We've realized for a while that with our existing tools it can be very time consuming to manage links across a large portfolio of hubs. Many Hubbers have tried to handle the interconnecting of related hubs using Link and RSS capsules. That works to an extent, but we feel that relevant links to high quality, complementary resources within the text of a hub itself provide the best experience for a reader.
For that reason, we're very excited to announce the full release of HubPages Link Suggestion Tool. We think it will make it far easier to manage the links within the text of your hubs by allowing you to connect phrases in your hubs to related hubs, both your own and those by other authors, and to our topic pages.
To give it a try just navigate to one of your hubs and click the green suggest links button in the upper right hand corner. It will automatically identify some important words or phrases in your hub and highlight them in green. Clicking one of those phrases will provide you a list of related pages that you may want to link to. Clicking the green plus sign next to a suggestion will immediately add that link to your hub. The chosen phrases won't always be the ones that you want suggestions for. Fortunately, you can also select any phrase up to 6 words in the text of your hub and the tool will provide suggestions for it in the same way.
Just as with any other powerful tool, the link suggestions can easily be abused. It's very important that you carefully consider each link decision and how it may impact your readers. Having too many links or having links to poor or irrelevant resources will certainly detract from your hub. We've done our best to provide good suggestions, but you, the author, must make the final decisions.
I'd also like to address few questions that came up repeatedly in beta testing.
1. Can I add trackers to the links?
The tracker system was primarily intended to reward people that bring people into HubPages from other sites. While we don't prohibit using them within HubPages (except in the forums), we aren't inclined to make it easy to add them to links in hubs, for instance. You could go back in and edit the hub and add trackers manually if you wanted though.
2. Can I have the links open in a new window?
The issue of links opening in a new window is similar. While we allow it in some places, we don't believe it provides the best user experience in most cases -- so we choose not to encourage it (see here for some of the reasons, there are also many forum threads about it on HubPages).
While we understand that you don't want to lose a reader, if a reader clicks off they always have the option of choosing to open the link in a new window or tab using features built in to their browser. When you force links to open in a new window you take away their choice (and you break the back button). Again, you can go back in and edit the hub using the regular tools and have links open in a new window if you choose.
3. Why should I link to other peoples' hubs?
As much as we'd like to think that delivering value to readers and the altruistic nature of our community would be enough, we've also created something called HubKarma that reflects the frequency with which you link to other Hubbers' hubs. It will be a small factor in Hubber score, and it may also impact how often your hubs get suggested as links.
Does HubKarma just look at the number of links you've created using the tool, or does it also include things like using RSS feeds of related Hubs, or in links capsules?
It considers all links in your published hubs.
So if we already make a habit of including RSS capsules and links to our own & others' hubs, then using this new tool will not be necessary in order to increase our "Karma"?
In other words, doing the same thing "the old fashioned way" is just as effective? And the tool is just an easier way to find relevant hubs to link to?
I've been reworking my hubs to add these links and was surprised how much my HubKarma score went up, from 38 to 72, wow! I always open links in a new window when I'm reading hubs and I think many other people do the same, so I'm not too worried about losing my readers by adding links.
How do you have it open a new window? I've used it to link my hub to other people which I feel it will benefit the reader and the page it is now linked to but although my HubKarma score is at 100 and woohoo for me or should I say them since its taking people away from my site and my site score goes down plus the HubKrama score as I have read doesn't mean that much to the person helping other people which was my main goal but that's about the only reward I see if I am taking people to someone else hub instead of my own. That not really fair unless just a window popped up and it was worth more to the one's doing it for people that don't even know we are doing it. We don't even get a little trophy. LOL a 100 is good but I find that its working against me. It needs to have more benefits for the ones doing it since I don't want people leaving my site but that's what it is doing.
Whenever I try to suggest links for my hub the button gets little white lines through it and makes it where I cant click on anything and basically freezes the tab I'm in. Am I doing something wrong?
Hmmm...interesting - sounds like a very useful tool and I'm on my way to check it out now. Thanks for constantly working to make this place even better than it already is!
I've tried it, and I like it. There's a few questions and concerns, as you can see in the forums, regarding this tool.
Personally, I like the ease of adding links within my hubs. It was time consuming and difficult to locate relevant hubs to link to through the link icon in the text capsule.
I'm still undecided on the Karma score though. I gather it is only available to the hubber and not the readership in general. Can you explain how this score is calculated? (oh, I promise I'll keep the secret).
Thanks Paul and HP team.
What is the visibility of the hubkarmma number? Is it only visible to ourselves of signed in members or all?
I like this new feature, thanks HP team!
Linking to another hubbers hubs was something I was unsure of, except the RSS feeds for the HubMob, so having suggestions to other hubbers (that I may not even be aware of) is a nice feature.
Just another thought - can I preview the hub to link to before linking? Probably...I gotta go play, now!
Could it be possible to see the link destination by hovering over it with the pointer so that readers can make informed decissions on whether or not to click on it?
When you hover over a suggested link to a hub it should show you a preview of that hub.
I think Ohma is referring to visitors to our hubs.
When the tool is turned off it does not show a link destination which I feel would be important before I click on a link as a reader.
I am not very computer savvy but I know not to click on a link that I do not know where it leads.
One small doubt. How many links will be too many for a 400 word article? What is the optimal ratio?
I like to know as well about the optimal ratio.
I don't think there is a specific optimal ratio. It will depend a lot on the type of hub. For instance, in a poem or short story, it probably doesn't make sense create any links since they'd just distract the reader from appreciating the work of art. For a hub that is more encyclopedic or informational, it probably makes sense to add links in places where you are touching on a subject tangentially where another hub (or an external site) exists that covers it more completely. That way a reader that is especially interested in that particular aspect can follow the link and get more information.
Is historical link-count included in Karma score, or is this just going forward? Based on responses in another thread, most folks seem to have a score in the 40 range (+/- a bit), regardless of whether they make a habit of linking to others' hubs...
I'm interested in this question too. I used to regularly link to people's Hubs until discussions pointed out that I was sending people away from my own Hubs, so then I slowed down to almost never doing it.
What this does, though, is make it clear that linking to other people's Hubs is "officially" encouraged - so now people like me know for sure that it wouldn't be considered a "damaging" thing to do.
Ooh - I just tried it. Very nice, and very easy. You can pretty much see, right off the bat, which ones wouldn't apply to your Hub.
Lisa, it's not damaging for HubPages as a whole - but if you have been following the other thread, you'll see there are quite a number of highly experienced Hubbers who won't be participating (except by using RSS feeds) for the very reason you mention.
Marisa, thanks. I didn't see the other thread, so I'll look now. (I did, however, see the one about how low most people's "Karma score" is. )
As thisisoli pointed out in the other thread, there is SEO value in creating links within a hub that point to high-quality sites. That can include hubs by other hubbers.
I think the initial precaution by Paul in the OP about using this feature with some discretion was hinting at that - using it wisely will benefit you, using it "spammily" will hurt. But that was always the case.
This new tool seems to be a way to make this whole "inter-linking" thing easier.
But sadly (?) it was bundled with a new "HubKarma" score.
I think that may be what led to all the controversy - i.e. "I don't want to feel forced into linking to others' hubs in order to maintain/increase my author score"
But that's just me speculating
Yes, but if you talk to Sunforged or Darkside, they never put those links within the text of the Hub, where it might tempt the reader away. They bury them at the bottom of the Hub, where readers won't see them - because they include them not for the reader's benefit, but for Google's benefit.
I suspect that Google considers the location in the page and the context of links when deciding how much weight to give them. I also think most people would do "better" in the long run if they made satisfying the reader their top priority. Links to other quality resources right in the text often will provide the reader with a better experience (be they to your own hubs, other peoples' hubs, or to other sites).
Anyway, it's just another tool that you can choose to use or not use. I think people are getting a bit too worked up about the influence that HubKarma has on Hubber score. It's not really that significant.
I'm far from being an expert, Paul - but I'm getting a different message from Hubbers whom I respect, hence my reluctance. I do interlink my own relevant Hubs a lot.
I have to agree with Paul. When I link, I do it for the benefit of the reader.
As Marisa notes, that may not be the smartest policy for overall success. I just have to shrug my shoulders on that point.
I think Sally's Troves comments have merit too. The links are already there on the side - though frankly most computer generated links are bad choices.
If HubPages wants to reward us for links, they should do so for high quality links that the algorithm did NOT pick out.
I do go looking for appropriate and useful links but don't always find anyway. I don't mean to suggest at all that there isn't good content here, just that really relevant links are hard. You can have a superb post but it is only tangentially related to mine - neither of us may feel the link makes sense.
All that said, I will try harder to find good links.
I agree with you and I voiced my concerns in an email message to Paul on April 30.
Our scores should not be penalized for not linking to other areas of HubPages.
When I link to another Hub, I do so only after I've read the Hub and decided it has something of value to offer the reader. I don't pick that destination Hub just because it's on a similar topic, and I don't pick Hubs that are poorly written or in other ways substandard.
As for linking to topics, a reader can find the Topics button at the top of the page, not to mention that "Related Hubs" are already displayed on the right hand side of a Hub. HubPages already does a good job of offering a reader related material.
We shouldn't be penalized for not doing something that's already being done by HubPages. And we also should not be penalized for deciding that linking from one of our Hubs to another will detract from a Hub's readability.
It looks at the links in all of your published hubs.
Apparently my efforts to interlink are now rewarded as my Karma score is reported as a 68. Of course I have springboarded off the recommendations of several hubbers, including edweirdo, so thanks guys!
Paul, this is a great new tool. I have one question!
If we make a link is there a quick way to remove the link if we change our mind about keeping it?
I actually did that with my first experiment with this! Just go to "Edit" mode, highlight the link that was created, and click the broken link icon to remove the link...
Great tool! Thanks to all the other hubbers who asked clarifying questions.
ag just bought me up to speed on this. It looks very good!
natural justice has magically occurred my score is now 91 that's right 91 you heard it !
Paul - this sounds like a good idea and I will try it - as someone who is not technical but trying - linking etc can be very confusing - I will give it a go and let you know - Irish
Finally - something I can use effectively - you have no idea how someone with limited tech knowledge struggles here - this link tool is exactly what I was looking for - just experimented on one of my hubs and it is great - there is a God - I will spend many happy hours now linking up with releveant hubs Hubtastic
I tried this link suggestion option in three of my hubs. Overall an excellent idea to promote other hubs. But, I faced certain problems, after implementing the links into my hubs. Once the links were incorporated, few words in my hubs and paragraphs got misaligned with respect to the spaces between them.
e.g. "tendency to gain" became "tendencyto gain", and many more.
Weird thing was that only the paragraphs in which i applied link suggestion tool got affected. Other paragraphs of the same hub remained the same. Please advice, if anyone else has also faced the same problem.
I have also got the problem with words running together on just about every line of a text module after I select a link suggestion. I have to edit every line to separate the words.
Please fix this as correcting the text takes AGES!
Please report any problems you have with the tool in the Report a Problem forum. Please be sure to mention which of your Hubs had a problem, as well as what browser you were using, and I will try to fix it. Thanks, and sorry about that.
Interesting article on hyperlinks
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions … gle+Reader
Has anyone noticed your own hubs when you try thislooking for link suggestions? I have and see a score at the end of the link that is higher than the individual hubs score. Is this the overall hubber score instead?
This is really good because it will make it so much easier to link to relevant hubs within each hub using relevant phrases. Thanks so much.
No thanks, I don't want a karma score! I opt out!
I have sarted using it. It is a very helpful addition.It makes life easier. Thanks for adding this.
What's not to love about good karma -- of any variety?
Just today another hubber wrote a new hub in answer to my request. Although she was able to link her hub to mine, I was not able to go back and link my original hub to her new one.
Try as I might, none of the "suggested links" came up with her hub. I also tried strings of words -- her hub simply would NOT come up as a suggested link.
So my question is what should we do if we know there is a hub we WANT to link to but that hub is not coming up using the Link Suggestions tool....?
You should just add a link to their hub the old fashioned way. You know: edit the hub and enter the URL of the hub when making a link (either with the link capsule or within a text capsule).
Here is one way:
Just select/approve any suggestion at random.
Then go into edit mode for that hub and text box.
Then click the html icon at left.
Replace the suggested url and title with the ones you want.
Be sure to not accidentally alter/delete any of the other text or characters while in this mode.
Save it. Test it. You are done.
There's my super, girl!
Sure been a long time since I spoke to you
Practically another lifetime ago
But, I digress. . . my stupid question is:
must i do any of this linking and why is karma attached to your score?
im noit sure i understand all this
pardon my french
Has anyone mentioned how often this new score updates? I added several links to other hubs today and saw no change in my number. Just curious....
I think I understand the reasoning behind this new tool and its potential benefit. To me, it seems like this:
It's not only the fact that interlinking is good for all of us, including HP. It is another way to reduce spam and low quality work-- or at least to elevate it somewhat.
HubKarma is an individual incentive. Some people who write here might not be interested in writing quality content-rich articles. They might be here for other reasons. They might not be interested in doing a lot of studying, but they would be interested in a quick number that gives them some quantitative feedback. This tool makes it easier for them to provide relevant contextual links, elevating the overall impression of HP and therefore helping me.
HubKarma is a community-creator. It also makes it possible for me to create a web of interconnected links with other writers whom I trust and value. This interconnected web of links could easily exclude spammers--especially if suggested links are selected based on authorscore or hubscore.
There are several other examples I can think of. Ultimately, potentially problematic content is going to be neutralized with a minimum of labor-intensive human editing or personal strife. That, I think is the real purpose and benefit of the two most recent tools put in place: disabling of ads and interconnected links.
It looks like a good thing from where I am sitting. Spam is reduced by automatic disabling of ads (negative reinforcement) and HubKarma (positive reinforcement).
The interface to which you link to other hubs is very well done and easy to follow,
I like to do the linking but I think it definitely should pertain to your article. I think all the people writing hubs for the contest should be included as much as possible as we are writing about similar topics.
This is a great tool! I especially like the way we can review the suggested destinations (to be sure they add value to the subject) before adding the link.
I think it's funny that already on of the links I used came up broken. I saw that black symbol and thought--what stick in the mud flagged one of my hubs now? when all it was was a broken link!
I also think it's funny that it tells me to link my own hubs together--gee, thanks--lol
It IS nice to NOT have to go hunting for similar subjects in other hubs though.
it's nice to have it there in front of you.
Not that i care about my hobscore since it has very little if anything to do with actual writing ability BUT I know some folks do.
having said that, here is an observation. Since using this link thing my score has dropped from 91 to 86 in one day. Mind you, I have published a hub or two during that time AND I am talking about from a Sunday to a Monday but take this info for what it's worth!
Publishing a couple of Hubs might have led to the drop in score, because new Hubs start out at a low score. Scores fluctuate anyway, so you can never be sure that a specific action has had a specific effect.
I just tried this for the first time today, and have been going through my hubs, linking as many relevant hubs as I could.
But...in one hub, I talk about my husband and had highlighted "hubber Tom Cornett", and what did I get???
Three hubs that I'd written that had his name in them, and one by Ivorwen titled "I Want a Redneck On my Side"...
I have to admit, we had a good laugh at that last one...
Just goes to show that the tool is working AOK, I hoped you showed some HubLuv to Tom and linked to him anyway?
btw you do know it is OK to link to your own Hubs?
Paul, I noticed last night and today in both Mozilla and Safari Browsers that the link suggest tool script is dragging or not responding. I tried reloading both but still had the same issue. Just a heads up. -James.
Thank you Paul For the link suggestion tool and Hub Karma. It has really helped me with my traffic. Thank you for coming up with ways to improve our readership.
The link process is taking longer and longerthsi week; I'm on IE-8.
I use the link suggestions that fit in with my article content and purpose, and I'm finding a good many that do. When I read other hubs, I find some that contain almost as many links as other words, much of it unrelated, and it's distracting so I don't reaad the articles. Just my experience, for what it's worth.
Patti, get rid of IE - I really don't know why anyone is still using it. Firefox is much better for most things and especially for HubPages, it's free to download and doesn't take long to get used to.
I agree, I think some Hubbers are going a bit overboard with the linking tool.
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