Only the best Hubs on HubPages are being moved to niches, so everything on the niche sites is spam free and trash free. There are no pieces written in broken English or written in ways that appear to be spun. Everything that's low quality is left behind. Even the ads are high-quality on the niche sites.
Is this the reason HubPages hasn't put much effort into getting rid of junk, spun, and trash content and the trashy ads on HubPages? Is it because they'll be leaving it all behind with what's left of HubPages after all the niche sites are launched?
They have stated many times that they don't intend on leaving the site to rot. That was the exact wording. You just have to go with what they say I think and ride out the changes..
They've also stated that they have no concrete plans regarding what they'll do with HubPages. Leaving it to rot might mean very different things to them than it does to us.
I see the failure to remove the trashy advertisements and the failure to remove or even hide trashy hubs while removing all the highest quality content to other sites as letting the site rot. Google made it clear they hate trashy ads years ago. Google made it clear they hate thin, trashy content and spun content years ago.
I applaud that HubPages is taking steps to make sure the niche sites don't have any junk, spun, or trash hubs on them. I applaud that HubPages is taking care not to host the trashy, spammy, revolting ads they host on HubPages on the niche sites. But both of those things would benefit HubPages a great deal, too.
Like you I applaud Hubpages for getting rid of the spam, poor English and trashy adverts. I do however wonder what will happen to the hubs which are left behind. I can't see too many reasons for them keeping them going if only about 8000 hubs are making any money for them.
First, you have to remember that the HP staff is very small...I think only 21 people right now. They are dealing with thousands of hubs, so it's going to take time to get this job done.
I the end, I suspect that the great majority of top hubs will find niches on the new sites, and since the change is so slow, many of them will be around for a good part of the wait time, which will keep the site going.
When the ashes settle, the team will have to decide about the articles that remain, but I'm betting most of them won't be worth the investment of time and effort it will take to keep the site up and running.
However, the only way they can get new hubs as things stand now, is to allow people to write on the old site so that they can vet them and then move them over. Thus, they may have to keep the old site up and running.
Those that don't make the cut, if the site remains, will either sink or swim on their own merit.
The bottom line, I think, is that this is the easiest way to get rid of the dross so that diligent writers will have a fair chance of doing well. It's very hard to succeed when you are being dumped on at every turn.
I am keeping those things in mind. I know HubPages is terribly under-staffed. Perhaps that's why they are doing something simple like moving the good and abandoning the bad plus everything they don't make a niche site for. However, steps like choosing reputable ad partners really don't use up a lot of labor. They've already developed relationships with non-trash advertisers for the niche sites which they could surely extend to HubPages if they agree to dump the trash ads.
It would be nice to know if they do or do not plan to bring improvements to keep HubPages afloat to HubPages proper. That way, we could carry on with confidence if they plan to bring similar improvements to HubPages in the future and stop wasting our time using HubPages to publish things that don't fit the niches if they don't.
That same under-staffing that means they have no attention to spare for HubPages means the niche sites will be very slow to get up. They can start one, maybe two niche sites per month and there are a lot of niches. It would take years to set up niche sites for every topic for all the existing high-quality hubs. A year is a long, long time to fail to improve a website, especially one that hasn't yet made a serious run at getting rid of years worth of junk or at getting rid of the sort of ads both Google and readers see as signs of low-quality content.
I am not sure that it will take years to sort through the trash. I think they would only have look at the hubs which receive traffic and make money, after that, there would be no need to go though the rest, good or bad. I think that this is why they have always said that they were going to edit the ones which were doing well first. Just my thoughts.
I think you are exactly right, SallyBea.
What I wonder about is just how much traffic do they consider to be enough? If they are only going to accept hubs that have had tens of thousands of views, that will leave a lot of good work on the trash heap...which may be there simply because of HP's poor reputation with Google.
The other issue is that we all are assuming that the new sites will be significantly more successful than they were when the hubs were on the original site. This may or may not happen.
Right now, it's all a guessing game, and I think the team is feeling its way. Only time will tell what really is going to happen, but I still think that they should expend some effort to get rid of the garbage that is still on this site and certainly start really vetting any new incoming work.
That way, they could possibly end up with two successful sites!
The thing is, I think HubPages has finally accepted what everyone has been saying for the last four years - that if a website wants to please Google, it MUST specialise in one subject.
For years, I've been telling people this and then adding, "but somehow, HubPages seems to manage to succeed in spite of that rule". I still don't know why HP managed to buck the trend for so long, but it does seem as though it stopped working at some point - so HP now has to do what Google wants, and specialise.
HP has said that only a small percentage of its Hubs generate most of its income. Move those Hubs to their own specialist sites and all the logic says they SHOULD do better, because Google likes specialists better than generalists. HubPages knows EXACTLY which Hubs those are. Why should they waste their money on worrying about the leftovers, which aren't generating income? They are not a charity.
Could it be the main site will act as like a farm system to bring up new talent, much like Major Leauge Baseball? Kind of like you prove your chops and hone your skills..then you get called up to the bigs from the main site? Kind of a weird analogy I know. But perhaps the main site will serve that one main purpose, bringing up new talent.
There is an obvious flaw in that argument. To do that, HubPages would have to continue investing staff time in monitoring quality on the main site. Why would they invest time and resources in a site that's not making money?
Why not just have a vetting system on entry to the new sites - the reality is that there are plenty of writers whose skills are already good enough to provide content for the new sites, without HubPages having to spend time and effort developing them in some kind of nursery.
The problem is that the vetting system they have used up to this point has not worked very well, has it?
No, it hasn't - but what Jesse is suggesting is that the main HubPages site could be used for developing and vetting writers who could then write for the specialist sites - but that still requires HP to design a better vetting system. If they do that, then why not just use that system on the NEW sites?
I understand that, but my question is...how much is enough? For example, I have a number of hubs that have, over the past four years, gotten upwards of 10,000 views...some have gotten as many as 80,000. However, there are very few of them with respect to my total number of hubs.
Even then, none of them have ever been selected for Hub Pro Edits, which I understand is only used for the most well performing hubs.
So, I am concerned that even though I have a good body of work with meaningful, well written content, I still might not make the cut.
I have to wonder whether I earn enough, yet I know from previous research that I am in the top 6% of writers here...sometimes higher.
Nobody has ever shared numbers, so it's very hard to know. What I write about is a limited niche, for sure, but it is one that does bring income in every month, enough to meet or exceed payout. I feel that if my work was moved to a niche site, it would do much better....I'm just not sure that it would qualify.
Exactly. They're just taking what they consider good to use on separate sites and they seem unlikely to try to salvage the rest. I get that they aren't a charity, but that doesn't mean they can't act like professionals and treat people with enough respect to just say so. A single, polite email or announcement post on the blog could do it.
They could just post a list of the topics they have planned out for the next thirty or so niche sites (unless they really haven't planned ahead further than the next two, in which case HP is in incredibly serious trouble) with a message thanking people for past efforts and announcing the new direction in honest, direct words.
I also get that it's easier to get a good reputation starting from scratch than it is to try to rehabilitate a poor reputation like HP has. However, people are not ignorant about the origin of websites anymore. HP's reputation will follow it if the scrapping or re-purposing of HubPages is handled rudely. They could avoid it with a single blog post, a blog post that would get more people writing exactly what HubPages wants for its niche sites!
Hubbers would be upset but it's HubPages ball and they can do whatever they want with it. But hubbers will be much more upset if they get strung along and allowed to waste their time publishing things HubPages doesn't even want.
P.S. When did people start assuming other people are expecting businesses to act like charities when they're only expecting them to act like they are run by human beings who know how to act like professionals and not waste other people's time?
HubPages HAS made a statement that the old site will not be abandoned and that they WILL be working on ideas for what to do with the Hubs that are left on the old site. At present they are not sure what the size of that pool will be.
I agree, they should publish a list of niche sites that they hope to create this year, so Hubbers know what's worth writing new Hubs about and what's not. That is the piece of the puzzle that's missing.
In the meantime, the course of action for Hubbers is obvious; it's pointless to write new Hubs at the moment, except on niche subjects which have already been announced. So don't! There are plenty of other sites to write on in the meantime.
I understand that the logical thing to do is to publish on other sites until HubPages gets its act together, but I think there's nothing wrong with trying to point out what HubPages is doing wrong to try to help. I uselessly pointed out that Google hates ads written to look like articles or reviews to Squidoo for years even though I had little hope they'd ever pay attention. I did it because I didn't want the site to fail and I had a spark of hope that they weren't so in love with their dreams that they couldn't open their eyes. I don't want HubPages to fail either, so it's upsetting to see them following Squidoo's unwholesome lead.
I see HubPages as being different because they behave much, much more ethically than other content farms I've used. I have slightly more hope that they'll see where they are sabotaging themselves by not getting their users on board to help them and by making their users lose confidence in them by failing to communicate.
So you are telling people that don't have articles for the sites launched and announced to not even use the site? Seems like the sites are going to roll pretty fast, hopefully. The advantage to just writing on your own material is that when your site rolls out, your are ready to roll, as opposed to trying to hack articles on niche.
She's just telling people not to waste their time writing stuff HubPages might not even want. No one is suggesting people with no passion or aptitude for the announced niches should churn out content in those topics. What she's suggesting is to not waste our time placing content on HubPages until it's clear there's a future on HubPages niche sites for that content's topic.
If HubPages does know what niche sites they are going to create and publishes a tentative list, hubbers could instantly know if what they were writing was appropriate for HubPages' needs. People who are experts on the chosen topics could write their little hearts out and people who aren't could find sites where their work has a chance to flourish and won't drag HubPages down.
People are asking for the topics because they'd really rather stay on HubPages than find a new home for their material. If it was an anti-HubPages sentiment, people would just leave. I don't want to leave unless I find out there's no future for any of my writing here, but I don't want to waste my time placing material on HubPages that may actually hurt HubPages by being here because it doesn't fit their needs and uses up space that could host something they actually want.
Two niche sites per month isn't fast; it might be years before they reach any particular hubber's topic at that rate.
Frankly, Jesse, that's exactly what I would do. I wouldn't remove anything I've already written, but I'd be reluctant to write anything new till things were a bit clearer. I agree with Kylyssa that HubPages is shooting itself in the foot by NOT giving us a list of the first dozen or so niches: I know it has to be tentative at this stage, and I know they can't tell us when, and I know the nature of the internet is that things change - but I do think that without it, it's hard to recommend people write on topics that may not get on to a niche site for months or even years.
Even if Hubbers like Kylyssa stop writing for the short term, there are plenty of other Hubbers who write for pleasure and aren't so concerned with the income - and they will continue to write for the fun of it.
I understand your points, Marisa. They really should release more information, like timetables, order of new sites, and things of that nature.
I write for pleasure, but I try to place such writing where it will be read. Even people who write for pleasure would like to publish their work where it has the best chance of being read and won't be seen as an annoyance by the site it's on.
I think admin has put considerable thought into this plan and I would bet there is a logical reason that they are not divulging what the new niche sites will be. For one thing, it's generally a bad idea on the Web to tell people what your site is going to be about before you launch it. Also, as you pointed out, much of it would likely be tentative. Seems this is a work in progress and giving details is not prudent because things could change.
This week's newsletter from HP states that a list of sites will be released soon.
The original HP will become a vetting ground and playground for writers. This is something, I feel, Squidoo should have done as well. Alas, they felt it best to let HP do the work for them in the acquisition. The top content/ranked articles will be moved to a new home shoring up any potential loss of rank and revenue. Makes sense.
But one question lingers in our post-millennial world: Are long-form articles still relevant? There has been much chatter in the tech world regarding this topic and the future of content delivery systems, like HP. Users today prefer a Twitter-like environment for getting information. More than a few hacks I know and work with are considering a mid-form content environment, to replace long and short form, giving the reader precise information, without all the fluff. It would essentially be an expanded tweet - likened to Twitters new 10K character approach. No more than 2,000 words to say what you need to. The education sector is seriously looking into this idea and the multiple probabilities for integration, as all levels of teaching become more and more digital, the human appetite for information more insatiable and attention span shorten to just 12 minutes max.
Do you really mean 2,000 words or was that a typo? Over the years, several Hubbers have experimented and found that the "sweet spot" for Hubs was between 800 and 1500 words, so that would be nothing new.
Yes, typo. 200 words was intended. Given the millennial approach to information -now and in less than 8 minutes- and chatting with some folks deep in the tech world, it seems a huge push is on toward shorter form content delivered in a more compressed, but refined form.
In opinion only, I think the likes of Twitter began such an approach to new gen content delivery. Time seems to be shortened -as well as attention span, yet demands a more accurate and robust supply, to meet today's social and educational demand. The millennial and post-millennial generation have limited time to get the info they want/need. The tech demand is beginning to fall short -even the likes of Google and Yahoo.
A colleague approached me recently with a start-up idea in this niche. She is not alone. A lot -and I do mean a lot- of emerging markets are going this route.
On a global scale, information is being swapped in real-time over web and mobile at lightning speeds, versus indexing and searching. Users can get data without using Wiki, etc. And, not to sound ominous, but we must remember the likes of Google, Yahoo, Wiki, etc are the original digital data reference models; HP and others the original content delivery systems which embolden those models. By tech standards they are all approaching dinosaur age -nearly 20 years old.
200 words? That seems almost an impossible number to use to write meaningfully about most subjects. I just can't imagine that working when it comes to writing for sites like this one.
It's sad, isn't it, that people's attention span is so short they can't manage to read more than 200 words. It also explains why so many people are so misinformed on so many topics - all they listen to are headlines and sound bytes these days.
200 hundred words is just a few short paragraphs. Not much meat on the bone.
The whole meme that people are too stupid to read anymore is just a myth. All the young people I know are smart, avid readers who would be disgusted with someone trying to pass off a 200 word blurb as an article.
People who don't like to read gravitate to other means of learning and entertainment so there's really no point in trying to cater to the text-length preferences of people who are nearly non-readers. If you want to cater to non-readers you have to create material in the formats they consume, like videos and podcasts, rather than trying to condense and dumb-down your writing so they can tolerate it. If you write, people who read are your demographic.
That is interesting and something I have not read about. I still read from Google that they prefer longer more in-depth articles. And I think we still have to write for both Google and the reader, at least with Google in mind.
Interestingly, your reply to this 200 words subject was actually more than 200 words.
Interesting. I've often wondered about this issue, if wordy stuff is really going to remain viable, considering how many people want quick easy answers.
Edit: in fact, I'm wondering if this is why Google started having their short answers at the top of search results.
That's exactly the impression they are giving.
That's kind of harsh, don't you think? A ship sinks when the captain has given up...the team certainly has not given up. Instead, they are doing everything they can to make improvements. It's easy to criticize when it is not you who has to do the work or worry about your investment. How about giving credit where credit is due!
I don't agree with that. They have been spending years trying to clean out the junk. It has a lot less junk than it once had, and a lot less articles and writers.
Damn! Loosing HP income!...If they're leaving 'All' the trash behind then...that means...I'll have to go out and buy a shabby used mobile home so I can 'Live' the lifestyle.kinda hate to give up my cozy plastic tent and my coffee can fireplace though...
Show of Hands!...How many Hubbers will lose more than $10 per month in income when this diaspora occurs?...that's what I thought...
On THIS site any badly written article--complete with misspellings, etc.--about Kim Kardashian's trunk junk IS the kind of crud that would generate both traffic AND money.
So, any arguments about the sorting process (moving pieces to niches) would ALSO have to factor in that mysterious "quality" factor as well: is the piece in question worthy of the niche site to begin with, not just by its subject or its ability to generate traffic but in its execution as well?
While there have been some quality things I've seen on HubPages the majority is dross and should be consigned rightfully and deservedly to the dustbin while leaving the better works--that don't fit the newer niches--here on the parent location to create a really good general readership site. Niches can be fantastic, but the "spawn" site needs to be good as well, not a crowd-sourced morass of swill left to wallow in its own filth.
Perhaps that is exactly what the team plans to do.
That would be truly beneficial--I'd come back and start writing here again if they got rid of the dreck.
I think many people feel the same, but my attitude on this is that the more people who continue to write good content, the better the site will be, regardless of the dreck because eventually the good articles will outnumber the bad, especially if the team continues to dump the bad stuff as they go.
sometimes feel dirty all over and needs to stay in shower all day with lye and stiff brush.
feel ichy in bad places and the creature run underskin all th etime and get in m ydreams too.
Actually, none of that is true. Just channeling... lol.
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Are HP merely just creating new niche sites and hoping Google will pick them up? or are they actively promoting the sites in the wider world of the niche the site is based on?
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