Changing Rules

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  1. Jean Bakula profile image95
    Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago

    Today I received a complimentary email from the administration about an article I wrote which was moved to a niche site about two months ago. This led me to worry about articles that were moved to niche sites many months ago.

    The rules are constantly changing. At one time, I was told to use call out capsules on quite a large number of hubs. Until that point, I never knew what a call out capsule was. Now this rule has changed, and I have at least two or three dozen hubs which were moved to niches ages ago that still have them. Also, the grammar rules have changed and they aren't the grammar rules I learned in English. I still get upset when people are ending sentences with a preposition.

    Are the hubs that were accepted for niches when they did follow the rules of the time Grandfathered in? (please) Or do I have to go back and review and change around 80 articles that were changed to fit whatever the rules were at that time?

    When the niche sites began, I had about 150 hubs. More than half are on niche sites. I would rather spend my time fixing those still on HP, because some still have potential. It's so time consuming to keep revisiting the same articles to update them, although I do understand the administration is doing it for quality reasons.

    So what about hubs moved early, when the niche sites began? Do they all need to have call out capsules removed and grammar changes in the subtitles that technically were not wrong at the time?It's just another rule change about a new grammar style being used now, after the fact, as many of these changes are.

    1. Sherry Hewins profile image93
      Sherry Hewinsposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I have had HP send me messages saying that this hub or that hub "looks great!" I have had a couple snipped, but other than that, I haven't had any problems with hubs on niche sites. I hope other people are not having problems either.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image91
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You don't HAVE to change them.    It's your choice to change them, and it may result in better views if you do, but that's all.

      The team is revisiting a lot of the articles which moved to the niche sites some time ago, to make sure they meet the new criteria.  If they don't, it's no big deal.  They're not going to unpublish your article or move it back to HubPages.

      If there are changes, the moderators will usually make them for you.  Then you will get an email with a link so you can see what they've changed (that's the version of your Hub with green and pink highlights on it), but you don't have to do anything, unless you dislike what they've done.

      So, if you'd like to fix the Callout capsules, by all means do so, but it's not compulsory.  For the rest, I would just sit back and let the moderators do their job.

      1. Jean Bakula profile image95
        Jean Bakulaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Marisa,
        Oh, in that case I am not so worried. I do take a look at the ones on niches now and then. Some have You Tube videos and they get yanked off without warning. I really feel that once they are on the niche, it's not really fair to hold us to later changes. If you write a book, it stands, the publisher isn't going to call you and keep making you change sentences or minor things that were originally accepted in the original proofreading. Of course, I like the money, so will revisit them, but I can't make it a top priority.

        I hate it when a new hub is submitted to a niche, they ask you to change a comma, and make you resubmit it to the niche. This has happened to me. I don't get the link where you see how they changed it or didn't with the pink and green. They really are not accepted for something as minor as that, when the person could easily make the change. And it sits for more than a week before it finally gets to the niche. The hub will still be on HP, and I have to resubmit it. Am I doing something wrong?

        The hubs they are looking at lately are recent ones, where I was familiar with the grammar and title rules.

        Thanks as always.

  2. Glenn Stok profile image97
    Glenn Stokposted 5 years ago

    Callout capsules are separate pieces of code in the HTML. Due to that, HubPages staff discovered that Google is not associating the text in the callout capsule with the content of the following text capsule. This is fine as long as you're not placing subtitles in the callout capsules.

    Callout capsules are still very useful for making text stand out, but if you want to associate a subtitle with the content that follows, you need to place the subtitle in the text capsule that it belongs to. (Oh, no! I ended that sentence with a preposition!)

    HubPages announced this discovery a few months ago. You should be glad that they are being transparent about these discoveries instead of hiding it.

    True, we have to do more work, but it's worth the effort. I also spent a lot of time adding callout capsules. And then I spent a lot of time removing them where subtitles were used, and I'm still not done. However, I'm not at all upset about it. I'm glad HubPages shared that information with us, so that we can keep up with what's necessary for SEO success.

    No need to complain. Be happy you are writing on a site that lets you know what you need to do in order to be successful.

    Just look at the mistakes the other writing sites are making: InfoBarrel accidentally blocked search engines from indexing their articles, Niume developed their database in such as way that hinders search engine indexing, Bubblews allowed spam without concern of the consequences. Do you still feel like complaining about HubPages?

    1. Jean Bakula profile image95
      Jean Bakulaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Glenn,
      My intention wasn't to complain about HP, but to be sure if I had to change all those hubs yet again. I guess I knew the answer was yes, but didn't want to face it.

      I didn't mean to complain, and am sorry it came out that way. I had awful experiences with Infobarrel. When I wanted to close my account, they stalled me for a year, then the administrators started a very public argument with me on Google +. I also was writing for Bubblews, so have had my share of experiencing failing sites, and applaud Hubages for trying to find a way to move forward and succeed.

      So it is worth it to remove the call out capsules, because they begin a paragraph or section with the content that follows on the pieces where I used them. It's not so bad if I work on it a little at a time. I write a lot for my own astrology clients, and have carpal tunnel, so am trying to streamline my typing more.

      Thanks for your patience as usual, and I forgive you for ending the sentence with a preposition smile.


      1. Glenn Stok profile image97
        Glenn Stokposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Just to be clear Jean, you only need to remove callout capsules if you had used them for subtitles—in which case you need to move the subtitle to the subtitle field of the text capsule to which it belongs. (See what I did there? lol).  Placing subtitles in text capsules increases your chance of Google using your content in a featured snippet.

        1. Jean Bakula profile image95
          Jean Bakulaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I get it Glenn. And it isn't hard to just get rid of the callout capsule and just type the subtitle above the paragraph. That is how I mostly used them.

          Nice grammar, by the way smile.

        2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image92
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

          This is really interesting because when moderators started going over our articles, one of them took every subtitle I had and put it into a callout capsule!  It looked great, so I left it, but now will have to change it back.  I don't remember using this technique on other articles though...glad I checked the forums today about this because I missed that announcement. Thanks, Glen

          1. Glenn Stok profile image97
            Glenn Stokposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            I had a couple of moderators move my subtitles to callout capsules too. That was a long time ago, before HubPages discovered the problem caused by the disconnect between callout capsules and text capsules in the HTML code.

            Yes, it looked great! I loved it too and did it in many hubs. However, no one knew at the time that Google was going to come out with a new feature (I.e. featured snippets) that only works when subtitles are linked to content.

            As Marisa said earlier, you don't have to move subtitles back into text capsules. It's only helpful from an SEO standpoint. It's an individual choice if you want the looks of the callout capsule or if you want to do what may bring more views.

            1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image92
              TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

              I changed that one I wrote about earlier, and my score on that article jumped about 6 points!  It was my most popular article but had been losing views for some time, and I didn't know why.  It will be interesting to see if things perk up due to this change!

            2. Jan Saints profile image88
              Jan Saintsposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Are these subtitles the capsule titles or headings h1, h2, h3 etc?

              1. Jean Bakula profile image95
                Jean Bakulaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                Aren't the Capsules subtitles and Headings the same thing?

                1. Jan Saints profile image88
                  Jan Saintsposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  I was looking for clarity on this, but I think a capsule subtitle is the one entered in the capsule subtitle box which is found above the text box while a heading is created after highlighting words in the text box and selecting heading 2, heading 3, heading 4, etc from a drop-down on the capsule menu.

                  Someone can correct me!

              2. Glenn Stok profile image97
                Glenn Stokposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                Only the hub's main title is H1.

                The text capsule titles are considered subtitles and they are H2. The titles on callout capsules are also H2 subtitles, but they are not associated with the content in the following text capsule, which is the point of this discussion. What that means is that Google can't tell if they belong to the content or not, when used in a callout capsule.

                1. Jean Bakula profile image95
                  Jean Bakulaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  But without callout capsules, the H2, H3 etc. are still considered subtitles in the context that they continue to explain the subject in H1. Yes?

                  1. Glenn Stok profile image97
                    Glenn Stokposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    H2 is a subtitle. H3 is a sub-subtitle... and so on.  But if you want Google to connect the subtitle to the content, it needs to be in the same text capsule.

                    Edit: here's a good explanation: … 2h3h4h5h6/

  3. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago

    The rules are getting stricter for sure.  I've worked pretty hard to get hubs onto niches.  Whereas editors used to edit my hubs into shape, I seem to get "suggestions" from editors nowadays: the "your hub is eligable" email. 

    I think one of my anxieties is that as rules change and get stricter, it's only a matter of time before my "successful" hubs start getting culled from niches.

    I agree with the idea of hubs being assessed by humans for quality, it had to happen after all of HP's previous travails and run ins with Google.  But the reality is that you are now at the whims of editors and editorial policy in a way that didn't happen on HP earlier.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image95
      Jean Bakulaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Paul,
      That was my fear too--that as time passed, the hubs on the niches would be pulled off without constantly being revisited and needing more and more changes. I also see that each editor has their own opinions, or likes and dislikes, and don't really like that. As writers, we need some leeway.

      I have made more money with the niche sites, and have learned from some of the suggested changes. I'm a terrible proofreader!

      But I guess we have to realize that the staff is learning what works and what doesn't as we are writing, and at least they are passing the info on to us as fast as they are able.

      I just wish all the changes left me more time to write new articles. Most of the hubs that I am moving are so old, I no longer have an emotional attachment to them anymore. At least I always wrote evergreen things. It's still in our best interest to write or rewrite here, I don't see any other sites succeeding.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
        PaulGoodman67posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        To do well on HP one has to have definite strategies.  As long as I have a strategy or strategies, I will edit or write.  There have been periods where the situation has seemed uncertain or confused, however, when I've laid off writing.  It's also easy to get lazy when you are doing very well.

        Right now, I know what needs to be done and I've got a lot of work ahead.  It's intimidating but knowing where things are going is very helpful.  It's still painful, however, when you put in a mountain of work and you are rejected.

        The automated warnings and blocks treat everyone exactly the same but miss problems that are obvious to a human eye.  The human editors will never quite be 100% even-handed, but are still much better - it's just difficult to employ enough of them from a business perspective, I imagine.


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