I'm in the process of migrating my content from my blog to HubPages and just transferred an article titled "Top 50 Men's Grooming Blogs for 2014." I just switched this article to HubPages a few moments ago (using a 301 redirect). I'm already on the first page of google for the key term "men's grooming blogs," so the article does pretty well.
However, when the hub was published, I got a note that said:
"We wanted to let you know that Top 50 Men's Grooming Blogs of 2014 has the opportunity to become Featured! Featured Hubs are showcased on Topic Pages and Related Hubs listings. They are also made available to search engines. We want your Hub to succeed and strongly recommend dusting it off and making a few improvements so that it meets our quality standards."
So does this mean that HubPages is now going to make this article do not follow, meaning, I'm going to lose my first page ranking in Google?
Your Hub is 'NoIndex', which means that search engines do not have access to it. You need to remove the cache version of the blog article from all search engines.
This is what I was trying to tell you, Jacob. Maintaining your Hubs takes just as much work as maintaining a blog.
When you have a blog, you have some posts that get a lot of traffic and some that get very little, but they all contribute to the site's Panda score and to your reputation as an 'authority site' on men's grooming on Google.
On HubPages, any Hub that fails QAP, or doesn't get much traffic, will be unFeatured - which will make it invisible to search engines. Links to it will still work - but Google won't rank the new Hub at all.
A Hub goes through QAP every time you edit it, so you have that risk of being unFeatured every time. Also if a Hub doesn't get enough traffic, it will be unFeatured automatically. So right now, you can't really predict how many of your Hubs will be Featured in the future. On your blog, low-traffic posts can add useful "bulk" and keywords to your website. Here, they will just be invisible.
Also, have you looked at one of your Hubs and considered how readers are going to navigate your Hubs? On your own blog, links to your other posts are prominent and there are no posts by other people to tempt your reader away. On HubPages, Hubs by other people are displayed more prominently than your own, and readers are more likely to browse around the whole site than stay within your sub-domain. Most readers won't even be aware that different people wrote those Hubs.
Don't get me wrong, I think HubPages is a good platform, especially for people who don't have a specific niche. However, if you have a niche blog that's getting decent traffic, it seems like a big backward step to move it to a revenue-sharing site.
If you want a site that takes less work, move your blog to a Premium account on Wordpress.com. Their Pro Bundle costs $99 per year which includes hosting, and since plugins etc are all updated automatically, there's much less administration needed.
A nice bonus is that your blog becomes part of the Wordpress.com community and you can make some good connections, so it's less isolating than a self-hosted blog.
Wordpress.com is a good suggestion. Thank you.
Right now, I still prefer HubPages. As annoying as QAP may be, it's helping me raise the quality of my writing. Since migrating articles to HubPages, my traffic has picked back up well above what I was doing on my blog because I'm overhauling all my articles to QAP standards...just so happens I had an article that did well without it. If they want it QAP, I will bring it up.
Thing about owning a blog is your isolate from experts who are studying and monitoring the search industry. So even if HubPages is changing their rules all the time--it's for good reason. It's to keep content in search and to make them and us money.
You're right, blogging is isolating, that's why I spend my time on the forums here, even though I rarely write here any more!
Two things, though: don't assume HubPages management are gurus. Since Panda hit in 2011, there has been a huge exodus of professional bloggers, who used to use HP extensively but who felt that site management were making bad decisions and offering questionable advice. Bottom line is that HubPages is guessing what Google wants, just like every other webmaster. That's no reflection on them, it's just the way it is - their job is running a site, not researching SEO. If you want really expert advice, you're better off at searchengineland.com or other sites where people spend their whole time researching and testing what works.
Like Calculus, I think you'd be better off leaving the rest of your material on your blog, and using HubPages as a funnel to drive traffic TO your blog.
It's not just the Featured/unFeatured problem. Take a look at one of your Hubs. How does a reader get to your other Hubs? How do they know they exist? Your reader is likely to read ONE of your Hubs and leave. On your blog, they're more likely to browse around and find something they really want to buy. Why not take the lessons you've learned from the QAP and improve your posts on the blog itself?
I have been thinking about using a custom domain with Blogger. My understanding is that this would require a fee of around $20 to register a domain and then the hosting of the blog on Blogger would be free.
I think Wordpress Premium would let you do a lot more with formatting, but the formatting on my blogs is very simple and I like it that way. Any advice on choosing a custom domain on Blogger vs Wordpress?
A domain name will be less than $10. Namecheap.com is a good provider.
If you're going to go with a free platform, then Blogger is your best choice. Most of the others use their own site-building software, which means you're stuck with them forever - there's no way to transfer your material if you're not happy.
The big limitation of Blogger is navigation. Blogger's main navigation is still by date - and for most blogs, that's absolutely useless. People are never going to wonder what you wrote back in November: they want to know what you wrote about blue widgets or red widgets, and they don't want to have to wade through your posts month by month to find that. You can create your own Index page with links to your posts by category, but it is laborious. Or you can use Labels as Categories.
The free version of Wordpress.com has much better navigation than Blogger, but it doesn't allow any advertising or affiliate links - so you can't make money. If you want to use ads, you need to buy their Pro Package which is $99 a year. That's a bit more expensive than getting your own hosting, but it means you don't have to handle any of the technical stuff.
Marisa, thanks for your input on this. I see your point about navigation and the limitation of organizing in Blogger by date posted. I am using labels in Blogger which may help some with organization, and I have 4 fixed pages as well. I tried making an index page, but as you mentioned it was very labor intensive and I stopped doing that.
Immediately after a hub is published it goes into "pending" while QAP (Quality Assessment Process) raters read it and score it. Pending hubs have a gray circular arrow by them in your account page. All hubs are "NOINDEX" during the pending phase, meaning hubpages tells search engine bots not to index the page.
If it leaves QAP with a sufficiently high quality rating, your hub will be featured and visible to search engines. In our account page it will be a black circle with a white letter H. So if you just now published it, the NOINDEX thing isn't something to worry about.
If you published it a while a go and the gray circlular arrow has been replaced with a black outline of a circle, it means the hub has failed QAP and come out unfeatured, so it has the NOINDEX attribute in the meta tag. If you make edits to the hub, it will reenter QAP and maybe it will come out featured the next time around.
This is what the source code looks like for your hub as I just checked it a few minutes ago. The NOINDEX attribute in the meta tag isn't permament if the hub passes QAP.
So in short, this article is performing well in Google on my blog, and now that I've moved it over to HubPages, it's going to be unlisted from the search engines?
I have a black circle outline on this hub.
Maybe it's time to put everything back on your blog and just leave a few pieces on HP for the back links. I doubt there are many niches where you would experience more success on HP than on your own website that you have full control over. A lot of people use HP for the reverse: If they come up with a series of hubs that does well, they take them off HP and post the articles on their own website to keep 100% of the earnings.
It sounds like HP is more work for you than it's worth. Even if you find maintaining the blog to be a lot of work, at least it's work you are accustomed to and you are the one making the rules.
I took six interrelated hubs that were making more or less nothing here off HP and set up a web site for them. I have added another six pages to them, not had time to do more. I am already getting twice as much in Adsense earnings on that site than I earn in HP ads plus Adsense combined for 22 hubs. That doesn't take into account the fact I am starting to get Amazon sales off my site, the proceeds of which all go to me rather than being subjected to a 60:40 split with HO.
I think it's cheaper with Namecheap.com. It's only $3.95 a year. But I'm still considering whether or not to go with Blogger.
Blogger now has "pages". You can have up to 10 fixed pages and no blog if you really want.
Ten pages isn't very much, is it? I don't think Google would be impressed with a site of only ten pages.
I don't want to undermine your decision to migrate your blog content to HubPages, Jacob, but I noticed on your genital shaving article the ads have been blocked by HP, and I'm sure that article gets a lot of hits, so it seems like you are sacrificing quite a bit of revenue by posting them here.
Now before someone says "Foolish girl! Everyone knows Adsense rules forbid such content!" I must point out that HubPages applies a much more prudish standard of content filtering than Adsense does, so just because something doesn't fly on HP doesn't mean you'd get in trouble with Adsense for having it on your own site. In fact, I looked at the top Google results for this topic and they're all displaying Adsense ads, so what does that tell you?
Of course, those articles didn't have anatomical diagrams as explicit as your article does, but you could replace them with something less graphic to be on the safe side. However, on HP, even with the most G-rated images, they would never allow ads on that article.
Anyway, I hope you find a way to make HP work for you if this is really where you want to publish your tutorials.
Not to mention the fact that the word 'genitals' is misspelled in the URL.
Ouch! That's unfortunate. Curiously though if you Google "gentitals" you get a lot of results for that misspelling. I admit, the Jacob Morris Men's Grooming Web Content Saga is compelling stuff. I think it's the first I've heard of anyone who had a successful website and moved the content TO HubPages rather than the other way around. I'm curious how it will all pan out.
Writer Fox, yeah, I wish I could fix the URL, but not an option on HPs yet--article is still doing well with the misspelling.
Thanks Calculus. The illustrations I think help drive up my readership
Yeah, I like HubPages. In fact, I've made more money on HubPages than I ever made managing on my own blog. The problem with my own blog is that I 1) lost a lot of time trying to maintain a site, 2) lost track of the search industry.
HubPages is doing both, and while #2 may be a pain for some (because of the content changes that are required over time), their guidance on quality is helping keep my content at the top of search.
All my content is backed-up. I know some have expressed concern about my migration from my blog to HP. Honestly, I'm making more on HP than I ever made on my blog. If HP goes out of business or changes its model, I've got all my articles back up--they can easily be moved (might have to build up rankings, but good content I find gets ranked well quickly).
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