What should you do with your Idle Hubs? The Solution to all those Zzz's

The sign that a hub has gone idle!
The sign that a hub has gone idle!

What Are Idle Hubs ?

Recently, in an attempt to improve traffic on Hubpages, a new program has been implemented. Certain hubs have been marked as idle, and once they are so marked, they are de-indexed. You can tell an idle hub has been singled out for this kind of treatment by the "Zzz" that appears on the far right column of your hub statistics.

What is an idle hub? How is its idleness identified? I'm not sure exactly, but the general idea is that your hub is not getting much traffic. This can happen for a number of reasons: it could be a seasonal hub, and its subject matter is not currently in season. It could be a hub on an obscure topic, and not too many people are searching for the keywords it triggers. Or it could be a badly written or badly optimized hub.

In any of these cases, the same result will ensue: de-indexing.

What does it mean that a hub has been de-indexed?

When a hub is de-indexed, it is still there in your account. It has not been deleted. It has not been unpublished. All it means is that it is not available to the search engines.

If you give the address of the hub to someone else, they can access and read it. If you post a link, people can still get there. But to the Almighty Google your hub is dead. It will not be found in search, because the search engine does not have it in its index.


What should you do with your idle hub once it has been de-indexed?

There are a number of remedies for de-indexing:

  • You can add content to your hub and change it around and within 24 hours Hubpages may choose to re-index it.
  • You can move your hub to a new location.
  • You can leave it where it is as is and share links only with your friends and people you hand flyers to that you randomly meet on the street.

The PubWages Option

How you choose to deal with your idle hubs is entirely up to you. The solution does not have to be the same for every person. In my case, I decided to move my idle hubs one by one to PubWages. Here are some of the reasons for my choice:

  • I write high quality hubs that would suffer from constant re- tweaking.
  • I was planning on reaping passive income from older hubs that matured. If I have to re-edit periodically on each hub, then the return on investment for my efforts will be diminished. Think of it this way: what is the hourly rate for your work? Will it go down if you have to spend more hours on the same task?
  • I own PubWages, so I stand to earn more there than on HP on the same article.

An Example of an idle hub that I moved to PubWages

The good thing about an idle hub, and in this Hubpages are doing us a huge favor, is that once it has been de-indexed, it will not be counted as duplicate content if you move it at once to a new location. Here is one I moved yesterday:

A Young Chimpanzee's Growth and Development

I even changed the title a little, as this article used to be called "Bow's Development". When I wrote the article I knew less about SEO than I do now, so it did not occur to me that not too many people would be searching on Google for anything about Bow by name. On the other hand, people might be searching for information about chimpanzees. This is the sort of tweaking that might have gotten the hub re-indexed had I done it on Hubpages. But I figure that on PubWages I do it once and for all, and I can keep from reworking on the hub countless times, as will be required by the new idle hub algorithm that Hubpages has adopted.

How You Can Join PubWages

If you would like to join PubWages and move some of your idle hubs there for a share in revenue and for proper indexing with Google, drop me a line and I will send you some instructions. However, don't just register with PubWages without letting me know your user name, because I delete all unknown accounts. There are too many spammers out there!

Registering on PubWages

Looking on the Positive Side of Idle Hubs

The way I see it, this new policy concerning idle hubs is not so bad. Hubpages identifies for us those hubs that are not faring too well on the Hubpages site and it even de-indexes them for us, so we do not have to do it ourselves before moving them. That way we get a chance to move them someplace else where they can do better.

I am keeping my active, non-idle hubs on Hubpages for so long as they continue to do well here. And any hub of mine that is not doing well here, I will move to a better place. It's a win-win situation!

(c) 2012 Aya Katz

More by this Author


Comments 42 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 4 years ago from South Africa

Very useful Aya - much appreciated. I had already started to move my snoozers a couple of days ago to three other sites I write on. It seems to be doing my Hub score some good too.


janderson99 profile image

janderson99 4 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

Best Wishes! Good Luck with it.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Timely write Aya!!! Trying to figure out what to do with my poetry--


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Tony, I see that you and I think alike. It really does help to find each article a home where it can be optimally effective.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, JAnderson99. Best to you as well.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Audrey. Poetry is probably very much subject to this new policy, as it rarely gets much traffic. It really has nothing to do with quality and everything to do with supply and demand.

Poetry is welcome on PubWages, though.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Interesting tips. I definitely think I'm going to work on my hubs and see how they do. Great advice!


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Thanks for the information. I just recently returned to Hubpages and really did not understand what was up with the zzz's. You have saved me considerable time.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Alecia. Sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking.

Thanks, poetvix. I think lots of people who have been away may be mystified by the changes. I'm glad I was able to help!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I had a 5 snoozers and I agree that they were. 5 out 164 is very good in my opinion. I spent a few minutes revamping them and they are back in action. Out with the old and in with the new and refurbished! I continue to wish you luck with your PubWages site!


janderson99 profile image

janderson99 4 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

I tried something similar but I go swamped with 600 spam articles a day and 100 authors a day signing up and it took so much time sorting through the junk that I simply had to close it down.


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

Nice informative hub.good job!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Sunshine625, five out of 164 is not bad at all and may well be worth tweaking. Sounds like a fast turn-over at HP sorting that out for you.

JAnderson, yes, I totally can see how that would happen. I used to be very trusting and allowed everyone in, but now I just automatically delete hundreds of accounts each day and only accept those who prove to me they are real people and not bots.

Thanks, mmsu.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Thanks, Aya, for sharing these ideas re idle hubs - your information is most welcome. I shall revamp any idlers or move them. No one gets a free ride!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I think I'm OK here, but thanks for sharing the info. I had 1 ZZZ and it was a lame poem. I just deleted it. I've tried to write "evergreen" content and "how to" article. No more poetry.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Mary615, I'm glad you only had one idle hub. If the poem was not one you were fond of, deleting it is fine. But if it is something you still want to share with the world, then either finding it another website, or publishing it on Createspace as part of a poetry anthology would be possible solutions.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

DrBj, thanks for dropping by! Always a pleasure to see you. In my haste, I almost missed your comment.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Good to know this about those idle hubs. I love your humor here, it makes the bitter taste much more tolerable. Thanks.


Senoritaa profile image

Senoritaa 4 years ago

I don't think this idle hub initiative is good for us who majorly write poetry. De-indexing poetry does not seem right as most of us poets write because we want to share our vision, not because we earn money from it. But your hub is useful. will check out your site, Pubwages.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

I agree with Senoritaa, I write poems also and although I do not make much from them I do still want to share them, so I'll be taking a look at you site.

thank you for the info.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Teacher12345, Glad you detected the humor!

Senoritaa, yes, I agree that poetry needs to be read and shared with others. If you do sign up for PubWages, be sure to drop me an email or FB message to let me know your username there.

Thanks, Tobusiness. If you sign up at PubWages, drop me a line so I don't delete you with all the bots.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Useful information as well as some good points. Good food for thought.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, TillsonTitan!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 4 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Thanks for the information, Aya. I've got lots of idle hubs, but I have no intention of changing a word. None of my hubs are designed to be "updated." They are compete as is, like a book -- you don't go back later on and make changes once you publish a book. I'm a computer dummie, but I'm thinking it would be good to put the idle hubs on my blog. I guess that means I should unpublish or delete them from HubPages.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

William F. Torpey, moving the hubs to your blog is a good solution. You don't have to unpublish them before you move them, because as they are not indexed with Google anymore, they should not trigger a duplicate content label.

Once you are sure you have a hub moved to the blog and have not lost any content while doing so, then you can unpublish and even delete it from Hubpages. I like to move my hub along with the comments. But if you do that, you must remember to delete the IP addresses before publishing, so as to preserve the privacy of the people who commented.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 4 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

I appreciate your help, Aya. Thanks, again, for the good advice.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

William F. Torpey, you're very welcome.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

This is a good alternative for those looking to think about what to do with their idle hubs. I have updated several, and moved a couple to Pubwages.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Sweetiepie. I love having your writing on PubWages.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I am not sure what to think of the new program with idle hubs. Like you I don't think much of having to rework hubs that are already polished and was looking forward to passive income. I will give all some thought. Good luck with your website!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

ChristyWrites, yes, I share your qualms.

I have been moving my idle hubs one per day for some time now. Today, I noticed that the hub "The Problem with Genre" which I just moved and had been marked "idle" (Zzz) for days now, was still indexed with Google as being on Hubpages. So the de-indexing strategy does not always work even for technical reasons.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I noticed the same thing about some of my idle hubs still showing up on Google, but I am thinking perhaps it takes a couple of weeks for the deindexing to have a complete impact on the search engines. Right now I think the search engines are still picking up cached versions of our pages, so we will have to wait a couple of weeks to see if the deindexing has taken complete effect or not.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Ah, thanks for the added information here ladies. Good to know we may have a bit of time before any drops from Google.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

SweetiePie, it's good to have the confirmation from your experiences. However, except for any idle hubs that I have a specific reason to prefer keeping on Hubpages, I am still proceeding with my evacuation plan.

I did add more content to one hub: "How to Make an Effective Book Trailer", because I reasoned that every time a new book comes out at Inverted-A Press, I will be making a new trailer, so it will be easy to refresh that hub with new content.

Christy, yes, it is good to know that we don't get dropped from Google at once. However, if the hub really hasn't had traffic in years, then probably something is amiss: either in the hub's content, or its search engine optimization or its location on HP. So in that sense, HP is doing us a service by pointing this out.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I have taken several hubs off already, but I was only conveying it will probably take a couple of weeks for the deindexing to completely take effect because of the cached versions of our hubs.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

SweetiePie, thanks. That is useful information.


i scribble profile image

i scribble 4 years ago

This is helpful advice. Is your PubWages growing quickly?

Are you familiar with N'kisi, Alex's heir apparent (or should I say heir a parrot) in the world of conversant parrots? If so, perhaps you have more recent info on him than I can find online. Either way, please read my hub on N'kisi and comment. I hope Bow is doing well! Thanks!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Hello, iscribble. Nice to see you again.

PubWages would grow very fast if I let it, but I am rejecting most applicants, as most of them are bots. In order to be accepted, a writer needs to write me an email with their user name, so I'll know they're a real person.

No, I am not familiar with N'kisi. Might take me a while to get to it, though as I have a number of publishing deadlines. If you'd like to review my new book, "Our Lady of Kaifeng", send me an email. I think you might like it.


Goody5 profile image

Goody5 4 years ago from Bohville, USA, Just below the Mason-Dixon line in the land of the pleasant living

Great hub Aya, and this is proving to be a big problem all across the hub pages. I've written a hub as well on a quick fix to the Zz's problem. Check it out when you have time - http://hubpages.com/community/Quick-fix-for-your-i...


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Goody5. I will take a look.


i scribble profile image

i scribble 4 years ago

You are certainly a prolific writer! I wonder what sort of publishing deadlines you have? Is that too nosey a question? Anyway, I will seriously consider reviewing your latest book after you post a thoughtful comment on N'kisi. Fair enough?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

iscribble, here is some information about my publishing deadlines:

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/people/Ay...

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working