Should You Ever Unpublish Your Online Articles?

Can I just get rid of my babies?
Can I just get rid of my babies? | Source

When Should You Delete a Hub or Article?

Are there hubs that you should unpublish? Perhaps hubs that are dropping in score? I'm not sure that I'm the right person to ask, because I haven't unpublished any of my hubs in the time I've been on HubPages. Maybe I'm too sentimental and think of my hubs as my babies. It's hard to let them go. I don't just leave them sitting there, though. I visit them, I check on them, and I nurture them until they can do better on their own. So in a way they are my babies, I guess.

I hear about people deleting hubs, or at least unpublishing them, and maybe I will one day. For now, though, I look for other alternatives before I kick those babies out the door.

Alternatives to Unpublishing Hubs or Articles

Maybe I'm just sentimental, but I've never yet unpublished a hub, or any other article I've written and published online, and I don't know when I ever will. Right now, I regularly check my hub scores and revise them when they fall into the lower 60s or are getting very few views. Some things you can do:

  • Use the title tuner to see if your title could be improved as far as searches go
  • Use Google Keywords Tool to see if there are more search-friendly key words you could add into your title or into the body of your article
  • Change up the wording, revising it to read better
  • Add more content, such as photos or videos

These are some of the things I try that often work to raise my hub scores, at least for a while. I'm also giving time to some hubs. As times passes, hubs seem to do better. My first hub, "Getting Over the Fear of Writing Your First Hub," got a lot of reads at first, but as my portfolio grew, it didn't fare so well. It scored usually in the mid to upper 70s. However, after about six months with HubPages, I wrote some more hubs about HubPages and linked the new hubs to my old hub. Voila! Those links helped bring more traffic to the older hub. The more hubs I accumulate, the more I'm able to link some of the lower-scoring hubs to higher-scoring ones. Look for hubs that logically go together and try linking them to see if traffic and hub scores improve.

What About Unpublishing Poetry?

What about hubs that are performing poorly? Often, poetry hubs fit into that category. Poetry hubs are great for those who want to read poetry, but they aren't necessarily what gets searched on the web--thus, the lower scores. My poetry hubs score a wide range, from the low 60s to just above 90.

My higher scoring poetry hubs are those that have explanation to go along with them or that fit into a category for which people might be searching. For example, I have a poem that I've classified as a Mother's Day poem that is currently a 91. I have another poem about how death changes everything that includes explanation about a real life tragedy. That hub scores generally in the 80s.

Still, I don't delete the lower scoring poems. Why? Because I want to write poetry. Poets and non-poets want to read poetry. So, poetry should be there. That isn't to say that I don't revise my poems. I keep an eye on all my hubs and revise them when they get into the low 60s. Recently, I revised my poem, Romance, Ballet, and Cats - Love Poem, because it was scoring at 56. I added "first" to love to make "first love" which could be a search term people would enter. I added a couple of "Swan Lake" videos that might enhance the reading of the poem. The next morning the poem's score had risen 12 points to a 68, and 70 the next day. Was it due to my revision? I would like to think so. The poem has risen still, now to a 72.

Would I Ever Unpublish a Hub or Article?

I would consider unpublishing a hub that went below the score of 40. At that point, the hub becomes a NoFollow hub, which means that Google won't recognize it in a search. If I couldn't revise a hub enough to get it up to at least 60, then I would probably feel compelled to unpublish it.

I may have an unpublishing frenzy one day, but, for now, I'm following my current plan. I go back to tend to hubs when I don't feel like writing new ones, spending my time tweaking them. I may revise language, add photos and videos, links to other hubs, quizzes or polls. Then I check back to see the result of my efforts. With poetry, I'll keep an eye on it but not worry too much about the score. Still, I will look to see if I can add more content there as well without taking away from the poem. Some poems lend themselves to more background information, while some do not.

For now, I am content to continue to work with all my "babies." What about you? Do you often unpublish hubs? Do you spend time revising them to achieve higher scores? I'd be interested in hearing your perspective.

Poll on Unpublishing Hubs

When do you unpublish a hub?

  • When the score is below a certain point
  • When I decide the content is no longer relevant
  • I don't unpublish hubs. I revise them instead.
  • I might unpublish some hubs one day.
  • I will NEVER unpublish a hub. They are my babies!
See results without voting

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Comments 70 comments

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

I am glad you wrote this and that I saw it to read. I have several Hubs unpubilshed right now and the reason is because I feel they are below the quality I like to turn out. Sooo what do I do? I unpublish - the lazy way out. After reading this I am going to revive these unpublished Hubs and try to make them something I can be proud of! (All except two which were two of my earliest Hubs that were written on topics that are no longer relevant.)


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 4 years ago from Ohio

Thanks for the advice and some useful ideas. Being a relative newbie with only a handful of hubs, the thought of deleting one is far from my mind. I am all for revising and improving, not just to increase readership, but to be sure I am putting out my best work... Best of luck to you and your babies!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I don't delete a hub because of performance level or traffic. When traffic drops I always edit and update and then share on social media.

But of course I have deleted some of my hubs. I delete when my hubs is accepted by print media, where I will be paid instantly.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Awesome, Ardie! If you can save some hubs, I say go for it! It might be better than starting a hub from scratch, and it is also good revision practice for your writing! Good luck!


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia

I've thought about it but never gone through with it...just...can't...do...it! Voted up!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Dana! I do enjoy working with my babies! :-)


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Thanks Vicki for this useful hub. I had no clue about my old hubs until now...

voted up and sharing!


TheInspiredLife profile image

TheInspiredLife 4 years ago from North Carolina

I am glad you shared your thoughts on this. I only have 9 hubs up so far and they are all in the mid 70s to lower 80s after a week or less of being published...but I was wondering what I would do if something didn't do so hot. Now I know!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Vinaya--Good idea about sharing on social media to raise scores. And of course deleting when published elsewhere is good. Thanks for your comments. Good to see you again!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Do it, weestro! Like the little engine who could, I think I can, I think I can, I know I can!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I never unpublish a hub. I see them going up and down. There will be one hub way at the bottom of my list than all at once they will be way up. I always go over them and try to redo some and I do change the titles at times.

Enjoyed reading your hub.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Ruchira--I'm glad you thought it to be useful. Thanks for the vote and sharing!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I have considered deleting a couple of my poems that have a low score. I never have deleted yet. I've almost quit writing poems because their low score seems to pull down my total score. Thanks for this info.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

TheInspiredLife--This is what I do, and maybe it's not the best way, but it does work for me. Thanks for reading and commenting.


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Hello Victoria. I really like the main hub pic. I know the difference between those two. Anyhoot, awesome article on a subject that many ponder. I unpublished about 1/3 some months back - most poetry.

Last week I published them without any revisions. Even though the score fluctuates when unpublished, I decided who knows what a potential reader will discover. I could write more, but I have learned to log hubs like this and then go back to ponder later. Thank you for adding to that treasure chest.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Me, too, moonlake! Glad you nurture your hubs, too! And I'm glad you enjoyed reading this one.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

I have unpublished a couple old ones that were dated and not doing well.

I'm considering unpublishing one that gets a lot of traffic but people have taken it's intent wrong. It's on the difference between American English and UK English and several English people have thought I was making fun of them when I was actually trying to do the reverse.

Sometimes what we write and how people take it doesn't turn out right.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

mary615--If you like your poems and your readers like them, then I wouldn't delete them. But that's just me....There's a place for poetry, even if the scores aren't always the highest.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I just went through a couple of mine. I never think about putting music on them so that is what I do when they go down. I find some appropriate music. I have a Halloween story that is not doing well, but I will be putting some spooky music on it and waiting for the season to come by again. It did well when I wrote it.


BizVT34 profile image

BizVT34 4 years ago from USA

Decisions, decisions... I wonder if un-publishing, modifying and republishing effects the results more than just revising and leaving published


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

tsmog--Glad you liked the picture! :-) And glad I could add to your treasure chest. :-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

I know, Pamela. Sometimes reader don't take things right. I'm curious, though, and must read that hub. I love language. Thanks for your comments!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

Just like you, I hate to unpublish my hubs. I'll keep revising and refreshing until I get it right.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

I plan to revisit some hubs soon to decide what to do with them. I have unpublished a few hubs, but I really have not deleted any. But I might soon. I am considering combining some and maybe dividing some. Who knows where it will all wind up.


emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

Very nice hub. I actually deleted a couple a few days ago....they just were ones I was not totally proud of and I would have improved them, but the topic was just weak. I do touch up on the ones I'm proud of though and fix titles, too. I definitely prefer to fix them up rather than delete them. I know my poetry hubs will not be huge successes on here but that's ok too, they were fun to write. :) great hub, voted up.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Becky, so the music seems to help? I bet your Halloween hub will do well once the holiday comes around again. Thanks for the comments!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Good question, BuyaBiz. I wonder what effect that would have. I have heard that Google likes seeing revisions. I don't know if unpublishing while revising would have a better effect or not. Let me know if you try it!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Me, too, Millionaire! I'm thinking that I will probably always be that way...sigh.... Gotta keep my babies! haha


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

homestead, I have divided some to see if they would do better. There are many things to do if the idea of the hub is relevant. I just hate to let them go if they can be revised and salvaged. Thanks for the input! You have great hubs!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Yes, emilybee, keep the poetry hubs coming if you enjoy them, as others do, too. If the content is weak or irrelevant, it's totally okay to delete them. I may have some of those, LOL, but I'm reluctant to let them go. I'll keep trying to find a way to rev up the score! Thanks for reading and voting up!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Victora....You read minds too? I was just asking myself this question a couple of weeks ago.....actually, (in view of my most recent hub)....I was wondering whether or not each individual Hub score, had anything to do with that TWO-DIGIT baby!!

I am like you, having actual "feelings" for my hubs. (I think this is considered an "issue" worth seeking help for) lol....You know, they aren't all that great, they've certainly disappointed me, and they don't seem to bring me much benefit....but I have unconditional love for my babies. Oh, that's really sick. UP +++


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

I remove my short stories when they have run their course because I am putting them together and editing for publishing. I also remove the poems that I am placing on my poetry blog. I was planning on removing one of my stories today because I need to have it edited to.

Informative articles I edit and revise. I don't un-publish those.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

LOL, effer, you are too funny. I need help letting go of my babies, that's for sure. I don't know if individual scores affect the overall hubber score, but I bet they do to some extent. OH, well. I love my babies. haha Thanks for agreeing with me!


LauraGT profile image

LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

I was just wondering about this - one of my hubs about the potential harms of TSA scanners hasn't had any hits in over a week. But, the score is still way above 40, and who knows - maybe the issue will come up in the news sometime and people will search for this info. Good pointer about the hubscore going to low. Thanks!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

That's neat that you are publishing things elsewhere, Cardisa. I haven't gotten that far. Maybe one day....


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Laura, you could be right. I'd give the hub some time. Over time, it may gain views as it gets ranked higher in the search engines. :-)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

For the most part, I have found that revising hubs is worth the effort. Even when the scores don't change significantly, the views often increased. Additionally, new promotion can help, too. When I started writing for HubPages, there are sites such as RedGage and Google+ that I didn't use yet so sometimes I go back and post old hubs. Thanks for all of the tips on this subject!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

This was extremely helpful Victoria. I feel the same as you do. Poor little 40s score guy. That is a good thought, to delete them if they are that low. Thanks for the tips!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

I agree, random. Revising does seem to increase traffic. I also need to promote more on the websites you mention, plus others. Thanks for that reminder!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

rebecca...Yes, if they are that low....Still, I try to save them if I can! :-)You're welcome about the tips....


internetgeek profile image

internetgeek 4 years ago from Hyderabad, India.

This is very informative and useful. Excellent instructions on "Alternatives to unpublishing hubs". Thanks and voted up :)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, internetgeek! I like your name!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

a very good share V-L I leave mine up because I hate to delete my babies..LOL


internetgeek profile image

internetgeek 4 years ago from Hyderabad, India.

@Victoria Lynn Thanks for your concern Victoria :)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

I totally understand, Frank. Like minds....LOL!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

No problem, internetgeek!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas


daisydayz profile image

daisydayz 4 years ago from Cardiff

Im new here, and Im not sure I get why you would unpublished a hub. If you have spent time and effort in writing it in the first place I would feel like it was a waste of time and effort to delete or unpublished it. I think working on it a bit is a far better idea, and more social publishing to get it out there again. The topic may pick up again during a certain season so its better to leave it there then pull it isn't it? Great info though


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

We'll get 'em, homestead! this sucks.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

daisyday--I agree totally, with everything you say, and that's what I try to do with my hubs. Thanks for the comments!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Victoria, at the idea of deleting a hub horrified me, but then I started reading about other people doing so, and I did do it for a few of them -- but them to publish somewhere else. I love your ideas for making poems more search-engine friendly. Great hub --- very useful and I will keep this to study it. Thanks for writing this.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

prairieprincess--Glad you like the hub. I can see deleting hubs to publish elsewhere. Other than that, I like to salvage them. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

It's horrifying to me to even think about deleting one of my hubs, my babies! LOL I think I'm a Hub Hoarder! But the idea of revamping seems more logical and I think in the long run may even bring up the score! Great info and I'm certainly glad I came across it. Very motivating!

Thanks V Lynn! :)Voted up and shared!


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

I mostly only write poetry and I never do it for the Score, so having said that it's meaningless to me to delete any poem. Mind you if it receives very few comments then I might consider pulling it. After this latest fiasco of hubs being mirrored on other sites and copied. I will not place to much of my work here. Instead I place them on my own blog site with links back to Facebook and here at the hubs.


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago

Interesting hub! The only reason I would delete a hub is when it is not getting any traffic and the subject is not relevant anymore. In that case, revising wouldn't do any good, since people are just not interested anymore in the subject. For instance, I write a lot of reviews on TV shows. If a show gets cancelled quickly, a while later nobody even remembers that it ever existed. I haven't done it yet (somehow it is quite scary), but that would be a reason to unpublish a hub sometime in the future.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Victoria, I would revise my hubs to see if they do better. As of now I haven't unpublished/deleted any hub. I just have 2 poetry hub that are in the low-mid 60's but I would rather fiddle with keywords or tags or whatever rather than unpublish them.

I view my hubs as my creation so I guess I'm sentimental about them too.

Nice interesting hub.


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

Usually, when I've written for hub pages in the past, I backed up all of my hubs and then just deleted my account. But overall I don't delete/unpublish my hubs unless I feel it is necessary.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Glad you agree, Rustic Lynn--LOL! Thanks for commenting and sharing!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Vincent--That other site copying our stuff is disturbing, but it's still our work, and I enjoy writing here. Having your own blog with links here is good, though. I need to work on my own blog, too. And about your poems, I wouldn't delete ANY of them. They're too awesome!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Robin--That would be a reason to unpublish a hub. Still, yes, it IS scary--LOL! Thanks for the input!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

rajan--That's exactly how I feel about my hubs, too. I'm probably too sentimental....:-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

mikeydcarroll--How do you back up your hubs? I'd like to do that, too. Thanks for the input.


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

I usually open up a word processor then just copy and paste over. I make sure to save before I delete hubs.


Bldg an Architect profile image

Bldg an Architect 4 years ago

This is a great hub. I agree that its silly to unpublish or delete hubs in most cases. There's always a chance that some traffic will come and your hub will earn for you (even if its just a little). That being said, I have unpublished one hub. It was a family recipe that was not performing well. I decided that if it wasn't being properly appreciated, that I didn't want the world to have it. It's back to being just in the family, and I'm happy with that.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

I see, mikeyd! thanks!


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

Hope that helps!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Bldg an Architect--I can see that about the family recipe. But, yes, I will always revise when I can. Great comments. Thanks.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Yes, mikey, it helps. Thanks!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Been watching my Halloween hub since I put a music video on it last week. It went up 8 points and then dropped 2. Music does help.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Becky, that's awesome about your Halloween hub. And it will go up a LOT more, I'm sure, as Halloween comes closer! I need to add more music and other video hubs to some of mine. Great suggestion!

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