As a part of our continuing effort to improve site structure and content discoverability, we rolled out some updates to the Hub design today.
Here is a breakdown of the changes:
- The "Related" section (formerly named "Related Hubs") and Hub Groups (formerly Previous/Next) now share the same design as the list items on the new Home and Topic pages.
- There is a new "Latest" section that lists the latest Hubs, Questions, and Discussion threads in the Hub's closest child category for signed in readers. Signed out visitors will see only latest Hubs.
- Hub Praise (thumbs up/down and useful/funny/awesome/beautiful/interesting) is slowly being phased out. Today, we removed the module from Hubs. The feature had very little engagement overall so it is being removed in an effort to de-clutter our pages and clean up HubPages' underlying code.
These changes are ongoing, and we're not done yet! We'll keep you updated as we make further progress.
Oh, man--I used the votes all the time; I enjoyed being able to let people know I found their hub useful, funny, interesting or whatever..
We knew some people were going to miss them and we will too. I hope when we take something out of the page that some people really liked that we are making HubPages a better experience overall. Trade-offs like this are tough.
Soooo . . . what metric(s) will be used now to assess hubs? I thought those votes were used in the algorithm for hubscore, along with traffic, QAP, etc. I used them regularly as well; will miss them.
I vote all the time, too. I make it a point to do so.
Does this mean the awesome, funny, etc. counts on our profile pages will be removed as well?
Just keep in mind that this will remove a source of feedback for hubbers. It wasn't a very efficient sort of feedback but it was better than nothing.
I want the ability of a question's author to not be able to rate a "best answer." This is totally insulting to the people who joined the discussion. In some cases, it actually disses them.
I disagree, Dr. Billy Kidd. The author asked the question, and they are the only one who can decide which answer, if any, best answered their question to their satisfaction.
It is a simple selection, with no place for comment, so it cannot "diss" anyone's answer.
Yes, those who were not chosen might be disappointed, but it is in no way intended as a slap in the face.
In some cases, the question is rather generic, and none of the answers would be selected. Some question authors use that feature; many more do not. I do not see it as an issue.
I agree. I also don't like the thumbs up or down thing on answers, either. Also, it creates more work for the author of the question because he or she has to monitor the Q and A regularly and eventually re read and choose. This takes valuable time and accomplishes very little.
The new design is great and appealing. But there is something awkward when it comes to "More in the series" section. In some case where the grouping of hubs is not done properly or when there is no other related hub in that group, the more section may depict unrelated hubs which are entirely different to that particular hub topic. For example, see my "How to create pages on Google Blogger" hub and you will notice how awkward the "more in this series" looks.
When I look at my hubs, the page always appears crowded. I think this can be confusing to readers and makes the site look unprofessional. To me, simple is always better and more appealing.
Instead of listing and trying to group articles, why not just use the same slide show we set up on our profiles and let us do the grouping ourselves?
As for related content (which. buy the way I absolutely hate): Why not do a few slide shows from other authors that write in the same Niche? This way, the reader can narrow a search down to a specific topic.
Personally, I do not see the point of having "first, last and best". If someone searches my article and sees my slide show and then is CLEARLY referred to my profile, and this is coupled with listing similar articles on another person's slide show in the same type of grouping, I would think this would help many who write only in niches.
For those who do not write this way, you may only be able to do a slide show for their articles.
What think you?
I just checked one of my hubs to see what you are talking about and see way too much repetition.
Latest hubs does not belong on the page as it has absolutely zero relationship to the article. At the very least, it should be moved to the bottom of the hub and say "latest hubs by other HP authors"...otherwise people will think those articles are my latest ones, which is not the case.
Recommended hubs starts out OK but then morphs into hubs by others that are barely if at all related to the article. They should deal specifically with the same topic to be effective and make sense.
Instead of "more by this author" why not substitute the "more in this series" and then tell the reader to click on the author's name to find more of his or her work?
You only need one way to tell people how to access hubs from the same author and one other that displays very relevant articles from others. You have at least 4!
As someone else mentioned, in doing these things you are spamming your own site and asking for trouble from Google. The problem is that the writers here will suffer if you continue on this path.
Change for change sake is never good. Change for improvement is wonderful. What you have done here is not improving our pages and is endangering all of us. Please, please, go back to the way it was until you come up with a more viable option.
Thank you Marina Lazarevic for the Information!
I do agree with the votes being taken out.
My suggestions: change the social sharing system. Lose the left side icons and put medium size banners at the end of the hubs saying share on Facebook, pinterest, etc. It will certainly receive more shares.
Also, increase the feed quality make it more engaging and more obvious like on Facebook.
Keep up the good work.
I actually like the new design. The Next and Last was misleading since both are simply other hubs we choose for additional reading in the series. So calling it "More in this Series" as you did is perfect, in my opinion.
I also like the larger size of the icon images of reach hub listing to match that used on the profile pages. I also noticed that you fixed the cropping. I almost was going to report that since it was chopping the right sides of images. But I see someone noticed it since it was fixed.
Others may not feel the same as I do about the removal of the thumbs up/down and the other hub praise items. But I agree that getting rid of it is a good move. I saw that most organic readers either never noticed it or didn't care about it. Only hubbers used it as far as I could tell. And long after a hub is first published, most of our readers are from search anyway.
Keep up the great work!
I do like the new design for reasons you have stated, Glenn. I am actually happy about the thumbs up/down vote, as I think it was abused. However, I did like voting beautiful, etc. though.
The new Latest Listing in the right column is contrary to HP's own guidelines that links on the page should be closely relevant to the topic. The topic categories are too broad for this. Google will probably imposed penalties for HP based on irrelevant links. Please reconsider this as there are already heaps of links to closely related articles.
The related articles for an article on calories in chinese food is:
Herbs use in star hotels
By the Horns Crafty London Lager, Wandsworth, United Kingdom
Blue Marlin, Vacoas-Phoenix, Mauritius
None of these 'related' hubs have been indexed!
These are the Related hubs for an article about controlling aphids when signed out
Something’s Trending in the Kitchen
GROWING ANNUAL FLOWERS
Summer Color - Geraniums (Pelargoniums)
MY RED Folder
Google cannot tell the difference between links placed inside a hub by the author and those added outside by HP. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If unrelated links are bad, and there are rules and tests for them leading to de-featuring (spam elements), then surely they are bad everywhere they appear!!! Please reconsider. Thanks
@janderson99 - I can appreciate that comment. I was concerned with placing latest hubs on the page as well when it was first recommended to me by another large site that made some similar changes after having Panda issues (this is one of the things they did before recovering). I took the suggestions to a few other well respected SEOs and they unanimously agreed that getting fresh content on the page was going to be good for the entire site and that the top level category was an appropriate place, although I think we could narrow it down in the future.
All latest Hubs are in the same top level category as the Hub for now.
I don't want to get too far out in front of this change, but we have more to do and we will be evaluating this closely.
I think we need to give these changes 90 days. My hope is with the improvements to topic pages, Hubs and the stuff we are working on now, we will find our way forward with renewed growth.
I am absolutely appalled by what I'm seeing on my hubs. The related should be right at the top - they add credibility to the authorship of a hub. They comply with what Google wants readers to see.
The "latest" I am seeing on my hubs I've looked at are wholly and totally unrelated to the sub-category of my hub. This is NOT what Google means about wanting to see clusters of related content by the same author!
If I create a hub about drawing then I expect to see any hubs by other authors to at the very least relate to the drawing category rather than the top level category of Arts and Crafts.
I can give masses of examples - as I am sure can other people.
PLUS People have already told you that they are really concerned about the lack of QA over latest hubs. Who knows what sort of awfulness will now appear right next to our content. How can you possibly introduce this change re "latest hubs" until such time as you have got complete control over the QA of the "latest hubs".
Oh well - I think I've had enough of this.......
UPDATE: I've decided I'm only going to be completely appalled when viewing my hubs on a desktop - because of course I can't see any of the "Latest" Hubs on my iPhone
Of course fans of my hubs can't see my related hubs either - which is very disappointing.
Let's not forget the right column does not exist on smartphones......
I agree. I just looked at one of my hubs and the "latest" links were for hubs that had no relevance for a person who was searching for the topic of my hub. If someone was reading my hub on vintage or antique items and see the sidebar featuring some kind of electronic game stuff, it makes no sense. And Google will view this as an irrelevant link. I'd prefer to see links to similar topics.
I get you all have to do what you think will make the site better - and I've been supportive overall of most of it, but now I'm really getting frustrated by the constant changes. I don't like the new homepage. Half the latest hubs displayed are low quality or things I have no interest in. Yes, I can just bookmark the feed page, but it doesn't change the fact that visitors are seeing this stuff highlighted too. Honestly, if I had never been here before and saw some of the things displayed on the new front page I'd leave.
The hub of the day was taken off the main page too and I thought the whole point of that was to highlight the best of the best. So, you can show subpar hubs, but can't highlight a hub of the day on the main page still?
Now you're taking away the votes and feeback? That was a convenient way for people to provide feedback who perhaps didn't have the time to leave a comment. It was a little incentive for me to see how people reacted to my hubs... Seriously frustrated with HP lately and I should probably just shut my mouth about it, but it's one disappointment after another.
Ditto. Feedback is useful to writers for a reason.
I agree. The new "latest" centered homepage is equivalent to begging for spammy low quality work. Like this one:
The top thing on the homepage? Something that disses hubpages and is crass. (Sorry, the username "Diana fking fyre" is too close to Diana f***ing fire for me to think that's actually someone's name.)
There has to be a better quality check before things get thrown up on the homepage or the new "improved" homepage has to go.
That is a total troll account, look at all the hubs on it and the posts this person makes etc. I think it's kind of funny because it shows how easy it is to slip by HP staff with junk content
EXACTLY! The new layout seems to function like a get rich quick plan without caring about what getting paid now will do to the back end. We're promoting the people who are making fun of hubpages and can't type a cohesive sentence instead of setting good writers up for success.
Yep, we sure are and I support diana because "she" is obviously making a great point by doing this - check out the latest poem on that account about passing the QAP - it's very moving and enlightening...lol. I try to keep my sense of humor in tact around here because life's short, but dang...
I think "My Butt Itches: An Acrostic Poem" is my favorite of her pieces. Beautiful job getting a title that's going to get lots of clicks. Maybe my next hub will be about lessons we can learn from these trolls!
Unfortunately, it will probably only lead to getting poetry banned on HP, rather than calling attention to the painfully weak QAP.
I certainly hope that isn't the case, but poetry isn't profitable for HP so it very well could. sadly.
Please reconsider the new Hub HomePage. I am appalled at some of the entries that have popped up. I saw one that was obviously someone just banging on their keyboard and so many are, well, not very high quality is the kindest thing I can say. Could you at least default to "Best" instead of "Latest"? Reminds of the days when drivers entering Cedar Rapids from the south were greeted by a sprawling, rusting junk yard.
@UnnamedHarald we are still working on getting the latest hub list higher quality. There is a difference between signed in and out. I hope to one day have the same list for both.
My hope is we can dial it so it's really good with the rare low quality hub making it in:). Still have work to do here, but by bringing them to the front of everyone's attention it is getting more attention. We are hiring an additional moderator now and evaluating the quality thresholds.
So long as people have utter rubbish plonked on their hubs - next to their content and under their name then you only give the impression that you care nothing for an author's reputation.
"Hope" is not good enough. You've been hoping you'll improve the latest hubs for a long time. It hasn't happened.
Use the "best" as default or wave bye bye to:
* authors who feel disrespected and
* their content which is so much better than the latest rubbish.
Paul, thanks for pointing out that the "Latest" list is different depending on whether you are signed in our not. I was not aware of this.
It is very sad to know that Hub Praise is being removed because I used it most of the time :-(. But change is a necessary thing in life and that applies for HubPages too! :-)
Changes for good should always be welcomed!
I recently removed all social share buttons from my own site. I did this after thinking - hmmm, they look crap and doing a bit of Googling to see if others felt the same. Some people do think their time has passed.
As screen estate becomes scarcer and more valuable it seems to make good sense to remove those sub Facebook meaningless HubPages buttons. "Beautiful", "Awesome". Really? Is anyone on the outside - ie. our target audience - going to bother with those for a second?
I suspect not.
This may mean the end of the "Voted up" comment. In my opinion that is probably a very good thing.
I never took much notice of those "awesome," "funny," "beautiful" buttons anyway so if the Powers That Be hadn't said something I might not have even noticed that they were gone...
More changes, stuff to read/digest .....
I don't try to keep up, it'd be a full-time job.
Nice to see the "low value" stuff going though, taking up screen space. No need.
I don't understand the value of promoting unrelated links. There's no more value to an off-topic link than there is to an off-topic product. It looks unprofessional.
Wouldn't readers searching for information on a topic be more likely to click on links of the same topic?
Here's an analogy that may make it easier to understand why the unrelated links aren't helpful and may lead readers off the site:
How many people want their content to remain on a website where the third hub listed just now on the HubPages main page is this one?
Just spotted kbdressman andI are talking about the same hub. I was going to include the summary which is full of mispellings and puns on words associated with trolls and dissing sites - and then realised that was all the content there was
Looks like the Trolls are visiting. I reported it. Can I suggest others do the same and tell HubPages how disappointed you are with their QA while you are at it.
How on earth can a hub like that get on to the front page of HubPages (albeit the signed in version)?
How many more reasons does Paul Edmondson need to make "best" (and not 'latest') as the default for the front page - based on an algorithm which means 'best' must have been updated this year or the last six months at the very least.
Underneath it comes this one
That's it - total content.
PS I do know both are Q&A posts - but somebody please explain to me why my eyes need to be assaulted by people who cannot even write English on a writers' site.
Why aren't people who want to be members of HubPages given a test of their English Language. That way scarce resources can be devoted to QA of other aspects rather than reviewing and sorting out language matters which can be easily resolved by a test to limit who can be a member.
Helping people who do not have English as a first language is an admirable thing - but on another website please.
I have made this point time and again, but the team simply tolerates this for reasons that are far beyond any common sense reason I can think of.
You are making the assumption this is a writers' site. This is a content farm. While writers can use it, it's not geared towards writers. If it were, they'd give more non-monetary encouragement and take more care to make it look professional.
A general rule of thumb to follow is that if a site consistently treats you like a writer, it's a writers' site and if it doesn't, it's something else. Getting treated as anything more than an easily replaceable, utterly interchangeable peasant tender of electronic word crops is a bonus on a content farm. HubPages is, by far, the most respectful content farm I've ever seen. On occasion, they even treat a few writers like writers, but it has to be a regular thing before you can call HP a writers' site.
As far as I can tell, if a non-Hubber user drops by HubPages they see only Hub articles and not questions, discussions, etc. To see what they see, sign out and go to hubpages.com. I've done that a few times and, while there are hubs that don't interest me, I haven't seen the detritus and mangled English I see when I sign in.
That's a good thing at least. The question still remains though why is garbage getting through with such frequency and passing the QAP? look at the dianakngfyre or whatever the name is - that account when I looked a couple of days ago was FULL of obviously trolling content - which I actually find amusing, because it highlights just how well the current QAP system is not working.
I'm glad it's better for non-hubbers. I wish I could set my account so I saw the homepage a non-hubber sees even when I'm logged in!
Maybe when Diana's account gets blocked she'll come back and post garbage pros to show that it wasn't a poetry problem.
I used to love reading, voting and sharing hubs.
I miss Hub Praise (thumbs up/down and useful/funny/awesome/beautiful/interesting)
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