Sunday, November 8, 2015

Contributor by Google: Great Idea, Wrong Business Endorsement

Three days ago, I received an email from Google AdSense telling me about a new source of revenue for my blog (or website). I was thrilled to learn it meant my readers will see fewer ads on my posts – but I still get paid.

When I selected the types of ads for my blog, I rejected quite a few that annoy me. I will not use any pop-up ads or those that cut into my text. (You guessed it, I barely make any money).

What's more, users can choose to contribute $2, $5, or $10 per month. Apparently, the more they contribute to the program, the less ads they will see. It's an alternate means to help online writers (publishers) focus on creating content without having to worry about too many – or worse, objectionable ads on our pages.

The great thing is that Contributor works on plenty of sites. When readers sign up, they enjoy the "Contributor experience" (aka fewer ads) on my blog and all the other compatible sites

Keep in mind: Contributor only applies to Google ads (and is subject to the same auction bids as any other advertiser). Therefore, Contributor by Google cannot guarantee readers a 100 percent ad-free experience – even on sites that only show Google ads.

Gleefully, I decided to display the Contibutor by Google badge on my blog (above my cat editor). Then, I decided to click on it (I wanted to know what my readers would see, naturally).

And there, three pages down, I see the faces of (I'm guessing) four successful website owners. My jaw dropped open when I saw a photo of Paul Edmondson, the CEO of HubPages included among them. Click image below to enlarge. I am citing "Fair Use" since I am only using one page for recognition and demonstration purposes.

Lean More About Contributor by Google (Page 3) Fair Use
Contributor by Google when "Learn More" is clicked. Photos on page 3. Fair Use

WHY Google? WHY?

There are likely over 26,000 people that are completely disgusted by the unethical, illegal, and deceptive business practices that HubPages has engaged in. Several hundred online writers have witnessed what I have recorded. It is clearly documented in my Consumer Affairs complaint which I invite you to review.

And what about how Paul Edmondson slags Google (even to the FTC)? Remember Paul Edmondson's 2011 post in TechCrunch where he stated:

"Apparently, Google's Panda update has been punitive only to platforms other than Google's."

Paul Edmondson mentions he has "reached out to Google seeking feedback and guidance" but "there has been little response to our inquiries ..." He even mentioned sending personal emails to Matt Cutts, Google's head of web spam.

Paul becomes redundant and continues with:

"It seems that publishing platforms that are not operated by Google are at a distinct disadvantage ..."

More blah bah, and Paul Edmondson ends that post stating:

"Google is not being transparent about their new standards, which prevents platforms like ours from having access to a level playing field ..."

Funny, but Paul Edmondson even mentions having "a responsibility to moderate their [own] content appropriately" which is something that HubPages isn't able to do by my records, by their numerous forum posts, and by elite authors like Vic Dillinger.

Yet, in my experience, Google has made it crystal clear via Webmaster Guidelines what is acceptable and what is not.

Gee, I never even joined HubPages, yet I know the following problems were identified for HubPages:

Six problems the Google has had / will have with HubPages satirical cartoon of Paul Edmondson
Satirical cartoon of Paul Edmondson and  Google violations
and his continued unethical and deceptive business practices
© 2015 RoseWrites / All rights reserved
1) Alt tag violations and duplicate photo titles
2) Rich snippets
3) Ad problems
4) Unnatural links
5) Spam
6) Automated editing of content AND comments (without the prior knowledge and permission of content owners)

My complaint about HubPages with the Federal Trade Commission was accepted on April 9th, 2015. 

And yes, I know that it takes 1 to 3 years (on average) for any form of restitution to be ordered by the FTC.

Clearly, HubPages is breaking the law. And even though I cannot afford to take them to Federal court, doesn't make what they are doing acceptable – even if the majority of writers "went along" with their plan.

I have written over 30 articles and plenty of blog posts about the unethical, deceptive, and illegal practices of HubPages.

My main objectives:

1) To nullify the HubPages Terms of Use so that every author (past and present) can have their author content removed permanently (if they choose) – especially their tax infomation (SSNs, passport info), and date of birth. 

The IRS determined years ago that HubPages does NOT require it. I even updated the Wikipedia HubPages Talk Page to inform the public.

2) Ensure that anyone who closes their account on HubPages (at any time, past or present) receives all of their earnings (including Amazon and eBay royalties) for the entire time HubPages posted their content.

Rationale: No one is held to any contract by a company that breaks the law (and continues to do so). 

Furthermore, HubPages has breached their OWN Terms of Use by:

a) Not providing authors (Hubbers) with 7 days notice of any major changes (like the recent removal of subdomains).

How disgusted am I with HubPages?

Words cannot even express how completely appalled I am with HubPages and Paul Edmondson. He's tried (through numerous shills and trolls) to bash me. I even wrote Chronicling How HubPages Has Bullied Me which I invite you, Google execs, to read.

Does Google Need HubPages THAT Badly?

I sure hope not. My gut tells me that money is the only interest that Google has in HubPages. 

But here's the reality: I am one of thousands of loyal Google readers that know the truth. And I'm vocal (most aren't). The majority is silent.

Do you really want to keep Paul Edmondson's photo up on your brand new shiny "Contributor" program webpage? Because his endorsement will hurt you, I guarantee it.

Here's My Recommendation For Page 3 . . . Click to Enlarge

Google Contributor should use RoseWrites instead of Paul Edmondson as an endorsement
RoseWrites (not Paul Edmondson) should endorse Contributor by Google

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