Is it true that links raise your hubscore and ranking in google? But does having lots of links to external pages just take readers away from my hubs?
Hubscore and Google ranking have nothing in common, really.
I think that an article with just a few quality links is both more appealing to search engines and to readers.
so, really, I could have as few as 2-3 links? Do you mostly link to yourself?
I only link to myself. If I link to someone else, I'm sending them free traffic which can turn into free clicks.
The only exceptions are high quality sites or hubs that I really feel would improve the reader's knowledge.
Most of my hubs have no outgoing links other than a news article or RSS feed below the comment box.
If you look at the Flagship Hub spec, it requires 10 outgoing links to authority sites. The HubPages team knows their stuff, so that tells me outgoing links do make a difference.
Someone pointed that out to me some time ago, and I went back and added a links capsule headed "Further Reading" to each of my Hubs, with 10 links. It did seem to improve traffic.
However, I always put the Reference section at the bottom of my Hub, after the Comments (same as the News capsule). That way, it pleases Google, and it's there for readers who are serious about the subject, but it doesn't entice people away from my Hub unnecessarily.
what's a flagship hub spec? I might try putting external links after comments. Do you use the RSS feed too?
The Flagship Hub program was a program where HubPages paid upfront for very high quality Hubs. It's no longer active but the details are here:
Knowing how experienced the HP team are, you have to think they set those standards for a reason!
That was great advice, Marisa. I just added some links to my hubs at the end, as you suggested. I was happy about it, too, because some of the information I give in the hub isn't really complete for true native plant enthusiasts. I am glad to be able to provide additional information.
fewer outgoing links ensure that you don't get considered as a spammer
This is something I've been wondering about, too. I love including other hubs in my hubs, to "spread the love," so to speak, but it didn't seem like a lot of other people were doing this, so it made me wonder if it was a good idea. The hubpages management really encourages interlinking, which is why I have done a lot of it, but I am wondering if I am foolish to do this.
I would really interested in hearing other peoples' thoughts on this issue!
If you want to link to other hubs, put contextual links in yourself with a referral tracker in each. That way, you will still benefit if someone leaves to visit them.
I read recently that its better for hubs, or all sites for that matter, to include some outgoing links. Google it seems loves links too, and rewards you for it.
This does seem to be true. I usually provide textual links to hubs, both mine and other hubs, with a tracker. I also use high quality outgoing links for reference or added info if I think it's necessary, or insert them in the text. I also use news capsules and sometimes an RSS feed, but not always. Visitors may or may not use them, but at least they're provided.
I generally put in as many solid, reference-type, links as the Hub calls for. I figure, they either back up what the Hub says, or else offer something that's different from whatever the Hub offers; but is likely to be what someone looking for authoritative information will be happy he has found.
With links to other people's Hubs, I frequently use lots of them. I just kind of think it offers readers a handy way to see what other Hubs there are on the same subject.
Maybe I'm completely stupid about this; but the way I see it, other people's Hubs don't take away from mine. If my Hub is good enough, a reader will likely stay to finish it, and then start looking for other Hubs to read. If a reader doesn't like my Hub he'll most likely be leaving close to immediately anyway. I may as well make him at least a little happier by offering him alternative to the Hub he doesn't like anyway.
Generally, I only put in those two different types of links. I don't link to other people's articles outside HubPages, and I don't even link to my own non-HubPages writing. I only trust known, solid, resources for "additional information" links; and I'm only interested in offering so much of a courtesy to readers as far offering non-authority reading goes.
Ah, but if you're seeking to make money, that's the last thing you want them to do, surely?
If you give them a matrix of interconnected, informative Hubs that answers all their questions, they're not going to click on anyone's ads!
Marisa, I see your point, but I'm thinking (maybe incorrectly) that it may make a difference what kind of Hub a Hub is? I can see how if a Hub was about something like, say, coffee mugs (how they're made, where they're made, where people can buy them, etc.), what you point out is obviously the thinking someone should have.
The Hubs I have that work best for me are more like, "getting past a bad experience" (that's not one of my titles; so I'm not self-promoting on here). Those are the ones I get the good traffic on, lots of comments, etc. My thinking is that there are the authority sites (maybe an organization aimed at supporting people who went through whatever it was) that generally give the same kind of information most other authority sites do. There's pretty much a generally accepted set of points that are made on most authority sites dealing with the subject.
Why I think these kinds of Hubs do as well as they do is that they offer people something more personal than what's on those "by-the-book" sites. People have said that - that they were "looking and looking" and "finally found this". On that kind of Hub I'll usually put what I think are the most reputable-seeming books (on Amazon) on the subject. I figure, any readers have already been to all those authority sites (which come up in a search before my Hub), or else they've ignored them (for the time-being) and come to my Hub.
So, my thinking (at least on this kind of Hub, and I have several) is that the subject makes links to authority sites important (but lots of times they've already been to "all" those links before, and didn't get the kind of info/discussion they were looking for). I know I can't "argue" with your point about links to other people's Hubs, but my thinking is that if people are willing to pay for more/better information on the subject, they'll click on the ads to the books. If they're not willing to pay, they'll stay away from the ads anyway. If they weren't really planning to go shopping, but the ad catches their eye, they'll click because the ad caught their eye.
I usually only post books that look authoritative (rather than personal experience stories), so if there are Hubs that are personal experience stories they won't be competing for attention (I don't think).
I've always kind of assumed that readers are either going to click away to read "authoritative" or click on an ad that may offer that an authoritative book. If they're looking, instead, for more Hubs that are different from "authoritative", I'm thinking that mine has already fit the bill for them, or else it hasn't. If they aren't looking for authoritative, they're going to go to someone else's Hub; because the only other alternatives I'm offering on it are authoritative; and they're going to be finished with my Hub (for one reason or another) anyway.
I'm not confident enough in my own thinking to be certain I'm not wrong; but I'm wondering if there's any "validity" to my thoughts on it (at least when it comes to this particular kind of Hub). (It doesn't necessarily have to be a "getting over an awful thing" Hub. Another kind of Hub subject I write might be something like "getting a four-year-old to read" (that type of thing). I do the same kind of link-thinking on any of those "non-authoritative/up-close-and-personal" kinds of Hubs.
Hmm, I don't think I agree with that. If you've written something that gives readers confidence, they're likely to take your advice and buy the book - but we're all conditioned to expect something for nothing on the internet, so if you refer them to other sites as well, they're more likely to delay purchase in the hope of finding something free - and once they've left your Hub, even though they found it interesting, there's no guarantee they'll find their way back to it.
It does depend how you present the additional links. For instance, you could present your Amazon ads high up on the Hub, and provide a links capsule further down, titled something like "Personal Experiences with..." to make it clear they are personal stories, not advice.
well, I've just starting looking at Google analytics, and readers only stay for 1.5 pages on average, so they're not reading much
I do much the opposite of WryLilt in this regard, but similar to the others replying here. To take it further:
I use as many in-text links as the subject calls for, generally 3-10. I do this while still in my word processor because the "suggest links" feature is quite limited, clunky and buggy.
-First choice is my own hub that pertains. I get 60% of AdSense if they go there, and I know it's high quality.
-On a par with that is a topic or an HP search (yes, the url result of the search) because I get 30% of AdSense if they go there.
-Last preference is a specific hub, though filtering through the crud to find one that's reasonable is such a time-waster, and can even be distracting. Still, I get 9-12% of AdSense if they go there.
-Finally (after last), comes an occasional reference to an off-site authority when that lends credibility that doesn't normally reside on HP.
Now here's a tip that might help some of you. After pasting the text into my capsules, I select the hyperlink icon and do 2-3 things. First, I insert my tracker so that I'll actually receive those AdSense earnings I mentioned above. Secondly, I go into the advanced settings and set it to open in a new window. That way, no matter where that link may take them or how distracted they become, my original hub is still open in its original window. Third, I will often add a tooltip if the text I am hyperlinking on is not a good indicator of what will pop up if they click it.
This brings me to an annoyance: When I am reading a hub and hover over a link, I am annoyed when I see by a url that the link is going to something entirely unrelated. For example, suppose I am reading a hub about ancient languages and hover over something like pledging-greek-frats. It's obvious why the search suggested it to the author, but the author is not being half as careful as I am.
Finally, the link, RSS and news capsules: As someone pointed out, link capsules are good down low or to the side, but be sure to go in and enter your tracker for each link. For RSS, you can enter your tracker right into the RSS query itself; I think that applies to all of the hubs that it might dieplay. I haven't figured out how to put a tracker into a news capsule, so I'm not entirely sure of Rebekah's intent there unless it pertains to keeping the page fresh and Google happy.
Yes, this is getting almost long enough for a hub, and yes I intend to write it sometime soon.
so linking to the search as your second preference gives them the option of which hub to look at
I like the idea that another window opens smaller
Yes, this gives them several hubs to choose from. There are two good reasons for this. One is that they might want to read a couple of them rather than just one. The second is that I don't have to skim them all to decide which is valuable enough to stand alone--and that saves me time without misdirecting them.
I do take pains to constrain the search as much as possible. E.g. I wanted to link on Triumph cars, so I had (in part) /search/include:hubs+triumph+tr3+-mg+-ford. If I didn't add the model TR3, I was getting 10,000 motorcycles. By omitting (+-) MGs and Fords, I eliminated a number of comparisons. At this point, I think more than 2/3 of the hubs (of whatever quality) are about Triumph cars.
Please do write a hub or (paste this post)and publish.
Ive found it very helpful,and it would be great to come back to it.
At the moment my brow is knitted into a frown,but a little light is blinking faithfully,lol.
I recently wrote a hub analyzing the 28 daily winners in the Money Grows on Hubs Contest. These were all staff picks. They looked at a variety of factors—some stated, some not stated. They didn’t specifically mention in-text links as a criterion, but the winning entries used from 0 to 15. The median was 2.5 and the average was 4.4. They used from 0 to 9 link capsules, average 1.3. Only 18% used neither. I did not count the number of links per links capsule, but the most prolific had 8 link capsules plus 13 in-text links in a 1958-word hub.
When I link to one of my own hubs, I always insert my tracker ID. I don’t know whether this has any effect or not. If I read things correctly, though, I should get 9-12% for referring the reader to any hub plus 60% once she’s there, total 69-72%.
In previous contests, they didn't specifically mention links either - but in discussions afterwards, it was stated that one of the criteria for judging was the presence of numerous references to other sites (not necessary in-text).
As I said, the Flagship Hubs require 10 outgoing links to other sites, so it's something the HP team seem to value highly.
At the same time, I think financially successful Hubbers like Darkside, Mark Knowles etc do have a point - in-text links invite readers away from your Hub, so they're best put low down in the Hub. If your readers have already got past your advertisements, you don't mind where they go!
I quit linking to Hubs because so many are being unpublished.
I had to get rid of 6 links today to Hubs that were gone, and that's become a fairly everyday thing.
How are you choosing the Hubs you link to?
The important thing with the link suggestion tool is to remember it's dumb! You have to go and read the Hubs being suggested before you link. I'd have thought you'd be experienced enough to identify a Hub that's likely to get unpublished!
I think it depends on what kind of visitors you want, and your purpose for writing. I write on certain topics of which I would want others to find helpful to the point that they trust what I'm writing and will refer it to others, or link to the hub, and will come back for more, or subscribe to my RSS. If we write quality content that motivates or inspires the reader to take action, wouldn't you want it to be the best? The average online visitor knows what they're searching for, and are not ignorant as to why those ads are on our page.
Sometimes I look at my hubs when I'm not signed in to see what the visitor sees, and I have changed a few things at times because I want the page to be inviting when they land. Maybe someone doesn't have time to read everything, but it looks helpful, so it gets bookmarked.
yes, we can. darkside has a few good hubs on the subject.
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