As mentioned in a couple of forum threads recently, Hub Groups (the "More in this Series" module on Hubs) is officially being retired. Groups were created to help Hubbers connect Hubs belonging to a series (e.g., a Hub with multiple parts), making it easy for readers to access the other Hubs in the series. However, the feature was rarely used for this purpose, and most Hub Groups showcased other, generally related Hubs. That use was fine in the short term, but we have found that other features (such as Related Hubs and More by this Author) provide the same benefit to readers. As it stands, a strongly related Hub by the same Hubber is likely to appear in at least one of these listings, making Hub Groups often redundant.
So, what exactly is changing?
Groups haven't been rendered on any of the new sites so far, as many of you have noticed. So, today's change will remove Groups from HubPages.com, as well as from the Hubber settings in the HubTool and My Account. Additionally, the More by this Author Hub listing will replace Groups on Hubs. That is, it will be moved from the sidebar (where it is currently a bulleted list of links) and put below the Hub, styled the same way as Related and Popular Hubs.
We know that many of you liked Groups because it gave you control over the Hubs that were displayed in the modules. You still have some control over which Hubs are displayed in More by this Author, because the algorithm for this module looks for relevant Hubs by category. If you categorize your Hubs accurately (and this means going deeper than just the top level!) then there is a very high chance they will appear in More by this Author.
I want to thank everyone for your understanding when it comes to retiring features. It's rarely a fun process for us, but a well-maintained site and infrastructure are necessary for the long-term health of HubPages. Reducing redundant or seldom-used features allows us to focus our efforts on the work that is most important.
Let us know if you have any questions. Enjoy your week!
I don't complain often about team decisions, but this is too much.
How do you expect writers to find their articles when they want to edit and update them. Having to search through hundreds, if not thousands, of hubs for this purpose is absolutely impossible without having them grouped.
Right now you have put me at a dead stop because I simply refuse to waste my time looking for hubs that were so easily found before.
I don't understand the need for this change and can guarantee you that I will be deleting hubs instead of updating them in the future.
This was a bad call by the team, and frankly, I am furious!
I don't care about the other stuff you mentioned, but I need some effective and easy way of finding my articles.
I have written the team about this before and now, once again, am urging you to reconsider. I don't think you realize how much of a negative impact it will have on all of us.
I agree that this change is very inconvenient. For now, I'm pulling up groups of Hubs by the -select a topic- option on my Hub Statistics page. I'll see how it goes and hope I feel less awkward with this in a few days.
I tried doing that but so many of my hubs fall under the same categories that it is almost useless.
That sounds extremely frustrating!
So far, I'm doing OK with it, but yes, I sympathize. I do like the fewer number of Hubs I pull up in each of the -select a topic- search, though. Lucky that I had many topics.
I listened to the Gurus here and got rid of my non RV articles so I could have a niche site and look what happened!
The only good news is that 20 of my 101 RV hubs, which represent 75% of my current views, were sent over to AxleAddict. If I did nothing more, those would continue to earn decently for me.
Sorry that you are unhappy with this change, TT2.
To find Hubs, I suggest using the filters in My Account > Hubs > Statistics. You can search by site, topic, publication status, designation (featured/not featured), and capsule type. You can also sort Hubs on the same page by traffic, comments, etc. With these tools, you should never have to go through Hubs one by one to find something. Also, if you are actively using About the Author bios, then you can group your Hubs (and locate them) that way in My Account > Hubs > About the Author.
I explained the reasons for this change in the OP. Frankly, we have too many features on HubPages and we must slowly retire the ones that are not providing widespread value, or are unnecessary because other, better features provide the same functionality. Sometimes, the mere existence of a feature makes it difficult to implement new ones, or make simple changes. Anyway, these decisions are not easy.
I hope this is helpful.
For many, those things will help, but I only use one "about the author" bio for all of my RV hubs. I am aware of those other things you mentioned, but do not see how they can work as well as the groups did.
The only good thing is that I can search alphabetically, but even that is a hassle.
Frankly, I think you are shooting the site in the foot by doing this. Groups don't have to be attached to anything else on the site, so why not just leave them as they were, but separate?
You guys have really made this difficult for many of us. You want us to upgrade, edit, etc., but you make doing this difficult with this type of decision.
I'll probably just leave things be now, write nothing new and let the hubs that can't make it die a quiet death. I'm not interested in having what little time I have left in this life wasted by decisions that make my work even harder than it already is.
Yes, I am VERY unhappy, and I feel for those who have so many more hubs than I do, like Patty Inglish.
You dropped the groups on the niche sites, but that is OK because those hubs have been vetted before getting there. These we have to work on ourselves, and to do that, we need some way to keep control. That's now gone.
Sorting by Changed date has been useful for me.
Yes, that can help in certain situations.
however it does not help in relation to accessing LIVE LINKS to hubs in previously identified groups of sites
Let's face it, this is an ill thought out decision that is going to cause problems for a lot of people here. I'm no tech Guru, so I don't understand what is going on here, but I certainly would like to see some remedy and soon.
Well I'm contenting myself with moving and archiving content and deleting hubs
Making this sort of change means they don't seriously expect the core site to be anything more than the dregs and I'd be very surprised if they keep it going. So I'm working up a plan to get everything moved sooner rather than later.
Totally absolutely endorse Timetraveller2's comments.
We don't need the groups function on the hubs but we do need it on the dashboard!!!
I predict that you will now:
* see updates reduce on the accounts of those with large numbers of hubs
* see content moved and large numbers of hubs progressively deleted in the accounts of those who own a lot of hubs
* consequently a reduction in traffic from Google (that's if my account is anything to go by)
Management who think this is a good idea and that there are adequate alternatives have obviously never ever understood what's required by those who build big groups of hubs around one niche topic that is not reflected in your filter system.
I also predict this is the beginning of the end for the old HubPages core site.... They've started to dismantle it. It's a worrying sign of what will happen next
Do you realise Marina that the THERE ARE NO LINKS in the About the Author page - hence it is not a replica of the groups function and does NOT provide the same functionality for accessing hubs quickly and easily. It is a list pure and simple.
Ditto your topic categories are not my topic categories hence no duplication there!
The groups function on the dashboard was an ESSENTIAL TOOL for minimising wasting time searching for a hub in an extremely long list or reviewing how hubs with a group were doing!
I think it would have made more sense to get rid of "related hubs" instead, as the groups tool was a useful tool for the author as well as the reader. I liked having hubs organized by group, making it much easier to keep track of what I had, and where it was.
I'll miss Groups, too. But the topics filter and other filters on the stats page will help, as will the infamous browser F3 search function.
Edit: I see two others beat me to it. Guess I'm slow today.
I could NOT agree more. Once again Big Brother is making a decision for our own good without first asking.
This is the most ludicrous change I've ever heard from a site which is hoping people will expand the number of hubs they write
The ONLY way to keep track of hubs when you have a lot is to organise them in groups.
You have comprehensively demonstrated in this one change that you have absolutely NO IDEA AT ALL of the tools needed to manage large numbers of hubs.
Your topic filters are of no use whatsoever when your topics are far too high a level.
As you have now made administration of hubs absolutely impossible you've now given me a very good reason to start removing ALL my hubs from this site.
Thank you for saying this. But I fear we are all tilting at windmills. Once HP staff makes a decision, they never look back.
I have never used the groups to find my hubs. The change won't make a difference to me.
So what method do you use when you want to make sure you haven't repeated the same type of hub, need to make updates, go through and make edits, etc?
I keep mine organized on my PC using good old fashioned Windows Explorer - a simple filing system (active, revised, archives, etc.) seems to be good enough for me.
How would that let you set hubs up side by side so that you could see you have a problem with duplication? I don't think it would.
I have been gone for so long, I had no idea about the change. Interesting information.
Would it be possible to update the filter section on the statistics on the topics page? Under select a topic, It would be very helpful to be able to select the top level of a subject.
I would love to be able to see all the articles under religion and philosophy along with the option to choose one of the six sub-categories those articles fall under.
Being able to select the top level of a category would enable us to see all the articles in that group and compare them.
Me thinks this idea is a screaming +1. Not kidding.
I have over 150 hubs and find not having the group function to be very frustrating and difficult. I am trying to change some titles and make some other changes, but without the groups, it's very hard to scroll down my account page to see where each hub is. I think we should have been consulted about that, especially since I had mine all in order, and it made it easy to change a whole category of hubs if I needed to.
A majority of them are about one subject, but I have mini niches that discuss other factors that were grouped together. Oh well.
I am sorry to see the end of groups but I have been doing my own groups for some times now. I create a hubbook of related hubs. This will allow me to track my many hubs more easily.
You can find out how to create a hubbook by searching my hubs.
I have had feedback from my readers that appreciate the navigation from hub to hub by way of links. When you have hundreds of hubs, it is often difficult to go from one to the next in a series.
I don't have a lot of hubs (less than 100) but because I write on a niche topic, gardening, the groups feature made it so easy for me to find hubs quickly when I was updating them. It also helped me to stay organized within my niche. There's a big difference between flowers, veggies, roses, etc. I'm sorry to see this feature go. It may have been useless for HP, but it was invaluable to hubbers.
I absolutely love the look of the "More by this Author" section at the bottom of my articles. Great idea!
Yeah, I only have 30 ish articles and the lack of grouping makes searching for me hubs harder. If you have 100+ articles that's a real inconvenience.
I've been at hubpages for a good few years now. It's good to see a system evolve but hubpages just "changes". I've gone from a few k views a day to nearly nothing. I then worked really hard to regain momentum only to be dashed again. They change but they never built on anything. They are thus doomed to fail.
I'm okay with this mostly, but I do wish HP would tighten up whatever algorithm decides how Hubs are related. For those who write in a niche, there are typically many subcategories within that niche. If these links are to going to matter they should be tightly associated with the main topic of the Hubs. Otherwise, people are much less likely to click through.
A Ford F-150 and a Chevy Camaro are both motor vehicles, but its unlikely that someone who reads an article about one would click over to an article about the other. If I write about cars I might have ten Hubs about each. Ford should link to Ford, and Chevy to Chevy. Trucks to trucks; sports cars to sports cars.
For me, I have about 20 Hubs about fish, where about half of those are about Betta fish. It would be nice if the Betta Hubs all linked together, instead of it being a mixed bag.
This is good not only from a human reader perspective but also for SEO.
It would be easy to accomplish if we could choose the links ourselves. I've been lobbying for this for years. Maybe, since the whole thing is changing anyway, this would be a good time to implement a system where Hubbers could have the option to choose their own related links for the bottom of their Hubs. For those Hubbers who don't make a choice the current algorithm would take over.
Bummer. I used HubGroups to differentiate between readers. All the hubs I wrote for homemakers went in one group, the ones for travelers in another, etc. Now what shall I replace it with that will still keep my hubs organized?
One can highlight-copy-paste their stats page hub list into any spreadsheet, live links and all. Then do a one-time reorg as desired.
Perfect solution? Nah, but it's a start.
I guess I don't have enough hubs (82) to see this change as a problem. I've never used the grouping tool in My Account/stats page. Call me a weird OCDer but I organize my hubs in my head by dates and hubscores. Yes, they can be tricky to find sometimes when scrolling up and down but I kinda know where they are based on traffic. I do feel bad for those hubbers with hundreds of hubs who had a system that worked for them. I also love how my hubs are featured at the bottom now under "More From . . ."
I agree with other users that it would be extremely helpful to maintain groups in the dashboard to assist in locating hubs for editing, updating, etc. Typically I use the browser find tool to locate hubs, but there are many occasions when I use the group tool, too. It would have been nice to get some prior warning via the newsletter or blog. Not all active users are on the forums every week.
It's no problem at all finding a hub on the Stats page. Just type in any keyword relating to the hub you are looking for in the "find" option of the top right 3 lined icon in Chrome browser.
A shortcut for this method is to simply enter Ctr.F as stated above by cfn.
I find this method much easier than going through groups. Groups are out, groups are redundant, long live the "more by" feature.
Ctrl-F is a life saver in many situations. I've often found myself wishing for a Ctrl-F when reading a print book.
Haha, I'd like a Ctr.F in my brain!
keyword: "glasses" and such
and what do you do if your niche is all related to one main keyword...rv??
It's no good - those who create lots of hubs about lots of different topics just don't get it.
Never mind - I'll get my performance overview and stats back when I've moved the content.....
Like I said - the purpose of using Groups is that it gave you a perspective on the relative performance of all hubs in the same group / niche topic
In much the same way as you could review the different pages of a website on a niche topic. I've personally found such information to be hugely helpful to monitoring performance and developing topics over the years.
Of course if nobody thinks statistical information of this kind is important to hub owners then they'd trash the functionality without a second thought.
Groups also provide you with a "to do" list re getting topic areas better organised/sorted
Of course if you've never worked on Niche/Topic areas as an approach to developing content then I can well see why people would not think the groups functionality to be important.
Speaking personally virtually all my hubs have been developed within the context of a specific niches. I've always thought "niche" and "groups" rather than "Hub" - because they had much greater value as a group.
My guess is this change is a result of Google's upcoming algorithm changes that we commoners know nothing about. Staff is aware of the upcoming change and I believe is trying to make the site more friendly for Google. More Google friendly, more traffic, more money or at least I hope that is how it works.
Goodness me this is a lot to hope for! I take it this is a speculative answer?
If HP HQ they knew Google's algorithm changes before (and if!) Google announces them:
1) they wouldn't be in this pickle now and
2) they could take the cash from all the SEO people who spend masses of time and effort unpicking the changes - and retire now!
Dear me this has all been a bit of an overreaction hasn't it?
I like reading the comments by persons who totally, so totally know more about what is best for the website, and for everyone else....than the persons who run the website.
Because being a web scribbler means you know you know you know.
Anyway, features come and they go. That I've seen so many features come and go shows most of all how the actual staff at Hubpages.com care about the place. It is actually a positive sign for the website, and thus, every scrap of quality web scribble on it.
CHEERS to everyone.
Nobody here thinks they know more than the team about what is good for the site, but everybody here knows what works well for THEM. Oftentimes the team forgets that what works well for the writers here should be taken into consideration when making changes. In this instance, although the team has made a good point about their decision, they have made it more difficult for the serious writers here to do their work. It's that simple.
Wouldn't it be wiser to get feedback from hubbers before making radical changes rather than afterwards?
This website is a business, not a social club
It's good business to satisfy your customers. As Stew Leonard always says, "The customer is always right:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct … 6871352016
Yes, it is a business, but it is a business that depends on the work and good will of the people who write here, who are not employees and should not be treated as such.
Clearly the team has the right to make decisions any way they choose, but it's never a good idea to treat people as though their feelings and views don't matter.
Sometimes decisions must be made, but there is a right and a wrong way to make and move on them.
Case in point is the fact that while we were warned a week or two ago that groups would be deleted, there was no immediate warning.
In my case, it happened right in the middle of an update I was doing. One minute the groups were there, and the next they were gone!
Seems to me that it would have been more considerate for the team to put a message to all writers on the stats page that at such and so a time on such and so a day groups will stop functioning. At least that way, there would not have been a shock factor.
Anybody with a business background, of whom I am one, will tell you that a company is only as successful as the way its employees feel about it.
I have not liked many of the decisions that have been made here in recent times, but I understand why the team made them.
What I don't understand is why they continue to insult and demean the intelligence of those who write here by not clearly explaining why they do what they do.
Time and again I have read statements from people on the forums that make it clear that they are left "wondering" about different issues. The answer always seems to be to "read the Learning Center", but not all of the answers are clearly stated there.
I was very upset about the groups and even emailed the team begging them to reconsider. They never responded. Now, I have come to terms with the change and have found some ways to work around them, although it is more work for me.
I no sooner accepted that issue, than another, much more serious one popped up that I think will be very damaging to one of the new niche sites. I found myself saying, once again, "WHAT can they be thinking!"
It reminds me (and others) very much of the way Squidoo behaved towards the end.
The thing is a few may complain in the forum. The rest just look at the behaviour of management and the respect shown towards authors (i.e. the "writing on the wall") and move content. You won't find them in the forum complaining - but soon you won't find them on HubPages either. I spent a year tracking stats and authors on Squidoo before the end and it was very clear what was happening. Very many good authors just picked up their content and left.
In this particular instance HubPages did TWO things
1) It wanted to change how hubs showed up on other Hubs. This seems to have been the main focus of their attention (i.e. it's the only change which got a mention on the blog). NOBODY has complained about this - and in fact hubs look better as a result as the new hubs showing up are a much better match
2) They wanted to remove the groups function on the dashboard. This was totally and wholly unrelated to the first change - although those making code might have thought otherwise. The hubs in each group were 100% determined by the hub author and the nature of the group was much more sensitive than the topic categorisation which can be clumsy at best.
THIS is the change which people have complained about. It made absolutely no difference to what appeared on hubs and was an administrative and performance management tool pure and simple. It was an aspect of functionality which was extremely useful to those with many hubs who used it FREQUENTLY. (i.e. HP needs to learn how not to confuse a function not used much by most hub authors (many of whom have few hubs) with one used a LOT by those authors with the most hubs)
No explanation has been given as to why this needed to be removed. Finding a hub on a dashboard - as I found yesterday - is now a long winded process
Over 150 pages is nothing. The people who really succeed here have far more, and none of them have appeared in this forum thread to complain, you know why? They're too busy doing something towards their own success.
True and that's why on one day you won't find them on HP anymore because they've moved their content elsewhere.
I didn't say I wouldn't adjust to it, my hubs have been successful. It will just take time, and like most others, I have written on my own blogs and other sites.
Wesman Todd Shaw: Do you really think that having a huge number of hubs is the way to succeed here? I have seen people with as few as 12 make tons of money on this site. It's not about how many, it's about how good and how well the topic serves the needs of readers.
Thanks for that post TT2. I thought his answer was really insulting. I've had hundreds of hubs at different times, but it got to hard to manage them. I have other interests in life. Maybe I took it the wrong way, but it seems you interpreted it that way too.
The facts are the facts. If you have the choice of throwing a bunch of lower level articles on just to have "count'' as opposed to taking your time to write a few good quality hubs that people will search for and read, the second choice wins hands down.
Even the team has said that 20% of your hubs make the majority of the views and money you get here, and I have found that to be consistently true.
I have 102 hubs. They moved 21 of them to the niches. Those 21 make up 75% of my views! If nothing else happened, those 21 hubs would keep earning for me, while many of the others will linger.
If you figure out the stats, that's just about how it works for everybody. Nobody writes a winner every single time, that's for sure.
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