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HubPages: The Truth Behind Editor's Choice

By Edited Jun 30, 2015 4 11

Hmm, Which Article Would You Read?

The "Related Pages" Section on My Work (Still Posted Without My Consent) on HubPages
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Honest Answers

To Your Questions

As an observer who never joined HubPages, I find it pathetic how Paul Edmondson and his staff are misrepresenting the facts about their Editor's Choice (EC) program.

In their Learning Center, I found the following quote:

"Editor's Choice Hubs are Hubs that readers enjoy and are hand selected by HubPages Editors."[1] [Hmm, it's "hand-selected" or better yet, "hand-picked" and the last word doesn't need to be capitalized].

Back to the answers you deserve.

In a emotionally charged forum thread titled No HubPages No!...team attention![2] [which has since been renamed], Paul Edmondson chimes in just once. More blather about evaluating, learning more, and the data he looked at 'deeply' a year ago. There is 'nothing to report' right now.

Oddly, he could find no correlation between subdomains and the main domain. He stated:

"I'm less convinced that the URL matters since we originally moved to subdomains and then put some content back on the main domain."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Your Subdomain is More Valuable

Some of the domain factors that Google considers when they rank a page are: domain age, registration length, history, and having a keyword in the subdomain. Panelists at Moz concluded that a domain beginning with a keyword "has an edge" over sites[3] which:

a) do not have a keyword in their domain


b) sites that place the keyword in the middle or at the end of their domain

Guess what that keyword is? You.

As many of you know already, HubPages continues to post my identity, profile, and 277 of my articles despite my numerous public protests. You see, I refuse to click on link, enter a 'code' and provide HubPages with my tax information.

I represent the "inactive" user (according to HubPages TOU) or a dead author. And herein lies their scheme with the Editor's Choice program.

Remember, inactive users = 100% profit for HubPages. You forfeit all of your earnings by being 'inactive' which includes NOT providing HubPages with your SSN, even though HubPages doesn't need your SSN.

Your Good Name is Everything

Burberry Trench - J Brand Jeans - Via Spiga Shoes 3
If you've never had a manual penalty from Google (and HubPages has), then your subdomain probably carries more authority than you think.

This makes sense based on numerous comments that individual blogs are garnering more traffic from Google than articles on HubPages.

When I was on Squidoo, my profile page had a PageRank of 5.

You might think your profile (or Bio) page doesn't matter much; in October 2014, Barry Schwartz wrote that 'John Mueller said Google probably won't update Toolbar PageRank in the future.'[4]

PageRank might be gone, but author rank isn't.[5]

When my profile page was illegally imported by HubPages, "sousababy" became the first word in the URL.

Hmm, that provides the most benefit to the domain HubPages.

The same would hold true for anyone now on HubPages (whether they agreed to this transfer or not).

Misrepresenting the Data

Okay, here's the breakdown you need to know:

Marina Lazarevic stated: "The reality is, the EC opt out rate is only 3%..."

The problem is that the overwhelming majority of registered users on HubPages have no idea that they need to opt-out of this program.

And that would include 'inactive' users and those who abandoned their accounts. Remember, HubPages keeps 100% of the revenue (including Amazon and eBay profits) that would have been shared with these content owners.

Instead, HubPages has decided to place an "Editor's Choice" banner on the articles that they reap 100% of the profit from. For them, it's worth it to piss off the majority of active users (because there probably aren't that many left now). Think about it. Instead of dishing out 60% of the profit - they get to keep it all.

A Truer Representation of the 3 Percent

Generic Pie Chart Made Into Pie Chart of the Active Authors on HubPages by RoseWrites
Credit: Original Pie Chart: Sean MacEntee (smemon on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

How To Check For Yourself

All I did was Google sousababy's editor's choice hubs and instead of finding my own work with an Editor's Choice banner listed, I saw this one (plus several pages more just like it):

Google Search for "sousababy editor's choice hubs"
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

The Really Weird Thing

My article (which was originally on Squidoo prior to the illegal transfer of my work) was titled "Bring the Box Office Home."

But take a look at what is highlighted in this Google entry (shown above):

Jan 20, 2013 - By sousababy ..... Reviews of the Best Home Theatre Screens [which I never wrote] EDITOR'S CHOICE [all in caps] and .... sousababy 2 years ago Hub Author [I never was an author on HubPages].

When I clicked on it, my work came up without an EC banner. So I did a search of the words "Editor's Choice" and it led me straight to the Related Hubs section where I found the article with the banner (shown as my intro photo).

Hmm, my work is simply a jumping off page for someone else's work (and so is yours).

Check For Yourself

Just Google your pen name and add the words "editor's choice hubs" to it.

How many pages came up in your search?

Accolade for Editor's Choice
When I looked for some indication of whether or not HubPages used the EC banner on my work, I found none.

So, I decided to check out the article that my work is promoting and found the accolade symbol (shown at right) which indicates the author has "at least 10 Hubs selected as Editor's Choice."

How Bad is the HubPages Domain?

Paul Edmondson stated:

"Although, only EC Hubs are on HubPages (dot) com and they are much more satisfying to readers than the average Hub (Search NPS of 32 for EC vs 27 for the avg Hub)."

Personally, I think the numbers 32 and 27 are just pulled out of a hat.

He also added:

"We debated moving them back to subdomains, but I think it gives us some interesting data by keeping them on the main domain - We can see how google updates impact these Hubs vs subdomains."[6]

As for the "interesting data"? I think it's safe to assume that only HubPages execs are benefiting (and we'd never know it, since we are not privy to the same data).

About 17 - 19 Months Ago People Reported

Editor's Choice Hubs Caused Traffic to Crash
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

HubPages Used the Wrong Code?

Writer Fox Comment About HubPages Using the Wrong Code
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel
Editor's Choice Comments on HubPages Public Forum
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

A Worrisome Comment About EC Hubs

High Bounce Rate on EC Hubs
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Catering to Scrapers Perhaps?

Normal for Google? Try not to stress?
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Four Months Ago People Reported

Editor's Choice Results (4 Months Ago)
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Nothing Seemed to Improve for EC Hubs

EC Hubs Half the Traffic / The Worst Performing
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Authors Even Gave EC a Second Chance

Hubbers Who Gave EC Program a Second Chance
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

But Guess Who Doesn't "Get It"?

Susana S Wants to Know the Negative Ramifications of EC
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

To Answer You Susana S

Since I am somehow supporting your work:

The overwhelming evidence I've shown supports the fact that the HubPages domain is the only one benefiting from the EC program.

There are but a handful of shills that support it. So to answer your question:

What are these negative ramifications?

  1. Loss of traffic, in many cases less than half (which translates into loss of income) 
  2. High bounce rates
  3. Loss of link juice from 301 redirects
  4. Inability to track the performance of EC hubs on analytics
  5. Loss of your subdomain authority
  6. A possible downgrade of your author rank

And Now Back to My Loyal Readers

Do you honestly feel that "this change is likely going to have zero to minimal impact" on you?

Addendum March 14th, 2015

Leigh Goessl Opened an Account on HubPages

I decided to Google "leigh goessl hubpages" and at the bottom of the first page, I found the following (shown as a screenshot next).

But She Never Wrote an Article on HubPages

leigh goessl hubpages   Google Search
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

At First Glance

The above Google entry (on page 1), led me to believe that:

1) The article was on HubPages was written Nov 12th, 2012 by Leigh Goessl.

2) That in order to post something on Leigh's article, you need to do so with a HubPages account.

Fact: The article "What Makes a Good Professor" was written by LoganG (who is an author on HubPages).



Mar 10, 2015 11:57am
I like how at first Susan S is interested in "evidence" but then soon after says, "Behind my assertion is the belief..." - and she then states a belief not at all supported by the evidence.
Mar 10, 2015 3:01pm
Yeah, it made me laugh when (after I read her forum post), I checked my work and her avatar kept showing up. I'm guessing she's related to the Edmondson's (or something).

It's clear to me how the most dedicated writers on HubPages are being used.

All of these "opt-out" policies are in place so HubPages execs can "tinker" with abandoned work and keep 100% of the profits. (People like me and even dead people like Naiza Oclares and most likely Joan Veronica who recently passed away).

It's disgusting, really.
Mar 13, 2015 2:58pm
So they are using your work (which you did not authorize to be there) to drive traffic to other articles they want to promote?

(BTW, I had checked my name and HubPages to see if I had an active account there, and they gave me a rank of 68 or 69. I don't have any articles there at all...)
Mar 14, 2015 12:36pm
Yeah, you got it. Not sure how Google "sees" these types of pages, but it wasn't hard for me to find at all.

If you made any comments at all on HubPages (while signed in), I wonder if your comments are providing an extra link for someone's work. You might want to Google your HubPages pen name and add "on HubPages" to see what comes up. Glad you don't write there.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Your support means more than you know.


Mar 14, 2015 6:48pm
My profile looks empty and apparently I did put my G+ profile there. I don't think I ever commented and I'm pretty sure I never went to the forums. Just did another search and can't seem to even find my HP profile on Google, to find me I had to search HP itself. (Today I'm a 71, go figure!). I'm too leery of even signing in over there.

Their business practices seem to be horrible. Keep up the great work on your articles, you're putting a lot of important info out there.
Mar 14, 2015 6:52pm
Your ears must be burning Leigh.

I just did a Google search and found something on page 1 that (I feel) is misleading. Refresh your screen and come back to read my addendum and see the screenshot.
Mar 16, 2015 5:31am
Interesting. I did write an article about that topic on Helium and this person on HP appears to have referenced that article ( I had intentions of updating it since it is offline now, I'll have to see how much he/she quoted I guess).

I tried searching this topic with no reference to myself or HP to see what would happen when it came up organically. I did find it, and the author's name was not referenced at all.
Mar 16, 2015 6:58am
Yeah, this seems odd. I have to wonder how HubPages has managed to use your good name (and author rank) to place someone else's article on page one of a Google search.

And the Google entry certainly reads (to me) like you wrote the article.

Just a few days ago, I Googled "RoseWrites on InfoBarrel" and found the unauthorized profile page (that HubPages continues to keep of mine) ranked HIGHER than my profile page here on InfoBarrel. I reported it to Google as "web spam" with an explanation (and link to one of my articles about HubPages).

Today, my InfoBarrel profile page ranks higher, but it still galls me that HubPages is able to keep my profile page ranked so much higher than it should be. Not to mention how much it pisses me off that HubPages is making money from my identity and content.

I still haven't heard from them (nor about any money they obviously owe me). I think they are just ignoring me now. Guess it'll take a lawsuit to get this resolved.

I think HubPages has carefully crafted how they "use" the best authors to benefit their platform.

Thanks so much for coming back to comment Leigh. The wording of these highly ranked pages is clearly misleading.

Take good care,
Mar 16, 2015 12:28pm
I agree, when searching with my name, it definitely reads as if I wrote it, esp if someone wasn't familiar with the "Helium" reference.

Glad your IB profile is ranking higher now! Hopefully the other will just get buried in search. I do think what they are doing is wrong, there should have been an "activation" of sorts to add articles to HP rather than it defaulting to the user opting out and closing up shop before being paid on Squidoo. It seemed like a forced situation if people wanted the money due them.
Mar 16, 2015 3:13pm
Oh it was (is) completely manipulative - particularly for people who depended on their earnings to feel their family.

The key problem that HubPages has is with their opt-out policies. It translates into this: you don't respond = consent. HubPages will take, tweak, and "use" your identity and content to benefit ONLY them.

There are plenty of big companies (e.g. Facebook, AT & T, Verizon Wireless) that have been sued for this type of thing. Default billing is completely unethical (and unlawful). The problem is, it often takes a lawsuit to see these practices stopped.

I am in the process of dealing with lawyers about this - but a family member had to have surgery, so I am behind on this (and many things).

Thanks so much for your support Leigh, it really keeps me going.


Apr 1, 2015 7:42am
am also on HB bt am never active coz I don't have adsence
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  1. "Community Programs: Editor's Choice & HubChallenges." HubPages | Learning Center. 10/03/2015 <Web >
  2. "Editor's Choice designation." HubPages Forum. 10/03/2015 <Web >
  3. "Google rankings: insight into how Google ranks your website." The American Genius. 10/03/2015 <Web >
  4. Barry Schwartz "Google Toolbar PageRank Finally & Officially Dead?." Search Engine Land. 07/10/2014. 10/03/2015 <Web >
  5. Danny Sullivan "Google Authorship May Be Dead, But Author Rank Is Not." Search Engine Land. 29/08/2014. 10/03/2015 <Web >
  6. "Editor’s Choice: Now With More Awesome!." HubPages Forum. 10/03/2015 <Web >

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