Just found a very interesting article about Google Panda:
The author (Josh Bachynski) has gone through thousands of hours of Google Webmaster hangouts conducted by John Mueller (Google employee), plus combed through official announcements by other Googlers at various search engine conferences, to put together a list of dos and donts.
It's long, but well worth the read. If you think you've been hit by Panda, there may be info that can help you.
I love the fact that Matt Cutts wrote the guidelines and put someone else's name on it!
Interesting that "Any Ecommerce or Health or Legal Related sites etc. (YMYL) held to higher standards to protect Users" - which would explain why Hubbers writing about health topics have struggled.
I guess they are worried about users coming to harm because of medical stuff they read online and irate relatives suing.
The bit about multi-topic sites was also concerning. I wonder if hubpages has data about those whose subdomains stick to a single topic doing better than those who write about multiple topics.
They haven't commented since the most recent Panda but up till then, it didn't appear to matter. However with the latest Panda, Google seems to have changed how it treats sub-domains.
It appears that sub-domains are no longer being treated separately, so it's unlikely that specialising will make a huge difference - your sub-domain is still part of a big site that covers a multitude of topics.
Marisa: I buy this except for one thing...some people here are still doing well. They may work harder at marketing, etc...but they nonetheless are still writing under the HP umbrella. So, at this point it is hard to tell what Google is doing.
One thing I do know is that if I owned this site, I would change the parameters and require that those who write here do so in one niche per subdomain. This could really turn things around for us. Of course, many people would have to leave the site and there might not be enough people left to sustain it, but from what I'm seeing, this may be the only way out of this mess.
Who? One thing I've learned is that one person's definition of "doing well" is very different from another's. One person might expect to make payout each month, whereas another would be delighted to make $20 a month - and another would regard $200 a month as a failure. So whenever anyone says they're doing fine, you need to ask them what they mean.
If you mean CrazyHorseGhost, then he is a special case. He uses a multiplicity of methods to drive traffic to his Hubs, besides Google. And he owns several "authority" sites which will now be doing very well on Google, which send traffic to his Hubs. Have we heard from WriterFox as to how his Hubs fared this Panda?
Paul Edmonson said that nearly ALL sub-domains were affected this time.
I think he's doing very well. He posted this a few days ago. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/127001#post2679913
Sure looks like it. However, he is one of those who is a master at SEO. He writes some of the most unique and interesting hubs I've seen...don't know where he gets his photos, but they are spectacular! I've told him many times that I wish I knew what he knows lol!
I've seen his article before, it is worth reading. He also has a couple other interesting articles on his site. The Black Hat article is an interesting read about Google ethics.
Some hubbers have complained lately about medical hubs tanking. We might need to use social sites and others ways to search besides Google. Now we know for sure about Google and it's rules. Thanks for article.
I found Josh Bachynski's Panda 4.1 Leaked Google Do's and Don't's presentation on moz whiteboard Friday. It is worth watching. Some of his points are more directly pointed to businesses but anyone writing online should be familiar with what Google likes and doesn't like.
Somehow I missed this when you first posted it. Yes, it seems that we should have different accounts for each topic we write about. I would have about 5 different accounts or more! I found several things that I don't do. For instance, I haven't placed a copyright notice on my articles. I need to do this.
Thanks for sharing. At least we have some advice to follow.
HubPages provides a copyright notice - and on your blog, the copyright notice is in the footer, so it's displayed with every post.
The issue of whether each sub-domain needs to specialise is a moot point. Certainly, as I'm sure you know, the "rule" that a blog MUST specialise has known for several years. Up until this most recent Panda, it hasn't been the case on HubPages for some mysterious reason.
Now that sub-domains are no longer being treated as completely separate entities, there's even less point in specialising because Google is looking at the whole of HubPages - which is a mixture no matter what you do.
It is not a moot point. Do you have some sort of statistics to back up your statements?
I am still doing well, and would like to hear from others that have a HP account focused on one niche. I certainly did not see that drop in traffic that most of the others were complaining about in the forums.
No, I do not want to put my stats on this open forum, but I earned more last month than ever before, and have about the same number of page views as you mentioned (in my forum post on traffic) that you do.
What I'm saying is that in the past, despite the long-standing advice for bloggers to specialise, it didn't seem to matter whether you specialised or not on HubPages - the specialists didn't seem to do any better or worse than Hubbers who wrote on a variety of subjects.
I must say, I was assuming that the latest Panda update also didn't differentiate between specialists and generalists on HP, because Paul Edmonson said that nearly all sub-domains were hit by the most recent Panda to some extent. It would be interesting to know whether other specialists have survived this Panda better than generalists or not - amidst all the noise about unFeaturing etc, no one has been discussing that.
Marisa, my main account is a ragtag and bobtail mixture of subjects and traffic has held up pretty well over the past few months. It did dip for a week or so, but has improved radically in the last week or so.
To be honest I've been here for a long time so don't fret too much about it anymore, especially after spending nearly a year in the sandbox. I was just so grateful I got any traffic back!
The only thing I have noticed is hubs I've written in the last year are not getting traffic - most of my traffic is coming from older hubs which have always done well. Even with social media gone are the days when I could get a couple of hundred reads in a few days
I tried to bring this subject up on a thread right after the Panda update. The only two people that mentioned still having normal traffic were Patty Inglish and Susanna. I would certainly like to hear from some others too.
Mine went down at first, but is just about up to normal. The traffic still isn't what it was a year ago though, but not bad.
My main niche in my account isn't doing as well as it did a year ago, so I don't know about specializing, but I do have a mixture of articles.
If you had a subdomain just for your crochet patterns, would there be more than 100 of them? I do not know how TT2 is going to do on her specialized RV subdomain since there are less than 100, and I think the traffic picks up (Google sees you as an authority?) when you have more pages.
I have less than 100 pages on crochet here at Hubpages. My website has in the 100's of pages and it is doing about 3 times the income or more than here, probably 7 times more for November. Maybe that is the clue. My cleaning articles of all things are doing better here than they were.
One of the objectives of the most recent Panda was to give a fairer chance to small and medium sized websites, so your site probably benefited from that, as did mine. Google likes sites which offer a lot of information on a single topic.
The point with HubPages is that when HubPages introduced sub-domains, Google treated sub-domains as completely separate sites - but it no longer does. So trying to set up a specialist sub-domain on HP is never going to be as effective as setting up a standalone blog.
There are numerous writers who do really well here with fewer than 100 articles, so I'm not sure that the number of hubs you have is as important as the quality of your work. What good is it to have 100 hubs if you are only getting traffic on 25 of them!
My traffic has not returned yet, but I am still making payout every month. I also have to take into consideration that HP lost almost half of its ranking with Google right after I lost 90% of my own. Furthermore, it is possible that once the RV season starts again, views will return.
Having said that, I have decided to start a second site here as Dreamworker about a totally different topic "just in case". However, I must say that I much prefer writing in one niche...it makes things much easier in many ways.
I have no idea if 100 is the "magic" number. I have read that, but it was put up by someone just guessing. Writer Fox mentioned one time that he thought it was 60.
If 100 is correct, and you are only getting traffic on 25 of them, it is my understanding that those 25 are much better placed on the search engines, and thus the traffic to them is much better. As I mentioned, however, this is just a guess.
On a side note: I hope Dreamworker takes off for you. Let us know.
Yes, the 100 was a guess. I'd be more inclined to trust WF's figure because he has the knowledge to make his guess more educated!
I think it's pretty normal for a few of your Hubs to get most of your traffic. It certainly is for me.
According to WF, writing more than 64 hubs is a waste of time because that is the maximum number Google bots crawl. I may be misquoting the exact reason, but I know 64 is what he stated.
He has fewer than that and got a million hits his first 8 months here...so I do not think arbitrary numbers mean much.
I had 147 before I changed my site here, but the great majority of views came from fewer than 10 of my articles.
Thanks for the good wishes. I suspect it will be awhile before Google catches up with my new site, but I am enjoying writing there.
Patty and Susana are both generalists, and so is CMHypno who just said her traffic has held up. So that doesn't suggest you need to specialise here.
I got hit hard before Panda and was never bothered by Panda when it did show up.
Barbara, if you haven't read the OP's first link, it's a more thorough look at what he presented on the moz link. The moz link includes a video which I find interesting to watch along with the transcript. His condensed list of four don'ts are important to us, I think.
1- don't repeat keywords
2- don't make seo content (exclusively)
3- don't forget your 'tie' (proofread!!)
4- don't interfere usage with ads (pop ups, ads placed within content, etc.)
Like Barbara Kay my traffic dropped 40% after Panda, but has returned to pre-Panda levels. However, my pet goods sales site took a hit and has yet to recover.
Question: Is it true that after fixing all errors and such in Webmaster tools, do you have to wait until the next Panda update to recover, or will Google see the corrections on the next crawl and readjust your ranking based on the improvements?
If it was given a low Panda score, then my understanding is that it can't get a new score until the next Panda run.
The errors in Webmaster tools may not be the reason for the hit, though. It may just be that your site doesn't have enough content or that it hasn't been updated in a while. I'm not sure I understand why you have separate sites for your collie breeding and your blog (and presumably your pet goods sales) when they are all on the same subject? If you consolidated them all on to one big site, you'd have a much more authoritative offering which would likely attract a lot more traffic. Using Wordpress, it's easy to run a blog, shop and informational site all in one.
Waiting for the next Panda blows. My sales were going great in August early September, then they dropped off sharply.
You are right - I wish I had known more when I first started all of this. Right now I am with Volusion for the sales site, blogger for blog, HP for hubs. How would I go about consolidating them without losing the traffic each has built up?
What does Wordpress charge for the sales cart? Volusion is sticking me for about $140.00 per month. Does WP have an import from Volusion or would I have to enter everything all over again. Yuck
It's easy to import your Blogger posts to a Wordpress site, then you can create a redirect so that people who visit your Blogger blog will be redirected to the new location.
On Wordpress you would use WooCommerce to run your store. It's free, though you'll probably have to buy a few extras to make it work (say, $150), but that's a one-off, upfront cost.
However, WooCommerce is not as fast or flexible as a dedicated shopping site - it's intended for a website that wants to run a store on the side, rather than a serious retailer. I would need to understand more about your business to help you decide whether it's right for you. For larger stores, you can link your Volusion store and your Wordpress blog:
http://wpsites.net/blogging/how-to-add- … ion-store/
Thank you Marisa! What would be left at blogger then just redirects, or would I leave my old unloved content behind there?
I have about 500-600 products on my site, so I think Woo commerce won't work for me.
Your Blogger blog would still be there, but it would become invisible because everything would be redirecting to Wordpress. Your "unloved content" should be posted on your Wordpress site.
WooCommerce can handle 500-600 products, but it is a bit slower than Volusion - so if you're making enough sales to justify the cost of Volusion, it's worth sticking with it.
Would a bunch of 301 redirects be damaging as it was for the Squidoo transfers, or do they have multiple redirects in a kind of a chain of 301s.
What's damaging for Squids is not the number of articles redirected - that's not a problem at all. It's the fact that some individual lenses have a chain of redirects already, from when changes were made to Squidoo's structure, then they collect another redirect to HubPages, and if they are made EC that's another link in the chain. Chains are the problem.
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