Because I have been high profile for my earnings I wanted to be transparent and let you all know that between Oct 2011 and today my HP earnings per day have been basically cut by 60% on average. I have learned to accept that there are going to be ups and downs and prepare for the inevitable downs. No doubt traffic and earnings will climb again at some point - just wait it out.
Optimism. Thats what keeps many of us going.
Thank you for this post. It lets people know that they are not alone.
fyi: I reposted it in reply on another thread as well. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/94451
While remaining optimistic that is a heck of a downturn
How much lower are your hub views in percentage?
Has your cpm remained consistant during the period?
My hubviews are down from about 13k a day to 7k a day. My cpm remains much the same. In my "other life" as a food writer it is much the same. Not necessarily the blogs - my blog is actually up more than 60% over the past few months and continuing to grow. One of the advertising networks I work with on my blog says that they are seeing a huge drop in the CPC that advertisers are willing to pay.
Every job has it's positives and negatives. Everything you do will have ups and down. Numerous people with "real" jobs are laid off with no warning. I do not depend solely on my earnings here because each day is a crap-shoot when you are a writer. I have blogs, I am a published author in both books and magazines and I write for a variety of other Internet markets. As much as I would like things to return to how they were before Panda ... you have to move along with life. More and more people have decided that writing for the Internet is what they want to do. the Web is glutted with blogs, websites, freelance writers, and everything else you can imagine. With that kind of competition the market had to take a hit. What would happen to the cost of beef if all of a sudden everyone was raising beef in their backyard? You could get it for about 10cents a pound! As always, in order to succeed you have to find a need and fill it. Be different. Be unique. Be yourself. Most of all be positive... Sure, it could be worse tomorrow but... it could also be better. Maybe I only had 7,500 page views today but maybe tomorrow I will have 17.500. You just can't predict it.
Hope this helps a little. If all of our income is down an average of 50% hubpages income is down by the same amount. And their overhead is a lot higher.
That's a pretty big drop... makes my 400-600 a day less views seem not so bad.
Perhaps the rollercoaster will start to climb again soon, but the amount of work we put in for less pay is causing a lot of people to jump ship.
No worry for me here. I'm lucky if I get 200 views a day. I sure don't expect to get rich from hubpages. Than again I only have 91 hubs.
Sorry Mary to hear your income has gone down. I know that must be hard on everyone that once made good money on here.
I can understand your viewpoint here, and I definitely find it interesting to see your developments with earnings/views and such. However let's be completely honest with ourselves, even 7,500 views a day is a fantastic number, even for a Hubber of your rank!
Although at least you opened us to the reality that everybody experiences downturns in their journey to success, and even when you get there, you will still find the bumps now and again.
When you refer to views, are you counting just your impressions or are you counting both yours and HubPages?
I am assuming you are counting the number of impressions that HubPages Earning Program says or Google Analytics says.
My traffic is also much lower from last fall, however, I expected this. Mainly,because I had 1 article that was very successful for a while. And I knew that January and Febuary would be a time when advertisers spend less.
David, I tracked my analytics for the past 4 1/2 years. I compared the ratio of income/page views to number of hubs. I compared the CTRs. I always expect a minor drop in January, and usually again in July/August as well. I am glad you aren't seeing more than the normal change. Well done.
Marye, I just started reading Problogger Darren Rowse's newly updated book. Literally, it came in the mail yesterday.
In the introduction, he gives an account of his early blogging years when Google made a change and they all got hit hard. That was way before Panda. He encourages that things did recenter and started to climb once more. It certainly didn't stop him. He went from it being a hobby, to parttime and finally fulltime, earning "six figures"...obviously, Panda hasn't stopped him either. You're so right. We need to be optimistic and keep on going.
Thanks Marye. You are featured as a top earner on HP. Anybody can see that info on the HP "home" page. It's good that you are sharing what's happened to your earnings. Clearly, the dip in earnings you describe has nothing to do with the quality and consistency you've always delivered within HP. It's got something to do with how the net and HP are working now as opposed to a year or two or three ago.
Hopefully, HP will look at your stats as well as those of others who have been as successful as you to see where they can get back on track with what was a premier site for independent content writers.
Hi, Mary. As I posted on another thread, my earnings are down, too.
Thank you so much, Mary, for this update. Your steady approach makes my decision to go on without looking at the circumstances seem very right. You are appreciated by many, many of your fellow writers.
I'm glad you shared this! My HP earnings are also down about 60% since December 2011 (I have a few hubs that went gangbusters during the holiday season). My HP earnings had been trending up 10-15% each month since the inception of the program, but they have definitely since dropped in 2012. I should take a closer look at overall traffic. I get 5,000-6,000 daily views currently, which appears to be about a 20% drop in PV from last fall.
Since I am also featured as a "Success Story," I wonder if HP should have some of us (all of us?) update the information in the interest of transparency??
You are right that people should not get discouraged. The best we can do is to keep putting out high quality content, updating old hubs, etc. Very interesting to read other people's experiences, as well.
Thanks for posting this, Marye. It gives us all a better idea as to Panda's impact. I think is it outrageous that all of us have worked so hard, only to have it shot to hell.
I hope that more and more ad company's step into the fray so that a fairer system is adopted all-round and one company does not have the monopoly.
I joined an SEO group several years ago for my website. I get a newsletter about once a month. The lady who runs the group makes a living training website creators how to use SEO on their sites. Twice I have seen her say that she did a search and a Hubpage came up as number one. She said she complained immediately to Google.
Hubpages is in competition with websites. This may be one of our problems.
ALL websites are in competition with ALL websites. And with Google's algorithm. That's how the internet works.
Thanks for telling the truth! It's going on everywhere people are depending on upfront payments as well as revenue share.
I still make much better money than here at another site, but the pay there is down by 35 to 40 percent. The management keeps playing the "lets cut the pay some more" game..
It helps to let everyone know that it is the situation, not that they are all somehow doing everything wrong. Times is hard everywhere.
As a few of the other hubbers already mentioned in the forum-we need to have a bit more patience and faith, and hopefully the earnings will return to a normal status. I know that my earnings on HP are nowhere near to what you make as a full-time writer on the site. But cannot complain and have done quite well over the past 14 months since joining. However it looks like my earnings have also decreased over the past few months. Let's all hang in there for the long run.
I get sick of the hubpages denigration squad...those folks are mad at GOOGLE.
Sharing your experience certainly helps other hubbers stay inspired and educates those of us just joining. Appreciate it!
On a side note - I came across one of your hubs during a google search the other day and readily clicked on it. It was nice to see it at the top of the search!
Thanks for sharing this information, Marye - it's so much better to know there are cycles and that everyone is seeing them rather than wondering if our experiences are unique and we've done something wrong.
Few people have done as much as you have to attract readers as well as new writers to this site. I truly hope your traffic and revenue is soon restored to the level you richly deserve!
Hello Marye, I just want to say I really respect you for your honesty here and for you being willing to share this information.
yes, Google made it's own monster. There is so much junk online. I think more and more savvy viewers are going directly to a site rather than always relying on search engines.
Thanks for sharing Mayre and being so open. You're so right about all jobs having ups and downs. It's how we decide to handle both (ups and downs) that keeps us going in a positive mindset.
Ummm...is there a "Like" button for what you just said?
I think this is not so true nowadays. Like it or not, it's pretty clear now that searches for items are far more relevant than they used to be a few years ago. Back then there was porn everywhere and all sorts of crap whenever you did a search for anything. That doesn't really happen now. It may suck balls as a writer if your site goes down in the search listings, but overall they have done a good job at google cleaning out a lot of the crap that used to infest the net.
Thanks so much for your transparency. I highly respect you and your writing. I hope that things bounce back for you very soon.
Marye, you cannot understand what motivation I have drawn from your uniqiue writing style and leadership qualities within the HP. All I can say is a big thank you for leading by sharing first-hand this info given your reputation. We all need to take things in their stride and patiently hope things will take shape.
Thanks much for the update with some info, and the interesting comments as well. As for accusations, we can imagine what the result of considering the source(s) would likely be--I'll be nice and stop there.
Appreciate very much that you share what you've learned and take an interest in those of us who aren't at your level of seniority or earnings. Your efforts to help others learn is just one of the things to like about HP. Looking forward to that next up date after you've waited the lull out.
Thanks Marye, this mirrors my own experience in so many ways. Nice to see another person backing it up to avoid any doubt
Thank you for taking your time out to share this. As a new Hubber, I've been considerably discouraged as the traffic I receive here is less than at my personal website that has a limited audience. I had hoped writing for a site like HubPages would help me appeal to a larger audience and was worried that I was wrong. From what I can tell of your message and the responses here is that I was not wrong so much as my timing was off.
Just remember that the internet is like an ocean... there are waves ... so many sites almost totally closed down after the Panda thing last year. What is popular one day may not be the next.. you just have to be prepared to ride it out.
New members have always been complaining about lack of traffic. Ever since I've been here, that's what I have seen again and again. You seem to be confusing internal and external traffic. And what about the aging factor. A lot of generalizations and jumping to conclusions seem to be occurring on this thread and other related threads.
Overall, HubPages traffic hasn't been that bad, from what I understand. It is only a matter of what subdomains win, and what subdomains lose. And then there are those subdomains that have not yet had enough time or quality content to really prove their worth one way or the other.
The lack of time or quality certainly is not the case for the OP's opening comment though is it?
To see someone who has worked so hard and done well for herself and for this website in the past; now going through this drop in earnings and traffic is a cause for concern.
I have always had respect for the people like habee, Marye and others like them who were doing well. I realized that they got there through hard work,skill and determination hopefully soon they will see traffic/earnings pick up.
I think that people having to cut back because of the financial situation could be causing changes to the way the internet works... i.e they are taking longer to make decisions and spend their money.
These are just hunches not got any evidence but - relating to search -
A lot has changed not just big G's famous updates and things like personalized search may be one of the causes.
Plus people using iphones/tablets rather than lap tops to read online might alter what appeals to them.
No. But my comment was not directed at the OP, it was directed at a new member with relatively few hubs. More experienced members ought to caution new members against getting "half truths" stuck in their heads and jumping to conclusions.
I think this is the crux of the matter. It's two months after Christmas and nobody's got any money, hence advertisers don't want to chuck their cash down the drain! If this is the main reason for the drop, I'd hope that the problem will resolve itself by the middle of the year.
Perhaps Marye, Habee and others can tell us what their situation was this time last year, and how it compares with now. Was there a similar percentage dip in earnings? If there wasn't then perhaps it's time to be worried because this time last year was when Panda first hit us. If you *didn't* have a massive income drop back then, but you are having one now, then something is definitely wrong somewhere.
That's a good question.
Last year at this time the first Panda update rolled out and there wasn't a HP ad program. Obviously there was a significant drop, just like everyone else. In the past, prior to Panda, there was usually a small dip in Jan., picking up in Feb., dipping slightly until April and then climbing steadily. The late winter slumps seem to be more significant these past two years than prior to that.
Again, I am seeing this in many venues. Some of the big advertising networks that work with bloggers have been seriously threatened by the drop.
I do not think it is a cause for concern in that, as I said before, Internet traffic ebbs and flows.
Some people won't feel the hit so badly at one time because of their niche and then get hit hard another time. It seems to be the nature of the beast.
Don't get discouraged. Just be wise. Keep working hard, do your best, and put money back when there it is rolling in to carry you through the times that it isn't.
I am happy that not everyone is experiencing the drop. I would be more concerned if EVERYONE was.
Have a great weekend.
I think that you are right and that there are two sides to this thing. One is that people are generally fairly cash-strapped at the moment and are being very careful about what they are spending their money on. For example, I used to sell a fair bit of jewelry from my Amazon capsules but hardly any now, which I don't think is all down to my much lower traffic since August. I just think that luxury items like jewelry can be cut down on, so they are.
Then there are a lot of people now losing their jobs or needing more income, who are turning to writing on the internet to try and earn some cash.
So you have a market flooded by new writers chasing a much warier, and possibly dwindling pot of potential customers. It will be the people who genuinely love writing for it own sake and the very astute, switched-on internet marketeers who will be left standing, as I think that many will drift away again when they don't make the money that they hoped for
I admire your pragmatic take on it all Marye, as it is very hard to have to make up a big dip in your income, and it just shows that we all have to stay as adaptable to prevailing circumstances as we can be
I agree with what you are saying here. I had not anticipated to have thousands of views the moment I posted a hub (that's just ridiculous). However, I have been running a website for 9 years and have watched the ebb and flow regularly. I have the experience to back up my concerns. I have not complained about the traffic here as others who are still fairly new like myself have. That doesn't mean I haven't noticed it. I don't get a whole lot of traffic, but my subdomain is new so that's okay. What is disturbing is that I can count on my hands how many views have come from search engines in the four months I've been here and when I look at the search terms used, most of them never should have resulted in my page showing up as those terms and phrases were not in the hub or tags they were directed to. This isn't HubPages fault. It does, however, lead to many questions about the quality of search engines. Hearing about other Hubbers who have been well-established and had such high traffic in the past let's me know it is not a problem with just my Hubs, but is affecting everyone.
Evylyn Rose, I appreciate your insightful post. I never thought you were complaining, and you seem to know what you are doing both here and on your personal site.
Thanks. ^_^ Although, to be honest I don't always feel like it. Hearing that some of these problems aren't just me (both here at HubPages and my personal site) has alleviated a lot of unnecessary stress. There are other factors at play that we have no control over at this time.
On a related note, has anyone else come across problems when they search for information online from search engines? I know the reason I fell in love with Google years ago was because I could type in exactly what I was looking for and the results I needed were always at the very top. Now, there are times when I have to play around with search phrases just to get what I want to be on the second to last page of the results. When this happens, the "effective" search terms would never have been the ones I would have used to find the information. If this is what it's like for everyone else searching, then maybe that's another clue into what is going on.
Wow, your honesty is really appreciated. But my income hasn't dipped. I had my highest earnings ever in Dec, and my page views are always roughly the same. I'm almost at 3 million views with 95 hubs in 2 years. My income from other sources is also increasing. So I'm not sure why this is happening to other writers.
Marye thanks for posting. You have provided some peace of mind for a lot of us it seems. Some would say it’s “misery loves company.” No one wants anyone else to do poorly. But it is comforting to know you’re not alone in a downswing. I usually do well in Nov/Dec because I have a lot of seasonal hubs. I expected Jan/Feb to take a dip, but I’ve been concerned over the magnitude of the dip in traffic and earnings. I made over twice as much in December as I did Feb. Each week since early Jan (except one week due to a seasonal hub), the newsletter shows my traffic going down. That’s a negative traffic percentage pretty much every week for 8-10 weeks.
I can only echo what other people here have already said which is to thank you for your honesty in telling us what's going on with your earnings. And sorry to hear it, too - a decrease of 60% is no joke.
The fact that it's happening to you and others like Habee shows that the loss of revenue/traffic can't be explained away by too many sales hubs, or spammy backlinks, or any of the other reasons that the self-appointed experts like to quote every time a person reports a reduction in income and/or views.
If someone like yourself, with good, well-written hubs is having a problem, then we've all got a problem.
I'm sure many of you are aware of the fact I no longer write here due to my experiences on the site following Panda.
However I'd like to add to this thread that since the introduction of subdomains, my traffic is three or four times what it was pre-panda. And so are my earnings.
I'm fully aware that many people are experiencing a downer, and I'm not trying to rub in my success - I am now writing in a wide variety of online locations so I can be prepared for any more slaps that come along. But I'd just like to point out that some people are still going ok on Hubpages, so both sides of the argument can be represented.
Good luck Marye, hope it returns soon!
My adsense earnings are down across the board, no matter what site I write for. My HP ads are doing much better. My HubPages traffic is down from this time last month, but my earnings are up from last month.
My traffic has dropped by almost 70% as well. But unlike you and many others who get views in the thousands. I was doing fairly well seeing it rise each week to a new steady high. My views were about 150 - 160 a day and now 50 is the average (Or i could say the max and min ) It's like the board is stuck for me around 47 - 50.
The funniest part is that none of my rankings have changed on Google (+ or -1 of what they were three weeks back) and different hubs get views each day. One hub gives me 30 of those views and the next day the same hub will have just 3 whereas another will have 30 - 35!
However, earlier all these single day hoppers fetched a steady 30 at least.
Hi Marye Audet,
Thanks for being forthcoming about this. A lot of us are in the same boat and it is encouraging to hear from each other. Hopefully, things will pick up soon.
Why is the answer to these panda hits always wait it out just keep writing? Isn't that the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. Maybe we need to realize that HP and writing sites have been hit permanently and are not coming back and the days of getting paid to write shaky poetry are coming to an end.
If Columbus had given up he would never have landed on the American continents. If Alexander Graham Bell gave up we would not have the wonderful ability to communicate we have today. Every millionaire, billionaire, and success story in history has a timeline of failure and success... usually many failures before successes.
If you are taking time away from your paying job and/or responsibilities to write here then you should probably stop unless you are making enough to warrant it - BUT if you are just writing in your free time? What is it going to hurt to continue to write and hone your skills?
When I started here I was a stay at home mom that had not worked outside the home in 27 years. Since I started I have been contracted to write cookbooks,written magazine articles, written for a variety of networks including Discovery Channel AND edited as well. I have had opportunities that I might not have had otherwise.
Who is to say that traffic will not skyrocket tomorrow or next week or next month? And if you weren't writing here what would you be doing? If the answer is watching tv then you might as well write.
But most entrepreneurs didn't have a fickle controlling entity like google messing around in their face every day. Thats the sticking point, they are both our revenue source and our enemy at the same time. Its like working for a boss who hates you but keeps you around for its own evil purpose.
I owned a small tea room in a historic building once. My food was amazing. People drove for over an hour to have tea and lunch.
No matter how fabulous my food was - the business went belly up when the economy tanked. It was out of my control. A Chili's restaurant opened nearby. People in my area just weren't eating out as much and when they did they preferred inexpensive food over quality food. It was out of my control. No matter how hard I worked or how high quality and delicious the food was I went out of business.
You are wrong. Entrepreneurs are as much victims of the economy and other factors as writers are victims of google. Anyone who wants a steady income and a regular paycheck should not have their own business or be a freelance anything.
My suggestion - work harder on the research to find genuine niches that you can really compete for (average PR < 2). Choose keywords that advertisers pay more for. Be more target and outcome focused. Quality articles 1500+ words. You can always shift them to another site if your HP slide continues.
I can't recall a single example where anyone has ever claimed to make any significant money off poetry.
You left me speechless! That is a big drop!
I gave not been hibbing st all lately! You are right about the drop in views! I wish we knew how this really happens! Advertisers pull when they don't see their revenues climb!
What blog site is better than huboages?
Who is our competitor? Thanks for sharing!
Keep us posted if you see an up swing!
Thanks for the info, Marye - it's disappointing but good to be made aware of. If the graphs are to be believed, most of the HP Success Stories have experienced their traffic going up and down like yo-yos in recent times.
This thread has been about the % drop that the experienced hubbers have encountered. Hubbers who joined since Panda or not long before may not have seen a drop, so what is more indicative for them is the average number of pageviews per hub. I've done some math in attempt to compare the apples to oranges here. The following is an approximate number of daily pageviews per hub for those who gave sufficient stats.
Marye 9, down from 17
stephhicks68 16-19 now
stricklydating 43, assuming 3M is an "ever" total, saw no drop
lobobrandon 2, down from 6 (joined 5 months ago)
Ms Dee 4-5 (joined 20 months ago, stats not from this thread)
Since pre-panda I've seen a rise of 4-5 times what I was.
Pre-panda I was getting about 1200 views a day. Panda pushed me back into 500-900 and now I'm seeing upwards of 4,000, if those stats help.
Pre-panda I had about 200. After Panda (~March/April last year) I moved all my no/low view hubs and only left 85 here.
I just checked adsense and analytics for MArch 1-9 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.,2012
for each of those dates the cpc rate remained pretty stable - within a few cents.
the CTR was approximately <snipped> in 2008 and varying only slightly until it dropped to approximately <snipped> in 2011 and approximately <snipped>* for 2012...
The traffic has increase in direct relation to the number of hubs written and the page views have remained at about 2 pages per visit. All of that says to me that my ads are staying about the same in value. My traffic is staying about the same BUT people are less likely to click on ads than in the past.
I don't think anyone can look at anyone else and figure out a pattern. No one can predict what consumers will hate and what will go viral. If you are just looking at the visits you get to your hubs overall you really are not getting a good indication of what is going on financially.
*moderator note: See item 7, subpoint b of AdSense TOS https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms
True. My most visited hub earned me mere pennies with thousands of views (until HP ads) while sales hubs which have never had more than 1,000 visits got me plenty of Amazon sales.
In my case, traffic and CTR started dropping sometimes around mid-January. My traffic is down by about 30% and CTR has dropped from about <snipped> to <snipped>*
And after the 'AdSense for Mobile Content' was switched to 'AdSense for Content', the CTR has significantly become lower than expected.
What would make readers less likely to click on ads this year than in the past years?
*moderator note: See item 7, subpoint b of AdSense TOS https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms
It's against both HP ad and Adsense ToS to reveal specific earnings and CTR.
Hubpages rearranged its adsense layout to avoid looking spammy and that is the major thing that has hit CTR over the last couple of years.
If you are using HP ads you cannot expect many clicks on adsense at all since the HP ads tend to push adsense down the page.
HP ads don't require clicks to earn, just views.
I don't think anyone understands why advertisers are running fewer high value campaigns in recent months. Perhaps they are not paying off as they used to. Maybe it is the economy. Or as Mayre suggested, a glut of places to advertise. Or a change in advertiser behavior that has not become apparent yet- shifting to social media perhaps.
I would want to think that when traffic in one’s sub-domain starts to decline significantly, the BigG will correspondingly lower the rank/value of your pages accordingly. Ideally, one’s traffic can start declining just because of a simple change in search algorithm.
With a lower rank/value of your pages, the following may equally happen:
1. The BigG may give you a correspondingly lower quality ads that readers will not likely want to click.
2. The BigG may give you a correspondingly ‘lower quality readers’ - readers who are less likely to click on ads. For example, readers who frequent Facebook are unlikely to click on ads as opposed to traffic from AOL
3. The BigG may start giving you more low paying traffic from developing countries as opposed to traffic from developed countries.
I just started writing for Hubpages in November. Due to the holidays and then foot surgery I had the first of February, I've not done as many articles as I would have like by now. So far I've made zero money, though I have Amazon I've not signed up for Hubpages ads and Adsense I was declined in December.
I write for Examiner writing on 3 topics there and have done so for about 2 years. The past year pay has gone down there also. I guess it is supply and demand. More people writing means more competition.
I write for the enjoyment and fun, but also for some money.
Thanks for sharing this information with us. My hubs are new so any clicks are welcome reports. I hope things pick back up for you soon and for others. Perhaps as people gain other employment, the online writing interest will diminish and balance out the hard-core content writing.
Mayre makes an excellent post about thinking outside the HP and Amazon earnings in defining success.
In the past 4 years since I have been writing for HubPages, I have been paid for use of my photographs featured in my hubs, been interviewed numerous times about my success in writing and self-publication, scored a free trip to Washington D.C. for Earth Day (since I write about energy and environment) and was even invited to travel and stay in Fiji by the tourism board.
This was not because I have made any significant sum on HubPages, but rather about things over which I have control: quality of content and the topics on which I write.
We all know there is no "get rich quick" scheme here. Hubs need to be researched and carefully written with sound information, good grammar and helpful photographs. Older hubs need to be updated, instead of forgotten.
Am I frustrated by the drop in PVs and earnings? sure. But I realize that this is a cyclical event and soon enough, things will swing in the opposite direction.
The only problem about quality articles is that the algorithm Google is using isn't written to give searchers quality articles. Rather, their algo is weighted to satisfy the query searchers type in. That's why so many of us have been puzzled by a poorly written article ranking highly.
The reason this happens is because the text, images, and tags are optimized, the person that wrote it knows better how to rank a page for that particular query. Not saying all searches come up with poor stuff, but the better keyword, on page SEO, and backlinking is going to outweigh the better writing with Google's algo.
Ironic, I know, when so many like to say SEO is dying
"the algorithm Google is using isn't written to give searchers quality articles."
I disagree with this - as this is exactly what Google says it is doing (the way it defines quality) on its blogs about improving quality in its search results. It is doing this by changing the ranks it applies for each possible page for the keywords by adding a 'quality score' its 'links score'. Panda is an extra program designed to impose a penalty on a list of websites it regards as having low quality. HP was hit with a Panda penalty which has been partially offset by the subdomains, but now each hubber has to build a reputation with Google for 'authority' and 'quality' so that their pages will rank. Quality matters - the way Google defines Quality.
Still, what Google considers quality is a page that delivers a proper response to a query. No matter how good the content, if it isn't optimized to answer a query, it wouldn't be seen as quality by Google.
I get what your saying, and I think Panda is trying to find quality. But the people that will survive through that long trial and error are going to be people that know how to get the right kinds of back links and target keywords.
Just a layman's opinion based on my browsing, I'm no expert.
I agree with target keywords and links BUT quality is now very important
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … ality.html
"Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?"
This is probably the one HubPages is most concerned with right now.
I can't imagine how difficult it will be to write the algorithm they are looking for, based on the questions. Sandboxing and penalties on sites with one or two bad articles and fifty good ones is a good example of how far away they are from being able to coordinate those questions into a fair mathematical algorithm.
Good information, though, thanks.
+ I think writing recognition is a wonderful benefit in itself, and can open doors for other opportunities.
It's nice to see this point being made. And probably not everyone likes to post their 'outside earnings' success stories in a public fourm.
Thanks for sharing this, Marye. It helped put things in perspective for me. I can't believe the numbers that have shown up in my stats. I appreciate the encouragement.
I can think of a few reasons, number one being that viewers are smarter. Panda didn't just affect site traffic and searches, it exposed to the general public about Google's online advertising and how content writers and affiliate marketers make money. I think more buyers are going directly to a source if they want to buy something.
Why not go directly to a brand site or Amazon?
Searchers are sick of landing on pages saturated with google ads, I know I hit the back button if I land on an ad saturated page.
And there's always the economy. Where and how do people want to spend their money?
I think with what I see and hear, people are much more cautious and careful about spending.
You're right. it may be that viewers are "smarter" and manufacturers, too, have improved their SEO? A number of factors, I'm sure.
I read somewhere recently that this year will be the first year marketers spend more money advertising online than in print. It would appear that the key is writing original, relevant, targeted content and that requires time and skill. Impression based earnings appeal to that kind of content writing and I can see why HP moved to their own impression based ads. I don't do this for a living, so I'm certainly not an expert, but I think it makes sense to write in areas in which we are qualified to write, and to write for our targeted audience. Writing on trend topics or keywords of which we have no real knowledge or authority, in my limited opinion, seems like a waste of time.
an interesting video about the future of online digital marketing. http://www.martinkovac.com/2012/01/17/t … 2012-2015/
It's great to know how many page views you receive. Dang, 15K a day here? And that is a steep drop. My Google search had dropped and went back up during February and I noticed it had dropped by about 10% the first week of this month. But my views anyway are a pittance in comparison.
I think it would be more accurate and meaningful if we were to look at earnings and web visits from January 1, as the holiday season, from October through the end of December, always has more traffic traffic.
If I was trying to match my holiday numbers with today's numbers, it would be discouraging.
Having said that, my numbers have also been down, especially when Google did another shuffle at the beginning of the month of March.
You are right. Evry job has both sides. But it's a matter of time and again times will be good.
In my experience at hubpages I have seen that the phrase you must fall on your knees before you rise does apply. My views per day and earnings are in no way near yours but I have seen that when the arrow dips low it is sure to rise soon enough.
Thanks for posting this, Marye.
I made every effort to make the Success Stories page as transparent as possible. I say explicitly (down to the day) when earnings figures were reported by the Hubbers profiled on the page, and we provide an updated-weekly traffic graph that gives readers an indication into the different type of traffic patterns even some of the most successful Hubbers see.
I update these numbers by contacting authors and asking for an update annually in October. October is before the November-December runup, but after the relative slumps in the early part of the year and mid-summer that we typically see. Some users see more seasonality than others, presumably based on the topics they write on.
Your reminder that traffic and earnings can fall just as easily as they can rise is a reminder of the nature of writing online - income from month to month is not as stable as a paycheck.
I totally agree. That was my point, actually. I fully expect the numbers to come back up. It is important that new writers know that just because you have pulled in a thousand dollars one month does not mean that you will the next, and vice versa.
Internet success can only be measured over the long haul, not day to day or month to month.
@Jason: Knowing these mechanics adds greatly to credibility. Thanks. (Personally, I rarely see the Success Stories page--something about trying to stay logged in--and where is this traffic graph?)
As I review the stats for these case studies, the math for some of them is implausible without explanation. Take Marye as the example at hand: Average earnings $3,800 per month and total $41,000 for five years up to 10/2011. Growth is exponential, of course, but she should have exceeded that total in less than ten months at that average. Maybe that "average" is really a "current level"? Other speculations come to mind. It might not be possible to improve upon accuracy; there is a weak link between what HP staff intends to elicit and what the Hubber reports.
Howard: If you go to the Success Stories page (http://hubpages.com/success/) and click the "keep reading" button for any of the profiled Hubbers, you will see their traffic graph after their writeup.
Apples and oranges. It says "Average passive monthly earnings...," but - unlike the "Total earnings from HubPages to date" - it says nothing about those monthly earnings being from HubPages alone. The monthly earnings merely seem to show that it is possible to earn a given figure passively online.
The monthly figures are actually from HubPages alone. I apologize if there was any ambiguity about that.
Those figures were based on amazon, ebay, hubpages ads and adsense from hubages alone.
Maybe Jason can look at the possibility of adding a link that logged-in hubbers can use to reach the Success Stories page.
Howard. You obviously think like an engineer.
In the first year income was much lower. It does not go up exponentially in a way that is necessarily linear or rational. The increase in traffic and income is based on how many hubs I wrote in any one month, what the hub was about, how Google indexed it and who linked to it.
For example. A hub I wrote early on about how plastic bags were being used by crafters was mentioned and linked in a Treehugger.com article. Treehugger is owned by Planet Green which is owned by Discovery channel. That month the views and income went up much higher than I would have expected under normal circumstances.
When I was going through my divorce I wrote very little. Obviously traffic/income did not build at a rate that would have been expected if you compared it to previous months.
I assure you - I am one of, if not the, most honest people you will meet. I literally will drive 5 miles back to the store if I discover the cashier has given me too much change or not charged me for an item. Nothing on my success story is inaccurate or fudged, nor will it ever be.
The above is an excellent "in a nutshell" summation of what has pretty much been my own experience with this site.
And since this thread is about transparency, my average month earnings for the months since the last success story update have held steady.
FYI, my earnings Hub has a new graph on it which shows my annual monthly earning averages over the five years on the site.
Jason, et al - I've been very impressed with Marye's openess here, as well as the site's desire to be responsive. I'm also happy to be here, and I realize it will be a long road to become successful on the site. I had the same questions, though, about the math of the 'average' earnings in the success stories and whether earnings were solely from HP. I think it's been helpful to clarify, as mentioned in this thread, that all quoted earnings are from HP.
As for the 'average' statement of earnings, that still doesn't add up to me. I could understand a statement that earnings had 'reached' a certain amount by a certain date. But I am not clear how many months were used to declare an 'average' figure.
Please understand this is not a criticism; it's just a desire to understand fully the business potential here for good writers who work hard and stick with it through the ebb and flow Marye so appropriately described.
It's an expression of current average earnings (as of the date specified), not lifetime average earnings. For the latter, simply dividing total earnings by the number of months the Hubber has been publishing on the site will give you that figure.
When I worked out my average monthly income from HP I calculated how much I'd earned over the previous 12 months and divided by 12. I'd had some excellent months - I also had some terrible months - August was particularly awful. So taking an average figure evened out the highs and lows for that particular year.
If I'd taken the average over my total time at HP it would have been a lot lower because I didn't really start earning anything substantial until about 8 months in.
It's hard to say whether this years average monthly earnings will be the same or not as we're only 6 months from the last calculation - they'll probably be lower unless I can pull a rabbit out of a hat or Google decides that my pages should be higher in the search results than they are currently.
Sorry if I sound like an engineer, too, Marye! Not! Just a writer here. I think I was writing my last post while Marye's response to Howard was being posted. If I'm reading things correctly, I'm wondering if a better term for the figures used in the success stories would be to say writers had 'reached' a certain income by that time?
Thanks for posting this. It's nice to know that I'm not on my own with the traffic and earning slump. Mine is not an issue of missing the money, but a need to see some evidence of traction to prove it's all worthwhile. I have been considering throwing in the towel, but will definitely think about it a little more.
I would urge you to not throw in the towel but rather use it as a learning tool.You can spend one hour per week writing a Hub on specific products and see them rise in the rankings over time. Or turn your Hubs into ebooks like I'm planning to do.
My earnings last month were lower than any month since the subdomain shift but still represent a good return on the outlay of time and labor.
It is a precarious way to make a living since panda came along, of course.
Thanks for sharing this and your transparency (I love that word) My earnings have dipped about a 1/3 since the beginning of the year. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow.....
I can't complain about my CPM which has held up pretty well (I never expected it to remain at Xmas levels!) My traffic too isn't bad, as such, my concerns are more with the general downward trend - even if it is only gradual. I know that HubPages can't wave a magic wand and make it go away, however. I think many of us are jittery after all the ups and downs of the year since panda came in.
I have no reason to question the truthfulness of the HubPages Success Stories, all the people included have seemed like very real and straightforward people when I've had any contact with them. Likewise with Hubpages staff, although the facts are often presented with a positive spin - any professional businees organisation is going to do that, however, and they give you enough information to make your own judgements, if you choose.
In my experience, the helps and tips given by HP staff are often invaluable and I suspect that not enough hubbers actually read and listen to them thoroughly enough.
All in all, I'm happy with the overall experience. (I'd just prefer be in a "flow" rather than an "ebb" phase! )
It's really good to find this thread. I started here in January and have seen a steady increase in traffic and earnings (up to 100 views p/day recently) since then. Then this week, there was a sudden drop in both, to less than 10 per cent of that for a few days. It had been a bit unexpected though I knew this is the nature of the beast. I have spent some time tweaking hubs and will continue writing and learning. It is good to hear other's experiences.
I don't know how many hubs yu have but I think 100 p/day is quite healthy. That's a great start in less than 4 months.
Marye, thanks for posting this thread. There is some comfort in knowing that there are others who are in the same proverbial boat. My traffic also dropped in October 2011, after a "minor" algorithm change. It has been increasing again lately, so I am hopeful that things are headed in the right direction.
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