For quite some time, Hubbers have requested that we boost HubPages’ reputation by improving the site’s overall quality. Hubbers have also been asking for advice on when to update and delete old Hubs.  Today we are beginning a series of updates that we hope will address both requests.

Sometimes a couple of under-performing Hubs can hurt the reputation of your entire online portfolio in the eyes of search engines. As part of our efforts to improve everyone’s reputation (and traffic), beginning Wednesday, we will put your least successful Hubs on Idle. An Idle Hub is available from your profile page and to your followers, but it isn’t indexed by search engines.

Beginning today, you will able to see Idle Hubs that we identified by visiting My Account > Hubs > Stats.  A Hub becomes Idle when it is out of date, needs some editing, or just hasn’t had much interest lately.  We encourage you to update it with fresh information, text, and media. If, after being updated, a Hub still fails to perform well, rest assured that you can leave it alone without it putting the rest of your Hubs at risk. For the next 48 hours, these statuses are informational only.  On Wednesday afternoon, they will be operational.

Showing which Hubs need work (or just aren’t working anymore) helps remind us all to regularly edit our portfolio of Hubs, as keeping content up to date and carefully culled is increasingly important. Under-performing Hubs that will be affected by this update are not seeing much success via search, Topic pages, or Hubs as it is, so you should see very little change in traffic in the short run and hopefully enjoy a boost in readership over the long run.

This update is just the first version of many to come. Figuring out how to best protect Hubbers’ reputations and  improve the overall quality of Hubs will aid their chances of success.  We are confident that this first step is a very positive one! We hope you take this as a convenient opportunity to do some spring cleaning amongst your Hubs – and that you enjoy more traffic as a result.

For more information, please see the learning center entry and to give feedback and report issues, please see our forum thread.

A huge thank you to the awesome community of Hubbers that offered their feedback and helped shape this feature along the way.

Posted by:Paul Edmondson

41 replies on “Introducing Idle Hubs

  1. Okay, perhaps I’m a little dull. I have a hub just written that I think may do well (keyword researched and all). It was written a day or two ago but is apparently on idle right now. So how will it ever be indexed by a search engine? Or do I just not understand here? Doesn’t it need time? Will it get an opportunity besides HP readership?

  2. I agree with this measure. In fact I was planning to remove my hubs that were marked as not performing. This is a good move to improve our image Online Thank you

  3. This is a great idea. I was debating whether or not I should delete the two hubs that you’ve marked, since they were timely hubs that are no longer pertinent. Looks like I can just leave them there, with no harm done to my overall ratings, and that you’ve taken care of the problem for me.

  4. Hmm…… It looks to me like going on idle is the kiss of death for a hub.

    I am not sure how to get a hub OFF idle. I suspect a delete, rewrite and republish strategy would be best.

    Also I note that which hubs go on Idle looks arbitrary when I rank my hubs in terms of views in the last thirty days. One had no views and is not on idle, the next had one and IS on Idle.

  5. I think the arbitrary judging of some hubs as idle is misguided. Some hubs are stories, with a beginning and an end. There is no fresh material to add. Some of the political hubs will naturally go out of date, but most will not. Some are seasonal, so are you going re-evaluate each season, Christmas, Easter, etc. I have some of those you marked as sleepers (the two Z were kind of obvious) should not be your call, if the hub meets the standards of good taste, complies will applicable laws, etc. If you are going to do something like this, please set some standards as to how many hits a hub needs, so everyone can take their laptops to a coffee shop, sign in under the second account that everyone has, and hit the hubs from a different IP address to increase the numbers.
    I do not like the plan.

  6. It will keep us on our toes. The two of mine that are showed idle
    are two I’ve never posted on Facebook, so probably my fault.I just randomly post them and should be keeping a log. I agree with keeping the quaity up. I have read some really bad stuff while hub hopping.

  7. So what happens with strictly seasonal hubs that will be ‘idle for some time’ between relevant months, e.g. Halloween? Also what happens to hubs like book reviews (of which I have three) that don’t get a lot of traffic, but are relevant for the occasional search made by someone looking for a book that contains the type of content these books contain, e.g. sailing, adventure, crime etc?

    I am already not liking the sound of this latest change!

  8. Well done, yet again, HP!
    Will there be an option to move them to their own page at some point? I ask because some of my older HubNuggets round-up hubs are now “on idle” – I can’t really update them, but I wonder if I should hang on to them as long as the links to the nominees’ hubs are active. Moving them to their own pages would keep the link and comments intact, but remove them from my “active hubs” and hubs I can improve or dump.
    Any ideas on that?

  9. Hi !
    This seems to be a wonderful indicator and will be of benefit to all especially to those having hundreds of hubs.
    Thanks for this wonderful update.

  10. After the first few minutes of indignation and anger, I admitted to myself that Hubpages is forcing me to do something that needs done.

    For months, I’ve been promising myself to edit & delete the hubs that haven’t been receiving any hits – the bottom half. So, thanks for the prod, hubpages. I’ll give my procrastination gene a kick in the butt and start my sadistic editing gene to work.

  11. Thank you Hubpages! This has made it easier to identify content to remove, I was very daunted by the prospect as I was unsure about which content to get rid of, but the idle mode makes it easier to identify hubs that I will never have the time to edit anyway. 200-300 hubpages I’ve spotted mixed with ones I wasn’t really happy with anyway….Does this mean that the 3 years it takes for an individual hubpage to mature in the search engines is out of the window? The gamble is that you hope many will go in and edit the individual hubpages, but many I suspect will simply not have the time to edit, thus removing some quality but idle content off the site. I’ll admit like any Hubpages account I have some article content that is absolute dross that I will happily take off the site when I have the time to do so…..Will see how this pans out!

  12. Hi…timely post, and will ‘get with it’ in the not-too-distant future. It’s been a crazy year – moving for the third time tomorrow (to assisted living, which should explain my recent inactivity).

    Hubpages remains my favorite venue. I hope to encourage some potential writers among fellow residents at my new home. Old folks; great at diggin’ up bones. We should get a few good stories here.

  13. OK I understand what to do now but the algorithm used to put hubs on Idle seems strange. It is certainly unrelated to views in the last month.

    Right now I have to work with it but do not trust it.

  14. ” If, after being updated, a Hub still fails to perform well, rest assured that you can leave it alone without it putting the rest of your Hubs at risk.”

    Does that mean I don’t have to delete it? How do I know which hubs are affecting my account?

  15. This is a good update, I feel. No one hub should ever be more important than the quality of the entire community. Hubs ate ranked quite regularly on Google already so this is great.

  16. this is not quite a good idea to judge ill-performing hubs by their unpopularity. an ill-performing hub of today may become a well-performing hub of tomorrow.

  17. Although I welcome changes that are aimed at increasing traffic and performance for hubbers, this does ring a few alarm bells for me. You are essentially taking out of our control which hubs are indexed. What if we do not agree with your decision? If a hub is taken out of the index and then someone copies it won’t ours then look like a copy if it then goes back into search (maybe a minor issue if they are not performing that well anyway).
    I can see the benefit in terms of the masses of spammy/spun articles that are posted on here (hopefully they will be flagged) but I just have a fear that this will affect genuine hubbers too.

  18. Since I am banned from the forums and cannot give my input on the thread there (coincidence I;m sure LOL) I thought I;d give my opinion here. I don’t like it. 🙂


  19. Some of my zzzz hubs are seasonal. I tweaked them but don’t expect much action on the Fall Apple Cake or Christmas items in Aug.

  20. In other words, a surfeit of “how to” articles will please Google, but creative writing hubs (short stories, poems, essays) will not…right?

  21. I really like this new feature. It saves me a lot of time and is an excellent reminder for me to keep tabs on my hubs. I just revised one hub that was idle because I saw the new indicator feature. Thank you!

  22. I like the idea but I would like to have more control over which hubs are idled, I would like to be able to turn idle off.

  23. The reason why I have reservations about this new idle policy for Hubs is that I have noticed some of my Hubs will be idle for months, and then get a surge in traffic when the topic they are written about is in the news. For example, a Hub I wrote about how New York City would be affected by a Major Hurricane has seen some activity lately because hurricane Isaac and New Orleans are in the news and people are search for information about hurricanes. If this Hub gets put on idle, then people won’t find it. Is this fair? Perhaps you should give us some choice in this matter?

  24. There are some hubs that I needed to delete as they were out of date and some that needed an upgrade also. However, some hubs are related to holidays and they do well at the right time of the years, so I don’t like the idea of deleting them. I have two hubs in particularly that have hundreds of views in the past and are still very good. They may not have performed well recently but overall I get comments on them fairly regularly. I did re-write the summaries and hopefully that will help.

  25. I am not liking this idea not being optional. This system doesn’t seem to follow much rhyme or reason, since it has “idled” pages with higher views than others which aren’t idled. All of them have at least some views over the past 30 days as well, one has 27.

  26. No! These hubs represent my archive. They are there so that I can refer readers to them when required. They are not yours to remove at will. My hubs are always top quality and if some of them are not “performing” – whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean – then it’s merely because they are being overlooked, and you removing them from the index isn’t going to help. I can see that I am going to have to find some other site to archive my material, which is a pity, because I’ve been using HubPages for a number of years now.

  27. What’s annoying about this is that you are being very narrow in your definition of what HubPages can be used for. To me it’s an archive. It’s the place I put stuff to preserve it. I put all my Whitstable Gazette stories up there. I’m not expecting to make huge amounts of money, but if someone wants to see an example of my work, I can refer them to this, that or the other hub. I make my earnings offline, not on-line, and HubPages has been a useful resource to me, but I may be reassessing this soon.

  28. In principle a good idea, but judging from the response on the forum there seem to be a lot of innocent casualties, particularly seasonal hubs. After tweaking some of my own idled hubs I discovered some relatively easy and painless ways to de-idle them:

    1) Add 2 or 3 more photos.
    2) Break up large sections of text into separate text capsules. (If you usually use bold text to separate sections, try this trick and use your bolded subheadings as the subtitles of the text capsules.)
    3) Add a section of relevant links. (especially to your own articles)
    4) Prune the Amazon and Ebay capsules.

    All of these were mere cosmetic changes that didn’t fundamentally alter the content of the hub. I don’t claim that they will work for everyone, but you might give it a try before moving your content elsewhere. Frankly, though, I find it to be a bunch of unnecessary busywork.

  29. Will hubpages ever just delete our ZZZ hubs? Thankfully the only one I see is one I’ve been contemplating getting rid of anyway, but I think that decision should be mine. Is it?

  30. I thank you for this new feature. I see with my personal goals as an internet author & publisher, per se. this new feature will be tremendous help once sorted out. Using Occams razor & pramatism and ‘desiring’ to learn I have these things of concern. First the criteria:

    1)Time per week for HP = Maximum 15 hrs
    2)How time spent = 2 x 5hrs writing & publish hub = 2 hubs max, remaining 5 hrs = hubpages activity
    3) Hub pages activity = approximations 1 hr interacting, 2 hrs reading, balance = 2hrs scratching my head.
    4) I don’t have time for gaming or reading the forums.
    5) I desire too ‘HELP’ the knower = HP, create a profit for the knower, receive a reward for helping the knower, grow with change

    Understanding from the knowns = learning center
    1) Publish hub, 24-48 hrs rejected or accepted, rejection is continuous possibility, probability an unknown = see the knower or HP
    2) Old hubs have been judged ‘NOW’
    3) Idle is in perception a whole bunch of if then statements
    4) Pending is relevant to a time period of 24hrs and Google algorithms
    5) Republishing to Google by hubpages releasing ‘changed’ hub protects the hubber by a review process

    The unknown for the ‘judged’ by algorithm hubs are factors to decide or prioritize which idle hub to address first with time constraints. Again, I don’t have time to game, which means to benefit Hubpages you don’t have time for me to game either.

    The needs I see presently to proceed toward the goal of benefiting profitably hubpages and my entrepreneur endeavor are these:
    1) Ability to download per the CSV export feature the designations idle, pending, and feature
    2) which has the greater value views per day, per month, total or floating score regarding idle hubs to be addressed for expediency creating quickness for market penetration and profitability of both hubpages and the entrepreneur
    3) Definitions are; value = profitable to both Hubpages and the entrepreneur = objective, worth is subjective – no comment
    4) Value = Google, Worth = Hubpages, revenue is the question
    5) How is affiliate marketing affected. Does Hubber interactions still create revenue – a tool for measuring progress too

    I am a DIY, entrepreneur, on a 5 year plan, not an apprentice, not an elite, a small, small, small business under development for the future as well as today. I have my dilemmas and disabilities, yet I am a leaner classified as such since 2000 by the Gallup Organization.

    The rules have changed. Fine! I see the picture. I ‘TRUST’ Hubpages! I have faith in the partnership and i ‘Appreciate’ the willingness of Hubpages to Share. I ‘KNOW’ it is complicated, yet realize that is subject to the theory of reciprocity. Emotion says, “Google makes it tough on HP” and the hubber says, ‘HP makes it tough on me.

    HP is the Flagship, I’m a PT Boat stuck on an island like McHales Navy. And, like JFK my boat has been sunk a few times. I can accept change, see it as the cause rather than a ’cause’ of emotion. I seek now the affect, while working with HP to project the effect desired benefiting all.

    Any correspondence toward your goal and my objectives seeking the Mission Statement are appreciated. I thank you for the time shared with this while realizing the immense value of that time in likeness. A little joke Simone and I a share to lighten it up a bit is WWWWHHHHHHHhhhhhhheeeeeeeee from the Dr. Seuss publication ‘My Many Colored Days.’

    Tim Mitchell AKA tsmog, and Mitch to real friends (shared in a couple hubs for Simone)

    Again, pulling from the past I say paraphrasing JFK, “It is not what the HP can do for me, it is what can I do for HP” while tossing in “help me, help you!” from Jerry McGuire.

  31. Again, ‘Thank You!!!!!’ (Note: In an old language in chat – linguistics five exclamation points meant a ‘grand slam’ and I’m not talking about Denny’s)

    My recent adventure may have benefit and offer for your review. It is not doing well, however the value may be more intrinsic for both HP and author.

    Note: How to use. Skip all the gibberish and get the tables where potential value may occur for R & D (Will be revised in the future – 🙂

    How to Allow the Readership to be a Guide to Writing (Title change more conducive toward the recent change and endeavor will occur. Written before understanding the new change I apologize for its inference with HP, yet it was written with an intent of sharing. That is sometimes the will of the readership is greater than the desire of the author.

    A past hub linked within the hub mentioned now is this hub on using the CSV feature. The features are mentioned, now reviewing I realize the benefits are missing. I will revise soon working toward the endeavor of this recent change.

    How to Use the CSV File Feature at Your ‘My Account Page’ with an Excel Spreadsheet

    My hope is these two will be this entrepreneurs desire to help HP, as HP continuously helps me – spiritually, psychologically, physiologically, and socially. That is a story in an of itself.

    I end with if you think the growth I underwent as a contributor, participant, seeker, helper, and a bit of a trouble maker offers both awe and joy, well, wait for my next year of growth (Sept – Sept), while remembering it is a Five Year Plan.


  32. One of my idle hubs is the final chapter on my “Moth” series. If I understand this correctly, it may be in jeopardy fo being deleted or unpublished? So, we must become the lap dogs for Google to continue writing here at the hubs? Please advise…

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