What do you do to a marginal hub that may go idle?

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  1. brakel2 profile image75
    brakel2posted 10 years ago

    If a hub's views decrease, it may go idle. Instead of working on new hubs, I have been taking an article at a time, and changing title, narrowing the topic, adding new information, working on the keywords, finding new examples, changing photos, adding photos. I am amazed at my older hubs that have no visible photo at top or such a large photo that no text shows. As times change, staff instructions and advice changes. I often wonder "Why did I do that? or Why did I say that? I even laugh at myself. Do you find a benefit in revisiting your hubs?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image88
      Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree that if you haven't looked at your early Hubs for a long time, it's well worth revisiting.   We learn so much as we write, that there are bound to be things we can improve when we look back.   I know I revised some of mine several times over the first year or two.

      Now, not.   I don't see any point in revising Hubs because theymight go into idle.  Time enough to worry about it if they do - you'll usually have a few days to fix a Hub before Google notices the idle status.  Besides, low traffic often has far more to do with the topic than the quality of the Hub:  maybe you just wrote about something no one is searching for, and if that's the case, no amount of revising will make a ha'porth of difference.

  2. Simone Smith profile image89
    Simone Smithposted 10 years ago

    We definitely find a benefit in updating already-published Hubs!

    We recommend doing these things: http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/Upda … se-traffic

    This reminds me... I reeeeally need to do this more myself. I'm glad you brought this up!

    1. brakel2 profile image75
      brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thank  you Simone. I sure will take a look at the learning center. I hope I am making helpful updates to my older hubs.  You are a gem.

  3. WannaB Writer profile image89
    WannaB Writerposted 10 years ago

    I find some hubs are easier to rework than others. Right now I'm trying to see how I can turn three hubs on the same them into one. Some that I wrote as answers to questions have a low survival rate. I've expanded on some of these and republished them, but others it's really hard to rework because they really are, I believe, complete. I'm trying to decide if I need to find a new home for them and as I decide what to do with them, they are simmering. Some still get visits and have higher scores than some featured hubs. I can't understand why they can't just automatically get featured again when traffic picks up.  Squidoo lenses that fall back into works in progress fall in and out as traffic ebbs and flows.

    1. brakel2 profile image75
      brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I have a few hubs as answers to questions. One is doing fairly well. It sounds like Squidoo has a good idea. I signed up for that site but have not written for it yet. I wish our idle system was a little different, as you say. It is good to hear  how others rework hubs.You have good ideas. Thanks.

  4. A Driveby Quipper profile image58
    A Driveby Quipperposted 10 years ago


  5. brakel2 profile image75
    brakel2posted 10 years ago

    I just know that I enjoy revisiting my older hubs as a learning experience. It is like taking a writing class and making improvement on an article. I took a class once where we had to write 1000 words and then rework it to 500 words. These things are challenges for me. The idle thing is a minor part of this challenge with my older hubs. Thanks for the comments. Marissa, I know you always make sense. You are probably right about people not being interested in some of my topics. Sometimes my articles aren't narrow enough, and I need to work on SEO and find topics that a lot of people are searching for compared to results.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image88
      Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      It sounds like you're still in that phase where you're still learning new things, in which case going back and improving your older Hubs makes a lot of sense.   I did that frequently in my first couple of years.

      I've noticed you saying your articles aren't "narrow enough" and I'm curious what you mean by that?  Can you give some examples?

      1. brakel2 profile image75
        brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Finding good dentist, rebuilding after hailstorm,  I think I should not select too broad a topic. I have had some success with broad topics like public speaking, and health topics so I feel if it is good enough, it may work. It is taking a chance. Some hubs I wrote because I wanted to, knowing they might not fly. I guess we all do that sometimes.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image88
          Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Both those topics sound absolutely fine.  If you try typing "how to find a good dentist" into Google, you'll see it auto-completes, which means people are definitely looking for it.  It's more likely your title that's the problem - not many people are typing in "find a good dentist you can trust". 

          As for the hailstorm - I think the problem with that is that it's too specific, not too broad.   Google auto-completes "how to rebuild after a storm" but doesn't have any suggestions for "how to rebuild after a hailstorm".  Again, your title may be a problem - who's likely to be typing in "hailstorm: recover and rebuild"?

          I can see the same problem with many of your titles.  They are very important!  Try to word your titles using phrases that people actually use to search for something. 

          For instance, "Did Aspartame cause Michael Fox's Parkinsons?" would be better than your current version. 

          "Kidnapping story - advice for parents" - do you think anyone is searching for that?  I haven't researched, but I'd guess you'd be better with something like "How to safeguard your children from kidnapping - a cautionary tale" or "How to protect kids from child abduction".

          1. brakel2 profile image75
            brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Thank you Marisa. I do appreciate your help. I understand what you are saying. Titles are so important, and if you pick one that doesn't pull in the traffic, you are out of luck. Your expertise is invaluable. Thank you for reading one of my hubs.

  6. Saloca profile image91
    Salocaposted 10 years ago

    I've been doing a lot of this lately as I've come to understand more about SEO and it's slowly bringing traffic back to my older hubs! When I'm struggling to come up with a new hub title this is when I tend to go over my old ones, so at least I'm always 'working' so to speak lol!

    1. brakel2 profile image75
      brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      @Saloca  I have 2 books on SEO, and I have read several good hubs. In the long run, it should be helpful. I use the Google tool, but I still find it difficult. I began writing for fun but now am serious about making money. I am glad your older hubs are doing better. It is interesting to look at the older hubs, as we have learned since that time. Thanks for your comment.

  7. drmiddlebrook profile image94
    drmiddlebrookposted 10 years ago

    One thing I do is, after taking a look at the idling Hub, I look at my Hubs that are doing well, especially those that are never idle. Then, usually after doing an SEO search, I try to figure out if there's something I can change about the idle one to make it more like the ones that never idle. Doing this has helped me with some Hubs, not so much with others.

    1. brakel2 profile image75
      brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      That is an interesting approach. If it helps with some, it is worth the effort. Idled hubs seem to lose traffic before going idle.. My lowest scoring hub went idle. It wasn't worth my fixing, as it wasn't a successful topic. Thanks for the idea.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image88
        Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        There are only two reasons a Hub can go idle. One is if it goes through the Quality Approval Process and fails.  The other is lack of traffic.

          A Hub goes through the QAP:

        1.  When it's first published
        2.  If you edit it (even a minor edit)
        3.  If it gets picked up in a random sample.

        Which means that an existing Hub, which you haven't edited, is very unlikely to be idled due to the QAP.    So when you say "Idled Hubs seem to lose traffic before going idle", you're just observing cause and effect.  The loss of traffic leads to its being idled.

        By the way, it's worth bearing in mind that if you edit a Featured Hub, it will go through the QAP - so there's always a risk it might fail and drop into idle.   So editing without a good reason is perhaps not a good idea.

        1. brakel2 profile image75
          brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I thought in the beginning that quality meant something in the idle process per staff.  However, some hubbers have talked about their best articles going idle, so I guess that does not hold true. Why would a featured hub go through the QAP process if you edit it?  Did I miss something?i

          1. Marisa Wright profile image88
            Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            There have been several threads where staff have discussed this in more detail.   If you have an existing Hub which goes idle, and you did not edit it, you can be 90% sure it has nothing to do with quality.  It's based on "reader engagement", which Derek has confirmed means the amount of traffic it's getting.

            I can only assume that because an edit can be quite dramatic, HubPages has decided to put all edited Hubs through the process.

            1. ComfortB profile image87
              ComfortBposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              So, you're saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Right?

              1. drmiddlebrook profile image94
                drmiddlebrookposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                You don't have to edit (or re-edit), but you must do something to change it in some way, to get it off of "idle," right?

                1. brakel2 profile image75
                  brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  You have to do something to make it better by changing content, adding  or changing pictures, adding a poll. Do anything that might get more traffic. I unpublished mine, because it needed too much work to make it more searchable. It was a very early hub and not a very good one.

                2. Marisa Wright profile image88
                  Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  The only way you can change a Hub is to go into edit mode and edit it.

                  1. drmiddlebrook profile image94
                    drmiddlebrookposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                    Let me clarify. I know you have to go into "edit" mode to change anything, but I meant that you don't have to actually edit or revise the article. You can make a simple change, such as rewriting or rearranging words in your headline. Sometimes, I make the smallest changes, to see if traffic picks back up as a result. Making small changes, one at a time, instead of doing a lot of editing, gives me a better idea about what might have been the problem. If I do too many things at once, I'm not sure which change made the difference, and frankly, I'd like to know.

  8. janshares profile image94
    jansharesposted 10 years ago

    Brakel2, I employed some of the same things you tried to update your hubs and it definitely helped. I "re-revived" one hub that went idle twice and it's doing well after taking out web images and adding my own, adding more text, and marketing it via email, twitter, and fb. I revived another by taking out web images and adding my own and changing some text. I also changed the summaries and titles. I did the same to other low traffic hubs including changing poll and rating capsules that didn't make sense. It is so true how you learn as you go. I still have a lot of work to do.

    1. brakel2 profile image75
      brakel2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I am glad updating your hubs helped. I know the ones I updated needed help. I have mostly changed photos, added summaries at end and corrected spelling errors, and organized. They look nicer. Keep up the good work.

  9. rfmoran profile image72
    rfmoranposted 10 years ago

    Every time I revisit one of my earlier hubs I find myself saying "what was I thinking." Revising oldies is a very worthwhile task. You will be amazed how it brings snoozers back to life.


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