Want to learn more about our new video feature? Read on for some valuable Q&A and more information regarding forum feedback.
Why are we doing this?
Adding video to HubPages articles increases user engagement and garners high views for ads. This translates to more revenue for HubPages authors.
Why did we roll out this feature when it’s not refined?
We’ve taken the opportunity with the recent site migrations to also change up our video player experience on the newly rendered sites by offering HubPages-related video (contrast this to those that previously ran on our sites). We wanted to test this feature’s capabilities so that we could further improve it based on user experience and user feedback.
Why aren’t the videos always related?
Hyper-contextuality is something we are looking into for future video. Currently, we have the ability to run a single video across a Network Site. With the variety of topics hosted on our Network Sites, it is extremely challenging to match one video to all potential topics across a site, but we are working on creating more content and having it align better.
Why are the videos branded as HubPages? I thought you were Maven now?
We are still revisiting branding. Thus far, we love our HubPages community and still celebrate our flagship brand. Yes, we are Maven, and this decision is still shapeable.
Forum Responses and Escalating to Senior Management
As the community lead, I escalate every piece of feedback that we receive. I am in contact with all applicable teams within the company who would act on these requests. As the representative relaying your feedback and as a fellow writer, I empathize with the points made. However, it is challenging to address duplicate points and questions after they’ve already been escalated, as I often share all I can. I appreciate your understanding and patience.
Samantha, why must the video take up more than a third of the page when you land on an article? I find that annoying and intrusive. If you must have videos on our article pages, why not place them off to the side?
Both John Hansen (Jodah) and I have written articles about the recent Maven/HP changes. Many, if not most, of our followers steer clear of the forums because they become argumentative, judgmental, and downright ornery. As such, you're not getting a clear view of how many HP writer/contributors feel about the recent changes.
Both John's and my articles have garnered well over 100 comments each. While we originally geared our articles towards the inability to comment once an article has been moved to a niche site, the comments have morphed into other disparities, such as the leading video and ads that are interspersed throughout the copy, creating a disruption and a sour taste in the reader's mouth.
I'm including a link to my post in this comment.
https://hubpages.com/community/HubPages … -Community
I encourage you to read it and, more importantly, read the subsequent comments. This will give you a wider perspective of how the Maven/HP merger is affecting the writers who are/were HubPages.
Shauna L Bowling aka bravewarrior
I can understand why people steer clear of the political and religious forums but surely on a subject as important as this, those people could visit to make one post?
Marissa, we're not notified of these posts. We should get an email just as we do when writers we follow post an article or a comment. HP staff should spread the news to the populous, not a select few.
As I've commented on your Hub, I beg to differ. This is the official place on HubPages where official announcements are made. That's why it's called "Official Announcements". HubPages can't make it any clearer than that.
If Hubbers don't want to participate in the forums that's fine, but it's not a great effort to monitor one thread (this one). Perhaps its importance is not made clear enough when Hubbers join.
Shauna and others, you can follow the "Tutorials and Community" topic for emails or push notifications. This topic includes multiple subcategories. Then, from your notifications settings, you can opt-in for emails or in-app notifications.
Shauna, I suggest that you read the corresponding forum posts regarding comments. (Here's the main announcement) Comments were only disabled because they are not yet supported on the new platform. They will return soon, but there are many bigger UX/UI issues that we must address first. Thank you for understanding.
Thank you, Samantha. I did read that forum post. I think most of us are wanting to know the timeline for enabling comments on the niche sites.
Are you at liberty to tell us what the bigger issues are?
This has also been discussed quite a bit in multiple threads. The most concerning for authors right now is the lack of ads in certain regions and the location of the HubPages videos. We are also still working on the site migration—we've just recently fixed the super/subscript and table issues.
Samarthcubbson, thank you for sharing this valuable information.
That clarifies a few questions I had on my mind too. Thanks for this post Samantha. I realize everything is experimental right now, with the emphasis on increasing revenue.
Oh, I hadn't realized that for now, it is not possible to have more than one video per niche site. Thanks for the info.
"Hyper-contextuality is something we are looking into ..."
"this decision is still shapeable ..."
Is there an English language version available? Sorry Samantha but I haven't the faintest idea what this is about.
"Hyper-contextuality" means that they are looking into making the videos more related to the content they appear on. Right now most articles do not have relevant videos, because they only have the ability to make one video per site. Making more videos would allow for more articles to have videos that are related to the content.
"this decision is still shapeable" refers to the HubPages name that appears in the upper right corner on the videos. It sounds like they are talking about how else they can brand the videos besides with the HubPages name. I'm assuming they need some form of brand to help show the video is not author created content. (I initially brought up this question because the Hubpages name is no longer found anywhere on the migrated network sites, so it seems odd to have the HubPages name on the new video. I asked about switching it to Owlcation, Dengarden, ect to match the way Maven's other sites brand their videos. For example SI and Sugar & Sports both use their actual site names or logos on their videos so it makes sense to do the same for the HP network sites.).
"Currently, we have the ability to run a single video across a Network Site."
In that case they videos should not have been introduced.
It was my understanding that the site about pets was called Pethelpful. It is not cathelpful, as it is also about dogs, fish, exotics, etc.
Please reference "Why did we roll out this feature when it’s not refined?"
What were the other videos that were playing previously? You keep saying Maven content, but I do not remember any content besides ads that were being played on our articles prior or immediately after the move. Before the video there was a banner ad immediately above the fold, is this what you are referring to when you say you replaced Maven's content with the HP videos?
If I remember correctly, they were videos for SI and The Street. They appeared in a small pop up on the side (float and park), so they were less noticeable. For me, that is the ideal placement for these new videos and I am advocating for it.
Which comes back to - the people who say the current placing is best, must have a reason.
It seems to me that whoever is making the decision has no understanding of SEO, particularly the basics of "above the fold" content.
Thanks for advocating that smaller pop up on the side which was less noticeable. That way, our titles and articles were more prominent, which is what people clicking on our titles would expect to see. Also, thanks for keeping us informed on these changes. The overall goal of creating more income is understandable.
I hope your voice is loud enough to move the video off to the side, Samantha. Thanks for being on our side in that regard.
Thanks, Samatha. For a bit I thought HubPages came out with a new video tool that the writers can use
"Why are we doing this?
Adding video to HubPages articles increases user engagement and garners high views for ads. This translates to more revenue for HubPages authors."
Did you run a test on this?
Have you measured user satisfaction? You will lose ranking if a lot of visitors hit the back button on being confronted with an irrelevant video when they want quick facts on a query.
In general, this is the case. They keep people engaged and on the page longer. You can do a little research online for specific stats.
I know that a video ON THE SUBJECT THE READER IS LOOKING FOR will keep people engaged and on the page longer.
Can you link to any research which shows that even a totally irrelevant video is just as effective?
Oooof... I hope the people making the decisions do not look at research online but actually put in the effort to look at the stats on the niche sites themselves. I'm going to assume this is being done because anything else would be awful planning.
If it is not yet done because the videos are not related yet, it's not the best, but understandable to some extent, if it is not going to be done at all, it's a bad decision.
I was just suggesting because there are some good resources online. I'm not able to share our personal data and whatnot.
Ok cool. So data is being looked into, that's a relief.
And therein lies the problem.
Once upon a time, we writers were treated as partners in this business. Paul never shared specifics about HubPages data, but he would often tell us what the trends were. For instance, in this case he might have said, "I know some of you are reporting a drop in traffic. However, since moving the videos from the sidebar to the default position, we have not seen any negative impact on the niche sites as a whole" or, "Since moving the videos from the sidebar to the default position, we've seen an uptick in traffic on average"..
That's all we would need to reassure us and make us feel involved. Says volumes about the difference in our status under Maven.
I wasn't able to share because I didn't have access. I had to ask around. Recording/keeping track of that data isn't a part of my job. On PetHelpful in October, we are making about 50% more from video, per pageview, than we did compare to a similar period in August. It is adding about 12% to the total revenue per pageview.
That sounds encouraging. That is the kind of thing that sells a policy change.
That's only one site though. Many people here do not write for Pethelpful. It would be nice if we knew how HP was doing on average as a whole (not just how the videos are doing). I find it interesting that Pethelpful video is showing an increase as the few people that I have seen complain about revenue/view loss actually write for Pethelpful. Is the site as a whole actually seeing an increase or is it simply the video profit that is up?
The videos were not the same in Aug, so I don't see how comparing them is relevant. I wouldn't expect different videos to earn the same. These videos are much more prominent and likely to more clicks/earnings. Even if the videos are adding a 12% revenue, that doesn't necessarily mean the pages are earning more, just that the videos are earning more than they have in the past (which is not surprising with how prominent they currently are. Irrevelant or not they are hard to miss. Especially the ones that scroll the X is easy to miss when trying to read on mobile. I've already hit through to an ad twice when trying to close out of the pop up video).
I want to know if the site as a whole is earning more, not if the videos are creating more revenue than before. It doesn't matter if the videos earn more, if as a whole, the site is not seeing an overall increase in revenue.
All my data shows I'm earning much less than I have in the last two years. So far Oct has been a little bit better (less than 5 dollars more) than the past few months this year, but it is still a far cry from what I was earning previously. My earnings are back to 2017 low's if not lower for some months.
Shesabutterfly, where is the X on the leading video? I've looked for it and don't see it. I only see a mute button for the audio.
I don't think you can close out of the lead video until it becomes a pop-up. On Pethelpful the lead video becomes a pop-up and scrolls down the screen with you. That is the one I was talking about closing. It is always at the top though even if you close the pop-up.
I'm trying to be encouraging. The very fact that they are monitoring the video intro is hopeful. If they notice a drop off in traffic for certain sites, then I hope they will be discontinued, If they get traffic boosts they can try to see why and build from that.
From what Samantha has said in other forum posts it does not sound like the videos can be shut off or discontinued. It's a mandatory part of the new layout hence the rush to make videos in the first place.
The only thing we can hope for is a different placement for them if it turns out they do not bring in revenue or views.
They can be discontinued or shut off. It would not even take a computer expert to do so.
Then they never should have been started before adequate video was ready. From the beginning Samantha has said they can't be removed. If we can't believe this information what else is being hidden by half truths?
Placement can absolutely change as the video was not always on the top and each network site displays the videos slightly different, but I don't believe they will rework the whole network site format (to remove the video completely as that would likely mean picking a new Maven site design).
They knew what they were doing when they made the decision to merge the sites to the Maven platform despite all the bugs and major issues. If they are willing to work through those issues while losing revenue/views (I don't believe for a second they are seeing an increase as a whole across all HP network sites) I don't expect them to make changes to the videos (remove completely or move them somewhere else), no matter how easy it is.
If the pop ups were gaining revenue there was no reason to switch them to a lead video. If the pop ups were not gaining revenue or causing loss, then there was no reason to discontinue it on Tatring and implement it on Pethelpful (which is the site she used in her reply as gaining revenue).
Obviously not all sites are going to respond the same to different video formats, but you also cannot take one's "success" and assume all the rest are doing about the same.
No matter how easy it is to move the video, it's not at the top of their to do list especially when they still have other more important issues to fix first.
"No matter how easy it is to move the video, it's not at the top of their to do list especially when they still have other more important issues to fix first."
This is most probably it.
It is not at the top, nor do I think is it even going to be done until the number of readers has fallen off millions per month.
Even then, the traffic drop will probably be blamed on something else.
We switched to a lead video because that is where the new platform has the video feature embedded. It is not really that easy to change the location, but we are working on it. We aren't turning it off because it is still generating ad revenue and we hope to find a solution sometime soon.
Could you point me to a particular site that is similar to any of the niches here, where this approach is used successfully?
I understand the way that videos can help with engagement on news sites but I can't think of any purely info sites where they are used.
Ah. I've seen the ups and downs. I've weathered the storms. I've hoisted the mainsail and yelled, "Hold fast!" to the crew. But the Symplegades close upon us now. "Jump!" I cry. "Jump and save what content ye may, before the waters close around your heads!"
Or, from "a place to share your passions (and maybe make a few bucks)" to "ANYTHING, ANYTHING, ANYTHING FOR MORE MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!"
Goodbye, HubPages. And goodnight. I shall leave before the dream is quite dissolved. I hope you do not wake in the nightmare that will come.
The natives are becoming very restless. I feel an uprising is in the air.
I doubt it, unless there's discussion going on somewhere else that I'm not aware of. Is there a Hubbers Facebook group somewhere? Judging by the activity in these forums, I'd say the bulk of Hubbers are not paying attention to what's going on.
Perhaps there aren't many left who are actually interested in making any income here.
There have actually been A number of hubs/articles written addressing the changes by people who do not like to frequent the forums. There is a lot of discussion that goes on here and via email and Facebook outside the forums.
I've only found two Facebook groups for HubPages and both were very quiet.
Our group is hidden you should not be able to find it on search. It is invite-only. Not that it is very active, it is more to help and interact with others who have websites of their own.
It wasn't discussed on any Facebook groups for HubPages,,,just privately and via comments on HubPage articles written about the problems, as well as emails people exchanged to others whose articles they couldn't comment on because they'd been moved to niche sites.
Here is a link to one article (written by myself) in opposition to the move of the niche site to the Maven platform. It’s main focus is on restoring comments, but touches on the other issues. It has over 100 comments, so it proves many people Outside the forums are concerned. https://hubpages.com/community/HubPages … -Community
There have also been similar articles by Shauna Bowling and Linda Lum, and probably more by people I am not following.
I am here only a few months, and I am probably more vocal for a recent member. I am not convinced there is a point to complaining. As Samantha has mentioned while trying to update us, a lot of things are hush hush and trial and error. I don't believe any complaining will change that, but I have decided to see what the future holds here. Additionally, I have not been here through the other changes that HP has endured, so I really do not know whether this is normal or if there is more cause for alarm. That being said, my articles have been doing well this month, but it is because of the topic of a select few as opposed to what is going on with Hub and Maven. However, at the moment, I can't complain. Next month will be a more telling indicator.
Hi Abby, we appreciate having you here.
I definitely share as much as I can and pass all of the feedback here on to the team. We've gone through a few big changes since I've been here (about 2.5 years), starting with the Maven merger. I've seen fluctuations of all kinds since, so I'd say it's pretty normal. Thank you for sticking around. I hope things look brighter in Q1!
What? When articles rely heavily on specific video explanations losing all our own videos for an unrelated video at the top of the page is unacceptable. Losing our own videos destroys such articles. No response from Samantha required here as this issue is discussed elsewhere in this forum thread: https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … ost4158784
I believe the videos are sucking up all of the bandwidth for downloading images and ads for slower connections. My ads don't populate until several minutes after I have opened an article. Some images may never populate; I haven't the patience to find out. Do we get credit for ad impressions, if the reader only sees a blank space?
And to Dr. Mark's point cat litter videos on dog articles could make people feel that the have clicked on the wrong link and back out of the article.
Having said that, my earnings are up over the last 10 days or so.
Shesabutterfly. Thank you for the translation of hyper-contextuality and shapeable. Who knew? I didn't. I feel I need a Branding to English dictionary to unravel the jargon.
Thanks for the update, Samantha! Traffic and CPMs are up for me across the board here and I like the new features. I also appreciate that when things begin to work against us (like the Q&A did) the team is on it.
I have a feeling that I won't get a reply regarding other sites similar to ours that use vids in the way proposed here. So we will probably never know what Maven is trying to do.
Given that, I might as well point out the obvious. Videos are a good way of improving engagement when people are surfing for fun or to pass the time. Less good when people want facts fast.
They work on sites related to anything newsworthy, especially celebrity stuff, sport, movies, music and fashion.
Vids might work on reelrundown, bellatory and a couple of other niche sites but only if they are well-made, well-judged and well-placed. Is Maven really going to commit the resources to make this work?
It would be nice if they did but anything half-baked is not going to help anyone.
"Videos are a good way of improving engagement when people are surfing for fun or to pass the time. Less good when people want facts fast."
I am not keeping up with current developments these days, but all my past experience with SEO and reader engagement would lead me to agree 110%.
Having said that, it's encouraging to see that some Hubbers are experiencing an improvement in earnings. I would love to know if HP's statistics confirm that's the case for the majority of Hubbers - in which case I'd shut up. But apparently we're not allowed to know even that nowadays.
On other sites, such as One Green Planet, videos appear at the top of the page, but you can click an X to remove them. I don't see that option on the Maven/HP niche sites. I would imagine those invasive videos are causing an increased bounce rate. Hits are one thing. Views are another.
I looked at One Green Planet and found what they called "featured videos" at the bottom of the page. The videos I saw were irrelevant to the pages content, and had an ad before they played, but no one can complain about the placing.
Not sure if the vids were made by the site or not. Maybe a kind of ad.
Will, I subscribe to One Green Planet's newsletter. I don't know if that makes a difference as to the videos that pop up or not, but when I click on a title to read online, a video takes of most of the top of the page. However, there's a nice big white X that allows the reader to close it. HP should offer that as well, if they insist on keeping the current format.
I looked again but still saw no video, might be a regional thing. I am in the UK.
An option to click off the video on Maven sites sounds like a good idea anyway.
Also, I like the design of One Green Planet. Even the ads are attractive. First time I have ever said that, lol.
Will, I just clicked on a One Green Planet article via the newsletter that was emailed to me today and you're right. There is no leading video. Just a huge photo that is part of the article. It must be one of the other sites I subscribe to that opens with a video that can be clicked away.
Regardless, yes, HP/Maven should give the reader the option to close the annoying video that appears on each niche page.
I, too, like the layout of One Green Planet. Ads appear but not in a disruptive manner. I understand that ads drive revenue, but ill-placed ads and videos drive readers away and that adversely affects revenue.
The Dodo is another site that has a pretty good format.
The DenGrden ant video is sure to make insectophobes scroll down fast to clear it off screen. Maybe that's the intent of using that one?
" On PetHelpful in October, we are making about 50% more from video, per pageview, than we did compare to a similar period in August. It is adding about 12% to the total revenue per pageview."
The 12% matches what I am seeing on my earnings page. I'd like to know more about the 50% increase, and how we get some more of that. lol
You are right, they can't be shut off. However they could be moved back to where they were when the sites transitioned, where they were less "in your face".
It it possible that Maven is such an understaffed and under-resourced outfit
that changing the site layout is very, very difficult, but I can't believe it is impossible, lol.
My best guess is that a twentysomething in Seattle needs to check a couple of metrics, and hit the "move the video" button for all this to change.
As I've mentioned before, I write articles that are very information-rich, very research-oriented, and intended for people to click on to observe the technical research articles on which my articles are based.
In discussion forums on the internet, I link to these articles, and the intent is to give readers a DIRECT, IMMEDIATE connection to my research. But when my readers click on the link, thinking that I have directed them to a relevant source, the first thing in view is an ENTIRE screen filled with a video that appears to have nothing to do with what the discussion is about and nothing to do with the precise focus that I was aiming to give the reader.
I feel that the reader, then, believes that they have landed on the wrong page, or they have been tricked into watching a video that has nothing to do with their precise interest in that moment.
The video is intrusive. It is editorial bullying, because I cannot remove it. It is marketing bullying. I have considered erasing my HubPages account because of it, to be honest. It assaults my readers with something irrelevant in that moment. It hogs the spotlight at the critical moment of connecting my readers to my articles and to HubPages. It shows little trust in the actual content that is under the video, which I take great pains to craft to high standards.
The video is intrusive and inappropriate, where it is now placed, and at its large size, hogging the entire screen, before anything that I have designed is ever visible to the readers that I refer here for a precise reason, related to rich content.
You're preaching to the choir, Robert. This topic has been exhausted in the forums. The videos and ads aren't going anywhere.
Whether or not HP/Maven is losing readers is something they won't fess up to. They say engagement has increased since implementing them. However, I tend to steer clear of sites that get in the way of my read, so I hear what you're saying.
Suffice it to say this is a battle we'll never win.
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