Just to make sure we REALLY can't tell which algorithm change is causing what, Google Penguin just updated for the first time in months.
While Panda evaluates overall content quality on a domain-by-domain basis, boosting or downranking pages found on that domain, Penguin attempts to weed out webspam and spammy linking practices.
For example, links to "post all your links here!" directories may be deprecated by Penguin. Or dropping a ton of links on other people's guestbooks. Or anything that says "I'm spewing backlinks everywhere because someone told me that's how to race to the top of Google."
Penguin also attempts to spammy duplicate content, spun content, and keyword stuffed content.
Google has a very peculiar definition for webspam: practices which attempt to manipulate search engines into ranking content better than it deserves. Penguin attempts to make sure Google is not fooled.
So if you've not been engaging in Spam-o-Rama practices, keep calm and carry on. Penguin is probably not going to peck you.
(Although this is why I eye RedGage warily. I don't know exactly where Google draws the line between "sharing links so people can find your stuff" and "spamming link directories to get a better ranking," so.... as a "wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie," I dinna wanna chance it.)
Note: here's an industry expert write-up on what the Penguin algorithm does, posted this April after the first Penguin came out. Better info from a more informed source than myself.
I have never engaged in "Spam-o-Rama." In fact, the only links I have been responsible for to my hubs are from my own three sites--and those sites have only linked to relevant hubs. I seem to fare very well with Panda updates, but Penguin is another story. I lost 50% of my traffic to Penguin over the past 24 hours, and I honestly don't know why. I don't care that much either. Since I didn't do anything "wrong," there's nothing I can do "right" to change it.
So your saying not a good idea to use directories?
I see Google gets ready for Christmas.
If I recall right, their first Penguin came right after a Panda update.
I lost 50% of traffic on 27th and I am ready to quit...
Maybe that won't be such a bad thing Greekgeek.
The latest Panda update appears to have thrown everything into a state of flux.
Weeding out the rubbish can only be to the benefit of quality content sites and hubs.
My only reservation is that I have little confidence in Google getting it right.
Most of what they've done so far appears to have been an epic fail!
So this is the Penguin update that Matt Cutts announced in August?
http://www.seroundtable.com/google-peng … -621250469
Apparently so. I thought at the time that people were getting a little too alarmist about it, declaring that Matt Cutt's announcement signalled the death of SEO, but what do I know?
I'll be curious to see what the winners and losers are this time. It does seem as if Google times Penguin updates close enough to Panda that we can't tell which is doing what.
Irohner: that's bizarre. I'd not be surprised if you were seeing a traffic drop from Panda on Friday and over the weekend, but why would that NOT hit you and this Penguin does?
Curiouser and curiouser.
*checks my stats* Okay, I'm seeing it, too, down another 20% today. The trouble is that my traffic numbers are so low -- about 300-500 for 100 hubs --- that it's hard to tell what's statistically significant. With a weekend coming up, traffic's going to dip a bit anyway.
I was slashed and burned on the 28th. My views went down from about 200 to 17. (Being a slow writer, I had worked my keister off for that 200!) Now it's crawled back up to about 120. So it seems to be recovering. I hope this all settles down soon. It's really tiresome and discouraging.
I understand frustrations with Penguin, and I sincerely hope that it doesn't wind up hacking Hubbers' views.
Admitting that I may be naive, why doesn't Google simply explain exactly what they want? Good writers will give them what they want, and not so good won't. They can still check for spam, bad or black hat links, etc. Article sites could require passing grammar and spelling by agreement.
What am I missing here? Please respond even if you think a response is obvious because it seems everyone would benefit and make more money with such a system rather than a system that slashes views (and therefore income) without explaining why.
Google isn't looking for people to make them happy and write in ways that cater to their needs. They are simply trying to create a search engine that can properly supply the right article for people who are searching about a particular topic.
It is difficult to explain to people exactly what they have put into their algorithm, because 1. it is complicated, 2. other search engines can copy it, and 3. spammers will find loopholes they can exploit.
The best we can do is write quality articles that people find interesting and informative and hope Google finds them. The more we change our writing to cater to Google, the harder we make it for them to find the right way to create their algorithm.
My daily views decline by almost 50%, and it's saddening. And, I'm not employing much SEO techniques, just on the title, and some keywords (but not to the point of stuffing them).
Anyway, I still hope that the condition will get better soon.
I'm also thinking that maybe the entire Hubpages community has been impacted since there may be hubbers who are employing black hat SEO. I dunno.
This is the SATs isn't it? Not about actual knowledge (content), but about how you take the test (play the search engines).
I'm afraid I am not convinced, I don't think Hub pages are full of spammers, and it is an insult by the Google to suggest this. It is a poor excuse.
You have to remember that all people are doing here is guessing. Personally - I think there is a bigger issue going on. http://contentutopia.com/latest-google- … -panda-20/
2.4% of English queries being affected is a massive amount of queries. Plus - I think you underestimate the amount of spam on this site.
I can only speak personally myself, I have lost a hell of a lot of traffic and I'm not a spammer, and the people I know on hub-pages who also lost a lot of traffic, are also not spammers, Are you saying that Hub pages is being penalised because of a few spammers? If Google is so clever, why can't they go after them and not attack ordinary people who just want to publish their opinions on the Internet. In spite of what Google believes, the internet does not belong to Google, it belongs to everyone who uses it.
That is a rather naive way of looking at things. Google is the only search engine in town and - they are a business. Obviously you did not follow the link I gave you or watch the video on that page. I suggest you do so - it may give you an insight into their real intentions.
As for the spammers - you think there are just a few here? I have no idea how much traffic or income you have lost. I have lost around 5-7k a month income myself and 90% of my traffic. So have many other non spammers. How much spam does there need to be before the site is penalized? In any case - watch the video and see what I am talking about.
The reason why I haven't looked at the video was because I cannot make it work. As it been deleted?
I totally agree that Google is only a search engine but they have become by far the biggest and are now throwing their weight around. What we need is proper competition, so that if any search engine starts to abuse their power, then people are free to use other search engines. I for one, will now not use Google, and I hope others will do the same.
There is a video half way down the page - it works fine. Once you have watched it you will see where I am coming from.
I found the video and clicked on it. It didn't work.
Try this then:
http://mediasuite.multicastmedia.com/pl … p=o3zmqs4o
I just watched it fine. I think you will find it interesting - and maybe stop using Google permanently.
Thanks Mark the video did work for awhile, but cut out half way through. But I got the idea. Yes, I agree Google is too interested in promoting its own stuff and squashes any competition. In other words the reason why our traffic is falling, is because Google see Hub pages as unwelcome competition.
OMG Mark!! You'll have me saying wiki-f**king-pedia all day now!!
The video shares my scepticism that we are not operating on a level playing field. One other example of Google bias, which has been much talked about recently, is Google promoting their own affiliate products.
I've used credit cards as that was the product I recalled. Google is promoting this under Compare Credit Cards in the image below.
You will have to pay me 25c every time you say it.
Dear God Mark, I had no idea Google's monopoly had seeped so far into their search results. No wonder the European parliament have started proceedings against them!
No wonder also that Google's algo and updates are made so often. They are artificially creating a fine line between returning search results the consumer wants, and promoting their own interests.
If they get it consistently wrong, people will tune into other search engines, and Google will collapse.
It might be best if Google just buys up Hubpages - they didn't buy eHow recently, did they?
Google collapse? Why? Your typical searcher doesn't know the difference. Nor do they know that Google owns the property they are sending them to. Part #2 of the video will show you why it doesn't matter anyway. And why Google are risking numerous law suits.
But - it is shocking how many pies they have a finger in - yes.
You can fool some of the people some of the time, and you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
People will cotton on if the search results become clogged up with Google-owned property that doesn't answer their query.
If Bing, Yahoo or whoever does, they will get the search traffic.
I need to see part II. Was it linked to that first site you linked?
Finally I understand why i had a sudden 50-60% drop in views overnight!
I have to say my views have been slowly creeping back up, but I am still 40% below where I was two weeks ago!
On a related note, last night I checked my gmail spam folder (which I never set up, by the way) because I was waiting for an email that never arrived.
In there, I found important communications from Microsoft relating to changes in their user agreement.
I use a lot of Microsoft products - Windows, Office etc.
I know that Google and Microsoft are the best of enemies, but WTF!
Our main problem is that there is so much content out there, much of it aimed very strongly at satisfying the particular searches people are making, that it may not be so much that we've got spam on Hubpages, but that other pages are satisfying search query better than ours.
In other words, search engines aren't so much penalizing hubpages as favoring other sources for the same information.
This is a humbling lesson: I had to learn NOT to be a good writer to get real traffic to my pages. As a writer, I tried to cover a topic completely, with in-depth research, insights, and a surfeit of riches related to the topic.
As a copy writer with search in mind, I had to think differently. People who search the web are not looking for 3-page articles on a topic. They're looking for one specific thing, five tips, a quick list, answers given briefly and clearly. They're looking for pages specifically on their question, not pages that cover a wide range of information.
Many hubpages members are authors with literary skill. However, you wouldn't employ that kind of writing on a resume, a product label, or a historical marker briefly telling why a historical home is important. The web is another new medium, a new genre, just like essay writing differs from tech writing differs from fantasy writing.
Real Search Engine Optimization isn't just a matter of trying to trick search engines into getting traffic. SEO is learning how to create useful content that is a good fit for what people are searching for.
On Hubpages, I see a great deal of poorly-written, spammy content, and the counterweight is a lot of literary content that doesn't really work well for a search traffic audience. Neither of those is going to play well in Google's algorithm. Expecting Google to send traffic to pages that aren't designed for search traffic is a bit unfair.
We don't HAVE to go the "cater to search traffic" route. But in that case, we're not going to GET search traffic. Instead, we need to buff up our self-promotion skills and build up a following of readers through social channels, independent of search.
I really don't understand this. Google has sold us all down the river and people are making excuses for them! If Hubpages were all right before May 2012 why aren't they all right now? Because Google has abused its power and is only interested in advertiser who pay them money. Google is only a search engine, it doesn't own the internet. The internet was created as a free space for everyone and Google is undermining that freedom.
Depressing. It makes a lot of sense though. "They're looking for ... answers given briefly and clearly."
Mark, I understand that Google is overly dominant of the web. I refuse to participate in Google Plus because I don't care to let Google be the arbiter of my online social life.
However, my search traffic on other sites where I publish articles has been climbing since mid summer, and is up by several thousand a week since this latest Panda update. Why? It's partly on-site architecture that we have no control over, but I suspect it's also because a heck of a lot more writers on that site are trying to learn SEO and keyword research. More importantly, on that site, there is a big emphasis on "what are readers looking for?" and "what do our visitors want?"
Google just rewarded that. And the site is NOT a paid advertiser for Google. Therefore, while Google does have its fingers in too many pies, I think it is still possible to win the search wars with content. Hubpages' fortunes are not necessarily indicative of how other sites are impacted by recent Google changes.
I saw this today on my FB feed. It talks about how major updates may not necessarily be the cause of traffic loss. It could be one of the daily changes they are making to their algos. Also there is an interesting video to watch.
http://searchengineland.com/google-make … m=facebook
I'm always intrigued by the numerous posts because it's truly like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Some on the same site are affected, some are not. Some have similar content as others but aren't affected. I haven't really seen a significant change in my traffic, it's actually up for a weekend. There are so many factors G uses to rate content. I think it's near to impossible to try to figure them out. And they've made it that way purposefully.
I do think it's important to have decent backlinks and to use social media in a relevant manner. I checked one of my obscure music related hubs today with a red arrow and saw that it picked up traffic from Bing and a German search engine.
On a side note, has anyone here read about the Creative Sandbox by Google?
http://searchengineland.com/bing-now-ha … bar-135510
I used to get roughly 100 to 150 views a day on my Hubs, and now I'm barely scraping 30 to 40 a day. July and August this year were the best months for me. To be honest, I didn't even know about Penguin until I saw someone mention it in the Answers section.
All I know for sure is I used to do a lot better and am on my way downhill here whatever I do now!
Yeah, my hubs have gone down drastically. Some of my hubs were getting 300 views a day. They have been reduced to about 100 a day.
It sucks because I worked so hard to get to that point and now I've almost lost interest.
Maybe I should start writing again and it will help?
I read in a article yeah, I know but don't ask which one. Some people are getting picked up and recognized with 'author status' by G plus and showing up in search. This happened to the one guy because he uses the same name across the web. So, this may help for those of us, floundering
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