Exclusive Titles to Be Retired

Howdy, Hubbers! I have a quick announcement. HubPages Exclusive Titles will be retired today. Exclusives were unique, niche titles intended to cover subjects that have not already been exhausted online. Sadly, we’ve found that these titles did not perform as well as we hoped, and they will no longer be available in the Hub Title section of the HubTool.

Why are Exclusives being retired?

  • We found that Exclusive Titles did not perform significantly better than non-Exclusive Titles
  • The restrictive nature of Exclusives made it too difficult for Hubbers to tweak and optimize their titles
  • Exclusive Titles were frequently misunderstood to be a guarantee of search traffic rather than an opportunity to write about something not covered on HubPages
  • Exclusives were not a significantly helpful tool for Hubbers in overcoming writer’s block

What does the retirement of Exclusive Titles mean for Hubbers with Exclusive Hubs?

The good news: if you’ve written Exclusive Hubs in the past, you are now free to edit their titles. You’ll no longer need to email me to request changes. Our Learning Center guide on Creating a Successful, Search-Friendly Title is a great place to start if you want to give the titles of your Exclusive Hubs a bit of TLC. For now, the “EXCLUSIVE” icon on your My Account page will remain visible to indicate which Hubs were originally Exclusives, but we intend to remove that icon in the near future.

What does the retirement of Exclusive Titles mean for Hubbers without Exclusive Hubs?

The Hub Title drop-down menu in the HubTool will soon disappear, so when you create a new Hub, you will no longer have potential titles suggested to you. But if you’ve never used Exclusive Titles or written an Exclusive Hub, the retirement of Exclusives should have very little effect on your experience.

HubPages Best Practices: Integrating Products in your Hubs

For those of you that have been on HubPages for awhile, you have seen an incredible shift in content quality and witnessed how the site has evolved.  Writing for an online audience has drastically changed over the years.  When I first started working at HubPages almost three years ago we toured around the country giving HubCamps (an amazing experience where I was able to meet in person so many wonderful Hubbers).  This program evolved into the Apprenticeship Program (another program where I got to know so many amazing people and feel honored to be a part of).  The lessons that I taught in the very beginning have slightly shifted from the lessons that we teach today, and I’m sure will evolve more as the online writing world grows.  However, while some of the fine details have changed, the overall concept of creating the best article on the web about topics that you are passionate about has remained the same.

One of the details that I’d like to talk about this week is product placement in your Hubs.  When we created the Topic Templates a few months ago, we purposefully did not include products in the Templates.  This is not because there isn’t a place for products on HubPages.  In fact, products can be a great addition to a Hub.  However, not every Hub should have a product.  We wanted Hubbers to make the conscious decision to add a product if they felt it would make their Hub better.  Here are a few tips that we have learned over the years on the best practices of placing products in your Hubs.

Quick and Dirty Tips on Integrating Products in your Hubs

  • Only include products in your Hub that your reader will find useful
  • Only include products that are directly related to your Hub
  • Instead of a long block of products at the end of your Hub or in the middle of your Hub, break up your products into multiple capsules with one product per capsule
  • Include the product directly next to where it’s mentioned in your Hub.  If you aren’t mentioning the product in your Hub, are you sure you need it?
  • If you are using Amazon, choose the exact product that you would like to showcase
  • Give your products custom descriptions and tell your readers why you are recommending the product
  • How to Hubs that require specific tools or instruments are great Hubs to add products to (but don’t forget the custom description letting your reader know why this product is the best one!)

Finally, ask yourself, “Am I including this product so my reader has a better experience on my Hub?  Will they be grateful that I included it so they don’t have to look elsewhere?”  If the answer is yes and yes, then go ahead and include the product.  Here are a few examples of Hubs that do a great job with product placement:

Preventing Deer Damage

Wheeled Backpacks at School: Top 5 Rolling Backpacks for Kids

Kitchenaid Mixer Attachments You Will Want To Own, Ice Cream Bowl and More

How to Lose Weight Running

How to Make a Rainbow: Science Project

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with Scrapbook Paper Arts and other Crafts Activities

If you have any suggestions on other topics that you’d like me to cover, feel free to send me an email.  Happy Hubbing!

Summer Improvements to HubScore and HubberScore

Over the Summer we will be rolling out a few changes to HubScore and Hubber Score that might have an effect on your scores. Fawntia, our amazing engineer at HubPages, has been working hard to make small changes to the complex calculation that is HubScore and Hubber Score. Since the inception of the Quality Assessment Process (QAP), we have been gathering a monumental amount of data on Hubs and their quality. The new HubScore and Hubber Score will continue to use this data to give more accurate scores. While there are still other factors that will affect your HubScore and Hubber Score, the best way to improve your scores is to publish high-quality Hubs.

One other change that you may notice, is that HubScore will not be shown until we have collected some quality data. In the interim, the time between when you publish your Hub and when it goes through the QAP, you will see a question mark instead of a score. Once your Hub has gone through our quality measures, your HubScore will be available.  Ta-da!  For the time being, the HubScores of your Hubs will only be visible on your Hub Statistics page. Other authors will not see them.

With the improvement of HubScore, sorting your Hubs by Hubscore on your My Account, Hub Statistics Page may be another way to prioritize those Hubs that you update and improve.  Summertime is the perfect time to do a few updates to your work (especially those holiday Hubs!); add a photo, additional relevant text, a video, or a table to help your Hubs stand above the rest of the competition!

For more information on HubScore and Hubber Score, check out our Learning Center guide. Cheers!