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Which articles are the worst?

  1. DrMark1961 profile image91
    DrMark1961posted 2 years ago

    In a forum I read recently someone commented that Google looks down on your subdomain if it contains many poor articles. But how do I tell which is considered poor?
    Can I tell by hubscore? Some of my hubs are in the 60s, but have thousands of page views and others with fewer views are scored much higher.
    Is it by the number of photos, videos, etc? If a hub is considered "stellar" by HP standards, can it still be considered poor by Google?
    Wrylilt commented that she deletes all hubs that do not do well, based on traffic, after about a year. Most of my traffic comes from my 200 best hubs, so should I delete the other 100 that perform less well?
    Any ideas?

    1. Solaras profile image92
      Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I don't know the answer, but it's a good question.  If I deleted my worst performing Hubs, I would lose 4 of my Editor's Choice hubs. lol Occasionally they get a little flurry of activity, and I like them, so I am hesitant to do any deleting. On the flip side, some of my best performing hubs have the lowest Hub Scores. 

      Some say Google likes large bodies of articles, so deleting 1/3 would be counterproductive. Also, if they are interlinked, I think it would damage the good hubs to lose those links.

      Lobobrandon says delete, as they are not worth fixing.  I would tend to try to fix the existing hubs.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image91
        DrMark1961posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        After reading your reply, I had to go check my stats page, and found that I have about half a dozen of those "editors choice" hubs that have some of the worst traffic on my account.
        If Google likes a large body or work, even if it is not the greatest, does this mean hubbers should try to publish more, even if it is not the best? As it is, I have only deleted an article when I published a new one, so as not to decrease my number too much. It seems to be working so far, but I think I have more questions now than I did at the beginning.

        1. Solaras profile image92
          Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          The ones you are deleting may be interlinked via Related Hubs or through the previous/next hub slider. You say it is working, does that mean views are going up on the remaining hubs?

          1. DrMark1961 profile image91
            DrMark1961posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, my views in a month are more than most people see ever.
            As far as related hubs, I am pretty sure that as soon as you delete a hub it fails to show up. I published a hub on causes of weight loss last week and it showed up as a related hub already.
            I am sure there are a lot of people making better incomes on this site, but that was not my main priority in writing here. What I would like to find out is how to get more traffic to my better hubs.

            1. Solaras profile image92
              Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              May I ask what your average monthly views are and what the views are on your top performing hubs?  I am always curious to know what the potential is.  I need inspiration, as I am playing around on the forums instead of writing one of 20 hubs I have some good ideas about.  sigh...

              1. DrMark1961 profile image91
                DrMark1961posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I do not think this is a good idea to put in the forums--hubs are copied way too much as it is and I think that just encourages them. I will drop you an email.

                1. Solaras profile image92
                  Solarasposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Thank you!

    2. Hamshi profile image83
      Hamshiposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Ignore the hubscore, hubber score and all the internal ranking stuff.

      "But how do I tell which is considered poor?"
      Open your hub (or hubs) and try to scan the info on your hub within 10 seconds. Does your hub look easy to read and visually appealing? Does it deliver what the reader wants?

      Whatever your promising on the title of your hub, deliver it to your readers when they land on your hub. That's what Google wants.

      That's what most visitors do when they land on a hub or any article on the internet. They do a quick scan and see if they like what they're looking at and then decide if it's worth their time to read.

      Google wants us to focus on creating Unique, Useful and Updated content.

      As long as your hubs have those 3 elements, you've got nothing to worry about.

      Is it by the number of photos, videos, etc?<This is all part of being useful to your intended audience. You're helping your readers to stay longer on your hub by making it visually appealing.

      You don't have to add a video and a poll if they're irrelevant to your hub but, photos help make your hub look better in the eyes of your reader.

      "Most of my traffic comes from my 200 best hubs, so should I delete the other 100 that perform less well?"

      Some articles need time (6 months-1 year or more) to reach their full potential. Are those 100 hubs useful to their intended audience? If yes, I wouldn't delete them if I were you.

      Also, don't get carried away trying to please your fellow hubbers or anyone else with your hubs unless they're the intended audience. Focus on your actual readers from search engine etc and what they want to see when they land on your hub.

    3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 18 months ago in reply to this

      If I see that the traffic for a hub is dropping and staying low, I try to discover the cause:

      Is my topic too saturated?
      Is there a problem within the hub?
      Does it go "off focus"?
      Is it something people really are not interested enough in to want to read?

      I do what I can to fix it and wait,  If, after a few months, it's still no good, I dump it.

      I have gotten rid of many, many articles and can tell you that my numbers are better as a result.  Having a nice "tight" subdomain is a good thing.  Keeping articles just to inflate numbers, is not.  I think Google sees it this way, also.

      There are writers here with relatively few, but very good, well written and popular hubs...they do just fine.

      By the way, I know what your numbers are, more or less, and I can only dream to have them, myself!  You have a very good niche, know a lot about it and write well.  I wouldn't worry too much about numbers, my friend...you already have found the secret!

      1. DrMark1961 profile image91
        DrMark1961posted 18 months ago in reply to this

        Thanks I really appreciate those words.
        I have been doing what SmartandFun recommends (not bothering sending those articles that are unfeatured for traffic back through QAP) and I think it is a good idea. My numbers are up even more since I decided to give up on those hubs.
        I am not deleting them, but since they are not visible to the search engines they probably will not get much traffic in the future anyway.
        So, maybe the answer to this question is that the worst articles are going to be unfeatured for traffic. (There are probably going to be a lot of complaints about that comment, but a few hubs I have written--like Tuareg names for an Azawakh or Lingala names for a Basenji---have very poor traffic but are unlikely to be unfeatured since they are opened by search engines around the world.)

    4. Sed-me profile image84
      Sed-meposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      The ones with the word "Kardashian" in the title.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image91
        DrMark1961posted 18 months ago in reply to this

        Of course they are also the hubs most likely to go viral...seems I need to change my niche.

        1. Sed-me profile image84
          Sed-meposted 18 months ago in reply to this

          That's what a lot of men call it.

    5. relache profile image87
      relacheposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      To answer your questions...
      1) that's the whole reason HubPages invented scoring.  To try and give us clues. 
      2) Not outright but it does gives some indication
      3) No.  There are Hubs with tons of pictures which are weak Hubs.
      4) I believe it absolutely can.  Just like how weak info Hubs can go viral if you make them look good and push them a lot.
      5) Some people would say absolutely.  Those people are most-likely doing better than those users who would urge you to keep the weak 100 Hubs published.
      6) Lots.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image91
        DrMark1961posted 18 months ago in reply to this

        More on the 5th question (or maybe the sixth?)
        I just went through and deleted half a dozen hubs that were getting no traffic--for some reason HP did not want to idle them for poor traffic so I went ahead and did it that way.
        In the 8 years you have been on here, I imagine you have done this numerous times. I was wondering if you could tell us how it affects traffic on your other articles, and in what time span it takes to happen. Thanks.

  2. Millionaire Tips profile image90
    Millionaire Tipsposted 2 years ago

    I have deleted many of my articles over time.  I don't have a specific criteria, as I rely more on my gut, but here is where I start.

    I do look at the hub score - look at the ones with the lowest hub scores.  Also look at its date and traffic.  I had some older hubs with low scores that hadn't had any traffic in a year.  Since it is possible to revive them, I consider the popularity of the topic, my interest in the topic, and how fixable the hub is.  For example, I had book reviews on books that were duds. No one will be interested in reading these, so I simply deleted them.  Same with many hubs about HubPages.  The information is outdated, and will keep getting outdated, so let HubPages write those. (There were a few of those that I kept).

    It really isn't hard to figure out which ones are the worst.  I have trouble with the ones that are higher up on the list.  Are they bad enough to delete?  Do I want to take up my precious time fixing them when I should be focusing on my better hubs instead?  So far I have been focusing on my best and my worst, and those middle hubs have been ignored.

  3. NateB11 profile image92
    NateB11posted 18 months ago

    I decided to bump this one because I think it's still relevant and I'd be interested if commenters here have had any results from deleting Hubs, as far as traffic is concerned.

    Also, I've recently, in the past several months, started deleting low-performing Hubs and have found I get a bit of a traffic increase when I do. I certainly don't get a reduction in traffic when I do. When I say low-performing Hubs, I mean really low-performing, like months of no traffic or maybe only a few views in a month when lucky. It seems to increase my traffic to delete low-performers. Curious if anyone else experiences this.

    1. SmartAndFun profile image91
      SmartAndFunposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      My lowest-traffic hubs have been unfeatured, and rather than making a few minor changes and sending them back through QAP to get them featured again (like I used to do), I decided to allow them to remain unfeatured. I don't know if it is a coincidence or if it is because I got the Hub Pro treatment on some of my higher-traffic hubs, but my traffic got a nice boost in January, and in the past week or two has seen another nice boost on top of that.

      1. Solaras profile image92
        Solarasposted 18 months ago in reply to this

        I recently had the same experience. One of my worst performing hubs just got unfeatured. It needs so much work (it was one of my first) I just decided to let it be for the time being.  Views are up this weekend. I am curious to see how things go over the next week.

    2. Barbara Kay profile image85
      Barbara Kayposted 18 months ago in reply to this

      I've removed some of mine and traffic is the same or lower.

    3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 18 months ago in reply to this

      If you can look at those hubs with a very critical eye you often can figure out why they are not getting views.  I have saved several low performers instead of having to delete them by doing that.  Sometimes just changing the title works.

      1. NateB11 profile image92
        NateB11posted 18 months ago in reply to this

        I've done something like that. I've worked on the titles of some of them. But if they look like they can't be saved, I delete them.

        It looks like mostly getting rid of low-performers improves the performance of the subdomain. Going to keep approaching it this way of getting rid of low-performers when necessary.

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 18 months ago in reply to this

          I've been doing that for some time, but I save those I've dumped.  When I go back and read them months later, I am shocked to see just how bad they were!

          It's a learning process, but working your way through it really helps you to understand how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

  4. 60
    rvchristoposted 18 months ago


  5. Suzanne Day profile image98
    Suzanne Dayposted 18 months ago

    Hi, yes I also have some really sh*tty hubs that should be deleted too. I am sure it will help me to get rid of them. However, the "power" of your subdomain depends on how many hubs you have vs how good they are. If you have 1000 hubs of very bad quality, they might generally still do better than 20 hubs of stellar quality. It's all about finding a balance in your subdomain.

    Personally, I keep hubs that have sentimental value, I plan to delete hubs that are short and rubbish and I keep all hubs which provide a good "answer" to the questions asked in Google. Some of these don't get terrific traffic, but over the course of several years (consider the overall) they will do OK and will pull in little numbers to supplement the big numbered ones.

    Subjects which do terribly (with some very rare exceptions) are:

    - poetry
    - my personal life (what I ate for breakfast, my cats)
    - obscure stuff than no one's heard of
    - historical stuff written in a boring way
    - anything else that's long and boring to read, with no new insights

    For poetry, you need to cultivate a following to make it work, otherwise don't bother. For the rest, it needs to be highly engaging or answers a lot of people's questions (keyword popularity).

    All of the hubs on your subdomain add up over time, some a little and some a lot. So the more you have the better it will be. However, extremely poor performing hubs which don't do anything for the audience at all, should be deleted. Others that are low traffic, but satisfying for the audience should be kept.

  6. Maffew James profile image98
    Maffew Jamesposted 18 months ago

    Any analysis from simply looking at an article isn't much help. Most people tend to look at their own work through rose-tinted glasses.

    Look at it logically using measurements that help show you what is happening. Assess whether your article has the potential to get search traffic based on search volumes. Determine where your article currently ranks in Google, and analyse engagement data to see how those searchers feel about your work.

    Look at the search term you are trying to rank for. What is the average search volume? 100? 1000? 10000 monthly searches? Is it worth ranking for? There is no benefit to ranking for a term that has minimal to no search volume. You'll get little traffic simply because there is no traffic; not because your article is poor. Look at what terms you rank for, assess them based on search volume and relevance to your content, and adjust on-page accordingly.

    Does the article rank on the first page of Google? What quantity of traffic are you receiving from Google? A ranking in first position is estimated to result in receiving roughly 42 percent of all searcher click-throughs. If you look at the average search volume for the term you are ranking for and calculate 42 percent of it, that is the average traffic you will be able to achieve in first position for that term.

    If your article doesn't rank in either positions 1, 2, or 3, it's not likely many searchers will bother visiting your article. In this case if there is a decent search volume for the keyword, your aim should be to increase rank and that will give you traffic. There could be underlying issues with the quality of your content that prevents it ranking, or the competition can simply be stronger based on their SEO profile. Even if your content is remarkably better than a competing article, the competitor will still beat you in most cases if they have better ranking factors like backlinks, social metrics, and on-page SEO.

    If you are in first position for your search term for a keyword that has traffic, but very few people are actually clicking through to your article from search results, why is this the case? What is it about the title or description that may cause searchers to believe your article doesn't present an answer to what they want to know?

    Then look at engagement data. How many people spend a great deal of time on your article? Do many people simply click back out or stay less than 30 seconds? Less than 10 seconds? Is the bounce rate for that page much higher than average for the rest of your subdomain? This tells you that people may not like the article, or that it doesn't accurately reflect the topic they were expecting to read about. If a very high number of people leave immediately after the page loads, this is a good sign that it doesn't match the search term. If people stay but not for very long, this can mean there are problems with user experience or the information itself, even though it matches the search term.

    If the metrics show poor engagement data, figure out why this is the case. Are searchers finding your article through a keyword that doesn't relate to your article? Does the keyword you are targeting closely relate to your article? Is the user experience poor; eg, awkward structure, riddled with spelling mistakes, etc. Grammar and spelling don't have the utmost importance, but if they are so poor as to make the article difficult or irritating to read, the searcher will likely click back to search results.

    Concrete data puts you into a position where you can accurately assess what is happening rather than guessing. It is a core principle of marketing that results need to be both measurable and achievable. If you don't know how many views you can expect when ranking for a search term, you can't measure whether you are successful.