Just when I got used to the featured/not featured ratings, now we have a whole NEW system of circles with full, half or not filled-in centers. Sure, it's easy to understand at a glance, but, in the meantime, it seems some changes have been made to how the ratings are dished out.
I now have 3 hubs that were perfectly fine before, which, while 'not featured' were at least worthy. Now, they have the dreaded "don't meet standards" empty circle. What the hell? I did nothing to change the hubs, so why the change in their acceptability??? The "advisory" says to edit and republish...well, 2 of them are poems..I can't edit those..they are what they are. If HP doesn't like them, fine--I'll just un-publish them. I'm thinking of creating a chapbook, anyway.
Next, there are the half-circle "not enough engagement" zombies....well, oh, well. Many of those are poems as well. Too bad. But the hubs--"advice" is: "edit/refresh/add new information." Trouble is, the very nature of those articles is that there is no new information available. Again--they are what they are...many are about things of a historic nature. It's in the past--nothing new to update....OR, it's an essay about "the way things are," and since "things" are not essentially changing, again, they are what they are--my opinions have not changed, and neither will the articles.
My husband has been in and out of the hospital the whole month of June, and is back in now....and is going for a procedure on his heart that has no guaranteed outcome. I've got a bit more on my mind and on my plate than to worry about nit-picking and ever-changing 'standards.' If my articles were once good enough for HP, then it is they who have changed the rules mid-stream, and not the quality of my writing, and unaltered articles.
HP is becoming a less and less user/writer-friendly place to be, and I am weary of all the picky, pesky changes. I may or may not leave my articles up, but I now certainly lack incentive to write anything further, for "fear" of wasting my time....
Hi DzyMsLizzy! I'm sorry that you are frustrated with the new icons. I would like to clarify that the rating system hasn't changed; we simply introduced new icons that indicate the reason for why Hub is not Featured (engagement/traffic or quality). If your Hub is not receiving sufficient engagement after the allotted grace period, you can edit it with new information or more relevant keywords. Perhaps it's a matter of tweaking the title. I understand why this might not make sense to do for poetry or creative writing. Keep in mind that having some Hub that are not Featured is not a bad thing. In My Account > Profile you can choose to display all of your Hubs on your Profile, not just the Featured ones. That way, your Profile visitors will have access to every one of your published Hubs on HubPages.
I'm sorry, but the system has changed..there was a blog post several months back about 'new requirements' for 'minimum standards,' with a numeric scoring system involved..that was not the case before...
And apparently, it did not 'grandfather' in existing hubs, but went through everything relentlessly, and dumped hubs that had previously been just fine, approved, even featured at one point....
Anyway, as I said in my original post--at this point, I'm more concerned with my husband's health and I have neither the time nor the desire to sit here 'tweaking' things...
I"m sorry to hear about your husband. I'll pray for a good outcome.
The only constant is change. People like me who are not tech savvy face difficulty in understanding and catching up with technical changes. Such is life, will just have to do my best.
Hope your husband recovers speedily. Take care,
Get well wishes for your husband and hugs to you. May you have strength to face your challenges.
Hope your husband is better soon. And you take care too.
It's not true to say that old Hubs were "perfectly fine" before - because no one was quality-assessing them at that time. All you could say about old Hubs was that they didn't contravene the terms of service.
If you choose to write on a free writing site, then I'm afraid you have to accept that they run the show, and they're entitled to change the rules as they see fit.
The recent changes are designed to encourage writing that generates traffic - that is what the site has always been for, after all. The site won't survive if it can't make a profit, and Hubs that don't get traffic don't make money.
Oh, and the Featured/unFeatured system has not changed in any way. All that has changed is the symbols used to represent it, and the fact that we are now told why it's been unFeatured. The numeric system was always part of it - it's the system used by the quality assessors.
"If you choose to write on a free writing site,..." yes, well, are there sites where you must PAY to write? I wouldn't do that...it's not in the budget. So 'free writing sites' are where those of us on fixed incomes are stuck.
I would find the "advice" on the quality assessments more helpful if it were more specific--exactly WHAT needs to be tweaked/updated? It's not a very good use of time to blindly tweak things only to find out you didn't adjust the correct "problem."
I expect I'll just let my existing Hubs sit here and age and collect whatever they will, but I'm in the process of moving things to the Smashwords platform....and that will also get around the "duplicate content" issue....since that is not an online publishing platform.
When you edit a hub, there's a checklist at top right. Try to get all the checkmarks filled in.
Thanks for posting this thread, actually. I wound up writing a Hub on how to add more engagement to unfeatured hubs, with notes about the difference between the hubs with half-black circles on the dashboard and the hubs with all-white circles. They are unfeatured for different reasons, so the solution to fix them is a little different.
(It's still pending, so it's not showing up on my profile yet. Stay tuned to see if I know what I'm talking about and the new hub becomes featured.)
Greekgeek, I saw that Hub come through my newsfeed earlier. I'm terrible about commenting on hubs but I do think it could potentially be very useful for those who write high quality hubs but need to figure out the traffic/engagement issues as well as those that need to work on quality. Good idea!
No, you don't have to pay to write, but if you want total freedom and the right to make the rules, then you need to start your own site, pay to host it on a server somewhere and pay for a domain name. The whole thing costs up to $100 a year. Then there is the learning curve to understand how to place ads and earn revenue, otherwise you won't earn any money. That's what professional bloggers do.
If you choose not to make that investment in effort and money, then someone else is paying for the server and someone else is doing all the work of negotiating with advertisers and displaying ads. It's your choice but you can't expect to dictate terms to the people who are paying the bills.
Right, right, right...but, it's not so much a "choice" as a budgetary mandate. I don't have the funds to do that....we are on a fixed income, barely scraping by, so that isn't an option. I, and others, are only suggesting that it is mutually beneficial to keep the site's writers HAPPY so they don't go away..... but, it is what it is....
I feel exactly the same way. Well stated, and most true. I no longer publish here, and log in to see which ones HP has killed, and unpublish them and move them. They have done well for months and months, earning revenue, but suddenly they are deemed unworthy, slapped with a no-index and that is death in Google's eyes.
We supply material for these folks yet they simply can not let things stand. Over the past year, my views continue to drop without me doing a thing. The ones I have done something to, simply do worse, lol.
Good luck to those that have the "heart" of HP..... Those that HP continues to stand by and promote while killing off the rest of us. I have noticed that there are some folks here who simply, in the eyes of HP, can publish anything they want and it will be featured forever, lol. I mean I have seen stuff so poorly written by folks who have hundreds and thousands of hubs (seems like a game there, who has the most) that I would be embarrassed to have associated with my authorship, lol.
Marina. Traffic is down for summer. Panda and Penguin occurred. The quality writings need to stay up please. People are upset after working so hard to adjust to changes. More people are leaving. Please plead this case to the team. If good writers leave, the site will just lose more money.
I keep hearing about Panda and Penguin - what is it???
They are Google's way of tweaking the rankings with various updates that effect where sites appear on the web. They include penalizing sites for duplicate content, spam, bad links and other issues. The results can reduce traffic to your site.
Too complex to go into here, but there are loads of threads on this site if you do a search for them using the internal search box, or alternatively you can do a Google search and all you need to know will come up.
Panda and Penguin are mathematical algorithms that Google uses to determine which webpages will rank for search queries. Each targets the quality of your Hub. I wrote a Hub on each of these if you want more information on how to write a successful Hub.
It is because of these changes to Google, mostly from Google Panda, that HubPages management needed to change the quality of writing on the website. Traffic from Google severely decreased when these algorithms were added to Google's evaluation of a webpage and a website.
Five years ago, Google stated "The number of individual webpages out there is growing by several billion pages per day." The competition to rank your Hub on search engine results is fierce and ever-increasing.
Personal stories, poetry and any other topics can rank highly but a writer must use good SEO techniques beginning with keyword research. HubPages generously offers to host un-featured Hubs free of charge, but must limit what is available on the site for Google to crawl to the Hubs that Google values by forwarding traffic.
Google Panda demotes an entire website if it detects poor quality content on just some of the site's pages. For the health of the website, HubPages can only feature content that search engines evaluate as good answers to search queries in light of the competition for keywords.
People here will also lose more money if others refuse to remove their lower level work and just let it "sit".
I've experienced the same-perfectly acceptable Hubs now non-featured-I've edited some and left others as is for now. You can only tweak and edit so much- What I'm doing now is concentrating on creating new Hubs. Historically poetry and more creative writing here has been given the short end of the stick. Within the hub community is a sub-group of poets and more creative writers (I personally have several favorites) If you are discovered by your fellow poets within the community they will help possibly improve the engagement problem. I myself love poetry and will take a peek myself-Thanks for a good and engaging topic. I hope your husband is doing ok (I agree that editing should take a back-seat to caring for your loved one.)
"HP is becoming a less and less user/writer-friendly place to be, and I am weary of all the picky, pesky changes."
Perfectly worded, DML!
That about sums up my feelings on this subject. What a shame! It seems that something changes virtually every couple of months, making it a chore to write Hubs.
Could it be that HubPages is trying to shed the 'content farm' label by making these changes?
But who indeed is benefiting from these alterations? Not me, because ever since this started, I shied away from writing here. When I do start a Hub, I feel like a deer in the headlights; I stare, then realize I don't understand many of the new rules, and then I step away from the computer.
I feel lost on this site now; I am disappointed with my favorite writing venue.
I wonder if HP has alienated many writers by trying to get to the top of some Internet writing hill.
I don't think losing talent on this site is beneficial to HP's pocketbook or image.
I couldn't agree more, lorlie6! I believe many of the changes are short-sighted for perceived economic gains, when in fact, they are chasing away good writers whose content would bring in that very income they seek.
MsLizzy, you and Lorlie talk as if HubPages is designed as a place for writers to enjoy writing for its own sake. Yes, it has been exactly that, but it's not what HubPages is for.
I recall the last big upheaval, during the 100 Hubs challenge, when many creative writers stalked off in high dudgeon because the site was rewarding commercialism rather than good writing. I could never understand why any of them were surprised.
HubPages' priority has to be writers who write to make money, because without them, HubPages wouldn't exist. The current drastic regime is designed to reward those writers. In the process, HubPages is losing writers whose work doesn't make money - but how much of a loss is that for the site, really? It's a loss for the community, sure, but not for the business. After all, for every member who leaves, another ten join.
That's not to say I'm happy about it either, but it's reality.
I wasn't going to jump in but nevertheless I agree that HP is a business and they need to make money or fold.....but there have been too many changes too quickly coupled with lack of concrete answers to some questions/issues that I can understand why good writers (who had made money for HP...btw) have left or feel like leaving.
What DzyMsLizzy and others are expressing echos the feelings of many now more than ever.
I love HP, I'm addicted to the place, I wish them the best, I want them to make tons of money and if I can get a share then great. But that HP is losing writers who don't make money...really? If anything they are losing both good and bad writers but probably more good ones than bad ones in the process.
I don't claim to know the answers and I trust the staff to do the best that they can, or be out of a job. But in my humble opinion, they should be more attentive to the needs of the those who help them be who they are and for what I have seen for every one who leaves ten (not so good) join.
Luis, I don't deny they're losing good writers, but many of them people who write beautifully but refuse to even attempt to learn the basics of attracting traffic. I understand their frustration but then I also remember how much time I've spent trying to help them learn the skills of writing online in the past - only to be met with a stubborn insistence that they should be able to write what they want.
If you're a creative artist, you can't have it both ways. That was true long before the internet! Painters or writers or dancers who say, "I'm going to paint/write/dance exactly how I like - I shouldn't have to compromise my art to please an audience", usually end up starving in a garret, and their work may only be appreciated after they've gone.
There's many a dancer who dreams of dancing at Covent Garden, or mounting their own ballets, who make their income performing in musicals. And many writers working on their Great Novel behind the scenes, while ghost-writing for celebrities or pumping out magazine articles to earn a crust.
HubPages let things slide for far too long and now they've been forced into drastic action. I'm sorry for those people who are upset by that, but all the changes have really done is highlight what has been the reality all along.
I agree with you Marisa Wright. We have to be practical and realistic. That's why I seldom write stories about my life's experience or sharing my thoughts. There is simply no audience there.
Lets just hope that all of these changes are for the best and that they end up benefiting the site and in return the rest of us. I guess what I'm saying is that we have to approach writing at HP a bit more like a business partnership rather than a purely personal endeavor. Sure it will take more labor on our part but when I weight my benefits against the needs of the site, it's a small "price" to pay.
My problem is that the changes they've made don't seem to be working that well. All I hear about is how Hubpage traffic is going down. So few of the writers I've followed for 3 years are even here anymore.
Marisa You are so calm about the way things are going I wish I could be like you. I feel badly for those who need the income to survive. Older people have difficulty with change, especially when they don't understand it. I wish we knew what penalties were given to the site. I know a letter comes when we are penalized. Anyway, you do have a great memory about the rules and what staff's responses have been. That helps me to be more focused. Thanks for your help.
May I simply inquire, then, WHY "personal stories" are said not to draw traffic or make money, when there are plenty of full-time bloggers who DO make money and have large audiences, doing just that? Whether they are like journals, or satire (such as Molly D. Campbell's "Life With the Campbells" blog)...
Very personal, very readable, and with high traffic and many, many followers....
If it can work for bloggers, why would those same readers not be drawn to similar articles here?
I don't think there are "plenty" these days. You hear about the successful ones because their achievement is noteworthy, since they're relatively unusual. There are literally millions of blogs - not just thousands! Consider how many successful ones we hear of. Blogging about one's personal life rarely works nowadays, unless one has an unusual life - or unless the blog was established and became successful before the landscape changed.
Success can be exaggerated, too - it's in a blogger's interest to "talk up" how well she's doing. I was amazed recently to discover that one of the most highly-regarded bellydance websites gets only 2,000 visits a month. I had always assumed, by the way it was presented, that she had thousands and thousands of followers. Belly dance schools pay hundreds of dollars to advertise on her site!
Besides, things are still changing. I know several bloggers who were successful until mid-last year, but who have now walked away from their blogs, which Google has effectively wiped off the face of the net.
I know Google used to like the personal stories with a message, because I wrote them. Now G buries them on a distant page. Everything changed. You can't write what you know unless you zero in on interesting Evergreen topics. Competition is fierce.
Panda--Penguin--BAH! Time to return the wild animals to their natural habitats!
I am not a promoter; I am not a salesperson; I am not a "techie." I am a creative artist; I write both educational and entertainment pieces. I'm sorry that's apparently not good enough. People used to appreciate good stories for their own sake, never mind if it was "evergreen" or not, or even informative. People used to read for entertainment and the sheer enjoyment of a good tale. A good story is a good story, period.
Worse, writing must for the most part be "dumbed-down" to about an 8th grade reading level. No one can spell or use the correct word anymore; e.g., I'm constantly seeing "then" used when "than" should have been the choice--just one example of many. Our school system (here in the USA) is being torn apart by politicians with selfish agendas. (But that's a whole other discussion.) People nowadays have the attention span of a gnat, and are only interested in sound bytes, rumors, and celebrity gossip. I find it excruciatingly irritating and shallow in the extreme.
I will not pander to that and demean my craft. So, from everything that has been said so far, I guess that means I'm all done writing online. I can't afford to hire promoters. Some folks have the talent to do that, but not all. And some seem to have a great knack for promotion, while their writing is abysmal, so they get all kinds of undeserved traffic.
Some people have that sales knack to sell the proverbial ice cubes to Eskimos...for myself, try though I have in many real-life venues, I don't seem have the ability to even sell tissues to someone with a nosebleed.
I find it disheartening that an article about some passing fad celebrity (certainly not "evergreen"), will outshine, out-perform and out-traffic an educational article about how BIG OIL is ripping off consumers and despoiling the land. Or how BIG AGRI-BUSINESS is essentially poisoning our food. No one wants to read about that so they can mount or join a protest and help change things--and that is truly scary. Apathy is the best path to a dictatorship, and we are on that road. But no one wants to know...George Orwell was right--he just got the year wrong.
I certainly appreciate everyone here who has offered advice, encouragement and friendship over the years here, but I'm done. I feel than any further efforts would just be a frustrating waste of my time, and I shall move on. Any further writing I do here will be without regard to what "The Big Brother Google" likes or wants--(they seem to be in on the (conspiracy, if you will) to encourage mass shallowness and stupidity)--and I will simply promote it myself as best I can via my Face Book page to get around that "no index" issue.
I, too, am an "educational and entertainment" writer. I, too, publish original stories and poetry on HubPages. But, for anyone to find that content on the Internet, you must deploy SEO. As a professional SEO strategist, I've made simple SEO Tutorials and posted them on HubPages. Anyone can learn the basics.
And if you want people beyond your Facebook group to find your articles about 'big oil' or 'agribusiness', present your information in a way for it to be found on search engines. Without SEO, no one can find your articles on the Internet; it is like going into a library and searching through a pile of books dumped on the floor.
I think it is important to remember who our audience is. We are currently moving from "readers" to "skimmers" and before long will wind up with "video watchers" only. Marisa is exactly correct in everything she says. Those who refuse to change with the times doom themselves to failure and would be smart to move on. I just hope they do not leave their unacceptable or poor content hubs online when they do to drag the rest of us through the mud with them.
I agree, and that is both sad and scary. It bodes ill for the future of society. The less people are willing to read and learn, the less educated they become, and the more easily manipulated by TPTB.
That is exactly how the suicide bombers in the Middle East are chosen and coerced/convinced of a great reward for their sacrifice--because they have been kept uneducated, and are preyed upon by the rulers. Is that what we want our nation to become? Google seems to think so.
My grandfather used to say, "Those who will not read are worse off than those who cannot." A 'person who is only a skimmer' or video-sound-byte surfer is not an educated person.
And that is why this trend bothers me so much--it is not about my personal gain, but the downward spiral in overall education and willingness to research, read and learn ALL the sides of an issue, instead of blindly parroting whichever group happens to be the most convincing to that person.
Dzy. Why don't you consider your poetry hubs only if they are the issue on the site right now? You are a good writer. The articles are well written, so you could leave them. When your husband feels better, you may want to make a final decision. I will pray for better days for you and your husband. This is just a suggestion. Hugs. Audrey.
Thank you, Audrey.
It is not 'just' the poetry hubs. I don't really care one way or another about those. They are my earlier posts, when I was brand new to the site, and before I really learned that it was articles, not poetry that was desirable here.
I'll leave all of it, and just not worry about it for a while, but I'm not going to put much effort if any into writing anything new.
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by Whitstable Views 2 years ago
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