About a month ago, I posted a blog post and forum post recapping our response to the Google Panda algorithm update, and announcing our test of moving Hubber accounts to subdomains. Many of you volunteered to move your accounts early, and we thank you all for your interest and support. We ended up moving several accounts over with the expectation that each account would experience different traffic changes. The most important part of the test was to develop confidence that, by putting each author on a subdomain, using the rel=author meta tag, and given the moderation efforts we've made, authors could get relief from Panda's negative site profiling of all authors' content.
After a couple of weeks of observing Google's response, we've seen a dramatic recovery among many accounts, but we've also tested lower quality accounts that didn't see a recovery. We view this as a good thing and exactly what Google should want. It's each person's responsibility to ensure they produce quality content.
We've decided, then, to move forward quickly so that Hubbers can claim their own subdomain, we can move Hubs over, and so that search traffic to high-quality Hubs can improve rapidly. That process will begin later this afternoon.
In the meantime, we wanted to allow those beta users to share their personal experiences in this forum thread if they would like.
---Check back after 2pm today-- Update: The initial steps started at 1 and it's processing. Once it's ready, I'll post a link to the subdomain page for each author.
Well, I was one of the folks who picked a unique sub-domain and then had it switched back to be my username. I didn't notice any difference yet in performance from one to the other (since the 2nd switch just happened in the last 24 hours), although HubPages is insisting that I'll see better results with my username. I'll remain hopeful on that front...
But overall I've seen a return of traffic and earnings that is only about 20% down from what things were pre-Panda. Mind you, the test has only been going on for a week so it's hard to predict where things will level out in the long run but I had traffic and Hub ads leap up within about 48 hours of getting the sub-domain.
My daily page view increased by 10% now i don't know its due to subdomain or any other factor but i am happy with subdomain because it gave short name to my hubpages profile...really cool thing superliked Thanks paul
Oh, you mean for adding your referral tracker in the future/new hubs, etc. I believe someone already asked that question, but I don't remember the answer, or if it was answered. Sorry. If you don't get an answer soon, try emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul, one question I have never seen (either asked or answered clearly, and I'm not sure which) is what happens with Hubbers who have multiple HP accounts?
Must all accounts be combined into one subdomain - or, conversely, must they not? May they be, if desired? All of this is way above my pay grade, and I don't entirely understand the pros or cons of either approach.
Okay, now I am confused. Some people say they are moving their hubs to subdomains and then comments like this one above say "we" can doit-meaning the hubpages staff. Are regular hubbers supposed to make this change, or is the hubpages staff? And if it is the hubbers themselves, which thread in the forum lays out exact how this is done?
An additional question I have is to whether we can somehow change our names beforehand or have control over the subdomain title? Some might choose to use a slightly different pen name considering how the subdomain will be titled with their own name.
We don't offer changing of usernames. There will be more published on how subdomain selection works. After much deliberation we've have chosen a path that aligns subdomains with usernames as closely as possible. This move is about letting high quality content get relief from Panda and segmenting content in a clear way for Google to judge each users Hubs. Your main subdomain page will replace your profile page.
I'd encourage people to think of their presence on HubPages as a personal brand similar to a twitter handle.
Some words are treated differently. Some will be accepted and others won't. When they aren't accepted they will be given some choices and in some rare circumstances they will be able to request a subdomain based on their username to our moderators to approve.
Thanks for sharing that Simey - you are the first hubber I have heard say how well the subdomain thing was working, and I am delighted to hear it is working out I didn't volunteer because I wasn't sure what would happen to my backlinks, but I realise now they are using redirects so they won't be affected.
Paul had said they expected it to take 5 days for the full effect to be felt but after 3 days I was already up over 60% and by 5 days - wahoo - I had a full 115% increase over pre subdomain test traffic.
Revenue also went up but, interestingly, in the last 6 days of the subdomain test, with traffic holding relatively steady, the value of the ads being shown with my hubs, for both Adsense and HP ad program went up. OMG was I excited.
I was worried when told we had to switch back to the user name for subdomain but was assured that, if anything, traffic would improve even further. Have my fingers, toes and anything else I can cross waiting with baited breath on that account.
Bottom line - BIG SUCCESS for the subdomain test. Thanks to Paul and all the staff for their hard work. At the hour they made the second switch, from subdomain test name to subdomain based on original user name, traffic is still at pre Panda levels.
Well I volunteered but didn't hear anything so it's interesting to hear how it turned out. I've had some really random traffic figures in the last week - from having one of my worst days ever to having one of my best days ever on consecutive days - what is that all about?!
You will be able to move to your subdomain under My Account > Profile > Subdomain. If you don't choose a subdomain within the next month, HubPages will choose a subdomain for you. We will let you know as soon as it's live!
Thanks Robin for that post. I just went there and saw the subdomain option. It gave me two choices to choose from. I picked one and let it do the conversion. It took a while and I was wondering if I clicked it or not. There was no warning that it will take a while. But I didn't want to mess up clicking twice. So I waited and after a minute it was done.
Everything went well. I checked out my profile under the old and new url and both work. Same for my hubs. I tested a few both ways. The old one returns a 301 so search engines will have no trouble updating to the new url. I am very pleased. It is obvious that the HP programmers did a lot of testing prior to this because it went really well. No problems.
I went into my Google Profile and changed the link to my new HP profile url, even though it's not necessary to rush to do this since the old one give the 301. But I just wanted to help Google do things faster rather than waiting to discover 301 redirects. Thought that might help.
Thanks Glenn, your synopsis is very helpful to those of us who might be a little daunted by the process. It seems like it's a fairly easy change-over process, which is a relief! I appreciate you taking the time to let us know what to expect.
It may seem to be like Blogger but going by the significant results posted here by SimeyC, the said results are unlikely to have been obtained from Blogger had he transferred his articles there. I suppose there must be a catch somewhere.
Ngureco, if you moved your Hubs to a Blogger account, they would lose all their existing "link juice" and reputation with Google, so you're right - SimeyC wouldn't have got the same results transferring his articles there.
What Lissie is saying is that for new writers, Blogger would be more attractive.
But then, there are also the new writers (like me, when I first came to HubPages) who know nothing about writing and publishing online, but who want to get started with it ASAP. The community we have here is an incredibly rich, useful resource for people who don't know how much they/we don't know. Marisa, you are one of the ones who have helped probably thousands of new online writers, including me, to find their way.
I haven't felt any need to find out whether Blogger has a similar helpful community, because the one here is so excellent. I know that whatever my question, I can nearly always count on a response on HubPages from somewhere around the world 24/7/365.
Some who have been writing online for a while really may have lost sight of how huge a resource this is, but I don't ever want to forget it.
[Sorry for sidetracking - I was gone for a little bit. My subdomain change worked great!]
I think that unless you have a very popular blog, HubPages will get more readers, since we are a community and have followers who read many things that we write. When I get notifications from HubPages, I read them, whereas RSS feeds and notifications from most of the blogs I follow get looked at once in a blue moon because I'm so busy. I always open the messages in my HubPages folder, and I'm likely to read any new Hubs which interest me. I don't feel so connected to the bloggers I'm following.
We believe that HubPages is the most rewarding (traffic, revenue, community) opportunity for publishers.
On the revenue side each author in the HubPages Ad Program gets a direct sales force, ad network optimization, and other abilities like having more than three AdSense ads on a page. We'll do more here to provide enterprise level earnings for Hubbers while they maintain ownership of their content.
On the community side, that speaks to all of the helpful people here. This is a world class community.
Getting to the heart of your question, is publishing on HubPages the same as wordpress or tumblr? From what we can tell during the testing process, it is not. Subdomains allow for content to be segmented by author, but there are tremendous differences in HubPages's information architecture and other platforms. As part of our subdomain tests, we included new accounts. They performed similarly to how new author accounts performed pre-panda.
It's our mission to make HubPages the most rewarding place to give and get information and other interesting content. Like many of you, we've succeeded by hard work and creating value. There is no substitute for these. With change there comes uncertainty, and there is risk in every move. Our hope and data suggests that this is in the best interest of the excellent Hubbers, otherwise we wouldn't do it.
Done! Sooo Easy - thanks to all HP staff for making it seamless and easy to do.
A quick question - Will the pages be instantly indexed and recognised by Google for page ranking purposes - or how long could this take. Also are there any canonalization issues? How quickly should the changes in hit-rates take and the changes be reflected in results.
Hi Jason, I don't mean for the Adsense Channels. I'm talking about the Google Analytics reporting, the one with the UA at the beginning of it. My website profile for Hubpages is hubpages.com/profile/embitca.
Okay, thanks Paul. Now I'm wondering.... with the new subdomains, would it be possible to track each account with a separate website profile? Right now I just have all my hubs lumped in together. Would be interesting for me to separate the analytics info for each one.
This is what it looked like on my account. I went live on subdomains the week of 7/2/11. It took about three days to get my hubs indexed under the subdomain. Rankings continued to climb for seven days.
Will the transfer to subdomains affect the page rank of the home page, and this in turn pull down the page ranks of the subdomains (we're all in this together). I have noticed that HP is currently ranked at 5 - it used to be 6 ????. I am interested in the on-going rating relationships between the subs. It has been stated elsewhere that a subdomain page may be harder to get to a high position on the search results because of the relationship with other subdomains. I guess this is all unexplored territory. May the Force be With You!
HP came down to 5 from 6 because low quality hubs pulled us all down. Now that we'll have our own subdomains we don't need to concern ourselves with the ranking of HP itself. We can concentrate on our own ranking by giving Google what it wants. Now we are in control of that without low other quality hubs pulling us down. Just keep in mind what Google says in their blogs... they want to give people who are doing searches what they want. If you can do that, you'll do fine.
2uesday, go to your profile under your account and see what options you have. I wouldn't know but you might be lucky to find one option without the 2. I was given two options. In my case I could choose a hyphen between my first and last name or without the hyphen. Take a look and pick one. Then give it a minute to convert. It doesn't tell you to wait and you might think your browser locked up. But it's working and takes time.
2uesday, we received your subdomain request and approved one of your choices. You should have received an email about it with a link to where you need to go to complete the process. Please let me know if you did not receive the email. Thanks!
Fawntia, I completed my switch-over successfully but I never received an email as you had indicated. I just clicked to select the one I wanted and then clicked the next step to approve my selection. Then it sat there for a minute or so while it was doing the conversion in the background. After that it came back with a message saying it was successful. No emails were involved. Was I missing something? Everything seems okay with the new url.
Glenn, You shouldn't have had to recieve an email. There is a small subset that have usernames that don't convert well to subdomains and a separate process for them. I think it's about 2.5% of accounts. The vast majority just need to click a few buttons.
If I type in one of my old urls it does not redirect straight to my hub...it takes me to Google and shows where the hub is listed....as well as an entire page of other articles to choose from. Shouldn't it be going straight to the new address?
I think the problem was I was using addresses from my Adsense channels maybe?
So weird because if I copy the Adsense channel exactly and paste it comes out to be ( hubpages. com/ hub/ hhippiestoptenagainstebay )...notice the spacing that it adds when I paste? Perhaps this is why it's directing all the ones I try to Google's page. Does this mean there will be an issue with channels or will they direct just fine?
Yes, and they continue to work just fine. You shouldn't have to change them unless you explicitly wrote your links with a www. before (if they were encoded just hubpages.com then you don't need to change them)
Look for the hyperlinks "Local Meetups", "Forum post" and "Froggy213". The first links to a forum topic, the second to a forum post, and the last is to a profile. They all have my subdomain even though they redirect anyway.
Yes I do. I code the entire URL including the "http://" But I noticed that something was changing them to...
I reported this double http: a while back because I had to keep fixing them. Then another Hubber told me to leave out the http:// altogether and I found the bug didn't interfere that way. So I started entering complete URL's without the http. But never as a relative format. However, I had noticed it change it relative after I save the capsule. Weird if I'm the only one that's happening to!
Thank you for sharing this. This will help us fix the problem somehow.
Once everyone is moved over to subdomains, we will likely change all hardcoded Hub links in Hubs to the subdomain version (instead of just relying on the 301 redirects). We'll try to identify anomalies like this and fix them at the same time.
I'm a part of the Beta testers ... I don't have any statistics, however I can tell you that within 3 or 4 days of being switched over to the subdomain my traffic more than doubled - I'm pretty close to pre-panda levels (maybe 100-300 daily views less than pre-panda). My HP Ad Program income has doubled as well and even my Google AdSense has greatly improved - I've had many great days (like pre-panda) and some so-so days. Amazon has stayed about the same.
Overall, I'm very happy that I volunteered to make the switch early and I hope that things keep on improving (thanks, HP!)
I just might be motivated to publish hubs again soon!
I've been a tester. My previous average daily was in the area of 1100-1300. Right before the testing it had dropped down to - like - 800 (and on one day, 600 and something). After a few days of testing I started to see traffic go up to as high as around 2000 (plus or minus) on at least one day. Most other days it's been kind of averaging in the 1800/1900 area. That's just from memory, and I still haven't gotten around to writing summaries on a ton of Hubs that had the automatic ones wiped out. I've got, maybe, 40 (or fewer) of my Hubs with new, nice, summaries on them. These numbers are all from memory, but I've paying attention daily. There's a lot of tweaking I could do to improve my traffic, so my test results are without doing all that.
When it came to selecting a subdomain name, I didn't want the user name (Lisa HW) (mostly because I've hated it since choosing it too quickly). I have a mix of Hubs, so I don't really have a niche. With Google's latest emphasis on authors (not just as it relates to HP, but in general), I figured it may make the most sense to go with the author name (at least for my more casual, online, writing) I use everywhere (except for here).
I wasn't sure that was the wisest choice because the whole subdomain thing was new, and so many people talked about getting a good niche name. My only niche is my writing, done under the one author name. So I just went with that (and double-checked to see what Paul Edmondson and other staff had chosen for their own subdomains. I figured, if they chose their own name there was probably a reason for it; so I felt a little bit better having gone with my author name. Later, I felt even better about it after reading that the author name was recommended under the whole Google/HubPages circumstances scenario recently. Besides, with the big emphasis on trying to stop people from "working" the search engines, I just felt safer going with my author name (which won't change). In other words, I just got so I decided I'm doing what seems to make sense for me, as a writer whose focus on only on my writing. I liked the idea of the portability of the author name for each author.
Basically, I've been happy with the results and encouraged to know that the responsibility for one's own quality will now be put with the writer. I've been happy I volunteered too, and I appreciated the chance to be a tester.
Lisa, the results you’ve posted here are quite impressive… and may it be like that for many of us here after this switch to sub domain?
Before panda, Hubpages used to tell us to expect $2 - $5 for every 1000 impressions. From your observation, did you get any closer to be within that earning range in the combined HP-ads and Adsense earnings?
That's been (and still is) the scary part for me. My thinking is, though, that I'd rather not be liked by Google for myself (and my writing); than not be liked by Google because of someone/something else. That wouldn't pay whatever my earnings had been paying any better, but at least there'd be some justice in it (or whatever).
Pretty much. It's helpful sometimes to be pulled along by someone elses coattails, but I'd rather stand or fall on my own. At least if google doesn't like me perhaps I can figure out why and do some changing. If the negatives come from someone else there isn't much I can do about it.
I'm actually hopeful of all the hard work the HP gang have put in, the stats examples are encouraging and I may just feel motivated to finish my unpublished hubs again as I've kept looking at some of them for a few months now with no oomph to write.....cheers now!
Nell, I see that you have chosen a subdomain, but have not activated it yet. Did you click on the button that says "Move me to my subdomain"? It should not take 15 minutes or anywhere near that long. Perhaps refresh the page and try again.
It's nice to hear you're happy with the results, and I was just thinking the same thing about an authors responsibility. I'm sure this will help separate the wheat from the chaff, and inspire hubbers to publish higher quality work.
Moved to my subdomain perfectly. I love my old username, soni2006, and do not like to get any other specific username. Soni2006 reminds me about my online writing career which I started in 2006. Plus as I write on multiple categories and subjects, I think I don't need a different username. What do you say about this? Will changing my username to a different one will help build more traffic and earnings?
If this change really returns my traffic to pre panda levels, or close, I will be back here working full time. I'm guessing a lot of other people will be checking this all out and thinking the same thing.
Let's face it, there is no better site for writers.
I moved to my subdomain but I Have one last concern.
As was mentioned in Paul's post poor content on HubPages led to decreased traffic for the entire site. In the "related hubs" section of our hubs - the related hubs are chosen not by the author of the hub, but by other means.
I'm no longer comfortable with these being chosen for me as it seems this could allow my hubs to be linked to poorly written content (even if it has a high "score") which in turn affects my subdomain.
It only makes sense that if we are trying to build our own brand we can choose if and when certain "related hubs" are chosen...
Will this lead to increased greed by Hubbers who only link to their related hubs? Of Course. Does this bother me? Not really, as I believe this should be author controlled at this point.
Hi Mark, sorry to horn in on your entry, but I just wanted to reiterate your exact comment - easiest 'technical' thing I've ever done. (Except sharpen my pencil, but no-one ever does that these days..). Won't this be G R E A T if it works? I'm off now to read your article on the subject, which I noticed because it's got billing on the HP Front Page!! (They want you here, Mark, clearly...)