Back in summer of 2014 my traffic was looking pretty spiffy across all of my HP accounts. I was one happy camper. Then the Squid merger happened, and then a bunch of other bad things, culminating with the demise of subdomains a few months ago. By the time HP announced the niche site idea I'd lost around 50% of my traffic (and earnings), despite having added around 100 Hubs to my accounts in the previous 18 months.
Like many Hubbers, this put me in an extremely bad mood. No matter what HubPages did (and no matter what I did) I was not convinced I'd ever see my traffic return. I was extremely critical in these forums and I felt like a had a right to be. To me, HubPages looked like it was headed on a self-imposed downward death spiral into oblivion.
I'd remained optimistic as long as I could, and I'd been supportive of HP's attempts to right the ship to that point, but as much as I wanted to be positive my good humor had died with my traffic. In fact, I'd begun the process of moving away from this site, which made me pretty sad.
But a little voice in my head told me to stick around a bit longer and see how things panned out with the niche thing. The little voice in my head isn't always on my side, but in this case it appeared to know what it was talking about.
Today I added up my traffic and saw a number I never thought I'd see again. I think it's too early to say traffic is back to stay, but it sure does look promising. HP's niche site plan appears to be working very well, at least from my perspective. I am very optimistic about HP's future, for the first time in years.
I thought about emailing staff but I wanted to make this a public post because I feel like I've been so critical in the past when HP staff and management made bad decisions that didn't work out so well. It's only fair to also speak up when I believe they've done a great job.
So, well done HubPages. Paul, Robin, Marina, moderators, editors, programmers, everybody. The past few years must have been pretty difficult in the HP office, but I hope the future looks brighter. At least from my perspective what you've done here is greatly appreciated, and I hope I'm not alone.
I just noticed today that one of my Hubs that has been moved to a niche site has moved back up in the SERPs and re-gained some of it's lost traffic, that traffic that was lost during the merger. I lost a lot of traffic during that merger, I think 2/3 of my traffic. I think this niche site thing is going to work too, just witnessing what happened to that Hub; before the merger it was on the first page of SERPs, then afterward started dropping and I think ended up on the second page; as you probably know, that ends up being major, a heavy loss of traffic when a piece drops that much in the SERPs. Anyway, the article is rising again after the niche site move.
Thanks very much for your kind words!
It's been a rocky road for all of us, and even given the data HP Staff has access to, a lot of the process of a successful site on this scale involves trial and error. Not everything we've tried has worked (though we certainly wish it did), but we remain committed to trying until we find things that do work and to keep improving even when we've found success. It truly means a lot to us that so many great Hubbers have stuck around for the journey.
Agreed I sent them a mail 2 or 3 days ago saying that they did a great job
I have held off saying anything myself although I saw an increase in traffic - didn't want to raise a flag and then see it disappear once more.
But over the last few weeks I've seen a stunning increase in traffic figures. Today is more than double what I would normally see just a month or two ago, and far more than I've ever seen in the past. With less than 1/4 of my hubs having transferred to the niche sites, total traffic has more than doubled and it's not from just one or two hubs - it's spread over a large number of them.
So yes, after watching weeks of increasing numbers (both traffic and income), I'll certainly join in that "Well done, HubPages!".
Amazing! I was waiting to hear from you and a few others
Well, it has been a real roller coaster ride as traffic rose for a while, google (intentionally, I believe) chopped it back and the whole thing repeated over and over. But this time it has risen far beyond anything I've seen before and appears (knock on wood) to be sustainable.
It does look like HP has hit a home run this time - now if they could just figure out how to keep a reasonable number of Amazon ads showing...
Oh about that, maybe try and include them in text. I do seem to be getting a fair number of clicks (more than usual, but that is maybe because of the higher traffic, either way a win-win IMO) with the change to text links. I posted another thread about that and the knowledge graph.
Come again? Do you mean you had a roller coaster on the niche sites? I hope not haha. Mine was steady a bit here and there, but nothing like the roller coasters on the main HP site some time in the past.
Nope - no roller coaster on the niche sites - I meant since Panda. No, the niche sites, since inception, has either held steady or risen dramatically. For me, there doesn't seem to be anything in between.
The amazon - while Amazon is doing OK for me, I do note that most of the sales are something at least similar to what I advertise. Not so much stuff all over the board - no bra's, lipstick or baby diapers. As that was most of my sales, that means I've lost an awful lot even though the $$ amount is up somewhat.
I did have one of my hubs go through HubPro Basic recently, one of the few aimed at generating Amazon sales and with lots of ads. After talking to the editor she left most of the ads in (although moving them around somewhat) - it will be interesting to see in increased traffic will generate more sales. That hub used to create quite a few but it fell way off the last few months. Now that it's on the niche site and gaining traffic it will be interesting to see what a hub on how to choose and buy specific products, with several ads, will do. It will also be interesting to see if traffic falls off after google gives it a chance to do well once more - the extra ads may trip either an algorithm button or lower reader interest (although it shouldn't - any readers to that hub should be prepared to buy).
Is this a hub on DenGarden by any chance? Because I looked at one of yours which had the most Amazon capsules I've seen on a niche site hehe. But all are definitely related and part of the hub.
Yes, dengarden. I experimented at one time with "sales" hubs (perfectly acceptable back then) with some success, and still have 3 or 4 of them floating around.
Even then, though, I tried to make it valuable for the reader, and made it very plain from the start that the whole reason was to recommend products to buy, based on personal experience. Perhaps that's the difference; that the hub is about more than simply sticking a bunch of ads together in the hopes of getting a click through.
Its starting to feel like the old days...I hope it continues
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