Today I had a hub unfeatured due to a lack of traffic. In the last 30 days it has 72 views, and since January 15, 2015 it has had 473 views. When I contacted the team about this they indicated that only views from "search" count as traffic, but those from social media do not! Is this something new? I was absolutely stunned to hear this. I always thought a view was a view and that all of them counted.
I'd like some feedback from the gurus on this one. I just can't believe it!
This could be the final straw for many of us Hubbers, if they start managing our audience.
I mean, REALLY?
Well ... I can't believe that either. Does that mean the share buttons are worthless? Does it mean it is pointless for us to share our hubs on FB, G+, Twitter and the likes?
This does not make any sense. I can't believe that only views from search engines count as traffic. That would be devastating for us. I hope you get some more info on this TT2. Thanks for posting.
Edit: I hope Glen Stok or Millionaire Tips replies to this. I also would like to see some clarification from HP staff on this.
The QAP requires search traffic. As for revenue and impressions, all traffic is treated the same. If a Hub loses featured status due to lack of search traffic, simply editing the Hub will start that period over and it will have another chance to find search visitors.
[edited to clarify 10.16.2015]
So does that mean our views from Pinterest are worthless? I didn't know that Facebook and Twitter were also useless as far as keeping hubs featured. Wow. That's interesting.
Thanks, Matthew. That is a little more encouraging. Editing and tweaking is still the thing to do if one wants to stay featured.
Matthew: ?- Your use of the word "unpublished".
Unfeatured now means "unpublished"??????
I thought unfeatured meant simply "not available to search traffic".
And- if you don't have at least an 85 score -it doesn't matter anyway.right?
GalleryofGrace - what has 85 got to do with featured? That score only impacts outgoing links, not QAP.
Sorry for my confusing wording (I changed the wording above).
Featured status as part of the QAP has a search traffic requirement.
Hubs that do not meet this requirement can be unfeatured.
In cases where an author does not have enough other featured content, these unfeatured Hubs are unpublished.
So in those cases that is when unfeatured means unpublished as well.
How much search traffic compared to social media traffic does a hub need? There must be some formula you people use. I'd like to know the ratio!
All of your views count when it comes to considering whether you receive earnings. They just don't count when they think about unfeaturing them for insufficient traffic. Since Google downgrades the site when they see things they don't like, HubPages is playing it safe and not showing the page to Google.
This is a good thing. It is feedback to you that there is something to improve on this page. You can look at the page and maybe see what it is about the page that Google doesn't like and fix it to make it better. Maybe there is better competition, or you have too many ads, or whatever. Maybe you need to use better keywords so Google knows what the hub is about. Or maybe it is just not a very popular topic, which means you would be better off not writing your next hub about the same topic.
I basically let my hubs that are unfeatured for traffic remain unfeatured until I have time to analyze what I need to do to improve. You CAN make minor edits and get it featured again, at least temporarily, but I think the best thing to do is to really improve the hub instead of playing the system.
No, it's been like that for a long time, and for good reason.
HubPages wants genuine search engine traffic, not clicks from friends, because friends are not likely to be in the mood to buy. Also, social traffic is so commonly engineered - with groups of writers getting together to share their posts on Facebook etc - and HP does not want to pay for fake traffic.
...and yet earlier this year one writer here made $5,000 plus for an article that went viral on FB...more than 2 million views. So how does THAT fit into your description?
It's like so many of HubPages' rules - there is always a bit of "collateral damage".
So for instance, we know that the unFeaturing system hides Hubs Google doesn't like (which is a good thing), but it also hides Hubs Google likes perfectly well, they just don't get searched much.
In the same way, the unFeaturing system ignores social traffic because of the risk of artificially generated visits, but that will mean a genuine surge won't be counted.
The thing is, though, that if a Hub is doing well on the social networks, Google will see that as a vote of confidence and give it a significant boost in the rankings, which means it will get more Google traffic. So indirectly, social traffic still has value.
This has been the case for as long as I can remember. Certainly since they brought in the unfeaturing.
Search traffic is all that counts. The reason being that search visits are the Google 'judgement' on a page. It is the simplest way for HubPages to police their hundreds of thousands of pages.
If a page gets Google traffic it is probably OK.
If it doesn't - it may not be.
It is not perfect and has been the cause of much debate. Pointless debate.
My gosh, Mark. I never knew this. So, is it useless then for us to share on social networks?
Not useless. Social does what it does, if you can work it. But HP make their judgement purely on search traffic.
I used to have 300 hubs. As they became unfeatured I largely dropped them unless I thought they could be tweaked to get traffic. Otherwise, although I liked them, there was little point in endless re-editing just to regain the featuring.
But we all do what we do. No one to say which way is right.
Matthew just clarified this for me in an email . Basically, only search traffic counts FOR THE QAP. In other words, there seems to be some sort of ratio that says if you do not have enough search engine traffic but do have plenty of social networking traffic, your hub can still go unfeatured for lack of traffic.
Sharing on those other sites will still bring in views and income, but only IF you have enough search engine traffic to meet the QAP requirements for a given article.
Although Matthew stated here that you still get view counts and income for social networking traffic, if the hub goes unfeatured, I imagine this would be tricky to do.
I truly was shocked to get this news, and even though you can tweak to fix it, if you don't tweak well, it could happen again, and again, and...well, you get the picture.
Okay - thanks for that clarification, TT2. I guess that makes sense, but, boy! it is discouraging.
Edit: I guess the best thing is to adopt Mark's viewpoint.
It has always been like this since it was introduced. You will still get the social traffic the way you expect, but you lose the chance to get search engine traffic if the hub is unfeatured.
Don't worry about the silly rule.
Just edit the title, or make some other minor change that could perchance get more traffic.
It has been like this for a long time, Google rules our lives on the internet. I don't even know if Bing counts or not. But it is a bit ridiculous. So all you can do is hope you maintain a good spot in the Google search engine rankings.
And like Matthew said, just edit your edit and it will be featured again. Any edit will do.
As Mark Ewbie has pointed out above, this rule has existed since the unfeatured hubs were instituted. I do not think it means that social sharing does not mean much. Despite comments from Making a Mark, I have noticed that when a hub receives a lot of Pinterest views it moves up in the Google search rankings. Pinterest does seem to matter.
So, does social sharing help? Definitely. I had one shared a lot last week and my income went up to almost twice what it was in the previous days. It also went up in the search rankings and gets a few hits there too. Not much, as that phrase is not searched much, but enough to have a "heartbeat", which is all HP is looking for to keep a hub featured.
I still think you should follow the advice of janderson and a few others, make some changes, and keep it featured so it will still appear on Google.
So you can still earn from the views that you get from social networks. It is not exactly useless as far as earnings are concerned. However, whether your hub remains featured or not depends on search engine traffic. Specifially GOOGLE search engine traffic.
Organic search traffic has always been part of the "featured" process. This is because it will happen no matter what, unlike the "pushing" generally required for social traffic. But don't despair!
Social traffic is still very worthwhile in two ways.
1. It still pays. One hub I wrote with a friend went viral on Facebook and received around 300,000 views in just a few days. We split quite a nice payout that month!
2. Social media is a determinant of SEO value. Google tracks how many shares things get on Facebook and other social platforms and other platforms, particularly Pinterest (because you can use strong keywords there and it ranks well in Google.) Remember, if you can't find a low competition topic, you need good SEO, including backlinks, to raise your ranking. Think of social shares as a type of backlink.
So in other words, enough social shares can make you rank higher in Google and get you organic traffic.
...but only if you already have enough search traffic in the first place because if not, your hub will become unfeatured and cannot be ranked by Google...correct?
I only found this out a couple of months ago when I queried why lots of my habs have suddenly been unfeatured due to lack of engagement. It is ridiculous as we have always been encouraged to share them on social media etc. It is getting harder all the time especially when most of my views are internal and from Pinterest and Facebook. I now have 35 hubs non featured and it seems to be growing daily. I have been here for six years and never had an unfeatured hub until six months ago. All traffic should be treated equally.
Organic traffic is ongoing, while social traffic (especially for those who just spam without much social media knowledge) is most likely to be short lived. Having that as a reason to be featured would just generate more Hubpages spam on social media.
As you'll read in my post above yours, social media does play a role in getting organic traffic, however.
Yes WryLilt, I have really stopped worrying so much about hubs that aren't featured. When I get around to it I will change a title etc to make it more search engine friendly, but I don't rush to try and get them all back up at once like I would have until a few weeks back. I am an organic gardener, so I guess I automatically like "organic" traffic.
So how does that bode for those of us who write predominately fiction?
I'd recommend reading this: http://cardisa.hubpages.com/hub/SEO-Tip … nd-Fiction
Here is what people need to realize. When a hub becomes unfeatured, it is essentially removed from google due to noindex. That means, you can promote to your heart's content, but none of that will matter to google. They are not going to index it.
It's a catch-22, really. You got dinged due to low google traffic, and then you can't get any google traffic as it gets removed.
Like someone said up above. The only way out of that loop is to edit it in some way. Then "something" goes back over your site and decides if it can get featured (indexed) again by google.
What is a little odd, is that this is a round about way of making you edit a hub.
They say you need traffic, but you can't get the kind of traffic they count. So you MUST edit it.
And if it passes the process, then the indexing gets turned back on by hub.
It's odd, because your hub gets featured not by getting search traffic, but by passing quality again.
I propose they call it something else. Instead of flagging it for low traffic, just tell them to edit it.
Editing it is the only way to have a chance at getting the right traffic.
I find this forum thread to be delightful, necessary and thought-inspiring!
This may be helpful
I took a look and while it makes sense, in my situation I WAS getting traffic to that hub from Google. However, HP decided that I was getting too much from social media and not enough from Google. I'd like to know the ratio that makes this happen because this simply does not make sense to me. If a hub has 72 or more views in a month and 473 in 9 months, surely all of those views are not just coming from social media! I have many articles with fewer views that have not been unfeatured (This is on my newer site here started last December). Makes no sense to me.
Mine get unfeatured all the time. I simply redo the title and do some other keywords. Sometimes I have to go to google and see what others are searching when I google the subject. Then, I use that as my title instead. Most of the time, I can salvage my work and become featured again without changing any copy. It's all about what people are searching for.
The thing is, you are doing nothing for google. Google does not even look at what you've done because they have dropped it. You are essentially resubmitting it to a hub editor or bot to decide if it goes back in google. If they decide "no," then google never sees what you have done.
I made these decisions with my pages.
Can it be sensibly and usefully tweaked or improved and will that generate search traffic?
How much money do I expect it to make over a one year period?
People will have their own expectations but pages that I didn't consider worth keeping I got rid of. Leaving them, even unpublished, just clogged up my account and more importantly, my mind.
(shrugs) Google has been politely ignoring the bulk of my stuff for the entire time I've been Hubbing, so this isn't exactly shocking news. I gave up trying to crack the Google nut a long time ago. Obviously I'm too dumb to get a handle on that SEO stuff that you kids all seem so crazy about, it makes my brain hurt.
Social media is where it's been at for me, though obviously grabbing traffic that way is hit or miss depending on the day. If it weren't for occasional bouts of dumb luck via sudden social media "sharing" frenzies, though, my traffic would suck even worse than it does already.
Who keeps track of the kind of traffic we get - a bot? Is this in the learning center, as I never heard of it either?. What is the sense of social traffic and those icons to social places on our hubs? This has been cleared somewhat from the team - that it matters for QAP. Many of us were unaware of this rule. I wish it was different.
Yes it's a bot.
There is still a point in having those Share buttons - they're for your readers to share stuff they like with their friends. And if Google sees genuine readers sharing links to your Hub, they will boost your Hub higher in their search engine results.
Thanks Marisa. For everything negative, somewhere a positive exists. We need to remember your words.
Brakel2, the point is that is ALWAYS what those buttons were for. They were never intended so that Hubbers could artificially generate traffic by sharing with their friends or with other writers, who would visit as a favour rather than because the Hub was of genuine interest.
I just thought any traffic counted period, including for QAP. I was wrong.
But, I think that hubbers can share to public so that people may come to know of some worthy content useful for them. And, then the reader may share it again to others. So, our hubbers should be positive minded and not shrug from sharing.
Very good thoughts, Venkatachari.
But how are you sharing to the "public" when you share on Facebook or Twitter etc? You are only sharing to your friends or followers, no one else is likely to see it.
One of the reasons why I prefer to share on Google+ communities and Pinterest.
I barely share on FB for the same reason - only friends and followers see your shares.
I'd rather communities.
As per twitter, I use relevant hashtags so it can reach a wider audience.
On facebook you have an option to share with friends only, family only, groups, or public. Each person you share with more than likely shares with others you don't know.
Social sharing is marketing the article for traffic to an available audience. Those views count for the benefit of getting paid and developing a following too. But, that is only one kind of traffic. Google is interested primarily on Organic Traffic generated from a search as both a performance measurement and for ranking a webpage and website. Organic Traffic is a result of an unpaid search.
That has the greatest value as traffic. That is a main indicator used to rank both the webpage and website on Google. Social sharing is measured, however Google places little value on it today with regard to ranking. HP seems to be reflecting that..
For more understanding a good article to read is 5 Things You Need to Know About Social Media & SEO
I have given with social media.
I made a Facebook friend a while back. I say 'friend' - I didn't know who they were. Just someone off HubPages I guess who wanted me to be their friend. Naturally I was flattered.
Anyhow, I friended them and they friended me and I kept getting crap videos from them that I didn't want. So I thought I would Share my stuff back at them.
Every single time I farted onto a page I shared my crap at them. They sent MORE stuff back at me. It was like Friend Wars except without any connection to that idea apart from capitalizing the words.
Eventually I had a nervous breakdown. Went to the doctor. He said I needed to stop being such a Sharing type of guy.
There is more of this available 24/7 on Facebook, Twitter and AssWorld where I share it frequently to people I have no connection with or interest in.
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