We are making some significant site structure changes.
http://blog.hubpages.com/2015/10/24/lik … new-again/
Please report any issues you find.
I was absolutely stunned when I saw this post.
Since I am not tech savvy, I have no idea as to whether what you are doing will be good or bad for the HP community. What I do know is that Google must be getting tired of watching us flail around and consistently make changes.
I also think that many of the writers here are getting very tired and are losing their desire to continue writing here. I hope this will not be their death knell.
This should be a good long term change. I believe the way that the URL is displayed in the search results is very important. Google displays a title, url and summary as the three major components (sometimes they show dates, stars etc). If the URL wasn't very important to searchers, it wouldn't be displayed. This should make ours much more descriptive.
Back to the way it was when I first joined. I did much better back then than I do since Panda first hit. I believe it will be a good long term change for the site. Possibly even in the short term.
I wonder what impact this will have on people whose writing covers many different subjects! For people like myself who tend to write in one category. I imagine that this might work in my favor. I hope so. I am looking forward to seeing how this might benefit my writing.
Sally, I think this will help everyone because the topic category will be clearer to Google, as well as to people searching. I would think this provides an extra amount of ranking. It can help if one writes in a single niche, or in many unrelated topics, because authority by topic will be an added ranking due to indexing by topic.
Seems there are differing points of view on this Glen as you will see below. I will be watching with interest to see what happens. Currently, my traffic is at it's highest level since I first started writing here and has been increasing steadily. I can only hope this trend is set to continue.
Paul, thanks for continuing to improve HubPages. I see that it takes a lot of work and often produces good outcomes.
Changes can be tiring for us writers, but still not as draining as my having to write a master's thesis in three entirely different versions for my advisers to see the different results. HP changes accumulated over 8+ years are small compared to that! I expect more changes in the future, because the Internet will always change,
Best of luck and success to all of us here at HP.
Great work getting this done. Any idea when the other categories will be moved. Is it going to be done after checking out the progress with the autos category? As Janshares pointed out automobile would be a better choice than autos. I'm sure we don't want to go out and change that right now as it would affect whatever you guys are tracking.
So, in light of this, could I suggest letting the community know what the url extension www. hubpages.com/extension/hub is going to be for a category before you go out and set it all up. In some cases you would get really good suggestions.
Other than that I have nothing to say, can't wait for all the hubs to be re-directed.
Paul, one more thing I'd like to point out, out of personal experience. I've worked on a few small sites where sub-categories in the URL improved ranking.
For example: www. hubpages.com/autos/maintenance/hub
On Google search the URL would show as:
(Depends on the total character limit). But in the worst case the person sees the most relevant breadcrumb.
Let's take RV's for example TIMETRAVELER2 writes a lot of good hubs on this topic. Right now they're probably under Recreational vehicles.
Let's take the hub "Your Old RV | How to Get Rid of It" for instance.
If I googled Get rid of my old RV I'd be more likely to click:
Hubpages>...>RV>Your Old RV...(I'm assuming the URL would have RV rather than recreational-vehicle)
Hubpages>autos>Your Old RV...
If adding the hubs to silos is going to help us. I'm certain that one more sub-category being added will give us an extra push.
We looked into nesting folders deeper, but my preference is to separate the url from the site structure to allow for fluidity between topics and if topic names change. One interesting difference between desktop and mobile is that mobile tends to use the urls more than DT. So short category names on mobile and more robust breadcrumbs on desktop could be the sweet spot.
Oh cool thanks for the info, I should give that a try as well. Hope all goes well
If that's the case, Paul, then maybe there needs to be a few tweaks of the sub-categories?
Recreational Vehicles is the most glaring example. While an RV is an "auto", if you look at RV Hubs, very few are about the mechanics of the vehicle - instead they are topics about vacationing in an RV, e.g. suitable campgrounds, how to cook in an RV, equipment etc etc. So you will have a big section of "autos" which doesn't fit, and would fit much better in Travel and Places.
There are other sub-categories which don't fit well, but it has never seemed important enough to make a big deal of it. With the new structure, it's really important that the silos are cohesive.
Thank you again Marisa. I see how it can be complex with main topics. For instance where to place writing about aircraft. Even though it is a vehicle, it is not an auto. Next, I ponder what Paul said with the sweet spot for topic name length with mobile vs. desktop. Although I ponder usage of the URL shortcut as I don't know about that.
Thankfully I have the Topic Tree in several different Excel Spreadsheets. That helps me with exploring the topic structure with ideas.
As a suggestion Paul, would you consider re-featuring quality hubs that have been unfeatured due to lack of traffic when they become hubpages hubs (rather than sub domain hubs) as I wonder whether they would be more likely to get more traffic with this new designation?
This is a copy from the blog post: "...At the same time we tightened our publishing rules, built out a moderation team and worked really hard with all of you to create a high-quality site."
I'm sorry, I will continue to say this until HP decides to stop dinking around and get the 'high-quality' part of the site RIGHT. Like, take advantage of the 'pre-publishing' phases of articles and have them looked over by your 'moderation team' BEFORE they are published so badly to begin with. Why do you insist on doing everything backwards; making things more difficult than they have to be?
The amount of effort that goes into going back to articles that have already been published as eyesores, is ridiculous. Since you have to go back to them; why don't you split your team up and address both issues at the same time - making it a mandatory thing from here on out?
Doing THAT would significantly improve the quality of HP, ASAP. It just seems like you're messing around with everything else. When you have good articles, you KNOW that they search up well. Why the runaround all the time? I mean, really?!!
I don't know how any of this Google stuff works. I have resolved to the fact that when Google changes, HubPages changes. I think we should all be concerned if the staff at HubPages remained stagnant among the Google changes that affect the success of our Hubs. I don't like change, but I have learned to see change as part of the thing we experience when we grow - like growing pains. I'd rather see the staff at HubPages stepping into gear to make adjustments to balance things out (like they do now) instead of going out for ice cream. I'll be happy when things settle down a little. But I also know that day may never arrive. Until then, I'll just keep doing what I do and I'll let HubPages do what they do.
I agree. I would hate to see HubPages disappear because they were not making adjustments as I love having this platform to write on.
I also agree with this and someone else also said this same thing on this thread. It's reassuring that admin is always working on improving the site and they have a good track record on that account. Also the main domain is powerful in the search engine so I expect this change to improve our traffic in the end. As has already been said, at first the search engine will have to adjust to the change; this is well-known among those who run sites that when they make changes the search engine has to catch up. And it is very common and necessary for websites to make changes, if they didn't they would fail. Also, every time a change is made, there are people predicting it to be the doom and end of the site. This has been happening for many years.
This is the only writing site with this kind of dynamic, of admin constantly working with writers to improve the site; and the only one in my experience with good earning potential, traffic and with a user-friendly interface and ease of publishing, and yet standards and a vetting process. It's the best and most reasonable balance I've come across.
Quick question: will our author profile page URLs remain the same, e.g., margaretschindel AT hubpages DOT com?
Thanks in advance.
Eventually HP will change the profile URL too.
See Paul's post at http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2772870
Thanks, Glenn! Is there any word yet on what the new profile URL structure will be yet?
Nope Paul hasn't given us any more info apart from the info that Glenn pointed out.
There were no other announcements yet about the details on the profiles.
My guess is that they will be moved to a profile subdomain under the root same as hubs are being placed under topic subdomains.
This link shows what profiles looked like in 2011 before subs => profile silo
http://web.archive.org/web/201007220840 … e/Jennifer
Yes, I remember that. But HP is not going to change the layout of the profiles. I never read that anywhere. They are simply moving everything out of individual user subdomains. A possible common profile silo for profiles, as you refer to it as. And common topic subdomains for hubs.
1) Are you going to review the current categorisation?
In some e.g. Art and Design - the craft hubs totally swamp the art hubs which are rarely seen in the listings routinely displayed. Could this category be split please. (I'm sure other categories are the same and also display an "inability to see wood for trees" phenomenum)
2) Are you going to review how people categorise their hubs from a quality perspective?
My understanding is that if you create a cluster which includes sites which are out of place this downgrades the whole cluster and impacts on everybody else within it.
Also that people sometimes get their categories wrong:
* either because they don't know what exists
* or because they are deliberately trying to manipulate a better environment for their hub to be seen.
If it's in all our interests for hub categories to be as accurate as possible, will you introduce a facility for people to report/highlight any hubs which appear to have been wrongly categorised?
3) How is the elimination of sub-domains going to work from the perspective of third party statistics facilities (which provide data not available from the HubPages stats)?
At the moment I can add in my sub-domain URL into Bing or Google's webmaster dashboard and get all the hubs associated with my sub-domain picked up automatically. Very simple, very efficient and very effective.
Will this facility continue to be available via the hubber profile? Or are we going to have a major loss of useful information - unless we add every hub in one by one? You'll appreciate that if the latter applies - those of us with large numbers of hubs will lose a lot of useful data.
Just for fun, here is a list of the 22 upper level categories and their presumed 'silo' (folder) names which will be incorporated into URLs.
Some work on the names would seem to be justified as many are misleading (in bold) ! More hyphenated combinations would appear to be warranted e.g. arts => arts-design ; education => education-science ; etc.
ARTS AND DESIGN => arts
AUTOS => autos
BOOKS, LITERATURE, AND WRITING => literature
BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT => business
EDUCATION AND SCIENCE => education
ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA => entertainment
FAMILY AND PARENTING => family
FASHION AND BEAUTY => style
FOOD AND COOKING => food
GAMES, TOYS, AND HOBBIES => games-hobbies
GENDER AND RELATIONSHIPS => relationships
HEALTH => health
HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS => holidays
HOME => living
HUBPAGES TUTORIALS AND COMMUNITY => community
PERSONAL FINANCE => money
PETS AND ANIMALS => animals
POLITICS AND SOCIAL ISSUES => politics
RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY => religion-philosophy
SPORTS AND RECREATION => sports
TECHNOLOGY => technology
TRAVEL AND PLACES => travel
+ profiles presumably
Well since most of my hubs past and present are/were in the Home category, I can say that living is not what it's going to be. Everything from gardening to pests comes under home and living isn't what you'd want to describe it as. I'm sure HP will have a better solution - I hope
"House and garden" is surely more accurate?
what would be more accurate is to break out the categories to make more of them with a more coherent focus.
eg Art = Art
Crafts = Crafts
People need to use the word that people relate to - and more importantly understand the real meaning of the word ARTS which they are currently using incorrectly
The word "ARTS" covers an absolutely HUGE amount of subject matter - the usual ones are art, theatre, dance, music, opera and literature.
Merrian Webster on the subject states the ARTS as being
"imaginative, creative, and nonscientific branches of knowledge considered collectively, esp as studied academically
Alternatively see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_arts
"Major constituents of the arts include literature – including poetry, novels and short stories, and epics; performing arts – among them music, dance, and theatre; culinary arts such as baking, chocolatiering, and winemaking; media arts like photography and cinematography, and visual arts – including drawing, painting, ceramics, and sculpting. Some art forms combine a visual element with performance (e.g. film) and the written word (e.g. comics)."
Whereas according to HubPages
HubPages Arts and Design
CRAFTS & HANDIWORK CROCHETING TEXTILES SEWING PATTERNS ACRYLIC PAINTING DRAWING SEWING & SEWING PATTERNS UPCYCLING & REPURPOSING SOAP MAKING PAPER CREATIONS
I agree - it has always annoyed me that the "Performing ARTS" are listed under Entertainment and Media, which on every other site is used for TV, movie and other popular entertainment, not dance or theatre.
When I first arrived at HubPages there was no category which fitted my own writing. Paul kindly created one for wet felting which comes under Arts and Design»Crafts & Handiwork»Textiles»Felting»Wet Felting. One can create Art pictures from merino wool fibers which can be hung on the wall. I appreciate having the word Art in the category. Without it I am not so sure that it would work as well.
I guess all these categories can be tweaked as the new changes take place.
BUT there is a big difference between the word "Arts" and "Art". Arts includes things like music and dance. It should be Art.
Perhaps performing Arts should be in a category of their own.
Do you have any idea when the changes are to be implemented?
I notice with interest that if I go searching for felting on HubPages all my articles come up but without my name on the URL but when I click on an article it, my name is still there. I hope we are notified as each category is added, much like the Auto writers. It will give us all an opportunity to observe the changes if any..
I agree, some of the categories are too huge, like Education & Science. There are over 40,000 pages in there (though a lot of them are Q&A)
For example, Law, Art History and Astronomy are all lumped in under Education & Science, but what do those subjects have to do with one another except that they are things you can learn at university? I suggest splitting it into School, Humanities, Social Science, and Science at the very least.
Quick questions. Is it safe to assume that the new change will make it so that the titles of the Hubs will be the only thing that is searchable? And also, what would one need to change and expect in regards to Google Adsense and Revenue?
So links to our subdomains that have been shared elsewhere will no longer be valid? .. or will they be converted to redirects?
Sooo . . . Do I need to remove the url to my subdomain from my website, facebook page, and other business material? Immediately? The redirect will go to the main HP page if someone clicks on janshares.hubpages.com?
Sooo . . . as traffic decreases during this transition, will we be compensated for lost earnings? Just kidding. No, really. Will we?
Your subdomain homepage will redirect to a profile page. When the new url is available it's a good idea to update your external links if you can. If not redirects will be in place.
Paul, Are you saying that our profile pages will also be changed? I hope this doesn't break the Google Authorship links. Even though Google partially discontinued this, it still displays our image in SERPs when the person doing a search is in an author's circle and logged into their Google account.
We have a plan for profile urls. The old one will redirect.
We did recently add author markup back to Hubs.
I'm not sure if authorship markup follows 301 redirects. I hope it does. I understand the reasoning for indexing hubs by topic. And that's a wonderful move. But do the profiles really need to be changed too? This worries me due to the authorship concern.
Paul, what about links that have been used by other people to send traffic to my page. For instance, pinterest sends traffic to my page. These are links that are put there by others, and this means I could lose a substantial amount of traffic.
Holy Hot Dog! Looks like the programming staff is in for an extremely busy weekend. My faith in HubPages continues. May The Force be with us.
This is taking a moment to sink in for me since subdomains are all I know. So are you saying subdomains are history? No more cool profile pages? Will the feed page and profile page be consolidated into one? Head is spinning, I have so many questions, trying to wrap my head around this.
Maybe an old timer can share with us who have less than five years at HP what is looked like before subdomains.
Interesting change Paul. I can see how creating URLs with the topic can actually add to the ranking for hubs by subject.
I have two hubs in the "auto" category and I see they are already listed with the new URL. I look forward to watching how these hubs work out with this first update.
One important question: what happens if we change a hub from one category to another. There are times when I realize I should have used a different topic and I move it. Under the new method of indexing, will this cause trouble, or become impossible?
Inquiring minds want to know.
The article slug is what makes the url unique. All categories will redirect to the current category. But, it's good if you can get the top level category right at the beginning. I prefer to divorce urls from site structure for the reason you said, but we hope one directory deep gives people enough flexibility to change subcategories.
Does Google hate redirects, or doesn't it matter. Yes and what about all our social shares? Will they redirect slowly? What about folks who follow hubbers by name? Will our names disappear? I wish you success.
And what about EC hubs, which had been moved out from under our personal subdomains, and back into the HP main domain????
Will the EC program continue, or be discontinued with this alteration?
Since everything will move to a new url, there won't be an ec opt out moving forward, but the program will continue.
That said, is this a good time to opt in to EC? Or does it not matter at this point? What will be the advantage heretofore?
lol and been there, yes.
I opted back in because of no difference. Then told it doesn't matter because of it. All is well. We are all in as to EC.
Now that it makes no difference, everyone is automatically opted into EC.
The benefit is that you'd get the badge when your hub pops up as a related hub. Better CTR
"As I previously stated we do not show all Hubs on a subject, but only those that meet specific criteria.
Matt @ Team HubPages"
This is a quote from HP when I asked why only a few hubs were shown over and over.
Maybe you will be the fortunate one and a few of your hubs will be seen.
Then again, maybe not.
I have no doubt HP is enormously improved quality-wise and, obviously, everybody hopes that this works.
I also hope that there is a fallback plan in case it doesn't.
I rather liked the sound of WordPress-like silos. Genuinely independent sites with HP's excellent software would get a lot of interest.
I suppose what I would most like to say is thanks to the staff here for never giving up.
We do keep trying. One of the things that we guess at is what it takes to create silos. At the end of the day, I thought it would be better to go in a unique direction than to go in the Wordpress direction.
Thanks for the good vibes. Cheers.
What is a Word Press Silo? You lost me on that one.
Cool. I think it's a good move.
A few questions about links: Do we need to change links in our Hubs that go to other Hubs? I have some Hubs that have links to some of my other relevant Hubs.Will redirects take care of it? And, if they do, do we still eventually need to change those links?
My concern about this is that there will be redirects on top of redirects on top of redirects for our pre-Panda Hubs.
This is what I was referring to when I made my original comment about this. I don't know much, but I seem to remember that redirects are not the best thing in Google's eyes.
I can assure you this is not happening Marisa. There is only one redirect. I have an old pre-Panda hub in the auto category that already was moved yesterday, and I checked. It had been moved previously three times. Once when subdomains were created, once when it was chosen as Editor's Choice, and finally when it was moved into the auto category. After all that, each of the previous URLs point DIRECTLY to the new URL. Not cascading, but direct. So there's only one redirect for each occurrence. We won't be losing link-juice from multiple redirects.
We don't chain the redirects, so it only goes through a single redirect. It shouldn't be an issue for the crawlers to follow and understand the canonical.
But isn't that a very interesting way of holding a potential reader's attention!
Perhaps a "Beam Me Up Scotty" redirect scheme can also be embedded somewhere in the url just in case the redirect of the redirect of the previous redirect doesn't work???
One thing I forgot to mention is the problem of multiple pages covering the same topic and offering substantially the same info. Google hates it. I have a feeling that was problem even with subdomains but it will be worse with a single domain.
It would be worth keeping an eye on.
Two years ago, I would have agreed, Will. But in one of the Google updates in 2014 (I forget which one), it became obvious that the "quarantine" effect of sub-domains (which saved our bacon after Panda) had suddenly stopped working.
I think that's why HubPages has decided to make this move - there's no point maintaining the sub-domains if they're no longer doing their job.
There are also advantages in removing the sub-domains. One is the attitude of Hubbers! Before sub-domains were introduced, we all understood we were writing for one big magazine-style site. After sub-domains, that changed - people started feeling they "owned" their sub-domain and should be entitled to do what they liked with it. That's obviously not the case and I think removing that sense of entitlement will avoid some of the perceived grievances.
It also allows Hubs to have a URL that includes their category which could be good for SEO.
My only worry, as I said, is redirects on top of redirects on top of redirects - some link juice is lost with each one.
"Before sub-domains were introduced, we all understood we were writing for one big magazine-style site. After sub-domains, that changed - people started feeling they "owned" their sub-domain and should be entitled to do what they liked with it."
I think this is the most on the spot reasoning for what HP is doing. Good point Marisa!
I agree. That thought occurred to me, also, and it makes me wonder if HP may have to simply choose between hubs so that some remain and some go. That could be a very serious issue, but it certainly would raise HP's rankings here.
TT2, the sub-domains used to quarantine our Hubs so we didn't have to worry about internal competition within HubPages. Just over a year ago, Google changed the way they treated the sub-domains, so they were no longer "protecting" our Hubs.
So we're already in a situation where we are all competing with each other, this change won't make it any worse.
I write hubs. I put all my energy into writing them the way I want to-- though certainly with a nod to keywords in my titles and summary because search engines are indeed the major link to our audiences. What I don't do is obsess about the latest Google twist and how to accommodate that 900 pound gorilla. If I was putting my articles in my own blog, I would have to be concerned. That's why I'm at HubPages. I write the articles, HubPages keeps on top of the technical problems, we both profit. It's worked for over four years for me and there have been a lot of changes in that time. This is just another change. And, as is the norm, the changes do not require any changes to our hubs. The sky is not falling. Some changes may have not worked out, but many have in the ever-changing world known as the Internet. Over the last month or two HubPages has slowly been moving back up in the rankings. And now, onto the next article.
Like You, all I do is write... The rest, though, as I am reading through the comments, has left me flabbergasted and bambbozled. Anyway, as you say, nothing will change with our Hubs.. This, so far, has been the most comforting comment, for, and make a whole lotta sense-to me...
There is an interesting rule at Pixar: when they are discussing any issue, as a group, they aren't allowed to use negative words, such as 'No, Not, But,' etc. You'll have to use words like 'Yes, And,' etc.
They call this attitude plussing.
It helps. It creates.
Here's a barn-burner of a post by MOZ, https://moz.com/blog/subdomains-vs-subf … ard-friday In short, they totally agree with what HP is doing.
Lost will to live after first few words, struggled through to the end by skipping.
To condense their interminable, up themself, boring message HubPages is attempting to strengthen the HP brand at the expense of individual writers.
Will it work? No one knows.
Looks like the gloves are slowly coming off.
Marisa is right about the perceptions of one site and sub-domains. HubPages never quite bought into the idea other than a quick fix - because they still inter-linked good, bad and indifferent content together.
Once Google sussed that it was back to the "It's all crap" view of the place.
Will mentioned Wordpress and individual domains but that will be ignored.
One site fits all!
I would like to see an option to enable individual sub-domains to remove all HP incoming and outgoing links. Just to see if that would be a quick win for some who are more than capable of standing on their own two feet. But the latest SEO gurus - oh Jeez - have spoken.
For me it is probably the continuation of a decline and move away. It feels like more content farm rather than less - an idea that has surely passed its sell-by date.
But, Mark, if you genuinely quarantined the sub-domains they would be the equivalent of individual blogs on Blogger - and that was never the intention. The sub-domains were never meant to give us our own blogs, they were just a way to get out from under the Google penalty. People who want a totally separate sub-domain have plenty of options on blogging platforms.
As they say...
The proof of the pudding is in the Amazon sales.
If the better writers are disadvantaged by the change it will not be in the long term interest of the site and I am sure that this will be monitored.
The fact is that the quality improvements have not delivered the changes that staff here expected and something has to be changed. This change is legit SEO (site architecture).
I would be happy if I saw no great improvements in traffic but at least new pages got some traction. The failure of new stuff to rank is killing the site.
I think the bottom line is that the change to sub-domains offered tangible benefits at the time, but it no longer offers those benefits, so what's the point in having them? It makes sense to get rid of a feature that's not working any more, especially if it provides an opportunity to try something new.
It's interesting to recall that when the first Panda hit, many of our most experienced, highest-earning Hubbers were calling for a silo structure to be created, exactly like the one we're getting now, instead of going for the sub-domains. Maybe it's a pity they weren't listened to at the time!
As for best writers being disadvantaged - I can't see how that would be a result of the proposed changes.
"The failure of new stuff to rank is killing the site."
I remember the old days when you could publish something on HP and it would be in the Google top ten within a week. Now it takes a year and that's if you're lucky!
You can speed up the process by submitting to Google via Webmasters Tools => Fetch as Google + Submit to Index. But the demise of subdomains means that this will not be possible anymore.
'Plussing' Maintains Intrinsic Motivation, which Fosters Creativity
"Extensive research in psychology now shows the best way to stimulate creativity at work is to make sure people remain intrinsically motivated – that is, driven by interest, enjoyment and satisfaction in the work itself. Harvard’s Teresa Amabile has spent more than 35 years researching this connection, and found it to true for all groups of people, from children to knowledge workers to professional artists.
The technique of plussing by design helps ensure intrinsic motivation, because it offsets the criticism with a focus on creative alternatives. The science supports the idea that this has contributed immensely to the high levels of creative output at Pixar."
Excellent. Blogger writes amateur corporate bullshit and attempts to make a few quid out of it.
Has nothing to do with this thread of course but don't let that stop you.
YouTube interview | Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios
"Edwin Catmull, president, of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, shares some of his formative career experiences and offers a glimpse inside the working culture of Disney and Pixar. In conversation with Stanford Professor Bob Sutton, Catmull offers additional insights from his book, Creativity, Inc., including lessons learned from his longtime working relationship with the late Steve Jobs."
It's not really about technical issues, and whether they should be fixed or left alone where they are. Ultimately, it's actually about attitude— How we react to the technical issue: Do we want to improve things and environment around us; or do we simply want to dampen others' spirit to demotivate them?
As a side note: There are many people who participate on this website. Some of them are really productive and really interesting. They seldom participate in these forum discussions. We have a lot less to worry about on that issue.
This is really inspiring, Paul. I think it's a good move to be under one umbrella again. I've already found one of my hubs that was in the wrong category and I've moved it. Looks like the new process is working for Autos.
When someone at Pixar, during a discussion, disagrees: they don't say "I hate this proposal!", or "I have a hunch we're all doomed", etc.
They say "I think I have a better solution".
When someone on satellite internet, while checking a forum thread, sees yet another repeat of an off-topic post: they don't say "I'm glad you told me that again", or "I'm so pleased you keep hammering us with that same point", etc.
They say "I heard you already."
Excuse me, but where did you see that: 'yet another repeat of an off-topic post'?
Das Engel, I wrote you a long reply explaining about the problems for those of us with satellite internet and limited downloads etc, but a passing cloud interrupted my connection and it seems I lost it.
From where I'm sitting, posts like ""Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, shares some of his formative career experiences and offers a glimpse inside the working culture of Disney and Pixar. In conversation with Stanford Professor Bob Sutton, Catmull offers additional insights from his book, Creativity, Inc., including lessons learned from his longtime working relationship with the late Steve Jobs" feel off-topic.
The change from sub-domains is an important topic so I will no doubt be checking this thread often over the next few days, perhaps weeks. So too will other hubbers with satellite (and therefore a limit to the actual number of pages we can view in any given month.)
Don't want to offend you, but could you please discuss Pixar and your PhD in a different thread?
I see. I understand what you're trying to suggest. I respect that. But the fact is, I'm not repeating my Pixar (or any other) posts.
I'm not suggesting you duplicated your posts, DasEngel, just that you repeated the same point .... in the way that one might repeat an experiment. Not exactly the same way, necessarily, but with the same intention and purpose.
The first time you mentioned Pixar I thought it was an interesting point. By the sixth or seventh time, it felt like you were repeating yourself. Pixar. Positive. Got it.
Agree with you about the Satellite, 4 gigs a month $125.00 it does not go far, no YouTube viewing.
After reading all the posts and analysis from some of HP's finest vets, I believe so, too. Thanks, guys, for the breakdowns and informed opinions. I hope we reap the benefits sooner than later. Carry on . .
Well, despite the overwhelming number of posts telling Paul that he is doing a great job changing this, I have to go against Pixar and comment that this is a bad thing for some of us. I could care less if my hubs about dog names have the HP domain name, but if I was searching for something about my dogs health I might go to a subdomain but would not bother with HP main domain site, mostly becuase there is so much (redacted) published at HP every day.
It does not seem like we are going to get any choice though, does it? Too bad no one ever considered the guru Mark Ewbie´s suggestions!
I got to ask. Did you use the word "redacted" or did a moderator do it?
Well, Calculus-geometry (and more), that answer might depend upon the fact which persona you're using right now, while asking that question. :-)
I did. The word that was coming out on paper was not fit to be published!!!!!
I think I copied this from one of your forum posts. I usually read them (and smile) but I do not comment that often since I do not have anything constructive to say.
Actually I think you need a new one to make yourself stand out from that internet crowd (since everybody and his brother seems to latch on to that guru title). How about going for Tibet? "The Lama Mark Ewbie posted vital new information today in http:\\thesamethingoverandover.com"
.....which is why I've been suggesting that you should've started your own blog, instead of putting your expert articles on a big site where they have always been mixed up with everyone else's. The sub-domains simply gave you an illusion they were on your own site - as far as readers were concerned, it has never been easy to navigate within your sub-domain, even if they go to your profile (since it can't be searched).
The removal of sub-domains simply recognises the reality of how HubPages already works, in fact. If it means that writers finally understand that they've always been writing on one big site,not their own exclusive corner, that has to be a good thing.
When articles are moved will the new URL reflect the current name of the hub or the one that was originally used and matches the current (old) URL? In other words, should we all go through and spiffy up our titles and categorizing? Or will it not matter because it's based on the original title and category?
I'd like to know if the new profile page will give a list of all the hubs that hubber has published. (For instance, I consult DrMark1961's profile page every time I'm in need of a vet's opinion to see if he has written on the subject.)
- Will 'groups' still be relevant?
- Do the multiple bios still have relevance?
LongTimeMother, I have two hubs that already were moved to the topic URL (in the auto topic). So I can confirm that groups and author bios still work the same way. This change has no effect on them.
Thanks, Glenn. It will be interesting to hear if that's the long-term plan as well, or if it will change once all topics are moved to the main domain.
I hope we continue to be able to see lists of all hubs by individual hubbers. It would be a shame if we lost that.
Hmmm. It would be nice if those lists appeared on profile pages 'within their groups' instead of in chronological order. That would be an improvement.
All profiles list all hubs of that hubber. I don't think that will be taken away. And you can filter it to show only the category you want to see. Not by group though, but by topic. That filter was always something we had.
Since most of your hubs appear to have been converted to the new topic-based URLs, are you able to tell us the new URL format for our profile pages? Will those still be based on our old author subdomains, e.g., margaretschindel AT hubpages DOT com?
I find myself getting more annoyed about this. I work with people that specialise in corporate bullshit, lack of knowledge and insane IT stupidity - so I have some idea of what I am talking about.
Here is the thing. It's called AB testing.
What people do... particularly in web design... is they try something and see what happens. Does it improve or reduce traffic? Click-throughs, engagement - all that stuff that so-called SEO experts talk about all the time. Most of them have no clue.
However, someone with half a brain can adopt a much more simple suck-it-and-see approach. Like this...
Do some sample testing. Add some flexibility. Give people a choice.
1.Stick with current (and sometimes failing) subdomains.
2.Allow people some control over LINKS and ADVERTS - ie. the ability to make your sub domain a more private mini-site.
3.Migrate some people (willing guinea pigs) to this new structure.
Allow all these options.
Find out which one works. Which one people like. Put some thought and care into it - instead of taking ANY notice at all of someone's 'SEO' thinking or what some blogger wrote on MOZ.
Feed back results to users and let THEM decide which option feels right for them.
The benefits of this approach are it costs nothing. It can be tested and trialled. People have choices. It is not a BIG change because BIG change always screws up.
Content farming is finished. Whatever new 'trick' temporarily works will be closed out in the next Panda release. HubPages offers individuals a chance to write sales, creative, poetry, how-tos - an immense range of different angles. One approach will absolutely not fit all.
"Content farming is finished. Whatever new 'trick' temporarily works will be closed out in the next Panda release. HubPages offers individuals a chance to write sales, creative, poetry, how-tos - an immense range of different angles."
I appreciate that frankness, Mark.
I just noticed stats doesn't tell us last crawl date anymore. When did that happen? Come to think of it, I have a vague recollection of that happening awhile ago? Oh, well.
I just discovered that Google already updated the SERPs to show the new indexing of my hubs in the auto category. I love it!
This looks like it will really help with SEO since it places our hubs in a better authoritative position - using topic rather than author.
This is good because people searching for auto related information know what "auto" means but they don't know who I am. So it makes sense to list the search results under autos rather than an unknown author's name, such as me. The same applies to all topics.
I'm showing "paradigmsearch.hubpages.com › Autos › Car Care & Maintenance". I don't know if it is old or new. The adventure continues...
Glenn - I checked and at least one of your autos hubs (Easy Maintenance......) is still showing in the SERPS using your subdomain. None of mine have changed.
Odd. I see that now too. I thought both of my auto hubs showed up with only "hubpages.com › Autos › Car Care & Maintenance". Now only the one about Check Engine Light displays that way. The other has both the subdomain AND the topic in the URL. And Bing is showing it that way too. I hope the search engines aren't getting confused. Maybe they just need to work this thing out. Let's be patient and see what happens. One thing for sure, the redirects are working fine so no traffic is being lost.
Glenn: Here's a question for you:
When we title our hubs, that is what creates the URL. It seems hubs will now be grouped according to the URL. If we change the title in a way that would move the hub into a different group, would the URL stay the same?
Also, Paul stated that there will be no more opt out for EC. Will this also now be true for all of Hub Pro?
I've already emailed an answer TT2, but for others who want to know - it's not the URL that decides how Hubs are grouped, it's the category it's in.
When you start a new Hub and type in your title, it creates a suggested URL, which you can change if you wish. Similarly, it suggests a category, but it's only a suggestion. Now it's even more important to check it's the best category for your Hub, because now that will determine where your Hub sits.
Once you've created a Hub you can't change the URL and there would be no benefit in doing so.
I appreciate that Hubpages continues to try to improve things. I am one of those people who came over from Squidoo, and I am having flashbacks on redirects that worked, then didn't work, then worked...you get the idea. I know many people ended up fixing their links because they felt the redirects were affecting traffic.
I hope this will have a positive impact. I guess I'm feeling a bit worn out on change. This last year has not been easy.
What about Google Analytics. which is currently listed for a specific subdomain. Will authors lose the ability to track their pages with this tool?
I've wondered that, too. I've got a vague recollection from pre-subdomains, we will still be able to track.
I thought the blog post said we would have to list each page URL in Google Analytics. Maybe I read it wrong.
Until HP says otherwise, doing HP root will still give us our data.
I am probably wrong, so good idea. The paragraph I am referring to is at the the end of the blog post. It mentions the Google Search Console. I am not sure what that refers to.
It refers to Webmaster Tools where authors could see their subdomain and list of articles published. RIP => GSC is threatened with extinction like our profiles, authorship and possibly Google Analytics as well.
GA still works with the topic URL indexing. I have two hubs that were switched and they show up fine in GA.
Authorship is a concern that I asked Paul about earlier in this thread - still waiting for him to reply, but it is the weekend now. You may not know this, but Googe still shows our image to people searching who are logged in and who are in one of our circles. I hope moving our profiles to the top domain doesn't break that.
janderson and Glenn, Thanks for the clarification! So GA is fine, but Webmaster Tools won't work.
Oh - Right you are Melody!
Paul, please note - I have an error message in my Google Webmaster Tools saying "This url is not allowed for a Sitemap at this location." and it's referring to my hub in the auto subdomain under the root. But only the one that was NOT EC. The other hub I have under "auto" is an EC hub and Google seems to be okay with that one. Confusing!
Paul, how will this be fixed? If it's even possible to fix it. At this moment, we all will lose our Webmaster Tools for each hub that gets moved to a topic URL under the root.
I'm not sure how authorship will work with google plus. But, that's google's thing. If you look at the rich snippets in articles, authorship is implemented correctly.
Thanks, Paul, for responding over the weekend. Yes, I see that the rich snippets are in the code. But my concern is what happens after you move our profiles. I hope as long as we maintain the two-way links between Google and our profile (for those of us who specified their Google Plus in their account), and as long as each hub has an author link back to the profile, then authorship should be maintained.
By the way, can you tell me what the new URL will be for profiles? Will it be like it had once been before we had subdomains?
EDIT UPDATE: Paul, I just double checked the hubs themselves. The author snippet (rel="author") has been removed. It's only correct (rel="me") in our profiles.
Doing more research I found what John Mueller of Google said about this. So I guess it's going away even for logged in users. https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnMuelle … Zf3KDP1Dm8
Would somebody please summarize the changes that this will cause? For example, if Webmaster tools will no longer work for us, how will we de index articles that we have deleted from Google?
It depends on who you plan on believing. There seems to be a group of hubbers out there willing to tell HP "wow, this is great" no matter what changes are made.
I have disagreed with nearly everything Hubpages has done over the last few years. I'm pleased to find they're finally doing something I agree with!
You don't have to. All that does is speed up the process, they will deindex all by themselves given a few more days. I've never understood why people felt it was necessary.
But root should still work.
In fact, be flaming upset if it doesn't.
Seriously, I have read all six pages of this thread and I still don't understand a damn thing about what's going on, nor do I have any clue whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.
Whatever this major change is, it apparently hasn't made it to my profile yet cuz everything there looks the same as it always has.
My brain hurts. I need to lie down.
The loss of subdomains is a major loss of writer's authority and identity on Hubpages.
=> loss of profile
=> loss of listing for Webmasters Tools GSC
=> loss of Google Analytics
=> possible loss of groups and 'More in This Series' listings
=> loss of the remnants of Authorship
=> loss of author identity on Hubpages and loss of author's authority in the eyes of Google
The loss of subdomains is a major change from the writer's perspective with few stated benefits for individuals. No promise of traffic boost, only short term traffic loss. I am not optimistic about the benefits of the demise of subdomains. How will Google react????
Are you sure, janderson99? So dismal. The range of opinions here are far and wide. All we can do is wait and see, right? I doubt it will be the death of us. But then again, I'm the self-proclaimed clueless 3-yr hubber who understands just enough to get by but not always getting the bigger, internet savvy picture.
Great summary. I definitely think there is going to be a loss of author identity. Now we can just smile and be happy to be part of the dross published each day.
Nonsense. Before 2011, there were no sub-domains - and we still had a great community of writers. In fact, I think there was more comradeship and support, because we were all like staff writers on one big magazine, not a bunch of individual writers only caring about their own little patch.
I usually find your posts interesting to read, but this...
=> loss of profile
Paul said he has something in mind regarding profile pages.
=> loss of listing for Webmasters Tools GSC
In the blog post he said that he would provide more info. on what you can do regarding this.
=> loss of Google Analytics
Not really. Based on the hubber, the relevant code can be placed on the page.
=> possible loss of groups and 'More in This Series' listings
Maybe, Maybe not.
=> loss of the remnants of Authorship
Same as the case with Analytics.
=> loss of author identity on Hubpages and loss of author's authority in the eyes of Google
There is no such thing as Author Authority on Google anymore. There is a thing called Domain Authority.
Thanks for the update, Paul, and all the research and planning that went into it. I'm with Paradigm - we gonna be fine! I know you and the team always strive to do what is best for the site, and if it's good for the site, it's ultimately good for us.
Please keep us posted on the results you see, and on anything we can do to help make it work better at our end.
So essentially, this changes nothing for us as writers. It's just a change to the URL, nothing else. It MAY improve traffic.
I don't see the issue. Good job Hubpages team, for keeping up with the ever changing beast that is Google.
I hope we will not have to change the urls for all our Pinterest links!!!
The whole point of redirects is so we don't have to change URLs.
Paul E - "When the new url is available it's a good idea to update your external links if you can."
And the rest of it: "If not redirects will be in place."
"It's a good idea" not "you must".
Every time you have a redirect, a little bit of "link juice" is lost. So if you're posting to get backlinks, it's better to have the direct links - but it's not the end of the world.
They are re-directs you don't have to do anything anywhere. Just sit back and relax (Or watch your traffic drop). NO changing links anywhere. Unless you want to out of personal choice.
Paul, do you have any idea when this is going to be insituted across the site? I was just about to publish a new hub on selecting a dog but do not want to have another redirect. If I use the "start a hub" feature, when is it going to reflect your new program?
Boy, does this remind me of the "good old" days of Squidoo...
"It's October and almost the busiest time of traffic and sales for most people, between Halloween and Christmas? Let's make some RADICAL SITE CHANGES that will throw everyone's pages and ranking for a loop!"
Good thing I only have 65 of my original 250+ pages left here to finish moving elsewhere...
But... think of the community. We can have like a staff magazine and read each others pages.
I'm moving to Blogger btw. Not WordPres. I won't advise WordPress to anyone. :-)
You mean you won't advise wordpress.com against blogger. Wordpress on self hosted platforms is way better than blogger. Though I'm not a fan of any CMS
I disagree with you a lot, sockii, but this time you are spot on! Since most people complain about traffic here during the summer, why does this have to be now?
It is spring here too, but I was referring to the US summer, and the holidays. (We have Christmas in December too, even though Santa has to wear a pair of board shorts so not to faint from the heat.)
Sockii, I'm feeling the same trepidation. The only consolation I take is HP informs us before the changes happen. With the other site, it was usually "Hey, look what we've done. Now go clean up all your pages!"
I question the timing as well. This is an important time of year. It has been a dismal summer for my hubs. I'm just starting to see some of the traffic come back. I'd hate to see it all dwindle away again.
the sound of a window opening... a man's face shows out the window. "Shut uppppp!!!"
As with Will Apse, I feel I have benefited enormously over the years from writing here and appreciate efforts by HP to keep improving the site, despite some serious challenges. I have Blogger and WordPress sites too, but this one is still my favorite.
I know that some hubbers don't like change and treat any adjustments with suspicion, but I personally would be more concerned if HP wasn't constantly trying to upgrade and improve itself. The ever-changing nature of the internet demands it, as far as I can see.
My only slight anxiety is maybe the timing. For me, it's a pity that the changes weren't made during the quiet Summer, rather than the approach to the busy Christmas period. Of course, if it all goes smoothly then that will be fine.
On one of my other accounts I can report that one of my 'keepers' - a decent little page - has now crashed and burned. It was moved into the Autos section and its traffic has disappeared.
It only made a few cents daily but it has done that every day for about a year. Now... nothing.
Still seeing my subdomain on the front page of Google re: my illustrious auto hub. And another Hubber is right underneath mine, again with the subdomain. Traffic still unaffected.
And a personal rant. Don't bother doing auto hubs. Google will rank Edmunds ahead of yours every time, even though your hub is better for the given subject. Tough town the internet indeed.
Does this apply to RV hubs as well? Many of mine get placed under "auto" because there is no one category for recreational vehicles, even though I really don't write auto hubs per se. Very confusing!
I don't mind losing the few cents. Funny thing is... so do HubPages. I guess going back to the failed setup of a few years ago might not work as well as hoped for.
Perhaps the SEO gurus were still in college back then.
My stuff is moving. End of.
My own CW endeavors have proven equally fruitless..
One I didn't publish because AdSense would get excited...
The gun lay on the table. Right next to the bottle of vodka.
Actions have consequences…
The left fork… Yes, I will perform this action. The right fork… No, I won’t.
Contemplation seems in order here… There! That another drink has really helped clarify my mind…
Come to think of it, let’s have a couple more… And some more…
Still undecided, but I stand up and put the gun in my jacket pocket. Out the front door I go…
Three blocks I walk. There’s the bank. I sit on the park bench across the street and stare. “Do I really want to do this?”
I notice the gun shop next door.
The $300 lay on the table. Right next to the empty bottle of vodka. “$300 for a used gun isn’t bad,” I think to myself.
I went to bed.
I've tried here, there, and everywhere. Google hates me re: CW no matter where I go.
It gets worse...
Blue is today with new "Auto" thing. Orange is before they changed it.
This is MY site.
I didn't change anything and traffic is sort of OK.
Hmmm. Let me try and figure this one out.
Here's one that I know is near and dear to your heart. Remember QAP rejecting it?
How I Got My Armadillo
I decided I wanted an armadillo. Actually I have always wanted an armadillo. It’s just now I finally decided to do something about it.
I visited several pet shops. No armadillos.
I went to some animal shelters. No armadillos.
I finally went online. There were indeed armadillos. But it appears the Environmental Protection Agency also really likes armadillos. So much so that all the paperwork and other bureaucracy made it impossible to get one.
What was an armadillo lover to do?
I thought and thought. And then the brilliant idea occurred…
I went and bought myself a 3-D printer. They seem to be on sale all over the place now. Mine even had voice capability.
I took it home. I started reading the directions. Everything was fine. Until I got to the chapter on raw materials…
What raw material does one use to print an armadillo? I looked in the index. Nothing there regarding armadillos. Looks like I was stumped… But then I heard a noise at the window.
It was one of the neighborhood cats. I opened the window and brought him inside. I explained the situation to him. He wanted no part of it. I reminded him that he still had eight lives left and threw in a bribe that I’d feed him for a week. He thought about it and then agreed.
I put the cat in the printer.
I fired up the printer. “One armadillo,” said I.
“Specifications please,” said the printer.
Back to the instruction manual… There it was. Got to get the printing specifications/patterns for any given item one wishes to print.
Back online. To my utter lack of surprise, there were no armadillo schematics to be found. But then I had the insight to narrow my search. I limited it to .gov sites. The NSA popped up. I went there. And there it was. Armadillo schematic 42.
“What are they doing with that?” I wondered.
There was a comment box, but I decided not to ask. Downloaded the specs and departed.
Transferred the specs to the printer. The printer made various noises. Time passed. Sure enough, an armadillo began to appear. Took about a half-hour, but there it was. One complete armadillo.
It wasn’t moving.
“It’s not moving,” I told the printer.
“Taser it,” said the printer.
So I did. Apparently the spark-of-life thing. The armadillo stood up.
And that is how I got my armadillo.
OK. I give up trying to have any kind of sensible discourse on this site. Cheerio.
I suggest it is time to revisit the topic categories if they are to be a key element after the demise of subdomains.
If the URL is important then I suggest that it would be worthwhile considering changing the major category terms.
For example 'autos' which is an abbreviation for 'of or relating to automobiles'
Auto may refer to:
An autonomous car
An auto rickshaw
Short for automatic
Auto (art), a form of Portuguese dramatic play
Auto (play), a subgenre of dramatic literature
A keyword in the C programming language used to declare automatic variables
A keyword in C++11 used for type inference
Out (novel), which in Japanese is called auto
Auto (Mega Man), a character from Mega Man series of games
Auto, West Virginia
Also Google suggest does not provide meaningful listings for 'autos' and so it is not a term that many users use when searching.
The term 'autos' is not used in Australia. I suggest 'automobiles' would be more appropriate. Some of the other topic categories could be improved as well.
For example 'HOME' is misleading in a URL!!!!!
hubpages(dot)com/home/ appears to revert to the home page when logged in and not logged in.
'Fashion and Beauty' reverts to 'style' etc, etc.
Furthermore, a recreational vehicle is not an automobile. It should have its own category along with subcategories such as
I suggested this years ago, but was told that making this change would not be possible. Perhaps now is the time to do so. It is not fair to those of us who write on this topic to constantly be forced into making do with topics that don't quite fit the current mold.
I agree; and furthermore, it hurts SEO, if you have been forced into a category that does not fit, then people are not going to find your article. If you have had to put anything to to with RVs into "autos" that is not what folks are going to search for when looking for any kind of RV.
Similarly, under "books and writing," there needs to be a sub-category for humor. It certainly does not fit under "literature," or any of the other broader topics. And we have many humor writers here.
janderson99, TIMETRAVELER2, and MsLizzy: what you're saying is true if the searcher comes to HP and uses the search box, right? If it's an organic search, the article, if indexed and high ranking, will pop up for the searcher, correct? Trying to understand. I think I had a similar concern when the HP categorization ranking was changed to "popular." I recall someone posting that if it's organic traffic, how HP categorizes our articles won't matter. Correct me if I'm wrong.
'If it's an organic search, the article, if indexed and high ranking, will pop up for the searcher, correct'
Sure that is correct, but the category name is now included in the URL
As Paul E stated:
'First, as Hubs get reindexed on their new home they will get a URL that overall looks cleaner, and that is easier for users to know more about the content they’re about to read."
So are URLs misleading or not using the term 'autos' ????
and for HOME which reverts to 'living' which is a very generic term
books and literature => reverts to literature
arts and design => reverts to art
education and science => reverts to education
food and cooking => reverts to food
pets and animals => reverts to animals
etc. Is this appropriate??
Ahhh. So due to the misleading URL, the searcher may get an article they weren't really looking for and click away to another article that satisfies his query? (I think.) Gotta go, will check back later for more understanding. Thanks.
Since it's only ONE word out of the whole URL, I am not sure how much effect it will have - and bear in mind the old URL contained both an irrelevant username and the word "hubpages" in it, and no one worried about that!
If it does not matter why change them. The stated justification for the demise of subdomains was that the URL does matter because it it shown in the SERPS => 'helps users to know more about the content they’re about to read." With such a major change surely it is worthwhile getting it right and with optimum outcome and benefits.
hubpages(dot)com › animals › Bee-Stings-on-the-Eye
If the keyword is relevant, it will be a benefit.
No system can be perfect, and if the writer has written an appropriate title, then one word that is somewhat vague is not going to be a disaster. For instance, people may feel RV's do not belong under "autos", but there's no denying they are a vehicle so Google will not consider the word irrelevant.
You are right, now that the categories are assuming a greater importance, HubPages should put some effort into reviewing and fine-tuning them, but I'd say they had enough on their plate getting this change done first.
Some questions I have are what is the importance of categories other than HP organization and navigation there? Does it have SEO importance? If so, is that related to the actual naming?
For instance I just overlook autos, which I have great interest, as a name searching the subtopics with presumption. Categorically in my view it is incorrect. The DMV points that out. That further may give cause to pondering for others too. Perhaps it is not simple to change. More appropriate may be Transportation and Vehicles?
If I understand silos correctly, then the important thing is to organise all like material together. Ideally the silo name should be as descriptive as possible but it needs to be short to avoid making he URL too long, and fairly generic to cover all the subtopics in the silo. So there will be compromises. Google will look at the whole content not just the silo name when deciding what it covers.
I'm by no means an expert on silos so maybe someone else can comment
My understanding is that the search engine crawls all the links on the site, providing that the site allows it, and uses the information to index content for the search engine. This is why when building a website, people will take into account the names of their categories because it does have an SEO effect.
It is interesting that Hubpages has got rid of author subdomains BUT in the process has created 22 NEW ones (folder/subdomains/silos) (one for each of the major categories). There are clearly problems with the folder/subdomain/silo names that are likely to confuse uses. So why not eliminate the folder/subdomain/silo from the URL entirely.
elegant simplicity - no confusion, clear for users, no conflict with Google and indexing, no keyword conflict and showcases the title.
I'm thinking, for example, if an organic search is being done for "humor," and HP has no such category, none of the humorous articles will pop up, because that's usually not a word that is part of the title (though it may be in the summary under the title--would that pop up??)
The Category Home could become "household" maybe
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