When I go to write a new hub, the keyword tags that are usually there are not there. If I ignore that and get past the title and category stage, it still doesn't show up when I am working in the actual hub template. Is this normal?
Stats by keyword and tags have been or are in the process of being retired. As 2uesday mentioned, there is a forum related to tags and RSS being retired here: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/106827
Lol, I reckon we only have "X" number of days to remember that one must check the official forum posts to see what new changes are being implemented then a limited amount of time to respond before it is closed. One may take note that any change HP has made has been all about HP, and has at no time included our suggestions or input whilst the decision making process is going on. They have hired an outside SEO person who is like God to them I do believe and this mastermind of all masterminds is behind the wonderful rebound of HP. Wait...there has been no rebound!!!!!!
As for doing away with the RSS feeds, HP is not giving the true reason. The true reason is that by using the RSS feed in your hubs they create duplicate material and that was being penalized by Google and making pages drop in the ranking. That is factual. How so? How do I know? Well, I had RSS feeds on about 75% of my hubs and my views were dropping. This was some time back, months ago. Another hubber recommending dropping the RSS feeds on my hubs and my views would rebound. I did drop them and within one month to six weeks my hubs rebounded in views.
So, it is not because the RSS feed was underutilized...it was costing the site views.... yet another feature that HP implemented that has helped destroy our views. Things are not being thought out well before they are implemented. The new profile was another example. It had to be continually tweaked by HP staff after sub-domains started loosing mass views.
Disclaimer: The above is my personal opinions and I have not been paid or reimbursed by anyone or any agency to make such claims via this option of freedom called voicing my personal opinions.
That is the announcement about changes for tags here. There is also a HubPages blog post about it but the link for that is in the announcement above.
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