It used to be, as I learned and understood it over a couple of years ago, that referral trackers had two uses. One was for when you convince someone to become a hubber. When you email them the link to use to sign up, you include your referral tracker at its correct place in the link, and if the person does sign up, you get a cut of all their hubbing income henceforth, taken out of HubPages's share. The other use was that when a hub by someone else is about the same topic as one of your hubs, if you include a link to their hub in your hub, you should include your referral tracker in that link, so that if someone does follow that link and does click on ads in that other hub, you will get a share of that ad income. What became of that use of referral trackers? The official hub about them, How to Use Referral Trackers & The HubPages Referral Program, does not mention it. To the contrary, it says, "Referral trackers were designed for use off of HubPages," and it tells only about using referral trackers when signing up a new hubber. Is including your referral tracker when you link from one your hubs to someone else's hub now considered helpful or unhelpful or a waste of time? Should I continue that practice or no? A hub that I am revising today has a link to someone else's hub about a closely related topic (mine is about the City of Marquette and the other one is about the County of Marquette, of which the city is the county seat). Should I keep my referral tracker in that link or remove it?
It is still "legal" to use referral trackers in the way you mention, so there's no need to change any of your existing trackers or cease the practice.
The bonus for linking to other Hubs was a way to encourage Hubbers to link to other Hubbers, thus improving the internal linking on the site. I suspect HubPages has decided its internal linking system is adequate as it is, so there's no need to "pay" Hubbers to create more.
Thanks for your helpful reply, Marisa. It makes the current situation clearer to me.
After I put in that link to the hub about Marquette County, I discovered that the system had already put in a link to that hub, along with links to other hubs about the UP, underneath my hub. So I guess I might as well take out that link.
I'm guessing that another reason HubPages stopped mentioning using trackers in links to other hubs is that that practice was an incentive to include lots of links only peripherally related to a hub's main topic, something that I learned in this forum not long ago is unwise, as regards pleasing viewers and pleasing Google's search software.
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