In the past week, Google launched a feature that allows webmasters to check if their domain or subdomain has been penalized because of spam; publishers now have the ability to check whether or not Google has placed a manual webspam action on their account. With this information, Hubbers can remove or fix their content and ask for reconsideration by clicking the “Request a Review” button.
To check if your site has been hit with a manual webspam action:
- Go to Google’s Webmaster Tools (If you don’t have a Webmaster Tools account set up, we have a Learning Center entry that can help!)
- Sign-in to your account and click on your subdomain
- Click on Search Traffic > Manual Actions in the left toolbar
- Google will list any manual actions that have occurred on your account
The webspam-detection feature is incredibly beneficial to Hubbers and to HubPages. In the next few days, we will make a change to our product capsules because of the results that we found in our Webmaster Tools account. When analyzing the Hubs that were penalized, one of the factors that we were able to isolate was the use of products. Other than multiple products, many of the penalized Hubs were high quality. We concluded that a large block of products will negatively influence Google’s assessment of an otherwise fantastic Hub. Our analysis has instigated the following changes to product capsules:
- We are reducing the number of products per capsule to one on all new Hubs (your older Hubs where you have chosen a specific product will not be effected unless you edit and change the capsule). If you have a Hub where readers would benefit from seeing more than one product, you are welcome to add another product capsule. We hope this reduces the number of tangential products within a Hub and reduces the number of webspam actions on new Hubs. When including products in your Hubs, a good question to ask yourself is: will this product be incredibly useful to my reader, and would I include it even if I didn’t receive any monetary benefit? If the answer is a resounding yes, then include it.
- We are reducing the number of keyword or search-driven products on all old Hubs to one product per capsule (this effects all eBay products and Amazon products that are chosen with a keyword). Many Hubs have multiple products that are exact matches because they are chosen by a search driven keyword; reducing the number of products per capsule will help Hubs with duplicate or extremely similar products. We realize that this may cause some formatting issues with older Hubs; we are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience, but with the new information that Google has provided, we feel it is in the best interest of Hubbers to make the change.
Overall, the new information that we have received from Google has been very beneficial. We know that the changes that we have recently made have been on the right track, and this new resource is affecting the changes that we will make in the future to help reward our great Hubbers and deter spam. Cheers!