We've seen a few people mention that one or more of their Hubs post-Panda are now being outranked by garbage (we're talking scraped, porn, or dead sites). We'd love to collect as many examples of this as possible to make the case that it's the algorithm that's missing the point, not high-quality Hubs.
If you'd like to share, please include in your post:
1) the search query
2) what rank your Hub is getting
3) what's appearing in those pages ranking higher than your Hub
A screenshot of the search-results page would be very helpful, if you could embed it here.
Great idea, Jason! Very pro-active of Hubpages. So nice to know that the HP team is relentless in its pursuit to improve its ranking. Three cheers for the HP team. Hip Hip Hooray!
Good idea. But what is going on that's causing this?
Hi, since this is a writers' community website/blog whatever it is, why should we worry about the Goodlle and other s... nonsense? A writer pursues his craft - writing.The day writes are forced to write so they can become more compatible with search engines, we are ready for the Mayan prophecy to materialize. Sorry guys, I think this invention serves the purpose of more crap coming to the surface. Thank you Hubpages. I'll pass.
Are you a poet by any chance? Just wondering. Some of us are writers that need to eat as well. I know they say that writing as a craft doesn't pay well. Try telling that to J.K.Rowling. We can but try. Writing online means having to learn SEO if you want your stuff to be read.
That's right. We need to eat as well. But ... Forgive my frustration ... J.K.R. never thought about writing for a living. She was happy (?) to collect dole (British equivalent of US or Canadian Welfare). She survived as a writer because she never changed a comma. Her work was rejected several times Ask her about SEO. Anyway, none of my buisness ... if you're honestly eat thanks to HubPages I wish you prosperity. Bon apetit!
No I don't eat thanks to Hubpages. I nearly did. I got 'this' close! Then Panda hit.
And that was in less than a year and half, which is pretty incredible IMO.
So, I want to thank Hubpages for showing me the way. Or, to be more exact, the writers on Hubpages.
I knew NOTHING about SEO before I started writing here. Now, I know that with the right keywords, I could make a niche for myself online. It is still possible, 10 years after the web revolution, but it needs real writers to do it.
And yeah, J.K.R. was able to claim a lot of money from the UK government, when she wasn't actually short of a bob or two in the first place, but I love her books, I love the storyline even if an editor corrected it all.
Right place, right time, right family, right storyline.
I thought panda was nearly extinct and now you're telling me BOOM!!
I'm just joking mate... I meant to say that she never changed a thing about her writing. She believed in herself. And so should you. If you came 'that close' as you say, you will do it again, coz it ain't about Google, it is about whether you've got things to say and you know (you were born with it) how. By what you say you do. I keep my fingers crossed. Good luck. Just be patient. All the best my friend. PS JKR paid back the dole money in tenfolds,in taxes. God bless her, God bless the Queen
short explanation: Hubpages works closely with Google for mutual benefit and if Hubpages can convince Google to further tweak the Panda algo a bit it can only help everybody.
Thanks. OK, imagine a room full of speakers. Everybody's screaming for their turn. Some speak louder than others, some wear colorful clothes to attract more audience, some bribe their way to the lectern. Some just simply wait. Aristotle precedes Google by more than 2000 years. He's still quoted. My point being ... It is not who speaks louder, it is who has something relevant to say. Ever wondered why universities are so adamantly against the Internet in academic research. Because you can't tell the wheat from the chaff, fact form BS. Now you're tell me you can out-scream them.
And another thing: according to the statistics more than 80% of the Internet content is in English. My guess is 80 percent of that is garbage that outranks the genuinely good staff. These numbers should be a warning: at this rate of progress soon we'll have shit for brains. Let's just stop writing and wait. We'll do humanity a favor.
To be honest, Jason, what's killing me much, much more than cr*ppy sites outranking me is Google's stupid decision to let a million results from the same site show up.
A few of my hubs that used to make the bulk of my earnings here have just a fraction of the traffic and sales that they used to. They are still on page 1, but were pushed way to the bottom of the page because there are now 3 or 4 or 5 Amazon or AllRecipes or whatever results in front of mine. If they only showed one result like they used to with several links under it, I would actually be sitting rather pretty right now.
As you well know, if you're not in the top 3 results on page 1, you're just getting the top 3's leftovers. And these multiple results ensure that everyone but Amazon and other large commercial entities are screwed.
I hadn't thought of that. Could you point to a few illustrative examples?
I'll send you an email, Jason. I'm not extremely fond of publicizing keywords of mine that are (or were) profitable -- even if they are "has beens."
Hey Jason...how about the Google listings for the exact same/duplicate short news blurbs that gets top ranking on Google from the News sites?
They should "pick the best" and only list 1, not all.
Example : (if you can see it)
I just had a look for some of mine.
Fascinating Aida used to be on the front page. Now the first 5 returns are of Fascinating Aida's own home pages, while I'm at 23.
The Red Palm Weevil used to be around #3. Now it is nowhere, but the first 5 (again) results in Google relate to the same site called RedPalmWeevil.com
I mean, come on! No-one else has a chance of getting their site viewed if just one site dominates the front page.
Exactly, Izzy. And as a searcher, I much preferred the old method where it was clear that it was one site and they just had links to several relevant pages available under it. Now, I get totally peeved when I click a link on the SERP and it's the same damned site I just left. I mean come on -- if I left it and went back to the SERPs, there was a reason for it!
Hopefully smart searchers will spot multiple listings of the same site and venture down the page for alternatives. It must be frustrating for people looking for things and finding either the big players or the spammers. Surely this isn't what Google intended...
Thats true, many of my most well performing hubs are there on the first page, but they are not getting the same traffic as they used to. That is really annoying. I will compile some examples and send to you.
Same here !!! Is that hubpages getting down ??/
No kidding, what is up with that!? Used to be a nice selection on SERP 1 but now I see the same site listed several times....taking up all that prime space. I too am used to skipping the Sponsored, going right to the Organic results but I just don't know about that any more....You have to wade through so much crap first!
Seriously, who looks at the top 3 results any longer? I usually have to go to page 2 or 3 or use Bing while searching.
True fact, rebekah. I'm digging down into page 5 or lower to find what I need.
Google Panda is a dud.
I agree. I usually go through 3 to 4 pages of results myself. I often find that what I really want doesn't show up on the first page. The popular sites like amazon.com and Yahoo answers tend to get listed a lot on the first page, even if they are less relevant.
If I'm doing a search on something that really matters to me, it's always been my practice to go through the first 20 or so pages of search results in detail, and then sample every 5th page or so until I've worked past at least the 100-page mark or so.
I was taught to work like that when I did a postgraduate diploma in information studies in 1986. Those were the days of information specialists, who did proper Boolean searching and presented their clients with a carefully selected, annotated list of search results from diverse databases as well as from the web.
Unfortunately, this became unsustainable, because while people are happy to pay stupid amounts for IT, they are not willing to pay for trained specialists to find, process and re-present information. Fortunately, I saw the doom approaching and diverted into translation before it was too late!
I remember the Boolean searches too WriteAngled, and looking pages deep for multiple sources...Like you said, I guess everyone should have seen it coming, in order to make the research easier to retrieve it lost its authority and now even harder to find truly authentic expert information...
Check out the #1 site ranking for "expressions of gratitude" (not quoted)
Looks like a gaming site that has nothing to do with gratitude, just links with the keyword phrase!
Thank you for providing this outlet to dig deeper into the major inconsistency of the new algorithm.
I apologize the snippet is so small. I don't know how to make it bigger.
The result I got, on Google UK, but searching on anywhere in the Web, gave the first place to a World of Warcraft site. The page that came up features a WoW quest called Expression of Gratitude. I think that is a completely relevant result, as there will be many of people searching for hints on how to complete that quest.
Thanks for the emails, those who have sent them to me!
Anyone who would rather email me than post here in this thread can feel free to send me a message using this link.
I sent you a few, but here is a good example that I don't mind sharing. The keyword is "CPA Exam Audit Questions"
My hub is down on the second page now, but it used to be in the middle of page 1.
Most of the pages ahead are legit, but these doozies are topping mine:
http:/ /answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090419220848AAVVfN4 --- Just a random list of questions with the ever-so-intuitive answer "C"
http:/ /1bookhut.info/cpa-exam-auditing-objective-questions-and-answers-book.php --- not even sure what the purpose of this site is, but it ranks fairly well.
http:/ /www.43things.com/things/view/53511/pass-the-cpa-exam --- Over 1,100 people want to pass the CPA exam, but I am not sure it really gives the user useful info on CPA Exam Audit Questions.
http:/ /www.scribd.com/doc/25227387/CPA-EXAM-Audit-Exam-Question ---which is a good copy of the #1 site ht tp://www.cwu.edu/~atkinsom/introq.htm (which currently ranks number 1)
http:/ /www.ehow.com/way_5556903_auditing-questions-could-cpa-exam.html ---At least this is on topic.
Hope this helps!
This is the search results for the phrase how to describe yourself.
The first result is ok, but has nowhere near as much information as my hub.
The second result is from the same website and, frankly, is pants.
The 3rd result is ok for describing yourself in job interviews, but I still think my hub is better because it covers not only job interviews but, profiles, dating sites & resumes. No other results above mine list adjectives to use.
My hub is fourth.
Here's another one for the phrase how to avoid pregnancy.
The first result is a keyword in domain site. Clearly an MFA. The information is poor.
The second result is some kind of Q\A, forum thing where the information is extremely poor.
My hub is 3rd.
#2 in Google US
Did it suffer from the fall? ..perhaps from other terms
Yeah it suffered Lost about 65% of traffic to that one. After the first panda I lost rankings for all the highly related phrases, but stayed at #1 for the main phrase. Following the panda roll out it's gone down for the main phrase as well and has been usurped by rubbish.
Aaah, number 2 today on both .com and .co.uk. Well at least that's something
What bothers me is that commercial sites that charge money for imparting information outrank free sites. For instance, when looking up +"National Anthems", this site comes up number seven.
I can't tell you whether it is low quality or high, because before they will let you look at anything, they want to charge you a fee. Most people will not pay that fee, so it's not a useful search result.
My own high quality hub entitled "National Anthems" is free, but doesn't rank at all. Is it legitimate to favor sites that nobody can even access without paying money over sites the access to which is free?
As much as I'm sure you do not appreciate my kiwi directness, I have to ask (as a logical thinking person) - Does it Not make more sense to deal to the stolen content issues here, more urgently than Google searches?
After all, the parties who steal our work, remain members here, make e-books from it, gain income from it both from republishing it and e-book sales and in some cases rank it higher than we do! It seems that this bold effort to close the Google gate, will only hinder the horse from coming back home when it's hungry!
The biggest problem I am encountering is that Quality sites used to rank highly very quickly but now take time to move up the rankings, and in many cases simply never hit the first three pages. I'm not a link freak so I simply don't understand how I can get these sites ranked higher without going on a major spamming campaign to get backlinks and thus get ranked higher.
If you search for the term "road trip east coast to west coast" most of the top entries are forum entries that don't really give a decent insight into a road trip across America. My site: http://hubpages.com/hub/Road-trip-across-America comes up on page 6.
Interestingly, when Google did a guest blog on Hubpages - this was highlighted as being "authentic, non-scripted, easy-to-read and structured content." - but despite this, direct from the horses mouth, the site does not rank highly.
Most of what I would consider being my quality content does not rank highly. It seems that without a multitude of links, which is also pointed to as important by Google, I simply will never rank highly despite having the quality content they expect.
Absolutely agree with this - what a rubbish algorithm! Either a whole site is good or it's bad - what utter nonsense. And they (Google) can't weed out the spammers and copiers. Brilliant.
The only way I see now to get hits is if you have a unique keyworded title and even then, as you say, crappy forum posts still get preference. So my phrase has to match exactly but still Google would prefer to pick out the words scattered around from text from anywhere else.
I think that blog post was just there to calm down frustrated hubbers! The points mentioned there are those that most of the hubbers have been always following. Before panda update quality articles were rewarded with traffic no matter which content website you choose to publish those articles.
But now all the content based websites have lost their priority and traffic to good hubs is getting lower and lower.
How about this search: "Can a virus make you fat?"
http://www.google.com/#q=%2B%22Can+a+Vi … &hl=en
And this result, in the tenth position:
It's a post from 2003 that contains a single link to newyorknewsdaily.com
Compare that to my hub, that came in number 14:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Can-a-Virus-Mak … o-virus-36
It was published three months ago and cites primary academic sources.
^ This thread would do well to have some quick scans of whether your content is organized in a way to tell a bot that the target term is applicable.
Only your Url and Title and a Hubpages "tag" contain the string "Can a virus make you fat", it never appears within your text. Not even once. Why would a bot think that was a possible focus of the article?
On the plus side.. in a cookie free search your hub appears 12th, its competing with major media sources and magazines, but the soccer thread you linked does not appear in the first 20 returns.. in the + "can a virus make you fat" search you linked, you appear 9th and the soccer forum is nowhere to be found.
Sites with clearly scraped content, misleading redirects, or that require signup/payment in order to deliver the promised goods should not be showing up above high-quality Hubs.
My hub "cloud computing architecture" is back again on the first page.After the Panda update it was not even in the first three pages of Google.And some of my other hubs that used to get several hundred views per day is still missing from the first page.Only two of them are found on the second page of Google for the keywords I targeted for.
I did a search for the same keyword on yahoo, bing and google.
Yahoo and bing brought my hub on the first page.
On Google was on the third page.
One site was almost in the same positions on all three searches. Most of the sites on the first page were on the same position on bing and yahoo. Only on Google was different.
The keyword was "pool party furniture".
Ironic that this post follows kiaKitori's Pool Party Furniture, but for the past year the first three spots on Google for Sharks Mediterranean and been between me and two other sites who are still in the first 4. In fact I was #1 for the 3 or 4 months before Panda. Now wikipedia are there, and for an article about the Great white Shark, where the Mediterranean is only mentioned in passing. Not in title or url but in one line in the content. That doesn't seem right to me, nor particularly helpful for viewers unless they specifically queried about the Great white.
It is a matter of hope that the issue is seriously looked into.
Keep an eye on the Google forum folks - there is a serious discussion going on there about the state of the search results and the number of scraper sites now showing above quality sites. http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/W … start=1920
Learning, learning, learning--now know what MFA is and a bunch of other stuff. Think the team's trying, Jason, but I'm still dealing w/tech trouble that, once fixed, I'm sure will be affected by these comments. However, really like your notice that prompted all these comments. Think it's really needed. Thnx
We make Pizza as a Easter tradition .. I used to find this hub at position 2 or 3
Now, its on page 2
I should check for typos and such, but its rather long, has 12-14 original photos, has a completely unique recipe and is written by a Professional in the topic.
Its definitely of more use than anything the eHow format can do on its best day.
My main issue is that my best performing hub now has copies of my hub from at least two other sources. on the first page with mine. I sent the form to Google, and they made them remove the most unimportant part. The rest is all there, but the site has changed the wording and is still there. The other one has an owner in China and the server in UK, so I don't know if I can do anything. I will send a screenshot of it. If the wording is not 100% mine, does that mean nothing can be done? It takes a lot of time to mess with duplicate content except that now a site is checking for me for a slight fee. Thanks for all the help from the Staff.
My detailed mechanical "how to" hubs have dropped down below half a dozen yahoo answers that have a dozen words in them, and the number of hubs that have suffered this type of indignity is manifold.
Google has become a joke in my view.
Here is a Hub of mine that has been variously spun and also copied to article base (I've reported this to them). Unfortunately the spun versions and copies are ranking higher than my original! Mine is http://hubpages.com/hub/mental-health-m … ery-model.
If you do a Google search on the title, 2,3,4,5 are all rip offs and my original is 6th!
I'm really beginning to question if article writing is worthwhile post Panda if spun crap beats the original when it should be obvious to Google which one the original is.
Here is what is really interesting. If I do the same search on BING then my Hub is number 1 and the crap copies are nowhere in sight! Time to switch to BING? - Google is bust!
Incidentally, I repeated the same search with YAHOO and once again my original is number one(above the clones)
Yep, I hear you! Google apparently doesn't care much if they are displaying stolen content above the original. I think Bing and Yahoo will gain more respect after this fiasco.
Hey Rik You say that your Hub is now showing up as #1 on Bing. Just as a matter of interest are you getting more visits from Bing or Google on that Hub?
agvulpes - Traffic has always been pretty low on this Hub. Traffic in the last month is all from Google - nothing from Bing. However, my search was on the whole title where as a searcher would typically search for something like: 'mental health recovery model'
Another factor in this is that in countries suchas the UK, use of Bing is much lower than in the US.
My hubs "What is Domicile?" and "How to be a Good Student" used to be on Page 1 of Google. Now they are nowhere.- a shame because between them they generated half my viewings.
Right. I agree with several folks here! It is especially annoying to have so many duplicates show up, driving everything else down to the rear pages.
In trying to learn SEO and tweaking my keywords/tags, I have only succeeded in causing a very popular (among other hubbers) Hub to drop effectively off the search engines. It was basically never showing up, anyway...It used to come in around page 18 - 20. After my "improvement" of the tags, it is not even visible out to 30 pages.
And we all know that is just plain invisible..No one searches that deeply! In fact, the search engines should not even bother with more than 5 or 10 pages of results, because expecting anyone to read all the results searching for what they want is both impractical and impossible in a single lifetime!
I'd like to make money from my writing, but at the rate things are going, I guess I'm just writing because I like to write, because Google's payout threshhold is set far too high for me to reasonably expect to ever get there!
Thank you for the posts. They are all really helpful.
It's my belief personally (others share it) that Google's applying a sort of temporary yoke on traffic on our site and just about every other site like ours (those sites that weren't hit by Panda 1 were hit by Panda 2, generally speaking, including eHow, which was unscathed by Panda 1).
Over the past couple of months, we've tightened up our standards, pitched in on the enormous moderation task, and cleaned up most of the low-quality stuff that Google has hinted it wants to not see. At this point, we hope that Google is paying attention, reassessing our quality and visitors' responses to Hubs vis a vis other pages on the Web (the outranking of quality Hubs by garbage suggests this process isn't done yet), and will restore traffic to the Hubs that deserve it. If it doesn't because it can't accurately assess quality, then it might have bigger problems to deal with, including the dilution of the value of its brand, which is still very much dependent on search.
In terms of encouraging news, we saw this post on TechCrunch today:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/25/google … h-results/
Even for using black-hat techniques, which is a far more egregious offense than letting low-quality articles sit on our site, Google has removed a traffic penalty.
I remain optimistic.
Thanks for the optimism, Jason! I'm sort of confused, as my traffic and earnings on both Adsense and Amazon seem about normal at this point, while others report massive loss of earnings on HP.
Does traffic and earnings vary that much between different Hubbers? Or am I just lucky?
Yes, apparently...be thankful for your good fortune.
Remain optimistic all you want. I believe that the big O was tossed a penalty. That is a world away (and much easier to recover from) than what is happening to HP -- getting caught up in an algorithmic change.
I also write for Demand Media Studios now and then, (a very different kind of writing than HP), and eHow is a major client of theirs.
I can easily see why there are so many duplications, and I believe that DMS is partly to blame: they require authors to provide links to verifiable references, and they have an enormous "blacklist" of sites disallowed for reference. EHow is among them, for, I suppose, obvious reasons. Nonetheless, in searching for allowable references, 90% of what comes up first is eHow articles, on virtually the same titles, or minor variations thereof!
It strikes me, therefore, that DMS is picking up random queries from a search algorithm of their own, and turning them into titles from which their authors can choose, and doing so without doing their own checks for duplications of said titles!
If DMS is being careless in that regard, it stands to reason that other sites may also be contributing to duplication. Just an idle observation....
I got hit by Panda 2 very hard at my main site. I have been working day and night trying to clean up less popular pages, but haven't made much progress so far. I am still wondering if Google is using the most obvious "content farm" signal : unfocused content.
At my level, I don't get to talk to anyone at Google. You may not be getting all the answers you want, but at least you are important enough that you can communicate with them! Little guys like me are fumbling along in total darkness - which is one reason I am closely watching what HP does!
Speaking of garbage, I flagged this clowns profile already.
some of my articles have gained ranking in google after the algorithm change...they were earlier below some crappy sites. I mean, i used to write product reviews and those were below articles which had the word "review" in their title but gave out only the product specs(manys stide did same)...so what i mean is, i think they have flagged hubpages incorrectly (and not that the whole algorithm is crappy). Since hubpages is big enough, i think there can be a solution to this issue..
Take a look at this profile
No hubs. Just posting same garbage on all Feed questions.
Please tell me about this website besthubpages.com that is taking all hubpages information?
I've flagged his profile before (ambassador). He adds nothing to the site, just fills it up with rubbish answers, but clearly Hubpages doesn't agree because he's still here.
besthubpages has come up in discussion before. It's nothing to be concerned about because they are just providing a link to the hubpage with a sentence or two of text. If our hub is listed we get a backlink. I doubt the site is doing very well since google dislikes sites heavy with duplicate content. I did a full title search for one hub and besthubpages doesn't even come up in the first 4 pages, so they won't be getting the traffic.
I asked about it because I did find it come up on google search
Nothing wrong in asking Just letting you know that it's been discussed a lot of times and each time very knowledgeable hubbers such as darkside and sunforged, have said it's nothing to worry about. I agree with their sentiments.
Debby I checked out the link. Unreal. IS ambassador considered a writer at hubs?? He will not last. My humble opinion.
Maybe you might think of renaming this thread. The message of the title is a direct challenge - "Is your high-quality Hub getting outranked by garbage?" By challenging anyone whose hub might be higher ranked by garbage to be "high quality" displays a degree of arrogance that you are the arbiter of quality and if you don't agree that the hub is "high quality" then the hubber is left with egg on their face.
Just pointing out why maybe you have far less comlaints than you might have expected. If any garbage outranks any original hub I would have thought it was your business, regardless of any percieved quality.
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