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Low traffic hubs being unfeatured - Is this now hubpage policy?

  1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
    TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago

    As fast as I'm trying to fix up hubs that are unfeatured, the problem isn't that there is something wrong with them, but that they are being unfeatured as a result of lack of traffic. Isn't this short sighted? Some topics just don't get that much traffic. It's not because they are badly written,

    Is this now hubpage policy? If not, then why are my low traffic hubs being unfeatured?

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 months ago in reply to this

      I believe it is their policy now, but check the learning center to make sure or email the team.  I'd be curious to know just how "low" they go before they unfeature.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
        TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        I've emailed them.

    2. relache profile image86
      relacheposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      It's been policy for the last few years.

      HubPages just commented in another thread that they have edited about 3000 Hubs which account for 41% of the search traffic.   That's just under one half of one percent of the site that draws almost half the money.

      HubPages are basically signaling where they see the money, and where they don't.  If they haven't tried to HubPro any of your Hubs in the last year or so, HubPages is communicating by omission that your content is not drawing traffic or earnings that they feel is worth preserving or improving.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 months ago in reply to this

        Nobody has ever done a  formal Hub Pro thing on any of my hubs because I opted out, but surely that does not mean they will be unfeatured!  Many get decent traffic, and since I was an English teacher, there are no problems with grammar, etc.  At one point there were a few edits for mistakes by commenters and a few typos of my own, but that was it. 

        I really would like to know what they consider to be "low" traffic.  That's a pretty general term that tells me nothing.

        1. calculus-geometry profile image86
          calculus-geometryposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          TT2, your hubs will still get HubPro Basic if you are opted out of HubPro Premium. There is no opting out of basic editing.  If you haven't had any of your hubs edited then you can take it to mean that your traffic is below the level HP considers high enough to take interest in. 

          It's not a comment on your writing ability if your hubs get edited or not.  HP edits all the high traffic hubs, even if the edit is just adding/deleting a comma.

          1. sallybea profile image96
            sallybeaposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            calculus geometry,
            I think it too early to say that HP considers the views not high enough to take interest, they have not finished editing yet.and that could take at least another year in my estimation.

          2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 months ago in reply to this

            Really?  I have one hub that has had more than 80,000 views.  That's not good enough to be considered high traffic?  Yikes!

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              Maybe not.  I have one with 130,000 that has not been edited, but then it's down to around 20 per day now either because of Panda or because of the Chinese copy I can't get rid of. 

              I'm thinking it's the traffic per day, lately, more than total views.  Of the 3 hubs I have that have gone through HubPro, two of them have fewer total views than this one, but both have much higher recent traffic figures of thousands per month rather than a few hundred.

              And I'm sure there are other factors as well, even other unedited hubs elsewhere in HP that have higher traffic and priority.

              1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 months ago in reply to this

                If it's based on traffic per day, then I think the team is being mighty shortsighted.  I just checked my overall views for the 4 years I've been here and fall just short of 500,000.  This includes views for hubs that I deleted in the past.  Only 10% come from social networks.  I find it hard to believe that there are so many writers here who are making huge daily views that people like me could be left out of the mix.  Kind of depressing.

            2. calculus-geometry profile image86
              calculus-geometryposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              They are prioritizing hubs that currently get good traffic.  If that hub was a superstar in the past but now gets only a handful of views, it's low on the editing priority list.  I would not worry about it, you get the traffic that you get. It doesn't need to be another source of stress for you.

        2. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          I've got just one featured hub without any 30 day views.  But it's rather seasonal (on camping) and likely slipping under the radar because of that.  I also have quite a few that get, say, less than 10 per month and are still featured.

          But don't forget that this has to be search engine views; not those coming from FB or some other social site or even from HP.  For instance, I've got one that shows 7 monthly views and is unfeatured, but I've linked to that hub quite frequently and suspect all the views are from HP.

        3. TessSchlesinger profile image94
          TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          Well, I never had a single hub unfeatured ever, until I mentioned in a post here that none of  my hubs had ever been unfeatured. Now a new one seems to be unfeatured every day. Doesn't make sense.

      2. TessSchlesinger profile image94
        TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        Um, yes. Hubpro 'edited' me indeed. Over the next month, for the first time since returning to Hubpages I lost about a third of my traffic on that particular hub, I promptly went back and unedited the things that I thought were responsible and within a day, I got my traffic back, plus it's been steadily climbing ever since.

        Essentially, apart from rewriting three or four sentences, which made absolutely no difference whatsoever to what was drawing traffic, the editor redid my illustrations. That's what dropped the traffic.

        Here's how it works. Once you have other people reposting your hubs, the number one thing that draws traffic is the illustration/photo - the first one. If that photo/illustration isn't stunning, you will lose traffic because people just skip past it.

        Granted, your hub does have to have reached the stage where people read it and share the link.

    3. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      Yes it is HubPages' policy and I'm surprised you missed it, as it's been in place for a long time now.

      It has been the case ever since the Featuring/UnFeaturing system was first introduced.  There have always been two types of unFeaturing, one for failing the QAP and the other for "lack of engagement" - which just means lack of traffic.

      When it was introduced, there was indeed an outcry for precisely the reasons you mention - it is possible for a very well-written Hub to get low traffic, simply because the topic is not searched very often.   Hubs like that don't harm the site and they can still earn a slow, steady trickle of income, so why unFeature them?

      Derek, one of the moderators at the time, explained it well:

      HubPages desperately needed to get rid of poor quality Hubs, and while the QAP system could stop NEW bad Hubs being published, it would take years to clear the backlog of old ones.  So another solution was needed.  They knew that the poorer quality Hubs usually got low traffic, so the solution was to unFeature low-trafficked Hubs, which would hide most of the poor quality Hubs from Google at a stroke.

      Unfortunately, it would also hide good-quality low-trafficked Hubs - but the benefit of hiding the poor-quality Hubs was so great, that was regarded as acceptable "collateral damage".

      From this, you'll notice that the system was introduced to deal with Hubs that hadn't gone through QAP.   What has never been explained is why they feel it necessary to apply the same system to Hubs that HAVE gone through QAP - it suggests they have no confidence in their own quality assessment!

      http://hubpages.com/community/forum/115 … ost2445706

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        "What has never been explained is why they feel it necessary to apply the same system to Hubs that HAVE gone through QAP - it suggests they have no confidence in their own quality assessment!"

        Marissa, I don't find this surprising at all.  Although HP has tried very hard to "reverse engineer" the Google algorithm from a results-oriented standpoint, neither they nor anyone else in the world has been successful.  They don't know whether a low traffic hub has been "down-checked" by google or whether no one else likes it or whether no one is searching.

        Thus they unfeature it for the same reason they did non-QAP hubs - keep it away from Google to protect HP.  While the QAP seems to help, it is not the final answer - it is only best guess and HP knows that.

      2. TessSchlesinger profile image94
        TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

        Well, Marisa, not a single one of my 'low traffic' hubs was ever unfeatured until I mentioned on this forum that none of my hubs had ever been unfeatured.

        And if it was that all of them are unfeatured because of low traffic, then all of them would be unfeatured simultaneously because it would be automatic. That is not what is happening. This is been done manually. It is the only things that explains why some have low traffic but are still featured and the variation in traffic is also different.

        At what figure does a hub suddenly become unfeatured as a result of low traffic?

        And with all due respect, while I understand that some of my hubs were really bad (the ones that were on Squidoo), I have been slowly working my way through them and fixing them up. Awful job but needs to be done. The major problem is that the URL is wrong and it's probably better just to delete the entire thing.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          Really?  Hp noticed your post and promptly sent someone to punish you by ignoring and violating the carefully constructed and tweaked algorithm designed to do the job by manually unfeaturing random hubs?

          1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
            TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            Well, the timing was very strange. Maybe just coincidence. It happens.

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              Yes it does.  People complain all the time that HP is picking on them personally, but outside of a small handful that badly violated forum rules I don't think anyone has ever had anything but imagination to back it up.

              1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
                TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                I accept that. As I said, my apologies. smile Glad to have cleared that up.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image92
          Marisa Wrightposted 10 months ago in reply to this

          Unfeaturing for lack of traffic is done by an automated filter.   Of course all your Hubs would not go unFeatured at exactly the same time, since they all have a slightly different traffic history.

          Also bear in mind that ONLY views from search engines count.  You are quite active on social media so a lot of your views may be from Google+, Facebook etc and they do not count.

          No one has said a word about whether your Hubs are bad or good - like I said, there are many subjects which aren't often searched for, no matter how good the Hub is.   

          Your URL is almost completely irrelevant when it comes to attracting traffic, your title is what matters

          1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
            TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            "Your URL is almost completely irrelevant when it comes to attracting traffic, your title is what matters." That is interesting. So maybe I can save a few of them, instead of just deleting.

            Okay, if it's done through automated filter, I stand corrected. Lots of work to be done here, then.

            My apologies.

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              I'll add to Marisa's comment that that filter is not a simple one - that lots of things go into it.  Age of the hub, whether it is seasonal (when special rules apply), whether from Squidoo (those those special rules may be reduced or removed by now), where the traffic is from, when the traffic happened, etc.  HP put a lot of work into that algorithm and tweaked it a good deal after using it for a while.  No hubber is going to figure out all the ins and outs of what it's doing, and if they could it would instantly become worthless just as Google's algorithm would if it were explained in detail.

              1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
                TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                smile

              2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 months ago in reply to this

                Wilderness:  Thanks for posting this comment.  I really was beginning to worry about my hub standings after reading several of the comments here.

          2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 months ago in reply to this

            I don't understand why only views from search engines count.  Can you explain this to me?  I always thought a view was a view!

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              I'm guessing, but HP income does not come from facebook users; it comes from Google traffic.  While there is income from anywhere, Google is so large it over rides anything else.  If Google down-checks a hub the whole site suffers regardless of how many people are following links to that hub, and therefore HP only counts search engine traffic.

              1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
                TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 months ago in reply to this

                If this is the case, then why are people always saying to "market" your hubs on social networking sites?  Income is income, and why would Google bother downgrading hubs because people from social networking sites read them.  This is pretty confusing to me.

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  No indication that Google downgrades hubs because of traffic from FB. Just that if they have downgraded a hub in the SE, it won't get any traffic from Google, and Hp is using that as a guideline on which hubs to unfeature.  True, lack of SE traffic doesn't mean a downcheck, but good SE traffic does mean that there is no downcheck.  As that's the only thing available to point towards Google's acceptance, that's what's used. 

                  As far as why people say to market their hubs - it does produce income.  It can't hurt.  It can perhaps jump-start a hub.  Because those people don't think about what it will do to the recipients of those FB posts aggressively marketing hubs.  Personally, I provide FB links to only those hubs that I think my friends (real friends, not just a check box on FB) would enjoy.  In other words, I do not market them at all, just show my friends what I think they might appreciate or enjoy.  While still a FB newbie, I posted links to everything I wrote, and it wasn't long until I started getting complaints.  OK - I learned and stopped doing it.

                  1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
                    TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    I rarely post my hubs to facebook. Whoever is posting them doesn't get them from me. How does that damage my hubs?

            2. NateB11 profile image91
              NateB11posted 10 months ago in reply to this

              What I think it is, is that search engine traffic is more reliable and longer lasting. I know that is not always the case, and algorithms change things, but generally it is the case; social media traffic tends to be short-lived and organic traffic tends to be more consistent. Also, there is the issue of the quality of traffic; how long a visitor stays, whether there are sales conversions, etc. I think search engine traffic is more likely to be looking specifically for the article it lands on, so will stay longer, might buy something, etc.

            3. Marisa Wright profile image92
              Marisa Wrightposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              They do not count because they can be "gamed".  HubPages pays per view, but it doesn't make money unless that visitor clicks on an ad or buys a product.    They found they were paying out a lot of money for views artificially created by writers sharing on Facebook groups and the like, (where everyone agrees to visit each other's Hubs) - and those kinds of readers are not going to click on ads or buy products. 

              They realised that social sharing was just encouraging writers to play those sorts of games, so they stopped counting them to discourage those practices. 

              Social sharing is still valuable because it does attract a few real readers, who may then share your Hub with their friends, so it can pay off indirectly.

              1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
                TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                I didn't realize we are paid per view. Is that still so? I thought we were only paid if people clicked on ads or bought something. Personally, Amazon doesn't really work for me. I'm real bad at writing things to sell products and can only really advocate something I think really works, and that's very limited as I'm a minimalist.

                1. Marisa Wright profile image92
                  Marisa Wrightposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  If you're in the HubPages Ad Program, that pays per view.  Adsense pays an infinitesimal amount per view, it mainly pays per click.

                  1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
                    TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    Learn something every day. smile

                2. NateB11 profile image91
                  NateB11posted 10 months ago in reply to this

                  HP Ad Program has always worked out better for me, because of the fact it pays for views. If you can get traffic, you can start to earn money. Of course this means a lot of writing or application of SEO.

                  Though, I'm trying to figure out how to make my own sites earn for me too, because it has been said by many Hubber vets that a person can potentially make significant earnings from their own sites.

                  1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
                    TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                    I truly do not get the 'own site' thing. I'm just not a marketer, and while I am a writer, I'm not the kind of writer that panders to her readers. I write what I write, and that's about it. Not a good way of running a website, so I'll stick with hubpages.

          3. TessSchlesinger profile image94
            TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

            Marisa, just checked where my traffic is coming from. Facebook, Pinterest, and Google. Not so much for Google Plus where I'm most active. So doesn't the number of hits on social networking influence google's algorithms?

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 10 months ago in reply to this

              I doubt that even The Great Google can track visits from someone not using their network and not visiting their sites (although who really knows what information that octopus is capable of seeing?).  So they can't include those visits into their algorithm.

              1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
                TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

                Makes sense.

  2. NateB11 profile image91
    NateB11posted 10 months ago

    As others have said, it's been the policy for some years now. And as has also been said it was the only way to deal with low-quality. I don't think there is any choice. I've had Hubs unfeatured for low-traffic, I'll try to save them for a year or two and if they can't be saved here I move them. I don't blame admin, they have to put something in place that's feasible to deal with low-quality; of course, they end up losing some quality content, but it's better than having the bad stuff affect the site.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
      TessSchlesingerposted 10 months ago in reply to this

      Well, if it's been policy for years, how come none of my hubs were ever unfeatured until I mentioned in this forum that that was so?

      1. NateB11 profile image91
        NateB11posted 10 months ago in reply to this

        There's a bit of a grace period before a Hub will be unfeatured for lack of traffic. My experience is that it takes a year, sometimes less than a year. I think it happened that your content has just run up against that grace period. As others have said it has nothing to do with quality of content but has to do with the only feasible way to deal with quality on the site. Unfortunately, some good content gets unfeatured in the process. I know that you are a good writer, I've read your Hubs and like them. So, your writing is an example of content that is good but gets sacrificed because admin had to use the most feasible system possible to deal with site-wide problems.

        1. NateB11 profile image91
          NateB11posted 10 months ago in reply to this

          One of the easiest ways to create Hub titles that will attract traffic is to use Google Suggest, the keywords that appear in a drop-down when you are typing into the search engine. But you have to be a little clever and creative about it; for instance, let's say you are looking for what is important in making go-carts; you could type in -go carts- and then type in -importance of- and Google will suggest, for instance, -the importance of using the right wood for go carts-

          I fabricated that example, just hoping to convey the basic idea for easy keyword research.

 
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