Topics and the Importance of Proper Hub Categorization

With our ongoing Topic Expansion Initiative, new Topics are constantly being created to address specific niche subjects in overcrowded categories. With the creation of new Topics, it’s more important than ever that Hubs be correctly categorized. Here’s why:

Topic pages are visible to search engines and show up in search results just like individual featured Hubs. Basically, Topic pages are a second opportunity to boost your Hub traffic. By ensuring that your Hubs are published in the most appropriate Topic, you are:

  • Providing a user-friendly experience
  • Making your Hubs easier to find
  • Boosting engagement with your content
  • More accurately addressing the needs of niche searches
  • Ensuring that related Hubs that show up on that Hub are more likely to actually be related

What’s more, if you publish a Hub in a very specific leaf-level page that does not have many other Hubs, you will also have better odds of getting your Hub featured on the first ‘page’ of that Topic Page, which leads to more exposure and readers.

How can I categorize my Hubs as accurately as possible?

You can easily ensure that your Hubs are under the best possible Topic by taking a few moments to review the Hub Topic suggestions in the Hub Tool when you create a new Hub. If none of the Topic suggestions make sense, you can manually select the Topic you think is the better fit or run some searches using related keywords to see if the best-fitting Topic uses a different set of words than those used in your Hub’s title.

Why are the suggestions sometimes wrong?

Our Hub Topic suggestions are created using keywords, which means the suggestions are sometimes inaccurate (occasionally wildly so). For example, if I want to create a skateboarding Hub entitled “How to Do a San Francisco Flip,” our “Search” function for Topic suggestions has no way of knowing that “San Francisco Flip” is the title of a skateboarding move. None of the suggested Topics that show up involve skateboarding.

If I publish my Hub under the suggested Travel and Restaurant Topics, people searching for and viewing those Topic pages are unlikely to read my Hub, since they want to read about San Francisco restaurants and attractions, not skateboarding. But by taking a moment to manually categorize my Hub under the Skateboarding Topic or typing “skateboard” or “skateboarding” into the search box to look for better matches, I am ensuring that users who are looking for skateboarding Hubs will find mine easily:

Does categorization really matter that much?

Yes. You may have written the best carburetor installation Hub of all time, but if it’s categorized under Wire Wrap Jewelry, you’re losing all the readers who land on the Fuel System Topic page looking for Hubs just like yours. Don’t miss out on that audience!

We’re Adding a Fresh Twist to Weekly Topic Inspiration!

As you may have read in an earlier blog post, the lovely Christy Kirwan is expanding our Topic Page ecosystem, adding fun new Topics every day.

To raise awareness about the cool opportunities these new Topic Pages provide (they’re not nearly as crowded as older Topics, in which your chances of being Featured on the first page are pretty low) and to encourage people to publish Hubs on niche subjects (that are not already extensively covered online), we are shifting our focus of the Weekly Topic Inspiration program so that each week’s theme revolves around one of Christy’s newly-created Topics.

Aside from the weekly release date moving to Tuesdays (it has historically been on Mondays) and removing suggested titles from the forum threads (they were seldom used and it’s best to practice creating your own high-potential titles), nothing has changed.

For more information on participating in the Weekly Topic Inspiration challenge each week, stop by our Official Learning Center guide on the program and consider joining in on this week’s new challenge (with a super fun focus on beards, mustaches, and facial hair)!

Topic Pages, HubNuggets, About Us, and Forum Styling Get a Makeover

After redesigning the Hub and Profile pages, the hard working team at HubPages Headquarters has turned their focus to Topics and special programs, hence today we are excited to roll out new designs for Topic Pages and HubNuggets Program, as well as an updated About page and some improved Forum styling.

Topic Pages

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.06.52 AMTopic pages have been given a sleek fresh styling by Derek Gulbranson that has been expertly implemented by Edward Zhang. Though most of the elements present on the pages remain the same, the page now has a greater emphasis on images, as well as a more tangible feel (see, for example, the shading that makes these pages look like open books).

As Gulbranson puts it, “I wanted to bring richer browse experience for articles, full titles and descriptions and larger photos, more of a magazine feel. Less focus on the navigation and topic hierarchy and more of a place to explore and find something you’re interested in. We also wanted to highlight the community more and give the sense that stuff is happening here.”

In short, our main objectives with this update were to:

  1. Create a great browsing experience for Hubbers and casual visitors alike
  2. Better showcase our community and make it easier to both discover great content and connect with the authors who created it
  3. Create pages that are better designed to drive traffic from search engines to your Hubs

HubNuggets: Now Rising Stars

Because HubNuggets voting takes place on Topic Pages, we took the Topic Page redesign as an opportunity to update the HubNuggets program as well so that it can be easier to interact with and more clear to those who are not yet familiar with the more esoteric ins and outs of the high power HubPages community.

This design update includes a new voting interface on Topic Pages (also designed by the Venerable Gulbranson), as well as some logistical changes (voting will no longer also take place in a roundup Hub).

Finally, to make the program more clear, we are changing its name from HubNuggets (which, while meant to evoke the sense of discovering nuggets of gold on HubPages, often evoked mental images of chicken nuggets) to the Rising Star program. Hence “HubNuggets Wannabes” will henceforth be known as “Rising Star Candidates” and HubNuggets winners will be known as Rising Stars. You can learn more about the new program in the Learning Center.

About Page & Forum Styling

In addition to significant stylistic changes with Topic Pages and the HubNuggets Program, you’ll also see that our About page now offers more of an explanation of what HubPages actually is (before, it focused primarily on staff bios) and also has a much more visually-oriented presentation.

Derek has also applied some more polished styling to forum posts by giving them a gradient and a drop shadow as well as making them a bit easier to expand and collapse.

 

We hope you’re pleased with these changes! Let us know what you think. 🙂