I think there is an urgent need to change the term "engagement" to "traffic".
The reason? The new "Not Featured - engagement" feature has been in place only a few days, and already we're seeing posts on the forums from upset Hubbers.
I can understand that HubPages staff are techie people and therefore the jargon seems like the obvious choice to them. However, jargon words often have other meanings for the general public.
Tell a writer his or her work isn't "engaging" and it's a direct insult. it's hurtful. Demeaning. Demoralising. Are you getting the message?
Whereas "traffic" is neutral, inoffensive, factual.
Does "engagement" mean something more than traffic? If so, what - and are the additional factors significant enough to merit using an emotive word which is bound to upset some members? If not, why not use the simple English?
It's still early days for the QAP. The long term plan is to weight other factors more heavily. Engagement (could find a better word) encompasses things like traffic, but also will incorporate other signals like social signals as we refine it.
Maybe interaction would be a better word?
To me interaction means the same as engagement. Maybe something suggesting external interaction?
I do like interaction better than engagement. Engagement feels like my hub is boring or no one likes it so they back away without reading it. Interaction simply means that people aren't coming to my hub, so it could be anything, likely my lack of SEO.
The problem with interaction though it could sound like there aren't enough interactive things on the hub - polls, videos, etc, even though the problem might be SEO.
There probably is an even better word out there, but I can't think of it off hand. I like traffic, because it simply says people aren't coming to your hub, for whatever reason. Maybe something like readership, attention from traffic, or traffic involvement..
Here are some thesaurus words:
Main Entry: absorption
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: total attention toward something
Synonyms: captivation, concentration, engagement, engrossment, enthrallment, fascination, hang-up, holding, immersion, intentness, involvement, occupation, preoccupation, raptness
. Funny. I am just the opposite; engagement means interest, fascination, long time-on-page. I have engaged the readers interest.
Interaction means they took the poll I posted, or left a comment but that's about it. The reader interacted with the hub, whether they liked it or not.
To each their own, and I don't see any single term being accepted by everyone.
It will be nice, should it ever happen, to see this QAP thing mature and for us to see some positive results. Since this QAP has started, I have deleted 40 hubs and my views have never returned to what they were a year ago. This is the reason that this author has stopped publishing on this platform.
I have a suggestion which may lead to a clearer understanding for Hubbers.
Change Traffic to - Traffic - Google
Change Engagement to - Traffic - Non Google
I suggest as above as I see after qualifying through the QAP process my hubs are featured if,
A) it is getting traffic from search engines, primarily Google &
B) It is getting traffic, not from the search engines but from non search methods like, social media, direct links, emailed links, link shares, etc.
Personally I think it's misleading to give something a name based on what it might be in the future. Does that mean you call caterpillars, butterflies?
Would it be too difficult to call it 'traffic' right now, and change it to 'engagement' if you start measuring engagement instead?
As aalite and others observed, including social signals doesn't mean engagement anyway:
"On several other sites [and in the SEO community generally], "engagement" is the length of time a reader stays on the page, which determines the bounce rate. On the YouTube Stats, for example, "engagement" shows how far the viewer stayed watching. The highest score is when they watch the entire video.
...If HP did really measure engagement ...then they could call it that.
Measuring only traffic and calling it 'engagement'......that's just misleading."
It just doesn't make sense that HubPages should take a word that has an accepted meaning everywhere else, and use it for something completely different.
I vote for traffic - social signals is just a form of traffic. My understanding was that engagement was originally coined to refer to traffic from search engines rather than traffic from clicked links such as Pinterest and internal link hits.
Traffic is simple and every one knows what it means
I am not an Internet expert and new to sites such as Hubpages, but I'll join this forum anyway.
Engagement to me is an appointment to meet so it is a commitment or promise. To engage is to stop and encounter something or someone. Traffic is movement and yes, communication. Somehow traffic seems to give the impression of greater activity than engagement.
Just my random thoughts!
But "engagement" can also be used as in "the page engaged the reader's attention". Say somebody comes to a page, doesn't like what they see and hits the back button right away (that is technically called as a bounce). Obviously the page was not 'engaging'.
On the internet traffic is the holy grail. It is basically people coming to view your pages. Generally as a result of being shown at the top of search engine's results for a popular search term. Or because of going viral on facebook or interest or twitter.
A page can have high traffic but low engagement. For example if you link to it on reddit, you will get hundreds of people coming to see it in a day. But they scan it and leave. It is thought that Google notices if people don't stay long on your page and concludes that there must be something wrong with it.
The problem is that HP says "engagement" but right now they only measure traffic. You might write a fantastic page, but get low traffic just because Google doesn't rank it well. Google is not as good at recognising quality as they would like people to believe.
Yes, 'lack of engagement' is confusing because people will think their hubs are not pretty enough to get married. But 'lack of traffic' could also be confusing for people who live in LA, since that's a good thing. How about an acronym that indicates search/social are under expectations -- SSUX.
SIgh and eyeroll.
I ranted about it in another thread because it seems like it is yet another example of confusing double-speak, like calling idled hubs "normal."
It is true that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, but there is no use in confusing them for no good reason. This website is difficult enough to maneuver through and master as it is. Keeping the terminology plain, simple and sensible is a start.
In addition to the annoyance issue, there are trust issues. When HP uses double-speak in place of plain English, it stirs up suspicion. I'm sure they would rather not do that in what is already a sensitive climate. Just my two cents, but I don't know why I bother. I will crawl back into my hole while the usual suspects jump all over this helpful suggestion. Remind me not to try to help anymore. Things are perfect the way they are. Whatever HP does is perfect. No changes necessary, ever. Sheesh.
I truly dislike all double speak. The term "engagement" right now is simply wrong. What you are basically measuring is organic traffic from search engines.
If HP did really measure engagement (which to me means some thing like time on page, watching movies, using the poll or quiz module, leaving a comment) then they could call it that.
Measuring only traffic and calling it 'engagement'......that's just misleading.
Perhaps when the QAP will consider engagement indicators, you can change the terminology, but right now call a spade a spade.
As Paul says (above) that that is exactly what long term plans are for the score, the question becomes if it is better to use a misleading word while the system is still "beta" and change it later, or use a term that will be more correct as the system grows.
Not sure there is a good answer.
Of course you are entitled to your opinion. I happened to notice a pattern quite some time ago, which is why used the term "usual suspects." I will discontinue using that term. I am not on a "I hate HP bandwagon," I made a simple suggestion. I just forgot what happens when suggestions are made around here. I will leave you and your opinions alone from now on. Continue on as you wish.
I would just like to know exactly what the signals mean. An ambiguous signal is extremely frustrating. E.g. call it traffic with a footnote saying "less than x hits per month".
If that changes, change the signal rather than just keep using the same signal and changing what it means.
We want to do what Hubpages requires to be featured, but we need to know what that is!
I apologize for my earlier rants (now deleted). Here's what I really meant.
This is a valid discussion and an important one. For me it boils down to the following:
I think that having one word to describe why a hub is not featured is never going to be enough. Engagement, Traffic, Quality etc. will always be misleading or misinterpreted in some way. Either have a full explanation or don't have one. Simply changing the word to another word is not going to help us understand the complexity of the featued status.
I'd prefer to be left in the dark totally rather than have a hall light on showing me shadows.
The problem as I see it, right now, is that there is no complexity.
A hub is no-indexed either because:
1) It doesn't meet the quality requirements
2) It doesn't get enough search engine traffic
It is the terminology that HP uses that implies there is complexity, which is confusing people.
When HP makes their system more complex, they can change their terminology, but until then they should say what they mean.
Totally agree - but as 'psycheskinner' noted - without added clarification of what 'low traffic' constitutes, this is still a useless description. Would changing it to "Traffic is lower than xx visits a day' be better?
Yep, I think it would.
One thing that should also be emphasised is that we are talking about search engine traffic (possibly social media, I'm not entirely clear about that).
People are always complaining that their hubs had hits, but still got idled. I suspect that those hits were internal from HubPages, those don't count afaik.
There have been a couple of indications from staff on forums about how much "engagement" is required. The highest number I've seen was "about a dozen organic hits a month", although somebody else said that you would just need a couple of organic hits.
I have very low traffic, fairly old hubs that are still featured. So I don't think you need much.
Just checked, a hub with 4 views in last 30 days (I assume from google), last updated in August of last year, is still featured.
There are already Hubs that don't have search traffic and are not new that are featured.
There are more enhancements coming shortly...
Even if one word can never be enough, a good plain word will minimize the number of rant threads from cluttering up the forum.
I agree - but as you noted, if it is changed to 'low traffic' - it needs added information or an indication of what constitutes low traffic - hence the fact I don't see a benefit of change from 'engagement' to 'low traffic' as it simply doesn't provide any more meaninful info.
Why? Hubpages doesn't want you to go and get a handful of artificial views to solve the problem - it wants you to improve the Hub to attract substantial extra traffic. In that context, it's enough to know that it's not getting traffic. Exact figures aren't important.
Many people will assume that to improve "engagement", they need to change the Hub to keep the reader's attention for longer. Substitute "traffic", and the person knows it's not keeping the reader that's the problem, it's attracting them in the first place - so they are more likely to focus in the right direction.
I thought "engagement" meant length of time of the reader's visit, not just that they came, i.e., traffic or views. At least that's what the accolade says - "readers find hubber's article engaging as measured by their reading the article from start to finish."
I agree, aa, and a page can also have low traffic (low enough that it gets idled) but very high engagement.
I thought engagement means - traffic to the hub (which can be evaluated within a time frame or continuously and definition of traffic threshold), sharing of the hub to social sites and comments - meaning interaction.
Say in a scale of 100% - traffic is 60%, sharing is 30%, then comments and interaction, view duration 10%. How we come up with the index of engagement is difficult I suppose.
Medical Definition of ENGAGEMENT: the phase of parturition in which the fetal head passes into the cavity of the true pelvis.
No matter what word HubPages chooses, someone's going to make a thread and complain it's not a word they like, or that either they or humans they've never met but have chosen to represent can't possibly understand what the chosen word means.
I'm not crazy about the recent Hub changes, but I can say with assurance that "engagement" is the buzzword of the month around SEO. The popular search engines are really scrutinizing engagement as a factor and I think HubPages is right to focus on it. You can get tons of traffic to a URL, but if people don't engage with the content - stay long enough to read it - it's probably not of good quality. Quality content and engagement are very important for good SEO now.
The point is, when HubPages says "Not Featured - Engagement", it has nothing to do with engagement as you describe it. Right now it's based purely on a measure of traffic.
I know these pics are annoying - but I couldn't resist...
Everything seems to be in beta all the time now. I just want to know what the prevailing requirements are so I can keep my fingernails dug into some kind of illusion of control over what happens to my hubs.
LOL That got a laugh from me. You're absolutely right - Google figured out (long ago) and it's wonderful Panda is crap. So they made Penguin, which is crap. So they adjust both and get more crap. All beta.
And HP - HP frantically does things they think will help with the crap, adjusting as they go just like Google, because programming is such a complex mess today. So they, too, are always in the beta stage.
So it comes down to the unfortunate hubber that wrote beautiful, fantastic "alpha" hubs that have turned into beta tests to keep up with HP to keep up with Google.
Such is life on the web. Personally, my dreams of writing great evergreen stuff that would pay off for a decade are dead. Dead and buried. Then decayed and washed to the sea, where they are spread into individual particles and have fallen deeper and deeper to the sea floor. Poor, poor dreams from yesteryear.
I agree that the word 'engagement' has little meaning, and therefore little value if HP wants it to trigger corrective measures from the author. Reading a hub from 'start to finish' is not a good yardstick. A 500-word hub takes less time to read than a 2500-word hub. Are you also measuring the apparent time a reader 'spent' on a hub when they got a phone call and left the screen open? What about readers who print out hubs & are on the page for maybe five seconds? What about speed readers (seriously - some people can read an entire novel in a few hours, while others can require three days to read the same novel).
If 'Interaction' is the driving factor, and if it relates to comments, that's flawed, too. The stated goal of HP is to get Google traffic. Anyone who now has a greater ratio of Google traffic than from other sources can attest they get only random comments from Google readers. They read & run. Or click to another link in the hub. But they're still on the page, reading. This is a different type of traffic than the Fan Boy hits from HP friends who read each other's hubs and leave comments.
Speaking of which - it would be nice if our #%*!! Hubber score didn't have a 'community involvement' factor. Writing is different from socializing.
On other sites, "engagement" is the length of time a reader stays on the page, which determines the bounce rate. On the YouTube Stats, for example, "engagement" shows how far the viewer stayed watching. The highest score is when they watch the entire video. So in that context "engagement" is a part of traffic.
Traffic is = volume of clicks to a page.
Engagement = how long readers stay on that page.
Please Paul, could you explain what "engagement" means on HubPages?
It's really nice to see you engaging in the forums, Paul.
I think that should go in the Learning Center FAQs. I can't speak for other people, but that pretty much answers all my questions about heat scores, hub scores, hubber scores, QAP scores and all the other top secret hidden-formula scores. I would wager HP has a very bored math major on staff.
Cinema Hub Paradiso
Explanation of Terms
Note: All movies are previewed by our crack team of QAPPERs. They score the movies before showing using our rating visual and sound system (duck calls): 1-5 Quacks (only 3 Quack movies are shown - rating Quack Quack Quack and above)
Featured - Now Showing, but could be withdrawn if ticket sales fall or new QAPPER review pans it
Engagement – Good ticket sales, but we also count early departures and yawns. If candy sales are down we also pull the plug.
De-Featured (quality)- Our crack QAPPER team had a holiday and let it slip through and did not rate it, but they have since reviewed it. The hated it, and its withdrawn. Only available on CD, DVD
De-Featured (lack of Engagement) – Flopped at the box-office, even the rent-a-crowd failed. Only available on CD, DVD
Pending – Waiting for the QAPPERs to strut their stuff
Note: We prefer to show movies that meet the industry STELLAR standard:
S – Saturated with high tech, whiz-bang stuff (capsule diversity and frequency we call it)
T – Terribly long – Candy sales drop for short movies
E – Engaging, well at least to QAPPERs
L – Lovely Cinematography
L – Lovely Music
A- Action Packed
R- Revisit Potential, could come back and see it again.
Seriously, I'm too lazy to read every comment in this thread, so if this has already been suggested then please make allowances.
Couldn't it just read: "lack of external traffic" Organic and social media covered, because I don't know if HP is giving weight to both or just one. Nothing to do with how popular we are internally, or how many of our family and friends share our hubs; but the essentials, we all need organic traffic, and some social media to help us rank in the SERPS.
I don't think knowing exact figures would make people go for black hat traffic.
Given the choice I will always opt for "more information" over "less information"
If the 'lack of engagement' features refers to 'lack of traffic', then I think it is wrong that these hubs are de-indexed in the first place.
A hub is either quality, or it isn't. OK some might be middling, but Google can't read.
I find it quite frustrating to have a hub that I know is deeply researched and well-written, idled, simply because Google never sent it any traffic.
Just this month, one of my hubs that I thought was dead in the water from day 1, over a year ago, is now garnering substantial Google traffic.
Hasn't that always been the way on Hubpages?
Some hubs just need time to 'mature'.
Sometimes it takes a year or two.
I am actually quite pleased to note that most my idled hubs are de-indexed due to lack of traffic, and not because they are substandard.
I would have preferred the note to say 'lack of traffic', as that is something I could see for myself anyway.
In my mind my Hubs are either successful or they aren't. Right now I've got a bunch of Features Hubs that aren't making a cent, so they aren't successful. I don't care what HubPages describes them as. Now I'm trying to read between the lines and figure out what to do with them.
I'm scouring keywords to figure out what content to add. I'm figuring out how I'm going to encourage people to Pin my work. I know they've got to talk about it - in their blogs, on Facebook, at the laundrymat. Who knows.
But I think a lot of us have to get over ourselves and accept writing online is being transformed by many of the social ways we interact. What worked last year is over. That's not HubPages fault. As writers we'll adapt or die.
Engagement is very subtle and it's much more than coming to the Hub and reading it. Writers here seem to think that if they "write well" the world owes them something. It's a sense of entitlement. Writing online demands that we engage the online community and give it a reason to talk about us. Believe me it was simpler when we didn't have to do that.
If you think having your hub unfeatured for low engagement is insulting, what about having it unfeatured for low quality? That sounds really bad, like your hub is garbage, but quality in the real world and quality in this case are not necessarily the same thing. No matter how brilliant your writing is, if your hub is short and has no photos, videos or other modules it is at risk for being considered low quality. Those are some of the criteria being assessed by QAP.
I'm not saying unfeaturing such hubs is a bad thing, if it helps the rest of the hubs get more traffic then it's good, but the terminology stings a bit.
Hubbers have got to stop being so sensitive. Why does it sting? I think more Hubbers should put up their own site. Stubbornly write just what they want, just the way they want. See how much Search Engine traffic they get after 3 months. If it's zero every day, that's truly painful.
I had a big whinge and quite Hubpages for 6 months following Panda. Looking back it makes me laugh - got me more into building my own sites. Now as I dig through code and add plugins, break my site and have to reset it from a backup, spend two hours trying to get support to answer a question or have to try and rank an article from SCRATCH with no one anywhere sending a free link to it or getting it in an email... now I look at Hubpages and go "WOW Hubpages makes it easy!"
Well, it just sounds a little harsh. I'm not actually suggesting that they need to change the terminology. I suppose I'll get a thicker skin. Besides, I know what they mean by it, and what I have to do to make a hub meet their standard.
Actually I'm pretty happy with the QAP changes overall. If there's a little collateral damage in cleaning up the site I'm fine with that.
I agree that some Hubbers are over-sensitive, however why upset members for no reason, when it's something that's so easy to fix?
I'm not upset about this for myself, but it always saddens me to see good writers feeling alienated by HubPages because of something like this, when it could be so easily avoided.
HubPages always gives Hubbers a change to fix their Hubs. There's very few things that can't be fixed. It just takes some effort to figure it all out.
When people start arguing over the exact word to use for something rather than what it does you know that there is little wrong with it!!
I guess the original reason for idling any hub with low traffic is that it is far easier to use Google's decision not to send traffic as an indication of the hub's quality. After all if Google is not sending traffic either the hub is not acceptable or there is just too much competition! Either way the author in the short term is losing nothing but HP can clear out the rubbish quickly. No I am not calling the quality hubs that are idled because they don't receive traffic rubbish - this is what the QAP now needs to address.
Refinements now with the quality side of the QAP will allow HP to refine the idling process and I am sure allow "quality" hubs for "good" authors to stay featured even if not receiving search engine traffic - at least that is what I am reading into the various comments being left across the many relevant threads.. Maybe someone from the staff can say if this a fair assessment? It would certainly be what I would do..
LeanMan, this is how I also have understood the use of the term, engagement. I think you have summed it up well. As far as Google not sending traffic, I would add that some topics simply don't have enough search queries.
Really , we cant make some people understand that, what we mean , they just keep their own view and see each and every thing with that only. Its really very bad situation to get all the things that they understand .
I think this extract from the latest newsletter says it all, really.
"Most Hubbers think their Hubs have either been through the QAP or not, and that some Hubs have either “passed” or “failed.” But this isn’t really an accurate way to look at the process.
Rather, we constantly collect data and improve our algorithms to feature deserving content. "
The terminology, and the precise reason, for de-indexing an article (traffic, love, quality), will never be clear. Essentially HP is saying (IMO):
"All you SUB-mariners, keep sending out your messages in bottles."
"All message have a right to exist and float on the HP sea, except for the ones that are invalid."
"We'll pick up and publish the ones which we believe DESERVE to be featured."
"Being unfeatured is the 'normal' state - featured is special."
"We know the QAP process is not perfect, and in fact its constantly changing, but that's the way it is."
"We reserve the right to feature what we like on OUR site."
"Articles that don't get enough 'engagement', in our opinion, will be de-indexed."
"Again that is our decision and the criteria change."
"No Correspondence will be entered into."
Time to move on.
Reminds me of the Rawhide Theme song - for those old enough to remember
Rolling Rolling Rolling
Rolling Rolling Rolling
Rollin Rollin Rollin
Though the streams are swolling
Keep them dogies rollin
Keep moving moving moving
Though their disapproving
Keep them dogies movin
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope throw and brand'em
Soon we'll be living high and wide
I'm one of those writers on obscure topics, and this is my two cents' worth.
Think about a simple obituary from 100 years ago, for example, or a short 200-word explanation of some fine point in the art of bookbinding. These kinds of vignettes just don't garner traffic no matter how much SEO or tweaking the author might do.
BUT -- that short obituary or that small bookbinding tip might have a big impact on the one genealogist who has been searching for that great-great-grand-uncle for 30 years and has been unable to find him anywhere else. Or on the self-taught book artist who has been struggling with corners made of buckram.
Apparently Google (and therefore HubPages) has no interest whatever in serving the needs of that family historian or that bookbinder. Fair enough. Business is business and making money is the name of the game.
HOWEVER, the difference between Google and HubPages, as I see it, is that Google will allow that one momentous view per year and HP won't. Google will at least serve as a repository, or archive, of even the shortest tidbit of anything.
I'll be moving approximately half my hubs over to Blogger in the near future, because I believe information is more important than length (or bells and whistles), and I write from the perspective of an archivist or historian. I don't bear any ill will towards HP at all. It'll just take some time to make the transition. Then I plan to write new stuff, launch it here and see if it's 'engaging' according to the latest algorithm. If not, off it goes to the repository.
PS: Please don't give me any suggestions on how to 'improve' my Hubs to make them more palatable to the search engines. Self-promotion and money-making are not my focus. Thanks for reading my thoughts on this topic.
You are absolutely right, of course. It is worth writing about obscure topics, because even though they may get only one or two views a year, those views will be of great value to the reader.
However I honestly cannot see any point in publishing articles here first and keeping your blog as a dumping ground. You have the opportunity to create a wonderful blog which could become the go-to place for such historical gems. It may take some time, but the kind of people who will value your blog will spread the word to their friends, and you may be surprised how much of a readership you will garner.
However, you still need Google to find your blog, and it will probably ignore it until you've got a good amount of content on there. So don't delay moving Hubs, get it done! Don't worry about duplicate content, it doesn't matter when moving content to your own blog.
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