In the back of my mind I'm always looking for ways we can improve the HubPages product to help people be more efficient at increasing their traffic. Lots of things in the product start with manual expirments that turn into features of some sort.
Right now I'm experimenting with updating old Hubs and how to prioritize them. In general I've found that updating Hubs that get traffic already is more efficient at increasing traffic for me than updating Hubs that don't get traffic.
Now, I'm adding a bit more analysis. Using Google webmaster tools I've filtered the results to show keywords that get ten impressions or more. I'm looking for things where there is volume. Next, I'm focusing on the keywords that rank on average between position 11 and 20.
I'm going to update the Hubs that fit this range and see if that helps them do much better.
My theory is that it's easier to move a Hub from position 11 to 20 to rank on the first page then it is to get something below 21 to the first page and by focusing on keywords that have some volume, that there is likely to be an order of magnitude more volume if the page ranked on in the first ten results.
The key phrase is
I'm going to update the Hubs that fit this range and see if that helps them do much better.
Can you summarize the updates and why they will improve rankings and traffic? Isn't there are risk that you will make them worse? The age of the article is also an issue. Some articles like wine mature with age, though adding new content may help.
The other issue is that one hub may get impressions from multiple phases and the changes may affect the overall traffic for the hub.
I do this all the time, and always get a lot of improvement, many times up to position 1 to 5 from somewhere lower on the first page or second.
Anytime I see a search query for a hub, either from the hub's stats or Google Analytics that has been used at least 5 times, I see if I need to optimize better for that particular query. In one instance it was a matter of using the word teenagers instead of teens in the title and summary that made a big impact. That hub now flips between 1 and 2 on Google for its most popular search query.
One other thought, since you are talking about looking for ways to help people improve traffic: I think when the [video] hub feature is rolled out to everyone that will be a great traffic-boosting tool, especially with how-to hubs.
You have probably seen this research, but yesterday I was reading the results of an eye-tracking study that basically looks like a heat map of where people's eyes focus when looking at a Google search results page.
As expected, eyes tracked to positions 1 and 2, but when there were videos (w/ the video image appearing in results), eyes seemed to track more heavily to the video than even position 1. The same was true for local results (next to a map), but that's not really applicable to HubPages.
So I know, I for one am anxiously awaiting to be able to do videos.
I'm pretty much doing the same thing except I'm going to focus on some hubs that are not getting any traffic. My reason is because I did the research and only chose topics that fit within certain search parameters (relatively high search volume with low competition) and there is no logical reason they are not getting the traffic they deserve.
I'm going to chronicle my progress in a new hub on how to revise hubs/article/blog posts. I'm mostly going to experiment using on page optimization and off page optimization (backlinks, social networks, social media)
If after 90 days I see no real progress then I will make the assumption that HP is not the place for that content. Now just to be on a fair playing field, I'm making my tweaks on several hubs at the same time, though I am only discussing one of them publicly in my new hub.
I do have 4-5 hubs of mine on page 2 between 11-20 for good keywords with average traffic so I could try updating them to get them up to page 1. Will keep everyone informed about the progress
Paul, that makes alot of sense, and I hope more Hubbers attempt to do their own analysis of your theory. I know I will be. Thanks for the insight!
As soon as I understand what you are saying I'll try it....I am slow today.
Not to jump in for Paul, but I can give you a personal example that may help you understand what I believe he is saying...
I believe he is talking about looking at keywords that have 10 or more impressions. I think by this he means, search queries - the strings of words people put together in Google. You can easily see these "search queries" on the keywords tab of your hub's stats. Or you can find them in Google Analytics if you use it.
Here is an example of how it works:
I had a hub about an author and the dolls that went with her books. The title was the author's name and the word dolls.
However, I began to notice through my hub's stats, as well as Google Analytics, that real people were actually using the search query for the author's name and the word biography NOT dolls. If I did a search like that myself (author's name and the word biography) I was around the 15th result.
The way I improved my hub was to put the word biography immediately after the author's name in both the title of my hub, and the summary (just like the search query that people were mostly using). I also added that same keyword phrase/search query to the first text capsule.
That particular hub is at position 2 today (from 15) for the search query that I saw people using repeatedly from my hub stats, and has now even surpassed Wikipedia.
So, not to put words in Paul's mouth, but I think this is what he means by improvement. And it is actually quick to do.
Thanks Ktrapp and K9.
The part I wasn't understanding is the page 11 to 20 and so on. You did say your moved from 15 to 2 so I assume is where it is placed on the page. Am I right?
I have been improving with the search query from my stats, yet to use analytic or webmaster tools for that.
my brain is so tired right now.
Yes, I mean position. Each page of Google results basically has 10 results. So if you are in position 1-10 then you are on page 1; position 11-20 is page 2; and so on. Sorry my previous answer was overkill for what you didn't understand
I never really noticed that. I usually am just satisfied if my hubs are on page 1-3. Wow now I learned something today. Thanks so much.
I was taught that page 1 or page 4 were the best place to be positioned. Page one because everyday people are going to hit whatever they see on the first page. Page 4 if your subject helps college students because they are taught that they will most likely find what they need on page 4.
I find some keyword phrases will put you on page 1 yet someone searching just words will not find me at all. Other hubs are found placed for a single word. I have also found that if I use a word in any article over and over again, not to use it as a keyword. It didn't take long to find too much use of a single word unless it isn't a keyword will get me (not) ranked anywhere I can find the article.
I have found articles I have written elsewhere ranked on page 1 of 176 million results but hubs never seem to make page 1 for more than a half a million. I must admit though that I spend more time in Google's keyword tool for business related keywords.
Thanks KTrapp! I'm with Cardisa on this one. I am still not familiar with all the traffic and Google tricks of the trade. Do you and Paul mean 10-20 as in what Google Adwords shows or how your hubs are ranked in your account? I am not clear on that.
To answer your question succinctly, this isn't about Adwords, or how a hub ranks in your own HubPages account, but rather what position it appears in Google results.
One easy way to find this position is to open Google Webmaster Tools and then click on "your site on the web" and then "search queries."
You will get a table of data that has a list of search queries that real people have done on the web in which your hubs were part of the results. You will see the average position where your hub appeared in Google results for each and every search query.
I think Paul may be trying to improve or update hubs that have an average position between 11-20 (page 2). With a little work he is hoping to move these average positions up to page 1 of results (which is positions 1-10). Obviously you have a much better chance of people clicking through to your hub, the higher you appear in results.
I don't bother rearranging words on a page - particularly on a site like hubpages which I don't control. I throw a few backlinks in for any pages that have dropped a bit, if they respond, good, if not - time to move to another platform.
I agree Lissie but I think Paul makes a good point also.
If its visitor numbers that are dropping its a signal that other pages are being seen as more important. New pages on every topic imaginable appear online every day. Those fresher documents, under Goggles new freshness algo, will be given a boost, and will always have an initial indexing date that is "fresher" than yours even if you do update the content.
I am not saying updating content is a bad thing, the longer you can keep visitors on you pages is definitely a good thing. It’s not about writing for search engines i.e. chasing some magical keyword density it’s about writing to engage the reader.
You will never stop people bouncing from your hubs, its inevitable, what you want to stop are quick bounces i.e. short dwell time or as Google terms it Short Data clicks. Someone bouncing after 5 seconds is bad, someone bouncing after five minutes is entirely different.
To improve earnings and rankings find some good links and improve your content so that it engages better.
If you are writing about news, celeb gossip, or sports results I agree. But HP used to recommend that people wrote about "evergreen topics" - my tips on overseas driving haven't changed in the several years since I published it - or indeed in the last 10 years. It had sunk without a trace on hubpages. I removed it from hP, deindexed it via webmaster tools, and republished it elsewhere, with a few more long-tail keywords incorporated - its now on page 1 for its main keyword.
Frankly that was a lot less work than playing around with the same article on Hubpages - without any certainty whether or not Google would "notice" it again.
Yep I agree with everything you say here Lissie and I am about to move some stuff over to Wizzley for those exact reasons. What I was referring to though, were hubs that had dropped in performance rather than those that had completely crashed.
Great info Paul. I have been conducting a little "spring Cleaning" and am finding this has given some of my hubs a pretty good bump in traffic. I am not as savvy with the analytics end of things, but the practical revisions have offered a meaningful upswing without a doubt. I can't wait to see your long term results in this little experiment. Thanks for always thinking forward!
I've got many failed hubpages that were experiments in them self really and they deserve much better if only I could be bothered to update them as I am a busy business man who is trying to work on my own sites, so I may re-write some in time but it would be easier to move them and re-write them on my own websites just to test what happens with some content here and some on my own sites....see what happens!
I may test this updating hubpages or I might not. There's just too much going on right now that proves to me that spreading yourself around far and wide is certainly more beneficial to us online than sticking on one platform.
Good luck with your test Paul I have high hopes for your earnings potential.
Having said this, Hubpages has always been a good place to try out writing online first like learn the basics of writing for people and the search engines before ever attempting to create your own websites. But your own websites are the way to go long term, so think about it people!
I remember learning how to write stuff and improve on this very site and branching out onto other sites....
Google webmaster tools provides the average ranking of a phrase and the avrrage ranking of a page. That's the data ive been looking at.
I certainly agree with you on that, i.e., no point in taking a stinker and trying to make it into a winner.
I've got some that I'm not going to delete, but save until I'm in the mood to make compete. The hubs that I've deleted from this site....from looking at them, they were clearly more of what would constitute a "blog post" than a hub; and so that's what they've became....blogger blogs.
When I first started paying attention to this site I was told that ten hits or page views per day was what could be considered a "good hub," and that's really still where my focus is for deciding whether or not something was a "success."
I agree that you have to wait for a time when you can do the job properly.
There is no point in trying to fix things when I am exhausted, for example. It means that I don't always fix things right away, but there is no point in doing things asap just because. As a result I will sometimes get flack for timing, but I ask - how can you you do a proper job when you haven't had any sleep.?
I can't really make myself write and write well...things that seem to have done well for me are the things that I wrote when I had the overwhelming feeling that I was ready to write something, and I was also sure that it was "decent writing" that folks interested in whichever subject it was would possibly find entertaining.
I got the courage to unpublish and delete my Hubs, and I have no regrets. By doing this, I can concentrate on the Hubs that I want to edit and update. To me, things like Google and keywords take the fun out of writing. What I'm doing now is concentrating on Hubs that I do have and how I can improve them. And if I do decide to write a Hub, I will at least take a little longer in its design. It did take me long enough to add YouTube, so if I find something amusing or interesting in the form of a video, I'll use it. I would like to put more effort in polls and quizzes. I am grateful for any articles or hints on how to draw more traffic. I can research, write and edit. Everything else is an ongoing mystery.
I've been here 4 years and only managed 6 hubs....will try and see to writing more and then I'll be able to measure how well I might be doing or not lol!
That's a hell of a long time for only six hubs...lol I hope you get some more up there, the more you have the more traffic and the more pennies.
@amandaD - Search engines, just as much as HP readers, notice trustworthy publications. If you write quality articles regularly on HP, you'll get a total of Google hits that will multiply with your regular publication. That's as simple as it gets with writing online.
@Paul - Can't imagine what a busy person you are, but I, for one, appreciate you 'jumping into the fray' the way you do.
If you are on page 2 or even three of the SERPS and you are getting 10 visits for your keyword then you should very definitely try to move your hub onto the first page as the volume of traffic is likely to increase into the hundreds! If you rank for several keywords for your hub that appear on the second page or deeper but each keyword has reasonable traffic it is worth writing a new hub around those specific keywords to target them. (If the keywords can be converted to paying "customers" if it is cash not readers you want.)
I use this to find keywords for future articles and posts on my own sites and on here. Your own analytics can be a gold mine of information if you look at them properly!
My personal experience in doing this is that updates can help if you are not 100% optimized for a keyword but after a point you need some links to help push you up the searches.
Thanks ktrapp for the explanation on looking at the Hub stats to see the keywords people are putting in. I never used that before.
should be page 1 for "title key phrase" a few days after post; as well with unique content and well optimized on page SEO.
For those of us who are new to HubPages--just how do you find Google Webmaster Tools, etc.?
Good information here. I'm going to work on updating my most successful Hubs this week, and I'll be looking forward to the video Hubs feature as well. Thanks!
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