Is it better to place picture on top of or next to the opening text of a hub?
Just wondering which way the search engines see it. At the top or at the side of the opening content. Any thoughts?
Well, it depends on what you are covering. You can see that some big sports sites put a large image at the top of their article, so the featured image is pretty much what is visible above the fold. Although Google recommends that you add key information above the fold (without the user having to scroll down before seeing the important information), I think that it's okay to have an image at the top of the hub. So long as the text content that follows the image is of high quality, you're totally safe.
I would contemplate having the picture wrapped with the first paragraph would be optimum for association. We all learn by association, that is indeed what our brain craves for memorization.
HubPages prefers full-blown pictures, if the size doesn't pixelate them. So, "on top" is preferred.
I too have wondered this. As the majority of views are coming from mobile devices, we are advised to go for a full width (good quality) image. That said it could depend on your subject. If your subject is one which may get 'pinned' on Pinterest then you should opt for a vertical (portrait) image.
If your topic is better suited to Twitter, opt for a landscape (horizontal) image.
There are some writers here on Hubpages who opt for no image and prefer to have an ad placed there.
Above may keep your viewers interested. Remember from a sales point of view, items above the fold, as Isaac Asante mentioned, get noticed.
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