For Better Or Worse, Hubpages Makes The Move To Subdomains

Recently, I received an email from Hubpages.com letting me know that if I failed to migrate my account to a subdomain, it planned to do so automatically. This move reflects Hubpages’ efforts to rebuild its SEO after the farmer update gave them a fairly large hit. In theory, migrating everyone from URLs to sub-domains could work, but it could also cost them big time. I’m still a big fan of Hubpages, and their community can definitely drive sales. However, this change does raise the concern for me that I’ll lose the already established authority of some personal hubs.

URLs vs. Subdomains

Basing everything off of URLs and folders meant that Hubpages could categorize themselves in the indexes and build a ton of authority for their main domain and folders. Subdomains, on the other hand, are often considered standalone URLs, and they don’t have all, if any, of the authority assigned to the main URL. You can pass authority off of the main URL to them and vice versa, but a new subdomain needs to build itself up if it doesn’t have help.

By migrating hubs over to subdomains for each individual Hubber, there’s a chance that the Hubber’s pages will lose their authority and rankings because they now have a new URL. In addition, the lack of traffic coming through Hubpages from the old URLs could result in losing legit authors like me who enjoyed being rewarded for putting up quality content and gaining authority.

The Question of Redirects

If you’ve created hubs, then you’ve seen how Hubpages pushes you to create inbound links and an internal linking structure. This strong and really well done internal linking structure helped build the categories of Hubpages while also helping them to rank with tons and tons of internal links going through it. The internal links also guided readers through other people’s hubs, creating a community and many good blogger and webmaster relationships. With the change to subdomains, I’m concerned that the use of 301 redirecting all of the old URLs to the new subdomain URLs could potentially cause damage or eliminate their internal linking structure. It will be interesting to see how they handle their internal links and redirects from URLs to subdomains to avoid creating issues.

Making Non-SEOs Become SEOs

Many Hubbers are people who like to write and share their hobbies, interests, and other expertise. They relied on the authority of Hubpages to drive their posts to the top of the search engines and get them exposure. Although it’s great that they’ll have their own URL, it could also create a ton of extra work to build that URL’s authority.

Without the gratification of the authority and instant rankings, someone without knowledge of SEO may now see Hubpages as  not working for them anymore. At the same time, if they realize they may have to build their own URLs and authority up to get back to where they were, what’s stopping them from buying a URL and creating their own site with its own authority from scratch. Why should they build Hubpages, share revenue, and do all the work when they can do it for themselves? If the subdomains don’t work, then Hubpages could lose their loyal Hubbers who would rather build their own sites with their own authority and not have to share their profits.

I’m still a huge fan of Hubpages because it’s an amazing community that can drive traffic. I’ve also met many webmasters and affiliates through Hubpages, which is why I continue to use it. I’m curious to see how their new strategy will work. The subdomains could be a lifesaver of Hubpages if built properly and with quality content while offering a proper redirect and linking structure that maintains the support of their community. This move could get them back to where they were, if not stronger. At the same time, it’s a potentially risky move that could cost them big if implemented poorly. If you’re a Hubber or you like or dislike Hubpages, feel free to share what you think of their idea of going from URLs to subdomains.

 

About Adam Riemer

Adam Riemer has been an Online Marketer for over a decade. Having worked in house and on his own, Adam Riemer helps both large and small companies develop, execute and analyze Marketing campaigns for ROI and branding in both the B2B and B2C world. You can reach Adam or find out where he is speaking or which Clients he is working with by visiting his blog at http://www.adamriemer.me or follow him on Twitter @rollerblader.