The Google Penguin ate up my Page views

Google page rank

Google can allow your blog to be seen or isolate you to the land of spam.
Google can allow your blog to be seen or isolate you to the land of spam.

After a few months of hard work my blog was finally starting to pay off a little bit through page views. A couple of my blogs were on the front page of Google searches so I was getting a nice trickle of web traffic. My page views finally reached the level required for me to make my first Hubpages pay out. If I could keep this web traffic up, I thought that blogging might just become a nice source of supplemental income for me. I didn't have the web traffic that I needed to quit my day job, but blogging on the side was becoming very appealing. Any income that I made through blogging was going to be my rainy day or emergency fund. I wasn’t planning on making a living from blogging, but I thought that a few dollars here and there would accumulate into a nice chunk of change over time.

Web traffic continued to roll in resulting in those much needed page views. Things were going along pretty well in my little blogging world. The new ad program was working better than ever, and my web traffic was translating into money. Then out of nowhere, the Google Penguin swam through and swallowed up all of my page views like they were little fish. My old blog posts that were getting 5-10 page views a day flat lined with absolutely zero web traffic. My posts that were getting 20-30 page views a day turned into less than 5 views a day. But the posts that Google Penguin swallowed the most were my couple of posts that were getting 100 plus page views a day. I was lucky to get 10 page views a day from anything that I posted. Google cut off my flow of web traffic and I was left with a ghost town for a blog.

What happened to my web traffic? Why wasn't I getting any page views? How come I wasn't ranking on Google anymore? I don’t really know. I didn’t think that I excessively spammed my blog anywhere online. Yes, some of my stories are hyperlinked to other stories, but I don’t have any sneaky links in my pages. I have done some shameless promotion in the past, but that was years ago. I have since found out that posting links in comments do not really result in any serious web traffic. I’ve answered a few questions on yahoo answers with a link to a story that I wrote. But, how can Google attack me for that? I’ve answered questions with other web pages too, so did those pages get penalized by Google too? It isn't easy to get page views through shameless promotion anyway. The amount of effort that it takes does not make the 20 or 30 page views worth all of the work involved to post the link. Was Google going to penalize people for links that were posted over a year ago? I didn't think so, but I was while I stared at my non existent web traffic, I was beginning to wonder what I did to upset Google.

What is spamming?

Most of my promotion comes from my own accounts on various websites. I don’t spam, but I do post my stories to sites like Digg and Stumble Upon. Sometimes I will write a similar story on my other blog and cross link the two, like this. I bet that the New York Times isn’t penalized by Google for having posts linked on Digg and StumbleUpon, so why would my little blog lose page views for the same promotion? I realize that I am not the New York Times, but I am not asking for one hundred thousand page views a day either. I just want a fair shake. I want my small trickle of web traffic that will allow me to have a chance to get linked if someone likes what I wrote. I want to have the opportunity to be seen in the Google page rankings when my posts touch on a particular topic of interest.

Arianna Huffington started the Huffington post as a blog.  Now her "news site" is a preferred source of information by the Google algorithms.
Arianna Huffington started the Huffington post as a blog. Now her "news site" is a preferred source of information by the Google algorithms.

Professional bloggers vs. Amateur bloggers?

Are we reaching the era of preferred bloggers like Arianna Huffington that get exposure over the rest of us amateur bloggers? The Huffington Post started out as a blog, but now that AOL owns it I guess that it is a member of the main stream media bloggers. Are we going to be at a point where if you have your own website, or you are a personality that gets on TV your blog counts, but no one else does? I hope that the web never ends up like that, but I think that it might happen eventually. The big boys buy out the little guys before they can threaten their monopolies. Google and Facebook dominate the web, and it is becoming harder and harder for other competitors to carve into their market share. Now new algorithms by Google can destroy someone’s hard work overnight and dry up a site’s web traffic instantly. That is what happened to me earlier this month, but the Google king makers have smiled upon me and allowed my pages to rank once again. Here is what I did that may or may not have restored my rankings, page views, and web traffic.

four steps that helped to restore my page views

1. I removed advertising from my blog. This did not help at all. I thought that maybe I had too many ads so I shut them down for a day. I did not experience any uptick in page views so I restored my ads.

2. I added a summary to all of my posts. I didn’t know that I was missing so many summaries, but I was. It is a very important step for page rank, so make sure that you have them on your posts or your web traffic will suffer.

3. I appealed to Google. I think that this is what restored my web traffic. After about a week my page views are back to what it used to be. My blog may be getting more web traffic than ever, so things are looking up for me. Here is a link to the Google Penguin appeal form.

4. I checked all of my links to make sure that none of them were broken. I also made sure that I was not linking to the same page more than once on any hubs. Pointing to the same page more than once can put your blog into the spammy category. If that happens, then you can kiss you Google web traffic good bye.

Google Guidelines for webpages

In addition to the things that I tried above, I also looked over the google guidelines to make sure that my entries were in compliance with the new Google Penguin updates. Here are Google’s recommendations.

1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.

2. Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.

3. Don’t send automated queries to Google.

4. Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.

5. Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.

6. Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.

7. Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

2012 Copyright Michiganman567

Good luck with your blogging in the future and try to keep Google, the king of the internet, happy. They will return the favor with web traffic to your blog if you do.

For more help with your page views watch this video on Google Penguin strategies

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Comments 37 comments

internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

Very interesting and good information, thanks!


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the comment internpete. I hope that it helped


Wesley Meacham profile image

Wesley Meacham 4 years ago from Wuhan, China

Interesting hub. Voted up.


mskills profile image

mskills 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA

First of all, thank you for the concise summary of Google's Penguin monstrosity and your methods for fighting it off. Penguin and Panda have certainly bewildered the population around here, at least judging from the number of forum posts made daily about them.

Some cursory research (basically an ironic Google search and resulting scan of the first result) on the characteristics and differences between Penguin and Panda generates more questions than answers, unfortunately.

My extremely limited comprehension of Google's two irregular algorithm refreshes suggests that the April Penguin update followed on the rather furry heels of a Panda rampage.

So, my question for you is: Are you fairly positive your blog(s) weren't mauled stem-to-stern rather than squawked at?

Just to make clear, I am a layman's layman when it comes to understanding the intricacies concerning SERPs. But Penguin has been THE talk of the town since its unwelcome appearance, so I've understandably been trying (unsuccessfully) to sift the facts from the hearsay (or is that the other way 'round?).

Thank you for provoking some thought from me today with your hub. Scaring me with that Arianna mugshot, however, is just mean.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the read, comment, and vote up Wesley


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Mskills, Sorry about the Arianna close up. She isn't the easiest on the eyes. As for my blog(s), I'm not sure what the deal is. I'm just glad that they have been restored. I wasn't going to post on hubpages anymore if my account wasn't going to get Google hits.


Modern Lady profile image

Modern Lady 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

This is great info. I appreciate that you share what you tried and how it worked for you. Very helpful.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the comment Modern Lady. I hope that it is helpful.


Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

Great hub. I have a question though. What did you put for the "Query which shows non-ideal results" section of that penguin appeal form? I want to file one as well, but I'm not entirely sure what to put there.

Voted up and shared!!!


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I wasn't sure what to put there so I put the address of my hub that gets the most views. Thanks for commenting and sharing


jengeurian profile image

jengeurian 4 years ago from Elkhart, IN

I love the information presented here. However, I am fairly certain that contacting them wouldn't be of much avail to someone who is fairly new to Hubpages. I had high hopes after some friends did well here, but I am now unsure of where I stand on this site's earning potential.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Earning money through blogging is not easy. It pretty much comes down to getting lucky and writing "evergreen" hubs. If you keep on writing high quality hubs, then you will eventually start to make money. Hubpages pays out more for me than adsense alone, so don't give up on them. Just keep on doing your work and building a following.


rajan jolly profile image

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

Michiganman, thanks for providing a good checklist- the 4 steps and the Google's guidelines for online writers. This sure helps.

Voted up and useful.

Shared too.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

That is some very helpful information. I have a few bad links I must fix. It does seem to make the views go down. Thanks for sharing this information.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thank you Rajan and Tammy. I'm glad that you both found it useful.


BeautyAndTheRest profile image

BeautyAndTheRest 4 years ago

Informative hub. I didn't know there was a Penuin Appeal Form.Thanks for letting know. And yes, thanks for the guidelines. I started updating my pages with more information ever since the Penguin hit.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the comment Beauty and the rest. Hopefully we won't have another Google animal stampeding through any time soon.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Great information -- thanks -- marking this Hub for reference. Best/Sis


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the read and comment Angela


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is good information to know and to keep handy. Thanks for sharing this. I am reminded to go back and add my summary to my latest posts. Voted up.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks teaches, I forget those summaries all the time.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

This is really encouraging. I have suspected that maybe all these changes over the past year were to allow blogs with good content to rise to the top, and ones where techniques aimed at pushing good writing or other good types of blogs down are replaced. What you have done, no one else seems to have figured out, is to look for what Google wants and apply those changes to your blog. Good job. And now I know I'll need summaries also. Hubpages has been trying to get us to do that for a little while now.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I think that you are giving me too much credit, but thank you for the comment Alexander. Summaries appear word for word on Google, so they are very relevant.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub, brother. I learn many things here. I want to create a new website and I'll sure to follow your advice. Thanks for writing. Voted up and shared. Take care :-)

Prasetio


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Prasetio, let me know how the website goes. I'm sure that it will be a hit.


Cassie Smith profile image

Cassie Smith 4 years ago from U.S.

I have been oblivious about Google Penguin, but then again I don't have ads on my pages. I don't have any summaries so I'll have to think about doing that from now on. Thanks michiganman567.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

The Penguin was a nasty little anti spam update that caused headaches for a lot of people. I'm glad that they spared you from the problems. Thanks for stopping by Cassie.


JIN1128 profile image

JIN1128 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Thanks for this hub. I had no idea why I had such low traffic recently.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for reading and commenting JIN1128, I hope that it helps


chinemeremz profile image

chinemeremz 4 years ago

This is the info I was looking for as I was about to hit the exit button on Hubpages and finally quit and take my business elsewhere, but this hub was the reassurance I needed for me to stay put here.

Thanks for sharing and one more vote up! Great content.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I was considering leaving too. I hope that everything works out for you chinememz


chinemeremz profile image

chinemeremz 4 years ago

Me too men.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 4 years ago from Jamaica

Thanks for the tip, This was an eye opener. I try to keep up with google trends.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the read and comment rasta1


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Extremely interesting and scary....how many times is Google gonna get us? Our mantra has to be "content is king".

I voted this hub up, useful and interesting because you've given us food for thoughts with directions and a link to the Penguin Appeal Form. Good job.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the comment Tillsontitan. I always hear that content is king, but I can't say that I really believe it. Reputation is king.


gags3480 profile image

gags3480 3 years ago from Kanpur, India

Thx for the useful info. Voted up.

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