HubPages.com is one of the web’s most popular and established article directories. Although the majority of authors (“hubbers”) on the site are individuals, Hubpages can also be a useful marketing tool for small green businesses.
Benefits of Joining HubPages for Green Businesses
Publishing high quality articles (“hubs”) on a site such as HubPages offers many of the same benefits as starting a blog for your green business. It is an outstanding way to establish expertise and credibility in your green industry, an especially important task for green businesses, whose most dedicated customer base may be wary of green claims due to “greenwashing” by unscrupulous marketers.
Unlike many other article directories, HubPages has some useful Web 2.0 and social networking features that offer another way to build relationships with customers and potential customers, and establish trust. One of the most useful is the ability to “Follow” fellow hubbers. Users are notified through “Hubtivity” on the site or via a daily email digest whenever hubbers they follow publish a new hub. Hubtivity also allows users to see whenever a hubber they follow comments on another hub, follows another hubber, posts in the forums, or other activities.
Thanks to features like these, HubPages can be a fast, easy way to get visitors to your site. HubPages also has a high Google PageRank (PR 6 as of this writing) and is trawled frequently by spiders from Google and other search engines. In fact, many HubPages users report that their hubs get indexed faster than posts from their personal or business blogs! Unless your green business blog is well established and popular, you may find that your hubs initially bring more total traffic to your site than your blog.
Although this may seem frustrating, you can use it to your advantage. HubPages has limits on the total number of links to a single domain that you can include per hub (2, not including RSS feeds) in an attempt to discourage spam and protect the site’s good reputation among search engines and searchers, but as long as you follow the rules you will find that HubPages is an excellent source of anchored backlinks to your website or green business blog. This not only brings visitors to your site, it also improves its search engine ranking. You can also use it to promote your green blog, but adding your blog’s RSS feed to each hub.
Other benefits of joining HubPages for small green businesses include:
- easy-to-use WYSIWYG publishing platform, which requires no knowledge of HTML or web design to use
- easy photo, video, RSS, and Google Maps integration
- tools for creating simple polls and quizzes
- option to automatically post new hubs to Facebook and Twitter
Last, but certainly not least, HubPages is completely free to join and use, so it’s an especially useful marketing tool for small green businesses on a budget!
Disadvantages of Joining HubPages for Green Businesses
The primary disadvantage of HubPages for green businesses is its ad policy. HubPages offers hubbers a 60/40 split of Google Adsense revenue generated from their hubs. Like all sites using Google Adsense, the ads are displayed based on keywords within the text of the articles and HubPages has no control over which ads are shown. As a result, your hubs may display ads by your competitors. If you have a Google Adsense account, you can block competitors’ ads from being shown on your hubs during your share of the ad impressions with Adsense’s Competitive Ad Filter, but the ads may still be shown on the 40% of impressions given to HubPages.
For this reason, HubPages works best as a tool to complement your green business website or blog – where you have full control over the content and the ads – not to replace them. Despite this flaw, it remains one of the most useful and cost-effective tools to help establish your company’s web presence and build traffic.