HP obviously wants writers to commit themselves to writing more hubs. This is shown by the list of recent blog topics:
How to Stick to Your Hubbing Goals
How to Bounce Back When Sticking to Goals Gets Tough
Five Goal Breakdown Scenarios
How Editorial Calendars Help You Meet Your Writing Goals
Share Your Goals With Us!
Great! But I suggest that HP needs to stop the secrecy and come clean on its scoring system and provide reasons why hubs are idled. Authors need to know how their hubs rate (QAP), why hubs have been idled, and what should be done to fix them (general stuff). If authors had access to the QAP scores they could actually see which things they did to improve their scores worked - Imagine That! Here are my suggestions for HP resolutions - as a member of the writer's community:
=> Change the hubscore to [ QAP (70%) + Traffic (20%) + Popularity (10%)] (or a similar transparent metric that rates the value of the hub)
=> Announce the minimum traffic criteria to stay featured ( average 15 hits per month over last 3 months or whatever)
=> Announce minimum QAP score to be featured (40%?)
=> Make the formulae used for ranking in the topics transparent (revised hubscore?)
=> Provide feedback for each hub that is idled on suggested improvements ( add more images, fix typos, add extra text, improve layout etc.)
=> Announce HP's goals for 2013 (?)
=> Provide and 'Alert Banner' on the 'feed' page on current issues to keep the community better informed on major site problems and when they will be fixed - to avoid confusion, multiple threads, etc.
HP wants to improve the quality of pages on HP, wants writers to commit themselves to writing targets - surely removing the veil of secrecy is needed in 2013. Tell it Like it Is.
I would disagree; the purpose of HP is to get traffic and earnings, not to provide lots of hubs that "survive" because someone is gaming the system.
Rather than publish how a worthless hub score is found, just do away with it.
Publish a traffic number that will result in a hub being featured and you will find hubbers asking their friends to visit the hub, just enough to remain featured. That isn't the purpose.
Providing feedback on idled hubs means that some person will have to check every one and suggest changes. They don't have the staff for that and when they're wrong, and the changes don't provide additional traffic, people will scream to high heaven.
Assume that HP's goals are to earn more next year than they did this year.
I would be interested in discovering what you understand to be 'gaming the system'
If the QAP is low and the author does some things to improve it - what's wrong with that?
If the traffic is low and the author does some interlinking, tweaks the title, tries to get some backlinks, pins, etc., to get more traffic. What's wrong with that?
An idled hub is a dead hub - gets no external traffic no earnings
A revived hub is a winner for the author and HP => traffic => earnings What's wrong with that?
If an author wants to write a moderate quality hub (not stellar) and gets traffic and earnings - What's wrong with that?
No, an idled hub is an already dead one that has now been buried.
"Gaming the system" - suppose HP said that less than 15 views/month and a hub would be idled. Will hubbers, noting a hub that has only 17 views this month, re-write it, add some capsules or a video and try to make it into a traffic producer or will they make a quick couple of visits to it themselves to make sure it doesn't hit the magic 15 view/month limit? That won't produce future traffic, will leave it in the exact position it was, just pass the HP requirements to be featured. That's hardly the point of idling hubs.
I confess I don't understand that problem with idled hubs. I've only had a handful, but not one of them was getting even 10 views/month. I earned what, less than a nickel per month from them? Maybe a dime total?
Those hubs weren't getting traffic anyway, so taking them off of the search engine hasn't affected them at all. They are just as accessible as ever, given that a link is provided from somewhere else. Searchers weren't finding them, so making them invisible hasn't changed that aspect, either.
Yes, new and seasonal hubs need a different algorithm/requirements, but that has been done. It needs a little work, I think - I had one hub idled that was less than 2 months old and that's too quick. Other than that, though, we already know that when a hub is getting very few monthly views it needs help, and we don't need HP to tell us that.
What's wrong with moderate quality hubs with moderate quality? Nothing I can see, but moderate traffic hubs are not being idled, at least in my experience. Very low traffic hubs are.
HP already provides server space for hubs that will never see any real traffic - poetry is a good example. I don't know what it costs HP to do that in terms of server space or maintenance but it isn't free. Should we ask for still more space to keep hubs that were expected to earn but aren't? Hubs that no one ever sees? Either fix them (if they're fixable) or throw them away! They're useless as income producers.
"Providing feedback on idled hubs means that some person will have to check every one and suggest changes. They don't have the staff for that"
This could be done automatically using software as the hub hopper has scores for
=> Grammar and Mechanics
Feed back on which of these fell short would help.
Plus an algo could provide feedback on other data for the hub =>
number of capsules, number of words, number of images, diversity of capsules, title length, title is search engine friendly or not.
Possible, maybe, but I would think that it would be extremely difficult to make an algorithm that could give advice on raising traffic. Meeting specific goals set by HP, sure, but that might or might not solve the traffic problem.
HP already has 'title tuner' which makes suggestions for extra keywords - so it could use that I guess. But, even with heaps of research there is uncertainty for traffic.
There sure is! Which is a part of why I would oppose asking HP to give specific suggestions for that very thing. I can't imagine the hue and cry when that hub, modified per HP's suggestions went idle again as they didn't work.
Your best bet for that kind of thing is analytics, where you can see all the search terms sent your way.
But isn't getting traffic and earnings promoted by getting a higher hubscore? I mean, at the end of the day, I find myself trying to be more active within the community just to improve my hubscore, as a personal goal and because I want readers to see that my hubs are worth while to read. I think that striving for quality hubs will allow more traffic. If you have less idle hubs yet a huge array of different genres that are active, then it increases your likelihood of getting traffic as it will appeal to more people.
No, traffic and earnings are definitely NOT promoted by getting a higher hub score. There is a probably a correlation but it is tenuous at best. I've seen too many hubs with virtually no traffic at the top of my score list to believe otherwise.
A higher hubber score (the one on your avatar) will get you more views from newbies trying to find the best hubbers, but that's it. I see that, too - every time I hit 100 I get some more followers, and many probably read a hub or two. The actual increase in traffic is miniscule compared to organic traffic, though.
Worry about hubs scores below 40 and a hubber score below 75, but outside of that forget about both of them. They are good only to confuse yourself with.
This I agree with. Especially to the end of avoiding multiple forum threads. We all know that few read background on a topic before putting out a new thread or even posting on an existing thread where the point of the new thread/post has already been covered or beaten to death.
Actually, I don't care whether there's an Alert Banner, because I don't spend a lot of time here. But many do invest significant time and effort in this site, perhaps more than HP realizes. For those who are that active--and committed--an Alert Banner would save a lot of time, alleviate frustration, and also be an acknowledgment on HP's part of the value they place on Hubbers' contributions (translate: dollars).
Writing a hub takes a lot of time and effort that you don't want to see wasted.
Your hub gets idled
You don't know why - you can only guess - Traffic? Quality? Typos? Links? etc.
You make a several stabs in the dark
It gets reviewed and featured again
What have you learnt? Nothing much as you don't know why it was rejected, nor what worked to fix it. You don't know if it will get rejected and idled again. So edits are minimal till you see how it goes.
How do you know what will work for your next hub? You don't - No feedback.
If its idled due to low traffic you can do more research and tweak the title, get some links etc., but that is in the lap of big G. Its a lot more work. Worth it?
As far as I can see, most long-term hubbers with idled hubs are moving them elsewhere.
Is there any point of leaving them here, when their fate will ultimately depend on a so-called "quality assessment" by bottom-of-the-heap US or Asian citizens, who lack the educational qualifications/intelligence/skills to get real work at proper rates of pay and thus end up evaluating hubs at 5 cents a throw on MTurk?
I cannot imagine these people are capable of assessing hubs dealing with non-US political/cultural issues, detailed treatments of the scientific/academic literature or anything else that requires independent thought and intelligence.
I am doing that or simply retiring them to a personal file for some kind of future use. It's not worth my effort to put work into modifying them if I can only guess what might keep them featured.
"Let's be brutal about the matter. Would someone with the qualities enabling success in life sign up with a site that pays 5 cents for a job that requires more than a couple of seconds?" Did you know that there are some very good Hubpage authors who are on Mturk - with bonuses it apparently makes it worth your while. Personally I don't have the time to do it, but if I had the time I'd join Mturk and contribute to the process -it's not about he money for me but about improving overall quality.
The QAP takes into account all Hubhopping not just Mturk so if we want to truly negate the so-called poor quality Mturk reviews then we ALL need to Hub Hop and provide HP with the quality assessments they need. If we all had done this in the first place then there would be no need to outsource this.
"bottom-of-the-heap US or Asian citizens, who lack the educational qualifications/intelligence/skills to get real work at proper rates of pay" I also think this statement is way off the mark - just like the UK there are millions of very well educated people out of work who are trying to make ends meet - if this means they have to earn a pittance on Mturk or any other sites then good for them - at least they are trying. The problem is that well educated unemployed who once had $100k jobs will not be hired for $8 an hour - not because they don't want to, but because the company hiring them knows that once the economy picks up these people will leave for better jobs...
Well, when I sell my proofreading/editing services by the hour, it is for a minimum of $40/hour. I cannot imagine a bonus on a job valued at five cents being worth opening a web page to find out what the bonuses entail.
Why should I bother to do this as an act of charity? If HP offers me $40/hour, which is my minimum rate, I may consider it. Otherwise, if the MTurk debris decide to trash my content, I have many other places to which it can be transferred.
If the dregs of society are happy with this, fine. I have not noticed a dearth of opportunities for earning a living wage. These are, however, only open to people who have something valuable to offer. "Well-educated" is a loose term.
There are many quasi-universities in existence today, offering so-called degrees for work that would previously not have passed basic school examinations. It was fairer before. Vocational colleges provided low-level qualifications for low-level work. Nowadays, everyone is a university graduate. Unfortunately, many "graduates" cannot spell, let alone put together a very basic document.
Is it any wonder that employers, who value intelligence, just laugh and bin the CVs of these inadequates?
"Well, when I sell my proofreading/editing services by the hour, it is for a minimum of $40/hour." Why are you on Hubpages? You cannot get $40 an hour - you should simply proofread and forget about HP.
"Why should I bother to do this as an act of charity" You are writing on this site, why wouldn't you want to help to improve quality?
"If the dregs of society are happy with this, fine" Seriously? You think the people who were earning $100k+ in top executive jobs are the dregs of society? You think every one of the 10 million+ unemployed are simply stupid?
At times, it pleases me to write about diverse subjects. I see this as a welcome break from paid work. My translation/editing activities bring in a minimum of $150 per day on the days I choose to do this activity. However, it is fun to take a day off, play games, write a piece or two....
I am not accusing any hub authors of gaming the system in my posting. While I do not doubt that some people do try to publish on HP and game the system, that, is not the issue here.
You spoke of idled hubs. I am merely putting forward the viewpoint that if the fate of idled hubs ultimately hangs on a "quality assessment" made by MTurk debris, it is hardly surprising that many hub authors choose instead to move their content to a site of their own or another shared revenue site, where the material is not under threat of being discarded by deadbeats with no skills, intelligence or experience.
Let's be brutal about the matter. Would someone with the qualities enabling success in life sign up with a site that pays 5 cents for a job that requires more than a couple of seconds?
Has anyone yet made substantial changes to a hub and still had it turned down for being featured? I haven't heard of that happening, which would mean that the workers at MTurk are either doing their job or are not involved in getting a hub re-featured.
I have heard of some hubs that have improved greatly by moving them, but that's not HP; it's google. Those hubs never performed here; they do on another site and that can only come from google. Maybe big G had downgraded a subdomain for non-producers and it cost that hub it's traffic.
"Has anyone yet made substantial changes to a hub and still had it turned down for being featured?"
The one's with low traffic come back to haunt you, but often they have high quality anyway. I think that there are other 'hidden factors' at play - like links. I had a couple of ancient hubs with typos I missed, that recovered OK. I have had hubs idled that are two months old (not traffic), idled for no rhyme or reason. The 're-feature if you change a few minor things' is not very instructive or helpful for learning what to do.
Quite honestly, the fact my work is being judged by inadequates who are happy to accept five cents a piece is both insulting and laughable.
I do not write material to satisfy the needs of the bottom-feeders of US and Indian society. If these subhumans downgrade my work, I truly do not care. There are many other places to which I can transfer my content.
by Nathan Bernardo 8 years ago
How many times do you edit an idled Hub before deleting it? Or do you keep it idled so that links to it are still good? Also, for what reasons do you either leave it idled or delete it or still try to fix it? I have one Hub which I've edited a few times, and this last time after I edited it, it...
by Steve Andrews 8 years ago
I keep on getting hubs idled despite tweaking them, changing titles and adding better keywords. I have got used to moving them to other sites such as Wizzley, Xobba and InfoBarrel but it seems to be an ongoing problem. If I keep on moving my idled hubs eventually I will hardly have any left!
by Cindy Lawson 8 years ago
How is it that a hub on the 'common mistakes new hubbers make' can suddenly become not featured, in spite of the fact it has had 9 views in a day, 24 views in 7 days and 35 views in the last 30 days? I only replied to comments on it both 42 hours ago and 22 hours ago (from two different hubbers)....
by Shasta Matova 8 years ago
I know that you can choose to display your idle hubs on your profile page, but I don't, because I don't want Google to see them at all and get confused by all those "do not follow." What this means is that my idle hubs are not available for anyone to see, and I have to actively...
by Kate Swanson 8 years ago
I'd like to suggest that "normal" Hubs should have an exclamation mark next to them on our account page.I think there's a very high risk that new Hubbers will misunderstand the normal/Featured system. I've already answered one enquiry from a Hubber who has misunderstood it.He...
by Dale Hyde 8 years ago
Right at one third of my hubs have been idled over recent months here on HubPages. As I look at the numbers and reflect upon the time spent creating this unique material, I am sadly disappointed. It is unpleasant to look into the future with so many people having this same problem and...
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