So I've deleted all of the idled hubs so far and am wondering when I will have none left. I'm not going to edit anymore until I see some sort of improvement in traffic. Too much trouble for no results at all. With all of the scrapers and with HP's brilliant program I'll soon have a brand new account with nothing in it. Try idling something then, HP!
You aren't going to see some improvement in traffic until you do so on your own.
Thanks for coming
Been there, done that. Thanks for nothing.
Good for you, Xenonlit! I hope everyone here follows your lead and stops putting up with the ridiculous idle program now in place here. I think I'll begin removing my non-idled hubs before they ever get insulted by the QRAP or the MTurks. I have absolutely no respect for either of them at this point. Let the games begin!
It does not seem like the traffic is coming back at all. I have hubs vs Squids in a brand new account and they were not even comparable. No backlinks at all nothing and the Squid would average 10 hits a day, but the Hub was terrible and even with backlinks it is taking me about 15-20 days to get anything indexed.
I was thrilled when I saw the notification of new hubs, this morning. I so enjoy your creative writings and was ready to sink my teeth into another good read. I made my cup of coffee and settled into my comfy chair . Of all of the notification that I received, I went straight to your entry. I am a great fan of your writings. Disappointment greeted me when I realized it was a thread.
I have been with HP about two months and have followed your CW as well as your threads. I am not really sure that I understand all that is discussed. I am only a small fish in a very large pond. I write for the love of writing and have only small hopes that someone will appreciate my works.
You are very talented, Randy, and have quite a following. I humbly ask that you not leave HP.
Thanks for your support and appreciation for my work, DJ. Actually, my fiction is the only hubs I do edit as I learn so much from the comments of others.
My experience here may not be the same as others, especially those who haven't been here as long and suffered the strange penalties on their accounts. Sure, I could start a new account as some say they do much better than the original, but I don't want to throw good money after bad, as my dad used to say.
I'll be around until they idle all of my info hubs, which may be a while as some of them haven't been stolen yet.
I will continue to use HP for my CW efforts until they decide to do away with it too. So they're not getting rid me so easily!
So pleased that you will continue your Creative Writings. I rarely read info hubs. No need for them. I am one of those lucky women who has a husband who knows everything!! ;-)
Thanks again, DJ! This is a great community despite what it is going through now. I hope it can survive this controversial system with all of its faults. I don't think it can get any worse.
Community? It is a masquerade flea market, jack!
Same here Randy.... I have just accepted that HP has double standards... They DEMAND unique content, which is like winning the lottery for any site, and then the toss it away with this stupid idling "bot" that they use.
What they need to do is review the articles after the bot flags them. They are allowing a computer to idle hubs, unique material, and loosing droves of unique content on the site.
Understaffed is the reason for the bot.....well, learn how to cut corners HP and learn how to run a business, lol. I am in business as well and you know when I can not meet goals, I hire staff, more staff. That is the way of the world.
Talk about the cost factor of hiring staff versus the loss of this prized unique material.... Bottom line is that someone is making a huge mistake.
Actually I just posted a thread thanking HP for idling my hubs....it gives me unique material to put elsewhere.....I move all idled material.
I know Dale. Apparently people don't come to HP looking for what I write, at least not anymore. And I refuse to try and trick folks to staying on my hubs with all sorts of bells and whistles. I'd rather they would leave if a silly poll is what turns them on. No, when I write an article I research it well and write it as best I can. If it gets idled it's HP's loss, not mine. They had their chance at it the first time,and one's all they get. Let the others play their games if it suits them. No edits for already good work, bottom line.
That is my feelings as well, Randy. I do not see the "need" to continually keep tweaking an article. Eventually, the whole article will be like our skin, renewed, lol, with no original intended content.
As for adding the bells and whistles, I have seen no proof that that works. I have done as HP staff has said they do, I've added good photos, videos, polls, you name it, I have tried it. The hub they idled today was modeled in the same layout as promoted to do well in search.
I have done searches for information and the top pages sometimes do not even have photos! So I don't believe in the bells and whistles.
My next hub to be idled if things continue to follow the same path, is the only one I used their Exclusive Title on. That one never even got a good breath of air. I promoted it the same as all my material. Wrote a decent review, as that was what the title was focused on. But I do feel it is on their "hit" list next time around.
Good luck in all you do, Randy! Take care.
Randy, I don't understand. Why delete idled hubs if they are evergreen or have a good score. Why should we edit and edit and edit just because they are idled. This is an arbitrary label. Do idled hubs really count against us with Google? I may seem dim, but I just don't understand this whole issue. Thanks for your comments back to me.
Personally, I'm fed up with this program, Maralexa. I've deleted hubs which have gained me many thousands of visits in the past but now seem to be not wanted by HP. I'm tired of editing them for nothing and am fully satisfied it is because Google hates HubPages, not my own work. Until the big G slapped the heck out of HP for publishing pure junk I did just fine, but now it seems rather hopeless to even try. Not to mention the thieves having free rein to steal whatever they like with no protection from either HP or Google. It's just not worth fooling with anymore. I would not recommend this site to my worst enemy. (not exactly true if it ticked them off as bad as it does me)
Idled Hubs don't count against you with Google, because Google doesn't "see" them. That's not the issue.
The issue is that no one can see an idled Hub, except people you send the link to, or people who visit your profile (if you have it set to show idled Hubs). What's the point of having an article published if no one can read it?
I also delete idled Hubs and move them somewhere else.
I thought that Google sees them, but doesn't "index" them in the search rankings. I have not seen definitively that "no index" hubs do or don't play a factor in the determination of the quality of the site. Hopefully, the "no indexed" spam hubs do not degrade the site's quality.
HubPages have said that Hubs with low traffic or "no index" Hubs do no harm.
So why does HP Deindex them if their quality is OK?
That is the $64,000 question.
Perhaps HP just wants to get rid of its longer-term members.
DUH! Yes, I'd like to hear the answer to this again. I'll bet it's changed a bit since the first go-round. I thought this was the very reason for idling hubs, that Google didn't like those with low quality=traffic and we were advised to have our settings to not show them on our profile? Did I imagine this?
I've quoted Derek's post so often, I can't be bothered going back and finding it again.
Derek wrote a very clear post. He said that HubPages knows that low-performing Hubs do not hurt HubPages. However, there is a large proportion of Hubs which are low traffic because they're low quality or have been Google slapped - and they need to be addressed. HubPages don't have the money or the resources to find those, so they've decided to idle ALL low traffic Hubs. They know that will cause "collateral damage" (his words) to quality Hubs with low traffic, but they're prepared to live with that for now because they can't afford to do anything else.
I posted that explanation on another thread, and it was confirmed by Simone, so there's two HubPages staff members telling you the same thing.
I remember that post of derek's so well. I wondered when he wrote it if it might have been an unintentional "slip of the tongue". I even made a comment about it on Randy's hub wondering if they meant to let that cat out of the bag. Prior to derek's comment HubPages stance was hubs become idled based on quality. Now, post derek's comment we are told they ALSO are idled based on traffic.
I think extending the time for new hubs to gain "engagement" prior to becoming idle is a big step in a positive direction. Two months was not enough time.
Personally, I think in the ideal world on HP, traffic would not be equated with quality and be factored out of the algo.
Well, it was a memorable post and it is interesting people have overlooked it. Glad you are posting it. It helps put things in perspective.
I'm glad it did come out, and now Simone has confirmed it a couple of times, too. I wish they'd made that clearer early on, because a lot of the angst is because people felt insulted by the idling process - there was a lot of talk along the lines of "why aren't my Hubs good enough?"
Of course, people are entitled to feel annoyed that perfectly good Hubs are getting idled just because they get low traffic. I've had several Hubs idled and while they weren't getting much traffic, the little they did get was worthwhile - even a few pennies a month builds up over time.
Absolutely in an ideal world traffic numbers would not need to be used as an indication of quality and would be factored out of the algo. I fully concur.
If it were an ideal world, one in which Google actually sent traffic to quality articles rather than pieces of garbage with 500 backlinks or just big names selling stuff, we would not be in this position. If there weren't tens of thousands of "writers" eager to game google's algorithm they could just tell us what they want. That, too, puts things into perspective.
It is also causing unknown collateral damage to HP as people remove perfectly good articles when they are idled. How can they expect the writers to keep editing perfectly good hubs over and over until they gain enough traffic to keep them featured? I'm sorry, they get one shot at any I publish in the future or perhaps none at all until they show this is actually doing some good for the site. I would not recommend anyone using HP at the moment as they are asking way too much of the writers.
What HubPages says is not written as law. I disagree.
What are you looking at that would indicate that either low traffic or a noindex tag will harm either the subdomain or the site as a whole?
" Sometimes a couple of under-performing Hubs can hurt the reputation of your entire online portfolio in the eyes of search engines "
Update March 2013 => Its a money thing, Server is full???!~ Paul E
"Right now, each featured Hub is given some amount of promotion on topic pages and related Hubs. We know this helps Hubs do better. So, the idea is fairly simple to not feature Hubs with low engagement. We want to use the internal promotion to focus it on Hubs that will benefit from it since we have a limited promotion budget. "
Can you quote anyone outside HubPages saying that?
Paul E seems to be the only person on the planet who thinks low-performing posts can harm a domain. I have said this many times, and no one from HubPages (or anywhere else) has been able to find a quote from anyone to prove otherwise.
It's well known that low quality posts will harm a domain. Derek and Simone have said that HubPages is not idling low traffic Hubs because low traffic is a problem in itself.
I remember seeing that, but took it at the time to be speaking of actual poor quality rather than a well written hub that doesn't see traffic. Such as those written primarily for hubbers, on how to use HP.
I also took the budget comment to be about the physical constraints rather than monetary; there are only so many things they can do to get a hub into view. Only so many hubs that can be put on the "other hubs" thing at the bottom of each hub, for instance.
Aha! I knew somewhere Paul E. stated low traffic hubs may hurt one's subdomain. I think was the first excuse for idling hubs and then the "collateral damage" post came out later after everyone learned editing them was fairly useless and began deleting them instead. So why did staff recommend we not show idle hubs on our profile? Has this too changed now? it seems they are really jumping around a lot with the whole good/bad thing.
What frustrates me is why HP is not focusing more on addressing blatantly bad hubs (e.g. "Parenthetically, the threat of genetic copies as well as imitations like Louis Vuitton knockoffs is troubling the Louis Vuitton souk. The brand has obtained more than a few technological as well as officially permitted moves to hold it back.") that almost everyone agrees ARE harming the site. This author has a nice portfolio of similar gems. Aren't those causing more damage to the site than hubs with few views?
It doesn't take long to find such beauties as http://endonesia.hubpages.com/hub/perfe … e-athletes (in the Outdoor Shoes category of HP) with almost no text and eight amazon ads (scroll to the bottom). Why put the onus on hubbers to flag these when they can (and should have been) systemically identified and addressed? What is the leadership message that hubbers should take from that?
***At least that hub is miscategorized, which should spawn action***
I think there is very valid reasons why folks are upset that their "quality" hubs are being swept up in the idling process - but super low quality, copied, spam, spun, CLEAR violations of the 50/1 rule are allowed to remain featured because they are meeting the traffic requirements to avoid being idled (unless they are flagged by a hubber that stumbles upon them).
Shouldn't those blatantly BAD hubs be a bigger focus of HP instead of the good quality hubs that are either seasonal or simply don't get a lot of traffic?
Will it help to remove them when 2 more are published for every one taken out?
HP has chosen to go after new hubs first, maybe to "fine tune" the operation, but certainly to get a handle on removing junk before it's ever seen. Hopefully they've gotten good enough at it to keep from simply replacing those in the "backlog" when the work commences there, which PE said is very close.
The recommendation not to show idled hubs came, I thought, as a response to "pending" hubs taking forever to be indexed. Don't provide a link to it that you don't have to and the bots are that much less likely to visit before it becomes featured.
As a result of that understanding I have two older, idled, hubs on my carousel. I won't put pending ones on until they're featured, though.
I'm sorry Wilderness, but this makes no sense to me. Staff clearly said showing idled hubs was not recommended and thus they inferred it would be better to not show them. Then a complete reversal by Paul yesterday in this same thread I believe. First they hurt you, and now they don't!
Seems as if I remember someone saying getting rid of the low traffic hubs from one's account would help us in the eyes of Google. Now removing low traffic hubs don't. I wish they'd make up their minds on something. They keep changing the reasons they do things, not to mention all of the HubSpeak we have to interpret lately.
So how many hubs do you think were deleted before HP decided they were suffering a bit too much collateral damage themselves because of the--so far not too successful--idling scheme? I would guess it would be in the many thousands.
I've deleted around 30 and some I know have removed over 150 hubs they worked very hard on. I sure hope they put them elsewhere where they are appreciated more. This has to be very detrimental and I don't understand why they didn't do it in stages starting with the most egregious examples of poor quality. Real quality, not HP's HubSpeak definition. Well, perhaps I do understand if they want the crummy--but much visited--hubs to still remain on the site. There's no other explanation I can think of.
As I mentioned, that was my take on it. Could be wrong or I may be getting senile, but that's what I recall as the first suggestion that we not show them on our profile.
You're asking that they make an individual judgement on each hub before sending it to the QAP. To see if it's "egregious" before checking for quality. It doesn't make sense to me to take the time to look at a hub, decide it isn't time to check quality and set it aside to repeat the process at a later time. While HP apparently has a "hit list" of sorts on the backlogged stuff, it can't be much of one. There's just too many hubs for HP to have manually looked at but a very few of them.
And if you mean they should have started on the backlog first, I would have to disagree again. There's no reason to idle or unpublish thousands of hubs while you let in thousands more that are unchecked - at the end of the day you haven't accomplished a thing. Better to refine the program (which they are doing) where complaints and results are immediate - ie new hubs being published. There are going to be thousands of hubs idled or deleted for bad quality and no one to complain because the author hasn't looked in in years. Once the program is polished and a good hold is to be had on new stuff, turn the system loose on the backlog.
Speculation as to reasons for doing it that way? Sure, but that's what's happening whatever the reasoning behind it was.
I disagree, because supposedly the huge number--compared to the new hubs being published--of crummy hubs was what got us slapped, right? Not those being published now. Or has anyone from the top ever admitted this? Is this public knowledge or mere speculation? Let's ask Paul!
My understanding (pure guess work) is that HP is running their 'autorater' (software version) through the backlog now to identify the crap to run through QAP first. Why did they not run this tool 5 months ago and idle the "Bad and the Ugly" - maybe traffic wold have been boosted by this now. I still think the focus should have been on dumping the crap. The 'Dump everything that has low traffic because is must be bad in the eyes of Google' was a bad move in my opinion because dumping good quality stuff, DOES hurt a site!!!!! Its the baby out with the bath water. Doing a rough crap test first would have avoided this as it would have identified the crap to go first, even if they decided to keep 'crap with traffic' IMO
I'm still anxious to see whether they'll really get rid of the junk which still earns them money, no matter how bad it is written. This will tell the tale whether they really want to increase the quality of the site or not.
*shrug* To me it's a given that they're going to keep stuff I'd love to see gone. I'd also bet that the majority of hubbers are going to feel the same when it's all over. Of course, we're not paying the bills....just want everything of lower quality than our own work (as defined by us) gone.
It's also a given that as the quality of a hub approaches the boundary, wherever they put it, you'll see both people upset because it was left and those that are upset it wasn't removed.
You know, I would purely love to see, when this is over, an analysis of traffic for subdomains that HP hits hard with their QAP. Old profiles that have a high percentage of their hubs idled from the QAP, not just the algo. What is the domain traffic now vs pre-Panda or even early last year?
Google is supposedly slapping poor quality domains, and only poor quality domains. We already know the "only" part isn't true - you, Izzy, and others already give the lie to that. Is big G actually down checking domains with poor traffic at all? They say they are, but is it true?
I think they have to in order to address the issues raised in the letter from Google to HP ( it used to be in a hub but I can't find it). Simone said they were - I guess the really bad stuff.
I still don't understand why HP is spending so much money and time on the QAP scoring system to rate hubs from 0-100. OK, it would be nice to have a system that can rank pages in the topics etc. to put the cream at the top, but there are other ways of doing that. Why doesn't a simple pass or fail mark suffice? I also know that HP has said that they want a scaling system so that they can adjust the 'pass mark' in the future. Again nice, but is it worth the huge expense and the time, as this can only be done when all 1 - 0.5M hubs have been rate through QAP? HP are committed to it - but at huge cost including the collateral. IMO, Anyway, I'm over all this - down scope!
Wilderness - From the Learning Center -
"The Quality Assessment Process is dynamic and ongoing, which means that if a Hub that is not originally Featured, it still may end up showcased on Topic Pages and Hubs after subsequent edits and reviews by the Process. This also means that Hubs which may be initially Featured may return to a normal state if lower ( I think they mean higher??? ) quality ratings come in, or if the Hub experiences low levels of reader engagement over time."
Right. Go through the QAP, earn a high score and if traffic does not come it's idled anyway.
Given time to mature, I can live with that. It costs me almost nothing, after all. It's that "time to mature" that concerns me; that was plainly insufficient in the past and I hate to think that it might be just inched up, taking years to finally settle on something that is workable.
It all looks pretty obvious to me. They obviously thought about how to present the scheme at first, and what Paul E said was the "spin" version. I'm guessing they didn't want to talk about "collateral damage".
But obviously the staff weren't properly briefed because they started giving the honest version and they've realized there's no point trying to put it the genie back in the box.
I was looking at my own stats. I had 10 hubs with the noindex on them and my overall views dropped. Once I unpublished them and removed them from Google search, then deleted them, my overall views went up.
Also, the hub score average on my account page went up.
Just wondering, have you checked that they have actually been removed from the G index? I can take weeks, months before G actually says goodbye! Have a look for the exact title + "hubpages". Anyway just checking.
Most interesting, although I would hope that HP with it's much larger database of information has looked at this and looked hard. It would absolutely affect them as well, after all.
Still, I've got a couple idled now - perhaps I'll take a look at deleting them.
I have been doing a lot of reading on this subject, and I have not found any internet expert who says otherwise. I started doing the research precisely because HubPages seemed to be claiming that low-performing Hubs would damage the site, and I had never heard of such a thing.
It is widely accepted that low quality articles will hurt a domain. Of course, that's Google's definition of quality, which is not the same as the normal definition. It includes criteria such as length (which is why I'm still convinced poems must hurt a sub-domain).
It is always possible that if a Hub didn't get traffic, it was because Google judged it low quality. Remove it, and your traffic is likely to improve.
I suppose people could write very bad hubs mixed in with very good ones on the same account, but I don't see this happening from most good authors. It seems to be one or the other for the most part. So I don't buy the idea of determining quality in such a manner. And once again, quality, not traffic.
While I don't know about "very bad hubs" we all have a bad hub here or there. An early one, maybe, or one we rushed through and forgot to go back and take a look at. One with a few too many typos we didn't catch or with a video that was taken off of UTube.
I know that it's my procedure to go back after 2 months and proof everything. I haven't done even 1 of those 50 written in the AP - no time then and little since, either. I could well have several with excessive numbers of spelling or grammar errors.
Yes but compared to some of the stuff still getting through yours would perhaps still be better. The word "quality" when used by HP screws up everything in the discussions. Better to use the real word "traffic" I'd think. But who knows anymore?
I'll also be surprised if HP doesn't suddenly stop idling as many hubs as they have been because they are losing too many well written hubs as well as the writers along with them. No self respecting writer should be expected to put up with this very long.
Yes. My worst is incomparably better than what is still here, and even some of what is still getting through, IMHO.
I realize HP has to walk a fine line in setting the minimum quality allowed, but IMO they are setting it too low. I understand there will be many, many unhappy and disappointed "authors" and that there would be more if the bar was raised, and I'm actually glad I'm not responsible for setting that bar. I still think it is too low.
Of course it's too low, otherwise they'd get rid of the badly written, but money making, hubs. And here is where the changing of the word "quality" comes in. HP won't admit they are keeping junk on the site because it wouldn't sound good. "Here Google, now we only have "quality" work on HP." Yes, we're all stupid!
Perhaps. I actually doubt that HP has looked at the low quality, but money making hubs and designed their system around them though. An awful lot of effort for little gain, and a very high potential for total failure.
That would be a very poor business decision to make unless there is every intent to raise the bar again and again as necessary in a trial and error procedure to try and keep the little income they get from those hubs. Whereupon every author that can put two words together will evacuate, figuring they're next.
But do you know how many such hubs there are on HP? Any sort of facts at all, or are you merely speculating? You've got to remember, this site has been allowing all sorts of stuff for over 5 years now.
Junk hubs - haven't they removed something like 150,000 such lately? How many of those actually earned anything is anyone's guess, but I doubt it is a very high percentage. That they lost income is certain, that that income would be very substantial to me is equally certain, but I doubt it was a great deal in HP's cash flow.
The remaining junk, however, could be a different story. Any targeting done to date has probably been done on edited hubs or those with very low traffic and that can't continue. They are undoubtedly in for a good sized loss of income.
Which is exactly why I do not believe for an instant that this is all being done arbitrarily or as a pure shot in the dark. And is also most likely a good reason to set the bar low; if it doesn't work I don't really expect there to be a HP in a year or two.
When you say "junk" do you mean quality junk or real junk? And is some of this junk simply well written content which doesn't get traffic? Define "junk."
Again, we aren't privy to what Hp defines as junk. the word could mean something else.
Are you speaking of the same people who got us slapped in the beginning with their great ideas of allowing almost anyone with a computer to post hubs here? Or did they hire some smarter folks this time around?
This is you and I speaking; quality means quality.
Yes, I'm speaking of the people that built one of the slickest, most effective content farms of the time. The people that used and expanded on a proven model that allowed and encouraged junk because google didn't care and it generated income. The people that brought a new company into the black in a near record time. Yeah, those people.
That they required cash to keep that business running, that they allowed what was then quite poor but acceptable quality to maintain that income even while users didn't like it may be incomprehensible to some but it is what a business does. Does it occur to you that start up monies are not inexhaustible, that income must be generated to maintain operation? Had Panda not happened (hindsight is wonderful, isn't it?) HP might have been the success story of the decade, or so I'm told by the old timers here.
I understand you blame HP for everything that has happened in the Great Traffic Decline, but it wasn't HP. It was Google, and every large content farm on the net got caught, too. Google very carefully and deliberately targeted those content farms, and their aim was good. Google claims it was because of poor "quality" but search results don't agree; if anything search results worsened after Panda and haven't gotten much better since. Blame HP and their low quality hubs if you want, but the experience and results of Panda show otherwise.
Even a blind hawg will find an acorn once in a while, wilderness. And I don't disagree they made a pile of money off of the spam while it lasted. But we will see how bright they are in a relatively short time, I suspect.
And who knows what will change next? I once thought the net would eventually offer much quality info for the searchers seeking it. Now I wonder if it is merely dumbing down the population. DOH!
No, it's never HP's fault.
No, it's not HP's fault. Not this time. They've certainly made their share of mistakes (and this program may be another), but no more than anyone else wrestling with the sudden vagaries of Google. From the recent graphs and data posted in the forums HP has done considerably better than most.
Indeed, they were among the first to institute subdomains; a move that greatly helped a large number of hubbers. Maybe it was a lucky acorn, but give credit where it is due. Were it not for those subdomains I would not be here; I don't have your stamina or tolerance (hopefully not desperation) and would have left long ago.
Unfortunately, I tend to agree with you on the dumbing down thing. We can all get unlimited facts and tidbits, but it doesn't teach us how to integrate that knowledge with what we already have and it doesn't teach us how to generate new knowledge ourselves. Rather than teaching us to think and reason, it feeds us predigested pap that is usually false and we are unable to reason our way to truth.
The sub-domains killed some of us, wilderness, literally overnight. but then I suppose it was because we wrote junk while you guys wrote gold. Yes, I'm sure that's the case.
I thought Panda did you guys in? That that was the big slap happened?
If the subdomain idea had merit, it included the idea that some would fall. It also includes the idea that, deprived of many of the benefits of the site architecture, that some would find themselves on the wrong side of google for unknown reasons that do not include quality as we see it - if that's what cost you guys your traffic I was unaware of it.
*edit* I see in a later post that it wasn't panda - it was subdomains. Sorry for the confusion.
Wilderness, the slap happened when sub-domains were introduced, but it happened because when sub-domains were created, they then had to be individually evaluated and given their own Panda score. So it was still caused by Panda.
At the time, Izzy kept hoping it was sandboxing rather than Panda, but she knew it was Google not HP that had caused it.
The original Panda was before sub-domains - that's why HP bought in the sub-domain. There then seemed to be a phase where some sub-domains got sand-boxed - so I guess that's directly because of the original Panda...
The original "Panda slap" was before sub-domains, yes. Sub-domains were introduced as a solution.
However, the Panda algorithm is run once a month, every month, and assigns a score to each website. Before sub-domains were introduced, HubPages had a single overall Panda score. After sub-domains, Panda would have been run again to assign an individual Panda score to each sub-domain. That's when Izzy's and Randy's sub-domains plummeted.
My sub-domain must've got a good Panda score when it was created, because my traffic increased substantially. However there was a Panda update at the end of last year which must have changed the criteria such that my sub-domain no longer scored well, and that caused my traffic to crash.
Ditto here, except that my second crash (first after Panda) was around March/April of 2012. Never have figured out the big jump last Thanksgiving, that has held up, though. It was after the AP, but none of those hubs are really performing very well yet so unless it was simply activity (which I don't believe) it almost had to be another update.
OK fair enough! My sub-domain got hit on December 10 - I had a very popular end of the world hub that got killed - ironically my sub-domain go unhit on the 20th! So I got two days worth of great traffic for that hub!!! such is life! My Christmas season was totally killed by this - Google denied there was an update so it must have been an individual slap on my domain!!!!!
I wrote my "end if the world party" hub 3 years before the event, Simey. Long before you created a similar hub with almost the same title. Mine was doing fine and gaining organic backlinks from many other sites until I was hit in Aug. 2011. Then right before the event occurred this stupid idle program put the finishing touches on killing my hub, , even though it was receiving traffic still. Not as much as before, but still hanging in there until it was idled. How do you think I felt when I saw yours written only months before the event but still outranking mine?
And the same for several other hubs written by others on topics in which not nearly the info was provided? Yes, and you were ticked about yours being screwed with.
I wrote my "end if the world party" hub 3 years before the event, Simey. [Wrong hub - the one I was talking about was written in early 2011 and had many backlinks - 101 things to do......]
. How do you think I felt when I saw yours written only months before mine but still outranking it? [It happens to us all not just you - the party hub for me did OK - but was competing with many other similar hubs - my hub was pretty decent so it should rank well - and if yours was it should also have ranked well. Google has always said new, relevant content will rank hgher - you blame me for having a quality hub that did that? - You can keep on blaming HP for everything that has gone wrong for you, but I refuse to blame anyone else but myself for my troubles.]
And the same for several other hubs written by others on topics in which not nearly the info was provided? Yes, and you were ticked about yours being screwed with. [Actually I wasn't pissed at all - I laughed out loud when my stats went down by nearly 4000 or more hits a day - I knew it was simply part of the way Google works - so I lost some money - but I've gained at others loss over the years - it all balances out.
We've both had very similar things happen to us - I've had huge losses at the wrong times, but I've also had times where I have made a lot of money - the online industry is not a guaranteed industry - and whether you blame HP or not - that will never change! Our traffic will go up and down for no reason whether HP changes things or Google changes things - I cannot change it, you cannot change it - I simply accept it you do not....that is life sadly.
"Should have" doesn't mean anything, Simey. As long as you guys keep making excuses for things that are clearly wrong, then nothing will get better on the internet. I'm sorry, I'm not one to just "suck it up" when people are treated unfairly and I don't care who the company is doing it. I've never just sat back and took it when I'm getting screwed over and I'm certainly not going to start now. That's your style, not mine.
(Added question: When did the idle process start? I believe it was after I published my hub (june 2012)? So my ranking higher was down to Google and not HP? )
(This answer assumes the Idle process was in place) I agree - but what I'm trying to say is that while HP may have idled the hub it was only done in response to Google. Google changed their policy that allowed great content that had matured to always top the rankings and changed it to make new quality content more important. While in some cases I can agree this is good, in the majority of cases it is totally wrong - I can't agree with you more!
It's not a case of me trying to defend HP every time - I've critisized their methods often (I'm English so I do it but they think I'm being nice ) - what I think we all need to realize is that the real culprit is Google - if they hadn't messed around with their algorithms then we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Google have always said that Quality is what they want - but it's clear to me that this is untrue - otherwise you and many others on HP wouldn't have been unduly punished.
Do I blame HP for some problems - absolutely - the only analogy I can think of is that people are trying to blame gun violence on video games - sure video games are part of the problem, but the bigger picture is that it's the underlying society and values that causes all of our problems.
So while HP have made errors trying to fix things we need to concentrate and put pressure on Google to get it right - if Google sort things out then we would not have a problem!
This is why I have the attitude - it's simply not worth getting stressed over something that I have no control over - I understand how much it must hurt you - I know it's sad when we create good work only to see something very new with no content rank instantly higher....
I wish we could all get around a table and work out how we can all (not just HP, but all websites) put pressure on Google - without a dramatic change in Google we're all doomed in the long run no matter how well we write or how prolific we are.....
Randy I admire your passion and I understand your very valid frustrations at HP, I honestly do....
I'm not mad at you, Simey. I'm frustrated at the net in general. Yes, we all know HP sucks up to Google in fear they will kowtow to them to the point they lose sight of the real people whose lives they are affecting with their inability to protect them from the injustices of this out of control entity. It has to be a helpless feeling for them to know good people are getting screwed over by a very inefficient company.
But they will give in and allow Google to have its way with them.....and us, it the truth be known. I can't make them do the right thing, but I can make them think about it.
No, it wasn't because you write junk. It's true Panda judged your sub-domain as "low quality", but as I posted previously, the Panda definition of quality has very little to do with what you and I would call quality.
That's why sub-domains worked for some people - because it separated the authors Panda scored badly, from the authors Panda scored well. That's exactly what HubPages was trying to achieve. The ones who got a good Panda score benefited, the ones with a bad score didn't.
My sub-domain benefited at first, but it got Panda'd in one of the later updates towards the end of last year. My traffic is around 25% of what it was at its peak. That's not HP's fault, it's Google's.
Well if that is the case, there's no hope for HP or Google with the geniuses now running them and deciding what quality means. I'm simply not going to play their little games any longer. I don't need money that badly.
I guess the point I'm making is, your rant is generally against HP whereas it's Google that did the damage. All of HP's actions have been attempts to help us, and the site as a whole, recover from that damage. Personally I think they've been pretty wrong-headed in some of their attempts but that's another issue.
You're quite right in a way - if you're not prepared to dance the Google dance then online writing isn't really for you. Google is how you make money, so if you're going to ignore them, you're up against it.
That said, (broken record here), if you had your own blog and wrote about RV's there, without worrying about Panda or anything else, you'd probably have a lot more traffic and a lot less trouble than you do here. Google has said its goal is to favour "authority sites" above all else - that is, sites with a lot of good information on one particular topic and that topic only - which is something HubPages can never be.
Marisa, I begin to wonder if that isn't false. That we and Google both, at least for the most part, have the same idea of what "quality" is. I have no doubt that their own income is factored in somewhere, and other items as well, but I wonder if the same basic, overall definition isn't very similar.
I wonder if the real problem is that google is having trouble finding a method whereby its algorithm can also recognize it. God knows counting backlinks doesn't work and I wonder if the other measurements Google is using aren't faulty as well. Better, perhaps, than they were, but still very faulty and incomplete. Even given their size and resources, they're going to have some of the same problems HP is in writing that software. How do you write software that can determine quality and assign numeric measurement to an article?
The guidelines for manual rating that was posted on the forums the other day seemed to me to be a combination of mind reading the searcher to understand what they want and rating articles for high quality - for the most part quality that you and I recognize as such.
If that is true, then in the long run we're far better off to actually write and promote the creation of real quality rather than trying to figure out what the algorithm wants today. It's going to keep changing until they get it right - the only real question is how long that will take. A year? 5 years? A decade?
So let me see if I'm reading you right... you're saying that HP was justified in letting all those spammy hubs build up, because HP was a start-up and they needed the quick-fire income that only spammy hubs could give?
Panda didn't affect all content farms equally - Squidoo was fine until very recently, and bloody eHow still pops up everywhere in search results even though it's mostly useless.
To some degree, yes. It was probably a business necessity. More importantly, though, it was an accepted and proven way of getting traffic. It worked. Google didn't care and there was thus no real reason to avoid it except that no one likes it and that will always take a back seat to $$. Only a well established, successful business can turn away customers that they simply don't like the look of and that did not describe HP in the early years.
No, they were not all hit equally, and subsequent tweaks of the Google algorithm seems to have deliberately targeted individual sites to compensate. eHow is a good example; I used to visit eHow for hub ideas because I could always beat them in the SERPs. Then they began to outrank me on a consistent basis, now I'm back to usually (but not always) outranking them. And just as you say, eHow is worthless if you're actually looking for information - it's 99% junk IMO.
Plenty of businesses do turn away customers if they know that the relationship will ultimately do them harm in the long run.
How do you know this? Not that it matters really, because if what you said here is correct, eHow was given preferential treatment anyway, albeit after the Panda "fact". So the net result is indeed what I said - that not all content farms were equally affected.
Absolutely a business can turn away paying customers if it doesn't like their looks. It can also go under if it does it too much.
You're missing the primary point, though - no one had any inclination that turning away poor quality would hurt them. Poor quality hubs produced income, google didn't care and neither did anyone else but the hubbers squawking because they didn't like the association of being on the same site. Sure; everybody paid lip service to providing quality content but very few actually made any real effort to do so - it was too expensive in time, cost and future income and produced no real gain but for appearance.
You see wilderness, this is where I have a problem with your posts on occasion. I was here back when Google made it very clear they were going to hit content farms such as HP. The Hubbers you term as "squawking" were those who actually had some internet saavy and to say HP wasn't aware of the threat is a bit lame. Unless HP's think tank aren't really as sharp as you make them out to be, that is.
+ 10 Dead Right!
But of course most were 'silenced' by leaving, banning etc.
Likewise, it's where I have a problem with yours. I was here, too, and long before Panda. I never saw any statements that Google was going to target content farms, and would find any claim to the contrary suspect as it would be tantamount to telling the world that they were going to slap particular companies. A justified lawsuit in the making, seems to me.
There were rumbles that big G was going to target "quality" but the damage was already done long before that; years before those rumbles. Plus, of course, Google did nothing of the kind; they intentionally and carefully targeted content farms in general and companies in specific. Obviously opinion there or the lawsuits would have been filed, but I believe the results of Panda show it to be true. Not enough for a court of law, but enough for me.
Your profile says 2 years, Wilderness. So at the most you've been here nearly 3. In a few days I'll be here 4 years, just a bit of difference but a lot in the terms of how the site operated during the first year here. I suppose you don't remember those I referenced saying HP should be readying itself for Google's coming slap as we all knew they were letting in too much junk. It doesn't take a genius to see they are still reluctant to get rid of it now, even after the damage is still going on.
But I certainly hope you are right, as you are putting yourself in the position of encouraging others to spend more hard work on hubs which may be tossed aside if you are wrong. You must really be sure of your opinion of HP.
You're right - in about a month it will be 3 years.
If anyone was predicting Panda a year and a half before it happened I don't believe they had a leg to stand on. I don't believe that even google was working on it that long.
Yeah - they're reluctant to get rid of the junk. Two obvious reasons are that it will cost income and that it will produce agitated hubbers. Make up your mind - you either want them to dump it or not. You don't get to choose the method, either.
Not sure at all if it will work, just pretty positive that sitting quietly while traffic dies to the point that HP does too isn't the answer. Again, make up your mind. You either want them to do something or you don't. And you don't get to choose that something any more than you get to choose the method of implementation.
But this is turning into another "bash HP and anyone willing to work with them because Google took my traffic" discussion - something I'm not real interested in. See ya.
Squidoo survived Panda for one simple reason - they were Google slapped a few years previously, and that forced them to clean up their act. So they'd already done the hard yards when Panda hit.
Hmmm. Wilderness clearly stated that HP didn't have a clue this was going to happen when I mentioned it to him earlier. But then, he wasn't around then.
http://affiliate-marketing-forums.5star … -down.html
I think HubPages did take some action when this happened - I think that was the time when they banned all adult content. However they weren't slapped at the same time as Squidoo, so they probably didn't think they had a problem.
Could be, but I rather think the money was too good to take the threat seriously enough. So we are where we are now. Gamble and lose, I suspect. We all lost because of it.
Thanks for the link which shows HP was aware they might get slammed at any time. Too bad they thought they were immune to Google's wrath. I hope wilderness takes a good look at the forum you linked. This was in 2007 according to the forum dates.
No he didn't. He clearly stated that HP didn't know that Panda was in the works OR that he had seen any real complaints from hubbers on quality during his tenure before Panda.
And that meant there weren't any?
"Likewise, it's where I have a problem with yours. I was here, too, and long before Panda. I never saw any statements that Google was going to target content farms, and would find any claim to the contrary suspect as it would be tantamount to telling the world that they were going to slap particular companies. A justified lawsuit in the making, seems to me."
Just because you aren't aware of something it doesn't make it false, Wilderness. So why should HP think they were immune to the same stuff Squidoo was penalized for? Certainly they knew it was coming! Give me a break!
Doesn't make it true, either.
While I know you weren't here in '07 and that the squid slap concerned ONLY the small subset of spam rather than the duplication, spelling, grammar, etc. that Panda was supposed to address as quality issues, do you know of any steps HP took? Or didn't take in the matter of spam? When was the rule for two links or prohibition of a link on every page to the same domain taken? Was that already in place or just a proactive precaution to avoid a similar slap?
Did they change their ad layout any after that or keep the same thing? I know they decreased the amazon product count well after Panda, but few hubbers seemed to think that necessary, including Nellie Hoxie, and it probably wasn't a problem anyway.
Or is it your insinuation that HP should have taken every step possible to combat poor quality? Color, number of ads, width, ad placement, spelling, length, no. of capsules, grammar, photo and poetry hubs and everything else in response to a google slap on a known rather spammy site for spam only? While giving HP a pass for another 4 years?
The thing is, low quality in Googlespeak isn't the same as what you and I would call quality. So it is possible for a good author to create a low quality Hub.
Poems are a good example. Google sees brevity as a flaw: write a blog post that's less than about 250 words these days, and they'll penalize you for it. My ballet blog got Panda'd for exactly that: it took me ages to research the possible cause, but when I amalgamated those short posts, my blog recovered. HubPages allows poets to ignore the Hub length rules, and I fear that's a mistake, given my experience.
The other problem is accidental keyword stuffing - which, you may remember, Jason poo-pooed at the time, but what did he know? You can get Panda'd if a particular keyword or key phrase is repeated too often. Google's threshold is a secret (of course), but most experts advise keeping repetition down to 3% to 4% of the content. It can be awfully hard to write about a specialist subject without falling foul of this - there is no other word for a pointe shoe, for instance (no dancer would call it a toe shoe).
Finally there's Google trying to spot people writing to a formula, on the principle that they must be spammers. So for instance, Market Samurai used to teach people to put their keywords in their URL, title, all their headings and sub-headings, and as anchor text in their links. All the Market Samurai members I know got slammed by Panda, and they weren't bad writers - so I'm still wondering if Google sent someone to join MS and learn their formula, so they could teach their algorithm to look for it. Result - perfectly good blogs and Hubs got trashed because their writers were doing what they thought was the right thing.
None of that has anything to do with quality really, but it's all part of Google's "quality" guidelines.
Very good points, and a part of google's definition comes from the gamers and black hats in the past as well. Keyword stuffing, and keyword locations are an example. (This bothers me, as I still try to do that very thing, too.)
I read something recently about backlinks that made me go, "oh no!"
Apparently part of the Penguin "unnatural links" algorithm is checking what the anchor text is. I've always been told to make it a keyword or phrase - so if I was referring to my blog, I wouldn't just paste in "plaintalkforwomen.com", or "click here" - I would use "Plain Talk for Women", or "women's blog" or some such.
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/high-value-t … ard-friday
Google has decided that when other people create a natural link to a site they like, they're much more likely to just give the URL, or "here". So Google is now giving less value to links which use keywords, on the grounds they've probably been created by the site owner to get a backlink. And we can't really complain because, when you think about it, they're absolutely right...
Marisa, you're scaring me. That again is something I always do - use keywords or at a minimum text that makes sense to both hubs - to link from.
I would hope that google is smart enough to realize that "here" doesn't add a thing to an existing article - that it hurts it from a readers point of view. These aren't backlinks from an organic source after all, they're not from some reader sending their buddy there. They are provided by the author to improve reader experience and "click here" doesn't do that.
And that's a nice rationalization, isn't it? Now, if Google was only rational...
I'm not talking about links IN the Hub, I'm talking about backlinks. Google only wants to count backlinks created by genuine fans, not professional backlinkers. They're more likely to write a sentence like,
"I found a really useful article about bedroom makeovers which addresses exactly that problem. Some great ideas. http://wilderness.hubpages.com/hub/DIY- … deas"
than go to the trouble of highlighting and hyperlinking "bedroom makeovers". So the URL is regarded as more natural by Google. Also, if they decide that looks messy, they're more likely to type in "here" and make that a hyperlink than go back to the middle of the sentence to find "bedroom makeovers".
I don't think "here" hurts the reader at all. For instance, surely this sentence:
"For more information on bedroom makeovers, click here" (hyperlink in the "click here")
is just as clear as
"You'll find more information in this article on bedroom makeovers" (hyperlink in "bedroom makeovers")
Hah! Thank you. Somewhere up there is another post I put up saying much the same thing after reading your link. Except that personally I would rather see a link using keywords. I don't like your example with the link to bedrooms, but also admit that that is personal preference.
I'm a little relieved, especially that you are now saying the same thing. I seldom put out backlinks; a few to FB, G+ or Pinterest is about it and none of those are the in-text kind of links we're talking about here.
Scanning over your link, it doesn't seem really that pertinent to interlinking our hubs. Those promote traffic, not SEO. They are all from the same author. They go to similar topics. They cannot be organic links, not in the wildest imagination, and that's mostly what is discussed there.
Idled hubs certainly count against you in Google. An idle hub get a NOINDEX meta tag, which Google read as Do Not Index This Page. That means your Hub will no longer appear in Google search results, which will kill any Google traffic you are getting.
Hey Rock! Some say yes, some say no. I don't know who to trust any longer. I do know gaining any new links is probably impossible the way things are set up now. Actually, I don't think anyone knows much about the affects of no-indexing an article, despite the claims to the contrary. So far, all of the advice I've been given from whoever has been virtually useless on my account. So there it is.
If its just traffic for that page, I can handle it. I'm just not convinced yet that it doesn't impact the whole subdomain. Still hanging with it, though, and updating things as needed.
Hubs that get removed from Google's index typically don't count against you, although as John Mueller has told me, people can still access the URL so if you think your Hub isn't useful, deleting may be the right decision. I've personally unpublished many Hubs.
I think if a Hub isn't working for me, I either fix it up, do nothing or unpublish it. I actually update my best performing Hubs the most often. I add more capsules, rewrite pieces, and try and get better pictures and videos.
Since we each have our own subdomains, it's up to us how we manage them. Removing an unfeatured Hub is hghly unlikely to improve your traffic.
I've mentioned this in a few posts that we are changing the time frames for featuring content. When we do, some previously unfeatured Hubs will be featured again, so you may want to hold off on removing them, but it's up to you.
Thanks for your response, Randy. I am so sorry that you are so frustrated with Google and HP. I can only imagine because I didn't start writing on this site until August of 2011. So I had no experience of HP before Google's big hit. I really would rather you didn't leave HP. I respect and appreciate your comments (whether or not I fully agree with them). You have given a great deal to us. Your comments are insightful.
Do I assume correctly that you delete idled hubs because they show up on Google in a negative way? Do they reduce your "score" with Google? My idled hubs change so much. They come back, then go again. It makes no sense.
I don't have enough hubs to make a difference. Yet! But my hubs are not junk! They are well written and follow most of HP's "rules" of how to write a good hub. I agree that many, many hubs I see here are "not very good" according to HP's rules and advice. But, other than starting my own website or blog, where do I go? I haven't seen other sites better than HP. Am I being a little naive?
I'm also wondering what this business is with adsense ads and who gets credit for what. I either have to trust HP and just continue writing or leave and go somewhere else.
Randy, you help others and you seem to do so well here. If we are in a new "paradigm" with HP and Google - can't we just learn what the criteria are and go forward? Or is this too naive as well? Please, be frank. I would really like your comments.
My sincere thanks again.
Please don't let me cause you to do anything drastic, Maralexa. I don't think my experience is typical of that of many other Hubbers. Along with Izzy and several others, my sub fell to the floor literally overnight and nothing I try seems to improve things on it.
Even the hubs which used to be ranked number 1 or on the first page of Google aren't worth anything anymore. Hubbers who are fairly new to the site and don't have near the info or quality hubs I have outrank me on topics now. Even some which I planned ahead for over 3 years for a topic were idled right before the peak time for them, despite the links they had gained and other hubbers outranked me when the time came.
This is very frustrating to me and I don't look for it to change anytime soon, despite the idle/feature program which has everyone up in arms. It seems HP cannot make up it's mind whether we need to keep these hubs, edit them, or simply get rid of them. The whole Hubspeak thing is disgusting to me now and I see no need to muddy the waters with such unprofessional behavior.
If I'm not mistaken we have been given mixed messages about how these idle hubs affect out accounts and now we have another telling us they don't hurt us at all. I wonder how many people have already removed the formerly destructive and now harmless hubs? How do we know just who, or what to believe anymore. Personally, I don't have much faith in what staff says anymore and am weary of trying to decipher their messages and methods.
Paul, do you mean that, a "hub that isn't working for you" is a hub that HP has idled? Or one that isn't getting the traffic you desire or believe is appropriate? If I have a number of hubs that I consider to be "good" but are never likely to get great traffic from Google, should I delete them and maybe set up a blog where I can feature them?
"Removing an unfeatured Hub is hghly unlikely to improve your traffic". Thanks for saying this! I haven't been too quick to delete some hubs for this reason.
BTW, I know I'm not a big player here. Just 30 hubs to date. But this is where I want to learn what works best. So I am going to continue producing hubs on my favorite subjects, write them well and see what happens.
If you (HP) will do everything possible to make HP attractive to Google, I feel we will have a continuing valuable relationship.
There are a number of issues that continue to irk many hubbers but it seems you are working on them. Keep talking to us.
Hi Randy, I am fairly new at HubPages, but agree with Maralexa that you have helped us a great deal. I would hate to see you leave HubPages. I don't understand all of this yet, but I am learning. I have had some big frustrations with other sites that I have not run into with this one, so am hoping it will work out for me. Thanks for all you advise. You;re a great addition to HubPages.
I'll follow up for Paul; Hubs that aren't doing anything for you on HubPages may indeed work better on other sites, but often all that is needed is some small improvements re: quality and search-friendliness.
We're by no means going to say we only want you to have content on our site- it's not a bad idea at all to have a portfolio of work that spans across multiple sites. But we're also still refining the Quality Assessment Process and many Hubs that are not Featured would still do splendidly here with some edits (and after we refine the QAP to be as accurate and clear as possible).
In short, we want you here, though it's great to be in multiple places; please pardon our dust!
I thought seasonal hubs were immune to idling, but my Halloween hub and Christmas hub have been idled several times. I am tired of changing pictures or letters on a wonderful hub that it is just not the right season for people to be looking for.
The idle feature has driven more GOOD writers off of HubPages than bad writers and spam writers. Y'all might want to rethink the idle feature.
I've had a couple of seasonal hubs go idle, too. They were published too close to the season to get much traffic and didn't get enough to keep them going for long enough.
I've decided to let them sit idle until 2 or 3 months before the next season. At that point I'll edit them to get them re-featured and hope for the best. If they still can't get enough traffic through the right season, they'll be dumped.
Becky - I do know that many very good writers have left, or are thinking of leaving HP, but I don't agree that more good apples have fallen off the tree than bad apples. Here's why:
HubPages has many, many thousands of 'Hubbers,' which means it has a track record on the Internet, and it's constantly attracting new writers. When I started on the site, I think there were around a quarter of a million 'Hubbers' (a term I've put in quotes, because only a fraction of these are actively writing, or have even written anything at all.
The idling program was intended to sift out the deadwood, the truly bad or illegal content and to implement some quality standards. The number of new hubs each day, alone, is a HUGE task to filter and manage. I fully agree the QAP is not perfect, but HP never said it was - it was just the best approach the site could come up with to address a monumental task.
Although we don't have the numbers, I'm sure there have been thousands of 'Hubbers' who are long gone and may have been abusing the site, whose junk hubs have now been idled. We still find the hubs internally, but they're no longer hurting the site's rankings by being indexed. It's very frustrating to everyone who speaks up here that genuinely good content has been idled. I'm frustrated, too, but I'm not giving up on HP.
I truly hope everyone will stick with it, and continue to give ideas & feedback (also known as complaints, in many cases). The ratio of 'Hubbers' who are on the forums is very small compared to the nearly 200,000 still on the site (I think that's what I read somewhere). So we have many 'silent' people who are probably long gone, haven't logged on for years, have hubs that are deadwood, and need to be idled.
These people aren't Hubbers - they're 'Hubbers.' They aren't trying to edit & stay published - they don't care, and they've moved on.
The number of people active on the forums is also a VERY small percentage of the good and active Hubbers here. I believe the site will find a way to identify the competent writers and work out mechanisms to keep good work visible. In the meantime, with more than a million hubs in the inventory, they have no choice but to change things globally at first and then adjust those changes as round two.
This is correct, and sometimes they 'miss' the no-index tag and it remains indexed.
I have been deleting idled hubs also. With so many of them seasonal in a way to traffic periods, I fear they may just be idled. I know HP gives a different time frame to seasonal hubs. With high competition for indexed material when the seasonal periods begins again, why have to start over with gaining the audience every year?
I have been working on blogs and planning websites for those I have deleted and once these gain more relevance will move other hubs to these sites. This way there is not the feature/unfeature to worry about.
Randy, I used to have around 260 hubs, now I have 113. As soon as they are idled I take them down and move them elsewhere. At the rate at which they are being idled it will soon be 'sayonara' HP.
There has always been house keeping involved in maintaining hubs and improvements to be made, but at least in the past you could do it at your own pace. Not prepared to play the 'idle tweak feature idle tweak' game.
Also there is no point writing new hubs on my sub since, like you and Izzy, since August 2011 they gain no traffic. Just not worth the investment in time like it used to be for me.
I applaud the people who are still doing well here and wish them the very best, but I could tweak for eternity and still not get my traffic back here.
Yes Cynthia, I started to include you, with Izzy and myself, as examples of who got screwed on the very same date, with the very same effects. We never received an explanation for it with Google claiming there were no manual penalties put on our accounts. So something happened we had no control over and seemingly, no one above does either.
To this day I still get very little Google traffic and if not for Bing and Yahoo, all of my hubs would be idled. And yes, I think the word "Idle" suits the limbo these hubs are placed in perfectly. Izzy and i were told our hubs read awkwardly because of the keywords in them. Even after rewriting them nothing changed.
One has to experience the frustration to understand it, I believe.
Randy, like you I got no explanation and the HP staff just started either ignoring or treating my enquiries like a nuisance.
I also got a lot of flak in the forums from the 'stop whining, everything is perfect, it must be all your fault' crew who, interestingly, all then howled like kicked puppies when their own traffic crashed a few months later. I even got a hubber who claimed that some of my history hubs were copied and that was the reason that I had been slammed. A quick session with Copyscape soon sorted that one out!
My hubs are not perfect by any means, but what I want is some real pointers, as the general stuff like looking at keywords, adding videos, polls, maps etc has just not worked.
But basically I think that I have just moved on. I come back to delete idled hubs and catch up with you guys and that is it really.
Yes, I know what you mean, Cynthia. If it happens to someone else it doesn't seem to be so important. We still have no explanation to this day.
That's because HubPages doesn't know. You, of all people, know that HubPages management are not internet gurus! But then, neither do thousands of other website owners across the internet, who all got Panda slapped at the same time you did. They included owners of highly successful and respected sites, who could find no reason for the slap and got no help at all from Google to work it out. For months, there was lengthy discussion on webmaster forums on how to recover, and the eventual conclusion was that if you couldn't see what was wrong, the best thing was to delete everything and move the content to a new domain. That's because if you've been given a low Panda score, that score will never change unless you do something to change it - and if you don't know what you need to change, what can you do? The weird thing is that just moving the same content to a new domain often worked - whether that's because it was the comments that were a problem, or sites linking to the old site, who knows.
At the time, I tried to tell both you and Izzy that you'd been Panda slapped and the only sensible option was to follow their example - delete your sub-domain and start a new blog. But no, Izzy clung to the idea that she'd been sandboxed and would recover, and you were unwilling to sacrifice your comments. So you've both contributed to your own problems in a way. Think where you might be if you'd bitten the bullet then.
CMHypno, to where do you move them, and do they garner more sustainable views on the new sites?
@Randy Godwin I know it's tough and frustrating trying to understand these google updates. We are pretty frustrated as well, but we keep persisting. Trying new things and getting as much information as we can to help people out.
I can't explain why some people do well and others slide down and some get whipsawed when their content seems of similar quality. Google tells us they look at subdomains independently. That appears to be the case since since with every update some go down and some go up. The experience on HubPages is shared so maybe it feels like more of just a HP thing, but I monitor a few independent sites and they seem to experience the same thing.
There are lots of Hubbers that have found a way to succeed and have more traffic than ever (there is hope).
The best advice we have is:
- Make Hubs for the love of it on topics you are passionate about (randy, I think you do that)
- Take great photos and videos that make your Hub look great - that's what people share.
- Promote your Hub (tastefully) just a bit. Pin it, like it, tweet it, blog it.
I appreciate your suggestions, Paul. I know you guys are trying things to get HP on track but I wonder why some of us got hit so hard and others did not. If it were a quality issue--my definition not HP's--I would be more understanding, but then I know others with good writing skills who have been treated similarly.
Apparently you guys don't have a clue and neither do we. I feel fine about the many hubs I've so far deleted, as well as, those still featured. I do my research and create the hubs as best I can. It just isn't working for me and I don't feel any amount of fluff--polls, graphs, movies, etc--will make a difference. I'm not going to waste any more of my time on uncertain articles just for the hell of it. At least I get enjoyment from writing my fiction.
I see very little change in updates, Paul. My numbers stay relatively the same since Google rarely sends me more traffic than Bing or Yahoo. Not much difference since I got slapped down in Aug. 2011, even with more hubs published once upon a time. I suppose I just don't have what it takes.
I don't understand why Randy would want to delete his idled hubs, a bit drastic isn't it? I have 18 hubs sitting idly by and they still get the occasional bit of traffic away from google. My profile page lists all my hubs and comes in very useful. Yesterday on analytics I spotted 6 of my most idle (and oldest) hubs being viewed, made me smile.
Super long post. Sorry. I just sincerely hope we don't lose people like Randy and the other good writers who are going through this & frustrated.
Randy - I've said for a long while that you need to write a book. You're a born author and storyteller.
Thanks Marcy, I appreciate your opinion on my fiction. Perhaps It is better for me to give up on writing info and how-to hubs on HP. I really don't have the heart for it anymore. I've always succeeded on content farms and did for a while on this one too. But this site has frustrated me more than any of them as far as understanding what they really want from me. No big loss as I'm tired of trying to satisfy them. I'll just do my own thing and be happy with it. Besides, I'm looking elsewhere for better things.
Noooo - don't leave HP! Niche-ify your writing & put the fiction in a book or something. I deleted poetry, essays & some fiction, and I will probably delete more. But I also like having a venue for 'how-to' work, and a way to get income for those pieces. I wasn't here a few years ago, so I don't have the depth of the battle scars others have. However, I can tell its a different site, and it was forced to change.
Gosh - can you imagine how Paul E felt to wake up one day and have the site you run suddenly tanked in terms of traffic? No warning, no solid information on why, and hundreds of angry writers screaming at you (like it was something HP did, not Google). And then having to figure out a way to combat what Google did? I'm surprised anyone on the staff is still here, when I think what that would have been like.
Well Marcy, it wasn't thousands of angry writers when several of us were chosen to be made examples of, and this makes it even tougher on us. Add insult to injury when a couple of us were told we wrote awkwardly and this was why we were so chosen, and all of the while we could see others with barely legible content not being affected at all. But I'll be around until they idle all of my hubs at any rate. How long it takes is up to HP, I suppose. I'm glad you care, though!
That would have made me angry, too. I don't understand it completely, but maybe, since Google uses non-human filters, there's no ability to parse out creative prose and fiction (including things sometimes incorporating idioms or literary writing), and the wrong things are punished. Not fair, and not good.
Maybe its time to ditch Google. If they are the ones causing this problem, perhaps we should drop that affiliation and see what happens.
Jane, Ithink you're confusing Google Adsense with Google the search engine. The two are completely separate.
HubPages has no "affiliation" with Google the search engine. It's just that the vast majority of internet users go to Google when they want to find something on the web - so that's how we get most of our readers.
The only people who browse around HubPages are the members, who are pretty much all writers - and although the membership is large, only a small number is active. So if you're here hoping to earn some income from your Hubs (as many are), relying on the membership isn't enough. You must attract people from outside HubPages, and the only way those people can find your Hub is on a search engine - Google or Bing or Yahoo. Google is still by far the most used, and therefore most readers arrive from there.
The Hub Idle program was sold to the HP community as an effort to improve the quality of the writing on this site, with the broader goal of improving HP in the eyes of Google. But now HP admits that Hubs are idled due to not having a traffic heartbeat. Quality is not the issue. If you have a low quality Hub with high traffic, it is not idled. If you have a high quality Hub without traffic, it is idled (it could be very well written and good content, just obsecure and not searched much). A low quality hub might not pass QAP, but that's another issue.
The Idle program was misrepresented to us from the beginning. I think that and the fact that the explanations are always changing, and the constant need to tweek perfectly good Hubs, is turning some Hubbers off. If the Idle progam is causing some good Hubbers to delete their content and leave (and it certainly has, not all the ones who have left have been the bad apples), then it's not helping improve the quality of this site, its rep, or its traffic.
There's the rub, Rock. There's nothing one can hang their hat on to rationalize carrying on with the present state of HubPages. Some see nothing wrong while others get the shaft. And yes, I don't think anyone can say we haven't been told things which now have changed. First the idled hubs hurt us and we need to hide them from our profile, and now, seemingly they don't. Can anyone tell me how we can trust anything HP says when they can't make up their minds? I'm simply not going to care if they tell the truth any longer or not. You guys can do as you wish and I'm fine with that.
It's interesting that your Hubs were penalized for using keywords in an unnatural way because I have been raising a ruckus about this Idle program, and Simone suggested that I try to improve the SEO of my hubs to attract more traffic (which essentially means usuing keywords more often, which leads to unnatural use). Round and round we go.....
Yes, the message is constantly changing. I'm weary of believing it anymore. I think they are weary of changing too. But what choice do they have when they don't know? And they certainly aren't going to admit they don't know. I found this out a while back. Que sera!
The thought of deleting one of my reviews makes me uncomfortable. So if they idle, I'll just have to suck it up and update them :V
I worked for a while on idled hubs to get views again. Then I stopped both working on them and adding new hubs. I have simply watched for a couple of months now. I have seasonal hubs and a few others that have been idled and I've left them alone. My page views are fairly constant at about half what they were before they took a nosedive. I've considered moving them, but decided not to do anything for a while. If I see my page views go up again and stay up for a while, I'll start writing again. If that doesn't happen and I want to move on, I'll do that.
That's about the same as me. HP. It's too bad HP is disliked by Google these days, but it wasn't anything I've done, I'm pretty sure. I've been a loyal member here 4 years this month, more loyal than HP has ever been to me, for that matter. I suppose we're all part of the "collateral damage" caused by so much junk on the site. Nothing of our doing at all. Nothing to be sorry for and everything to be angry about. Too bad for us.
I simply don't see how HP can keep good writers on the site with this system, but perhaps they don't intend to. It doesn't take great talent to produce the kind of drivel they seem to want for today's average searcher, especially those using mobile devices. No, I don't like it either, just the way it is.
I "get" your pain. I had 230 Hubs before the idling started. I think I am down to 86 after moving and deleting. And writing elsewhere or starting other writing projects.I didn't have a lot of Hubs go idle, but I either deleted them or changed them. I haven't participated in HubPages for a long time because of the massive changes that I couldn't keep up with. But once that idling started, there was my sign. As far as I was concerned, my HP account was on autopilot with very little help from me. I still make payout, but it takes longer. Money is not the issue for me as a writer because I have been retired since 2002, and have a pension that takes care of me. If I don't have fun--I won't do it. That's my definition of retirement. I had fun for about a year (writing and commenting), but at this point, I've lost motivation when it comes to this site. I haven't deleted my account, but a lot of people that I started with are long gone. I do miss my friends!
Hey Arlene, long time no see! You are among those who I mentioned earlier who have already left, for all intents and purposes. Like you, I'm semi-retired and am certainly not going to write when there is no enjoyment in it, especially when I have to keep editing something which doesn't need it. I think they expect the impossible from us now, or at least the improbable.
So you've already deleted almost 150 articles? I suppose you had even less faith in this program than I did!
Randy, I changed, moved and deleted. And I listened and learned from the experiences of other Hubbers. Each time I "returned," something changed--but never for the better. More like a temporary fix? As a writer, one needs growth. And risks! HubPages works for some, but not for me. I figured a long time ago that chasing the pennies isn't for me. I tried writing content. Although it paid, it was enough to figure out that I'm not a fan. When you write content, you have to do it in volume. Otherwise, it's just not worth it! $$$ I am a dinosaur with a journalism background. I can live with that, so I'm off to chase other writing projects. I did finish a novel last fall, so that #1 on my list of things to edit and hopefully submit by the end of this year. I am not one to make a living from my writing. I didn't do that as a youngster, and I certainly won't be doing it in retirement. Writing is part of the reason why I retired at 44, but back then, it involved an editor on my ass, a desk, health, dental, sick leave, vacation, retirement, etc. Randy, as a retiree, you know the drill. Whenever you get restless with something, and it just does not fit your lifestyle, nothing says you have to stay! This includes Turk and reading Hubs for pennies. Are you kidding me???
From a users point of view, I keep seeing over and over again people 'talking' about quality writing in the forums. I am yet to see what people define as such?
I feel that quality writing is based on a particular subject, reseached, proper use of the language and grammer. No spam on the page. Proper layout is needed as well. A 50 line paragraph is way too much.
I am sure you know that QAP is supposed to be stopping new junk, not the idling program. I like the QAP for stopping bad stuff coming in.
Sorry - I keep confusing myself with idling, pending and QAP. Actually they are all parts of the same program - get rid of the junk. I don't like the idling any better than anyone else, but am more than willing to give a dime per month if it is actually useful. So far, with a dozen or so idled and a half dozen removed, I haven't lost even that, so it hasn't hurt anything other than my pride.
Others, losing 100 hubs, will lose more of course, but the actual monetary loss to any single hubber has got to be very low in relation to their earnings. Even those few in the boat with Randy and Izzy, G slapped to the bottom and stood on, won't lose very much.
Let HP make a change for more time to mature and I could be reasonably happy with the idling part of the program as well.
I believe Google has made no secret of their dislike for content farms, Wilderness. I'm wondering if there is anything these writing sites can do to forestall being slowly closed down, despite the silly precautions some are now taking. I think they may be throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Give it a year or two and we'll know if G intends to shut down content farms like HP. If they are, throwing the baby out is going to happen anyway; let it happen and give me more time to establish myself elsewhere. If not then something has to be done to remain viable and although I'm certain this program is only a guess all I can do is hope the guess is right. I have no suggestions and can only hope that TPTB, having talked to G, have something more to go on than I do. They may be right, they may be wrong, but for sure doing nothing is not the answer. Not after nearly 2 years.
As I stated elsewhere, it appears that both HP and Squidoo have a QUOTA and that G tweaks the ratings with each Panda update to keep traffic for both below their quota. Squidoo is being driven down at the moment in steps back to their designated quota. HP has been steady for 2 years despite all the pages that have been added and site changes. I suspect that HP will have to put a very strong case for G to lift its traffic quota. Otherwise HP could have the same traffic in 12 month time as it has now. I suspect that HP is driven by the need to put a very forceful argument to G that it has improved quality and it can provide the proof (QAP).
Bye for now! QAP QAP QAP said the duck - dive dive dive!
Could be so, Janderson. At any rate, it is indeed a mess now. And I'm not so sure HP can prove they've increased quality very much unless we are using HubSpeak. Is the GoogleSpeak definition for quality the same as the HubSpeak version? Imagine a conversation between those two!
I think you're right, except that HP doesn't seem to have added hardly any pages. They seem to have taken off nearly as many as they've put on.
But I really don't doubt much that G is intentionally holding traffic down for the big content farms; that seemed to be the focus of their first attack with Panda.
I think the question we should be asking is
does low traffic = low quality (in the eyes of Google)?
Most of my hubs were not getting much traffic after the Google-slap, and most of them are now idled.
My traffic is the lowest it has ever been.
Perhaps my main account is not atypical.
I think it was Dale Hyde who posted that his traffic has recovered to his remaining hubs after he unpublished and removed his de-indexed hubs.
That would suggest the idling process is working, at least in some cases.
We all know there are shockingly bad hubs on HP, but if Google is sending them traffic (and that will keep them from becoming idled), then are they judged to be 'high quality' in Google's eyes?
I think we really need to know.
We might have so-called 'stand-alone' subdomains, but we are all heavily interlinked.
It could be someone else's 'low quality' hub that pulls yours down, in which case no amount of editing in the world will fix it.
+1 Outstanding post Izzy!
I would think that the answer is "not necessarily." There could be a phenomenal page that simply doesn't do well because it is competing with lots of other great pages on the same topic. It just may never rise to the top.
There certainly is the other category of pages that are clearly subpar and are reflected as such by being WAY low in the google rankings.
Conversely, I think that some crap hubs may get traffic because they are targeting keywords that are not competitive. Even a bad hub may rank if there isn't much competition.
I think more effort should be focused on the truly bad hubs where there is no question about their poor quality, REGARDLESS of the traffic they receive.
And this is where I find the idle program a bit disgusting, GinnyLee. I used to keep a 100 profile score and could rank for the #1 hub on unique info in a matter of minutes all around the world. I received almost 2000 views a day and was making pretty fair money for about 70 hubs at the time. I'm lucky now to receive a couple a hundred views a day for my how-to hubs, almost none of it from Google.
No one can tell me what happened or who put the whammy on my work here. Or, no one WILL tell me if they do indeed know. I have my own ideas, of course. I suppose I am what HP refers to as "collateral damage."
Good post, Izzy! And my traffic too sucks at the moment. I see nothing encouraging at all coming from this program except an impetus to look elsewhere. I find the recent news of "idled hubs don't hurt us" laughable from Paul E. in light of the previous statements to the contrary. I wish they'd make up their minds!
Izzy - I posted at least one comment about deleting a few idled hubs. Any of mine that have been idled were done so for traffic (since most had been reviewed & scrutinized through either AP or QAP). I deleted poems and essays, which, while fun to write, aren't going to be seen in search engines. And I felt they didn't fit what, after a year, seemed to be my thrust in writing.
I also edited and improved, wherever possible, hubs that are fact-based, informative, etc. I'm not sure which horse came before which cart, but my traffic is now double what it was before the September slump and is slowly climbing every few weeks. I feel certain that, for me, deleting hubs that were low-performers and were not 'informative' made a big difference. If nothing else, it got rid of things I'd rather not have to maintain here, and I can use the writing elsewhere. They were not low-quality - they're simply things nobody will ever search for on Google.
But so many writers here have produced good and factual hubs that have been slammed - so I'm curious what Google used to send traffic here (to HP) before, compared to now? Bear in mind, even with my increase in recent months, my traffic is nowhere near what the veterans of the site were seeing before Panda, and it likely won't reach those levels - at least not from what I gather from reading the forums.
We know that, in google's eyes, low quality = low traffic (or at least that's what they claim) but we don't know the other way around to be true, no.
As to whether or not low traffic hubs are pulling down either subdomains or all of HP is till up in the air. You're right - cases like Dale's give an indication of at least the former, but I don't think there is enough data to actually answer the question yet. As work proceeds on the backlog of junk we may learn more.
G says that low quality backlinks (links from a low quality site?) hurt, and if true, the site architecture may now be hurting rather than helping as it used to. Again, time may tell as those "low quality sites" (subdomains of junk) and the junk in them are removed. Or maybe HP hasn't set the quality bar high enough. Or maybe G is telling stories again.
We don't know that at all.
The hubs I have left that Google continue to send traffic to are not of a very high quality at all. They didn't send traffic to my 'quality' hubs.
That is why we should perhaps re-consider what Google sees as 'quality'.
It may be that those really poor hubs that Google are still sending traffic to are there because of backlinks pointing to it, or because of some internal structure pointing to them.
What is quality?
It would seem to me to be a waste of time publishing high calibre hubs full of lots of useful info.
You might as well rush out of a couple of hundred words full of keywords, spend your time adding artificial backlinks to it, and sit back and enjoy the traffic.
Or maybe even if your onpage SEO skills are good, you can skip the backlinking stuff and still enjoy traffic.
Or maybe internally, HP really do give some authors extra help by manipulating the linking process?
True. We don't know how Google is defining quality. We don't know what google considers "low" quality. We don't know how google is determining quality - the method, not the definition.
We know that google has claimed to be sending traffic only to high quality, but have only limited evidence point to that as false. We know that google claims to be discounting "bad" backlinks, that it used to simply count backlinks as a determining factor in quality We don't know if anything has actually changed.
No matter what HP or we do, we're shooting blind in the hopes that it will help. We can listen to googles declaration that they are shooting for quality and believe it (to at least some degree, I do), we can decide it's true only if it doesn't cost them much (again, I do) or we can decide they are total liars.
I hold those beliefs almost entirely because google is a business and in competition with others. If the other search engines offer a better product (and who wants junk in their search?) google will lose out in the long run.
As a conclusion, then, I do think that we are better off in the long run in providing quality rather that extensive off page SEO. On page is somewhat different; it seems to me that we have to tell a stupid algo what the subject is and that requires some on page SEO. I also think that to a large degree old methods of putting out hundreds of backlinks is likely to work. For a while, until google gets better at finding what it calls quality. I also think that google will generally agree with us on what quality is, they just don't know how to build that very human response into an algorithm. They're learning, but they've got a long, long way to go.
Internal links: HP can help there, I think, but the problem is in determining what and where to do it. In some respects HP is in the same boat as google; their internal search engine has to be effective in providing what the reader wants and providing quality quality is a part of that.
So how do you do that? They can't examine every possible hub before supplying those "related hub" links - they have to use an algo to do it with. What's in that algo? Traffic? Hub score (they've said they're trying to bring that more in line with true quality)? Topic and category? Reader satisfaction demonstrated by time-on-page? Number of backlinks? Length and varied capsule usage?
All of those seem reasonable. I know that WMT tells me that I've got a handful of hubs with backlinks from within HP in the hundreds. I know that, in general, those hubs all have high "scores" in those areas (except of course topic and category) and I know that other hubs with few HP backlinks in general do not. It seems, then, that HP is doing what it can with their algo to provide useful, quality backlinking to those hubs that "deserve" it.
No, and I don't know how anyone could imagine it did. Low traffic may just mean that not many people are searching for a topic.
If you have a low trafficked Hub, you could look at the keyword tool and see what the search volume is. If it's high, and you're getting low traffic, then Google doesn't like it for some reason, so it could be a quality issue ( at least, quality as Google defines it, which we all know isn't the same as real quality).
I personally like the QAP process to stop new crap from coming in, but it does make me wonder when I come across http://liamodowd.hubpages.com/hub/Color … Brown-Eyes
At first glance, this article isn't blatantly bad, but many of this writer's articles have an outbound link to ht tp://www.pop-digital.co.uk/pop/seo/link-building/ which, for the low price of 149 pounds will create a nice backlinking package for you.
Maybe they were featured after QAP due to human error? Please don't think that QAP is stopping all bad hubs coming in...
If the hub isn't really bad, what's the problem? That other hubs have the same backlink, or that that backlink is to a site you don't like?
I mean no offense, but there are an awful lot of hubbers using HP to drive traffic and SEO to their other sites but that doesn't make them poor writers nor their hubs poor quality. Defining poor quality to include such hubs would be censorship in the worst sense, far beyond what is already being done.
No offense taken. I think that writing hubs that are of high quality with a link back to a personal site is a great idea! Was this hub "high quality?" or "not horrible?"
Regardless, the point is that the Hubpages TOS http://hubpages.com/help/user_agreement prohibits "Link to pages or sites that are unrelated to the topic and content of Your Hub" - In this case, the link is to the SEO backlinking service which doesn't meet the topic of the article (eye color).
Aha! More information is always good. Most definitely the backlink is against the rules and should be taken out.
Ginny, this whole thread is primarily about quality and the undesired results when HP tries to enforce it. HP has said that the requirements are quite low, that the goal isn't only "top quality" hubs and that lower quality hubs are being allowed in. Can you imagine what it would be like if the bar was set to only "top quality" as defined by HP? Their entire network would overload from forum usage in just hours as "beautiful, perfectly written stellar" hubs were taken down one after another.
As mentioned before I too was initially under the impression that the idle feature was a tool for weeding out low quality hubs, but knowing that some of HPs best writers (Like Randy G) have been slammed I am now aware that it is more an issue regarding traffic.
This however is unfair, and every time I hear that a fellow member has deleted hubs a part of me dies, it seems like such a waste of perfectly good work and time.
I have only deleted 3 of my hubs, the rest I have moved and oddly enough they are now getting more traffic then they did here. (Go figure?) I am going to keep at it here though because some of my work actually does pretty well and I like the community.
What really does hack me off though is the fact that people can steal our work, post it anywhere and sometimes there is not a thing that we can do about it! I don't that will ever stop being annoying.
Please do stop deleting work people it is upsetting, think of what you could be denying the world.
Thanks for your support, wrenfrost. I don't think anyone knows what to do about this mess now. Yes, HP is deleting lots of well written hubs for some reason, while others who get little or no traffic to their hubs aren't affected at all. I know for a fact some hubs by others get a free pass by HP even though some of their hubs get absolutely no traffic at all. Lets face it, this program stinks for ridding the site of badly written junk.
HP leaves us no choice but to delete our hard work and place it where it is appreciated. Serves them right.
Randy, I agree that, at some point, the site would benefit and writers would benefit if they would stop idling good content. I can see that 'one size fits all' had to be the strategy at first, but even if they started slowly and stopped idling a few good writers at a time, it would help sustain the volume of good content here, and would be a sign of collaboratively working with writers.
It's very time consuming to keep tweaking content in order to made it readable by search engines. Although we've seen posts by staff suggesting that these pieces might need videos, or polls, or new photos, that's not always the case. Many hubs with ALL those elements simply don't get a lot of views yet. If they're about obscure topics, they may never get a huge number if views - but they are worthy pieces of work.
Similarly, fiction, poems or essays may not be very searchable, but unless there's some Google penalty we don't know about, I'm not clear why they would be idled if the content is good?
I am pleased some of you guys are benefiting from this program, Marcy. I suppose I'm just one of those who are doomed to failure as far as their work being appreciated on HP. There's just nothing I can do to get on Google's good side, and believe me I've tried everything HP has suggested so far.
Some of us have been slapped with some unknown penalty shortly after we switched to subdomains. Apparently we did something wrong we aren't aware of and nothing seems to help. HP doesn't know, Google claims they haven't put us on their $hit list, and so we seem to be in a certain limbo as it were. Over a year and a half has passed and my traffic has only gotten worse instead of better, so yes, I am a little perturbed when people who can barely write a legible sentence talk about their traffic improving.
But what I detest most is the lack of transparency from TPTB, or the fact they keep changing what they say hurts a writer here. But no worries, I've given up on listening to staff for anything worthy of helping out my account as it's too frustrating to deal with anymore. Let them play their little games with people who trust them. It ain't me!
Randy - I didn't say I benefitted from idling, per se; I said I believe I gained some traffic by getting rid of things that Google doesn't seem to pick up in searches (such as obscure titles of poems).
You mentioned in another post that you used to get a lot of traffic and be rated high for 'unique' content. I haven't heard of that part before - is that also something Google ranks in some way? Or used to rank? Did that continue after Panda?
BTW - based on my own traffic, you are getting good traffic still. As I said, I would be amazed if I ever get to the point (the level of traffic) of some longtime writers here, either before or after Panda.
All these sites have to constantly keep changing their rules and advice, because the internet itself is in a constant state of change. Over at Squidoo there is currently uproar because Squidoo have made some big rule changes that affect certain people.
I deleted more than half my hubs and have seen my traffic gradually rise over the past 6 months. Did the deletion directly help my traffic, or was it something else I did, or was it something HP did, or was it a combination? I don't know, but deleting weaker material didn't seem to harm me.
HP can give advice and they can improve the structure of the site to make it more Google friendly - but since sub-domains came in, hubbers have greater powers to control their own fate. If you think the HP advice is wrong, then you are free to ignore it and do your own thing. Heaven knows, there is an endless amount of "experts" offering their own version of "advice" out there!
We do? What did I miss? AFAICT, all that subdomains did was make each of our own accounts more vulnerable to the slings and arrows of search engine rankings.
ETA: if we knew it was a question of "do X or Y and you'll definitely get more search views", then you'd be right. But the fact is that it often seems to be entirely random whether a subdomain does well or not.
It is not random at all; it is entirely dependent on the vagaries of the google algorithm. There is a very good reason behind having a subdomain that google likes or not having one.
They just won't tell us what those reasons are.
If you don't know why Google's algorithm does or doesn't like your site, then you're almost as much in the dark as you would be if it *were* completely random. Let's face it, nobody really knows if idling hubs is doing the site any good with regard to Google. To me, it's the online equivalent of doing a dance to appease the rain god. Or wearing a tin foil hat to keep the lions away.
+1 You've got it. Of course the alternative is to do nothing but I doubt you will find much argument that that is a losing strategy.
One takes what little information is available from every source possible, puts it together and formulates a plan that might work. Or might not - only trying it will tell.
Sometimes "do nothing for now, and wait" is actually better (or at any rate, no worse) than a pursuing a wrong-headed policy based on incomplete or even erroneous information. Because that's what the idling programme is, in my opinion - wrong-headed - not least, because it's p*ssing off so many of the site's members who are thus becoming demotivated.
Furthermore: even if HP's traffic does pick back up to pre-Panda levels, HP still won't know whether it was the idling programme that did it. After all, it's not as if it can clone itself and use the clone as a control.
Sometimes it is, and it almost always is better than doing something wrong. I guess the difference must be that HP doesn't see it as automatically wrong (they trust their own studies and decisions more than they do yours) and they're the ones calling the shots.
You're right, though, about never actually knowing if it works. Whether it does or not could have been determined by some other, new, tweak in the algo. We might find out by undoing the work done, but that seems a little counter productive if traffic does increase.
Which puts it all back to the same place; do nothing and hope the internet fairy touches HP with her wand or try something that TPTB thinks might help.
C'Mon..... Google... Google... It's ALWAYS Google!
A tiresome justification for everything non transparent!
I don't believe Google attach NOINDEX tags randomly on my newly published hubs!!
Please.... Get Real...
HP Intentionally Selects and Directs Google etc to IGNORE selected new and other hubs - Not the other way around!
Personally, I'd like to know who actually makes that self management decision on behalf of MY Sub-Domain!!
Creating sub domains merely allowed HP to DUMP the dirty links that had been attached to previously HP Selected user accounts! I don't believe for a minute that it had anything to do with Google making that decision... I believe it was timed to coincide exactly with the Panda moves!
This whole Idling thing was 'trialled' a year earlier and during the Competitions that were run here... All My Quality Submissions were Never Indexed... where previously my profile and many hubs had appeared on pages one and two in SEs...
HP manipulated all the 'link juice' THEY selected... It had Nothing to do with Google selecting many of us hard working and unsuspecting hubbers to Slap!
HP killed the selected links and the selected user brands tumbled! Show me I'm Wrong!
Why can't we get some Reality on this issue, huh?
This is why I so dislike the doubletalk we've been getting lately, PD. Yes, I realize HP is desperate to suck up to Google to regain their lost stature, but pissing off their writers I think is not the way to go. Unless they really do not want them here anymore and now prefer simply recipes and household hints as their mainstay. And if this is true, then the place is not worth wasting my time on anyway. Just tell us the truth and I'll make like a shepherd and get the flock outta here.
Had to step out for a bit and just returned, Marcy. The reason I said I was ranked for unique content is because when I first joined I wrote content which was not found on the net at that time, and wrote it very concisely and also where it was easily understandable.
Some of these hubs got hundreds of views a day with no backlinking or linking to other sites. No TOS violations, no infractions on my part, just the best content on the subject, and still is for that matter IMHO. Now even a newbie writer with less info outranks me on Google. One of these hubs had around 70,000 views after a year and a half being published. Another year and a half later it has yet to reach 75,000 views.
I included many step-by-step photos in these hubs made as I was actually doing the jobs myself and was told by many it was the best info on the net. Sometimes I spent hours merely answering questions and giving advice to visitors about the hub. Unlike many successful hubs, some of mine required a lot of time on the questions posed by searchers, not to metion hours of actually creating them. I had several such hubs at one time.
I am still outranked by many inferior articles on Google--not bragging but I do know the difference when I write about a subject I am well experienced in. No one can tell me anything about why I'm being ostracized by Google when Bing and Yahoo are not doing the same. Not Google or HP. Believe me, I sure asked enough times. So all of this talk about HP and "low quality" articles really ticks me off right now. I really think it is very dishonest of either HP or the Big G to try and redefine what a quality article is by using traffic as a factor.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted some of the newer writers to realize that no matter how hard they work on their articles, no matter how valuable they are to very interested searchers, their success and hard work can be wiped out literally overnight with the click of mouse. And no one can tell you why.
I am wondering about the fact that most of the writers losing traffic from the Panda from back in September of 2011 were hubbers that earned a lot of money and had been here for a long time. Age seems to have something to do with it and success too. I think I'd open a new account and let Google think I was someone else. I'm just making a wild guess at this.
Izzy tried this, Barbara Kay. It seemed to work for a bit but I believe she just recently reported her other accounts were doing bad now. She, CMhypno, and I were all struck down on the same day and I can assure you we all knew how to write original and well researched content. None of us have recovered from that horrible day and Paul E made things worse by inferring we wrote "awkwardly" as the reason for the plunge. I'm pleased now I didn't live very close to Frisco at the time.
Yes, there is something you can do about it. There are very few sites and hosts that will refuse to take down copied material. Read up on filing DMCA's and if you can't find where to file the form I've got a hub in my carousel explaining exactly how to go about it.
Don't let the thieves get away scot free; go after them!
Two things I know about.. Business, Business Management, BS & People..
One either MANAGES the business completely effectively and efficiently, never Bulls***ing to the people who rely in good faith on THAT 'competent ability to manage'
One does not Manage the business competently!
Factually, like it or not, there is No Middle Ground on that issue!
Therefore, there is NOTHING acceptable, ethical or competent, about any Business Manager whose personal ability amounts to solely 'ALMOST' Managing the business and doing so, on the basis of limiting the factual information required to make any informed decisions, by those who for whatever reason, rely in good faith on the competent ability of that Manager to manage effectively and efficiently!
Being aware of this... I prefer to consider what is Not being said here, as opposed to what is said badly, incompetently and non factually!
There is a lot of BS attached to this so called Idle Issue... and it has Almost Managed to destroy the personal hopes and good faith of a great deal of people, who trusted this site was being Managed competently!
Please..... Stop continuously Insulting us with justification for your expectations that we accept Less than you would accept if the tables were turned!
Rule #1 of Business is: That you either Manage the Business or You Fail to Manage the Business! I believe that rule also holds true of specific business functions! But Hey.... maybe I'm just some dumb dude from nowhere important.. who doesn't know squat and is too direct to be worthy of respect or a 'HELPFUL' Accolade!
I wonder if someone who worked at Helium now works at Google. In certain respects, SF is a small town...
Sticking up for HP does not earn money, give you brownie points, raise your hub scores, etc.
The HP system is broken, and has been broken for a long time, and is not doing a thing but get worse. I am with Randy too! Every hub that goes Idle, I remove it.
Of course it does. You just would never be privy to those rewards. I personally have gotten thousands of dollars in kick-backs, choice on who to remove/ban, use of the company jet, and to top it all PE brings me strawberries and rubs my feet every Friday.
I don't like you so you don't get to be in the club.
Or perhaps people with different opinions of HP might just have them because they think differently than you. Just maybe.
Didn't you complain and say you were leaving ages ago? No one begged you to stay then and no one is going to do it now. Since you keep saying the same thing and never doing it then we've got to assume that something is keeping you here. We never hear about that though, just how very angry you are.
As far as we know.Linda.
I recommend doing the same until HP makes up their mind up about the idled hubs. In the meantime, it's a total waste of time to either create or edit hubs. This is my take on it and I'm not trying for any perks with the system by sugar coating the facts we are aware of.
And yes, expect someone to come along and ask you to leave if you don't like it here.
I didn't ask her to leave... she keeps promising that she will and I keep getting my hopes up.
I mean she said she was going to and didn't. You say that makes HP a liar. So what does that make her?
When are you leaving?
Uh oh, here comes the ban
We all have our druthers, Melissa. And there are definitely some whose druthers are listened to more than others. I feel sure sure there are some who feel the same about both you and I as far as that is concerned. But I've never felt I had the right to ask that of others.
Where did I "say that makes HP a liar" because of something another writer says?
Once again, she is the one who said she was leaving... I just asked when.
I'm sure there are a few folks that would like me gone, mostly though I'm likely so irrelevant that many wouldn't care either way. However if I made a huge fuss about going, I would expect someone to say something if I didn't. Like... perhaps... "Didn't you say you were leaving?"
Especially if I said it very... very... very frequently.
I didn't say you said anything about what a writer saying makes HP a liar. But you have kinda ridden the "You said you were going to do this but didn't" thing about HP. So if HP is a liar because they didn't do what they said, then you have to consider other people/entities who said they were going to do something and didn't liars as well. Or else it's hypocritical.
What anyone else says--including you--means nothing much to me as they have their own reasons to ask questions. I believe I've given Hp every opportunity to answer my questions on the forums, and because they beat around the bush, sometimes ignore them completely, and then change the answers, there is a good reason I don't have a lot of faith in their trustworthiness. Nothing to do with other hubbers here though, I can ignore those I don't like. Try it yourself sometime.
Linda, you are not the only one who has made the choice to remove your idle hubs from HP and place them elsewhere. I enjoy your hubs and hate to see them dwindle down. But like you and Randy and many more of my hubber friends, I understand the move you are making. Hopefully, you will not dwindle down too far and will always have enough featured for others to enjoy here on HPs.
Randy: I am only taking the ones I want. They can have the trash since that is what they favor now! I think I may have published on hub in 6 months here.
When I leave is not anybody's concern. Go harass each other MelissaBarrett and woisit. When you start paying my bills, then you have some say about what I do.
Leave me out of your rant. My question was not directed towards you.
Stop making me hopeful then letting me down.
If I have to read your constant stream of "I'm leaving" then I get to say "What's taking you so long?"
I don't think "I'm Leaving" means what you think it does. I always thought it meant that eventually the person saying it would actually be gone. Just waiting for that to happen.
Melissa,, when you start paying my bills, then you have something to say. When are your going to grow the F up? I have left essentially, with over 100 articles NOT ON HP!
You need some help getting those last ones off? I'd be happy to lend a hand. Does that mean we won't have the pleasure of your up-beat and positive -not to mention exceedingly productive- forum posts anymore as well? Gosh golly gee I would sure miss those.
And another thing while I'm getting a few things off of my chest. It was suggested that because I had so many links to my RV hubs--someone checked for me and there were tens of thousands just to those hubs-- that Google thought it was some form of nefarious backlinking going on and slapped me for being too successful.
Imagine that! I never used backlinking at all other than simply posting my hubs on facebook.
That doesn't rule out nefarious purposes, Randy.
That's far, far more than anything I've seen on my best hubs. Is it possible that you've been victim of someone trying to destroy your hubs? You might look at few of those sites and see if they are legit or just garbage dumps.
WMT can give you a list of all your backlinks
They were checked by someone I trust and they all came from all sorts of RV establishments and forums. I used to spend inordinate amounts of time answering all sorts of questions from those who said my hubs were the best they could find on the net.
As you can imagine most were ranked either #1 on the first page of Google or near the very top. I once had an RV hub rank #1 in the world in the first 30 minutes because the content was so unique. Yes, I worked hard to find such topics and make them the best but it was all wiped away in the blink of an eye. Would you be ticked off for being punished for creating what everyone wanted? Yes, you could say I really don't have much patience with BS anymore.
OK - I didn't realize that someone had done more than just look at the number of backlinks.
Well, it was a thought. Another one that didn't pan out, unfortunately.
Yes, and I would be just as angry if the same thing had happened to you, or Simey, or anyone else who worked hard to create the best content possible. It is a form of theft that goes on regularly these days and no one, especially HP or Google seems to give a hoot about it. Nope, I'll never edit another idled sales hub because I don't want to waste another second listening to HP's ever changing spin, and even more likely because I won't put anything here again to make money as long as they have this crappy, ill-conceived system in place.
If you didn't get an email from Google telling you that you had an "unnatural link profile" or similar, then I'd say it's highly unlikely that was the problem.
I never got an email like that, but I know a few people who did, and their blogs were decimated.
You know I have to say I am disappointed in Google. Even with out being a writer. As a consumer stance before I began to get into all of this writing. When I would sit to a search engine, and look up information on something. Much better combined than a library let's face it. Often times the hits that were old provided much better information than those that were new. Except in the industries where change is constantly occurring. Topics like technology. Although for the mass amount of private researchers even the old techs had their place. After all most people do not enjoy buying new equipment every couple of months. So often times have those old out dated items. Sometimes still needing that information that was a long time learned. I feel as if Google is forcing people to be up to their level. Which defeats the purpose of independent ability. I think this will be a death blow for Google. Especially since there are many other search engines, and those are even growing in popularity. Places like the Bing. Which from my perspective came out of no where. It was just suddenly there, and a competitor of Google. Google is still a business, and still needs to remember it has to compete. So I am left wondering since I signed up in HP. Why only Google?
If not for Bing and Yahoo perhaps all of my hubs would be idled now. I abhor Google........
On this one I will fully agree, Randy. I hate that company, that steps on anyone and everyone without a care about what it's doing, who gets hurt or how badly.
It is the epitome of what is wrong with some of the corporate world; they make WalMart and Monsanto look like pikers in the abuse category.
I'm glad we agree on this, Wilderness. Perhaps someday they will be dealt with by some entity other than us ordinary citizens. I'm not holding my breath until it happens though!
I'm probably so wrong it's pathetic, but if Google doesn't get it's search engine in order soon they're going to lose out to Bing and Yahoo. They've improved results somewhat in the past year, but not nearly enough. I'm seeing more and more visits from alternate search providers - give lousy results and you'll lose customers every time. Especially when the competition is so easy to use; you don't even have to drive across town!
I hope they do lose out to Bing and Yahoo. Perhaps then they will pay more attention to the actual meaning of the word "quality." Hubpages would do well to do the same instead of merely falling into line with them. Unless of course, they wish to contribute to the dumbing-down of America in the near future. Certainly not a favorable legacy to remembered by.
Neither Google, Bing nor Yahoo ever did understand quality. When it's defined by how many backlinks you can spread out there I see that as a problem.
I fully understand it's a massive problem to apply such a subjective, insubstantial thing to software, and I applaud Googles (stated) efforts to do so, but they aren't succeeding and their methodology is hurting, and hurting badly, a great many people.
Panda, for instance, could have been set up on the side over a small portion of the web and watched what happened IF it were applied (without actually doing so) but instead the world was subjected to it willy nilly while it flopped. Google had the resources to do that, and could have, but it would have cost. Instead authors the world over paid the cost. As you know even more that the rest of us.
Here is an interesting read about the Google slapdown on Hub Pages, a bit about Squidoo, etc.
http://www.squidoo.com/how-googles-pand … es-traffic
A little dated, maybe, as there have been many changes since Panda, but still a very worthwhile read. Greekgeek is always worth reading. Would love to see her update that.
Hey thank you for that informative link. Now all of this is beginning to make a lot more sense to me. Thank you LindaSmith1!
Down to 94 hubs to go! Deleted 5 more today. Is this considered decomposing?
by Shasta Matova4 years ago
I know that you can choose to display your idle hubs on your profile page, but I don't, because I don't want Google to see them at all and get confused by all those "do not follow." What this means is...
by Nathan Bernardo2 years ago
On a different account, somewhat "experimental" account, one of my Hubs is unfeatured. Generally my inclination was to unpublish it and move it or just delete it. But I kept it and put it in a Hub group....
by Georgianna Lowery3 years ago
This is a two-fold issue. I know we're in the middle of a Google Typhoon or whatever animal is wreaking havoc this month plus the summer traffic is, well, obviously somewhere else. In January/February of this year, my...
by Cindy Lawson4 years ago
How is it that a hub on the 'common mistakes new hubbers make' can suddenly become not featured, in spite of the fact it has had 9 views in a day, 24 views in 7 days and 35 views in the last 30 days? I only replied to...
by Steve Andrews4 years ago
As I have found today! I was led to believe that hubs of 75 and over were worth holding on to but obviously not! I just had one with a score of 81 getting the zzs!
by topclass4 years ago
Many good quality pages are Idled (become unfeatured) via ‘Analysis of the how engaged readers are with a Hub over an extended period of time’ – essentially because they get low traffic.It appears that this...
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