I'm new to Hubpages, why does the number on my profile picture go up or down on any given day?
It's a hub score, and it adjusts to the number of times people read your hubs and respond to them. It also depends on how frequently you post hubs and interact in the community.
It is your hub score. It is a measure of quality of the content you are submitting. There seem to be a number of factors from traffic, quality of content, # of words, activity in community, etc. It takes time and effort but most people can get to the 70-80 range with a few quality hubs.
I think this is the secret sauce which helps determine over time a sort of trust ranking. It is something I think that becomes developed over time.
See this page in the FAQ's http://hubpages.com/faq/#hubscorecalc
It basically lists these things:
Amount of traffic - including percentage from reputable sources other than HubPages
The reputation of the Hubber - your Hubber Score and contribution to the community
The response of readers to your hub - including comments, thumbs up, etc.
The uniqueness of content - copying content already available on the web will be penalized
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