Kate Swanson wrote her first novel at 15, created her first blog in 2006 and has been writing for profit, and creating websites ever since.
So your Hub is UnFeatured. What does it mean?
On most sites, having a Hub "Featured" would mean it's been given special status. Not on HubPages - here, a Featured Hub is a normal Hub. An "unFeatured" Hub has been penalised for some reason and is effectively invisible.
If you're like most writers, you want people to read what you've written - so there's no satisfaction in having a Hub no one can see! So, when faced with a Hub that's become unFeatured, it makes no sense to just leave it there, does it?
You have a choice. Either:
- Revise it so it becomes Featured, OR
- Delete it and move it to another writing site or your own blog.
If you choose the first option, the next question is - how do I revise it? The answer is - it depends why the Hub is UnFeatured.
Why Is My Hub UnFeatured?
Take a look at your "My Account" page and note the symbol next to your UnFeatured Hub.
- If it's a white circle with a black outline, your Hub has failed the QAP.
- If it's a half moon symbol, your Hub passed the QAP but isn't getting enough traffic.
If your Hub has failed the Quality Assessment Process, then obviously, you need to revise it so it gets through that process next time - but how? It's not always clear why the Hub has failed. Here are some basic elements to check:
Length - Your Hub should be at least 600 words, and much longer to be on the safe side!
Grammar and Spelling - Copy your Hub into a word-processing program and run grammar and spelling checkers over it, if you're not confident.
Images - You must have at least one image. Make sure all your images are legal and properly attributed (if you're not sure, read my Hub on how to use photos).
Rule Violations - Don't assume you know the rules, because they do change. Read this Hub summarising the rules to check if you've broken any.
If you can't work it out, don't fret. In the email you received, you'll find a link which you can post on the forums and ask other Hubbers for help to identify the problem.
If your Hub is UnFeatured for "lack of engagement", the important thing to remember is that your Hub is good enough! Many people think it means their writing isn't good enough - and that's rubbish. A Hub that's unFeatured for Lack of Engagement meets all of HubPages' standards - it's just not getting any visitors.
So, that means revising your Hub to improve its quality may not help - it's already up to standard. What you must do is get more visitors to the Hub. But how?
In many cases, the problem is simply that readers can't find your Hub. Address that problem, and your Hub will stay Featured.
Note: You'll find plenty of articles on the internet, telling you how to solve "lack of engagement". However, those articles aren't relevant because "lack of engagement" means something completely different outside HubPages.
How to Help Readers Find Your Hub
What you need to do is to make sure Google, Bing and Yahoo! understand what your Hub is about, and that they like it enough to include it in their search results. Traffic from friends, family, and social networks doesn't count so Facebook, Twitter etc. won't help.
This subject is too big to cover here. The following two articles will help:
Unfortunately, some subjects simply aren't very popular, or have a very small audience. In those situations, it may never be possible to keep a Hub Featured, and it may be better to move the article to your own blog, or to another writing site. Sites to consider are DailyTwoCents, WeekendNotes, Wizzley, or Infobarrel.
Imran khan from Mumbai on May 23, 2019:
As helpful as all your other articles.
Kathy Henderson from Pa on January 08, 2018:
Great article thank you for sharing your wonderful tips to Hub pages.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 19, 2017:
Great helpful article Marisa!
You have explained everything related to unfeatured hubs very clearly.
Thank You for your suggestions once again.
Bill Yovino on November 17, 2017:
I've been unpublishing my unfeatured Hubs and moving them to my own site. My hubber score has dropped to the lowest point in 8 years. - So much for quality over quantity.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 16, 2017:
There is some nice advice here! I only have one unfeatured hub and kind of gave up on it after I was told to add a recipe capsule, then when I did, it was unfeatured.
Very useful for people confused about unfeatured hubs. Thank you :)
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 27, 2017:
There is no downside, except that they won't earn much money.
There is a logic behind unFeaturing low traffic Hubs. HubPages doesn't have the manpower to check the quality of every single existing Hub - and that's a problem, because low quality Hubs drag the site down. So they figure, if a Hub isn't getting good traffic, there MIGHT be something about it that Google doesn't like - so to be on the safe side, let's hide it. They freely acknowledge that there will be "collateral damage" - good quality Hubs that simply aren't searched for much - but they feel it's worth the sacrifice.
Bill Yovino on October 26, 2017:
I have a bunch of Hubs that are not featured due to low traffic. It seems counter-intuitive to me to remove low traffic Hubs from search engines. I've started moving some to my own blog site. Is there any downside to leaving them published on HubPages? There are people who still have links to the HubPages version from Facebook or email.
Tamara Moore on September 07, 2017:
Thank you! Great information:-)
Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on August 15, 2017:
Fortunately, Melissa, my hubs have always been featured (except one where I was trying something new and decided it wasn't worth it).
I thank you for the tip about alternative online sites where less successful hub articles might be published.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 28, 2017:
That's the weakness in the unFeaturing system! HubPages always planned to make the system more sophisticated, so dwell time (the amount of time readers stayed on the Hub) counted as well as traffic. That would have enabled very specialist Hubs, with low search volumes, to stay Featured. As far as I know, that has never happened, even though the wording in the Learning Center implies otherwise. It's a shame, and HubPages acknowledged that when the system was introduced. However they feel it's a small price to pay for ensuring that poor quality Hubs remain hidden.
Loretta from United States on June 28, 2017:
I had done a lot of writing for some really small narrow niches that I interest in. I've noticed those are the articles in my account that keep getting unfeatured for the lack of engagement/traffic. I've been moving them out to other sites if they can't keep up with the pace here.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on December 31, 2016:
Thanks for reminding me that I need to update this article! DailyTwoCents is worth looking at. If you are writing about places, then WeekendNotes is worth considering.
Caitlin Goodwin from Walt Disney World, FL on December 30, 2016:
It looks like Zujava is no longer available. Are Seekyt, Infobarrel and Wizzley still among the websites that you recommend? Do you have a preference when it comes to taking your unfeatured hubs?
Omar Eldamsheety from Tanta, Egypt on November 23, 2016:
Thank you for this useful article.
Wendy Iturrizaga from France on July 22, 2015:
Thanks Marissa, I am glad I found your Hub not only it is a mine of information, but the links are also very interesting for updating all those unfeatured hubs .
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 22, 2015:
Be careful with Wordpress.com - you are not allowed to use Adsense or any affiliate ads on a Wordpress.com site.
Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on July 21, 2015:
Thanks Marissa! That is what I meant, I've been avoiding using another platform....I'll check out wordpress!
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 20, 2015:
Ben, what do you mean by a "blog site"? If you mean a site where you can create your own blog, none of them pays - that's not how they work! A blogging platform, like Wordpress.com or Blogger or Weebly, just provides a location for your blog: it's up to you to work out how to get it noticed and how to monetize it.
Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on July 20, 2015:
Any recommendations for 2015 blog sites that pay well? I enjoy HubPages, but thinking about this hub, reminded me I should rewrite some of my lemons and get a solid blog up and running....hope you don't mind me asking!
Gary Malmberg from Concon, Chile on July 18, 2015:
Thanks for the advice. It's like gold to this newbie. Two thumbs yup.
Snakesmum on June 16, 2015:
Recently some of my hubs have become unfeatured. Probably I'll edit them and see how they go, and if that doesn't help, any that will fit on my websites will be transferred, and the others junked. Harsh, but that's the way it seems I'll have to go with some of them.
Pollyanna Jones from United Kingdom on June 14, 2015:
Luckily I've not encountered having a Hub become unfeatured yet. I think I'd transfer it to my blog rather than chop and change it to keep Hubpages happy. It would rid me of that anxiety of getting enough traffic!
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 02, 2015:
@The Examiner1, - well yes that's the point of the whole Hub. In SOME cases, revising your Hub can make sense, but it's not something you should jump straight into without identifying the reasons for the unFeaturing in the first place.
The Examiner-1 on February 02, 2015:
Not necessarily Marisa. It depends why it is unfeatured; how long it has been since the last time it was updated; and what type of Hub it is.
A normal Hub, which can be continuously updated, compared to a poem which wears out after time - the poem can get old.
A seasonal Hub can lose traffic when out-of-season but can possibly be updated for the next time it is in-season.
If they are 6 months to a year (or more) since last update then it will most likely not be unfeatured again for awhile.
Figure out why it was unfeatured. Try to correct the problem(s): It may need more words; you can also add more photos too; there may be problems with the links (promotional, broken, etc.), spelling or grammar;
It is best to proofread the entire Hub before you do anything else - unless they specified an error.
Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on February 02, 2015:
8 months and 81 hubs and all featured and never had one un-featured. I'll be sure to reread this when it happens. I'm worried about my cranberry sauce recipe hub in the summer. Do they like cranberry sauce in Australia.
I watch my stats. When a week has gone by without a view, I put it on twitter. By the next day, I usually have at least one view. Sometimes that primes the pump. I get very upset when stats don't update because then I don't know what to promote.
Tis is a very good article. I'm voting up and sharing.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 07, 2015:
@Examiner, if your Hub is unFeatured for lack of engagement, making even a tiny edit will get it Featured again - but the point is, that's only temporary. It will unFeature again in a few weeks and you'll have to do it again, and again, and again. Is it really worth putting all that work into a Hub that isn't getting views?
@peachpurple, your comment made me revise this Hub, I hope it's clearer now. If a Hub is unFeatured for lack of engagement, you need to look at WHY it's not getting traffic and address that - keywords, links etc. If you can't, then it's time to delete and move it elsewhere.
The Examiner-1 on January 07, 2015:
I am editing (proofreading) my unfeatured Hubs and they have all been re-featured. I add words/change words, update them with new data, add photos/change photos.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 07, 2015:
if i don't jump in to revise those articles, and I had already share with the social medias, what else can I do?
samuel hodges from Winston-Salem NC on January 06, 2015:
This is a very informative article. I will get to work and try to get more traffic on my unfeatured articles. Thanks, Marisa for the tips.
The Examiner-1 on December 21, 2014:
I try to do it beforehand but when mine are unfeatured I look at dates of original publish and most recent update. Then I check how its views are doing. If they are no more then I know that this plus old publish and update calls for new update.
Reena Dhiman on December 15, 2014:
It is always a nice idea to rework on un-featured hubs because if you will delete it then it would be a sheer waste of your hard work. Also, you can't post it anywhere because Google or other search engine will considered it as a duplicate content. So, its better to amend here on hub page. By making slight variations, you can get your hub republished.
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on December 15, 2014:
I understand the logic behind unfeatured hubs, but this is not necessary best move. Looking from my point of view, when I always interlink related hubs, this means a broken (unfeatured) chain, what means lost authority and forces me to write only hubs where I can expect at least few visits per week. Some of the themes I am writing about, simply don't have enough search volume to be featured without non-stop tweaking and investing time in promotion on social networks etc. This is a waste of time, because I can't focus on creating more content. Several of these 'not enough engagement' pieces helped me to get authority in my niche and if they are not indexed, everybody looses.
Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on December 15, 2014:
Useful information. Early on I misunderstood how to use pictures from sites like wikimedia and a lot of my hubs ended up with poor quality pictures. I have been replacing those with more proper copies.
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on December 15, 2014:
Hi Marisa - first let me say that you are so helpful in the forums, as well as in your hubs. Sometimes I see where people get their feelings hurt because they are not getting the traffic that they want and blame it on hubpages. I have, in the past, saw those big fat glaring zeros in the traffic, and got mad at Google. Well, I can get mad all that I want, I can get my feelings hurt but that does not amount to a hill of beans. The only way to get it worked out, to get that traffic is to play by the rules. Just like in real life!
Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on December 14, 2014:
Thanks for this hub and for all the helpful information on forums you supplied. I have learned a lot by reading the forums and from your answers.
Amazingly all my hubs are featured at the moment, but I did have two
unfeatured last week. I worked on them until they were featured again.
Every issue on HP about my hubs---I learn something. HP knows more than I do---I just started blogging three years ago, so I learn from them.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 14, 2014:
I just recently had a Hub that became unfeatured. That is the first one I have ever had. The Hub was enjoying fairly good traffic and had a score of 83. Then I edited it to add some new info and then it became unfeatured.
You have been a great help to me in the forums, and I appreciate that. I am determined to get that Hub featured again!
I voted this Hub UP, etc. and shared.
Snakesmum on November 30, 2014:
Currently all my hubs are featured, but I have had some unfeatured recently. If they don't recover after a few months, they'll be moved to one of my webpages or blogs.
So far, non have failed the quality test - touch wood! :-)
askformore lm on November 29, 2014:
Thank you for the explanation about unfeatured hubs. You have helped me to make a strategy.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on November 20, 2014:
Since Google's recent changes, it's easier to do well with your own blog. The only rule is that you MUST choose one subject and stick to it. It should be a broad subject so you don't run out of material too quickly, but it is absolutely vital not to stray from your topic. You can start a free blog on Blogger but do buy your own domain name to attach to it, it makes a huge difference.
Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on November 20, 2014:
Great topic Marisa. I just keep mine around, slowly pecking away at them, or add/taking away things. I've always thought of trying to build my own blog, but I'm still unsure if there's any type as good as Hubpages?
Anyway, I was looking over my list of authors I follow recently, and have to say I was intrigued by your profile pic, lovely eyes!
Snakesmum on November 15, 2014:
Having had a few hubs un-featured for lack of engagement, I found this article to be very helpful. I'll have to do more keyword research on the relevant hubs, and try to make them more SEO friendly. Thanks for the tips.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 01, 2014:
@brakel2, actually I don't recommend to "keep revising the Hub until it makes it" - in fact, I think that's futile, if it's unFeatured due to engagement. You need to work out why it's not getting traffic before you decide whether even one revision is worth doing.
Nick Deal from Earth on August 31, 2014:
Thanks for the helpful Hub, Marisa!
Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 31, 2014:
Hi Marisa - This article is very helpful, especially to new folks at HP. I know it helps to do what y9u said and keep revising the hub until it makes it. I sometimes revise the title, add text, or a poll. Often, people are just not looking for an article like yours. You have told me that in the past, and you are right. You are so helpful to the new folks on the site and also those of us who have been here awhile. Thanks for sharing this information. Sharing Blessings, Audrey
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on August 15, 2014:
Hi Rana, and I wish it was possible to provide such specific information! It's impossible, really, because so much depends on what you write about, how you write, how much study you're prepared to do, and what Google is doing at the same time.
I can tell you that I've had articles on most revenue-sharing sites, and HubPages continues to be the best for earnings in the long term. However you do need to take a long term view, because it can take a year or more for a Hub to reach its full income potential.
As for how many Hubs - on other writing sites, it doesn't matter how many or how few articles you have, because your posts are just part of a huge site. On HubPages, you have your own sub-domain (which Google sees as a mini-website of its own), so you must have quantity as well as quality. A hundred Hubs is a good number to aim for.
RanaKm on August 15, 2014:
Hello Marissa, so I noticed you mentioned other writing revenue sites and I'm wondering if you can take your time writing about these sites and reviewing them while stating how much one can possibly earn, the period of time in which an article starts to get you good income and the number of hubs that would be sufficient to get you good income? Can you please write about this? I noticed you do have a great knowledge and experience with such sites and things and I would really appreciate it if you write a hub or hubs talking about these and if you already have then please tell me where can I find them in your profile :) I voted up by the way, thanks for this lovely explanation. Have a nice weekend.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 01, 2014:
Don't give up and transfer your poetry to a blog phoebe180, unless you are having trouble getting them featured. Most of my hubs are poetry and they are all featured, even my micro poems that only have about 60 or so words.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on May 01, 2014:
@word55, you seem to be talking mainly about Hubs which are unFeatured due to quality. If that's the case then you can choose to try to improve it. My point is that if a Hub is unFeatured due to lack of traffic, it can be a waste of effort to do further work on it.
Al Wordlaw from Chicago on April 30, 2014:
Well Marisa, The answer to why the hubs weren't featured is an assumption. I would sometimes rewrite certain parts of a hub and make it more pleasurable to read. I would express the article more delicately than as harsh as it may have been or make it more factual. I'd read it as if I were someone looking to read something more interesting than I previously had written it. Some hubs would get featured right away and some wouldn't. Those that didn't get featured created a challenge to me. For instance, I did a hub on "Quit Smoking." It was un featured 2-3 times before they featured it 7 months ago. Then they un-featured it again with a half zero about a month ago. I just let it sit there for a month with the 1/2 zero. 2 days ago I decided to make a change to it and they un-featured it with the big zero. Then I was about to just give up on it when I decided to just zap and scrap it but I wrote the hub as a poem and it was no surprise, then, they re-featured it. I think the prefer that I write poetry. So, I'm just one who keeps trying different things. Thank you for asking.
phoebe180 from Philippines on April 30, 2014:
Most of my hubs were poems, guess I have to move them in my blog...thanks for this Marisa.
Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 29, 2014:
@word55 - I don't agree. If your Hub is unFeatured for lack of engagement, you can revise and revise until you're blue in the face, and it won't help. I wonder if you read the Hub?
@Phyllis, Cardisa has a good Hub on how to present poetry so it stays Featured. Basically, you need to either group several poems together in one Hub, or write some text to go with the poem and illustrate it well, and think about keywords.
The Examiner-1 on April 29, 2014:
When you have time, research if it is a subject that is worth keeping. If it is then research it and update it perhaps removing some part(s) that is/are no longer useful.
Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on April 29, 2014:
Hi Marissa, I actually didn't know about the half circle (I've never had an unfeatured hub). I suppose it wouldn't hurt for me to go through the entire Hub Pages tutorial, as my problem seems to be getting enough traffic to my hubs.
I would pose one other solution for failing hubbers, though, and that would be to post a query for help in the appropriate forum section. I often respond to hubbers who ask for help there. Of course, I can't access an unfeatured hub, but once I've made contact with the hubber, he or she can send their text through Fan Mail, and I'll be happy to offer a critique.
Voted useful. Thank you for sharing.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2014:
I will have to look for those circles or half circles and see if I have any of them and then decide what to do about them. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on April 28, 2014:
I have only ever had one hub un-featured due to duplification which I couldn't fix due to the common content so moved it to my blog site. I have been on HP for four years and have 120 hubs and never had any others un-featured yet, even though I only had two hubs for the first two years and only had a handful of views for them. I had no followers at that stage and wasn't really an active member, but I guess they must have been long enough and of good enough quality to hold up. maybe they had enough external views. If it happens I will add a video, some extra content and re-share. If that doesn't work, move it. I will never delete a hub, I am attached to them all.
Al Wordlaw from Chicago on April 28, 2014:
Rewrite it over and over until they feature it. Proofread it, make changes, make sure that every line is not offensive and makes sense. Have the facts accurate. Watch the spelling and typos. Don't give up but give it the best.
Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on April 28, 2014:
This is a very helpful hub, Marisa. Fortunately, all my hubs are featured now. In the past, I had a lot that kept sinking down to the bottom till they became unfeatured. When unfeatured, I would do my best to revise that hub and usually it worked to get it featured again. If it became unfeatured a second time, I would remove it from HP and put it on my blog. Usually it was poems that became unfeatured.
When I saw that most poem were not doing well on HP, I removed all but my best ones then changed my writing style. I studied my best hubs and stayed with those type of genre -- that really helped me to succeed in better, featured hubs.
Thanks for all your very useful tips.
Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on April 28, 2014:
Thanks for explaining the difference, now I know what to do with them, nice.
David Guion from North Carolina on December 28, 2013:
My answer to your poll, unfortunately--procrastinate and not get beyond the thinking about it stage. Oh well, sooner or later. . . I have enough unfeatured hubs that I can't deal with them all the same way.
Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on December 28, 2013:
Useful advice. As I have never earned any revenue from Hubpages I just live with it.