As many of you noticed, we've recently been doing some testing with the Q&A feature on articles vs. with their own URLs. As a result of our tests we've developed a new policy.
Once approved by a moderator, Questions will have a grace period to gain traffic on their own URL. Questions that gain a significant number of views will remain on their own URL while questions that do not will automatically be moved back to the article. Either way, it's worthwhile to answer questions because the ones that are part of the article will add to the article's keywords and help to maintain its freshness, while articles with their own URLs are likely to have increased earnings.
There will also be improvements to questions on the article that will allow readers to give feedback and to order the best questions first.
I'm curious about something related to this. So there will be a period of time that the questions stays on it's own URL and if it performs well it will stay there and if not it gets moved to the article. If it's on it's own URL it can earn extra income since it will have ads on the page while if not it will help the status of the article. Once it's moved to the article that means that's it for the chance to have it on it's own URL correct? Since it can't ever get it's own views again and will just be lumped together with the article it can't ever be moved back to it's own page? I'm just wondering since most of us are writing extensive answers from something like 500 -1000 words to make them like mini hubs, so they can stand alone on their own page. To go through that amount of work just to have them on the bottom of an article seems like wasted effort that could go towards writing another actual article. Maybe it would be okay if a question was about something we could expand into an actual article but most probably aren't. Just curious how all this will work. Thanks.
Natalie, The way you just explained it is the same way I interpret it too.
I don’t think we have to worry about well written answers that are like mini hubs getting moved back into their respective hubs. If they are high quality and attract organic traffic on their own merit, then I would think they will remain under their own URLs.
I think HubPages made this latest change just to do something about all the short answers some Hubbers are writing. Some people are answering Q&A as if they are answering just one person without putting any effort into making the answer useful for organic search. Those are filling up the niche sites with low quality pages that can hurt each niche domain, which is not what we want happening. So those are the only ones that eventually get moved back into the hub where the question was originally asked.
Since you are one who puts the effort into making your answers into mini hubs ( as we call them) that work for more people than just the person asking the question, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. They should stay under their own URLs in my opinion.
Let's say a question was answered and later the author realized it deserved a longer answer because it had many unexpected views. Is there a way to edit that answer and explain it better? It could be there and I don't see it. Thanks.
Yes Jean, just select the “answered” filter and search for the one you want to change, then click edit and you can modify or add to your original answer. I have done this a few times already.
I do write "mini hubs" for most of the questions so other readers can learn from them. But I didn't expect several questions to receive the number of views they get, and would like to expand on the answers. This is welcome news. Thanks again.
I see the "filter" to click and Answered, Unanswered, and All come up. But when I chose the ones I want to fix, I don't see where it says edit. Will you help again?
Thank you for this. I was trying to figure out how to adjust an answer yesterday.
I wonder if you do this if it will go back to it's own URL to be re-evaluated. That might be motivation to edit answers and make them more comprehensive and longer, hence increase ranking and searchability.
Actually, all of mine with the exception of 1 so far have been moved back to the hub. Quite honestly I don't like the way they look since they are narrower than the hub so seem to go on forever and it looks silly to have a hub, then the answer to a question which goes on and on in a narrow column then the comments.
That sounds great.
Question: is it recommended that we sign our answers, or should we leave the authorship info traceable through the "original article" link?
Since people are going to find them by search, out of the context of the related article, unless they click on an extra link, they would have no idea of who wrote that info. I am tempted to sign at the end of the answer, but I'd like confirmation that's acceptable/recommended procedure.
We recommend against signing answers simply because it will be adding keywords that are unrelated to the subject at hand, and also because if the Q&A eventually gets moved back to the article, it will look very strange to readers to only have a specific section of the article signed.
Sounds great! Thanks, Christy, for keeping us informed about this.
I have noticed a huge drop in Q&A traffic last week and then it came back somewhat since then. It's good to know what's going on.
Cool. And now I'm reminded to check my emails to go into the Q&A zone.
Good news. This ought to solve many of the issues some of us are worried about. Well done, HubPages!
Any way we can get a little more info? Ballpark for traffic and time requirements? When you say traffic you mean search traffic right?
As for the feedback, will we be able to approve or deny like with comments?
Maybe it's too early still for these questions but I guess it never hurts to ask
Eric, You can approve or deny any Q&A. To deny it, just click "Hide Q&A" or to approve it, just answer it.
You can also edit the question, which is highly recommended if they used poor grammar or misspelled words.
I've been monitoring the view count and ad impressions on my Q&A with Google Analytics. I made a custom report to catch that info.
The Q&A that remain as separate pages definitely help bring additional traffic to the hub. GA shows that too–with the behavior flow report. If you answer with useful content that can also help other readers too, your answers should remain on their own pages. It's like a mini-hub.
Yes Glenn I know all of that. I'm talking about the reader submitted feedback Christie said will be a new addition to the qanda. I'm not sure what kind of feedback she's talking about. Is it like comments that we can approve or deny? Or is it like a thumbs-up/thumbs-down thing or positive/negative? I am hoping she will clarify
Yes, we are referring to search traffic. We are not willing to disclose details on the grace period or traffic threshold at this time.
As far as the feedback goes, I meant that readers will have the opportunity to rate Q&A based on which questions and answers are the most useful and the winners will be displayed first in the article.
Thanks Christy! I'm having trouble visualizing the rating thing. I'm thinking of like Quora but since there's only one answer to every question I'm not sure how that would work on hubpages. I'm sure it will make sense when I see it
Christy, Eric brought up an interesting (and important) point that may have been overlooked.
Rating the questions is a useless thing to do because each question deals with a different thought. And you wouldn't be rating answers because there is only one per question, as Eric pointed out.
Thanks for the info, Christy. I was wondering about questions as most of mine have been moved back to the hub with the exception of the newest ones so I had wondered if that was some form of the AB testing you guys were doing. Makes more sense now. Also not sure how this rating business would work. I assume it would be based on an average? If so this would be problematic as perhaps one person reads an answer and gives it the highest rating but maybe 100 people read another answer and the average is lower. This just means the first was helpful to one person while the other was at least somewhat helpful if not very helpful to 100 people. So traffic to the question seems like it wouldn't play a factor in the ratings and subsequent listing of questions? Plus how often would questions be reordered? Would this be done through some automatic function? If not it seems like an awful lot of work for staff to constantly have to reorder questions on hubs.
Isn't this what we are doing now? My questions read the most have the highest rating and their own page. Lately I've been getting more comments than Q&A. I don't mind because as you say, more comments on an article keep it fresh.
I guess I don't understand what makes what we have now any different?
Also, as Glenn points out, each question has it's own thought. Will it be placed on an article? I can't even get my own articles on the right niches, let alone have anyone messing with where to put my questions. I don't like the administration deciding where a question about a Cancer Sun, Capricorn Moon and Scorpio Ascendant person will go. That can be any of 3 major articles and several minor ones. Sounds like a mess to me. I was fine just answering questions--at least the ones that aren't completely a waste of time.
Maybe this is already in the works but is it possible that something could be added to our q and a list so we can clearly see which questions are on their own url and which have been moved back to the main Hub?
Right now it's impossible to tell unless you actually follow each link. Even hovering over the link doesn't help, as it shows the question url, which may or may not redirect to the main page.
The only way I guess, is to see if there are view counts next to it in the list? Although that probably isn't 100% reliable.
Could someone point me to where this Q&A thing is documented so I can figure out what it is? Been here a few years but this is new to me. Sorry, searching has been a waste of time and Help has been no help.
If you want info about Q & A just search for it. There are a number of forum threads related to it that have been created since it's inception.
If you have missed the weekly newsletter announcement then the best way at this point is to search for it, or look for the HubPages blog announcement. As Natalie said, there are many discussions in the forums on the topic.
Thanks for the update. I have noticed the questions that are their own pages for me are the ones I wrote myself after doing a bit of SEO research to think about them. That is probably why they get search traffic. I will keep this in mind and try to write detailed answers.
One of the biggest issues I am having is people are writing questions that I don't even know how to answer or writing them in a way that I cant understand so I don't even know how to reword the question. I just hide questions that are low effort.
My only concern is that many of my articles are seasonal. For instance, the articles aimed at aiding homework studies for school children can attract large amounts of interest in term time, but go very quiet over the Summer. I hope HP takes into account seasonal factors when assessing the popularity of answers to questions.
All I'm asking for is a link pointing to an explanation of how to use Q&A. I've searched and found plenty of complaints and further questions. I've checked Official announcements which, in the past 6 months, had two references to Q&A: Q&A To Be Retired and Article Q&A Update. I've searched the freaking blog. Please don't bother telling me to search or look for Q&A, just tell me where it is. Thanks.
This may help you. I’ve written a detailed explanation of the new Q&A and I even updated it with the latest changes just announced. It’s in my tutorial hub “Important Overlooked Techniques for the HubPages Writing Platform”. Scroll down to “All About the Q&A Feature”.
lobobrandon also wrote a very good analysis of it, specifically about avoiding keyword cannibalization, in his hub “Hubpages On-Page Seo Guide 2018” — I highly recommend his hub for all the other SEO ideas he discusses as well.
Thanks Glenn and Brandon,
Now that I am deleting the time waster questions and have a better feel for ones that will interest others, I have added better answers to more interesting questions. I find I am liking the feature more. And I even like the comments, because they get traffic to older hubs. I think its a win/win.
Thanks, Glenn. Never would have found this without extensive effort. Excellent article.
My new one was never put on it's own URL despite it being a lengthy and complete answer. It also doesn't show in the list of answers on my Q&A page. There's no show more option. It shows on the article page but isn't anywhere on the list.
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