Just thought I would share some of the changes I made which have had a positive result on my Google placings. Just to fill you in, the Feb Panda update hit me hard (40%-50% loss of traffic), and the subdomain switch improved my rankings marginally for about a day before returning to the dire levels I had got used to over the previous months.
Here is what I did.....
1. I took a long hard critical look at my hubs. I asked myself- Do they look a bit spammy? The answer was yes.
90% of my hubs had Amazon capsules - I got rid of Amazon on any that were a) not getting any visitors and b) were not specifically targeting a product. I reckon I am on about 60% now
2. How many products per amazon capsule did I have? Quite a few on my older hubs. Hubs with 8 products per capsule have been cut to 2, and where possible I only have 2 x capsules per hub, with 2-6 products maximum per hub. If I have more, I have one product per capsule, and I have chosen that product for relevance
Note the capitals. This is what i think has made the real difference. When I started out on Hubpages I was a bit too "tag happy". I used misspellings and some hubs had around 30+ tags, all variations on the main keywords. This was below the maximum that Hubpages sets (40 i believe), but it made them look very spammy to a bot. They looked very spammy to me!. I have gone through all of my hubs and cut these back DRAMATICALLY. I now try to have a max of 10 tags per hub, give or take.
There are many links on each hub without adding more. The related topics all count, so I thought I would not have extra links to my own hubs. Gone are the 4 to 5 links per hub which were self promoting my work. I have the odd one or two in when it is particularly relevant
5. Profile Page
OK, so this isn't new as I did this after listening to a Hubpages podcast on the matter some time ago. The subdomain means that you essentially have your own private part of hubpages, so if you do not have a profile filled out, it begs the question "who is this person, and why should I trust them?". Write a profile. Let visitors know that you are not just some internet marketer who is trying to get sales without a care for your visitors, and there is at least something there about you. Listen to the podcast for tips.
I have seen an overnight improvement in visitor numbers, even when factoring in my own visits to my hubs. Its a bit early to tell with traffic, as i only did this yesterday. BUT
I have already returned to top of Google for some of my keyword placements which i had fallen dramatically for post panda, and am on the first page from second or third for a few more.
For me at least, this means that it was not a manual penalty I had, but that I was falling foul of the new algorithms. It will take a while for Google to re-index all my hubs, but for me it seems to be working.
Don't know if this will help anyone, and before you commit loads of time to repeating what I have done maybe wait a few days for me to update you on my progress, but it all looks positive.
I have done most of this and am now removing the amazon capsules unless they are on a product focused hub- I am a plunger- lost 80 per cent of trafic- so anything will help and lets face it, no one will buy anything if there are no visitors.
Glad your traffic is returning- I have a busy day in front of me deleting Amazon
Amazon may not be the problem - but overdo it and it looks bad - well it looked bad to me. Try it I guess, and see if there is an improvement. They can always be put back afterwards.
Besides - no traffic means not enough amazon clicks to convert to sales - so no net loss.
Congrats for recovering from plunge Michifus and thanks for sharing your success story. I have followed some of these tips like reducing outbound links & keeping only related links, reducing Amazon products etc. I have to take a look at my tags now.
Thank you for this insightful advice michifus
I have been trying to go over my hubs, doing something similar.
However, i noticed that those i have worked on so far first experienced a drop in traffic (massive!), but they seem to be creeping back up again.
I guess "no pain, no gain"!
1. Spammy? Only targeted sales hubs, and the two or three that have adsense manually removed by hubstaff.
2. Targeted sales hubs have the maximum Amazon capsules permitted - they did better even post-Panda with more. I do not tend to add amazon capsules to informational hubs, unless it is a product directly related to the hubs content.
3.TAGS - I never was one for putting in a lot of tags. Most of my hubs have too few.
4. Interlinking - I always did only interlink relevant hubs.
5. Profile Page - yes I could do with more info on my profile page - there isn't much there. Am hopeless at profiles but need to put more effort in.
I still have the odd hub at or near the top of Google, and I am still seeing the odd hub floating back to page 1, but before the plunge nearly all of my hubs had a front page position.
When you are only seeing activity on less than 50 hubs and you have over 500, you know something is badly wrong.
Excellent post. I too have been over zealous with links and the use of the capsule. I trying my best to upgrade each post. These tips and suggestions are most useful.
I look forward to a strong recovery from Panda and all of HP moving up in the SEO - thanks to HP guidance and helpful tips from expert Hubbers such as you.
With me, at the time of originally writing my hubs I did not think them spammy. I still maintain that they were/are good. However, when I had 30+ tags and 14+ products from amazon, an intensely keyword targeted article, with heavy anchor text promotion and the sole aim of getting top of Google to make money i can see that Google may deem that to be a little manipulative.
When I did that across the whole account, I would not be surprised if hubs which were purely informational may have been "tarred with the same brush".
Of course this is all guesswork, as who knows the workings of Google. These tips appear to be working for me - not on all hubs, but enough to know that the changes I have made have worked to some degree. Plus it is early days.
For me, i am sure that the tags were a problem. Amazon probably, but certainly less so. Combine them though, and im willing to admit that I may have overdone it and brought the penalty on myself. This will not be the case for all hubbers though by any means, and it doesn't seem to apply to you Izzy at all.
I expect that there is no universal solution for everyone, and that people may have been hit for a wide range of reasons. Backlinking strategies, choice of topics, multiple hubs on the same topic, Im sure there are many factors at work.
I have done a few things before this latest push but to no avail. All but one of my hubs was hit by panda (over the various versions of it), plus I will never get the pre panda traffic back due to the main niches I write about declining, or being competitive (Ive not backlinked since panda and may have slipped)
On the whole though, the 2 hours or so i spent on my hubs appears to be well worth it.
Thanks for the +ve feedback - I hope that this will work for you!
BTW izzy - when I first started here a hub would automatically enter on page 2 for me, sometimes even page one without any backlinks. Hubpages has CERTAINLY been devalued so those days are sadly long gone.
michifus, how long has your traffic remained up? I am not trying to play devil's advocate here... and I really HOPE you've come up with the answers than will keep your subdomain in good stead for a long time to come.
I keep seeing people state they've made x,y and z changes and then their traffic has increased. They're postitive what they did was the reason for the improved traffic. But, this is a time of uncertainty and tumultuous traffic, no doubt. Even without making changes things can change at the tip of a hat.
I'm not saying it's DEFINITELY not a cause and effect thing going on, but it makes me wonder. I had a similar experience after I got rid of RSS feeds and toned down my keywords. I also got all hooked up with Google Plus. I then experienced a surge and was convinced I got to the root of the problem. A few weeks later I was back in a plunge.
I am just not sold on Amazon being the problem. In fact, I'm not sold on ANYTHING being the problem. I know YOU didn't say this, but I do NOT believe awkward writing style is at work, however. Sorry, but a bot just isn't that sophisticated. Plus, there are too many people with alternate subdomains (myself included) that are doing just fine.
That said, I do think some of your suggestions are worthy. It's hard to argue they're not good practice. I've pretty much abandoned this (my wordscribe43) subdomain for now, but I may go back and do some tweaking per your suggestions.
I just really wonder if anything I do will help!
Its a little too early to tell, and I can only go on some keyword placements which have remained higher. Overall traffic is not great, and its not a huge resurgence, but there are other factors that are affecting that. The fact that I have gone up the Google rankings for some keywords does not necessarily mean higher traffic.
I believe the changes have helped me gain places for a handful of hubs, but not all hubs. Since it is a little over 24 hours after the changes, I cannot say with any certainty that this is a permanent solution to the problem, and Google will not have reindexed everything yet.
As I said, before anyone commits a lot of time to make the same changes as me, to wait a few days to see how things pan out. maybe I was a little to optimistic with my post and i should have waited longer.....
I think it is fair to post- we are all intelligent people and can make our own minds up about what to do.
I think a few days is too quick to say. You tend to get a new post / recent post bonus from google. But from what I have heard and seen, if you are genuinely affected by Panda, you are only let out when the algorithm is run again...
Which happens no more than once a month.
Sadly it looks like it was only temporary. Back to the drawing board i guess. Google hates me again. On the plus side, I think I improved my hubs.
well,I had a traffic spike over the past few days and most of my hubs are now seeing traffic, so Google likes me again. Whether this had anything to do with the above I don't know, but its nice to have decent visitor numbers again!
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