I recently had a hub un-featured for engagement, as the half-circle indicates. I think this is an unfair practice and should be eliminated entirely. Here's why I feel this way:
Our hub traffic is often affected by the time of year, holidays, seasons, and current events to name a few. If left alone, most of these hubs will circulate through the search engines and regain footing. If they are removed from Google's index, they don't stand a chance.
Will Christmas hubs become un-featured after the holidays? How about spring, summer, and fall planting tips?
Many of our hubs get traffic outside the HP community. As such, those 'other' readers are not apt to leave comments (engagement) because more times than not, they aren't writers and don't know the value of commenting, responding to polls, etc.
Is it fair to the author and/or the the person on the other side of the search bar to deny access to an article just because the comment area has become stagnant? I think as long as an article is getting traffic, it should be allowed to run through the cyclical searches.
I understand un-featuring - or not featuring - articles of poor quality. But to deem a previously successful article as no longer feature-worthy due to engagement is not allowing the article to enjoy its organic life, nor does it take into consideration the traffic it receives without so-called engagement.
What do my fellow Hubbers think? I'd like to see this judgement eliminated.
I agree. It is based on the myth that Google does not deliver traffic to the hub because it is rated poorly by Google or there is some issue with it. It is a classic case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It is very easy for HP to do and it requires no assessment of the value or quality of the hub apart from traffic stats. Many of the hubs flagged are of great quality and value to a small audience. Many of these hubs may be destined for good traffic in the future as it can take more than 12 months for a hub to get enough links to rate highly. It sends the wrong message to writers and is demoralising for the community.
The saving grace is that hubs can be featured again with relatively simple and minor edits. Writers should take the opportunity to revise the title, look for any edits required and to add several more compelling images to the hubs. It is a pain, but you can use it to your advantage to get more traffic from quality hubs. The hidden agenda is that HP uses this to dump hubs written by 'sleeper' authors who are not active and have no interest in editing their articles to keep them fresh and useful.
Janderson, my point exactly. It takes time for an article to rank. I would like HP admin to define "engagement". To me it means participation, which discounts the multiple views/reads we get outside the HP community. I say let them stay featured and let time work on our side. It certainly can't do any harm, whereas un-featuring a previously featured article does damage to the authors and HP overall.
Slash "engagement" from the rating system. Most of us have jobs, whether outside the home or as freelance writers. We don't have time to keep sending our articles out to social media repeatedly to garner comments. How many times can we do that without turning our readers off entirely?
If you think it hurts to get a half circle, wait until they give you a O due
to poor quality. Yes, I have has hubs go from featured articles down to half circle due to low engagement, and right on down to O, due to low quality.
I never understood how a featured article can be featured, and a few months down the road it is O, low quality. What made it low quality?
Nothing changed except the volume of readers leaving comments.
I got so upset, I took down all but a few articles.
There are many things about HP that I do not understand.
I stay around for the friendships.
Good luck, Sha!
DJ, I've had featured articles get the full circle, too. I went in and edited them after sending an email to the staff to find out why. That can be fixed. Engagement beyond HP can't. So, engagement SHOULD NOT be a determining factor in featuring or un-featuring our work.
Shauna, I agree.
I also think that if the hub gets the "evergreen" stamp of approval ( top right corner near word count, shown before clicking to publish), and has passed QAP in first 24 hours, then that should be enough to say it was a well written article and HP should leave it alone. (Assuming an intelligent human did the QAP and not a program)
In fact, everything that has passed QAP should be stay featured, unless author has been tweaking it for some reason, where the hub has taken on a drastic change from the original, etc.
If a hub stops getting traffic at some point, well ... we all go through some highs and lows. HP should eat the lows just like we do.
HP should continue to monitor and flag for broken links, blurry pix, and copied content, etc, but once it has passed muster, leave it alone.
Rachael - you don't have to use social media to get a hub refeatured by creating extra traffic, though that is a good idea. Simply doing some edits is all that is required. Focus on things that will be likely to boost traffic in the longer term: Change the Title. Add more fabulous images and submit to Pinterest, Add new content and edit to correct typos etc. A few simple changes is all that is required.
Janderson99, I didn't mention anything about using social media in my comment.
Sorry, mistaken identity! I was responding to this "Most of us have jobs, whether outside the home or as freelance writers. We don't have time to keep sending our articles out to social media repeatedly to garner comments." from bravewarroir. My apologies!
We're not talking about un-featured due to quality on this forum post. That's a different animal. Let's stick to topic: un-featured due to lack of engagement.
Using social media does increase engagement, but only with fellow Hubbers. I addressed that in my initial post. My concern is the people that get cut off from reading our posts because commenting dwindles. Outside visitors typically don't comment, but they visit. That should account for something.
I think it is a problem at a time when traffic has been low everywhere. I am told that if you update and share they will go back to featured and my limited experience is showing that to be the case. What perturbs me more is that hubs with this message: "Great job! A beautiful Hub that includes well-written text with engaging and interactive capsules establishes a great foundation for success." are being unfeatured for content. To be honest, it is a mysterious process and when you write to the team they will sometimes feature them manually - but then they revert to unfeatured on edit. I enjoy mysteries on TV but I am not so keen on them here because I want to do the best I can and produce the best content I can in a new environment. I have read T & Cs and FAQs but am still trying to work it out.
Lisa Marie, please re-read my post. We can only do so much to engage comments and participation. The fact of the matter is, much of our viewership comes from those who are searching for information and would rather not leave a comment.
Again, HP Gods..... what constitutes engagement?
I fully understand where you are coming from with your post and I have "non-seasonal" articles in exactly the same boat but you did make the comment "I understand un-featuring - or not featuring - articles of poor quality." The whole issue of unfeaturing for quality and for engagement is actually linked. I know of friends who have had articles unfeatured for lack of engagement when those articles are getting lots of traffic. So is it poor quality traffic that clicks out early or is it traffic that has not come from Godgle?
If unfeaturing for non-engagement is, as some say, a blunt tool intended to deindex pages that have not been updated for years surely a better tool would deindex pages that have never been updated? Is a one month grace period time enough to create a buzz with search engines? Possibly it is in usual circumstances, but the last few months have hardly been usual. Anyway, it is interesting to read everyone's input here, on topic or even slightly off, as I appear to have been. Sorry.
LisaMarie, HP has a delineation between the two: half circle and full circle. I'm concerned with the half circle. Time needs to be the measure and it must be longer than a few months. Let Google determine the value of our articles that have not been knocked down for poor quality. Let them run the gamut. Let online searched find them in their queries. That is the test. Not HP's evaluation before they've had a chance to go through time.
Lisa, They decide by how much traffic it gets from search engines, which I don't think is fair either. I had a hub that had over 200 visitors from Pinterest that month and it still wasn't good enough and got it for lack of engagement. Rarely does a newer hub get decent search engine traffic until it ages a bit.
HubPages put this filter in place to help protect the overall health of the site, based on how Google itself views, judges and penalizes pages not getting interaction from visitors.
If you think it is unfair, you need to complan to Google. If they change how they operate and stop penalizing those pages, then neither will HubPages.
This is not a Google penalty. This is an HP penalty that stops Google in its tracks. Google can take up to a year to index a site or article. HP does not give us that grace period.
Furthermore, interaction should not be a factor. Views are what counts on Google and should count on HP as well. Cutting us off after a month or two is not fair.
Again... Christmas hubs. Why should HP remove them from SERPs? Isn't that up to Uncle Google?
Without wishing to sound disrespectful, bravewarrior, I don't think you understand how it works. For instance, in my experience most hubs get indexed in a matter of days... (Even on a brand new, large, and very disorganized website, it is most unlikely that you wouldn't be indexed for an entire year!)
Views aren't what counts for Google and never have been. Links are still the most important thing as far as the algo goes. HP are using views to try and second guess Google. It's a crude tool but better than nothing.
Relache is absolutely correct that HP has to value the health of the site as a whole in order to survive.
I have not had any of my Christmas hubs unfeatured due to lack of engagement and I have had them since 2012. However, to answer your question, I do think HP should not unfeature hubs due to lack of engagement, because the hub was high-scoring initially and over time it will go down in score due to not as many comments being received. However, I have learned to recirculate those older hubs (I do not have as many as others) by highlighting them on my profile page, and then sharing again on all the social media, and it has truly helped to keep the "lack on engagement" aspect from happening, at least for me. When I noticed one of my hub's score starting to drop low, I will go in and change up the title to something I think is more Google friendly and maybe make a few tweaks and that always works and the hub does not get unfeatured. Then of course, after making the minor changes, I always share somewhere.
i agree with you . most of my earth day , easter day, st patricks day hubs become half moon, when the season starts, it became featured
Peachpurple, that's good to know. Do the become featured by HP or do you go in and recirculate them to get traffic?
I had to update them. Add in new photos, add in new text and polls and videos and they became featured again but not for long.
It is demoralizing to lose a hub due to "engagement" or traffic which is somewhat beyond our control unless we bombard our dated hubs on social media and burn out our followers by sharing them repeatedly. Recently, I lost two "Editor's Choice" hubs to the half circle of shame. Since it was during times when our traffic sources were known to be in default, this bothered me quite a bit. Having 28 daily views total for over a week was way beyond poor and then unfeaturing my hubs was adding insult to injury. This was enough to make me delete and unpublish several hubs and seriously reconsider my efforts here. I have since calmed down and written a new hub which then reduced my author score. Go figure.
Peg, how can a hub go from Editor's Choice to a half-circle? That doesn't make sense. I can certainly understand your frustration. It would be nice if we were notified in advance and given a detailed explanation for the demotion.
No traffic is the reason, I think. The main keyword on one has 36 million hits when Googled. Both hubs had scores of 90 before they were unfeatured. Then, to add to the confusion, one chapter of my novel (Chapter 5??) has reached the top scoring position with NO traffic for a while. How can that be? It seems like the scoring filter is hosed up.
The term "engagement" does not mean that people commented, it means the hub is not getting views. My best performing hub of all time has had almost no comments but has never been unfeatured due to lack of engagement.
This having been said, I do think you make a good point here...now if we can only get the team to see it our way!!
This particular hub has 324 views. I have others with less views that are featured. What's odd is, it's showing 1 view for today. How can that be if it's no longer featured?
Yes, this practice should be eliminated. The purpose is futile. If the hub stays featured, sooner or later it will get traffic again.
Yes, it seems unfair. When one of mine goes half circle, I just tweak the title and share on Pinterest in different boards and it is back up and running. I guess maybe HP is trying to get us to rejuvenate those hubs that haven't had a view or comment in a bit. Maybe they should just send us an email and we can tweak it as we see fit and share somewhere before unfeaturing it? I don't like to share on twitter or G+ for reasons you state, Sha. But Pinterest seems to be less intrusive to our usual readers.
Faith, I'm not active on Pinterest. I guess I don't understand how it works. I do have an account but do absolutely nothing with it.
I re-share my un-featured hubs, and that changes the status - temporarily, but how many times can we inundate our social media followers with the same shares?
I think HP should just leave them be and let the content have a chance to make the Google search circuits. Taking them off the market, so to speak, is certain death.
bravewarrior, There are many hubs on here about how to use Pinterest and it isn't complicated. You may be cheating yourself out of a lot of traffic by not using it. Give it a try.
Pinterest views don't count on HP, only views from Google count. Like bravewarrior I'm not active on Pinterest, don't even have an account, I've always hated the site and still do. I'm on FB, but I respect my friends and want to keep them, I'm on Twitter, but never understood it, for me it's in the same category as Pinterest, a lot of rubbish going on there.
I leave the unfeatured, unfeatured, but they're still visable on my profile page. At one time Squidoo managed to make me feel at home, sad to say but HP never managed that.
Hmm, that's odd because it works every time for me. I never share any HP on my facebook. I do share on Twitter, G+ and Pinterest all those hubs my followers publish and when I publish a new one. I don't understand any of the sites but I share anyway.
I don't quite understand how to use Twitter, either. I share my posts and other things I read that I find interesting and get notifications from those I follow on Twitter, but that's about the extent of it.
I think it is unfair, definitely but in the meantime, while they are unfeatured we have the opportunity to improve the unfeatured hub and therefore, it may get refeatured.
I'll be glad when year 2016 gets here so I can start updating again. Been postponing because I want that nice, fresh content, 2016 date on it.
Do you think having 2016 as "last updated" will matter? Searches follow trends, but there are few topics that don't escape being found when someone types in search phrases. What may be stale today can be hot tomorrow. I say leave our featured hubs featured. If they were worthy at the time of publishing, they should be left to be found by the search engines at any given point in time.
If we're expected to update, then we should be paid as writers for hire, not have a few pennies thrown to us by those who determine what's hot and what's not. Let the search engines decide. The written word lasts forever, unless it's hidden from the public. Think about that.
Al, I guess it comes down to determining how much time we want to spend on a site that pays us pennies, especially when time is precious for those of us who work outside the home. In my eyes, if a hub is worthy of being published (and featured) it should stay that way. Period.
I agree - the unfair judgement should be eliminated. A good , interesting, helpful article should remain featured so as to earn residual income and provide readers with information they want to know.
I do believe, though, that updating a hub with newer information is good practice even when the hub is still featured. I update my articles when I come across new information that is relevant and beneficial to the hub and the reader.
That's certainly good practice, Phyllis, especially when the hub offers information for consumers. But short stories, continuing stories, and even informational hubs should not be penalized when the novelty and influx of readership upon first publishing wears off. I've Googled many topics lately that result in articles from four and five years ago rank on the first page. We should be given the same opportunity. Keep our hubs alive and they will be found.
Not featuring due to quality is a whole different story, but that's not what we're talking about here. Quality hubs should not be subject to a time frame.
There are two or three current forums on this same topic. Because there are so many hubbers of the same opinion that hubs previously featured should be no longer de-featured due to traffic surely HubPage staff will have to comment and act on these legitimate concerns. Very good and valid points have been raised and can't be ignored.
John, this particular post is the perfect example to state and validate my case. I initially posted it a year ago, and now today (12/27/1015), it's seen a flurry of activity.
Our hubs can and will do the same if left featured, once deemed as such.
Of course, it isn't fair at all. If the hubs remain featured, sooner or later someone will READ THEM.
I also agree, bravewarrior. What you and janderson are saying makes a lot of sense. Thank you for bringing this topic up.
Phyllis, it's been bothering me for about a week now. The particular hub of which I speak was un-featured once for engagement reasons. I re-posted it to the social networks and it was once again featured. How many times can I do that without burning out my friends and followers? HP needs to realize that most of our traffic comes from outside the confines of HP. Those people don't engage, but they read. That's what matters, in my book.
I've never been a fan of any entity or website playing God. So this topic does rub me the wrong way. If figure that if an article was good enough when it was published, it should still be a good article, barring no editing was done by author or HP editors.
Whether anyone reads the hub or not can mean that the hub isn't getting the advertising it should - via on sidebars of other hubs, the Related Hubs section, or rotating your titles on the carousel every 3 to 5 days with hubs you want to get more attention. Sharing to other venues doesn't hurt either, but HP says that is very low on the totem pole for hubs failing in performance.
Instead of unfeaturing (unpublishing), why can't HP notify the author using one of the violations tags on our stat page (or create a new tag) and give them an opportunity to edit before they unfeature it?
Taking a hub out of circulation is messing with our income.
To make a formerly QAP approved, high scoring, well commented, high traffic hub unfeatured is like a teacher telling a student:
"Your test paper scored a perfect 100, but your penmanship sucks so I took off 90 points."
Or adapted to HP:
"Your hub was good when you wrote it six years ago, and thanks for bringing such great traffic to our site all those years, but we unfeatured it because we feel no one cares about the topic anymore."
Rachael, I don't agree. The Googling public are the true measure. Just because they don't comment doesn't mean the article isn't worthy. If it stagnates for years with no views, sure - go ahead and remove it from the search engines. But doing so after a few weeks or months is just not fair, nor is it good business.
I so understand that. I would think that it would benefit HubPages, as well as us writers, to keep good hubs featured.
I'll join this party.
I have a vague recollection of even Google saying that using the noindex tag is a bad idea and can mess things up for a website.
Let our articles ride. Time, Google, and Googlers will determine whether or not they should be removed from SERPS. This is why I think the half-circle should be eradicated. However, that does not mean HP should full-circle those articles!
I agree Shauna, a couple of weeks back was the first time I have had a hub unfeatured due to lack of engagement and there were 13. I update and re-shared and managed to get them all featured again. I do believe that HP shouldn't be too quick to give hubs the half circle though because many of my hubs that have had little traffic for say a month suddenly see a resurgence of views and even unexplained rises in hub score without having been touched by me. I don't mind being prompted now and then to refurbish my hubs but I think there could be a better way then unfeaturing them.
Right on, John! I get traffic out of the blue on some of my early posts. So what is the measuring mechanism? And how many times can we bombard our social sites with the same article? If they are worthy of being featured when first posted, they should be allowed to stand the test of time. Meaning, forever!
Un-publishing hubs for non-engagement is a crude tool, for sure, but I do believe it is a necessary one, given the alternatives.
If there isn't some sort of filtering, then the entire site suffers. For sure, it would be great if HubPages came up with something more subtle and sophisticated, but I am sure they would if they could.
Before hubs were un-published for low quality or lack of engagement, I think it felt unfair for those people who were trying to raise the standards of their own hubs, only to be dragged down by what was happening elsewhere on the site.
I speak as someone who has had many hubs un-published myself in the past. You either have to improve them or delete them. It's brutal, but I don't think HP can afford to go back to the old days.
The ultimate cause of this is Google. HP has to acknowledge what the Google algo doesn't like, or the site is basically sunk (or Squidoo'd, you might say!). Like I said at the start - the filter for low engagement is pretty crude, but I see no realistic alternative.
Sorry but I don't agree with this "HP has to acknowledge what the Google algo doesn't like". This is an assumption which has no factual basis. There are many reasons why the traffic is low even when the algo "loves it". It is simply a matter of relative ranking at one point in time. Perhaps the topic is obscure and not many people search for it. The QAP and Hub score is meant to simulate what Google likes. If the article has a good hub score presumably Google likes it. You can't have it both ways. This tool is a lazy blunt instrument that causes more harm than good. The Pro tool is focused on lifting the quality of hubs that get traffic. Why unfeature hubs that have good hub scores simply because the traffic is low? It sends the wrong message to he community that all HP cares about is traffic and articles that will get traffic. Sorry, I have not seen any evidence that Google 'hates' all hubs that don't get traffic, and that there is something wrong with them.
Janderson, you're forgetting that some hubs are seasonal. Again, read my initial post. I tried to be as explicit as possible in order for this forum to not get off track.
Do Christmas articles get un-featured come March 'cuz no one is querying Christmas articles? How the hell are we supposed to spark 'engagement'? If an article is well-written, let is run its course; it'll come back. All good things in due time.
Unlikely. The HP algorithm for traffic includes the concept of seasonal hubs and these are given a break. Not a total pass, but the requirements are different and take into account that nearly all the traffic will occur within a short time.
I have a dozen or so hubs that are seasonal, either to a day (Xmas) or a season (summer) and none have lost their featured status for engagement.
Wilderness, my hub that has been unfeatured (for the second time) is not seasonal. It has to do with rape. That is an ongoing (evergreen) situation. Not many people outside of HP will comment on it because it's a personal subject. However, those who have been violated, seek others who have lived through it for help in doing the same.
Taking our articles out of the SERPs benefits no one. Who knows how many lives certain of our exposes might save?
Comments have nothing to do with anything; "engagement" does not mean comments. Just traffic.
But taking garbage out of circulation DOES benefit us all, and this is apparently the best/only way HP has found to get rid of what Google considers poor quality. That there is that "collateral damage" is regrettable, but a price HP is willing to pay. There is also the fact that unfeaturing a hub won't affect traffic if a hub wasn't getting any anyway. The hub is still "Findable" via a link, just not the search engines, and those engines never sent any traffic in any case.
From the FAQ Learning Center:
"Your Hub needs a heartbeat to stay Featured. We consider a heartbeat to be signs of engagement from readers (total Hub views, comments, and search traffic).
see 17. http://hubpages.com/faq/#search-traffic-to-be-featured
""Your Hub needs a heartbeat to stay Featured. We consider a heartbeat to be signs of engagement from readers (total Hub views, comments, and search traffic)."
At least for my hubs, the number of views is so much more than comments that they can't matter at all. One hub as 7,000 views, 0 comments; it isn't comments that's keeping it alive.
Wilderness, many of my hubs get traffic from the search engines, this one included. It's far from "garbage". I don't write garbage. Un-featuring due to engagement is not the same as doing so for poor quality.
Apologies: I intended for your hub to be in the "collateral damage", not the garbage label. A perfectly good hub that was caught in the only net HP knows how to use in it's effort to better the site as a whole.
Certainly no offense was intended, just a possible explanation of why HP takes this step.
Janderson - Hubscores are essentially irrelevant to search engine traffic. Not really worth discussing them generally, let alone in this context.
Paul Edmondson wrote his thoughts on Google traffic in a hub, I remember. As it is very difficult to make a filter that analyses all the factors involved, (even a multi-billion dollar corp like Google struggle to get it right), it is easier just to unpublish hubs that get very little traffic (esp search engine traffic) for long periods. That weeds out the stuff that Google doesn't like, but yes, it also takes out some stuff it shouldn't. It's better than nothing, however, and the more dedicated hubbers will improve the hubs and get them published again.
Sorry this phrase is gobbly gook : " the stuff that Google doesn't like" --- How do you know this? How can this be determined especially when HP is second guessing and deindexing hubs that HP itself rates highly as likely to succeed (pass QAP and have high hub scores).
The assumption is that if it gets traffic, Google likes it. If it does not, it either means that G doesn't like it or that people don't search for it. Either way, if low traffic hubs are de-indexed it eliminates the material G doesn't like (along with a good bit of "collateral damage").
Please explain to me how a high quality stellar hub that gets a small amount of traffic, but not above the threshold last month, damages HP.
It doesn't. Now explain why you think HP thinks it does. This thread has repeatedly explained why they are unfeatured and nowhere is there any indication that good hubs harm HP. Just that they are caught in the same net gathering hubs that DO cause harm.
So the logic is that the baby goes out with the bath water because HP will not lose much because the traffic to the hub is low. Why doesn't HP apply a quality test before deindexing quality hubs with low traffic? It is an extremely blunt instrument that causes a lot of damage to the community. It defies logic.
Probably because HP cannot know what Google considers "quality". Only that Google is very unlikely to send traffic to an article they deem to be of poor quality.
Yes, it is blunt, but what damage is it causing? As you point out, it doesn't hurt HP to lose non-existent traffic - how does it then hurt the hubber to lose that same non-existent search traffic?
Clearly a hub that is deindexed can never get search traffic in the future. We all know that it can take many months, even years for a hub to get reliable traffic. The hurt to the hubber is more about the slap in the face it gives to hubbers who put their heart and soul into developing quality hubs that meet all the requirements set by HP and which have good hub scores. It hurts the community of writers, it sap morale, and it is contrary to the stated objective of HP in promoting good quality content. Why can't HP apply a quality test which would be fairer and easier to understand and cope with? This issue has been discussed many, many times and clearly many writers in the community are very unhappy with this blunt tool which causes so much collateral damage. I guess nothing will happen as usual, despite all the discussion and ill feeling about it.
But the dreaded 'Related Searches' ads have been changed and half removed from the site, so I believe it is worth striving to get changes made, even when faced with a brick wall !
"Why can't HP apply a quality test which would be fairer and easier to understand and cope with?"
If you, or any other hubber, would give HP a definitive test for "Google quality" I'm sure they would rather have that than the admittedly blunt tool they now have. As you say, this has been discussed before, and the answer is always the same - no one knows what Big G's idea of quality is, and until we do it is worth the price of deindexing the minute number of hubs that would one day be "found" by the world and finally produce some traffic and income.
I hope nothing happens with it as I, too, find it to be the best way to remove stuff from the site that Google doesn't like and WILL penalize the whole site for. I would appreciate a better method as much as you would, but have none to offer and have heard no one else offer any either except to ignore the problem and hope we all maintain traffic in spite of experience to the contrary.
The defacto measure of G quality is the QAP score. You can't get over that, as that is the best that HP can do. The fact that HP re-indexes pages after a simple edits shows that the pages do not damage the site. Setting a QAP score filter as well as a traffic threshold would be easy to implement and would remove the collateral damage. Pages that are edited go back through QAP and poor quality ones get the full bullet hole. I would like to see this implemented with an email sent to authors advising that a quality hub has fallen below the engagement threshold and suggesting that it be edited to improve traffic expectations with some tips. Email only sent fro quality hubs. Once again very easy to do.
Untrue. While QAP score is a decent indication of what you, I or HP considers "quality" it has little to nothing to do with whether G will send traffic or penalize. It is pretty well recognized that while G pays lip service to "quality" (and I do believe them in the general case) they are NOT there yet. Their algorithms are not capable of determining that elusive factor to any large degree.
QAP losers are already taken care of - no need to do any more there. On the other hand, re-indexing pages after an edit seems the right thing to do to me - the hubber makes changes, give it another try. Should you disagree, you might bring that up - strike one and you're out. I doubt you would get much agreement, though.
Firstly, Janderson, listen to Wilderness, he is talking a lot of sense!
Also, historically 2 of the biggest problems for Hubpages have been:
1. Users who write hubs that are very thin but they're there just to provide backlinks to some website the user is promoting. (Thankfully there are less of these than there used to be)
2. Users who just simply write thin content that nobody wants to read.
Both these user groups then wander off and HP is left with thin content that can hang around indefinitely, we're talking months and years. HP just used to let this material gather, and they ended up with thousands and thousands of pages of the stuff, but then Google punished them so they had to take action.
Yes, there are some well written, in-depth hubs on obscure topics that get very little traffic. They aren't the problem, but for sure they can get hit in the crossfire. I suspect that these form a much smaller proportion than people think, compared to the spam and the pap, but that is pure speculation. (The spammers etc don't generally contribute to the forums)
Sometimes the issues with an un-published hub aren't very difficult to fix. If you do get unpublished, you *can* edit hubs that get very little traffic, re-publish and watch them soar sometimes. More words, more depth, more interactive pays off in many cases. I know this from experience.
Anyway, Relache and Wilderness etc. have basically said all of this, so I am just repeating...
I'm talking about hubs that drop in engagement. Again, read my original post. Many factors cause a drop in engagement. However, MOST of our readers are outside of HP, so removing our articles from the search engines because we've depleted responses from Hubbers is unfair all the way around.
Also, read your Google Analytics reports. They are a far cry from what HP reports. Google is true. I don't know what HP reports to us, but the numbers are far from accurate. Therefore, un-featuring articles by their engagement measures penalizes us and the Googling community. It's a lose-lose situation. It needs to go away.
HP's definition of 'engagement' doesn't just mean receiving comments. For HP, engagement includes, among many things, receiving search engine traffic. So a hub that is unfeatured for lack of engagement is likely not getting much search traffic to begin with.
But all in all I agree with the gist of what you are saying. If a hub has not been deemed of poor quality by the QAP, then it should be indexed. And I would go further and say that if hubs are deemed low quality, then they should be unpublished, not merely unfeatured.
My most successful hub has been labeled as such, and the subject matter was the 100th anniversary of an historic event. I can't very well continuously modify it to make it "current" when the traffic drops. I understand your qualm!
Why are people worried that a hub is not indexed if it is not getting traffic??
Not being indexed is not the same as being unpublished - it just means that it is now being overlooked by Google - who were already overlooking it!! So your hub that never got visits from Google will continue to get no views from Google until you do something to change it.
Being de-indexed loses you nothing!! But it does help the site!!
Yes it is a blunt instrument but better that a few hubs that are fantastic but get zero traffic from the search engines are de-indexed along with the crap that Google really does not like than we risk having crap there that will drag down the traffic for all of us..
Good hubs get de-indexed but we are only assuming that they are good because we think that they are... what if we are wrong and Google thinks they are not good? Remember it is what Google thinks not what we think, the QAP thinks or our fans think - only Google's opinion counts when it comes to getting search engine traffic. Leaving them indexed could drag down the whole site..
Pages that are de-indexed can still get traffic - share on Pinterest, tweet, share on facebook, provide links from other sites etc. They still exist on the internet and can still be found and viewed.
But as a final note I just want to say again that if a hub was getting NO traffic from Google it does ZERO harm to it to remove it from the Google index - it will just carry on getting no traffic...
But it will have no chance of getting traffic in the future once it is deindexed. Getting traffic takes time, as it requires links being established etc.. It is not zero traffic, just small traffic.
Having a hub de-indexed tells you that there is a problem and gives you an opportunity to do something about it. While it may not feel fair it does make you tackle the issues.. There are typically only a few issues that will cause you to have little or no traffic;
No one is searching for what you have written about; can you change your keywords to reflect what people are looking for? Can you make what you have written clearer for the search engine to understand what the page is about (on page SEO)? Can you get traffic through social sharing?
There is too much competition from established, niche, authority sites; get your article on one of those sites or start the hard slog of establishing your own.
There is too much competition here on HP; if there are 100 hubs all targeting the same or similar versions of your keywords Google will only show one (maybe 2!). So move your hub to a site where it has no internal competition or ensure that your hub is THE very best.
In my experience if a hub is going to get traffic it will get it very quickly - yes that traffic may increase over time as you creep up the SERPS but it is rare for a hub to sit for months or years with 1 or 2 visits a month to suddenly go through the roof unless you have written something that suddenly becomes popular because some celebrity starts keeping lesser spotted purple pink short-haired kittens and everyone suddenly wants one too...
I think instead of complaining people just need to consider why they are getting no traffic and then take action.
True, but that "little" traffic is very little indeed. I've never had a hub deindexed that was showing even a single visit in 30 days and many of my seasonal hubs quite often show zero but remain featured. We don't know what the number actually is, but it is very, very low.
Might as well host stuff that you don't want to edit and gets no views on your own site or blog. Then you can leave it to gather dust and fondly think about how great a writer you are.
We have been all through this before. Whatever the arguments - HubPages site, HubPages rules.
I agree with you, Mark. When I see that a hub is no longer getting many views, I try to figure out why...if I can, I tweak and wait. If it still shows itself to be a loser...no matter how well it is written or how much I worked on it and/or like it, I delete it. I see no point in just having hubs sit to have them sit. Many would disagree with me, but I would rather have 20 hubs getting good traffic than 100 just squeaking by.
by Don Bobbitt 5 years ago
Honestly, HP needs to step up and start filtering their input. I have been here for over 5 years and I have watched a lot of changes, but what I see as what must be the most damaging to HP (ergo we writers) with Google is the number of low quality Hubs being allowed in the gate. I hear a lot of...
by Danson Wachira 8 years ago
I have encountered a very poorly written hub, the spelling and grammar was bad and the sentences were incomprehensible. The hub has less than 300 words in total including the title (268 words exactly) and has more than 15 none-English words. I had to check the hubber profile; the hubber has 12...
by Luis E Gonzalez 7 years ago
How many times have there been forums posts regarding this "experiment" of featuring and un-featuring" hubs due to traffic and trying to guess what Google wants. Experts with probably more expertise than anyone at HP have said over and over that no-follow attributes can and will hurt...
by Steve Andrews 8 years ago
When it was first introduced I was annoyed by it but made an effort to tweak my hubs to get them out of Idle status. Now, a whole load have got zzs against them again and many of them are hubs that at one point were very successful and even now still have scores above 70 or higher.One of the hubs...
by Doodlehead 7 years ago
Can someone tell me?
by Sondra Rochelle 5 years ago
Awhile back the team started unfeaturing articles due to lack of traffic. Many here think this is a bad idea, and I agree. Doing this upsets many writers and has nothing to do with quality or how Google views our work...except for the fact that leaving low or no traffic articles online...
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