The HubPages IDLE HUB System, Is it Good for you?

Writers are Sheep

Are we all just Sheep being manipulated by HubPages and Google Search?
Are we all just Sheep being manipulated by HubPages and Google Search? | Source

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3 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of The HubPages Idle Hub system

The New IDLE HUB System on HubPages

Bu now, everyone has noticed the new IDLE HUB Management system that Hub Pages has implemented.

After using this new criteria for a while, I find that I think that it really is a good tthing for us now that we have our own HubPages Sub-Domain.

Since the implementation of Sub-Domains with Hubpages, we all have lived or died with Search engines as a result of our Total ranking of everything that we have written and placed onto HP.

That, for some of us was a good thing as some of us write Hubs that are almost exclusively designed for the dissemination of information on subjects of general interest to the majority of the population out there..

Creative Writing is not as competitive as Informational Writing

One of the problems I had and still have is the fact that, even though I also write a number of "informational Hubs", at the same time, I am a writer of such things as Short Stories, Poetry, and Political Commentary.

And, as akk of you know, these types of hubs rarely do well over time, either in the general searches of people or as a long term driver of; the number of readers or comments you receive.

Oh, our creative works have their moments. We get decent interest when we release a short story, a poem, even photographic collections. We wallow in the compliments and the fantastic feedback on our creativity and writing.

And. later, often just a few weeks later, when our new creative Hub has "run its course" so to speak and someone is flipping through the lists of Hubber's and their works, you might get a read and a positive comment that is shared with someone else's followers.

Then you might get a momentary resurgence in readership. But, as I said, it is usually a momentary thing and your Hubs readership will slowly slip back into oblivion.

.Has this hurt me and my ranking over time? Absolutely!


My Creative works

Let me give you an example. One of my first Hubs was a story about my handing my Grandmothers dining table over to my son.

It was a pretty good, and it was also a true story.

I wrote of my Dad and his siblings using that table as they grew into adults, And I wrote about my Dad salvaging the old tables remnants and re-building it for me and my family to use.

At that time, over three years ago, it got decent readership and I got some very nice comments on the subject overall as well as my writing.

Over time, it was resurrected by other Hubbers who share it with their audiences and the hub rose and fell in rating with these spurts of interest.

So, is it a bad story? I say NO!. But is it a bad Hub? They now say yes, because this and other similar ones have been IDLED.

I stubbornly keep these writing of mine, that are sitting out there in my personal library on HubPages. I keep them there, at the bottom of my table of my Hubs; rankings. Lonely writings waiting for attention.

And I occasionally SHARE them for a limited surge in readers and comments, but HP doesn't consider heavy sharing as a good thing for us Hubbers to do anymore, either, so I do this less and less these days.

You see, I am writer!

I am not just a commercial writer of informational Hubs, but, I am also a writer of what I shall call ART.

By ART, I mean that these creative Hubs of mine are my artful presentation of stories that I share from my heart, with you, the readers.

They are a reflection of ME, the writer, and are written for personal enjoyment and their entertainment value.

So, I have and will continue to keep these special Hubs of mine out there. even though they have consistently pulled my ranking on Search Engines and with HP down.

The new Idle Hub categorization of my Hubs

So, on to the new IDLE HUB categorization of my Hubs.

According to HP and their FAQ Hub about this subject, they have done people like myself a great service.

They now have set up a system that uses a set of algorithms which sort through our existing Hubs.

And, if we have a Hub that is not being accessed and read regularly, or is just relatively Old and hasn't been changed or updated in a long period of time, then they do what Ithey consider a great new thing for us all;

They Un-Index these selected Hubs.

What does this mean?

Well, now, if we have a Hub that is sitting out there, in our Sub-domain then it is indexed along with all of my other Hubs in my sub-domain. You see this "old or poor quality Hub" it is just sitting out there affecting each of our overall Search Engine rankings as a Hubber.

And invariably, these "Idle" Hubs, will pull our overall ranking down every time our sub-domain is scanned by these search engines.

So, they are doing us a service by placing our Hubs into this mysteriousl IDLE state.

In my opinion, I have to agree with them prrom the perspective of our sub-domains ranking for commercial pueposes.

Those of us that want to make more money, now have a tool that we can all use to our advantage.

Is this bad for our less-profitable, creative writings. Of course it is. But, it can be used as a new tool for us all to use in managing our weaker works, even the creative ones.

You see, rather than having to take the inordinate amount of extra time necessary to occasionally research and evaluate our total library of writings, we now have a tool that saves all of us a lot of that time.

Now, we not only know which Hubs are idled, immediately, but we have a tool that tells us which measurement is important to HubPages.

Now, if you want to have your writings Indexed again and thus available for the search engines just look at one of your Idled Hubs.

Then try to figure how to improve it so that you will have at least; 1-several reads a day, 2- a respectible number reads over the past week, and 3- your Hub should repeat that last weeks numbers every week for 30 days.

What the actual limits are, only HP knows, but you should be able to figure this out after you go through your re-evaluation of each Hub that you want to be out there, generating contacts for the great search engines and their "crawly spiders".

Advantages of the Idle Hub Management system

Here are what I consider to be the advantages to me, as a multi-faceted writer;

  1. Regardless of my individual Hub Score for each of my writing, I can now look at my Account listing and immediately see which of my Hubs are the actual "Money-Makers"
  2. I can review this newly marked list of un-indexed Hubs and quickly decide which are the ones that I wrote for popularity or to make money and selectively work on improving just those for the world to see more of and use.
  3. I can manage my more commercial informative Hubs in less time and keep my overall ranking higher and make more money on these, more popular writings.
  4. I can quickly identify my more "stale" writing and evaluate whether I want to give the appropriate ones a "face-lift" before they begin to pull my overall tanking down.
  5. I can keep my intentionally more personal, yet less commercial hubs for what they are. And I can selectively Share them on HP or other sites that are designed for the more Creative writings, there to be found and enjoyed by the appropriate audience.
  6. And, most importantly, to me, my Search Engine ranking will now be based on my most popular Hubs and will not be pulled down by ones that are not as popular, for whatever reason.

THANK YOU HUBPAGES!


Tell us what you think of the Idle Hub tool

Do You Consider the implementation of the IDLE HUB management system a GOOD thing or a BAD thing for the Hubber of today.

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Comments 38 comments

Jenna Pope profile image

Jenna Pope 4 years ago from Southern California

I think that the Idle Hub is a good idea. It shows the value of going in and updating our better Hubs. Voted up.


CWanamaker profile image

CWanamaker 4 years ago from Arizona

I think that this new feature great. Of course there will always be people who disagree, but it really is a smart move by HubPages.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Jenna, Thanks for reading my article. I am glad that you agree with me. I look forward to spending a lot less time searching for which of my works to apply my time to and which ones that I can direct to other channels.


Christine Miranda profile image

Christine Miranda 4 years ago from My office.

I have only been here a month but think that it is a good thing. I would rather know if one of my hubs has an issue and make the choice to keep delete it, update it or keep it as is. I think some people may be offended that their hub is labeled "sleepy" when they should be worrying about how to "wake" it up!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Before this new system was implemented, I thought each hub was assessed by Google on an individual basis, with the exception being that if I wrote a group of hubs on a single topic, those grouped hubs would collectively receive a higher rating.

Now that I know all the hubs I've ever done affect the rating, I would expect this new change to be a good thing.

It was reassuring, though not surprising, to see that all of my hubs that were getting Google readers remain unaffected by the new HP policy.

The ones which were idled were my short stories that initially received high readership from fellow hubbers but have never received many readers through Google.

Thanks for sharing your opinion on the new policy change and giving a place to read other's opinions.

Voted up, useful and interesting.


Marketing Merit profile image

Marketing Merit 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I think it's too early to judge. In theory it may be a good move but only time will tell. In my experience as a webmaster, trying to second guess the Google algorithm is like trying to hit a moving target. It is dynamic and constantly evolving.

Also, as your hub highlights, not everyone writes solely for commercial reasons. Some people write because they feel passionate about writing and/or about the subject matter. Is it ethical to de-index these hubs due to minority interest?

Ultimately, what I dislike most about this change is the fact that I have no control over it. This serves to emphasise the risk of publishing on a third party platform and why you should never put all your eggs in one basket!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Cwanamaker and Christine- Thanks for your comment and I agree that having a "Sleepy" Hub is not necessarily a bad thing, NOW!

Because, if they are not Indexed for the Search Engines then they can be out there for you to share with special lists of people but allow your more commercial works to drive your score upward.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Happyboomernurse- Thanks so much for reading my Hub. I agree with you totally about our more "artistic" works. Sad to say, even a "really good" short story, poem, or even political commentary are flashes in the pan of popularity, with the public.

On the other hand, if you write an instruction on "how to be a Millionare in one month using HubPages" that darn article will get searched for and re-read by thousands of hopefuls over time.

I being a long time camper, have a number of instructional Hubs that i have written and they get consistently good readership.

My Stories and Poems and Political Rantings? Flashes in the popularity pan, sad to say.

That's OK though, at least now, I have a tool that lets me decide which of these even need to continue to exist, and which ones I need to clean up and find avenues of exposure.

So, as I said, from my perspective, HP did a good thing for all of us writers, this time.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Read your thoughts here Don and in the main agree that it is a good move by HP. However, there seems to be some problems getting the kinks out. I released a new hub this past Tuesday. As of now, Saturday following, it is still in the pending mode. What this has done is keep it off the topics and related hub views. Not only that, for some reason Bing and Yahoo haven't picked it up and they both have started doing so recently within 2 0r 3 days with new hubs. Also, Google initially picked it up when someone+1'd the story but it didn't place where I expected it too. So, the title was tweaked but apparently won't be re-crawled by G while the piece is in limbo which equals zip views. I could go on with the negative results coming. But the point is this and what some others are experiencing need to be fixed before I can give the new IH system the thumbs up. Maybe HP should revise the 24 hr estimate for pending hubs to something considerably longer.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

I think it's generally a good thing but there are some things that need to be worked out. Newly published hubs shouldn't be treated the same as older hubs that have been idled. And I don't understand why idled hubs have the "link to this page" featured removed.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Alastar, great to hear from you on this. I really had no idea that there were bugs such as what you mentioned, but I do now. Often, being an ex-software geek, I can tell you, that when something like this is pushed "out the door" you end up in the release. fix bug, release, fix bug, etc. mode.

Hopefully, they will get this new tool cleaned up for us soon.

Thanks again for the good words.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

I love this new feature and it will be even better when these little bugs are ironed out. Thank you for writing about it and clarifying some points.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Deborah, I honestly didn't notice the missing "link to this page" option. Interesting. I wonder if the link option is still at the bottom of the Hub? gotta Check!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

And, Thank You BlossumSB for your reading and comenting on my Hub.I hope this new tool is good for you in the long run as I expect it will be.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

I agree with Deborah...new hubs should be considered new hubs and given a chance....links should never be removed.

That being said, this was an informative hub that might explain this new feature clearer.

Voted up, useful, and shared.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

tillsontitan- Thanks for your comment and I am glad that Deborah brought up the removed "link" capability. I checked and she is right, they did remove it. So it looks like a case of; our all being HERDED in the direction of being commercial writers with another of the insidious little HP prods!

SIGH!


ithabise profile image

ithabise 4 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

The backlash to the new idle status is unfortunate. But I side with your opinion: HubPages is only helping us. I have actually removed a number of my non-performing "babies" (back to my blog) only to gain more traffic it seems. I like the fact that my cache is working fine and that I can know where I need to tweak when I need to tweak. Nice article--thanks.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

ithabise- Thanks for the supporting comment. I, for one, see it a s great TOOL for me, the harried writer that I am (sic). I now know, not just by score, but by this new select and logical criteria which of my hubs need either updating, removal or relocation. i literally love anything that takes less of my time away from writing.

And, BTW, my "link to" option is still there for myself and my readers, if you look at the bottom of each Hub.

So, to me? No Harm, No Foul!

Have a great day!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

Don, I am not convinced that putting additional effort into the idle hubs is going to revive them. What are we going to do...paste a label on them that pops up in the search saying "new and improved"? I think the fact that these hubs are idle has everything to do with them being obscure from the search content for one or more reasons. For example, if I write a political hub on the Obama Administration, I won't have much luck finding that hub in a Google search as I might have before the sub-domain days. There is now a greater possibility that I, as a writer, maybe found but the reader will have to dig to find the hub. I have one hub that is continually racking up numbers and I cannot for the life of me figure out why...the reader count is off the charts relative to my other hubs and this one is in no way approaching the quality of some of my other hubs in terms of subject matter or interest. I get it with poetry....only so many people want to read it and that's fine but the fiction and political essays should certainly do better over time than poetry. I just think the theoretical here outshines the practical. Just my two cents. You did a great job here of presenting the issue and educating folks on it....good hub! ~WB


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Wayne Brown, Thanks for stopping by, and I value your perspective and it is true that having our Hubs marked as IDLE and pulled from the Great Google is frustrating.

I, for one, will use this new labeling and isolation system (by HP) of my writings as a tool.

A tool that will help me quickly see which of my works are actually COMMERCIAL, and which ones need to be removed and placed onto another, more focused platform, such as Blogs and other writer sites.

I have wondered a lot, over the past 8-10 months wondering if this is the way for me as a writer in the future.

Do I segment my writings between multiple sites.My question now is what is the best for me; move the Commercial or move the Creative?

Research is ongoing!


rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

I find the idle hub system to be a very useful tool. When I get the zzz, it gives me the opportunity to do the tweaking I should have done in the first place.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

rfmoran, thanks for the comment and I agree with you. It is very useful to me for prioritizing my time onto the writings which are getting the least attention.

Have a great day.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

Don...thank you for writing this hub...although I read all of the info about idle I truly understand that it was done to help me as a writer...now I get that...I write a lot of personal stuff that does okay and some informational stuff that does better...I, like you, will use this feature to concentrate on the hubs that are the money makers and share my more personal stuff with the appropriate audiences..


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Justateacher, thanks for the comment on my hub and I am so glad that you can see a way to segment your writing, like I will be doing over time.

I see this as a great tool and I am really happy with my results so far.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago

To me, everything is a wait and see. Google is always making changes, we hope for the better, but everything is an experiment. I am doing what HubPages tells me, and I don't mind improving where I need, but I am sure there are lots and lots of changes yet to be. Thanks for a well written and easy to read hub. Rated up and interesting.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

Yes, I have found it very useful too. I am still working on my zzz list. I like that you wrote a hub about it, very nice. I too, write more general.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Thanks Ruby for you response to my Hub. I am finding myself relying more and more on this function as a tool fo me to improve. Have a great day!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Personally, I don't like the idled hub system. The learning center says hubs don't become productive until they're about 6 months old. Several of mine were idled after only 2 months and so hubpages didn't even consider their own advice. I think no hub should be idled before it is 7 months old if what the learning center says is true. But if hubpages doesn't believe what it has printed in their own learning center, why should we believe it??? Should a hub be shelved if it isn't producing within the first week or not? Should it be allowed the 6 months or not?

My hubs used to be indexed within 1-2 hours of publishing. Now it takes 2 weeks. One of my hubs published 3 weeks ago has never been indexed!

The new idle hub program sort of makes the idea of green content irrelevant. One can't merely write a great green hub, but must continue to tinker with it for time immemorial, if only to change the placement of the commas from time to time. Once idled, no one will ever find it again unless you tweak it no matter how green it is.

I realize most people have no use for reading these days and learning new things really is beyond blazé, but I think it would be interesting to read things that were written 20 years ago exactly as they were written at the time. There is a lot to be learned from an article written 20 years ago or longer that hasn't been tweaked hundreds of times over that time span.

Just a couple of days ago I updated several of my hubs including one I wrote last May. Someone had written a hub on the same subject as the one I wrote in May, though there's was not nearly as comprehensive, and they used my title and the same photo that I was using. When I brought this to the attention of hubpages they said if I didn't own the copyrights to the photo it was a non issue for them.

See how much we are all appreciated here even though the owner of this site is making hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions, off all of us who are making peanuts -- or nothing at all?

So I changed the photo on my hub that was basically usurped by another hubber and for so doing, along with the other updates I'd made to other hubs, my hubber score practically ended up in the 3rd basement down and it still hasn't recovered.

Do they want us to update or not? We don't update we get idled. We do update we get our hubber score lowered out of sight and God knows what other punishments.

I think hubpages should have a work up because they cannot be pleased. Do what they ask and get slapped down. Don't do what they ask and get slapped down. Maybe they're just into BDSM?


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

To date I had three idlers and I spruced them up a bit..improved grammar, spelling, added photos etc.. and they became valid again. I like it as it got me to improve old hubs. However I am no expert on how the google system works..Very informational hub and voted UP.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

carol7777- There you go! If you can't control the system, learn how to use it to your advantage.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I think the Idle hub system is the worst thing that has ever happened here. I find it very frustrating and that it creates loads of work I don't want, if only moving my hubs elsewhere. There is nothing wrong to start with them and all of this is about traffic and nothing more! It is nothing to do with writing quality, use of English or researching well.


soconfident profile image

soconfident 4 years ago

Great article I had to idle hubs, I fixed one and I'm working on the other one.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Bard of Ely- I agree with you that this new categorization of our hubs has nothing to do with their quality. But, we all have to accept that HP is now more of a popularity tool for writers than a sharing tool of good works.

I had already realized this when my actual Creative Writing Hubs kept dropping down my list. At the same time, I saw that my Informative Hubs that Google can search as sources of data were rising up my list and getting more reads.

I was upset at first that the ones that were the closest to my heart were the least popular and appreciated.

But, the world of HP moves on and I finally saw that; OK, I have Creative Hubs and Informative ones. The informative ones need to stay here and grow in popularity and the Creative ones need to be moved,eventually to some other forum for true Creative writers.

I haven't found that site yet, but, at least I now have a tool that tells me which ones are right for which forums.

Good Luck to you with your Hubs,I enjoy your writings.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

I think I like the system. As you say, it draws your attention to dead Hubs that you can then either try to fix—or unpublish to keep overall score higher with the Google Search Engine. When I started on HubPages the friend who told me about it said, "Always remember this: on the Internet, Google is God."

Excellent article, my friend.

James :D


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Great to Hear from you James. And, thanks for the read.

I am glad you liked the info I tried to convey to our peers, especailly the newer ones.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

I never knew that your overall score going down would relate to your Hubs being marked due to not getting enough readers. great info. voted up.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

torrilynn- Yes, there are a number of things about how HP does things, that are hard to flush out, but that you really need to know.

you always need to either take those low scoring Hubs and rework them to raise their score, or remove them.

many poeple are taking their less profitable Hubs and moving them to other sites.

Good luck,

DON


Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

Another good hub. I do find the idle hub thing helps even though it is irritating and disheartening to see sometimes. However, it does then spur me on to take a look at that hub and do the necessary tweaking to get it back in the featured category. I don't get too many fortunately; maybe a couple a month of the 60 hubs I have written so I guess I am lucky.

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