Google Loves Content - My Hubpages Year

Amazing Discovery - Content Is King!

Today, my avatar stats changed. It has been 12 months, according to these stats, that I joined Hubpages. I know it must be around this time and I know that there might be a bit of difference to the real date of registration, and what might be shown on the avatar, but none the less, it has to be about a year.  What did I discover?  Google loves content - content is king!

When I first started here, my intention was to write. I wanted to write stories - I have such an imagination - and new music reviews. I wanted somewhere that I could let those words free. There was no monetary intent - just a platform to release the artist in me and have a place to showcase my work. I found Hubpages by searching for a site to write on and there it was - the front page. Surprisingly, the description said that I could make money on hubpages. Typically, like any other average Joe, I clicked on the link and here I am, one year on.


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Myspace Is To Music As HubPages Is To Writing!

Myspace was a real inspiration to me. I have been active there since 2005 and this place was a great way to release my love of music. Some people call this death disco, others Indie Gothic - but many would call it Indie Emo. Whatever, it was my music. Myspace allowed me access to new bands that rocked my boat! Take a look at what I created from the link in my resource box at the end of this article.  Myspace is to music as Hubpages is to writing, great eh?

Amazon Is To Stuff As HubPages Is To Writing

Previous to this I was an Amazon marketplace and ebay seller. My business was thriving, until the crest of the Internet wave drowned me out in the name of free downloads and the open free market, here in the UK. I was a seller of niche videos (those were the days, eh?), DVD's, gaming and music. Entertainmentathome.net was born with a sister company Homely Entertainment & Rarities Ltd. You could say that Amazon is to stuff as Hubpages is to writing. See how easy it was for me to slot into the HubPages fold?

Search engine optimization or SEO didn't even register in my remit and the only time I used Adwords was purely so as I could get the website listed on the white pages. Apparently, the web designer said, this was a short cut route to getting listed. No mention of SEO here!

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Now For Project SEO!

Well, to cut a long story short - like anyone with entrepreneurial tendencies and a fascination of human behaviour (I studied psychology, health and social welfare with the Open University and learned to be a Teacher in Further Education (City and Guilds)) - I diversified into various business projects including developing a property portfolio to use for housing homeless people in social housing. My voluntary work is also very important to me - I take cancer patients for their Radiotherapy treatment with the Red Cross.

As you might see, therefore, I have a need to take on 'projects' - some might even think that I am an Undiagnosed Asperger's Woman - it is in the family, you know - so Hubpages and the ideas of SEO was something I could REALLY get my teeth into - project SEO!

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Something You Can't Show Your Grandmother!
Something You Can't Show Your Grandmother!
Shows Immaturity
Shows Immaturity
Sex Sells!
Sex Sells!

Shazwellyn's Hubpages Avatar Evolves

My first Avatar was rather off-putting. I was a graveyard stone. I didn't think of it at the time - remember I like dark Indie music with the likes of Ian Curtis and Joy Division - so this was symbolic of an aspect of me. People in the Hubpages forum were rather unfriendly, but I guess first impressions did count.

As my avatar's evolved, so did the attitude toward me. A smiley face made people respond to me more positively, a body shot with 'wash me' opened people up more, then my tattoo picture... well, it wasn't something you could show your Gran, I was told. So, now we just have me! This is it guys - the genuine, uncensored, true me! Back to Project SEO...



Lesson 1: Your avatar is a product and marketing tool.



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What Is This Thing Called SEO, Inspector Clue-Seo? Arh, This Has To Be Project SEO!

I became quickly hooked on project Hubpages and people were talking about this thing called SEO. I read and it was like I was Inspector Clue-seo, trying to put the pieces together, whilst looking in admiration at Darkside and being cut-down like a reaper by Relache (quite rightly when I think back - stupid questions could quite easily be answered by the learning centre!).

Being Inspector Clue-seo, I went back to Hubpages beginning. I read the posts from the 'ask help' and the 'knowledge exchange' forums. I saw how the old timers developed their understanding and their tips. I read the recommended hubs and participated in the forums and as I learned, I wrote. Project SEO was really a hard nut to crack and I don't give up easily - it is in my nature! I was obsessing about it and I was not learning as quickly as I wanted to. I am impatient like that.

Every time I published a hub... there it was >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Lesson 2:

What Works:

The best performing hubs are those that are useful, truly original, informative, thoughtful and well illustrated.

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Project SEO: Google Loves Content

So Inspector Clue-seo had learned that one of the elements to success is to appease Google. Google loves content. That means producing good articles and stories. I did this but the most difficult was gaining that first one thousand visits. This took two months and I still didn't have too much of an idea of what SEO was about.

I add here, that one of my best performing articles was one of my first where I did no keyword research and didn't have a clue what on-page optimization was. In fact it took months for me to work out the difference between keywords and tags! I even asked a direct question in the help forum asking what the difference was. No one responded - it was a hushpages secret!

Keywords and keyword phrases (Guru's like to mystify this and use the term 'long-tailed keywords) are short words that describes the content. These should appear in the URL or address bar and sprinkled throughout the article.

An article on Asperger's Syndrome would have asperger's syndrome as the key phrase - aspergers and syndrome are the keywords. Tags are associated labels placed for the benefit of the site and for search engines to categorize. For example, labels or tags for asperger's syndrome include: autism, autistic spectrum disorder, syndrome, learning difficulties, social isolation etc.

Lesson 3: Google loves content and by using keywords and tags, you are telling search engines what your content is about.

Lesson 3a - Good keyword research using the Adwords Tool.

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Search Engine Optimization Needs Natural Backlinks

As you might have seen, I have taken an awful amount of time and trouble to grapple my head around this search engine optimization thing. Every time I thought I had grasped the concept, I was never really sure whether I was being lead astray or whether I was chasing a red herring.

I went back tweaking my hubs, retweaking my hubs, changing tags, restructuring - without much success - or maybe with a lot of success? What is successful anyway?

I was creating backlinks and my traffic was steadily climbing. But the truth of the matter is, would they have climbed the same way if I had left them? Well, this is something that I can neither prove or disprove. Whatever, I still didn't feel confident or certain in what I was doing.

Lesson 4: Back linking needs to be natural, just like your articles.

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Sunforged Guided Me To The Light!

Then my saving grace... Sunforged! At last some light at the end of the tunnel! Lost, the 60 day challenge was to sort me out. It was May, I had failed 3 previous attempts at the 30 day challenge but this time I was going to achieve my goal. Why? Because I had a team of people who I didn't want to let down. My chief motivation in many of my actions, is putting others before me.

My Objectives:

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” - Chinese proverb .

'to see some light at the end of the SEO tunnel, for online promotion to feel a natural part of my persona and to developed new marketing strategies'.

My motivation: 'To not let the 60 Day Hub Challenger's down by failing and to be my best.'

In my challenge log, I wanted to use white hat methods in promotion.

Lesson 5: Google Loves White Hat and Condemns Black Hat methods. Think of it like this... white hat is good intentions that gets rewarded, black hat is bad and gets penalised.

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White Hat SEO Is Not Spamming

I won't go into detail, but Sunforged had a unique way of promotion. My inexperience and naivety got me into a lot of trouble. I didn't know what I was doing and during the promotional phase - I had completed my 30 hubs in 30 days well within the time allocated - I got disabled by all things Google.

This was the best thing to have happened to me because I realised what it meant to be a spammer - naively and innocently, but yes what I was doing was spamming! No one's fault but my own and it is through this short, sharp, shock that I learned my lesson. White hat methods does not involve spamming and, yes, I could see light at the end of the seo tunnel. I had been reborn.

Lesson 6: 'Before making any single decision, you should ask yourself the question: Is this going to be beneficial for my page's visitors?' Reference: Wiki on White Hat SEO, quoted from Pcunix

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On-Page Optimization Is Key To Search Engine Optimization

The 60 day challenge team had taught me lots. It was after the above event that it all started to fall into place - keywords, tags, on-page optimization and useful, good content. Sunforged set me free as I demystified concepts in search engine optimization by looking beyond the terminology and seeing the wood and the trees. I deciphered what was being said into simple terminology - a language we could all understand. I learned that I have a talent in taking something that appears complex and simplifying it. Take a look at my on-page optimization for an example.

Yes, the 60dc was a success and Sunforged will always have my loyalty. I even went into the 60dc2, but outside life had unexpectedly had its demands and I couldn't continue. We will leave that there.

Lesson 7: On-Page Optimization is one of the key aspects to article success.

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Useful, Truly Original, Informative, Thoughtful And Well Illustrated Articles Make Good SEO

So, here I am 1 year on at Hubpages. It seems that I have come full circle. Google has evolved and there is no way - unless you are as experienced as the team at Google - people can cheat the system. This is a good thing.

Pcunix, who advocates good content without spam, has dabbled and learned, just like I have. You will see nothing but white hat methods from me! So, you see, the lesson to learn, more than anything is, be guided by Hubpages. You are on a website that protects their writers so as it protects Hubpages.

Lesson 8: The best performing hubs are those that are useful, truly original, informative, thoughtful and well illustrated.

Did I already mention this? Yes, of course, I have come full circle!

Hubpages Is This And So Much More - Thank You!

My first year at Hubpages has been exciting, fun and unexpected.  I have learned so much, but then so little.  Google loves content.  It did then as it does now.  Yes, indeed, content is king.  I have grown in so many different ways with so many different people.  I have been honoured and I have honoured.  I have been welcomed and criticised.  I have seen writers come and seen them go.  I have no intentions of leaving - it is far too much fun! 

Most of all, I have enjoyed every single minute of my time at Hubpages - even the scary stuff!  I even have a passive income - just what was said on the tin one year ago.  Hubpages is this and so much more and I want to thank you all.

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

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More by this Author


Comments 26 comments

msorensson profile image

msorensson 5 years ago

Wow..thank you for sharing!!

I love that mud (?) filled Avatar..lol..that is captivating and intriguing and you are right, a great promotion tool!!


Timstown profile image

Timstown 5 years ago from New Jersey

Thanks for sharing, this is definitely going to be useful.


Sparhawke profile image

Sparhawke 5 years ago from Manchester

This has to be the longest hub in history lol

Will get to reading it in full detail soon :)

By the way, I think you look lovely but no offense, if I am honest I prefer the bodyshot image and tattoo girl lol


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 5 years ago

shazwellyn - I have always loved your hubs. This is extremely informative. Thanks so much for all of your thoughts on writing goood content, seo, backlinking etc.

It's refreshing to know that I am not the only one that struggles with seo information and it's nice to know what works in the end.

Many thanks for a very informative hub.

Sage


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I've been a fan for many month now and have always enjoyed your hub shaz, but this Hub is awesome! There's always something new to learn about Hubbing and like you say, it's great to see something "complicated", simply put. Much thanks. Here's to another year of fun.


Dobson profile image

Dobson 5 years ago from Virginia

Sounds like you have had an intersting ride Sharon. I am glad I know you now and can learn from your experience.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 5 years ago from Georgia, USA

Shaz- Been a fan since I met you in the forums. Great to see one of the Tribe doing well. While I have been remiss in commenting you always get a green button push because as you said, Content is King; Yours is great!

BTW you are even prettier in person than I had imagined, your hubby is a lucky fellow.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

msorensson - She definitely needed a bath! lol


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Timstown - This hub will get collected, like many others on your journey - but fun you will have! Great to have you at Hubpages!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Sparhawke - thank you for your honesty!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Sagewilliams - I have always enjoyed your writing and am delighted you have visited here today. It is funny how we come full circle, isn't it? A great lesson to learn - you dont know you get it until you realise that you 'got it' in the first place! lol

Such is life! x


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Green Lotus - We have come a long way baby! Both you and I started out at more or less the same time. And here we are again embarking on a new hope! Yes, I think both of us has learned a lot, dont you?

Mutual admiration my green friend,

Shaz x


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Dobson - Im glad to know you too. Here's to another year!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hmrjmr1 - my brave little soldier - how good it is to see that lovely avatar of yours. You are always the nice littler charmer! Thanks for stopping by *wink*


Allan Douglas profile image

Allan Douglas 5 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

So THAT'S what a long tailed keyword is! You are absolutely right, you have a way of taking complex things and making them simple. Thank you, I've learnes lots from this.


Website Examiner 5 years ago

Nice piece of work! You have much to be proud of, and I'll be keeping a friendly eye on you - watching with keen interest as you develop further. You are important to this site in so many ways. W.E.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Allan Douglas - Yes, that was something I had discovered about myself! It took a series of processes to realise this. Thanks for your nice comment :)


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

WE - You have quickly become one of my favourite people here on HP. I love your writing style and how selfless you are to benefit others. You are a true example of a sharer of hubpages love. I look forward to another year of adventure with you!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Another well written and researched hub. I'm bookmarking this one as one of my 'Most useful hubs' so that I can refer to it easily. I'm also voting up and giving it a useful. Thank you so much for sharing. Take care and God Bless shazwellyn.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Eiddwen - Glad it was helpful! Thanks for the vote and God Bless you too!


Eanatas profile image

Eanatas 4 years ago from Ohio

You've hit the nail on the head with this one.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

This article was written before the panda updates and now is common knowledge. Thanks Eanatas for reading :)


RichardPac profile image

RichardPac 4 years ago from Sunny Florida!

Thank you for the advice! It was very well written and seemed very "Organic" (I mean this as a compliment)!


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England

Really get the sense of a journey through hubpages reading this

thankfully i now know better what Backlinking means after reading this, im signed for google adsens analyser but it seemed like a lot of messing around, is it worth the hassle, do the results justify it? i guess like you said, its impossible to measure 100%

Great hub tho


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 4 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi CCahill... backlinking today is the highway to google hell. Do you really want this?

Thanks for reading :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very interesting, very useful and very motivating. I like that you have stated the base facts that need to be adhered to in online writing.

Great job. Voted up, useful and awesome.

Congrats on your successful journey this far and wish your more years of success ahead.

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