Do you think the new hubpages format will help us writers here, or hurt us over time.
Please explain why you think so, whatever the case may be. Heck make a powerfully expressive hub about it, if it floats your boat. (Does this spell more or less revenue for us long term, try to give it your best shot with this answer.)
A bonus! additional secondary question - do you think its just a phase shift to a much better look, feel and functionality until they get it right?
It's probably unfair for me to answer this question right?
The change should be revenue neutral. We iterated on these changes for a while to get make sure they were. (This is not a part-time thing for us. If we want to remain employed then we need to make sure we don't adversely effect revenue.)
The overarching goal was to remove a bunch of stuff that was making the page load slow and therefor adversely effecting placement in search results. We accomplished that, but we'll need to wait for a while to assess what effect it has on our search traffic.
The visual design changes are absolutely one tiny step on a long path towards something much more beautiful, useable, and (most-importantly) memorable. Brand recognition and affinity in search results is one of my top priorities. Not enough people remember who HubPages is or actively look for HubPages in their search results. IMO, thats the most important nut to crack right now. Everyone on the planet should know who HubPages is and have a good reason why they prefer us in search results. The design of the Hub needs to give them that reason.
But you can absolutely expect ongoing changes and refinements to the visual design and usability of the Hub as well as every other interface we provide to our users as we explore how to better engage readers and increase brand awareness.
Great answer Derek. I think that this should become the "best answer" for this question.
I entirely agree, Ari. However I miss the G+1 button. It was so easy to share from here. Can't it be reinstated?
Thanks @derek gulbranson, for such a fine and detailed explanation to my question here. I see that hubpages is going through a much needed change and transition, and as a web developer myself I know things like this are needed. Great! answer
I think the staff at Hubpages have kept up with all the changes that Google has imposed, and they are doing everything they can to make sure the traffic comes to hubpages. I believe they know the changes will be beneficial to themselves and to all the writers. I believe our revenue will increase as they do what they think is best to gain more writers and traffic to our hubs.
Great question, Mike. I certainly hope the format changes are revenue neutral. It looks like the number of ads on the hubs has been reduced, but it could be a matter of placement. There are fewer ads above the fold which was probably done to comply with the Google page layout algorithm update. But since HubPages Ad Program revenue is based on impressions and not clicks, and if the total number of ads is the same (regardless of where they appear), then there shouldn't be any change in revenue. Only time will tell if this is the case. I've been very concerned about it, so this is something I'm watching closely.
P.S. And I too am VERY disappointed that the Google+ button is gone. I never understood why this change was made, especially given the fact that Google uses it in its ranking algorithm and so many hubbers asked that it not be abandoned.
Yes indeed I figured everyone was wondering whats with all the new changes, but as we all know very well this is the ever evolving web we're using to write our content, and place it into action. So this also calls for the need to keep up for sure.
Personally, I feel like HubPages proscribes too much of our content already, to the point of punishing us for not using their (inadequate, according to my attorneys) copyright statements. I feel like if I don't find an excuse to add a table and a poll to an otherwise perfectly fine hub, it becomes much less my work than a HubPages mandated work. I don't see why a map applies to most hub pages, either. Ditto for many of the other features, like quizzes (which I'm contractually forbidden to use in any case). Also, with the removal of my ability to use Amazon capsules, I have to take my chances with Ebay keyword search capsules, and who knows what product might show up on a given day in that case. I'm very disillusioned with HubPages' new requirements for all kinds of specialty capsules that may simply be stupid or fluff in an article, depending on what the article is, yet we're expected to include them to get maximum scores. Ditto with not allowing us to use dividers to separate content--in how-to hubs, it's imperative that users don't rush headlong to part 2 and a divider helps enforce that fact. Also, we're supposed to drastically limit links to other sites that are useful/relevant to our hubs: why? Wouldn't HP want people to spend more time on the site and get more money/click-throughs? I'm not talking frivolous links (those obviously don't belong there), but relevant links. Now they've added "related hubs" below the article, so I get many fewer comments than I used to, which helps me not at all when it comes to improving my work. Also, the "related hubs" simply take business away from links I would have been able to make to my own articles that actually are "related hubs" rather than simply containing some of the same topics. That whole section is just screen clutter that doesn't belong there. The hub author should be the one to decide what articles are and aren't relevant and use the Link capsule to include them, rather than clutter the screen with a mess of often unrelated or directly competing hubs like they're currently doing. It's like they forgot we'd like to make a buck on the site, too, with links to our own work.
What WOULD be helpful is if they added more social network sharing buttons next to the articles: StumbleUpon, Tumbler, and especially Google+ come to mind. Maybe Reddit (which used to be there, if I remember right). If they want us to get more traffic, give us easy access to social traffic-generating tools.
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