From what I have seen featuring /not featuring a hub does little for traffic and it appears to be a catalyst that is sending authors to other sites (Bubblews comes to mind).
My understanding is that once a hub becomes un-featured it effectively stops its ability to get traffic from search engines. Hubs that were once featured are now being un-featured at a frantic pace.
Traffic has slowed but un-featuring hubs does not seem like the answer. Perhaps a better choice would be for HP to leave them alone until their traffic picks up again, which is what I have noticed from older/low traffic generating hubs that are suddenly rising to the top.
Your opinion will be greatly appreciated.
Here is my S.O.P. when HP unfeatures one of my hubs.
First, I gaze upon it with much sadness.
Second, I decide whether the hub has any future potential here...
If the answer is in the affirmative, then any half-decent updating will get it featured again.
If the answer is no, I've got at least three other places where I can give it a home.
I still think HP is the best hope for long-term, steady traffic; leastwise in my case. Just gotta keep poking Google with a stick until they agree.
There is a reason for un-featuring hubs.....
Google measures a site based on the quality of ALL of the pages.. If you have too many bad pages then your site will be penalized. Even your good pages will get reduced traffic (or no traffic at all) because you have too many bad ones! This is Panda!!
HP needed to get rid of the bad pages quickly to save the good ones so they come up with a brilliant plan - use googles own search to tell us if a page is OK. Google does not send traffic to what it sees as poor quality pages - so any pages that do not get traffic from google should be no-indexed so that google ignores them.
The collateral damage however is that otherwise quality pages that do not get traffic as no one searches for those terms or because there is too much competition also get idled! However you still don't lose any traffic - but then you don't stand a chance of google eventually deciding that your hub is wonderful and sending you traffic later either.
Once a page however has gone through the QAP however it is possible for HP to make a judgement as to keep a page featured - maybe this is where they are heading, but it will take a while to put every page on the site through the quality assessment and until that happens the safest thing for all of the "quality" pages that get traffic is for the others to not be seen by google..
Good explanation. It is the first thing I have read that gives me a reason why they have decided that sometimes the wheat being discarded along with the chaff is worthwhile.
I guess many good hub writers will have found a new place for their idled hub pages as an alternative to waiting to see if the plan eventually works. As the numbers of hubbers here reduce, are the chances for advertisers who pay per visit rather than per click also not going down?
On the feature / non-featured front, in the past sometimes pages took time to climb the search engine ladder. Not much chance for that to happen now I guess. Also some pages although not appearing to be seasonal had a rise in traffic at certain times of the year. I think they too may have fallen victim to the cull.
Exactly. This was the explanation given by Derek and Simone when they were here, so it's correct.
At the time, Derek said that HubPages knew the system would mean good quality Hubs on obscure topics would be unFeatured, but that was a price worth paying. They spent a lot of time "tweaking" the thresholds to try to minimise the damage.
What has happened now is that the site has suffered another Google hit, so more good Hubs are suddenly hitting that threshold. I wonder whether HP is tweaking the thresholds again to account for that, or not?
The problem is that you can't actually say "Traffic has slowed but un-featuring hubs does not seem like the answer."
You can only really guess whether something HP has done has helped with traffic or not, since we can't compare it to the "control" state of HP not doing something.
Yes traffic is bad, so it doesn't seem to have helped. But you don't know, traffic might have been a lot worse if HP had not done this. Traffic is far worse at Squidoo than at HP, for example. Maybe this one feature that you hate is what is helping this site not be as bad?
I thought that they had actually QAPPed everything on the site now, so really they should be able to stop idling because of lack of "engagement". However, Paul E. has stated in many places that whenever he talked to people who had their sites recover from Panda, the one thing that seemed to really help was no-indexing or removing content that Google was sending no traffic to. I think this is where the idea comes from and why they are so enthusiastic about it.
1.Traffic has slowed for most of us.
2.You are correct, perhaps this feature has helped stem the tide.
3.I don't hate anything, just wonder about its effectiveness and effect on authors.
4. If Paul E is correct, then more power to the feature/un-feature application
And BTW, HP is the best site for long term gains.
Well I don't know, I'm just pointing out that it is really impossible to tell whether something is helping or not.
It is possible that the sites that Paul E was looking at that got from under a Panda penalty were very different from HP, as in they weren't a huge collection of articles about every topic under the sun. What worked for them certainly might not work for us.
The main problem, I think is that traffic has not improved. It is possible that it could be much worse. There is a point though, were it doesn't matter.
And also, HP suggested that suite got from under a penalty , when in fact this is not correct. i think we should look at those sites and the data again.
If you're referring to Paul's hub about panda, he does actually say that "By looking at Quantcast for Suite 101, we can tell that they haven't recovered."
The point he is making is hat suite101 looks good now, and that they removed advertising above the fold. However, it hasn't helped them, so just changing the layout of the site is not enough to beat panda.
I'd love to know who those people are, because they're not expressing that view anywhere online.
I see webmasters saying they've recovered by removing low quality pages, but not one single one saying they've recovered by removing low traffic pages.
I believe Paul E decided to put a "marketing spin" on this, because he felt the truth would be less acceptable to Hubbers - who wants to know that some of their Hubs are "collateral damage"? However Derek let the cat out of the bag on the forums when he explained the reasons for the Featured/unFeatured system (read LeanMan's post to see the true situation).
I've noticed Paul E repeating the "spun" version a few times - maybe he's hoping that as older Hubbers leave, Derek's explanation will be forgotten and people will accept the spin.
Perhaps you could ask Paul directly about this. I am sure that you've read his hub about panda: http://pauledmondson.hubpages.com/hub/W … ogle-Panda
In it (under "So How are Sites Really Recovering from Panda) he says that he knows very few sites that have recovered, but that they all have one thing in common, that they aggressively removed content "used traffic from Google as the signal".
Now it is possible that Paul is lying, he made the whole thing up as a marketing ploy, but I suspect that is not so.
I think he really does believe that idling because of "lack of engagement" is necessary. It puzzled me initially that they would keep doing it after all hubs passed through the QAP. Of course that does not mean that he is right, the lack of traffic suggests he's not (but maybe traffic would be much worse if it wasn't done).
As to people forgetting Derek's explanation and accepting the spin, I think it is pretty obvious to everybody that there will be collateral damage if you de-index pages just because they are not getting traffic. I don't think there was anything particularly revelatory in what Derek said, except it was refreshing to have staff actually admit that the grass is green.
I have asked Paul about this more than once. I've replied to his forum posts asking him to post any references which suggest low-trafficked posts hurt a site. He has never responded. I've also done extensive searches and talked to several internet entrepreneurs and have never been able to find anyone saying low traffic per se is a bad thing.
I've also asked Robin, Derek and Simone the specific question, "do low-trafficked Hubs hurt the site?" and they have all said "no". Paul is the only one who seems to disagree!
Derek's post explained that they know low-trafficked Hubs are not harmful, however they had to find a fast, cheap way to remove low quality Hubs. Since low-quality Hubs always get low traffic, using traffic was the cheapest and fastest method they could think of. It had nothing to do with thinking low traffic was a bad thing in itself.
The problem with someone like Paul saying low traffic is bad is that Hubbers may throw away good content for no reason. If a Hub gets unFeatured for lack of traffic, it could be ideal to add to a website or blog, or to sell on a content site, or to publish on another revenue-sharing site - whereas if Hubbers believe Paul, they may think it's worthless.
See, I didn't interpret what Paul said as meaning that he thinks that low traffic hubs hurt the site. It's more that low traffic might be an indication that Google doesn't like them. The problem is that it is so hard to tell what Google doesn't like (I think we all know it isn't just spam), that he thinks it is best to de-index anything that doesn't get traffic.
To me the main spin that did all the harm happened when they first introduced idle hubs a year ago. They really applied full blast marketing and made it sound like it was all about "quality". That was a mistake, because clearly it wasn't, but a lot of people took idling personally because of that.
I really dislike having hubs idled because of "engagement". But really what I hate is not getting enough traffic, and seeing inferior wiki answers outrank my hubs.
As long as Google is in the driver's seat, most of us are 'screwed,' in my opinion.
I never did get any kind of income more than some pocket change...and made payout threshold only about every other month....which, because of the delay-for-a-month payment schedule really meant every three months.
Now, I have dropped to the point that it is taking three months or more to reach the payout minimum, so I will probably only see actual payment semi-annually!
It is frustrating in the extreme.
If you were Google which site would you trust to deliver good content for a query?
A dedicated site around the topic being searched about authored by an expert?
A mass authored site that accepts anyone to write on any subject created with the aim of making money for the contributors?
The work that HP has to do to be able to convince Google that our content is "the best" and worthy of being ranked in the search engine results I would guess is horrendous. While HP is a place where people can earn money it will always attract the spammers and get rich quick without any work brigade who will try to fill this site with crap.
So while anyone can use the site and its primary objective is to make money it will always be seen as a second rate source of information by Google.........
While many of us on here write good quality informative hubs many people do not; they regurgitate the same stuff as everyone else just changing the words a little.to try to game the system and get views and thus money. These hubs although unique and "quality" are just the same as a thousand other pages on other content farms and made for adsense/amazon websites. They add nothing to the web that is not already there.
Google wants that little bit extra and so does the reader, they don't want to find the first 10 results on their search containing exactly the same information just worded differently with the only aim of pointing them at the same batch of products or books on Amazon.
Google has a hard job to do, they have to not only identify what is relevant to a search but if it is any good also. They are going to use metrics that measure the site as a whole as well as the individual page to judge that quality. The problem is that HP as a whole is never going to be "outstanding."
Don't you think the idling for low traffic has decreased recently? Maybe staff is rethinking that issue, aalite. I sure hope so.
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