Editing Existing Articles

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  1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
    Kenna McHughposted 11 months ago

    When you edit your existing articles, what do you do?

    1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
      Miebakagh57posted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I kind of correct mispelled words, grammatical errors, punctuations... And any odd mistakes that's  unintentional.                                     Initially and of utmost importance, I gave the title new keyword or modified it slightly. A new content to the article to make it  evergreen, if necessary  is also introduced. Likewise same to the photos, it's either replace with new ones.

    2. Solaras profile image93
      Solarasposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I re-read it in its entirety.  Sometimes I find I have new ideas, sometimes I discover that those ideas I thought were already in there aren't. lol  I add info, clarify sentences, etc.

      My first successful hub was originally 2,200 words 7 years ago. Now its 4,500 words, with me adding info, and editors adding info. 

      When the editors first started adding, I felt like they were no longer my articles, and sort of gave up on them.  Once some time had passed, I reworked them, keeping what they had updated, and adding more of my stuff, so that it felt like it was mine again.

      That article has gone from 1100 pageviews a day in February down to 450 a day right now.  I just put some work into it, so hopefully there will be a bounce from that, but I am not very optimistic.

      I can't help but wonder if the Reviews section had an impact on Pethelpful's overall health. Especially given that Google seems to have a special spot in hell saved for HubPages.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image96
        DrMark1961posted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I too wonder if it is because of the reviews. My pages have the same spots in the searches but traffic is way down, mostly because we no longer are shown to readers when they do a voice search on their cell phones. (Google adroid traffic has dropped off to nearly zero.)

        1. Glenn Stok profile image96
          Glenn Stokposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          That’s a great point, DrMark. Your comment made me do some research, and I found an article that explains that issue well. I feel it’s a “must read” for anyone concerned about the effect of voice search.

          I learned that people use voice search for quick answers. So, to optimize for voice search we need to give direct answers to specific questions.

          Here’s that article:

          https://www.thehoth.com/learn/seo/advan … earch-seo/

          1. DrMark1961 profile image96
            DrMark1961posted 11 months agoin reply to this

            Great link, thanks.
            The one thing they did not mention as to why people are using voice is illiteracy. This is a big problem where i live, and functional illiteracy is a big problem in the US. I still have not figured out how to write my articles so that they have more appeal to functional illiterates, but if any of you all have suggestions here on how we can make it easier for our readers (without just making Youtube videos!!!) I think it would help all of us.
            Potentially, we can have a lot more traffic.

            1. tsmog profile image77
              tsmogposted 11 months agoin reply to this

              In the US the average literacy level for reading is 7-8th grade while remembering there are more in the bottom half. Math is a little less, which involves understanding concepts. Anyway, over and over I have read for online to write at that reading level.

              There are numerous online apps that use copy/paste or download their app you can measure readability level of your work. I use to do that with an editing download while being suspicious if the Google gods did that with their bots/algorithms and who knows with AI these days. At the time I was writing Excel articles, which weren't fruitful. Too much competition. Both reading and math level were at times a challenge for me.

              I do agree that video's are becoming the new rage. I look for them first followed by articles in the how-to area, but not informational.

              1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
                Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                I do a lot of research on the Internet for clients. I have found the written word is easier to assimilate information. I also heard those listing items at the beginning of the article captures Google's attention when voice searching.

            2. Kenna McHugh profile image90
              Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

              I tutor, and I don't think a functionally illiterate individual can understand videos if they don't understand the words in those videos. The undercut is keeping it simple, using third-grade vocabulary. Besides, most functionally illiterate people don't know they are.
              http://www.appliedscholastics.org/educa … rance.html

        2. Sherry H profile image93
          Sherry Hposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Wow I didn't know Google android traffic came from there. Last year my earnings went up 5 times due to this source.
          Hope team HP considers this and we get to see such huge numbers again and again and forever.

    3. chef-de-jour profile image97
      chef-de-jourposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I update all of my top ranking articles at least once every six months by reading through each one. I rectify mistakes, I add useful information to existing capsules where appropriate and also write additional ones if needed. Occasionally I tweak titles here and there.

      Over the years I've become better at writing longer articles, say from 4,000 -9,000 words;I try to include every bit of information needed so that I lessen the time spent editing,plus I know I'll be up there with the best websites offering the same or similar material.

      Recently I deleted a six year old article and rewrote a cleaner, better version. I have a few articles, bottom-dwellers so to speak, that I'll try and update over the next few months but I tend to concentrate on those that perform well. So far so good with regards to ranking and earning, despite a slight drop over the last few pandemic-filled, Arena influenced months.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        It sounds like you manage your time well. I tweak titles, too. I probably spend too much time on the bottom ones. But, I got a positive response from HP when I submitted one to a Niche. I guess you don't change the SEO.

        1. chef-de-jour profile image97
          chef-de-jourposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          The bottom-dwellers yeh! I deleted some a few months ago - useless. Others can be reworded afresh and sent off like kids in new clothes! SEO ....oh Eck!! I try but basically I just write as naturally as I can. Old school stuff with a passing nod to optimisation.

          1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
            Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

            SEO can be tricky or tedious.

    4. OldRoses profile image95
      OldRosesposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I do a quick check for spelling and grammatical errors, then I check to see if I have written a hub on anything mentioned that I can link to, and finally, I decide if there is any information that I can add to it.

      Sometimes I re-write entire sections or change the title or description, just generally freshen it up.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I like the idea of linking to other hubs.

    5. erorantes profile image62
      erorantesposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Good morning miss Kenna Mchugh. I have one article that at the time. I wrote it. I did not have experience on the subject. I when to a hair show. Where they were giving classes about keratin with different companies. I learned it so well. I spend learning all day. I did not see the hair show, but I learned the whole process of how to apply the product. I practice a few applications. Then when I knew the service well enough. I wrote how to get ready for a service with the customers. I add it to the existing article. It brought viewers to the previous article. Have a great day. You stay safe.

    6. divacratus profile image88
      divacratusposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Improve readability mostly - try to convert passive voice to active voice (because such sentences are shorter and readers prefer them), break big paragraphs into numbered or bulleted lists wherever possible, add tables, etc. These are some tips that I picked up during a recent Google technical writing course. There is always something to improve.

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
        Miebakagh57posted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I'll be noting and recalling this when next I do edit anyone of my articles.

      2. Miebakagh57 profile image67
        Miebakagh57posted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Thank you. I'm copying.

  2. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 11 months ago

    I assess the article.

    Sometimes all that is required is that spelling and grammar are improved. I always do something, even if it's just changing a word, so that Google knows it's been updated.

    I rewrite large sections if I think the info's become out of date and needs updating.

    I change it to suit the latest HP advice on things like SEO.

    Sometimes, particularly if the article is already successful, I try to widen the net, as far as keywords go. Basically, I try to chase related keywords and give answers to common questions that are searched for.

    If the article has always done badly, then there's really nothing to lose. But it's often not a good idea to spend lots of time on them. It's normally easier to get more views with a successful article by using SEO. I think it's common for people to waste too much time trying to get failures to work, when they could be exploiting their successes better.

    Anybody who reads even just the basics of SEO, even just the beginners' advice in the Help Center, and then applies it to their work puts themselves at an advantage over 90% of writers on HP in my opinion. Most people don't seem to take SEO seriously enough.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Paul,
      This is a sound system you have. Though, when HP contacts me about editing my article, they never mention SEO issue. I wonder if they can discern an SEO article ranking.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
        PaulGoodman67posted 11 months agoin reply to this

        What's an "SEO article ranking"? I don't understand what that phrase means?

        In my experience, HP tend to spend more time on articles that are either near the top of the Google rankings, or have lots of potential to be there. I assume that's because the top articles are more "visible" and also there's more potential for getting additional traffic from related keywords.

        It often confuses people, though, I think. People think HP sees something wrong with their best articles and is trying to correct mistakes, when often they're trying to get it more traffic.

  3. Glenn Stok profile image96
    Glenn Stokposted 11 months ago

    That's an excellent question, Kenna, and as I see from all the replies, everyone has legitimate reasons for updating. They are all useful for the various stated reasons.

    In my case, I also have many reasons for updating, but I don't bother when only one or two words need to be changed.  I'm not sure if Google frowns on that as it might be a clue that one is trying to game the system.

    Instead, I keep a list of things I need to address with each article. When that list grows sufficiently for any particular article, then I go ahead and edit it.

    So, what do I do?  I keep my eyes on Google Analytics for clues that I need to fix something. 

    Sometimes when I see a short duration, I examine that article to see why I lost readers too quickly. I usually notice something I need to improve in the first section. People want instant gratification. So a short duration can indicate that I didn't give them something useful immediately.

    I also re-examine the title and summary many times. Both with good articles that can be further improved and poorly functioning pieces that need more development.

    One of the crucial things I check is to see if the title and summary get truncated in the SERPs. Last week's HubPages Newsletter mentioned keeping the title under 60 characters.

    But I prefer to be more exact—measuring by pixel size. Titles are truncated after 580 pixels by Google, and the summary, which is the meta description, is truncated after 750 pixels on mobile and 920 pixels on desktops. I like to keep mine short enough for all mobile users.

    I use this tool: https://blog.spotibo.com/serp-preview-tool/
     
    Finally, I often update to avoid obsolescence.  For example, I reviewed a company I used that helped bring invention ideas to a manufacturer. Unfortunately, they recently terminated their services. So, rather than deleting that article,  I changed it to make it more generalized, talking about how to do that on your own.

    Luckily, I anticipated that when I first published it years ago—I avoided using the company's name in the URL since we can only change the title later.

    A few times, HubPages' editors offered to work on my best-performing articles. I always accepted that offer as I find it very helpful, having a professional try to improve things.  The idea is that it's worth the time to enhance top-performing articles.

    As much as I agree with that, I still put attention to my under-performing pieces, as well, in an attempt to make them work. My thinking is that since I put so much effort into them when I wrote them, it's worth the effort to give them life when I see them failing.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Glen,
      You have quite a system set up. It's well throughout. Titles and the first paragraph as the hook make sense. The first paragraph is what is most important to the reader. In fact, I bookmarked Spotibo for my next edit.

    2. Miebakagh57 profile image67
      Miebakagh57posted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Glenn, what a long comment. Never before have I seen it like this on  HubPages. But I've noted one of us done it on Medium, a comment equaling an average article!                                   Seriously, this your post has trigger a  SEO generator I think. I'm now to study the link you gave for the tool.

      1. Glenn Stok profile image96
        Glenn Stokposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Thank you Miebakagh. You made a good point. When I finished writing it, and before clicking the submit button, I realized I wrote a long comment and gave some thought to repurposing it as an article instead.

        But then I thought about the reason I wrote it. And that was to share with the community in this thread. So, I stayed with my original purpose and submitted it here.

        Thanks for being so observant. I respect that.

        1. Miebakagh57 profile image67
          Miebakagh57posted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Glenn, you're welcome anyway.

  4. bhattuc profile image82
    bhattucposted 11 months ago

    I go through it from the readers eyes and then try to correct the mistakes and add some new information to it. Generally, after update it starts getting some additional views.

  5. Eurofile profile image97
    Eurofileposted 11 months ago

    I check for any mistakes. Then I rewrite/alter some of it. Sometimes reading it afresh I think of a better way of putting things. I add any new information. I recently revisited an area and at some stage I will add new photos to the relevant article. I update any time-relevant information. Amenities in  hotels sometimes close or reopen. Admission charges increase. I add any links that I think are relevant. Although I am told no more than four can be included.
    I did a big review a few months ago of my articles. Coincidentally my earnings increased. But these have now sunk way lower again. I am wondering what the optimum frequency for reviews is? Any suggestions? It seems pointless to review articles more frequently than every 6-12 months. What do others think?

    1. Glenn Stok profile image96
      Glenn Stokposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Liz, to answer your question, I don’t think there is any specific frequency for updating articles. I base it on “need,” not “time.”  When an article needs to be updated, that’s when I do it.

      For example, if things change that make an article obsolete, I bring it up to date.

      Besides that, I randomly review my GA to see what needs attention. Google provides a lot of useful data that shows clues with problems that need attention.

      In addition, I keep a list of minor things I need to fix when I notice them. And I apply those minor changes when the time comes to do major work updating an older article. So, I always have a list of things to do.

      Work is never done! smile

    2. OldRoses profile image95
      OldRosesposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I read somewhere on these forums that Google favors articles with a published/edited date of the current year so I update all of my articles every year.  I start the first day of January and work a on a few every day. 

      Ever since I started doing that, my traffic and earnings have increased significantly.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Same here. I updated my articles and noticed the positive changes in CPMs.

        1. Solaras profile image93
          Solarasposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Really?  I never imagined that updates could affect CPM.  I have been updating manically this last week, and CPMs are up $1.50.

          Crazy! How does that work?

          1. Kenna McHugh profile image90
            Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

            I am not sure. It proves to work, though.

  6. Brenda Arledge profile image81
    Brenda Arledgeposted 11 months ago

    I mostly write poetry, but when I edit I try to make sure my words are tighter.
    Make it sound clearer.
    Add a video or photo.
    Add a quote or something to enhance what I'm trying to get across.
    Check the spelling.
    Add a summary so google has more to go by on search.

 
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