Happy New Year to all HubPages writers, and I wish you all much success in 2023. In many ways, I expect 2023 to be a better year for writing on HubPages' niche sites. And I'll give you several reasons why I think so:
It's only my opinion, and please don't shoot the messenger (LOL), but I think eliminating the individual bios is an improvement. Many people have not used it properly anyway.
For example, I saw many articles with bios that didn't relate to the content. I also saw some writers using the same bio on all their content without making them match the subject of their individual articles.
In addition, I examined all my bios under the "author bio" page (which I'm sure will be removed soon) with fresh eyes for their need. And I noticed they didn't really add value to my articles.
Sure, they added credibility, but not value for the content itself. I realized my articles were just as good without them. The reason for that is that readers want to get into the content suggested by the title quickly. The bio, in many cases, was only a distraction.
Another improvement is the elimination of the video at the top of the niche sites. That took up much of the page real estate and remained as one tried to read through the article.
One last thing I noticed. It has to do with all those ads. I recently researched my competition of articles that weren't doing well. I found some that ranked higher than mine in the SERPs. That was a clue as to why mine weren't getting decent views from Google.
Interestingly, when I tried to read those articles that ranked better than mine, they were often filled with ads worse than what the Arena Group is doing with our articles. Yet, they ranked better.
Their ads were interfering with the ability to read. I know we have that problem too, which still needs the staff's attention to improve. But my point is that if my competitors' platforms are doing the same with ads, and in an even more painful way, then we might be overlooking something when we complain about all those ads in our articles.
Having said all that, I see why 2023 will bring joy and success to those who are patient and who trust HubPages. So let's all join together in celebration of the new year and look forward to much success with HubPages and The Arena Group in 2023.
Hopefully you're right Glenn, all we can do is be optimistic.
Were those articles using ads by Google Ads, which Hubpages seems to be solely using? (All ads show a Googleadservices URL) I've enquired (inquired?) of them how they autoplace ads, because I'm still curious about that and how they split up text capsules. Does the code just insert them regularly after so many lines and anywhere it finds a new line? Also if those articles use ads other than those provided by Googleadservices, could they be served faster maybe, decreasing page load time?
Happy New Year to you too!
Hi Eugene, I'll try to answer all your questions. When I attended Maven's conference four years ago, they taught us about the method used for ads. They use Header Bidding. That is a method of selling ad space on our articles to the highest bidder, thereby leading to increased revenue (hopefully).
The ads are not only Google Adsense. At that conference, they talked about "Say Media," which is another firm responsible for placing ads. If that has changed, a staff member may want to chime in with an update.
I use Google Ads on my author site and have the chance to experiment with the various tools they provide. One is the "In-page ads" that I can turn on or off in my AdSense settings.
I can place ads where I want by including their HTML code wherever I want an ad to appear. But when I enable In-page ads, then Google does it automatically. And in that case, they place it randomly–sometimes in weird places.
As far as I can tell, TAG is using the same method. I recognize it because the ad placement on our hubs is just as poorly chosen as when I enable in-page ads on my site.
To your other question about how ads are split: TAG does not recognize capsules. When Maven took over, and all our hubs had to be changed for Maven's platform, I examined the HTML and noticed that references to capsules had been eliminated.
That is why any Table of Contents with links became broken. A few Hubbers had made such TOCs. I had to remove them when Maven took over since they no longer worked.
I hope I have answered all your questions.
Say Media as I understand it is a TAG company. Images seem to be hosted by them if you check the URL of an image opened in a new tab.
I know that capsules are only something that are part of the Hubpages editor and all text modules presumably just get lumped together, with styling of paragraphs as specified by the HTML, but I guess the placement code looks for a new line when placing ads? Is there any way of changing this by specifying a different delimiter instead of CR and LF? If that was possible or Google could implement it, then delimiters could be added at the end of capsules to anchor the ads.
Eugene, Yes, I remember them mentioning at the conference that they purchased Say Media. Well, that was Maven. But TAG is the same company with a name change. I know that because I had Maven stock, and my shares were converted to The Arena Group. (Symbol AREN).
You're also correct that images are hosted on their platform. Our entire content is. We still create and edit out hubs on HubPages' platform. Then they get copied to TAG. That can happen in seconds and sometimes in minutes or more.
TAG's platform is so different, which is why we had such a huge issue when our hubs began to be hosted on their platform. Some things still were never fixed. For example, indented text renders the same as callout quotes. The quiz capsule broke. Linking within hubs broke. They just dropped the ball at some point.
As for your other questions:
The placement of ads is done just as you mentioned. They can appear anywhere between new lines. The only exception is that soft returns do not qualify as new lines.
So to answer your question, if you separate paragraphs with two soft returns, the ad will never be placed in that spot.
To enter a soft return between paragraphs, hold the Shift key and press Return. That's how you do it on a Mac, anyway.
To your last point, delimiters can not be added at the end of capsules because the HTML code does not have any indicator of capsules when our hubs are rendered on TAG. Capsules are meaningless there. They are just used in the creation of hubs in the HubTool.
Yes, I discovered a couple of years ago that those soft returns work for pushing ads out of text capsules. Unfortunately they don't work for bulleted and numbered lists, but I've noticed that lists no longer seem to be split up by ads, so maybe Google have fixed that at their end?
Couldn't we add delimeters or CTRL codes for them using the HTML editor that's accessible when we're editing a text capsule? Just place them before the final </p> paragraph tag? The editor only allows a few tags, but maybe that could be changed.
Yes, I was aware of that too that bullets used hard returns and therefore ads could appear between bullets. I didn’t know they fixed that. If by lists you mean bullet lists, then it might have been fixed from either end. Either Google realized it was not reader-friendly, or TAG could have simply changed the code to use soft-returns between bullet points. I haven’t checked the code to see which is the case. Or, did I misunderstand you, in which case—what did you mean by “lists?”
Yes, bullet lists and numbered lists. I haven't seen any ads inserted between list entries, but that's not to say it doesn't happen. I would need to check multiple articles and maybe refresh them or as you say, check the code.
I just checked my TurboTax hub where I have many lists (both numbered and bullets), and none of them have ads between the list items. But of course that’s inconclusive since it’s only one that I checked.
Interestingly, all my lists have an ad immediately after them, but that’s okay.
Interesting info. I was wondering why the ad placements seem wonky sometimes. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!
Glenn, happy new year to you too and thanks for highlighting your reasons to be cheerful for 2023 writing on HP. I share your optimism - that's why I continue to add fresh articles - but hope the HP team can do some serious research into falling figures and earnings and attempt to turn the boat round. Not an easy job in the online writing business.
Two important points to note:
I'd love HP/Arena to communicate openly with the writers when it comes to earnings.
I'd also like some idea about the ratio of newcomer writers to veterans to those leaving or not adding fresh material? We need new blood input as much as we hold dear those long-term contributors who help keep the site earning money, afloat.
2023? What's up next I wonder?
My goal is to bring my royalties back to where they were years ago when things were better in the writing world. LOL.
As for HP/Arena communicating openly about earnings, I just posted about that above. See my reply to Linda (AliciaC). I confirmed the 40/60 ratio as far as Amazon is concerned. But you're right. I have yet to see staff confirm it concerning the HP Ad Program.
In reference to your last question, we now have 35,177 active Hubbers, an increase of over 1,600 published authors since a year ago. And 14,000 more articles have been published on HubPages/TAG.
Happy new year to you too.
I have been a patient writer for Hubpages for over 12 years, and I won't be giving up on them. During the years I ended up unemployed, I was earning a monthly income from Hubpages. And an increased income when I get a job.
Secondly, it's through Hubpages I have earned a writing voice, an expert on certain subjects, and well, a somehow reputed name among readers. For instance, among the stats provided by Hubpages, some individuals were searching my names (a combination of real and made-up names) to get to my articles.
Thirdly, I have improved so much on my writing, and in the use of English since it's my third language that I have learned since kindergarten.
Fourthly, I have seen an increase in the view of some my articles, mostly educational articles as schools are reopening next week. Only one article of mine that's receiving 800 views a day was dealt a blow by Google's algorithm updates in December 2022.
Lastly, I never wrote anything on individual hubs. I'm terrible when it comes to writing a profile. So, a Hubpages staff jumped in and wrote an author bio on my behalf. And well, I used that provided author bio for my all articles and it's generic.
One more. I have met and made friends with Hubpages forum hubbers. So, another reason to stick on. And I owe the staff a big thanks. I will never forget the editor who worked on an article of mine by editing and adding to it. That article is my primary earner. Big thanks to her.
Happy new year Glenn. And thank you for lifting my spirits regarding what to expect in 2023.
Keeping fingers, toes? And all limbs crossed.
Thanks Glenn...Happy New Year!
I do feel hopeful that this year will bring success to Hubbers.
Those changes seem to be in the right direction and hopefully more will come.
Lets celebrate this New Year of 2023 together Hubbers.
I hope you're right in saying that things will improve in 2023. I'm reserving judgement about a "great" improvement or having "much success," however. These outcomes depend on the amount of income from our articles that The Arena Group chooses to share with us.
I agree with that, Linda, Feeling good about it depends on our income. To your last point, however, they have not changed what they share with us. I researched the breakdown with my Amazon sales, and it's still 60% to us and 40% to HubPages. That's as it has always been. I can only assume it's the same ratio with HubPages' Ad Program.
I can't find any reference to the percentage of money that we earn from our articles in the Help section of this site. If you find it, I would appreciate knowing about it. By the way, I forgot to say Happy New Year to you!
I looked for that a few months ago when someone mentioned that they had removed it. I don't know if it ever was there in the Learning Center, but I couldn't find it when I looked.
Nevertheless, as I mentioned earlier, I examined the breakdown with my Amazon sales, and it still is 60/40 in our favor. So it's only the HubPages Ad Program earnings that are unclear, and I have no way to examine that.
It was in the learning centre or TOS because as far as I recall, I checked an old version on the Wayback machine.
Edit: This from 2015 was when our ID was used on 60% of the impressions.
https://web.archive.org/web/20150331092 … _agreement
Then later that was changed so that we got 60% of the view share. This is from 2017. 60% is used for Amazon, Adsense and the Hubpages Ad Program.
60% of total revenue isn't mentioned anywhere though.
https://web.archive.org/web/20170302081 … _agreement
They removed that because it was no longer accurate. But for some reason they overlooked adding the correct explanation.
As you said, the old method was to include our ID on 60% of the ads. The problem with that was that if we had an big sale on Amazon and it happened to fall on the 40% when HubPages gets paid, then we lose out on that big sale.
The new method is more fair since we now get 60% of all ads and sales on our hubs. That is, our ID appears on all ads in our hubs and we get 60% of that revenue. As I mentioned earlier, I checked my earnings from Amazon and it was accurately 60%.
Happy New Year Glenn.
I am optimistic that this will be a very good year at HubPages and elsewhere.
All the best to you.
Thank you for your optimism, Glenn. What we have most control over at this point is our hope for a better year. I appreciate your observations and outlook for 2023. I like your idea about trying to look at other reasons for our problems instead of focusing on ads. I recall someone in another forum (maybe Paul Goodman) saying that the articles highest in the SERPS are text only, not a lot of images. We at HP love to add a good image to tell a story, which is what we have been encouraged to do all these years. Time for some changes. Happy New Year and blessings for success.
"I recall someone in another forum (maybe Paul Goodman) saying that the articles highest in the SERPS are text only, not a lot of images."
My view is that breaking up the text with relevant images and videos is a good thing to do. I don't see it as harmful to SEO, if anything, it's helpful.
I did make a comment about the way that HP was going (removing the intro vid, on-page author bios, and suggested related articles) we'd end up left with just text and ads. However, that comment was intended purely as a joke. I don't know if that's caused confusion...
It's likely a thing good that HP are stripping back some features to help the page load faster, but I think we still need images and vids, etc.
Thanks for clarification, Paul. I think it was Eugene.
I think big blocks of text puts readers off and people like relevant visuals. That said, I don't think that writers should overdo the number of images and videos that they add either. It's about finding a balance.
I used to use other features more (e.g. quizzes) but nowadays I almost always just use text, images, and videos. Maybe I include a table, too, depending on the article.
I pretty much never use Amazon capsules, even if it's a review. If there's an Amazon product, I use a text link.
Hey Paul, on the subject of using other capsules you mentioned, a month ago, an editor requested that I add more media-related capsules to a new hub, such as polls and more images. I did that, and that went well with them quickly moving it to a niche site.
But yesterday, I had a mesmerizing experience with another new hub I just posted. I put four polls in it, and an editor snipped three of them.
I received one of those "canned" emails saying, "Your article was edited so that it is in compliance with our Network Site standards." But I wish the editors would put effort into being clear about the reason for their edits. I saw nothing about using ONLY ONE POLL CAPSULE in the Learning Center. So that remains a mystery.
I would email HP and ask for clarification.
I actually get much fuller explanations from editors regarding what they've done and why nowadays, so I am happier and less confused than I used to be. I like to be on the same page.
I used to put in capsules like polls, but then I decided they were archaic. I came to associate them with HP's early days when it seemed keener on incorporating elements of social media.
However, recently I've been spending more time on Twitter. Polls are common there and they're growing on me again! I might start including them in articles again. I normally just have one near the end.
I did email one of the staff members asking if there is a rule I was not aware of that we are limited to only using one poll capsule. I'm awaiting a response to that question.
It's a reasonable question.
What bugs me is when I spend many hours constructing an article and then they proceed to drastically snip and edit it. There is less time wasted and less frustration if I know the guidelines and rules that we're all operating under in advance.
That said, I can also understand that it's difficult to make rules for every specific situation and it's inevitable that there are circumstances where some subjectivity is involved. Also, the internet is constantly evolving and they have to react to changes with Google.
But still, the more info, the better.
Few months ago, it seems they was a news letter about usng 'poll' at the end or toward the end of an article. So in my recent read yet to be publish, I put in 3 polls. Should I add one more?
Should I add a poll to my article?
1. Yes, that sounds like a great idea!
2. No, that would be a really bad move!
3. None of the above.
Click here to see the results.
Ha ha. That’s incredibly similar to what has been happening with me. Because an editor actually requested that I add a poll to a previous article I published in December. Then another editor snipped them in my latest article when I used more than one.
I got your joke, by the way. Love your poll.
It will be interesting to see if they snip your polls too. Or maybe it was just that one anonymous editor that decided to only allow one poll. I’ll let you know if I ever get an answer.
I have mentioned that several times and often guides don't show any, or maybe just a couple of photos or simple diagrams. For instance the guide I wrote to wiring a plug is still a few places down from the top, whereas the one produced by our national electric network company gets top place, even though it has no photos, simply because it has authority in Google's eyes I guess, or lots of backlinks. The other thing is that what I might consider added helpful content, Google may think is packing fluff.
How about if HP/Arena offer the writer two choices when about to publish:
Full ad compliment including 35 Recommended For You (featured below the article)
Full ad compliment excluding 35 Recommended For You.
Personally I find the Recommended For You ads a waste of space. Hell knows what Google makes of them.
At the very least the HP team could be researching into the effects of RFY ads on traffic and status.
Yes, I recall you mentioning the issue with images. Thanks.
I notice time on page fell for my articles since the video was removed. Maybe that was because readers were no longer watching the video or alternatively, before it was removed, they were just waiting until it was finished and out of view before continuing reading.
Thanks for your kind words about my post, Jan. I agree that it's helpful adding good images that relate well with the story.
It's possible that articles without images rank higher because they load faster. I haven't done any research on that, but I try to control load speed as much as possible by reducing the size of my images.
I still keep them over 900 pixels wide and sometimes more. But I reduce their size without losing quality so they don't become pixelated. I do that with an app called Resize-It, which is available on Apple's App Store.
Happy New Year Glenn! I agree with you on all your points.
A lot of people are angry about the ads, but I remain unconvinced that that's what's screwing with the SEO.
I wish I could be more optimistic about the site generally. I feel that they're moving in the right direction by doing things to speed up the page loading.
HP seemed to be completely blindsided by the Google updates and now they're playing catch-up. It's frustrating that we've had 18 months of decline.
There've been several points where I've thought: well, at least things can't get any worse. And then they did!
Thanks Paul. Happy New Year to you too. I'm unconvinced about that too, especially when I see articles on other platforms across the Internet doing the same thing with ads all over the place and ranking higher than mine.
The entire online writing scene is getting more and more professional and less and less casual. There's more intense competition, Google is making even greater demands, and in the shadows, AI is trying to muscle in on the action.
I certainly hope that HP can survive and thrive. These past 18 months have been awful. I want to share your optimism, but my hopes have been badly bruised.
Right you are, Paul! That entire AI situation is extremely disturbing. It could completely destroy our business as authors. I hope Google is working on an algorithm to detect AI written content and not index it. I would imagine they are, since it would be to their best interest too.
Happy New Year Glenn. I hope that you are correct in your assessment. We can all use good news in this new year.
A very happy new year Glenn.You have made valid points here and Let us hope that all of us have a great 2023 as writers.
Happy New Year, Glenn. I likewise expecj 2023 to be great to us writers. But the bottomline i4 that we can't control these ads questions. It's in the hands of hubpages/TAG.
Well, yeah, that's true, Miebakagh. But we can always share our opinion so they have input on the subject.
Thank you Glenn. Wishing you a Happy New Year 2023 too! May we all prosper and be successful. All the best to all Hubpages writers. :-)
by Vanita Thakkar 10 months ago
Best wishes for a Very Happy New Year - 2023 to All !!
by Andrew Spacey 10 months ago
1. Change ad placements so they don't interrupt the text. Place ads to one or either side of the text.2. Get rid of Recommended For You ads currently at the bottom of articles. They are undermining the whole site.3. Encourage more transparent dialogue between writers and the HP team. Exchange of...
by nightwork4 12 years ago
i just want to wish everyone a merry christmas .i hope everyone has a great time .
by Eugene Brennan 4 months ago
This doesn't make sense. My article "Gardening for Beginners: 10 Easy Steps to Sowing Seeds which currently ranks in fourth place (despite all the deranking) for "How to Sow Seeds" has had its title changed to "How to Sow Seeds( Plus A Definition)". I'll change it back when...
by Eugene Brennan 7 weeks ago
Some of my articles have pages and pages of comments. That in addition to the two pages or so of "Recommended for You" clickbait ads means that it's unlikely that readers would ever see the recommended articles, listed at the bottom. Is there any way these could be suggested elsewhere,...
by Paul Goodman 37 hours ago
Despite being bad overall, the damage to the niches by the various Google algorithm updates over the past two years has been uneven.While Pethelpful has suffered relatively less, Dengarden seems to have taken a huge hit. I've attached a graph of traffic from SEMRush as an illustration of how bad...
Copyright © 2023 The Arena Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers on this website. HubPages® is a registered trademark of The Arena Platform, Inc. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. The Arena Media Brands, LLC and respective content providers to this website may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|