I've been following the thread re: problems with the unfairness of idling hubs for low traffic. I went to FAQ and LC to find what criteria determines one getting idled. I couldn't find anything. I know it's obviously about low traffic but what is the measure?
1. Low traffic or no traffic for 30 consecutive days?
2. No traffic for 2 months straight?
3. Is there a particular "low traffic" time-frame before a hub is condisered for idle status?
4. Is the criteria the same across the board for all hubbers?
5. Is idle status considered before or after a hub gets de-indexed by Google?
6. Is there other criteria that have nothing to do with traffic?
7. Is the decision somewhat subjective?
8. Is the decision made with the help of a Mechanical Turk or algorithm tool?
If idling is a reality that won't be changing anytime soon, it may help hubbers to know the criteria so they can start preparing or doing some prelim edits to prevent idling, if possible. I also understand that idling can be helpful for keeping hubbers on their toes for improving the quality of their hubs. It has helped me improve a couple of my own. But this is not the question.
Please use corresponding numbers to answer specific questions. Thank you.
As we've outlined in our Learning Center entry (http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/Featured-Hubs), Hubs may not be featured for two primary reasons: engagement (which factors in search traffic) and quality (which factors in
We don't give specific numbers and figures about quality and engagement because
1. We're still fine tuning them
2. It can vary depending from Hubber to Hubber (depending on the status of the Hub- is it brand new? Is it very highly rated? Was it Featured right after being published?)
That said, Hubs that lose their Featured status due to engagement typically lose it because they barely have a heartbeat (we're talking around a couple of search traffic views over a period around two months). So I want to make it clear that the bar is very low.
A Hub that is no longer Featured (we dropped the word Idle as it no longer describes the state accurately) can lead Google to de-index the Hub once it crawls it and sees a "noindex" tab (only Featured Hubs have index tags).
The decision is only subjective in that human quality ratings are factored in, but we have many controls in place to control biased users. Yes, ratings through those using the Hopper via Mechanical Turk make a big difference.
I hope that helps to clear things up!
Good Morning, Simone. Yes, it does clear it up, very much so. You've addressed all of the main points, 1 through 8. Thanks a bunch for your prompt reply. You've also confirmed for me which of my hubs are "at risk" of losing 'Featured Status.' Yikes!!!!
Great to know but, what is "the Hopper"? (Oh dear, have I been living under a rock?)
Hi tillsontitan, go to your hubpages feed page and look under "start a new hub." It's there for all of us to participate in the Quality Assessment Program to evalute new hubs.
Thanks Jan. Here I am in the Apprentice Program and I don't even know what I'm talking about right here on HP. So, with a bright red face I ask, is this the hub hopping experience you are talking about? I do know about that and have signed up for it. Again, thank you.
Simone: Well put! I will add that instead of complaining, writers ought to view their hubs as their gardens. They should constantly be tweaking them and improving wherever they see a need. The Stats page is a great place for analyzing how well a hub is doing. When those "zeros" start to appear, it's time to get out the fertilizer!
We are up to our knees in "fertilizer" already!
No way is this scheme going to rope me into doing any more. Views are terrible here for other reasons.
True dat! Anyone at all observed any increase in traffic from Google since they began this questionable idle thing? Mine seems to have gotten even worse! It sure doesn't encourage me to keep fooling with it. Perhaps in a year or so it may get better if HP is still in business by that time. Patience!
From around 750-800 in last Sept. to around 1700 lately. Hubs written since Sept. account for 64 of those increased daily views (today), and I suspect that the work on getting stolen material removed has helped some, too.
Incidentally, Randy, I knew that you have in the past written some of the same kind of "how to" hubs that I like, and that "Dan Gordon" seemed partial to. I looked at a few of your RV hubs and found more than a few copies out there, including some by my favorite thief, Mr. Gordon. He hasn't limited his activities to me; you might want to take a look.
*edit* I see that as usual the graph axis are not clear; it starts in Aug and goes to current.
Perhaps you are correct, Wilderness. But I can't find any using a snippet of text and quotation marks as a way to find them, nor the name "Dan Gordon."
That's what I did - a bit of text in a google search. But "Dan Gordon" I only found by using "whois" and he only had a couple of the half dozen I looked at.
Now that's interesting. Google shows copies (one with two pages worth) but I can't visit any of them. Including some that, from the title and domain, look like Gordon's. Search for "If the hole is more than an inch in diameter it may be best to cover it with a small piece of aluminum sheeting. ", including the quotes; I'm seeing 9 copies (if I click the "see more), with you at the very bottom. One of them is ht tp://googlemaps.gogreenprofits.com/category/cape-canaveral/ which looks very much like a dan gordon site, but I can't find the text on it. Something else Gordon seems to have a lot of; google says it's there, I can't find it. Almost like he keeps switching things around.
And got it - the cached version has your hub in it, and whois says it's gordons.
Yes, I tried that link but I couldn't find it. There were four pages of some listed but when I check them out they are either in Russian or some other language or just contain links back to my hub. I didn't see where you found that one with the page being cached, though.
Yep, I found it! Filed a DMCA against him. Now to see if it helped on this one.
Look in the cached version of:
With the search results on the screen, I mouse over the faint double arrows at the right of each result; that pops up a preview (if there is one) with the term "cached" at the top. Then I click that "cached" to see the cached version of the site.
Your hub is halfway down the page, buried in other text. Cntrl F (in FF) lets you input the text snippet and will then find it on the page.
Thanks, Wilderness. I had already seen this site when I looked at other Hubs but could find no text. I'll try what you suggested.
That's been a problem for me. Google reports a copy, but I can't find it, and it happens a lot. All I can think of is that he's switching things all over the place. He's using our stuff for SEO purposes, I think - just filler on the page, without caring what it actually says. If so, he could switch them around with no harm to himself at all, but G will still see the duplicate and nick us for it.
Randy, I missed your post that you had filed. Who did you file with?
I've chosen to file all the DMCA's against gordon with the host in the hopes they'll get tired of it and just shut the domain down. Maybe even more than one; he often has multiple domains with the same host. At least one of them was purchased from the Mirage in Vegas; he probably isn't paying hardly anything for the hosting service and it might bother them to shut him down as a result.
There was a DMCA contact icon on the Wordpress site he is using and I used it. I suppose they will look into it as they sent me an email concerning it. Worth a try!
Absolutely it's worth a try. I suppose I'm getting a little buggy about this guy, but I don't just want him taking down what he's stolen from me; I want him gone, period. And that means enlisting any help I can get - the host of his domains seems like a good place to start. Not google - they aren't going to do anything.
Yeah, I can actually report that my traffic is three times higher than it was 12 months ago and twice as high as it was four months ago. I don't know if my current traffic can hold but it's a good trend.
This is interesting Simone, as I just had a problem that does not fit the description of what you just said. A few months back I wrote a hub about paying off credit cards that was approved for publication. However, I was told every time I make a change in the hub, it would be idled. I thought this meant within the text, but when I changed out a photo, off it went again. I asked for and received permission to republish it. Then, last week, I linked two other articles to it. Off it went again. I wrote the team and was told the Hub was re published. However, the blank spot still appeared. I was told several times it had been published...until yesterday when I was told it had been dropped due to "low ratings"! Since this hub was doing fairly well, I became pretty upset...first because I got two different stories from the team, second because low ratings could not possibly have been the problem because this hub was getting 25 views per month, which seems adequate according to what you've described here.
I have removed the main content of the hub and replaced it with something more "suitable", but I cannot understand why I received mixed messages and why, if you really didn't want this kind of hub, you let me publish it in the first place. Furthermore, I have checked and there are other hubs on this topic that remain featured. Can you see my concerns? I won't die because the hub was unpublished, but the mixed messages I've received about this particular situation are upsetting. Coincidentally, my hubber score immediately dropped from 97 to 94 right after I complained to the team. Would you please comment on this situation?
Actually, if you're referring to the reference made in Question #8, that is something different from the hub hopper. I think that's what you have to volunteer/sign-up for, which is probably what you did. I have never applied to become a mechanical turk.
Okay Jan, now I'm more confused than ever. I do hop hubs and I've seen my hubs hopped (this is starting to turn into a tongue twister) but I don't know what "the Hopper" is then.
I hope I'm giving you correct info. Maybe someone else will chime in. I recall getting an email/newsletter about becoming a hub evaluator but now I can't find it. I thought that's what you were talking about. The "hopper" is the tool we all have access to on our pages. I believe that our input is used in the QAP, which also includes other measures (hp staff, "gold panel," mechanical turks, etc.).
I think that you should have taken them up on the offer to become an evaluator over at MTurk. I honestly think more Hubbers should.
Firstly it would be a paid way for hubbers to be proactive in the speed of getting things through.
Secondly it might put everyone's minds at ease on just how exacting the HP standards for MTurk workers are. To be honest they are pretty brutal. Exceptionally brutal as a matter of fact.
Do you remember when the email went out? I think I deleted it because I know I don't have time to add one more thing to my plate. Maybe I'll consider it at another time . . . if the request goes out again. Thanks for your reply.
I find that my creative work (fiction and poetry) ends up "idle" and there's little to do to fix that. I'm considering moving them to another venue.
That may be a good idea, suziecat, depending on what works for you. It has happened to me as well with poems. I've been able to revive them by tweaking a word, shiftng, deleting, or adding new images, changing the title of the hub (not the title of the poem), or adding a lead-in (new content) to extend the length of the hub. I understand that we want to maintain creative integrity of our pieces so it's a decision that each writer has to weigh.
Thanks, Jan. I'm going to see what I can do.
You will find that even a minor edit will bring a Hub out of idle for a while - but if it fails to get traffic again, it will go into idle again.
Remember that, as Simone said, if an existing Hub stops being Featured it does NOT mean there's anything wrong with its quality. Existing Hubs are idled because of "reader engagement" (which is jargon for traffic), not because they've been assessed by the MTurk raters.
So if you think adding to or changing the Hub could improve traffic, it's worth doing. If that seems unlikely, then it's probably best to move it elsewhere.
This thread was referred to in another thread about idled hubs (or un-featured, or whatever you want to call it).
The answers here are still vague and subjective - can we get any further clarification?
I can't remember where but I think it's all fairly clear now.
I posted the forum post below in another thread, and Simone confirmed that what I wrote was correct:
There is one strange addition to this.
Hub gets idled for low traffic => software quality and edit check is done in the background => hub is rejected for low quality => idled for low quality.
Also a small number of old hubs are being QAPed and these may fail to pass (these appear to have adequate traffic).
Personally I think that just muddies the waters, because from what I can gather, the number of existing Hubs put through that process is small and only for testing purposes. Hubs that are idled do not automatically go through the QAP. Only new and flagged Hubs do.
Hubs that get Idled, that are edited, are QAPed by the software version, and hubs can get Idled again for low quality. The water will get murkier and murkier as more old hubs are human QAPed.
Why are Hubbers like Ducks?
Because they say "QAP QAP QAP - QAP is CRqAP
That's my impression too - HP has said they do not have the resources to put all the old hubs through QAP.
Aside from the frustration long-time writers would feel at having a busy hub with good traffic go idle (with little or no guidance as to why), all Hubbers (unless in that mystery group that gets a free pass) have their work go through QAP, get it approved, or kicked back, and then later get many of them idled.
Since one can assume that Hubbers don't go in after QAP and sabotage the quality of their hubs, we should also assume the quality is still good enough for publication (more on that in a bit). So the reason for idling is low traffic. But hubs never get a chance to mature.
Regarding the 'standards' of quality - I just flagged an entire profile of a person on this site for three weeks (so all their work is new, and would have gone through QAP). There were several hubs - all of which had numerous spelling and punctuation issues. The person apparently never met an apostrophe in his life, and the writing style was very (very) inconsistent. The summaries were often in a different style than the content of the hubs. Big red flags. But all of that person's hubs were featured.
I think it's a very poor assumption that because something passes the QAP it is good enough quality to publish OR get traffic. HP as said that their standards are very low; I personally hope to see them tightened in the coming months. Nor is there any guarantee that HP's idea of quality will produce traffic or even a good SERP ranking.
HP is, however, coming to recognize that the traffic requirements for newer hubs are unrealistic. Traffic may be an indication of quality (and it is in the sense that google won't send traffic to a bad hub) but it is taking longer to rank than HP hoped for. Which is why that time period is being extended.
Lastly, I've seen hubbers complaining that a hub with good traffic goes idle, but without exception every single one that actually gives traffic numbers over a month as had very low traffic. I haven't seen anyone report an idle hub with more than a visit or two per day.
For a Fresh Idea that doesn't Quack see
I read your list, and those are good ideas. I think the bigger issues is poor writing, unless, of course, Google's entire system is illiterate. A hub can have multiple text capsules, a video, photos, etc., and be full of grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. Apparently, based on some recent examples we have documented here, it can also be stolen content.
As I mentioned earlier, the profile I flagged today had several hubs (the person had only been here three weeks or so). They were short, and had all the red flags of spun and stolen content. And they were full of errors.
As has been mentioned, bad hubs are still getting through the system. I have no idea why that person's work was approved and passed QAP - it was embarrassing to read. But - they're getting traffic (he says he's making money every day - not much, but making money).
For every good writer who starts new on the site, there must be dozens of bad ones. But we know the site can identify many writers who are producing good work and who are honest (they aren't stealing content or gaming the system). All I am asking is for the site to unclog the barriers for those writers. It would save money (they would not be paying MTurkers to review those hubs), improve traffic for the whole site, help in retention of good writers and avoid having good work idled before it matures.
Can you give me an example of a Hub getting good traffic that's been idled?
Like Wilderness, all the examples I've seen did NOT have good traffic. Their authors may have thought the numbers were good compared to their other Hubs, but I'm discovering that many Hubbers have very low traffic expectations.
What's your definition of good traffic - average hits per day = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 64 ????
As of March 1st, 2013, HP has
1,144,874 Published Hubs - lets say 1M indexed
Page Views per day is 1.1M
So the overall average for the site is 1 hit per hub per day.
If you say good traffic is 3 per day - that is 3 times higher than the average.
Squidoo Has about 500k of Indexed pages and its W system restricts the number to that. Squidoo gets 1M pages views per day - so their average is 2 hits per day.
So what is a good traffic score??
That sounds too simplistic to me. I also think it's highly unlikely that one million Hubs are indexed out of the 1.1 published. There's a huge amount of dross on HubPages so I think the number of idled Hubs is much higher.
I don't know what number HubPages has set as the bar - but I am seeing Hubbers who think two or three visits a week is "good traffic", because they're using HubPages more as a social network.
Paul E stated somewhere that Google is extremely slow at actually DEINDEXING hubs that have a NOINDEX Tag (that were originally indexed)! So the numbers indexed may still be close to the number published, for now.
Anyway I suggest that 2 hits per day average is good for HP and squids.
HP is idling hubs with close to 1 hit per day average.
Both Google and hubpages are businesses who make their money through advertising. So all they will be interested is in hubs that advertisers want. So in their eyes a good quality hub is a hub that generate sales.
This whole thread makes me nervous... Not a complaint, just an observation.
We were told in AP that that average hub on HP gets 50 view per month (that has to be just a pure views divided by number of hubs figure). I'm hoping that was no secret or anything.
At any rate, somewhere along the way, I asked what HP would want us to have in terms of traffic per hub. I was told that 50 views per month was a good or credible number. We were also told at various times that hubs often take many months to gain visibility from search engines, and that we should not delete hubs that are idled (not sure I agree with that if someone has hubs that get idled repeatedly & wants to stop the insanity).
I spent most of January and February tweaking and editing hubs to prevent idling. Of course, I have no idea when idling kicks in - and the majority of my hubs have already been screened for quality, so that should not be a problem. On one day alone, I edited 25 hubs. I counted them just a bit ago - you can tell by the 'date changed' information. That's a ton of work. These were not hubs that had been idled, and some had fairly good traffic, but maybe they'd been published for a while, or hadn't been around long enough to get a track record. Or some other mystery issue that might have caused them to be idled without the extra editing.
I edited them to keep them from being put to sleep. Because I don't know the point at which they will get the sedative and start snoozing. But I could have spent that time (that's just ONE day I spent editing hubs) writing new material. I also edited hubs several other days - all through January and February, and I'm at it again this month.
If I put clean sheets on my bed, and make the bed, I don't go back and keep changing them every few minutes. If I cook a meal, I don't cook it again, and again, and again.
So far, I have only 130 or so hubs. If I had even 300, I'd go crazy trying to preempt the idling thing. I have no idea what those who have 1,000 hubs do to maintain their work, or those who have multiple accounts here. This is like trying to fight in the dark.
I'd question whether it's necessary to edit Hubs to prevent idling.
If you're active on HubPages and checking your account every day, then you're going to spot an idled Hub on the day it drops out of Featured. Google doesn't crawl Hubs every day, so you've probably got time to edit the Hub and get it back to Featured before Google even notices. To my mind, that would be a far more effective use of time.
Thanks, Marisa - after reading here about the delay, I think you're right. My sanity and I are in your debt!
That's how I'm working it, Marcy - if nothing else I check email every day and I'll pop over and see if something has idled since yesterday. If so and I've got the time I'll work on it. if no time I'll edit a word or two to get it back to pending and come back when I've got more time to actually make some (hopefully) effective changes.
But, Wilderness, if a good hub is idled for low traffic, it really doesn't need to be changed. Not that anything is wrong with changing it. So we are still putting in more time to revive good work that simply lacks traffic (to whatever level).
Question for HP: if a hub is good, has current and/or evergreen content, has the varied capsules you like to see, and it gets idled due to low traffic, should we just let it be? By idling it, is the site saying low traffic is enough for TPTB to prefer that it not be seen by search engines?
At this point in the program, Marcy, I feel much the same. I don't write hubs that need more information; they've already got all I can offer and anything more is just fluff. Some of my older stuff could use a hand maybe, and some new hubs might use a little touch up in grammar or typos, but I seldom have any additional information to add.
So for now, I'll do what I can to give a hub a year or so, or a complete season if it's seasonal. Beyond that, they're gone forever.
No, I don't like it. I've got hubs that, after nearly 3 years, are just beginning to see some traffic. But, reading the posts from HP, I infer that they are saying that the best method they can come with to eliminate the dross that is killing us all is to set a minimum traffic level. If that's what it takes, and the effort produces some real effect as that dross is eliminated, well, I'll live with it whether I like it or not.
But if you think this is bad, wait until they get their teeth into the backlog of millions of old hubs. We're going to see these forums just filled with "They idled (or unpublished) my beautiful and superbly written hub (of 200 words and 50 misspellings)! It even had one (pixelated) picture! Where's the class action suit - I want to sign up!"
And if they ever take a hard look at actual content and usefulness, well, they'll have to close the forums entirely.
I take a similar view. If a Hub is idled for low traffic, then I look at it and ask myself, "Is it ever likely to get good traffic, or is this just one of those subjects that no one searches for?"
Even if I decide it has potential, there's no point in me adding extra content for the sake of it. That's not the problem with the Hub, after all. So I need to find something to kick-start traffic to that Hub. That means writing a guest post on a related blog somewhere, with a link back to the Hub, or some other form of promotion. It means taking another look at my keyword research - are there more keywords I can add?
If it doesn't have potential, then there's no point reviving it. We all write Hubs like that sometimes - Hubs that never get off the ground, even though it looked like a good topic at the time.
What I used to like about HubPages was that those Hubs could still bump along, getting a few search engine hits a month and earning a few pennies, and those pennies built up over time. And maybe, just maybe, they might suddenly take off. That can't happen here now, so I'm moving my "misses" to other sites, or to my blog, where they can go on bumping along and perhaps earning a penny here or there.
I too, take similar view everyday. I checked if there´s an idle hub and tweaked it many times until I´m contented. I´m glad there´s only 1 not 2 or 3 at a time. I can still manage editing and tweaking and write something new.
Following this forum makes me confused sometimes but I´m learning through you guys. Thank you for that.
Marisa's point about just checking regularly and editing then makes a lot of sense, now that I know Google doesn't pick up the idling thing right away. As with everyone else, I've had only a few at a time, so my 'tweak them all' attacks have been overkill.
I think I am more confused ....Is Simone saying if we hop hubs our score is higher on low ranking hubs?
I think you're right, Wilderness - we are already seeing people post here whose writing on the forums indicates there are issues.
@Marcy Goodfleisch It's up to you. If you think the Hub is worthwhile and the best resource for a topic than I think it's likely worth the few minutes it takes to give it an update, give it a really great photo and promote it a bit. However, if you think the topic is over done, and even though it looks great and is well written, that it doesn't add to the existing knowledge on a subject, it may never see search engine love and it's fine to let it sit.
Right now, each featured Hub is given some amount of promotion on topic pages and related Hubs. We know this helps Hubs do better. So, the idea is fairly simple to not feature Hubs with low engagement. We want to use the internal promotion to focus it on Hubs that will benefit from it since we have a limited promotion budget.
We do think that new good Hubs need more time before the engagement evaluation kicks in, so we are working on tweaking that. However, after several months it's the very rare exception that a Hub will go from almost no engagement to a minimal heartbeat. The engagement bar is pretty minimal where it's set now.
I have a Hub on <snip> chocolate covered strawberries </snip> that isn't able to get the engagement to stay featured. I made this last year. This year, I took new photos and made significant edits. The information in this Hub is widely available, but I think my page is better than the results on the first page, plus I love making these each year for my girls. So, this is really a labor of love for me and one day my Hub may get a little love:)
I'm not sure, but I think I just saw self-promotion. Do you think reporting it will do any good?
Ooops! Get out the wet noodle; 10 lashes for Paul.
Did you report poor Paul, Melissa? The mods got him already!
LMAO! Nope, I haven't really reached the level of stupidity yet. I'll let you know when I do.
Besides, I like the mods- for the most part- I would hate to see any of them put on the rack- that I have on very good authority- Paul keeps in his office.
Yep, I'm now finding others also. And you're right, Google don't seem to care of our work is stolen, even thought they should have the ability to know it from the start.
Oh, they know it or they wouldn't be nicking us for having dupes out there. One of my hubs went from 3rd position down to #8 and has now climbed back to #4. G down checks us. all right, and claims it's fighting dupes, but just try getting help from them.
I guess they'll shut down bloggers, but we need far more than that.
Glad you're finding the copies. Though I guess that sounds a little strange to say . But if you find them you can get rid of them.
I don't know about that. Most seem to be from Wordpress with no actual contact info on who to complain to. Crooks! It seems to be hopeless.
In a way, yes, it's hopeless - we'll never get rid of them. All we can do is fight a holding battle and consider it to be a part of the expense (both time and money) of free lancing.
If you're not familiar (I wasn't until recently) with finding an address to complain to, look at my recent hub. I detailed what I found to work there, with explicit directions on how to find the hosting site.
Good luck. It can be done, though it does take some time. My latest bout with the thieves had 30 DMCA's filed, but it does look like it was worth the effort as all but one are down, that one is hidden and needs a password to get into and traffic may be rising some as a result of that effort.
Sometimes just a title change will make a hub more popular and increase readership.
by Cindy Lawson 9 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 Dilip Chandra 9 years ago
On what basis a featured hub is going un-featured. Even when the hub is getting traffic from google, will that be un-featured?A hub of mine is getting traffic from google, it was now un-featured. Strange! What is the criteria HP is following to un-feature a hub?Now it is really a frustrating issue,...
by Steve Andrews 9 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 Yvonne Spence 9 years ago
I love HubPages, I feel that I have learned so much here and my confidence in writing non-fiction took such a huge leap when I was invited onto the Apprenticeship program last year. I have met some wonderful people here - both staff and other Hubbers. But as may other people have said, the idling...
by Dale Hyde 9 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...
by Simone Haruko Smith 9 years ago
Happy Friday, Hubbers!Next week we will be raising the quality threshold for newly-published Hubs (meaning newly-Featured Hubs will, on the whole, be of higher quality) and will also be giving Featured Hubs (for those with high Hubber Scores) longer grace periods- up to a year for some.More...
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