The new layout explodes the prominence of the related hubs images down the right side of the page. This image appears before all the ads, apart from the Google adsense ad above the title. Related hubs get an absolutely free ride aboard all the articles that attract hits from search engines through all the author's hard work in meeting Google's requirements. If you write a fabulous article and get a page-one listing on Google, you will gets lots of traffic, BUT the 'related articles' will get a free flow-on effect simply by being related to your article - presumably via keyword matches in the title. This opens up a whole can of worms about how the ranking of the related hubs is determined. Sure all authors will presumably get listed as related hubs on other authors sites, but the rules and criteria are not well defined (and appear weird at times) and need to be transparent. For Hubpages admin and authors, a click to another related hub generates extra income. But the original author should be given extra rewards for attracting the original hit (less ads will be clicked). From an author's selfish perspective it would seem fair that one of their related hubs appear in the top three on the right side of the new layout.
PS Its nice to get all those extra images!
The problem is on many hubs the "related hubs" aren't even related as you may know if you've read the forum topic several of us have been posting on. But you are correct in that others will benefit from our drawing the visitors to HP to begin with. I wish for a related hubs section we can choose ourselves instead of the obviously malfunctioning system we have now. Some of the related hubs on my articles are not even close!!
I really don't care to draw visitors for those who write on different subjects other than those the searcher is looking for. Let them do their own work by getting their own readers for the topic they choose, not mine.
This is one feature that Squidoo has that HubPages doesn't. A lens author can choose up to six related lenses. If there are less than six, the site will choose the rest. Of course HubPages has a lot of neat features Squidoo doesn't have.
The problem I am alluding to is the related hubs section on many of my hubs does not contain related hubs. My latest hub about slavery has the following related hubs on it:
1-My experience at Wal Mart
2-Authentic Assessment Performance Assessment
3-Job Hunting for older workers
4-Volunteering in Venezuela
5-Real online jobs from home without investment
6-Stay at home mom or working mom?
The subject my hub is listed under is : Education and science/history and archaeology/American history Obviously, the related hubs do not come from the chosen topics and instead are from some silly tags the programmer sought to use for finding related subjects. A lose/lose situation for the writer and a win/win situation for those lucky enough to have their articles mistakenly chosen by the related hubs program.
That's why being able to choose the Squidoo lenses your lens will be sending visitors to is such neat feature -- especially if you have a niche with a lot of related lenses. You know what's in them and how they are related. If we let the automatic tag match on Squidoo choose the lucky lenses to be linked to, the results are often as bad as the ones HubPages chose for your hub. Humans will always do as well or better in choosing what to link to.
Still having the same problem here, Randy. Sad to say. I checked again not too long ago. I have tossed in the hat, so to speak. Apparently it is more of a concern to us that have noticed and given the reasons why it is a negative malfunction than to those who can correct it.
@ Randy, I have to giggle at your list of related hubs. I didn't even see my poem on slavery or my Jamaica History hub in there.
There are obvious loss of income implications. Because the first related is above the ads it is going to reduce the clicks on ads:
- people will click a related instead of an ad
- or people will never see the ads
I always understood the "related Hubs" were determined based on tag matches. That's why the related Hubs are often badly matched, as Randy says. The matching system appears to match individual words within tags as well as (or possibly instead of?) tag phrases, which produces some weird results. Also, some people use inappropriate or overly vague tags.
I think its more related to matching of keywords in titles - as well as tags and authors, as many 'related hubs' are even outside of the main category - for example some of the links on the fashion and beauty examples are outside of this category.
For example one article for Blocked Ear Remedy:
Fashion and Beauty » Ear Care >>Ear Wax Removal »
has a link to ==> No Death by Feet:
Health » Exercise and Fitness » Weight Training »
possibly because its written by the same author, but clearly unrelated!
Not sure why 'ear wax removal' is in 'fashion and beauty' anyway
Apparently the subject the hub is listed under is not very important to the related hubs program. It would seem only logical for this to be the place the related hubs would be chosen from rather than only the tags or keywords in the article.
As in my example, slavery is under education and science/history/American history. The related hubs are not even close to this subject. Who in the heck knows what tags to use which will not bring up unrelated hubs? Is it so difficult to get the hubs from the same subject? Apparently so!!
the link would appear to be "work" in the title and in your tags, and links to 'work', 'jobs', 'employment' silly!
Yep, silly indeed! I've just noticed this recently so something has apparently been changed in the related hubs program which is causing the wrong hubs to be displayed on the page. This just didn't happen on its own but it sure is a mess now for some of us, if not everyone on the site. What a clusterf**k!!
I have noticed on some of my hubs that 4 or 5 out of 6 related hubs are mine. This is because I tagged many of my hubs for RSS feeds. These are always "rmcrayne something", like rmcrayne veg recipes, rmcrayne OA RA, etc.
I looked at a few health & beauty hubs, and was a little shocked at how large the images are for related hubs. Ads definitely below the fold. I only saw 2 related hubs on the ones I looked at. Is this the case on all the hubs with the new format? If so, when my own hubs are showing as related, now I will show only 2 instead of 4-5?
There are some rules about not using nonsense tags (I think that is the term they used). I wonder if using your own user name is considered a nonsense tag.
There is a difference between using a "nonsense" word and using a unique tag or code to identify related Hubs. I use several 'unique' tags, which are meaningless, but I've never had a problem with them.
HubPages encourages us to create RSS feeds of our related Hubs and the ONLY way to do that is to create a tag which no one else is using - and by definition, that means you need to make up a word - so they can hardly be tough on them!
Just to be boring these are the rules
The standard a chosen tag must live up to is "Would someone with an interest in this tag be interested in your Hub?"—if not, do not use that tag. In particular, tagging your Hub with a lot of very general tags, such as 'travel', 'entertainment', 'food', and 'music' when your Hub is not specifically about these topics is liable to get you into trouble. Meaningless, personal, vanity, or nonsense tags are also not permitted. However, tags that are endorsed by HubPages for identifying Hubs related to contests or other special programs are permitted."
But if you use a tag based on your name I can't see how the system can object or detect this.
My tags are not based on my name. They are usually based on my keyword, sometimes shortened or sometimes with a small addition.
Its tricky because the formula is likely to change (3 versions are being looked at). Another aspect is that for fashion hubs in the new format the tags are not displayed, which means it is very hard to work out how the Pinterest book of related hubs was suggested (except when they slip out of the Fashion category). With the other categories at least you can get some idea how the related hubs was selected - they will all be gone from view soon apart from your own. Silly isn't it, the things we have to do.
No red skulls yet - here's hoping
For some of my topics where I've written several Hubs covering different aspects within the same niche, I do see other Hubs of mine as the related Hubs.
I think if you've got a cluster of topical Hubs, they are tagged well AND they perform equally strong, the system will relate them.
The Top-Right Related Hubs for your Fashion Hubs are interesting
How To Make Great Recycled Skirts ==> When All Girls were Boys (Other author)
Get Ready For The Prom! ==> School Shoes for Girls: Navy, Black, Leather, Lace up & More (Other author)
If that is the logic being used, (our related hubs performing equally strong), it would make sense that they may perform better if they are used as a related hub on our own hubs, especially the ones that are more closely related than what I'm seeing on the hubs I've browsed.
I agree with Relache. I get some of own hubs listed as 'related' and traffic flows to them also. I think the use of 'targeted' and 'specific' tags rather than broad and general, helps to refine the 'related' hubs that show up. Just a guess
I believe so. The Fashion and Beauty category is a preview of how the site will look, as far as I understand the blog. I think I read in the forum thread at the top (about the layout) that they're going to work on decreasing the size of the related hub image. I hope they will work on making the related hubs belong to the author, if the author has related hubs.
It will be interesting to see if they respond.
In the meantime, maybe the workaround is to do what rmcrayne has done. For instance, I use "tribaloz" on all my tribal Hubs, so I can create a RSS feed which includes just MY tribal belly dance Hubs. Maybe that will mean (once the whole site switches over) that I'll stand a better chance of getting the top related Hub to be mine, since it has an exactly matching tag?
I'm going to try it with my fashion and beauty Hubs and see what happens!
The other thing to try is add extra tags for keywords that appear in your related hubs - this may help you get listed on theirs, and as well as get listed as 'related' on your own hubs.
I don't know. I thought we were discouraged from using RSS feeds? I only have one hub exclusively in this category, but eventually I will write more. I moved one yesterday from travel, because it's also about fashion and beauty, but I moved it back to travel. The related hubs were way too distracting. I still have it grouped in Fashion and Beauty though and it shows up in the bottom related hubs on my one fashion/beauty hub.
I'm more concerned with the rest of my hubs once the move is across the site. Almost all of my hubs are grouped. I would hope that our related hubs will be the top related hubs on our page, or it seems we are competing with whatever the related hubs are. I'm concerned about all of the unrelated links on our page. How will that affect the page rank of our sub domains?
You just need the UNIQUE tag (s) for YOUR hubs. This will help your hubs get listed as related to your other hubs - RSS not required - I deleted all mine a while ago because of duplication issues - I now use a simple list of related links ( I use excel to find ones that match using the titles ).
This will probably only work for narrow specific niches.
We're not discouraged from using RSS feeds, we're just not allowed to use unrelated RSS feeds.
I have RSS feeds on all my dance Hubs, showing related Hubs on that specific style of dance (not on dance in general). To achieve that, I had to make up a tag which would be unique to my Hubs. I select only the short description, to avoid duplicate content issues.
In this instance, though, I'm not suggesting using RSS feeds - just suggesting you create a unique tag to add to each of your Hubs on travel, for instance, or each of your Hubs in beauty, and so on.
Didn't I read, somewhere, that we were not supposed to use especially made-up tags like this?
I may be mistaken, but I feel sure that I remember reading something on the subject, and that I deleted my own.
Can someone clarify this, please? ~ Thanks
Update - I tried creating unique tags on my beauty Hubs 3 hours ago. The result is that my Hubs are appearing sooner in the images at the end of the Hub - but they're still not getting into that top right-hand spot.
The really annoying thing is that I have three Hubs on non-surgical facelifts which are so closely related they're virtually a series, yet none of them gets that top right hand spot.
I am paranoid, but I think HP has tweaked the related hubs selector to favour high class images - otherwise why do the photos in the right hand column appear so outstanding most of the time. You may be missing out because of photo quality biases.
The blog may have hinted at this
"One thing you'll notice about this format is just how important good quality images are (photos of adequate size are what enables a Hub to be prominently featured in the sidebar and at the end of Hubs). We hope that this encourages you to work more original or legally used high quality photos and images into your Hubs! "
The selection process for the 'related hubs' is not defined and is error prone.
PS I don't think the advertisers are going to like the way their ads are pushed below the fold all the time.
Actually, janderson, that may be why Hubpages does this.
Google significantly penalizes ads above the fold.
Google say they penalise too many ads above the fold. The old layout guaranteed that the first and most important ad (apart from the adsense one above the title) was prominent - right beside the first paragraph. In the new layout it is hidden below the first related image - well down the page. The ads tend to get hidden in positions 2 and 4 down the page. If I was an advertiser I would hate it. It appears that clicks don't matter anymore - its impressions that count - but for google ads click is what generates the income. Position and prominence of the ads doesn't count anymore - really?
The whole design is focused on Pinterest - HP must think that this is the way to get traffic and so every article is a Pinterest style book of images (remember the April 1 blog).
Welcome to Hinterst or Hindinterest
Yikes. I only have a couple fashion and beauty hubs. At first I didn't notice the Pinterest-looking plethera of related hubs at the bottom. Just like Pinterest, they go on and on. How many readers are scrolling past the comments to the very end of hubs though?
More annoying was related hub #2 on one of mine. Glaring at me is a huge image that I really wanted to use on my hub, perfect it was. But guess what? "All rights reserved." Yet there it was on a related hub. Very annoying.
Why don't they make the "group" option we have, for grouping our topically related hub, the place where related hubs are taken from, too? Just a thought...
Did you notice the Group arrows on our Hubs have now totally disappeared, rendering the Group function useless?
No I didn't.
Oh well I do find them helpful for sorting my account page!
I just feel it's a bit of a cheek, flooding our Hubs with related Hubs by other people, but removing the one method we had of linking to our OWN related Hubs!
Thanks for pointing that out Marisa. I don't like the big related link on the right, because it takes away the attention from my hub. I looked at Simone's wedding dresses link, and since her ad is at the top, the related link actually drew my attention away from her hub. And all those PinInterest like hubs at the bottom again take the attention away from her hub. There is no way anyone is going to go back to find any of her links with all those photos at the bottom. It really does mean that your own hub is pretty much unimportant in the overall scheme of things. And with the group links gone, there is very little chance that anyone is going to visit another one of your hubs.
For folks that are interested, we are testing about three different related hub algorithms. We are looking at things like user engagement and seo.
With search traffic, we would like to find ways to engage a visitor. Id love to hear ideas that people have on how to do this.
This may not be helpful, but if you'll are looking for ideas I guess every bit could be used somewhere. I'd say on the top most pic use a hub from the group as that's the best match possible! Also this would be a hub from the hubber itself so it would be somewhat acceptable.
But, the pic is still too large and something would need to be done about it - not sure what though
I'm glad you're testing different algorithms. I think from comments I've read on the official forum thread that most of us are concerned with the top of the page related hubs not being our own. Because the category is so broad, there are numerous unrelated hubs now showing on our pages. Sometimes they are in direct opposition to what our hub topic concerns. The top related hub image in some cases completely overpowers the hub.
Keep that top space for related hubs by the author of the page. Therefore if they click, at least they click onto one of our pages. It may inspire hubbers to write more group related hubs.
I also think it may benefit hubbers to know more about categorizing hubs and making sure they're in the right category. If my hub is about fashion, then the related hubs should only be about fashion, etc. Otherwise, isn't there a Google penalty with unrelated links on our pages?
It makes sense to me that the more the hubs and links are related to the search queries, the longer the viewer will be interested in staying on the page.
Thanks for listening!
This is a good suggestion by Wrylitt:
or at least give the author's related (by groups) Hubs a priority before bombarding the page with too many irrelevant links.
Are links not counted as duplicate content when they appear again and again on every Hub in the same category?
ways to engage a visitor
To engage readers the content should be:
=> relevant for what most users want
=> up to date, the latest information - feeds?
=> targeted to what the audience is looking for
=> should provide simple directions (links) to various parts of the article that the user may be specifically interested in (scroll down links, or links to related hubs)
=> concise, clear and straightforward
=> Pretty pictures yes, but not overloaded - why not allow the author to populated the images on the right side of the fashion layout.
One of the problems with Hubpages is that the articles have to be long >400 words and articles longer than 1500 words are encouraged. What this means is a user that opens the article may have to wade through a lot of stuff to find the specific information they are looking for. This even applies for recipes where there is often a long preface before the recipe is provided.
My suggestion => Summary and Navigation/Links Capsule
[ note: the existing Summary which feeds into the Description tag never appears on the search results summary if it is longer than 150 characters - reverts to the first sentence]
This would be designed to be placed at the top of the article - long enough so that the first ad can be placed to the right of it (all above the fold) [15-25 lines; 80-160 words]. These first few sentences would summarize what the article is designed to do briefly, clearly and concisely. It should include a brief list of 'Show me' links to key areas in the article that different users may be interested in. It provides a navigation tool. These could be designed as scroll down links that takes the user to relevant section of the article. It could also include links to related articles.
Don't label it as a summary or 'heaven forbid' an abstract - just provide the functionality.
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Paul, I think we all understand the motive behind this, it just needs some details tweaked, specifically:
- We have lost ALL the links which encouraged readers to visit more of OUR OWN Hubs. There is no "read more Hubs by..." link any more, and we've lost our Group links too. The fact that each of our Hubs is now encouraging people to click AWAY from our own writing is the most upsetting feature of the change.
- the huge image in the top right hand corner is too intrusive. As Mike says, it seems to say to the reader, "you've found this article, but THIS ONE is better!" I feel people are more likely to click on that image than read my Hub, which will do awful things to my bounce rate. I would have no problem with it, if it was limited to two-thirds the size.
- the endless stream of Hubs at the bottom of the page is annoying because it loads forever. It needs to be limited, both to reduce load times and to ensure only the most relevant Hubs are displayed.
- there needs to be some mechanism to ensure Hubbers' own related Hubs really do have priority in that top right-hand slot. The method used now, doesn't work, and the reason is simple: it's likely there will always be another Hubber's Hub which is MORE related than mine, because I'm not likely to be writing several Hubs on the same narrow topic.
If I write several Hubs on jeans, say, I won't write two Hubs on Calvin Klein jeans. So when the algo goes off to find related Hubs, it won't choose my Hub on NYDJ jeans, it will pick someone else's competing Hub on Calvin Klein jeans instead, because that's more "closely related".
I was thinking about the personal and vanity tags. Using your own user name or one that helps you relate your own hubs seem like they would fit that description.
Well I don't know about tags, some can be pretty vague. My problem is that the first image often has nothing to do with the hub. The first image a reader will see is the top related hub. My hubs on fashion history wind up displaying an image that is not on topic - in other words, one on the history of jeans had an image of women from the middle ages. A reader is going to see that picture and go "huh?" thinking it makes no sense. So they will quickly move on. I sure would. It makes it look as if the writer doesn't know what they are talking about.
They shouldn't be! That's part of the problem with tags, HP has to rely on Hubbers to choose them wisely, and many don't. You should only use tags which describe the topic you're writing about and ignore anything not directly related.
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