After over a month of careful watching, here is what I have observed as an HP writer;
1- My "reads" on HP are steady at 400+ daily.
2- Google (US, AU, NE, UK, CA, etc) have all but abandoned my articles with a dramatic decrease in Google Traffic.
3- All of my other sources of traffic are still relatively steady.
ASSUMPTIONS: So, first of all, I am making the assumption that no one has clue as to what the new Google paradigm is, YET!
But this change needs definition for ALL OF US; before we can react to it properly.
Here are some of my observations, though;
HP had added a large number of writers from Squidoo and I have seen that many of their articles contain certain things that have always been a taboo for HP writers.
Recently, I even wrote a Hub for my fellow HP writers that list some of the things that I learned are required by HP as being necessary for good positioning by Google.
These tips are not all we need to do, but they did seem to work for me. Here are a few;
1- Short articles, less than 500-1000 words, are not considered having enough depth on the described subject, and thus will not be rated very high by Google.
2- Too many ADs are frowned upon and "ex-Squids" tend to have quite a number of ADs in their articles. Where is the break point? I honestly do not know, but when a quick scroll through a Hub shows more space used by ADs than by "substance" then I know I typically will not waste my time reading it, so I wonder about the rest of our audience.
So, if I can tell ALL of you a sure fact, HP will allow ALL of us to adjust to what they determine is out of their acceptable limits. If we do it right, then our rankings, and reads will go UP. If we do nothing, they will start, eventually, with warnings and limitations on offending articles.
Sorry folks, but that's the way HP does things, so figure it out and help us all by falling into line.
1 - The recommended length is 1250 words.
2 - Ads: I have heard that for Amazon 2-3 is recommended, I think it was 2. eBay may the same. I do not think that you can control the amt. of the other ads.
I think, before singling out the content of former Squids, you should take a good look at the content that existed on the site before the lenses landed. For every poorly constructed transferred lens, I can show you two equally poor hubs that existed before we arrived.
Also, you're preaching to the choir. By and large, any former Squids who are active in the forums are either in the process of reworking their content to suit the HubPages guidelines, or have already completed it.
Once the four month grace period is over, it would be great if HubPages did a clean out of any content that isn't updated, and doesn't conform to their standards. In the meantime, it would be equally great if they applied that same criteria to folks who didn't come from Squidoo.
Bad content is bad content. It doesn't really matter on which site it started.
Okay, Okay, Okay.
I was afraid of this.
I meant no offense to those who have joined us on HP from Squidoo. Let me make that clear.
My point here was simple:
I HAVE BEEN WRITING ON HP for over 5-YEARS.
I HAVE LEARNED A FEW Good THINGS while on HP.
I have SHARED them WITH EVERYONE!
Do with the information as you will.
No offense taken, Don. At least not by me. My post was to merely explain that some of us were overwhelmed with work on first landing on shore at HP. I don't believe for a moment you meant anything harmful, and I appreciate the advice from someone who has been on HP for 5 years. :-D
I take offense every time I see a thread singling out content from Squidoo in reference to declining page views, or questionable quality. Seriously? Have you seen what's on HubPages? I hopped hundreds of hubs while I was waiting for my content to migrate from Squidoo, and I couldn't really understand why, in the forums, people were ranting about low-quality content coming over, when there was so much of it already here.
In the eight weeks I've been here, one of my hubs has been sent out in the HP email, and been HOTD. Another hub has received about 45,000 page views, thanks to a post on a local radio station's Facebook page. I've seen my first hub climb to a score of 100, and about half of them work their way into the 90s. Somebody, somewhere at HP must think I'm doing OK.
It's been two months. Let's stop with the Squid vs. HubPages stuff, and just accept that this discussion should really be about skilled writers vs. people who couldn't find the end of a sentence with a map and a flashlight.
Don, some of us who transferred from Squidoo have hundreds of pages to edit to fit the format of HubPages. I moved here with 353...even after deleting some, I still have 320. I am doing my best each day to work on those that do not meet with HP's requirements. But you must know, it takes time. If I could wave a magic wand and have them all fixed at once, POOF! I'd certainly do so, but since that isn't possible, I plug along each day trying to fix as many as possible. We (as a group newly moved here) want to fit in. Be patient and know we're working on it! (smile)
Heck, I'm not an ex-Squid, and I can tell you that some of us HP writers don't conform to HP standards and neither do some of their best hubs with the most comments. I almost gave up on reading a hub that had good content, but the author had thrown in so many superfluous photos and at least three videos that broke up the thought forms. I'm sure she did this to conform with HP standards, but in my opinion as a professional writer who has written in all formats for the last 50 years, it was unprofessional and even ridiculous. I write for fun, not the money because I have a well-paying job as an editor. My stats used to be way up there until the merger with Squidoo, and now my score has dropped into the 80s, so I guess HP is trying to whip us all in line.
And how confusing is it to a new Hubber (xSquid or not) who conforms to the check boxes in hubs even if it makes them sound like someone else is writing?
Bottom line is that good writing in English about a topic you understand and can offer a slant should have value on the Net.
What little Hub hopping I did depressed me so I stopped.
Amen, MizBejabbers, on the superfluous photos and vids breaking up the [reading flow]! Personally, I prefer the photo at the begininning of a hub be the only full-width pic, with any others half-width off to the side. Hubpages, after all, is supposed to be a writers' site. Photos and videos should be accessories to enhance the text, not the "main show".
Just my opinion,
Please don't be so quick to blame the writers that transferred heir article from Squidoo. I for one transferred over 200 articles to Hubpages. I had very good traffic up to my very last day at Squidoo. I was with them for their condition, and I made very good revenue, each year having to claim those earnings on my taxes... The first week here at Hubpages I had the same good traffic, with very good earnings. After that first week my traffic fell to nothing, and so did earnings. I noted that the stats here at hubpages did not come close to my Google Analytics. My Page views didn't work for eleven days. Then I noted the page views fluctuated up and down wildly. Each time I reported this to Hubpages I was informed they were working on the problem. My last letter was two week ago, I have given up writing. So, please don't blame Squidoo for problems here at Hubpages... I don't even pretend to know what's going on here, but I am sure it's not due to the folks that came over from Squidoo. Our articles were gone over very carefully as they were transferred. Many Squidoo members found that their articles did not transfer. Believe me I am as disappointed as you that things are going well here at Hubpages. It does no good to insinuate the problems are due to the articles that came over from Squidoo.
Nice one, Don. Good tips for EVERYONE, not just ex-Squids.
I have officially finished my clean up but do have to go through for a second round to fix up the items I missed or was not aware of on my first pass through.
I do agree that cleaning things up as quickly as possible is important but I have also seen some pre-existing Hubpages that made me gasp and slowly back out of the screen as well (ick).
I am just crossing my fingers that things get better in time to save Christmas this year. I know that there are a lot of people who rely on this end of year income to catch up on bills and pull them through till summer.
Say a little prayer and work hard. Good luck to both old and new hubbers.
Nancy- I do undertand what you are saying. In fact, from experience, with my Google numbers dropped like they are, I am confident that there will be "something" I will have to do to the majority of my Hubs to regain googles grace.
May I also point out to ex-Squids (and new hubbers) that when replying to a long forum post (especially if the original conatins a large photo), PLEASE use the "import and edit the quote" feature in the reply thingie to isolate the part of the post you're replying to, as I did in my reply to MizBejabbers' comment, so that future readers who don't click "Jump to last post" won't have to scroll down so far to get to each reply.
Hey, yalll... Greetings from Minnesota. I have been working on my squid transfer and have gotten almost all redone. Some, I just deleted. That was fun. I love the side coach that tells you what you should have on your page. I like the fact that you don't have to put ads on hubs. I think hubpages are a lot better. Thanks for having me here!!!!
Good advice, Don! I am an experienced hubber and ex-squid and those two tips you mention are probably the two biggest factors for why lenses have crashed here, in my opinion.
I have "fixed" my old lenses. Unpublished or deleted the worst ones and lengthened and de-advertised the remainder. I am still waiting for Google to acknowledge my good work, however!
Paul- It's not just ex-Squids.
I think everyone on HP should be reminded that we all reside on HP as a group, as far as the Great Google is concerned.
Oh, we have our own sub-domains, but in reality we, the whole community have a single identity and when a fellow writer doesn't "Fix" his or her poorly structured works then they will get a convoluted rating that from Google, can dra down the "reputation" of the whole community.
Sorry, everyone, but if you want to run as a lone wolf, and live or die on your own merits, then write on your own site.
But, right now, the reality is we are all (HubPage Writers) in this together, so as we mention here, fix the fixable and remove the bad.
And, Jeez, listen to HP!
They have a staff of experts that work diligently just trying to tell us what makes a good article (whoops Hub), and what pulls one down.
They have given us articles on the things to do, and not do, they give us tools to measure ourselves and our works. They even grade our articles with their own internal ratings.
Listen to the experts and follow their advice!
Its a simple thing really, and you may not like it, but if you have a "Crappy Hub", accept the options; FIX the HUB or MOVE ON TO YOUR OWN SITE!
Before you go Don, have you seen the new layout for the Hubs that the staff has worked hard to come up with? It was in the recent newsletter (11-19-14), and is also in the blog.
EX-1 - Yes, I checked it out and it looks a little cleaner to me.
And, even if I have to do some major restructuring of my older stuff. then "so be it!".
I never knew a writer who was eve satisfied with their work and I know I can do better on most of my stuff.
Hopefully it might even take a few arrows from the Great Goolge's quiver?
Why doesn't Blogger get slammed? People are on their own sub-domains. Why doesn't the sub-domain work so well on HubPages? Because we are all interlinked. That's how Google knows how and who to slam - in my opinion.
So yeah - great - we want everyone on HubPages to edit all their pages up to some mythical high standard. Ain't going to happen.
In my opinion again - given that the content site model is surely finished now - HubPages should allow authors to run their own sub-domains like mini-sites without all the old interlinking which used to mean good traffic and now means the opposite.
Personally I am sick and tired of quotas and worrying about other people's pages.
Mark Ewbie - My Opinion? Google takes care of its own and they OWN Blogger. It is just like when I went to gmail and then went to Chrome and then to G+. Each one seemed to help my overall world of writings in the search engines.
And the changing? Well, I accepted a couple of years ago that even HP really doesn't want creative works. Oh, They live with them, but they (HP) is in the business of making money and they want REFERENCE works.
You know ..... Articles and sites that they can sell ADs on because so many people want to know about a certain thing, and will search for it.
Face it! I love to try to write Poetry, but I pulled almost all of mine over to a Blogger site for my creative works and away from HP.
I mean, a wonderful piece if poetry will get read, and then essentially forgotten by the world. It takes a GREAT piece of poetry to stand on its own two feet for very long.
That's just the way it is.
There will always be more people, over time that want to know how to change a car tire than there will be people who want to read a poem about a Palm Tree, even a GREAT poem.
So, most of my writings on HP are designed to be not so much CREATIVE anymore, but filled with USEFUL information.
Sorry again, Dude! And all of you who are reading on this Forum! Write what the audience wants, if you want an audience,
Race you to a million views Don.
Not really. I plan to put four years into other things now.
LOL! No Race for me.
I see a lot of people who brag about their high Viewer count.
Personally? Hubbers are the worst viewers to have if you want to make a buck. They might rad, but they rarely click on an AD.
That is what Google Search brings to the game; Viewers that are looking for information and have money to spend.
And am I looking to make a living on HP? Hell No! But I do like to brag about making enough to take my wife and I out to Dinner a couple of times a month.
Again, the VIEWS count on HP is a strange thing that you can't relate much to.
But, the TRAFFIC COUNT on your Account tab is very important. I watch it religiously. There I can see where my WORLD OF READERS are coming from.
And, you are right, HP can suck you into spending too much time there. I allocate a certain amount and then its on to other things in life.
Mark - I think you have a good point there
Sub-domains should be treated as if they were REAL sub-domains ie the content is entirely dictated by the owner. That way they'd be just like blogs on Blogger. I don't have Blogger telling me I must have some reference to crass blogs that I do NOT recommend on my Blogger blogs. What I recommend in my side column and in the footer is entirely down to me.
This is the dilemma that HubPages has got itself into. When they introduced sub-domains, they had no intention of creating individual blogs - their vision was still of HubPages as one big magazine. The sub-domains were simply a ploy to get out from under a major Panda hit.
The reason I say that is because of what happened after that - when we all started thinking of our sub-domains as separate, that's when they introduced measures like removing most of our author details from Hubs, adding many many more related Hubs, removing the ability to search within a sub-domain, hiding the "contact the author" button etc. These were obviously intended to de-emphasise individuality.
However, maybe it's time to rethink that and consider making the sub-domains genuinely separate for the reasons you mention.
Squidoo focused a lot on product promotion which is far different from a lot of what I see on HP. I liked Squidoo 's aspect on using products and your personal writing. I have a chronic illness so I wrote on choosing the best pillbox for you. I had steady sales and views for it. Here has been like zilch. It is frustrating because HP wants so much excess but not product links. But when I am reading about a purchase I don't want to chase it down. I can't drive so I prefer eshopping but if I have to slog through a n article filled with fluff (to meet word count), awkward picture placement, videos etc forget it.
As for HP quality being outstanding, there are many amazing writers here like on many other sites. Though personally I was very disappointed in the anime section. Most people here may not care but to find hub after hub called 7 animes like this or 8 animes like that is disheartening. I tried to read several and ended up giving up when it was clear much of the writing was just thrown together without an actual point.
On a personal level, I heartily agree to taking personal works elsewhere. I have personal work here but keep most of it on my blogs. People don't usually come to a place like HP for poetry or personal truths. Anyway, that is my 2 cents. I do like HP but still find myself frustrated at things like page scores which don't seem to strongly correlate to the logical aspects like pageviews. Also, the squid blame game is getting old. Why not just float through ANY hub and comment on quality? Help others improve their writing quality in a positive way which benefits you, them, and HP.
I agree with you Kalafina!
That is why I have only written one hub, quality content is not easy for me. I prefer to put personal works or heavily opinionated works on a blog. Squidoo was very good for product recommendations, I think that they should not have merged it with HP. They are different enough to be kept separate and still be of great quality.
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