My Five Hubs on Page One of Google: Does SEO Matter?

Source

Ranking on page one of Google is the dream of all Internet writers. Once you’ve reached that exalted place, untold page views and monetization riches follow. So, like all savvy Internet writers, I studied Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and recently implemented those techniques to try and propel my writing to the top.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin

Example

Let me illustrate with just one of my hubs that is consistently ranked second on page one of Google, out of 4.6 million results. (My other four page-one hubs parallel this example.)

Do a Google search on Highest Paid Accountants in the USA. The following title should appear: Show Them the Money: the Highest Paid Accountants in the USA.

I did nothing special to this article other than to write a title that I thought would get hits. (Other job articles with similar titles are nowhere near the top page of Google.) I did publicize this effort on three foreign job forums, but I’ve done that with other articles that have not ranked at all.

SEO Techniques for Page One of Google?

This article has no SEO techniques applied to it. Those techniques theoretically position the keyword, like Highest Paid Accountants in the USA, in strategic locations throughout an article so Google will find it. In this hub, the keyword is only mentioned in the title and nowhere else. This fact is true for the other four articles that rank on page one of Google.

All these hubs got to the top accidentally.

I have diligently rewritten several other hubs to SEO standards to try and raise their positions. They have remained buried in the back pages of Google, where they started originally. Their hits or clicks have not increased.

Results

My example has so far produced the following statistics:

Total number of Hubpages views: 101 (in one month, which is the age of the article)

  • Total all-time Adsense impressions: 4
  • Average impressions per day: 3
  • Total clicks: 0
  • Estimated earnings: 0

Analytics page views: 73

  • Page views from forum posting: 34
  • Page views from Google: 20
  • Page views from (direct): 9
  • Page views from Facebook: 9

(As an aside, this hub used to have Amazon affiliate ads, but since Amazon cancelled all California affiliates two days ago, I removed the ads. They never brought in a single sale.)

Despite being on page one of Google, my hub gets most of its traffic from the forum postings. Page views from Google come in second, while views from direct typing and Facebook are tied. Interestingly enough, I don’t have a Facebook account, so the mention on that social site must be from a visitor.

In comparison, my most visited hub, Model Train Resource: N-Scale Track Plans to Inspire Your Own Layout Designs, has 219 Hubpages page views and 257 Analytics page views. About 84 percent of those views comes from posting in model railroad forums. Only about six percent comes from Google, where it is lost in the search results. This model railroad article has also brought in the most Adsense cash.

Conclusions

A lot of expensive books, courses, gurus and websites tout the advantages of being on page one of Google. This is supposed to bring loads of traffic, lots of clicks on affiliate ads and tons of cash.

But it looks like forum postings and social networking are what bring the traffic and money in.

In other words, being on page one of Google doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.

More by this Author


Comments 55 comments

Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

Just as I suspected... that keyword "Highest Paid Accountants in the USA" isn't a buyer keyword. It's something someone would search if they're curious how much people make as an accountant. Maybe to decide if that's the area they want to work in.

And it's awesome that you are ranked #2... but go look at the keyword tool on Google. From what I'm seeing, on average, it gets ZERO monthly searches worldwide.

Keyword research really matters, but I think you're learning that through the Micro Niche method you've been testing out.

Thanks for the inspiration on a topic.. I hope you don't mind me writing on it too to show the other side of things.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

I never said it was a product hub, Ben ;)

In fact, I only have two product hubs among all of mine, and they don't get many hits either. But I haven't done anything with them regarding keywords.

But I was interested in keyword research with general knowledge hubs. So I guess SEO doesn't matter with topics that don't get many searches as stated by Adwords Keywords.

The next phase of my experimentation will involve products involving Micro Niche Finder, as you already know.

And by all means, keep writing on the topic. There's certainly enough to explore about it.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Well Alocsin, this was certainly an Educational Hub. I learned a lot from reading what you have to say on this subject. I just write for the pure JOY of writing, Not looking to make money On Hub or above said sites. Of course Someday, I may Publish for $$. I've got a Book I'd Love to make a MOVIE out of a well.


butterflystar profile image

butterflystar 5 years ago from A Place of Success :)

ahaha Great Article, love your style of writing :))


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Interesting approach, I'm surprised that you don't get a lot of views from Google ... but then, I guess it has to be a heavily searched phrase too. How many views do you get? (for the page 1 article)

Nice hub, voted up and useful.

Oh, although you may already know this, the best place to use keywords is for your title! ;-) ... get a good title and you can get up the list very quickly.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

I'm not sure I understand the question, Brett. Under the Results section, I list the number of page views. And I did use the keyword in the title. Thanks for the votes though.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

I wish I understood SEO and keyword searches and all of that. It would be great to earn a little more than a few cents a day but I am terribly SEO challenged! I have some hubs that do great and others not so much but like b. Malin, I do it because I enjoy it. Interesting hub, thanks!


frugalfamily profile image

frugalfamily 5 years ago from Houston, TX

Its fun to follow you and your hubs...I'm not knew to understanding key words but I admit I have never applied any of that knowledge to my hub pages. Like you, I have had success in listing my hubs in directories. Keep writing and I'll keep reading:)


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago

Hi Aurelio

This hub makes you think twice about all the jargon about seo that's been posted all over, doesn't it?

Definitely food for thought, especially for new hubbers like myself. Voted up and awesome!

P


cordbailey profile image

cordbailey 5 years ago

I am new to this as well and seem to be experiencing some of the road blocks sounds like you may have faced when you first started. Seems to me that call to action might be a way to convert hits to dollars. As opposed to "Highest Paid Accountants" have you tried a different title such as "5 steps you must take to make $200,000 or more as an accountant". Perhaps making it more personal. Just a thought. Thanks for the info.


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

I say buyer keywords alocsin, but I guess I should say action taker keywords. That keyword seems more like something someone would search to get some stats real quick then close the page.

It's a fine art to picking out keywords people use when they're either looking to buy something or are going to actually explore the ads and other things on your pages.

But yes, definitely target keywords that get searches! The Adwords tool is going to give you a good idea as to what you should expect.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks cordbaily and bendo13.

Cord, that's a great title but a totally different article. I wasn't trying to make an advice article but a research info one.

Ben, it's all research and experimentation. Having "action taker" keywords on my hubs doesn't help much, since I can no longer sell Amazon stuff here. (As you know, no more California affiliates.) Still waiting on my ebay application. But "action taking" is something I'll be trying outside of hubpages. But as you also know, those tend to be taken by other folks.


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

True alocsin... but an action isn't always a sale ;).

It can be something as little as a click, which you can still earn from.

And if you're in the HP Ad program, and you did your keyword research for keywords that get a lot of searches a month, then you'll also get impressions you can earn from.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Ben, I'm definitely earning steady income from the HP ad program, but it is so tiny. And not knowing which article produces what income in that program is annoying.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

I actually came back to this by accident. I've now been playing with keywords and SEO for a while and have to confirm that most of what you say is true. The title is THE MOST IMPORTANT keyword of the entire article. However, I also try to scatter similar keywords in the article. Be careful not to use more than a few though, as search engines actually penalize websites for excessive use of keywords.

From my experience, this works very well and reads more naturally. Many of my keyword hubs bring in 2-10 readers a day from Google now :-).

Great hub, was interesting to re-read after having a bit more experience.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

I was reading another SEO article on HubPages, Brett, that advocated about 3 percent of the words in an article should be keywords. Seems a bit high for me but I'll experiment with that.


carieg 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing this, I will definitely be participating in a lot more forums. voting up!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

The weird thing about it Aurelio is that I think you are absolutely right here. Can't believe I missed this hub?

I know this hub is mature but the title is vital.

'Highest Paid Accountants in the USA.' is a winner.

Last time I checked it was still on the front page.

If we needed any confirmation that what you have said here is true. I offer my own experience with my hub.

'This site has insecure content'

A pure fluke.

Do a search on Google adwords and it gives a big fat Zero searches. And yet this has been on page one of Google since I published it.

It has had + 2,500 page views.

95% of these searches are from all the major search engines and some minor ones too.

Totally bizarre result. SEO I wonder if it matters at all?

Great hub votes and sharing.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

My favorite part of this hub was the last sentence...it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Well done my friend!


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I've suspected all along that this SEO business is rated too highly. I use the adword tool and it never seems to make a difference...no matter where I put my keywords, how many or how few. So, I just write and try to make things interesting. I do see some of my things showing up on page 1 or 2 fairly often...but the money never follows them...but then I am still only 3 months old on hub pages. Time will tell, huh? Great hub, as usual.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Wow.. I always thought our goal was to get on the front page of google. This makes me question what I know about SEO. Thanks for presenting this!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Okay, wait a minute...you can't have an affiliate Amazon account in California? I thought I was a loner here in NC with that one. Second, hmm, it's been about 9 months since you wrote this. Are the statistics that much different? It would be cool if you had a lot coming in from google now. Anyways, great hub. Votes and buttons. :)


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

good research alocsin. forget the gurus who wrote the book...i rate you as numbero uno :)

I think SEO matters when you want your article/site to be found by others but when it comes to gaining some moolah from it...does not work.

voted up as useful information.


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

I have a lot of hubs on the first page of Google. So far, I have never wrote any hubs based on keywords or SEO because when I write I try to write from the heart than with the intention of pleasing search engines or making money. And it has worked for me!


uzma shaheen profile image

uzma shaheen 4 years ago from Lahore,Pakistan

Interesting hub,SEO is really a challenge, but when you write out of passion then it does not matter.voting up.nice work.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

A lot of the earnings, Timetraveller2, has to do with whether people will pay money to advertise on those subjects.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

CClitgirl, Amazon changed its mind about the affiliate thing a couple of months ago after the governor caved in to their demands. So now I'm an Amazon affiliate again ;) I hope to revisit the subject of SEOs in a month or two, once I've completed the research on my new website.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

You've definitely proved the point of this hub, Anamika S.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Yes, we've done quite a few experiments with your hub, molometer. I'm mystified by the results as well.


rajan jolly profile image

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

Aurelio, I do not go by the established SEO principles in toto. These days I just try and put my keywords in the the title, summary and tags but do not sprinkle them throughout the hubs. Some of my hubs make it to page 1 of google some do not.

When I had started out writing I used to add keywords in the body of the article about 1.5-2% of the words in the text but that did not help.

Incidentally, I have a hub on acupressure titled 'Acupressure-Pressure Points Therapy'. Contrary to what SEO techniques say, I incorporated both acupressure and pressure points in my title. They both should not have been incorporated as both words have over 200 thousand searches which is a very large number to get ranked even in the first 10 pages of google search. Contrary to what I expected, I am on page one even if I type pressure points therapy as the search word in google or acupressure points therapy, somewhere between the top 4 to 6 search results. What do I make of this?

Incidentally this hub is giving me close to 70-90 daily views and has crossed 10000 views in 10 months flat.

Others, where I followed SEO in toto are nowhere as productive in views or in the early search pages of google.

also, another hub titled 'Jamun Fruit or Black Plum-Health Benefits & Uses' on the lines of the Acupressure hub is doing much much better and has got over 7000 views in 3 months flat with daily views of over 100 to 150.

I think articles with good and useful content is of prime importance. Then comes the appropriate title, summary and tags with keywords incorporated.

Voted your hub up and interesting.

Shared it too.


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

I agree with you alocsin, i don't see much effect on being on the first page of Google. Using this query " london 800m men race" on Google will return two of my hubs on the first page but i don't get the much hyped views.

I get an average of 150 views per day on each these hubs compared to another hub which is not on the first page of Google but returning over 450 views daily. SEO might work or might not work. Voted up and shared.


GoForTheJuggler profile image

GoForTheJuggler 4 years ago from Texas

Interesting read. I checked my hubs, and two of them managed to make page 2 with the right search parameters, but I must admit... I never check anything past page 1 when I use Google. Voted up and away!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

I've also tried to understand what causes a hub to rank on page one of Google. My salsa hub is on page one and 90% of my traffic comes from Google. I tried two other hubs with identical SEO techniques and neither of them have ranked on Google, although they haven't had time to mature yet, either. My conclusion is that it's pure coincidence. It's baffling, really, but I'm happy to have just one ranking hub! As always, thanks for your analysis.


Kaili Bisson profile image

Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

Hi alocsin, super article as always.

Now that I have been here 3 months I am starting to pay more attention to traffic and the like.

Of the hubs I have written so far, there are a few that are on page 1 of Google. Examples include: What is an Epergne?, Gardens of Biltmore and How to Create a French Garden. They pulled in 64, 13 and 52 views respectively in the last 30 days.

I never did anything special relative to keywords when I wrote these. They are among the first hubs I created here, so they are on page 1 purely by accident. And with views like I note above, I am not getting rich.

I don't have a Fracebook account, and only started a Twitter account when HubPages suggested it was a good way to promote ones Hubs. I have been on Twitter 2 or 3 times since opening the account, and find it really just isn't my thing. So I will need to rely on the kindness of others to promote my Hubs I guess. One of my recipe Hubs was pasted somewhere by someone who liked it, and it has generated more views than anything else I have done. Go figure :-)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

This information supports my view that using simple SEO techniques along with writing NATURALLY is the best way to go. If you write in a normal flow pattern, you will automatically repeat keyword here and there, but if you force it, your writing does not flow as well and therefore is not as good.


GoForTheJuggler profile image

GoForTheJuggler 4 years ago from Texas

Good point TIMETRAVELER2. Let the work speak for itself, and let it flow naturally.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Congrats, Kaili. Perhaps it was your good writing that got your hubs to page 1!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Well, Rajan, you may be on page one because you're a good writer! Congrats.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

Hi Aurelio and everyone else,

Aurelio and I conducted an experiment a little while ago.

I am sure he won't mind me sharing our findings. It is no secret. We just checked each others hubs for a few days.

I too wrote a hub, without any SEO in mind, although I do use it quite often for niche hubs. And get steady if low traffic (a little less that 300 views per month)

This one hub as you may know already, has been on page one, position one, literally from day one of it's publication. I kid you not.

It's the one titled 'This site has insecure content' it is to do with Google Chrome, the browser.

So far it has generated 18,809 page views. Published on the 3.3.2012. It peaked at 600+ views a day and now averages 150 per day.

I have done virtually nothing to it since publication except maybe fix a few typos etc. A title search on adwords, as I mentioned in an earlier post here returns a big fat zero.

My conclusion agrees with Aurelio, Brett and Rajan. It is the utility of the contents of the hub, that make it popular. It's usefulness to users. This would seem like common sense, but like most things in life. Common sense is only common sense, once it it pointed out.

All of the hubs, that we have all had more success with, have solved someone's problem (or question).

Let's just keep doing more of the same.

Great thread Aurelio, sharing this everywhere.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Very interesting, alocsin! So, SEO is related to what people are interested in? Social networking and well-written hubs seem to be key? You gave us something to think about. Thanks for sharing this!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

Found this article scanning your older work Alocsin. Congrats on the success. SEO is very important. You live and die by it. Voting this up and useful.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Alocsin....The time and focus you have put into keeping tabs on this valuable info, is commendable. How satisfying to be able to logically and mathematically arrive at results that can prove a valid point. Your explanations are of benefit to the vast majority of writers who want to yield the BEST of all results from their work. Thank you, as always, for the factual info you generously share with us. UP+++


joaniebaby profile image

joaniebaby 4 years ago

Thanks Alocsin for an informative article. Anything that I learn from fellow Hubbers is always welcome. I am going to check out several of your other Hubs.


Shushanik profile image

Shushanik 4 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

If you look for "Highest Paid Accountants in the USA" keyword in Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you'll see that nobody is actually looking for this exact phrase in Google. That's why you don't have many clicks from it. Nobody sees it. If you had something like "how to lose weight fast" on the first page, that gets hundreds of thousands of searches per month, you'll be filthy rich already :) So first page of Google matters, but the keyword your article ranks for should be something people are actually looking for. That's why it was so easy for you to rank on the first page for "Highest Paid Accountants in the USA" - there are no competitors for this keyword, because it's not searched for.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Always good to share this information, molometer. Thanks.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

The problem with "How to lose weight fast", Shushanik, is that you're competing with so many other well-established webpages, that it's doubtful anyone will find or visit your page. Thanks for stopping by.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

Your welcome buddy. How's it going in Sunny CA : )


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Sunny, as unusual, molometer ;)


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Great hub and some very info, results, and commentary - thanks for sharing this information!


sandrabusby profile image

sandrabusby 4 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

Thanks, alocsin, I enjoyed your hub, and I am encourage to keep writing because of its contents. Voted up and shared.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Thanks, ALocsin! I find this very interesting because a few of my hubs that have low competition, high views, and the highest dollar amounts are my lowest viewed hubs. For example, my hub on retirement should be pulling in views, but it has been sitting on zero for months. Oh, I might get a view here and there, but not enough to reflect what Google tells me when I look up the keywords.

Very interesting and much rings true. Votes and shares!


Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 4 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

Very intersting hub, and this is the kind od information that those fairly new to all of this find invaluable. What an incredible tool you made for us...


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

The title is one of the most important aspects of SEO. There is also the "title tuner" tool within HubPages.


molometer profile image

molometer 3 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

Hi Aurelio,

I thought I would just update my data to this hub.

To date my hub with no SEO on it, is still on page one of Google and has clocked up 25,017 pageviews.

How weird!

How is your one doing?

Michael


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Still hanging in there, molometer. To say that your hub has no SEO on it is a bit inaccurate. It's more precise to say that you didn't use any SEO techniques on it. But Google assigns it SEO keywords anyway, otherwise, it would have no way to index your hub. Congrats though!

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