Urgent Need - QAP values

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  1. SimeyC profile image89
    SimeyCposted 10 years ago

    I have an 'Exclusive Title' hub created on 12/14/12 - it has 35 hits total including 6 hits from Google (various) and one hit from Bing.

    It is now non-featured. I can only assume this is because of a Quality rating. Without seeing the ratings, or getting any feedback I am at a total loss of how to fix this hub! It's a narrow-niche hub that includes technical information that readers will be looking for - engagement of normal readers will probably be poor because the text will not be relevant but that should not make it un-featured.

    I've been one of the biggest supporters of the new system but I've now had several very good hubs (my own opinion) put into non-featured including some that were getting traffic.

    As for this one - it's less than two months old and is getting traffic - maybe not a lot - but in my experience this type of hub grows slowly over time.

    To be honest - recently I haven't bothered fixing non-featured hubs, I've simply began to move them to different sites. I have a dozen or so similar hubs that I may as well move too - even though they are getting several hundred hits - I simply don't want to have to split my niche between different sites....

    1. MarleneB profile image93
      MarleneBposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Oh, I know how frustrating it is. I'm feeling the pain, too. It would seem that when we have "exclusive" titles (barring content, grammar, and spelling errors) that hub should be allowed the ability to gain the traffic it deserves. Exclusive titles are already researched, so HP has already deemed the hub worthy by the title. I think that so long as the author does a good job supporting the title, the hub should be an automatic feature. I don't know what's going on, but I do know that quite a few of my hubs that were featured at one time became unfeatured, even though they were getting traffic. In fact, it got to a point where friends started contacting me - asking me where my hubs were. They would tell someone about a hub or they would want to link to the hub, but were not able to find it. It's so frustrating.

      1. Simone Smith profile image90
        Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        The only things we can promise with Exlcusive titles are:
        1. They're short and descriptive, as they should be
        2. They don't exist on HubPages- so they're an opportunity to write about something fresh.

        We do not guarantee:
        1. Readership
        2. Traffic
        3. Erm.. anything else, really.

        One still has to do competitive research and make sure one has a lot of value to share on the title's subject. I just want to make that really clear!

        1. MarleneB profile image93
          MarleneBposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you, Simone. I actually do know all of what you shared. I know there are no guarantees about anything. I'm just saying, it's frustrating, especially when there is traffic from readers who do engage and share the content. It's frustrating when I get an email from someone asking, "Where's that hub about..." That's all.

        2. galleryofgrace profile image73
          galleryofgraceposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          One exclusive title I did - I already had a idled hub with an almost identical  title. They were both a bust therefore I lost hope in Hp

          1. MarleneB profile image93
            MarleneBposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            I know what you mean. For me, frustrating is the only word I can think of that conveys how I feel. I haven't lost hope in HP. I know they are doing the best they can in light of all the changes that are going on with Google and everything else they have to manage. Nevertheless, being in the middle of all the changes creates frustration for me because I feel like I have to keep backtracking and figuring things out - learning new processes all the time. I'm going to stick with the program here at HP because I know that as frustrating as it is here, it is ten times worse elsewhere.

            I pray that all of the ups and downs will mellow out soon. In the meantime, I will try my best to adjust with the flow. Right now it feels less like a flow and more like a slip and slide. But, I am confident that sooner or later things will settle down. I'd say, hang in there galleryofgrace. I am, even though it is difficult sometimes.

          2. MelissaBarrett profile image57
            MelissaBarrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            If you already had one hub with an almost identical title that wasn't doing well, why would you pick another one?

  2. leahlefler profile image95
    leahleflerposted 10 years ago

    I heartily agree. I have an exclusive title hub with 7 hits in the past 30 days, 129 total views. It lost its featured status, but it is in a niche and may take a while to gain some traction. It is frustrating to see well-written hubs with exclusive titles become "non-featured" hubs. It would be nice to see the driving force behind the loss of "featured" status - whether it is traffic related or due to a quality problem. If there is a quality problem, it would be nice to see if the problem is related to substance, organization, or grammar.

    1. ktrapp profile image92
      ktrappposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      From what I can gather from all the other forums I've read about idling, I think the situation with your Hub and SimeyC's must be traffic-related. Only new Hubs go through QAP in order to get featured, after that it is a matter of traffic. I believe it was Derek (HP staff) who said in another forum that the traffic threshold was very low. So I'm confused as to why the mentioned Hubs that were getting traffic became non-featured. I understand what they're trying to accomplish, but I think Hubs less than at least 6 months should not be subjected to the idling (non-featured) criteria in order to give them time to gain traction.

      1. SimeyC profile image89
        SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        What is the line though? This hub has had traffic in the last 30 days - not a lot but some....

        1. ktrapp profile image92
          ktrappposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          OK I found what Derek G. said in the other forum: page 4 of  http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/108768

          Here's what Derek wrote:
          "Perhaps a simpler way to explain it, your Hub needs a heartbeat to stay Featured. The Hub initially gets a free pass for a few months to get a heartbeat. We've seen Hubs that eventually draw traffic typically start off with a little spike that would easily get them over this threshold. Even Hubs that don't get a lot of traffic for a long time but do eventually get some traffic typically have at least a heartbeat while they are in their "dormant" stage. That's all we require. If it's been out there for a while and it doesn't have a heartbeat, we currently feel that, if search traffic is your goal, it truly does need your attention and it's important that we remove it from the index until it gets that attention."

          In theory this sounds OK, but it doesn't sound like your Hub or the one Leah mentioned got the "free pass" he mentions.

          But I do think they're working on improving this; maybe having your specific examples will help them see where one of the breakdowns is occurring.

    2. Rock_nj profile image91
      Rock_njposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      My experience has been that a hub being unFeatured and more importantly being slapped with the NOINDEX tag, so Google doesn't index it, has nothing to do with quality and everything to do with traffic the hub is getting.  I don't like this unFeatured NOINDEX tag policy for a number of reasons, but it seems totally unfair to do it to exclusive hubs that are well researched and written.  Perhaps they should put them in a special category that isn't subject to the dreaded unFeature NOINDEX status?  I do understand that they are working on some kind of warning system, so hubs reaching the unFeature criteria are provided a warning before the NOINDEX tag shows up.

  3. Pearldiver profile image70
    Pearldiverposted 10 years ago

    I'm pretty sure this predictable issue was not even slightly considered by the 'Strategic Planning' clever who maybe first thought, "Hey, why don't we cover up some of the other problems we have, by creating a whole new and bigger problem called 'unfeatured' hubs!"  lol

    But hey... Happy Valentines Simon... your exclusive pressie is..... an exclusive dud!  sad   roll

    Factually, you know as well as the rest of us prepared to be 100% honest.... That irrespective of ALL Previous SEO advice and tried/true practices - hubs that now require Time to establish SE traffic effectively, will now not achieve it, while HP continues to manipulate its actual exposure, or non exposure to those search engines in such a deliberate manner!  sad

    1. Simone Smith profile image90
      Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      We're fixing that issue, Pearldiver. We moved forward with an in-progress quality solution because we want to improve traffic and earnings for Hubbers as swiftly as possible.

  4. Doc Sonic profile image76
    Doc Sonicposted 10 years ago

    I have to agree with SimeyC. Without knowing what's keeping a hub from being featured, how are we supposed to improve the hub? I understand what HubPages is trying to do, and it's a good idea in principle, but hubbers need a little more information for it to work. Obviously HP can't give detailed feedback on every hub that is removed from featured status, but, as leahlefler says above, some info regarding the driving force behind the change would be helpful. I imagine most of us would be happy to make changes that would improve our hubs, but trying to meet QAP standards seems like just a guessing game at this point.

    1. Simone Smith profile image90
      Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this


      1. Doc Sonic profile image76
        Doc Sonicposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks Simone. I know HP staff is working hard to get things right. I suppose there are those who would try to game the system if they know too much, but it makes it frustrating for those of us who actually want to play by the rules.

        1. Simone Smith profile image90
          Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I know- which is why seeing this happen to you makes me want to bang my head against the wall.  This is simply what is going to happen when one enters into unchartered waters (which is really what we're doing with this new system).

    2. Marisa Wright profile image89
      Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Doc, Simone answered this elsewhere in the thread.

      "It honestly isn't that hard to tell when a Hub has lost its Featured status due to quality, though. If it was published in the past four months and loses Featured status randomly, it lost it due to low engagement. If it loses its status right after you edit it, its status changed for quality reasons."

      As far as I can make out, "reader engagement" is just HubPages jargon for traffic. I notice that Simone always talks about engagement and Derek always talks about traffic, but otherwise their explanations match exactly.

  5. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 10 years ago

    Reading between the lines on the many threads on the subject, it seems to me that the single biggest reason for unfeaturing a newer hub is lack of traffic.  New hubs have already gone through the QAP and deemed acceptable - all that's left is traffic.  Plus, I've not seen any reports of 2 year old high quality hubs being unfeatured.

    I would like to see traffic numbers ignored for this purpose for 6-9 months, though.  It can definitely take time to mature a hub and it seems that low traffic in the first few months should not be a reason to unfeature a new hub.

    1. Simone Smith profile image90
      Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      That's what we're moving towards, Wilderness. wink

  6. innerspin profile image88
    innerspinposted 10 years ago

    Is it worth changing the exclusive title? I'm almost on the point of doing that, traffic has always been way low. You have to unpublish to change the title, which is off-putting.

    1. SimeyC profile image89
      SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I'd hate to do that - it's a good title - with other Hubs in the same niche it's taken a minimum of three months to start to get traffic (even though I am already getting some) - I normally wouldn't consider changing the title for at least six months.

      Just having information by hub telling me what the QAP score is and what made it go 'non-featured' would really help!

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image57
        MelissaBarrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I am officially ASKING for the link smile (not self-promotion then) I can't give you an official rating but I can maybe tell you what I would rate it if I was doing it.  Just as a turker.... and again in no official capacity.

        1. SimeyC profile image89
          SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Here's the broken link so I don't get a back link artificially...

          [Snipped by SimeyC]

          I've checked out the competition and I believe in most cases it is better than most of the articles listed above it (even the microsoft one!).

          I understand it may not be engaging, and there are probably formatting issues?!...however from experience I know that traffic to Excel hubs grows over time.....

          [Thanks for your personal QAP - it's basically what I expected - I agree with everything you said...

        2. Marisa Wright profile image89
          Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Melissa, this is a Hub that was idled for low traffic, not for low quality.  So I guess if you have some ideas on how to promote it or improve SEO, that would be helpful to Simey - but the MTurk rating isn't that relevant.

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image57
            MelissaBarrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            He asked for QAP values so I offered him my personal opinion.  Anyone who hops hubs could have done the same thing.

            I was under the impression that he was unsure whether it was a QAP thing or a traffic thing.

            1. SimeyC profile image89
              SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              Melissa - you were right - I wasn;t sure if it was a quality problem or simply a traffic problem - you really helped - thanks!!!

          2. SimeyC profile image89
            SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            The Mturk ranking did help me understand that it wasn't quality that was the problem - all that seems to be the problem is the title..... what I want is for HP to show the quality scores so I don't have to wonder....

  7. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image87
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 10 years ago

    I agree it would be nice to know at least general parameters on why hubs get un-featured.  But it occurs to me that people can game the system if they  get too many details.  We have entire cliques of people on FB who make a habit of reading (or at least viewing) each other's work. All someone would need to do is to post a message saying, "Hey, I need 5 more views this month on this hub - help me out!"

    I already worry that too much internal (incestuous) traffic could downgrade the site in Google.  So I can see why HP might hold the details on the un-featuring process close to their chests.

    I don't know what number triggers the process, but I've started updating hubs that look like they're ailing. That's supposed to keep them alive for a bit longer. It would indeed be good to have a longer window of time for hubs to gain traction, though.  It's contradictory to be told, "It takes a while" and "We don't recommend unpublishing hubs" and then to have our work basically unpublished with no idea of the factors causing it.

    1. Simone Smith profile image90
      Simone Smithposted 10 years agoin reply to this


      And your approach sounds quite reasonable.

      It honestly isn't that hard to tell when a Hub has lost its Featured status due to quality, though. If it was published in the past four months and loses Featured status randomly, it lost it due to low engagement. If it loses its status right after you edit it, its status changed for quality reasons. smile

      1. Marisa Wright profile image89
        Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        You said:

        "It honestly isn't that hard to tell when a Hub has lost its Featured status due to quality, though. If it was published in the past four months and loses Featured status randomly, it lost it due to low engagement. If it loses its status right after you edit it, its status changed for quality reasons."

        Can I suggest that maybe the reason Hubbers find this hard to understand is that word "engagement".

        If you say my Hub has low "reader engagement", non-technical people will hear, "readers are coming to your Hub, and not finding it engaging".    You'll note Simey said about his Hub,  "I understand it may not be engaging" here: 


        I don't think that's what HubPages means. 

        If by "low engagement" you mean "low traffic", wouldn't it be a good idea to say what you mean, and avoid the possibility of misunderstanding?    If "low engagement" means something more than low traffic (e.g. low traffic+ high bounce rate), then perhaps a definition would be helpful?

        1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image87
          Marcy Goodfleischposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          This is an excellent question - I agree; it will greatly help us to know how that word (engagement) is being used here.  I'm thinking the bounce rate could be a factor.

          1. janderson99 profile image56
            janderson99posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            There is a weird sense of 'double-talk' or deliberately obscure language going on.
            => engagement is used for traffic
            => Idle is  a Taboo word that Simone has said is not used any more (obliterated from staff speak). Hubs that are NOT featured are referred to as 'Normal',  'Unfeatured', 'Blank' or 'Nuked" (!~)
            Get over it, use words that people understand - Traffic and Idled there I have said them!  Will I get banned?
            Hubs get Idled if they have Low Traffic
            - why not say it - plainly and simply instead of
            Hubs lose their Featured Status if reader engagement is too low

            1. aa lite profile image85
              aa liteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              To be fair, I think the 'double-talk' is the result of the opprobrium heaped on HP staff on these forums after the hub idling was introduced.  I guess the theory is that people will be less mortally insulted if they are told that their hubs are normal because of lack of user engagement, rather than idled because they don't get traffic.

              But I agree it is rather insulting to our intelligence.  Slapping a no-index tag on a hub is hte same, whether you call idling or 'normalization'.

    2. ktrapp profile image92
      ktrappposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I've been addressing some ailing Hubs too. Here's my suggestion to HP (as if they don't have enough already) that may help others notice which Hubs need attention. Instead of the "H" for featured and blank for un-featured, why not use dots that are the colors of traffic lights:

      - green (featured)
      - yellow (warning/ailing)
      - red (un-featured)

      The one thing I do periodically that helps with traffic is look at the search queries in Google Webmaster Tools made by living/breathing people where my Hub was in the impressions. It's often easy to spot a pattern of actual query terms people have used and I overlooked, and then I can perhaps adjust my title, opening paragraph or even summary (no keyword stuffing though). I've been doing this for some time now and it really helps.

      1. SimeyC profile image89
        SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Excellent idea - to wake up and suddenly see something un-featured is daunting - to have a couple of days warning at least gives me the chance to review the hub and do some effective analysis.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image89
        Marisa Wrightposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I love this idea.  Even without the "amber" light, I think colours instead of the H symbol on our Account page would be a much better way to differentiate them.

  8. Simone Smith profile image90
    Simone Smithposted 10 years ago

    Hey SimeyC!

    I'm sorry to hear that happened and think your frustration is justified, though please keep in mind that everything we're doing is in the best interest of Hubbers (yourself included). smile

    Your Hub did not lose its Featured status for quality reasons; it lost the status for low engagement metrics over a 60 day period (in this case- that timeframe varies).

    We acknowledge that the present timeframe is not adequate, and are adjusting the manner in which the QAP works accordingly (we're in the midst of fixing that right now).

    Re: Exclusive titles. We cannot guarantee they will get traffic. In fact, we can almost guarantee they'll fail if they do not have the other two important aspects (shortness and descriptiveness in a title) we outline in this Learning Center Guide: http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … ndly-Title

    I don't think your Hub lacks expertise, but did you do competitive research? Do you think the issue might be adequately addressed elsewhere? I'm just trying to help you with the troubleshooting process, because what you'll need to do to give that Hub a shot is to figure out what it's going to take to make it attractive to searchers.

    At any rate, I hope that I've been able to provide a bit more background. We appreciate everyone's patience as we refine the QAP. We're working as hard and fast as we can (while also making sure to make educated, careful choices).

    1. SimeyC profile image89
      SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Simone - I understand what the process is for etc. and I do believe it is a useful system.

      I have checked the competition and personally I believe my hub is better than most of the five or six articles that rank above it.

      One thing that I feel is missing from the process is the fact that some subjects take a lot longer to grow - all my Excel hubs start off slowly buy after a while begin to gain traction.

    2. CMHypno profile image86
      CMHypnoposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I think that the time has come to change the blurb about writing about what you want to.  Change it to you can only write about what will garner high traffic levels very fast or else it is dumped pretty fast .

      Not so very long ago, you could choose to write a hub out of interest (I wrote history and archaeology hubs),  You knew that they would probably never attract huge traffic, but the fact that they got some and earned a few pennies was fine.  You were providing information and entertainment to those who did search that niche.  Now they all get idled, so personally I just move them. There is no evidence that Google penalizes well written, low trafficked hubs,

      I think the time has come to be totally transparent about what you do want, so that writers can make an educated choice as to whether or not to spend their valuable time here.  Personally I can't get 'passionate' about writing hubs on panty liners and taking pictures of bums in steamy bathrooms so this is no longer the place for me.  So just 'fess up and tell it like it is,

    3. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image87
      Marcy Goodfleischposted 10 years ago

      Simone - several of us have found Exclusives titles that are nearly identical to titles we have already written.  We were also given the impression the titles had been keyword researched, which implies they're competitive topics and titles.  When a good writer has created a hub that's well-written, has the variety of capsules and photos HP encourages, and is using an Exclusives title, it would very much help to give it a chance to take off.

      Thanks for listening!  We are hanging in there (I am, at least).  Growth and change are painful.  We feel your pain!

    4. derek gulbranson profile image76
      derek gulbransonposted 10 years ago

      Thanks SimeyC for starting this discussion. I agree that we need to provide more information about what action you can take to correct the problem. For now, I'll say if your Hub loses it's Featured status a few months after publishing, it's likely for traffic reasons. You should feel free to edit that Hub and feel comfortable that you're not likely to have problems with the quality threshold if you do.

      One of the problems that I see with the Featured Hubs program is that it does not point people to the cause of the problem, and perhaps even distracts them from those causes. As evidence, there is little discussion in this thread of the kinds of problems writers should look for when they are not getting traffic. Where does the Hub rank in search for it's exact title? How competitive is the query space?  What does page 1 of its search results look like? Does it have a chance of getting on page 1? Does it have relevant inbound links? Are you missing important keywords related to your topic?

      It's true (until Google changes things again) that age alone can help a Hub get traffic, and as Simone mentioned we plan to make some changes that will improve the allowance for that strategy. But IMHO, that strategy leaves money on the table. Personally, I would like to encourage Hubbers not to be satisfied with the small trickle of traffic that comes along with waiting for several years. We know it's possible to do much better with a little trial and error. It's not brain-dead easy or absent of frustration and disappointment, but the increased payout in the long term is definitely worth it.

      Also worth noting, and as a creative professional I have to constantly remind myself, that frustration is a necessary and normal part of any creative process. You can't have a breakthrough without blockage. The goal is to learn how to do better. Frustration is most intense just before a breakthrough. So if you're frustrated, that's good. smile That means you're getting close to having all the information you need for a breakthrough.

      Also keep in mind that your Hub would be getting the same traffic if the Featured Hubs program was not in place (likely less, actually). The problem it that the Hub is not getting traffic. The fact that it is no longer Featured is a symptom of that problem. It's easy to keep a Hub Featured indefinitely by editing it every few weeks, but it's not as easy to get it on page 1 of a search for its title or to write something of such value that it gets organic inbound links on its own. Let's set our goals a bit higher. I know it's easier to just publish it and then walk away and come back in a few years and hope to collect a check, but you're going to be in a much better place long-term if you can figure out how to get it to rank well in search results.

      1. Doc Sonic profile image76
        Doc Sonicposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        derek, thanks for this helpful reply. Your point regarding the importance of getting traffic to our hubs is a good one. I think the confusion most of us are having, however, is that we don't know if the hub is even at the point where we should be worrying about traffic. A hub with quality issues won't get any traffic anyway until the quality issues are addressed. That's why we need to know at the very least if the issue is traffic or QAP. Knowing that it's "likely" a lack of traffic is very helpful, but knowing for sure would be even better.

        1. derek gulbranson profile image76
          derek gulbransonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I completely agree with that and it's a problem I'd like to fix. HubPages needs to ensure this process is clear through the interface that we provide to our authors, and right now it's not.

          In the meantime, I hope to learn how to do that better from the problems people report in the forums and help clarify things when I can. Thanks for the feedback. Always appreciated.

      2. SimeyC profile image89
        SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I totally agree with the process but there are anomolies.
        Firstly - the hub in question is ranked 6 on page 1 of google - and is generally better than the competition - I had an independent 'user' rate it as she rates on Mturk and it gets 7-6-7; part of the lower scores are due to the fact that it's a technical hub and it's hard to rate higher on style and grammar - I accept that there are a few things I could improve. I think the only thing that should be changed is the title - I will email the support group for this as it's an exclusive title.
        Secondly - I have other older hubs in the same niche that have had less traffic in the same time period - why are these not being un-featured? -  there's inconsistancies which is frustrating.
        Finally - if I look at my two most successful hubs in this niche (35+ hits and 90+ hits daily) - if I had published them two months ago they would have been unpublished due to lack of traffic. It seems that with some niches it takes time for the quality hubs to move through Google and overcome the eHow articles. This is what upsets me the most I think - the hub in question will eventually (three to four months) bring in decent traffic. Even the best keyword filled hub in this niche will take time to mature...

        I understand that it's probably impossible to make your algorithm niche sensitive though - but there could be some broad rules - tutorial type hubs have a longer grace period etc.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Simey, part of the traffic assessment is done on a yearly basis.  Your new hub has low total traffic numbers, but also a very low yearly number and that could perhaps have resulted in what you say.

          The yearly thing is done for seasonal hubs; hubs that get all their traffic in just a month or two can use those numbers to carry it for the next 10 months.  I could see that could be a problem for new hubs, but it is a good solution for seasonal hubs that get very little traffic most of the year.

        2. derek gulbranson profile image76
          derek gulbransonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Tip: you can change your Exclusive titles in the Title Tuner, if it has enough search traffic to show up there (which this might not yet).

          Your points are valid. Sounds like it has a decent search rank. How does that compare to your other Excel Hubs? Seems like if it's on page 1 but not getting search hits then maybe it's because people are not performing that query very often, especially if your other Hubs on similar topic are getting more traffic. Agree, title is probably a good place to look.

          Your Excel Hub that you referenced basically represents the current heartbeat borderline. Anything that does at all better than that should be ok. A Hub that gets 35+ search hits a day is well above the traffic heartbeat and will have no problem staying Featured. I'd like to think that the other two Hubs you reference would have no problem if you published them today. But since the specific size and placement of the hoops you guys have to jump through hasn't been made really clear to you yet, I completely understand how it can be frustrating and demoralizing. Providing that clarification is a tricky business, but we're working on it.

          1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image88
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            I have found the idling to be helpful to me because it forces me to really look at what I've written so that I can figure out what the problem is and then correct.  In my case, I sometimes lose my focus and stray off topic...something I realize when I come back and re read what I've written.  I really don't understand the traffic threshold thing...exactly how much daily traffic is considered not good enough?   I think knowing this number would really help.  I have some hubs in my main niche that have really done well, and others that just schlep along, but are necessary to have in the niche for purposes of giving complete information in sometimes more obscure areas.  This gets very confusing for me, and I'd love to hear the answer to this one.

          2. Doc Sonic profile image76
            Doc Sonicposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            derek, this has been mentioned already, and hopefully it's one of the glitches that you're working on smoothing out, but what about hubs that are really good by any standard, but are on topics that simply aren't searched for very often? I have a few like that, and I'd really like the small number of people who search those topics to be able to find my hubs. I understand about low quality hubs dragging down the entire site in google's eyes, but certainly the same isn't true for high quality hubs on topics with low search volume, is it?

        3. aa lite profile image85
          aa liteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          If you're hub is ranked 6 on page 1, then it doesn't seem that too much competition is the problem.  Especially since it sounds like it is a pretty young hub.  What is the search volume like for the term it is ranking for? 

          I don't know what hub you're talking about, but I would bet that the search volume is too low (I can't imagine an article on page1 not getting traffic if there are enough people looking for it).

          A couple of things that you could maybe do to improve things, although you've probably done them already.  One is to make sure your summary (which will show up in SERPs) is good, and makes it clear what the hub will deliver.  This might get more searchers to click on your hub in SERPs.

          The second one is to try to attract traffic through long tail keywords in your hub.  Can you think of some related Google queries that might fit your hub? If you do, make sure they are in the text and subheadings.  Many of my hubs don't rank for their main keyword but get some traffic through related searches.  As I said you've probably done this already, you are way more experienced than me, just stating this in general.

          There are two misconceptions/omissions (in my humble opinion opinion) about exclusive titles and keyword research that I see in the official HP pronouncements.

          The first one is that it is not clearly stated that exclusive titles have not been keyword researched.  I think most hubbers, me included, have assumed that they were.  I think it would be helpful to make that very clear to people, to keep expectations in check.  Simone has mentioned this several times in various forum posts, but a lot of hubbers probably don't read the forums obsessively.

          The second thing is all the emphasis on competition, but very little mention of search volume in keyword research.  The first thing you need to check is that somebody is actually searching for your keyword.  Search volume doesn't have to be huge, but there has to be some searches for it, otherwise......no traffic.  Once you see that the keyword is searched for, you then check out the competition.

          1. SimeyC profile image89
            SimeyCposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks - I do have pretty decent long tail keywords throughout the hub as sub-headings - I'm inclined to believe it may be the main heading that is the problem - part of it is a decent long tail but I could probably do better!

    5. tsmog profile image80
      tsmogposted 10 years ago

      Just a passing thought. I have found by placing a (for a lack of a word) weaker hub between two stronger hubs in a hub group my hits go up for that specific hub. I edit to the title to the specific, yet try to use a keyword or phrase tied all three or more titles. However, these may not be considered a technical article, although maybe about writing. The greatest element since re-entering Hubpages, is the use of the five major words - how, what, who, where, when and why. I check Google keyword tool on those constantly, since those words tend to float with readership trends.

      'How do' is more powerful than 'How to' for instance by a large margin.

      Not sure today, but 'When to do' was more powerful than 'Try doing'

      And, 'How to Create' is much more powerful than 'How to Make'

      I may have just been lucky, however the infamous Paul 'Bear' Bryant of Texas A&M and later University of Alabama said "Luck is Preparation Meeting Opportunity."

      My focus has been on genre's of writing - poem, themes of this or that (recently Valentine Day), and prose or short story.

      The readership is more Hupbages than Google browser. I honestly do not know how to use Google Analytics yet other than searching for my market place or where are they read. Then I Taylor hubs to those markets using familiar landmarks, regions or cities, and history or mythology and legend.

      Also, by researching who uses which operating system you can make an educated guess who is reading the article by researching that with Analytics. What programs are on iphones or smart phones or tablets and ipods for instance. And, Linux (more technical audience and education maybe) vs Mac (I am not sure of what that trend would indicate) and MS of course.

      What time of day and where. Students vs professionals vs homemakers vs ????

      Or, in essence I am trying to target the initial readership after the hubpages blast, which seems to last 2 - 3 days at most from my data. Remember on campus a group of 4 or more may read an article concurrently and share later. Students may read more at night after classes. Professionals during the day to resolve or solve a problem. Parents helping their children evenings.

      I have not completed my research, yet I see vast opportunities for maybe a select dozen or more hubs when I have time to learn SEO and go to the larger market.

      I hope these offer ideas or thoughts


    6. janderson99 profile image56
      janderson99posted 10 years ago

      Other threads are relevant here



      and http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/109266

      I fail to see the benefit of idling quality hubs (QAP=> 7-7-7; Stellar).
      Someone provide a link to where Google says that deleting Quality pages will lift the rank of the site. or that traffic is incorporated into its page rating. Here is my theory why HP has implemented this policy:
      => HP wants to get rid of the old CRqAP on the 1M + old pages, but this will take time and money to get QAP score for ALL pages.
      => So the quick and dirty way of doing this is label any page that does not get minimum traffic as BAD - if it was good Google would rank it higher so it would get traffic. ALL hubs that get little traffic get idled because they are ALL BAD
      => HP will not lose much by dumping the good old stuff, as it gets very little traffic from these pages anyway.
      => HP says that low traffic means inferior quality and suggests that authors improve the quality to get traffic. A flawed argument.

      The problem with this heavy handed approach is that it has upset many wonderful writers who have left or moved their quality pages elsewhere. It has destroyed morale when HOTDs, AP, Stellar Hubs and Exclusives get idled ( makes no sense and kills enthusiasm).

      Suggestion 1. One simple solution is to modify the existing software version of QAP so that it adds tests for number of words, number of images, number of capsule types, and to only idle hubs that fail to pass these simple tests. Sure, some hubs would still be idled that are worthy of being retained, but this would greatly reduce the number of quality hubs that are idled before they have a chance to strut their stuff. Eventually human QAP will be done for all. ONLY DUMP THE CRqAP.

      Suggestion 2. HP has a massive database of search term popularity phrases listed under the search tag for each page stats - for example on gold exploration

      where to find gold :394
      where to look for gold :61
      can gold be found anywhere :40
      how to find gold :38
      where to prospect for gold :14
      places to find gold :13

      Surely HP could use these data as 'suggested key words and phrases that pop up when people enter their titles for 'start a new hub' = A Title Tuner for New Hubs.

      1. aa lite profile image85
        aa liteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I think your analysis of HP idling policy is spot on.
        I've never come across HP's database of search term popularity.  That sounds interesting.

      2. aa lite profile image85
        aa liteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I'm not sure I understand your search volume database correctly, but if I am right, those would be the terms that existing hubs are already found by.  The problem with using those as new titles is that the new hubs would be competing with existing hubs.  So no overall increase of traffic.

        One of the things I think the exclusives are trying to do is to get ppl to write on unsaturated (at least on HP) topics.  This might be another reason why they wouldn't want to do what you suggest.

        But to me the exclusives are really not worth it.  You still have to do keyword research on them so you might as well do it from scratch.  Then you start with tens or hundreds of possiblities, from which you eliminate the bad ones, rather than 4.

        1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image87
          Marcy Goodfleischposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          But, as several of us have learned, there are Exclusives titles that are almost identical to the hubs we have already written.

          1. aa lite profile image85
            aa liteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Yep I've noticed that too.  I guess the software that picks them is not very sophisticated

        2. janderson99 profile image56
          janderson99posted 10 years agoin reply to this


          I am not suggesting the words and phrases as titles. I am suggesting that HP could use this database of words and phrases as suggestions for keywords to include in titles that are popular - ie general popular keyword listings rather than specific title suggestions. This is essentially what the Title Tuner does - suggest popular keywords for the writer to consider. e.g. from the above list => find, look, places, found, prospect, where.

    7. brakel2 profile image77
      brakel2posted 10 years ago

      Hi Simey.  Best of luck with your issue. Hope things will clear up and then remain somewhat stable.  wink))


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