I have been getting one or two questions every day in my email through the new "contact the author" feature. The questions have been very important; almost always they are questions/details that can help other readers.
Since these readers are sending emails instead of leaving the information in the comments section, over time our hubs are going to contain less new information.
Does anyone know if the comments being moved to email, instead of being included in the hub, will negatively affect our rating with Google?
If the email is relevant to the topic of the hub, why not incorporate that info into the actual hub? I think it would be the perfect opportunity to update your hub (which I believe Google likes to see people adding current info). Make it really simple by just adding another paragraph or two. What do you think?
After looking at Lobobrandon´s tomato hub, I think that is a good idea. I am thinking about adding another capsule to each hub with questions and my replies.
Making a separate hub, as suggested by some others, is not a good idea, in my opinion. People want to find the relevant information in the article they are reading.
I just added a few and noticed that the grammar and spelling is often wrong and needs to be fixed. I think this solution is going to take a lot of time.
If you are receiving emails nearly every day and you notice that the questions would actually fit in quite well as comments you should turn off the option to contact you via the contact button. Having related and fresh new content on your hub is always a welcome sign.
The feature is helpful to other hubbers for instance the health niche where some people may not be comfortable posting them as comments. I also think the feature is built if people want to contact hubbers and request their services, there were quite a few cases in the past where this happened.
Having this feature does also make the site look more professional IMO.
Maybe it would be nice to add a message to the pop up window that appears saying the person should leave a comment instead of privately contacting the author if they feel their message could be useful to future readers. But to get this feature to work correctly, the team would have to make substantial changes, such as creating a link that takes the person to the publish a comment section or the option to convert the message into a comment. Also, this message should only show up on hubs that have comments turned on. I think that's a lot of conditions to look into, it's possible, but how important do the tech guys at the team think this is? I don't know.
What I would like, and I think would be better for our ratings with Google, is to have the "ask the author" under out comments section. Maybe there could be a comment that personal questions could also be sent to the authors email?
As you mention, this has to seem worth it to HP. If having this feature causes our ratings to fall, maybe they would consider it worth it.
I guess the question is, is this going to cause our ratings to fall? Am I concerned about nothing?
You are concerned about nothing, I would say. Your hub should be able to rank well without depending on receiving comments from users.
Sometimes if there's an important addition to a hub in the comments, I make sure that I include it in the hub. Not all readers are going to read every comment. I doubt anyone would read all comments. You can take a look at my hub is a tomato a fruit or vegetable to see how I included user comments into the hub. I added my own information and did a bit of research myself before including the new info. If you look at the sub-headings you'd figure out which one is from the comments.
Thanks I just read that and the comments. They certainly are a lot more interesting than the old "good hub".
Oh yeah about those old good hub comments. Some times when editing hubs I go over the comments and delete the ones that say good hub, great article, and the likes. Also, in the past my responses were not as professional as I would like them to be. I was a teenager back then And even if that wasn't the case over a period of doing something you get better at it and see your old self as a newbie with some errors you'd never make today. The comments cannot be edit, and must be deleted. Just an example, which is my current situation.
This is a very good question and I think it's a good point.
I get a lot of questions on my ballet blog and what I do is create blog posts from my readers' questions. In fact I have a category called "Q&A". I always ask the person's permission to publish their question and my answer.
Since you're using HubPages rather than your own blog, you can't do that. But perhaps you could do something similar. If you're getting a lot of questions about one topic, you could create a new Hub which is something like "Ask the Vet About (topic)", and use that to post the questions with your answers. I recall Veronica used to do something similar with relationship advice.
Alternatively, you could look at posting the question with your answer in the Comments section of the relevant Hub.
Marisa, I had a "Ask the Vet" hub and it was a real flop. People seem to ask a lot of questions when it is about a subject they are already reading on, so in my opinion it would be best to have those "Ask the Author" questions in the comment section. (I just found one where the guy asked the question in the comment section and also sent a message to ask the author. I answered him in the comment section of the hub.)
I have no idea how I could move those questions to the comment section since they would be under my avatar, not appear as questions.
I didn't mean create a separate Hub where people could ask questions. I mean, take the existing questions that you've already answered, and turn those into a Hub, which would be entirely in the form of Q&A. I suggested "Ask the Vet About (topic)", because I thought that would encourage people to ask more questions on that Hub - but if that doesn't work, you could title it "FAQ about (topic)" or "(Topic): Readers' Questions Answered".
A separate Hub about the subject can be a good idea, IF both Hubs are of substantial length. Once your Hub gets too long, it gets hard for people to navigate their way around it. You can usually find one aspect of the subject that you can split off into a separate Hub - all you have to do is provide a prominent link to that Hub, and people who want info on that specific aspect will be perfectly happy to follow it.
Very interesting discussion going on here about the purpose and relevancy of feed through the "contact the author" option and the "comments" section.
The suggestion made by Marisa Wright is also a good one. You can create a separate hub with those questions and answers just like Bill Holland's mailbag. That will be better rather than posting the question in the comments section while answering the question through comments section.
I'm getting quite a number of emails every day. Many of the questions asked are totally unanswerable, lacking both detail and substance. It's almost as though the writers expect a psychic response. It's both frustrating and irritating to receive endless emails requesting valuations of items without the provision of photographs, accurate descriptions, or even the sketchiest of relevant information. I can't help these people, and I'd rather not get the emails. Is there a way to turn this option off? Sorry if this sounds a little testy!
Not testy at all. Some of the questions I get are lacking in detail and there is no way I can help the dog or the reader. "My dog is losing hair so what should I do?"
I can understand why you're tempted! The only problem I can see is, I can't see anywhere to turn off that feature. I can see where to untick the box to allow others to contact us, but that will block everyone, including other Hubbers, not just people who want to ask a question. Am I missing something?
I was afraid of that. I started off by replying to every email, but it was taking quite a lot of time and effort to compose messages for people who quite frankly appear to be time-wasters. I'm now only responding to one or two a day. The rest, I'm sorry to say, I'm deleting.
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