I started writing here in 2008 as Wife Who Saves, an account I closed in 2011 when I was facing health issues and took a break from writing. During that time, we did not have subdomains and traffic flowed freely.
I know that Panda, Penguin and other updates have hurt some sites that had low-quality writing, but HP has done a wonderful job of tossing out the junk. It has a PR-6 and that's impressive. It's my impression, and correct me if I'm wrong, that PR-6 sites get better quality ads than PR-2 sites.
I'm thinking that maybe subdomains are not all they're cracked up to be. When we did not have them, everyone pulled from HP's PR6. It seems that subdomains have put writers at a PR-0.
I'm interested in knowing if there are any writers using subdomains on sites similar to HP and whether your traffic and earnings have been affected.
HP has become an attractive and easy-to-use site and I plan to post updated rewrites of my 200+ Wife Who Saves hubs now that I'm stronger. But I honestly believe that subdomains are not the answer.
You may be right, you may not be. Personally, I tend to think you are.
I think HP instituted the subdomains in an early effort to rapidly limit the damage being done site wide by the junk on the site. Realizing that it would take months to years to get rid of it all, HP put it all into subdomains hoping that google would continue to send traffic to subdomains with high quality hubs. For the most part, it worked although there are quite a few cases of "collateral damage" where google did not agree with any rational definition of quality.
Now, HP seems confident that it can define what Google calls quality and is slowly moving such hubs back out of the subdomains and onto the primary domain of the site. We'll see what happens.
If you took a break in 2011, maybe you missed all the drama which took place that year after the first Panda update. HubPages lost most of its traffic in the first Panda in early 2011, long before sub-domains were even thought of. Management then spent several months changing the rules in an attempt to recover from that - nothing worked.
Eventually, they decided to try sub-domains - and it worked, because HubPages overall traffic improved - although the effect was uneven. Many Hubbers found their traffic returned, and even soared above its old levels. However others lost what little traffic they had left, and others found themselves on a roller coaster of fluctuating traffic.
The problem now seems to be in how Google treats sub-domains - it now looks as though it's been chopping and changing and that's having an impact. The fact that HP is now moving some Hubs back into the primary domain (Editor's Choice) suggests they're toying with the idea that sub-domains aren't the solution under Google's current attitude.
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