Share Your Custom Illustrations With HubPages!

This month, as we share tips and advice on working custom made graphics into your Hubs, we encourage you to share cool sketches, drawings, graphs, graphics, and other illustrations you have included in your work to provide our community with some inspiration.

Here’s how to join in:

  • On Facebook: Visit our Facebook page and select the “Photo/Video” option, then upload a custom graphic you’ve created for one of your Hubs, along with a little description explaining how you made it and the Hub it is intended for
  • On Twitter: Share your photo with the hashtag #HubPagesGraphic (and feel free to mention @HubPagesDotCom)
  • On Google+: Upload a photo and description of a custom graphic you created (complete with an explanation) and be sure to tag +HubPages
  • Email photos to us directly and let us post it to our official albums on Facebook, Google+, and/or Pinterest by sending a message to Simone (dot) Smith (at) HubPages.com with the image, a link to the Hub in which it appears, and some background on how you created it.

I can’t wait to see what you have created!

A New Learning Center Guide to Google+

With our series of Learning Center entries on social media, we have already offered advice for Hubbers who seek to make the most of Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and our latest guide addresses a fourth popular social network: Google+.

Even if you do not have time (or motivation) to be an active participant on Google+ (so many social networks, so little time…), you can still reap major benefits from setting up a nice Google+ profile and connecting it with your HubPages account.

We cover tips on doing just that in The HubPages Guide to Google+, as well as:

  • Setting up a good profile
  • Claiming authorship of your Hubs
  • Proper use of +1’s
  • Utilizing circles
  • The importance of moderation
  • Tips on sharing
  • Interacting with others on Google+
  • HubPages on Google+

We hope you find it to be useful!

 

Come and Get Your Subdomain!

As many Hubbers knew, a Google search algorithm update which rolled out this spring (dubbed the Panda update) hurt just about everyone’s traffic. The problem was that the poor quality of some Hubs on the site hurt everyone’s reputation.  About a month ago, Paul posted a blog post and forum post recapping our response to the Google Panda algorithm update (which included raising site standards) and announcing our test of moving Hubber accounts to subdomains (which should allow each author to be judged by Google separately).

To test the success of moving accounts to subdomains, we ported over several accounts over with the expectation of some traffic improvement based on an earlier experiment, but with the understanding that there was some risk involved. We have concluded the test, and after 2 weeks of observing Google’s response, we saw a dramatic recovery among many accounts, validating the decision to move each Hubber’s account under his/her own subdomain. We expect that, with the move, some accounts will recover traffic, while others won’t.

Based on these positive results, we have opened up the option to move Hubber accounts over to subdomains to the entire community.  Moving to your own subdomain will comprise 2 steps:
  1. Selecting your subdomain, and
  2. Activating the move.
These are two separate steps, and can be done together or separately.  If you would like to read through a more detailed walkthrough of the subdomain shift, visit the Learning Center guide.  If you’re ready to claim your subdomain, do so now

What will your subdomain be? In most cases, it will be your username, or your username without spaces, periods, underscores, or other characters that we’ve allowed for usernames but are not possible in subdomains. For example, the subdomain for the account Paul Edmondson is pauledmondson.hubpages.com. If the subdomain most similar to your username is not available, then we’ll present another option that is also similar, or allow you to suggest a few options based closely on your username.

The Your Subdomain page will be available for about a week or so, after which we will automatically assign you a subdomain based on your username. Please use the Tool before August 10, so you can be sure your subdomain is the one you want.

One bonus benefit of this subdomain shift is that your username gets much more visibility on your Hubs, as it will appear in each Hub URL.  This means that in addition to allowing you to build an online reputation that is unique to your Hubs alone (and hopefully get more traffic), your subdomain allows you to turn your profile on HubPages into something that will more adequately showcase your personal brand.

We hope you are happy with the change and see a healthy recovery in your traffic if your account was adversely affected by the Panda update.

 

Researching Competition

Online Writing InsiderDo you want your online writing to have a shot at really doing well?  If you do, you’ll have to write the best article on your subject that’s out there- something that blows the existing competition out of the water.

In this episode of the Online Writing Insider (Researching Competition), Robin and I share how to research your competition before writing an article online.  Doing so can make a huge difference, and may also spare you from writing on a subject that has already been exhausted online.

Google’s Thomas Tran: Optimization for HubPages and AdSense

Hello Hubbers,

I’m Thomas, and I work for the AdSense team in Dublin, Ireland and today I’d like to talk to you guys about how to drive quality traffic to your Hubs so you can increase your AdSense ads click-through-rate (CTR), and earn more money. From your emails, there were a lot of questions related to getting more traffic to your Hubs as well as improving the search ranking of your posts. We’ll go over four different topics today that can help you tackle both those issues. If you’re not an AdSense user already click here to sign up! Now, lets go ahead and dive in!

1. Write authentic, non-scripted, easy-to-read and structured content.

The most important piece of advice I can give you about driving quality traffic is to write authentic, non-scripted, easy-to-read and structured content such as a guide to road tripping across America, tips on raising Nigerian drawf goats, or directions on conducting cool ice experiments with kids! Interesting content will gain recognition on its own. People want to read interesting, unique and original content, so according to the law of supply and demand, if you write that type of content, the readers will come! Hubbers, please remember this! This is GOLDEN!

The best way to apply this advice is surprisingly simple! All you need to do is write about topics that you enjoy, that you love, that you are passionate about. It could be your favorite hobby, your job, your travel, your favorite music style, how you learn to dance, cooking tips that your mom taught you.

Important: please check, double-check, even triple-check that the content of your Hubs comply with the Google AdSense Content Policies.

2. Get inspiration from Google AdWords Keyword tool and the Top Search Queries from the Google Webmaster Tools.

Try to think like a user. What kind of words or expressions will they use to look for your Hubs in Google? We have a couple of tools that can help you find topics that 1) are a bit lacking in inventory, and 2) have the highest search volumes. These tools are the Google AdWords Keyword tool and the top search queries from the Google Webmaster Tools. A lot of successful Hubbers and AdSense users have used these tools to find niche topics to write about. Go ahead and give these tools a try!

[Simone’s Note: We should clarify that only site owners have access to Webmaster Tools, but we do make some of that information available to the community from time to time in the Answers section on HubPages.com]

3. Use unique and accurate titles.

The best is to give each Hub a unique title so that Google can differentiate them from each other.

Titles should also be accurate and descriptive so that interested users know what your Hubs are about and click on them. But they should also be brief because Google will only show a portion of it in the search result if the title is longer than 60 characters including spaces.

4. Promote your Hubs internally and externally.

The web is made of countless hyperlinks. So linking your Hubs will help Google to evaluate how important your Hubs are which results in a better ranking in the search results.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that you link to your Hubs as much as possible within your own Hubs, other hubs, your sites, and other sites. 

Back to the first tip, a good Hub with authentic, non-scripted, easy-to-read and structured content be naturally promoted by other Hubs and sites!

Tip: you can see which are the sites that link to your Hubs by using the Google Webmaster Tools. For more information, please visit this page.

I hope that these tips help you write great Hubs and will bring you more AdSense revenue. I know I’ve repeated this quite a few times but I can’t stress it enough – Focus on the quality of your content first and foremost! Afterwards the revenue will follow!

 

It was a great pleasure for me to come here on this blog and tell you about how AdSense can help you earn more money. To end this post, I’d like to thank you all from the AdSense Team in Dublin, Ireland, for using AdSense!

-Thomas

 

Thomas Tran has been working at Google since fall 2008. He works mainly in AdSense newbies education, social media metrics and personalized help in the interface. He is also supporting French speaking publishers. He has been playing volleyball for years and has studied in 3 different countries (France, Canada and China).

 

Hubber Relache Shares Her Experience with the HubPages Ads Program

With the HubPages Ad Program rollout last week, there has been a lot of curiosity about how it works and what sort of impact it makes.  Though 500 Hubbers have already gotten their invites to opt in to the program, they are only just getting started.

We took some time to chat with relache – one of the Hubbers who has been signed on with the HubPages Ad Program as a beta tester since January.  Read our exchange below to get a better idea of how it has been so far for her!

First, a bit of background – how long have you been on HubPages?

My very first Hub was published in July 2006.  HubPages as a whole was still in its initial beta test phase.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

My favorite things to write about are things that are part of my daily life or life-long interests:  body art, costuming, places I travel, whatever I’ve been doing around the house.  If I’m not interested in it, I can’t really write about it.  That’s probably why I’ve never gotten going as a ghostwriter or writer-for-hire.  People only ever pitch horrible web-spam topics to me, wanting me to write for them.

Since joining in on the HubPages Ad Program as a beta tester, have you seen an increase in your earnings?

Overall I have.  Looking more up close and personal at it, everything is “bouncing” right now both from the changes that that ad program itself had on my Hubs and from the February Google algorithm changes.  I’m curious to see what happens as the ad program rolls out to more users, especially since I have a few really strong referral writers linked to my account.

Most Hubbers who have opted in to the HubPages Ad Program are just getting started.  Do you have any advice for them?

As with all things related to the Internet, you need patience.  And you need to keep in mind the panoramic-view, not the micro-view.   I saw a HUGE drop in my AdSense earnings when the HubPages Ad Program first got implemented on my Hubs (I was warned that probably would happen), and the drop from that change has been pervasive and persistent since the inception (The changes from the Feb Google stuff then happened on top of that).  I’ll figure I’ll know in six months what my new AdSense is with all the new configurations, but for anyone who just can’t handle drastic change, perhaps they should consider not opting-in to this.

I think anyone who is curious to try a new program, who wants to investigate a new revenue option, or those who just wish they could earn more from their Hubs should consider trying it.  I also think they need to take a vow to themselves to let the program run for two months and not post a daily freak-out in the forums.  Web effectiveness is best evaluated with weeks or months of data, not hours or days.

As far as making an income on HubPages in general goes, what one practice has helped you the most?

I think ignoring trends has actually been beneficial.  I eschew the whole social networking thing.  I had to laugh when the blog post came out in early February that advised site users on “the secret” to finding good Hub topics because I’ve been operating that way for over four years.  I’ve had people scoff at me when I say I try and write Hubs that I myself would want to read or use instead of chasing some hot phrase or doing SEO research, but I’m not about to change my methodology at this point.

[Thanks, relache!]

.     .     .

Aside from participating in the program, relache is also actively involved in HubMeets, and has one coming up this April in Seattle, Washington – if you live in the area, you should RSVP and join in on the fun!

Movin’ On Up: HubPages PageRank Bumps Up To A 6!

How PageRank Works (pretty simple, eh?)

I had heard rumors that Google was updating their infamous and somewhat mysterious PageRank which basically ranks every site on the web on a scale of 1-10 based upon the trust level of their content. The formula for how this is actually calculated is a type of Internet folklore and is not publicly disclosed. It’s a number that many websites take a lot of pride in and although it’s nothing to become obsessed with it’s a great indicator of your good(or bad) graces with the Internet gods over at Google.

Today as I was emailing one of our super-rad Hubbers, ProCW, he confirmed the PageRank updates and was the first to let me know that in the process HubPages had been bumped up from a PR5 to a PR6, which is really great news! Like I said, this is nothing to go completely crazy about, but it does show that Google is giving our content some extra love by bumping the trust level of our content up a notch.