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Traffic decline of HubPages is simply amazing

  1. Buildreps profile image95
    Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

    Just checked it on Alexa.com, and realized which (alleged) effect the Panda updates of Google has on traffic. Although I'm still happy with the traffic my Hubs have, are the foundations increasingly eroding.

    Are there any ideas to change this trend? http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/hubpages.com

    1. Matthew Meyer profile image78
      Matthew Meyerposted 15 months ago in reply to this

      Alexa's information is an estimate.
      This is more accurate and shows an uptick for the last few days.

      1. relache profile image87
        relacheposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        As someone who has been with HubPages for the entire below photo, and who is comparing the traffic and CPMs of the two red dot points in time, I find the presentation of a few day traffic uptick an ineffective rebuttal to the claim that HubPages traffic is in an amazing decline.


      2. the rawspirit profile image88
        the rawspiritposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I wish I had a better understanding of this. I have really just started writing and I hope to build readership. Thanks for the insights.

        1. ziogio profile image61
          ziogioposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Same as you... hope it will get better smile

      3. peachpurple profile image79
        peachpurpleposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        i never took notice of the Quantas ranking. All i know is that stupid panda is making a wreck over the traffic

      4. promisem profile image95
        promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Alexis is highly inaccurate.

        1. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Thanks for joining in promisem. You're right about Alexis. This is already tackled by one of the staff members in this thread. The questions raised in this thread led in my case to great insights. I started to implement them right now smile

          1. promisem profile image95
            promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            I understand, Buildreps, I was just throwing in some support for the other comment. For the record, you can still grow your audience even if the site in total is declining. That has been my experience since joining HP, although I do get even more growth when HP is on an upswing.

      5. KenDeanAgudo profile image73
        KenDeanAgudoposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Well, no doubts my earnings simply dropped too.

    2. psycheskinner profile image83
      psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago

      If the Quantcast data is accurate is suggests most traffic is from mobile web, which Hubpages is not optimized for?

      Or am I reading that wrong?

      1. Matthew Meyer profile image78
        Matthew Meyerposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        HubPages does receive more traffic from mobile devices than desktop.
        This is the general trend of pretty much all websites.

        The site has been updated for mobile devices and you can see this reflected both by viewing your Hubs on a mobile device and using the mobile preview option in the HubTool.

      2. incomeguru profile image82
        incomeguruposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Hubpages is optimized for mobile devices. I just checked my sub-donmain on google tool and it was mobile friendly. cool

        1. psycheskinner profile image83
          psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          I was alluding to the fact that it is not optimised for use to use it from mobile devices. But I suppose that is a separate issue.

      3. the rawspirit profile image88
        the rawspiritposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I think you are right. Hub pages has to optimize the site for mobile as that is where the growth is.  I just recently re-optimize all my other sites and my stats increased dramtically.

        1. promisem profile image95
          promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          You might try using Google's PageSpeed to see how well your pages are optimized.

    3. chef-de-jour profile image93
      chef-de-jourposted 15 months ago

      Interesting stats from Quantcast - 24.2 million unique views for HP in a month which is some going. And looking at the steep rise of that blue line a pretty rapid increase over the last few weeks/months which augers well for the short term future at least.

      I guess that HP is still finding its feet following the Squidoo deal, the transition to mobile and algorithm hits but I'd say the prognosis is not too grim?

    4. Len Cannon profile image90
      Len Cannonposted 15 months ago

      It's better to check how it did this year to date rather than last week. Compared to a similar date in June of 2014, HubPages is down about 10% and that's including the uptick this week that Mathew Meyer mentioned.

      So, uh, still a downward trend but not a plummet.

    5. WryLilt profile image88
      WryLiltposted 15 months ago

      When was the the first time I saw a "The sky is falling on our heads" traffic post? Oh yeah, somewhere back around my first week on Hubpages in 2010. Still waiting for that sky to fall, but in the meantime I'm sunbaking.

      1. psycheskinner profile image83
        psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Well, to be fair most of us have seen a drastic drop in per-page traffic over that time.

        1. WryLilt profile image88
          WryLiltposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          True. Traffic has changed. But I hope that in the time many of the hubbers who've experienced that have been here, they've both learned how to writer better (SEO wise) and have also expanded to multiple traffic sources as well as having more than one basket for their eggs.

      2. Suzanne Day profile image98
        Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I hope you're sunbaking somewhere warmer than I am - in Melbourne it was 2 degrees one morning this week....brrrr

        1. WryLilt profile image88
          WryLiltposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          I'm in Qld, we had a freezing weekend but now it seems to be warming up again!

    6. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      I believe directly that Quantcast is more reliable in measuring traffic, because it separates computers (online) from mobile internet. Although this doesn’t mean that mobile internet is about 60% of the traffic. It might be even higher. Many people with mobile devices use their wifi when they're at home. Isn't it so that they then switch from mobile to online user?

      And then rises the question: who is reading an article of let's say 1000 to 1500 words on a small screen? Sometimes with even tables, videos and so on in them. I think no sane person likes to do that.

      Isn't it so that the whole concept of HP is invented in a time that mobile devices to browse the internet were hardly around? And if that is true, would the penalizations of the Google updates a logical result of a concept that is outdated in regard to the devices?

      I saw recently someone saying that Google only promotes websites with official journalists on them. But that might be only an 'outer experience' of the phenomenon, because websites with professional journalists on them know to write much more succinctly about volatile topics. They know that people have a short concentration curve.

      So, what I'm suggesting now might not make me popular.
      1) Authors on HP have to pass bootcamp (already present)
      2) Authors have a grade 0-100 (this Hubber score is already present)
      3) Authors with a score of beneath xx points become unpublished, together with all their hubs
      4) Hub scores and Hubber scores are structured on another footing
      5) The way how Hubs are being measured is also structured on another footing

      This could mean that some (or maybe much more) of my Hubs have to be restructured totally, or that I maybe fall from the Hubpages platform when I'm not good enough. But isn't that the only way to change a concept in a changing environment?

      Note: This almost almost sound-like vibration pattern of traffic on Quantcast (with a few peaks in it) has a frequency of one week. On Saturdays and Sundays are people less active on the internet. Most visitors are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.


    7. LeanMan profile image81
      LeanManposted 15 months ago

      With so much crap and pages that just repeat the same information over and over again in a different order on the internet: how is a search engine supposed to discover which are the good pages?

      "Everyone" knows how to target keywords, build backlinks and a host of other measures all designed to game google and the other search engines to get traffic. So when google comes across hundreds of pages all targeting the same keywords all with reasonably perfect on page SEO and link profiles which should it promote to the top of the searches??

      The page that is on a site dedicated to the subject of the search that has been around for several years, has a respected and authoritative author and receives traffic for many other related searches?

      - or -

      A page on a site that targets thousands of different keyword search phrases across many different subjects, used by thousands of different users that knowingly targets keywords purely to gain traffic to make advertising revenue and product sales?

      Which would YOU want to be presented with at the top of the search listings?? Which is most likely to have the best page with all other things to do with SEO etc being equal?

      Google is an algorithm - there is not some guy sitting there saying "OK - its on Hubpages buried under a ton of crap but that is actually a good page so lets promote it!"

      Look at your competition - if it is on better sites than HP and it is well written then you are not likely to outrank it from here.

      That being said - HP is still dragging in millions of views every month.

      If you are serious to get traffic and you have a niche area that you write in - start your own site(s).

      Good luck.

      1. alexadry profile image95
        alexadryposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Leanman, it makes sense for Google to choose websites that specialize in a niche area, but something surprising is happening to some of my Hubs. Many "oldies", I am talking about articles that were there about 5-7 years ago and updated on a routine basis that are being outranked by a website  which is quite similar to Hubpages in that it offers articles written by users over a variety of topics. I am curious to know why Google prefers these articles rather than my Old Hubpages articles that were there first many years ago? I am totally confused.

        1. pumpkincat210 profile image87
          pumpkincat210posted 15 months ago in reply to this

          If you are updating on a regular basis then the other articles must have a better back end..
          for example good backlinks, page load speed, (some other things that you cannot control because you're using hubpages and not writing your own code). but if the other site is similar they may not be able to edit this code either..
          have to used google webmaster tools to tag your article and also fetch/render/submit so the bot can recrawl it?

    8. psycheskinner profile image83
      psycheskinnerposted 15 months ago

      I can't speak for everyone but I do indeed have several of my own sites, and have redistributed most of my efforts there--in direct proportion to where my earnings are now coming from. But maintaining some material here as part of a sustainable diversity strategy given how volatile the online situation is and the considerable sunk costs of having over 100 hubs.

      Most of us who are capable of speaking about this subject analytically do in fact modify our behavior accordingly, I am not sure why anyone would assume otherwise.

      1. WryLilt profile image88
        WryLiltposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Well said.

      2. promisem profile image95
        promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I agree and do the exact same thing, although lately I'm getting more of a boost from audience growth on HP and a related increase in revenue.

        That's why I think it's important that people don't worry about HP's overall audience and focus on how they can grow their own.

    9. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      I have the rather quirky sounding domain (it's still empty), and having your own site is a good idea of course, although I like the format and editing tools of HP so much that I still haven't found enough stimulation (and reasons) to move the hubs to another domain.

      Thanks for the input...

    10. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      The question might be if any sane person likes to read a Hub of let's say 1500 words on a mobile device. Who knows someone like this?

      1. Chriswillman90 profile image91
        Chriswillman90posted 15 months ago in reply to this

        That has been a minor issue of mine. Are people really going to spend time reading a very long hub? I usually aim between 1300 and 1500 words though it varies on the upper end of the spectrum.

      2. Suzanne Day profile image98
        Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        It depends what it is. If you are scientifically delving into a subject or have a meaty subject to offer, a longer hub with lots of photos is good. If you are answering a simple question, then no, smaller is better. Plus, think about all the times you read on your mobile - if the writer is engaging, you'll read more than you think you do....if the writer and content is boring, you'll go away....

        1. makingamark profile image78
          makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Well said.

          This obsession with "the only thing that really counts is the number of words" just demonstrates ignorance of how different people read and is ultimately self-defeating.

      3. Kylyssa profile image95
        Kylyssaposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        If you aren't much of a reader, pieces of writing longer than the blurb on the back of a bottle of Tums won't appeal to you no matter what device you use to read them. If you enjoy reading, you'll read off a screen the size of a bottle of Tums if it's all you have.

        Next time you are out in public, make a note of how many people you see fiddling with small tablet PCs. Those are almost all phones. They work great for reading of all sorts. I mostly use mine to read novels and research material.

        Modern tablet phones have screens as large as or larger than proprietary eBook readers of the previous decade. I bought myself a used 7" phablet off eBay in January to replace my dying eBook reader. When I'm too sick to sit at my desk, I edit my hubs on my phablet and compose new work using a version of MS Word for Android on it, too.

        People hold phones closer to their faces than the distance they'd sit from a stationary desktop monitor and that makes up for many size issues. A phone is usually held by hand, as close to the face as a paperback book.

      4. RonElFran profile image98
        RonElFranposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I use my Kindle every day to read the Washington Post. Earlier this week I read a story on internet security ("A Flaw in the Internet's Design"). It was after (and only after) I finished that I realized the article was very comprehensive and longer than most. Turns out it's length is 5136 words. But I didn't notice that at all while reading it. I was too engrossed in the subject.

        At the time I was writing my latest hub, and with all the talk about people not reading long articles on mobile devices, I was a little perturbed that I couldn't seem to shorten it and still tell the story I needed to tell. After my revelation with the WaPo article, I happily wrote what the hub needed to say, all 3,787 words of it, without worrying about whether mobile readers will read it. If they are interested in the subject, and if I've done a good job of presenting it, they will.

        1. Jason Marovich profile image88
          Jason Marovichposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Yup, I have to agree.  While the ad placement on mobile is a little annoying, if the content is what I need or want, I'm still going to read it.

      5. promisem profile image95
        promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        In journalism, the concept of the inverted pyramid says that you put the most important information at the top of the article in case people exit from it before reading the whole thing. Same concept applies here.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image91
          Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Yes, the inverted pyramid should apply to Hubs, great point.

        2. the rawspirit profile image88
          the rawspiritposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Great advice... I have missed doing this several times. I am going back over my hubs and doing some rewriting. Thanks

    11. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      Thanks Suzanne. Maybe I should explain more in depth my logical insights.

      I'm convinced that HP's growing problem is that Hubbers hope that serious lengthy articles are read on tiny screens (that's the fact online authors increasingly have to deal with). That might be the case for a few persons, but not for the masses. Because these devices are shared by other applications like FB, Twitter, Whatsapp, etc. When a friend sends an app, while reading this lengthy article, this new impulse is preferred above the lengthy article...at least for most people.

      The more time a customer spends on one website page, the larger the chance this person might click on an add.

      Google tracks very accurately the average session length of every page. The Google algorithms are ultimately money making machines, preferring websites that have less engagement (i.e. less add clicks) are lower in ranking.

      1. promisem profile image95
        promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        It's also possible that HP is getting a lot more junk articles lately, which is dragging down its search rankings.

        Regardless, the Google algorithms constantly change, which means HP will bounce up and down. The HP folks will adopt the site to those changes, as they have been doing for years.

      2. promisem profile image95
        promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        If you use Google Analytics on your HP pages, check out the mobile report. In my case, the metrics show that mobile users aren't as engaged, but it doesn't seem to be a serious problem.

      3. the rawspirit profile image88
        the rawspiritposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        This would be more than a summary... What if we write a condensed version of the article in the first capsule with a max of 500 words, then write the complete article and make it as long as necessary.

    12. makingamark profile image78
      makingamarkposted 15 months ago

      Traffic and length of stay very much depend on whether people are seeking a quick answer to a specific question or wanting to know more generally about a topic.  Also whether or not a site is trying to be all things to all people.

      Those wanting a quick answer want a very fast 'in and out' unadulterated by "LOOK AT ME" adverts. If a site doesn't look like it's going to deliver then it will be ignored at search results stage or within seconds of arriving on a hub.

      Those wanting more information on a topic are prepared to read more and linger longer - but want great navigation to get them around a site with highly related information (i.e. clearly signals related information rather than topics which are 'off topic').

      Hopefully the new approach to 'authors' might help with this.

      However I'd just like my content seen by people. Which is why I'm taking my 'long content' on specific topics with a niche audience which has been successful in the past but is currently unfeatured/unpublished on HubPages and I'm putting it on new websites. On the new sites I then separate out the content into very specific and highly niche pages - which are very mobile friendly and  also optimised for that very specific interest - and allow people to see what other very related topics are also available. It works well with mobile as well as desktop searches.

      It's also a model which worked extremely well at Squidoo where I wrote lenses in clusters around a niche topic with very specific sub-niches. It's also working well on the new websites and the traffic is great and of course the content is now again available to those doing Google searches which is how I've always generated most of my traffic.

      The question is WHY did the HubPages Rules not want the content which generates a lot of Google search traffic and satisfaction both before and after HubPages.

      I don't think the decline in traffic is all due to Panda/Penguin/Google's latest whatever.

      I think it's down to a lot of people (mostly from Squidoo) removing content from HubPages because they know it can get a better audience and generate more traffic and better length of stay elsewhere - and does NOT fall foul of Google.  I can't honestly say I've seen anything much which indicates HubPages has recognised this as an issue or tackled it as yet.

      1. Buildreps profile image95
        Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        This sounds very plausible as well, Makingamark. We are more or less guessing, and I hope that HP knows the answer...

        1. Suzanne Day profile image98
          Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          If traffic is down, I'm guessing it's summer and everyone's outside and not at their computers - this happens every year - further drops I don't know about. I cannot emphasise how important engagement is if you want to keep the reader on the page. Polls, photos etc only work so much, you need to have a good sense of humour or satire, dramatics or something going for you if you write long hubs (think of your favourite newspaper editorial, and how they kept you reading).

          Long hubs are better because they get more traffic, but they have to be done right. I have to say the level of engagement found in people's writing alone (without counting the engagement toys) here on Hubpages is fairly low and only a handful of people I've read seem to have mastered it - eg Billybuc is the first that comes to mind.

          To master it (for anyone who wants to know) - write like you are talking to someone. Are they yawning with boredom or are they mesmerised and believe you? Read it out and check your "imaginary" audience is curious and interested.....not yawning and rushing off for a beer (assume they have a vague interest in the topic). If you need proof, get a friend or family to give you the honest truth about whether your writing is boring or interesting. Tell them you want them to be very honest with you and not worry about feelings etc.

          PS - I suspect there's a pile of unengaging sludge trudging through the HP gates daily, while good stuff is caught in filtering......don't know what HP are doing about that....but I do know that if there's too much sludge and not enough gold, there would be a long term problem.

          1. Mark Ewbie profile image84
            Mark Ewbieposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            I printed off my best page and showed it to Julie - my next door neighbour who is probably about thirty-seven.

            She said it was great.

            I told her they made nearly a whole dollar a day and she seemed to change her opinion.


            1. Suzanne Day profile image98
              Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              LOL some people really hate success!!!

      2. promisem profile image95
        promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I do this sort of thing for a living, and most of the sites that allow this kind of content have gone belly up. If they can find something better, I would love to know about it!

        1. makingamark profile image78
          makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          what kind of content are you referring to?

          I didn't refer to any type of content so I'm very puzzled by your comment. For the record I write about various aspects of Art and the Art Business.

          Incidentally - with reference to you doing this professionally and having a dedicated website - I took a look at it. I noticed your articles don't have a date on them. I have to say I rarely read articles on current/technical topics if they don't have a date attached. They can so easily be years old.......

          1. promisem profile image95
            promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            I was referring to your comment that people are moving their content elsewhere. What I mean is that many paying, general content sites like HubPages have declined badly or have shut down, like Squidoo.

            If you can find paying sites that accept your articles, then that's great news. But I haven't run into many people who say that anymore.

            1. makingamark profile image78
              makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              The people from Squidoo who are moving content are doing two things (maybe three)

              Content which is doing nothing at Hubpages is being moved to the smaller sites like Wizzley and parked there to see if it fares better there.  Some have seen their income picking up nicely. In other words nothing wrong with the content - it's the site it's on that matters.

              Most who KNOW they have got successful content are moving it to (2) their own websites or (3) their own blogs. The premise being they aren't getting their fingers burned again by people who don't keep on top of technological and social media change.

              These are typically people who have always written around specific topics and therefore have got masses of content which could easily go on a niche website with super-niche pages which work well with longtail/low competition search queries.

              These are also people, like myself, who have often got a following so telling people where your content is now helps build traffic from the start. Also Google knows we are OK authors - and the credibility of the author definitely counts for something.

              I can quote you the stats for the last three months for one of the sites I've built (published in April) which is very niche and consequently has a fairly limited audience
              * bounce rate: c.30%
              * average session duration 2 minutes+
              * viewed 3.5 pages per session
              * 25k page views by 5k visitors
              * average page views vary between 250 and 600 per day

              My own view is that putting several very long hubs together on one site creates a heavier weight site likely to attract more visitors. At the same time better organisation of information makes it more accessible and easier to find which in turn helps keeps people on the site because all the content on the many different pages is related.

              1. promisem profile image95
                promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                That sounds like a reasonable strategy. Just as a point of reference, if I post an article on HP that doesn't do well after a certain amount of time, I also move it to one of my own sites, my point being that Squidoo authors are not alone in doing it.

                Microsites can be a mixed blessing. Google knows why people create them and will reduce search rankings and AdSense revenue if they don't have content that is continually refreshed.  So the amount of time people have available to put into them limits their SEO value.

                I struggle with these kinds of questions every day. It's a tough environment and getting tougher.

                1. makingamark profile image78
                  makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  So you need to write on a topic which has new and fresh content coming along all the time.....

                  I just popped a blog on one of my new sites (and not on the other) and it's very clear that a linked blog can be very helpful in keeping a site updated.

                  I'm not doing any more updating than I've always done. I'm just doing it in a way which suits me much better and which I KNOW will get even better traction and traffic over time.

                  Nearly ten years ago I built a blog which now gets well over half a million pageviews a year and I know from experience how long things take to take off and how to work in efficient and effective way.

              2. Solaras profile image93
                Solarasposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                How many articles do you have on this site and what are the average words counts on these articles?

                1. makingamark profile image78
                  makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  I don't have articles. It's not an article site.

                  It's a site which provides information and resources for artists. I always created compendiums of information - and that's what I've transferred.

                  It has topics which are ALL related to a major niche topic with a significant but niche audience. Within the site there are then sub-niche topics oriented around topics I know people search for.  I'm very pleased with how all the information is now much better organised and much more transparent and easier to access.

                  The vast majority of the content came from lenses I built at Squidoo and which then transferred to HubPages - and some of them got unpublished because they had more than two links to the same domain.

                  I know from experience with my blog that Google does NOT penalise for more than two links to the same domain in a blog post because my blog posts consistently make page 1 of Google.

                  So as soon as the transferred hubs became unpublished it was merely a matter of time before I took the content elsewhere and proved the point to myself all over again.

                  1. Solaras profile image93
                    Solarasposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                    I am not sure of the semantics - I was asking how many pages or topics might one find on this new site in total, that garners 250-600 pageviews a day.

                    1. makingamark profile image78
                      makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                      OK - well it has:
                      * one major topic
                      * seven sub-topics
                      * 54 pages + essential admin pages (privacy policy etc) - however bear in mind that some of this is highly specialised for what is already a very specialised niche audience.
                      * derived from what were three very long compendium lenses/hubs plus new content (mainly lots of new images given the better access/navigation and not having everything on one page).  When I say long one of them was 18k+ words and the other two were 7k+ words + images + videos

                      I've got more content to add in some of which is currently in very related hubs which I link to (like I said I build content in clusters). However I'm transferring content slowly so as to gain better traction with and traffic from Google.

                      I also provide fresh content based on current news via the blog and this is also building a steady audience via subscribers to the feed (which I'm monitoring via feedburner) - which I've always regarded as the key way to build a long term following for ongoing content changes.

                      At present the Hubs which have not yet transferred indicate that the new website is also feeding steady traffic back to HubPages.

                      How fast I move content depends entirely on how well HubPages performs.

                      I made an archive record of traffic data for my core lenses before they left Squidoo. Plus I've got the record of how well they did on HubPages.  To say that the traffic on the new site vastly exceeds that which I was getting on either Squidoo or HubPages is an understatement. I can only conclude that people prefer specialist microsites by independent authors with "street cred".

                      I've always felt that sites like Squidoo and HubPages would do so much better if they split their content between topic focused sites e.g. Travel, Kids, Recipes etc. Squidoo tried to do this and had only limited success.

                      What I don't understand is why individual authors can have much better success when publishing independently. I think the answer must relate to whether and if they are "experts" on their topics.

                      In other words if you write about a wide variety of topics then HubPages could well be the right place to be since it is also a site which covers a wide range of topics.  However if you are an "expert" and have lots of content on your specialist subject thenit might well be worth experiementing with independent publishing.

    13. Biomedical profile image79
      Biomedicalposted 15 months ago

      Ah... Now I understand why my most recent hub was not featured, and hidden from search... and why a very minor edit to a well-trafficked hub made it unlisted. HP must have changed the rules to meet the new requirements...
      Or, it may be the garbage brought over from Squidoo. There was some real garbage there, a lot of New Age mumbo jumbo.

      1. makingamark profile image78
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        @ Biomedical - I'm sure you're NOT suggesting that ALL the Squidoo sites were garbage - because if you are you are insulting a lot of very good authors. Maybe think a little more carefully about how you make such statements in future?

        Many former lensmasters came across because we understood all the published lenses would be transferred - but that HubPages would not transfer all the ones (i.e. ranked 80,000+ - which certainly included some rubbish) which were invisible to Google.

        It then became very apparent that HubPages transferred an awful lot more than they indicated.

        Plus sites which were published and did well on Squidoo (half of mine were in the top 10,000 with the bulk of traffic coming via Google) found that HubPages did not look so kindly on some of the transferred sites. For example, mine are long compendium sites which contain more than two links to the same domain. HubPages says this is not OK.

        Fortunately Google doesn't run with the same rules as HubPages. Hence when I place the same content on another website I get lots of traffic via Google from all over the world. Not such a rubbish result!

        On the topic of summer - yes there is always a dip in traffic in article sites during the summer. However I don't see that dip in traffic in the stats for my other blogs and websites to anything like the same extent - which makes me think it's maybe more to do with HubPages authors being on holiday...

        Just a  thought!

        1. jodijoyous profile image61
          jodijoyousposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Well, this may (or may not) explain it, but Panda started (slowly) rolling out over the weekend.

          http://searchengineland.com/google-pand … ths-225850

        2. Biomedical profile image79
          Biomedicalposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          @MM: Your reading comprehension skills do not fail you. Your surety is not misplaced. You will find the word "some" in my statements.

          I left Squidoo for Hubpages long before Squidoo failed... because of traffic. Both sites made significant changes for Google updates. But, HP handled theirs professionally. Squidoo responded high-handed against the people who were making them money.

          I realized HP has better management. So, I moved.

          As you say, I am currently getting much more traffic and income from my blogs than I am from Hubpages. But, HP is still a winner and a great resource for writers. The community and feedback are valuable components.

      2. Suzanne Day profile image98
        Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I was thinking more about sludge being from a host of people who cannot write English and don't want to learn or improve, as well as a host of people hell bent on choosing the most boring/promotional topics in the world to write about (aka the hot topics of 12 years ago such as basic SEO).

    14. retrojoe profile image89
      retrojoeposted 15 months ago

      This goes back to buildreps noting how 1300+ words for an article is too much for a mobile device such as a medium sized tablet (probably 900+ for a phone).. 

      I not only post mini-articles or hubs here on hp, but do the same on mixcloud.com (also as retrojoe).  I used to post nearly 80 minute long mixes (capable of just fitting on to a CD), but now am satisfied with around 38-58 minutes (or a little more than half of a CD on average).  I even post mini mixes of around 22-37 minutes because, I have found that, on average, people spend about 22 minutes listening to my mixes before going elsewhere (my most successful mix is a 22 minute mix of ten 'B' sides from Elvis Presley's early years; which unfortunately can only be heard outside the U.S.).  This isn't because they necessarily didn't like my mix but, more likely, because their attention span didn't last long enough to get through it successfully.

      The old rules for an ideal hub length are a bit dated at hp in my opinion.  Because of the boom in mobile device use on the net, combined with a short attention span for most people (especially for complex issues that I relish writing about); being word efficient should be stressed more than length.  My own general rule is that a hub should be at least 700 words and 1200+ is pushing it.  Unfortunately, I may be penalized with lower scores by hp as a result of my using my rules instead of the rules of hp.

      1. Solaras profile image93
        Solarasposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        My best performing hub is 2800+ words, the fourth best is 2500+ words. In between at #2 and #3 spots the hubs are 700-800 words.  Both lengths seem to be working well given that they are at the top of their searches - although these topics are not searched for in huge volume.  These 4 hubs generate about 600-800 (weekends are much better for me) pageviews a day.

        I think if you have good subtitles, people can easily navigate on their mobile devices to get to the section they are most interested in.

    15. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      Has anyone of you, regardless what you're positing, actually read an article of 2000+ words on an Iphone or Samsung phone?

      1. Marisa Wright profile image91
        Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        You're forgetting that we have two different masters to satisfy.

        One, we need to make our readers happy. You are right, people's concentration spans have dropped and they are looking for instant gratification, and stuff that's easy to read on their iphone. 

        However, unless we can please the search engines, we will get no readers.   The search engines are looking for good, natural SEO.  As we can no longer keyword-stuff, the only way to get a good selection of keywords into an article is to make it LONG. 

        So you need both.  The challenge is to create a long post for the search engines that will also satisfy the short-attention-span reader. I do feel HubPages needs to create better navigation within Hubs that will work for the mobile reader.

        1. WryLilt profile image88
          WryLiltposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Very true.

          Personally, I use two things to get around the long article issue though (well on my own sites mostly, although it has worked in the past on HP).

          1. LSI. You can put a LOT of synonyms and very tight to topic content into 250 words. Trust me.

          2. Low competition question titles. There are SO many questions people type into Google, easily findable through Google suggest, ripe for the picking. No competition. I think one of my shortest website articles on one of those topics is 150 words - sure, doesn't work for every topic, but sometimes there's a very simple answer.

          1. Suzanne Day profile image98
            Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            Good tip there. Maybe also having a 500 word summary with the complexities separated underneath the summary to cater for everyone? Haven't tried it yet but will consider it when I get round to writing another hub.

          2. Marisa Wright profile image91
            Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            ....but on your own websites, the length/keyword richness of individual posts is less critical, because the entire website is about one subject and Google is looking at the whole website as well.

            1. WryLilt profile image88
              WryLiltposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              Very true. Although my hub about Julia Gillard's huge earlobes still gets traffic. big_smile

              1. NateB11 profile image91
                NateB11posted 15 months ago in reply to this

                Great info from both you and Marisa. Especially about LSI and Marisa's comment about our own sites which focus on specific subjects. Making me think I need to focus more on my own sites, as Lean Man suggested.

        2. makingamark profile image78
          makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          I find an index to content on every page of my websites enables people to access content more easily. Such a pity we can't add in better navigation to long hubs.

        3. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          That's very true, although I have the feeling (I can't prove it) that they're somehow closely connected to eachother.

          Your second point that Hubpages could improve navigation within Hubs is something that should be picked up asap.

      2. makingamark profile image78
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this


      3. Suzanne Day profile image98
        Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I have read lengthy articles on phones, but they'd better be good and I like reading plus I'm patient. A rare event maybe, in today's world?

        1. Kylyssa profile image95
          Kylyssaposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          I doubt it's rare at all. Lots of people enjoy reading. I think people forget that readers are our target demographic. Why bother trying to write for people who don't enjoy reading? It's like trying to write music for people who don't like music.

          If you really want to serve viewers who don't enjoy reading, you'd be much better off creating videos, podcasts, photo tutorials, or short comic strips rather than trying to write articles for them.

    16. Mark Johann profile image64
      Mark Johannposted 15 months ago

      I guess this is normal in many situations. I have been frustrated but in time traffic will come back. Sad to say mine has not gotten those good traffic but I don't lose hope. Someday if I will be active, I may have good traffic.

    17. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      As far as I understand is that 'mobile' (in the Quantcast data) means the type of connection, and that are mainly phones and a much smaller percentage of tablets since they mostly only connect through Wifi. It might be interesting to know if a tablet is recognized as a tablet when it's connected via a mobile phone (tethering). Who knows this?

      This source tells us the average reading times:
      - Mobile phones: 3.5 minutes
      - Tablets: 4.6 minutes
      - Desktop: 5.5 minutes

      The average reading speed is about 200 words per minute, which makes it likely that Hubs larger than about 600 to 1000 words are not read in its totality, no matter what your personal behaviour is.

      This source states: The implications are clear - if you're not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, or you're not providing a satisfactory mobile experience you will miss out compared to competitors who are.

      The same source shows that the vertical screens (phones) have impact on the advertisement bars and that there is a huge missing opportunity on mobile advertising. For me, personally, income is no driver to write, but this I think it matters for most of us.

      Most phones, also the bigger sizes, independent of the distance to your face, are used for Social Media and in most cases when there's a new impulse (a message), their attention's gone. Witnessing the reading time that seems to be the case.

      On which devices Hubs are read might depend on the subjects. For example, a Hub about J.S. Bach (you know this guy born in 1685), is most likely to be read by an older public. Most elderly won't read a Hub on a smart phone, although they can be interested in reading your Hub about J.S. Bach.

      In all cases it looks like that Hubs must get smaller instead of larger to be more successful, and this might be contradictory to the tactics of Hubpages, since large Hubs get higher scores.

      Simplicity proves mastery - short is hot!

      1. Solaras profile image93
        Solarasposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        "This source tells us the average reading times:
        - Mobile phones: 3.5 minutes
        - Tablets: 4.6 minutes
        - Desktop: 5.5 minutes"

        This is an average. Some click away after reading 2 sentences others stay for 8 minutes.  If you have something they wanted to know about, and it is concise and well written, they will stay to get all of the information you provided.

        1. promisem profile image95
          promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Just as an FYI, over the last 30 days, my Hubs in total have an average "session duration" of:

          - 51 seconds for mobile
          - 50 seconds for desktop
          - 1 minute and 29 seconds for tablet

          According to Google Analytics. Folks might want to check their own numbers if they use GA.

          1. Buildreps profile image95
            Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            I learned from others that when you filter out the extremes (the few second visits) you'll get another picture.

      2. Kylyssa profile image95
        Kylyssaposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Most tablets can also serve as phones now. My wireless headset recognizes my tablet as a phone. It seems likely my tablet is recognized as a phone if I access the Internet via its phone function and as a tablet if I access the Internet via WiFi.

        It's important to recognize that technology is always changing. It seems unlikely the displays of a few years ago that you seem focused on do not necessarily indicate the displays which may be available five years from now. If heads-up displays are perfected, the perceived display size can be as large as the technology allows it to appear so length will once again become a matter of personal taste.

        It's also important to recognize that there's still a very large demographic of human beings who read for pleasure, information, and entertainment.

        And wow, when did average reading speeds drop so low?

        1. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Maybe you can toss in another value instead of a sarcastic final sentence? You seem to have an uncontrollable desire to correct everything I'm saying. But that's quite laughable without the support of figures.

          Of course there is 'a very large demographic of human beings who read for pleasure, information, and entertainment'. Did I ever denied this?

          What the figures reveal is that traffic is declining and that the mobile traffic is growing. Mobile readers = shorter reading time = shorter Hubs.


          1. Kylyssa profile image95
            Kylyssaposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            As to why I feel the need to respond to your assertions, it seems that you're very good at annoying me. You got me riled up enough by your posts supporting low quality content and by calling people who report spam, plagiarism, spun content, and grammatically terrible content traitors that I responded to you there, too. You set yourself up as a moral authority and a technical guru when there's no evidence that you are either and that bugs me. Your advice may produce bad results for those who follow it and that bugs me even more. HubPages has told folks that they prefer a certain word count, one that works on the web at large. It's one of the things HubPages is actually doing right and you're attacking it. Oh, and the ageism just adds to the irritation.

            You aren't a HubPages guru because you haven't found what works on HubPages or you'd be using it and seeing an increase of views. I'm not a guru of anything, either, but I'm not countering one of the most effective pieces of advice the HubPages team has given out lately, either.

            You know what works for me, what has increased my hub traffic? Writing full-length articles has increased my views, just as the HubPages team and the Google spokesmen suggested it would. I continue to reach payout every month despite the very serious drops in views on my shorter hubs.

            You are fixated on the phone sizes of a few years ago, your own inability to read on your phone, and the traffic figures for HubPages alone. I haven't even seen a tiny phone while out in public in maybe six months! You are fixated on average reading times. In fact, over half of readers spend only seconds on a page, so an average includes all of those folks who see an unappealing, perhaps severely grammatically flawed introduction and click away without reading. If you understand what averages are, you'll follow that to the logical conclusion, that those who do read the articles spend longer on them than the average of those who read the article combined with those who click away within seconds.

            I happen to agree with HubPages' assessment that full-length articles are the way to go. They are what work on other sites and HubPages really isn't something so unique and separate from the Internet as a whole that it needs a plan so different from any other site.

            There are already sites that cater to non-readers and readers who prefer blurbs. Ask Squidoo how well it works to turn a site that caters to readers into a site for people who prefer blurbs. HubPages would have to start over almost from scratch and gain an almost completely new viewership.

            People say that reading is going out of fashion every few years but book sales and especially electronic book sales do not support that assertion. You are asserting that writing full-length articles is passe when, in fact, full-length articles continue to get traffic on HubPages and elsewhere.

            Physical magazines and newspapers are dropping like flies to be replaced by Internet articles and news sources. People still have an appetite for full-length articles and there are fewer paper sources this year than last year.

            The reason I pointed out that there's a demographic that enjoys reading is that you don't seem to realize it or if you do, you don't seem to understand people who like to read. People who enjoy reading will not be pleased with blurbs instead of articles. A person who prefers taking in information in written format will not be satisfied by a few hundred words on any subject they want clear, complete answers about. Such a person is also unlikely to prefer reading six or seven blurbs instead of a single, in-depth article to get the information she or he needs.

            My last line wasn't intended to be sarcastic. It really is disturbing that the average reading speed has dropped to only 200 words per minute. I also wasn't aware that it had happened. Perhaps it's why reading speed tests and timed reading practice have been added back in to grade school curricula?

            Here's an easy-to-understand post on the topic of post length - http://www.snapagency.com/blog/whatll-b … -2015-seo/

            1. retrojoe profile image89
              retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              I would have to agree that the statistics that buildreps gives relating to a 4 minute average time that people stay on a page using mobile devices is probably not the best measurement to use for estimating the ideal length for a hub.  I have reached the same conclusion as you have that probably more than half of visitors to a page stay for only a few seconds and thus distort the numbers for those who really dig reading.  The number should probably be more like 8 minutes.  If you use that figure, and count for distractions the person has (that interferes with them reading) during their stay, I would say that, if the 200 word per minute rule for the average reader is used, an article should average around 1400 words. 

              However, I still believe that most readers on mobile devices would feel more comfortable reading an article of half that size so that, if the article was 1400 words or more, it might be best to divide it up into 700 word parts.  I also feel that the minimum suggested word count should be lowered a bit and that a hubber's score shouldn't be penalized if it falls below hubpages' present lower limit (as long as it is still at least 700 words long). 

              I also think that you are being overly critical of buildrep's views.  My impression is that he is very good at coming up with new ways of seeing things that are worth thinking about; a quality that I feel I share with him.  That doesn't mean that I stand up on a soap box and urge people to follow me as a guru, and I don't see what he is doing as anything similar to that either.  The spirit that moves both him and myself I believe is the spirit of generosity.  We are simply sharing our unique insights, which aren't going to please everyone.  That doesn't mean we should clam up (but we shouldn't be surprised if we aren't rolling in dough either).

              1. Kylyssa profile image95
                Kylyssaposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                I know that I do react very poorly to people portraying themselves as moral authorities and technical gurus when they are neither.

                I freely admit I'm carrying baggage from other threads including one where Buildreps called people traitors for flagging spam, plagiarism, spun content, and English too poorly written to be intelligible to average readers. Now he's suggested that HubPages allow very short content in opposition to what actual statistics gurus and market analysts are recommending. It's like he's trying to go through and refute all of the standards HubPages has set for quality even if they are obviously beneficial standards.   

                I appreciate that Buildreps has a unique perspective, however, it's a perspective from which quality is meaningless and the preferences of readers are ignored in favor of stats regarding average time spent on hubs and his opinions about reading on phones.

                Google itself has actually stated a preference for longer, in-depth content. Google's research leads them to the conclusion that readers do prefer readable, grammatically sound content of substance. Since Google earns much of its money by satisfying people who search the web, I suspect their analysis is pretty sound.

                It's not just my opinion that people click away without reading pretty often, it's a documented phenomenon.

                http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-yo … -is-wrong/ - Has some interesting information about the time people spend on websites.

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noah-kaga … 92767.html - Has some good information about what makes content go viral.

                http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/Elem … tellar-Hub - This explains what HubPages has decided good hubs should include.

                HubPages goes off in so many directions that appear useless that when they finally do hit on a few logical strategies, it annoys the heck out of me when people bash those logical strategies.

              2. Buildreps profile image95
                Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                Thanks retrojoe for your kind words. And I surely agree with you that there might be other views possible on the same issue. I hope to shine more light on this issue, but that's not possible with these kinds of ego's around here.

                Too much poison, too much ego, too less intelligence...

                1. retrojoe profile image89
                  retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  To demonstrate that something may be a bit, well “overdone” let's say, in Denmark(!), here is a demonstration of what I propose needs improvement.  What I am suggesting is factoring in another step after the score is adjusted for word count. 

                  First, here's what's wrong, in my opinion:

                  Good hubs are being penalized.  For example, out of 119 active hubs, my 6th best performing hub (based on the past 30 days) – with a bit over 550 words – is dead last in my hub listed ratings with a score of 56.  Conversely, there is another of my active hubs – published just before my July 2015 Earthquake Weather Report – that, although ranking 15th in performance – with a bit over 1000 words –  is given a score of 76.

                  What's even more problematic, is that originally hp, apparently realized the value of the hub since it had previously been rated in the low to mid 70s.  My first reaction when I saw the dramatic drop in the score was that someone in the employment of hp was prejudiced against non-straight types (since the hub, my 5th published out of my active ones, was primarily related to the lgbtq pride flag).  But now, I figure it must be the word count.

                  What I propose:

                  If hp is going to factor in word count as a primary decider of hub scores, it would be (in my opinion) best to consider also the 30 day visitor ranking of the hub, and factor that in before deciding on the score being assessed.

                  For example, here is a segment of a table that gives a basic idea of what I feel would be a more accurate method for score rankings:

                  Init.Score  Word Count  W/C Adj.    Ranking    Rank Adj.    End

                  70        550-649        -20            Top 5%    +40            90
                  65        550-649        -20            5-9%    +35            80
                  60        550-649        -20            10-14%    +30            70
                  55        550-649        -20            15-24%    +25            60
                  50        550-649        -20            25-49%    +20            50
                  The above (all 325 words) is all I have to say for one post on this matter...

            2. Buildreps profile image95
              Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              That's too much poisonous words for the few things you have to say. To be honest it has no contents at all...

      3. makingamark profile image78
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I'm just wondering whether or not you realise that all articles - in newspapers, hubs, whatever - are automatically rendered to a font size which makes it very easy to read on a mobile device.

        Unless of course the site owner has neglected to change his or her website to one which has a responsive template which automatically converts content to whatever size of screen it is viewed on

        Maybe you don't also realise that it's extremely EASY for people to convert their tablets or smartphones to a font size which makes for easy reading for them?

        Bottom line it's no more difficult reading on a modern tablet or smartphone than it is reading a newspaper or a book. Indeed some would argue it's a great deal easier - hence the rise in traffic to mobile versions of broadsheet newspapers and the rise in sales of ebooks.

        Please also stop it with the ageist comments! You seem to know as little about what older people do as you do about how you can read on a smartphone or tablet. Older people (like children) are major users of tablets and smartphones for reading - although maybe not the ones you know! One of the reasons being because of the ability to change the font size easily!

    18. DzyMsLizzy profile image91
      DzyMsLizzyposted 15 months ago

      Swan Song?

      I initially joined the site simply to write, and write what I wanted to write about,  instead of some assignment (had enough of those in my school years, thank you very much!), and was not concerned with trying to make money; indeed, I did not even open up AdSense until I'd been here over a year.

      There were no expectations on my part of "getting rich quick" by any stretch of the imagination, but I was hopeful that some extra pocket change would be nice.  After a while of being on both AdSense and the HP ad program, sure enough, the cents and dollars began to add up.  But not rapidly.  At my best ever point, it always took me about 3 months to reach the payout threshold.  I never did better than that.

      Meanwhile, I learned that it was not so "easy" as all that; and the "write what you want to write" was not fully true, at least not if you wanted to earn any pennies.  So I began to alter my writing topics, and seek out what it seemed to me would be 'answers to questions,' and write about those things instead.   It made no difference.

      And then--and then--Google unleashed its virtual zoo onto the online writing scene, and it all went to blazes in the proverbial hand-basket!  My earnings, such as they were, took a serious hit, and have continued to decline, despite my best efforts to "fix" hubs, or write new ones that I hoped would draw more interest.

      It was not to be.  Earnings continued to decline, right when I reached a point in my personal life when a little more than "pocket change" would have been very helpful.  (No, I cannot get a "real job," for numerous reasons I won't go into here, but being sole caretaker for my husband ranks high on the list.)

      At this point, it is taking me nearly six months to reach the payment threshold.  Making less than thirty cents a day is not cutting it for me, and gives me little incentive to continue writing.  None of us (or certainly precious few of us) come within a mile of earning even minimum wage.

      Writing is work, and harder work when the topics require research and reference sources, instead of being able to be written 'off the tops of our heads.'  Yet, these are the sorts of articles needed to supposedly draw in more traffic.  (Though I've not seen that.)  I don't mind work, but I expect to be fairly compensated for my efforts. 
      And since 'traditional publishing' is going the way of the Dodo bird, I see few other options.  My attempts to write for traditional magazines have been rebuffed.  There is little else left.  (And, the "assignment" sites, a few of which I wrote for, for a short time, don't pay much better.)

      At the current rates, it is not worth my time or effort to continue writing anything on the site.  I think I'll just let all my 300+ hubs age, and see what happens.  I don't have the energy to do any more.

      My only future activity will most likely be limited to reading and commenting on others' hubs, and interacting in the forums with all the nice people I've met here.  That is the sole remaining positive point.

      I am distressed, disheartened, and depressed.  I think I'm done.  Best wishes to the rest of you.

      1. Mark Ewbie profile image84
        Mark Ewbieposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Hey Dzy.  We have been here similar time, probably had similar thoughts about it.  Arrived just after the easy money - if there ever was any - had gone.

      2. Buildreps profile image95
        Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I don't even reach payment threshold once in six month. I think it almost takes me 8 months. So, it's not about the money. For me, it's about writing about topics I like. Everything changes constantly, also the readers' behaviour and the platforms they use to read and communicate.

        You might make your readers happy with your articles, and isn't that worth a lot? Have a great weekend!

      3. TessSchlesinger profile image93
        TessSchlesingerposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Dizzy, your plight touched me.

        I think that there are several issues here, and I'm going to touch on them one at  at time.

        Firstly, I don't believe that Google wants to support writer sites. And hubpages is a writer site. What it should be a reader site and cater to readers. By catering to writers, it gets less and less traffic. The day writing sites realize that the way forward is to stop advertising themselves as writing sites and start marketing themselves as information sites for readers and surfers, a lot will change.

        The next big issue for paying writers is the lack of suitable paying venues. I believe Hubpages to be about the best there is because it still generates traffic, however much that is decreasing  When I left I was doing about $300 a month and it was looking very much like $600 a month, but I left as a result of the sheer nastiness which I didn't understand at the time. I came back as a result of Squidoo putting my stories here. Then it took me another three or four months to start writing here again. Since December, when I earned 75 cents, it has increased every month with last month reaching $38 and this month still only on $15. However last month had one Amazon sale for $18 so, for the last few months, I've been averaging $20 per month. (Rounding up).

        No, one cannot live on it unless one makes tracks to a third world country, and after considering all options available to writers, I am back to my native South African (GDP growth rate of 4.5% to 7.5% per annum).

        Stil, I have to earn a good deal more than that.

        I firmly believe that we can make it as writers if we cut out the profit motive for the person who sets up the website and we work together. There simply isn't enough money for one person to take the bulk of the lion's share and for the rest to share the left-overs.  Well,not for small sites, anyway. Wizzley, for example generates $78 a day with half of that going to the owner, and the rest of it being shared between the thousands of writers on the site.

        One option to consider is writing books and getting a following that will pay one $1 a month. So, for instance, if one needs $2000 a month, one only needs 2000 followers. I know that sounds difficult, but I've amassed 25,000 followers on Google Plus. I could have had a lot more if I hadn't been pig-headed and if certain things hadn't gone right over my head. But we live and we learn. The point is that I have approximately 33,000 views a day. It's very doable.

        In the next few months, using a lot of what I've learnt, after I've settled back in South Africa, I intend to devote all my time to writing and nothing else. Rent, fortunately, will cost me less than $200 a month.

        I've had to make some hard decisions in order to continue to do the thing that is air like me - write, but in the end, it's who I am. A writer.

        I hope that something of what I've said might make you consider this terrible conundrum which challenges all writers. Peace. smile

      4. Suzanne Day profile image98
        Suzanne Dayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        HI Dzy, hubs will do better as they age, trust me on that. I've stopped being so active here because I found something else to concentrate on, though I pop in now and then for the news and occasionally output something (I'm not gonna let all my writing go to waste by removing it!)

        I think the way forward for writers is to see out what pays vs what doesn't in the writing world. For example, technical writing is pretty well paid, so is advertising, copywriting, Adwords copywriting and a few other areas. Marketing your skills in these with companies will get you freelance gigs. Regarding publishing ebooks and novels, I can't really comment as haven't done it much, but I do think there is a hideous amount of competition out there. Having said that, there is always a need for fantastic new entertainment in the world and you never know, the next Harry Potter might be lurking somewhere in your notes....

        So don't be depressed - there are still opportunities but they take a lot of research and tracking and analysing to find where they are. Writing might not be your only thang. x

      5. Marisa Wright profile image91
        Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        MsLizzy, I am only surprised it has taken you so long to come to that realisation!  As you know, many of us have tried to offer advice on how to improve your earnings, but have often been rebuffed with the comment that due to your stressful circumstances, you don't have the time or energy to devote to understanding SEO - and that has been your downfall.  If you recall, I sent you this email back in 2013:

        "Sadly, the internet is a frustrating place for those who "just want to write", because we are all at the mercy of the great god Google, and unless you are willing to learn the skills to please him, your readership will always be small. . .

        The only successful online writers of my acquaintance now are people who are not only fast writers, but who are able to write for 50 or 60 hours a week (i.e. have no life!).  Even then, they are not earning a wage I'd regard as acceptable. 

        In a sense, we're going back to reality.  Remember the days when your only hope as a writer was to train as a journalist, or submit your stories and manuscripts to publishers - usually resulting in rejection slips?  The last few years have been an aberration, a time when anyone could earn from their writing.   That time is over, or very nearly so."

    19. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      What do you want me to realize?

      Explain me: What has the font size to do with reading time? Better come with figures that we can look at instead of whole chunks of text what I should realize or what I should do or not.

      You should realize that your anger is a sign of disability to control your environment.

      1. makingamark profile image78
        makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I'm not angry at all

        Just very bemused by some of the comments about mobile sites and raising doubts about people writing long articles to be read on mobile devices.

        When was the last time you counted the number of words in an ebook?

        I think I'm doing rather well exploiting all aspects of my technological environment (currently updating one of my responsive templated websites on my Mini iPad while watching the final major stage of the Tour de France!)

        How about you?

    20. pumpkincat210 profile image87
      pumpkincat210posted 15 months ago

      According to a study done by Microsoft released this year, humans have an 8 second attention span, down four seconds since 2000.  Goldfish are believed to have a 9 second attention span. They believe this is due to the increased use of smartphones.  They also found people are now better at multitasking.

      1. retrojoe profile image89
        retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        hmmm, sounds like I need to get on the ball and use subtitles regularly and pack a punch with each sentence that follows those..

    21. pumpkincat210 profile image87
      pumpkincat210posted 15 months ago

      I also have to add that the ability of people to root their phones and use add blockers is not helping! But I do not think that is going to go away.  I frequently see people complain about small banner ads in apps when I read app reviews.  People people hate ads. A couple reasons are that they slow down your phone and eat up your data. I know that it is annoying to be slowed down to 1X speeds 2 or 3 weeks into the month and not be able to use the internet or apps without having to pay the carrier again.

      The advertisers are going to have to come up with a better strategy for delivery.  They need to figure out how to show people things without making them too intrusive. 
      Another thing is that google and other companies want to show you relevant ads based on what sites you visit, etc.  Well that can be good, but if I have the exact same ads following me from page to page I'm probably going to stop paying attention to them.  If ads are too relevant..I may also get bored..I want to see new things too and there are some cool things out there that I would have never dreamed about.  The targeting/profiling tech is so good now I cannot get out of the little bubble they've placed me in without clearing cookies, profiles, etc. and they still figure out ways to identify. 

      If I put my hubpage in many SEO analyzers, something that comes up alot in the analyses is large Javascript and CSS that they say should be compressed.  I have no control over this but it lowers my SEO score, because of page load time. They recommend that the page should be under 500kb, but mine is 715kb, I guess I could trim down my hub, but text doesn't take up much so i'd be getting rid of pictures likely and if i did that my hub would not be evergreen.

    22. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      After being kind of assaulted about me being a kind of moron and seeing things totally wrong, I'd like to continue on this issue (from the unique perspective of some Hubbers, I am actually a kind of moron, but shouldn't be a reason to insult me). When you're convinced I'm quoting wrong sources or toss in wrong info, you can always say this openly, and refute this in a fair way. Can we try to do that?

      I've read interesting reactions and links posted here. One of these links: http://www.snapagency.com/blog/whatll-b … -2015-seo/ contains a graph that results in the conclusion that the best post length is about 7 minutes. 7 minutes reading time would stand for about 1400 to 1750 words.

      What do you prefer?
      A) That your readers read your whole article and that you possibly earn nothing or
      B) that readers just skimmed it and clicked on an Add and you earned something?

      In an ideal world you want probably both. But how realistic is that?

      There are two different figures:
      1) the 7 minute reading time of the graph is established by filtering too short reading times (wrong clicks, Add clicks, etc). You can find the underlying data here. When I misinterpret the data in your opinion, please correct me.
      2) The average reading time of 3 minutes includes all the posts, including the (very) short ones, and including the Add clicks.


      Despite all the intellectual effort they put into this graph. What is tricky of presenting the data in this way? It suggests that the optimum length of an article lies at the peak of the graph, resulting in an optimum of 7 minutes reading time that is somewhere between 1400 and 1750 words. But since in this graph the short stayers (wrong clicks, add clicks, and idle cases) are filtered out of the graph. That results in my opinion more or less in option A).

      When you want just engaged readers, you should indeed create posts of between 1400 and 1750 words. But this might not generate the income you desire.

      The question remains unanswered: how long should your optimum Hub be when you want to optimize them for search engines, Mobile devices, Add clicks and readers engagement?

      Can we find an answer?

      1. Marisa Wright profile image91
        Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I'd say that recommendation is exactly right.  For as long as I've been blogging, the recommendation has always been to aim for 1,500 words.    I've known a couple of bloggers (far more scientifically inclined than I) who did experiments and came up with the same conclusion. 

        I'm not quite sure why that makes it less likely you'll make money?   If a reader just skims and doesn't find what they want in your article,they're more likely to press the "back" button than notice your ads.  Keep them on your article longer and they're less likely to press the back button, instead they'll look for an exit on your article.

        Also, in worrying about whether an article is "too long" for mobile users, I think you're missing the point.  Yes, a 1500 word article will be too long if you waffle on and don't get to the point of the article until the end!

        But on the internet, you need to engage EVERY reader in the very first paragraph and you need to keep them engaged, because even people on a big screen won't scroll down if you lose their interest.

      2. retrojoe profile image89
        retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I believe the sweet spot is around 2100 words based on another article I read; I'll try to track it down and post it.  I've also looked at some of my past articles, and one of my best performing ones was just under 2000 words and, I believe that, another one is just over 2100 words.

        1. retrojoe profile image89
          retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Found a different article that says pretty much the same; the average word count for the top 5 search results was 2070: http://coschedule.com/blog/long-form-content/

          1. Marisa Wright profile image91
            Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            The comments on that post indicate that it's at least a year old, so it may no longer be relevant.

      3. Kylyssa profile image95
        Kylyssaposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        I called you no names. I did say you aren't a moral authority as you put yourself forward in a thread about reporting spam and plagiarism. I also said that you aren't a technical guru as you put yourself forward here after implying average people who read on their phones are insane and talked about older people like you believe they are idiots. You aren't a technical guru on this matter and neither am I. I don't understand why calling you not a technical guru is an assault if it's true in this case. I also don't understand why calling you not a moral authority (I'm not one either, maybe a minister or very involved philanthropist would be) is an insult, either.

        The great thing about the written word is that you can go back and read my responses to your assertions that anything over 1,000 words is wrong, that anyone who reads something longer on a phone is nuts, and that old people can't use technology. You and everyone else can then see I never called you a moron.

        You've stated in another thread that anyone who reports another hub for quality issues of any kind is a traitor. I thought that was an important thing for people who read this thread and not that one to know so they could put your advice into context. People reading your advice needed to know from whence it came.

        The advice you started off by giving was the same advice that flushed Squidoo the final distance down the toilet. The thought of some new user finding it and following it only to have a miserable time on HubPages before giving up, maybe even giving up on writing, really, really set me off. For that, I apologize. 

        I had a chip on my shoulder about you because you'd previously called me and several other people I respect traitors. I apologize for letting that influence my tone. I try to give everyone a fresh slate at the beginning of a discussion, but I failed at it in this case and I'm sorry for that.

        I let the fact that you'd called people names in the thread and suggested my friend had a disability that was making her angry because she tried to explain to you that old people and children use phones to read get me very upset. She's a very intelligent, brilliant, artistic, creative, and eloquent woman with a fine head for figures and statistics. She's fantastic at both ordinology and synthesis. She doesn't deserve to be patronized or treated rudely by anyone. She's also been kind, supportive, and generous with her level-headed advice to me for at least six years. I also failed in keeping my cool over that and I apologize for letting my anger show. I don't apologize for being angry about it, though. 

        I forgive you for calling me a traitor, for calling me not sane, and for calling me "less intelligence." People call me retarded all the time because I'm autistic so light slurs against my intelligence hardly bother me. But they still do bother me a bit and it makes me sad.

        Again, my apologies for my angry tone in response to your tone and advice. I'm sorry it upset you and made you feel bad. If I had it to do over again, I'd word things much differently.

        1. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          It's all right, Kylyssa. Without reacting into details to your words, I apologize to you too for every wrong word that I've said to you. That wasn't fair. For that I'm sorry too. I think it's great that we are able to work out our conflict in the way we did, without reporting anyone (of course we don't know that) smile

    23. Mark Ewbie profile image84
      Mark Ewbieposted 15 months ago

      Hugely interesting and often accidentally entertaining thread.

      I am probably well ahead of the game here because I read something on Webmaster SEO Ass world that talked about pictures.

      It said... each one is worth a thousand words!

      Of course what comes next is a matter of history and is still discussed at great length on the forums over there.

      I place two pictures on each page and add a hundred words of utter crap.

      I can't give exact traffic numbers or income due to too much wank in the web world but I am delighted with the results.

      1. Solaras profile image93
        Solarasposted 15 months ago in reply to this


      2. Buildreps profile image95
        Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        That's true. But you've unique gifts we simply cannot match. So, we are doomed to tons of words and lots of sweat to get even... smile

    24. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      My best performing articles are:

      Views Ever:
      #1: 1404 words (Hub score 81)
      #2: 2138 words (Hub score 89)
      #3: 2426 words (Hub score 89)

      Views 30 days:
      #1: 1848 words (Hub score 93)
      #2: 2650 words (Hub score 93)
      #3: 3347 words (Hub score 92)

      They all rate 5 stars on view duration. I have no idea how many minutes this is.

      It seems this 1400-1800 words articles could be spot on! Start editing!

      1. retrojoe profile image89
        retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        hmmm, you might want to consider how successfully you engage your readers.  If you can grab them enough to have them stick around through an article of 2300 words, that would probably be the ideal length (top 3 categories for most views ever=avg of 1989; same but for past 30 days=avg of 2615; avg of those two=2302). 

        But, at the same time, you don't always have enough material for one that long (and you don't want to add filler to bring it up to 2300 words).  If you are looking at just your best #1 efforts, then 1400-1850 is a good range to aim for; but if you have enough content for a longer article, probably better (as long as you don't put the reader to sleep).

        Excellent stats by the way; congratulations there buildreps!

        1. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Thanks Joe, it's great to have you around here!

    25. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      This statistics may look great, but when you're here for the money this is not going to work. At least not in my case. This month will end somewhere between three to four dollars. 18 months ago the earnings were twice as good with just 10% of the current Hubs...

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        You're comparing the highest season of the year, both in traffic and sales, with the lowest.

        Nevertheless, I agree.  As far as I'm concerned, Google's games have changed the concept of writing on content farms such as HP.  With the constant rule changes (from G, not from HP) it has become a contest a writer cannot win - cannot even compete effectively in.  HP's efforts are the only thing that keeps me interested at all.

        1. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          That's true, Wilderness. Although there is a Hub that performs extremely well in the cold season that's totally lurking at the moment. Like others have suggested previously, it might be better to put more efforts on an own websites that is entirely dedicated to one subject.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            The biggest problem there is that the owner then must monetize it themselves, and HP does an excellent job of doing that for us.  I have yet to see anyone that could really say that swapping out their hubs to their own site resulted in a decent income increase, especially considering the extra work that has to be done. A couple that claim to have done so, but not sure I believe them when dozens more say the opposite.  Maybe they found a specific monetization method that works for just their subject, or maybe they're a master at selling either themselves or their products.  I'm not a salesman - I'm a writer with information to impart.

            1. Mark Ewbie profile image84
              Mark Ewbieposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              I have been building a site since October and finding it a constant struggle to increase or even maintain views.  There is so much to learn and it is endlessly frustrating.  HubPages is easier and more profitable as things currently stand.

              However, I am not yet defeated!

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                I thought about it some time ago as well, Mark.  A daunting task for a newbie, but I did seriously consider it.

                Now, with G's constant games and (I believe) manual efforts to improve traffic to their own sites by artificially limiting others, I don't see it as a viable alternative.  Let HP play the games for me; that's what they're paid for and I think they do as good a job as anyone could.

              2. pumpkincat210 profile image87
                pumpkincat210posted 15 months ago in reply to this

                WordPress is okay however I've not using their advertising feature.  Personal sites are really a pain if you don't have new content to post each day.  I like picture blogs the best.

                1. Marisa Wright profile image91
                  Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  Personal sites do not need new content every day.   So long as updating is regular, once every week or two is enough. 

                  About a year ago, I sat down and wrote a heap of reviews of instructional DVD's for my belly dance site.  I then scheduled them to publish once a fortnight, and the last one will auto-post next December.  Other than that, I barely ever look at my belly dance site except to answer comments.  Last month it made $600.

                  1. NateB11 profile image91
                    NateB11posted 15 months ago in reply to this

                    Good to know and I thought that was the case for our own sites.

            2. Chriswillman90 profile image91
              Chriswillman90posted 15 months ago in reply to this

              I feel that those who have had success with their own websites were probably successful on hubpages to begin with because they had excellent SEO skills and an ability to monetize. They were probably also ahead of the curve and began developing sites years ago when it was more lucrative to do so.

            3. Buildreps profile image95
              Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              Agree. I'm still here because HP does an excellent job and offers wonderful tools to craft articles. I had about 8 websites, which I sold a few years ago together with my business. I'm not a greenhorn in making websites, and for this typical area were HP is in, I haven't seen anything better than this. And like you I'm not convinced it's going to create more writers' engagement than HP is offering at the moment. I'm sure the staff is working on all kinds of improvements as well. And that professional commitment is very hard to beat by a lonely wolf.

            4. sockii profile image89
              sockiiposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              I'll come out and say it - swapping out many of my hubs (mostly former Squidoo lenses) to my own websites have proven much better for me from an income generating point of view. Am I going to give you the exact numbers? No, because that's against Adsense policy anyway. But lenshubs that were sitting here doing nothing for months, never seeing sales, barely getting a few hits a day, are now getting daily traffic and making sales on my own site. And so I continue to move them off HubPages as I have the time for it.

              1. makingamark profile image78
                makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this


              2. promisem profile image95
                promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                Correct me if I'm wrong, but in my experience the tier system at Squidoo was extremely lucrative for a small number of people who dedicated a lot of time to it. HP spreads out the money more.

                1. Kylyssa profile image95
                  Kylyssaposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  We were also getting many, many more views on Squidoo and sold Amazon items like hotcakes. We can't give numbers but I can probably get away with saying my body of lenses got about three to fifteen times the views my body of hubs that's the same size does. Why the wide spread? Because views on Squidoo came in bursts and flows, not in this odd, slow trickle.

                  1. promisem profile image95
                    promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                    Honestly, I'm not surprised to hear it. Moving an article from one domain to another may impact its rank in search results.

                    If you were in one of the top Squidoo tiers, and it sounds like you were, your articles received preferential placement on Squidoo, which also impacted its ranking. Squidoo even did it with their search function.

                    And if there were any backlinks to your article on Squidoo, they were wiped out when the site shut down. That certainly impacted its rank.

                    1. makingamark profile image78
                      makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                      You're obviously not aware that the backlinks were rerouted on transfer so they continued to apply.

                      HubPages wanted them just as much as we did.

                2. Barbara Kay profile image86
                  Barbara Kayposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  Per number of views there, I received a lot more money there too.

                  1. makingamark profile image78
                    makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                    I had better traffic and better income - even at the end of Squidoo.

                    The problem with HubPages is that people simply don't generate as much income as was possible with Squidoo with exactly the same content.

                    Maybe it's the model for how income is shared out?

                    For example Amazon on HubPages is pathetic compared to Squidoo - even with the improvements post transfer.

                    1. Lady Lorelei profile image79
                      Lady Loreleiposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                      I agree 100% that traffic and income was amazing on Squidoo even at their end. They also seemed to have a much easier system to navigate articles within their program and a much fairer system of promotion as well.

                  2. promisem profile image95
                    promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                    I can't give out numbers either, but I did know the payout at Squidoo using the tier model and I know how my income has grown here as my Hubber score has climbed. I can tell you for a fact that the spread was much wider at Squidoo than at HP.

                    I also suspect that the wide spread contributed to the demise at Squidoo. I know a lot of people who bailed out from there because they put in a huge amount of time and didn't receive nearly enough income in return.

                    1. makingamark profile image78
                      makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                      Yes - but a lot of people put in a huge amount of effort and still don't do the right things e.g. writing about stuff of minimal interest to virtually everybody else.

                      Or they write about stuff which is already well covered by more expert authors and hence their articles never get traction

                      People need to get used to the idea that traffic and income is entirely dependent on what people want to read about - and buy - NOT what people want to write about.

                      The thing that makes the difference is matching up writing about your interests with what people want to read.

                      Even better is getting in on the leading edge of trends and changes. I know of a few people who were writing about stuff which subsequently went viral and global well before everybody else.

                3. makingamark profile image78
                  makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  HP does not spread the money out to people who are not generating traffic.

                  My personal view is that the issue with HubPages is that it's actually quite difficult for people to find relevant hubs on HubPages for whatever their interest is. That's all to do with URLs, titles, navigation and the competence of the internal search engine.

                  1. promisem profile image95
                    promisemposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                    Agreed. In the beginning, I didn't receive any income for my small audience.

                    It may be helpful to point out that HP uses a different system than Squidoo in ranking content. It's a matter of finding out what works and what doesn't.

                    The two sites are apples and oranges when it comes to their business models.

                    1. makingamark profile image78
                      makingamarkposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                      HubPages is also very different to Google in terms of what ranks in search - and that's the one that matters.

                      I've always generated most of my traffic from Google and not from internal searches on the site - but I do know others who have benefited from content which could be found easily on Squidoo

                4. relache profile image87
                  relacheposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                  Both sites had different payout strategies, but the end result is extremely similar.

                  No traffic = no cash.

    26. paradigm search profile image80
      paradigm searchposted 15 months ago

      Jeez, this thread is a lot of work. And worth it. Still catching up.

    27. Buildreps profile image95
      Buildrepsposted 15 months ago

      In addition on the figures formerly about the best performing Hubs, that appear to have a length of between 1400 and 1800 words, I just checked my Analytics account.

      HP's overall traffic is about 60% mobile and about 40% desktop. But my figures look totally different:
      - desktop: 78%
      - mobile: 18%
      - tablet: 4%

      So, it seems that you can have a totally different readers profile than HP's averages.

      The more astonishing figures are that reading times on mobiles appeared to be longer than on desktops:

      - desktop: 1:27 (oh boy that's bad...)
      - mobile: 2:20
      - tablet: 2:37

      When I would combine this with an average reading speed of 200-250 words per minute, I must conclude that none of the best performing Hubs are read in their totality, just about 20 to 30% of the Hub is read. The bouncing rates are not so good either, between 75 and 80%.

      So, that's all together pretty confusing, or perhaps even depressing.

      Then again pops up the question in me, should I shorten my Hubs to fit them more to these reading times?

      According to these figures the best Hubs would be then around 400-600 words. I think I'm going to experiment with one or two of the best performing Hubs and shrink them back to the ultimate readers' concentration span.

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        "Then again pops up the question in me, should I shorten my Hubs to fit them more to these reading times? "

        Assuming that your hubs are informative rather than fiction, poetry or something else, the answer is no.  Don't forget that web readers are scanning; they scan your hub for the information they are looking for, read it and are gone.  They seldom read an entire hub word for word.

        Also don't forget that for realistic figures you need to remove those that click out in a second or two; that can make a big difference in time-on-page.  As far as length of hub goes, you don't need their input; you're only interested in those that found your offering valuable enough to stick around for at least 10 seconds.

        1. DzyMsLizzy profile image91
          DzyMsLizzyposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Regardless of anything else, I fear for the future of a society in which people are too impatient to read.  10 seconds!  Oh, my!  That is a terrible attention span.  I think a 4-year-old does better!

          We have all the electronic video games, "smart"  (DUMB!) phones, and a whole generation of those seeking (and being accustomed to getting) instant gratification!
          It sickens me.  Whatever happened to picking up a good book, and getting lost in the story for hours on end? 

          If I go to read a person's article, it is both because the topic interests me and because I enjoy reading and learning new things!!, and not necessarily because I was "looking for information."  (Although I do that as  well.)

          I'm the reader you want; the one who sticks around and yes, does read the entire article word by word.  Heck, I can get 'lost' in the dictionary!  Yet it is doubtful that many of these short-attention-span people have much more than a nodding acquaintance with what a dictionary even is, let alone make use of one!

          I don't get how "the big G" thinks anything less is acceptable.  The fact that they don't has driven, if not caused a big part of the problem.
          As my grandfather used to say, "Those who will not read are worse off than those who cannot."

          1. WriteAngled profile image91
            WriteAngledposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            It depends though on what we are reading.

            I can scan several hundred words in 10 seconds or less and if in the course of my scanning I see:

            - one or more spelling errors
            - one or more grammatical errors
            - slang or street talk
            - any other form of dumbed down language
            - references to Wikipedia

            I leave the page immediately, because any one or more of these factors tells me the author is not going to have the academic/specialist credibility I seek when looking for information.

            I am willing to spend far, far  longer than this on valuable reading matter.

            1. DzyMsLizzy profile image91
              DzyMsLizzyposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              I am right there with you on the spelling and grammatical errors, and usually also with Wiki.  A single reference there, if there are also other sources, won't make me leave the page.  But if that's all their sources, then no, I won't find them credible.

              I, too, read fast, but I don't usually scan; I just start reading, and only when I hit one of those 'stoppers' do I slow down and see what else is going on.  Anyone can make and miss seeing a single typo, but if misspellings and poor grammar are scattered throughout, then I will not finish reading.

              I'll leave a page if the title seemed a bit 'off' to the actual topic of the writing, or if the author is just rambling on and on and on, trying to word-stuff for length.  (I can remember doing that in high school, to make up that 1K word essay..LOL--so I can spot it in a heartbeat.)

              And while I do read fast, and 'beat' most others to the bottom of each current screen, I'm not a student of Evelyn Woods' speed-reading course; I cannot read 1500 words in 10 seconds!

              And some people cannot read fast, and still comprehend.  My husband has a near-genius IQ, but is a relatively slow reader; he is highly spelling-challenged ("English is illogical," is his favorite mantra).  Therefore, he takes his time reading to be sure he fully understands all the words.

        2. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          That's a good analysis, thanks for that. Google analytics provides unfortunately no means to dredge out this part of the data.

      2. retrojoe profile image89
        retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Boy, buildreps, I guess you are in one number crunching mood today..  For me, for the moment at least, I'm not so much in that mood.. But let's see what I can see in the anomalous figures you extracted from analytics. 

        Because of the dishearteningly large percentage of people who abandon ship almost as soon as they board your page (mine as well) the average time spent there by them should be multiplied by the number of times the percentage of those that stayed goes into the larger percentage of those that didn't.  In other words, divide the 20% of those who stayed awhile into the 80% that didn't (equals 4) and multiply that by the average time spent on the page in each device used by the visitor.  The results would then be:   
                    5m48s for desktops
                    9m20s for mobile
                    10m28s for tablet

        By the way, the reason there are longer wait times for the last two categories is possibly because time is less leisurely on a PC or MAC.  We use the same devices for work or play and, like Pavlov's dogs, we get conditioned to the feeling that we are working rather than playing when situated in front of a PC or Mac instead of the other two types of connectivity.  Thus we don't waste as much time.  Conversely, with a mobile device or tablet, it is easier to be leisurely and take our sweet time. 

        Also, there is the possibility that, especially in the case of long articles, people will tab to something else for awhile and then go back to the article.  I'm thinking that Analytics may count the time for the first period, before they tab away and count it as a new visit, but when the visitor returns, they start the clock again from scratch as a return visitor (counting it as two visits and not one; making the time of one 6 minute stay look like two 3 minute stays or throwing out the other 3 minutes if you are just looking at the data from the perspective of 1st time visitors). 

        Since we are dealing with different OS platforms, the difference in times may be related to that too.  i.e., when one tabs off a hub page for a few minutes and then comes back, the OS for the desktops may divide up the visits, while the Android OS may have the two visits registered as one long one.  If we double the desktop visit duration, then it looks to be longer than the Android devices (as it should be).
        The new duration time for desktops is then 11m36s and if we multiply those minutes by the reading time of 200 words per minute, we get 2320 words, which would seem to say that for all the visitors that stuck around, they read all of your articles.  OK, that's a bit unlikely, but you get my drift I think; things probably aren't as bad as they at first looked (but then they probably aren't as rosy a picture as I just painted either).

        What I guess that I am saying is, likely you can only trust the non-PC figures because those two look consistent as an Android group but not when you compare the PCs and Mac figures.

        Not sure I'm doing a good job of explaining myself; hope I am.

        1. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          Thanks retrojoe for your extensive explanation. I really appreciate this very much, and you explained perfectly well that the 'fast clicks away' have to be dredges out of the data. The 80/20 is an assumption though, although it's one of the most common rules to divide groups into two different compartments. You could be actually very right in your view. That was very helpful! Thanks my friend.

          1. retrojoe profile image89
            retrojoeposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            What I was doing in my demonstration was over simplifying to make it easier to follow.  I just looked more carefully at my stats for a 13 month period (starting and ending with record activity) and used the individual bounce rate for each mode of internet access to  modify the durations of each average view.  How I did that was by subtracting the bounce rate from 100%, then dividing the remainder into 100%, then multiplying the result by the average duration of the visits. 

            What I came up with looks like this:

                        Desktops (69.2%) = 4.1 minutes
                        Mobile (21.8%) = 5.7 minutes
                        Tablet (9%)     = 5.7 minutes

            Using another feature in Analytics (under Behavior, New vs Returning, and then selecting Operating System for the Secondary Dimension), and looking at the same 13 month period (April 2, 2014 to May 30, 2015) I came up with the following:

                        Windows (50.7%) = 4.6 minutes
                        Mac (19.2%)         = 3.2 minutes
                        iOS (16.3%)          = 5.3 minutes
                        Android (13.8%) = 6.3 minutes

            All the above data based only on New Visitors.

      3. Marisa Wright profile image91
        Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

        Buildreps, why is it such a tragedy if readers do not read your whole Hub?  Is it so bad if they found the answer they were looking for in the first half of the Hub, or if they skimmed the first half and found their answer in the last paragraph? 

        If it's really so important to you that readers hang on your every word, then by all means shorten your Hubs to a length they're more likely to finish - but you will have fewer readers,  because a shorter Hub is less likely to rank on Google. 

        So essentially, you need to decide - do you want more readers who may skim all or part of your Hubs, or do you want fewer readers who will read to the end?

        1. Buildreps profile image95
          Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

          No, after all the helpful advices here on this forum, I finally could make up my mind. The only thing I will do is examine my Hubs on verbosity. That's something I dislike very much, although I do it myself on my Hubs too. Thanks for your very helpful advices, Marisa.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image91
            Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

            Looking at your Hubs, you do tend to write on subjects which aren't likely to attract a high number of searchers on Google, so that is likely your main problem - but I think you are aware of that.

            However, there are some things you could do to improve your chances with Google. 

            One glaring one is - never, ever repeat titles, even if you are writing a series.  Each Hub must have its own unique title describing the content:   having the same title followed by Part 1, Part 2 etc is a recipe for Google suicide!   

            Another thing about titles - they are very, very important in attracting Google.   When you are writing a Hub, ask yourself "what would someone type into Google if they were looking for information on this subject?"   Then try typing your answers into Google to see if the autocomplete agrees.   The autocomplete is based on what people actually type into Google, so that's what you want to use as your title.    Forget about writing catchy titles, those are for print not the internet.   

            Finally, IF you are going to use a full-width photo to open a Hub, make sure it's not just a pretty picture.  To be successful, it needs to give the reader confidence you are going to answer their question - otherwise they may click back before scrolling down.

            1. Buildreps profile image95
              Buildrepsposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              Yes, I'm aware that my subjects are not for the mass, and I don't see this as a problem, although I want as much as anyone Hubs to be read as much as possible.

              I had a Hub about Bubblews (that I deleted) that went viral. I disliked the activities concerned with the comments so much, that I'm not sure to have this over and over again. I'm not suitable for these activities. The only thing I want is that readers really find the answers they were looking for and that's not such an easy job as it seems.

              Your tips are very helpful. Thanks for the great advices you gave here, Marisa. I hope many other Hubbers will read this too.

              Your advice about titles is very logical (repetition/autocomplete/pictures), and I think many Hubbers aren't aware that they should title their Hubs in accordance with this. I never did this too before. I will now. Thanks smile

            2. DzyMsLizzy profile image91
              DzyMsLizzyposted 15 months ago in reply to this

              Marisa--what about a series of hubs that have "different" titles, but the same initial word--such as my photography series?

              They are titled like so:  Photography:  A Few Lighting Tricks
              Photography:  Composition
              Photography: Tips for better Kid and Pet Photos

              and so forth...(as well, I have a Photography Index hub, which lists them all, with a brief intro for each and links to the specific articles)
              Should those be changed around, do you think, so the word "photography" is not the first word in every title?  There are no "part numbers" involved...

              (You, Marisa, are an SEO guru and I am not.  I still struggle to get it right, and I am changing some content and titles, but I still for the life of me can't figure out Google Analytics or any of those other reports everyone mentions that tell our traffic stats...I simply rely on what HP itself provides us in the hub stats tab for that info.)

              1. Marisa Wright profile image91
                Marisa Wrightposted 15 months ago in reply to this

                One word repeated is not likely to be a problem.  The main thing is to ask what people are likely to be typing into Google to find information on that topic.  Will they type in "photography a few lighting tricks"?  If not, then that's a bad title.   

                That's all SEO is really - ensuring you use words and phrases people are likely to be searching for.  Looking at things like Analytics can help you work that out, but most of it is common sense and observation really.

    28. makingamark profile image78
      makingamarkposted 15 months ago

      I've been reading some of the responses.  Many thanks to Kylyssa for her very kind words.

      The only thing I've concluded from this thread is that, in relation to traffic and monetisation and what works and what doesn't, it's unwise to listen to advice from anybody who isn't generating traffic or making money right now. For the record, given we're not allowed to discuss the details re. the money we make, I'll just say I've zoomed past the pay-out threshold every month I've been here since transferring from Squidoo.

      People can speculate all they like - but real life testing which gets results works for me every time.

      Understanding statistics generally and those generated by Google Analytics and Hubpages in particular  is also jolly useful.

      I'm out of here with a suggestion that everybody reread this quotation from "An Overview of Making Money on HubPages"

      This approach also works on other sites.....

    29. promisem profile image95
      promisemposted 15 months ago

      Sites rise and fall with traffic over time based on what happens with the market, mobile, competition, search engine changes and a host of other factors.

      The audienc for your content matters just as much if not more than the total audience for HubPages.

      The fact that the site has survived when so many other sites have failed is good news as far as I'm concerned.

    30. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
      PaulGoodman67posted 15 months ago

      Traffic's been relatively good for me in recent times, especially considering it's Summer.  That's partly because I've got more and more brutal with editing and posting hubs, and partly because of the changes that HP has brought in, I believe.  I'm reasonably optimistic at the moment.

    31. WriteAngled profile image91
      WriteAngledposted 15 months ago

      I wasn't on Squidoo long enough to find out whether the traffic or income was better, but I found it a lot more fun than Hubpages and am sad that it folded sad

    32. makingamark profile image78
      makingamarkposted 15 months ago

      How about if we converted it into the format of an ebook? There seem to be an awful lot of those which get read on mobile devices!!

      The fact of the matter is that people will read what interests them and the length is immaterial.

      What is important is how it is formatted, how people write (i.e. NOT as if on paper), how they provide navigation signals and how they introduce a topic / article. ebook / whatever.