most commonly found in the forum...

    and that of coarse is whether or not Obama is indeed a Muslim born in Nigeria

    1. Mighty Mom profile image82
      Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That ain't no lady... that's a puppy-drowning meat popsicle!
      (Makes you wonder what freezing fate awaits those poor puppies)

      Thank you for posting this.
      Simone Smith rocks. Or pops. Or something like that smile

      1. RedElf profile image88
        RedElfposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'll second that one, MM! big_smile

  4. CASE1WORKER profile image63
    CASE1WORKERposted 11 years ago

    so this obama chappie- he and the puppy drowner, are they an item? Bit confused here after the wedding and all that
    what on earth is a popsicle?

  5. Simone Smith profile image89
    Simone Smithposted 11 years ago

    Shucks howdy, Mark Ewbie.  Thanks big_smile

    And alas, Greek One.  That is the single question we CANNOT answer.  I'm afraid the world is not yet ready for the truth.  It is simply too delicious.

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Simone - thank you for this!  I (as a newbie to HP) found it amazingly helpful!

      1. Simone Smith profile image89
        Simone Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'm so glad!!  Thanks for reading- and if you have any other questions, just let me know and we'll add an answer!!  I don't want anyone to be left in the dark!

        1. cardelean profile image90
          cardeleanposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Agreed!  To be quite honest I was contemplating whether it is worth my time here.  I seem to have come to hubpages right around the changes and really have made pennies.  Ok, maybe a couple of dollars.  smile  I've been trying to wait out all of the changes but it has been hard.  I admit that I like the hubpages ad program because I've made more money (a FEW dollars) in a week  than I have with adsense in four months.

          But since I didn't win that darned contest, I think I might still leave...until the next contest!  tongue

  6. ripplemaker profile image79
    ripplemakerposted 11 years ago

    Simone, thank you for the explanations. It truly helped explain a lot of things.  Now what squirmy things have you thought of lately? big_smile lol:

    1. Simone Smith profile image89
      Simone Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this


      1. recommend1 profile image61
        recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Putting up the lightweight but charming Simone as the 'face' of the staff is the first sensible thing the said 'staff' has done in this whole debacle.

        Too late of course, nobody believes the 'advice' now, the idea that Hubpages is manipulating hubbers into a different structure for the sole financial benefit of the owners is too far advanced.

  7. Aficionada profile image87
    Aficionadaposted 11 years ago

    Mark E., thanks for this thread.  I agree, Simone's post was very helpful and well done.  I thought.  Class/ humor / call it what you will.  Yeah!

  8. Mutiny92 profile image65
    Mutiny92posted 11 years ago

    Simone, it might be time to overlay a bulls-eye on your picture!  It will make the targeting a bit easier  smile

    J/k - and VERY nice post.  Thank you!

    1. recommend1 profile image61
      recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think a bullseye is required, the charming Simone is unlikely to attract the same criticisms of arrogance and high handedness of other 'faces' who have attempted to get the various messages across.  Maybe Simone should also be given the various emails to re-word to make some of them less offensive.

      1. Mutiny92 profile image65
        Mutiny92posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I was just teasing...she mentioned in her post (jokingly):

        If not, please do feel free to blame me, Simone Smith, for I is the one behind every single evil move that HubPages has made.  When I’m not busy drowning puppies, I’m busy thinking of ways to make you squirm.

        I guess my humor - or failed attempt at it - didn't translate well into the forum.  smile

        1. recommend1 profile image61
          recommend1posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I was not criticising you - I was adding my thoughts to yours smile

          1. Mutiny92 profile image65
            Mutiny92posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I didn't take it as a criticism at all, but I thought it best to clarify.  No worries!


    2. Simone Smith profile image89
      Simone Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I dunno... I rather like the looks of targets!  They make for the perfect challenge.  I'm always itching for a fight, tough hulking specimen that I am mad

      1. Cagsil profile image77
        Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Hulking specimen? What...all 5'4" and 114# of you. tongue

        1. Simone Smith profile image89
          Simone Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Pure muscle- no.... STEEL.. no... DUCT TAPE

          1. Cagsil profile image77
            Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            On that frame? Then, by all means, either post a real picture of you or send it to me? tongue smile

  9. Mutiny92 profile image65
    Mutiny92posted 11 years ago

    Just a couple of suggestions regarding:

    What’s the story with misleading Hubs?

    If you see a Hub that is misleading (like "Facebook Login", etc), PLEASE flag it. That title is misleading and we have a moderation category for it ("Deceptively Titled").

    While hubbers can go in and flag these, you will probably get thousands of flags.  The moderators may find it is easier in the long run to run a script for the titles that are in question, or filter by the search box.

    Some suggestions:

    Another idea to help would be to look at the few hubbers who use these extensively and simply ask them to bring their portfolios into compliance.

    Of course, the easy answer may be to re-title those to read "review" - then all seems to be solved.  smile  Just kidding, but I do suspect that this would be the next logical technique to allow the same content to remain published.

    1. Simone Smith profile image89
      Simone Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      You're right, Mutiny92- that's a great suggestion.  I'll bring it up with the team on Monday smile

  10. Lissie profile image65
    Lissieposted 11 years ago

    I didn't find the "clarification" very clear at all.

    Where is the complete list of banned topics - i've know about acai berry and getting your ex back any others? I saw website hosting was banned on one thread? Could we have a definite list please

    Are all referrals to clickbank products banned - that's what was said in Simone's thread referenced above - but then elsewhere I've seen comments by staff that only clickbank products which promote ebooks were banned and/or went to pages with pop ups?

    Again a clear list of ever banned topic and any other item would be pretty helpful about now

    1. Mutiny92 profile image65
      Mutiny92posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Lissie, the one part of this I know the answer to is that all clickbank affiliate links are to be prohibited.

      I don't know about the others.

    2. Simone Smith profile image89
      Simone Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Mutiny92 is right, Lissie.  Clickbank is listed as suspicious under Google's safe browsing advisory: …

      With regard to a complete list of over-marketed topics: so that you do not have to refer to a list again and again, we've built warnings about those topics into the HubTool, so if you veer in the direction of one, you'll be warned.  I've added this explanation to the stickied forum thread. Thanks for pointing that out!

      1. Marisa Wright profile image91
        Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Simone, I just posted  in the "Report a Problem" thread, pointing out that the list of new rules, posted on the blog, appears to be incomplete.

        Could you take a look please?

        Could you also clarify one thing - I understood that an email was always sent before any Hubs were unpublished. But I just had an exchange with a Hubber whose Hubs were unpublished without receiving any emails.  Is that possible?

  11. Peggy W profile image95
    Peggy Wposted 11 years ago

    Just one question...  Is it smart to remove existing RSS capsules with our latest hubs?  I notice that one can no longer insert them.  I have started removing them but with over 300 hubs, it will take a while.  Should I be doing this?  Thanks!

    Oh...and Simone...PLEASE stop drowning puppies and pulling wings off of butterflies!  As an animal lover, I protest!  smile)

    1. Cagsil profile image77
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hey Peggy, until I hear otherwise, it would be best to edit your existing RSS Feeds and make them more relevant to your content.

      Meaning, that the RSS Feed would pull in other relevant material already inside the feed that is relevant to your hub. With 300+ hubs, this would mean if you have RSS Feeds on all of them, then you would have a lot of editing ahead of you.

      The "latest" isn't always relevant to your hub, as neither is "hot" or "best". Keyword usage would now be more important, within a feed.

      Just my thoughts on it. smile

    2. Simone Smith profile image89
      Simone Smithposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hiya Peggy W! 
      As a rule of thumb, I, like Cagsil, recommend only including relevant links in Hubs, so if you want to include an RSS feed of your Hubs, may I recommend including one that only pertains to a relevant tag (e.g. travel / recipes / Texas)?  We have a tutorial on that here: … -rss-feed/
      In general though, simple is good. 

      That said, I don't think you need to worry too much about your existing RSS feeds, unless you see warnings about them.  big_smile

      And awwwww?  Do I HAAAFTA????  Drowning puppies and pulling wings off butterflies is so much fun!!  Maybe I can try to steal candy from babies instead for a while... hmm

      1. K9keystrokes profile image89
        K9keystrokesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Nicely done!

  12. LeanMan profile image84
    LeanManposted 11 years ago

    Hi simone, I would like to be able to edit my RSS feeds but they have not been working for over a week or more, you cannot edit them to be more relevant to your hub and if you add a new one it does not show on your hub!!!
    There are a few threads started over the last several days regarding this problem but zero feedback that I have seen and no action!

    1. Peggy W profile image95
      Peggy Wposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi LeanMan,

      Just use your link capsule instead.  That is what I have been doing.

      1. LeanMan profile image84
        LeanManposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Peggy, I could do that and add each link individually and take several minutes copying and pasting links... or I could add my feed to an rss capsule in one click and it is done!
        I would rather use something designed for the job - if they would fix it!!

  13. Rafini profile image72
    Rafiniposted 11 years ago

    Excellent post Simone, and great timing. wink

    (Oh!  I almost forgot - selling puppies is more profitable than drowning them!!)

  14. Peggy W profile image95
    Peggy Wposted 11 years ago

    Thanks Simone!

    Tip...try sleeping with a puppy.  It will soften that heart of yours and you will no longer be popsicle icy towards those little beasts.  Might even make you soften your attitude towards butterflies and babies.  Please let the latter keep their candy!  Gooey baby smiles and drooling are better than listening to crying, after all.

  15. AliciaC profile image97
    AliciaCposted 11 years ago

    Thank you for your detailed and informative post, Simone....and please do steal candy from babies - it's bad for them anyway!

  16. Kangaroo_Jase profile image78
    Kangaroo_Jaseposted 11 years ago

    What The?

    Simone kicks puppies and pulls wings off butterflies? Whatever happened to the ol skool schtuff of giving babies cigarettes and being in the middle of a train station and letting out random maniacal laughs?

    Sheesh, I can't keep up with the young'uns today.....

  17. Charles James profile image73
    Charles Jamesposted 11 years ago

    Well done Mark for starting this thread.
    Well done Simone for writing the original piece.

    The consensus seems to be that Obama is a candy stealing puppy drowner, one of the nicest things I have seen said about him on Hubpages.

    Running an organisation with such independent minded writers is like herding cats. The easiest way to do it is to move the food bowl.

    And well done Hubpages for nurturing kittens.

  18. bgpappa profile image80
    bgpappaposted 11 years ago

    Answering questions is one thing, but coming off like everyone else is stupid and you are better than everyone else is another.  I found Simone’s response condescending and the frustration to actually have to answer people's questions came roaring through.

    I rarely engage in these type of forum posts because I find them a waste of time.  If I want to waste my time on HP, I will argue whether God is real or not or something of the like.  But I have found the HP team’s reactions to reasonable questions rude and frankly not worthy of the great writers that bring money onto to this site.  And I believe, with the exodus of great writers lately, the HP team will sing a different turn soon because they will not be making as much money either.


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