As I am going updating my Hubs to get them featured again, I am coming across some that our way below my standards for a good Hub, I'm trying to decide if it's better to delete these Hubs, or just keep them as unfeatured?
Back when I started here, short hubs (200 - 500 words) with a single image and a lot of product links did very well here. A lot of us earned tons of money from them, mostly because Hubpages carried a lot of authority in the SERP's
Things have changed over the years. Google now assigns authority based on user engagement rather than just traffic. User engagement, bounce rate, entrance and exit urls, are a better way to measure the overall quality of page content than just pure numbers of visitors which can be gamed or artificially manipulated. This is why we have Google algorithm updates such as Panda and Penguin, so that content pages with the best user engagement stats (or potential) can be served to the searcher instead of old crap that had 1000's of irrelevant backlinks just to push it to the top.
Hubpages has always known that media rich, long format, content will survive any Google update because of the quality. They called it Evergreen content program and had a reward system for creating such content... now it is the expected norm.
At one time I had over 250 hubs and the majority of them were short product reviews. I have removed over 150 hubs and continue to moderate and update hubs that I feel still have potential. But first I must go through the same research that led me to create the hubs in the first place. I must check the keywords to see if the competition and search volumes meet my current standards. If they do, then I attempt to revamp the hub with several legal to use pictures (at least 3), a video, a poll question, a chart if I think it will engage. If competition is less than 1 million and search volume for 'exact' keywords is over 1000 Global (local if it is a product) then it is worth my time to put in the effort. If the numbers don't meet my criteria then I delete the hub because the only traffic it will garner, if any, is internal and will eventually fall unfeatured.
I always did a little editing once my hub became unfeatured, and published again. If they stayed featured, then no more problem. If they consistently returned to unfeatured status, then I deleted them.
I do a mixture of both. I find it easier to start new hubs than edit, so when I look at a hub, if it seems like it is so bad that it isn't worth the time to try to fix, then I will delete it. It is only if the edits are minor and do-able that I edit and try again. Otherwise, I start over, or just move on to the next hub.
I do both. I have 3 websites and 2 blogs that I can move them to if they are failing here. Sometimes I redo them, but if they fail twice, I find somewhere else to move them.
With one hub though, I've had a strange experience. It is a gardening one that got almost no traffic for 2 years. Now it is almost 3 years old and is #1 for search. It is getting almost 200 views a day. It may pay off to let hubs age. Whether the de-indexing hurts aging is questionable. I hope not or this whole thing is just hurting all of us.
This is one of my issues with unfeaturing Hubs due to low engagement. Just because the information isn't pertinent for a few months, doesn't mean it can't become pertinent later on. Blocking a hub that gets 1 hit a month on the search engines is dumb. If that one readers spreads the word around, your Hub can grow popular again. To me this is short term thinking.
I only have two hubs un-featured due to "engagement", but quite frankly I don't feel the need to edit them or anything else. I know that they have a very low amount of search engine traffic and they are only there as part of a "set" of other hubs for completeness. If they need the info they can click the link from one of the parts of the set.... If I edit them they will become featured and a month later they will be un-featured again due to lack of traffic as few people search for the keywords. I could put them on a different site but they would still receive no traffic as they are not searched for!
It is no big deal if they are featured or not as they make very little difference if any to my overall views. I don't understand people's worry about hubs being featured - if the hub has no traffic from the search engines then it is doing you no good anyway! If you know there is too much competition, or there are no searches for your keywords why worry!
There seems to be an expectation from many people that they should automatically receive hundreds of visitors for their hub on the "Lesser spotted African three toed green fat bellied tree frog" just because it has been written so well and contains beautiful original photos - if no one searches for it then guess what? You will get no views! Also if you create a hub page about "Buy a new iphone5" and keep to the rules about how many amazon adverts you are allowed, guess what? The competition from the big boys will ensure that your hubpage appears on page 311 of the SERPS and you will get no views.
Stop complaining at Hubpages for your hub not being featured, these systems help to remove the spam and crap from the site, the fact that they will also remove your highly engaging well written hub may hurt your feelings but it can still be found from your profile and it will not hurt your earnings as you are not getting visitors anyway!
If however your hub is un-featured for quality its time to get to work and see if you can improve it! (if you know it has people searching for your keywords and the competition can be overcome.)
I've been here for 3 years and I mention it because I've had hubs 'sit' with no improvement in traffic for 2 years and then suddenly take off and become some of my highest scoring hubs bringing in 3-400 views.
You can also try changing the title. I've personally had some very good success when I tweak the title.
I've only deleted 1 hub in 3 years. Presently all my hubs are featured. But that's because I practically re-wrote the un-featured ones. It did me good. I've learned so much in 3 years. I really did need to revise many of my earlier hubs.
I recommend going ahead and re-edit your sleepers with additional content, photos you own, check your spelling and be sure to add a poll or map. Google likes it when you make changes for the better on your hubs.
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