What I learned from being banned by hubpages

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:

traffic-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.

  1. Click on the ‘earnings’ tab.
  2. Configure adsense (if you haven’t already)
  3. Make sure you opt OUT of the Ad program.
  4. Under Amazon use the link at the bottom to enter your own amazon affiliate ID.

amazon-program

Conclusion

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.

Hi religions7,

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

When you are finished editing your Hub so that it complies with our Terms of Use, please click the “Submit for Publication” button. We will then review your Hub and publish it if it is no longer in violation.

Please note that repeated violations will result in the banning of your account. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our Terms of Use and our Learning Center before publishing again:

http://hubpages.com/help/user_agreement
http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/publishing-standards#txtd_22732854

6 thoughts on “What I learned from being banned by hubpages”

  1. This is really outrageous and very unprofessional of HubPages to just ban all your accounts without warning. I’m sorry to hear this.

    I moved only a small fraction of my Squidoo lenses during the transition and kept only the lenses that were content-rich while getting them in compliance with HP rules. I didn’t create any new hubs and this definitely doesn’t encourage me to do anything else there.

    Clearly, they are in panic mode and trying to stay afloat to survive. I won’t be surprised if HubPages ends up in the dust.

    Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Going forward, I don’t think user-generated content sites like these will survive too long with Google tightening up their algos. I think it’s best to focus on one’s own web properties, even though it’s easier said than done.

    Having said so, I hope that HubPages re-visits their approach on how they treat Hubbers who have helped them keep their site profitable so far. Wishing you all the best, Katinka ~ I’m sure you will come out stronger from this!

  2. I too wish you the best Katinka. You were one of the first to support my efforts online, and I’ve never forgotten it.

    The way this was handled is deplorable but nothing can be done at this point. Even if they had the courtesy to communicate, who would trust them now? Anyway, thank you for all you have done for so many of us over the years.

  3. Katinka, you’re a strong woman and this will all pass away. You’ll be better off on your own site, where you don’t share the earnings. I think your advice here is absolutely right on the money for anyone on HP. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  4. This has not happened to me yet but I do expect that anytime it can. My hub score has dropped dramatically as well with many unfeatured hubs. Many articles I have written will just die because as you stated the internet has changed. We are only safe with our own sites.

    Sorry this has happened to you. Something we all need to be concerned with.

    You have always been successful and that will never change.

  5. Phew! Sure glad the spin-out of Squidoo headed me into my own adventure…nothing went to HubPages, a few are sitting unpublished over at Wizzley. Keep on keeping on…I know you are resilient and wise. 😉

  6. “if you have a niche you’re most interested in, do invest in your own website. ”

    Could not agree more Katinka. This is exactly what I have been doing and one of the reasons why I have been so quiet lately.

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