Within the next few days, we will be adding some exciting long-awaited benefits to the Editor’s Choice program. Check out today’s Blog Post for the details.
My real thoughts on this are that accolades and banners and pats on the back are all very nice - and now a kind of lottery incentive to win $50 and so on, but in real terms for me to make an informed decision about the value of this program would require that the decision was, well...informed. That means numbers, figures, statistics.
I'm happy with my subdomain and have worked hard to make it into something with a real outside-of-Hubpages attraction to a carefully targeted audience. If the thing ain't broke, I don't see any reason to fix it.
I'm not sure that any of the 'incentives' listed in the blog post really represents any kind of substantial benefit. HoTD, banners, accolades, etc. are nice but don't have any real meaning outside HP - nor do they have any long term significance in terms of a Hub's status in the world at large or, indeed, income.
Seems more like,' Editor's Choice, with Added Fluff' more than anything else! And you had me getting all excited there for a minute, too.
I don't wish to micturate on anyone else's exothermic process of chemical combustion, I just genuinely don't see the grab.
Give us a proper, honest report on the EC experiment without gloss and let us make grown-up decisions about whether it's worth our time.
All the best.
Hi Mindi, I totally get where you're coming from. This Blog Post that Paul Edmondson made a couple months ago may be of interest. The gist is that overall, Editor's Choice Hubs are up slightly in traffic compared with non-EC Hubs but that we expect it to take more time for us to know what the full traffic benefits will be like.
Happy to hearsomenew changes, hope to bring in more writers
Really glad to see these changes and I hope it will continue to help improve the site as a whole going forward.
Nice! I think a lot of us have wondered if there was any benefit to EC, even though a pat on the back is always good.
This is great news, Christy. I'm so glad to finally see tangible benefits and rewards for EC hubs. I opted out early on because there seemed to be more uncertainty than benefit. Now the program feels complete. Bravo to HP Staff. Maybe now I have incentive to opt back in.
That really is good news Christy as I had begun to consider the idea of opting out of the program. I have a total of fifteen Editors Choice. some of which have very low scores and one of which is today my top performing hub. This changes all the time but I cannot understand the disparity in the scores or how they are calculated at all. I sometimes wish we had access to information on how these hubs are really performing across the site.
The cash incentive is however a real carrot to remain in the program.
Thanks to everyone for making it happen.
I guess this is cool.
Question though: Does this mean HP has seen a definite benefit to indexing Hubs with the HubPages url rather than our own subdomain urls?
Because that was the theory behind Editor's Choice, right? If HP is reinvigorating the program should I take that to mean this theory has proven true?
I ask because the url change is the reason I opt out of EC for most of my accounts. If HP has data that shows EC Hubs definitively perform better I may be more inclined to participate.
I was an early adopter and my hubs definitely perform better. I'm on around 4K pv's per day with around 50 less hubs than I had a couple of years ago. Plus I've found traffic has been much more stable in the long term.
The only downside as far as my experience goes is that you will probably have to ride out a traffic lull for a couple of months when your urls first get changed.
I don't know how common my experience is though, so it would be good to get some stats from HP.
EDIT: My url's were originally on the HP main domain and that may have a bearing on it. I think Paul E said something to that effect but I can't find where he said it.
I can't say I've seen much of a difference, but this is the only account where I have a decent number of EC hubs. The program does not appear to have hurt me, that I can say for sure.
Would love it if HP could provide a little data here. :-)
I opted out early too, and have never participated in the program. Many people had indicated that they hadn't seen much change in traffic or earnings.
I too would like to hear some stats and get some assurance that this program has been helpful before I make the switch.
We know this is still the bottom line for many Hubbers, and the gist is that overall, EC Hubs are up slightly in traffic compared with non-EC Hubs of equivalent quality, but Paul Edmondson believes it will take more time for the full benefits to kick in.
This is a very nice thing HP is doing for hubbers. How exciting! Looks like it is a great incentive to spur more hubbers on to creating the best quality hubs they can. Thanks, Christy.
I still don't understand much of EC so I look forward to all these.
One of the things we hope this does is improve the reading experience so that incoming readers have the ability to sift through the Hubs a bit more efficiently to find some really great Hubs.
When it comes to pure traffic, there probably isn't much of a difference at this this point for new Hubs. Although, only EC Hubs are on HubPages.com and they are much more satisfying to readers than the average Hub (Search NPS of 32 for EC vs 27 for the avg Hub). There did appear to be some decent gains for older Hubs when we brought them back to the main domain. As of now, we see more satisfying Hubs gaining traffic. So I can see that having Hubs organized like this may give them a better opportunity to grow traffic.
We debated moving them back to subdomains, but I think it gives us some interesting data by keeping them on the main domain - We can see how google updates impact these Hubs vs subdomains.
The shift to Hubpages.com and marginal increase in traffic are downsides for me. I would rather have the cream in my own subdomain glass. I suspect there are sitemap issues as well. If the EC hubs stayed in the subdomains I would go for it. I will wait and see for now.
Christy and Paul,
Would it be possible to have the nominate for Editor's Choice button on each hub? Or does my question belong in another forum thread - suggestions for new functions / features?
Good question. The reason we removed the option to nominate EC Hubs is that it was hardly ever used (and when it was, it was mostly spammers nominating their own Hubs over and over--ironically, it made them easier to find and ban). I can see it being something we'd want to reconsider at some point, but we'd need a better system for sorting through the spam nominations, and a better way of encouraging good Hubbers to use it.
Do you have any update since the last one? In the blog, you said there was a 2% increase. Now that it is 6 months later, have you seen any change in that number?
When the good hubs become EC and are moved out, what happens to the hubs that are left in the subdomain? Without the good hubs pulling it up, do they then fall into the abyss?
This is a question I'd like answered too.
Yes, me too. That is a very good question I did not even think about. Now I am really curious.
We haven't analyzed this deeply, but from what I can tell, when a new hub is published today and selected for EC the subdomains do about the same.
When we originally started with EC, we started with a mix of Hubs that were new and old. That's where we saw more variation in the traffic for Hubs that were moved. The Hubs on the subdomains that weren't selected seem to trend with the site - some up, some down. Nothing jumps out that moving EC Hubs has an adverse effect on the rest of the subdomain.
We could study this more closely like we've done for HubPro. Where in a short time it's very conclusive that for HubPro there is an overall significant search traffic benefit.
Paul E. just replied on this thread: "When it comes to pure traffic, there probably isn't much of a difference at this this point for new Hubs."
So, there is no increase in traffic. And, many Hubbers report a significant decrease in traffic for EC Hubs: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/115537
Also, changing the URLs can have a devastating effect on a Hub's traffic. Any EC Hub can lose that status at any time and the URL will be changed again. Also, Paul E. just commented that he doesn't know if EC Hubs will remain on the HP domain or be moved back to the subdomain: "We debated moving them back to subdomains, but I think it gives us some interesting data by keeping them on the main domain - We can see how google updates impact these Hubs vs subdomains."
I opted out of the EC program and I see no reason to opt back in.
If you have moved established sites around, it's pretty common for short term fluctuations (up and down). We did see that hubs behaved a bit different based on their age. Pre subdomain hubs did better than post - in the short term. Over the long haul I think it evens out.
To clarify my comment, new Hubs (newly published) do about the same in the beginning. Good Hubs outpace average Hubs over time in terms of traffic, but I don't think you can solely conclude that the selection to EC is the reason for the outpacing.
Our hope is that we can highlight the EC Hubs over time and bring them more recognition.
So, in short, nothing is very clear and the jury is still very much out.
I certainly don't see that banners on avatars, priority for HoTD selection, an accolade, a mention in the newsletter and a lottery ticket will have any meaning for search engines or effect on the rankings.
These are just relatively meaningless baubles, surely, designed to entice the unwary into becoming the guinea pigs for the scheme? Why not publish the numbers and let us make rational decisions based on evidence?
This update was intended to help readers easily find the very best content on HubPages, rather than being primarily focused on search traffic.
Isn't it the case, however, that the very best content will rise to the top of search engines and thus readers will easily be able to find it? That is the clear message I took away from the Learning Center when I first started here. Most readers come via search, looking for a specific answer to a specific question, don't they?
So, external traffic to domains/subdomains/pages is the real measure of whether or not a reader is finding what they want, no? Do the figures so far show that people landing elsewhere on Hubpages serve traffic to the ECs preferentially?
If the EC thing isn't about traffic gains, then what difference does it make if an EC hub is on the main domain or a subdomain? Surely within itself, Hubpages can simply highlight top-notch work without uncoupling it from the writer's subdomain? There must be something I'm missing (I'd be the first to admit it) but I just don't get the logic of it.
Y'know, I think it's interesting that I never got an answer to this.
Mindi, I think Paul gave the best answer that he could give, above in this thread. Quote: "We've seen google change how they treat subdomains over the years. Today, I feel that we have cleaned the site up so much that subdomains tend to all move together. Is that because the content is more similar in quality now or that Google sees us more as one site now, I don't know."
I am intrigued by the suggestion from Paul E that "We debated moving them back to subdomains". If this was done, I'm certain that most people would join as their EC hubs would remain in their subdomains. Wasn't the whole point of the ECs to shift hubs from subs into the HubPages.com domain to address an issue with HubPages.com ranking and status with Google? What has changed for 'moving them back to subdomains' to be an option now? Why not go this way, as it is a far better outcome for authors with no negative issues?
If EC Hubs kept the sub-domain URL, I'd be opting into the program for sure.
It may just be me, but there seems to be a lack of clarity, even some mixed messages, about what the EC is meant to achieve and who it is intended to benefit. I confess I don't really understand it.
But I'd be more likely to opt in if the hubs remained on my subdomain, for sure. Nothing else makes much sense to me. However, I suspect that might never be part of the plan, if there is one. Afterall, if they remained on a subdomain, what would the EC be other than another accolade, a banner and a chance at a prize draw? That's what I don't get.
It's hard to know without doing it what will happen. I suspect that the old Hubs we moved (well before the site was on subdomains) would do worse on average if we moved them back.
But is the accumulation of hubs in HubPages.com still required for ranking and status purposes? If not, why not leave the ECs in the subs as this would remove most of the negative aspects for ECs. I suspect there could be substantial benefits in relation to the sitemaps, linking, 301's and other aspects associated with having ECs in the host domain.
I would suspect (and hope) that a specific EC hub would garner more traffic in a domain with nothing but other EC (high quality, presumably) hubs than in one where only a quarter or less of the hubs are of that quality.
Yeah but it doesn't, apparently. Likewise if all the cream (ECs) is extracted from your sub you would expected a decline in reputation. If it is true in one case it should be true in the other. But apparently not, though I remain doubtful.
For new Hubs, I don't think they have enough reputation when they are first published to make any significant difference.
We've seen google change how they treat subdomains over the years. Today, I feel that we have cleaned the site up so much that subdomains tend to all move together. Is that because the content is more similar in quality now or that Google sees us more as one site now, I don't know.
I will add this. I think today that our challenge is two parts. One, it's controlling spam (links, products, keyword stuffed etc) and the second is a scalable way to continually improve content.
We are about 5% short in terms of our view weighted content quality goal in terms of breaking through to the side of high quality sites (my estimation from lots of analysis). 5% as a simple percentage sounds small, but when it comes to content, it's significant. If everyone took the Hubs that generate 80% of their traffic and made them EC quality, we would surely surpass this threshold.
I hope folks worry less about short term traffic fluctuations and more about improving their content to make EC quality or better. Now that EC Hubs are more visible, more people can see an example of what pages that are satisfying readers look like (EC Hubs have search visitor satisfaction rating that is about 9 points higher than the site average).
Do you guys accept bribes? Particularly as to my last 3 hubs.
It is interesting that historically EC's were introduced because the mother ship HubPages.com had lost its mojo with Google after the subdomain structure was introduced. The mothership had few pages and its rank suffered. HP chose to get the 'cream of the crop' in the host domain to rectify this by encouraging authors to join the EC program. Not sure what has changed to suggest that EC's could be left within the subdomains or transferred to them. Perhaps someone has the answer. EC's would be great if the hubs did not have to be shifted to the mothership with negative consequences for the ranking and authority of the subs. I suspect that transferring the EC's back to the subs could provide a simpler and much more effective sitemap (less redirections, link issues etc.) will full commitment to subs.
Make it dark chocolate and I'm sure we can work something out.
Joking aside, our Editors still have a sizable queue of recent Hubs to work through, so Hubs that are a month or so old may simply have not been reviewed yet (and still have the chance to be chosen).
btw, my usual monthly payment from HubPages arrove. I love you guys.
I'm surprised that you would institute a new policy that is presumably made to encourage more Hubbers to join the EC program when you already have a backlog of hubs to review.
I thought we might get a % boost on editor's choice hubs but no such luck....
One third of my hubs are EC and yet they get half the traffic. So for that reason I have been leaving them as EC. Of course, I never knew if those particular hubs were getting more traffic anyway, even before being moved to the home domain. But now I'm glad I never opted out because I look forward to seeing if these changes improve things even further.
These changes sound like a step in the right direction, though I only have three EC hubs and the most recent was over a year ago. Got excited yesterday to receive an email congratulating me that one of my hubs had been chosen for Editor's Choice, only to find out in a forum that everyone who has EC hubs received the same email and it was only confirming that you have a certain number of EC hubs. I am just curious also to find out how they are chosen because I have been told by a few people that they have nominated hubs of mine but nothing happened. The three EC hubs I do have are among my worst performing hubs so maybe it's a plus no others have been chosen.
That's the sad truth for many who have allowed their Hubs to be in the EC program.
I had this exact same thought! I was actually a bit concerned to get the email and was relieved that no additional hubs were chosen as EC. The two hubs of mine that were chosen didn't get the most views or engagement to begin with and their traffic has dropped since becoming EC. I don't mind leaving them in the program because maybe things will eventually get better, but I'd rather not have any of my other, better performing hubs subjected to the program.
You are either opted in or opted out. As long as you are opted in, all of your Hubs are subject to being selected as EC Hubs. If that is not what you want, then opt out of the program as soon as possible. Since your two EC Hubs have lost traffic since they were selected and had their URLs changed, you have nothing to lose by putting them back on your subdomain.
That's true. At the same time, however, it sounds like they've gone through the old hubs and selected what they wanted so I don't feel like any of my other hubs are at risk for selection, especially since I haven't written anything new here. That being the case, maybe I'll leave them as EC a bit longer. Then if there'a still no change I'll give up and opt out of EC to see if that helps.
I was sent an email about four days ago that I have received an editor's choice. However, I have not seen it posted and I don't even know which hub it is. Can someone fill me in on the time frame?
Sorry for the confusion. The email was letting you know that you have earned the new numbered Editor's Choice Accolade. It didn't necessarily mean that you have had a Hub newly marked EC.
Oh, bummer. I was so excited. But thank you for letting me know. You may want to make it more clear. It was a confusing email.
Well the one thing you promised in the email was to post it on hubpages and social media websites. That was an outright falsehood as after several days you still have not done so. Thanks a lot. I am glad you changed the email but you've upset me and I am sure many others. I ask that you post it as you promised. I will let other hubbers know what's going on. You might want to contact all the others who received the same email and apologize for the decption and make it right. I have put in four years on HP and I dearly love it, flaws and all (no site is perfect). And this means countless hours of research, editing, and time. You need to honor your writers by showing appreciation in more tangible way. Your writers are your bread and butter and our work is deeply important to us. I do want to let you know though that I truly do appreciate hubpages' giving us a chance to publish our work. I can't tell you how much. But you need to be more honorable and expressive of gratitude.
We do say that EC Hubs will get priority on our social networks, but that does not necessarily mean every EC Hub will be posted to social media. It is also something we intend to do slowly over time (meaning 1 or 2 Hubs will be Tweeted, Pinned, and posted to Facebook and Google+ every day. Unfortunately, posting every EC Hub on every social network in a single day would simply overwhelm our followers and probably result in most people unfriending and/or blocking us for spam rather than gaining an audience for our best Hubs.
Just to clarify, here is what the message said,
Hats off to you! You've had a Hub selected by our Editors for special treatment, including promotion onsite and via our social media channels. It will also be prominently displayed on HubPages.com. Only a small percentage of Hubs are chosen - nice work!
As you can see this was not past tense.
Thank you for the update it information. You are wonderful. It is good to know what to do before making the wrong work. I am going to make one of those editor's choice hub.I need to find something original.
Seriously, that is not shown in anyway. You should have given those details. Integrity is lacking in this situation.
With real and genuine respect to you, I don't think there is a lack of integrity. I think it's just a misunderstanding. And as Christy said, they have responded to you by revising the email. Clearly, the clock can't be put back for you, and that must be very frustrating, but I hope that others in the future will be grateful to you, as I am sure Hubpages staff are, for pointing out the source of misunderstanding so that they could fix it.
Have a lovely day.
Stuff, you are right. Now that I've had time to think on it, I over reacted. I realize there was no deliberate, ill inent on the part of HP, and I apologize to the staff. I appreciate that they have tried to be more clear for future editor's choice recipients.
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