Phasing Out Tags and the RSS Capsule

Coco Chanel is famous for saying “When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.”

If we were an accessorized person, we would look somewhat like Mr. T. We acknowledge that simplicity can be a good thing, and though it can be very hard to let things go, we know that we must occasionally cull out unnecessary features to provide a better overall experience.

With this wisdom in mind, we have decided to remove tags and the RSS Capsule from HubPages.com.

Tags used to be very important on HubPages, but due to abuse by spammers, we developed an automated system that develops tags for Hubs automatically (which will ultimately save you time and leave Hubbers less dumbfounded when trying to determine which tags are or are not appropriate).

At this point, the only feature on HubPages that still makes use of tags is the RSS Capsule, and as this component of the HubTool has become less popular (and is also less useful than it used to be), we have decided to retire it.

We know that when we remove the RSS Capsule entirely, the formatting of some Hubs will need to be adjusted. We will therefore send you an email listing all of the Hubs you have which contain RSS Capsules, so that you can manually remove the RSS Capsules ahead of time, or check those Hubs for formatting issues after we remove the RSS Capsules automatically.

You may also view all of your Hubs containing RSS Capsules in this special section of your Statistics page.

While we have already removed tags from the Create a Hub page and the RSS Capsule from the HubTool, we will not remove RSS Capsules from Hubs until the first Monday of February (the 4th), so you have the rest of the year to make these adjustments. This should be a pretty smooth transition, and we are glad to be making room for new, more relevant and effective features. Cleaning house can be a hassle, but it must be done!

23 thoughts on “Phasing Out Tags and the RSS Capsule

  1. Very disappointed that RSS is to be RS Kaput!
    I use them extensively – external ones to provide authority for my pages – this has helped to get traffic. Looks like they stay till Feb. Who knows what will happen then. Have you done any testing on the benefit of external RSS? Seemed to work for me. Just when my traffic had started to increase I expect it will now decline. Sad!

  2. Interestingly, couple of hours ago I was watching HubPages tutorials on YouTube, I have never used RSS Capsule and wanted to learn how to use it. Thanks god this blog post was published before I could add RSS.

  3. Glad to see tags going, since they’ve been the source of so much confusion recently. It’s good to see the removal being done in a structured way which makes it easier for Hubbers to revise their portfolio painlessly.

  4. Hi…just to let you know …. you have a typ-o in the fourth paragraph
    “Tags and used to be very important on HubPages, but due to abuse by spammers,…..” on your blog page
    “Phasing Out the RSS Capsule”

  5. I am in major disagreement with this decision. How do you figure RSS feeds are not useful? I use them very successfully to cross promote my blog/sites with my hubs and I am very disappointed. You are going to keep seeing your better writers leaving in droves – apparently you don’t care.

  6. It’s sometimes painful as we age to likewise witness ‘old friends’ as they become ‘useless’, no longer needed and fade slowly into obscurity. Oh, life will go on and after awhile all will be forgotten, it’s just sad in a way and a reminder also that nothing or no one remains the same or constant forever; and that it is with change and new birth that there comes freshness and life with a season of new opportunity — howbeit with a brief hesitancy and wonderment that asks, was all this new progression actually required or needed at all…

  7. See Karen Karbo’s The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, which reports the quote as follows: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” This is a corollary to another quote of Chanel’s: “Less is always more.” As a new hubber, I am happy to have “less” here to deal with.

  8. After Feb 4th, if I edit a hub whose tags were created by me, what will happen to those tags after I hit the “done editing” button? Will the tags created by me be erased and replaced with HP auto-generated tags, or will my self-selected tags be grandfathered in?

  9. Well, I have videos which I have put up, however, without tags they are basically getting no hits, so most likely after a further trial period of Hub Traffic to my site till the end of january 2013, I will be deleting my account.

  10. Also, thanks everyone for your feedback!

    To those who are unhappy to see the RSS Capsule go, I apologize for the inconvenience, and ensure that this was no easy decision for us to make.

    • Traffic from Google isn’t just based tags, in fact, tags play a pretty small role.

      Right now, there is no way to see the tags that have been assigned to your Hubs, I’m afraid. My best advice at this point is to encourage you not to worry about tags and focus on the content of your Hubs. 🙂

  11. Many of us have been working on hubs with a mission in mind: Humanity One World. We have been using it as a tag and adding the RSS to our hubs to make it easier for people to find all the H.O.W. hubs. What can we use to replace this?

    • Thanks for bringing that up, Alexandra!
      Hopefully, our internal algorithms will see that those Hubs are related and display them in the “Discover More Hubs” section. You can also display hand picked ones in Links Capsules. I’m afraid we won’t be able to do anything beyond that, though. I apologize for the inconvenience!

  12. the first ideal of any respectful and forward thinking software company is that updates should be backwards compatible — ie, when new feaTURES ADDED, IT SHOULDNT BREAK OLDER PROGRAMS THAT RELIED ON THOSE FEATURES.

    if tags and RSS are removed, all the work we’ve done over the past years – MOSTLY ON THE ADVICE OF HP ITSELF — will break our external websites and have to somehow be redone.

    eg, on my website, i use RSS feeds to point readers to my latest hubpages on similar topics. now, npot only do i have to edit & test [sdomething HP doesnt always bother to do!], but i’ll have to continue to edot those every time i add a new hub

    given that traffic on HP has only been decling, and earnings even more so, the point’s rapidly appraoching to say ‘why bother’ and look for another service entirely

  13. One thing you have not done is explain WHY there is a need to pension off the RSS feed.
    You say that the decision was ‘certainly not made lightly’, but have not given any reasoning for the decision.
    Perhaps if you lay out the reasons for the decision, those of us who have now received the list of hubs affected (in my case around 150, plus several websites where they are incorporated) will be less aggrieved by the decision.
    Or is it just another case of ‘gotta change something and we do not care how it affects anyone’?

    • Hi Humagaia!
      Our reasoning is that the RSS feed is built on a feature (tags) that was no longer properly used and had become outdated. RSS Capsules were seldom used on the site and often abused. Hope that provides more background!

  14. I think it’s sad that the RSS feed is going for those of us who made proper use of them, such as the way I used it to inform people of the newest viruses in my article to remove a computer virus manually. Maybe instead of getting rid of it, put limitations of some sort, so that those who use them to inform people can continue to do so.

    • We’re sorry about that, HowToComputer. We know it’s an inconvenient change for some Hubbers. This was not an easy decision, but this move was what turned out to be best for the community on the whole.

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