What to do when hubs stop being featured - how to improve your hubs

New changes at HubPages- How do they affect you and your Hubs?

Hubpages has been making changes again and we all need to think about how these changes affect us. The site recently introduced a new system of ‘idling’ hubs that are not performing well, hubs that are not getting much traffic or views. In other words hubs that the public are not searching for much with search engines like Google.

Hubpages showed that a hub had been made inactive and taken out of being available for search engines by displaying the letters zz against any such idle hub. You could check in your accounts to see what hubs had been idled.

But following complaints about this new system, which many thought was unfair, HubPages has changed it all again so that now the idled hubs have no symbol showing alongside them and are classed as ‘Normal’, whereas active hubs have the letter H showing that they are ‘Featured.’

H could stand for Hub or Hit, like in popular music. We all want our hubs to become hits!

It has all changed again and now the featured hubs have a small H in a black circle and those not featured have a blue circle with H in it.Black means good and blue needs tweaking.

The letter H

Cyrillic Letter H in Public Domain
Cyrillic Letter H in Public Domain

Featured Hubs

So what does Featured actually mean? In actuality all it really shows is that your hub is available for search engines and people who want to view your hubs. It doesn’t mean it has any preferential treatment or is getting shown anywhere amongst special recommendations. It just means that it is active and not idled.

It would be easy for newcomers to this site to assume that Featured meant that their hub was showing on a special page for Featured Hubs and so would be likely to get far more views. It doesn’t mean this. It means that it is active and can be searched for, though there is a bit more to it than that which has been brought to my attention by the hubber known as nicomp, who says that a: 'Featured Hub is "Featured on other hubs and topics pages." Just hover over the icon on your hubpages.com/my/hubs/stats page and you will see.'

But of course this is good and what you want. You want your hubs able to be viewed by the public and other hubbers. The only way to make any money is if you get enough traffic and hopefully some of your readers will click on ads or better still, buy something from your Amazon and eBay ads. And after all, most of us at HubPages are hoping to earn money from our writings!

Did you know what Featured here means?

Did you know what the letter H for Featured means?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

Map of Tenerife

Getting Hubs featured

If you are writing a new hub give it the best chance you can of getting it Featured and staying that way. First of all think of a good title with keywords that people are searching for and write about a subject that Internet users are looking for information on. Split your hub up into several blocks of text with sub-headings, aim for a word count of 700-1,000 words, (though opinions differ on what an ideal word count is and some people will even go as high as 1,500 words), make sure you include some photos and videos and credit them correctly as to where they are from. Your own photos are best but you can also use ones in the Public Domain. Have a look at other advice hubs about these matters.

Take advantage of all the module options HubPages provides. Add a Map, or a Poll and add some links but make sure you have read the guidelines for what is acceptable here. Add some ads for Amazon or eBay items for sale, but make sure they are relevant to your text and don’t add too many. But really think about creating a hub that will be of such great quality it will be a success, a hub that will be featured, will stay featured and will generate a lot of traffic. You are trying to create a hub that people will enjoy reading so its needs to appeal to the eye as well as be an interesting read.

If your hubs have been idled or are now classed as normal then you want to improve your chances with them. There are many things you can do to get them featured again.

It is relatively easy to tweak a hub. You can add some additional text, add new headings or sub-headings, include a video or some photos as illustrations or you might want to think about changing the wording of your main title. Adding links or taking them away will also tweak your hub and may be enough to make it active again and classed as featured with an H showing that it is.

Changing the category it is being shown under is another minor edit you can make. For example, if I have a hub about Tenerife I might want to list it as in Spain or under the Canary Islands, which comes under Visiting North Africa.

How to Hub - A HubPages Guide for Noobs

If hubs keep getting Idled or made Normal

If you find that your hubs do not stay featured, or if you have tweaked them and got the featured again but then they have been rendered Normal, you may feel saddened that your work that you were proud of hasn’t made the grade for this site. But don’t be disheartened and do not despair. Think about unpublishing your unsuccessful hubs, deleting them from this site and from Google search indexes using this Removal Tool and then publish them again at another website such as Wizzley, Squidoo, Infobarrel or elsewhere. Of course you need to make a copy of your hub before you delete it but HubPages give you 24 hours before they remove a deleted hub from the site and you can even go back and undo the deletion if you change your mind. You don't want to lose you work though. If you are like me you will hang on to all your creations!

I have found that a lot of my hubs were getting repeatedly idled because they simply were not getting the traffic needed so I have moved them to Wizzley and Squidoo.

HubPages has changed and is changing

Following the problems caused by the Google Panda update that drastically lowered the income of many of us on here, HubPages has had to bring in some changes to the site in an effort to benefit us all. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been happy with many of these changes and have complained about them in the forums, as have many others hubbers and some have actually left the site.

However, for me this is a site I can still count on for making some income from and until the problem caused by Panda this was a site I could count on for regular income from. I can see that the staff here are doing what they can to try to get this site back to how it was and for us all to benefiting from the changes they are introducing.

So I am staying put and treating this as a learning experience and time for change. The world changes daily and we must change with it!

© 2012 Steve Andrews

More by this Author


Comments 63 comments

John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

Thank you for this excellent article Bard. When I first saw all of the 'H's beside my Hubs, I thought I had suddenly become famous - until my natural cynicism took over.

I was going to ask a question re the 'H's this morning - until I read your informative article. Thank you again.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I am glad you found my hub useful, John, so thank you for commenting!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

That is what I thought, it is still being idled but they have disguised the term. Thanks for the info. I wrote several Hubs about Hubbers and they keep being idled. I doubt anyone except Hubbers will search for them so might as well start deleting them.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

If the hubbers are on other sites like Wizzley you might try moving them there. It's a shame to see work destroyed due to lack of interest. If Van Gogh had done that to his paintings no one liked we would never have had them in the world today!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Actually, none of them write on other sites. It seems strange but they are all just on HubPages. At least, that I can find.


literatelibran profile image

literatelibran 3 years ago from Williamsburg, Virginia

I had no idea what the H meant! All of these changes sound a little scary to a noob like me, and even have me questioning whether this site is worth investing effort into.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Becky, I am sorry to hear none of the hubbers you have written about are on other sites! Literatelibran, thanks for posting! This has been the best site for me to make money on but it has suffered a lot of problems this year which it can hopefully overcome!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

HP has become a fruit basket turnover with so many changes requirements and no definition of quality at all. there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for the hubs which are successful and those not.

The staff have decided to base quality on their own type of hubs as is obvious because they are teaching the apprentices to write hubs as they do. LOL!

For this to be a writing site HP seems to have a problem with the meaning of words. They use "elite" to describe newbie greeters and "normal" to mean not good enough, so I can understand the problems they are having getting any of the new "experiments" they term as improvements to work well.

In one fell swoop they destroy any organic links to a hub which may have been slowly gaining in the SERP or could be suddenly very popular online. Even though they didn't have to discuss this with the community it would have been nice if they at least went through the motions of appearing to care what we thought about it.

HP doesn't know what Google wants. If they did we wouldn't be in the mess we are now in with them having to grasp at straws. Just write for fun, for other publishing platforms, or somewhere else. It will never be the same great place it once was.

SSSSS


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for your feedback!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 3 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I love Randy because....he doesn't mince words!

LOL!

Hey Bard, blogger now allows product sales with images/links directly from Google.

I've had a few "put to sleep," and others "unpublished" for this or that...I don't mess around here with that stuff...I just copy/paste onto blogger.

I'm not happy with a lot of the changes....but I still make the most money here, so I guess I ought to just deal with it.


mpropp profile image

mpropp 3 years ago from Minnesota

Thanks for the explanations on the "H" featured hubs. I have to admit, I got a little excited when I first saw them...but then I realized it was just replacing the active symbol. Oh well! This might not be the right place to ask, but I haven't been on HP long enough to know about the "before Panda" traffic that everyone has lost. Is it because of the idling of the hubs that traffic has dropped? Or was that just part of the "solution" put in place by HP to try and bring the traffic back?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

True, Wesman! I have a blogger account and make a few bucks there despite the few articles I have. Adsense clicks I get there pay better than here.

SSSSS


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 3 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

You get the ENTIRE pay for the click on Blogger!

I'm into doing short blogs on blogger all of a sudden....not that I make much of anything from it.

I do have one blog that does sometimes send me some dollars...and I believe the key to its success is that it has a very definite theme to it...it is an acoustic guitar blog.


creativegenius profile image

creativegenius 3 years ago from United States

I agree with you on adding images, a poll, or something to break up content so the Hub is more engaging to look at. Exactly like you do.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

mpropp, HubPages as a site, as I understand it, lost its good ranking with Google when they brought in the Panda update. In brief, Google are trying to get top quality sites rated highly their advertisers would be happy to have ads on. Sadly HP has a lot of badly written, short and spammy hubs on it that let everyone else down. The hub Hopping system was brought in in an effort to combat this. Please use it and also flag any awful hubs you come upon. We need to clean the site up for everyone's benefit and it is impossible for the HP staff to go through all the hubs!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Wesman, I have a Blogger site but it simply doesn't get the traffic or earn me any money.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 3 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Good information, Bard. I just got my Internet back again -- around Long Island crews are still cleaning up after Sandy. I haven't even looked at my hub list yet so I haven't seen the H you reference. Making money is not my major interest in HubPages. My interest is merely in having more people read my scribblings, but the idling of hubs -- or now the "normal" -- means that these hubs are not likely to be found by anyone. If hubs must be visible to Google customers then apparently they'll be invisible to virtually everyone except writers on HubPages or my personal friends. Fortunately, I have a blog, but a personal blog doesn't have the potential of reaching a wide audience that HubPages has (or had.) If not available from a Google search, these "normal" hubs apparently have little chance of being read.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Sadly I think you are right, William!


FSlovenec profile image

FSlovenec 3 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Thank you for this informative Hub...I have been Hubbing for 9 10 months. I am still learning and excited to learn.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I am glad you found it interesting!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Thanks for writing this hub. It is great information for both experienced and new hubbers.

Votes and shared! :-)


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 3 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Good, sensible information......thanks for explaining it so well.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

It all comes down to whether someone wants to waste time hoping their article will pass HP's dubious quality control or simply publish it somewhere else to begin with. With no idea of what HP wants it seems to be a fruitless attempt.

SSSSS


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 years ago from California

I was wondering why the Zzz's were not there any longer. I do however like the H's . It's much easier to see which of my hubs need to be revised. (Especially with those who have so many hubs)

Thank you for the update and information BOE! Thumbs up and shared!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

Thanks so much for the explanation. I find it hard to keep up with all this stuff!


literatelibran profile image

literatelibran 3 years ago from Williamsburg, Virginia

In your experience, how long do hubs stay featured for on this system? So far all of mine are, but I'm uncertain how long that will last...


Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This hub is very useful to me. I have noticed the Zzz's and H's in my profile and your explanation confirms what I thought the symbols meant. I hope to make money soon and you give me hope.


LaThing profile image

LaThing 3 years ago from From a World Within, USA

Thanks, Bard! I was wondering what all those H's were next to my hubs..........Thanks for the clarification. Your hub is very thorough, and helpful. :)

Voting up and sharing.....


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 3 years ago

Great Hub Thanks for sharing. Yes LaThing, I was wondering the same. This post helped a lot. Voted up for useful!


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA

Thanks Bard, this was very helpful. I have been away from HP most of this summer and was just getting back into the swing of things. I paniced when I seen all the zzz's, then later cheered when I seen all the H's. I however was a bit bummed to see a few of my accolades disappear and my comment level drop a few notches. I guess I will have to get to work on those again. You have my vote for being very useful. Thanks again!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for all your posts, everyone! It is impossible to say how long hubs stay featured for because some of mine that were once very successful have suddenly been idled even though they had a high hubscore. I think it is all to do with traffic and if it drops you may get your hub called normal!


Angela Kane profile image

Angela Kane 3 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Voted up and useful. Thanks for the tips and information.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

You are welcome and thank YOU!


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 3 years ago from Canada

you said it right-- I like writing, and the best way to write, is to learn how to improve on what you have-- so normal, idle, or whatever they might choose to say hubs are-- doesn't help me one bit. Guess it's back to work then.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for commenting, Rebecca!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

This is a good explanation. Many people don't have time to read all the forum posts to know what is going on, and sometimes that gets confusing as changes continue to be made. Voted up.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

You have written a very informative Hub here. Thanks. It is hard to keep up with all the changes here.

Voted UP.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for your votes and comments, MT and Mary!


Life Iz Beautiful profile image

Life Iz Beautiful 3 years ago from India

Thank you so much for sharing this article. I had a doubt regarding the 'featured hub' and your article cleared it up.

Have a rocking day ahead.

also voted useful...:D


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I am glad to hear it!


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

I don't think it matters if a hub is featured: very few new readers find hubs through the Featured Hubs feature. Google certainly doesn't care. Registered hubbers are conditioned not to click on their ads and anyone else's ads. The 'Feature' will keep a reader on the HubPages site, but won't financially benefit the author at all.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I don't understand how you think that seeing as normal hubs are taken out of search results. At least the featured ones get more of a chance at getting traffic. Featured hubs just means that they are active and is not to do with being featured anywhere.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

Not true: The description of a Featured Hub is "Featured on other hubs and topics pages." Just hover over the icon on your hubpages.com/my/hubs/stats page and you will see.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I was wrong. I see what you mean. In that case it makes it even stranger because what HP class as "high quality" one day they can call normal and unfeatured the next.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

That's because they want to have the same mystique as Google. If they tell us what they actually want, we'll be able to do it and they will have no more power.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I have just quoted you and added a link to your site here from my text above explaining featured hubs. Thanks again for explaining further! However, surely they want us to produce "what they actually want" because that increases their earnings potential as well as ours?


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

I agree that money is a motivator for HubPages. And it should be. However, they are also subject to the whims of Google and no one knows which way that wind will blow.

It won't be a problem forever. Google will be fractured by anti-trust legislation just like IBM and Microsoft. They aren't too big to fail.


patchofearth profile image

patchofearth 3 years ago from somewhere in the appalachian foothills

I saw the symbols but was confused about their meaning. Thank you for clearing it up for me. It looks like I've got some work to do.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

You are welcome!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 3 years ago from Great Britain

Hi Bard, read with intrigue and am now better informed. I haven't really been part of the forum community in the last year or so, since I predicted these changes were on their way and was shot down by the 'gurus'. I am, therefore, grateful for this hub which keeps me in the know.

Voted up and 'interesting'. With love and blessings xx


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I am glad this was of use to you! Thanks for your vote and comments!


perrya profile image

perrya 3 years ago

So, the new criteria is all because of Google. It seems google dictates the terms to blog sites. Now, any article not at least 700 words will be deemed inferior and punished so it is not searched. If it does have a photo or video, another strike against it. Well, not all hubs can be like that and there are certainly good ones with much less. Just how much does HP make from Google? There must be some sort of financial benefit.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

Where does the 700 word benchmark come from? It is published somewhere? If it's Google's limit, why don't the HubGods let Google index the page and then apply their own limits? Why do the HubLords need to act as a gatekeeper?

Does this limit apply to Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc.? If not, what are their limits?


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Yes, good questions? With ever changing rules it is very hard to know what is right or wrong here! What I have said in this hub were guidelines I had concluded when I wrote it.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

Yep. And they'll never tell us the truth. So sad.


perrya profile image

perrya 3 years ago

In the upper right hand part of a new hub screen, the benchmarks are shown- the filter wants 700+ words and a few photos. If the minimum is not there, the writer gets the message, Your Hub is not featured. I have tried this a few times.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA

perrya, those benchmarks mean nothing. My hubs meet them and they still get saddled with the NOINDEX tag.

The nebulous instructions such as "fresh content" and "search engine-friendly capsule headings" is no help at all. Qualitative items like these can't me measured anyway.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for explaining that, nicomp!


delia-delia profile image

delia-delia 18 months ago

Interesting! I recently had a none featured Hub...it had done real well on Squidoo for years, and I've been here for 6 mo. and it's been featured for 6 mo. and just taken off. My solution after I totally reworked it....DELETE! To me it was not worth the effort to rework and redo, and still not be featured.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 18 months ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Yes, it can be very frustrating!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 15 months ago from Queensland Australia

Interesting and useful hub Bard of Ely, even though there have been still more changes since you wrote this. I recently had almost a quarter of my hubs marked as not having enough engagement so I have to tweet a few things to have them featured again. It is a bit of a nuisance but all for the benefit of the site overall, due to Google tightening the screws. Well done, voted up.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

I an engaged to all my hubs and SCOTUS says that's OK now.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 14 months ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Jodah! Yes, it is true that things have been changing since I first wrote this. You have to keep up with the changes! I have to tweak hubs often too.

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