Today we will be implementing four enhancements to HubPages that we hope will have a positive effect on our community and readers: a new HubPages Style Guide with in-line tips displayed in the HubTool, a more streamlined HubTool, a revised Hubber Score that is more reflective of quality, and a change to how profile links work in comments.

HubPages Style Guide and Style Tips

We are excited to introduce our HubPages Style Guide as well as specific Style Tips in the HubTool.  Our Style Guide Learning Center entry breaks down the different components of online writing and best practices, e.g., proper title case in titles and subtitles, appropriate use of Amazon and eBay Capsules, etc.  In addition to the Learning Center entry, we will be showing tips that are specific to your Hub in the top right corner of the HubTool.  We hope that you find these tips useful!

HubTool Improvements

To streamline the HubTool, we have implemented a collapsable option for each section in the right toolbar.   Going forward, your toolbar will be organized under the following headings:   Needs Some Goals, Add Content Capsules, Display Options, and Organize your Content.  To view the content under each heading, simply click the arrow.  One addition to the Display Options section is the ability to add copyright information to the bottom of your Hub.  Since one of our Style Tips suggests removing custom copyright notices, we felt we should offer our Hubbers that want to include this information with a HubPages-approved copyright notice.

Here’s a view of the old HubTool right toolbar.
Each section in the sidebar is collapsable. A much cleaner look! 

Hubber Score Improvements

Our new enhanced Hubber Score substantially reflects the data we have on the quality of Hubs and the intent of the writer.  One significant change is the threshold for the following of links; only Hubbers with high Hubber Scores will have their outbound links followed.  Whether a link is followed or no followed doesn’t affect the reader’s experience, but a stricter policy on link following is an effective deterrent to spammers.  We hope this encourages our writers to only include links in their Hubs that are relevant and useful to readers.

Comment Links

We have found that Hubs with many comments were crossing Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for the number of links in a page.  To address this issue, we changed the way that signed-out readers view profile links in comments: usernames are no longer hyperlinked.  This change will reduce the number of links in Hubs and keep us within Google’s guidelines.

Ultimately, our goal is to continue to improve the site and provide our Hubbers with the best tools to create high-quality content.  Thanks for being the best writing community on the web!

Posted by:Robin Edmondson

23 replies on “Summer Product Improvements: There’s a lot going on at HubPages HQ!

  1. Sounds fantastic. I look forward to any roll out that will ultimately enhance the quality of this site. I’m especially happy to hear that these enhancements will improve our hubber experience. Thank you.

  2. Hiding the copyright notice in tiny little grey letters right down at the very END of the article is hardly a deterrent!. Like the tiny author name at the top it seems to be part of a HP policy to hide recognition of authors.

    1. Hi John,

      We’ve found that Hubs with copyright notices (even very prominent ones) are not stolen less often than Hubs without them, so they are not generally effective as a deterrent anyway, and are not standard practice in online writing. But a standardized copyright notice that does not appear in a text capsule is much more professional-looking (and does not cause issues with the Hub’s keywords the way a Text Capsule copyright notice does). Since we’re actively discouraging Text Capsule copyright notices in the Style Tips, we wanted to compromise and provide Hubbers with an alternative.

  3. I’m glad to see these changes. I knew you guys were still hard at work, always trying to improve our experience here at HubPages. It may be a roller coaster ride here sometimes, but it is still, by far, the best writing site there is. Someday, Google will realize this and all the good writers here will be rewarded with the views they deserve.
    Keep up the good work, I appreciate all your efforts!

  4. The Style Guidelines were really helpful yesterday as I edited two Hubs and needed some suggestions. Views on those two Hubs rose in just a few hours after editing. I am happy to use the good ideas that work. Thank you!

  5. Great info. I really appreciate all your hard work. I have a question though. You say it’s better to use a link as a anchor link in the body of the work rather then as a capsule. I thought it was better to keep the reader on the page and then use the links for the bottom so they finish the article before they leave. If you could explain why it’s better in the body of work I’d really appreciate it!

    1. Hi Sheryl,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay in responding! I believe Robin meant that it’s better to use an anchor link than a large block of links (but not instead of using the Link Capsule to display 1 or 2 relevant links with good custom descriptions). The Link Capsule is still a very useful feature, but it can look quite messy with many links included. Basically, whether you’re using anchor links OR the link capsule, your links should be few and well-spaced out in the text, not grouped together at the bottom or elsewhere. Hope that clears things up! 🙂

    1. Nope, they haven’t been discontinued! We’ve just been so busy with a ton of projects this summer (like the ones listed in this post) that we’ve had to temporarily put the Hubbies on hold. 😦

  6. Dear Editors,
    It has been a difficult road for me during my stay on Hubpages. I was a caregiver for my mother. It was extremely difficult working two, sometimes three jobs, and caring for her, and my special needs daughter. I needed to make more money to pay for medical, and monthly bills. I was often asked when did I sleep. 🙂 My mother passed away four months ago, and it’s still difficult to make ends meet. Now I have to see how much time I have to give toward writing articles. I need your help in being successful. Thank you all.
    Ms. Chesser

  7. Re new hubberscore formula. I see that the threshold for having “do follow” links is now 85. A hubber with a score of 80 mentioned on the forum that the “no follow” attribute was being applied even to his links to other hubpages articles. I get why you would no follow external links to discourage spammers from signing up, but why are you also no following internal links?

    I looked at the page source of a few of his articles and his links to his other hubpages articles did indeed have the no follow attribute, so it’s not a case of someone misinterpreting information. The no follow attribute is there as plain as day on an internal link you can see for yourself. I think you should amend this policy to exempt internal links from the no follow punishment

  8. For the no follow links does this mean the overall hubber score has to be 85 or higher or does this apply to the score for each and every individual hub?

    I am enjoying the style guidelines. Thank you for making those changes. It makes them much easier to edit.

    1. Thanks, Peggy! Hubbers with a Hubber Score that is lower than 85 will have nofollow links on all their Hubs. Individual Hubs with a HubScore below 40 will also have nofollow links on that particular Hub, even if the person’s Hubber Score is 85 or higher. So, you need a Hubber Score of 85+ AND HubScores of 40+ for followed links on your Hubs.

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