Why have hubpages idled my hubs

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Published: 08th January 2013
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Hubpages is a great site which enjoys a loyal author base and huge monthly visitors often more than 20 million per month. Its success has always been based on a combination of unique content and good quality interesting articles, which it calls hubs.

In many ways it is similar to Article Alley, but performs better due to the higher standards it places on it content and the greater proportion of unique content it contains.

Google is as we know the dominant search engine accounting for the majority of traffic to hubpages and Article Alley, together with all the similar sites in this niche. During 2009 and 2010 there was an explosion in the numbers of sites like hubpages around, unfortunately these were not so fussy about their content, which led to a very large number of shallow pages featuring in the search results or SERPS. Shallow pages as Google calls them are short, of a poor standard and more than often are duplicated around the web.

Google decided to act and in Feb 2011 it introduced an update known as Google Panda, named after a engineer in their team. The purpose of this update was to identify and push down the shallow content which was becoming at least in the eyes of Google an issue for search users.

The Panda update is a form of filter, it identifies shallow content by using a number of approaches:-

Duplicates - is the same content a duplicate of other content around the web or very similar to existing content, known as spun content. There are programs around that mix up paragraphs and change around words to make content slightly different. Whilst these work they only serve to reduce the quality of the content spun in this way.

Analytic factors these try to mimic human behaviour, and whilst are not fully understood, to anyone other than Google appear to be some mix of time on page, bounce rate exit rate.

A key feature is if Panda determines that too many pages are of shallow quality then the whole site is subject to the panda filter. A a panda filter can reduce traffic by 70-90% so it is clearly something to avoid.

Hubpages got hit by Panda when it was released in Feb 2011, but quickly acted to improve and follow the new guidelines. They started a program of archiving old hubs that were not performing, the logic being that if Google was not sending traffic to a hub, when previously it had, that means the hub is no longer meeting the criteria that Google has set.

So what to do if your hub has been idled? Well having read the above, it should be clear that that particular hub is now a potential problem that could impact on all the other hubs within your sub domain. So the choices are simply: Delete or Enhance.

If the hub is out of date or of low quality, get rid, if it is still useful and performed strongly before, then re-work, add images, add vidoes, re-write the text.

Small changes may get the hub off the idle status, for example just changing a single word will fix it, but that will not address the underlying issue, the hub needs to be either improved or removed.

A lot of hubpage members are up in arms about this, but the change has been forced on Hubpages, Article Alley, Squidoo and the rest of the sites in this niche in just the same way.

At the end of the day, Google is the source of our traffic, so if you want to continue to receive it then like it or not you have to play by their rules, which have changed.

I hope you find the above article of interest, our own site Article Alley welcomes quality members in the same as Hubpages and Squidoo does.

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