Why is HP Adding unrelated links to category pages?

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  1. Lissie profile image80
    Lissieposted 12 years ago

    Hi I noticed recently that when hubs are listed in the Google search results the 2nd link doesn't got to the hub but to the category page - for example:


    You can see the tumblr page has the normal double link to the page ranked - but the hubpage doesn't the 2nd link is to
    http://hubpages.com/topics/travel-and-p … ideas/5483
    and the 3rd link is to

    http://hubpages.com/topics/travel-and-p … -tips/5493

    So even if the searcher finds your hub its quite likely that they won't end up on your hub - but on a category page.

    But on the category page - which used to link the best hubs in a category are now utterly dominated by unrelated hubs which happen to have won the writing contest!

    Its basic SEO not to link to unrelated pages from a page you want to promote - staff have been asking to remove unrelated tags and links to unrealted RSS feeds for this very reason.

    But on the pages they are promoting on Google - they have added a whole pile of unrelated links - in fact from what I saw there was only ONE link to a hub in the relevant category. There are a number of related tag pages (which have the same issues as the category pages)
    Then we have 4 links to judges - predominantly external pages- not related to topic to hand
    Then there are 8 links to hubs not related to the topic of the page
    then there are dozens of links to hubbers profiles - most of whome probably don't write on the topic to hand

    If I clicked on a link that said travel tips- I don't expect to find a writing contest - I want - maybe  - travel tips ???

    1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
      mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That is terrible, and so frustrating when we are not even allowed to use an RSS feed to link to our own 'Latest Hubs' based on the fact they are unrelated to the original Hub's content. Talk about 'dual standards'!!

  2. Michael Willis profile image68
    Michael Willisposted 12 years ago

    Will be interested in reading the answer to this one also.

    1. Misha profile image63
      Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I am afraid you are not getting anything that makes sense, if anything at all...

      1. Pearldiver profile image68
        Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this


        1. Misha profile image63
          Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          From the team? Certainly smile

  3. embitca profile image86
    embitcaposted 12 years ago

    Hmmm, I just clicked on "topics" and checked a bunch and every single page has the exact same thing on it. Isn't that a duplicate content problem as well? I've always understood the real problem with duplicate content is content duplicated on the SAME Website ... and here is Hubpages duplicating the same information on literally thousands of pages.

    How would I even use the Topics section to find articles on the topic in question when I can't see past the completely unrelated information that takes up the entire page? How is this even remotely search engine or USER friendly?? The actual topic appears to be relegated to the sidebar, which I didn't even notice the first time I looked at it.

  4. Eric Graudins profile image61
    Eric Graudinsposted 12 years ago


  5. Aya Katz profile image77
    Aya Katzposted 12 years ago

    How long has this been going on? I hadn't checked the topics page in ages till you just mentioned it. That is pretty bad!

    And the second link in a Google search not going to the hub? How did that happen?

    1. Lissie profile image80
      Lissieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Maybe a few weeks? Not sure - I rather think that it may be more responsible for my drop in traffic early April rather than the so-called Panda II roll-out.

      I don't know how they are manipulating the 2nd link - but I'd like to know - I could use it on my own sites to my own advantage :-)

    2. Mrvoodoo profile image57
      Mrvoodooposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      'How long has this been going on?'

      At least a month, if not two.  I assume its purpose is to entice in new authors.  Rather than to promote the contest to (or content of) existing hubbers.  Something that, with everybody putting down their pens (as it were), and/or jumping ship.  HP are going to need more than ever. hmm

      1. Lissie profile image80
        Lissieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        If that's the case then I am really concerned about the lack of SEO knowledge in HP HQ - if it was showing on the categories about writing and publishing online - it would make some sense - but a searcher who is looking for vacation packing tips (the search I used) doesn't want to write online - they want to pack for vacation!

        The net result of providing an irrelevant page is a) pissing off the user who will immediately click back off the page and b) pissing off Google cause they will see the bounce rate skyrocket

        1. Misha profile image63
          Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Any test results proving the point?

          1. Lissie profile image80
            Lissieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Yup - find a naive computer user and watch over their shoulder as they click around trying to find something from Google results - its instructive

            1. Misha profile image63
              Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              In other words, you do not have any...

              1. Lissie profile image80
                Lissieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Well I've had a site drop out of the serps like a stone because it got a burst of social media traffic who clicked thru and than back out immediately - thus putting the bounce rate up ...

                1. Misha profile image63
                  Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  Did google rep tell you this or this was just your guess?

                  1. Lissie profile image80
                    Lissieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    Well I got rid of the social traffic and the site went back to where it was in the SERPS - stop being an arse Misha!

        2. Mrvoodoo profile image57
          Mrvoodooposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I hear you.  And couldn't agree more.  I can guarantee you that it annoys searchers.  Because as somebody who often searches for hubs by category.  It annoys me. 

          The first few times I came across it, I didn't even realise that the: hot/best/latest options were still there.  With all that blue, and the massive pic/logo for the contest, making the genuine search options kind of difficult to see.  It's definitely very misleading.

  6. TLMinut profile image60
    TLMinutposted 12 years ago

    It's really hard to find a hub in a category you want to read. I gave up after a while and went to another site to look for the subjects I wanted to read about. Quite annoying and no longer user friendly.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image88
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I noticed this last week,as well.  I tried to check out the Dance categories and discovered, basically, that it was impossible.  Or it was impossible as far as I could see - and I'm fairly internet savvy, so what chance does the average punter have?

  7. Cheeky Girl profile image67
    Cheeky Girlposted 12 years ago

    I'd love to know how the 2nd link  has been manipulated, and yes I have seen this a few times, Lissie. Ho hum. What are we to make of this? I am glad you brought this up. I am looking forward to seeing what the response to this is. This is well spotted, Lissie! Cheers!

  8. Pearldiver profile image68
    Pearldiverposted 12 years ago

    I Brought this up in the forums, months ago.. that the all the links on my pages AND my referral trackers had been turned off and redirected!!! So it is not simply a case of what you are saying Lis! This has been equal to cheating and this has been happening in one form or another for ages! I KNOW HOW my pages and links have been raided and historically I have asked for explanations, to no avail.
    This is ALSO part of the reason that I have been suggesting hubbers manually load their hub URLs to the Search Engines.

    So... What Lunar Antics are in play?
    Why ARE such blatant departures from ethical trading practices made, that can only serve the party compromising our trust and good faith in this site?
    This is REALLY VERY SERIOUS stuff... sad
    Why the departure from BASIC SEO Practice?
    Why was there a belief that the community would NEVER KNOW? sad

    Amazing! roll

  9. Aya Katz profile image77
    Aya Katzposted 12 years ago

    Pearldiver, if what you say is really happening, can it really benefit HP?

    1. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      None of it benefits a Bona Fide Business.
      None of it benefits Bona Fide Writers.
      As community members, we are able to identify the negative effects of this on our relationships and how it relates to our good faith and reasonable expectations of the site. We have all promoted the site positively, yet that appears glaringly obvious that the Real Commercial Value of Our Efforts here have also been Manipulated per those link redirections etc.
      HP have benefited extensively from 1000s of dodgy hubs written by parties only known to HP which were written Specifically to mislead the public wwwww. Yohooooo dot com etc.
      One MUST ASK the meaning and beneficial purpose of such practice, as clearly it appears to be ethically acceptable to allow such potentially fraudulent and deceptive material and practices to occur! However, there are 'other' interests here also that may well have 'engineered' the situation. I know that 99% of the likes of wwwww. hubs were chock full of Links from Pakistani hubbers and their friends! They use such links to communicate among themselves also... (It is a Coded Form of Communication that sails under the Radar because it appears on the surface to be just a meaningless blah blah) Factually, it isn't and could factually be used as a pretty smart form of communication by terrorist cells or girl guide biscuit sellers!
      - One must also ASK WHY such documents still remain published here and WHY some of the parties who wrote them and stole other content.. still remain here?
      - The Biggest Insult is being banned, trolled or abused for TRYING genuinely to help a site that has been given the benefit of the doubt... yet doesn't appreciate their party being gate-crashed, albeit in an attempt to Limit the Damage!
      But Aya... can it really benefit HP... Deception like this? I'm the wrong person to ask!

      1. Mutiny92 profile image66
        Mutiny92posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It does make me wonder why so many of those hubs are still published.  I know the folks at HP are busy with reviewing hubs and have a backlog. 

        It will help to search by the deceptively titled hubs like:


        I am sure they are working on it and will hopefully be address the large inventory at once.  Of course, almost all of those hubbers have 1M+ views, so that will definitely hurt...unless they fix the hubs by adding the word "review" to the end of the title.  I don't envy HP for having to figure out the policy for those...

        1. Pearldiver profile image68
          Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          They aren't and Never have been Reviews!
          They are a group of very SENSITIVE warts that appear to be highly important to certain personalities! smile
          But this is a secondary issue to that which was stated by the OP.. so I won't comment further.. though please don't read that as me having a flawed understanding of the games, players or methods!

          1. Mutiny92 profile image66
            Mutiny92posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            PD, not sure what I said to upset you...I personally agree that they aren't reviews, but adding that word to the title does seem to be the current workaround.

            I was just agreeing with your comments about these type of hubs. 

            And I agree that this is secondary to the OP.

            Mea Culpa!

            1. Pearldiver profile image68
              Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Nope you didn't upset me and I wasn't upset.. I was merely stepping aside for the primary issues, without shutting the door on the secondary ones. Sorry about that mate!

              - Nope you're not an arse Misha..
              I'm sure the reference related to a feeling rather than an appearance! big_smile

              1. Misha profile image63
                Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                LOL Thank you PD big_smile

  10. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 12 years ago

    Oh, and btw, what's wrong with www hubs? Are they breaking any law?

    1. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      @Misha... Now THAT'S Debatable isn't it...
      But I believe that the apparently non-sensible posts on many of them were used and are directly responsible for this occurrence!


      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        LOL I love Aussie humor smile

    2. Eric Graudins profile image61
      Eric Graudinsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Overly promotional and keyword stuffed are 2 that come readily to mind.

      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        So, just another witch hunt, isn't it?

        1. Mutiny92 profile image66
          Mutiny92posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I don't think so.  If hubs are being reviewed for either new rules or newly enforced rules, then I think it is fair to look at all of them.  It doesn't seem right to exclude a group of hubs for any reason.

          1. Misha profile image63
            Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Neither it does look right to include any, for any reason. Cause all the reasons provided are speculative, not factual smile

            1. Mutiny92 profile image66
              Mutiny92posted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Very True

  11. Peter Hoggan profile image69
    Peter Hogganposted 12 years ago

    If I understand you correctly Lissie the first part of your post relates to the secondary links that appear in the green text under the page snippet (or page description) of the Google search result.  If so, this has been happening for some time and has nothing to do with HP other than it reflects site structure. It’s just the way Google shows some results, think of these links as if they were breadcrumbs.

    The pages these links point to have been designed to support an architecture that lets search engines penetrate deep into the HP site and distribute link juice, yet it looks like all the duplication may be having a negative effect on this. I believe this is seriously hurting HP and more time should be spent getting these sort of issues resolved  than the current witch hunt for hubs that no longer meet HPs standards, whatever those are.

    If you click on the links that point out from those pages you will discover that many of them are not indexed. Whether that has something to do with the dupe content or not I am not 100% sure, but it is an issue HP should be trying to resolve ASAP as well as making them more useful to visitors.

    1. lakeerieartists profile image64
      lakeerieartistsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I noticed this when seeing other sites' stuff online too like Squidoo.

  12. thisisoli profile image74
    thisisoliposted 12 years ago

    I noticed this too and wa not particularly happy with it, think it might have been a google change though.

  13. Pearldiver profile image68
    Pearldiverposted 12 years ago

    Silence... there is so much accurately written about it!
    Including "You have ...... hmm

  14. Aya Katz profile image77
    Aya Katzposted 12 years ago

    Still no reply from HP staff?

  15. Jenna May Swan profile image58
    Jenna May Swanposted 12 years ago

    It's not happening for everything though which is really odd if its a google change.

  16. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
    Paul Edmondsonposted 12 years ago

    There is essentially a micro format for breadcrumbs that Google interprets based on how each Hub is categorized.  The hierarchy of the site is an important element for creating themes of related content to be crawled indexed and classified by search engines.  HubPages has a deep taxonomy and when the correct micro format for breadcrumbs is used, Google can display them at the bottom of the snippet.  The primary reason for this is to help Hubs be better classified as well as good for the searcher.

    We run many tests and try different things.  The contest information on the category pages was one of them.  As the contest has ended, they will be coming down shortly.  We will evaluate the results and apply them to future contests.  The initial numbers show that search traffic to these pages was essentially flat during the month.

    At the core of the changes we make, and the things we test is improving the site for all the great Hubbers.  Be assured, we don't take it lightly.  We are listening, doing our best to deliver a service you'll love and behind the scenes we are fighting for all of you as well.

    1. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Paul, appreciated...

      You are the one that needs to continue to talk to us Paul.. like this.. not solely via the blog ... cheers.

    2. lrohner profile image67
      lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Paul - Can you please tell me roughly when you started using microformats for breadcrumbs and when Google started using it in the SERPs? I would like to compare that to my traffic stats.

    3. embitca profile image86
      embitcaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Re the Content Info on Category Pages - Seems an odd time to be conducting traffic-destroying experiments that also fly in the face of rules about relevance that you are enforcing for hubbers. It's basically  "do as I say, not what I do"  hypocrisy.

  17. profile image0
    EmpressFelicityposted 12 years ago

    Bumping this thread right up...

    My traffic has dipped down to weekend levels, and it's the middle of the week.

    Could this be related to the breadcrumb microformats thing?  I think it possibly could.

    Perhaps other people who've experienced an unexpected nosedive in their views over the last day or two could also chime in here.

    Another thing: I'd like to thank the HP members who bring stuff like this to our attention.  I'd never heard of "breadcrumb microformats" before yesterday and would never have realised the possible impact that this latest lovely "improvement" could have on my traffic.

    And yet another thing: If someone finds your hub on Google & clicks on the green breadcrumb link (rather than the blue link that leads direct to your hub), and then subsequently clicks on an ad in the contest page or whatever comes up in the green link, who gets the ad revenue?

    I would be very, very interested to know the answer to that one.


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