I'm not asking about why hubs get featured or un-featured. I kind of know that.
The issue is: I just did a category search in my hubs, and found that, out of 292 published hubs, 149 are unfeatured due to low traffic! That's a lot! Over half my articles!
I don't have the time or energy to try and fix this, and tweak all those hubs. (Some are poems, and I know those don't get a lot of traffic, and I don't care.) But the articles.. ugh!
I'm not sure if it's worth the effort it would take, or if I should just eliminate them from the site--in case that would help the rest of my sub-domain.
I can always re-post them later on my blog...if I feel like it. LOL
What I seem to have a problem with, apparently, is writing on topics people actually search for, and want to know. I write a lot of educational stuff that people NEED to know; but I end up reaching only those who already know that information.
As far as what people actually search for, I seem to be well out of touch with mainstream society. I'm not the least bit interested in promoting products, or discussing celebrities.
I write what I know or what I feel. Stuff I have to research would end up being just a re-hash of information already out there.
I guess I'm just feeling stuck.
Lizzy, that happened to me recently. I sent them back out via social media a couple at a time to increase views. Many of the hubs of mine that were unfeatured were posted when I had just a handful of followers. Now I only have one that's unfeatured due to low traffic. It covers touchy subject matter, so I'll leave it where it is for now.
Try tweeting, posting to various FB groups, Google+, LinkedIn and anywhere else you have a social presence. It's an easy fix and worth a shot.
Do you use Google Keyword Planner? If not for anything else, it is a good tool to use as an indicator of how popular a search query is. It's also a good too to use in order to fix some popular ideas and titles. For example, you have a hub titles "Emperor Norton, Who was he?" Most casual readers would gloss right over this title even if it showed up on the first page of search... there's no pizazz in it. Now if it were titled something like "Norton, Emperor of the United States," people would take a second look and probably click through.
I would suggest using the KWP on your subtitles as well. I don't think it's the subject of your historical hubs but rather the way the keywords are used to attract searchers.
I've tried using that, and I have trouble with it. Either I struggle to get there and find it, or it looks like it's some kind of paid service, or when I have gotten in, it's too confusing, and I cannot navigate it in a way to be of any use to me.
Maybe that comes under the old saying of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks...
(But--per your suggestion on my Emperor Norton hub--would Google transpose the words, if I put, "Norton, Emperor,....." and someone was searching for "Emperor Norton?" It's backwards...)
On that hub, the url is set so changing the title to be more appealing would help. Transposing the terms would not hurt in this instance. If you do a search for Emperor Norton and a search for Norton Emperor, you will see those bold terms in the summary of the search query. Just make sure you have the highest traffic term or phrase in the summary of your hub... in this case it would be Emperor Norton.... just don't try to stuff the summary with variations of the keywords, use your subtitles for similar or related keyword terms.
If you log into Google Keyword Planner and select "Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups" then using "Option 1" you can select a keyword or phrase.
Then select enter. On the next page you will see a bar graph showing average search volume for that phrase and by default it will show the average over the previous 12 months.
Under the bar graph there will be 2 tabs--- "Ad group ideas" and "Keyword ideas"
Under "Keyword ideas" you will see the yearly search average.
Under "Ad group ideas" you will see a group of similar keywords.
Find the phrase you like then go to Google search and type that phrase in to see how many returns it provides.
I find that the best results come from choosing a keyword phrase that has at least 1000 average search queries on the Keyword Planner and less than 500,000 on Google search.
Of course, the higher the search volume on the keyword planner and lower search results on Google, the better.
Ok--I don't want to seem dense, but I guess I'm confused.
Between keywords and searches...isn't the point to get into what people ARE searching for? Ergo, the more people searching for your topic, that should be a good thing, shouldn't it?
And, I can't even find where to get into G keyword planner--I gave up on it so long ago, I no longer know where to find it, let alone log in....
No problem... just go to Google and type in "Google Keyword Planner" it is a tool for Adwords so you will need an Adwords account.
Yes, finding phrases that people are searching for is most important and you can do that by digging into the "Ad word group ideas" tab or you can start by going to google search and typing in a term and you will see some auto suggested terms that are related.
But to start, I would take one of your hubs that you want to fix and determine the highest keyword phrase related to it and make sure it is placed in your summary then make sure related terms are used in your subtitles.
But...why would you say 'look for searches fewer than xxx number' instead of for the most people possible looking? That's where my confusion lay.
My fault, I meant less than 500,000 search results.
When you search a phrase on Google it shows the number of competing pages so the fewer the number of competing pages, the better chance your page will move to the top of the search results.
Thanks for sharing. I was wondering how this worked as well
"I write a lot of educational stuff that people NEED to know; but I end up reaching only those who already know that information."
...and that's exactly what will always happen, because (at the risk of doing a Rumsfeld), people don't know what they need to know - so how can they possibly search for it?
That kind of article will only be seen in a newspaper or magazine which people browse around, so they can stumble across the article. HubPages is not such a site.
I've said it before - I don't think you should waste your time with the Keyword Planner. It is confusing because they keep changing how it works, and I think you will find it too frustrating. There is a better way for you to find out what people are searching for - just look at the auto-complete when you search on Google.
Think of what someone might type into Google to find your Hub. Start typing that question into Google and see what auto-completes - that is produced from searches people are actually doing.
Then see what those auto-completed searches produce. That's your competition - is your article better than what's already there? If so, then those are the phrases you want to use in your titles and summaries.
HA!! I'd forgotten about old rumsfeld.. Indeed, you are correct, and I should know better.
My husband must be right; I get tangled up in over-thinking things.
The problem with relying on just the auto complete is that you have no idea what the search volume is for those terms or phrases.
For example: do a Google search for "California ghost towns", then see that one of the first auto complete phrases is "California ghost towns map."
Google shows the first phrase has 893,000 competing pages and the second phrase has 261,000 competing pages. The second phrase may seem like the logical terms to build on since they have fewer competing pages. However, if you look at the search volume from the Keyword Planner you will see that the first phrase generates approximately 1000 monthly searches (higher in the summer than in the winter) and the second phrase generates only an average of 50 searches per month and the average is skewed because it has higher search in Aug and Sep and roughly 20 searches per month the rest of the year.
Clearly, relying on auto complete is a waste of time especially when the resources are there for free. It makes more sense to spend a little time learning how to use the tool than to waste your time throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
True, but you also have to consider who you're talking to. From helping various "non-techie" writers over the last six years, I've learned that what seems easy to me can seem completely impenetrable to someone who is not technically minded. You may think the keyword tool needs only "a little time" to learn but some people find it enormously stressful, if not impossible, to master - particularly as Google seems to like messing with it regularly. Maybe I am doing MsLizzy an injustice, but I felt she would be in that "non-techie" camp.
Maybe so, but I would never give advice to maintain the status quo. She specifically asked what she could do to improve her visibility... plus she's very capable of asking follow up questions as she has done so in this thread. And yes, maybe "a little time to learn" was a bit vague so I would suggest spending more time learning that tool than producing content that nobody outside of Hubpages will ever engage. If that means taking a month then that's what it means. I don't know if DzyMsLizzy knows this but we were connected on my original account of Livewithrichard which I have since abandoned. So, while I may appear to be relatively new here with this account, I've actually been an active member for nearly 6 years.
While I try to stay away from writing SEO advice hubs as I did as Livewithrichard, I still stay on top of the game. For anyone struggling with Google's Keyword Planner, I would suggest taking 11 minutes to watch this detailed youtube video tutorial which is very basic but well presented. -ToN1Tw7io">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v-ToN1Tw7io
The only changes in the tool that I noticed in the video is the graph is also a bar graph at the top of the results.
I have several as well. My advice is to focus on making substantial improvements to your most successful hubs first. Usually this is a handful of hubs per account that represent 80+% of an accounts daily traffic. I've found doing this not only improves my most read hubs, but that I can see patterns that I can apply to my other hubs after going deep on my already successful hubs.
Ummm... wouldn't my "most successful hubs" be the ones that ARE featured???? Therefore, they should not need to be messed with???
I'm asking if the un-featured hubs are detrimental to my overall traffic and sub-domain ranking with "The Big G," and whether they should be removed from the site.
Lizzy - your OP raises a question for me - are featured hubs indicated somewhere other than through the "H" in our Accounts page?
As for poor traffic - I'd love some SEO help on the hubs I wrote for the (blankety-blank) Exclusives titles. Those are, overall, my worst-performing content.
I hope we get some information on your question about whether to delete them (or unpublish them) - I'm struggling with decision that as well.
Thanks for posting this - these type of questions and the answers from people like Paul can only help all of us!
Hi! Know the feeling, believe me. Clueless what people actually search for, and perhaps out of touch...It does seem though, here at least—writing to, for and by writers is the win-win. I might be wrong, but this is how I see it. This excludes me, since I am not a professional writer, just an artist writing about and promoting my art and often wonder what I'm doing here.
My understanding is that the point of a hub being unfeatured is that Google and other search engines can't see it. So, it would have no impact on your sub-domain's ranking. One thing to consider - I had a hub that went unfeatured, then was refeatured without me having touched it. That was maybe a year and a half ago, and I don't know if that still happens. Personally, I'd leave any unfeatured hubs published and hope to eventually find time to upgrade them.
Ron, being the novice I am here, when everyone refers to "upgrading," how do you know what that is? Is there, in fact, only so much traffic generated through HubPages, then nothing, and pages go unfeatured for lack of engagement?
ArtDiva, the great thing about a hub that is unfeatured for engagement is that if you edit it and make changes by adding new info or perhaps new pics, etc, the hub will be refeatured. That gives it a new opportunity to gain traffic. So, I'd assess how I could improve the hub, and make those changes. Regarding traffic, I think Paul's comment that 80% of your traffic will come from a few hubs (and in my experience you can't really predict which ones they will be) is on target. So yes, I expect that eventually many of a person's hubs will go unfeatured for engagement unless they are periodically upgraded as above.
I can see how some things might need updating, such as my SF travel guide--I might need to update the transit info, etc.
But there are certain types of articles (about historical places/events, e.g.), that cannot be "updated." The information is what it is, and is what it will stay, until someone starts changing things by messing about with time travel.....and if the "Big G" expects every article to be refreshed with 'new information,' they are off base!
Do you have to change the title or label them as a "redo" of some kind when you re-feature them?
No, just by editing the hub you give it a new lease on life. But it should be a meaningful edit that in some way improves the hub, even a little. And remember that this only applies to hubs that go unfeatured due to lack of engagement. All edited hubs go through QAP again, so if it was unfeatured for quality, it will have to be improved enough to pass QAP before it will be featured.
That usually works for me, fixing bugs like pics and languages the HP computer does not understand. It also tells me what i should change. The hub critic is at the top right hand corner when you are in the edit mode. You can see NEED SOME GOALS, and there are numbers underneath 700, 800 etc. I check it as I design the hub and especially after 24 hours when the hub is still not featured. The hub critic has helped me remove a photo that was out of focus, a movie poster that made the hub 'over promotional' and foreign language words that were critical to the hub but the computer did not understand because it only 'speaks' English. Those hubs were featured after that. Hubpages also sends me love letters or e-mails about why certain hubs are not featured and directs me to the Learning Centre. I'm not a happy camper when my hubs are not featured, so i drag myself to the Centre, and it works most of the time.
The exact ration has always been 80% of the traffic comes from 20% of the hubs. I've heard this several times and as long as 5 years ago, so it must be the average. You've just got to keep at it until you find the right topics.
Thank you, Ron, confirming what I've been doing. That's what I figured and have been doing since I have so few, and will never have too many more than the few, so...if noticing rating going down, go back in and make changes primarily to the title and descriptor. A big job if a lot of Hubs, but I guess, one has to pick and choose. Again, thank you, Ron. Maybe all this will help answer a few questions for others.
Depending on the topic of my un-featured Hubs I was either deleting them from HubPages or reworking them hoping they word bring more traffic and more earnings. I had at one time close to 200 hubs and now am down to under 100 I think.
I agree with Paul that you should keep your busier hubs up to date. Even if you change one word you are refreshing and calling out to Google to come have a look. The ones that are on topics that over saturated should probably be tossed. Unfortunately I had about 100 of those.
I do not think that your unfeatured hubs affects your ranking by Google.
For your poems, I suggest that you delete and compile them for sale on Amazon.
I heard you say that hubs on travel will be difficult to update. Updating is not all about editing all the words. You just change a phrase with another which conveys the same/similar information. When this is done, your hub becomes updated.
No, I did not say travel hubs but historical hubs would be difficult to update, because that information is static; history does not change.
I haven't re-worked any of mine yet. What frustrates me is that some of my unfeatured hubs have more traffic than the featured ones. Some of my older hubs are still being featured because they are getting traffic, but I have one old hub that isn't getting as much traffic as some of the newer ones, and it is still being featured while newer ones are being shelved. I guess I shouldn't complain, but it seems like some of mine are being prematurely put on the shelf. When HP shelves my evergreen hubs prematurely, it makes me wonder if publishing here is worth the effort.
When I read threads like this, I too have to wonder if it is worth publishing more hubs if they are going to be unfeatured someday.
I have so few hubs with scores forever going up and down that I do the same as Bonda and can and have to address the issue, then check back a couple of day later to see if it made a difference. Nothing is easy, and no matter how much we think an article's value as it stands, numbers don't lie— it can always be improved. The "care and feeding" as MizBejabbers said is true enough whether here or elsewhere. Or, as read in another hub, let it go to and go on to something new.
Yes ArtDiva, if i cannot fix it, i walk away. The computer, which i call the hub critic drove me crazy last week. My hub about secretly buying new things for the bathroom as a Valentine's Day gift for your darling was not featured for two days. I checked the hub critic. It said it did not understand what i was trying to say. I re-visited the hub. I did not see what i could fix so I deleted it. I spent the next two days researching another hub. It was featured.
"The hub critic" ??? I don't know what that is/means....
Oops! Sorry. I just call the Hubpages computer the 'hub critic' because it tells me why a hub cannot be featured. It tells me what is wrong with a hub. It tells me if I forgot to write a summary. It tells me if my hub is too short to be featured etc.
I have seen were it will say I need to write a summary, I suppose because I leave that for last. I have not seen where it tells all the stuff you have reportedly seen. That's fascinating, interesting really. Sounds like it is more than what I have known it to be. I will pay more attention to what the 'hub citic' is telling me.
You will find it on the top right hand corner, as you are writing your hub. It has the words NEED SOME GOALS, and there are numbers underneath. The computer, or what i call the 'hub critic' will tell me what i should do, to increase the chances of my hub being featured. All the best Colorfulone.
ArtDiva, scores do not matter - ignore them. You will find they are totally unrelated to how much traffic a Hub gets. It is a sore point with many Hubbers that scores even exist, since they can cause newbies to waste time trying to improve them - which doesn't do them any good at all.
The only thing to worry about is whether your Hubs are Featured or UnFeatured. Hubs can be unFeatured for two possible reasons - if you're not sure what they are, I wrote a Hub explaning them and what to do about them (you'll find on the slider on my profile).
hey Lizzy, I find that putting them out thru Twitter, Pinterest and google+ helps a lot. Try to edit the content and keep it up to date as it would be much more appealing to new hubbers! I'm working my way up now and hopefully it'd work.
I've been writing on HP for 5 years, and I've "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt." It's truly not all that effective; you end up 'spamming' your followers.
Besides, Pinterest doesn't like it when we post too many links from here. They've banned Hub Pages in the past for that.
I agree. Even my family finally complained when I stuck every new hub onto my FB page.
One once in a while, particularly pertinent (and hopefully interesting) to the family/friends - fine. Don't indiscriminately fill your social pages with stuff they aren't interested in.
At one time I had some hubs unfeatured for lack of traffic, some I moved to my own website, some I deleted. Today I have at least 6 hubs that haven't seen a visitor in the last 30 days, but they're still featured.
So I really don't understand what triggers the filters to unfeature a hub for having lack of traffic. Not that I really care, because I'm planning to move those hubs elsewhere anyway, but it shows how unreliable filters can work. Some of the hubs that got unfeatured the first time, actually did get traffic.
And I completely agree with you DzyMsLissy, some stories are fixed. I see no point in that changing a few words would make a difference.
Titia, it's not that the filters have overlooked your hubs. HP deliberately allows some time for traffic to pick up. The amount of time varies depending, to a great extent, on your hubber score. The higher your score, the more time your hubs get before being unfeatured.
The filters also seem decent at picking up on seasonal hubs. I've got several that may not see a view for months at a time, yet they remain featured. Somehow the algorithm allows the big surge during their peak period to carry them through the rest of the year.
Thank you, Marisa, for clarifying significance, or should I say lack of, those up and down scores. I've said before, I have so few Hubs (10), all featured for the moment, but did think scores were an indication more work needed to keep them up. I do believe articles can always be improved, and If unfeatured, an indication they need work. I also believe, many articles written here "nobody outside of Hubpages will ever engage" as Richard states and confirms my thinking this is a writers to, for and by writers community. For me, it's an exercise to get back into writing again before developing my own blog. For DzyMsLizzy, I guess she has to define the audience she wants to reach. Marisa is right, learning all the tools for a lot of us to accomplish improvement has an over-the-top learning curve. I had an online crash summer course several years ago and thought I would stroke out—at age 73, a good possibility.
I can understand that train of thought but the fact that you are writing on a tech savvy website and already using the tools they provide shows that you can overcome your fears of handling the unknown. Not too many people here knew what they were doing when they first started on this site, not the owners and certainly not me, but trial and error is the only way non-techies will ever succeed outside of this site.
As for being a "writers to, for and by writers community" it may seem that way for people that are not embracing the tools available, but for many who have embraced the available tools the majority of our traffic comes from outside sources. In my case, less than 6% of my total traffic originates from internal traffic and referrals (links to my hubs that are on other member's hubs.)
The amount of work you need to put in really depends on your own expectations. For many writers here, internal traffic is most important so to get more you only need to engage with other members by reading and commenting on their hubs and following writers you like. But for members that are looking to earn here or transition into the online freelance writing arena then they must learn SEO and keyword research.
No information here will ever be a one size fits all so it is up to the member to decide what they want out of this site.
ArtDiva: I have 'defined the audience I want to reach.' The problem is, they aren't searching for the topics I want them to read, and learn from, as Marisa pointed out to me yesterday.
I have to re-think my strategy to get the educational messages across, and that seems to involve using the right kinds of titles and keywords, an area with which I continue to struggle.
I learned journalism when it was only printed media, (the internet did not yet exist), and all about the "hook." You used a catchy, intriguing title to grab the reader's interest. It's not like that online, and I am still having trouble with the transition.
DzyMsLissy, I know the truth of what you write. With an advertising background in print media also, the transition still awkward, and I too, still have trouble finding the right words, even when using the tools available. There's so much information in our faces, the very minute we boot up our computer, much of the same presented differently. The work is trying to stand out in a crowd. As a graphic designer, I am always amazed when someone purchases a greeting card with my art out of the thousands available. When that happens, I have to believe I'm finally doing something right. The same must apply to writing. Right?
Do you really think the "right" titles and keywords will make any difference? The big problem is that the people you want to educate are not searching on that topic at all. I think the answer needs to be to get your work published on sites where people go to browse - just as they'd come across your article when they were browsing a magazine or newspaper. There are such places on the internet - like Huffington Post for example - but unfortunately most of them don't pay for content.
I was not aware that Huff Post accepted "outside" writers; I thought it was an online newspaper, and content written by staff.
There was a big ruckus some years ago because most of Huff's writers (9,000 of them apparently!!) were in fact blogging for free, and when the site was sold to AOL for big bucks they felt they'd been taken advantage of. I'm not sure what the situation is now, but it is certainly possible to publish with them. Here are some interesting insights:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre … n-post-aol
http://thewritelife.com/how-to-write-fo … 9E442p:bYV
http://www.carefulcents.com/get-publish … gton-post/
Most magazine-style sites (other than those owned by traditional newspapers/magazines) are "staffed" by freelancers.
Thank you, Marisa; I'll peruse those tomorrow, when my eyelids are cooperating!
(Did not sleep well last night, and I'm struggling not to nap, and set myself up for another bad night...LOL)
Marisa, the links to the articles you posted are well worth reading for anyone. I'm not a professional writer, but from what I've read with the 2nd link, a lot of good information for anyone writing blogs.
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