A couple of hours ago we made an update to the site with 2 significant changes:
1. The site was widened by 120 pixels.As Simone explained in her blog post a couple of weeks ago, this is to accommodate wider, premium ads that we'll be serving via the HubPages Ad Program as part of our direct sales efforts with advertisers. You should see these wider ads in action next week when our first such sponsor, Drano Snake Plus, comes on line.
Part of the widening involved putting a gray, 1-pixel border around Hubs. This helps break up the white space that resulted in the widening (we didn't want to widen the Capsules themselves, since many Hubbers took great pains to format their Capsules relative to each other with the current width).
2. We rolled out the Google +1 button. As we had stated earlier, we wanted to wait until all Hubs were moved to subdomains before we did this, in order to not lose the visible count like we did with Facebook Likes.
I would like to sound a note of caution here. Please do not start +1ing your Hubs or other Hubs. Each +1 is tied to a specific Google account, and Google will likely be monitoring each account's pattern of +1s, and the quality of the sources that are +1ing your Hubs. Therefore, self-serving +1ing will probably only work to your own detriment. Don't forget that it's the same Google that drives the bulk of search traffic to your Hubs!
Please just allow readers who don't know you to do the +1ing of your Hubs... and the best way to do that is to publish only the best-quality Hubs. That way, the +1 button can help reinforce a genuine stream of traffic from Google to your high-quality Hubs.
This is really good advice and I'm surprised I haven't seen it anywhere else. Most people seem to be treating it like a Twitter or "like" button and gaily +1-ing their own stuff - and since they've identified it as their own stuff to Google, it does seem obvious that Google will just ignore it!
I'm wondering also about Circles. I've added quite a few Hubbers to my circles and I'm seeing several people suggesting we +1 each other's Hubs within the Circle. Seems to me Google won't be fooled by that either - thoughts?
Thanks for the updates. Will the +1 button appear on hubs or on the Google search page? I think the warnings need to be reiterated as much as possible. You did say that we should not try to do our hubber friends a favor by using it--- right?
Yes, I would not use +1s as a sort of quid-pro-quo type of arrangement. However, if you genuinely like a Hub, feel free to +1 it. You will want to +1 lots of stuff, in that case, from plenty of other sites you visit and like, to make sure you don't give Google any impression your +1s are being used for anything other than their intended purpose.
Thankyou for the tip, I will be having a look at this on Google and researching about it over time. I made mention as above to Jason as currently there is no Learning Centre information (for when one clicks on the help button ob the top right of the site) on Hubpages about +1ing, Twitter or Facebook liking for hubs.
I mention this as alot of new Hubbers would not be aware of this.
Well it doesn't really have anything to do with HP. So I can see why there is no urgency to talk about it in the help section. +1 may be new and therefore little known. But in time it will become just as common as the "facebook like" or the "twitter follow." Anyway, what would HP put in the help that's not already fully explained in the Google Blog?
We'll discuss the Google +1 button, but since it is a bit of a different animal - no current social network linkage, but rather just a quality signal to Google, and, frankly, potentially more damaging to search traffic - it will be treated a bit differently.
Note that when you publish a new Hub, we show you buttons to share on Facebook or Twitter, but not Google +1. (However, if Google+ takes off and they enable a sharing button for that, then we'll be happy to add that)
It would have been nice to see the +1 Plus along the bar where the vote up and share button is. One won't remember to scroll up to the top to look for it near the Tweet and FP buttons. On the other hand I guess it will take some practice to remember before we all start using it properly and often:0)
Thanks Jason! Things are looking really sharp. As for the +1 tag, I believe it's more than just a "thumbs up" gizmo, it tells Google about your interests and flags your location so your future Google searches will be more intuitive.
FloraBreenRobison, You are confusing Google+ with the +1 button. The learningcenter review that Jason gave the link to does not talk about Google+ at this time. That is Google's new social network that may complete with Facebook. +1 is Google's 'like button' and is the subject of this thread. I know it's confusing.
The more people who you don't know who click the +1 button, the better your SERP. Note that I said "people you don't know." If you ask friends to click it, Google can very well see a pattern. Or worse yet, if you or your friends use a gmail account and you ask people, in an email, to click your hub, you are basically telling Google you are gaming the system. These are all my own thoughts, but it makes sense. Doesn't it?
This is a great move! For some weird reason, it doesn't appear in any hubs when viewed with the Apple iPad. Anyone else seeing that? And if so, will there be some plan to fix? Just wondering. I don't rely on an iPad for my main work, so it's no big deal. Cheers!
I hadn't noticed the widening of the page (though knew it should be coming). I just figured out why. I try to keep fairly large fonts in view so that I can read the page with my bad eyesight. That shoves most of the new left margin off of the screen. If I switch to a higher screen resolution, the rest of the left-side Drano ad pops into view. It seems like the anchor should be at the left edge of that ad rather than at the left edge of the text column.