Looks like HP and Squidoo have both suffered a 20% decline in pages views from the latest Google Panda Hit - early days of course. Ho Hum! What a bum!
As always, looks like this update is good news for some and bad news for others. HP may have an overall decline, but my traffic hasn't changed one iota.
Mine actually went up and I'm seeing quite a few Hubs in the top list when I do a Google search so I don't think it's across the board hit.
Interestingly, my illustrious main website has gone up during all this. What with my currently being hub unmotivated, I've decided to spend my time throwing posts right-and-left at the website instead.
I imagine the next few weeks will be bumpy. I tell the team here not to get too excited on increases or too down on losses. We are expecting another Panda update, and the announced Penguin update by early June.
The QAP seemed to work last time the was a Panda hit.
But QAP has not worked to vaccinate HP against Panda this time.
I wonder why?
What else could it be?
What can we as author's do to recover traffic?
What should HP do?
I think we have to 'wait and see' with this one - as Paul E said there is another Panda update coming and traffic swings are the norm on the web! Some top corporations have been heavily effected so I suspect this Panda release will be removed or changed pretty quickly - money talks when it comes to Google!!!
Someone needs to nudge that needle forward a little.
A case of wait and see, I guess... By the end of June we might have a clearer idea of Google's (fiendish?) plan!
I'm hoping that all the HP and hubbers' work on improving the quality of the site will pay off, but it's impossible to know how Google will act.
I must confess to some degree of anxiety. Mainly because currently HP and Squidoo are both being hit at the same time.
My Quantcast says HP is only down 5% (global monthly) but the chart looks nothing like what you have.
It shows Squidoo down 16%....
What are you using?
I actually worked up the motivation to update a hub this morning (5:30 am). Will wonders never cease...?
Hell, even British MPs (or at least Margaret Hodge) has been on TV saying that Google is evil! There are not many times when I agree with anything that Honorable Members have to say, so this is quite remarkable.
"calculated, unethical and evil" is the specific phrase used I believe.
Strange though, I thought big one-off panda updates were not supposed to happen anymore.
Yeah I've gone down a little bit, but I'm still doing pretty good compared to a year ago. Not going to sweat the (relatively) small stuff.
I checked my hubs and they are showing up the same on Google as before, except for a couple. I'd say it is a summer drop, but why did it occur over a day's time? A little bit of my traffic has returned, but I have a lot to go before it is back to normal.
I think it has something to do with Panda not liking the "Related Search" ads (2 extra groups of ads added to all pages). But I've flogged that one hard with no feed-back from HP.
The other issue is that many hubs published more that 2 years ago appear in the SERPS using the HP topic URLs and not the Submain ones. Many people have reported that these older hubs appear to be less impacted than the newer ones. It's complex. I would sure like some analysis from staff about these issues and the likely causes. The hit has been significant for many and appears related to what both HP and the authors have done, and perhaps have not done. I would like action rather than ho hum lets wait for the next one from both those back and white cute animals.
If anyone wants a glimpse into some of Google's algo changes you could take a look at this page:
A few of the subjects from the last month:
Google Subject Specific Authority Ranking
Google: The Spammy Queries To Get Less Spammy
Google To Soften The Panda Algorithm
One Year Later, Only 9% Claim Google Penguin Recovery
Google: More Sophisticated Link Analysis & Link Devaluing In Works
10 New SEO Changes At Google In Next Few Months
Google's Major Penguin Update Coming In Weeks. It Will Be Big!
Stuff about a small group of inconsequential ads is just silly.
It is hard to know what has caused the recent traffic downturn but essentially, webmasters and writers can do very little but focus on quality issues. No one can game their way out of a problem. No one can change a few details here and there. No one can predict what impact the hundreds of algo changes every few months will have.
But if you are writing quality pages, then at least Google wants to find them. So you have a chance.
I'm not so certain about the "quality will get you traffic" argument. I know this is what Google would like us to believe it's doing, and I have no problems with the idea that I should write quality stuff, but..........I still see pretty low quality stuff (Yahoo answers anyone?) outranking stuff that is better.
HubPages defines quality as....long, in depth information, with lots of images, videos etc. This is what I try to do. Yet my hubs on topics that I do actually know a lot about (sadly this is frogs, I love them, I've worked with them professionally, I kept a couple of species as pets, I read lots of stuff about other species that I want to keep) are outranked by pages that quite short, pretty shallow and have very few pictures.
Ok so my opinion of my own stuff is hardly objective, but honestly there is plenty of not very inspiring stuff on the first page of SERPs. Also in the latest iteration wikipedia is treated even better than before, general wikipedia pages come up for pretty specific queries. I can understand why Google considers wikipedia to be safe, but honestly it often isnt' the best source. It's ok if you just want to find out what something is, but whenever I look up something I am an expert on, I am rather disappointed.
As I said, quality writing will give you a chance. You will need some real nouse to actually make a living.
HP testing whether the page payout, the number of ads and their position has triggered the Panda Slap would help as these things are beyond the author's control. This applies to 'Related Search' which adds 2 new ad blocks of 6 ad links each, increasing the number of ad blocks from 7 to 9 (one extra on the right and one at the bottom)
"Excessive ads: too many ads is one of the low-quality signals that Panda targets. Especially for ads above the fold."
If the Latest Panda slap was caused by ad changes then fixing this would provide an immediate benefit for everyone. HP staff response to this would be nice.
Panda is a whole of site thing - so what HP does matters to all mini-subbers
"Panda can affect an entire site,..... Panda does not tend to affect just single pages of a website. If you have a site that has some good content, but a lot of thin and duplicate content ( in other subs in our case), then the Panda filter can cause the entire site to have trouble ranking, not just the thin and duplicate pages."
All I want for Xmas is confirmation that these things have not caused the Panda slap as my traffic and HP's are down 25%.
I'd like to know how others who haven't been here for the magic two-plus years are faring. My hit appears to be worse than the 20% - but I've only been on HP for maybe 16-17 months. My hubs have been updated in the past few months (or else were written then). Not sure how to tackle this.
I've been here for less than two years Marcy and my hit is worse than 20% - more like 50% of what was already a steady downward trend.
Marcy, my traffic is down about 80% and I've been here about the same amount of time as you. I'm not sure how to handle this either. Yesterday, my traffic was going up, and today it's down another 25%... AND IT'S MONDAY! Traffic should be up.
I shouldn't have looked at my stats because now I have absolutely no motivation to write or do anything online really.
It is depressing that you are suffering these kinds of fall off, because you know how to write a page, a rare enough talent.
Awe Thanks Will, that made me smile!
I admit, it really is frustrating for all hubbers that have talent. Unfortunately, there are more people who are trying to spam the site, I think, than there are those who know how to write with decent grammar, let alone a compelling article.
Google seems to be punishing the good writers. I've noticed many people in the forums who are complaining of lost traffic are writers who create articles worth reading, that actually offer something to the web.
I wonder if the Google Gods will ever fall off their high horse.
Oh, I am sad and sorry to hear someone with your great reputation here has been hit that hard. Mine was down at least 50% - started barely climbing, then went down again this past weekend. It is rising now, but oddly, my Hubber score dropped this morning - by several points (even thought traffic went up). Nothing like adding more depression on top of other sad news.
DOM, your hubs look well written to me and are very interesting. I noticed that some of them may be competing with sites that offer more resources to a viewer, and that can be tough to beat. If I was searching dragonfly symbolism, I would most likely look at a page with links to other resources regarding this kind of topic. It may help to include a few resource links and to bold or italicize a few of your words. I know there are different schools of thought on revenue sharing sites as far as providing outside links, but viewers want pages that offer them more resources all in one place. Perhaps you could try it on a few hubs, and see what happens. I looked at your competition on the dragonfly symbolism, and the sites above you are specific dragonfly sites. You're right up there listed in the 5th spot, but those 4 sites above you are your competition. I hope traffic returns for you. Your hubs deserve to be found!
(I enjoyed reading the dragonfly hub, fascinating creatures. I also enjoyed reading your hub about the wildlife in Florida. I've seen many of them! A few weeks ago I saw an alligator sunning on the banks of the pond behind my workplace. I wasn't sure that's what it was, so I walked over closer to the pond, and took a picture..)
Go figure when there is a time they will know the best algo, forever update, forever roller coaster!
Could be Penguin, Zebra, Panda, Gorilla LOL
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-differen … -panda-too
Panda hit many of sites from search engine and give them a shock by hitting them hard.
@Daughter of Maat I think your content is pretty darn good and something google should be rewarding.
I've talked with several large sites that are like HubPages. This algo change hit sites like scribd, ehow, wisegeek, answers. It also impacted all the different page types - hubs, QnA etc. From all I can see it was an algo change that resembled Panda.
Google has announced a softening of Panda coming for borderline sites, and Penguin 2. They usually only announce if they're close. So expect these In the next 2 months.
I tell the folks internally, don't get down when traffic drops or too high when it doesn't. Just hold the course of making great Hubs, updating Hubs and keep improving our tools to fight spam and we will be fine in the long run.
@ Paul E, thank you!! You're too kind, but that really means a lot. And you did mention something that I think a lot of us hubbers might forget. This is the result of an algorithm. It's not someone at Google actually sitting there saying our work isn't good enough. As writer's, I think we might take these traffic drops personally to some extent, which is obviously understandable. But I thought it was worth mentioning.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm sure this is just another bump in the road, but it's good to know that HP wasn't the only major site hit with this recent update, and that will hopefully put other hubber's minds at ease. (I know it helped me.)
A blip or a good sign? My traffic for the weekend rose slowly and has recovered somewhat - however suddenly three hours ago I saw a huge swing upwards. Compared to the same time period last monday, I've doubled traffic in the last three hours and looking at the 'live' stats this seems to be continuning!
Probably just a blip - but just wondered if anyone else was seeing something similar!
I lost 20 percent and have more or less stayed around that level. I hope you are recovering, Simey. Although I have to say that I have come to distrust big surges in traffic, as they quite often foreshadow a fall! I trust a gradual and steady rise more. I think like Paul E says, it's probably wise not to get too upset or pleased with fluctuations at present, as a major algo change appears to be imminent. (It's hard, maybe impossible not to go up and down emotionally with the traffic, though, as I know myself!)
I'm hoping it's the other way around this time - I lost 33% - hoping the surge follows!
Paul E is right though - we've been trhough this before and we'll go through this again! It's fun to watch these mini surges though - especially when I should be working!
Go on. Say whoopee!
What is the worst that can happen?
As an aside, my traffic is rather good given the fact that I haven't done much here in the last 6 months. I want to do more but I have zero multitasking skills. I wake up and wrestle with whatever I was wrestling with the day before, until it is finished.
It's a me or it, situation.
ha ha ha... Will you sound like me! If I try to multitask, I never get anything done!!
I've been spending more and more time on maintenance, updating, improving, editing, and less and less time on writing new stuff. It's not a great deal of fun but it seems to keep me afloat, just about. However, as I've mentioned before, I am more concerned about the situation at Squidoo at the moment - I've lost way more than 20% traffic there.
HP should sell Squidoo QAP. Seriously. Many advantages to all parties. The latest downturn here might be the fallout from Google's implacable campaign against Squidoo's lax standards. Or, admittedly, it could be something entirely different. But best to seal all the holes when your boat starts to list.
It took me ages to get into Squidoo. I don't think the cute seamonsters are marketed at middle-aged men(!). But I was doing pretty well over there for quite a while. (In contrast, my HP traffic took months to recover after the major hit last year).
I think it's a good thing overall that HP and Squidoo take different approaches. In my ideal world, they would both perform well, but I can live with just one of them doing good. I wouldn't want to consider both of them hitting the skids for a sustained period, however.
I think the problem for these big sites is dealing with the limitations of the filter software (the smaller sites like Wizzley and Infobarrel can manually filter). HP's idea of using MTurk seems like a good idea. I'm worried that Squidoo is placing too much faith in the software, annoying the genuine writers and still not weeding out the spinners etc.
(Manual filtering of material can have its limitations too, of course. A machine will always judge your work according to the same rules every time, a human can be fickle however and some of the decisions can seem arbitrary/inconsistent.)
Squidoo is really messed up at the moment. They are locking lenses for duplicate content that don't have any. Others are complaining that they are getting locked for spam when they just have one set of Amazon ads and others have 250 words and is full of ads and aren't being locked. It's is crazy over there. I'm not taking any chances of wasted content with them.
Yeah, I agree about Squidoo. I kicked them off my horizontal bookmark bar over a month ago. Haven't been by there since. As to how my one-and-only lens is doing over there, don't know and don't care.
Their process for detecting duplicate content definitely needs to be tweaked. To their credit, when I forwarded information about a blatant plagiarist (had to go directly to staff, because the reporting mechanism brought zero results), they handlied it instantly. But the person had copied multiple articles, including at least two from HP. But to be candid, I do not know how sites such as HP and Squidoo manage to up with the numerous abuses and the fickleness of Google. I admire their efforts.
I've been here 3 years and since I started this has happened 3 times. Every time HP figured out something to pull us out of it. I have learned not to count on this income.
I started writing so my husband could retire at 62. I've forgotten that. You just can't depend on it year round. I think we'll come out of it again.
In my experience, while there has been some recovery, it is not 100%. There is an overall decline over the long term.
I've been here only, what, 17 months or so? There have been several dramatic declines - either Panda or Penguin (I haven't tracked which), and other hits, such as when HP inadvertently allowed some pages to be indexed that shouldn't have been. And then there are the declines from copied content, which really irk all of us.
When I joined, I did not have a goal of using HP as a reliable source of income, or even a semi-robust player in my budget. I could see that wasn't how things generally work here (unless someone has been here 4-6 years and has published several hundred hubs). But it's not where I feel I was led to believe might be possible, and it's not yet meeting my (fairly modest) goals.
Still monitoring things. Still weighing things.
HubPages was never a place to rely on as a sole source of income - but yes, before Panda it could certainly be a major source of passive income. It was perfectly reasonable to aim for an income of $1,000 to $2,000 a month.
I don't believe that's the case any longer. But that's not just HubPages, it's the internet as a whole. The whole idea of writing online was to build a portfolio of work so you could then sit back and earn passive income. The common advice was, make it your a full-time job for two years and then you'll be able to cut back to a four hour week and watch the money roll in. But with Google's constant changes and the need for fresh content and constant promotion, there's no such thing as passive income any more. You're going to have to work your butt off for two years - and the year after that and the year after that...
I've seen a lot of my blogging friends give up altogether. I notice people like Mark Knowles and Sunforged aren't doing much writing any more - they're doing well but they're doing it by selling their services to other bloggers. Lissie, who was doing so well with her blogs, has switched to self-publishing (and formatting books for other self-publishers).
As for me, most of my own blogs were never hit by Panda but their traffic has remained fairly static for a very long time, and if I work out the hourly rate for the income it's pitiful. I've managed to find a part-time job, one day a week - and I earn more for that day than my blogs do in a fortnight.
It's that old saying about when there's a gold rush, you're better off selling shovels than being a miner - and the saying holds true even more now (if I can take the metaphor a bit further), because on the internet, the best gold has already been mined and there are now thousands of new hopeful miners flooding the goldfields.
If my current stats are already including the arrival of the usual summer downturn, then things are looking A-OK.
I've made a few new Hubs, but I spent quite a bit of time making several small improvements. I need to be more careful and proof read:) It has been fruitful.
I understand blue-belly lizards make great hors d'oeuvres.
As I've mentioned elsewhere, upgrading every hub...and I mean big upgrades, has made a difference for me. I have found tons of mistakes I didn't realize I had made, and although I don't make much here, I am making more. I took a hit for a few days, and then my numbers came back to where they were. If we all would spend some time upgrading, it would help everybody here big time.
I agree with you that upgrading & editing helps keep things going, but I'm still not sure the overall return for the time is worth it - especially since, as has been said, you have to tweak over and over. Although I did not anticipate HP providing the type of income it apparently offered years ago, I did not anticipate the issues I've seen and am continuing to see. I figured an investment of a few years would yield enough revenue to be worth the time.
The other work I do (consulting and very part-time professor) brings in a very healthy, reliable income; it's enough to live on, and the investment in time is a fraction of what I've spent on HP. I love the community here, I love the staff, and I believe in the concept of sites that offer high-quality content by a diverse stable of writers. But financially, this is more of a hobby than a source of income. I'm sure the changes Google has imposed were drastically needed - the content languishing on HP for several years was an indicator of how out-of-control online publishing had become. Multiply that times several similar sites, and it's easy to see why advertisers were probably not happy with the low-quality of views and impressions they were getting.
I'm not alone in stating that the 'success stories' posted on the front page of the site were a factor in signing up. I know many non-writers signed up thinking all they needed to do was to sap up anything and money would roll in (and they're a big reason we have problems now). But those of us with credible histories as published writers were given the impression that it was worth the effort to sign up and publish good writing and good content. Longtime members here have at least enjoyed the halcyon years, but newer writers have suffered from the start.
Have to agree with this. I had a big tranche of hubs edited last year. The editor was very, very thorough and found many little mistakes. Even a couple of mistakes quickly lose you respect.
Also, Americans have different styles in grammar, and, if you are a non-native (I'm from the UK) writing for the US market, you are obliged to take note of them.
Americans, I discovered, are more likely to use commas before 'and', and 'but', they have no long hyphens, use large numbers of short hyphens plus completely different words and wording in many areas.
Anyway, I ended up with my more important pages word perfect for the US and I think that has helped.
Of course, if you bore the pants off your reader, it doesn't much matter if you get the commas in the right place.
It ain't easy...
As a Brit in the US I can find myself writing in a kind of cross-Atlantic hybrid of spelling and style - not deliberately, of course. (People probably think I'm a Canadian?)
I doubt that the average Internet moron with reading age of 5, for whom we are encouraged to write, is going to have a high sensitivity with respect to comma placement regardless of his, her or its provenance.
This discussion is a bit too much 'head in the sand' for me
In these days google has introduced new panelties on daily bases. And I think Google now panelize the site on real time scenario
"Like". Is the word more famous than Facebook?
Well nothing is more famous than Facebook but it's a close second.
Oh ok, I just thought that they have the same beginning and ending words. When I type F in Google searches Facebook is there, so I agree with you, it is the number one F.
Or maybe because I always open my Facebook, so G knows it already when I type the word F, it means Facebook
My traffic follows what is happening with HubPages in general. It is difficult to predict the outcome because the algorithm also includes personal searches. This is what the G called the learning tree. I had the highest no. of views after we were segregated (subdomains). There is of course something within HP structure that affects individual subdomain.
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