I was flabbergasted last night: it turns out my account was banned. I’ve calmed down a bit. I’ve saved my content and stats and am moving forward. Here are a few take-away’s. The main one is obvious: don’t trust Hubpages!
- Set your Hubpage earnings to go directly through amazon/ebay/adsense. That way if they shut you down, you’ll at least get paid what you earned on the site. In other words: don’t sign up for the internal hubpage ad program. I’m missing out on about $300. See below for a short how-to.
NOTE: I just got an email from hubpages. It says:
I just checked your account and see that it was banned, so you will be issued a payment for the unpaid balance on or around May 28th.
- Hubpages will NOT tell you when you’re banned. It won’t even have an announcement at the backend of your account. Here is what will happen:
- Dead give away: your profile will say you’re banned, if you click on it. [Yes, it feels a bit like a mystery where you have to find clues about what is going on. Hubpages is certainly not up front about this stuff.]
- You won’t be able to post in the forums.
- Your hubs will all turn red in the backend. However, they will stay there. It looks like they’re staying there for a long time.
- All accounts associated with your paypal (or adsense) account will be banned at the same time. [It’s a TOS violation to be active on hubpages once you’ve been banned on one account, so any other accounts are automatically in violation once one account is banned.]
- About adsense: the hubpage backend will tell you: ‘Association Disabled by HubPages for past violations’. Don’t worry, Google doesn’t care.
- Hubberscore nor hubscore will save you. My spirituality account has a hubberscore of 79 as I write this. Still – banned.
- Quality won’t save you – not even hubs edited through their own HubPro program.
- Traffic won’t save you either. One of my accounts was doing very well (the green icons show that these are hubpro-hubs:
- This is a gigantic clean up: I had all sorts of stuff in my account that I would no longer put online. The web has changed. On Squidoo I did a lot of experimenting: throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. In republishing material from Squidoo/Hubpages I will only repost what fits my main niches or was reasonably successful.
- Evernote is a life-saver. I’m using its webclipper to archive all my hubs.
- Google Drive is useful too: I’m using it to archive my hubpage stats.
So how do you set up your earnings settings to op OUT of the hubpages adprogram?
The order of these steps matter. Nothing works in hubpages till you’re signed up for adsense.
- Click on the ‘earnings’ tab.
- Configure adsense (if you haven’t already)
- Make sure you opt OUT of the Ad program.
- Under Amazon use the link at the bottom to enter your own amazon affiliate ID.
Perhaps most importantly: Hubpages is in a bind. They can’t just accept any content, because that means that Google will see the site as low quality. However, they also have to keep their writers happy. The sort of content I wrote, and bought, and practiced my writing on… it’s the sort of thing anybody would write. Nothing special, but also not spammy.
I’m not sure a middle ground exists where authors can trust that their content will stay up and make a bit of money, but where Hubpages also avoids low quality content coming into the site or staying there.
In other words: if you have a niche you’re most interested in, do invest in your own website.
Post Script (added April 3rd 2015)
I asked why I was banned. This was the response:
Your HubPages account has been permanently banned as a result of serious rules violations.
I did have all kinds of former hubs that were flagged for Violations. This is the email I received to one of those. I bolded what I had in fact done on many of my hubs, linking them through to other hubs I still think that’s good SEO as long as the hub in question has enough original content of its own.
As you are part of the HubPages community, we want you to succeed, so we want to let you know that your Hub has been unpublished because it is Overly Promotional. If this is the first time you’ve gotten an email like this, don’t worry! You’ll have an opportunity to fix it.
Overly Promotional means that one or more of the following is true about your Hub. It:
*Solely or excessively promotes another site, product, or service
*Over-uses words or phrases that disrupt the Hub’s readability, which may include repeated emphasis of phrases with bold or italics
*Links more than 2 times to a single domain
*Gives a short teaser and a link to “read more” or “continue”
*Links to a page that contains largely the same content as your Hub
*Has excessive Amazon or eBay capsules