Many good quality pages are Idled (become unfeatured) via ‘Analysis of the how engaged readers are with a Hub over an extended period of time’ – essentially because they get low traffic.
It appears that this process was initiated to reduce the number of ‘low quality’ pages on the site. The concept is that if Google is not sending traffic to the page it must regard it as ‘low quality’. However many pages that get idled have Google PR values of 2 or 3 and hubscore values of over 80. QAP is not assessed prior to idling these pages.
I can understand why HP may want to deindex these pages to save server space, but I fail to see how deleting high quality pages benefits HP simply because they get low traffic.
Can anyone provide links to articles that demonstrate that deleting high quality, but low traffic pages from a site boosts the overall ranking of the entire site.
You must remember that idled hubs are still published. They still have any backlinks they may have gained. they are still viewable and so no-one can save server space, or any other kind of space.
They are just useless to money hubbers, who wrote them hoping to gain Google traffic and sales.
The Google traffic thing must have failed, as hubs are idled due to lack of search engine traffic. Internal traffic does not count.
I know this because one of my hubs recently idled was getting 40/45 views per week. This is not a lot, but at the same time, should have been enough to keep it featured.
It wasn't enough, because those views came through my subdomain, from another more popular hub where it was linked.
I think you will find that Google ignores some high quality hubs, for reasons best known to themselves, but don't, however, mark that content down unless it is spammy, short, full of grammatical errors etc.
Or do they?
Well, as far as I can see, HP have tried to pre-empt Google and have effectively hidden all content on the site which did not get traffic/does not get traffic. This is an ongoing 'experiment'.
I have not seen any massive improvement in site-wide traffic. http://www.quantcast.com/hubpages.com
I have not seen any improvement in my own traffic.
I hope this is a short-lived experiment, but not holding my breath.
Ya know... That sure is one, weird chart. Every Monday is the high. And then it falls everyday for the rest of the week. What's up with that!?! I'd love to hear any facts, theories, or opinions.
Everybody works so hard they're too tired to read by Friday. A beer or two on the veranda Saturday morning begins to revive them
My graph is the same nearly every week. A high on Monday, decreasing to a low on Friday, then climbing back to another high on Monday.
I have noted that particular hubs do best on weekdays, but then fall while others increase on weekends. In my case the weekday hubs doing well are aimed at construction tradesmen; young, inexperienced and hell raisers on the weekends. That at least makes a little sense. Then some "how to" hubs aimed at homeowners working on their home take over on weekends, and that, too, makes some sense.
That's the traffic pattern for almost every site. Let's face it, an awful lot of people websurf at work or school or college, then take off and have actual life (or do chores) on the weekend.
As for Pending, I won't be satisfied with any fix until the one thing that really, REALLY worked well on Hubpages before it was implemented -- despite Panda, despite all the rest -- is possible again.
With the Mars Rover landing, I prepared a great hub with all the info and pictures, and launched it the dat before at the height of the buzz. Interest was strong, and all I had to do was tweet it, and the traffic came galloping in. As I continued to update it live with realtime info as the landing was happening, I got even more traffic as NASA's own site succumbed briefly to too many visitors and stopped showing the first images from the Red Planet. After all was said and done, I'd had a huge traffic spike and made some tidy money from that, but more importantly, a lot of people had tweeted, shared, and linked to my page, giving it a good foundation in natural, sincere backlinks that ensured a good long run of traffic after that.
I did this on purpose. I'd had another hub tap into a trending topic by accident, and realied this was the best way to write educational pages (which I love doing) AND make a living doing it.
Fast forward to September, and pending hubs. I tried the same thing a week after Pending Hubs were implemented when the space shuttle was due to fly here. I wrote a thoughtful page the day before about my own experience and knowledge of the shuttle program -- which my father worked for, so I had some unique content to offer -- published and shared it, only to discover it was stuck in Pending and Google would crawl but wouldn't index it while that danged noindex tag was there. I went out the next day, took photos of the shuttle flying overhead and added them as it happened, but no luck; it was all over the news, but I could get no traffic at all. I came home, wrote a half-assed Squidoo lens showcasing the same photos WITHOUT the essay I'd written on Hubpages, shared it, and immediately the search traffic started coming.
Three weeks later, after the buzz was over, the hub was finally indexed by Google. It keeps losing featured status and never got traffic. The lens still gets a little traffic every week, thanks to the backlinks other people made to it while it was buzzworthy, and continues to earn money (not for me, but for charity, in this particular case.)
Since I am very plugged into space news, I started a hub on the Russian meteorite within minutes of it happening. It's still not published. The motivation just isn't the same when you know you're going to fight the danged pending status and be on tenterhooks waiting for it to click off until after the social media window has passed.
True. That is why I would think it would climb (or at least stay even) from Monday through Thursday. But it doesn't and I don't know why it doesn't. I am trying to figure out why my logic is wrong. I'm missing a basic fact somewhere. And this bothers me. I want to know what is the basic fact I am missing. My unawareness of it is probably skewing my judgement of who-knows-what elsewhere as well.
Update: I see that the post I replied to has been greatly expanded upon. My response was just to the first paragraph. Any insights would be much appreciated.
Me and my tendency to YAK YAK YAK OH AND ANOTHER THING. Soooorry.
TL;DR: I don't know.
I've seen this trend ever since I became a stats junkie, but never thought about it much, since it's not my own typical traffic pattern (which is to sag Friday and Saturday, then rise to a peak around Tuesday/Wednesday).
Half-assed guess: everyone's got web withdrawal after the weekend, and built up lots of things to post, look up or buy while they were not online, whereas the rest of the week is spent tackling work that didn't get done earlier in the week -- with more and more nose-to-grindstone as the week gets used up.
Random scraps of data culled from around the web: Online prices are often good on Monday, but how many people know that?
Infolinks show Tuesday is the peak for clicks. Their traffic chart looks like mine on all the different plances where I publish.
Another thought: many blogs, media websites, Twitter users, and others post new content at the beginning of a week, with only a skeleton crew and fewer newer articles posted on the weekend. So people are in the habit of checking and seeing what's new towards the beginning of the week, sharing and passing it on.
There is a thread somewhere (can't find it right now) where this very subject was discussed, and Derek (HubPages staffer) gave an excellent, honest answer.
Basically, what he said was that low traffic, high quality Hubs do not hurt the site. However, HubPages felt they had to do something drastic to remove poor quality Hubs from Google. They don't have the budget or the staff to scrutinise every single Hub, so they decided to idle all low-traffic Hubs.
The principle is that if Google is not sending traffic to a Hub, there's likely to be something wrong with it. Even if there's nothing wrong with it. it's getting so little traffic that de-indexing it won't hurt anyone much financially. And it's better than doing nothing.
Derek admitted there would be "collateral damage" to the process, and they are working to improve the system so (for instance) seasonal Hubs aren't hit.
Personally I don't agree with the idea but that's the explanation.
That is indeed the explanation, Marissa Wright. Thanks for sharing it.
Keep in mind that we're taking measures now to reduce that collateral damage- we're going to give good Hubs more time to 'test the waters' and prove themselves to Google before removing their Featured status for traffic reasons.
Believe me when I say we wouldn't remove Featured status from great Hubs if we did not think the potential gains would be significant. We're not fans of the idea entirely either, but we're even more opposed to the alternative (continue to serve pages to Google that it apparently does not want to see and suffer as an entire site as a result).
Just because a page offers information that's not searched for very often or is in a niche where google currently prefers other "authority" sites doesn't mean Google doesn't want to see it
I can't believe anyone who works for Hubpages really believes that??
One of my lowest traffic hubs is on page 1 of the search results so Google must think it's ok, even though it only gets 1 or 2 visits per day. It will probably be idled soon but it doesn't need to be.
With the changes to how Google ranks results due to website authority, a Hubpage might be lower in the serps at the moment (and therefore not receive much traffic) even though the information is much better than that available on the "authority" sites it's competing with. In that case it might take a lot longer for the page to get any traction in the serps. We also don't know how G will alter it's algorithm in the future so that it actually manages to give people the best information rather than relying so heavily on domain authority. If it did manage that then pages that were high quality but idled due to low traffic would have no hope of higher serp placement.
It's all kind of screwed up.
Exactly! I don't believe there is any doubt well written hubs are being punished with the idle feature and especially with the no-index tag being applied to those in the pending process. I personally think this is the worst decision I've ever observed HP make in the many years I've been a member here. Anyone can check out Quantcast to see it has helped nothing at all in regards to traffic. HP is self-destructing with this ridiculous program, IMHO. The" I told you sos" are going to be be something terrible for those who supported this fiasco. I promise!
It is a terrible decision. I kept an open mind about it all initially, but as time has gone on I can't help but think it's turned into a real mess. It highlights the fundamental flaws with machine learning - it's no where near as good as humans! I think HP should have bitten the bullet and hired editors/reviewers even if it did mean higher costs. Damn they could even have hired experienced hubbers to wade through the dross for an extra percentage cut. I would have done it.
I think this is one of those ideas which may come back to haunt HP. Not only have they blurred the lines between what "quality" consists of but at the same time has destroyed what little faith the veterans once had in HP. When I personally asked Paul E if this system has improved the traffic to the site, he merely answered the "quality" had improved a bit. And since we already know what this word means here, then this is certainly not encouraging fromm a writers standpoint.
This is a fair point. However, from a statistical point of view there's no way to prove that any fluctuation in traffic is down to QAP or simply down to the Google Algorithm settling down.
HP traffic has 'solidified' - but I'm sure no one is ever going to say what has caused this - there's imply to many unknowns. And I think that is probably the biggest problem with any system - it's very very subjective - so some results may seem to be good, but others may not seem to be good.
There's no true quantitative way of measuring results...
What you say is true, but I think you're missing the point of both Simone's and Marisa's posts. Those hubs that you mention are the "collateral damage" that is not wanted but that also hurts hubbers and HP very little for the most part. I've lost some to the idling process, have removed some and tweaked some - a price I'm more than willing to pay to get rid of the junk here. If it works in the long run, and that's the question. That and can it be improved to limit that collateral damage?
Traffic: with the amount of garbage on the site, and particularly the amount of junk that has not even been addressed yet, there is no way that we could hope to see increasing traffic yet. If the QAP is stopping the majority of new trash coming we might see a very gradual increase in the "quality" of the site, but it would be slow.
However, the QAP started last fall. We saw an increase in traffic, but it was expected and normal for the season and we can't say it was due to the QAP. Now, however, might be a different story. I've only been here through two spring seasons but the words of wisdom from long time hubbers is that traffic falls this time of year, returning late summer. We aren't seeing a rise in traffic, but neither is Quantcast (or my own) traffic seeing any decrease. QAP results? Maybe - another two or three months should tell. If the site doesn't lose traffic in a season historically poor, doesn't that say it could be working?
(continue to serve pages to Google that it apparently does not want to see and suffer as an entire site as a result).
Nope - I don't agree with that. Many Pages that HP idles have a Google PR of 2 or 3 - OK you can argue that that is outdated but the recent case of G punishing sites with advertorials (see http://www.seroundtable.com/google-pena … 16412.html ) by downgrading their PR to zero show that it still matters.
Google wants to see these Fab Pages with PR 2 and 3 (other wise why would it give pages these rankings) - HP is the one who suffers collateral damage by removing high ranking pages from the site and pulling down the overage quality score. This erroneous argument was developed to justify throwing out the baby with the bath water. HP had to find a way of dumping low quality sites and so it equated low traffic with low quality . HP argued that there was no loss of income for removing quality sites that got little traffic. But the damage to the morale of the site has been immense. Add to this the delays to indexing and it adds up to a very poor decision. The forum is full of discussion about what great writers should do with great articles that hub has dumped!!!
Please provide proof of this claim:
"Believe me when I say we wouldn't remove Featured status from great Hubs if we did not think the potential gains would be significant. We're not fans of the idea entirely either,"
After 6 months of dumping great hubs there has been no improvement in HP traffic!!
All HP needs is a Crap Test - a software tool that sniffs over hubs with low traffic and only dumps pages that are crap not high quality pages - HP has hubscore - just add a few other tests - Google PR would be a good one - even length and capsule/image count would work as a rough filter --- Come on! It can't be that hard!
I am currently developing a site that will seemlessly accept and published quality dumped hubs - Excelhubs
It's nice that HP staff are straight with us about what this. When the idle program was first introduced all the talk was of "quality" without anything being said about the collateral damage.
I think there is a solution to the collateral damage, whether it is practical to implement it, is another matter. This would be to not idle any hub that has been assessed through QAP. You could even make the threshold score for this higher than what is required to be featured for a new hub.
So if you have a low traffic hub that you worry will be idled, or an idle hub that you think is high quality, edit it to send it to the hub hopper. If the hub gets a good score in the QAP, that should immunise it against future idling even if it doesn't get much traffic.
It's a far from perfect system, it still means that you need to edit hubs for them to require the immunity, but I think it would make more sense than what we have now. Low quality hubs would still stay idle, I don't think most of the spammers are even aware that their spam is not indexed any more.
Critique at will.
Given that editing it sends it back through the QAP it might be workable.
It wouldn't help older hubs being idled as they haven't been through the process, but it would stop new hubs from the fate. At the same time, HP has changed their process to give more time to new hubs and that might stop it as well. I doubt it, as it can take a long time for hubs to "mature" - longer than any figure HP is probably using - but it might help considerably.
The only criteria for idling old hubs is low traffic. QAP has not be done for old hubs and may take 6-9 months??? to get through. The baby goes out with the bath water. That's I why I suggested HP needs a simply software 'crap detector' for old hubs as part of the idling process. Why is HP going to use QAP for old hubs anyway. Crap detector OK, but then what? A huge effort and expense for what?
Not true, at least as I understand it. It is possible for older hubs to be idled for actual quality (quality as we think of it) problems, just unusual.
As you say, older hubs are seldom sent through the QAP, but edit one and it is plus a small number are chosen for use in testing the MTurk raters. Eventually they will all be sent through the process as a crap detector and presumably the crap will be idled and/or removed.
HP has two versions of QAP - a software version and a 'human' version. I'm pretty sure that hubs that get edited, do not get human assessed, unless there are major revisions.
The problem with this that makes a QAP system very difficult to perfect is that if this was a closed system that had no outside influence then your idea would be brilliant. However, despite Google saying that the important thing for them is quality - they really don't care - if something isn't bringing in traffic and therefore revenue - then Google doesn't like it.
Therefore traffic is always going to factor into a system that indexes or non-indexes simply because that is what Google wants. It's wrong and is doing a disservice to the searcher - but that is the way it is - how else would eHow be so popular?
It's frustrating for us and I'm sure just as frustrating for HP!
Maybe a compromise solution is that passing the QAP gives 6 months of being featured - after that traffic etc. are factored...
I know Marisa has asked several times to the evidence that Google doesn't like content that doesn't bring in much traffic, as far as I know nobody has ever come up with a link to Google blog or a reputable SEO site that says that.
It sort of makes sense from the financial sense, but I don't know. What this is basically saying is that if you have some pages on a domain that don't get search traffic, then the domain is penalised. I'm sure most websites have pages that don't receive Google traffic, they provide additional in depth information, and are linked to from the pages that get traffic.
Of course HubPages is not really like a normal website, but I'm still not convinced of where the evidence for high quality low traffic pages causing a penalty comes from.
I don't think you'll ever find anything unfortunately. It just seems odd that some obviously poor quality articles are at the top of Google's rankings - it goes against everything they tell us.
And I'm sure you'll never find an answer to whether quality articles with low traffic damage a site- they shouldn't but who knows what's in Google's algorithms - and what is truly important to them!
Setting aside for the moment hubs that written on subjects that don't get searches, it would seem obvious that if a hub can't get traffic Google doesn't like it (or the site?). If it did that hub would rank better and get traffic and we know G will slap a site for having only a portion of bad quality.
Lots of variables there, though. If other articles truly are better they should be ranked better - does that mean a lower ranked hub is poor "quality"? Only in comparison, and will Google consider it poor for that reason?
Is it too new to rank well? Google will slowly raise it to rank better and get traffic - presumably G thinks it is of good quality. And there are other questions as well.
Back to "bad" topics - HP has seen fit to provide space and support for virtually unsearchable topics that well never pay for themselves. It would be a real shame if that is no longer possible - that G will penalize an entire site for such things - but if they are going to slap an entire domain for altruism then it will end. Whether you or I or HP likes the idea or not it will end.
I consider your statement to be totally without foundation.
As has been pointed out many times by diverse people, there are news sites out there with huge archives of past stories that are rarely searched on. These pages will not be getting any traffic for months at a time. That does not affect their standing with Google.
I have posts on a couple of sites that rarely get hits, because the topics are not ones of mass interest. Nevertheless, I have good rankings in the search results for them, so Google is obviously OK about them getting one hit or less every month. When someone does search on the topic, lands on one of them and clicks an ad, I can get as much in one click as I do over a couple of days on HP Ads for 20+ hubs. So Adsense is not showing me any dislike either.
Let's be honest we all do not know. But not one statement explains why eHow ranks so well other than traffic and revenue have major importance to Google - if you can give me any other explanation then I'll be happy to hear it.
We all have quality articles that rank well - perhaps position two or three - but eHow articles that are VERY poor always rank above - why is this? In my opinion and based on my observations I feel that revenue and traffic play a major part of it.
I don't understand why, just because I am more optimistic about HP that I'm not allowed to base opinions on observation? Every opinion on this forum or any other forum on HP is based on observation - not one of us (including me) has any facts or stats to back up anything we say.
So if you want an objective conversation please at least respect the fact that observation goes both ways - if you're not interested in objective discussion then there's nothing I can say....
I don't know that answer or if it does. Most of mine have remained featured despite some of them having low traffic, but I was sad to see two become no-indexed within the past few days. I don't have that many and tend to think of my hubs rather fondly, like kids. I always looked at my subdomain more like a portfolio. I have niche topics, but also a few that I published for specific reasons. I don't know if I will bother editing them. I'll think about it. I don't like the noindex tag. I think it's highly demotivating to want to publish new hubs if there is a possibility they won't have a chance for a long shelf life.
And check this out! I bet they are not happy campers over there... http://www.quantcast.com/squidoo.com
If Squidoo are hitting problems, it's sad.
Tell me why eHow are ranking so highly, with their articles full of minimal information.
I have no idea. And I am curious as to why eHow is too chicken to let Quantcast measure their traffic.
Does it matter when their results show on the front page of almost every Google query?
I was searching for something a little bit obscure the other day, and no fewer than 7 page 1 entries came from eHow.
I didn't read any of them. They are not what I was looking for.
I wonder how HP are going to define 'seasonal hubs'. Obviously there are the Holidays, and it must be easy enough to put Christmas, Easter, Halloween etc into some piece of software.
One of my hubs got battered today with traffic. It is very much a 'seasonal' hub, but refers to the problems caused by a certain insect, in a certain part of the world, at this time of the year.
Previously, on HP, such a hub could have sat traffic-less all year round, but now? It'll get idled before it comes into season.
I have too many hubs to watch. I think I pulled this very hub out of 'idle' a couple of months ago. Lucky for me (and HP) it was featured when it was searched for.
HP have their very own hubscore.
Why don't they use it?
For the longest time, one of my hubs, with a score (then) of 98 was competing with a similar but earlier published hub whose author had a hubberscore of 1. The hub itself carried a score of something like 60.
While we can all agree to ignore hubscores, and its make-up is a mystery, there is something in it.
HP should go back to using this mysterious hubscore feature to idle already published hubs, not lack of traffic.
We're changing the way the QAP works so that won't happen anymore (Hubs will have more time to get traffic). We're also in the midst of updating our HubScore to make it more aligned with scores garnered through the QAP.
'We're also in the midst of updating our HubScore to make it more aligned with scores garnered through the QAP.'
That's a great idea. Also makes it more worthwhile us rating hubs as well.
I think I'd rather they change the QAP to be in line with what quality really means, not the other way around. It seems like everything is working bass-ackwards around here lately. I've noticed some really horribly written hubs making it through the QAP recently. I've also noticed the pending time is still long for some of us while others get a free pass. Unacceptable and damaging to us because of the no-index tag's lasting effects on a hub. I still think the process sucks and have noticed absolutely no improvement in traffic since it began. How about a heads up on when things will improve or when this system will finally be junked?
I recently noticed that a couple of my pages were de-indexed. I've no idea when it happened. It could have been weeks ago. It might have been a few days ago.
Part of the reason I don't know is that I haven't been very active here for the last couple of months. Part of the reason is that it is not easy to spot. When an 'H' disappears from the page it is hardly eye catching.
Incidentally, both pages were reasonably recent, both could have done well. One was doomed by the pending process, languishing for weeks in Google limbo. The other just needed time.
HP needs to think about the newbies. Pending and un-featuring without warning are going to put a lot of people off. Giving new pages more time is only part of what needs to be fixed.
Click the Featured Column header twice. All your hubs that HP has screwed will be grouped at the top.
Well, that is how I noticed. The problem is, not everybody spends every hour of every day glued to their stats page.
There should be an early warning email - we can sign up for weekly emails (or daily) - if the email had a list of hubs that were in danger of being un-featured, would that help?
I was just typing the same thing, but you beat me to it.
It wouldn't solve the problem with the QAP but at least it would give people a chance to 'fiddle' with the hub to keep it featured!
Merely postponing the inevitable, IMHO, Simey. I'd love to see the percentage of hubs which have been edited out of the idle stage and then begins to gain traffic--or became "quality" if you prefer. A total waste of more time with this program, unless one gets the preferential treatment of being featured instantly and avoids the no-index tag.
We won't be shown any stats on this either, if I know HP like I do.
I think you're right - while I've only edited a few back to life, none have made any real improvement in traffic.
Unless it's a relatively new hub, I won't bother any more - just get rid of it. Delete it, move it to another site, whatever. "New" hubs I'll play with a little - title change, add to it, whatever it takes to improve the traffic, but old ones have already gone through that process and it isn't worth my time to work with a proven failure.
I certainly hope you have another account to be giving such an experienced opinion. I seriously doubt it though.
Well, it can be, but only if you've chose poor keywords or title wording in the first place. Substituting one poor title for another won't help much.
Title crafting is such an imperfect science. Many Good ones fail for a variety of reasons so its a matter of revision using the many tools available. For old hubs the stats - search provides some good hits!
"imperfect science" is too weak a term, I think. "imperfect guess", or maybe "bad dice roll" might be better.
Still, we can try. Part of the problem is informing Google what the topic is, and knowing what keyword searched G will use to send traffic. For that you're right - the stats/search can be very useful. Title tuner, same thing if used judiciously.
And I cannot believe what HP did to Greekgeek... Serious money lost there!!!
A fiasco in the making and many of us experience the same thing. I'm sorry, the MTurk thing is not working at all. Many good writers are being penalized by the inferior system. Bottom line, either fix it or boot it.
My new method of madness is as follows...
1. HP gets my how-to's and information articles.
2. Squidoo gets my anything-that-Amazon-sells articles.
3. But I don't know who to give my hot-topic articles to... If I put it on my blog, I'm pretty sure it would get darn good traffic, but the revenue would probably be zilch. I need to find a decent-traffic, writers' site that doesn't quarantine new articles. QUESTION TO ALL. Are there any such sites left out there?
I believe Sunforged is welcoming new quality authors. He is also proud of the way he has set up Amazon there.
I like the look of Xobba and may 'apply' at some time - my concern is that this may go the way of 'Excerptz' which was also very good but sadly got sand-boxed and never really recovered despite the efforts of the owner....
Great news, WA! I won't waste my time writing informational articles here anymore as long as this ill-conceived program is still in existence. Let the apologists deal with it.
Not sure that I appreciate my hubs being regarded as 'collateral damage' because HP can't get it right. This is people's hard work that they are talking about, not just something that a hubber threw together in 5 minutes and slapped on the site. Those hubs seem to have a charmed life lol!
I take mine down when they are idled and move them elsewhere. Soon I won't have an account. How many other hubbers are doing this? My account might be neither here nor there to HP, but times it by multiple hubbers and they can only be hurting the site as a whole
I would suggest to everyone they leave their work published during the pending phase until Google crawls it and then unpublish it if it hasn't been featured by then. This seems to be the kiss of death by google. Put it somewhere else where it will be appreciated right from the start. This certainly doesn't go for the favorites with the instant featuring perks, though.
This is all a bit sad. I have so far deleted roughly 150 pages - all what I called garbage, but really what I mean is no-one looked for them. Stories, wind-ups, spoofs - no point to them really.
Were they low quality? Did they hurt the site?
I guess I'll never know.
What I do know is that compared to the crap that is still on here, and still being published here - well they were a bit better.
I look occasionally at eHow and Squidoo, and yep, HubPages - and I think surely someone wants occasionally to read something other than the generic ten best.
Maybe not. Ah well.
There is no such evidence, aa. And don't expect anything pointing to it. Even Mr.Hat can see the lack of clear communication is destroying any confidence remaining in TPTB.
@All of you guys who were in the AP program, how about listing how many hubs you got paid to write that are now, or have been idled. Let's just see how brilliant this part of the program was. Those of you who honestly care. that is. This will give us some idea of how well thought out the idle program is as I assume the same people designed it also. I suppose we have to do our own investigation since HP isn't forthcoming about their stats. Be honest if you can.
Hubs produced since joining the program: 120 (approx - i've deleted about 7 hubs produced during this period)
Hubs currently not featured: 6
Hubs that have been umfeatured but currently are featured: approx 12
Hubs deleted: approx 7
Perhaps a better indiction:
Total views: 178,000
30 day views: 7700
7 day views: 1960
24 hour views: 250
So how much money has been paid for those hubs having been idled at any time and may be idled again?
Actually my stats are better on less hubs, Simey. And HP didn't give me a cent for writing them. Wasted money it seems. Brilliant!
Wrong they are breaking even on me at present. These are hubs that are less than a year old and will continue to bring in revenue over the years - a lot of these are evergreen hubs that are seeing traffic grow.
I bring in far more views on my older hubs - these have grown over time.
I would say they are breaking even on me so far - but as most of these hubs will continue to gain traffic they'll make money eventually. The idled hubs cost them $42 in total - but I will revise them and hopefully keep them featured.
But I have heard from others with no such success, Simey. Many of their hubs never got off the ground and even editing had no effect on their success. Wasted money, in fact. I know from personal experience it's mostly a waste of time to edit them. What pure genius to pay for this stuff. Are those you got paid for getting many more views than those you did on your own?
Randy - I cannot compare - my older hubs have had far more time to mature - are in different niches and some are dying. I could give you stats proving that the recent ones are more successful, I could also give you stats proving the opposite - that's the way it works with stats.
UnfortunatelyI can only go by my group - some seem to be successful and are getting some amazon sales and decent traffic, others are not doing well. In my case they will make money in others they won't.
Objectively the bonus is an incentive to stick with the scheme and keep on producing 'stellar' hubs - it can be argued that it isn't working - and it could also be argued that comapnies spend money to invest in training and labor all the time.
They have already made the rules stricter and reduced the number of hubs that qualify for a bonus so they are looking at return on investment.
Have they got it right - I don't know....
...for me I learned to focus and 'hopefully' produce better hubs - was it wasted money? Probably - but it's a small investment that could pay dividends.
Should they abolish the bonus payments - not sure - I benefited - although the money never really inspired me - so I guess that they could probably remove it....
I think 9, out of 49 hubs. To be fair, though:
1. Two were seasonal hubs that have not seen their season yet and 1 more was written just before it's season, never having time to be ranked.
2. Two more had very poor titles, and were exclusive ones at that.
3. There are probably a dozen more that will idle in the near future if they don't pick up and if the changes by HP don't extend the time they are given to establish themselves, and by a considerably period.
4. None were getting even 1 view per day, averaged over 30 days.
How about similar data for hubs in general, for everyone? How many, and how much traffic did it see in the month before going idle?
Heck, some of my idled hubs still get traffic. One of my seasonal hubs had over 4000 hits and still went idle. this is one which still gets traffic. It always made me money during the season it was written for. Now it will make me money somewhere else. I won't try writing any more hubs to make money until they get rid of this silly program.
I'll simply stick to CW from now on and put anything commercial elsewhere. I'd advise anyone else to simply unpublish their hubs whenever google scans it if it hasn't been featured by that time. The no-index tag is the kiss of death for a hub if google scans it while it is pending. Put your hard work where it is appreciated in the first place and don't rely on this terrible system. Don't waste your time editing anything here after the no-index tag is applied.
But your seasonal hub - what did it see int he last 30 days? Plus, as it was seasonal, what did it see per month during it's season. In other words, has G slapped it in spite of past views?
I can't look past 30 days wilderness, and it's passed the peak season. I can say it made me and HP money for the last 3 years. I also have access to another account stats where the hubs get hardly any traffic at all and none of those hubs have been idled. Explain that if you can.
Are some accounts held to certain standards while others aren't? Of course they are and this sux. Just like those who get instantly featured others get penalized unfairly by HP. There is absolutely no doubt this is the case as I can see this with my own eyes.
This is why HP needs to come clean about this sorta stuff. But they will not because they know it's unfair and don't want to admit it. I don't believe they know what in the hell they are doing at this point but are frightened to admit it because of all of the mess they've made of the site.
Sorry - I wasn't thinking. While I know my one older Xmas hub did well this year, I couldn't give you actual numbers for the life of me.
But to think that HP has designed and built two separate algorithms and then hand picked some accounts for one while others get put into a different algorithm is ludicrous IMO. We know that there are many parts of that single algorithm, and that traffic is only one of those parts. We cannot, therefore, decide that there are two (or more) systems simply because one hub or account got hit for low traffic and another did not. There is far more to it than that.
It is just possible that you could "reverse engineer" that algorithm by looking at a few dozen fair sized accounts, but to look at just two isn't going to accomplish much. You can certainly try, and might figure out some of it (and I would if I could) but you're never going to figure out all the angles that way.
To be a fair comparison - the period has to be the same - so ALL hubs published in the last 9 months only.
Well out of the 72 hubs I've written since March 2012 to Feb 2013 when I started AP, 17 have gone idle.
The majority have less than 100 views ever. I can't really be bothered to look at when they were published to calculate views per day, but they didn't average a view per day. One is a little better with about 330 views ever over 10 months, but it seemed to get a lot of internal traffic from other subdomains.
My AP hubs are really too few and too young to say anything about. One I am very pleased with, picked up search traffic right away, gets 30-40 views per day. Needless to say it was not an exclusive. The others have a "heartbeat" but not much of one.
Thanks for your input, aa! it seems we are all treated differently and there is no rhyme nor reason for it. Some hubs get idled for traffic others would die for, while others don't with almost no views. It makes no sense whatsoever unless it simply shows the entire system is a total failure at accomplishing what it intends.
And oh yeah, Simone claims it will get better but at this point I don't trust nothing she or Paul says anymore. I suppose this is why they say very little anymore about this silly mess becuase they are wrong more than they are right. I do know one thing though, I'm weary of trying to get even a grain of truth from them when everything looks to be the height of absurdity. Idle my "asp" outta here and put me out of my misery. Seriously!
Randy - I wish I had kept a record of how many AP or 'Exclusives' hubs had been idled - it never occurred to me to keep track, and as soon as mine were idled, I always tweaked and went forward.
What I take from this is that even hubs the staff has personally reviewed & approved (which is the case with all hubs published by someone in AP that are written DURING the six-month stint, can still be idled. No matter that they were vetted. No matter that, in some cases the titles were assigned. No matter that they were 'Exclusives' titles, which were supposedly competitive topics that were keyword researched. The only common denominator was, apparently, traffic.
It is contradictory to have a hub idled when it hasn't had a chance to get traction, and also be told (as we were told in the AP) that the site doesn't recommend deleting hubs. Idling a hub has nearly the same effect - if not worse. It's understandable that HP needs a plan to rid the site of old junk, but perhaps traffic is too big a factor in that plan.
I've had exclusives hubs idled (so much for their magic powers) and even ASSIGNED titles, ones we were given and required to write in our first month of AP. Some people have had the same hub idled more than once, which is frustrating, because it gets vetted, and then put to sleep again when traffic still hasn't reached the mystery threshold.
Now, I spend many hours trying to figure out which hubs might be at risk of idling and editing them to preempt it. These are basically good hubs - I can mess with subheads, etc., but overall. The quality is good. I have already jettisoned poems and almost any form of creative writing or essays. I hate paring things down to the boring stuff, but I find myself scrambling to keep my account away from idling.
We have lost great writers here - good people, who have been part of the community for years and have recruited others, because it was a good place to write. Now, even new writers are getting discouraged and burned out. We should not have to continually tweak and rewrite good, evergreen content that is not old or stale.
All this - and we still see junk come in each day, and find old hubs that are terribly deficient. Why are some writers given the free pass to bypass idling, while others aren't? I'd stack Randy's writing, Izzy's, Mark Ewbie's and my own against any of those writers who are 'beta testing' the free pass system. I'm getting weary of the treadmill - it's not moving me forward. As with the other hamsters, I may jump off and rest for a bit, or change cages.
Marcy, you've hit on some key complaints and concerns. I haven't published a new hub for many months, but I update and keep track of my hubs. I haven't published for two major reasons, one being, time, because it takes me a considerable amount of time to produce a hub and I am back to a full time job, and I have my first granddaughter. Secondly, I was hesitant to continue writing with so many changes taking place and the direction HP was taking. I was told my hub topics weren't search engine friendly even though at the time my subdomain had a PR4 when I inquired about the AP program. (I can't recall if it was just before or soon after my subdomain managed to generate 100,000 views in about 3-4 months time.) Plus I did not want to be assigned titles. (no loss for me, I could have never produced the amount of hubs that was required and have them considered quality hubs)
I think the exclusive titles are a hit or miss. If they are competitive search terms, then it stands to reason there are probably already many others writing on the same topic. How many more do we need? They don't have a chance to gain traffic in a few months time because of the competitive nature of online writing. Others are trying to target the same traffic.
HP obviously was hit by Panda for reasons many of us are aware of. So, traffic is already a major factor if Google considers HP a content farm, which it does. Subdomains had a good/bad effect at first. Some of us profited by the change, others didn't. Now with the new changes with idling, deleting, some hubbers giving up ship, HP must determine the direction that will most benefit the entire site. To continue to lose good writers/hubs cannot be of benefit. I know they're trying to get rid of the junk, and it must be a massive undertaking, but I'm not sure this constant idling of quality hubs because of traffic is the way to go.
I saw this link today from SearchEngineLand about Google Panda, Two Years Later. HP is mentioned and discussed. Tomorrow they will publish an interview with Paul E. I find it all rather sad. I truly love HP and want it to succeed. I hope that it does.
Wow! I never realized HP stunk this bad! Get a load of the graph! Worst than I feared it was and getting worse. So much for the idling system. Can't wait to see Paul's explanation.
Yeah, that chart is very sad.
And so is this paragraph from the article.
"The Panda update caused “a massive loss of traffic and revenue,” according to HubPages’ CEO Paul Edmonson (in an interview that we’ll publish tomorrow). According to data from SearchMetrics, HubPages SEO visibility is currently 62 percent lower than it was before Panda."
Yep, sounds about right with a 62% loss of traffic. Perhaps I'll ask Paul if he needs a loan.
Question - what IS "seo visibility"? It's sure not traffic - quantcast shows HP as being nearly 3 times what it was after Panda, but the "seo visibility" shows down another 2%, to 38% of prepanda levels.
Apparently its a proprietary algorithm developed by search metrics to measure how visible a site is on the net. I think they predict what keywords that site would be found for based on its content, and see how it ranks for them on SERPs. Then they take into consideration the search volume of those keywords.
I found this youtube video which explains it if you want to check it further.
Personally, I think we should be cheering Paul's continuing efforts to keep this as a site where writers can make money. We all know what happened at Maholo, Suite 101 etc.
Overall, I think HP are blundering forward. Given the difficulties, blundering is probably the best you can expect. Try stuff, see what happens.
I just wish they would cut out the pending period.
Oh, my - we all need to tune in tomorrow and read the interview. Even reading the teaser here, it's clear the entire staff at HP has been working hard to address the new environment in the Post-Panda world, as well as tackle the areas in which HP needs to change or improve. I give them a lot of credit for that, and as with others, I hope they (we) succeed.
You're wrong about "exclusive titles" being competitive search terms, Simone has confirmed that they are not keyword researched at all. They are obtained from some kind of database, and are then curated to find short titles that are not already present on HP.
I think that pretty much explains why they often fail. Either very few people search for them, or they are too competitive. Sure, you might get lucky and find one that brings traffic, but that is by luck rather than design.
Thanks for the search engineland link. I don't read it often enough and would have missed it! Will check it out now.
True. Both the Apprentice Program and the learning center make it clear that good keyword research must still be done when using exclusive titles.
It seems to me that that is very recent, I think there was a change in the learning centre's hub about keyword research earlier this month.
There's a strange thing about exclusive titles in the apprenticeship program. I can either use exclusives or pick my own title, but if I want to pick my own I have to email Simone, and include "a competition analysis".
That's fine, she's never said no, yet. However if I use exclusives, I don't have to do that. Why? Given that exclusives aren't competition analysed by HP, why do they let apprentices use them without showing that they are not competitive? Possibly it's because they would be deluged with emails about titles, but it doesn't make sense to treat them differently.
The eight hubs of approximately 70 hubs written during the program have gone idle. These eight are all seasonal and All exclusive titles(all of my exclusive titles have been idled). Seven of my own prior to the "a" program have gone idle. Four of those were WIT. One is a book review. The other is probable an over saturated topic.
That pretty much sums me up.
They didn't do the AP's any favors when they made the exclusives available early did they? Most of mine have had trouble as well.
No, but hopefully the extended period prior to hubs going idle will help the seasonal ones along. I wish they'd let us just go ahead and change the title without having to email a request. Mine never even made it to the title tuner.
Sorry, about your niece.
Hopefully, she will be able to hold her new baby boy soon
I think there will always be potential problems with seasonal hubs - the only way to really fix that is to make them invulnerable for a complete year and that probably isn't going to happen. Still, I do have hopes that extending the time for everything will give some relief - it might cost some in terms of expected and desired results from the whole QAP thing but seems worth it to me.
Thanks for the thought, too. I haven't talked to them today, but they put pics on FB, including baby and Mom. They look terrific, and it was awful good to see some smiles from that hospital.
Randy - for a fair comparison - only give us stats on Hubs published since May 1, 2012.
I've been deleting more than I've published lately, Simey. I published only 2 of the ludicrous "exclusive titles and both are due to be deleted. Otherwise I've simply stuck to fiction as I don't care if it is idled or not. I'll be glad when they idle everything of mine so I won't have any reason to care anymore. I suspect it won't be long the way things are going. Even the hubs I've gotten over 50,000 to almost 80,000 views each on are falling every day to almost nothing. I'm ready to get it over with.
Randy - I've written about 4 or 5 replies and all make me seem like an ass or sound condesending.
All I can say is that you are an asset to HP and the discussions (however heated) do help to educate others (including me) - I know I have the 'a' on my profile but it does not make me any more in love with HP than anyone else, and if you knew me well definitely does not buy my 'approval'.
I've been frustrated and I've seen huge losses at times (not as much as you, but still significant) - and I probably see more of a glass half full rather than half empty - but I'm here for the same reasons as you - I care about HP and want it to succeed.
Is everything HP doing working? - no - they admit that - and are trying to change their algorithms.
Are there some favorites? - absolutely - whether fair or not I simply ignore this fact as they are a small population compared to the majority of writers. I also realize that these people did not ask to be favorites. I'm kinda glad I'm not getting instant featuring too
Is there too much crap? - absolutely - from my objective snapshot there are also quite a few better quality hubs coming through - it remains to be seen if the QAP will improve enough to be a great system or if the cracks will just end up getting wider and more crap filters through.
At the end of the day we all have the same aspirations:
-A system that promotes quality
-A system that does not allow crap
-A system that is fair
-A system that is immune from Google algorithm changes
Do we have that? No. Will we ever have that? I hope so.
Are we moving towards that? Very subjective question and answer - I feel we are - I know you feel we're moving away from these goals!
Good luck with that #4. I don't even hold out a hope for that one. The rest, yes, but there will always be a google (or its equivalent).
Consider the hubbers suddenly denied Amazon affiliation when their state governments put their 2 cents into the control equation.
I've just started a new thread on trying to understand the actual impact that noindex / idling hubs has on backlinks, please do take a read and let me know yourr experiences or any evidence / studies you have seen: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/109932
Don't worry about it, Simey. I realize you are doing your best to help things along but really don't have anything to show things are getting any better at all. I do appreciate your efforts but this just makes my point for me. HP staff has this responsibility to explain things when they get into such a horrible mess and they are shirking their duty to such an extent they rely on you guys to do it for them. This tells me more about their trustworthiness than anything else lately. They have a responsibility to those who enable them to stay in business--you know those who give them at least 40% of their income and perhaps way much more than that if the truth be known--but they simply will not come clean with us. I have no doubt if this system was shown to be effective they would tell us so, but all we get is "I can tell you the "quality" has improved." What? Is that it?
if I were you I would not offer anything else to Hubbers in excuse for HP. Perhaps if you guys stopped doing so they would have to answer queries themselves. I do appreciate your efforts but they help very little and simply muddy up the waters. Let them either answer the questions or simply not, the truth will come out sooner or later. Later if I know them.
Well you stop your observations based on no facts and I'll stop mine
My observations are that traffic sucks and so does the pending/idling/featured process for many of the proven veterans. And that's a fact, Jack!
Traffic sucks? Looks like a hefty increase (with the exception of Christmas week of course) since the idling feature was introduced.
There are rare scattered reports of hubs taking weeks to be indexed as a result of the pending process (what, .001% of the total?) and almost every hub takes an extra day or two; we've all had hubs idled and had to tweak them - is it all worth a 25% increase in overall traffic? A percentage that may rise as the makeup of HP (junk to "quality") continues to improve?
Wildnerness, your image lacks what in academic publishing is generally known as "fig legs" i.e a figure legend.
What is this graph of? Your traffic, HP general traffic? Is it a graph from quant cast? What is the time period? I can't read it of the figure, it is too small.
It looks like data from quant cast, which is strange because whenever I've looked at it it always looked like traffic was flat after the idling. It all depends on the time range I guess.
My hubs used to have real problems getting indexed after pending was introduced, but no longer, so whatever the problem was it was solved, at least for me.
Also my traffic has increased significantly this month, whether it will stay like that is another matter.
Yeah. It never works well to put graphs on here for me - by making the graph as large as possible (though usually still unreadable) the other information gets left out.
Quantcast graph of HP traffic since last Sept. The dip on the left is Oct. '12, the huge dip in the center is Xmas and the right is, of course, current.
The troughs on the left side are about 2.7M views, the peak on the right is around 3.3M. It's way too short to draw actual conclusions from, but does give a hopeful sign, at least to me.
I doubt traffic will stay level; it seems to always decrease during the summer months, or so I've been told. Mine has twice, but also had Panda and Penguin to deal with - hardly an indication of the future.
This is quantcast global traffic to hub pages from Jan 2012 till now. Idling was introduced around the middle of that period (August 2012)
That whole post I just wrote is probably TL, and I don't blame anyone if they DR. But it felt good.
BTW - my traffic has indeed gone up - but the amount of work to second guess and thwart the idling has reached the point of diminishing return.
Ask yourself, then, if the increase in traffic is due to keeping those hubs featured. Or is it coming from a different hub, for some other reason?
My traffic is more Google than internal. Many hubs are so new (I've only been here a year), that they're still gaining traction. So idling them is counter-productive, especially if its based on traffic. Between sending dozens of copyright infringement reports the past 5-6 weeks, and editing hubs to prevent (or correct) idling, this has been a very time-consuming endeavor.
I may have misunderstood; I thought you meant that tweaking hubs had become counter-productive in that it wasn't producing enough traffic to justify the effort.
Take heart, though - Simone said today that they have modified the idling process to give new hubs longer to see traffic before idling them. Hopefully this will help; I had two this weekend as well.
What I'm saying is that the effort to tweak a GOOD piece of work that does not yet have traffic (whether its new or not), is a time drain, and not yet a reasonable trade-off.
I agree with you on all of your points, Marcy, As I just told Wilderness, I really don't want my work to be considered "quality" by HP. I'd be ashamed for my work to be classed along side their definition of "quality work. I've come to the conclusion this site will soon be filled with nothing but low-class junk and it's better for me to move on and let it get on down in the gutter where it deserves to be.
And i really don't expect to get any real answers to the many questions I have about this place any longer either. If they were honest we wouldn't have to ask in the first place. It's really a sad, sad, situation at this point for a site which had so much potential in the beginning. I've been here too long and been to loyal to see this happen to so many good people. But loyalty only goes in one direction at this place. HP simply doesn't have any for those who've been here a long time.
I thought that seasonal hubs weren't going to be idled? My Christmas hubs are?
by Georgie Lowery 8 years ago
This is a two-fold issue. I know we're in the middle of a Google Typhoon or whatever animal is wreaking havoc this month plus the summer traffic is, well, obviously somewhere else. In January/February of this year, my traffic was around 2000 views per day. Right now, I'm lucky if I crack 400. I'm...
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 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...
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 Randy Godwin 8 years ago
So I've deleted all of the idled hubs so far and am wondering when I will have none left. I'm not going to edit anymore until I see some sort of improvement in traffic. Too much trouble for no results at all. With all of the scrapers and with HP's brilliant program I'll soon have...
by Dan Harmon 8 years ago
I had a hub idled about a week ago, a dumpy old hub that I didn't like anyway. I've let it sit idled since then, trying to decide what to do with it. Sorting the stats screen with the "featured" tab produces two idled hubs; one I want to keep and this one recently idled.Until...
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