Ok, so since the Penguin update I have sat here listening to lots of Hubbers complain of loss of traffic. Now we're not talking a little fluctuation in numbers, we are talking 80% gone overnight! For people who use Hubpages as a form of income, this is a serious issue.
Up until now my main account has not been hit, in fact I see a slight rise in traffic since our Penguin friend was launched. When I see people complaining I think 'ahhh well you must have done something wrong. Using Links where you shouldn't have been, that kind of tactic'. However, last weekend my friend who writes here got hit. She writes good quailty stuff and has no real clue about SEO. She rarely links even to her own articles and she would have no idea how to 'work the system' as Google puts it.
Today I log on and find my other Hubpages account has been hit. This is a relativly new one I started writing on about 3 months ago. I only have 11 Hubs so it's not the end of the world. But can think of nothing I have done on that account that would upset Google. So what is the problem? What are Hubbers doing wrong that is causing people to get hit by Google? I am starting to think it must be Hubpages who are the target and not individual Hubbers. Does this mean that sooner or later every single account is going to end up plummeting down the Google ranks?
I have been following the threads on these subjects and have noticed the people at Hubpages have offered very little. We need some answers. When Panda came out they acted, eventually. The Sub-domain switch seemed to work. However, is it time something else be done? We really need some help on this one and fast.
There is not much anyone can say when the problems are on your anonymous friend's account and your unnamed second account.
I wouldn't assume this has anything to do with Penguin, either. There were 2 Panda runs last month.
Also, whatever effects it had on Hubpages, as a whole, was pretty subtle. Traffic is hardly changed at all.
Hey, it's an HP forum, it's traditional that people come on here and moan when their traffic goes down!
I think HubPages is slowly sinking (as a whole) if you look at Quantcast over the past 6 months. Take a look at the lowest traffic days... you're only as strong as your weakest traffic day, right? haha
"People" stats AKA Unique Views
Feb 11 - 613,667
Feb 18 - 559,252
Feb 25 - 599,451 (a little jump up, but...)
Mar 3 - 524,613
Mar 10 - 507,710
Mar 17 - 501,634
Mar 24 - 480,181
Mar 31 - 504,729 (a little jump up, but...)
Apr 7 - 480,638
Apr 14 - 503,502 (a little jump up, but...)
Apr 21 - 469,483
Apr 28 - 461,008
May 5 - 449,214
May 12 - 445,501
May 19 - 444,949
So, as you can see, Saturdays are the "big dipper" but that's a drop in 168,718 unique views per day on HubPages... in the last 14 weeks.
If that doesn't seem bad... the PEAK, as in the best traffic day we saw recently, as a whole, on HubPages was on May 14th and it was 603,454 unique views...
Can you spot the problem?
HubPages sitewide peak is now LOWER than February 11th, the lowest traffic day for that week... 14 weeks later and our peaks are lower than our old lows and people still think it's not a sitewide problem?
It was the impact of Penguin I was talking about. Bear in mind Penguin wasn't released until late last month.
No one can fail to notice the slide since Feb. Whatever it is about.
Yeah Panda's been swiping away at HP for a while but I wouldn't put all the blame on the Google beasts though. All these changes to this site have to cause some changes, and from what we're seeing... it's not working.
Some people are boosted up a bit, and that's great, but I'm curious to find out how many people that use to be getting big amounts of traffic have taken a big hit. And how many of the people doing better now are people who didn't really have huge amounts of traffic before.
I've all but given up making changes... I mean, if I make changes AND HP makes changes how can you decide what it is that fixed things if the traffic comes back, you know?
But yeah, just wanted to help people visualize that all isn't well in the house of HP. To a degree I agree with you, Penguin hasn't done as much damage to this site as Panda (and possibly the recent HP changes) has.
I went overnight from 200-300 views a day to 0-5.
I have a maximum of 20 backlinks to what was a hub collection of 29 hubs (I am in the process of removing a number of them to my own sites, so have unpublished 8). I have not paid for any of these links.
When I write about medical topics, I base this on the fact I have a PhD in biomedical science. What I've tried to do is summarise results of scientific studies as reported in medical literature in language that would be understood by an educated lay-person. I feel I am totally qualified to do this.
I found one hub, which had been copied, but got rid of this overnight. I have also directed one of the main newspapers of the UK to that site, since the person had copied one of their articles. Have received a grateful email in return, so I believe they are acting on it.
Therefore, I do not consider that I meet the "low quality" guidelines of Penguin, Panda, whatever. Paradoxically, a second account, which includes sales-oriented and other hubs I would not wish to associate with my name is thriving.
This experience has caused me to lose total faith in HubPages and the platitudes offered by the staff. I am leaving whatever I cannot move to dedicated web sites here to rot. I visit the forums, because it amuses me. However, I do not intend to dedicate any more time to publishing here. If my sites take off, I can look forward to 100% revenue, if not, I have my translation work anyway.
Yeah, I never paid for a single link to my hubs either. I've also taken quite a few poor performers off here and moved them to my site. Nothing's copied at this moment and from what my readers tell me, I write pretty high quality content.
I use to get 1,200ish a day.. well, more recently that is... at one point it was closer to 2,000 views a day... now I'm happy to see 600 views in a day.
The only ones that seem to really be holding on for me are old fitness hubs and some art hubs. I'm not even sure Google truly knows what it wants.
Google has stated it is giving preference to "authority" sites, and they make special mention of medicine. It seems if you write about medicine, you need to have your own dedicated blog (with a .com or .org domain, not blogspot etc), build up a substantial body of work, and ensure your credentials are prominently displayed. Otherwise you don't stand a chance!
There is therefore little point in struggling on with medical topics. A lot of people appreciated me making scientific and medical literature accessible. They will just have to remain ignorant from now on.
To go to all the trouble of setting up and feeding medical sites in order to scrabble for a few pence here and there on Adsense is really not worth the effort! Instead of spending hours on analysing the journal literature on a medical topic, I can earn far more by churning out more or less stream of consciousness stuff on diverse vague subjects on another web site. This does not require setting up any credentials, fortunately because these are not topics with which I want to associate my true persona.
Furthermore, I earn $250+ a day translating, and a bit of extra pocket money on another profile here, which features hub topics for which nothing extra is called for and on which "buy online" continues to triumph.
I am also in the process of setting up three sites, which do not call on any professional qualifications, but where I will churn out more earning material.
I find it somewhat amusing that geeky teenagers at Google are preventing me from writing about topics in which I have decades of experience, while enabling earnings on topics where I just waffle. To be honest, I'm not upset because ultimately these children have saved me hours of painstaking work for little return.
There are two lots of problems: one with the sudden drops which seem to hit the more experienced hubbers harder, and secondly with the long slow slide that has been affecting the site as a whole over the past few months. Google must be really hurting HP's pocket. they are certainly hurting mine!
Interesting... I use to have a hub (which I recently deleted) which let people know about a site that let them identify random pills they found around their home. I wonder if I got docked some points for having a hub like that?
And they better not consider supplements to be in the same category or I'm screwed haha.... But I do run my own fitness site and test everything out myself.
It is not personal, all sites are being hit! The best thing I can tell you, is not to make Google your only source of online income. If you do, you will be subject to constant disappointment and frustration.
It has very little - nothing to do with individual hubbers mate and I doubt that this will be the last time this occurs! But also keep in mind that certain HP initiatives will effectively 'compete' with G's monopoly and therefore should be supported in many respects, I believe.... though it seems Google really are better at the art of communicating with users. Certainly HP could improve it's people skills for sure!
When it's such a widespread hit, you always have to wonder if it's more to do with the HP site, rather than individual hubbers. It's clear that there are lots of people being hit who write well, but aren't trying to game Google, or producing hubs that are purely commercial.
Aside from the recent hits, there is a general downward drift, which is also a concern as it's been going on for months.
The re-design of the pages might help a bit, I don't know. HP generally have a good track record when it comes to adapting and I'm sure the staff are working on it, but it always feels too slow when you're hurting...
I certainly don't think HP can sort these Google problems out instantly, but as far as communication, I would agree with PD that the long silences don't always seem to make for good PR. There must be some new hubbers who assume that their traffic has fallen for personal reasons, not widespread, and just stop writing, or leave the site.
It's always a difficult atmosphere after a hit though. People are agitated and upset and looking for people to blame.
The thing that gets me is that I am no longer enjoying my writing. I do pretty well of my main account and make some decent money. I don't rely on my Hubpages income but I was hoping one day I might be able to. Now everytime I log in I dread looking at my figures, knowing any minute all that hard work could go down the toliet. Everytime I publish a new Hub, I think, will this be the one that ruins me? It's just not a feeling that I'm enjoying.
But how widespread is it, really? Have you actually counted up the number of Hubbers who are affected?
I was just reading a post on SearchEngineLand where the writer observed that Penguin hadn't been as painful as it might seem - it's just that those affected are (naturally enough) making a lot of noise, but the unaffected are mostly silent.
I think the same probably applies on HP.
I don't know how widespread it is in terms of numbers, of course, as you know. By "widepsread" I just mean it has hit multiple users. Clearly on a big site, even a sudden 5% drop overall is likely to hit a lot of people, even if they are a minority. Was it a wider hit than the one that hit you last time? I don't know.
Paul E said that the first panda had a negative effect on overall traffic and penguin was neutral which was pretty much my personal experience. From everything that I've gathered, I personally suspect that the penguin had very little or no impact on HP, but that's speculation.
That is exactly right. I just write articles and do the best I can with the SEO stuff, but truly don't understand it well enough to make a big difference in my traffic and definitely not well enough to try to "work the 'system". My hubs have all fallen, and I had no idea why. Thanks for starting this thread- I guess we wait and see, then?
I think the issue is that so many things have happened in such a short period of time. No doubt HP has to re-assess and figure out how to deal with the situation moving forward.
There was the Panda update, which hit some people hard and missed others completely. HP tried to combat this the first time around by putting everyone on sub-domains. What can they really do this time round?
The only suggestion I could possibly think is for the people affected to start a new HP sub-domain. If you've been hit in the update then there are only a few options really open to you.
1. Stop writing on HP and write elsewhere.
2. Continue writing on HP. If you continue to write on HP then you have a few other decisions to make.
2a. Continue writing on your existing sub-domain.
2b. Set up a new sub domain on HP and put all new hubs on this new sub-domain. See if this helps with new traffic. If you choose this option then you will have to decide what to do with your old sub-domain. You could leave the existing hubs there and hope the traffic comes back. Or you could remove the articles and re-publish them under the new subdomain (losing all age, PR and existing backlinks to those hubs. Also you could also risk your new sub-domain in future updates as perhaps there is a reason Google Panda struck you).
If you didn't get hit by Panda then you may have been hit by the Penguin. HP is probably trying to figure out exactly what this all means across various sub-domains. Penguin basically punished people for over-optimisation. Well, most decent hubbers that write with SEO in mind and were trying to rank for specific keywords were probably hit the worst. It's how most hubbers earn an income from HP; making their money by ranking in Google organic search results.
On top of that, HP is currently messing around with it's layouts/design. What impact is this having on individual sub-domains? It could be a factor as ad placement is different, sidebar is pretty much gone and there are no related links etc. Even though it's your sub-domain, there's nothing you can do about this either. This is in the hands of HP.
Even the change in weather could be a factor. Now that we are moving from Spring to Summer more people are going to be outside, spending time in the sun. People will be spending less time on their computers. Maybe some of your topics are not as popular in the Summer.
This may sound cold, but it's not supposed to be as I've also experienced a significant downturn in my viewing figures too. It really sucks to be in this situation, but I don't really see what HP can do about it, other than to stop messing with the layouts until things settle down. However, they keep saying these new designs will help us.
The thing that is odd is that my main account which is very well optimised for key words, has lots of SEO in mind and is basically well written has not been hit. Whereas my friends who's content is well written but has little SEO involved and very few links has been hit. If what people were saying were true, it would be more likely that my main account would get hit and people like my friend who just write nice Hubs, would not be hit.
I agree with you people saying that HP is a poor communicator with their own bread winners, us authors. They don't even bother to reply to emails. What with the ongoing new design saga, plus the views falling like rotten apples from the tree, the hubbing experience is rather depressing at the moment. I'm going to take a break from HubPages and if things don't improve in say a month from now, I might decide to shift my work to my own website. Maybe the HP experience was just a means to learn and move on?
It may have nothing to do with the seo. It could be that somewhere, somebody, sometime, in a 'bad link neighborhood' has linked to your friend. This 'bad neighbor' may have got de- indexed bringing all other links attached, to feel the effects, like ripples. Just a thought, I'm no expert.
I have read many posts about problems like this and have always tried to be careful about how I write. I thought I was safe as I've never taken a hit, although my views have always been mediocre.
For me the bottom line is this: if nobody is going to read what I write, why write? I'm coming to a cold stop for now. If things don't pick up in the next month, I'm done.
This has taken all of the joy out of my writing and if this problem continues, I see no point in continuing. This is the second site I've written for and although this never happened on the other site, I never got many reads there, either..but my work was not nearly so good as it is now.
Just can't keep fighting this type of problem.
I has to be said, though, that it is in HP's interests to maximize hubber traffic (and earnings), as that is how they make their money, so you can be fairly sure that they are working on it. Google has an agenda that sometimes conflicts with HP's, however, and that it where the problems lie.
This is the first month since the HP Ad program went into effect that I will probably not reach the $50 payout.
My traffic has been tanking since January of this year, and now it's at its lowest.
I don't believe this is a penalty assessed against my writings; I believe it's a penalty assessed against HP.
So, I'd like some communication from HP on this. My interest in writing here is in the dog pile.
But Sally, if the penalty was against HP then everyone's traffic would have gone. And it hasn't - some sub-domains are soaring while ours have tanked. Those lucky Hubbers just aren't posting on the forums as much as the unlucky ones.
So it has to be a penalty against us individually. The important thing to remember is that it's not a penalty against your "writings" - the Google bots are dumb machines who can't judge writing. Obviously, if any human being read your work, they'd vouch for the quality. Whatever the Google penalty is, its about the structure of your Hubs or sub-domain, not the quality of your writing.
I know it's frustrating that we can't just ask Google to tell us what we've done wrong.
Exactly, Marisa, the penalty may be against the structure of my articles (not how I construct them, but how they are constructed via HP's formula) or the nature of my subdomain on HP, something I have no control over.
I have some sympathy for Marisa's point of view, because the algo is essentially just a big mathematical equation. But I do also think that HubPages.com is effectively being targeted, not directly, of course, but by more subtle tweeks to the algo.
What is undeniable (if you believe Quantcast anyway) is that the site as a whole has lost about 20% of its traffic, going from around 750,00 viewers in February (I'm ignoring the Valentine's Day figure which is even higher) down to its current figure of just over 600,000.
My traffic has been up significantly this week, though it's still very low. I've not generally felt terribly optimistic about the site as a whole these last few months though.
I think I am in the same boat-- been inching up over the years and months to ever-higher traffic and a nice payout each month... then suddenly down to about 1/8 of my previous high. After 4 years, I'm back to square one.
Ah that's certainly no hoot!
But then look at how differently you're viewing the world since you demoted your Owl
My traffic is down by 40-50%, but I've checked all my articles and they are still placing the same in the search. I wonder if some of this isn't the time of the year. Here in the Midwest, we are just beginning to get nice weather. I know from years of selling on eBay, having websites, etc that traffic can go way down in the summer months.
I'll admit that I have been feeling discouraged too. I am hoping that the season of the year is the cause. Maybe we should try to stop panicking. I'm as guilty as anyone.
I'm down a couple hundred Google views per day....waiting for the wise ones to tell me why....
Well whatever the reason or excuse for such negative performance and influence is....
Silence will always appear to denote an acceptance of the benefits derived from that reason or excuse!
Most Real and Responsible People find it abhorrent to be manipulated by third parties in such ways that remove their ability to deal directly and proactively with such concerns! Most have worked hard to create something positive and don't enjoy watching that hard work destroyed for reasons outside of their control... Why should they? Where is the benefit? How is it Justified, not only as a whole, but also when weighed up against the openly promoted expectations?
As a real and responsible person... I do not need anything but logic and common sense, to understand that after 2.5 years of contributing well written work to this site - that something is seriously wrong and needs to addressed at least proactively, when my views sink to the level today where my work achieves a mere 27 views in a day!
That is absolutely pathetic and Does Not in any respect, reflect it's authority, quality or informative value! Fortunately, as a writer, I don't need to rely on such increasingly negative influence...
But on that point.. consider how sad days like this are, when they actually show us as writers, how much third parties can manipulate and control the futures of Real and Responsible People!
Perhaps others are adopting the 'Pay to be Popular' model that Facebook have recently launched! - Maybe we should consider what that model means (as we must also consider our voices) in the 'Real' World huh?
Sorry to hear its so bad.....maybe it'll be temporary.
Thanks mate! I'm sure it is a temporary thing.. just like all the other temporary things that impact on all of us in a more permanent manner..
Historically, my traffic, accolades and scores always drop off when I speak out or disagree with certain others But today's level.. well that's got to do with 'other' influences!
@Bill, Yep, it sure looks that way doesn't it... along with a dose of garbage links
LOL!! At one time I was fairly sure that saying how wonderful Google was made my traffic go up...maybe I should give that one another go!
Google is wonderful, best thing since sliced bread! I'll let you know how many thousands my traffic shoots up by Wes
Honest to God....or Obama, whatever, but my stats today are fairly pre penguine-esq
THERE IS NO GOOGLE BUT GOOGLE!!!!
OK I'll try it too. Google is wonderful.
My guess is that Google has devalued Hubpages as a whole. While there are many, many excellent writers here, you have to admit that there is a lot of garbage as well. Just explore hubs by "Latest" and you'll understand what I mean. Another possibility might be that the new layouts for fashion, technology, and cooking have a greatly reduced number of Google ads. Google makes its money through advertising, so wouldn't it make sense for them to elevate articles that have more Google Ads?
I'm just a very small fish here, but even my miniscule readership has dropped between 50 and 80 percent recently.
People keep saying that - but how can that be, when there are Hubbers whose traffic has gone UP significantly since the updates?
They're not posting on the forums because they have nothing to complain about - but they do exist and in reasonable numbers.
I'll post. Although I am a random humorist with no idea about sales and with fairly low traffic anyway - so what conclusion... I have no idea. I'm talking hundreds of visits rather than tens of thousands (I wish).
If it's any consolation to those who have dropped I have no idea why mine has worked the other way.
Here's my stats...
Organic Search Analytics - weekly since Aug 2011 (subdomains). The last little 'jump' is Penguin or Panda.
Sorry the pics are so small. But you get the idea...
I don't backlink, I have hardly any proper sales hubs. That may not mean anything at all. I use my own images across all my pages. It's all guesswork.
Because you're a great writer Mark.
The Internet is changing. It is becoming less about crap seo articles and more about what pleases people on social sites like Pinterest and Reddit (not for you!) and Digg. And the new news gathering sites like Pulse list stuff like that. You're then only one link away from stardom.
How accurate is Quancast?
According to them, HP is down as a whole.
But I have no idea how accurate they are.
Quantcast is very accurate for HubPages, because HubPages shares their data with Quantcast. However, you'd expect HP to be down as a whole, because there is still (as you know) a large chunk of fairly poor quality Hubs on the site, and they must've been further downgraded as a result of the recent updates.
Does this affect subdomains, Marisa??
Good question! I've never been able to get an answer that I trust 100%
If you own and maintain a domain, and you split it up into sub-domains which you also maintain, the sub-domains are just folders on the site. Panda rates the whole domain, including the sub-domains, as one entity.
However, I've always understood that if you allocate the sub-domains to sepaerate users (as HP has done), Google recognises the separate 'ownership' and rates each sub-domain separately. Which seems logical to me. Otherwise, for example, Panda would have to rate the whole of Blogger as one huge site, regardless of the merits of individual Blogger blogs. And I'm sure if that was the case, we'd have people telling us to abandon our Blogger blogs, since you'd have no hope of ranking with one.
However, I've seen several people saying that's rubbish, because sub-domains aren't judged separately (for some technical reasons I don't understand). However if that's the case, why did the switch to sub-domains work for most people?
I think it worked for me, but with all the changes, its tough to know!!!!
I'm seeing my.....very niche specific blogger blogs do much better than others, but that is a different topic, and I wanted to thank you for breaking down how blogger is supposed to work for me.....sort of embarrassing now the way I was trying to swing that, but you'd messaged me to say. "bro.....sit down,...."
On subdomains. It absolutely worked in terms of removing the Slap that HP got in Feb / March 2011. The whole site was penalised and quite rightly too - given the ratio of poor content to good.
Traffic didn't recover until subdomains - so that part of Google recognised the split and evaluated us as individuals.
It may be becoming more complex again. Google hate content farms and, to be honest, so do most users / searchers. The same generic spammy content endlessly repeated.
It MAY be (and I am no expert, blah effing blah) that Google / Panda / Penguin is evaluating the links between us more closely and that is another way for them to fight the content mills. That is one reason I dislike the automatically generated links that HP put on my pages.
Exactly. If Google recognized us as individuals after the split, there is no reason for that to change.
What has changed is Penguin, which (amongst other things) targeted low quality or "artificial" backlinks. Our sub-domains are constantly interlinked with other sub-domains, which was great while all backlinks were created equal. Now, some of those links will have less value, which will bring down our sub-domain's ranking.
I don't know if it is Penguin or whatever.
At the same time, I would try a little experiment. Work out which sub-domains have been hit by Panda and isolate them (as far as possible) from a selection of sub-domains that have not been hit.
That is, no links to or from a sample of healthy sub-domains.
See what happens to traffic.
Decide what to do afterwards.
Also, I would take a look at Squidoo's practice of dropping poorly performing (low visits) pages from their 'featured page' ranking. If people here cannot manage their own accounts, start managing them for them.
As I final point, Infobarrel took a big hit in February but seems to have recovered. I can't discover what they did (if they did anything). It would be worth finding out.
"Google hate content farms and, to be honest, so do most users / searchers."
I do think that your assessment of HP is harsh, Mark, and the politics are more complex. As an open platform, HP is always going to have a mixture of low and high quality content, as they allow anyone to write here. Google open platform sites like Blogger and Youtube have just as much spammy and low quality material and those sites also rank highly in the searh engines. The problem with HP for Google, I suspect, is not so much that HP has some crap content, more that Google wants HP to be more discerning with regard to which hubs the site promotes using SEO/links and not help the crap stuff so much.
@Will - My traffic went up on Friday, not substantially, but I got more views on Friday than Thursday, which is unusual. I think Google is going to be erratic for some time, as there is so much happening - including the knowledge graph, as well as the pandas and penguin.
HubPages made numerous changes practically all at once and expected us to follow like sheep. Change is good. But when you keep the troops in the dark, expect problems like we're having now.
I have read most of these posts, and I must say, it's pretty clear that no one seems to have a solution to the Google Penguin changes that in some cases have wiped out 90 to 100% of the organic traffic that some people were receiving prior to these new Google updates.
I fear that hope may now only be found within the remnants of certain corporate search engine offices after extensive anti penguin fracking has occurred!
A possible bug in Google indexing might explain at least part of the problem:
http://pauledmondson.hubpages.com/hub/G … ch-Results
The changes HP made recently aren't likely to affect Google searches (which seems to be where we've been hit). Also, HubPages can't make money if we don't make money.
I think Bill made an interesting point - it might be possible that one of Google's tweaks targets sites that don't pre-filter for spam or bad content. One of the selling points of HubPages is that the door is open to anyone, and you can write about whatever you want. As Dickens said (to paraphrase), that might end up being the best of times as well as the worst of times. I've looked at the latest hubs feed too, and that's where you find major spam, bad writing and other issues that, if Google targets them, could impact the whole site.
But, we have smart people running the site, and they care about revenue. If they were savvy enough to come up with the subdomain solution, they will analyze the current issue and address it. I sometimes wish HP would consider an entire housecleaning. Several times, I've stumbled on really old hubs (like 3-4 years old) that are pure spam, or have illegal content. The inventory of hubs here is huge, though, and it would be a monumental task.
It seems like they are still working on housecleaning. It has slowed down some, but we still see forum posts occasionally that an older hub has been unpublished and "Why? It's been there forever!".
As you say, though, it is a monumental task and will take a very long time.
I'll do it. First out the door is that git who's reposted my Hub of the Day on Sqidoo. He's got three accounts here. And some followers!
Includes me though. Although I'm only following so that I can keep my beady eye on him.
Someone from here republished one of my hubs on Squidoo too. Once I asked him to take it down though, he did. He claimed someone sold it to him.
I'm confused, Horatio - is it possible to have "followers" on Squidoo?
There's giant squid and Lord knows what else swimming in Squidoo's waters. I fled as fast as my little minnow body could take me...
Jason I have a couple on Squidoo and haven't earned a dime. I think you response let's me know it's a waste of time there! Thanks!
Their revenue sharing model means unless you have many pages you make pennies - its not evenly divided. Its weird and disappointing.
Success largely depends on which sites you've learned to use, just as people with different levels of camera skills can take amazing or poor-quality photos with very similar kinds of cameras.
Squidoo drives me bonkers, but I'm creeping close to my $1000/month goal there. Whereas on Hubpages, since I'm less experienced, I can't even seem to hit the payout threshold sooner than every other month. An experienced Hubber would have the reverse experience. That's normal.
IMPORTANT! If anyone has found any of their hubs copied on Squidoo, please hit the Report Abuse button at the bottom of the page and get that sucker taken down!
I don't think you should take changes by Google's ranking algorithm personally. They make changes to improve their search results and not hurt a single site.
I think the slide of the ranking of small/new domains/subdomains vs. larger older domains is fairly obvious, over the last 3 months. My content on larger sites has been attracting a lot of traffic lately.
Right now, if I publish the same article on Hubpages, my own site or a large site (50,000 plus pages). I expect the same article to rank: Hubpages < my own site < other large old sites.
Clearly Google's algorithm expects the older larger sites to have better content. They are effectively correcting the problems with the Panda algorithm changes.
As I keep on scrambling all over to understand why my handful of traffic has severely tanked after this new google update, one of the webinars I have sat in have actually provided me with a bit of insight. The audience was told that Google is now paying more attention to the behavior of people on each site. For example, when visitors land on your page for a particular topic of interest(say "7ways to prepare Chicken"),those visitors will stick around on your page longer or even "Bookmark" it, if they think it's good information. Google in turn sees this as a good site, because you have provided these users with a good experience. Contrarily, if visitors land on your page, spend 30 secs. and then leave, Google thinks this is a crappy site/page. Ultimately, it will be targeted by Panda/Penguin.
Based on what I have mentioned above about bookmarking, it seems as if when HP made the decision to remove "Bookmarking" this wasn't a good idea!
There were also a few other things that were mentioned in this Webinar as to the reason sites like hubpages, Squiddo lens, Ezine articles, and other large writing platforms have been targeted by Google Panda/Penguin.
For example: The gurus conducting this Webinar believe that sites like these where writers publish mostly on broad topics instead of keywords may not provide visitors with good experience. They believe people search by keyword in order to find what they are looking for and if you don't have the right keywords you wont be able to rank among others writing on the same topic.
I am not sure that this is totally true. While it may have some bearing on the recent changes in ranking and traffic I have to say that several of my hubs have view times of over 15 minutes and have low bounce rates and have been on page one, number one or two on Google for more than two years..and these have also had their traffic tank. So, that isn't the answer, either.
I am glad that you at least agree that "it may have some bearing on the recent changes in ranking and traffic." This is just a tip of the iceberg, there is much more to it, which I am actually trying to uncover.
Oh I think that there are probably hundreds of little pieces to that puzzle. The thing is that if someone decides it is one thing or another and focuses on a little piece they can actually make things worse.
I do understand what you are saying, but for me, I don't think it hurts trying to put the pieces together, this I think can at least help to dispel some of the other bickering that make no sense. I think Hubbers who have been affected are somewhat terrified and just need to hear something that could help them to fix any problem that might have caused their traffic to drop dramatically.
If you like to analyze all the little tweaks Google makes and see if that is what effects you ...
This is a great resource: http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/
The official google search blog
You can start with these 52 changes in April:
http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/0 … anges.html
Then these 50 changes for March:
http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/0 … anges.html
or even these 40 changes from February
http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/0 … anges.html
Some of the factors mentioned in this thread, such as user behavior, social signals etc. were tweaked, but were pre-existing elements of the algo.
One main thing to consider (IMO) is that as sites across the web are demoted by the panda/penguin your own sites that may have been propped up by them, even indirectly will fall too.
If you had awesome shareable content and never made a link yourself - you could have been linked to in sites that toppled in all the changes. You are just part of the domino effect.
You can go crazy trying to follow each google shift !!! The more you spread your content around, the more you can have a better perspective on what works for your style and niche. If you only have this one platform to base your stats and experience on then you will suffer from tunnel vision and never have any real chance of comprehending what is going "wrong"
My traffic has been down 8o% since Penguin. Very depressing but I'm not giving up!
Just noticed my friends account which tanked big time is suddenly showing up again in Google search. I know for a fact she has not changed anything, she just sighed and left her Hubs the way they were. Is anyone else seeing a return of traffic?
My traffic has also gone down 70% since January of this year. It is really depressing. Hubpages need to take some quick action to come out of this severe drop in traffic. We cannot rely on the earnings now.
Thanks for posting those links, Joshua - I hope some of the longtime Hubbers see their traffic return. I noticed that one of the links said Google filters for new content. This would affect people who leave older hubs published without somehow freshening them. However, it also means that newer content could outrank older content based on age rather than quality. What a giant step forward. Sigh.
Oh crap - now they've announced Knowledge Graph. At least there's not a zoo reference for the time being.
I'm on iPad and I can't get links to copy. Check out CNN - that's where it's posted. It's a short story & says KG is supposed to think like a human & give you multiple choices for your search terms for instates when the word(s) have multiple meanings. So our goal now will be to be among those choices.
I'm on my iPad too! In fact, I signed in to HP with the intent of asking a question about it, but then got distracted with some pretty interesting forum threads. I have actually learned a way to copy and paste links on mine, but it probably takes more time than it's worth - most of the time - and it may also depend on the specific version of iPad. Thanks for the info!
Let me know how you cut & paste links, if you see this? I have the iPad 2, if that helps. Thanks!
Hi, Marcy! I'm not sure which version mine is; it was a gift, and I have misplaced the materials that came with it. (Note: before posting, I found the box; it says iPad 2.) Anyway, what I have learned has been through experimentation, trial and error.
To copy and paste a link (or any other material), first highlight it. That is, touch a word in the area to be highlighted; that should bring up either a little black box that says something like Select and Select All - or a little magnifying glass which produces a cursor that can be moved to a more precise location than you can get by just touching the screen.
If I am highlighting some text, I usually choose Select and then move the little blue circles to expand the selected word into the full area of text that I want to highlight. If I am selecting a link, I can touch the URL in the address bar and then opt for Select All.
When it's highlighted, the black box shows up again with the option to copy, etc. (In some instances, when I want to cut something, the "cut" option does not appear unless the keyboard is appearing onscreen.) Select Copy. Locate where you wish to paste it and touch the screen (maybe twice, but I'm not entirely sure) to bring up the Options box again, then select Paste and Voila! Done.
(PS: Sometimes for added protection, I first paste the text or link to the notepad first, so that I don't lose it.)
Thanks Aficionada! I've cut and pasted text (and you're right, it can be touchy), but I have tried URLs or using the notepad to transfer info. I'll experiment some. Thank you forth tips! I hope there aren't too many typos here. My screen will suddenly stop showing what I'm typing when I'm on this site. Talk about an act of faith - I just keep going and pray there are no embarrassing autocorrections!
I'm selling Knowledge Graph links for fifty dollars per thousand.
Do they come with magnets? I don't want them if I don't get magnets, too.
Magnets, whatever. You supply credit card details, I make some false promises and you never see your money again. That's the beauty of the internet.
Oh, Mark! You are simply simply delightful! Thank you for bringing humor to a Happy Humpday. If anyone wants their magnets painted with Pandas and Penguins, I'd be willing to paint them and any animal that begins with a P. For a price, of course! Now excuse me while I get to the dealership to get an oil change!
In spite of the title of this thread I can't find an answer from HubPages here. Perhaps a thread titled:
'private discussion about Google Penguin - Hubpages staff keep out!' would work better?
Possibly Out To Lunch... FB has just listed and Greece is about to default!
Surely you appreciate that there are far more important things going on in the world atm!
Sheeesh... why can't writers just be an introverted bunch of yes people like the crews employed by Rupert Murdoch and the Mumbai Bathhouse News?
Rik - You can read Paul Edmondson's most recent Hubs which have been discussing this sort of thing.
Jason - thanks for your prompt reply - I'll check them out!
Paul E's recent hubs are very informative. I only discovered them a day or two ago. My only problem is that I kind wish HP would publicize stuff like this more - it's good to feel informed!
and provide a 'plain english' translation of what it all means
and tell us what affect it is having on traffic and earnings
and tell us what fixes have been applied, and how and when, they will change things
and provide some regular feedback ...................................
I've lost over 70 % of my traffic. I don't know what the deal is, but I do know, I'm not enjoying writing for hubpages at the moment, and I cringe when i log in. Unfortunately, I think if I held off on publishing, my traffic might tank even more. It's a catch 22 if you ask me.
I personally think HP was hit overall by google, mainly because of the crap on here and the redesign changes and I know it's not a 100% site wide loss of traffic, so it can't be that HP was hit by google. But that's still my gut instinct. I'm going to keep publihing here for the meantime to see what happens, but I won't be publishing often, I think I'll concentrate my efforts on other sites I write for that have actually had an increase in traffic, as weird as that is.
Either way I don't think it's one of those things HP can fix unless they go through each and every hub and weed out the crap, or start previewing hubs before we publish them like Knoji did.
i'm feeling the same except I don't have anywhere else to write...yet
If you're like me and use writing online as a secondary income, then you're feeling just as hurt as I am by the huge drop in traffic. Here are some sites you can try:
Wikinut (although beware of their TOS, read before you join)
and my personal favorite (which used to be hubpages) Knoji, which used to be Factoidz.
It can't hurt to sign up for some accounts, even if you don't post anything. Keep in mind, you can't post duplicate articles on any of these sites. You'll have to write unique content for each one, which I why I only write for two of them at the moment. That's a lot of content to write!!
Hope that helps. Being a SAHM is tough and when you get hit like this, it not only takes your income away, but it can take the fun out of the one escape from your daily life that you had. That hurts worse I think...
Thanks for those. I knew of wizzley but no others. Other than selling on eBay I was hoping for this to give me some money. And I'm not enjoying it at all anymore. I don't even want to log on. Mind you im mid way thru a 100 hub 100 day personal challenge which I give up almost.
I hear ya, I have felt like giving up on hubpages all together on more than one occasion recently. I've even thought about pulling my hubs and posting them on other sites. But I've developed a brand here, and don't really feel like starting over again. Don't give up just yet.
In an effort to try and keep my spirits up, I've taken to writing more articles for other sites, and not looking at my stats here more than once a week, I started a new blog, reogranized my home (and wrote hubs on it lol) and found a gig through linked in writing for a magazine. So whatever you do, if you want writing to be a viable source of income, don't give up. This thing with google may blow over, or it may not resolve at all. Once we figure that out, we can go from there, but until then, it's best to just wait and see. If at the end of June, I'm still in the same predicament, I'll move my work elsewhere.
Keep your chin up. Stay positive and the universe will hear your plea.
I can not allow myself to give up on HubPages either because I made part-time income on here for a while and I was enjoying what I was doing.
I wish there were other sites that I could write for, but I could never find sites that got my articles exposure.
And this is also a time where my writing ideas are dry.
Writers block + Google Algorithm = Failure
Last fall was great on here! And the beginning of this year was decent, but I knew that something similar to Google Panda would occur again
IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF THE SPAMMERS ON THE INTERNET! I HAVE NO PITY FOR THEM!!!
David, Paul wrote a hub where he said that the new accounts created after the sub domain switch were doing pretty well and the traffic fluctuations from all these changes were minimal. I've checked out other sites as well and for sure this is the best place to be. So, you could start another account and post your hubs there (after you recover from writers block - the main reason I'm sure is the lack of traffic).
Use this account to give the new one a boost. Write about 10 hubs and just get a few backlinks to it from this account or a blog or something and then forget about backlinking and go on writing. You'll see traffic come in.
In the last month, I have had about the same number of views for my hubs here as I have received on a personal web site with less than half the content I have here. Moreover, my own web site has generated ten times as many clicks as my hubs.
The message I am taking from the above and from all else that is happening on HP is that when I feel like writing, I am currently better off doing so on my own web properties than here.
I neglected my site for a while, because I was struggling with Wordpress and it was easy to write hubs with all the ready-made capsules. However, I have now found a theme that I can use without too much grief, so am feeling renewed enthusiasm for my site
As a seasoned eBay seller, you may do better picking a niche, starting a website and making affiliate sales using a program like phpBay.
The best option is to write on your own website - domain costs $10 a year and hosting $3 a month. 100% of income from adsense is yours. You can set it up the way you want it.
Another advantage is being in control of your site's quality. Having our own subdomains on HP does not fully insulate us against the stuff that other people post.
Remember that HP is a great place for building links to your other sites!
janderson, Where are you getting hosting for $3.00 a month? I just wondered because I'm paying more and would like to find a different host. Thanks.
Yeah, the HP Google problem is pretty significant. Just recently, there was some big news about a topic that made national headlines that has increased searches for a topic I've written about a few times here.
Traffic for the related hubs has gone up pretty noticably, but what I'm really taking from it is that ALL of the increased topical interest, links from webpages and forums, and traffic, they're getting 0 google.com traffic. One of them gets significant google.ca visitors for whatever reason, but the vast majority of my increased traffic is from bing, yahoo, and places like facebook and webforums.
It is discouraging.
I joined Hub Pages about three months ago. In the beginning, I used to get over 100 views a day with only few hubs. Now, with 61 hubs, I get only about double than that. English is not my native language, so I know that my hubs are not necessarily top notch ones grammatically (to say the least), however I write a quality content and I expect decent results from Google. I have tried almost everything with keywords, tags and summaries; however, I only see very limited success, improving traffic from Google.
Wow! I feel for you, WriteAngled!. I have been enjoying my retirement and have decided to write the weekly WTI if it applies to me. I have Hubs lined up to publish, but I'm not going to publish them right now. I don't see a lot of familiar avatars and names on my feed. And that's what bothers me the most.
To be honest, I never built any lasting hopes on here. When some money came in, that was fine. However, I would not dream of building a future on the vagaries of a US company. I do not think US politics are stable enough to provide a foundation for any life-changing decisions.
I've actually invested in some Google shares too, so if my sites go down and Google goes up, I'm breaking even
If my web sites rise and allow me to reduce the amount of work I need to take on, well and good. If not, I will carry on translating until I drop.
Fortunately, translation is more like a game to me than work, and moreover it protects my brain against senility, so I really do not care either way. I reached my "whatever" stage in terms of what other people did and how if affected my future in 2004. I consider myself fortunate to remain in that same "whatever" stage today.
Marisa must be right that Hp don't get involved in forums any more. Why isn't there a single reply from staff on a forum thread entitled: "We Need Answers From HubPages"? This is all a big waste of time.
I don't think they know how to help us at this point in time. If they give us any advice, they might steer us wrong.
I'm certainly right for this particular section of the forums, for good reasons.
This section is called "HubPages Knowledge Exchange", which means what it says - it's a place for Hubbers to exchange information. It has never been a place to ask for information from HubPages staff. To be fair, it's not reasonable to expect staff to take part in all the forums, they have a job to do.
However, we did used to have a channel to reach the staff - the Report a Problem section. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask staff to actively monitor the one single forum that's labelled as a place to Report a Problem to them.
In fact, I've twice created a thread on that forum to suggest that if they really can't be bothered, the name should be changed to "Share a Problem", so it's not misleading - especially for new Hubbers. I'd love to see other Hubbers creating a similar thread each - maybe then they would get the message!
Well, I'm sure the lack of forum involvement is an executive decision rather than laziness on the staff's behalf, so I suspect that no amount of prompting will have much effect at present, but I might be wrong.
Guess we just have to keep checking back for news. I personally think the work that Paul E is doing to reach out to Google over problems is the most important development. Whether it will get anywhere is another matter, but they did eventually had success after the first Panda.
No, you're absolutely right. I'm not saying they're lazy - I don't think it's reasonable to expect staff to be active in any of the forums, except the one HubPages have chosen to label "Report a Problem".
If you're going to create a forum where members can report problems to you, then obviously someone needs to be there to receive the reports. If there's no one there, then they should get rid of that forum. Simple.
No they didn't, actually. I doubt Paul E is "reaching out" to Google in the way you think. Post-Panda, Paul E only contact with Google was asking questions on the Google forums, like any other webmaster. He never had any special access to Google staff, and Google never gave him any clues on how to recover. It was Paul who eventually came up with the idea of sub-domains, and if you read his post asking about it on the Google forums, you'll see Google didn't give him a straight answer even then. so I'm not particularly hopeful this time.
I'm looking forward to going fishing this weekend because there sure as hell aren't any answers or even "bites" in this place. All I have to do now is decide between the purple or the pink Power Bait with stripes.
A Little Fishy Story
I once was in charge of scientific research station assessing whether a paddle steamer should be allowed to run on a river in Victoria, Australia. I had to remain objective, but was totally against as thousands of snags (woody debris) would have to be destroyed. This would destroy the habitat of one of the world's largest freshwater fish - the Murray Cod. I had to get articles and letters published in the local newspaper. Eventually I decided to submit the material under the name 'Doc Yarram'. It worked the project was stopped on environmental grounds.
Doc Yarrum is Murray Cod spelt backwards.
Tight Lines, Cheers,
I love it! I can't claim fame to quite this level of creative solution, but years ago, I caught a giant and impressive moth for my bug collection, but I couldn't ID it. I had caught it flickering around in the night lights of a nearby service station. Finally, I scrambled the letters in the name of the station (Payless) and submitted a Latin-sounding name starting in Y. I got an A for the collection.
Google has stated it is giving preference to "authority" sites, and they make special mention of medicine. It seems if you write about medicine, you need to have your own dedicated blog.
But who decides what is "authority"? Google certainly does not seem to know. If I search on medical topics on the main Google search engine, I tend to get presented with a slew of illiterate nonsense on Yahoo Answers plus anonymous Wikipedia articles, which can be changed at whim by any faceless Wiki contributor.
There seems little point in spending hours setting up a dedicated medical blog, when it has to fight for views against the spoutings of the ignorant, which seem to be loved so much by Google.
I've found I can get faster and better results writing about other topics!
There is a confusion over the term "authority" because it has an everyday general meaning, but also a specific technical meaning that Google uses. A site might have lots of links going to it and have Google "authority" within the search engine ranking system, but have very little "authority" in the general sense of the word.
I'm not sure I agree with you, Paul. Post-Panda, authority is not about links. It's about having a large body of content, all focused around a particular topic.
This is a good summary:
http://www.graphicwebdesign.net/what-is … site?.html
I don't agree with the 'topic-centric' comment - just my opinion.
The bit about outbound links in the article is fascinating and deserves a lot more research. Perhaps it give a tick for my experiment of using highly specific EXTERNAL RSS feeds on my hubs. AND adding title only links to my other hubs on the same subject. Very interesting - thanks for the link.
"A search engine will recommend a site that not only provides the search engine user with the most amount of information about a subject, but it will also look at sites that it suggests (or links to) visiting that provides more of the same information. Are you seeing how this works? Along with having a lot of content related to your target keyword phrase or theme, you will also want to provide links to more content on other sites that also relate to your theme. This will appear to a search engine, as your site is an Authority on the subject. "
That's interesting - why do you say that? I know some HubPages' sub-domains seem to do well without a niche, but practically everyone says that if you want to write a blog, you need to focus on one topic - especially so if you want an "authority" site.
I know one person who did an experiment on this. She added 50 outbound links to a couple of her blogs (she has several). This was how it worked:
On her Privacy page she added:
- 10 official sites
- 10 related blogs
- 10 product selling sites
- 10 news sites covering the subject
- 10 links not covered above from DMOZ
- no anchor text, just the domain name
- all do follow links
- no title text on any link
- linked to the "about" page of each site (not the home page)
- where the site had a "link to us and we'll link to you" offer, she used it
Within 2 weeks, the blogs with the links were receiving 3 times as much traffic as her other blogs.
Its the authority of the page that matters, not the mother or host site. Google indexes pages and examines links to pages.
The stuff about outbound links is what is interesting and how it relates to building the authority for a page and for an author.
......in my opinion. Its a new gam...... whoops I better not say it.
..but I thought that was the big thing that changed with Panda. Panda examines individual pages within the site, but it then applies a score to the whole domain.
The fact that adding links to just one page of a blog can increase traffic to the whole blog is a case in point, surely.
I read some articles on Search Engine Land and people aren't sure whether Penguin is based on Pages or the whole domain. They assume it to be a domain thing as the traffic falls have been across the domains (whenever affected) just like the Panda update. So, small and silly mistake on a single page could mean catastrophe. On the other hand, something on one page could reflect the whole site as you say.
There is a lot of stuff going on apart from Panda. Authority is beyond the Panda penalty. Plain old size (number of pages in a sub matters, good old PR still matters). I think it is better to devote your time to writing big quality hubs than deleting or trying to fix old ones. Freshness and age are also important. It takes a few months for a hub to mature and I think it is better not to assume that changes will be instantly effective. ... in my opinion!
Thanks Marisa, I do add links to relevant content from the popular sites as of now as I always thought that helps. But, will have to do a bit of updating of my earlier hubs and then check out the stats after a month or so to see if there's actually a difference.
@Marisa - My comment was about the distinction between a term being used in a narrow technical sense and in a wider colloquial sense. I wasn't trying to define Google authority in a couple of sentences! :-)
Yes Hubpages....please give us some Ants Sewers! the Ants need to go somewhere!
I found this interesting article that addresses our issue:
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/googles-farm … -vs-losers
I just opened a Hubpage page without being signed in. I don't know if this is only happening tonight, but when I opened it I found a big glaring ad at the top of the page that you don't see if you are signed in. I checked some other pages and they were exactly like it.
I thought that Google slaps sites for big ads above the fold. I am curious to see if the same thing happens tomorrow. It would explain some of the traffic loss.
HP always had that ad on top for non signed in viewers. Its always been there
Google slaps for having too many ads above the fold.
I don't know whether that ad has always been there, but I didn't become aware of it until the end of last year, when I was hunting for reasons why I'd lost traffic.
It concerned me, too, because at that time, there was also an ad in the right sidebar, PLUS I always created space for an ad in the top right-hand corner of my Hub. So when logged out, the majority of the space "above the fold" was filled with ads. In consequence, I changed the layout of my Hubs to remove my top right-hand ad, but I have to say it made no difference to my traffic.
Maybe it is time to put it back. The new Layout only has 3 ads instead of 5 => the two major graphic ones in the right hand column have gone. Restoring the ad below the title (which is optionally placed) would mean 2 ads above the fold.
To quote from Paul E on the New Developments thread:
"We are also working a new testing system for monetization on the new design that will use a smaller set of impressions and allow for more tests. The first goal was to make the ads perform as well as the current design." - bold added
They are trying to make the 3 ads perform better than 5. This may explain why my income from HP has dropped!
I would suggest that having the ad just below the title is important - It is the major ad in the new design!!!!!!
Just a suggestion!
Yes, I've been thinking about that. Waiting for the dust to settle on the new design before I decide - are we still in testing mode?
Yes the neverending saga goes on and on. I have compared it with the TV series 'Lost'
to quote Paul E on this forum:
" I saw some comps last week with elements that should be tested in the coming weeks. We also want this design to go through a panda update to see how the test subdomains perform as well as the categories. We hope this happens by the end of the month. These are very important tests, so we arent going to rush them out till the data is clear - we are anxious to get through this as well."
All I know right now is my traffic is down yet again, and my income is being equally hard hit. Whereas I was hitting payout on Adsense every month (even though I am on the HP Ad Program), I am now looking at it being about once every three months since these layout changes all started to come in.
Noooooooooooo. My Hubs have all vanished from Google. Traffic plummeting way down. I have been dreading this for weeks!
Anyone else been hit today? This is going to seriously hurt me.
Interestingly, now I've gotten over the initial panic, I'm noticing that some of my Hubs are still where they were on Google. I still have a few number 1 slots. But lots of my hubs have plummeted down the rankings. This is odd, not seen this happen before. Why would some plummet and some stay where they were.
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