We are very pleased with the results of the domains that have launched so far. I want to give folks an update on what we are doing and how the process is working.
We have about 25 domains that we plan to launch in total.
To be successful for the long term we believe that we must as a community create high quality sites where the value to the reader is the #1 priority.
Content is getting selected by topic to move to a site. However, before a lot of content is moved, it is getting marked to be edited. Right now, there is more content marked to be edited before moving than we can do in time for each site's launch. We are working on ways of notifying folks that their content is contingent upon editing to be moved. Common things that need to be improved before moving include grammar and spelling, overuse of keywords, products, and layout issues.
For folks that want content moved, my recommendation is to start with the highest trafficked content and edit it. Give the article a clear structure with conversational titles, make sure it reads out loud smoothly (Google's pointed out that is is an issue for us), and only use a product if it adds a lot of value to the reader not in hopes of earning from it.
We are hiring more people to select so we can get as much of the great content selected and moved. Right now, we are launching one site a week. We are trying to pick this up and to select all the high quality content we can regardless of traffic. It's a resource issue to review each page and make a decision. We are committed to continuing to review content and to find other ways for content to be identified to be moved. In short, it may take us a bit of time, but if content is really good we want it to find a way to a specific domain.
We are working on plans to increase editing capacity. I highly recommend folks opt in to HubPro. Ensuring quality on the new sites to a higher level than what it takes to be featured will be part of the standard to be moved. We want to help people achieve this standard with editing and great photography.
Google pointed out to us recently that comments are part of the page's content and that we should ensure their quality to a higher level than we do. We are working on ways to moderate comment quality. If you have unmoderated comments, please approve or deny them. The way we are thinking about it, if comments have substance they are high quality. Low quality comments lack substance, are really poorly written, or are spammy.
Summing up we want to launch 25 sites so each great piece of content has a home on a new site. Enlist the community to fix up their content to meet a higher standard. Increase selection capacity so we can move more quickly. Increase editing capacity so more content can be moved. Improve comment quality.
My hope for all of HubPages is we end up with 25 great sites where people can share their expertise and continue to be rewarded in a myriad of ways for years to come!
Thanks for the support and help creating a world class community and content.
Moving lots of content is a very long slow process as I gather you have now realised.
I'm guessing it will become very frustrating (not to mention expensive) for you to spend money on Editors only to find that the hubs they just edited have been deleted and disappeared.
If you don't want waste the time of your Editors why not allow hubbers to indicate the hubs it would be a waste of time editing as they will moving to OTHER niche sites in due course (i.e. not on HubPages or the new niche sites)
I could close all mine down and remove them today - but it takes ages to get them up again on new sites and I'd rather have them live and accessible to people who can use them and minimise their downtime. Mine tend to exit in batches.
Just a thought. The fact we might not end up on the same site doesn't mean we can't live in harmony during the transition!
Thanks, Paul. This really explains the basics to all of us.
One suggestion that may save time and money is to have each writer offer up what they consider to be their five best (or three or whatever works) articles in each category that you set up as you are getting them ready. You could do this with a public announcement.
These hubs would be the ones that have done reasonably well and that writers have edited and improved themselves to the best of their abilities, etc.
Once the 25 sites are set up, you could do another round and so on and so forth.
These would save your editors the time of having to pick and choose, and should also results in fewer edits.
This would get your sites up and running sooner and would provide them with a constant feed of well done articles.
If I have 100 hubs but only 30 of them meet your criteria, why would you want to waste time sorting through all of them?
Just a thought.
TT2 I don't think the editors are going to go through hubs based on individual profiles. Instead they are going from most trafficked to least. At least that was the case with the HubPro editing where my best hubs didn't get edited, but the ones receiving 1000's of views a month got edited instead. I think it's a safe bet to assume they work the same way with the new niche sites.
What have you noticed with your hubs with the new move you had to the axeladdict site? Were any low trafficked hubs moved while higher trafficked hubs stayed back?
"We are trying to pick this up and to select all the high quality content we can regardless of traffic."
There's your answer direct from Paul.
Yes, many of my high trafficked hubs were moved, but there were a good number of others with high traffic that were left back. Also, they took one brand new one with hardly any traffic and put it on PetHelpful.
I was not suggesting the team choose from profile views, but rather allow individuals to edit their 3 or 5 best, most well performing hubs and submit them for consideration.
Yup that's a really good suggestion you made. But I was just wondering how the team was going to go about and do that right now. I assumed that they were going to do the regular: high traffic first lol.
Btw just got my first hub moved over to caloriebee.com
That must be a new one. Haven't heard of it.
Yup it is. I guess hubs are still getting transferred so there's no public announcement yet.
They seem to recognise that a lot of good hubs get no traffic because HP is Panda-stricken but could do well on a healthy niche. This is a step forward.
Now all we need are editors who genuinely understand what readers are looking for (many expenses attached to that approach). Or a willingness to just try pages that read and look okay (slightly risky).
I would give OK-looking pages a trial publication and pull them quickly if dwell times turn out to be poor.
I like your idea. Would make me feel like I can be part of the transition.
Can you still leave HubPages as an intact site so that those hubs that don't get selected to move to niche sites still make money here?
It would be a shame to have invested all that time in writing here for it to come to nothing.
I have had about ten of my hubs from various accounts selected for niche sites, but the majority may not ever get moved over.
They've already said that HubPages will continue and they are looking at options for it.
The point is, though, that the majority of Hubs are NOT making money because the site as a whole is doing badly. They are creating niche sites for the topics that have the best money-making record, and are moving all the money-making Hubs over to those niche sites.
It stands to reason, therefore, that eventually all that will be left on the main site are Hubs that aren't earning much. Given that, it's hard to see why it would be worth keeping it going.
I think it would be worth keeping it going as they are going to be using this domain as the main portal so to say, where we create hubs etc before they are dispersed among the many niche sites.
Yes, it is likely they'll need some kind of central portal for administrative purposes.
However, I can't imagine they would continue indefinitely with a model where Hubs are published here, then hand-selected to move to the niches. It would be too labour-intensive. So just because the central Hub remains, doesn't mean there will be any articles on it.
Yup that makes sense. I feel it would end up being a central portal where hubs are published and wait in queue to be sent away after checks or declined from being published
I think the plan is to get the sites up and running with the best articles they have in hand via making several passes through our hubs, and then carefully vetting new articles to the new site as they come in, which will eliminate the need for maintaining a cache of articles.
This will include the new articles we publish as well as those from incoming writers.
This way they can have complete control over spam, poor writing quality, etc.
I'm guessing that they figure if the sites are full of interesting, well produced and photographed articles on searchable topics, eventually word will get out and many of those great writers who left will start coming back.
In the end, the team will have at leas 25 very powerful sites that should make a good deal of money for them as well as for the writers whose work makes it to the niches.
Actually, I think this was a brilliant idea, because it is forcing current writers who want to move to the niches to clean up their articles by
removing excess ads
doing a better job of relating and placing ads
correcting spelling and grammar
placing better photos that are correctly accredited and captioned
getting rid of junk articles
and eliminating poor comments
If you want your work to show up on the niches, this is the minimum you'll have to do, and writers here know it...so does the team.
In the end, they'll have 25 "clean" web sites that no longer carry the HP stigma with Google. Works for me!
It's a sad news for most if it does not stay.
The way people can assure that the old site will remain is to up their game. Many have gotten lazy, have not taken the time to learn the rules, are sloppy about grammar, write on over saturated topics, etc., etc.
If people's articles are not earning, there are reasons. They need to figure out what they are and do what they can to make positive changes.
There are a lot of good under performing articles on the site that, if tweaked properly, can improve their views.
It's a lot of hard work and some won't want to do it, but this is what will make the difference between the mother site remaining as is and morphing into something else.
HP is no longer a casual writing site. You have to be on top of your game to do well here. It's just that simple. It's up to the writers here to decide what they want to do. There simply are not enough team members to be able to edit the thousands of hubs that are low quality, even with the current QAP.
The question is where do you draw the line?
If hubs aren't earning because they are on a site that Google hates, if moved, they might start earning. Many whose work has been moved over are mostly reporting that views have increased on those articles, some, quite a bit.
Of course the first ones to go will be the bigger earners because they need to get things moving, but I think once those sites are more established they'll start looking at articles that are well written and searchable but may have be under rated by Google.
What happened on Squidoo was the first ones to go were the bigger earners - however their owners took them to their own newly created niche sites to earn 100% earnings for the owners
I'm not sure whether or not HubPages has factored in attrition of best hubs - but if not they should.
But as the network is set up, you have to be a member of HubPages to join the new sites. The main site is literally a hub for all the niche sites. Since all new articles are published on the main site first, then redirected to the new sites, how could the main site be done away with? It has to keep going as a filter for the new sites. Adding new / keeping existing quality work on the main site will help sustain it.
Sue, CURRENTLY all Hubs are published on the main site, then MANUALLY TRANSFERRED to the new sites.
Obviously, that's not a system that can be sustained for the long term. They will have to design some kind of automated system: I imagine that Hubbers will have to choose the appropriate niche site when they create a Hub, just like we choose our category now. Then if it passes QAP, the Hub will go straight to the niche site.
I'm really quite despondent. My top performing hubs about postcard collecting don't seem to fit in anywhere, so they'll probably be left to languish with the dross. Equally, some of the hubs I think are better, including two Editor's Choice, don't have enough traffic to be transferred.
There should be one site for hobbies and interests.
Are you telling me there won't be a niche for hobbies? Surely there will be. Also, Paul has already stated that traffic is not the only thing that will get a hub moved. Stay calm. Be patient.
There is a site called "Sports & Hobbies". There is a list of forthcoming sties, but I forgot where it was listed. It has:
Home and Garden
Alternative and Supernatural Beliefs
TV & Movies
Pregnancy & Baby
Dating and Relationships
Creative Writing and Quotes
There are also the ones already launched, Axle Addict, Dengarden, Beauty. Food and Drink, Pethelpful. I think I missed one or two. Of course, there are many sites for all these topics anyway
Hopefully the new QAP will work better than the one they now have, or we could have problems again!
I’m having a serious problem with the new ‘snipping’ feature that was supposed to help address hubs that were ‘close’ to being able to be featured or were in danger of becoming unfeatured - although I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea for how it was originally presented to us: http://blog.hubpages.com/2015/12/14/new … alerts/…
I’m not going to go off on a rant about it at this time - but, this system has tinkered with my top two articles. One of them was an Editor’s Choice hub and the other was just turned into an Editor’s Choice hub after this ‘snipping’ was done. It would be much less irritation for writers who have to go back and correct HP’s editing mistakes - to be able to just hit a ‘restore’ button on the removed capsule. Writers can take the removal as a clue that something is wrong with it; and either leave the capsule out; or edit it – instead of having to recreate the whole thing.
Btw, I have to add this every time I post on HP topics similar to this because I keep hoping that something changes…
Have you ever thought about embedding a good word processor into the site for writers? It would greatly improve writing across the board to have immediate access to basic spelling/grammar/structure issues, etc. Also, doing all this editing BEFORE hubs are published would be so much easier, productive and less stressful for everyone - than trying to catch up. You’re continuing to allow good/bad content to be created while trying to sort through what you’ve got.
It makes almost no sense. Perhaps doing both at the same time – until you get caught up - will get the job done. I know you’ve said that you’re considering utilizing HP writers as volunteer editors or ‘pre-editors’ or whatever – that is SUCH a good idea. The HP writing audience can ramp hubs up to the more involved ‘paid’ editing ladders that deserve more attention beyond the basics.
The HubHopping tool would be a good thing to use for that – just have ‘real’ HP editors look at hubs within each category that consistently get good ratings; AND allowing voluntary editors to nominate good hubs up the editing ranks – would almost be easy. Maybe there could be a rule created where a hub has to go through a dozen-ish rounds within the HH in order to get a good handle on a rating – before it can be officially published onto the site; and maybe hubs that don’t reach a certain rating don’t get published until they do.
Yeah, this would mean that voluntary editors would have to follow certain OBJECTIVE rules – but some preliminary training/testing could happen; and the most intermediate, voluntary ‘editors’ in here can probably give basic, helpful feedback to writers on how well concepts are coming across; as well as give minor suggestions to improve on most articles – without being condescending or intrusive about it.
Whew! I feel better again – thanks for listening, all.
Paul, comments that we get are mostly a token of appreciating the hubber who just now published a new hub. The readers, mostly followers, leave a comment that it is a well-presented article or nice information, etc. Should we delete those comments?
Sounds good. It also sounds like I need to figure out how one goes about opting in to hubpro. I didn't know that was something one got to choose to be a part of or not.
HubPro Premium where we may provide professional photography requires you to be opted-in.
By default, folks are included in HubPro Premium.
Some opted-out when the program launched. We highly recommend that they take advantage of the service. The full service not only helps the author, but the entire community.
I do hope there will be a photography domain on the new structure. I have about 5 photo hubs, dealing with assorted 'how-tos,' mostly for beginners.
(I'm not a professional, but I have been taking photos since age 8, and my father was a professional-grade hobbyist.)
And I'm not saying any of my how-to hubs are better than anyone elses', either. I'm just suggesting a category that I think should be covered, as there is a lot of room within, from beginner to advanced, to starting out as a pro.
Thank you for the update, Paul. I just checked my account to be sure I am opted in.
Enabling some way of allowing hubbers to have proofreaders they know and trust to work directly on pages would be a great feature. Some kind of wiki style process would be ideal.
HP have the software to show before and after editing through HubPro. Is there some way of using this more widely? I would read through a page for someone if they read through one for me in return. As long as it was easy to see suggested changes and accept or reject them. Many eyes make light work.
Also dwell times. The only real measure of reader satisfaction is dwell time. Is there some way of using that in the selection criteria? Even a hundred views from a search engine can give good data.
edit: I just edited 3 typos in that comment, lol. I bet someone can find more. 11.25 pm here...
Infobarrel is doing that. Something like that. They have stats to show page views, and then another stat for 'reads.' Which has to have been attributed for their being less bounce in the equation. They don't tell you what criteria they use to differentiate a view from a read though.
@Will Apse, Thanks - we are considering flavors of what you suggested.
Turns out I was already opted in. I'm happy for people to edit my stuff, as I know the goal in their editing is for us both to make more money.
I was wondering where HubPages was going - this is big help! thank you! And I have been very slack on comments - great tip.
Thanks, Paul, for this update and explanation of requirements to get a better chance of being selected for the niche sites. My hub that was recently selected and moved has experienced a doubling of views and revenue as you can see from your end too.
One thing you mentioned, about quality comments, is something I review from time to time. I did find that Google seems to improve ranking when I remove poorly written comments. But now I'm going to go an extra step and remove comments that don't add any value to the discussion.
It's wonderful that HubPages is proactive in doing what is necessary to endure in this difficult environment of writing online content. Everyone is struggling for success, including the search engines.
The opt-in for Premium says "HubPro is only available to a small percentage of Hubbers." I opted-in Nov. 2015 and have not seen any editing. My experience has been do all you can and wait and see.
I do want to offer and help others with my experiences, but frankly, I do want to be a part of "earn with Internet Marketing" too. I am discouraged.
Thanks, for the update. Sherry Venegas
I have no problem with HP deleting whatever comments they want on my hubs.
Should we consider not allowing comments on our Hubs? If Google is going to look at comments as a part of the Hub, the author loses a lot of control over content. I do delete comments that are spammy or don't make sense, but I have left poorly written comments where a good point has been made. I'd hate to lose the ability for my readers to comment, BUT I'd rather make Google happy. Also, as a former journalist, I feel "unethical" editing my commenters' posts.
Lastly, will there be a link where we can send in Hub suggestions for the sites? I have a couple of recipes that I think would work for delish, but they have not been picked. If I could put them onto a "slush pile" for later review, that would be great.
You do realise, don't you, that you already have TOTAL CONTROL OVER ALL COMMENTS ON YOUR HUB
* You can remove the scope to comment
* You can moderate ALL comments
* You can delete any comments you don't like / don't want on your hub
Hence all comments are 100% controlled by you!
Which bit of control over content do you think HubPages needs to perform for you?
PS Stuff the ethics. If people don't behave their comments are not published. If they spam their comments get deleted. etc etc.
I'm puzzled why you went for bold and caps here, makingamark. And I don't understand why you even asked the question.
The hubber wrote 'I do delete comments that are spammy or don't make sense, but I have left poorly written comments where a good point has been made.' So it seems perfectly obvious she knows she has total control over all comments on her hub.
If I see bolded stuff, I usually just skip it. It would be interesting to know why some people insist on shouting.
That's not good. Writers like me may bold some of the sentences or phrases so that if you do not want to read entire article, you can simply read the bolded stuff and understand my point. It is only for facilitating quick reads. You should not generalise all writers.
You can'facilitate quick reads' by starting with the most important facts. If you write interesting, brief and lucid comments people will read the whole thing.
Bold is fine in messages of the utmost importance ( e.g. nuclear attack underway, Bubonic plague confirmed at your neighbours).
I doubt if many posts in these forums qualify, lol.
I don't think he is generalizing, he is simply stating the current views about bolding. Bolding went the way of the DoDo bird some time ago and is considered to be rude by many.
If you structure your articles well, you won't need to use bolding. In fact, the purpose of the capsule subtitles is to do exactly what you are talking about...create a way for readers to scroll through an article to get the gist of it before actually reading it.
Thank you LongTimeMother and Will for sticking up for me while I was not on line.
It's obvious, Makingamark, that you didn't understand my post. Fortunately, Paul did, and I received a great answer.
As for ethics, I'm a former journalist. As you said, "stuff ethics," I will assume you aren't and haven't studied ethics in journalism. As my post said, I delete spam or comments that don't make sense, however just because someone disagrees with my article does not mean I should automatically delete their post. This holds true across the board, but especially on op-ed pieces.
AND JUST BECAUSE IT'S SILLY, I'M GOING TO YELL AT YOU!!!
I've never done that before. That felt good.
Well I'm sorry if I misunderstood your original comment. I was writing while eating breakfast and trying to get ready to go out for a long day. I think I was confused by the content flow.
I guess though maybe you also misunderstood the context of my "stuff ethics" comment which while extreme was strictly limited to some specific examples - which both relate to a subject dear to your heart and mine i.e. not annoying Google.
Hahaha!! Yes, my content flow was not great. When I write comments, it is pretty much "free flow" junk from my head. It doesn't always string together in a cohesive manner.
As long as Google is happy, we are happy.
A gracious and grownup apology.
On the other hand, discouraging/eliminating those idiotic, 'great hub voted up!' comments is much easier if you are unfettered by too much politeness.
Comments are really good for a page and the community. They're a strong positive, but when left unmoderated they can turn a page bad. The best thing to do is to approve good comments and deny bad ones.
For comments with substance, but have some grammar mistakes I'd approve those. I think the substance trumps the grammar.
We are considering ways for folks to nominate a piece for a domain. It's just going to take a bit to build the system.
I think, the hub score allotted to each hub can be taken as a guidance for considering transfer of hubs to niche sites. I believe hub score refers to the quality of an article irrespective of whether it receives traffic or not. Unless, otherwise, it is not allotted blindly to the article.
So, you can first get those highly scoring hubs transferred and then consider other hubs.
Thanks for the guidance on comments, Paul. I need to revisit my Hubs and re-read the comments. Most of them have been edited by HP, but I need to do a once over.
I will keep my eye out for how to nominate any of my remaining articles for the niche sites.
I just read an article about what Google is looking for in 2016, and comments are important. How do we edit comments here. I can only approve or delete a comment and edit my own comments.
I have several comments with links to some other page in my comments, how can I edit comments?
Paul, a question for you ...
If we delete comments from hubbers, does that in any way influence their hubber score or reflect badly on them?
I wouldn't want to imply someone who leaves a pleasant comment should be viewed by your system as some kind of spammer.
I truly think you should change the name of "Axle Addict." It's not that it's necessarily offensive or politically incorrect, but in today's society, the term "addict" has become very serious and leaves a negative connotation and impression; the word has taken on new meanings -- (my opinion is that) it's just NOT cute; it may not be perceived that way (which is the top factor, here). Personally, I haven't any issues with addictions nor do I have family members with those problems (that I know of) but other people may read this brand name and hit on that negative connotation -- even if it doesn't make sense to the rest of us. It's part of branding, which is, in itself, very important. Just a thought here, I know HP considers every name carefully. Today's world does need to be handled with softer gloves because social media and the Internet have helped previously hidden afflictions and issues to come out into the open (long time coming). Choosing words and phrases that don't step on serious things or evoke negative thoughts and impressions -- that's important. People are funny; you never know how they will react. Thank you for listening; I'll get off my soapbox, now. :-).
Once you have chosen a name and set up the website, changing the name is not possible.
Furthermore, I didn't read that name at all like you do and did think it was kind of cute. It reminded me of all the boys I knew in high school who were so addicted to their hot rods. They treated them like babies, and woe to the girl who spilled a coke while a passenger.
I also like it because unlike the old topic "autos", it includes anything on wheels. Personally, I think it's a great and carefully thought out title. I can say that because I have a big stake in it right now, so I am a bit prejudiced!
I was going to torture HP about the fact motorcycles don't have axles, but motorcycles do have axles.
"You have to be on the top of your game..."
A bit elitist, no?
Until you've written your first hub and read the learning center and read a lot of hubs from others here, you can't possibly understand what I am saying here.
It's not a good idea for a new person who does not yet know the lay of the land to start off with criticism.
FYI HP is a business that wants to continue to earn money. The best way for them to do that is for those of us who write here to produce good work. If that is elitist, so be it.
So you feel if someone works hard and produces top quality writing as a result, it's elitist if they do better than lazy writers? That's how you get to "the top of your game"
I look forward to your future posts on how HP and its writers should better their lot. I'm sure all cannot wait for the pearls of wisdom you share.
I too have followed your comments about the future of HP and how it should weed-out less successful writers. I agree that you inadvertently appear as a no-it-all and some may see this as "elitist." Please remember that everyone, that's everyone, who contributes to the site would like to have your success.
You do have a way of "rubbing it in" and that is unfortunate. Best regards.
MG Del Baglivo:
I'm sorry my posts sometimes make it appear that way, but I am very emotional when it comes to seeing this site succeed because it has done so much for me.
I used to be a teacher, so I guess the habit of "preaching" comes naturally, but I certainly don't intend to insult or demean.
However, when someone who hasn't even written one post and has only been here for an hour or so comes out swinging, it really irritates me. I don't much like being insulted, either.
As for my success...I have worked my butt off to do well here since the beginning of 2012, and continue to do so.
I don't do this for the money, but rather for what I learn and the satisfaction I get out of knowing that what I write helps other people.
I never advise others here to do what I don't already do because those are the things that work.
I am not nearly so successful as a good number of others here, but I am very proud to have accomplished what I have done.
I'm glad to see that you follow what I do, and hope it helps to successfully guide you in your own writing endeavors.
Understood and appreciated. I do read your work and hope that you will continue to share your experience both in RVing and writing. This is a difficult time for those of us new to HP who do not know how to proceed because of the niche designations. Our traffic cannot be as robust this early in the process and I personally fear getting left in the dust. Thanks again for your input!
Every writer here feels exactly like you do, believe me. Some have a great deal invested...thousands of articles even, and/or have worked for many years to create their brand here.
The learning curve here is huge. I've been here for 4 years and still learn new things regularly. Also, things change rapidly, and if you don't keep up, you fall behind.
This is one of the reasons I post what I do on the forums. It kind of gives writers an overview of things they should be considering if they want to succeed here.
I took a look at your profile and also at a few of your hubs. Your command of the language, obviously, is excellent. However, remember that here you are writing for the masses. You need to use language that is somewhere between 6th and 8th grade level or you will lose them.
That is very difficult to do when you are highly educated. It is something I, too, have had to struggle with as a former Language Arts teacher with an MA.
Another hint I would give you is to try to retain focus in your articles. If you are writing about apples, don't throw a paragraph about oranges in the middle of your hub.
We tend to do that to create "filler", but it's better to have a shorter, concise article than one filled with fluff.
Don't be discouraged. Finding the right topics and making them searchable is the key. Good Luck.
I have come back. It's been almost 6-years since the loss of mom. I have sat down to edit or remove hubs that have staggered. Thanks for the informative information.
I do not think it is helpful to "imagine", i.o.w. to speculate as to what is going to happen to the main site. People will be discouraged and leave in drones if you keep telling them that the main site is doomed.
Our best policy as authors, surely, is to follow TIMETRAVELER2's suggestions and improve our content on the main site to help it thrive alongside the new niche sites.
On the upside, this whole experience is a wake-up call to improve the quality of our hubs, regardless of where they will be hosted.
I'm for staying positive, not fear-mongering.
Our best policy as authors, I think, is to hope that the niche sites work. I don't write much here any more but if I did, I would be writing on topics for the niche sites - and I certainly wouldn't waste a second of time on Hubs that don't fit those niches.
If the HubPages main site had good potential as a business proposition, then HubPages would not be focussing so heavily on the niche sites. They are the future of HubPages and (as MakingAMark said), to deny otherwise is just being an ostrich.
I think there are two issues
* Is content good enough? In general we can always improve what we've produced already - and that includes culling hubs too!
* Is it on the right site?
Once change becomes an issue - and inevitable - then it's pertinent to think about the longer term and how you can give your content a sustainable future.
* for some it will be with HubPages,
* for others it will be elsewhere - and
* for a lot of people it will be a mix of both for a while.
I'd advocate NEITHER behaving like an ostrich and ignoring change within the internet generally and HubPages in particular NOR assuming that "all will be well" if people carry on with HubPages. It might be - but there are no guarantees!
Obviously HubPages has got a very real problem. It's doing its best to dig itself out of a hole and move the site forward into a different mode of operation. Whether the new arrangements - and presumably a new business model - will work is anybody's guess at the moment. Nobody knows. All people can do is hope and do their best - and keep a very close eye on all the relevant numbers (statistical and financial)!
Likewise - the same applies to all those who gather up their content and set out on their own voyage of discovery into pastures new!
As someone once said, "You can never go wrong doing right". I truly believe that. So far, the niche sites seem to be doing well. Since they have all of the ingredients for success, there is no reason to think that this trend won't continue.
What I said about upping our game I really meant. We should have all done this long ago (including me). I'm finding so many areas in my work that I was lazy about. Now, I'm fixing them because I want my stuff to do well, be moved over or whatever.
What else is there for us to do that will help us all?
I can't excuse this. Except I like drawing and she said something about travelling.
I had toyed with mentioning metaphors like "lifeboats", "Titanic" and "paddling your own canoe" but decided not to and leave it up to others to do the pictures..... (so I can get back to work on another hub!)
I know which one suits me best though.....
... yes well there are plenty to choose from!
I hovered mentally over ostrich but I preferred the idea of a dinghy. It is just a handy mental exercise to get me doing something.
Plus it shows - yes - I still read this stuff. Tut.
To be constructive for a moment I hope their domains work out - that there is still some money to be made. For me I need the ability to link freely to CafePress and Zazzle. That's where any future I have lays.
Your drawings should be all over mugs, mouse mats and magnets!
You know what? That's a great idea. Mark, why don't you copyright your art (if you have not already done so) and offer it to people who manufacture those sorts of things. You could be a very rich man very quickly.
Do you use Zazzle? OR etsy. I have seen your magnets before just don't remember where
No need to copyright my art - the artwork of any artist living in the UK it's copyrighted the minute I finish it. No registration required. I also exhibit it.
However on the whole I prefer the invoices I send out for books, workshops, talks to art schools and print magazine articles....
There's one other problem with your suggestion....
Thanks MM -that is exactly where my effort currently goes.
It makes a lot of sense for you. Have you looked at RedBubble?
Hi MM - not yet. I am throwing designs at CP and Zazzle, learning what sells (and what does not) and generally getting the feel of what I can do. Six months ago I was staggered anyone would buy something of mine. Now it feels like it has possibilities.
I'll file RedBubble though - thanks for the tip.
I design at Zazzle. Just dog agility-type related stuff. I designed five things a few years ago, and then I ditched it. One of my designs started selling though, so I went back this December. I've made $75 total now. It isn't putting beans on the table, but it is a bit of mad money in Paypal. I think, Mark, that your designs might really sell. You are very talented with the stick guys.
Thanks AM - I really didn't want to disrupt this thread with my stuff - but hey - thanks very much. I did similar to you with Z and CP - loaded a few designs, forgot about it, and then a couple of years later saw some sales. Hey $75 is pretty good!
As the niche sites mature the main domain might benefit from all those fresh inbound links. There must be a few thousand of them already.
I would fear a manual slap if HP pages of a poor quality rose too high in the SERP's, though. Google will do anything to preserve the value of its search results.
This is a good reason to get harsh with second rate pages. Not mine, of course.
I just took the trouble to look at links to HP from Pethelpful (rather than pick a number entirely at random).
I only looked at a few pages but there were 10 to 15 links dofollow links on each page. There seem to be around 1700 pages on Pethelpful, so that means around 20,000 links from Pethelpful to HP.
Probably more going in the other direction, of course.
These niches seem to be a way of having your cake and eating it too.
You don't think Google will think that this sort of contrived and definitely NOT organic method for linking will give Google a problem and hence may well get a slap at some point? Or have I misunderstood what you are saying - entirely possible!
It reminds me very much of a past strategy used by some sites that got well and truly walloped by Google in the past.
My own view is they'd overlook it if its small scale but will become progressively more concerned as it gets bigger and bigger.
If a niche site is going to survive as an independent entity then it needs to find its own audience.
There again they're not really independent niche sites are they?
I know when I said HubPages needed to float off niche sites I meant precisely that. Wholly independent / not linked to Hubpages websites - but that's not what we've got.
I just looked at PetHelpful again with SEOQuake. Every page has 5 sitewide links to HP, all dofollow, (is that a good idea?) The copyright link occurs twice according to SEOQuake, though I can only find one instance on the page.
This is the the kind of thing that most concerned me during my first peak with SEOQuake:
Those are mostly links from a comment section on PH to HP profiles.
Some pages have a lot.
When I looked bit harder, though, I realized that most pages have far fewer links back to HP. 20,000 links is probably over the top.
I already posted about the link issues that Will pointed out some time earlier. No reaction so I assume it's not going to be looked into.
Sometimes you have to say stuff half a dozen times in these forums, lol.
The Google Webmaster forums is the place to ask about this kind of thing. Genuine experts are available. This HP to niche transition is uncharted territory, so the answers might not be definitive. You will still end up with a better grasp of the issues and get feedback on how the links are perceived.
If you are too scared to ask, you are probably feeling guilty about something or other.
If Google decides any of the links are unnatural and a deliberate attempt to pass rank and manipulate search engines, it could be a big problem.
Searchenginewatch on the topic of natural links https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-t … hey-really
and more importantly Google on the topic of what it's looking for in websites - which includes a definition of natural links
https://support.google.com/webmasters/a … 0349?hl=en (my BOLD)
Keep in mind that our algorithms can distinguish natural links from unnatural links. Natural links to your site develop as part of the dynamic nature of the web when other sites find your content valuable and think it would be helpful for their visitors. Unnatural links to your site are placed there specifically to make your site look more popular to search engines. Some of these types of links (such as link schemes and doorway pages) are covered in our Webmaster Guidelines.
Only natural links are useful for the indexing and ranking of your site.
My view is that those developing the new arrangements for niche sites need to take a long hard look at what Google has to say.
If it was me I would try keeping at least one niche site clear of any link that could be thought of as unnatural.
So, if penguin or manual slaps come along you have a control.
Footer links are treated differently by Google according to Matt Cutts, devalued presumably, so are probably not especially important.
Niche pages with high concentrations of hubber comments throwing a lot of links back to HP would really worry me. Can Google's algo distinguish between a page with comments full of link spam and a page full of hubber comments?
My inclination would be that it might be extremely sensible to try a "split niche" experiment testing and comparing the impact of "follow vs. no follow" to test out the impact of links between niche sites and HubPages. (i.e. the 'manufactured /not natural in Google's eyes' links)
That and reading up on why Google doesn't like Link Farms. I know most of the stuff is very dated but it's still very relevant.
Thanks for this update, Paul! I have begun tweaking my hubs by adding more content and more text. I want to get all my hubs over 1000 words eventually. I can see that if many of us work on improving our hubs it will benefit us all!
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