I logged in to Hubpages this morning to find that whereas previously, I had two unfeatured hubs that I have been intending to get around to editing or deleting, I now have 25 UNFEATURED for "lack of engagement".
Whilst I appreciate that the older hubs may well need some work or in some cases deletion, what I cannot understand is that 16 of this batch of unfeatured hubs were written as part of the HP Apprenticeship and which were all reviewed, critiqued and amended in light of advice given. 15 of them are EXCLUSIVE titles which we, on the apprenticeship scheme were encouraged to use.
I feel that I have been given a big kick in the teeth after all the hard work I put in on these hubs and totally disheartened and with no incentive to go on writing more hubs.
What do other Hubbers think about unfeaturing hubs that do not fail on any measure of quality?
It was soon realized that everyone misunderstood the Exclusive titles program. HubPages did NOT research the potential search engine traffic for those topics before picking them, apparently. All they did was identify subjects that didn't have much coverage.
As WriteAngled said, HubPages has admitted that good Hubs will be 'collateral damage' of the policy of unFeaturing Hubs due to low traffic. However they maintain that it's the best option they have, given their resources and budget. The thinking is that if a Hub is getting low traffic, Google obviously doesn't like it - and though that may be because the subject has low search volumes, it's more likely to be because the Hub has a problem. So, hiding all low-traffic Hubs will instantly remove a large percentage of the Hubs that Google doesn't like.
Personally what this says to me is that if you want to write an article on a subject with low search volumes, then you need to write it somewhere else.
Do you own stock in HP?...I bet you have a really brown nose...
No, but she is telling the truth. Would you just prefer to hear people complain, and tell each other "poor thing, you are so right!"
If I did, would I be recommending people to write on other sites?
Your comment just says to me that you didn't read that comment properly, as there are several criticisms of HubPages within it.
If you knew me better, you would know I have been very critical of HubPages is the past and will continue to be so, where I think it's justified. I don't like the new systems either, but I believe in taking a balanced view and I can see why HubPages has introduced it.
If they had taken other measures over the last few years, the current regime wouldn't be as necessary, but that's entirely beside the point.
I remember that week that everything seemed to get re-rated for no apparent reason. I did not agree with much of the stuff but really did not care so much since most of my hubs have the little black circle with an H in it. I used to pay attention to the numbers on the hubs and the rating that would appear by my name/pic. I would rework a hub if I thought I could make it more appealing.
So today a new wrinkle. I wrote a new hub.. A political rant really. It is not poorly written in my opinion (it probably could be improved with a lot of sweat and tears) and it is not published following one person seeing it.
The hub is an observation of the Zimmerman verdict and a verdict to give 20 years to a black mother of three who fired a warning shot to stop an attack from a previously re-strained by law husband from killing her.
Both cases had the same prosecutor. They both relied upon a law of the "stand your ground law". I have sent a message to hub pages stating I believe the only reason for not publishing this piece is because of a differing political view, and asking for specifically what their objection is since my grammar and spelling seem to be in my normal range, and the only photo is definitely my original. (Ok it is a dog sticking out it's tongue.. and the caption says these decisions give me gas)
I am not sure what action I will take should I find this is to be a sanctioned or restricted site. Political rants, by nature tend to cease to be timely in fairly short order so will they then stop all political commentary based upon it not being relevant for years to come? Not sure how I feel about all this but will be following this thread to keep an eye for censorship indicators. Not everything can be evergreen. That does not make it unimportant, or unworthy of publication.
It sure seems that way. More than half of my Hubs have been de-indexed for "lack of engagement".
This includes a 6,500 word, three part series about vacationing in Australia and New Zealand. The piece contains maps, polls, and many high-quality original photographs, a few of which have won awards. All three parts have now fallen out of featured status.
I'm at the point where I'm thinking "why bother?"
I was angry at first, too - about a third of my Hubs were affected. However it did help me when I understood why it was being done - at least then I knew it wasn't personal.
I suggest you take a good look at what's unFeatured and ask yourself where else they could go. See it as an opportunity to raise your profile by spreading your work more widely around the internet (you could try Wizzley, Infobarrel, Seekyt, and your own blog). I've done that and while the articles haven't done any better in their new homes, they are providing me with more visibility, and links which should ultimately provide a benefit.
Neither the Apprentice program nor Exclusive titles guaranteed long-term, evergreen success. They were experiments on HubPages' part which they thought might help.
And given that they didn't perhaps it is time both were ended. As it is we are still told the apprentice program with rise again, with associated surveys) and stuck with exclusive titles that get idled but cannot be edited.
It is easier to have have 'easy come easy go' attitude if the failed experiments go away.
I think the apprenticeship program was very helpful in teaching me things I had been missing, and should stay.
I agree that the exclusive program should go away. I don't see any benefit of it, and have seen many people (including myself) being burnt by it.
Please feel free to email me with any changes you'd like made to your Exclusive titles. I'm happy to change them upon request.
My suggestion is to discontinue them. Thanks.
My reasoning is that these titles have no SEO value.
Thank you Christy, I have sent you two title change requests today using the email link you provided.
The truth is nothing HubPages recommends guarantees anything. The fact that even Exclusive Titles are not researched (and often don't work) suggests that they simply don't know what will work with Google. This is not to reprimand HubPages, as I'm sure there is no way to really know. But, that said, we can only experiment and do our best.
A quick look at your Hubs tells me you are writing every piece with Google in mind. You are making an effort and it is no surprise you are disheartened by what happened. Given you have been an apprentice, you should totally contact HubPages directly for suggestions.
Most of my exclusive titles are dead weight. I'd email hubpages and ask for a title change that helped some of mine ....
I call this "unfeaturing" for traffic = HALF MOON Process
The War Against the Willing
I don't blame you for being upset over 25 unfeatured hubs. How did you know they were going to have lack of engagement. Some hubs you think will never go anywhere suddenly take off and others just don't. Maybe Adwords would help see what other words you might add to the titles to bring in more traffic. I don't think you should go somewhere else to write your articles. Seems to me your good at what you write it's the search problem and visitors..
Strangely some of mine now marked as not engaging are still doing fairly well for being UN-engageing. Clearly I do not understand their criteria for ratings, but the only thing that would cause me to start going elsewhere to publish would be if they persist in not publishing new hubs I write. This happened today. I can find no violation and no reason for this and have queried them in this regard.. will let you know what they have to say when they respond.
Since our days in HP I have gone back and done serious revisions to almost all of my hubs. I know when I first started the program, I wrote short hubs that didn't do much. I went back and added a poll here, video there. It's made the difference and I haven't had anything unfeatured in awhile.
Sorry to hear about your problems. I dread when our Hubber score gets hacked and we watch our 90's drop to 60's for no good reason.
Alison - I think everyone's traffic is down for summer and Panda and Penguin. It is not fair to unfeature all those hubs. I hope it is a glitch. I have been gone all day and have not finished the thread. I send good wished for a better outlook. Hugs. Audrey
I wrote the Featured titles too as required by the Apprenticeship program. It was suppose to teach us how to use titles. The hubs were a total waste of time. I could have come up with much better titles myself. Almost all of them didn't get traffic. As you can see, I didn't finish the program. Except maybe 3 of them, all became unfeatured.
Had the Hubs dropped in score prior to being unfeatured?
I've read that a Hub is unfeatured if its score drops below 45. I'm just wondering if you had some warning that HubPages didn't like those 25 articles before they suddenly pulled the plug on them.
Alisha, there was no warning, I just logged in to find all these hubs unfeatured! lowest score of the ones that were unfeatured was 74, highest score 81.
Wow, that is disturbing! If they had low scores, it would have made sense. But a score like 81 gives every indication that the article was doing things right...
My sympathies, Alison.
I can see both the writers as well as hubpages point of view,
Writers put a lot of effort into writing a Stellar Hub, and expect Hubpages to appreciate it.
Hubpages has a very large volume of hubs going up daily, it would be very difficult to read and judge each individual hub, hubpages needs to clear low quality hubs but does not have the resources to evaluate each hub, so i am guessing they wrote a piece of code that unfeatures any hub that does not get a certain number of views in a certain time frame.
Articles that have a low number of views will not pull a site down, but
low quality articles will pull a whole site down. so what is hubpages to do ? they can either let the whole site crash or they can implement the unfeatured bit of code.
I do understand that it must be very frustrating for a writer who has a number of good hubs unfeatured due to lack of engagement..
Maybe what we should be doing is thinking of innovative ways to bring more viewers to our hubs with low views ?
You've got it, exactly! I can see it from both points of view, too. I wish HubPages hadn't introduced this feature but I can see why they've had to do it.
I think Alison's biggest problem isn't the system itself, but the fact that she wrote Hubs on topics that HubPages itself recommended, which turned out to be dogs - and now she feels she's the one suffering for that. The problem here isn't really the Featured/unFeatured system, it's the Exclusive Titles which have been presented in a misleading way.
Yes , I am sure that would be very aggravating, But since Allisons hubs are unfeatured now , she can just copy the content to a new hub and choose whatever title she likes, so there is no problem there, and as there was a lack of engagement ( views ) in theory she lost nothing. so she can now choose whatever title she likes.
I'm really sorry you've had a bad experience. I talked to the Team in today's Quality Meeting, and we're currently working on allowing Hubbers to edit the titles of Exclusive Hubs. You should be able to try out different keywords in those titles very soon. I also recommend promoting those Hubs via social media to give them a chance to take off.
Christy, thank you for editing the exclusive hub titles that you have sent me. Promoting via social media is something I am already doing. However, since the various Google algorithm changes, I am no longer actively promoting my content by any other method in case it comes back to bite me.
The old methods that used to work are now likely to cause more damage to a site as I am sure you will agree. That is why I feel the Hubpages team should have a strategy that allows hubs that are evidently 'quality' more time to gain links organically and a solid flow of traffic in the long-term that will be unaffected by the Google changes that have wreaked havoc in the past.
Since I started this thread, I have removed 13 hubs, eight of which were written during the apprentice scheme - I consider that to be a double loss for HubPages - I am not saying that those hubs were great literature, brilliantly written but I am saying that Hubpages paid me to write them under the scheme, quality assessed them and encouraged me to research in depth add media, tables and polls - all those apprenticeship hubs took me at least two days to research and write. Some of those hubs ticked every single box in the hub tool and got great comments from my peers in the apprenticeship scheme.
Surely, this measure of quality should help in automating the process of weeding out hubs under the 'engagement' rule? Otherwise, as I see it, writers who spend days to complete just one hub (like me) are going to be permanently alienated, decide it is just not worth the effort - because it REALLY does feel like a 'kick in the teeth' and, as a result, give up writing on HubPages altogether - which is the point where I am at the moment.
Sometimes hubs get unfeatured due to decline in the traffic or if it undergoing quality assessment process. Dont worry, they'll get featured again when the traffic rises. What you should do is edit a few things and republish them and wait for them to get featured again
hubmuffins - how do you think that traffic is going to rise if the hubs that have been unfeatured have the no index tag applied by hubpages so that they no longer appear in search results?
That's what irks me too Alison!
Personally, I don't agree that the de-indexing of low volume, but high quality hubs, increases traffic. I've yet to see any evidence to support this theory. It's not as if HubPages stats have exactly rocketed since this feature was introduced, so what's the true benefit?
This may be a silly question, but must you republish after new editing?
I have said from the start that this invidious policy is totally unnecessary. The fact HP staff casually dismiss the "collateral damage" it causes to many authors, who produce quality hubs but are unable to generate views for them, is a true betrayal.
Just playing devil's advocate here...but if a hub is unfeatured for lack of traffic then how will it generate more views if it is removed from HP's pages? Won't that just make it tougher to get the much needed views? Seems like an awful circle..
If you take it off Hubpages you can get it indexed by Google again, so it will probably get more views.
I meant if they unfeature it and take it off the topic pages and such. Not if it is put on another site.
Of course that has always been an option... however though, most of us have endured the endless, totally unrealistic selling and promotion of this ridiculous method of culling selected hubs and writers!
How many contradictions and associated justifications are actually required to determine that someone has been completely wrong in the process and as such, has effectively used many of us as lab rats!
Factually, when one's hubs and profile presence are manipulated to the point of having 'NoIndex' and BlockList code attached to them... some unidentified 'God' other than Google has made the call - It just seems such a pity that many of those calls were and are so blatantly and obviously Wrong!
Hope I'm not off the mark here, but my understanding of why they started unfeaturing Hubs and giving it the no-index tag is because low performance Hubs bring down the value of subdomains and the site. Taking low-performance (or low-quality) Hubs out of the mix could potentially bring up the value of subdomains and the site, which means Google could send traffic. I'm only addressing that one issue, and this is not a statement about Alison's original issue which she had presented from the outset.
Almost. There is a big difference between 'low performing" and "low quality".
It is possible for a high quality Hub to be low performing due to low search volume, or simply because it's too new.
Simone, Derek and Robin (HP staff) have all admitted that low performing Hubs do not hurt the site in any way.
Paul Edmonson has tried to claim that low performing Hubs damage the site, but when I've challenged him, he has never been able to offer any references to back up that assertion. Do some Googling and you'll find plenty of internet gurus who agree that low quality posts can kill a site - but no one who claims low traffic is an issue. I'm quite willing for someone to prove otherwise but I have yet to see it.
In an illuminating conversation shortly after the new system was introduced, Derek explained that the decision to unFeature low traffic Hubs was a make-do measure. Most low-quality Hubs are also low-traffic, so it's a quick way for HP to hide those from the search engines. Good quality low-trafficked Hubs are collateral damage, unfortunately, and the staff aren't happy with it any more than we are, but it was the most effective measure they could come up with, given their budget and resources.
I'm not saying I agree with their decision, but at least that offers a clear explanation of why it's happening.
That's a good clarification and good to know. I think it's easier to create quality content than it is to create traffic. The solution of unfeaturing low traffic Hubs is difficult and I see what you mean by it being what they had to do, basically. I wonder if it will be possible, at some point, to have a better fix so that quality Hubs can remain, no matter the traffic. I believe you totally that quality content can't hurt a site; makes sense. Because google, seems to me, is mainly concerned with getting rid of spam, spun content, scraped content, etc. Quality content clearly is no threat to quality of the search engine and could be a benefit in time, if found by searchers, in spite of previous low traffic.
Totally agree, HubPages is getting worse by the day. They are totally inconsistent and arbitrary regarding its writers. Many talented writers are either leaving HubPages altogether to publish on their own sites or they have stopped producing hubs. What's the point of producing hubs only to be capriciously unfeatured, does not make sense.
It took just one unfeatured for quality hub for me to go from posting 3 hubs a week to 0 hubs a week. I also have 4 hubs unfeatured for engagement.
Despite being here for over 2 years with over 300 hubs I suddenly felt like I was back at school. "Fix your hub Steve!", "but there's nothing to fix miss.", "FIX IT!"
Just my opinion but quality hubs with a rating of over 65 should be exempt from the idling process, a good hub could be sitting dormant for months and suddenly take off. If it keeps getting unfeatured than it hasn't got a chance.
I am getting the itch to write again but I'm curious to see the results of the upcoming new scoring process first.
I think that the assessment process is not in itself a bad thing. The threshold for being un-featured due to engagement is very very low and has motivated me to not only improve those hubs that have been targeted by assessment, but also to look to improve the standard and hopefully the traffic of all my hubs.
I have used this as a reminder from HubPages that some of my hubs need work and I have started a major project to re-write all my hubs over 6 months old that are not up to my current standard. I have seen positive results to 90% of the hubs I have re-visited in terms of traffic.
I look at this as a chance to improve rather than a punishment!
Sadly, fewer and fewer people seem to understand the importance of Panda on this site. But it is the most important thing to grasp if you want to make money.
I have deleted around eighty or ninety underperforming hubs in the last couple of years. The result is a healthy account with a decent income.
If HP is deleting your stuff, it is because you are being too slow in tackling the traffic issues yourself.
And Panda will be only too happy to crush your account.
Gees the strategy is really working so well!
=> Traffic lowest since August 2011
=> Earnings per page CPM dropping
My understanding of the Panda algorithm was that it was designed to encourage the building of high quality sites, not penalise low trafficked sites. Check out the official blog at:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … ality.html
As Janderson99 has nicely demonstrated, there is no evidence to support the theory that de-indexing low trafficked hubs has increased traffic volume. I certainly have not done it on any of my 30+ websites and they are all doing just fine.
By all means, de-index low quality hubs. I have no problem with that. But when you have produced a high quality hub, that is de-indexed simply due to engagement, then I think that's a slap in the face.
If HP staff want to come clean and admit that it is not financially viable to host low trafficked hubs, then ok, I'll buy that explanation. But don't direct the focus towards Google.
Unfeatured hubs are still hosted, so there is no financial saving to be made. The only difference is that a no-index tag is added to tell the search engines not to read and index it.
Yes, I understand that IzzyM but the point is that once unfeatured and 'no-indexed', the onus is on the author to fix up the hub to be more more search engine friendly and receive more traffic or it will get unfeatured again - or to remove it completely - the former resulting in more income for both parties, the latter resulting in the removal of the cost of hosting that hub for hubpages
OK, I get what you mean.
I just ignore mine, to be honest. I have neither the time nor the inclination to do anything about them at the moment.
The point I'm trying to get across Izzy is that, as a webmaster myself, I can see no justification for de-indexing low trafficked hubs. Low quality hubs, yes of course, but not low trafficked.
Hubpages, in trying to emulate Squidoo's relative success at the time, followed it's example of reverting lenses to WIP's. They assumed, albeit incorrectly in my opinion, that this was the key to their success...not knowing of course, what was to follow!
I consider the de-indexing of high quality hubs to be wholly inane and HP staff have no evidence to support that this move has indeed been a success.
The obvious, elephant in your lap, point is that traffic is the strongest signal that you can receive from a search engine. The search engine will not send you a little card with marks out of ten for each of your pages. It will not arrange for flowers to be sent to your highest quality pages. It will, in fact, be mute, except for the place it gives you in the SERP's and the traffic that flows from that...
Anyway, England have a good chance of winning the first Ashe's match today, so you won't be getting any more from me for a while.
I don't disagree aside to say that hubs need to be allowed sufficient time to mature. They will not appear on page 1 of Google after a few days or even a few months, depending upon the degree of competition.
What I would like to see Will, is hard evidence that the de-indexing of hubs actually works.
Enjoy the match!
Hubs are given a grace period of several months before they are unFeatured for lack of traffic. HubPages isn't saying exactly how many views they need during that period but Derek said it was only a few views a month.
Yes, but those few months are still not long enough judging by my latest 'success'. It took 16 months, Published March 2012 and only started getting Google views June 2013. By July (now) it started to take off, but I fully expect views to suddenly drop because that is what Google does.
Then it'll find itself idled again, in more ways than one.
BTW, I am in total agreement with all your previous posts on this subject, and feel that no-one should ever call you a brown-noser.
We are having a discussion here about the fairness of the whole unfeatured thing. I totally get why HP are doing it, but reserve the right to complain, or nod in agreeance with those whose hubs have been unfairly unfeatured.
It does put one off publishing new hubs. (I'm beginning to sound posh in my old age!!)
Yes I think we fundamentally agree - and even Derek and Simone agreed it was unfair to good Hubs, but there wasn't much that could be done to avoid that.
The bottom line is that if you want to write on a subject with low search volumes, you really have to put it somewhere other than HubPages. It's always been the case that different sites have different rules - HubPages new rules don't work for low search volumes, that's just how it is.
Not so sure I agree with the 'couple' of views per month Marisa. One of my unfeatured hubs, was published at the end of September last year and has almost 160 views. Most of those were gained prior to it being de-indexed. I also have several others with views ranging from 150 to 260+ views, all now unfeatured.
I don't really understand. You had 25 Hubs idled, but you have 150 active. They must be getting views and making money if they've not been idled. I see why you're not happy, but why would you feel so "disheartened", with "no incentive to write more Hubs"?
Surely, before the idling, you had to have noticed you had a handful of Hubs that didn't seem to be having any success, but also a whole bunch that were doing okay. Any disheartening ought to have been because of the failure of some of your Hubs to get traffic, not due to the idling.
People feel like their toes are stepped on when their work is idled. I get that, but sometimes I think the big picture is lost in the emotion. You're obviously a good writer who is having some success here. Why let this derail you?
The Exclusive Titles thing is a bummer. I can understand your frustration there. It was clear to anyone who did their own keyword research that they were hit and miss, but I don't think HP did a great job of conveying that, at least in the beginning.
Well said Eric! Couldn't agree more. This is the approach that I am taking, looking at this as a timely reminded that I should work on my existing hubs as well as producing more.
@EricDockett, I think that the point I would really like to make is that so many of my recent hubs, published during the apprenticeship program and therefore checked for quality pretty carefully have been unfeatured before they even had chance to get traffic. As I understand it as soon as a hub becomes unfeatured, the no index tag is applied and if the hub is not amended to become featured again before Google catches up with the noindex tag and deindexes it, any age and the authority that comes from age, will have been destroyed.
I have read many times on the forums that it takes a year or more for many hubs to start getting good traffic - so why unfeature them before they have had the chance?
Having 25 hubs to change all at once is daunting and I do feel disheartened.
I see what your saying, and I didn't mean to minimize your frustration. Unfortunately the idled Hubs thing is something we all have to live with, and it's not just here. Squidoo has something similar where Lenses slip back into WIP if they don't get enough attention, and even InfoBarrel has begun to slap a noindex on articles that don't have a certain score. As for why, read what Will said above.
Here's something I think about sometimes, though I don't know if it will make you feel any better :
HubPages, Squidoo and pretty much every other writing site needs to have two sides to them. On one side they want to encourage unique, personal, in-depth, well-written, uber-fantastic content with lots of original pictures and maybe even an original video if possible. And a map . . . one you drew yourself maybe. And a poll. Of course this makes sense. Every site wants the best content they can get.
On the other side they have to keep the lights on, so they want traffic too. They want, and need, articles that will rank well in the SERPs.
It's nice to think the kind of personal, in-depth, feel-good articles they encourage are going to be the same ones that rank well in the SERPs, but that's not necessarily true. However, all things being equal, I don't think anyone disagrees that the quality measures HP encourages can only help in ranking. They sure don't hurt.
So, unfortunately we get what happened in the Apprentice program: A whole lot of high-quality Hubs that just don't get traffic. Maybe they are in highly competitive niches, or maybe they just aren't searched that often, or maybe they were written on a Tuesday when the moon was full and the temperature was exactly 51 degrees. Who knows?
I think some apprentice graduates feel like the program somehow failed them, but maybe expecting that a Hub will be successful just because it was written under that umbrella is unrealistic.
People have the same confusion over Hub of the Day. They can't understand why their HOTD from six months ago is flopping when HP said it was so great. It's because "really great Hub" and "Hub that gets search traffic" aren't necessarily one in the same.
I don't think we want HP to stop pushing for unique, quality content. And I don't think we want them to stop trying to make money for everyone (including themselves). So here we sit, and every now and then we will be disappointed.
The only solution seems to be to change the formula that determines whether or not a Hub gets idled to something that has nothing to so with traffic, but instead somehow measures "quality". And then we're into determining what "quality" really is, which is a subject that has been beaten to death around here.
Anyway, I hope you don't quit, because what I saw of your content looked pretty good, at least to me.
It does take a year or more for Hubs to get good traffic - but it should be getting a trickle before then, and a trickle is all it takes to stop it being unFeatured. If the traffic is so low that it's getting unFeatured, then it's likely to be a Hub that's never going to pick up.
That's HubPages' thinking, anyway. And like I said, they recognise that some good Hubs will be caught up with the bad. Derek and Simone both explained that. They've been continuing to tweak the threshold to minimise the "collateral damage".
Also to repeat: changing those Hubs won't make a ha'porth of difference unless the changes result in more traffic. I'm sure you did your keyword research when you wrote them, so what changes are you thinking of making?
I accept that HP owns the site and that they need to get rid of the garbage that they allowed for so many years when it suited them. They cannot check each page individually so they do the best they can with the QAP thing.
Two years ago I was shocked at the rubbish and then Google hit and we know what happened. Both HubPages and Squidoo have suddenly found an urge for quality - what a surprise.
HP want better quality for free so they can make money from it. That is the deal. I don't mind that deal but there are other parts I do mind.
I have two major problems with HubPages.
One is the RS ads, which when added to the other ads makes every page look like low-rent spam. No wonder they need longer and longer pages - otherwise we would have more ads than content.
The other problem is the interrelated linking. If you like this author you'll like whatever, or read these articles by other writers. At the bottom where I try to group my articles so that a reader who likes one might read another one - my groups are surrounded by a sea of advertising and other links.
I appreciate the Apprentices might feel cheated or misled. I used a couple of Exclusives - they were garbage. To put all that effort in and get Qapped - when we know the quality is good enough - doesn't seem right. The problem is that Google have pushed traffic down even further - it is not just the writers fault or problem.
I complained about quality two years ago - ignored. And I am a bit of a moaner - and generally ignored. That's OK. It's their site and this is my opinion.
Before someone says the usual "Well why don't you go?" - I am. I am not moving my pages - that would be pointless. I am working on blogs and sites to see if a few months effort can get me better, worse or similar traffic. This is the recommended way I believe although you should NEVER EVER take any notice of what ANYONE says on the internet.
Go your own way. Use some sense. Try things and see.
"Low-rent spam" is the perfect description for Related Search ads! Here's a snippet from one of my pages. Not only do the RS ads look like trash, they read like trash. Recipe Recipes ... Really?
UNFEATURED hubs for "lack of engagement" doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your hubs. They can in fact be stellar hubs. The issue is that the hubs don't get much traffic or interest from readers. I don't think there is need to edit these hubs. You just need to spread word about them more. I had two hubs that were unfeatured because of lack of engagement for a number of days but then they became featured again and I did not edit the hubs. I simply shared them on Facebook and on other places.
I have just experienced the same thing. Blogging is the best way to overcome this. I can show you how to monetize your hard work, Allison.
When it comes to hubs being unfeatured for lack of engagement, is this why HP were slapped?
Were they slapped for producing hubs that were not being searched for, or because of the volume of trash which has been churned out by this site?
How can a hub that is not being searched for, seriously hurt your sub-domain, or the site? This, I don't get! If it hasn't been searched for repeatedly, then surely it hasn't been evaluated by Google. I thought they only canned hubs that didn't walk the walk. I also thought that Google wanted originality (which can be defined in many ways) and for us not to bother too much about SEO. Just write about interesting things. Isn't that what they are supposed to want?
Or, maybe I just don't *get it*
I do "get it", and it makes perfect sense to me. Google wants articles from writers who more or less "specialize" in certain niches, and they want the type of work that people will read, and thus bring in money for Google. Low rent articles for whatever reason, reduce an author's credibility, so HP does not want Google to "see them". Every writer here, no matter how unhappy, must strive to write within niches (groups) to create credibility and bring the money in. Furthermore, we can no longer just write an article and assume we are finished with it because there are increasing numbers of competitors on the market, and we have to keep up. It's a very hard pill to swallow, especially when the financial rewards are minimal, but if we want to stay here, this is what we must do. I spend more time pruning hubs now than I do writing, but nothing is currently unfeatured and while I make very little money, at least I am able to say I have a portfolio of articles that is worthwhile. I do believe this is the best any of us can hope for no matter the website we write for, because the basics are the same everywhere. I only wish I had come here before all of this started ... oh well!
I do "get it", and it makes perfect sense to me. Google wants articles from writers who more or less "specialize" in certain niches,
Sorry, disagree, and there was a post by Paul E. some months ago discussing the correlation of traffic and media rich, lengthy hubs. He also made a point of saying that after evaluating hubs "within a niche" there was no evidence to suggest that *niche subdomains* were in any way favoured by Google.
On another account, I have deleted all but one hub, even though they were receiving traffic, because I didn't think they were particularly well researched, media rich or that worthy. So, in terms of the *hard pill to swallow* not for me, I'm really not that precious about my work. Having said that, I'm not happy to write a few thousand, well researched words with appropriate supporting media if it's likely to get ditched, not because of quality issues but because of knee jerk reactions by HP.
When it comes to the exclusive titles, at the outset I was all for them because I assumed that there had been some form of research other than "we don't have any articles of that nature on this site".
I do recall Janderson saying that they were worthless in terms of traffic so I decided not to write any. He was right. Sometimes, HP should listen more.
Derek explained it in detail a few months ago.
Of course, low traffic Hubs don't hurt the site. HubPages knows that and both Simone and Derek said so many times when this system was introduced.
However, Google has said that even a few low quality posts can bring down a whole site, so HubPages had to find a way to make poor quality Hubs disappear FAST. They don't have the resources to manually check every single Hub in a short timeframe, so they had to do something more drastic.
Their reasoning was that if a Hub isn't getting much traffic, then Google obviously doesn't like it. It could be a good Hub on an obscure topic - but it's actually more likely to be a poor quality Hub.
So by unFeaturing all the Hubs that Google doesn't like, HubPages got rid of a huge amount of trash in one hit. Unfortunately, as Derek admitted, there was "collateral damage" in the shape of good Hubs which are not search-engine-friendly - but they couldn't come up with a better plan. Also, they are constantly tweaking the traffic threshold to try to limit the number of those Hubs that are caught.
That argument sounds fair until you realise that HP have now found a way to evaluate hubs which are idled because of lack of traffic, or because of low quality.
If 'low quality' is the problem, then the only hubs unfeatured should be those with the new moon circle around them.
It is then up to the author to add new content.
Quality hubs on unsearched-for topics, or on topics where the market is saturated, should not be touched, IMO.
Izzy, the problem is that the QAP process is too slow, and they don't have the budget to hire more assessors to speed it up.
It's going to take them months to get through all the old Hubs, and they can't afford to wait that long - because as you know, Google says that even a few poor quality posts can bring down a whole site.
As I said on Randy's Hub - Derek admitted it's far from a perfect system, but it was the only option that could "hide" so many spammy Hubs without human intervention.
So Much Pain for So Little Gain.
Traffic is now the lowest its been for 2 years!
I think this is now out of date. Paul E has strongly suggested that 'low traffic' pages should get dumped irrespective of quality.
http://pauledmondson.hubpages.com/hub/W … ogle-Panda
" There tends to be one thing that people have done that have sites that have recovered.
They have removed (404, 410, no indexed) huge chunks of content and used traffic from Google as the signal. The basic theory is, if Google doesn't like the page, get rid of it and see if the remaining pages that Google sends traffic to will increase in traffic the next time Panda updates. The most aggressive person told me after he got hit by Panda, he took all pages getting less than 10 views a month and deleted them. Pretty crude, but effective for him.
If you think of it as a set of pages Google likes and dislikes and the signals google must be getting to keep those pages ranking, they must be pretty strong. So, if all that is left is pages that Googles thinks are strong, then collectively they should be OK.
Assuming that Google continues to collect signals about the content, pages getting traffic should send more positive signals (more links, comments, social shares etc) and the pages that have been removed should be dropped from the equation over time."
[End of QUOTE]
Sorry Hollie, but you genuinely don't get it.
If a page is getting no traffic from Google, there is a good chance it has been dropped from the search index or pushed way, way down, for one reason or another by one of Google's algos.
If you want to keep clear of Panda you are wise to play the odds and dump the low traffic pages that Google seems to hate.
Very few people on this site seem to follow this simple principle. QAP is probably helping but it is slow, and, I reckon, it is not rigorous enough.
Will, you are spot on with this comment. Those who are trying to hang on to loser hubs are harming themselves as well as the rest of us. It hurts to dump work you spent time on and feel is worthwhile, but if nobody is reading it anyhow, why keep it? Also, you lose very little financially by doing this because you've already been paid for them. When I look back into some of my hubs I can see problems I did not realize when I initially created them. Sometimes I combine several hubs into one, sometimes I drop capsules, etc and often this increases their value. It is not fun to do, but in the end it is satisfying because Panda stays away, views keep coming in and all hubs are consistently featured.
Will, I probably don't but I'm not talking about hubs which have been pushed down the in the SERPS. If one of my hubs was pushed down in the SERPS or I'd written about topics which were in a saturated niche and they didn't receive traffic, I'd assume that Google hated them so in the eyes of Google they were "low quality", that I understand and have no issue with. I'm talking about those hubs which are written around some obscure topic that is rarely searched, hence low engagement.
For example, I stupidly wrote a really long hub some time ago about food cooperatives and supermarket practices when sourcing suppliers. No-one is searching for this particular topic (my own fault) but this was before the idling due to engagement etc. The hub didn't receive any organic traffic, but did really well when it came to traffic from social media. I moved the hub last year, so I'm not concerned about it. But if HP are using the amount of organic traffic to determine low engagement, then this is exactly the type of hub which would have been idled for poor "organic" engagement.
Well, as I said...
No traffic from Google = a problem
Even the most obscure subject should get a few hits a month.
I have an article on the first page of the SERPS for the chosen keywords and associated keywords, therefore it cannot be considered low quality by Google. Still doesn't receive any organic traffic. The problem is that it's an obscure topic and un -searched. I very much doubt that my account (at another site) will be squashed by Panda because of it- or at least it hasn't been so far.
My traffic has been terrible lately. The last few days have been shockingly bad. However, my hubs are maintaining their positions on Google so I have to assume this is some kind of summer slump. Hoping that nothing gets unfeatured for lack of "engagement" as a result, but I won't be surprised if it happens.
I hate all these hoops that writers are expected to jump through each time the rules change of Google slaps a site. It's like the powers that be are determined that the little NEVER gets ahead in any way, shape of form.
So what about the hubs that were written months of not years ago, that suddenly start garnering Google views? That happens now. It has always happened. I am currently seeing my best views on a hub I wrote 17 months ago, that never previously saw traffic.
It does not make sense to me.
Low trafficked hubs do not mean low quality. HP have idled all my previously high trafficked but 'low quality' hubs. I am not seeing a return of traffic to the others, except sporadically.
I don't even know that any of my hubs would be considered 'low quality'. They might not be up to stellar standards, but they still have more to offer than the sites which took their place in the SERPS.
I would be ecstatic if the whole idling thing was working.
Quancast results would suggest it is not.
I think we have to bear in mind that when Paul E speaks, he's spouting the official line and it doesn't necessarily reflect what's really going on.
Look at Hubber Scores. There have been some great discussions with Simone and Derek regarding how useless and meaningless they are, and how they desperately need replacing. Up pops Paul to say they're the greatest thing since sliced bread, and none of the moderators have dared contradict that since.
Same with the "low traffic doesn't equal low quality" thing. Simone and Derek both openly admitted that was true, and that ideally, they shouldn't unFeature for low traffic at all - it's just that they don't have enough money to do it any other way.
I think Paul feels that explanation would upset Hubbers - admitting they're idling Hubs that shouldn't be, how can that be a good thing? He thinks we'll be less upset if he pretends low trafficked Hubs hurt the site, so if a Hub is idled, it deserves to be. He obviously doesn't realize that some of us do take an interest in SEO and understand how Google works just as well as he does.
So up pops Paul to say low trafficked Hubs hurt the site, and after that I started seeing the new moderators saying the same thing. I challenged one of them to show me the research supporting that claim, and her response was "that's not what I meant, I meant low quality" - but if you read her comment, there was no way it was just a slip.
So now when a hub goes through QAP, does it go from ? to the score from say 60 to 100? If you do not have a poll or a table, your score reflects that. I think it is confusing. I am used to a score while it is pending.I need to know what is a good quality score that will not be unfeatured soon on quality.
Thank you for that perspective on the problem - anyone 'official' from hubpages has been conspicuous by their absence from this thread with no contribution to explain why 15 hubs with exclusive titles created during the apprenticeship program and written with all the guidelines in mind and therefore with no problems regarding 'quality' should just be unfeatured at the drop of a hat.
This leaves me with the conclusion that dropping hubs like this is a financial thing. Hubs that don't get traffic, especially traffic from outside the hubpages community (where we are all too wary of losing our own adsense accounts to click on those ads that are of interest), just do not earn HubPages any money. The cost of hosting this site must be huge with the server and bandwidth requirements that must be needed, not to mention the behind the scenes maintenance - so every Hub must 'earn its keep' (so to speak).
In order to try to maintain income for Hubpages whilst traffic continues to drop, authors have had to endure ever increasing (or so it seems), numbers of advertisements including the ubiquitous 'related searches' and restrictions on any links that might earn us (the authors) money - by way of reducing Amazon and eBay link numbers allowed and limiting any other external links in the content - whilst at the same time increasing the amount of internal links to other 'related' pages that make the bottom of our articles look like a mess if I'm honest.
I suppose this is the price we have to pay for hosting of our content on the platform of HubPages. However, I believe that this 'unfeaturing' of quality hubs that have value is short-sighted. As IzzyM points out, traffic takes time to come 'naturally' so what do we do? Building links artificially that could hurt the site in the long-run with the next Google algorithm change (or the next one), waiting for organic SEO to work it's magic and get those elusive visitors which would seem the right and sensible option, is now a closed door - either the hub is successful right off - or it's unfeatured - or at least this is how it seems to me.
I can only repeat what I said - that HubPages (according to Derek and Simone) knows full well that unFeaturing for low traffic is causing "collateral damage". They don't want to unFeatured good quality Hubs either - because as you say, they could still recover - but what do you want them to do?
Can you think of another way to automatically hide all low-quality Hubs from Google right now, while the QAP system slowly works it way through the huge backlog of Hubs?
I can't think of another way to automatically hide all low quality hubs, but another hubber stated a few weeks ago that she'd flagged quite a lot of trashy, spammy hubs and other hubs of low quality, but only a small fraction of them had been taken down.
I don't understand why HP are not taking them down as they are flagged. Obviously it's beneficial for the site if as much rubbish is canned as quickly as possible, but will also save them money when it comes to QAP.
Maybe hubpages reviewed those hubs and judged that they were not trashy,spammy hubs or hubs of low quality, I am not saying this was the case, just that one mans meat is another mans poison.
Well, I guess we don't know how many moderators they have or how long the backlog is. Remember that reviewing flags is a human process - and some people do flag for stupid or malicious reasons, so Hubpages can't just act on a flag without checking it first.
And considering they probably pay the moderators more than they're paying MTurkers, and checking a flag takes about as much time as QAP'ing it, I don't think that helps much.
I do know that the moderation queue is in strict chronological order, which I've always thought was a pity - perhaps if they had some kind of priority system so the most serious "offences" were reviewed first, we would get rid of the worst spam more quickly. And I have always thought they should have one moderator monitoring the new Hubs as they are published.
I can appreciate that some flag for malicious reasons, so it takes the mods time to access them etc. But the hubs I'm talking about are the ones which immediately strike you; like all images and no text whatsoever, written in broken English and incomprehensible. I mean, the really dreadful hubs, not the borderline work.
I am not a programmer or analyst. But it seems to me that there are a few key criteria that could be checked 'automatically'
1. Keyword stuffing - seo quake is a free tool that can be run on any webpage and will reveal the percentage usage of any word or phrase. If this or something similar could be built into the hubtool and overstuffed hubs denied that would be a start - after all, this is done already on sites like Ezine Articles so it must be possible to automate it. There is probably also the possibility of automating grammar checks.
2. A minimum standard applied regarding number of text capsules with appropriate headings, images and a specification on at least one (or possibly more) of the other types of capsules before a hub can even be published by the author.
I would also like to see some sort of warning sent out to authors whose hubs are about to become unfeatured on quality or engagement so that they could do something about it before the noindex tag is applied causing (in my opinion) a lot of harm, even if the article is corrected, improved and subsequently re-featured.
My final suggestion will probably be extremely unpopular but I would suggest changing the 60/40 split to a 50/50 one and using the extra funds to make the site improvements necessary - this might even allow for some reduction in the number of advertisements appearing on each hub. Some of this 10% could also be used to fund competitions, or reward hubbers when milestones in achievement are reached - encouraging the creation of more top quality hubs that benefit everyone.
i feel that i am being punished by the teacher for doing homework., Everytime i finish updating an old hub to get it featured, pop up another 1-2 hubs . Never ending updating
This is a complicated problem because so many accounts on the site are suffering from a Panda hit. The site itself is suffering so that even subs that have never had a direct hit are affected.
Inevitably, new pages are going to struggle to do well.
You need a very good page on a fresh, under-exploited topic to have any chance of lift off.
Well you can try Squidoo. They simply lock up all of your articles with no warning. Try having 800 articles simply locked and deleted by Squidoo and get nothing but some canned email that tells writers nothing, and forget sending email because they don't respond. Then to add insult to injury, if you can't get your article made live again, they take any and all earnings from you including sales earnings.
I have had a few hubs get their little non-feature. I deleted and moved the ones I wanted. But, I do have some that are older ones, not a whopping amount of traffic, but no issues with them and my earnings have been up for past 2 months. So we will see. If HP appears to be a dead site, I will simply move the hubs that mean anything to me to my own blogs and sites.
Like many content sites, HP is struggling with all of the Google changes. We should not blame HP...Google has smacked HP down hard and has it in a deadly grip right now. The reason? HP let too many poorly written or duplicated type content hubs on the site. Now it is getting rid of them...slowly. It is true that you can move your work to another site and possibly get a fresh start...but if they are allowing the same quality of work that HP is getting slapped for allowing, eventually they will suffer the same fate. Here is an article every writer here should read...be sure to look at the comments, too. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/foremski/hubp … work/1928. This will really wake up the writers here as to what is really going on and how hard the HP staff is working to fix the broken fences. Those who are blaming HP might feel differently after reading all of this.
Sorry but I'm a bit slow on the draw....an unfeatured hub is not actually dead in the water is it? Not paying attention, I edited an unfeatured hub and it is now pending (it was unfeatured due to no traffic). So we can still redo those poor traffic unfeatured hubs, yes?
although it may take a little thought to figure out why it's not drawing traffic, and do a little tweaking so it will get traffic and not fall into unfeatured again over time. The checklist at the top of the hub editor has some tips.
Timetraveler - I would love to read the article you pointed to, but it keeps redirecting to the author's profile. Help?
Greekgeek: Try searching the article's title: HubPages CEO on Google's Panda algorithm: SEO doesn't work!!!
The article was written in August-2011 when HP was scrambling to subdomains, which for some of us now, seem not to be the solution since many of our hubs are indexed on hubpages.com rather than our subdomain. It's all rather confusing.
rebekahElle: Livewithrichard has a current discussion about this issue on Google + that explains more about this. Take a look because he really gives some good insights about it, one of which is that those who have been on HP for less than two years would not be affected by this problem. He even has found away around having subdomains indexed on HP. take a look
Just to clarify what GreekGeek says - yes, it is possible to revive a Hub that has been unFeatured due to poor traffic. But improving it's "quality" isn't the way to do it.
To revive a Hub that's been unFeatured for low traffic, first you have to work out why it's not getting traffic. Is it because you haven't researched your keywords? Is it because no one is searching for that topic anyway? You can expand and revise such Hubs all you want, but if you don't identify why it wasn't getting traffic before, it will just keep lapsing back into unFeatured status.
Nate I have some hubs on page 1 with good traffic for two years. What are reasons for those hubs to now have less than half the traffic and less ? I have been trying to figure Hp problems. Is some of the low traffic due to summer? I am sure Alison's problems are similar. Can this have anything to do with your issue just mentioned?
brake12: Some of your traffic problems may be due to Google and HP, but you should remember that there is always new competition...new articles, new info, etc. that can take traffic away from you. However, if your work is on page 1, either people have lost interest in your topic or your topic may have become over saturated.
I just began writing a group of hubs here about 1 month ago, and 5 out of 6 were on the first page of Google. So they aren't being ignored. I have hubs that get only a few views a month, yet they stay featured. I understand it can and often does take 1 year for a hub to become popular. Or even if you write all Evergreen, like I do, certain hubs do better at different seasons and times.
I think Google does want around 1500 words. They want more pictures too. As much as I dislike what HP is doing, I at least don't see as much trash on the Hopper, or Scripture after Scripture copied from the Bible. I am not attacking Christians, but if you write about 1 Scripture and tell us how it changed your life, or your viewpoint on something, that's interesting. Copying pages of the Bible is not an article.
Everyone gets mad and says, "I'll put all my material on my blog." Your blog has only you, unless you did it in a group. It took me a year and a half to get up to around 300 visitors a day, and I wrote my A$$ off. It was very time consuming, and to date I only made some money on Amazon for products I added to my posts. So don't go thinking you will actually make money if you move articles from HP and put it on a personal blog.
Infobarrel is not user friendly unless you use Google Chrome. You cannot just go in and edit something and have it stay online. Sometimes all you want to do is fix a typo, and they hold your piece for a week or more to "fix" that. They have only 2 moderators, and the 2 most well known writers write pieces that are thousands of words long. You also need to give all the sources you used, not only the book or website and title, but if it's a book, the publisher, year, and more. It's like writing in High School or College again. They have adopted scores there too, but are much stricter than HP. I only have 5 hubs under 75 today, but on IB I have 15 articles, and though they are "in the green" they are in the seventies. God knows what you have to write before you get an 80 or higher. I wrote on Wizzley too, but it's all ex-hubbers and the attitude is still there. It seems anyone making money wrote more than 300 pieces, though many of them were already written here and moved there. So I don't know what to do. Regardless of all the issues, HP is the only place where I can write and make a small amount of money each month. Just because a piece is unfeatured, don't get in a snit, it can become featured again.
Have you checked that those articles are still on the first page of Google search results? There was a change (probably a Panda update) within the last 7 days. Since then, articles I have that received 100+ views via Google traffic a day are now receiving none.
As your account is still very new it can be subject to a lot more fluctuation than more established ones so it's going to be very hard to identify whether Panda has actually had any impact on your account or not.
Basically when your account is new, Google often gives your pages a boost in the search results so that it can see how searchers and visitors respond to them - a kind of testing out. It's quite normal for your pages to sink for a while after that initial boost and then rise back up slowly.
It would be quite a coincidence if that were the case since many established Hub writers experienced the same tremendous drop at the same time.
I'm one of those established, experienced Hubpages writers that hasn't experienced a traffic drop recently I'm happy with the 100,000 page views or more per month that my account gets. Also, I work with websites for a living so I'm pretty good at this stuff
Yep, sadly there are people on this thread that have had their accounts panda'd, but for you, I really doubt that is the case. That's because like I said before, new content fluctuates a lot in the search results, and even more so when it's a whole new website (your subdomain).
Maybe that isn't the case for you, maybe Google has decided that your content doesn't interest readers as much as other pages on the web, is thin, is over-optimised, is overstuffed with affiliate ads, doesn't match searcher intent or has had a massive backlinking campaign directed at it? What do you think?
Also, the last obvious algorithm penalty was on 10th May (see Hubpages on Quantcast, the global figures) and I don't think you could have been here that long then?
brakel2, I'm having some difficulty understanding the connection between what I said in my original comment above and your question. I hesitate to respond because it seems the question was answered in the comments that followed your comment/question. It seems, namely, that content always has fluctuations in traffic. I would be interested to hear from Hubbers who gain traffic successfully if they still have fluctuations; I'm guessing fluctuations in traffic are natural. Everything fluctuates, not just Internet traffic.
As far as what I was addressing in my original comment above, I was only addressing the purpose of unfeaturing Hubs; the logic and rationale, which Marisa clarified very well. To bring up the value of a site, and so increase traffic, low quality content needs to be thrown out or stopped. The fix is a difficult one. Full stop. That was the only issue I had addressed. However, I don't have much knowledge or experience in these matters, and I don't know why traffic would drop for some content. Others have addressed this well: Loss of interest in topic, competition, summer-time loss. Possibly the value of the site is an issue in terms of traffic drops, that might have been the gist of your question. An improvement of site value could eventually bring up traffic, eventually, I'd think.
I think I probably didn't need to say all that, but you asked me a question and I feel it's right to respond. I hadn't seen your comment/question until this morning, somehow I over-looked it.
I woke up this morning to find about half of all my hubs not featured for lack of engagement. One of them in particular being high ranking. I've worked hard and spent alot of time on all of my hubs so I understand what the original poster is feeling.
I had high hopes for Hubpages but I no longer feel the same way. I will gradually move everything to another venue.
I met some wonderful people here and I hope to keep in touch with all of you.
Joanne, having worked hard since I found the problem, to put matters right, editing some hubs, deleting others, I had four or five left to do today. I did one this morning and have now come home to find that the others, except for one have now been featured again - I didn't do anything to them so what makes them suddenly good enough to be featured when they weren't a couple of days ago - really it is beyond me!
It really does not make sense to me either. Years ago I wrote for Today.com and was doing very well. In an instant, the same changes that are being made here were made there until after a few months, the entire site came crashing down on all of us. What is prompting me to leave is that I see the same thing here at hubpages.
Alot of my writing is also creative, being poetry and haiku so editing is really not possible.
I am really sorry this has happened to a veteran such as yourself and to many others on Hubpages.
I do not feel that we hubbers should be penalized for low traffic. After all, for every hub that exists, each has the potential to earn Hubpages money as well as the hubber. There is no reason for HubPages to take down any hub due to traffic because it's still an income source, and nobody can ever tell when the hub's title or topic might gain or regain search popularity and potential. Should HubPages take down hubs that are poor quality? Yes! Should they take down hubs for low traffic? No, as long as the hubs are good quality there is no reason for them to do so!
The issue is that Google downranks sites that have low traffic pages. The new Panda update decimated us all in terms of Google traffic, so this appears to be HP's backlash response. There is a forum thread on dropping earnings that addresses this.
Can you direct me to proof of Google down-ranking sites that have low traffic please Alisha? Thanks
I just looked up some information on summer traffic in general and to content sites. My findings are that summer Internet traffic is usually down 20 to 45 percent in general and that people aren't interested in content sites in the summer. Of course, there are exceptions. School traffic to the Internet is always down about 8%.
That's just the HP tech guy's opinion which clearly isn't working given the abysmal HP traffic stats. I was hoping for a link with some authority, such as Google's webmaster blog, as opposed to some HP propaganda.
Fair enough, but considering the source, I think it's HP's rationale for unfeaturing articles en mass this week.
....that is one of Hubpages founders. The CEO in fact.
...which doesn't mean his knowledge is greater than a tech guy's. In fact it could be less, since he is not an expert in the field.
Yeah that's true, but still! He's not just the tech guy...
I read your comment as meaning, "he's not just the tech guy, he's more important than that - and therefore his opinion carries weight".
That may not be what you mean, but I think it's how most people would read it. My view is that just because he is the CEO, doesn't mean he knows what he's talking about. Ever since the Featured/unFeatured system was introduced, I've been trying to find internet experts who believe that low-trafficked posts can hurt a site. I have yet to do so, and I've asked Paul twice to give us some references without success.
Thanks to Derek and Simone, I finally understood and accepted the reason for unFeaturing due to low traffic (which is NOT because they harm the site). However, every now and then we see quotes from Paul to the effect that they do, and I think it's important people don't think he's a guru purely due to his position.
It doesn't really matter as far as Hubs are concerned, but I'd hate to see people take it as gospel and start deleting low-traffic posts from their blogs or other sites, where they may be serving a valuable purpose.
No I wasn't commenting on the validity of Paul's opinions (I've posted 2 quite long comments on his latest hub which show that personally I don't agree with his view that Panda is hard to understand or work with, which seems to be his main premise).
And I totally agree with you that low traffic hubs do not hurt a subdomain simply because they don't get much traffic - (but the reasons for low traffic do need to be investigated and understood e.g. too competitive, low search volume, account panda'd, newness, loss of rankings, etc).
My meaning was simply that Paul Edmondson is the CEO of Hubpages, nothing else. Also, very surprised that someone who has been a member of the site for 4 years doesn't know that.
I'm with you - although Paul is the CEO, he is not an internet guru (before starting HubPages, he ran a music site). Like you, I've struggled to find any internet expert who agrees with his assertion.
I'm assuming you saw my other post, where I explained that some of his staff members have given the real explanation - that by unFeaturing all low trafficked Hubs, they can wipe out the majority of spammy Hubs and that's why they've done it. They do recognise that means some Hubs are unFeatured unfairly, but it's felt that's an acceptable price to pay for the benefit offered.
I should probably stress that it was never my intention to criticise anyone's opinion, merely to challenge the repeated assertions that 'low traffic' is damaging. I've yet to find anything to that effect come from the mouth of Matt Cutts and/or his team.
Marisa, thank you. I've not actually read that explanation before but it makes perfect sense. I honestly don't care what HP do, to be brutally honest. It's their play-pen and you abide by their rules. It serves a purpose for me, and I'm content with that.
However, I think it's only right and proper that Hubbers are treated with respect, told the truth about why actions are undertaken and not mislead, as I believe has happened recently.
You might also want to to follow this forum thread: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/114413#post2437744
I believe the Google Panda or other update cause the Hubpages headache. Many articles used to be good but it turns out to be not featured. I guess you have written many recipes articles that lacks of words?
I love the community as well. I am leaving the hubs that are still featured but have moved the others and I suspect many more of mine will become non featured. With the exception of one hub that was informational and high ranking that became unfeatured, all the rest were creative ones and from what I've seen and heard, Hubpages does not take creative writing very seriously.
I understand your position and choices completely, Joanne. I wish you the best.
It's my second summer here, and the traffic always goes down like crazy. Out of 127 hubs, I have red arrows on only two. Usually I make more than the minimum payout, but it's going to be close this month. There was virtually no traffic on my hubs over 4th of July weekend. I notice in the middle of August, when the kids go back to college, there's a jump in traffic. I don't pay too much attention to the ups and downs, because when it comes down to it, I came here and the Panda hit was when I had built up 50 hubs. So I never made thousands of dollars of passive income writing, those days were over by then. But I was here to see some of the garbage writing, and so it's hard to assess. People Google things for fast info, but also for more in depth info, again I'll use college students as an example. In the beginning I changed titles on a large group of my hubs based on advice from a more advanced hubber, and my traffic plunged. I changed them back to the original titles I chose on my own, because they seemed like reasonable titles, not because I used the useless title tuner, and they all went back up again. So really it seems like everyone's experience is different, and if there are millions of people on HP, we aren't hearing any of their secrets on any of these forums.
Thank you for your comments about how summer makes visits drop. I wonder why hubs get unfeatured at this time. This month is my worst in a long time. I said a lot more in my post but deleted a lot of it. The stuff I read about summer did make me understand about my low traffic. I am sorry about all your issues. I guess you know this site well. It is hard getting bad advice from someone and having to redo it all over again. I guess we just hang in there and hope for best. I also feel bad for Alison and everyone. I wish I was a stronger person. Good luck to you. It is so nice to know you. Let's talk again.
I am interested to be reading all of this because on July 4 I had one of my largest page view numbers ever! My views have been up for the past several weeks, also...in fact, they are double what they were just a few months ago. I have taken two big hits from Google, and have worked really hard to improve my articles and dump those I didn't feel were doing OK...I still only make payout every three months because the higher my views, the lower my CPM! THAT is a real kick in the pants!
I think if an article is on page 1 it is quality and an asset to the site. It may not get much traffic at first, especially in the summer when traffic is down. I wish these hubs could stand on their own in all their glory.
Nate - My question was addressed in that people could have lost interest, more competition. I believe that the summer months are decreasing traffic. I guess I understand the thinking that an enormous amount of low traffic hubs might bring a site down. However, people are also saying this idea never came from Google's people. It seems like HP has too many low traffic hubs and they want to hide them to concentrate on the Money makers. I guess that makes sense but makes writers confused and unhappy after writing quality hubs. It is about money. Isn't everything? The writers who are SEO experts and who write Evergreen topics will win this debate. I guess that is what we should have been doing all along. However, that was not the case a few years ago.
I think Google just doesn't like poor quality hubs.
The real tragedy is that a large proportion of new pages published on HP will get unfeatured (70%?) including HOTD (50%? Deindexed?). Exclusives have gone, RIP.
I suggest that HP should spend time developing a TITLE TUNER at INCEPTION tool. This would examine the title just after it has been entered for a new hub and do the following:
## Issue a warning for highly saturated topics for which there is a low chance of success in getting traffic
## Suggest a series of keyword phrases as alternatives that are more competitive
## Show a Traffic Light Symbol (red, amber, green) for the title and topic. Authors could try various modifications to get the “green” Light.
Surely with more than 2 Million pages is its database HP should be able to develop such a tool based on what has worked and not worked in the past. There is vast resource of keyword expressions in the Search Term Data List in the Stats for each page. HP also has vast data to work out which topics get traffic and so could indentified saturated ones.
Perhaps HP could subscribe to an API for a tool like Jaaxy.com that provides these traffic light assessments.
I call this the “Tragedy of The Commons” in the Internet Age. Authors have no hope of competing in saturated topics on HP or anywhere else, despite producing ‘Stellar Hubs with 24 image, 8 videos, 5 tables and 2000 words.
It is a tragedy that people believe that they can compete, and waste their time!
see the archives
Low traffic does not bring down the value of a site, low quality content does. I admit, I got that from Marisa (from her answer to my comment previously), but the reasoning of it is sound. Google is concerned about bad quality--scraped, spun, spam content that does not answer a searcher's question. I wouldn't think low traffic content would be a problem to Google; Google is only trying to make sure that when someone uses their search engine that they find something that answers their question, reasonably; if the searcher finds spam or a nonsense spun article, then Google has a bad search engine.
You may be right about that, but low quality content does bring down the value of your own portfolio and causes Google to rate you poorly. This translates into lost views and thus lost income.
Yes, that is true. Low quality will be translated into low traffic.
But many good quality hubs don't get good traffic until they age.
Yes, that too. Good quality does not mean high traffic, especially not immediately. But bad quality is more likely low traffic. That's why I said low traffic is not necessarily bad for a site, especially if it's good quality content; in fact, good quality could be found eventually and get good traffic. Just like I could grow the best vegetables in town, but they won't be bought until someone finds out I'm selling them.
But if you're hoping to find potential customers looking to find and buy your veges here... you may need to make sure that nothing else has the opportunity to sink their teeth into them first, while your back is turned! It looks like very determined rats have been gnawing some of my best vegetable efforts here also over recent times!
I just had one unfeatured that had around 260 views this month. Most came from Pinterest. The rule I think is the views need to come from search engines. My attitude is what difference does it make where the views are coming from as long as it is not just from Hubpages. They hurt a hub that isn't rated well yet with Google, but may be some day after it ages.
@Barbara, I think one of the problems of Pinterest is that visitors from that site can be likened to 'channel hoppers' with the TV remote or someone filicking through the pages of a magazine to find something of interest - often Pinners just visit a page to check it in a few seconds and see whether it is worthy of repinning to bump up their own Pinterest boards - this leads to a higher than average bounce rate for the Hub in question and could be a reason for the unfeaturing (although I do not know that for sure).
My problem with unfeaturing is that I've had hubs that started out low on Google and as they age they continued to climb until they were in the top results. They need to do things differently. I haven't seen a positive result from unfeaturing hubs. Hubpages traffic has just gone down ever since. Unpublishing poor quality hubs is a good idea, but they should leave the rest alone.
Agreed. Hubpages should focus on quality. Period. All of these ancillary changes seem to be of dubious effectiveness. A high quality, low readership Hub may flounder for a significant amount of time before it gets picked up and shared by interested groups, slowly building momentum. De-indexing these Hubs insures that that will never happen.
Allison, But now Hubpages is pushing us to use Pinterest, so it makes no sense on their part if they don't like traffic from there.
Well, I'm on vacation right now and just logged in to HubPages to find 10 more hubs unfeatured - five of them 'exclusives' traffic has halved to what it was prior to hubpages starting the unfeaturing process so now I am even more disheartened. I just don't know if I have the energy or enthusiasm to even bother trying to fix these hubs up.
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