Only one person(easylearningweb) responded positively to this previously published entry two months ago under the forum thread entitled The Future of HubPages which was full of negativity. So here it is again under its very own heading Pep Talk to boost the morale of those of you who have missed it.
The future of HubPages is in our own hands. The HP forums used to be an interesting learning ground where we shared knowledge and helped each other with technical problems. In recent times however, most threads have turned into moaning and groaning, blaming Google and HP with vague, often contradictory speculations as to the reasons for a lack of traffic and earnings. That is unproductive.
Instead, why not aim to produce well written, original, interesting, stellar quality articles. Which is not all that difficult.
1. Find searchable long-tail Titles. What would people "Google" to find your article?
2. Have all items ticked in the "need some goals" box.
3. Supply good quality illustrations, either original or properly accredited.
4. Format for Mobile platforms, i.e full-width pictures and text capsules.
5. Trust and listen to our dedicated staff members.
6. We must be patient. It can take years for an article to gain good traffic.
There is very little point in filling the forums with threads that spread a negative gloom and doom attitude. Isn't it better to concentrate on following the rules and improving hubs rather than complaining about Google or the temporary hick-ups of this wonderful site that gives us such a fantastic opportunity to succeed.
Well done Sue! This is a wonderful platform, and I think staff is trying very hard to help us keep up with the changing realities of writing on the web.
That's true, I've seen comments discouraging others from writing on Hubpages
If I owned Hubpages, I would have someone monitor for this type of statements, and delete them
Presenting problems is one thing, discouraging others is another
when you mentioned long tail titles, does it mean the title has to be long?
It is suggested by HP to make the title about 7 words, usually not much longer (8-10) but 7-8 is best.
Thank you for this The Examiner. I went back and shortened some of my long-tail titles that were over those limits. This is what forums are all about, to help each other learn something new.
Titles should be three to seven words, not seven or more
All about titles
http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … ndly-Title
The title should also reflect search terms...how someone searches, and the words they use can be found in the stats section and under search tab, of each hub
I don't mean to be redundant, if you already know this, but maybe someone doesn't..so it bears repeating
I wrote a hub on Gravity Inversion when I first joined HubPages, before I knew about long tail titles. The original title was: "Hanging Upside Down".
Much later, after I had found out about long tail titles, I amplified this short title into a long tail title as follows:
"Hanging Upside Down - Hang to Stretch and Tone Up with Gravity Inversion"
You can see that the longer title contains a much larger choice of appropriate key words (words that readers might type into a Google search bar to find my hub). This has considerably increased the chance of the hub being found in search engines, with more views as a result.
For a more detailed explanation of long tail tiles and other web tricks read my Hub
"How to Make Fast Money Online with HubPages and Google AdSense Ads" to be found on my profile page.
Thank you, Sue. This is awesome what you are doing. It is so depressing to see so much negativity in the forums and so many comments bashing HubPages. Constant criticism of staff and other members is not helping anyone move forward.
We need threads like this to encourage team support and encourage / motivate / inspire each other.
Well done, Sue.
I cannot argue with Sue's premise, but I think it is important to remember that it is easy to keep smiling when you are doing well, but not so easy when you are having trouble. There are people here who really are hurting, and being able to vent on the forums gives them a way to release and also sometimes get some support and helpful ideas.
I also agree with Marisa: do not mistake being realistic for being negative. It is only when you face the facts that you can address and fix problems. If you simply think smiling, giving pep talks and hoping for the best will make things better, it won't.
What will make things better is updating our own articles to the best of our abilities and helping the team to rid this site of low quality work and spam sites.
I just spent three months revamping my entire subdomain in an attempt to improve my situation here, and much of what I did was the result of the input from other authors on the forums who let me see what I was doing wrong. Had I not opened my mouth about my problem, there would have been no improvement.
TT2 - And why address just me? We are all here to support and keep morale up. What do you find wrong with that? A good PEP talk never hurt anyone.
You say, "I also agree with Marisa: do not mistake being realistic for being negative. It is only when you face the facts that you can address and fix problems. If you simply think smiling, giving pep talks and hoping for the best will make things better, it won't. "
Where did I say or imply that to "simply think smiling", or ignoring facts will make things better? I know the facts. I know the difference between reality and negativity. Hoping for the best is a good way to look at issues. I am not one to be hopping through the crowd with glazed eyes saying, "smile and ignore the issues" -- but, I am one to say deal with it the best you can and give support and encouragement where it is needed.
Yes, it is "only when you face the facts that you can address and fix problems" That is true. But we cannot fix what Paul Edmondson is up against. What we can fix is our own hubs AND our attitudes. I will not get into a hissy with you about who is right or wrong, nor will I accept being "called out" for supporting Sue and others here and supporting Paul Edmonson.
I was not "calling you out"...merely stating my views in response to what you wrote. Nor was I criticizing you or anybody else. My comments were general, and I'm sorry you took them personally.
Thank you Sue. I agree, it has been depressing reading about all the gloom and doom. You have provided great advice.
I am thankful for HubPages, for the staff's dedication to quality, and their willingness to stay flexible and nimble to deal with the changes in the environment (particularly Google, and mobile). I agree that I am the master of my own destination, and can improve my traffic (and even my scores) by following the advice of the team and taking advantage of the programs that are offered.
For what it's worth, I fully expect 2015 to be even more prosperous for me than 2014. I've been here over 5 years now. And every year I have made more money than I did the previous year. Always an adventure, but all is well.
Good, I am glad you have increased your earnings, and I think more success stories should be posted here to encourage others
I think it's important to distinguish between negativity and realism.
Even Paul Edmonson has said that almost every sub-domain lost traffic after the most recent Panda update. It's unreasonable to expect everyone to feel good about that!
It is simply not enough to go on producing good content, because a site's Panda score is not an average - it's based on the site's worst content. So no matter how much good content we produce, it won't improve HubPages' Panda score. And although your good content may earn some income, it will never do as well as it could elsewhere, because it's being dragged down by that Panda score. That's not negativity, that's just a fact.
Anyone who understands Panda will know that a site never simply recovers from Panda with time. To have any hope of recovery, it must identify the problems and address them. That's a job for the HubPages team and there is not much we can do about it, other than reporting poor quality Hubs.
Yesterday's wholesale unFeaturing is obviously HubPages' first sally in its attempt to improve our Panda score. I'm sure there will be more, because recovering from a bad Panda hit like this is not an easy task. Many sites have never recovered. HubPages has done it once, so perhaps they can do it again.
That's very true. Bringing up issues is important. It is also important to hear valid concerns. When we complain about low quality hubs, and I think most of us do that, it seems like those hubs are always written by other people, not ourselves. We all need to take a good look at our own hubs and see how to make them the best they can be instead of simply pointing our fingers at others. Sue is providing us the opportunity to fix things ourselves.
Exactly! And the only way they (we) can recover from a Panda is by trusting the management's guidelines arising from their efforts and knowledge rather wasting their time with bombardments of ad infinitum grovel.
Since staff don't officially visit the community threads, no one is bombarding them with anything - the community threads are just Hubbers talking to each other.
But Paul Edmondson has taken the trouble to visit and said:
"I believe we have to make some very hard and complicated decisions to improve the site to best serve the community for the long haul." and
"My goal is for all Hubbers to have the opportunity to be successful within our community."
Let us not forget that Paul wants the same things as us, authors. So the best policy is to work together and not get too upset by recent events. I.e keep up the morale.
Yes - to keep up the morale should be priority.
I believe we all know the difference between negativity and reality. What Google and Panda has done is reality, but bashing the staff is negative. We should never forget that Paul Edmondson and the rest of the staff are just as human as we are. They need support and encouragement as much as we do - we are all part of the same community. To think that Paul and other staff members do not know what is going on in a community thread is naive. Let's support, not deflate.
I don' t think that's fair, Sue. HubPages did make the mistake of changing the algorithm that affected Squid's hubs. When they said there was a grace period, they didn't make it clear that they would unfeature hubs that had unacceptable or questionable quality. They changed the algorithm suddenly without announcement at the end of the day, so when people noticed the change, there was no one who could explain why they suddenly had so many unfeatured hubs. Some of these hubs had good scores and appeared to be getting traffic and earnings. I think anyone would be frustrated in that situation, especially right when they are expecting holiday revenues to pick up.
Paul's explanation also did not acknowledge the frustration and concerns, but instead went straight to talking about unfeaturing spam. So these people who were already frustrated about this sudden change, now are told that they are the blame for the unfeaturing. Remember, these are hubs with high scores and presumably traffic. Sure, later on in the announcement, he mentioned his concern for the site and the overall philosophy, but it was too late in the announcement.
While I agree that people need to stop talking about their hubs as "quality" and try to figure out how to improve, part of that problem is also the "quality" label. Of course, we all try to do our best, and it is difficult to accept criticisms about ourselves.
I have been learning every day since I started on here by reading Hubs, answers, comments, forums. The same goes for writing. I have been learning through writing Hubs, comments, Q&A, forums and more. That is while I am signed on to HP. I also learn offline about writing for HP by reading and writing, watching certain movies or shows and it never stops.
The negativity does not help I agree. I think valid problems can be brought up with a better attitude. We are not all that good about what we do and constructive advice will be better than just moaning. I do want to know about the problems though as it always make me go back to my account and see if there is anything I need to do to prevent the same happening to me.
Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist,
While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!
Sincerely, The opportunist
I think discussing the problems people are having can in fact help them understand those problems and how to overcome them. The forums are my key resource for working out how to get the most out of hubs and I come here daily to mix with people here that I really respect and just enjoy for their intelligence and wacky humor.
Discussing problems is one thing but being offensive, speculative (quoting figures on assumptions), and discouraging writers is another.
I agree that discussing problems can be a positive way of helping each other. But, when it gets to the point where HP owners are being bashed about it lowers any chance of progress, not to mention it lowers the opinion some have of those who keep the negativity going. There is a time to speak and a time to shut up.
Sue, I much prefer your way. We all should keep this thread on a positive, supportive and beneficial note.
+ Once a thread takes the path of slinging insults and slamming the site owners, I don't go back to it. I can't be around that kind of energy. I think there is far more productivity in positive collaboration and focusing on what needs to be accomplished rather than taking issues personally, even if it may feel personal. It's not personal.
As stated above, I think we can help each other by sharing knowledge and tips. Titles are so important and using keyword phrases and related keywords within the content help the search engines identify the topic of a page. I think the more we understand the intent of our targeted audience's search queries, the better we can make our pages for the best user experience. I think this requires thinking like someone who would search for our content. What would I expect to find on a page if I entered a specific query? And then provide it in our hubs.
I agree with you, Rebekah. After I read Sue's explanation on long tail titles, I started checking all my hubs and looking closely at the titles. I may have to do some editing on that.
Edit: I do not like being in that type of environment either where people are slinging insults, etc. It is debilitating and totally unnecessary.
Thought I'd join in here as frenzied outrage is not my thing
I believe Paul when he says that he is doing all he can and working hard at it to ensure that the entire community here will benefit. It is to be expected that not everyone is happy with all results, but it is obvious that Paul knows he is fighting a big issue with Google, and I think he is doing a good job in keeping HP going. Survival of HP will benefit us all - giving Paul our support and encouragement will also benefit the community.
I agree with you Phyllis, Paul is fighting a big issue with Google. We all need to stay positive and help him make HubPages a successful and happy writing platform.
It hasn't been easy for him coping with the transfer of Squidoo and right in the middle of it Google has arrived and made it harder still for him
Thanks, Elsie. You are right, it has not been easy for Paul and he needs our support - he is doing this for us. By keeping the community alive and going forward like he is striving for, is a benefit for all of us.
Let's keep our ship afloat and going full speed ahead -- not bash holes in it.
TT2, I don't think anyone on this thread thinks it's all smiles and peppy positive talk that gets us through the challenging times. It's more about being constructive and productive. I like the quote someone made above about being opportunistic. We face the facts and get busy doing what needs to be done. If for some it means moving to another site, that's what it requires. Even a realist can get stuck if they're accepting the situation as it appears rather than focusing on the opportunity to make things better. How we make it better is going to be different according to our own expectations, abilities and circumstances. Hopefully what HP is doing will help improve the site overall. It can't be easy to run a huge site like this. It has to help when the community is working together.
Yes, and talking about our experiences--good and bad--is how we get better at what we do. Early on I wasted a lot of effort doing the wrong things, and then long-standing members here in the forums helped me make far more effective hubs with much less effort!
Someone in this thread said that the Hubpages staff doesn't read these threads or something like that, but the staff does view these threads, we've had several comments from them lately
The staff themselves have said they don't routinely monitor the Community section of the forum. That doesn't mean they never drop in, but it means that any concerns posted in the Community sections are much less likely to be read by staff.
Hello Sue! I understand that those who are frustrated need to have threads where they can vent their frustrations ... But gee, it is nice to have at least one thread for those who are not dissatisfied. Thank you.
It feels like a breath of fresh air. Ahhhhh.
Good morning, everyone. Hope today is wonderful all day long for you. I feel good - I figured out my AdSense issue and found I am earning and have a good balance there. I just never got around to checking into it before. All is well.
After glancing over the negative posts today on the forums, this one is the best. Thanks Sue. The negativity on some of the other threads was getting to me.
Welcome to sanity Barbara. Abusive temper tantrums bring everyone down.
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