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 has the potential of increasing the ratio of informational articles to those with ads...which could be a very good thing.
There are many high quality hubs on this site that get "turned off" that would help HP get back some of the credibility it has lost this past year.
So, how about it Team HP? Stop this foolishness and spend your time getting rid of the dross instead of the good stuff!
I agree with you TimeTraveler. It also gives a signal to the Google Bots that the article has been removed and consequently it affects the overall SEO of HubPages. If HP wants to retain high quality hubs, they can do it by emailing the hubber to improve it. They should pinpoint the grey areas in the hubs that are required to be improved.
I agree. While in the past I knew HP unfeatured due to lack of traffic because it was a more viable way to get rid of bad content, I currently started seeing the detriment of the policy. Many well written articles will end getting moved off of HP because of the policy. I know that I personally no longer try to fix Hubs that are de-featured due to lack of traffic and just move them to one of my sites or somewhere else. And the problem is, only keyword optimized Hubs will remain on HP and this doesn't assure us of quality content at all and just makes the site look like a massive keyword stuffed site.
I agree. I'm just putting my 2 cents in, so they can see more writers agree.
You stated "only keyword optimized hubs will remain", which I think is wrong. Only well written hubs that are linked to by other sites, shared by others, and get good traffic because of being linked to will remain.
A hub does not have to be stuffed with keywords to get good traffic.
I'm not entirely against the policy of defeaturing low traffic Hubs. But the point was made that a site doesn't necessarily need every single post to get high traffic to be seen as a good site by Google, which I think is a good point. Also, HP keeps Hubs featured that get Google traffic, so that sharing of Hubs you refer to is not something that keeps a Hub featured. The primary way to get Google traffic is through keyword optimization. I have strong doubts that Hubs that get good traffic are getting that traffic because of being linked to; very strong doubts. And they certainly aren't all of the ones that get good traffic, as you claim. Not even possible. Also I never said a Hub had to be stuffed with keywords to get good traffic. I basically said that it looks like the site only has posts with keywords if those are the only posts allowed to remain. Which I think would make a site look odd.
I am not sure how Google works, but I think if someone reads your hub, bookmarks it and then links it to their own blog, that hub then gets better position on the SERPS. If it was just a matter of adding a bunch of keywords to rank high in the search engines, anyone could add a lot of keywords without providing useful information and would rank highly. Do I know this is the way it works, for sure? Definitely not. I may be totally wrong, but this is how I have noticed pages ranking better in the recent past.
My apologies if I misunderstood what you were saying, but I just think optimizing for keywords is not working like it used to.
(I think we need to send this question to Google to find the answer. Got any buddies over there???)
It does sound like a good question for Google. I actually looked around the Net before coming back here to see how Google views sites that are "over-optimized". It is interesting because a site can be over-optimized, of course, and Google penalizes for that; but I guess we've alluded to this in our discussion, because we've talked about keyword stuffing. Also, too much link building is a form of over optimization too. Google began penalizing too much SEO on sites to give "mom and pop" sites a fighting chance. Also, Matt Cutts has said that the important part is still compelling content, stuff people want to return to and keep reading, as you said. So, I see your point and seems Google does too.
My main point was in line with the original post here, and that was about unfeaturing Hubs for lack of traffic. So, now our question is what makes a Hub get more traffic than others, because those are the Hubs that remain featured. I'm not sure either. I've always felt that keywords are the crucial element for any article to get traffic; visibility in the search engine, in other words. And most vets here at HP have repeated that mantra; that it's the keywords. And I have had success with appropriately using keywords. So, that is my understanding on how to get traffic. Even when I have a successful article in terms of social shares and organic links, it was first spotted in the search engine for keywords. I've also had Hubs get quite a few good quality organic backlinks and then drop down in the SERPs.
Like I said, I don't really know either. You might be right, I could be wrong, and vice versa. Or we're both right in some way or another.
One thing that HP seems not to have taken into consideration is seasonality. I write gardening hubs. Naturally, I get most of my traffic from late winter (when gardeners are thinking about their gardens, ordering seeds, starting seeds, etc) through summer, after which the gardening season starts to wind down and traffic falls dramatically on my hubs which are then unfeatured because of lack of traffice. It doesn't matter how much "tweaking" I do, traffic will not return until gardeners start thinking about their gardens again. I'm okay with this, but HP is not. I am being unfairly discriminated against because my niche is seasonal.
I feel the same way with regards to my recreational vehicle hubs. I would hope they take this into consideration when making decisions about traffic. So far, I have not had a problem, but I expect I will at some point.
I totally agree with that. I write a lot of hubs that are seasonal and they get unfeatured due to low traffic when out of season. I have asked before if that could be a consideration for change in the process.
You could also write or rewrite your seasonal hubs so they get at least a trickle of traffic all year round. None of my holiday hubs has been un-featured. Approximately 9% of my views this month have come from seasonal hubs for which the season has already passed or is yet to come.
There's a hub on the topic "In The Spotlight" on my profile.
What a coincidence! I have a slightly better hub on the same topic. It's in my spotlight as well. Feel free to read it and some others, and maybe share to some crappy spam fest on Facebook.
I don't see why you feel the need to be nasty. It's not brain surgery to write seasonal content with getting year round views in mind and the piece could help people get the views they need to avoid having seasonal hubs un-featured.
Gotcha. No one could write a hub on a subject that has any relevance to people complaining about that exact subject.
It's not like HP is going to change the policy and keep hubs that don't get views featured so hubbers need to figure out how to get views to their seasonal hubs year round instead if they wish to keep them featured.
Why would I bother to paraphrase an entire hub on altering or creating seasonal articles to get year round views to put it up here so as to not offend people like you when it already exists on a hub?
My point is self-publicity. "I wrote a hub" brings out the worst in me. Once every six months I am contractually obliged to mention it.
The views generated by it are worthless. A persons opinion of their own writing is similar.
I think that covers it.
The views from inside HP don't even earn income so I don't understand what is up your butt. I know you think I'm a shitty writer with no redeeming qualities, but you're right, I don't agree with you on that. I earn my living writing, so I'm at least mediocre, not shitty.
What really pisses me off about your response is that you see nothing but money and don't even see the writing as information, thus anytime anyone shares information it's all because they are grubbing for money in your mind. I earn peanuts on HubPages so what I write here isn't about money for me. I write information pages to share things I've learned that other people might benefit from. I give a shit about saving people from having to learn things the hard way. I give a shit about helping people who are struggling with a task I've mastered.
You're lying. I found no hub about getting year round views to seasonal articles nor any hubs about why you think the only reason people write is for money on your profile.
I'm autistic. I write to talk.
OK. I apologise. Not because you are autistic but because I was unfair. I do get wound up by self-publicity although really I should not.
It was not fair to pick on you because actually my target is the other people who do it day in and day out. Look at me. I wrote a hub. I can help you do this. I am an expert in whatever.
It hacks me off.
Once again. A full apology for picking on you.
Thank you and I accept. I also appreciate that it's not because I'm autistic. I mentioned I'm autistic because it shows I have a clear reason to write that has nothing to do with money. My life circumstances make it impossible for me to forget that writing is first and foremost for communication because it's my primary mode of communication.
This is talking for me. Hubs are also talking for me. That's why I don't care for the sterile editing style HP has adopted. They might change my voice or I might have to use an unnatural voice to get readers on HubPages. It'd be like having friends who insisted you spoke the same way they do whenever you had a conversation with them.
I apologize in return for my reaction. People think autistic people don't have emotions, but I can tell you that I do and that your reaction felt like the previous several hundred times people have told me that I'm worthless and what I write is worthless. My emotional reaction is all on me, I just want you to know where all that pain and rage came from.
My most popular Hub-Media, Mass Communication Theories & Anna Hazare Movement took time to get readership.
I feel that along with readership, the country should also be considered. For example in India, people in 40's are not very computer friendly. I attribute this to my other 3 feature hubs. 2 out of this are targeted at women. And I know they are going to take time to get popular.
Okay, this is now officially out of control. I updated a hub that was unfeatured for traffic. It was unfeatured again for quality. It's a very short hub. There is not much information about the flower I was describing. In order to get the hub featured, I was forced to add a lengthy discussion about cuttings that had nothing to do with the flower I was writing about. HP has to get over their obsession with length. They have to stop forcing us to ruin our hubs with filler. I use an SEO tool on my website and as long as my entries are more than 300 words, they pass SEO. The hub in question was well over 300 words but HP still refused to feature it. I get way more traffic on my website (niche site) than I do on HP and none of my articles have stupid quizzes, polls, or videos. Very few of the articles run over 1000 words. Most range between 500 and 900 words. Yet Google sends me lots of traffic every single day. The only reason I stay on HP at this point is because of the traffic I get from Pinterest. I don't want to lose the links to Pinterest.
I partially agree... from what I have heard, HP can get a little trigger happy with unfeaturing articles. While I have had a couple hubs unfeatured, I agreed with the 'unfeaturing'. Also, every single time someone has complained about an article that was unfeatured - and wanted someone to look at it for an opinion as to 'why' it was unfeatured; the reason for the unfeaturing has been obvious to the point that I no longer respond to those kind of questions anymore.
I don't like to back up HP because I think they do a LOT of things the wrong way in here. For instance, how NORMAL and convenient would it be to have a word processor that helps correct spelling AS you write the article; as well as having them ACTUALLY looked over by an editor for approved BEFORE they are published.
All of this 'undoing as they go' instead of catching things before they become published is just plain 'ol stupid; and obviously, it makes people angry.
I agree completely. Makes me want to use another page for my writing, tbh.
I agree with you Time Traveler. I've had 25 out of my now 89 hubs with the NFT symbol since late November 2015. After a quick fix by adding more words to the photo/ad capsules, it's been reapproved by HP. *sigh*
No need to add any words. I found any small edit such as a punctuation is sufficient to make the hub featured again. All it takes to bypass the automated system is to change the time stamp. It is a pain and HubPages should really reconsider this policy.
If they fixed that "bug", your Hubs would stay unFeatured for lack of traffic - is that what you want?
I am not saying it is a "bug". I am just commenting on the HubPages QAP process at this moment. We are all trying to understand how things work here. Here is my current understanding...
1. It seems that HP uses an AI system to assess the quality of hubs. A primitive one at that.
2. After a hub is featured, it is periodically reviewed for traffic.
3. After approx. 6 months, if there is lack of traffic, the hub becomes un-featured automatically.
4. The hubber can just edit the hub with any small changes and save. This will automatically get the hub processed by QAP again and it will be featured by the next day.
My suggestion for HubPages is this, why not just leave the hubs featured in the first place. Take out the "traffic" limitation. I think that is what many people here are commenting about.
Some are under the miss conception that they need to revised the hub in order to be featured again.
BTW, the reason I say the current QAP process is primitive is because of my recent test hub. I always suspected that the QAP process is not too rigorous and my test hub "Ideal debate format" proves my point. There are no human editors checking each hub for quality.
I'm beginning to think we can comment on this to Hubpages and they don't even read our messages. So forever great hubs will be unfeatured for lack of traffic and we'll be wasting our time that long getting them featured again.
HubPages has explained why the traffic limitation exists: if a Hub doesn't get traffic from Google, then there are two possible reasons - either it's a rarely-searched subject, or Google doesn't like it.
If Google doesn't like it, then HubPages wants to hide it from Google (a site's Panda score is based on its worst posts). HubPages has decided that's SO important, they're prepared to accept some "collateral damage" - i.e. the Hubs on rarely-searched subjects.
If you look at it like that, then the weakness in the system isn't that Hubs are unFeatured for low traffic - it's the fact that it's so easy to get them reFeatured again, with no real changes made.
Marisa, I understand your point. Why is HubPages so hung up on google? There are many other search engines out there. I was always curious why HP put so much emphasis on google. Why should our content be judged by google's criteria? Google is a search engine. It's main purpose is to index what is on the web and provide the best match for what people are seeking? Their algorithm is hidden and everyone is trying to game the system to get an upper hand. As such, they constantly tweek their algorithm.IMHO, HP should just put the best content out there and being featured should be the method of judging if a hub makes the cut. Once it is featured, let it be.
While this seems to make sense, it isn't exactly what is happening.
I just had a hub unfeatured for traffic that had 1400 total views and 37 in the recent month. The explanation was that all of the CURRENT views were from Hubpages and that an article must have at least some views from Google in order to be featured.
I can't believe that all of my 1400 views came just from other writers here or from social networks. What I can believe is that some machine saw that THIS MONTH I had the wrong kind of views and so was punished.
I've reworked the article, and it is refeatured for now, but there is something inherently wrong with this kind of thinking. Why would you get rid of a hub that has constantly produced just because right now it has too many social networking views!
If you feel this way, then why encourage us to market our work and read each other's articles. Am I missing something here?
Agree. Many of my best articles have become unfeatured and I no longer try to fix anything. The more articles that become unfeatured the bigger the chances that they will be moved somewhere else!
I am very disappointed with Hub Pages. Initially, full of enthusiasm I wrote articles that were never going to "go viral" they were there becuase I enjoy sharing information. Now many of the articles that had good stats are unfeatured. I had been accepted as an apprentice hubber then that was dropped. I see so much dross, overstuffed with keywords permitted to go through. There are some really great writers here and I concur with much of what has already been said. Please fix the things that need fixing and stop fixing that which is not broken.
Removing those hubs may decrease variety of topics. Then we are all just competing for the popular topics. Then that looks spammy.
My policy is not to fix hubs which become unfeatured for lack of traffic.
The only thing I do is move them to a site where they will get traffic - with the exact same content.
How are you avoiding copies outranking your content after it's moved?
I agree with everything written here. Hubs should not be unfeatured because of lack of traffic but because of lack of quality only. Some of my unfeatured hubs because of traffic do get traffic but they are never put back to featured status.
I would assume she files DMCA reports on all the copies out there, waits for them to be removed, deletes the hub, gets the hub de-indexed from Google search, then moves its content. HubPages is particularly vulnerable to plagiarists for some reason so it's unlikely she'd have to file as many DMCA reports after the move to keep copies from outranking her writing.
If you don't mind me asking, where do you move your Hubs to that they gain more traffic?
I'm building mega niche websites on Weebly. It's relatively easy for me because I've always built lenses - now hubs - in clusters which means they can naturally congregate together on a larger site. I work on the basis that the smaller hubs get one page each and the bigger ones split up over several pages. That then means it's a lot easier to customise the meta descriptions and keywords for each page which in turn helps make the pages easier to find via a targeted search query. It's also much easier to spread Amazon products around the site and relate them much more closely to the relevant text.
The vast majority of my traffic comes via Google. For me this underlines the feeling that a lot of us have had for some time - which is that HubPages is unfeaturing and unpublishing content which Google does not have a problem with.
I should add that it's relatively straightforward for me as I already have a blog and a Facebook Page which both have a big following - so when I say I've moved content a lot of people get to know about this fast and that helps get those sites off the ground.
I agree too.
I just rewrite the unfeatured ones and take them to my blogs or website. I re-work them mainly because of possible theft/copy by article rogues, and also to improve on them if required.
In a way I like that I'm increasing the articles on my other sites.
Now my eggs are placed in more baskets.
If a page gets bad I cry for a bit.
I go see a man who gives me money.
Then I do a special dance of dollars.
What I find amazing is how the staff at Hubpages waves the magic judgmental wand over articles posted. While I agree with the concept of making sure hubs are quality and error free of grammatical and spelling errors, I am still left in the black hole of wondering, who the heck are these people and what are their literary qualifications? What I find difficult to swallow is the shallowness of the powers to be here in their review process and yet, I have still had several of my hubs published in a magazine on a national level. I don't find this a fun venue any longer. Now that I've posted this response I will lay odds my Hubscore drops.
So basically you are saying that although the site belongs to them they do not have the right to decide what they want to post?
What I was relaying (apparently you missed my point) is how Hubpages was once an open atmosphere and one where contributors found this an enjoyable place to be. Hubpages moved the goal posts and changed the rules book. The consequence of their decisions has left many of us old timers either leaving this venue or not contributing any longer. As I mentioned in my reply, after writing my answer my Hubscore dropped 2 points. That happens every time I try to interact here.
You made your point when you told us all how you resented their magic wand.
You have proven why many of us old timers (people who have been here longer than 3 years) aren't that active/have left Hubpages altogether. Snarkiness toward other hubbers, as exhibited in your responses, never reared its head years ago. However, respect and decorum for other contributors, apparently have been cast aside. I consistently had Hubscores in the high 90s to 100, but not anymore. I want to write about life's experiences and not about the proper way to thread a needle or how to put a leash on my dog.
Snarky? That last sentence really sums up how nasty a person you can be. You must have learned that somewhere.
Oh, by the way, in case you have forgotten, you might take the time to go over some of the old forums from years ago. Hubbers did not feel the need to always display "respect and decorum". Maybe you have a selective memory defect?
(I have been here over 3 years.)
Exactly what is your problem? Now you are saying I'm a nasty person with selective memory defect? It appears the person with an attitude is you and quite frankly, much to your chagrin, you are not the be all to end all in the writing community. My discussion with you is done and I neither have the time nor the inclination to engage in your sarcasm any longer. Have a nice day.
I'm not sure I understand you, pagesvoice. The QAP moderators do only the most basic checks and I am sure none of your Hubs would ever have failed QAP.
In this thread we are talking about unFeaturing for lack of engagement - which is achieved using an automated filter, with no human intervention. It is NOT in any way a reflection on the Hub's quality - it is purely and simply based on the amount of traffic the Hub is receiving.
That may seem nonsensical, but it is driven by the fact that HubPages relies almost entirely on Google for its readership - so its priority is to provide exactly what Google likes.
When HP was doing well, it could afford to accept all kinds of articles, whether Google liked it or not (provided it didn't actually break any of Google's rules). Times are tougher now, so HubPages has changed its attitude: if Google isn't sending traffic to your article, that could be a sign of dislike - so HubPages will hide it from Google's eyes altogether, just in case.
Some of us don't agree with the necessity of that policy - but HubPages is a business. They're not providing this platform just so we can enjoy writing whatever we feel like because that doesn't work any more - they need to make a profit. The old model stopped working some time ago and they have to make changes to survive. That may not suit many of us, but it is their site and they're entitled to make those decisions.
So explain to me why content is moved from HubPages after being unfeatured here and goes to live elsewhere and instantly gets a lot more traffic from Google - which is sustained and grows over time.
It's not just me - it's a trend an awful lot of people have noticed. To my mind the only possible explanation is that
(1) the HubPages mechanism for unfeaturing hubs is far too blunt and/or does not understand what Google wants to see
(2) Google really hates HubPages
Or, there's internal competition here that is getting the traffic for the keywords that you're targeting. When you move those hubs, you'll no longer have that internal competition.
I'm not saying the mechanism they've chosen is a good one, just explaining why they had to shift from the "we'll take whatever you write" philosophy.
We all know unFeaturing is a clumsy weapon and HubPages itself has admitted it causes a lot of "collateral damage", but it's their business.
So what are those of us who write seasonal hubs supposed to do? My traffic is going to fluctuate widely depending on the time of year. Does this mean that HP is no longer a good place to publish seasonal hubs? Gardening is very popular topic. I would think that HP would want these types of hubs but the reality is that with 75% of my hubs unfeatured due to low traffic because it's winter, I no longer feel welcome here despite the fact that I have been here 8 years, longer than most hubbers.
I don't think you should feel that you are no longer welcome here. I do think, however, that what is happening to you is a glitch in the system that needs to be addressed, and probably will be at some point.
This is exactly why I feel that unfeaturing due to traffic is a mistake. Too many people like you are getting hurt by this practice.
In a few months Spring will arrive. I would wait until then, make some minor updates and republish. It's not the best answer, but may be the only one.
If you leave a Hub unpublished for more than a week or so, Google will wipe the slate clean, forgetting all the good reputation and links and age it has built up.
I think the only solution for seasonal Hubs is to make a minor edit - just one sentence will do it - so it goes back through QAP and gets Featured again. Keep doing that as necessary until the spring traffic picks up. That way you can maintain it in Google's good books.
It's not a strategy I suggest for evergreen Hubs but I can't see any other solution for seasonal ones.
I was not aware of this. Glad to know about it. Thanks
Egads! I have more than 50 hubs unfeatured. I can't imagine having to update them over and over and over and over . . .
Yes, that's why I don't recommend it UNLESS it's seasonal fluctuations that are causing the unFeaturing. It is just an endless treadmill.
I'm disappointed that HP hasn't discontinued the unFeaturing process because it has already fulfilled its original purpose (which was to hide all the old low-quality Hubs that hadn't gone through QAP).
Kristy Kerwin just said the exact opposite in another thread about this same topic. I have asked her to clarify and am awaiting a response.
Just checked Christy's post - she is not saying the exact opposite!
What I'm saying is that if you have a Hub that's unFeatured for traffic, then you'd better get it re-Featured quick, or Google will de-index it.
What Christy says is that if your Hub is unFeatured for engagement, then Google has ALREADY de-indexed it.
I have never heard anyone say that before. In fact I'm sure I've heard people say not to panic about getting Hubs re-Featured again, because you've got a few days' grace before Google de-indexes.
The way to test it would be by Googling the exact title of a Hub that's been unFeatured in the last day or so. If it doesn't come up, then the Hub is de-indexed already.
Explain the difference between traffic and engagement. I thought they were the same thing.
Everywhere else but HubPages, they mean two different things. On HubPages, they mean exactly the same - sorry I should have stuck with the terminology you were using.
Yes, but Christy seemed to indicate that if you leave a hub unfeatured for traffic nothing will happen as far as Google is concerned and you will be able to update and re feature it again without problems.
You are saying that you had better update it asap or lose the whole thing.
No she doesn't. What she is saying is that if your Hub in unFeatured for traffic, Google is ranking your Hub so low already, it's not worth bothering with - so you may as well walk away and give up.
She is NOT saying it is de-indexed. I'm not as pessimistic as Christy - as far as I'm concerned, if a Hub is not actually de-indexed then it still has a history (no matter how sparse) of people liking it or linking to it or reading it, so there is still hope. I wouldn't want to lose that history by risking it becoming de-indexed.
TIMETRAVELER2 and Marisa,
I'm very sorry for the confusion, I just now saw this exchange. Marisa's final point is what I was getting at. Our threshold for a Hub becoming unfeatured for traffic is quite low with an extensive grace period built in as well. I won't discuss exact numbers or time periods because it's part of our secret sauce and because it's different for every Hub depending on various factors, but if a Hub is unfeatured for lack of search traffic, the hard truth is that the Hub wasn't getting search visitors from Google anyway, essentially.
I don't think that means the Hub is doomed. However, at that point, it's likely the Hub will need significant edits with an eye to keywords in the title and subtitles in order to get found by readers more easily. Becoming unfeatured for traffic is a pretty good indication that the Hub should be updated to either be 1.) more useful/helpful/informative to readers or 2.) more targeted to the terminology your readers are using to search for it. Or a combination of the two.
Should you care about that Hub's existing history with Google, then editing it sooner rather than later, as Marisa suggests, is a good idea.
When this whole unfeature thing started, HubPages reassured writers that seasonal Hubs would be treated differently, as they recognize that some are written for specific times of the year and will get little or no traffic other times of the year. They obviously never programmed their system to account for seasonal Hubs. A shame. No need to upset good writers with poor design and programming. You are not alone. Many have left out of frustration with this policy. I hope you stick around for another spring and your Hubs blossom once again.
Perhaps the solution is for HP not to focus so much on Google and go after other search engines. As popular as Google is today, there is no guarantee it will be here tomorrow. Good content is good content regardless who read it or who finds it because of SEO or key words or self promo... The current HP QAP is very primitive by AI standards. It is no match for a human being.
The QAP is carried out entirely by human beings. The unFeaturing for lack of traffic is done by an automated filter, but that is a separate thing.
I'm not so sure as you. The QAP seems pretty primitive. I can get all my hubs featured by just following a few basic steps. Besides, there are only a few staff at HP. They are not capable of reviewing all hubs for QAP. Just do the math.
Staff does not review the hubs in QAP. People on Amazon Turk perform QAP.
I suggest people edit or publish highly technical, humorous, or creative writing hubs during the daytime if they live in the US to maximize their chances of getting Amazon Turkers whose native tongue is English.
Do you know how much time they spend on each hub? It seems it would take a long time to approve all the web pages being published daily.
kylyssa, I just performed a simple test and it appears there is no human reviewing QAP as I suspected. I created a hub this morning and the content have little to do with my title. This afternoon, the hub is featured with a hubscore of 62 and number of view of 6. You can read it for yourself. Would a human editor pass this quality test on my hub - "Ideal Debate Format" ?
You need to search for it or go to my home page. I can't link it here or risk being banned.
Well, I guess I'm a minority opinion.
Personally, I've always transferred my "zero" traffic hubs out of here long before HP would have gotten around to it.
Why would anyone want to keep a "zero" traffic hub here anyway? Time and again I've seen posts from people who've transferred their nonperforming hubs elsewhere and then finally start getting the traffic that for whatever reason they couldn't get here.
I have always "caught" hubs that were failing before they ever went unfeatured and eventually deleted those that simply could not gain traffic. However, most were worthy articles that, for whatever reason, did not bring good readership.
Until today, I believed as you did...why keep a nonperforming article that nobody is reading? The answer is in my initial post here. The more informational hubs you have (good ones, of course) the higher the ratio overall of the site between the number of ads to information.
Keeping your good articles (especially if ad free), helps the entire site because as Marissa has said so many times, "Google likes bulk". I never understood that statement until today.
Many of those I rework eventually come back, and some even do pretty well. I have never had a hub unfeatured due to traffic but know it would upset me if I did.
Think of your hubs as race horses, traffic of course representing how fast they run and how often they win, place, and show.
I have a horse that just can't seem to perform well on this race track. Don't know why, but that horse can barely make it out of the gate, much less make it all the way around the track. And as for win, place, and show; forget it.
Then the race track owner suddenly starts only allowing my horse to start races from gate 12. Needless to say, this only makes the horse perform even worse. This goes on for awhile...
Then one night while I'm asleep, the race track owner takes my horse out of its stall and shoves him over the cliff next to the track.
Time to find a new track.
I see your point, but you are only talking in individual terms. I am referring to both individual and site wide situations.
Clearly, if you can make more money by moving your low performing hubs, you should do it, but not all of us use or have other options.
If you take the long view, keeping low traffic hubs does bolster the site, as long as those hubs are full of good, original content. I've dumped many before they got to that point because looking at the low figures was upsetting and seemed fruitless.
Google does not see these hubs if they are unfeatured, but they do if they remain featured. This is why I think that, perhaps, the team should keep them online.
How do you writers have time to keep up with all the hubs you write? I have a full-time career position in editing, and during our busy season, I don't have time to keep up with my hubs. I had three hubs that were feeding off each other for traffic, and before I knew it, two were unfeatured, and probably de-indexed. I also find that poetry and short stories are a waste of time on HP. So, I guess I'll just stick to "How to clean your sink" or "What kind of cat litter is best" type hubs for simplicity. they seem to generate more traffic anyway.
The easiest way I know to do this is to go to your stats page, click on your 30 day views and look to see if any hubs are getting really low views. If so, update, change the title or do what you can to improve it. Usually there aren't a ton of them, and if you catch them early, you can avoid problems.
It takes literally less than five seconds to see which hubs are unfeatured, and I mean literally. Go to the drop down menu that says Select a Designation and pick Not Featured - Traffic.
Or as TimeTraveler suggests you can sort them by number of views over the past 7 or 30 days, also a less-than-five-seconds operation.
I agree the unFeaturing system is frustrating. When I joined HubPages the process didn't exist, and the whole point of HubPages was that you wrote an evergreen article to the best of your ability, then just forgot about it (other than answering comments) for years.
However as others have said, it doesn't have to be time-consuming.
Firstly, if you drop by twice a week and check your stats page (go to the drop down menu that says Select a Designation and pick Not Featured - Traffic), you'll catch any unFeatured articles before they have a chance to get de-indexed.
Secondly, if a Hub is unFeatured for lack of traffic, then you really need to consider removing it from HubPages and moving it somewhere else. There are plenty of sites - DailyTwoCents, Wizzley, WeekendNotes - which don't penalise for lack of traffic. Those sites don't pay as well as HubPages - BUT if your Hub wasn't getting traffic, then it wasn't a money-earner anyway, so you'll be no worse off.
Thirdly, poetry has never done well on HubPages or any other revenue-sharing site. You can improve your chances by combining several related poems into an "anthology" type Hub, or making the poem part of a larger article on a subject (Cardisa has a good Hub on how to do that).
score drops as in... punitive measure?? do you think they're that bad?
I agree that HP should stop de-featuring hubs for low traffic and with all the points you made TT2. It is ok for some people who want to move their hubs to other places but I won't do that. I don't have the time or inclination. I have no hubs that are not featured at the moment but I am due for another batch to be hit I imagine. Currently a couple of my lower scoring hubs are getting me the most traffic and my editor's choice hubs are getting none (so I am sure these will suffer soon..they have in the past) It makes no sense to de-feature hubs that have been judged by HP as being good quality. Lack of quality or duplication should be the only criteria for de-featuring.
For a while, defeaturing for traffic stopped. I guess they only want high traffic hubs in their plan for the site now. +1
I can understand why they would want that, but I hope they have not forgotten that it can take awhile for some hubs to gain momentum. Today's low traffic hub has the potential of becoming tomorrows big seller.
100% agree! Good to excellent information is still very important even if traffic is lacking plus you never know when a sudden traffic spike may occur. The quality should always be the biggest factor regarding hubs and unfeaturing for quality is the only thing that makes sense to me.
I definitely agree. I would say 2/3 of my hubs are unfeatured though their content is up to date and relevant.
Having just had several hubs unfeatured for lack of traffic, I couldn't agree more.
The hubs are quite long, and informational. Currently, I'm working on them so that they become featured again, but only because they are on topics which don't fit into my websites.
If hubs continue to be unfeatured for lack of traffic, then perhaps I'll rethink my attitude.
Why not look at it as an opportunity? You probably get close to no readers for "Black Swans" or "Rough Scaled Pythons" even though all of your hubs have a lot of good information in them. Try switching the titles to something people would be searching for.
If you have pythons, you would probably look for "Tips on How to Care for Rough Scaled Pythons" or "Best Cages and Heat Sources for a Rough Scaled Python" but if you see "Rough Scaled Pythons" how do you even know it contains any of that information. A herper will probably just pass it up. I get decent traffic (not great) to my hub "Why a Tegu is the Best Pet Lizard" because it explains housing, feeding, etc. Definitely not more than your hubs do.
There are a lot of good forum postings on writing titles to improve traffic. One of your fellow countrymen (Marisa Wright) has a lot of great suggestions on this topic so you can check her hubs and if nothing is available try sending her a mail.
A very good point DrMark (and thanks for the mention!). Titles are critical.
Thanks for your comments. I shall take your advice and go and look at some of my titles at least, and see what I can do to improve them. Usually, I try to put as much information as possible in a concise manner.
Getting traffic is the hardest thing about writing on the internet! Many of my articles were written for Squidoo, and had to be changed a lot for HP.
I cannot agree more.
HP's quality team should rather concentrate on contents that are outright bad, poorly written with bad English, intentionally stuffed and bloated with keywords etc (i.e. contents that are below the basic quality norms) and block them outright. Otherwise, let the contents be there for whatever little traffic they may bring in. If the stuff is basically readable and useful, readers will read them anyway, irrespective of whether it has 3 photos, 5 sub-titles, a quiz, 4 text modules a couple of videos etc.
Un featuring due to low or no traffic in my mind is not a bad thing on a site like this...
Firstly if you are not getting traffic from the search engines then you are not losing anything! So why are you worried? Your hub is still there, you still get traffic from pinterest, fb and all of those other wonderful places. You were not getting traffic from the search engines so removing the hub from their index will change nothing with regards to your traffic.
Most pages will get a trickle of view right from the start if they have any chance of gaining traffic long term... there are few that will get no traffic for a year and then suddenly take off with hundreds of views.
If you are not getting views it is down to one of the following:
1. No one is searching for your subject or keywords
2. There is too much competition from "better" niche sites off of HP
3. There is too much competition within HP for the keywords that you have used
So - if no one is searching for your keywords look at what keywords people are searching for around your subject area. If no one is every going to search for "My Cat's wonderful Christmas present" or "Why I love my purple pullover - a poem for my Granny" then just face the fact that no one is EVER going to search for your hub and that it makes no difference if you are in the Google index or not...
If there are "better" sites offering pages targeting the same keywords then unfortunately they are likely to rank higher in the search engines than a page here at HP. So writing those medical and financial hubs targeting the highly trafficked keywords is a waste of time as the big boys have it sewn up. So if you can't beat the authority sites you need to create your own authority site and take on the big boys, not expect to rank from HP...
Internal competition is a big problem - Google etc are only going to show 1 or 2 hubs in the search results for any specific keyword. So having 100 hubs here all targeting the exact same keywords is pointless - they will not all get traffic even if they are all fantastic. Having multiple hubs all targeting the same keywords is also a no-no as far as most of the SEO authorities will have us believe. So unfeaturing the hubs that Google sends no traffic to will "probably" help those that are receiving traffic for those keywords. HP I am sure have the data to answer if that is correct as they can see what is going on with the many thousands of pages that they have. The answer for those hubs that are suffering due to internal competition is either to target different keywords or to move them elsewhere to your own site with NO internal competition.
So if you are getting un featured due to traffic don't just sit there are winge that it is unfair to your literary talents, do something about it. We provide what the search engines want and what the readers want - if we don't then - NO TRAFFIC... Unfair maybe - but that's the internet.
If you want to move your stuff to your own site, how do you get HP to give you a redirect to your own site? Hubs that have had millions of views in the past have likely been copied quite a bit. How else would you avoid your new hub being viewed as a duplicate with a later published date?
There is no way to get a redirect from HubPages unfortunately. It's one reason I wouldn't move a Hub unless it was unFeatured, because you lose all the benefit of the Hub's reputation and age.
If you want to move work to your own site, then your first step should be to run the Hub through Copyscape to see whether it has been copied, and then submit DMCA's to get the copies taken down. Only once you've done that, can you move it to your own site.
I can only judge this program based on my own traffic, so I have to ask: Have you ever had a hub with millions of page views unfeatured for lack of traffic? It seems unlikely to me.
What you say makes sense in most cases, but for people like me, whose articles are mostly seasonal and are in one niche, unfeaturing means removing work that is part of a whole and also adds bulk in Google's eyes.
Personally, I have only had this problem one time, and it was an easy fix, and although my "key words" mostly do center around one topic, I still get what I consider to be decent traffic. I say this because I make payout every month and sometimes much more.
When Spring arrives people thirst for the info I provide, so the more they see, the better my views. Right now things are slow, but it would be upsetting to have hubs dropped off that I know will do well later.
By the way, I always wondered how they figure traffic flow...is it per month or as the whole? For example, if I have a hub that is getting fewer than 5 views in the off months, but overall has had hundreds or thousands of views...would they unfeature it?
Personally, several of my hubs are unfeatured for lack of traffic, but as virtually all of those are poems, I'm not worried about it.
What gripes me most about that particular penalty though, is that HP seems so obsessed with traffic from "The Big G," that they seem to overlook other things that are within their own parameters of what constitutes a quality hub, namely grammar and spelling.
I have lost count of how many times I have read HOTDs which "feature" poor English, or hubs featured on HP's Face Book page that are barely readable, being filled with spelling and grammar errors.
Why would HP feature those hubs in such a way? Surely, that is not a good way to build site reputation and increase traffic!
Or has our educational system been 'dumbed-down' to that extent--that people can't even recognize poor writing as such, and swallow it whole without noticing? What a travesty!
The unpopularity of this unfeaturing due to low traffic policy can be seen in the unending drop in published articles and writers on HubPages. There is a Hub called "Google Attacks Our HubPages" that chronicles this long decline over the years. It has really been brutal when you look at what HubPages once was. 2/3rds of the writers are gone, as are over half the published articles.
It's a blunt tool, but like LeanMan, I believe it is a necessary one, given the site's history. There are often reasons why a hub gets low traffic. Remember that you are competing with the rest of the world for attention. I have some stuff that does well and some that gets unfeatured for lack of traffic. I take it on the chin and don't take it personally.
I mostly agree, except for very high quality pages which might find a place for themselves eventually. HP have QAP which seems fairly reliable. They could keep pages in the nineties for a few years.
If someone has faith in their hub, they can make a minor edit two or three tims a year, that will keep it going, it doesn't seem that extreme to me. I've done something similar at times. Though generally if a hub is worth investing in, there is much more than can be done, of course. You either commit or let go.
Personal blog type hubs about opinions on something are rarely successful in my opinion, in terms of traffic, but writers get upset when they don't get traffic or are taken out by HP. They probably aren't harmful to HP either, of course, but they get eaten up anyway.
The problem with relying on the QAP system is that it is labour intensive and therefore time-consuming and expensive. To work, a hub would need to be assessed every time there is an edit or change by the hubber, and every time that Google alters its algo. I can understand why HP seeks software shortcuts to lower costs. There are tens of thousands of hubs, keeping the quality up continues to be a major challenge.
As for moving hubs, that can work. But if you are interested in earning some money for your writing, then HP ads are superior to Google Adsense. You also may want to set up your own site(s) which gives you much more control and is more hassle, it's also more work and expense and requires more technical engagement, however. If you aren't interested in earning, then there are lots of sites like Blogger, Wordpress.com and Facebook, you don't necessarily need HP.
Some of the sites people moved their articles to in the past, places like Wizzley, Squidoo, and Bubblenews didn't work out so well.
... but Hubs ARE passed through QAP every time there is an edit or change by the Hubber.
And in fact, unFeaturing for traffic means that happens more often, because a lot of Hubbers simply do a very small edit to send it back through QAP, which gets it Featured again.
Actually, I doubt that. I think some of us are trusted. Cost HP a fortune otherwise.
@Marissa If my hubs go through QAP every time they are edited, then the process would appear to be instantaneous! I edit stuff pretty much every single day!
I think you're maybe confused with hubs going through QAP after they've been unfeatured, then edited for re-featuring? Which wasn't what Will was talking about, as I understood?
I think you're correct about that because when I edit or post a new hub, it is featured within hours every time. However, if the team is trusting some of us it is because we have proven time and again that we are careful about topic choices and produce grammatically correct and original content, etc.
Why would someone who writes this way suddenly produce garbage?
I can see why Hubs that haven't gone through QAP need to be subject to unFeaturing for traffic - BUT they have already all been unFeatured by now, after all it's been two years.
So the question is, does HubPages have so little faith in the QAP that it feels it needs the safety net of unFeaturing for traffic? Seems like an indictment on the QAP.
There would be nothing to stop hubbers adding ad capsules, spam, poor quality content after the initial QAP, using routine editing, if HP followed your ideas. Spammers would present a respectable hub initially, then add their crap post-QAP.
It would only be spotted through another hubber reporting it, even more stringent restrictions enforced by software, or extra rounds of QAP which don't currently exist.
No, because I'm not suggesting they exempt existing Hubs from the QAP.
We have definitely been told that every time a Hub is edited, it is sent back through QAP. If that is not the case then as you say, I would be worried - because as you say, even under the current system, Hubbers could add all kinds of rubbish to a Hub after it's been through its first scrutiny.
Maybe some Hubbers are exempt but it would certainly be interesting to know what the situation is.
I have eleven accounts and they all function the same. The thread is about hubs being unfeatured due to lack of traffic, however, and you definitely get QAP'd after editing an unfeatured hub in my experience. Can't tell you what the HP policy is for the rest. obviously, just my experiences...
Let's be brutally honest too. If your hub isn't getting views/traffic, nobody's reading it anyway, that's another reason why I'm not too upset about HP's policy on unfeaturing for lack of traffic!
Sometimes I edit unfeatured hubs and try to improve them. Sometimes I delete them. Sometimes I move them. It's a personal judgement call.
Not really, Marisa. It became featured again. That was my quick fix, since it worked in the long run. I do continue to share for traffic and create new hubs. I'll check for grammar and punctuation for the next one to fix today, too. Jackclee, I do see the green box on my hub, when I edit it that it needs more words, though, sometimes.
Kristen, if you switch to "chronological" instead of "threaded" view for the forums, you'll find it easier to follow - I was responding to Jackclee, not you.
If your Hub was good enough to pass QAP the first time and become Featured, then all it takes to get it reFeatured is a tiny edit - one or two words will do - because that will send it through QAP again, and since it was good enough last time it will be good enough this time. Once it's approvied,, the traffic countdown will start afresh and you'll get another chance to get more traffic.
Sorry Marissa. I've gotten my wires crossed. LOL I hope you're right. BTW, Shelfari and Good Reads is merging next month and Shelfari will be no more. So I'll be changing widgets on my book review blog and replace my Shelfari widget one with Good Reads. I hope to finally fix my book review blog this spring.
Why is HubPages so hung up on Google? Because since the site began, about 90% of its traffic has come from Google.
You yourself have suggested that the scrutiny before a Hub is Featured is flawed, so the unFeaturing for traffic is a safety net in that case.
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