I like my Hubs (and my websites) to look clean and be simple and uncluttered. I just think it looks better and frankly, more professional.
My problem then is that every time I write a new hub, i get the email saying it could be featured if I would make some changes. These changes would make my hub look crowded. They say to add more pictures. A lot of my hubs are not suited for a lot of pictures. Break up your text into several capsules...I personally find this irritating to try to read an article that is interrupted by other things in between the paragraphs!
Add more capsules like graphs...my hubs aren't suited for graphs! A lot of the capsules just would have no relevance to my subject so I can't use them.
Why can't we do simple, clean, unclutterd hubs without being "punished" by not being featured?
It's because they want to ensure that you're attracting Google. If you're not trying to attract search traffic, then it's not an issue. However, Google's standards include multimedia rich content- because now, photos, maps, videos, polls, and graphs are considered to be an important part of useful and information rich content. It allows the reader to read, visualize, listen, and engage in the content. All are vital parts of learning; which is the reason most people do a google search. I hope this maybe helps a bit
Anfryelf, I do understand what you're saying, but I think they are going a little overboard maybe. Thanks for the reply.
Haha it's alright And yes, perhaps in one perspective they might be, but they're taking into consideration the way that internet users use the internet now. If they're having tons of content sit on their servers that would be nearly useless to them (not generating enough views, or lowering pr, for example) they're going to want to optimize it as much as possible to get their money's worth back. I understand where you're coming from on it, as it's your personal preference; but everyone has to make sacrifices no matter which platform they use for their writing Places like blogger won't care as much, but there you don't get the PR boost like you do here. But the reason you get that PR boost is because of those rules for featured content; it keeps all content at a high quality standard, as per Google's opinion. It's a cause and effect type of deal
I suggest you always break your text up over several capsules. You don't have to add headings if you don't want to, so the text will look like a single entity to the reader. It will make life much easier if you ever need to do revisions. You may not see the benefit now but trust me, you'll be glad you did it one day!
As Angryelf says, you can choose how you use HubPages, but HubPages' own goal is to attract readers via the search engines (because that's how they make money). So their advice will always be directed towards that goal. If a Hub isn't Featured, then no one can see it unless you give them the link, and therefore the search engines can't find it.
If you don't care about getting traffic from the search engines, then you can ignore the advice - just be aware that you will get very few visitors, if any, without them.
These emails/notices that HP keep leaving/sending us are most irritating. If I feel an image or photo will do justice to my hub then I insert one before I publish it, and not because some machine or program that has been built into this website by someone with different ideas to mine. Why is it not allowed to publish a hub that has been researched and written by someone who has put a lot of hard work and a sack full of feelings into an article that is personal to that hubber.
You should write a hub on this subject Ms. Catgypsy.
PS: I think the absolute answer in one word is MONEY
You're right of course. The owners of HubPages do not run this site out of the goodness of their heart - they do it for profit. If the writers don't make money, they don't make money.
In the past, HubPages was happy to allow anyone and everyone to write here, regardless of whether their articles made money or not. In other words, they were giving non-commercial writers a free ride. While that attracted a lot of wonderful writers, it also attracted a lot of dross, which ultimately harmed HubPages' reputation with the search engines - which is where 90% of the paying traffic comes from. So HubPages had to take steps to recover.
We may not all agree that they've gone the right way about it, and HubPages itself admits that the process is imperfect and sometimes excludes good quality writing that should be Featured - but for them, some collateral damage is acceptable, because the site must get back to profitability or there's no point in continuing.
You may not like the fact that your article is part of that "collateral damage" - but it's not as if you're forced to leave it here. There's a host of other writing or blogging sites you can move it to.
Marisa, I do write for other sites, but HubPages has always been my favorite because it was easy to design my page the way I wanted it to look.I also love the community of writers here. I want to make money as much as everyone else, but I'm saying that sometimes it is not appropriate to add all these other things to the hub. I also follow some of the top bloggers and they generally recommend the cleaner look too, so I wonder if the folks here are not misunderstanding Google. Anyway, thanks for the feedback.
HubPages isn't a blog. A blog post is typically much shorter than a Hub and it doesn't need as much multimedia content.
That's because Google looks at a blog as a whole entity. Individually the posts may be simple, but put together they can create a solid body of work which can impress Google (and that's why, incidentally, blogs only work if they focus on a single topic).
Hubs can't rely on that, because most Hubbers are writing on a variety of different topics. That's why Hubs need to be much longer and more information-rich, because each Hub has to impress Google enough to stand on its own merits.
Finally, when bloggers recommend a "cleaner" look, they're not usually talking about things like images or videos within a post. They're talking about clean backgrounds, no fancy headers or backgrounds or other clutter, because they can affect the speed of the site.
I have two blogs and several websites, so I know the difference. I agree with you that perhaps their advice is more for blogs and websites and not so much for article writing, or whatever you want to call it. But I still think they (HP) are overdoing it, but that's just my opinion.
Yep, money. The people behind it probably make their living from it; as they rightfully should, since they have a popular site. Plus the sheer size of this site and all of media on it... Imagine the size of the servers... Plus, their servers need to provide a quick response time and be able to handle the bandwidth issues that come when things go viral- with millions of pieces of content, there's no telling how much of a strain they're under daily. I'd truly hate to know just how much it costs to maintain this site.
BUT, we ALL know it earns a good bit of money too. It makes sense that they'd want everyone to adhere to what's considered "standard" content nowadays; especially since videos are now one of the most POPULAR forms of content.
Our world is getting lazier, and lazier; and people don't like to read anymore. They want photos, videos... they want information NOW NOW NOW! The quicker they can digest it, the more likely they are to utilize it and share it. Google is trying to cater to the needs of the people, hubpages to the needs that Google is trying to fulfill.
Just to put this in perspective: HubPages had just broken even when Panda hit in early 2011 (which was a pretty impressive achievement at the time). It now gets a fraction of the traffic it got then, so I imagine they're still trying to get back to profitability. Which means they can't afford to mess around!
I agree with that. People today are very visual and far from being clutter, I think photos and videos are absolutely essential to keep readers engaged. And it's amazing how many relevant videos you can find on Youtube on almost any topic (although it can mean wading through an awful lot of rubbish to find them...).
I didn't even know that! But I DO know all of my stuff ranks really well, and I'm going to break $90 this month alone; so they've definitely began recovery. They're probably preparing to push promotion and provide an even better PR for the site in the new future, since they've obviously engaged a site wide overhaul on content quality and engagement. The more they help the writers to rank, the more they earn, the more they write; which only means higher content production and more income for the site.
And youtube is an absolute gold mine. You can even write huge tutorials or informational hubs over some of the things you see there, and include the videos in the hubs. It's a great way to find information, especially if you're knowledgeable on the topic and can point out the accurate ones.
I do take your point and I agree with what you say. I think I should have answered frustration and not money.
You can't keep changing your work place because you don't agree with what they say at HQ. Because you'll never find such a place, and beside life isn't long enough.
HP is a good writing site, but it seems to be in need of an absolute overhaul to get the mechanics back to working together as a team.
Money only rolls in when things are running right. Not when there is so much frustration. Over the weekend we had more then 35+ hours statistic back-log and I see this morning we are up to 4+ hours already.
If Ford, Boeing, NY Times, had these problems on a Monday morning management would be kicking a few butts to get it all sorted and it would only happen once, not as with HP every monday.
Business as you say means money, but that only comes when things are working correctly. In Football if a part (player) isn't working correctly, they change it. That should be the same at HP. You can't change 500.000 + workers (hubbers) to get the firm working right, you have to start at the top.
Sorry for going on a bit, but I think that it's the frustration that seems to be in the air at the moment.
If you are worrying about what your stats were yesterday, then you've got the wrong perspective on things. What you write today will get traffic in six months or a year. There's no sense fretting about one day's stats. I'm sure HubPages takes the same attitude - what matters is traffic over the long term, and a backlog of a day or two is insignificant - certainly not important enough to pay someone overtime to come in over the weekend and fix it.
Yes, I recall the days when HubPages was one big happy family, when staff members were very active on the forums and Hubbers' suggestions and complaints were considered seriously. But businesses change, and on the internet they change faster. The site had just broken even when Panda hit in 2011 - it has been fighting to recover ever since, and it's fighting with one hand tied behind its back because Google doesn't explain what it wants, and keeps moving the goalposts. That necessitates drastic action, and the only way to find out what works is to experiment. Sadly there's no way to test most ideas elsewhere, so HP has no option but to do it "live". Writers who were here in 2011 will recall the frequent changes in rules as HubPages tried one thing after another to regain traffic.
It's a pity that HubPages withdrew from engagement with its writers, and started treating us as naughty children rather than valued collaborators, but that's what happens when people are in a tight situation.
Ghaelach, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! And I think you hit the nail right on the head...money!
@catgypsy, see my reply to Ghaelach. HubPages is a business, it exists to make a profit - why would you imagine it would NOT be about money?
HubPages has to pay for staff, servers, office space, etc out of the ad revenue earned on your Hubs. Of course their goal is to get you to write Hubs which will make money!
Ghaelach, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! And you hit the nail right on the head...money.
Ignore the templates if they do not appeal to you and write as you wish. Ignore the messages too. Write for passion!
I used to write using only one text capsule and added images at the end. No videos or links.
However, since I started using the templates it has increased my traffic by about 11%.
Whether or not they are featured your concern should be that they are clearly written, grammatically correct and let everything else happen naturally.
I have seen un- featured hubs become featured after their views increased. I have a couple of hubs that I did as I had in the past.
They were not featured but after a few weeks and some Tweets plus posting them on Scoopit, they gained traffic and suddenly became featured.
BTW, Ghaelach is probably correct....................
Luis, thanks for your reply. I know I'm not one of the top writers here and that my subjects are probably not as popular (search wise) as others. But I honestly think I did better before they changed the rules, so to speak. Oh well...as the saying goes "you can't fight city hall"! haha
Thanks for replying.
I look at Hub Pages as more of a webzine. I read webzines before I started writing for HP. A beautiful photo adds greatly to any article. Quizzes are teaching tools to see if your audience understood what you taught them. The extras are a lot of work. Since I have been following the suggestions, my income has doubled.
I do use the poll capsule and I always use at least one photo. All I'm trying to say is that sometimes those other capsules just don't fit with the topic, so they can't be included. If this is the case, then you shouldn't be not featured because of that. If the hub is not good, then fine, but not because you didn't use enough photos or capsules.
You can get around the photo issue by using the "thumbnail" option, and put 3 photos into the space of one. You can use 1 poll under your intro paragraph, and 1 poll at the end to minimize clutter... You know you can manage a featured status with this right? I'd still break the text into 3 capsules at least though...
Going to read some of your hubs and remind myself what topics you write about.
All my Hubs are featured. I think I used a poll once and I've never created a quiz.
I wonder if one of your problems is length? I notice some of your Hubs are on the shorter side, whereas HubPages is now recommending much longer articles.
Wow, that's impressive that all of your hubs are featured! I am now going to have to go back and read some of them again!
Again, for a long time, it was suggested that 500-700 words was a good length, that people don't have the time or interest to read long articles. but I guess that's another thing that's changed.
It's not as impressive as it sounds! When the concept of "idle" Hubs was introduced, about a third of my Hubs were idled, and I deleted them and moved them elsewhere.
I have yet to try the quizzes and some of the other tools/capsules. How did that work out for you tirelesstraveler? Did a lot of readers participate?
When I started writing the quizzes as if I was testing for understanding I found people went back to check if I had covered the questions. Anything that keeps people on your site longer is good. I didn't like doing them at first, but now it's fun. Like anything the first couple are hard, but the more you do them the easier they become. You could quizz people on the proper technique for dead lifting. Make one answer correct and one almost correct and one totally wrong. Then go onto what parts of the body you use in dead lifting. Through in a silly response for a laugh.
Gosh, thanks all you guys for so much feedback on this. I guess I will have to include more just to try to increase my earnings. Thanks again!
by Missing Link8 days ago
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by Liz Elias21 months ago
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