We have just released the ability to choose whether or not you showcase Idle Hubs on your HubPages Profile.
By default, Idle Hubs will not show up on your Profile, so if you would like them to appear, visit My Account > Profile > Edit Profile and check “Yes” under “Show Idle Hubs on my profile”.
Before making that change, do keep in mind that if search engine traffic is important to you, it would be best for you to leave Idle Hubs off your profile, so that they are not indexed by Google and running the risk of draining the search-engine-related clout of your other, more successful Hubs.
While it is possible to change your setting now, we will not actually stop showing Idle Hubs on Profiles until Monday, so as long as you make any desired switches before then, any Hubs you do not want to disappear from your Profile will not disappear.
Thanks for the update, Simone! I really like that you explain the reasoning for and against making any changes. I also appreciate that the HP team continues to develop improved methods for the site.
Yes, thank you for the explanation. I'm loving all the improvements!
Thanks y'all! We're all about moving onward and upward!
Thanks for the update, the new feature, and the helpful insight into the ramifications of using that new option!
Is this why idled hubs are continuing to receive Google traffic?
The fact that they are featured on our profiles stops them from becoming deindexed?
As I understand it, that has something to do with it, yes. I mean, the noindex tags are still on those Hubs, but because they're on Profile pages, they're still getting crawled.
Note: I;m really bad with comprehending SEO-related things; I might have mis-interpreted this. But that's what I understand to be the case.
Thanks, I appreciate HP allowing us to make that decision... Since HP has provided us zero proof that poor performing hubs were affecting our more productive hubs, I've made the switch with my couple dozen idled hubs. My traffic has already been decimated so I doubt that it can do any worse.
@ Simone Smith
OK , let me get this straight .
What you are saying is :
After Monday all the hubs that have been idled by HP will disappear from HP users profile . But these idled hubs would not be deleted and still be available in the HP users account . Right ?
Prior to Monday an HP user will have the ability to show his/her idle hubs on his/her profile, as a result of which these idled hubs will have the possibility of getting indexed by Search Engines.Does this mean that the noindex tag attached to idle hub will be removed ? because the hub will be indexed only if the noindex tag is absent . Right ? So basically HP is giving it's user an option to choose if he/she wants to go by HP's decision of idling an hub or use his/her own judgement.
Is this option of allowing an HP user to show an idle hub on his/her profile permanent or is it available till Monday ? What I mean to say is , Can a HP user de-idle his hubs idled by HP after Monday ?
Thank You .
Right! Those Idle Hubs will also be available via the Feed and direct URLs that can be shared via email, social media, etc.
This does not mean that the noindex tag attached to Idle Hubs will be removed.
What we're doing is removing Idle Hubs from Profile pages, but giving Hubbers the option to leave them there if they want them there.
Hope that helps!
Well then how is this a benefit? If the noindex tag is left on them then the SE's can't see them anyway so why remove them from the profile page where the only traffic you will receive is from internal traffic...
Option A: Leave the idled hubs off of your profile page where nobody will ever see them (might as well delete them)
Option B: Allow them to be on your profile page where only internal traffic may see them and since the noindex tag remains there is no possible way that they can have a negative affect on your entire portfolio.
Option C: (<------Choose this one) Fix the idled hubs by creating an engaging title, adding or updating content (nobody wants to read old news), removing stuffed keywords/unrelated or slightly related tags, have at least 5 modules with at least one good picture (properly attributed), Use the Ratings module which I assume is a rich snippet that will add value to your hub, get the hubs circulated through your social networks.
Remember when writing use to be fun?
Why not state the obvious - Idle hubs are dead wood - update them or dump them - if there are no links to them on your profile no one will find them or know they are there. If they pull down your subdomain rank for searches - time for them to be killed off. RIP!!
Well, there are always exceptions, aren't there? For example, I like to use HubPages as a place to store recipes I've developed, and even though some of them are Idle Hubs, I just like to keep 'em around because it's nice to know they're all in one place.
Also, say someone has a poem he or she loves that isn't at all search-friendly, but is something this Hubber likes to email to friends and family occasionally when they need cheering up. The Hub may be Idle, but it still has value, and so long as it's outside the roving gaze of search engines, it's not going to hurt this Hubber's reputation.
So yeah... I can see why they sometimes work, though I'm all for reworking or killing off for the most part! You make a very good point.
Nice! I really like the way you think, Simone!
Ah, but if only the world WERE black and white!!
Why Then Simone.... Did ALL my poems - (Some of which I personally as the author, believe to be some of my best works) - including the poem that placed 2nd in your Poetry Comp all become Idle and thus now are about to be killed within your 'Onward and Upward' system? Lesser works that were not entered into any of your comps all rate well in SEs and still get enough traffic to not be subjected to this new system.
The problem Was Not the work.... the problem must therefore have started as a result of what happened After the work was submitted. And at the time I found it interesting that they appeared to have been withheld from the SEs.... Whether there was a bug or not only you guys know... but what I know is that nobody has answered the question above - even though it is Extremely Relevant to the situation.
You must excuse my questioning of this issue... But I consider it somewhat logical to the issue - Can't help that I'm afraid... I'm an analytical and logical minded person who has 25 years experience at Independently Trouble Shooting Businesses...
Understanding logical answers is also something that I'm quite good at...
Because, Pealdiver, poems and search don't go together.
Hubbers who have a lot of poems are going to have a lot of Idle Hubs because poems don't drive search traffic. We are offering this option to keep Idle Hubs on Profiles because we know that, for some, search traffic doesn't matter so much, and we know they just want to be able to display all their work on their Profile pages. So it all works out!
Oh really.... I don't believe that I'm sorry.
I don't accept that is a good enough explanation as to why ALL my work submitted into your Poetry Comp never had a chance to gain traffic as a result of submitting it into that comp.
NONE of My Hubs are solely poetry!!
All have a subject lead-in to which a poem is attached. If I took the poem out of the article - the article in itself would list and hold a readership on it's own quality!
Maybe if you actually looked at my work before you assume that it is simply poetry and therefore Not Good Enough to gain SE traffic then you may understand what I'm saying. The poem is actually the value added portion ... but you guys seem to know best at what value is
Why would a well researched,formatted and written article and poem called "The Song of the Salmon" about the pacific salmon run in Canada not gain any traffic on this site... It is an excellent example of educational writing that is superior to other articles I've seen on the subject.. But you guys call it a poem... and therefore 'unsuitable' for search engines... and that would tend to indicate that it has (sometime ago) been removed from being crawled perhaps...
What tags have been applied to my 'poems' I wonder?
I'm sorry if you find my concerns irritating, but they are highly valid concerns and represent a lot of time, effort and loyal support of this site over 3 years of my life.. I'm merely asking for a credible explanation that relates specifically to those hubs that were submitted within your management and on the basis that they were to be published in a manner which did not undermine the efforts put into them in any respect. So far, clearly they have.
Pearldiver, is it possible to place your hubs in different categories-based on the subject of your poems
Hi thanks for that... I thought I had done that.. however several of them were changed after I had done that.... It wasn't me who changed them into obscure and irrelevant groups - it was done internally and intentionally, without my knowledge which is why I am so bristly about this issue! eg: A hub on relationships got changed in Eastern Religions FGS. I changed it back and it immediately got sandboxed..
It probably all doesn't matter anyway, I know the value of my experience here and after my post all my hubs were manually moderated and 5 of them have now been ripped down and unpublished - that's a quick way of screwing up someone's relationship with Google!
So... cheers HP - 27 Idle Hubs including those only just published - For Not Driving SE Traffic
And - 5 Unpublished - For clearly equally serious reasons!
_ 32__ Hubs or 40% of my work that has been ripped out of the system!
I don't believe that I don't have reasons to be concerned as above.... I'm not that obtuse, nor is my work of such substandard quality..... I merely asked for a viable and honest explanation.. WHY?
I am curious Pearldiver, what kind of keywords do you think people would be typing into Google to find your poems? If you expect to get Google traffic, you must have an idea of how people would find you.
It's just that you seem to blame HP for not getting Google traffic, most people generally blame Google, but if you want Google traffic you have to have an idea of how people would find you for Google. Incidentally I usually have the idea, it frequently doesn't work.
I'm Not playing a blame game here.. I have been asking and asking for Help from those who are stated as being in charge of the problems that I have been experiencing.
Factually, 78% of all my traffic here has been from SEs since inception - So Realistically, I don't need anyone telling me that My Work is Not Suitable for search engines!
Factually, I am a very widely read poet and write under more than this HP entity. - So I understand my craft and what is required to write quality, with authority. - I also have a pretty good understanding of SEO etc, although here I have not fully exercised it... and given all the chops and changes here, I'm pretty glad I haven't.
I don't use social media tools or extensive backlinking.... and still my work has featured well on search engines.... So, I am aware that I can develop higher volume with those mediums when I so desire...
What I wanted to do here was to grow Pearldiver exactly as I have... which is why I am frustrated by the fact that I know some of my best works have effectively been tossed aside, without so much as a logical reason why! That's what I'm asking for and now I'm getting my works ripped down by manual moderators - Yawn.....
I have hub keywords that drive traffic and are constantly copied and Pearldiver usually holds the 2nd or 3rd page on a Google search under that brand... and under various poetry references I also measure well.
The Problem.... Until Simone's Comp all my works gained ample indexing and SE traffic... After that... I believe 90% of my hubs were perhaps 'noindexed' - Note 'I Believe' - If so, I'd like to understand why.... wouldn't you if yours had? At the time I thought there was a bug in the works...
2nd Problem - Realistically, if a 'Moderator' could manually find the time directly after my previous post, to go through all my hubs and to find fault with 5 of them... then surely having previously asked Simone to view them as Subject Hubs with word counts on average of 850, as opposed to merely poetry hubs... that same person/moderator could have also used the time to find the answers to my questions as to why they wouldn't make the grade with search engines... (as Simone had stated!)
I'm not trying to be or come across as a jerk.... I am as I have stated I'm merely asking a question on an issue that effects me and I'm sure, many others! Happy with a straight forward practical understanding.... how hard could that be?
Cheers for your help.... clearly with 40% of my work at risk (32 hubs +) and with the inability to have access to the facts that are needed to make crucial informed decisions, in regards to protecting my writing interests.... I surely don't have explain the importance of trouble shooting this problem either professionally or ethically
Hmmm, it is curious. The only hubs that I have had idled, had basically no search engine traffic, they were basically dead. I have some hubs that get very little traffic, they are basically not performing, but they are not idle. So it is surprising to hear about hubs that were getting good search engine traffic, that were made idle, that would annoy me.
It is very surprising, surely if Google sends you traffic, then Google cannot be unhappy with you, therefore the hub cannot possibly be hurting your domain. About how much Google traffic did your idle hubs get, before they were idled?
aa lite. I think you might be missing pearldivers point about his concerns with the new idle hub feature. I went through his hubs and most all of them have a 3 google page rank( which I think is pretty impressive)- Granted page rank is not the tell all, but it does confirm some of pearldivers frustration that yes his hubs were doing okay with google traffic and views but I think he feels they were idled solely based on the mere fact they were poetry hubs. I feel his frustration and hope he can get the mess resolved. His hubs are amazing.
Thank you so much for that summerberrie and also aa lite for your help... I appreciate your time taken on this.. The least traffic I've ever got has been from HP and yes, page rank certainly was an important factor previously and does still provide an indicative 'value' which I guess does support a sufficient reason to explain why such 'value' should be undermined in what was promoted as a Poetry Comp... OMG.. even the poem that got 2nd place is now an Idled Hub and about to be trashed!
Thanks again guys... I have been up for 30 hours and I must crash...
so goodnight (it's midday Sat here ) take care..
Do you ean that they are PR3? PR is mostly a reflection of links to a hub, it is not directly to how much traffic the hub gets. I have a few PR3 hubs that get very little traffic. I have had a look at the hubs, and you are right, they are great, great images too. However, I do wonder how people searching Google find them. Pearldiver reckons the hubs were getting good Google traffic and were still idled, which definitely shoudn't be happening. I'm just wondering how much traffic they got, before the idling, some of my hubs, which have very little traffic are not idle. I didn't think HP idled hubs just because they were poetry.
That was the case with me.
Most of my hubs were idled, not surprisingly, because since I lost 90% of my traffic in August 2011, they had no traffic.
Suddenly, however, on September 26th 2012, Google traffic started returning, and to hubs that were idled.
This return of traffic, and the return of many of my hubs to within the first 3 pages or so of Google, may have been down to the HP idle feature, or not as the case may be.
Until this thread I had no idea how Google was finding those hubs to send traffic to.
Now I know it was because they were featured on my profile, and my profile was back in favour for whatever reason.
Everyone said the reason my subdomain got slapped was because there must be something on my sub that Google didn't like.
Well, it seems they were all there when Google sent the traffic back.
It's nowhere near as high as it once was, by the way. Its about double at the moment from what it was.
I don't know what to do next. Do I 'un-idle' my hubs and hope for the best? Do I let them die a death by making sure they are not featured on my profile?
I still have about 200 hubs idled. I haven't counted actually, but a lot. Then again, they are not idled if they are on my profile.
If the reason for bringing in 'idled hubs' was to clear the HP domain of the dead wood, then again this is only a programmers way of saving the staff from filtering through thousands of hubs that would otherwise need the attention of a moderator.
But my 'dead wood' wasn't dead after all, and there is no way to lift the idle status without editing, which is a lot of work.
ALL of my hubs were edited earlier on this year, and about six times last year with all the new changes the site brought it.
I am never ever going to allow an HP account to get this big again.
I still don't know if editing those hubs that are starting to see traffic again is a good thing or not. What if they were the cause of the slap?
Does Google send 'test traffic'?
If I can offer a couple of suggestions
=> Idle hubs have the NOINDEX tag - but they are only de-indexed when the bot visits the page - this may take several weeks for low traffic hubs. The traffic you are seeing may be because some of the hubs have not been indexed.
=> The other source of traffic could be via links - most probably via interlinking between your subs, or on your profile, or external links.
The way to check this is to 'view source' (via right click) for some of your 'idle' hubs that appear in the SERPS still have traffic and search for 'NOINDEX' - if its not present the bot hasn't got around to killing them off yet.
Right, these hubs have the NOINDEX applied. I saw that on right click~> view source.
The traffic they are receiving is organic from Google.
Daily, since the 26th, yet more of them are seeing hits from this source (as shown on Analytics).
When they get more than 2 hits on one day, I reawaken them by a simple edit.
My worry is, am I reawakening hubs that saw my subdomain sandboxed in the first place? How do I know which ones Google like and hates?
What if its none of them, and I was just unlucky to get sandboxed.
Come Monday, I have the choice to allow them to be shown, and perhaps get traffic, or let them die.
That is my issue.
If I allow Hubpages to take them off my profile, they could still get hits only until the bots visit, assuming they haven't done so already.
I'm in a bit of a unique position. Hardly anyone else was slapped as severely as I was and for so long.
I know there are more hubbers in my position. I personally know of two others, only one of which both lost their traffic same day as me, and saw the return of traffic on the same date.
It is so strange that the return of traffic coincides with this major change at HP. Unfortunate really, because I don't think the two relate all that much.
Sorry to restate it, but just because the NOINDEX tag is there does not mean that the page has been DE_INDEXED - it may take weeks before the bot visits and the page is removed from the index. I suspect that they will all disappear eventually. I too have a large SUB. If I was you I would go through the 200 and if they are worth keeping, I would add a large pinable image, extra text, and submit to Pinterest to attract traffic + social media pages. Its a lot of work, but better than letting them die. Do 20 a day at 5 minutes per page. I've edited all my 600 hubs 3 times in the past!
Yes, I'm not as knowledgeable as yourself, but I did get the bit about the noindex not necessarily equating with the de-index.
And yes I know that a lot of the 200 odd hubs still sleeping could well be deindexed already seeing as they are seeing no traffic.
On the other hand they weren't getting any traffic before, so maybe they are dead.
My problem is that Google lifted its embargo on my hubs at a really awkward time for me, so I really don't know whether they immediately de-indexed the 'problem' hub, leaving the rest as OK, or if traffic was due to return at the end of their 'sandbox' period.
Or even if it was because I unpublished all my health hubs a few days before.
All my hubs were interlinked, so I now have 40 odd hubs with broken links. It seems easier to republish than edit.
Maybe the health hubs were the problem all along?
This is doing my head in!
Yes, you are right there is no answer but to take your advice, edit all my idled hubs and bring them out of their sleep, and see what happens.
I think I should do just a few at a time.
What a pity I got caught in the middle of all those changes on the site. It's now really difficult to know which were the problem hubs.
Personally I thought it all my spammy looking sales hubs, but Google loves them and returned traffic to them first.
Not that I'm complaining. What I've lost in traffic earnings from other subs is more than made up for with the return of Amazon sales.
Izzy, that's interesting you brought up your health hubs. My account was annihilated the same time as yours as you may recall. But, it recovered fairly quickly... The ONE thing I did to try to fix the problem was get rid of a bunch of my health hubs. They were hubs I published for the health contest a long time ago. I am NOT encouraging people to willy nilly start deleting health hubs, but I did find the coincidence of the deletion and return of traffic noteworthy. I deleted the ones that weren't getting much traffic anyway. Just food for thought.
PS- I'm thrilled to hear you're seeing some recovery. It's about frickin' time!
Hi Laura... thanks for letting us know that... it certainly confirms exactly what I have been stating right through here and what continually gets dodged by hp who know exactly what the problem is, but just keep ignoring the countless opportunities to explain Why!
The Problems Started with the Competitions and they know why! I believe that the comps were used at the least, as a smokescreen for the implementation of all the linking and indexing degradation that we suffered from... but hey.. nothings changed and for me, the Google indexing of my latest hub appears to have been done solely under HP's Dramatic Poetry Topic group only... I can not find any standalone reference to that hub - so any SE traffic goes to the Topic Group as a whole rather than the author's hub directly! Interesting one that! That is exactly what was done with all the Comp Hubs that are no longer getting Google Traffic!
You can check which Hubs have been affected (and previously idled) by checking the hub's stats for 'Viewing Duration' - only those hubs that are or were outside of that questionable regime actually have the viewing duration details in their stats box.... on all the suspect ones caught up in comps etc. and not getting traffic... it states "Not Measured Yet!" - even though some of them are now a year old and That tells you approximately when something interesting was decided, doesn't it?
I interpret this in another way. The competitions and weekly topics induce many people to write on topics about which they do not possess sufficient knowledge. After each of these events, in addition to a few quality results, there is a wave of rubbish hubs, written by ignoramuses in hopes of a prize. As searchers come across this stuff and leave immediately, these hubs inevitably trip the poor quality meters at Google and elsewhere. Unfortunately, this tars the whole of Hubpages as a cesspit of dung for the topic in question, so that good hubs suffer as well.
The old HubMobs initiative did not suffer from this problem. Since it did not as a rule offer prizes, it did not attract the dregs of HP membership in the way a money prize would.
I have always stayed well away from anything competitive on here. Apart from one major drop in views last year, my views have more or less consistently increased, despite the fact I have a number of health hubs to my name.
It would be good for Hubpages to drop all this competitive stuff (weekly topic, hub of the day, competitions promoted as such). I am convinced it acts against quality ratings. Secondly, while being promoted as "social", it is actually highly antisocial, because it sets people against each other and causes a lot of resentment, especially when people are not sure whether the results are unbiased.
Sure WA... you've made some good points and as usual I don't disagree with you on them. Re the comps - as a whole the poetry comp had an excellent overall quality of works submitted and excellent 'judging' panel... if anything, it should have not been problematic.
For me, this is only one part of a problem - as I now am unable to get 5 performing hubs republished here for having 'unrelated links or products' - which I do not understand... because it appears to be an HP policy to not be specific enough to allow us to immediately fix the issue that they are referring to, as we can not identify exactly what they find as the problem! This has been a manual 'moderator' who unpublished them last Friday when I was on this thread asking for further clarification on the Comp Hubs the changes I thought were right and resubmitted them... but today they are back as problematic and I have absolutely No Idea what the problems are!
One has WW1 images that are 100 years old and apparently their quality is not acceptable... 100 year old pics.. taken with glass negatives... how can they get any better - that was the technology and I'm portraying an accurate historic and educational hub!
If these hubs are a problem because they are linked to any of my hubs that have since become 'Idle' then why have they simply not given me a Broken Link notice and highlighted the link for removal? I'm sure this could all be More Considerate (positively) and Less Time Wasting! It is after all a Human Moderator... giving directions (or something)... I wonder if I have a valid concern???
I don't understand this negative stuff... but I do understand why it looks like gamesmanship is seen to be applied to certain situations!
Thanks a million for that!
It only took 13 months, 12 if you count the two days of traffic I got last September.
Traffic is not great however, and I wouldn't say it was 'back'. Its now 100% better than it was, but still 100% less than what it used to be, in the olden days.
That is indeed interesting that you deleted health hubs and got your traffic back. I wish I had done this a year ago, if this is indeed what held my subdomain down for so long.
My account is full of broken links now
I actually republished a health hub earlier today just to get rid of some of those black exclamation marks (it got rid of 13 in one go).
I can understand why you're concerned, but you *are* coming across as demanding and whiny.
Do you truly think someone goes through every hub and individually marks the difference between "idle" hubs and non-idle ones? If you've lost that much traffic, then whatever search engine was sending you traffic before has made a change that triggered the HP monitor. If you really want an analysis of the issue, instead of talking about what percentage of traffic or hubs has changed, describe actual numbers. Post the 1 day, 7 day, 30 day, and "ever" view counts from the statistics page, along with publication dates, for one or two of the hubs in question. That will make it a lot easier for people to see if you have a valid concern or not.
Clearly What I Think then... (according to your post) is irrelevant, demanding and whiny!
An amazingly positive input on your part...
Those new A plates really must help how one thinks, or looks at others!
Right now I do indeed have a 'human' moderating my hubs...
but hey.... that's really irrelevant isn't it.... when I'm considered to be demanding and whiny..... and maybe.. worthy (in your view) of what I consider to be a personal attack on me and what I think!
The points I have made... are relevant to many... perhaps not you... but to many others!
I said that's how you're coming across, not that it's who you are. I think you might be shooting yourself in the foot by sounding so aggressive. If you alienate people who can help you, what does that do for you?
My input might be irrelevant, because I'm not that well-versed myself. But as I was trying to pinpoint what could be causing the problem you've described, I found very little concrete information that can be used for comparisons before and after the various changes. If you'd like me to see if I can spot something, I'm willing to try, but I don't think it's reasonable for you to come out here and be so harsh to Simone (she's not responsible for all this!) and I'm hoping your adult enough to recognize that my statements are made in the spirit of helping you gain help instead of losing it.
Simone, thanks for the option anyway. Now that we know it was a combination of things including a Google algo update, I have started to unpublish hubs while I am working on them. Maybe making the perfect hub will please Google and maybe not!
Thanks Simone, great advice and clarification on this topic.
Thanks Denise! I love announcing straightforward updates like this... hehee!!!
Thanks Simone! We know you're all doing your best to fix the problem. We have faith it'll all work out. : )
Thanks Simone, I know that you and others at HP headquarters are working to make this the best Internet site ever. We appreciate your efforts!
Idle pages can still get traffic despite not appearing in Google search index. Hubs can still be liked, tweeted, pinned, Plussed, Stubbled, Digged (or is that Dug) (!) - Dribbled, Yelled. touched up, talked up, shouted (I made these ones up, as some names are plain silly!) or otherwise promoted socially. And if they get more traffic but they are not supported by one business on the web - namely hub Pages..... er... that might be a problem. Personally I would love to see my hubs being socially..er... "Hubbed". That would be so cool, guys. So so cool...
Wikipedia has lots of inactive pages, thousands of them in fact. But they get traffic just fine, thank you. And Wikipedia is very happy for this. So what are we all missing here....
We all love Hub Pages and that's why we're here. On a day when another Panda update and an EMD update arrive together - I would like to receive some good news for a change. Okay, coffee time.
I am confused. The initial announcement about idle hubs didn't suggest that we had a lot of control about whether they would be de-indexed or not (except that people discovered that they could bring them out of idling with a minor edit). Idle hubs were going to have the no-index tag which would prevent Google indexing them.
Now it appears that if we choose to have them in our profile, they will still be indexed, so the 'idle' is just a way of HubPages letting us know that the hub is under performing. This seems like a major change of plan.
I guess the hope is that most of the spam and really bad content will still be de-indexed, just because spammers are not involved enough with HubPages to realise that they need to change the option in their profiles. It might actually work.
Idle Hubs still have noindex tags. Featuring them on your profile doesn't change that. It just makes the 'hiding them from search engines so they're not considered as part of your online portfolio' element more effective.
Most people who have a bunch of spam on their accounts aren't going to be checking the forums and seeing that this option is available.
Hope that clears things up a bit.
Ok thanks for the clarification, what confused me was you saying:
"it would be best for you to leave Idle Hubs off your profile, so that they are not indexed by Google"
I did notice that my idle hubs appeared in Google index even a month later, which I thought was strange. It's like Google is ignoring the no-index tag if the hub is linked to.
What would be really great, is if we could choose to keep some hubs on profiles, but not others. For example seasonal hubs, that we are pretty sure are high quality, just go dead out of season, could stay on profiles.
Thank you so much for all the work and clarification. I know that we want to put our best foot forward, so it's great that HP is helping us along with this. Awesomesauce.
If you want to make your own informed decision on whether the inclusion of the noindex pages (idle)on your profile are possibly damaging you would want to look into "page rank sculpting" and "dilution"
Not really an easy or definitive answer on this one.
I dont feel like looking, does anyone know if the noindex pages are also nofollow?
Ergh. I don't know what to think, Simone.
I've done experiments with trying to get new hubs indexed by Google. I can't. If Google sees the NOINDEX tag on a new hub while it's still in "Pending" status, it's sunk. After two weeks, those new hubs still aren't appearing in Google's index at all.
Some hubbers have managed to overcome this barrier, but I haven't.
Incidentally, one of the ways Google found those new hubs is that it saw them on my profile. The day after I posted the test hub -- September 21 -- Google had indexed Tweets pointing to that hub, "group" links pointing to that hub, and showed the title of that hub on my profile.
Google followed all those links straight to my hub, saw the NOINDEX tag, and dropped it like a radioactive maggot. Googlebot hasn't come back yet. It was scared away good and proper. Even submitting the URL manually to Webmaster Tools hasn't yet lured Googlebot to return after two weeks.
So that's the power of a noindex tag on an idle or pending hub.
So now you're saying we have the choice whether to hide or show our Idled hubs on our profile...but if we pick "show," they're still noindexed? Which means that they will not only be dropped by any search engine that sees them, but may not be recrawled for a long, long time.
However, according to this new change, if we hide idle hubs from search engines to try and prevent them from falling into Noindex purgatory, this setting also hides them from visitors browsing our profile? That means that they're not only artificially blocked from getting search traffic, but also from getting one kind of social traffic.
I'm not quite sure how this helps. Obviously, I am not understanding what this change entails!
I've only published one or two hubs since they brought this feature in, and it takes all the fun away.
Seeing those first Google views used to give me a kick, but now we have to wait at least an extra 24 hours, and I can see that what you have experienced can and will happen.
I fully understand your problem, and think that more successful subdomains will be hurt more by this issue than less successful ones.
This is all because Hubpages knows they can't keep up with the crap published on the site, and don't have the staff to cope.
As they have stated quite forcefully before that they refuse to change from their 'open publishing platform' which allows anyone to post a hub, I can only suggest that they train up volunteers to closely monitor new content.
Oh, wait a minute, don't the 'elite' do that?
I have experienced the same as described. It is frustrating.
I do know that my Google Analytics is the worst ever. There has been a steady decline, not a sudden drop, over the past 30 days. I was just there reviewing it with the webmaster of two of my other sites. My other sites are showing pretty much a solid straight line. A third site is actually showing an uphill swing. HubPages is like a roller coaster.... a month ago sitting up at the top, no dip, just a straight shot down.
The idle hubs? Well, I can understand the reasoning to a point, however, as stated, once a noindex tag is seen by Google, they will shun the material. I have seen it happen quite a few times already. I can Google some material and find backlinks to it, but the main page does not appear under my sub-domain.
However.... with the assistance of some well versed people, I am moving forward with my plans. Not to give up writing and sharing, but simply to move my material elsewhere. I am averaging less than one page view a day,here on 115 hubs. These were hubs that were doing well over 30 to 100 plus views a day for months until the rollercoaster downhill swing started. I have one hub (1), that is getting views that remain acceptable. That one hub will probably become the only resident here with the possible exception of one other that will pull in views in 2013.
For those who continue to do well here, I give kudos to and say "keep up the great work."
Before someone hops in and asks about keywords and such...remember, these hubs were proven hubs with few exceptions, of drawing in decent traffic until "something" changed. Was it Google? I am doubtful as my other sites do NOT verify the same trend. Same types of material and all are there as well.
At this time, over the past few days, I now have an additional 7 idle hubs. In the past I had around 5 or 6 that I did minor edits to and they popped back up as active after that wait of 24 hours or so. Now, if Google happened to visit my sub-domain at the time those were idle, well, Google saw the noindex tag on it, and basically that killed the hub from Google hits. As for the seven, they will sit. I will not edit them. There were good to go in the past and I will just let Google de-index them.
Now, if I am missing something in this picture, please point it out in a sensible manner. Proof of some upcoming positive change would be nice for a change. Speculation, hopes and guesses? Well, I just don't have a whole lot of faith in that when it comes to online business.
Here's my take on the matter
Idled hubs or Pending Hubs have the NOINDEX tag.
=> If you choose the option of NOT displaying links to hubs with the NOINDEX tag, the googlebot won't find them unless you link to them in some other way. The implied penalty imposed by Google for having such links will not apply.
=> If you choose the option of displaying links to hubs with the NOINDEX tag the googebot will crawl them every time it visits your profile. They will NOT be indexed and the implied penalty will apply. It may be a lot harder to awaken them
=> The simple take home message is Don't have any Idle hubs - delete them or modify them to awaken them. Choose the option of not having any links on your profile to hubs with NOINDEX Tags. If you publish a new hub, don't advertise the page on social media etc. , until it becomes 'featured' and will be added to your profile. If a hub is made ZZZ edit it as fast as you can (or delete it) so the Googlebot has less chance of seeing the 'NOINDEX' TAG.
Keep your SUB awake - no sleeping allowed!
PS submitting new hubs to webmasters tools to get them indexed - works for me once featured. Also submitting to social media immediately during the 'pending' period does not seem to harm things - if you submit to webmasters tools as soon as they are 'featured' => indexed within 2 days once featured.
Pearldiver's hubs are amazing. So much detail is put into them. I really hope someone from staff can assist him.
I have to say, this thread is not sounding too inspiring to publish new content. Is anyone publishing on a regular basis who is not suffering from idle hubs? I guess I don't understand idling new hubs from established writers on the site.
I've had the Grim Reaper visit me regularly - about 40 hubs ( of 625 ) => ZZZ - deleted 10 as they were 'no hopers' - the rest I edited by adding an extra image ( large one near the top which I Pinintered), some extra text, etc (5 minutes work). All got the Prince's kiss and awakened. I've has 5 waves of ZZZ, some 2011 subs related to traffic less than 1 hit every 2 days, the rest (published in 2012) appeared to be triggered by links to my external sites. Some of these were only published in March-July 2012 - but all were awakened with a KISS.
My approach is to edit them as soon as they pop up and have NO IDLE HUBS in the SUB (no slackers here).
That is hardly any time to gain traffic. It takes time for hubs to get noticed and start receiving 'airplay'. I haven't published for a few months and have made it through the P & P updates, etc., without drastic traffic swings, only have had two ZZ's which quickly came back to life. But I'm concerned with some of what I've read here. I can understand ZZing hubs which truly need help, but I don't understand ZZing brand new hubs from established hubbers and ZZing them only after a few months. Is it really helping the site overall?
Agreed -- HP has a war on against links at the moment - links in Profile removed, links to idle hubs removed. Their 'Grim Reaper' algo seems to pick up any page that sniffs of being a 'links' page - created solely to get links for external sites. Its a very blunt, dumb test and simple picks on pages with external links - Of course that is pure guesswork as they don't tell you why a hub was ZZZ after 2 months????
After the idle hub program was introduced, I published 2 more hubs. One of them was for weekly topic inspiration. None of them is indexed by google. Both have been in idle stage when they were first published for about 24 hours.
2 days ago I published another one, a kind of joke, my only poem, with only 2 tags no keywords and it was indexed right away.
I think the idle status of a new hub may have stopped google for crawling the page the next time it came around as well. Or maybe it was not indexed because, with the weekly topic inspiration, there we too many hubs on the same theme and it found another one more relevant?
It looks odd that these 2 hubs have been in the same boat at the same time.
I thought I'd add a little more color on why we think it's best to not link to idle Hubs. Since we moved to subdomains, each profile page is viewed as the sites homepage. For the vast majority, this page has the most seo importance for linking.
A simple way to think about how "link juice" spreads through a site is to take the "total link juice" and divide it by the number of links on the page. By reducing the number of links that effectively increases the link juice per link.
Before we make SEO changes like this, I try and get two or three expert opinions. In this case, they all agreed that this is a good change. Therefore, we don't recommend changing the setting to display idle Hubs on your profile, but you can if you prefer.
But isn't the point beyond simply reducing the number of links. Isn't linking to pages with 'NOINDEX" tags bad, because it sends the bot onto wild-goose chases every time it visits?
If we have large subs, and having a large number of links is bad, then maybe the number of links should be limited to less than 100. Please be more definitive on this.
This seems like a good starting explanation. I'd like to learn more about how to estimate these kinds of things but I don't know where to really start. For instance, how many views does it require before a link adds or takes away value on our Google rank?
Paul, I set mine to allow the idled hubs to show, because my traffic returned in the same week Google crawled my account after the change was made, and each day, more and more of my idle hubs are getting sent Google traffic, some for the first time ever.
It may only be one or two views, but I am then editing those hubs to take them out of idle mode, with the belief that within a month I should have a clear picture of the hubs Google doesn't want to send traffic to, which can then either get a major makeover or unpublication.
I have a feeling that not allowing them to show on the profile will ultimately be a good thing, especially for newly published hubs that at the moment are suffering from the early visit of the Googlebot that then fails to return for ages after seeing the NOINDEX tag.
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