I have worked in the past with the idea that "variety is the spice of life" and that the more subjects I write about the more knowledgeable I would appear so I have hubs on many different subjects. You can read about UFOs, philosophy, conspiracies, travel, fashion, underwear, wild flowers, Wales, songwriters, insects, festivals, tropical fish, matriarchy,Tenerife, butterflies, conservation, social networking, American Indians, Christmas, drugs, book reviews, interviews and herbs, amongst other subjects in my very varied hubs, but could this be why I am not doing well here?
It's a very good question, Bard.
If you're talking about a blog - then yes, you do have to focus on one topic.
However HubPages seems to be different, for some reason. My own experience is a good example. As you may recall, I lost a lot of traffic at the end of last year and nothing I did seemed to fix it. So eventually I decided it was a lost cause.
My sub-domain used to be mainly dance Hubs. I started deleting my dance Hubs to move them to my dance blogs. Lo and behold, my traffic started to come back. I now have a good, steady flow of traffic to my sub-domain even though it's now a hotch-potch of various subjects.
I recall seeing a comment from Mark Knowles saying he's had the same experience. He has several sub-domains. The ones that concentrate on a single subject aren't doing well, but his "hotch-potch" account is still doing OK.
So I can only speculate that something about HubPages structure - the interlinking across categories, for instance - means that there isn't the same need to focus on a single topic here.
Since changing to subdomains, Google sees each account as its own website. Many people say you'll be more successful on one topic. I seem to be most successful on baby topics on this account.
Good post Marisa.
And interesting: In the US we say "hodge podge", and I just learned in the UK (and Australia I guess) the term is "hotchpotch".
Marissa: I believe that's the main strength of publishing on a site like Hubpages as opposed to your own website.
It helps to have lots of content on a given subject, cross-linked, in order to convince a search engine that you've got authoritative content ON that subject. On our own websites, it takes a while to build up authority in a given niche, whereas on Hubpages, tons of niches already have enough content built up that Hubpages has established some search reputation/relevance for those niches.
Also, search engines favor sites with content organized in well-designed category/topic hierarchies. They understand that sites which have topic trees are like a library with different "shelves."
I suspect that if one of those category "shelves" is filled with a lot of spam, the cross-links might backfire: you're posting on a topic for which Hubpages doesn't have a good track record. That might explain your bad luck with dance. Alternatively, if Hubpages is swimming with "dance" pages, yours may be getting outcompeted. Google lists only a few search results per domain, with the rest hidden behind a "More from this domain" link.
So basically I am safe enough leaving a wide variety of subjects covered by my hubs, and this is very good news because I really didn't fancy the long and difficult task of removing most of them after deciding what my main subjects should be here! Thank you for your advice, Marisa!
Thank you for your feedback too, WryLilt, rmcrayne, and Greekgeek!
If not, I'm in trouble. My writing is so random and widespread. I have a few categories I am well versed in but also write about things I research.
I had read that our articles stand alone and it is different than a blog or website but things seem to change daily and I have no idea anymore. With that said I am not willing to keep up with four or five different accounts to keep my writing separate, it's just not going to happen.
While I do write about a variety of topics, I am not as broadly diversified as you, Bard. And that seems to work well for me.
Well, Relache I am having another go and this time keeping my topics all within the same range. I tried this before with Tenerife and that hasn't worked well but I think that is because people are maybe not searching much for info on the island.
The advantage we have here at Hubpages is, that every hub has links to 'relevant' hubs, whether we purposely put them there or not. To the search engines, this appears as a good cross-section of relevant information on that subject, and covers the subject and peripheral topics well.
Apparently, this is what Google is looking for – a site that covers a topic well, along with sub-topics that it's algorithm has determined 'ought' to be part of that niche subject. If you have lots of well-written and researched content, and easily navigated and cross-linked through contextual links, you should be smiled upon with them Googley eyes. Relevant outbound links to higher page rank sites also helps your cause.
I'm not sure if having too much of a variety is a detriment, as long as each article is well-written and a moderate length (1200+ words), and you've done your keyword research. If no one is really searching for that topic (particularly in the title), then you won't get many views.
I am actually not at all convinced that keywords and titles have that much effect based on a recent experiment whereby a new keyword researched title was suggested for a hub of mine and I used it. It has hardly made any difference at all, and although the hub is about a famous cult TV series and actor the traffic it has had in a period of weeks has been pathetic with my title or the new one!
It can take some time for changes to have any effect, so give it a few months, rather than weeks, before you decide whether it's helped. Also consider whether you've included those same keywords a couple of in your text
I published my 231st Hub this morning. There are about 30 of my Hubs that I absolutely hate, but I will delete those in a couple of months if I don't edit them. I'm in no rush. Even doing nothing is a decision. Until then, I'll slowly get back into writing some Hubs.
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