Hey Guys and Gals,
Man, I have just about had it with the traffic issues here at the Hubpages. I have published over 100 hubs here in two years. I have won several awards, I have had over 10, 000 views, and I have a following of over 200 people. When this whole traffic loss debacle first occurred, I was at about 200 hits a day. I had just started to learn how to write good quality Hubs and the traffic results were evident. Then, within one week of my new found success--the bottom falls out. I thought it was just me until I heard other authors complaining.
Like everyone else, I have hung-in-there and deleted, edited, and took constructive suggestions to get my traffic back. Finally, last week, I started getting that old 150-200 hits a day thing going again. I was so excited, I thought to myself,"William old boy, you just had to hang in there and now it paying off"--not so! Yesterday my traffic started a nose dive to under 50 hits, then 40, then 30, and it has remained at 30-35 pages views for two days! I was never a "black helicopter" kind of guy, but I`m starting to smell a rat in this mess people. What say you??
Hi, I took a look at your hubs. You've predominantly got poetry and bible stuff. Neither does well with search engines. My traffic is virtually all seach engines and I have never done back links or promoted my stuff. It's just too much work. I write what I feel like writing. Some of it does okay; some of it doesn't. I delete anything that doens't get traffic so I don't have any idling hubs.
My traffic pre Panda was between 8000 and 10,000 hits a day. At times during the year, I will get 2000 or 3000 hits a day. I'm now down to 200 to 400 hits a day.
That's life. I write for a living. It was an unfortunate choice of occupation and I can't say I wasn't warned by others in the 70s.
In America, 75% of writers are freelancers. The average income for a writer is about $2000 per month. The best paid writers are technical writers (between $3000 and $7000 per month). Only .03% of writers have been published in terms of print in the USA. (I'm one of them, but then have been published in print since the early 60s when I was a kid.)
There are other writing platforms that possibly pay more than HP but there are rather more that pay less.
If I knew how to earn an adequate living as a writer, I would share it with you, but I don't.
Go to Quantcast and look up Hubpages. The numbers will tell you a lot. You can see my numbers from a few days ago below. It is a roller coaster. I find that I just wait and it gets better. Each time I seem to spike higher than before. Each time different hubs will be my 3 digit hubs (with one exception).
My spikes match what I see on Quantcast.com for the ENTIRE hubpages site. I think it is a normal up and down and that is all there is to it.
I say write because you love to write. Don't worry about the money. Just keep writing and interacting through forums and comments on other peoples' hubs, and your views aill come.
LOL, not if your carefully crafted hubs get idled first.
On another name I have a 1000 word niche hub that never survived the 24 hour pending period indexing delay.
Now after just 8 weeks, it has been idled.
On another account, I had a 5 week old hub idled.
These are good, evergreen hubs that are content-rich.
Once upon a time, hubs could wait for that elusive search traffic.
Now they can't. They must attract search traffic right away or they get put to sleep.
There is nothing wrong if you have bible stuff in your articles.You honour HIM when you do. GOD is the source of all knowledge. I write bible stuff in my articles on other websites and people do read it.
Here's your answer, search engines aren't going to return results in search queries to users all from one domain! Hubpages tried to fix this issue by creating a separate sub domain for each user with no success. Think about it? If you had a website that consisted of 35 million articles, do you really think that search engines are going to index all those articles and return them to users? Don't count on it. You also need to consider what people generally will search for when surfing the internet. Are you writing about something that is useful to others? If your writing about your experiences, this information isn't really perceived as valuable to users as information that is tailored to a subject not necessarily of your opinion. Search engines return results based on a users search query, and if you have no information to provide them that they are looking for, then you won't get the traffic you seek.
From my limited experience, the best way to get traffic is from your own organic sources. I have some coming from youtube, but I have heard from people posting on forums and having links in their signature to hubpages and such. From what I hear, you want lots of traffic from google and not so much from hubpages. Anyhow, as far as I have seen, hubpages has some serious issues going on and its always mysterious how things work. I just updated all of my hubs and had 125 views for 2 days. Now they are at 26-70. No rhyme or reason it seems. So ultimately, your guess is as good as any.
200 a day is on the low side for me. I am usually closer to 250 or 300. Look at ways to promote your HubPages posts outside of HP or Google and SEO. I spend more time promoting myself, my other blogs and my HP posts than I put into doing anything (other than writing posts) on HubPages.
I agree with picking profits 100%! I wouldn't spend to much time trying to get traffic from hubpages, and instead, focus on organic traffic, and possibly social networking from other domains. For one, getting traffic from other hubbers won't help you at all. Why? Because if an author on hubpages who collects revenue from their hubs clicks on your ads, those clicks are automatically discounted by adsense! This goes for any website on the internet, not just hubpages. If I click your ad, on your hub, you will NOT get credit for that click. You are considered by Google to be affiliated with a domain in which you publish content. Therefore if any author on here clicks an ad, there is no credit given! Period! Otherwise, everyone could just click on their own and each others ads, which is also a violation of Google's adsense program entirely.
Short story: Go to http://www.quantcast.com/hubpages.com
That site tracks Hubpages' overall traffic. If the dips on that graph match your own traffic dips, then it's not you...it's the trials and tribulations of Hubpages as a whole.
Feb 2011: Original Panda* update thwacks Hubpages traffic with a weed whacker.
Throughout 2011-2012: Hubpages takes various corrective steps trying to weed out spam or at least isolate it on subdomains so it won't contaminate the Panda ratings for other parts of the site. Sloooowly traffic improves, although never to pre-Panda levels.
End of August 2012: Hubpages implements some major changes: idle hubs and pending hubs. Both kinds of hubs are not visible to search engines, thanks to a hidden "noindex" code embedded in them which tells search engines to ignore those pages.
In theory, hiding unimpressive hubs can enhance Hubpages' Panda rating by letting search engines see more good content and less poor content. (Squidoo has been doing something like this for years, and has weathered the Panda algorithm relatively unscathed.) The idle hub filter attempts to target hubs that haven't been updated in eons and weren't getting search traffic anyway. Some of us think that the filter could use some fine-tuning. More problematic, in my biased opinion: new hubs are now set as "pending" for 24 to 48 hours, noindexed during that time. When search engines see a "noindex" code, it may take them 2-4 weeks to come back and check again, and the hub can't get any search traffic in the meantime.
September 27, 2012: Google's 21st Panda update -- this one major -- clobbers Hubpages traffic again. My pet theory is that, among other things, the NOINDEXING of newly-published hubs convinced the Panda algorithm that Hubpages no longer has fresh content.
Now Hubpages traffic is slowly starting to inch up again. It may just have taken another hit, but it's hard to tell, because traffic always drops on the weekend. I haven't heard of any new Google updates in a few weeks...so...we'll see.
*The Panda algorithm looks at the overall ratio of quality and search-relevant content vs. spammy, poorly-written and/or not-very-useful content on each domain, such as Hubpages.com. That Panda rating is then used to boost or demote all pages from that domain in search results. (If a domain is Panda-punched, its content may be pushed several pages back in Google search results, which means most web users won't find or visit it.) About once a month, usually near the end of the month, Google does a manual Panda update to reevaluate the goodstuff/badstuff ratio on each domain and give it a revised rating. Now and then, Google may also revise the criteria it uses to evaluate sites, which is a major Panda update instead of just a "data refresh."
Wow! Great post. Even after reading so much about this, your explanation finally brought it together in a clear way. I understand! So we are hoping that as spammy and non-content gets filtered out by noindex, the panda rating will rise again? Hopefully in the next few months?
This basically only true on HP. I write on blogger and get plenty of traffic and most of my money is made on blogger. I write about a variety of things. Google does not like HP, pure and simple fact.
Thanks Greekgeek for that link. I've been busy with "life" lately and haven't had much time to write. I have seen a relatively significant drop in my traffic since the end of September. After looking at that graph I can see that my traffic mirrors that of HP almost exactly. Although I have to say that I'm not sure if I should be happy about that or upset.
This whole transition is a lousy business.
Crowd sourcing was a big buzz thing pre-Panda. HP got hundreds of thousands of people to produce millions of pages, many of them second rate. Each page, good or bad, gave the site an SEO advantage and propelled HP into the traffic stratosphere. A lot of money was made. By writers as well as well owners.
As Greekgeek points out, Panda means second rate won't work any more (it also means first rate doesn't always work) and lot of people have wasted a lot of their time.
Anyway, it is all a question of waiting to see if the quality measures work or not. We probably won't know for a few months.
It would help if HP could avoid shooting itself in the foot repeatedly in the meantime. Every hub sent into pending is another bullet in the metatarsals.
It has really stolen my motivation to publish here. Oh well, we write because we love to touch people with our words. I have moved some content to other sights to try them out,
I just have two new hubs for the contest (I won!) - well- I thought the recent nose dive was because of the holidays and I'm not writing about cookies or Xmas. (sigh) I guess my stuff is mostly to dark and brooding for happy holidays. Contest wins makes up for the nose dive for this month.
I'm very happy to win a daily random draw, but the one day spike went into a deep valley. I am also looking for other sites but still focusing on HP. Too bad the only cute cuddly things about me are the pictures I post. Check out this one without saying; awwwwwwwww....
Have you checked that your hubs haven't been idled? That would cut off search engine traffic.
I just found a service that helps you build page rank by checking you key words and optimizing them. You can see the results as you tweak your article on their site. You get four articles per month per user (or email account!!) at no charge and you can pay (a lot) for more.
I watched my article go from a score of 60 to 87 on their index with a few minor adjustments.
The company is called "Inboundwriter" (rules say I can't post the link)
Personally after having tweaked an article this morning and seeing the changes I don't know why Hub pages hasn't installed this sort of software for all of us to use as we write. It would benefit the site and the authors.
BTW while I am fairly new here (1 year signed up but only 1 month of serious posting) I understand that if you have idled hubs you can make a few changes (like an update to make information current) and your hub is removed from the idle status. Does anyone know for sure?
That is fantastic information! Thanks for sharing it. Will check out that site. It would seem that if it is not too expensive to install for HP...it really WOULD help as we go forward. Perhaps just apply it to all newly written hubs?
Yes, that's pretty much what happens unless you have a seriously flawed hub. I love your idea about having HP install software we can use to help us with keywords, etc. Maybe you should send them an email about this? Great idea.
I also use Inbound Writer there is a link to it in my article entitled "Keyword SEO Tips: All About Keywords To Rank On Page One" amongst some great information if I may say so myself, lol
I personally stay away from automated programs that claim to "enhance" your keywords. Although, I won't say they don't work. There is no reason to say they wouldn't, but I prefer to do this stuff myself, and I've never had problems with ranking that would warrant me to use a program like Inbound Writer. From my experience I'd say that search engines spend more time looking to see whether or not your content, titles, headings, meta descriptions, etc, all tie together. Is your webpages content about what your title, headings, and meta descriptions state it is about? I think that's the real question.
Is that to say that all you use to find popular keywords is Google's Adwords keyword tool? Inbound writer isn't automated you have to write the content yourself. What Inbound Writer does is completely different from a content spinner. You can enter 3 keywords your content is going to be about and it searches through social media site looking for keywords people have shared in relation to what you provide, or it can go through your article and check for related keywords to what is currently in your article. I've noticed that with both Google's keyword tool and Inbound Writer I get more quality keywords.
I keep forgetting this site's name and having to find your post again. No clue if it is helping or not but it is a cool tool.
You can tweak and update all you like but it's no guarantee that you'll be idled again I've been moving my idles out and is a pain but least they'll be out in public rather than behind closed doors (no-index)
I have 13 hubs published and 35 hits so far today and 221 in the last 7 days. I have made 87 cents. (WOW!)
I have nothing to compare this to. Is there a benchmark that is published on the average number of posts and average earnings. I know this will change by topic and writer but I haven't got a clue on whether I should continue writing here or direct my efforts to more profitable things.
Any suggestions on at least the averages?
That's about an hour per article so 0.87/13 = almost 15 cents per article. I can see where you would get rich here LOL
You can expect to make $2 to $5 per 1,000 views. From that it should be clear that you need external traffic to make money - the community here is great for support and motivation, but don't think of it as an income source!
Getting thousands of views may sound daunting, but bear in mind this is a long-term project: your Hubs may earn only a few cents a day, but that builds up over time. I've had over a million and a half views since I joined.
The main thing is to write Hubs on topics people are searching for.
It's suggested that HP be just one egg of MANY. You must write on other sites where you can place your adsense code to make more earnings some Hubbers here have their own websites too. You just have to 'diversify' and don't depend on just one egg
So if I keep writing here at the rate of 15-20 articles per month and promote my hubs on twitter like I have been doing, based on what I have told you so far you think I could make____ per month? A dollar, 5 dollars, a zillion trillion million?:-)
You won't earn much - a few dollars a month. Pre Panda, it was possible for writers to earn a living from writing as a result of Adsense. At this point, it's unlikely. I have many, many sites, and I'm a pretty good writer with a respectable ranking - PR1 to PR3 depending on which site. If I make $50 a month, it's a lot. My overall traffic per day is somewhere about 1000 hits per day.
google made changes on sept 28th or 29th that no longer gives "love" to article directory sites. i had at least 5 hubs on page 1 and many others on page 2 that were knocked from their rankings. i've been on hubpages since 2008 but will no longer publish here b/c it's no longer effective. and i've got the analytics to back that up
So Michael and Sophia: Do you think Hub pages is worth it as far as putting in a link to your own website (like on Google blogger) and redirecting some of your traffic there? Then at least you can do some affiliate marketing and still benefit from adsense. What do you think the strategy should be to improve earnings? Certainly not just hub pages from the sounds of it.
Sophia. Many website would love to have 1000 hits a day. What do you do with that traffic to try to maximize your earnings?
I don't do anything to try and maximise traffic. I'm not an affiliate marketer and it's only on rare occasions that I will write about a product - essentially because I believe it's a really good product and that it's environmentally friendly, and that if other people used it, it would be good for all of us.
I have no advice about how to earn a living. I've been rotten at it my entire life. So I have no advice to give to anyone on this score. I got onto the web in 1994 and have been writing on it since, and I've never managed to earn anything more than pocket money.
I think there's something unethical about using one website to direct traffic to another website. My life ethic is always to do things that are for the greater good. As an internet researcher, I hate it when I am redirected. It wastes my time. So I don't do to others what doesn't work for me.
Just pointing out, you do realize that is all AdSense does, right? In fact, that's all any ad does, no matter where that ad is from. Short of selling your own products or writing EBooks, it's the only way to make money on the internet. It's not unethical, it's the only reason the internet works. Without links sending you to other sites, the internet would be extremely pointless.
I'm with you here Sapper.
It's not called the World Wide Web for nothing.
It is a web of links, the internet depends on links, and interlinked links.
Each link you open should provide a pathway to a multitude of other links. Just look at how well wikipedia do it.
There's a giant difference. When people click an ad, they know that they're being sold something and they go shopping. On the other hand, when I'm looking for information, I absolutely and utterly do NOT appreciate clicking on an article and being sent to buy something. And it appears that Google doesn't either.
So I suggest you compare apples to apples.
I also suggest you reread what I said and learn to get the detail in it. You obviously didn't get what I said.
No, there isn't a difference. It doesn't matter if it's just text or a banner too, an ad is an ad. Getting rid of the the banner doesn't make it something other than an ad.
95% of the websites out there are there to make money. If you don't want to see ads in all of their forms, about the only suggestion I can give you is to buy a set of encyclopedias. Because the internet is full of ads.
Sapper, I think you came in through the back door. The OP asked me how I used my traffic to generate more traffic and money. I replied that I didn't. And I don't. I'ma writer, and, while, yes, I would like to make money, it's NOT at the expense of my ethics. If someone is looking for information, I'll give them information that is NOT advertising. I have no idea why text is an ad. I don't think so. I've been reading for 55 years, and text is not an ad. Of course, one does gets ads that are text, but generally when one speaks about text, one assumes it's not an ad.
Good morning. You are up as early as I am today.
Hi PS... It happens sometimes. I have some work to do. I got up this last Saturday with a whole new wind and have been going through everything I've done on the web during the past year and trying to learn more about marketing myself and making things I do better. This means, I have to learn more (yuk). But a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!
With the way some sites do it, it is unethical, and Google is attempting to get rid of the spammy, link sites.
But for writers to link their own work is not unethical at all if it is relevant to the topic. Many writers are well qualified to write on specific topics and can build a following by linking pages. It also helps the search engines rank sites and pages on the web. The links are important if you want to be found and read.
It's helpful to use links (not simply to your own sites), on every page you publish. The key is finding quality, relevant sites/pages to link to.
Don't expect to see anything positive or in an upwards direction in terms of traffic unless you have original and well-established Thanksgiving recipe Hubs this week. Many people are traveling and doing off-line activities.
I chuckled a bit at first but how true. Life happens!
As expected for my own Hubs, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Halloween is my worst time for traffic. I don't write hubs for this period so my traffic usually crashes 50%.
It will be back next week to where it was, then my next crash is February.
My traffic for the past week was up higher than it's been for a while, not as high as last year at this time, but better than it's been. Then Saturday when I checked, traffic was decreasing lower than I've seen in a long time. I had the lowest traffic count this past weekend, but the highest week I've had in a while. It could be related to the holidays, but some of my hubs get more global views than strictly US. All of my hubs are featured.
Then I checked my subdomain PR, and noticed that there was a PR update on Nov. 7. I also checked for copied hubs and have found a few for the 2 hubs I checked so far. These copies were not listed in my account. I found them using Copyscape. I'm going to spend the next few days checking for copies for my account and sending out DMCA's.
Today is not as high as a normal Monday.
It would be interesting to see if others experienced an especially low traffic weekend, lower than normal.
I have had a really similar situation. The traffic bounces erratically and sometimes hits almost 0. I also had one of those minus occurrences. Where you get minus views. usually when that happens they fix it and give you the views that were not credited. This time however, it was never fixed. Lazy hubpages, really disappointed.
Sophia, I am there with you...seems to me though if its doing that to you swb than have you looked into going somwhere else to write for money? I don't know how all that works. Did you contact hubpages?
abbykorinnelee, easier said than done. At this point, my daughter is looking after me, so I plod away with writing books and I've learnt a lot about that over the past 18 months. I'm hoping that eventually that will be the way I earn my living. Made a few errors, but I guess it's a learning curve.
The "idling" seems to be escalating.
Nice of Hubpages to keep us up to date on this.
Greekgeek has some really good information in her comment however I must add to that, as it wasn't just the Panda update that hit hubpages, it was also the addition of the penguin algorithm back in April (if I remember correctly). If HubPages drop in traffic doesn't resemble your traffic drop you may want to check out my article about black hat SEO and the penguin eating webpage serp
I spent about six weeks to two months in the "sandbox" once.
I have a definite theory as to why I was penalized by Google....and my theory is that I took what looked to be very good advice from one of the most successful persons on this site.
All of my hubs had had an RSS feed on them at bottom of page featuring "ten latest" hubs I'd published. In one evening I deleted every single RSS feed capsule ...and as all pages in my account changed ...traffic spiked for a day or two, but then (I believe) Google calculated that I was gaming them when I did that...and the irony is...the "great advice" was to delete RSS feeds for the exact reason that Google viewed those feeds as "gaming their algorithm."
OUCH! I felt they'd slapped the shit out of me for trying to become a more honest web scribbler! Irony of Ironies!
I just chilled....I've got lots of things I can be doing at any given time...and after a short period of time, my traffic got back to where it had been before.
Old joke: What kind of writing pays the best? Ransom notes.
Day four of 30-40 hits a day...this is a new one for me. I haven`t been at the 30-40 hits a day level in over a year. I guess I will just sit tight and see if the traffic comes back. I have a few Hubs that I know need some work; however, I have redone over half of them and deleted over 20 Hubs. Thanks for all the comments fellow scribblers!
My significant drop also started on the 17th. It's so strange. I have no idea what happened, it can't just be the holidays. My traffic hasn't been this low in a very long time. Does the quality team now rate featured hubs? A hub that has never been below 80 is now at 69. It's more personal in nature, but has always done well with search traffic.
I have noticed a huge increase in 'direct' hits on my subdomain as shown in Analytics over the past few weeks.
I posted earlier in this thread (I think) that the week leading up to the 17th showed a very significant increase in traffic, and then the 17th hit. WebMaster Tools shows a huge drop of impressions on the 17th which (to me) indicates page rank.
You got it Rebekah! That's it, everyone keep writing hubs and including 2 to 3 sentence summaries, and you won't ever have to worry about getting traffic to your hubs again. These summaries are for meta description tags. They should be about a sentence or little more at most, otherwise search engines will penalize these articles and the entire domain of hubpages as a whole! How do I know this, because I am professional web designer and SEO specialist, thats why. Hubpages is killing itself, its not the authors that are doing it. They are literally telling authors to screw up their site. You write a summary thats 3 sentences long as they suggest, and you just add to the penalties by search engines. And yes, they will penalize the whole entire domain. I think its obvious that hubpages executives haven't a clue as to what they are doing. I'm not going to bother pointing this issue out to them either. Obviously they pretend they know it all, and that why they are fighting a losing battle. Its not just the 3 sentence summaries that are killing them either. Its also the fact that they deter users from creating out bound links, etc. All these links pointing in, and hardly none pointing out. I tried making links from a few of my hubs to other articles I wrote elsewhere on my own sites, they quickly strike them down 99% of the time. Stupid.
Interesting, I've been reading quite a lot about SEO, and I've never come across the idea that long summaries actively hurt. For example my WordPredss SEO plugin tells me to keep summaries short, because they will be truncated at 160 chars, but it doesn't say that longer ones will actually hurt.
Can you link to a page, where Google, or some external SEO gurus actually say that long summaries hurt? Thanks!
What you need to keep in mind is that these are not really summaries! They are meta descriptions! They are code used in the deign process of a webpage. Correct about the Wordpress SEO plugin as well. 160 is the max that you should use for a meta description according to all search engines. This is why they truncate them, its to protect your work. Also, the Bing search engine considers spaces to be a character as well. 160 max! Otherwise automatic penalty with them. Google will let you go a little farther than the 160 character mark and don't necessarily count spaces, but yes, they should be kept to a minimum.
djdaniel150, thanks for the info about summaries. I have some hubs with really long summaries, some short, and a few with no summaries at all. I will take your advice and keep my summaries to 160 max including spaces. Thanks again. You rock!
As a fellow website designer / SEO specialist I have to agree djdaniel150 that Yes the summaries are part of the problem, however, I'm thinking that it is also the EMD factor talked about here http://searchengineland.com/library/google/emd-update meaning that those subdomains hubpages has provided could be hurting HubPages due to irrelevant content contained on the subdomain.
Thank you 78djdaniel150. I didn't know that.
Daniel - thanks for the insight on the summaries.
I've also read threads here about ads above the fold, and because I'm usually logged in when I'm here, I hadn't figured out what the complaints were all about. The other day, though, I had a chance to see one of my hubs that was accessed through a search on another computer. To my surprise, there was a huge banner ad all across the top of the page! Does this mean the ad configuration is different when we are on our own computers than what others see from their own computers or devices?
Sorry if this is a dumb question - I came to HP from a writing background, not an SEO background.
It could be Marcy, but typically, hubpages has a minimum of ads per page and is unlikely to ever be penalized for ads above the fold. Its too many ads that can cause penalties. But yes it is possible that depending on the creen being used to render a page, and what sub domain is access that can reflect how the ads are displayed on the site to viewers. Hubpages appears to have several different main domains, inlcuding for Europe and North America. They may be quite different from a layout perspective.
It's being logged off that makes the difference. It is quite shocking.
Hi, I have noticed my Hubs which longer summaries do get less views. I will take your advise and sort it out. Thank you Annie
Yeah, definitely go back if you guys can and edit your hubs. Try and do about one sentence summaries if possible. This will help. Although, it won't change the penalties incurred for the entire domain. Hubpages has gone as far as to create a sub domain for every author on its site. This doesn't make a difference. They will still penalize the entire domain for this humongous flaw! But, as long as your meta descriptions (so called summaries on here) are within search engine SEO best practices, it should help with indexing. You guys should not be spending too much time focusing on traffic through hubpages, and more time focusing on traffic through Google and Bing, since they are responsible for the majority of traffic for any website.
For anyone who noticed a big drop on the 17th, I have found on a WebMaster thread that others also saw a huge drop in impressions and clicks. No one seems to be able to pinpoint anything other than it probably being one of Google's regular changes to their algo. The Google rep on the thread doesn't have much to say that we don't already know, if we follow their updates.
Whatever this one is, I felt it and I've been through the pandas and penguins with very little effect, (besides the very first panda which hit the entire site). Here is a link to the thread:
Massive drop in traffic since Saturday Nov. 17 - http://productforums.google.com/forum/# … dfdjqQEsZ4
I also saw mention of it on seomoz in a short thread.
Actually the Pand and Penguin updates have caused many sites to gain traction in search results, including all of mine! The only sites who were punished were those who were not following Googles webmaster guidelines, and Hubpages is one of those. One of my sites, which consists of only 4 pages, and is website I build for a piano teacher, has hit page one for 18 sets of keywords since their updates! And over the last month the site has had over 900 views, yet the site is localized only! Thats 900 results for "piano teachers st louis" , and other keywords, that appeared only in st louis. I bet you can make a guess he has quite a few students right now, more than he can handle. His site also is now scoring for 30 sets of keywords total! The algorithm changes were to get rid of spam on the net, penalize sites for displaying too many ads "above the fold" (not enough content in the viewable area of the page and too many ads in its place), and to get penalize people who either, aren't following their webmaster guidelines, are have purposely attempted to cheat Google and game the system. The panda and penguin updates are not the cause for traffic drops specifically, the issue is more related to hubpages not following the rules overall. They are paying now.
Yes, I do know that, and I have almost always benefited from an update and seen an increase in traffic. This drop in traffic seems to be sudden, not gradual. My subdomain is actively crawled. It's simply puzzling.
They certainly affect traffic if penalties have been applied to sites. There have been countless threads on HP over the course of P/P updates with people complaining of traffic loss and there are those on HP who did not lose traffic with P/P updates.
But with these very recent changes, something may have affected the site as a whole.
I notice that my pages aren't really coming up in Google, either. Even when I use exact phrases and my hubpage alias in the search.
That's a problem.
It seems to me that hubpages is trying to keep everything in house. Everyone isn't taking a traffic hit. Some are but not everyone. I can only see this as hubpages is trying to keep all traffic self contained. I mean look at the signs, in house links only, idle hubs getting de-indexed, many hubs not getting google results, etc etc. I wanna say I am wrong but it doesn't look like it. At least to me.
I thought it was just me because I'm new. Glad I'm not the only one with this problem. How does anybody find what we write?
I saw this in my email (which I hardly checked this week) from SearchEngineLand posted on the 20th.
http://searchengineland.com/no-that-was … ing-140151
Checking so far today, my traffic started to return again yesterday. Hopefully it continues.
Happy Thanksgiving, US!
Interesting. Well, I don't really care about this anymore. As far as I'm concerned, Google is bent on eliminating anyone who tries to push their site to the top because they believe it should get there on merit, not because someone wants to garner business from it. As Google is bigger and better than I am, I'm going to stick with discretion being the better part of valor. I'm focusing on writing books and hope that one day I get one that sells enough to earn me some money. Also on creating videos...
Here's a alternative strategy that I've had some luck with.
Google's bottom line is that it's trying to help people find what they're looking for when they SEARCH. Google cares diddly squat about writers; it's designed for searchers.
But searchers are people. So, if we want to earn money and visitors, we have to focus on what PEOPLE want who are searching the web.
We can't rely on artificial techniques designed to trick Google into thinking our stuff is better than it is. Tricks backfire, since Google is constantly trying to figure out what those tricks are and neutralize them.
On the other hand, Google has been doing a lab experiment with the entire web for over two decades, learning what it is that people are looking for when they search. Others, too, have made studies of what people tend to search for, what tends to attract them or drive them to hit the "back" button. We can learn from that knowledge. Our goal can't be to create garbage content that APPEARS to fit a search. Rather, we have to try to figure out what things we know and care about which ALSO fit a search. The more we know about our topic AND about our potential readers, the more likely that we'll be able to anticipate what our readers are looking for and give it to them.
In other words, we don't have to write for search engines, but search engines give us additional data to help us write for people.
Yes, I realize that, but there is a pyramid structure here. For instance, most people wanted to know about the elections at the beginning of this month. If one tried writing about it, one was in competition with virtually the entire web. And it would be the more established sites that would get the top 10 slots. As one finds topics that are lesser written about, it takes a lot of scrabbling to find them, and fewer people look for them. And it goes until you find a topic that has not been written about and nobody is looking for it either.
To me, that isn't worth the time spent on it. It's far easier for me to write a book. I'll stick to that.
I'm not qualified to do a hub on this subject, so I shall freely share this idea.
how to write a book
[how to write a book]
"how to write a book"
ParadigmSearch, I'm completely confused. What do your figures mean? I sell books. I've won competitions. I find it very easy to write books, and all one has to do is put them on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and they sell themselves. I earn more through them that I do through advertising. I can write a book in two weeks. I can also do 10,000 words a day without even thinking about it.
The above numbers are from the AdWords keyword search tool. They represent how many people search for the phrase, "how to write a book" every month. Based on your posts, you sound eminently qualified to write a hub on this subject. If Google isn't a total idiot, your hub could do very well. If I had your knowledge, I'd go for it!
Well, um, yes. The sad truth is that if one hasn't got the talent, and very few do, then one cannot write a book. One can either write or one cannot. Nobody can tell someone else how to write a book. I have yet to hear one international best selling author say that one can learn. They all acknowledge it's a talent.
One can teach people basic literacy so that we can write in terms of communication. But actually creative writing?
Raw talent honed by early childhood reading and solid grammar...
http://spiceofwriting.blogspot.com/2011 … ebook.html
You're missing something vitally important here.
There's no point looking at the search traffic without also looking at the competition - and I don't mean the competition column on the Adwords tool, I mean how many other websites are already answering that question.
Try Googling it and you'll see there are already plenty of blogs on the topic. In fact, the search returned 526 million results. I know a lot of those won't be that relevant, but it shows you how saturated the topic is - I tried searching for some dance-related topics, for instance, and got less than 100 million results.
Which is the bottom line why I don't believe it's possible to earn a living writing articles on the web. The competition for any article is more or less intense. Every now and then one might luck out on finding an article that everybody looks for any nobody has written about, but it's not an everyday occurence. It's easier for me to actually write a book and hope that people like it enough to speak about it.
Its about competing for narrower, more specific, niche topics and having longtail titles to get hits from more keywords. You can't compete for the more general phrases, only the more specific longtail ones.
e.g. "beef curry recipe"
vs "Best Madras Curry Recipe with Potatoes and Vegetables"
Jaaxy.com suggests that
"best madras curry recipe" gets 128 searches a month and is competitive (average PR is less than 2.5)
I understand that. That is what I've been saying the entire time. I just didn't use the genre words so that everybody could understand - newbies included. And I find it too much effort and not enough reward to put that kind of effort into writing something. Janderson, my various sites vary from PR1 through PR3. I'm well aware of how it works. I just don't think it's worth the effort to do that much work. I'm not an affilitae marketer because I hate selling things and am very anti consumerism.
So true Greekgeek, especially your last sentence. My experience at HP has been very positive and I believe it is because I only write about topics that I have some knowledge, interest or first hand experience with that ALSO are related to what people search for.
Before ever writing a Hub I first run my ideas through Google's keyword search tool. My goal is to determine if searchers have an interest in what I would like to write my next Hub about. If they don't, I scrap the idea. I also give the CPC column a glance. If the value is low, I scrap the idea.
I attempt to work smart not hard; to find topics that I care about AND that people are searching for AND that have monetary value to advertisers. In other words, there is no sense in publishing something that no one is searching for. There also isn't a whole lot of sense in publishing on low monetary value topics.
The result is that my rate of output may be a lot less than others (72 Hubs in 15 months), but I get steady search engine traffic and my Hubs make money. As a way of backing up this statement, I received my first payout after 5 months and have been paid (oftentimes above the minimum) 9 times out of 15 months I've been here, including the last 6 out of 6. My traffic is very steady and the only real decline I have seen was very much expected due to a seasonal Hub.
It may surprise some to know that I do not use any social media or any other linking for my Hubs. I rely 100% on search engine traffic and am pleased with the results. I had to step away from HP recently for 3 months due to personal reasons, but was pleased to see that I still got paid and still got steady search engine traffic with zero effort on my part. No new publishing. No editing of Hubs. No marketing.
And you never know who will find you in a search engine. For example, a national magazine discovered one of my Hubs via search engine within the first 24 hours of it being published and included a link to my Hub and profile in their blog to share with their readers. (Although this might not have happened if pending of new Hubs was going on at that time.)
I also don't just write in one niche, But each topic that I write about, again is something I am already interested in and that people search for.
When I do settle on a topic, I write it for the people who will be reading, make it original, include original images, link to any credible sources I've used, but do not neglect SEO basics (URL, title, sub-headings...). I also attempt to make it aesthetically pleasing with white space, relevant images (and plenty of them), bullet lists, etc. to keep the reader on the page longer.
This is all my way of agreeing with the thought you expressed that Google is about searchers not writers. I use Google to assist me with knowing what people are searching for but I write for potential readers. So far so good.
Call me crazy or maybe I'm getting senile But,there was a time when writing a good hub was all you had to do to get views.I've had so many tech glitches and hubs jumping up and down my stats page[which I don't understand anyway]that I stopped publishing.
Now I spend 90% of my time hub hopping and admiring those of you who can navigate the maze HP has become.It's no big deal for me,I just write for fun but I really feel the pain of the pro writers who make a living at this.Keep up the good fight Y'all,there have to be better days ahead.
Essentially, Google now only gives preference to authentic news corporations and publishers. Anyone else only gets in if they write things that nobody else writes about. I have absolutely no doubt that Google is trying to slam any group of people that 'works' to get their copy to the top. That's not what Google wants. Google wants copy that works organically to get to the top. In other words, your stuff is so fabulous that 20,000 people per day are hitting on it. That way Google knows its good. That's why I just write what I want to write and use HP only to express things I'd like to write about... I don't think it will ever generate a full time income, and I think other writing sites are probably the same.
ktrapp -- I'm glad to see someone else is succeeding fairly well and on the same wavelength. (Of course, it's always satisfying to hear someone agrees with you, but I'm also happy to hear it's working for you!)
Page1 SEO tactics --
1) I have been watching Hubpages' traffic fortunes fairly closely since Feb 2011, and while the Penguin update hit many sites, I saw no overall traffic fluctuations for Hubpages. Penguin attempted to clamp down on specific kinds of link schemes and other black-hat techniques. I think that by and large, most Hubbers are ignorant of black hat SEO practices, and therefore Penguin didn't touch them. Whereas Panda evaluates the quality of content on a website, and there's enough scrappy content on HP to take a hit from some -- although by no means all -- of the Panda updates.
2) The EMD update does not apply to Hubpages. It specifically targeted exact match domain names. A domain is not the same thing as a URL; a domain is the part of the URL which designates the website, like teethwhitening.com. As expected, the postmortem on the EMD update showed that the casualties were some low-content sites with exact-match domains targeting particular keywords. I've done a lot of hunting on this, and I've found no evidence that the EMD also targeted entire URLs... that is, individual page urls like [domainname]/how-to-whiten-your-teeth.
I've been posting webpages on my various interests since 1993. In the mid-2000s, I got greedy. I wasn't content just to post writing for writing's sake anymore. I wanted readers!
That drove me to learn how to get traffic, which to me is a technique just like learning how to write sonnets or how to write an academic essay. Content is content, even if you structure and present it differently to connect with different audiences.
Once I started earning a few hundred dollars a month writing online just as a hobby, just for fun, I saw that it might be possible to earn a living as an online writer. Since 2011, that's what I've been working towards. I'm not there yet; I've only recently started breaking $1000 every month, which isn't enough to live on in expensive California. But it can be done, and you don't only have to be a salesperson for it to work. I know a few people making twice or four times what I'm making, so I know it's possible, although it's difficult.
You do have to be good at trial and error, analyzing what's working and what's not, and focusing on what works for you. I like ktrapp's post about that process.
Before domain names came into play websites were just a bunch of IP address numbers, (example: HubPages IP address is 188.8.131.52, if you put those numbers in your address bar on your web browser and pressed enter it would bring you to hubpages.com) but people are never going remember sequences of numbers like the example I gave so domain names and sub domain names came into play. Their job is to provide a Uniform Resource Locater (URL) that points to the IP address the web site is hosted on, and the same goes for sub domains. A URL can be a domain name or more specific. Now the difference between a URL and domain name or sub domain is the fact that a domain or sub domain only point to the "Home page" of the domain or sub domain where as a URL can point to the homepage or an inner page on the site.
Since the page you go to when you type in yourSubDomain.hubpages.com is your profile that makes it the homepage of your sub domain.
An EMD is an exact match domain because it matches keywords telling people that the website is about those keywords. Think about that for a minute then think of how Google is punishing EMD's if the content isn't quality matching and relative content. There could be a possibility that the EMD algorithm update could affect sub domains as well.
You're definitely right "SEO tactics!" Most people don't realize that URL's have an address just like our homes do. DNS resolves names to addresses, and vice versa. When you type, "hubpages.com" into your address bar, a DNS server(Domain Name System), looks up the corresponding address that matches the name, and provides you with the information to obtain a valid connection. The entire internet really consists of a vast set of networks that act as switches, constantly switching and connecting logical and physical circuits. If we had to remember the address of every single website we visited, we would be spending more time looking at text files than surfing the internet. Which is easier to remember, an address like 184.108.40.206, or a name like walmart.com? It's obviously easier to remember a name much easier than some obscure address. IP addresses are logical addresses, just like your zip code, area code, etc. While your home has a physical address like say your street, house number, etc. Infact, the physical address can remain the same, while part of the logical address can change fairly easily (such with the name of the inhabitant of a home). If you sold your home and moved, a new name would be associated with home, but its address remains the same. Just a way of looking at this.
Just hoping to put some "good" news on here. My daily views had been around 600 before they started dropping. This may not be many views to some here, but I was excited as they were continuing to climb. When they started dropping, they went all the way down to 200. Over the last several days, they have started to climb again, today reaching 500+. I am hoping that Google has decided they like me again. I hope that everyone elses views are beginning to come back as well. Now, you know just as soon as I publish this, they will fall again! I hope not, I hate to see so many people here being as frustrated as I have been.
The big picture here is that Google has changing algorithms constantly adjusting so that one never knows where one is going to be the day after tomorrow. One way or another, they're not friendly towards content writers or, I think, affiliate marketers. It really doesn't matter how much one keeps adapting, becasue two days down the line, they are going to change again.
Isn't that too stressful to keep up with?
It depends. If the topic isn't heavily saturated like much of the higher paying topics, one can benefit from publishing these topics on HP (by impressions), especially if you rank well for the keywords. I have a few that only show 1 or 2 dollar signs, but I rank well for keywords and receive targeted traffic for those hubs. They also generate FB likes and tweets which brings referral traffic. (I've read that it's best to not rely 100% on search engine traffic, for the very reasons we see posted in the forums.)
I was watching real-time analytics earlier and saw one of those hubs was found by the user entering the 'main keyword - hubpages'. It was a returning visitor who probably knows I update the hub weekly. The hub ranked #1 and was linked to 9 times on the first page with that specific search query.
No one else on HP ranks on the topic and it is linked on numerous sites.
These are topics I have interest in and wanted to write about. The traffic they bring in is very targeted, which is exactly who we should be writing for.
I'm a bit confused about what to Google for to find your hub. When I googled 'hubpages' , no hubber is on the first page of the SERPs (and I asked G to 'hide personal results'). When I googled 'main keyword - hub pages', the first result is a hub by mywebs, I didn't think it was your alt.
Incidentally the Google results are really quite crap for these searches. I really think G should consider 'making money online' articles to be 'freshness sensitive', returning articles about making money on HP from 2009-2010 does not serve ppl well! And how about this site: http://globolstaff dot com/hubpages-creation-service.html if you are wondering where the spam on HP comes from, I suspect they might be a culprit.
I would feel a lot better about trying to write good content if I felt G was doing a better job at doing what they claim they want to do, give searchers what they want. Every once in a while they go through periods when they prioritise youtube videos, forum posts, yahoo answers etc. over content-rich articles and the SERPs are truly horrific. This is never permanent, but these periods are painful both as a Google user and a publisher.
Completely agree with you rebekahELLE on writing for your target traffic, after all they are a big influence on SERP. If your analytics aren't showing that your readers are enjoying your writing then you're going to start loosing SERP. If you write for the readers you are targeting with your keywords, it will become more likable and sociable which will help to maintain a good SERP.
Sorry, my post wasn't specifying the exact keyword of my hub (I wouldn't do that in the forums). It simply means the searcher used the main keyword for the hub and added hubpages after it. Example, let's say I wrote about purple eyed turtles... the query would be 'purple eyed turtles - hubpages'. Sorry if it confused you or others.
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