I have had some articles that for over 4 years ranked pretty high on Google, and now, since the latest update, other websites are outranking them. So I decide I want to learn more... What do these websites offer to outrank mine? I go on them, and this is what I see:
-The articles are much shorter than mine
-They were published many years after mine (the newest is from 2014)
-They have ads and affiliate links
-The newer websites basically repeat the same stuff my original articles had
-The articles don't have as many pictures/videos as I have
-The competing articles lack polls/comments and engagement from readers
-I don't think the websites owners add fresh content and update them as much as I do as they appear always the same
-Many of them aren't the authoritative, well-known websites that you would expect to outrank you.
Yet, for some reason Google decides to make these websites outrank mine, which were there many years prior. This makes me think that older no longer means that you will be given an advantage as before. I suspect the search engines just decided they don't like Hubpages anymore--or at least, not as much as before. I have a feeling that if I published a new website on the same topics, they would also outrank my hubs. Anybody else have any idea why Google decided to take this stance?
Interesting study. Thanks for sharing, it sure does give you food for thought.
I think you are right about google not liking hubpages. I transferred an artcle from HP to another site during the transfer period and was surprised to see amazon sales from it within 3 weeks while at the same time traffic to all my hubs fell.
Google always wanted the same: to make profit. We can try guessing about the parameters and so on, but the fact is nobody, including the big G, can't predict what a searcher really wants. We can only guess.
This is the reason Google rolls split tests from the very beginning and updates its algo approximately twice a day. If low quality content outranks better stuff, this will not necessary be the case tomorrow. And vice versa.
I sill see a lot of black hat tactics used at articles which outperform mine and although I believe they will be eventually penalized, new black hat tricks will be there even before. The only way to have constant traffic is to build a brand and have a list of subscribers. Social media can be of great help at this, but unfortunately this is not the my favorite area.
Google has said that one of the objectives of this latest update was to give small- and medium-sized websites a fairer chance at ranking in the search results. Obviously, if smaller sites are going to do better, larger sites are going to lose out somewhat.
The other thing is that there seems to have been a major change in the way Panda works. After the first Panda in 2011, sub-domains were introduced so that Google would evaluate each Hubber separately - because at the time, that's how sub-domains worked. That meant the sub-domains of good Hubbers weren't dragged down by the poor quality content of others.
In 2012, Matt Cutts of Google made a video where he said sub-domains would no longer be evaluated individually - but it's very easy to find examples on SEO blogs, where webmasters tested sub-domains vs sub-folders and proved that sub-domains were still being treated separately. Hubbers' experience supported that, because at every Panda update some Hubbers did well while others tanked.
However with Panda 4.1, it seems as though Google have finally implemented what Cutts promised back in 2012. Paul Edmonson has said that virtually ALL sub-domains lost traffic this time, suggesting that HubPages has been given an overall Panda score rather than each sub-domain being separate.
Google shouldn't be the ruler of the internet. I wish there were something that could be changed about that. New internet businesses are controlled by them. Either you prosper or fail depending on Google. That isn't right.
Google provides the best search results according to its users which is why so many people still use Google. While they continue to supply their users with what they want then people will continue to use them and they will maintain their dominance of the internet search game. The recent move by Firefox to use Yahoo rather than Google as its default search engine should help provide extra competition...
But whether us few writers like it or not the users like Google or they would not be using it; so Google are obviously doing something right!!
Most of the issues that have occurred with Google have been driven by us "writers" trying to game the system to get found by Google. So we have driven the many changes to Google that make it harder for us to rank.
That being said; what is wrong with Google promoting dedicated niche sites that have been around for a long time or highly reliable and trusted sites over free to use multiple user sites like HP with a lot of questionable and substandard content? If you were a searcher which site would you rather the search engine gave you?
Google is so computer done. I hate that my tea bag folding pages all rank after the stale websites that have no new material since 2001 when I started the craft.
Till the major Panda hit in 2012 I was first, 2nd or 3rd now all the others are on top with their old graphics and old language not updated for months.
I took drastic measures and am calling my craft flat unit origami because I was so infuriated.
So I know your frustration, Fankle.
Multiple user sites provide a large variety of topics, many of which are written by people who have vast experience in their areas.
There is no reason why writers for these sites should be penalized just because Google does not like where they locate their articles.
It is up the webmasters to assure good quality within their sites, and when this happens, Google should have no argument with such sites. Unfortunately, it is very hard to police those who continue to produce substandard work. It is too bad Google refuses to view subdomains in the same way they view stand alone sites because this would resolve the problem completely.
The problem is, TT2, how do you suggest that Google works out which writers on multi-user sites have "vast experience", and which ones are just keen amateurs, or worse, just writing drivel for money?
Given the millions of articles on the internet, it would be impossible for Google to use humans to make that decision, so they have to use automated systems. They are getting very clever these days, but they are still limited.
Step back and take a hard look at HubPages (or Squidoo, or Wizzley, or any other multiple user site) and ask yourself what percentage of the site is really written by people with "vast experience" of their subject? If you were Google, would you invest your time and money trying to sift through such sites, trying to find the nuggets of gold? Perhaps you would, if there was no alternative - but there ARE alternatives, in the form of thousands of dedicated websites covering the same topics. Those websites are far more likely to be written by specialists and therefore to be more reliable.
Yes it's bad news for amateur writers but I can see exactly why Google is doing it.
Oh, I understand completely why Google is doing this, but I do not believe they are incapable of separating the good from the bad...and whether they like it or not, those good articles do make lots of money for them!
What is the difference between someone who writes with expertise in a niche area on a multi user site and one that writes on his own site?
Are you telling me Google bots are unable to discern, for example, whether someone has written 50 articles on a single topic, while somebody else has only written five or ten? I don't think so.
If they took that one point and made their decisions on that alone, they could easily weed out the amateurs.
Then, if they combined that information with their other guidelines, which they so clearly are able to do, I think this issue would be resolved.
I can see their point when it comes to writing about important issues such as health, but I'm not buying it when it comes, for example, to raising and training dogs.
They favor those big sites because many of them PAY for their ranking, while the others do not. THAT is what I think the underlying issue is here...it's the elephant in the room that we all know is there but nobody talks about.
I totally agree and have been saying this for some time. It is the very reason that the UK is trying to break Google's search engine away from its other businesses, and why they have been sued so many times. Good people are suffering as the result of their antics, but they are so big and so powerful now that it is likely things will continue on as they are. It is very upsetting.
It's not fair, and there must be a way to win. I wrote a highly ranked article and was on first page like many of you were. Now those keywords belong to highly ranked medical sites. I need to get off Google. Any suggestions?
Some writers on this site do ok with medical hubs. If they use good images on Pinterest and do well with SEO, they seem to. make it. I have some of them on my boards and know they keep getting repinned. One hubber had her article picked up by Cosmopolitan magazine. Marisa, is it worth it to keep trying to get it right?
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