Is there a way to restore our traffic after this Panda update?
Yes, but you're going to have to work on your content for about a year. Things don't just "go back" after Google shakes them up.
Maybe sacrificing a small animal to the great Google gods, or having a naked midnight mass in the depths of the woods while chanting our support of G...
Alternatively write only about things that there are not lots of competition for both within Hubpages and on the internet in general...
Google does not like "content farms"... They are ranking pages based on the site so consider this - if you have searched for say; "How to treat a dog with diabetes" which would you as a searcher trust the most from the following?
A multiple user website that is free to use by anyone from anywhere with no authority in looking after dogs...
A dedicated website about dogs and canine illness with many readers, pages etc.. An authority niche site.
Consider also the following;
If you are searching to buy a new blender for your kitchen and have decided on what you want to buy -
do you want the search to take you straight to the vendor / cost comparison site
A page that tells you all about the product and how good it is that then has a link to the vendor half way through the page..
Consider what the searcher wants and ask yourself is Hubpages the place for what you are writing....
Excellent point, LeanMan. It makes so much sense to consider the weight "authority" holds when deciding on a hub topic. Does authority also apply to professional knowledge and expertise and not just the site where it's posted? For example, can my articles on relationships do well on HP compared to another therapist's articles on Psychology Today or PsychCentral? These are two prominent sites with therapy-related articles. I know I probably need to be writing more on my own website but fell off of it when I joined HP. I never got the blog component off the ground. But I digress. Sorry. Please answer first question.
Google's robots can't understand English, so they can't judge authority based on what you say. So a statement on your Hub or profile giving your qualifications will cut no ice!
Google judges authority in various ways. all imperfect! One, if a website has a LOT of information on just one topic, Google sees that as meaning the writer has extensive knowledge. Two, if lots of people are linking to the site, Google sees that as meaning people find the information useful. Third, for technical subjects they use an algorithm that looks for the kind of words that an expert would use. There's a comment on this blog that explains it:
This is the relevant bit:
"Think for example of an article written on Odesk by a novice. The ... content will be generally similar to other content on the web because the author won't know the inside language that an expert would. So a health article on heart disease is more likely to include the word ventricular if it is written by an expert"
The idea of authority sites has been around for several years, but up till now, HubPages seemed to be able to get around it - perhaps because although we don't specialise, there IS such a huge body of work on HubPages on almost any topic you care to name. If the latest change has made the preference for specialist sites even stronger, then perhaps that's not working for HP any more.
Once again it raises the question of whether we all need to specialise in one subject within our own sub-domains - but that creates a further dilemma, because if you're knowledgeable enough to create a large sub-domain on one subject, you'd be silly to do so - you'll be much better off on your own site.
I have over 670 hubs. 96% are about photography yet my numbers have fallen drastically so my humble guess is that, at least in my case, it is not about authority i.e expertise, but competition.
Google doesn't have any idea what 'The New York Times' is when it comes to authority. What it does know is that there are over 2,300,000 webpages (many, many of those are high quality pages) linking to it and that's what makes it an authority in Google's eyes and that's why the last visible PageRank update shows a PR9 for that site.
Many of the writers for TNYT are not experts in the topics they write about. Like all good reporters, they do their research and write well-crafted articles, just like any good writer on HP does.
Good writing will garner good backlinks and that is how you build authority for Google on the Web. It has NOTHING to do with specializing in a single topic. If TNYT did that, it would quickly lose most of its website audience.
Thanks, Writer Fox. So what you're saying, for example, is that if TNYT site is respected by Huffington Post, HuffPost will add a link to TNYT to its site? Or does it mean searchers on HuffPost click on that TNYT link a lot when they visit the HuffPost site? The writers don't matter. It's the opportunity that increases for the link to be clicked. Right?
The link tells Google that the Huffington Post recommends the TNYT site to its visitors. It doesn't matter too much if anyone actually clicks on the link or not, but people absolutely DO click on recommended links on websites they visit. Google does track those clicks, but that comes to play in the regular Google algorithm, not Panda.
Okay, I think I got it now. If a martial arts site puts the link to my tai chi hub on its site, that's a good backlink for me, PROVIDED that the martial arts site is reputable. Right?
Exactly! And make sure they give you a followed link.
Followed link? Okay, let me put on my thinking cap: if they somehow indicate that my link is worthy? How?
While this is mostly true, "authority" has less value in page ranking as does "relevance." Google uses latent semantic indexing to measure both on page relevance and the relevancy of incoming and outgoing links. You can have a thousand backlinks pointing from random PR8 and PR9 sites to your Hub on Dogs but if I have 5 or 10 backlinks pointing to my same topic Hub from PR4 and PR5 Blogs about Dogs, I'm going to out rank you. This is one of the areas that Panda in all it's variations is helping crack down on those that try to game the system.
I know "Dogs" is a generic topic so the more specific your Hub topic is, the more you should be looking to get links from specific and related blogs. An example of latent semantic indexing can be found every time you use the Google search and you get a drop down of related searches. So, find the main topic of your Hub, type it into Google, get the 5 or so related phrases, find some PR4 or 5 blogs using those phrases, contact the blog owner and offer to write a Guest Post on topic to get the link back to your Hub. (know all the ins and outs of Guest Posting responsibilities.)
This works with Blogs so I don't see why it wouldn't work with individual hubs.
It would, but do you think it would be worth it?
If I write a free article for a blog, that's an article I could have put on HubPages or sold, so it has a value. It also takes considerable time and effort to find the right blogs and persuade them to accept a guest post. That means I need a good return on that "investment" to make it worth doing. Just getting a backlink is not enough, IMO - I want real readers too.
If my link is to my blog, those readers will arrive at my blog and then (if I've done my job), they will stay on my blog, read several other posts and maybe sign up for my newsletter. Lots of benefit there.
If my link is to a single Hub, readers are more likely to browse other Hubs on the topic than visit my profile and browse my Hubs. So the benefit is much less - so much less, that I've never considered it worth the effort.
All valid points but I was answering the original question "How can we bring our Hubpages traffic back to what it was?"
Each individual writer has to weigh what is best for them. Is it worth my time and effort to restore traffic to a hub? No... Would it be worth it to restore traffic to a hub account? To my LiveWithRichard account, absolutely... I never recovered from the first Panda but also, I didn't put in the effort spelled out above to try. This new account was hardly hit because of the way I model my new hubs and the effort I put into them before I publish... all lessons learned.
I know the effort works for blogs because I use that exact method on my own sites. However there is a lot more that has to be done on my blogs than just getting relevant inbound links.
1. We were discussing the overall HP site as an authority site.
2. Panda is not about backlinks.
3. Related searches are about related searches, not LSI.
4. Guest blog links are considered spam links by Google.
1. That's just it... HP is not an Authority site it is a content farm in the eyes of Google.
2. Panda's aim is to eliminate low quality, thin, and aggregate sites from ranking well in the SERPs and the quality of links in 4.1 is a major indicator.
3. LSI is a method used "to identify patterns in the relationships between the terms and concepts contained in an unstructured collection of text." Thus, related phrases and terms used as keywords.
4. When Darren Rowse gives up guest blogging on the most successful blog in the history of blogs then I'll believe Guest Blogging is spam. Google Webmaster Guidelines were updated in August to point out that "Low Quality Guest Blog Posts" may be penalized. This brings me back to my original statement of "Relevance."
The visible PageRank shows HP is a PR6 authority site.
Links have nothing to do with Panda. Google Penguin addresses Links.
Google Hummingbird addresses LSI, not Panda. LSI has been around for a long time. For a simple explanation, read this: http://www.optimum7.com/internet-market … exing.html
Matt Cutts states: "So there you have it: the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people. Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward." You may do as you please with this advice from the head of Google's Search Quality and former head of Google Webspam before his last promotion.
I see. You know what? Maybe I should consider an hiatus from HP and write niche articles on my website. That was the idea when I launched the site in 2012 but I literally joined HP at the same time and have been stuck here eversince. The expectations and incentives, along with the social/community component of HP just sucks you in and makes you forget what you were trying to do in the first place. Now, my website is basically where I advertise my services. There is a link back to my subdomain but I don't think anybody uses it. Most of the time, I send pertinent article links to clients. I'm beginning to think my naivite has me working backwards.
It is easy and familiar on HubPages - and scary and lonely out there. HP is great for a grounding, a place to learn.
Google will pull any angle to destroy content site traffic. It is its stated aim. Quantcast over years, not just the recent Squidoo / Panda thing, should be enough evidence of what is happening.
You can do both, Jan. For your articles on counseling, I would seriously consider moving just those to your blog. If you just continually link to your Hubs from your website for examples to give to clients, those can look like spam links to Google – like the only purpose of your blog is to link to your Hubs. Keep just one or two Hubs about counseling and link to your website from them; they will be good backlinks and boost PageRank for your site.
Keep posting Hubs for other miscellaneous content, like recipes, etc., on HP. (Works for me.)
Great advice. When you say link one or two hubs to my site, I thought that would be considered overly promotional. I used to have the link in my articles but took it out.
What I was trying to say is to keep a couple of Hubs about counseling on HP. From those Hubs, give a link to your website homepage. You can actually give a link to the home page and an interior page (called a 'deep link') from each Hub. It won't be overly promotional if the links are directly related to the content of your Hubs.
WriterFox, I have several hubs with free crochet patterns. I add links on the hubs to free patterns on my website. Should I make most of these no-follow links then? Will Penquin think this is spam? Thanks for your advice.
First of all, do NOT make them NoFollow. That sends the wrong message to Google.
Secondly, how many links are we talking about? From all of your Hubs combined, how many links do you have pointing to your website?
Out of 180 hubs, maybe 10 links. Is that too many?
This includes some with 2 links to patterns to my site.
That's just fine. I wouldn't change that at all. (Just make sure the anchor text is varied so it doesn't look spammy and make a few of them very generic like 'click here' or 'see this.'
Overly promotional just means:
- More than two links to the same domain
- Links that are NOT directly related to the subject of the Hub
- Hubs written like press releases, i.e. "this is my business and this is what's so good about it"
So, links on your psych Hubs to your psych website are absolutely fine, and what WF says about the value of having some psych articles here linking to your blog is spot-on.
Personally, I wouldn't be removing your Hubs even if you do take a hiatus, I'd wait and see how traffic goes over the next few months. However that assumes you've got other material you can write on your blog in the meantime.
Thanks for clarifying that, Marisa. And yes, there is plenty I could write about for the blog without moving anything for now. I just need to hunker down and do it.
You and Writer Fox are at least two reasons I'll hang around HP for a while, even if I take a writing hiatus until things stabilize. Hugs to both of you for your help and support.
That is interesting, Writer Fox. I've considered doing that, transferring a big load of Hubs on a specific subject to one of my blogs on that subject. What has kept me from doing it is that those Hubs have age and have been here for more than 2 years. I'd worry about losing that age and also the possibility that they've been copied elsewhere, then I'd lose what authority they have from being here. However, if I transferred them to my blog, it would give that blog needed content and be on a site (mine) where the focus is on that particular subject.
It's hard to decide. I have a personal blog in my niche, and have one link to it on every hub I have here.
But although I get traffic to my blog, I don't make hardly any money on the blog, since it's just me posting, and I have loads of content, about two years worth.
I offer a service on my blog, so it's only useful to me if people order from it, and that's the only reason I keep it. I've been lazy about writing on it lately. I still make more money on HP, and think the group site makes more, even though my blog gets a good amount of readers. It's hard when it's only you posting, though you can have guest authors write on your blog in your niche. You can put Amazon products on your own blog too, but nobody seems to click ads anymore, or buy much through Amazon, at least in my own experience.
Sometimes I move articles from my blog to here, and vice versa, but haven't seen any big difference.
Thanks, Jean. It helps me to know others' experiences. I have the same concern, because my blogs don't make much money, though they're starting to "pick up". My feeling is that the writings I've already established here at HP would be more successful here and I just continue to put new content on my blogs.
That's the big lesson I've learned from helping others to create blogs. These days it can be easier to get readers for your blog posts than for new Hubs - but because HubPages pay per view and have a sophisticated advertising format, most people make more money on HubPages.
In fact, if you know how to go about it, you should be making a lot more money per visitor on your blog, but it depends how much work you're willing to put into it and whether you're willing to learn how to do it and make the effort. It also depends on how easy it is to identify products relevant to your subject, and how good you are at negotiating with suppliers.
In the past, the people I've worked with have always been writers at heart, they really don't want to become entrepreneurs or salesmen. If that's you, then the higher profits available from blogging probably aren't going to eventuate. I have to say it's not me either, which is why my blogging is now a hobby not a serious income producer.
Thanks, Marisa. Very helpful and totally makes sense.
Thanks Marisa for sharing your in-depth insights into the working of the internet. It refined so many puzzling points for me. Now, my work will have more focus and direction.
I also think it takes longer for a personal blog to get noticed, you really have to get your name out there quite a bit. But I began mine in Feb 2012, and it's finally getting a lot more viewers. I'm getting more orders too, not really steady, but the best it's been.
I still think it's best to stay with a group blog, and now this is the largest writer's site anyway. It also takes time for our hubs to get "discovered " here. Lately I've seen a spike in readers and followers here, it's not steady though, it changes each day.
So the only conclusion is that it's good to keep what you have here, and continue to work on your blog too, but to think about how to bring more traffic to your blog. I mention mine on the sites I used to write on, even if I just wrote 10 pieces and never went back to it. Each site has new readers, and if they see you have a blog, they may visit it. But I think many of us are writers at heart, not salespeople, as Marisa says, and so it's sometimes hard to sell things that have anything to do with some niches. On your personal blog, you aren't limited to Amazon, you can enter into affiliate relationships with other vendors. Good luck..
I think you're right, Jean. I don't really want to move my Hubs. I have plenty I can write about on my blogs, I just went and wrote an article for one of them. I think I'll spend a good amount of time building up my blogs. Again, thanks for sharing your experience.
Age of an individual webpage is not nearly as important as ranking. For example, I published a new Hub two days ago which has already had 200 visits sent from search engines. How is your search ranking for your Hubs since the upload of all the new content?
It's not a 'one-size-fits-all' answer. In Barbara's case, I'm familiar with her Hubs and have visited her main website. She's had websites for many, many years, has developed a following, implements good SEO, etc. In fact, I interviewed her for the HP newsletter and you can read that interview here:
You could experiment by moving one or two Hubs and see how well they do. Before you delete a Hub, make sure there are no stolen copies on the Web and if there are, file your DMCAs and get them removed first. Most websites and blogs need a continuous and frequent upload of new content to really do well against the competition.
So many people get blog-burnout and quit writing. The Web is full of abandoned blogs, especially on free blog sites.
Writer Fox, Thanks for bringing up my name. My website is outdoing Hubpages right now and doing fine. I can't say the same for my new blogs I've started this year.
Something everyone needs to realize is that just starting out on a new blog can be a lot of work. You'll need to work hard to get followers in the beginning and have enough content for Google to notice you. Writers need to plan on putting in many hours before they start earning.
Thanks, WF, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Continuous content on a blog is a standout issue that you mentioned, for me, I feel that's something I should work on; though I consistently put content on my blogs, I think I need to put more. I think I might try putting a Hub at a time as you say on my blog.
That's a good interview too, very valuable info.
As for my rankings since the acquisition: my old stuff that always got small but steady traffic hasn't seemed to have changed. Higher traffic articles took a plunge. Though their positions in the SERPs only took a fall of a few spots, enough to drastically reduce my traffic.
Jan. Your writing is authentic and has good content. In time, traffic will return. It always does. Keep the faith.
Thank you so much, brakel2, I certainly do and will.
Jan, you've worked really hard here. I also believe that traffic will come back in time. But it's always a good idea to diversify.
Thank you, olog, I know you're right. Most hubbers who are successful here are also successful elsewhere, maybe even more because they know how to diversify.
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