I thought that the questions would be adding to the hub, thereby making the hub rank better for certain terms. However, that's not the case from what I see. The questions show on the page but not the answers, so the content of the answer is not really on the page, therefore it does not add to the content of the page right now.
1. The answers should be on the page, and can be set to be viewed only on clicking a "Click to view answer" link. The answer would then show on the same page as the hub.
2. The question can still link to a separate page as it is now, if that is really necessary. How is the traffic stats for the questions so far? Are they receiving direct traffic from Google? If it's not a lot, I would suggest adding a rel canoncial tag to the question link pointing it to the URL of the parent hub. Of course only if the content also shows on the parent hub as in the first suggestion.
3. The URL of the questions seems to truncate after a few words which is good, but they are not the best URLs and anyone who sees it can agree on this point. Look at these for instance:
https://pethelpful.com/question/the-man … -8-hours-a (bad URL)
https://pethelpful.com/question/i-am-a- … to-walk-in (bad URL)
https://pethelpful.com/question/what-br … -dont-shed (This is a good one and it is expected that there would be more like this, I would guess?)
Moreover, H1 tags on the question page are the question itself - logical. But the HTML markup is built for the titles to be in H1 not paragraphs as some of these questions tend to be. Every page on a website stands on its own, but an entire website does benefit by having every page built well.
My question to the staff:
If you do not allow low-quality pages to be on the niche sites, why are you allowing questions to have their own URL? Do these not count as low-quality pages? One huge title with not more than a single paragraph ? The intention behind the questions is good, and it can bring a lot of traffic to the pages, but seeing that this is not being done in the best way, I thought I should speak out. Like Paul said, we're in this together. I would go the extra mile to say that the staff sub-consciously agree with this as low content pages are not moved to niche sites (I'm talking 100 words or so).
I am not against this feature, it's really great and gives authors a lot to write about, but it could be done in a much better way.
I do not intend to use the new QA feature because I don't need it. I usually put the following phrase at the bottom of every article of mine:
"Please feel free to share your views or ask a question in the discussion below." (referring to the comments section)
Until now, readers have always used the comments section to ask questions which I then answer - no problem, it works fine. So I honestly don't see the need or reason behind the new QA feature.
Now if I understand correctly from this thread the intention behind the new QA feature is to create more pages for additional advertising space. But if those new pages are low quality and look like then where is the value? Neither readers nor writers will benefit from this, and certainly not the niche sites themselves in the long run.
I have a feeling that, once again, this new feature, like so many others in the past, is going to be discontinued sooner rather than later.
I sometimes wish staff would spend their expensive time speeding up the editing for niche sites process rather than continuously coming up with new schemes that usually fail, sorry but that is what bitter experience tells me.
PS: As to asking your own questions!? Excuse me?
I think the feature is fun. But I am getting around 25% of stupid questions where I can see the person has not even read the article. Or they want me to do research for them. I try not to hide them, but the English is atrocious in many cases, so bad I fix it because I don't want it on my work. I am getting less patient with it.
I expected to get astrology questions which I have addressed in over 100 hubs. Also, apparently many people don't know what an archetype is. I was interested in Greek myth for a while, and some can't understand these aren't real people, they are types, different from the astrology trait articles I often write. Actually, this was a long standing issue I had with the administration, because I took these archetypes and went quite far into what this archetype would be like in today's society. They were finally moved to Owlcation, and took a lot of research. When I get interested in something, I like to get to the bottom of it.
Then, in with astrology questions, I get stuff like, "Why is my life such a mess?" How on earth would I know? I have suggested contacting a mental health professional to several in order to protect myself.
I also got two or three questions that I can actually use to write a hub. So mostly it's good, so far, except for the same issues we all seem to be having.
It sounds like you are going to take over Googles weird questions category! Jeremy Gill has a funny hub about the 50 common questions that people ask Google. At least so far I have not had any of those questions that WryLilt gets "Am I pregnant?"
Um, I dont know, are you?
You got to be kidding I thought those posts from Yahoo answers that make the rounds on the internet (dumb questions) were all staged. People can't be that dumb...
I got one the other day that said "my dog smells like a hore. (actual spelling!) What should I do?" Um, I dont know, maybe a bath?
I think the next thing we are going to need is a forum thread for "funniest questions".
Haha. Yeah that would definitely be a fun thread.
Ha ha ha... I expect they meant 'hare', don't you think? Maybe not.
I have loads. I quite like this one, "Does my ex love me? or the other woman?"
Then there's this one, "yes or no?"
It's crazy. I bet she's expecting a free tarot reading so YOU can make the decision for her. You could have told her to buy a pendulum and learn how to answer her own questions . Oh, I don't think I've seen a hub about pendulums. You can use the idea if you want, I'm not that good at reading them.
Being a woman of our generation, I'm amazed at the garbage some of these young women take from men. I also get people so young I feel I need to tread carefully. One was so messed up, I recommended seeing a mental health specialist, I wasn't going to touch it.
I love the idea of the most ridiculous questions thread. Should we do it?
I have received two questions in the last couple of days. Each is evidently from someone whose first language is not English, asking me to check grammar. Sorry, but I am not an English teacher. I don’t have spare time to deal with this so won’t be responding to any similar questions.
Hey Glenis, this post is not whether the Questions section is helpful, or if you should respond to the questions or not. That is totally up to you. I personally received only one question so far and I hid it, it was written horribly (I could edit it if I wanted to) but it was not on topic with the hub anyway. So I choose to hide it.
This is a forum thread discussing the questions and the associated problems, etc which could be of interest to you too: https://hubpages.com/community/forum/337745/new-qa
I dont think any of us realized how the URLs were being composed. It would be easy enough to edit each question so that the URL is better. Maybe HP could send a form email to everyone that uses this feature and tell them to edit the first line of the question so that an acceptable URL is composed.
Although I agree that answers should be on the page to improve SEO, making the readers click on them to view on another page opens up another revenue stream for HP.
theraggededge has pointed out that she is making some of her answers into "mini-hubs". Mine are a lot more brief. Maybe if we expanded our answers per her suggestion the Q&A would produce a superior quality?
Yes, making them into mini hubs would make them better. But, wouldn't adding this content to your hub directly improve your ranking overall for this search and every other search you previously ranked for (as your article is now more of an authority on this topic)?
Instead, by writing a mini-hub, you are trying to rank for the question with a bad URL, bad h1, and basically horrible On-Page SEO from the content perspective as you have no option to have H2 tags, etc. You shouldn't either, as it is a question being answered. Just that this is not really contributing.
It may be just me, but I would rather have one view (and not the second click) going out, but more of these single views because my hub ranks better instead of having double the views from a smaller crowd.
At the end of the day, I am just pointing out that the Questions which feature as pages on the niche sites do not on their own meet the quality requirements of these sites. HP went down because of bad content, and I fear this is going to be the same. Questions will be far more than the hubs in time. So the websites are going to have more empty pages than actual detailed pages.
theraggededge, you, and maybe others will make the best use of it by writing detailed answers in the form of mini-hubs, but what about the many others on the niche sites? We need to work together here. If the site has low-quality content it affects everyone, not just the person who writes short answers (10 words or so).
P.S: I'm not saying short answers are bad. Just speaking form the search engine perspective). Writing long answers where short answers would suffice is probably going to lead to a lot of fluff anyway.
Questions as separate pages on the HP domain never really got any decent traffic no matter how well they were written. And I am sure the people at HP wrote questions far better than some of the readers who provide life stories. This is because HP had the main question and then details about that question, the readers do not have this option. When questions which were formatted better did bad, I fear this, in the long run, will be bad for the niche sites.
Totally agreed. In many cases, it will be impossible to write long answers without padding and inflating- not good. For example I got to this thread after answering a question that required no more than a couple hundred words to fully answer.
I like the concept, but maybe it needs fine-tuning.
I have considered making the answers to questions into mini hubs as well. My main concern with this is the amount of time involved. With 90 hubs so far if evem 1/10 of them were to get questions each week (and im not sayong they would as some are creative writing which wouldn't likely generate questions) that would be another 9 mini hubs maybe equivalent to 3 or 4 full hubs a week. I think the question of whether these would be considered thin pages is relevant. What exactly constitutes a thin page? Currently does each question get it's own page or do all the questions for a single hub appear on the same page? If not could they be grouped this way? That would be a possibility to add extra content to a page. It would also mean that if a hub only has a question or two we could add one or more to more fully develop something about the hub or maybe provide a bit of organization to the questions that are there. With more than one question per page, those who clicked the link for an answer would also be more likely to stay on the page longer to read other answers. This would help with rankings. A question I have is given that questions are obviously linked to hubs, and that it takes little time to read a question and answer, does this mean that the short view time could potentially hurt our hub ranking by decreasing average view time?
If this is implemented I would suggest a tool which would let us move the questions around like we already have on the regular hubs which would also let us organize questions in a logical arrangement.
I was just checking my question stats and saw that a lot of them had never even been viewed. Maybe you could just pick a few off of the top, those that are viewed more often, and write mini-hubs on them. The rest do not seem like they are worth our time.
You pose some good questions, Brandon. I hope you/we get some good answers.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting this many questions. All focused on around three or four hubs. They are becoming a little ridiculous now, and I'm giving shorter replies and hiding more. I might go through and weed some of them out.
I'll wait and see what staff say in answer to your queries.
Are you talking about going back and weeding out the questions after they have been answered? That is a good idea if the question is not even getting views. How would you do that?
I think you can just go in and 'Hide' them. There are definitely way too many of them on at least two hubs. I might try to combine some answers... oh I have no clue what to do. They are time-sucking little buggers
If I were you I would add to the hub and then hide. Maybe the same thing was said again and again? If they are all unique and stand-alone questions would you still hide them?
Well they are unique because I made them so. However, several don't get any views, so they can go.
I'd say 95% of the questions are already answered in the articles. I'm always amazed at the number of people who can't be bothered to read it before asking a question.
I'd like to be able to turn off questions for individual hubs.
I see. I think the whole point of this feature is to help authors answer stuff that was not already said. Going forward just hide questions if they are already answered through your hub. People should not be so lazy. You're already giving them free information which they ignore only to come back to you to ask you the very same thing? Crazy!
My take on this whole thing was that you add to the hub by answering queries. If one person asked you something specific regarding the hub and you haven't written about it, this means there are others who are in the same boat and would like that information. So, adding that content to the hub actually helps people.
But, if you say the questions are becoming ridiculous, it may just happen that you tend to ignore them all. The human factor needs to be taken into account for this feature too. If you someone who works a lot on their hubs feels this way, I think it is critical to take notice.
I've had the Q&A feature active for 3 days. I've been creating my own questions as I've only had one so far from a real person. Views are quickly snowballing and my overall stats are definitely going up.
The new function reminds me a bit of WebAnswers (a Q&A site that crashed and burned) and that had good viewing figures. So although initially I agreed with the suggestion that new material should be added into the original hub, I can also see the benefit of this new Q&A structure. Google seems to like it so far, so I think HP should run with the current Q&A set-up before making any changes.
You say Google seems to be linking it so far. Are you sure those views are coming from search directly? Or are they your readers who are clicking on them. Yes, the added views is definitely nice. But how is this any different from those sites that make you click from one page to another just to read the 5 points they are trying to make.
I would like to know whether the questions on their own are actually receiving a lot of Organic traffic across the board with the way they are currently setup. And if yes, the structure of those questions compared to the majority of the questions.
EDIT: If they are not from Google then adding a no-index tag would get people the revenue from multiple views while at the same time not making the site seem low quality.
That's a fair point. I'm not sure exactly where those views are coming from as they are not listed separately. However, my Hubpages source total has not risen over the period, but the Google one has. And yes I accept that this Q&A set-up is not very different from those annoying sites you mention.
Also, I would like to point out that you compared this to WebAnswers that crashed and burned. It crashed and burned because of an economical situation. Something we should not be trying to emulate.
Source on the questions will show as Google, because you have your Analytics code on your hub and also on your questions. So it knows that the source is Google and not the niche site. Your Google stats should be increasing. But, you can check out on analytics if the questions are the landing page. This is what is important.
I just went in and did a Google search for one of my most popular questions, using very exact keywords. My article came out on top of the search but the Q&A page was nowhere to be seen. I then did the same thing with the answer to that question. Same result.
I googled this "it depends on where you live and how well you get along" and the only result that shows is the question page and not your hub, so the content is definitely not present on your hub. What did you search for?
"Is the Maltese a good dog breed for someone who works 8 hours a day"
edit: that was the answer to their question
No results found for "Is the Maltese a good dog breed for someone who works 8 hours a day".
Results for Is the Maltese a good dog breed for someone who works 8 hours a day (without quotes):
Seems like your question is not indexed yet. But those lines do not show on your hub. Your hub ranks as it talks about this already when you don't search with quotes.
I am curious about what some of the folks who are getting a lot of Q&A views are seeing when they look at Google Analytics. Are you seeing a lot of visits from search? Are you seeing people arriving at your Q&A pages and moving on to articles? I don't have enough traffic to mine to draw much of a conclusion yet.
I was initially dubious about this features. If someone has a question, they ask in the comments. That seems to work just fine. If I have a question for myself I'll add it to my Hub, or write a new Hub.
Then I realized they were separate pages and that got me a little interested. Like Bev said, I could write mini Hubs around questions. I try to aim for 300 words at least. But after doing a few of these I started to think of all the things Brandon mentioned in the original post. Aren't these just low-quality pages?
I don't know where I stand right now, but I do know I'm getting frustrated with the Q&A every day. Answering a question properly, in a way that won't result in a weak page, takes 20 minutes in most cases. If people have a question, I think I'm coming to the conclusion I'd really rather they ask in the comments.
Great insights here from Brandon, thank you.
Currently I am inundated with low quality questions from many students in Asia and have no time to answer them. I'm hiding most. Some of the questions seem to be coming directly from exam papers and in almost every case the answer can be found in the depths of the original article! They're just not reading through.
No way am I going to regurgitate material that is already there.
For me at the present time this new Q&A venture is misfiring.
Haha, I can imagine. I had a tutorial on here when I first started, the comments section was full of question paper questions.
I still don't fully understand the Q&A thing. Maybe, Brandon you can help me get this. I've read the forums in entirety regarding this, but not sure I still understand. Why would I fix the grammer from some random reader? We all know a lot of people can't write or spell correctly. ( U no wat im sayin?) They are just leaving a comment or asking a question. They aren't looking to be corrected. I'm fine with just deciphering it and answering the readers question. What benefit do I get by correcting their grammer? What am I missing about this QA thing? I do understand that it posts on the niche site and can see how traffic would increase, but I'm not sure I really like this. Sounds like it could end up as a content farm. Help me! I don't get it!
I know I can "pause" this feature, but I don't really know yet if I should or shouldn't. I did receive a question, and I answered it. Next day my answer was different. Why was my answer edited? I'm very confused on this whole thing
If, for instance, someone asks you a question about their pool that you did not answer in your article. You can answer them, but you can also go back and edit your hub so that the infomation is including for future readers.
Not all readers are thorough enough to pick up everything in your hub. Maybe they will not recognize this until they get to the question capsule, see that question has already been answered, and then click on the answer and read it themselves.
Ok, so this shows up at the bottom of the article? (The asked question) I hid the question because it was a bit ridiculous, but ok. If that's the case I can start to see the benefit of this. So the questions will appear here? (screenshot) if so, then I have no more questions and totally get it now
As a lot of people have pointed out, the answer to the question is almost always already in the article. I get a lot of "what should I do?" questions, though, and I imagine you will too; with som of them I recommend they call someone close, sometimes I provide a link to another of my articles, and sometimes I just tell them to look at the answers in the article.
That makes some sense, along with some more useful info but doesn't fully answer my last question. If I'm right with what I understand now, I can now see why it's important to correct the grammer of the question. I do get it now. Surprising though, I don't get many questions (which tells me my articles are pretty damn informative) lol
I got 0 questions so far (1 from a hubber on my SEO article which was totally unrelated). I wanted to say what you just said lol, but I wanted to be humble haha. But I won't be getting any as I am withdrawing from this feature as I only see negatives and 0 positives to this.
Dr. Mark if you get a question about a 5-year-old Anatolian shepherd losing fur, don't bother answering that. It was a test question I set up. The readers do not even have to enter an email address. So they do not know when and if you answer their question. Now I feel that this is more of a gimmick to get more page views and ad impressions. You are not helping your readers, your readers are not bookmarking your site to come back. An email notification would mean they come back.
With the answers going ough moderation, etc. it takes time for the answer to finally be on your hub. How often are the people coming back to look for their answer? Most likely they are not returning, and even if they are when? After 24 hours? Still no answer. Would they return again? I'm going to disable this feature on my profile and I want nothing to do with it. I am still interested in what the staff have to say as it affects the entire niche site and not just the people answering questions.
I know this message is incoherent, I'm just not really happy right now, and write this as a part of a rant (with paragraphs so that people can attempt to read it).
That is funny. I already answered the Anatolian question, but sent the guy a link to another of my articles since he was asking in the wrong place. Oh well.
I cannot be sure that all people that question are coming back but I am sure that some are. I had a question about heartworm yesterday, answered it, and then got a reply on another article thanking me for taking the time to answer his question. I do agree that sending an email would be a lot better though, although I am not sure everyone would want to leave an address.
edit: how do you know that the readers are not bookmarking the site and coming back to read the answer? When people ask questions on my comment section they often come back to tell me how their dog did, update me, thank me for helping them, etc.
I also do not think moderation is taking that long. I answered one question yesterday and went back a few hours later to look at my hub and see if I forgot something. It was there, so I went back and added the thing that I forgot. (I am not sure if the original person saw the old or improved answer, but if that answer is looked at later on it will be more comprehensive.)
But wait, are you guys telling me that I am getting all of these questions because my hubs do not contain the info people need???? (ROFL) That would be a bummer.
Haha your hubs are not a how to so you cannot cover stuff completely
Ooh good to know. Because from the regular stats online, like for example on Reddit when new users ask something they very rarely return, or they do not say thank you. The same with stackexchange. Asking a question and hoping for an answer, I think I would leave an email ID, most people would if they were seriously looking for an answer.
Also, obviously some people come back, it's statistics at play. If they were to get an email most would return. This would really be helping people, which is a goal of the QnA option.
If anyone wants to see how the new questions feature changes the look of an article, I have one you might like to look at. I don’t know if I’m allowed to put a link, but the easiest way to find it Is by googling ‘I hate my dad’. (No need for inverted commas. You’ll find it at the top of search results.)
There’s a heap of questions there. If you choose ‘show more’ at the bottom, you’ll discover there’s lots. I’ve not yet made up my mind about the new questions.
All the questions are long and it doesn’t seem appropriate to shorten them. I think they look kind of distracting, but they’ve all received multiple views ... some hundreds of views.
The bottom of the article has close to 500 comments. Many of my answers there are pretty long and detailed so I’ve been considering asking HP team if I’m allowed to move them up into the new Questions format ... particularly if they attract additional income that way.
I’d be interested in hearing thoughts from you, lobobrandon, and anyone else interested in taking a look. Do you think the QandA in any way ‘spoil’ the article?
One of my articles looks similar to yours, except not quite so many questions. I'm not sure what I think of it either. But imagine if all of those questions/answers were on the Hub itself. That would add a ton of content to the Hub, which is good, but it would also make the end of the Hub somewhat clunky.
As for whether they could hurt the original article either way (hard to imagine they'd hurt it if they were on the Hub, but they might if they remain separate pages) that remains to be seen. Brandon pointed out a lot of reasons the page structure isn't ideal for stand-alone pages. Will all of those additional Q&A pages mean the sites are dinged for low-quality content?
I see some of my Q&As turning up in search, so that's good. I've seen one case where the question seemed to hurt the article, but overwhelmingly they have seemed to help so far.
Right now HubPages is (apparently) trying to figure all of this out. I wouldn't make any big changes such as moving old comments to Q&A until they do.
I agree about the long, convoluted questions. You have a lot more patience in fielding those than I do. I've been hiding a lot of them.
I have to be patient with troubled kids, Eric. There’s too much potential for self harm, so if they go to the trouble of writing to me I answer to the best of my ability.
I'm not too sure about the QnA feature and the way they rank (refer to my original post here), but if I were you I would ask my own questions and answer them and then get rid of the comment(s) that talk about this question and answer.
Hmm, I understand what you’re suggesting from a ‘business’ perspective. However I know how important it is for anyone who is troubled to feel as though someone’s listening. Plus I suspect they’re writing what others are thinking/ experiencing.
To change their words would, I feel, be insincere and fake. To me, the value of a good page comes from authentic input from readers. Know what I mean?
I think it is a good idea to change their words at times. When someone asks a question and starts out "Hi! My name is Suzy Jones and I am writing becuase my dog Fluffy..." I delete the entire first part. If it was a comment and included an email I would usually delete the whole comment. The Q&A feature allows us a way to get around that.
Dont you think questions from readers that supply personal information should be edited?
This is in your niche and I would not change the wordings there. When it comes to factual articles there is a lot of benefit to readers and the person asking the question. When modified it is easy to make sure that everyone understands the question and the answer.
I’ve just taken a look at my stats and one question has already had 850 views. Next most popular is about 500. So, in theory, I can see value in the new system.
I love the idea of a most ridiculous questions thread - the only issue would be making fun of people who write in with questions. It's possible someone writing in may go on to become an HP author and might come across the thread. Unlikely I know but just thought I'd raise it anyway . . .
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