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I may have figured out why my earnings have dropped

  1. Bard of Ely profile image88
    Bard of Elyposted 4 years ago

    In a word: adverts! I was just looking at some older hubs and realised I have lots of Amazon and eBay ads alongside the text or in blocks. I remember doing this now having seen some past high-earner Hubbers having lots of ads on their hubs. I admit I copied the technique thinking maybe this was the secret I was looking for. But things have changed and I never had any success with running lots of ads anyway.
    So, as I come upon them I am taking most of them down.

    1. courtyB3 profile image79
      courtyB3posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      So then what do you suggest is the best format for ads for the most earning potential?

    2. janderson99 profile image87
      janderson99posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Its hard to get data, but my analysis of the "success" group in another forum showed consistently high average numbers of Amazon and eBay ads. It was only a small sample size (10) but many people use a formula for their hubs. There were over 19 ads in some hubs. I think G's response to ads has changed, generally and not just for ads 'above the fold'.

      I think that 1 ad per 50 words maybe way too high. I have reduced my ads to a maximum of  1-3 per article, and deleted them completely from most of my articles (90%), which are not sales hubs, anyway.  I have set up a specific sub for sales hub.

      There are no real data on this that I can find - and my response maybe a complete over-reaction.

      1. Bard of Ely profile image88
        Bard of Elyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Janderson99, I am trying my hubs without a lot of ads from now on and gradually working my way through removing them in my old hubs. I have nothing to lose and much to gain!

        1. janderson99 profile image87
          janderson99posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          While you are doing this can I suggest you add some (5 say) highly relevant interlinks to your other articles and one or two reference links. It takes time but well worth trying in my opinion. Maybe even do some Title Tuning using the HP tool.

          1. Bard of Ely profile image88
            Bard of Elyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            If anything I was thinking I possibly have too many links in my hubs as they are. I used the title tuner before and It can't say it made any difference.

            1. janderson99 profile image87
              janderson99posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              No Worries! Hope it works!

      2. Aficionada profile image93
        Aficionadaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        One ad per fifty words? What have I missed?  I am familiar with no-more-than-one Amazon product for fifty words. Does that mean the same thing? Or have I gotten confused about something?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          ad, product - same thing.  A capsule ,however, can contain many product ads.

          I might add (no pun intended) that if you tell the capsule to use 5 products and then fill only 3 of them, HP will count all 5 when applying the 50 word rule.

          1. Aficionada profile image93
            Aficionadaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks for your explanation, wilderness.  I have to admit, my understanding resembles what Janet21 says.  I don't know whether this would be considered a tomayto/tomahto difference, but in the context of discussing details of what may help with traffic or not, I wanted to be sure I understood what was being said - and to be sure that others who think the same way I do would understand too.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Most welcome.  It is kind of confusing with different people using different terminology.

    3. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      What led you to that conclusion? 

      I know "too many ads" is a pet theory of one or two Hubbers, but I can't find any solid evidence to support it and I can think of plenty of experienced internet entrepreneurs who disagree.  Successful Hubbers like Nelle Hoxie used far more Amazon capsules than you've ever used - if you recall, Nelle deleted all her Hubs because it was too much work to reduce her capsules to meet HubPages' new limits. Obviously, your Hubs are within the limits so I don't see what you've got to worry about.

      It may be a good thing to remove some Amazon ads - as we've discussed before, there's simply no point showing an Amazon ad if it's not directly related to the text, and it just distracts from your other ads.  But that won't do anything to help your traffic. 

      One thing to check is that you don't have an Amazon or eBay capsule in the top right-hand corner, because Google doesn't like too many ads "above the fold" (i.e. at the top of the Hub).

      1. janderson99 profile image87
        janderson99posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Its the old, old story, hubbers don't have the data to do proper analysis. HP has the data, does lots of analyses and won't tell us the outcome. It should be relatively easy to look at the correlation between article length, number of ads and traffic, and so to work out whether G has applied a downgrade of article rank or sub reputation because of 'excessive' numbers of ads. Does the 1:50 rule need to be modified. I know Paul E has mentioned several times in the forums that these ads should be minimal, highly specific and mostly related individual products - but I have not seen the analysis - nor the reasons and implications. We continue to flounder in the dark crying for some stats amd analysis. Who knows - Why won't they tell us. Sometimes HP acts just like G - no helpful DETAILS!

      2. Bard of Ely profile image88
        Bard of Elyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Marisa, I hear so much advice here and I look around and see that it appears many hubbers do much better than I do. I try various things but my earnings and traffic remain low.  Over the past few months my hubscore has dropped a lot too. I used to often be between 96 and 100 but never up there any more so I also wonder why that is.
        I look at the sites of other hubbers here and they have often hot been here as long, have a lot less followers and hubs and yet don't seem to have the problems I have.
        I have heard it said that Google frowns on too many ads and was looking at some of my hubs and thought maybe that is it. I had started adding a lot because I was copying what other high-earners like Nelle Hoxie were doing but it never seemed to increase my earnings and then I saw how she took down her hubs after Panda.
        I have ads on the right of the second text box but always leave the first one clear. That was something I learned from you because I used to make the mistake of starting a hub with a photo or video.
        janderson99 says above that we "flounder in the dark" and I must admit that is how I feel here a lot of the time because whatever I do I still don't get the high traffic or decent earnings. As for Amazon after four years I am still below their payment threshold! That is why I don't care whether their ads stay or go! eBay I do get money from but even that has dropped too.

  2. Janet21 profile image78
    Janet21posted 4 years ago

    I honestly don't believe it is the number of amazon/ebay products (they are technically not ads) that has caused google's negative view of hubpages.  Many pages on Squidoo are loaded with amazon and ebay links, yet pages on that site are thriving with google traffic.  I just don't think that is the answer.

    1. janderson99 profile image87
      janderson99posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Fair enough - probably cluching at straws
      I wonder whether having subs makes a difference and the downgrade that is applied to a sub for things that G does not like (no subs on Squidoo or Wizzley). I think all links have to be relevant and having vaguely related Amazon products probably does not work anymore - such as just adding a bank of 5 to every hub.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Exactly.  Squidoo lenses have far more ads than Hubs do these days. 

      And if anyone would like to glance at the "shop" section of any of my blogs, you'll see they're almost entirely eBay ads - and only one of them has ever been Panda'd (touching wood fervently).

    3. Bard of Ely profile image88
      Bard of Elyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Well, in that case my new theory is wrong and I can stop wasting more time going through my hubs removing Amazon and eBay hubs in quantity and just leaving a couple displayed.

  3. wabond profile image88
    wabondposted 4 years ago

    I should imagine what is now important is the advertising budgets of the advertisers you have on your hubs.  I am sure a hub about the wonderful health benefits of eating macdonalds or drinking coca cola or what a wonderful job monsanto is doing for the environment, would get you very high rankings at Google.  But having adverts for small firms wouldn't help much. 

    The same might be true of Amazon, if your hub is advertising books that are selling well, that may push up your hub ratings but not books that don't sell.

  4. Mark Ewbie profile image84
    Mark Ewbieposted 4 years ago

    I'm not going to offer advice because I don't know the answer.

    What is clear to me though is that neither do most people.  They have opinions and views and some things may have worked for them... or it may be coincidence.

    So what I do is... read everything I see on the forums about traffic and try to take a balanced view. 

    Then I go back to my pages and I revise them according to my latest 'feelings' about my pages.

    Did I try to stuff that keyword too many times?
    Are my adverts with a purpose or would they just alienate a reader?
    Is my page actually about anything that someone might look for?
    Is it full of fluff, boring, spammy?

    The key question for me is does this page meet a potential searcher's expectation?

    On those pages where I can't even pretend that they are ever going to be searched for - I make one final decision.

    Am I happy with it?  Is it just an up myself unfunny waste of boring time or is it a reasonable level of quality for me?

    That's about where I am at.  I don't want Google to see me as spammer or waste of space or whatever judgement they make, but neither am I prepared to remove content that personally pleases me.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      ...and that's an excellent place to be.  Question 3 - is my page about anything someone might look for - is the most important question.  If you can't answer "yes" to it, then it's never going to be a money maker.

      1. relache profile image86
        relacheposted 4 years ago in reply to this


        1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
          Hollie Thomasposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I'm trying to treat each hub as I would when writing an essay at university. Every searcher is a asking a question, just like a lecturer, the question for me is whether I've answered that question, completely. I keep checking the keywords and searches and trying to imagine how the searcher felt when they left my page, satisfied, or disappointed?

          1. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I tend to do the same thing,Hollie.

  5. MountainManJake profile image89
    MountainManJakeposted 4 years ago

    Readers don't like it when an article is saturated with ads.  A reader will only purchase something via amazon or eBay if they truly trust the opinion of the writer.  Therefore, if you are just starting out, these ads should not be your first.

    1. Janet21 profile image78
      Janet21posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Readers may not like it, but buyers love it. smile

      1. Greekgeek profile image96
        Greekgeekposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Janet knows whereof she speaks.

        Sad to say, my lenses with more ads than any hub make more money than any of my hubs. (Aslo, more sales.)

        So it might be some other factor than ads.

        I have wondered about Hubpages having an ad in the body of the article, instead of the sidebar and header. But I don't have the ability to test with and without, or to know how Google treats that ad block.

  6. Norman Stein profile image60
    Norman Steinposted 4 years ago

    From my experience too many ads gives an impression of a high commercial push on a page where it might not be appropriate for the keyword the reader arrived by.  For example, 10 ad blocks on a page about making cookies might scare off a reader just looking for information, or at  the very least build some distrust on the readers part.  On the other hand an article specifically titled 'Buying a blahblah at the best price' with 10 ad blocks might just be what the reader is looking for.

    It's extremely difficult to get anyone to click an ad if they don't trust the content they're reading or the site they're on, and having tons of ads just makes the reader think your main objective is to make money.  Build trust, get clicks.  Good quality content without overwhelming the reader with an ad every paragraph is the way to go.

    As an example.  If you write a 200 word article about child abuse with no real content in it other than 8 ad blocks I guarantee you'll never make a dime off of it.  The keyword isn't appropriate and you haven't presented the reader with any reason to trust you.

    On the other hand if you write a 1200 word hub with awesome review of product X, the reader will trust you, your site and very well may click an ad or Amazon link.

    Use your judgement; informational = few ads, product oriented = many ads.  But always, get their trust first with awesome content.

    I'm rambling and tired (it's late) the point here is you can't come up with a 'blanket' ad policy, treat each hub as a separate case.

  7. WryLilt profile image86
    WryLiltposted 4 years ago

    In the recent traffic loss I had no issues on this account... Could be because I removed over 75% of adverts ages back.

  8. Kangaroo_Jase profile image81
    Kangaroo_Jaseposted 4 years ago

    The difficulty with any of this is as long as a piece of string. Just some of the expressed examples in this forum post alone tells one that.

    Is my hub doing better with several ads on Hubpages than one Lens on Squidoo with more ads?
    Do I write 400 words for an article or pad it our to 800 words with extra fluff?
    Do I write in a broad manner for a niche, or laser target it?
    Do I use exclusive Adsense, or Viglink, or Amazon, or eBay or a combination of?

    There is and always will be, no 'single' or 'right' answer. Also, the answer/s you need (for your individual needs) may not always be apparent.

    The answer is, you really need to concentrate on what works for you, works really well and repeat the hell out of it. Another means to look at this process is try something your not doing.

    This may be, using specific long tail keywords. If you don't know how to effectively get and use keywords for your work, research the heck out of it, when your sick of doing it, do it some more. Or it may be working on getting useful, relevant and effective, true white hat, above the board, true blue, dinky di backlinks for your work. Again, use backlinks for your work, if one doesn't understand what they are or how to backlink, research the heck out of it, when your sick of doing it, do it some more.

    Most of my success has been found out through much trial and error, and when I 'hit it right' made note of what worked and followed a rinse and repeat process (as well as more trial and error to see if I can improve that success process)

    Most people will just write, throw up there work and hope for the best. If you want your work to do well (be it traffic to your articles, be published in other sites or magazines, write a book, sell ebooks, et al) you really need to have a plan, and incrementally work towards that plan, day by day with smaller goals.

    Its not easy, not easy at all. I know as I have some REALLY spectacular failures across the internet smile

    Bard Of Ely - In short as an answer from my point of view. I don't like to provide ads to my readers unless its relevant and important for them to have on my work.

    I have as testament quite a few hubs of mine that in my opinion are still shit. I will in the future spend time reviewing them and taking ads out. Other Hubs will most likely have a one or two ads put IN. There is much work to be done with them and I just oh so love doing re-writes smile smile

  9. CCahill profile image87
    CCahillposted 4 years ago

    I experienced a significant drop in Page views once i started adding Ad's to my Hubs.

    However everyone is so certain that Ads DONT hinder your hubs and relations with Google, suggesting it is just a coincidence but i am not so sure.

    I would be interested to see the result of any tests anyone does on this..

  10. relache profile image86
    relacheposted 4 years ago

    My strategy when I write Hubs is to produce a web resource that I myself would actually use.

  11. Greekgeek profile image96
    Greekgeekposted 4 years ago

    Hollie: one thing I've had to learn since leaving university is that while academic papers expect us to cover a subject completely and thoroughly, web users are looking for quick answers and a quick read.

    They don't want to know everything about a subject. They want to know a few key things.

    It's hard to break out of the academic "anything worth doing is worth overdoing" mentality and switch to "The answer to your question is x, y, z. The end."

    I'm still working on this. wink