You know, when you have people like demand media paying people to crank out thousands of articles with no blood sweat and tears, and then my traffic from US google goes down the day content farms are smacked by the google algo, it makes one wonder. No one is paid here for most hubs. No one gets help in keyword search by some computer. We are just individuals and we should not be punished like Demand Studios is punished.
I hope Google reads this because it isn't fair.
I agree. I hope hubpages is not significantly effected long term. Maybe in a few days things will go back to normal....
I disagree. HP management may not be doing the dirty deed, but the results are not all that different.
Do some hub hopping. HP has a lot of low quality and obviously stolen content. Yes, staff does the best they can, but with open signup, the junk comes flooding in constantly.
I think HP needs to toughen up and not let anyone and everyone sign up and post instantly.
Is there any reference (article, whatever) to suggest Hubpages as a whole got a Google slap recently?
Maybe Hubpages needs to implement something like Info Barrel, where you have to get pre approved for a while before you get "cut loose" to publish?
I agree, PC Unix, I see some crap sometimes on hubpages, maybe I ought to start down voting the low quality junk.
Yeah, I guess I can not agree completely then. I have hub hopped, and there are bad hubs out there. However, compared to other sites, I still think hubpages stands in high regards. Hopefully, google still sees it that way.
I agree. Last month I signed up in she told me with 4 days waiting time for approval. Interesting to see that some stories from there ranking better in google.
This site is exactly what the world needs, this type of site should be a full time job for a good percentage of the world. I honestly thought Google would like sites like this.
We need to get people to start boycotting google, everyone start making hubs, let them know we are serious
I dunno dude, I think it really depends on how broad your definition of "content farm" is. There's obviously some quality problems. I pretty much just keep my head down and write a random article here and there and it has worked out pretty well for me, but I am getting concerned.
Apparently it is:
http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/ … a_diff.php
I think it's just the writer's terminology.. it reflects HP in a good way. That's a decent write-up.
whether Google thinks so I guess will remain to be seen. maybe we should head out of the forums over to hub hop or catch them hot off the press.
I didn't see too much of a difference today in traffic although I did see a slight decrease.
EDIT- I just checked one of my hubs that used to be on page 1, and it's been bumped. It used to be directly beneath the company links.
I didn't think so. I reckon bgamall is worrying unnecessarily.
I might be being a bit slow here, but has something happened that may affect Hubpages that I don't know about??
We own our own content, and we are not paid. I don't care what PC Unix says. We are not a content farm yet google traffic from US google only, so far, is cratering.
It isn't fair and they need to fix it. Cutts needs to listen.
Still not understanding, I know I own my own content, I know I make pretty okay money from Adsense etc, not sure what a content farm is, but am purely concerned about my current income continuing and hopefully growing. What is Cutts by the way, and what do you mean by Google 'cratering'?
Thanks in advance for explaining.
Mistyhorizon, there is more information on the latest changes, and on content farms in this article:
http://davidscottkane.com/article-sites … ff-google/
Google doesn't have to listen to anything.
Look, I think it is too early to get upset. This may be nothing but a momentary dip.
But there ARE content problems here and it is Google's call if they are bad enough to punish. It is their decision, and your concepts of "fair" are not in their equation. If they say HP doesn't meet their standards, then HP has to change or die.
But we are in the dark on that and can only wait and see. As I said, this may be nothing at all.
I know they don't have to listen. They are search. No one else hardly counts. But the rules regarding content farms don't fit us.
How can you say that?
Look, I might think so, you might think so and surely HP thinks that, but it only matters what Google thinks.
On the plus side, Google often adjusts algorithms and looming disaster turns into business as usual. On the negative side, there IS a lot of crap here.
Only time will tell, and even then it is not the end of the world. Let's say that Google HAS decided HP is a bad site. What could HP do?
Well, they could immediately banish all duplicate content, whoever it belongs to. That would tick off some people, but it could be done. Then they could put a bounty on bad pages: offer an extra 1% for every 50 pieces of junk reported and at least momentarily take staff out of the loop and let popular vote take down junk. Again, some people would get hurt but sometimes you have to cut off limbs to save your life. They'd need to cut off new members or require a sanbox before publishing.
If they did all that, the place could be squeaky clean in a month. They'd apply for reconsideration and it would be granted.
So, again, this may be nothing. If it is not, it can be fixed and probably in less draconian ways than I outlined.
It is NOT time to panic.
I'm agreeing with you, Pcunix; maybe HP needs some more stringent rules for content, and especially for newcomers. It's really up to all of us to keep ugly, low quality hubs out of here.
@Pcunix, sometimes you seem to sound very awful, saying "If they say HP doesn't meet their standards, then HP has to change or die.
But we are in the dark on that and can only wait and see. As I said, this may be nothing at all."
This a general issue with content farm on the Internet and not just HubPages, I love the new search algorithm improvement by Google which will adversely affect content farm anywhere found online.
If you're in the dark on that, others are not. I strongly believe HubPages will put automated measures to tackle same here. It will only turn out good!!!!!!!
I think you may have misunderstood my point.
We are in the dark as to Google's algorithm and how it will ultimately affect HP.
As to HP adopting measures, yes, of course: I said that in another post in this thread. We don't even know if Google really is punishing HP yet, but if they are, there are obvious measures HP can take to put themselves back in Google's graces.
The funny thing is that few if any of the problem hubbers ever post in the forums, so much of the doom and gloom is silly - most of the people wringing their hands over what might or might not be happening have nothing to worry about: this is either a momentary glitch, in which case the sun will be shining brightly soon enough or it represents a real problem for HP, in which case they WILL FIX IT and the sun will shine again also.
Yes, if you are someone who habitually churns out crap, you might have cause to worry. 99% of those people never even read the forums, never mind post here.
HubPages is neither under Google's wrath to seek or bounce back to Google's graces. It's a good development from Google that will affect the Internet generally; keeping off junk contents to gaining access to the lime light of search results.
Anyway, I felt it was indirectly hateful for you to say or write "If they say HP doesn't meet their standards, then HP has to change or die." I've carefully observed your comments in the forums since you joined HubPages, even on DarkSide and others, sometimes I wonder why you unleash such? No sentiments attached!
It's just reality.
If - IF, IF , IF - Google is punishing HP as they are some other sites, then HP has to change. If they don't, they will die - literally. There's nothing hateful about that at all and my expectation is that if - IF - they need to make changes, they will. Some hubbers may be hurt by changes, but HP will in all likelihood survive.
"IF - they need to make changes, they will. Some hubbers may be hurt by changes, but HP will in all likelihood survive."
Very true and I add 'Some hubbers may be hurt by the changes, but HP will definitely survive.
Well, you can never say definitely.
We don't know what HP's financial situation is or what their investors might be thinking.
I was involved with another site - nothing to do with writing or Google in any way - that was doing very well until the stock market crash a few years back. The investors pulled out and the site fell like a rock - it just wasn't ready to fly by itself.
These things can happen. But yes, i agree: if the only problem is that HP needs to make changes, then they surely will make the changes. If those changes hurt individual hubbers, well, stuff happens.
This is common with Google algo as to putting a check on providing quality search results.
Well, if HP definitely make the supposed changes which I know the've got listening ears and surely will, then the definitely will survive. Right?
My bet would be that HP owners and investors have been talking and planning long before any of us ever knew a thing about it.
Sites like HP have special relationships with Google - they get to talk to people directly. They almost certainly get weather forecasts and warnings of things to come - officially or unofficially.
Well many if not all hubs have been knocked down a few pegs in google rankings. More so the newer Hubs less than 12 months old.
But its a pretty significant hit! I thought it was just me, but apparently the majority of hubs is affected.
I do suspect however that the higher quality hubs will bounce back in the short to medium term.
traffic hiccups always happen during algo shifts, there is little evidence that there is anything to worry about at this point. You have to wait a few days and watch.
It's official, folks:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/ … es-in.html
I have noticed that I have site that is independent that moved up. Only problem is, my writing has evolved.
I think higher quality hubs will bounce back. And one hub in particular has not been affected.
I haven't been on this site long but I often hub hop and if I was doing a google search and came across some of the hubs that would likely get a hit on my google search I would be annoyed. Sometimes the information is off topic or extremely limited. I use google to search for unique content that can provide information that I need. Many hubpages do just that but there are also some that seem to have a very high score that really don't provide much more than an authors opinion. The google blurb indicates they want to rank higher quality content. I am not sure how this affects hubpages. Do the low quality hubs affect the ranking of all the useful hubs?
I think having a high Hubpages score has not that much to do with ranking.
Some people who have a high Hub score just do a lot of promotion within Hubpages and once they stop, their Hubscore subsides.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, the main problem is that lots of people have put a huge amount of effort into writing top notch content and then even more effort into backlinking to get it somewhere so its recognized.
The fact that there's so much crappola coming onto hubpages is in affect dragging the whole site down.
I suspect Hubpage administration will make some changes of their own to gain back some kudos from Google, just the same it's a warning for spam bots to start lifting their game and start putting a little more effort in to their content.
I will be winding up my hubhopping efforts to chip in and I urge others to do this also.
I think HP may have to be more clear on what can be published, but one of the problems is that it is so easy to sign up and start writing. People sign up and don't read anything. It should be harder to start publishing if they want to crack down on the spam and low quality hubs.
In that Google blog, he says:
it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
I think there are too many who simply want to publish as many hubs as they can, and they're written in a hurry and they read like they were written in a hurry. oh well, I'm going to bed.
Seems to me you don't have to go very far on hubpages to find a site encouraging writers to publish as many as 5 or 6 hubs a day. I think we can agree there may not be a lot of research and analysis when this is happening. I may not have the best hubpages here and I am sure I will keep trying to improve and maybe slowly increase my output but there is no way I could ever write more than three or four decent hubpages in a day and I am pretty sure even at that the quality would suffer.
I also read a lot of hubs aimed at finding the best search terms to make money. So what happens when I find high yield search terms but I don't know much about that topic? My guess is that some writers just seek out information from other parts of the web and make a hubpage. That's ok if they synthesize it and put it together in a unique and valuable way but in many cases this probably isn't happening.
Personally, reading all kinds of hubs and participating in the community here is really enjoyable so whether google changes or not I will likely stay here. However, it would be helpful if hubs could be flagged if the quality of basic grammar and spelling is so low that it barely makes sense. Maybe we don't want to discourage people for whom English is a second language because everyone has a unique perspective but there should be some type of cutoff point.
Maybe even provide some type of writing rubric for hubbers, just some type of overall guideline, and a system for providing feedback or editing suggestions on hubpages. In the long run maybe it will help. Maybe the google changes will be beneficial for hubpages. I often see a lot of pages ranked high on google that are really just glorified ads so maybe this will be a good thing.
interesting. I noticed that my hub that got bumped had a search on it today from googlesyndicatedsearch.com. what is it?
Lots of blue triangles on my articles (but also some double reds!) - HubPages is likely to be affected by this. I wonder if it will be temporary.
Anyone who thinks this site is just full of top quality content hasn't obviously used the Hub Hopper. 80% of what I hopped last year was rubbish. Quality content here is actually quite rare.
I agree that the InfoBarrel probation period helps. But let's face it, junk content makes good AdSense money.
And yes, make your own sites, they do often rank better than Hubs do. And you don't get annoying things like having a Hub unpublished after 4 months. Grrr.
True, it often feels like 50% or more of the hubs here are junk, regardless how high HP has set their goal. I agree with pcunix 100%. HP could have implemented better ways to up the quality of the hubs here, and I hope they will do that. Few days ago I flagged around 10 hubs that are total copies and some of them so short, then flagged the hubber himself since obviously all his hubs are copies from the internet. HP unpublished some of flagged ones, I'm still waiting for them to unpublished the rest, and I hope soon the hubber will be terminated.
I have couple of hubs that are copies of my own work, but I don't mind if HP from now on just disallow duplicate content completely, as pcunix suggested.
To me, a content farm should be classified as one of those places where you write for money upfront and do not own the copyrights on your articles. Of course, Google may disagree.
I've always thought of "content farm" the way you do. They operate differently and have a whole different "atmosphere" than HP. To me, HP has its own set of "issues", but it seems different (just by virtue of the fact that those other people weed out of the "issues" HP doesn't.
Those sites, themselves, seem to foster the "farm" culture. It seems to me that on here there's been a giant growth of a "farm culture" that has grown up from within the ranks of contributors, rather than from being "established" at the "policy-setting level". What I write on here is spare-time stuff anyway; but even if with "real" (work) writing, I've primarily stayed away from those other sites because I don't feel like working at farm wages either.
I just did some Hub hopping and didn't find a single worthwhile page. Depressing. I gave up after a dozen dismal encounters.
I know that there are good writers here but sometimes I think they are drowning in a sea of junk.
Sure, there may be some bad Hubs here, but it isn't nothing like most ehow pages that rank at the top of the SERPS. If Google wants to slap someone for being a content farm or for just being a MFA site, then ehow would be a great place to start!
In my experience Ehow is not very good. There may be some good content hidden in there but Ehow has long been on my personal list of sites that I would not use.
I think there will be a lot of bitter recriminations on the web over the next weeks if these changes stick and do what they appear to be doing.
Edit: This post has been edited.
Shove your "kindness," Mark. And you really should think twice before you make sweeping generalizations like that. I would suspect that many, many people out there think the same of HubPages' writers after reading some of the absolute garbage that's published here.
eHow does have a lot of cr*p on it. So does HP. But I would pit the eHow cr*p against the HP cr*p any day of the week and eHow would still win out.
I'm sorry if I touched a nerve. I am a bit edgy today having seen my content penalised and my hopes of making some money dashed.
Let me rephrase rather than edit my post. This is my personal experience.
A few months ago I started looking at what was out there. And I frequently came across Ehow (and other sites), but Ehow stuck in my mind - where the content was so brief, so laughably constructed, written - call it what you will - that I thought Christ even I could do better than that.
I made a mental note that whenever I looked for anything, if it was an Ehow page I wouldn't bother clicking in to it.
Since being here I have indeed noticed the same standard throughout Hubpages - even from the top writers. No matter I thought - there's plenty of room for everyone. Except that - it would seem possible that the whole farm is destroyed for the sake of a few rotten apples in the orchard.
Only thing is, as most of us know on here, its not a few. It's rather more than that.
You called me (and many other hubbers) a moron. I'm not sure that there's anything left to be said.
Ok, OK, I should have said imo a lot of the content there is ....
I apologise unreservedly to the quality writers on Ehow, of which I am sure you are one and I was too angry and rushed in my sweeping generalisation.
Sorry lrohner - I was out of order.
Hmmm...I'm lost in your conversations here...eHow unfortunately has been very disappointing, even though sometimes You do come across good content, but most of the time there are just no content, I mean, zero content, has nothing to do with the writer, all they have for a page is just google adsense, somehow they get ranked quite well due to its "reputation", and that is unfair, period!
Unfair? As opposed to what? The spectacular content found so widely on Xomba, Buzzle, Suite 101, InfoBarrel, Squidoo or even HubPages? I can assure you of this -- regardless of how "useful" you find their information, you will never, ever find plagiarized, duped, mangled, translated or otherwise unreadable information on eHow. Can you say the same for HubPages? I'm not saying eHow contains Pulitzer award-winning info -- but I will contend that it is heads and tails above the majority of what you find on the other sites I mentioned. I will also concede that HP has tons of great hubs -- much better than eHow. Unfortunately, they do not constitute a majority of the content here.
Here is some good data on bad news for Hubpages . go to page 2 on possible Hubpages slap
http://hubsacademy.com/search-and-marke … tent-farm/
I read that on WebMasterWorld earlier. I'm not surprised. IMHO, Hubpages is a study on extreme highs and lows. There are some spectacular hubs and writers here. And I do mean spectacular. But the lows here are really, really low and really, really prolific.
lol - your list matches my list!
"Xomba, Buzzle, Suite 101, InfoBarrel, Squidoo or even HubPages?"
But page 2 of that article has links to a data miner that has done some .ca /.com comparisons and is showing big drops to all of the listed sites (except xomba, that isnt worth a mention ) hubpages showed an average of a drop of 31 positions ! eHow seems to be untouched
cant say I double checked the data as its a csv with 60,000 results in it - some regional variation would be expected but not at this level.
it will probably pass, but we took a huge hit today!
I know. And it's sad because it was so preventable. C'est la vie.
But the gossip from the DS folks is that the "How To" stuff didn't get hit but the other types of titles did. And that's really strange because even for DS writers, the "How To" stuff is the gunky goo and the other titles are a step above -- for whatever that's worth.
And just to clarify some of my other posts from today, I'm not defending eHow per se. It just gets my goat how people can say eHow sucks and Xomba, HP, Triond, Associated Content, HubPages, et.al. are so much better. REALLY gets my goat.
The manner in which you defend your goat is quite admirable!
Maybe the problem doesn't lie in how I protect my goat as much as other people not understanding my goat's psychological problems, and instead listening to jaded journalists who were turned away by said goat during peak mating season.
As a farmer I must say, you sure do know your goats!
Ah....yup. Too well. But you must know them better or you couldn't have spotted that, now could ya?
I am fully aware hubpages is full of garbage... I hope HP could do a lot more to change the situation, and they can if they want to, but I'm not feeling they are doing that.
I'm not sure why you are so mad, does it have to do with being a hubpages elite?
Some folks are mad because the spam hubs are why the whole site has had a hit in its over-all authority with Google, for anyone who makes money here it is upsetting that the cr*p posted by others is threatening a source of income.
As I recall, a while back squidoo had a google slap but it seems that they have recovered? Hopefully it will go that way for us to and reporting spam hubs (spam, poor quality, etc.) will help recover the loss in reputation WE ALL have lost here.
But we don't know that's true yet. That WSJ article implies that Google may NOT be punishing HP as a site
Web traffic sent by Google to a HubPages article about nose piercing rose by 40% since yesterday, he said, while traffic to an article on "what happens if you abandon your home and let it foreclose" dropped by 80%.
Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 … z1F57VaNFX
Were the two articles by the same author?
The only hub I have whose traffic is rising is on how to use Gimp.
Read that article too. But based on my own experience these couple of days, I can feel that more or less hubpages got ranked down as a whole
Well, it may be that most hubbers are doing simliar things.
For example, say (ENTIRELY HYPOTHETICALLY!) that it was related to excessive internal linking. Someone who tended to use a lot of tags would be hurt, those using less would not.
Or say Google has decided that SheToldMe is a really toxic site (again please: hypothetically). Those who have backlinks there might suffer.
Or, it's something else entirely but Google loves tatoos and exempts those pages.
We'll know eventually.
I think that Hubpages will have to change its rules to disallow poor writers, especiall those with poor english.
Sure. If that keeps HP and Members in safe zone then it's wise choice to drop members like me out of this network.
they should. HP is not a place for learning English after all
I agree. I do not write hubs to make money, I write them because I want to share advice and information. Of course, when I do get some revenue I'm very happy, but the thing about Hubpages is revenue is not guaranteed. A hub has to be well-written, popular and seen as useful or entertaining by other hubbers before any money can be earned anyway: we do not need Google to police us when we police ourselves.
I agree. Something I like about Hubpages is it's not just a matter of showing up, dropping a few poorly written articles out, and then never coming here again. If you want to keep your hubscores up, you need to have a well-written hub and some level of participation in the community.
First of all I am NOT a Hubber. I came across Google's algo changes news today and being an avid Google search user I am researching how is it going to affect me. Couldn't help dropping in when I saw Hubbers debating here. Since it seems there are more Bloggers/Hubbers/LensMasters/Article writers than readers these days being just a reader I think I have something important to say.
I as a reader see HubPages as a Content Farm, no better than EHow. Content Farms can either pay UpFront OR do Revenue Sharing, but the end results remain the same - millions of pages with mediocre/poor quality content. I don't know what Hubber's think about their site but just surfing the latest published hubs prove the general quality of the site - few jems here and there and loads of garbage being published every minute.
I have seen my search results getting cluttered day by day because of these websites - EHow, HubPages, EzineArticles, WebUpon(triond), HealthMad(triond) and squidoo. Earlier squidoo used to rank very high in SERPs but hopefully they have already received the Google Slap.
To find relevant results I increasingly have to use "search blogs" function to get my result or be prepared to weed through tons of top searches, especially from these websites.
Hubbers will not like it, but I will be very happy if google punishes these websites or atleast give me an option to block search results from these sites.
I didn't even have to verify my email to publish this, but you guys still think HubPages is a quality site. Even a fool can start publishing here any minute.
You have that option with plugins. The Chrome one is particularly important because it is Google's and they are monitoring the blocks.
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/ … -from.html
Why are you still using IE?
A fool can start posting here, yes. But a fool's articles are very unlikely to receive the page views and kudos from other hubbers that will give it a higher score and make it more likely to show up in search results.
Higher score has absolutely nothing to do with SERP.
NO but higher scoring hubs are promoted through the Hot Hubs and on the front page, and with 43 million monthly visitors that can be a huge benefit to some hubbers.
Hubbers generally don't click on ads anyway. You'll get traffic but not clicks.
You are in a wonderful dream, I guess. Too bad so far the reality is, any fools can write here, and it's even worse that many of them have been ranked pretty well. I've dug out quite a few fools here that no one reported them ever before, and instead, many hubbers here cheated their comments without even reading anything, which is a shame.
websurfer123, thanks for taking the time to post. We must keep our audience in mind when writing for HubPages or elsewhere.
Wow this is a lively thread isn't it!
Quality will always shine through, every article writing site, blog hosting platform and free website platform will attract good, bad and terrible writers.
One of my frustrations with writing on the internet is that the ability to dupe the search engines seems more important than the quality of the content written. I fully understand the need for SEO etc but accurate, informative content is surely the key to success. I applaud Google for trying to clean up as in the long term serious writers will benefit.
I have noticed a mixed bag in my traffic results and see it as a warning, get better or fail, I will try the get better route!
I have had a few problems with my Adsense account recently, I am now wondering if this algo change may have had something to do with it, anyway my point is if you write quality content regardless of where you publish it; you will be successful.
eHow, About.com and similar networks who pay upfront for quality content are not bad sites. They just have high moderation criteria which removes the 'people' factor from the network. You'll not find content on these networks which is pitched to average people. Professional writers on these networks are posting content packed in more of formal way. You'll notice that there is a template on these network for almost every type of search queries users make. Because of this these networks even create content for low value queries that users make on SE. For example, 'how to win kindle toy on Mcdonalds xmas week' etc. Cutting everything into three-four steps and presenting it into search-able format is SE gaming. You add more rules to any content network and 'people' factor gets flushed from the network and then site becomes a ' content farm'. This is what google is attempting to eliminate because it's not adding value to search results.
Today's slapping shows that these are more of manual slaps on some sites(or niche) rather than pure algorithm changes. Because atleast in case of hubpages this change happened on 'Thursday-Friday' and not slowly throughout week. As per my observation algo changes never kicks any site instantly(that's because it's machine generated algorithm and not human penalty).This shows that algorithm is still imperfect and people are getting slaps on their sites from user collected data from add-on used for chrome.
Skyfire, these are good observations about the ehow site. I dislike it because the amount of moderation in place and the rigid format requirements significantly reduce the warmth and personality that should come shining through in any article that I'd care to read.
I do acknowledge that ehow is considered an important site, and if it hadn't been for a little blurb in Time magazine about ehow (the old ehow), I would not have known about sites like HubPages. It does not escape my notice, however, when an ehow article consistently ranks above my article in the SERPS despite their article having one or two facts wrong.
I'm sure HP is already steps ahead of this and have plans to eliminate the junk, copied content, black hat SEO etc. How many of us have searched and found nothing but junk? Alot of the poor quality hubs published here probably never make it into the first few search pages on google. Whenever I've found a hub on page 1 or 2, it was always a decent hub.
HP will have to put the clamps down.
Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn't expect HP to do any more than they have to do.
If Google demands, yes, they will do whatever is needed. If not, full speed ahead, business as usual.
I'm certain they want to continue to climb in the rankings, and will do what they need to do.
Somehow I continue to be on your side on this topic, interesting, I just have the same feeling (with good enough reasons), as long as HP's overall traffic is not affected, I highly doubt that HP would care that much about...some hubs go up and some go down.
Am I the only person who thinks that no one should do anything for a little while... just calm... relax. Less stress. Making radical changes until we understand what is happening is a little foolish.
From what I can tell, pretty much all the major web 2.0 properties have been hit except ehow and possibly squidoo.
So, making rapid changes is very risky.
If this is a long term change, then it is a vast opportunity... Imagine, all those no1 spots that are now vacant with weaker competition just waiting to be snaffled up bu anyone with their own web site.
You're not the only one. There's been a big "house-of-cards" factor with the whole search-engine thing. People and businesses adapt.
Yes I saw lots of blue triangles, now I'm seeing red triangles. It's best to do nothing until Google settles down.
Anyone with any sense would have started their own sites though, in the long term it's a better strategy if you find a good niche here. I've started a few sites off the back of this place, and they're easily outranking hubs now.
The search engines are always being adjusted to try to put quality content at the top. I am finding that in ways they have improved a lot but still not enough. People using search engines want to find useful information. If these changes mean more quality hubpages and less substandard garbage then good. Nothing is written in stone and that's good because all of the search engine manipulators will eventually be out of business and relevant content will be at the top.
Squidoo was creamed: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/squidoo.com#
I posted this earlier but no one seemed to pick up on it.
A discussion of Hubpages, along with other sites, and the new changes. The interesting thing to note is Paul Edmondson's defense of Hubpages.
http://gigaom.com/2011/02/23/the-benefi … ent-farms/
Yeah, you won't see Google doing this to Youtube even though it is the exact same thing.
But, you wonder if Google is being leaned on by mainstream media. This would be a disaster because you don't get the whole picture from mainstream media. Google should think this through because do you want stupid people reading propaganda or do you want the truth?
Trust me people, a paid economist is not going to expose the truth about our financial system. They got rid of Dylan Ratigan because he wanted the banksters to pay the money back from ponzi lending.
Part of this is about the commercial aspect but what about good old fashioned muckraking? If my content was good enough for Business Insider and Seeking Alpha why would I get punished for writing here? It makes no sense.
His response was interesting enough but in the long run hubpages will suffer because it allows rubbish content. I have seen some of the hubpages articles that rank highly in google and some are good but many are far from authoritative. I have no idea how some of these articles get ranked so highly but the worst thing is that many other articles ranked ahead of HP are of even lower quality.
What is authorative, that which the government puts out as propaganda? Do you have to have a PHD? Am I more authorative because I am published on Business Insider? Apparently not!
This is where google just has missed it. If you looked up 911 all you got for years are official stories. They are a pack of lies. If you looked up 911 conspiracy, you get the truth, but fewer people searched that keyword by far.
Finally, if you look up 911 you get on the first page this: http://www.911truth.org/ But in the heat of battle, when sites like this should have been on the first page they weren't. PR 5 is the highest 911 conspiracy PR I have ever seen. Not sure it is the highest period but in past years they were pretty low.
In other words, the formula they use is not true to what is actually the best and most important information.
By authoritative I mean someone who is credible because they have experience or a sound knowledge base. If I want to read information on bricklaying I would prefer to get it from someone who is or has been a bricklayer, not someone who made up a story about bricklaying or someone who regurgitated information they read on bricklaying.
This is not right. There are a lot of people who study independently and few Harvard grads are going to write the truth about Ben Bernanke because their job depends upon keeping quiet.
You are totally wrong, because you hear all the time about average guys who are really good at one thing or who have figured out a scam. You see sportscasters who become pretty good newscasters
If you want an authority in politics be prepared to take a pack of lies. There is plenty of research on the net that exposes the lies of authority.
Google is damning the system to propaganda, at least in the sphere of politics and economics.
Authorities in bricklaying know about bricklaying. Authorities in politics and economics lie through their teeth.
Yes you have a good point. My reference point doesn't begin with politics or economics I guess. To me that's like being an authority on life. No one gets the patent on those subjects. Anyway, I don't know if its possible to be totally wrong but I never claimed to be totally right either. I am more interested in life experience than credentials anyway. I have met to many learned people who didn't offer anything I couldn't find in a used text for $20 or less. I have also met some with great credentials who had also done amazing things and managed to synthesize the two. I guess these things are never black and white.
in your example "bricklaying" you will find that a true authority in that field is less likely to have the interest or experience in the tech end that is required to publish online.
So your best chance at authoritative content will stem from someone who has solid research skills and is able to separate the wheat from the chaff on that subject online and provide a quality resource.
This may even involve interviewing or creating video content if the subject shows itself to be profitable.
A hypothetical bricklayer would probably write in a manner that is best understood by another bricklayer - while the searche ris most likely a DIYer who would be best served by an article or tutorial written by another novice or DIYer who pays attention to the details that may seem below mention to the professional.
Not that I assume any skilled craftsman is specifically a bad writer or not tech savvy - but I do assume that it is quite likely outside of their sphere of interest.
I would tend to agree! Because I have many skills and can write so unskilled readers can understand the particular jargon, I feel this helps in gaining higher ranking in the search engines. But who knows at this point?
I have noticed one of my articles on another site being rated higher than a much more in depth and researched similar hub here. The hub was almost always in the 1st few listings on the first page of Google. Now it's on page 2 behind the very brief AC article. Sigh!
I think one could say that the NY Times, or Fox News, or CNBC are content farms, because while they issue a little news, their commentary is often biased and always is mainstream. Thanks for the support, TP, to see what I was driving at.
Since the government in America has just about taken control of the Internet, this is not surprising. Things like Limewire are gone, gone, gone.
I'm not sure what the official definition of "content farm" is. Somebody told me it's the fact the we are not paid for our writing but share in the revenue from HP that makes it a content farm. If we were all employees of HP, it would not be a content farm. So content farming by this definition is like share cropping, as opposed to being a hired laborer.
A Content Farm is whatever Google says is a Content Farm. Period.
Well, of course! They run the show. But they run it using an algorithm, and they changed the algorithm so as to hurt content farms. So in their new algorithm there must be a formal definition of content farm...
Well, it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether you are paid or own your content or run Adsense yourself or anything else.
It has to do with junk content and THEY decide what is junk and what percentage is acceptable and what is not.
It's got something to with how the content is held together and with what other content it's associated. I know that much because if I publish the exact same content on my own site, it gets zero hits, but if I publish on HP, I get lots of traffic. If Google were really fair as a search engine and went only by content, this would not be the case, and there would be no benefit from publishing on HP.
The former Google algo benefitted HP. The current one may or may not - that remains to be seen.
Correct. So the big question is what are the changes to the algorithm. Another way to ask that is to ask "what is a content farm"? Sure, Google decides what that is, but not on an article by article basis. They have a rule, and it would be nice to know what that rule is. The rule is not about the content. It's about how the content is arranged with other content. Hence the term "farm".
It could simply be the percentage.
I have some concerns about that at my site. I have a section that consists solely of old newsgroup posts on certain subjects that are of interest to my readers. That section has value because it is a culling of more important and useful content from a sea of mixed value posts.
Google may not see it that way. They may see it only as duplication of words that exist elsewhere and it could cost me. If it does, I'll either rip that stuff out or move it somewhere else.
I also have a free consultants directory where other consultants in my field are allowed to post their info. I made all that no-follow some time ago because Google seemed not to like it. It's entirely possible that they will turn a jaundiced eye regardless.
Unfortunately, Google is tight lipped. They could penalize any of us for some specific section, but they'll never tell you that directly (well, not someone at my level - they might tell bigger sites).
Don't worry Aya, you likely will have to pay for advertising to have any respect and clout. I could be wrong and I hope I am but apparently this will leave sites at the top that pay for SEO linking, that advertise extensively in media and that make themselves an authority by one thing, money. I hope I am wrong but I doubt it.
You are wrong.
Many niche sites enjoy top SERP without any "clout" at all - they simply have the best content.
Not necessarily, they could have simply done a manual intervention. Google does them all the time. Simply put in a manual penalty to a particular collection of sites.
Oh! Is there any reason to think that this is what happened to HP?
We don't know yet that ANYTHING happened to HP.
For all we know, there's a major router outage that is keeping hordes of would-be visitors away or that HP is accidentally affected and Google is fixing it as we speak.
HP owners could be in conference calls with Google right now working out what, if anything needs to be done.
IT IS TOO SOON TO PANIC.
OMG!!! First the algorithm, now a major router gone bust, and HP called into Mr. Google's office.
PCUnix, that doesn't seem likely, Google announced that they had implemented changes affecting 12% of search results on their blog yesterday.
I do agree we don't know what has happened, it is too early to know whether it is long term, short term, or accidental damage that will simply be fixed within a few days or hours.
Those who don't know history..
Every time - EVERY TIME - that Google has changed an algorithm, they have to fine tune it.
None of us know what things will be like here in a week. If it is still sliding, then yes, there is a problem.
But the other side of that is that HP will likely move quickly to FIX that problem if it does exist. They and their investors have much more to lose than most of us do.
Give it time.
The interesting thing is that unlike Xomba, the hubpages team haven't had an instant response, which is very hopeful. If it was an intended change, it is pretty certain they would have known about it in advance, and would have already had a response planned.
Xomba knew about it before hand, it doesn't seem like hubpages did.
That is a bit odd.
Probably signifies the Apocalypse is near.
It all reminds me of the google mantra- content is King-
Taking the time to write quality, informative, original content.
Maybe when HP runs contests, there should be less focus on allowing people to publish 4 -5 hubs daily. Who can do that with the kind of writing and layout that's required?
EDIT, I just googled a few of my hubs and they're still doing fine with ranking.
I participated in one because I liked the topic, but I only wrote a few over the entire period. I guess I don't see the benefit of writing on a topic that many others are also writing.
Even on this site, how many hubs are there about how to make money on google, written sometimes by the same hubbers. I think it's over-saturation on topics, and they tend to repeat themselves. But that's just my opinion..
I think contests could hurt the natural creation of hubs. I think they could hurt.
I doubt about that. Let's ask other HP members if their earning on xomba is unaffected. Xomba has treasure of crap bookmarks than sub-standard hubs on hubpages. I'm sure xomba moderators spent lot of time to flush those live stream bookmarks off the system.
Of course Hp knew (any of us who read any search industry journals or google info knew)- they probably did not expect to be effected as the system of peer review here is much better than we are giving credit for.
I see lots of references to the crap in the Hub Hopper, if you look through Pdeeds comments he shares some high figures about how much of that stuff never makes it out of its first week here, the hopper is supposed to identify possible crap - it works. Its not a true reflection of hubs as a whole. When I was researching my hubpages sucks article i found hundreds of references to Internet marketers who hate Hubpages because they were unable to get their crap to stick here or enjoy dofollow status. I think HP still enjoys a good online rep.
Its very likely that hubs will pop back up maybe even better than before if we start outranking true content farms like eHow by default or that garbage About.com site that previously enjoyed inappropriately high rankings.
Could be wishful thinking but its way too early to tell andif you do even the most basic of research about serps changes after algo switches you would know that the immediate effects have never been telling of the end result.. they must tweak and check data
And again, if - IF! - there really is a problem, HP can fix it very, very quickly.
Very good point. That would be awesome if hubpages, ranked even higher. I hope we don't get slapped by Google. There's not to much to say at the moment. We will have to wait...
It would be interesting to have an official comment/statement released here by Hubpages Staff telling us their perspective on the situation and if it is going to effect us in any major way.
I don't think HubPages serves much purpose as an outsider reporting agency.
I was reading about Google's new ranking system and when I tried to Google HP it did not list high on the Google search engine anymore. So who knows? Maybe Google's program works as well as HP's program does.
I am with sunforged on this one; please settle down hubbers. This is all in Beta and there will be glitches fixed and many things looked at I am sure. Google is in it for the money too.
The key is quality; pure and simple. We have allowed too much "crap" to hit the pages here and I am sure it is overwhelming for moderators to keep up with. That is where you come in; hop some hubs and flag the bad ones.
I just published a hub on this very subject.
I am just concerned from the concept of free speech. Yes, Google has a right to get a bricklayer to explain bricklaying. But Google will destroy free speech if it gets an economist to explain the economy. With rare exceptions, they have an agenda, or are paid by certain big corporations and agencies. There has to be free speech in economics and politics.
I hope Google realizes that you cannot treat all subjects the same. We saw what happened when credit-speak ended up controlling virtually all credit views and investment-speak controlled all of investment views. Protest sites are needed since these methods and websites massively failed Americans. And Google allowed them first in search. You could say, well, Americans got what they wanted.
But they didn't get what they needed.
Google isn't making decisions at that level.
What they want to know is if more people seem to like (for example) your page rather than the one by the economist. They used to figure that out by links, but liars started creating crap links, so now they have to downplay that.
Google doesn't really care who's right. What they care about is whether the person who searched thinks they got a better answer than they would have at Bing. If that answer is "right", fine, but Google doesn't care if it is or isn't - all they care about is keeping themselves as the Big Kahuna so they can sell more ads.
Free speech? You are free to publish anything and Google is free to ignore it. Ignoring you does not violate any of your rights.
That is the heart of what is so wrong here. First, I had articles on Business Insider that got thousands of views per day, once in the stream of main articles. But once Google warned BI, they put contributor articles, which often were the best articles, to the side and not in the mainstream. Traffic is a function of power and money. i caught a ride for a time, and gained some following, but then it went away thanks to Google actually weakening the quality of the site!
Ignoring me violates rights if they have a monopoly and in search they may. I don't know if there has been a legal ruling as to if they have a monopoly, but in practice it sure seems like they do.
Are you saying they should not punish the entire site, but rather specific individuals instead?
They should punish lack of content, and that includes anyone here and myself. But great content should not be punished. Now on some terms inferior content is now at the top because the entire site is punished.
I see John Carney's blog on CNBC. Some blogs are sound bites. How about punishing John?
its because yo are jumping the gun and assuming permanence on something that is historical not permanent
if low quality stuff is somehow hitting the top of serps now, you dont think hundreds of google engineers are taking notes as to why and making tweaks to crush that content?
have some fun and go read up on the google updates of the past and the minor tweaks that happen afterwards, they often make changes just to see what will come rising up and whether it should!
Protest and political action has found a great and powerful home at twitter and facebook. People power is social - social media seems to be working well as a venue for such
I tweet alot about political articles. But it isn't the same as better search positioning. Guess I will have to tweet more.
I was reading somewhere the other day that social media is very likely to take prominence over regular SE searches because we tend to trust our friends or network contacts more than search results.. not just concerning politics, etc, but with products, services, great places to eat or travel, etc. Part of the logic being, why should we trust someone with no authority? It was written in reference to poor search results.
I'll see if I can find it..
We all know, or Should know by now that Google tried to hook up with Verizon to make people 'pay' big bucks for having their Internet content ranked higher and come up faster. So who knows what the 'new' ranking system is up to because Google and Verizon tried to wreck our free and open Internet. Funny too, because Google got to where it is by having a free and open Internet yet tried to destroy it for the rest of us. "Do no harm?" Maybe.
My page views - 2/3 to 3/4 from forms of Google - have tanked. Was wondering what's going on. Thanks for the info
Well, in an ideal world, a search engine would rank each web page individually. It certainly doesn't work that way with Google, which is why sites like HP exist in the first place.
Exactly Aya, we see an individual site goes nowhere so we come here to write content and we now see it goes nowhere, at least for now.
My claim that most sites that hit the top have money and advertising may be coming true like never before. I guess we will have to wait and see.
Of course this is right - the process of getting good stuff seen requires both publishing and promoting. The Google changes attack just some ways of promoting, and content 'farms' like Hubpages will have to change how they link and promote, perhpas better control over content etc.
I have just put up a new hub expecially for Hubpage writers that offers one way of helping themselves promote their already pages in a way more in tune with Googles ideas I think.
Ya, it seems like a ton of people got hit by this, this isn't right for those that rely on hubpages to make money
For some reason, many writing sites shy away from requiring a prospective author to pass any sort of test which indicates their ability to publish useful and accurate content. This always leads to problems in credibility and search results.
I think this is due to the sites wanting a large number of articles in their database despite the poorly written inclusions. This eventually catches up with them as more writers and articles are added with fewer staff to edit or delete them
This is right - it is a classical 'diminishing returns' situation. BUT if quality rules were applied in Hubpages it would reduce the overall 'size' by a larger percentage than most people would like to admit. I would rate more than half the articles here as substandard in terms of content, useful information, unique information - and that includes the 'good' hubs that are just another three line review of the same high sales product.
But what good does useless hubs do for the site other than reward useless hub writers with the occasional click to get away from the hub itself? I do agree there is a problem for the searchers and for those paying for the ads displayed on the hub.
New writers-especially from those not fluent in English- are joining every day and the problem is getting worse. Who is going to flag those hubs? A probation writing period for new members might help solve this problem, otherwise it will continue to snowball!
I am so angry that my numbers have dropped by fifty percent in the last 30 hours--that is about 1200 views just poof.
I like writing for Hubpages because I don't believe it is a content farm, but at the same time, it is nice to make some money too.
I hope that this slump is temporary, and that we can all pull together to bring Hubpages reputation up in the Google realm.
For those of you who do publish original and useful content designed to benefit users and not just search engines, don't be afraid to move your content elsewhere and publish it on your own domains. You do own your content here and if Google is going to throw the baby out with the bath water, you are under no obligation to just sit back and watch your valueble content be rendered worthless. Remember, you are getting just 60% of the revenue generated from your articles anyway. That means you could take complete control of your content (meaning you won't be impacted by those who abuse the platform and use the system as a content farm), lose a large percentage of your traffic in the process, and still come out ahead when it comes to earnings. The one thing I've learned in my many years of publishing content on the web is that you have to be flexible and change with the times. Those who do thrive and continue to see success while those who wait to be treated "fairly" by the search engines end up starving.
I am a fledgling when it comes to online writing. I must say though, in the few months I have been trying my hand at publishing online HP has been by far the best site I have come across. For the last few weeks I have been a member here I have come across more good writers and a better community than anywhere else.The layout here is also less cluttered and spammy than other sites. I feel at home here.
I believe Google will soon realize how much quality content they are keeping out of searches and make adjustments. Or at the very least come up with a way to filter out the junk and keep those of us who take pride in our work in high standing. I
I usually keep searching if I get an Ehow search result. Perhaps there are good articles there, but I don't like the layout at all. I've never read anything from Associated Content or those others mentioned.
Am I supposed to be noticing some type of dip in activity on my hubs?
Am I supposed to be noticing some type of drop in traffic?
It took a long time, but I managed to read through all the posts on this subject and, to be quite honest, most of what I have seen has been bickering about the fact that views of hubs have dipped, panic, and very little perspective on the issue.
Sunforged has made the point that here at Hubpages very little actual research has been undertaken. I agree.
To put this to rights I would like to offer the following as information that may assist.
I will give my info as ratios so that data can be consolidated easily from as many responses as are returned. The ratios are determined from the following time periods: 3 weeks ago, 3 days ago, after the algorithm update.
My stats are as follows 8:21:9
What this shows is that my views had risen over the past 3 weeks by 250% and then returned to almost the levels I saw 3 weeks ago.
So what happened to increase my views?
Over that period I undertook backlinking. How I did this is irrelevant at this point but it does seem to place the impact of the changes in some perspective, as I had not undertaken significant backlinking previously.
Those hubs that I backlinked were those that impacted my stats such that the overall views increased by 250%.
These hubs were the ones that were impacted by the algo change, such that the views returned to their pre-backlinking stage.
All other hubs that had limited backlinks (mostly organic) were not impacted in any way that could be considered statistically significant.
Unfortunately, for the basis of checking, Market Samurai changed their backlink checker at the very time that the algo change took place, so the following results could be skewed.
What I found is that where one hub had 75 shown backlinks, it now shows zero on MS. So I used another backlink checker, which does show that there are 75 backlinks.
The links that do still show with MS, on other hubs, would normally NOT be considered as RSS aggregator sites, social bookmarking sites or content farm links.
My analysis, at this point, might show that it is the authority of links that has been impacted and therefore the authority of the hubs that have been impacted - thus causing the serps for those pages to be negatively impacted.
The lowering of SF stats by just 10% may give this some credence and the fact that PCUNIX and Misha are not particularly phased by the impact.
For my part I was, over the three week period, trying to learn what looked to be working with backlinking and what did not show in backlink reports.
Another thing that has been discussed on this thread is the importance of quality and the lack of it in many hubs. My twopennorth on how to determine what is and is not useful to readers that happen upon a hub is easy. It is easy to determine by HP and Google alike. Google measures the length of time a reader spends on a hub and HP reports this with a number of stars in hub metrics. By implementing a ranking based on length of view time a broad measure of usefulness could be determined.
This would be democratic as the time to view works on volume of information and whether the reader determines it worth considering completing reading to the end of the page. It has no bearing on the length of time the page has been in existence, or the number of people that have visited the page. It is only impacted by the reader experience.
However, Google has created a dichotomy regarding ad income returns. On the one hand it requires quality content whilst on the other it expects adsense clickthroughs. The dichotomy is that the best place for ads to obtain clickthroughs is at the beginning of the page. So for clickthroughs it is better NOT to have content that people want to read. A good quality page that people read to the end is possibly less ad useful as the ads have been bypassed by then.
As far as panicking is concerned - I have no intention of panicking. Firstly because it is too soon to make sensible adjustments. Secondly because, as with everything, a change in the status of a habitat both impacts the existing occupants negatively, but also the chances that those that do not exist in that habitat now, may well be able to colonise it in the future. Each niche will be available to those that are able to adapt to the new environment.
I suggest everyone starts to believe that the new environment will give those that can adapt, a place to exploit the new niches. That is if the habitat has in fact changed permanently.
Well, Misha is a major producer of artificial backlinks. However, his linking is probably not at the sites that have been affected by the new algorithm - I think he's a bit more clever than that!
Just one other thing that may have been overlooked so far:
We are still in an economic recession, we are at end week (slow weekends) and end month (Adwords budgets running out) and at a time when a LOT of people take vacations (half or more of my friends are on vacation right now with their kids or grandchildren).
Those factors can magnify and distort the effect of an algorithm change.
So, again: let's see what next week is.
I just checked my hub that had been booted to p3 yesterday, and now it is the first hub after all the company sites, which still places it at the top of p2, but at least it's moving back up again.
it's back to p1. I hope it stays there.
Hey folks - I have been away from HubPages for a while and am considering starting to write again, not particularly to make money from it but more because I am looking to change career from Business and Commerce to writing for kindle and I think hub pages gives a great channel to test out ideas, etc.
I would like to know from your experience as to whether HubPages still has the authority and name it once had re Google and the general writing community. Has the Google slap damaged HP in the long term?
Thanks in advance.
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