I saw a dramatic traffic drop today and went to notice that over 100 of my hubs are not featured. While I can understand some of my older ones published over 4 years ago were not that great, some of them were published just months ago and are engaging, have beautiful pictures and very few links. It's hard for me to understand what more can be done on these articles for them to be featured. Any ideas? Can this be just a glitch? I didn't see this many a few days ago!
Could it be lack of traffic to those Hubs?
One thing I notice is that you have repeated titles, which Google does not like (i.e. you have lots of Hubs starting with the same two words, e.g. "Dog Behavior", "Dog Grooming". Google sees repetitive titles as a sign of spun articles, so you could be shooting yourself in the foot with them. HubPages QAP may be marking you down for doing it, too.
I can understand you're using the titles to link your Hubs together - but don't. It's counterproductive. Use the Groups feature and include links to your other related Hubs within each Hub.
Try changing the title to remove that repetition and see if they recover.
Thanks for the tips. I once read somewhere that Google likes when you use titles with extra keywords that portray the content and worked for a website that a few years ago that specifically wanted titles always in such a format.
Go figure, Google seems to like something one day and dislike something else the next. A Google University should be opened; it's hard to keep up and I truly miss the good old days where things were just simple.
I guess the search engines are bombarded by content accumulating over the years and must "filter" somehow the good from the bad and the ugly.
I link some of my hubs together because I may have some followers that may have no clue what I am talking about so if they want to expand on the topic they can visit the link and learn more. Many of the non- featured ones though don't have those repeated keywords, but what I saw is some lack a summary. I am working on adding it, but it's tough to keep up when you have over 900 articles and joined almost 5 years ago when many changes weren't implemented and Google was back then a friendly search engine:( I just don't have much time to keep up and may be forced to un-publish several and perhaps make my own website.
Yes, that's still true - but they've become very sensitive to "keyword stuffing", where writers repeat keywords excessively to get attention.
HubPages has said that a summary is important - however I never got around to adding a summary on many of mine, and when I look at them, some of my best performing Hubs don't have one and some of my "unfeatured' ones do. So don't waste your time, would be my advice.
Note that if you make any edit at all to a Hub - even one sentence - that will bring it out of the "idle" state, but it's only temporary and will last a few weeks at best. To get a Hub back to being Featured permanently, you need to make major changes and then wait to see if it helps. Though without knowing why it became unFeatured, you're working in the dark.
I would recommend you seriously consider that option, because you have a clearly identified niche in which you can offer real expertise. Like I said, trying to get a Hub back to Featured status is a lottery and you could avoid a lot of frustration by moving them to your own site. The cheapest option is to use Blogger and buy a .com, .net or .org name to go with it. Don't expect to make much from ad revenue - but with your topic, you would have a lot of affiliate marketing options. PM me if you want some specific advice.
Oh my goodness. "Yes, that's still true - but they've become very sensitive to "keyword stuffing", where writers repeat keywords excessively to get attention." PLEASE tell me that's wrong! I thought that was why we were supposed to have titles that WEREN'T witty so it's easy for Google to find our hubs. I have a hub title that has the words 'presidential debate' and 'Candy Crowley' in them so that it's easy to find. I've had to ugly up my titles specifically to play the Google Game...
Titles have huge importance and yes, should contain your main keywords.
Keyword stuffing is in the body of the text, and there is a fine line between stuffing and not mentioning your keywords enough.
"Keyword stuffing is in the body of the text..." OHHHHHH. Cool, feel much better now. Thanks, Izzy.
...just to upset you again, it is possible to keyword stuff in the title. For instance, if you repeat the same word twice in your title, or if you include the same keyword in every title, heading and sub-heading in your Hub (which used to be the recommended thing to do).
I am learning so much. Thank you so very much, Marisa. ♥ ♥ ♥
You said that JUST to upset me again!! Mean, mean lady!! Hahaha.
Like Nursey, I learn stuff from your posts as well. Hm. So is Eiddwen shooting herself in the foot with her "Come Sit By Me A While" series? I really admired that phrase and thought it was a ingenious to link her hubs together like that.
Hi Marisa, I started out a lot of my hubs with "Natural Dog Health:" and none of them have performed that well. Do you think I should change them to reflect only the word that follows(like acupuncture, acupressure, allergies, etc.)?
Yes! You still need to make clear it's for dogs, of course, but try to mix up the titles rather than repeating the same phrase every time.
Thanks for the title tip. This issue has really been stressing me lately.
If you want search engine traffic you need to edit and revise the hubs.
I've had some hubs go un-featured too, and one I thought was really nice. It may be me, but I can't see that it needs any major reworking. I just think it needs time to get links and a following. It's title "The Top Ten Things to Look for in a Dog Obedience Trainer." Does Google dislike "Top #" lists? Should I retitle? I sent it back in to be refeatured with little to no revision - just a few more keywords added.
Good question, agilitymach. Even when I delete "Dog training tips..." the title of the article is usually "How to..." Does Google dislike/downrate "how to" articles? I can not think of a better title than "How to train your dog for personal protection", "How to train your dog to wait at the door", etc.
I also uses "Does my dog need" a lot. "Does my dog need vaccinations?", "Does my dog need heartworm testing?", "Does my dog need daily toothbrushing?". Should I eliminate titiles with questions that help the reader find the article?
As Izzy says, titles are important to help people find your Hubs. Try typing those titles into Google and see what the auto-complete does - that's a great clue to what people are actually typing into search, which is the word sequence you want to use.
There are only so many ways to reword something, so don't stress too much about getting every single word in the title different. The main thing is to avoid deliberate repetition.
Trouble with any 'how to' article is that there is bound to be an eHow article in direct competition.
I don't understand why, but eHow articles are considered cream of the crop by Google at the moment, even more so than Squidoo.
Which is a pity because many of them are really short and uninformative.
One particular 'How to' hub I have was in third position behind eHow and Squidoo, then it went to second and the third place went to eHow.co.uk.
Today it has slipped right down to #30 (bottom of page 3), while Squidoo has slipped back into second place.
There was a time when the sheer strength of the Hubpages platform was enough, now it isn't.
Oh and my article is better and more detailed than the competition. (In my opinion of course).
Then again, there is a blog on page 15 of Google which is better than all of us, in terms of both writing and presentation.
So it looks like no matter what you write or how you write it, the strength of the platform you write it on still takes precedence.
I've just had an exclusive title go idle. Three google searches in three months. It has a good hubscore, that doesn't seem to mean anything. I'm considering a new title but have to unpublish in order to change. Kind of thought the exclusives should be good titles, at least I've only used one.
I had assumed the same thing. But it seems the exclusive titles are basically random. I have no idea what the point of them is supposed to be.
You don't need to unpublish to change the title. Just edit it.
There is absolutely no point in changing the URL, if that's what you mean. If you can get a good URL when you start the Hub, that's great, but it's not important enough to worry about changing it later.
You can't edit an exclusive title. It won't let you.
That's a problem that needs fixed, too. HP is not omnipotent - a title that looks good on paper may never do anything and HP needs to recognize that and change the rule.
And you are surprised?
Immediately the exclusive titles were released for general consumption, a number of people commented that most were worthless from an SEO viewpoint.
I checked out two on some keyword software:
1. A medical topic. Monthly searches for the exact phrase: 56 Estimated traffic: 10 visits per month IF you get the number 1 spot in the SERPS. 259 sites have exactly the same sequence of four keywords. That is not so bad, HOWEVER, if you look at an exact search for the phrase on Google, you find competitors include webmd.com, cdc.gov. Thus, you do not have a hope in hell to reach the number 1 spot in the SERPS and gain those 10 visits per month. Moreover, 10 visits a month is potentially low enough to trigger idling.
2. A weight loss topic. Monthly searches for the exact phrase: 16. Estimated traffic for the No. 1 site in search results: 3 visits per month. OK, you would only be competing with 40 other sites for the exact sequence of seven keywords. however, even if you got to No. 1 in the SERPS, this hub would be idled immediately. It's not even worth sticking the search term into Google to view the competition...
hubpages is so confused. I am starting to think that its not worth all the trouble. I mean you do all the research that goes with making a good article, and hubpages just messes it up!
It is almost not worth the trouble. It is because Google as a wacko company with some insane and stupid ideas. You need women running the company instead of Matt Cutts. I see really crappy searches these days. They were better in the old days.
I was all hot for Google's new cable service, but if they start good and finish bad there like they have with their search engine, I think I will have second thoughts when they come to my town.
Good luck on tweaking over 100 hubs to get them out of the idle status....do know this, the majority will return to idle status shortly. I have seen it happen with my own and that is why I no longer tweak, I simply unpublish and move elsewhere.
Hopefully your will have better results. I only wish the best for all who publish here. I am just discouraged until I see some positive changes.
Just a heads up, I had several hubs that were idled with good views, good hub scores and one ranked one in Google for up to five key word/phrases in search. So....you can see where my discouragment comes from.
My hub count was 121 published and now is down to 95 due to the idled status thing.
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