I don't have big hub numbers but my Google traffic has gone from 40 - 60 views per day to nil and hubs that were in the top ten search results have suddenly disappeared.
This is true of hubs I've had for a couple of months, and hubs I wrote within the last week.
I've seen numerous comments about spikes in traffic and low numbers and various suggestions as to why, but my hubs aren't seasonal, nor are they all product-based. They're a bit of a mixture.
Interestingly though, with those that were ranked for a specific product, the results pages are now almost entirely Amazon.com, ebay or other retailers. No reviews, no opinions, just "buy it here". The third Google page for one particular product is composed entirely of Amazon results.
I hope it's just "one of those days", and I don't suppose anybody can shed any light on things, but maybe, just maybe, if we continue to point out things that are clearly wrong with the results then someone, somewhere might do something about it.
Well I can hope, can't I?
Google's SERPS seems to be especially volatile at the moment. Rankings are changing constantly it seems.
The content I have watched for a few days has seen websites full of spun/copied content go to #1, then to #4, then disappear, then #1 again, all in the space of a few days.
This is the stuff Google supposedly wants rid of, and they are not doing a great job at the moment.
It is like they are constantly making minor adjustments and of course it affects our hubs too.
Hang tight, and I am sure yours will come back! Maybe at the next major update if not before.
Still waiting for the day when my own traffic on this account returns, but its been a long time coming!
Let's sing 'And I'm still waiting woahoooh!'. Should be our Sandbox theme song? Randy can hiss the chorus?
Almost a year now, but I have seen a slight rise in traffic since updating all my hubs. Google showed a bit of interest then slid back into its hole, but Yahoo and Bing both seem to like me better
Me too, Izzy! Now Bing and Yahoo at least equal--if not surpass--Google traffic on many of my hubs. We'll know in August if we are going to get any satisfaction from Google or not. I've lost any confidence in them at this point though.
August will be 12 months since our traffic collapsed.
We are assuming we are in the sandbox, and from all accounts, the sandbox effect is lifted after a maximum of 12 months.
Oh that would be nice! My latest recovery saw my earnings jump right up and should get me close to payout but when traffic tanks so does adsense, could take a year to make the last few quid to hit payout if another recovery doesn't happen. BTW, the end of august is when my baby is due to be born so a recovery then would be wonderful! Could pay for nappies or something
Hey congratulations! I did not even know you were pregnant!
Wishing you all the best when the time comes
Huge congratulations Kirstenblog - I didn't know that you were pregnant either. I really hope that Google comes good for you and pays for those nappies!
It sure would help, my bills seems to have gone up already and the little guy isn't even here yet! He just loves it when I eat all that expensive fruit! Sadly if I didn't eat fruit I don't think I would eat much of anything as my indigestion is like nothing I have ever experienced before!
My alter ego lestroischenes was let out for a month or so, but now slapped right back in the sandbox. Views back down to 10%. I on the other hand, am onward and upward. Would I be better off to keep going on HP and to write as Daisychain, or will whatever I've done as lestroichenes eventually trip up Daisy?
My views continue to drop. I have a ton of zeros on my stats page. I have a total of 62 views for 81 of my 83 hubs. I have only two hubs that are bringing in traffic. My views have now dropped about 75 percent verses three or so weeks ago. My earnings are becoming nil, lol.
I am not sure what a sandbox is, but I had great views for several months and great payout as well. I can understand a decline here and there due for what ever reason, but it certainly is like someone has put up a brick wall between my hubs and the rest of the world out there. Just when I think it has bottomed out, I pop in and my stats prove me wrong, showing me that what few views I was getting can actually continue to decline more.
I have posted this in several forum threads. At no point in time has anyone addressed what I have mentioned (staff wise). I started one thread and no staff EVER commented on it about three weeks ago. I am thinking I am typing in invisible ink. Not only the views dropping is very discouraging, but when you add being ignored on top of that, well the feeling becomes discouraging and like "I" don't matter here nor my material.
I feel your pain, Dale. Staff has no answers, that's fairly obvious.
I have never seen a decline in traffic like I am witnessing here, Randy. I guess maybe others have not either, hence the lack of reasons given from those in charge. I have been an online author for well over a decade, and as stated previously, in other threads, my material elsewhere is not showing such a sudden and deathly drop in views. I have also checked the stats on several of my wife's websites, and those views remain consistent with no sudden drops in views as well.
I spent several hours yesterday trying to figure this out on my own and talked with various other authors and they seem to focus on that it is not Google, per se, as if it was, views would be down across the board on other sites as well. Reasoning was that possibly HP has been in some kind of violation and is being "Googleunished" .... Punished by Google. That would effect all sub-domains under the HP flag as well, of course. As for the format changes, or whatever, nothing conclusive was reached by the other authors. They are stumped as many of us are.
These are the Alexa stats as of the time of this post for HubPages for those that are curious:
Estimated percentage of visits to hubpages.com that came from a search engine:
Search % Change
Yesterday 12.8% -7%
7 day 14% 0%
1 month 14.1% -3%
3 month 14.3% -36%
Traffic rank for hubpages.com:
Traffic Rank Change
Yesterday 323 -13
7 day 331 +13
1 month 313 +10
3 month 299 +17
Estimated percentage of global internet users who visit hubpages.com:
Reach % Change
Yesterday 0.371% +1%
7 day 0.362% -6%
1 month 0.394% -2.5%
3 month 0.4101% -3.4%
Estimated percentage of global pageviews on hubpages.com:
Pageviews % Change
Yesterday 0.0108% +18%
7 day 0.0099% -4.2%
1 month 0.01039% -9.4%
3 month 0.01121% -6.3%
Estimated daily unique pageviews per user for hubpages.com:
Yesterday 3.09 +17%
7 day 2.8 +2%
1 month 2.74 -7.1%
3 month 2.87 -3%
Not sure why the columns format is off, in the editor they look just fine. My apologies.
According to my Google Analytics stats, my drop from the search engines came on June 1st with a second drop on June 8th. No recovery at all since then.
Google Adsense stats in Google Analytics show that up to June 12, I was making decent revenue. Since June 12, there has been zero, no Adsense earnings.
I too think HP is being punished, Dale. My traffic dropped from around 1500 views a day to less than 200 overnight on August 10th along with several others here. After 10 months is has regained only a small portion of the former traffic, but then, I've added more hubs too. It's like I started over again. I went from making the $100 Adsense payout after only a little more than a week to it taking almost 2 months now.
It was HP's fault, of course. They were allowing some of the most misleading and spammy junk I've ever seen to be published here, but I didn't know it until after the crash when everyone was trying to help flag the stuff. I had no idea there was so much junk on this site before I actually began looking for it. Now, we are being punished because of the greed of those who knew the stuff was here but was making money on it.
After 10 months I've come to the realization that things probasbly aren't going to improve much as far as Google traffic is concerned. This is why the cruddy HPads and the ridiculous Ebay affiliations are being used now. I wish I could say the traffic and earnings will return someday. I wish I could.
I don't know that I blame HP - I think they're working hard to combat the G-attacks. I do see what you mean about spam and bad content. I was hopping hubs today and just about every single one had to be flagged. At least in my opinion. Then I went to the forum and the first post (only a few minutes old) was a spam ad post in Health (looks like it's gone now, I reported it).
My point is that HP does want to filter out bad content, but it hits the site faster than they can filter it manually. So each of us should hop hubs, check the forum and help out as much as possible. If there are thousands of Hubbers tracking content while we're reading on the site anyway, it will help. Many of the things I've flagged in the past have been removed.
HP is still highly ranked by Google, and it's way better than a ton of other sites out there. I also thing Google knows HP, knows the staff wants quality and respects input from Paul E. and others. We can't get that at many of the other sites for writers.
Yes, we can create our own websites - and many have done that. But I truly do believe HP will weather these times.
You may be right Marcy, but HP have to bear at least some of the blame - they're the ones responsible for keeping their house in order, regardless of how difficult that might be. Spammers won't waste their time here if they never get any success.
I too hope HP weathers the storm. I enjoy writing here but, like many others, I have to make a living. I can't afford to keep plugging away on a maybe and one cent a day.
I understand your viewpoint and respect it, Marcy. But then, you haven't been here long and did not see what the site was like before the first major hit from Google almost a year and a half ago. You think the junk is bad now? There were misleading hubs which prompted visitors to leave their own personal passwords and information in the comment sections because they thought the hub was a sign in place for complaints for some very well known businesses.
And even when these obviously misleading hubs were reported HP was reluctant to remove them because they were bringing in multi-millions of searches--and I assume--lots of earning too. Some of them had to be finally posted on thses forums by those of us wondering why they hadn't been removed when first flagged.
Even then some were allowed to remain by simply changing the titles a bit. Coincidentally, almost all of these were produced by suspicious writers with no Avatar or profile to see who they were. And I'm not even going to go into the multitude of "Indian Auntie" hubs which mainly consisted of photos of mostly unattractive Indian women showing half, or full frontal nudity which were allowed to be published here.
After the first penalty we then realized what was going on here but it was too late to prevent the good content being punished along with the bad. So yes, HP seems to be trying now to clean up the site, but they knew about this stuff from the very beginning and let it stay because it made them money. So far, none of staff has had the courtesy to even address this aspect of the penalties this site has been hit with.
I suppose I don't blame them much though. There is no excuse which would make any sense or place the blame elsewhere other than strictly on the powers-that-be. But I'm still open for anexplanation if staff has the nerve to address my opinion on the fall. I'm not holding my breath for it though.
I do see how newcomers see the staff in a different light if they haven't been here long. They do talk the talk, but walking the walk is a bit different. Perhaps this will explain somewhat why some of us aren't all gaga over the new aspects and opinions of HP presently. And that's the truth, flurrrrp!
I'm glad that even after accusing us of all sorts of capital crimes, you've still managed to not only avoid leaving HubPages, but you've gone on to publish at least a couple dozen more Hubs. Thank you for your support, Randy.
Capital crimes Jason? I would be pleased if you would quote the posts in where I've accused you of such. HP's TOS allowed the publishing of all sorts of rubbish when I first joined here, although some of the worst I wasn't aware of until after the first penalty was applied by Google. To say this was a "crime" is a bit dramatic, isn't it Jason?
And really, have any of you guys attempted to explain how this stuff drawing millions of views escaped your attention? It's not as if some of us haven't asked about it before? The last time I mentioned it to you I was coincidentally banned. But I'm glad you came on here to clear this mystery up.
And yes, strangely enough I am reluctant to walk away from 3 years of participation on a site where I have met good people and enjoy their conversation. And believe it or not, I like the site and its ease of publishing, I always have. I'd rather the site improve than implode, so I hang on. Sorry.
And you'll notice many of my new hubs are not written for money or traffic either. Creative writing does not exactly bring in the bucks here. I write mostly for fun now.
Besides, somebody has to be an "asphole" and I've had experience in the field. I like you guys though despite our differences. Perhaps it's merely an East Coast/West Coast thing! Let the bans begin!
Or is it just that this jovial interplay gives us the impression that someone is paying attention - without actually addressing the problem?
Distract us from serious concerns by playing with interesting personalities?
While I'm entertained, I'd much rather you explained to me why my traffic went from encouraging to negligible overnight. I know it's easier to indulge in a little social interplay, but if we might return to the original question?
"Interesting personalities?" Thanks, I think. Yes Bob, this is what many of us are searching for, an answer of some sort to the reasons we are being penalized by Google. Honestly though, I don't know if staff has any idea of the cause of drop in traffic, or perhaps they do and dread telling us. I'd feel much better if someone would just say "Heck, I ain't got no idee whut's goin' on!" But in a West Coast accent, of course.
Maybe HP could do with an 'angel' scheme like Squidoo (Trusted hubbers who become the Hub police).
Are you kidding me? Anyone who thinks giving Hubbers the title of "Elite"--especially when it's laughable in many cases--would be hard pressed to choose qualified people for such a position.
Thanks Randy. I hope things pick back up as well. The income here generated for my first pay out, and my second one should match, were and are impressive to say the least. I have no issues with that at all. I was amazed and truly enjoy the site and the interaction. The ability to publish is easy, and we are well guided through many means and avenues.
The first two tropical storms that were pre-season increased my views on what I call my main hub, drastically. I was doing several updates in a text capsule at the top as information became available. However, we have a critter brewing in the Gulf of Mexico now with a 70 percent chance of becoming a hurricane before long which should be spiking interest in this hub and my views should have spiked. Not so. It has not happened this time around. So I guess I need to bait my traps or something with some fresh meat to pull the viewers in, lol.
That being said, no improvement in my overall views as of yet. This is after pulling down all RSS feeds and such as discussed in a previous thread. I have a wonderful harvest of zeros on my stats page. I wonder if there is a market for zeros?
Good thing I have a "regular" job to pay the bills. However, the additional income from my work on HP was welcome and always will be welcome. I know I am but a small fish in a large pond, and many here make much more serious income from their hubs and I do feel for them if they are experiencing the drops in numbers that I have. HP has some wonderful contributors on a lovely selection of topics. One of the best sites I have ran across. As posted in my Alexa stats, this site ranks at about 299! That is out of the millions out there. So the site has a good ranking. Now, if we can just figure out what is going on, give the proper medical attention or be given advice on what we, the individual Hubber, can do, to help in this situation other than wait it out until we drop off the map entirely and have even a harder climb back up in the rankings.
I did a Google Search a couple of days ago and in the top 20 results I found 3 links for one site and 10 in a row for another. I'm hoping they are straightening things like this out.
My traffic has been back to normal after being down to about 25% of what I used to get. I'm hoping it stays that way.It's only been up for 2 days, so I'm still crossing my fingers. My Google numbers are still down about 30% though.
hmmm,it seems i can learn a thing or two about boosting web traffic from you guys.
I did think that the original panda traffic collapse happened at the start of the year last year, when my last regular payment actually happened. It has been more then a year now and it sucks because payouts were getting regular and now, once a year if I am lucky?!?! Google is driving me nuts I gotta say
Like the stock market from 1996 to early 2000, the good times seem to be gone for traffic from Google.
What I don't understand is what happened yesterday. Two days ago I had traffic from Google, yesterday, zilch. Not a one. Not less traffic - absolutely zero. Every ranking across every subject gone. If it was down to Panda or whatever, how come they were all there a month ago, a week ago, but not today?
You've got to figure that it also impacts on the profitability at hubpages too. Somebody has to be talking to someone at Google surely. No answers apparently.
Hubpages offers the opportunity to write on any subject - which I think is great - but like a lot of us I gotta make a living. Until things change I can't afford to write here much.
Fortunately I'm diversified enough for it not to have dramatic impact but some must really be suffering. It's got to be hurting those who deserve it least - those who've really contributed to the success of the site.
What I wonder is if Google didn't do another update. Mine went back up and yours went down. The only thing I did different is delete my account at Xomba and get all of my old links off of there. I've been updating all of my hubs slowly too.
Looks like there was a Panda Refresh (3.8) (no new algorithm changes) yesterday on June 25.
This link also lists the dates of all the past Panda updates and refreshes. The previous one (3.7) was about two weeks ago on June 9.
Yesterday my traffic also dropped like a rock too by 90% to virtually nothing - and that is after an 80% drop 3 weeks ago so cumulatively I am down 97% - but yesterdays was a biggie for sure. All in all down from around 1500 views a day to 37 yesterday, I could cry.
Don't blame it on the sunshine
Don't blame it on the hubbers
Don't blame it on the site changes
Blame it on the Googie
Guess What! The Dingo (site changes) did it!
Hopefully, if HP can get the site changes right, things will improve. My traffic is gradually improving at the mo.
You want to hear a really sad story? I am up for my first payout and was getting really close. Thought it would hit today and guess what? I missed it by one penny! This CPM business is the reason...I had enough views to make it, but the CPMs are all over the place...it's driving me crazy!
Oh no! How frustrating for you! At least you can be pretty certain that you will make payout next month!
Oh, I'm sure I will but Geesh...how frustrating this is! I couldn't believe it. I guess I can take comfort in the fact that it only took me 6 months to hit this plateau, but still....IT SUCKS!
That's really a sad thing! Thankfully I made the payout previous month itself before my traffic dropped to tens from hundreds on 8th May and hasn't recovered still. I have already removed my hottest hub and now I am thinking of shifting all my other hubs to other places too where I am earning much better!
can you suggest other sites where the traffic/earning potential is better? i am on Squidoo too but the traffic seems to be pretty slow and the community is less cohesive...
I've tried Squidoo as well, but it seems to reward packing as many ads in as possible, rather than developing useful content.
I've diversified by creating blogs, but to be successful you need to build up a considerable amount of focused content. A week ago I would have said the advantage with hubpages was that individual articles could be effective - of course that's no longer true.
Anyone with a better answer, please let us in on the secret!
Like some have mentioned earlier, the latest changes have put tons of junk at the top of some searches. While trying to find a former highly ranked hub of mine I noticed tons of Ehow articles listed with only short sections of text outranking many more thorough and illustrated articles instead.
The system stinks! Bottom line is, HP appears to be penalized for former transgressions with us being caught right in the middle of it.
"Anyone with a better answer, please let us in on the secret!"
This is no secret - lots of people are trying it - set up your own website
I am working on my own small websites that have separate articles - not a blog (with permanent pages not delivered from a database). I have been surprised at how quickly the pages get indexed (using social media sites- shareaholic). Also I have been surprised at the quick traffic to the pages. You need an established URL (2-5 years old) that you can get from justdropped etc. Having a domain name linked to the content also seems to work. Early days - but here's hoping. You have total control over quality and you don't share the revenue. Page Rank is the hard part.
I work on revenue sharing niche sites (yes, different sites for different niche) which pay cash as well. But I doubt you would like to work there because they are Indian sites and I know you guys have difficulty trusting those However, their Adsense revenue share is not like of HPs where you divide the impressions, instead they use the Adsense API to cut 10% of their share i.e. both earn something for each click.
There is a catch however, you can get cash as well for your work but with limited Adsense period (1-5 years depending on loyalty) or no cash and 90% Adsense for lifetime.
Be careful about removing hubs. You can have duplication problems until your current hubs are de indexed, and if someone steals any of your work while you're waiting for that to happen, you can never use it again on sites like this.
This is a tricky area that often misleads people. If there was a penalty for duplicate content, most news agencies would be in trouble. It would be impossible for anyone to quote anyone else for reference purposes. Additionally, it's well know that unscrupulous sites copy content without permission - it's happened to writers here - but they wouldn't do it if it didn't work to their advantage. There are well known syndication and article sites that make a living from sending content to multiple users.
The duplicate content penalty is a myth. Google's own officials have confirmed this (reference here, among many others: http://www.webpronews.com/google-busts- … th-2009-09). The only penalty is if you repeat content multiple times on the same site - that's just spamming the search engines.
It may take time for the new "home" of your article to gain any traction, and the original may rank until it is de-indexed, but you're not going to suffer a Google penalty for doing so.
Yes, but HP DOES penalize you. They want original content, so if I have content on another site, delete it and then immediately send it over to HP for publication, I've got a big problem. One must wait for the de indexing before re publishing, and even then I'm not sure how it would all work out.
This is one matter that really bothers me on HP. Citing portions of other works for the purposes of criticism, comment, review or reference, is an integral part of any type of serious non-fiction writing, such as literary criticism or scientific discussion.
The fact that one is penalised for doing so on this site is absolutely ludicrous.
put the quote in an image - attribute it to deal with copyright - done - no penalty. Original authors of scientific papers have contacted me to say that I did a good job with the reviews and that they were OK with the quotes on images.
I know that is technically possible. However, it would mean typing and printing out the quotation and then scanning or photographing it. That would take a very long time, especially if a lot of trial and error was needed to get an image that was legible once it was inserted into a hub.
Anyway, it is ridiculous that standard academic practice is the subject of a banning practice.
Its really quite easy to do
copy the text into a word processor, set the font to Verdana, 10pt
use page setup to apply a 6 cm right margin.
prt scr and paste into an image editor
crop and embellish - voila one image. Its naughty but a nice work around
Its tiny below but is right size on a page.
Couldn't you just use the 'Print Screen' option on your keyboard, then paste the image of the text into 'Paint', then crop it to get rid of the stuff you don't want, save as, and then use the resulting image for whatever you want? Of course this is working on the assumption the text you have in mind is already online somewhere, and not just in a book, in which case your method could well be the only way.
It was my understanding that images used could NOT have any text on them.
I don't think citing other works would be a problem as long as you credit the original author or source. I think what HP refers to is what I was talking about...reproducing my own work (or significant parts thereof) and submitting it to HP as being original. It was only original when I first put it on the net. If I replicate any or all of it, that is duplicating.
Personally, I think the animal parade by Google needs to stop. My traffic was slowly and surely going up. Until the latest animal attack. I will have to say it looks like it is back. From reading this thread/forum I noticed people were talking about rankings. Is there a way that one can check that?
It's taken me six months to reach payout on google ads, and I am still going to miss it this time too, but about a penny or cent. I think the answer is quite simple really why google drops us all down. I think its because hubpages use different ads as well as google ads, and they don't like it. there attitude is probably, why should we put you lot at the top if you are earning elsewhere and we aren't getting the money from the ads? maybe I am wrong, but its a bit suspicious to me.
Nell: That's exactly why I stopped using affiliate advertising on the majority of my hubs. Google does NOT like competition, no question about it.
PS: I did make it yesterday so will actually get the payout at the end of next month. Long time coming for so much work!
Now there is a thought....that would coincide with the timing of my traffic suddenly just dropping off to about nil on the majority of my hubs. That would be when the "new" ads basically started appearing on the hubs. The "trial" supposedly of the new ads....
That's an interesting point Dale - I hadn't realized that the format of all my hubs had been changed. The timing would be about right but without knowing exactly when they went over to the new format I couldn't say.
I wonder if anyone anyone from HP care to comment on this "coincidence"? For all our comments we're still no nearer any kind of answer.
The new layout went live on the 14th June
Not a precise correlation then, as my traffic died overnight from 19th to 20th - although I suppose it depends how long it took for the change to have any effect.
I'm beginning to sound like a bit of a conspiracy nut though, so I'm going to drop this aspect of the subject unless someone can offer something more concrete.
We're all still waiting to hear from HP of course. Hello... anybody there? Care to make any comment?
I know it's frustrating to see ranking changes in Google and not know why. Questions I ask myself - is it an algo update, my content, or something that's changed on the site?
HubPages does largely set the rules for publishing. We strive to be as open as possible to the type of people that can publish on HubPages.
We look at a large set of data. There's about 50 million visits a month. That data shows that since we moved to subdomains that there is a wide variance in how Google treats each subdomain.
With the algo/panda updates, we continue to see site bounce out. So we know it can be done/happen. What we don't know is what authors did. Did they fix up their content, did they acquire high quality links, or did Google change their mind.
Here is what I've been doing for my entire account (about half way through). I've deleted Hubs that I don't think I can make the best. I've been adding step by step photo based instructions and I've been updating the content. I don't worry about links (many swear that's important).
Google did announce an Panda update yesterday. So if you saw a big change in the last few days, that was likely the cause.
That said, we are making some structural changes to HubPages that will surface less rule violations.
Thanks for that Paul. Nice to see someone from HP stepping up to the plate (although that's probably not a great analogy for a basketball player!)
The frustration would be eased if I could put my finger on something - hey, I'm a grown-up, if I was doing something wrong I would learn and change it - but I can't blame images, links, or any other aspect because I didn't change anything. One day they ranked (frequently highly) the next day they didn't. Not at all. They didn't drop, they disappeared.
During that time, you did change the format of my hubs. Only you know whether that action has had any impact.
Bottom line is I like Hubpages. A platform that allows me to write about different subjects is attractive to the grasshopper part of my mentality. Sadly I have to work for a living too - so the commercial part is important. I just can't afford to spend the time writing here when it produces zero returns.
I'll pop by from time to time, hoping either that my hubs have re-appeared or that a solution has been found, but apart from that I'll be writing elsewhere.
hmmm... constantly making changes to something that is constantly changing seems much like trying to change the spark plugs in an engine that is evolving in such a way as to not need spark plugs.... which is much akin to trying to repair the roof of a house that is already on fire...although it may be more like praying to god when you are standing at the gates of hell with your athiest t-shirt on....
Thanks for the information Paul. You said about a week ago that traffic was down about 7% in total, has this recovered? I am quite new here and don't have many hubs yet, but from what I can tell, things have picked up again.
@ paul... second parragraph... do you actually mean types of peope or types of content?
When we rolled out the new design, a drop corresponded with it. That traffic largely recovered.
I don't think YouTube videos alone will help drive traffic. There needs to be substantial content as well.
doesn't most of this all go back to quality content over crappy content whether it is a video or text... in the sense that we can analyse all of this to the point that we miss the forest for the trees? Should all of this be viewed in the moment or the long-term or our we hopping across the river one slippery stone at a time? It just seems like more effort could be put into the actual writing of hubs and less into the methods behind what may or may not be happening....
So for weeks or months my quality content is good enough for Google. Then suddenly, overnight it's not. None of it.
All I should do is work on the quality? Sorry but don't you think that's a bit simplistic?
I focus on quality and my traffic has not dropped... simple yes... but when things are complicated or complex more can and usually does go wrong....
I also reviewed your hub on urban chickens and grammar is an issue. Simple yes, but an issue non-the-less. Your writing is not horrible, but you have mixed up words such as thing and think in some of your sentences. I thing 6 or 8.... also, I would avoid using contractions such as, that's and instead use that is because it throws off the grammar checker that a search engine would use to rate your content. The hub, overall, is very good, and your message is awesome. I would encourage you to read through your hubs a couple of times before publishing them.
This comment wasn't directed to me, but I feel compelled to respond anyway -- particularly in light of the recent thread on the possibility of peer editing. I took a look at a few of your hubs, and they are rife with misspellings, incorrect punctuation and grammatical errors. With all due respect, you may not be the best person to be critiquing others' hubs.
@ Irohner: depends on my hub... sometimes I check grammar sometimes I do not... being what it is... but that was not the point of my statement. Which was if bob is going to complain that your traffic has dropped than perhaps you should consider looking at the simple issues that you have control over before assuming that everything is Googles issue.
Dave, let's get serious. Are you saying I just picked a bad "few hubs?" Would you like me to keep going through your stuff? Personally, I would say no based on the caliber of what I've seen.
It also would be REALLY helpful if you could explain to us how spelling and punctuation may be responsible for a drop in traffic flow from Google. Really. Please do elaborate...
Irohner: I am saying I don't care what you found. I accept my writing for what it is. I don't write for google or for ad revenue. That however, does not change my original statement to bob. That statement to bob was constructive, but you can attack me and my writing all you want.
I will do my best to exlain my view on spelling, grammar and SERPS. I think it is safe to say that the search engine as a program has evolved from what its beginnings were. Six months, eight months ago writers, affiliates, etc. put a lot of stock in to keywords and keyword phrases, escpecially in markets that were crammed full of contents.... say for example... a new Apple product/phone. To rise through the maze of articles about the same product keywords became twisted... The Amazing iPhone 4 became something like iphone4 Amazing or iphone 4... etc. Before the changes to google and the unleashing of Panda, etc. those types of phrases were good. What google realized is that greed and not consumer loyalty was driving SERPs. Companies were spending large sums of money to promote small groups of affliate articles because the pay off was huge for those articles. Then it all changed with panda. we saw huge marketing firms topple to the ground. We saw and felt the struggles that occured accoss the web as top ranking websites were delisted. Part of those changes were attributed to text, keywords, and key phrases that made sense to the computer but not to the reader. This is where spelling and grammar come into the picture. Many of those article houses that were delisted were full of substandard writing because it was writen not for humans, but for the computer. The search engine has evolved into something that reads much like a human does. Which is why google has gone to great lengths to tell writers to write for the human and not for the computer. When articles are full of grammar and spelling errors the computer marks them as substandard and lowers them within the SERP rankings. Paul Edmondson talks about this somewhere in this forum posts. Quality content includes spelling and grammar, along with many other factors that make content readable and useful. If you need further explaination I can try to point you to google guiedlines...
I wouldn't usually make a personal comment, but you started it ;-)
I'll take your criticism of errors I've made - fair enough - but once again you've failed to address the initial point. These hubs did rank well, then OVERNIGHT they were gone. If it was a question of spelling, why were they right up there - for weeks or months? As for contractions like there's, you're kidding, right?
Then there's your statement "I don't write for google or for ad revenue". That's because you can't though, isn't it. Your own hub tells us your Adsense account was closed by Google.
If you get a sudden, overnight loss of traffic, you've been Panda'd or Penguin'ed. If you haven't made changes to your Hubs in the last month or so, then the cause must be a change in Google's algorithm, i.e. something which was acceptable under the old Panda, isn't acceptable under the new one.
The best explanation of what Panda looks for is still this blog post:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … ality.html
You'll see the fourth point down is "Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?". Considering spelling checks are so easy to do these days, it would be surprising if Google didn't use one. However, I would agree that the comment about contractions is strange.
I'm glad you asked about that, because it had me scratching my head too. I use contractions all the time. Maybe this is a bad thing?
To new readers here, I plunged too, an overnight loss of 80% of my traffic, just like Bob.
In most people, the traffic returns at the next Panda update or within a couple of months.
In my case, it has never returned, and I am not alone.
I honestly don't think Google gives two hoots about spelling or grammar, judging by the overall standard of the many hubs here that still do well, or even by the front page search results written by marketers who know how to build backlinks, if not how to write.
I think many other important factors come into play - keyword stuffing/lack of backlinks/bounce rate/time on page/interlinking etc.
Google doesn't even seem to hate plagiarisers, judging by the sheer amount of copies of my hubs floating around these days.
There are so many, I don't even warn the sites anymore. They get a DMCA issued to them whenever I catch them!
I don't think so, because they are legitimate parts of speech - you never see spell checkers pick them up, for instance.
I'm not sure why you'd say that. If you've been hit by Panda or Penguin and can't identify (and fix) the issues that caused it, you will never recover, at the next update or any other update. That's fact. Traffic will only come back on the next update if Google has rolled back, or refined, whatever part of the algorithm caused the penalty.
HubPages is unusual in that many Hubbers have experienced that loss of traffic/return of traffic phenomenon. Some updates send traffic flying, others put it in the toilet, and it's not consistent - some Hubbers go up while others go down, and vice versa the next time. I've been unable to find any other blogger or webmaster who's had the same problems, so it seems likely (as Paul Edmonson has indicated) it has something to do with Google misinterpreting HubPages' unique structure.
Hi Marisa.... Just curious, where did Paul indicate he thinks Google might be misinterpreting HP's structure? Are you talking about his most recent hub or a forum post?
I'm referring to this Hub:
http://pauledmondson.hubpages.com/hub/G … ch-Results
which is an issue relating to our 301 redirects (which only affects Hubbers who were around before sub-domains). Also this one:
http://pauledmondson.hubpages.com/hub/W … -Providers
Both appear to have been ignored by Google, which is not unusual.
There were also some forum discussions, which I can't find now, about errors showing up in Webmaster tools. What was happening was that Google was trying to read HubPages' categories as if they were ours, so they'd be looking for a string like,
"hubpages-tutorials-and-community" shouldn't be there, because it's a HubPages category and not part of my URL - so of course that would throw up an error. And there would be an error like that for every single Hub, because every single Hub is in a HubPages category. Which to Google, made it look like half a sub-domain was error-ridden - not a good look!
HubPages took steps to stop that, but some of those errors are still showing up in my Webmaster tools - I'd love to know how long they take to disappear.
Oh so that is the type of error you were talking about in Webmasters tools!
I've been getting them ever since we were able to link our Hubpages account to them.
I never even thought - you are so right, categories shouldn't be there, but they account for a huge amount of errors across my subdomain.
Uh - don't tell me that after months of tweaking, re-writing, unpublishing, that the problem was indeed the errors and outwith my control!
Right, gotcha Marisa. That's what I thought you were referring to. I've seen some of those errors as well... it's been a while since I've checked though. No clue how long they take to go away.
It will be interesting to find out what Google has to say in response to Paul.
I'm not sure what to make of Paul's most recent hub. I'm always hoping we get some magic bullet to remedy the insane traffic fluctuations. One can only hope, right?
Many hubbers saw their traffic return after a dramatic overnight plunge, without having made changes to their account.
Some saw a return after making changes, but who is to say their traffic wouldn't have returned anyway, like the former-mentioned group.
I honestly don't know why Randy, Cynthia and I have missed out on seeing a return of traffic.
Despite being told a million times what Google dislikes - keyword stuffing, oversaturated topics, not saying anything new etc - I have completely failed to see which hubs might be pulling my subdomain down.
I have unpublished about 10% of them, and edited every single one, and still no return, because I do not know what Google want.
They seem to sent traffic to hubs I think are spammy and ignore hubs I think are good!
The inconsistency of how they send/withdraw traffic across Hubpages is frustrating.
Good morning bob: my comments were not meant to attack you or your writing.. They were meant to point out that there are things within your control that you can fix. I offer you that advice because I want you to succeed. As Irohner pointed out within my writing are spelling errors, etc my hubs are always a work in progress and as such I work on them all the time. I really am not kidding about the contractions. In certain forms of writing they are not advisable and the general rule is to avoid them at all times. I suspect that as google continues to fine tune whatever it released a few days ago, that more hubs with spelling and grammar errors will fall in serp rankings. You and I can scratch our heads about what is going on with your rankings all we want to and never know the exactc reason why your hubs have fallen. What I am suggesting is that you focus on the things that you can change or that are within your power of control and those are simple things such as grammar and spelling. As for Google and my adsense... I have never written for the money, though I enjoyed what little I made. The topics that I write about are not well read topics or as is the case with my gardening hubs... so over populated within the niche that traffic comes and goes. My issue with google is not about the money. In the year and half that I have been here I have made less than $100...my issue was about google is that they would not tell me what they think I have done, and the fact that what has happened to me can happen to anyone at anytime. My hub on loosing my google adsense account should be proof enough that google will not tell you or anyone else what is wrong with your articles...at best they may give you a broad statement such as poor content, etc. Aside from the spelling and grammar errors in your urban chicken hub, I thought your writing was pretty good and that the hub was factual as well as useful. In the meantime, my advise is to focus on the things that you can fix and see if there is an improvment in your rankings... that is really all you can do. Best of Luck... DMT.
I agree that we should keep writing hubs. I quit out of frustration, but I'm going to start again, because I think it is important to keep the momentum going.
Oh for sure there needs to be substantial content too. The hub that suddenly started doing well is a top 10 list of the best football players of all time. I included 10 youtube videos to showcase their skills. Each video is next to a short paragraph describing the player's skills and stats. Maybe I just hit the right combination of keywords.
Perhaps videos work because people spend longer on the page?
@davemidtown - I think you're right. It's about content. Google is the editor and they are determining what they like. If we want to participate, we need to make content that they think is good.
On top of it, content needs to still garner natural links and I think each person needs to create a substantial amount that Google views as consistently good.
Looking at my own Hubs, I have a pretty wide range of good and not so good Hubs. I'm first working on making all my hubs really good. Fixed two of them up today. Have about 120 left:)
It takes a thick skin, but my hubs were rated internally and my average score was a little over five out of ten. That is very mediocre. Google sends traffic to Hubs that are rated about 6.5 on average. I'm working to make all of my Hubs a seven or better.
Seven or better hubs include rich information, original photos, typically more than three text capsules, additional capsules like polls, maps, tables. All these capsules don't always make sense, so judgement is still needed.
I'm going through the process myself. If it turns out to be useful, we will see if we can do something similar for others.
@ Paul: I have been looking at my hubs and deleting many of them... I am curious how you see the link between content and brand when it comes to hub topics and writer authority? I sometimes write hubs that are outside of what I consider my authority zone... they do not do well and so I delete them.... I have a set of hubs that routinely receive 20-30 google views per day... which is high for my topics..... I have also been thinking about deleting a fair number of popular hubs because the number of similar hubs written in hubpages is just far too many.... which brings me to: how many hubs/articles does hubpage or the world need on say..... how to grow a garden? or how to write a hub?
"It takes a thick skin, but my hubs were rated internally and my average score was a little over five out of ten. That is very mediocre. Google sends traffic to Hubs that are rated about 6.5 on average. I'm working to make all of my Hubs a seven or better."
I like the idea of an internal rating system, maybe a system where only hubbers could see their own ratings and use that info for themselves. It makes much more sense to me than these meaningless scores that are constantly going up or down but no one really knows why. I also don't like that readers can see these meaningless hub scores and mistakenly use them to judge the quality of our work.
For what it's worth.
I am engaged in the process of revamping, changing, or in worst cases.. deleting all my pages.
It is about revisiting and trying hard to understand what my viewer expected when they typed in that search term.
Does what I offer give them anything near what they were looking for?
On top of that, almost impossible question for some of my content, I have done everything I can to Unspam my pages. Move that first advert down, remove pointless links, delete up myself content (not all obviously), reduce or eliminate pointless Amazon.
Now, no doubt an expert will tell me blah blah but I don't care. They are MY pages and MY readers therefore I am trying to satisfy them as best I can.
Anyway, it's mainly about reworking for me.
@ Mark: you'd do better if Stupid Google would let people search by stick figure!
You'd be surprised how many people search for "badly drawn stick figures".
That's right. It's none.
Surprised me as well. Too late now.
that is not true... Claista flockhard searches for stick figures... but I think that was only on E-Harmony DOT come...
The first 4 results on my Google SERP for badly drawn stick figures are for youtube videos. Perhaps you need to make a video about drawing stick figures
Yes, but according to one keyword site, “stickman holding hands” is a popular search term. Make of that what you will!
I think for anyone whose traffic has taken a hit, trying to figure out the cause is a really difficult task. There seem to be many "guesses" but no solid answers. And I think the reason there is no real or official answer is because there are way too many moving parts that can affect traffic. Any change, seemingly big or small, by either Google, HubPages or Hub authors, or all three (as is most likely the case), can impact a subdomain's traffic. And I think this is why HP cannot give a blanket answer, especially since we're not all experiencing traffic problems.
This much is obvious, the success of HubPages is fully dependent on the success of Hubbers so I have no doubt that all the changes they make, whether we prefer them or not, are done so with an eye on improving traffic, impressions and earnings.
That being said, it seems to me that a lot of people who have lost a lot of traffic are Hubbers who have been around a lot longer than me. I started writing here about 11 months ago. Below are graphs of my traffic (Google Analytics) next to graphs of HP's traffic (Quantcast).
All graphs represent July 2011-June 2012.
If you look at the second 6 months of the graph, you can see that my traffic patterns closely mimic those of HP overall. In June my subdomain and all of HubPages has experienced a slight decrease in visitors (probably seasonal) but pageviews have increased.
The reason I point all of this out is just because I think it highlights why it's difficult for HP to explain why some subdomains are losing traffic (I guess overnight in some cases) and others are maintaining or even increasing their current traffic levels. It's not the case for everyone.
I may not always comment on these traffic-related forums, but one thing I've noticed from reading a lot of them is that it seems like quite a few of the people with traffic drops have older accounts. I think the graphs on the success stories page indicate this as well.
Here's a graph of HubPages pageviews from January 2010-June 2012:
I entered HubPages to the right of the big Panda dip, which the introduction of subdomains resolved for the most part. So as long as I produce quality content on topics that searchers care about on a steady basis my pageviews seems to remain steady or improve. So I think the traffic drops are very subdomain-specific, which makes me think the cause has something more to do with how Google's updates are reacting to specific subdomains and not HubPages as a whole.
But like everyone else, this is all just supposition based on a few graphs and my experience.
@Ktrapp: Arn't those global warming ocean level charts?
If so, I'm glad I wasn't around for that Ice Age last spring/summer.
you were... I have documented proof of you complaining about how late your garden would be because of the winter weather... hmmmm...
"...there are way too many moving parts that can affect traffic. Any change, seemingly big or small, by either Google, HubPages or Hub authors, or all three (as is most likely the case), can impact a subdomain's traffic. And I think this is why HP cannot give a blanket answer..."
Yes, this is very true. I think some hubbers are looking for simple answers where none can be given or found. All anyone can do is listen to Google, HubPages, other hubbers etc. say and take an "educated guess" at what course of action to take. I have suffered a 50% crash - it's very disappointing but I don't intend to start ranting at anyone!
<=== wonders what part of this mish-mashed topic Paul is replying too...
the Paul I was referring to is... PaulGoodman67
sorry just stirring - see the "this" above - click on it to find which Paul
that's actually helpful... would never have known that is a link... maybe they should make that blue and underline it... like links are supposed to be... hmmmmm
It's quite likely Google will say nothing in response to Paul - it's been some time since those Hubs were written. HubPages has no direct line into Google - do you remember after the first Panda, Paul had to post on the public Google forum to try to get help, just like every other webmaster.
I agree totally. There does seem to be an assumption that HP has a 'special' relationship with Google, and that Paul (or other members of the HP team) meet with them to discuss technical issues etc. In reality it appears that HP is no different to any other webmaster, and the best they can hope for is placing posts on Google forums hoping for helpful responses (as opposed to face to face meetings with senior Google staff). Of course I am open to being told I am completely wrong by senior HP staff!
I do post publicly. I think that's important. But, Google has only responded to direct emails. They gave some input on Panda, and they have given us some feedback/help recently that we are working on incorporating.
PS. My traffic and earnings still dropping, and I can't help thinking if we could turn back the clock to where the HP layout was a couple of months back (before all the madly rushed changes), my earnings would be back to where they were before, as opposed to where they are now! Adsense now non-existent, HP earnings and views down by a huge amount and ebay equally down to pennies. Strangely all was fine until the mad teaks to the layouts!!
It was much better before the changes. The site also loads slower. I was doing very well here but its way down now. I recently did a hub page on hot dogs and the related hubs are all about dogs. The barking kind. These do not belong on a recipe hub.
I am spreading my eggs out in several baskets and I'm doing much better on some of my own blogs.
I've gotta agree with mistyhorizon2003 and crazyhorsesghost. My traffic continues to fall as the page layout keeps changing on HP.
To make matters worse, my adsense revenue is pretty much non-existent now too. I can only assume that it's because I am on the HP Adprogram and the adsense ad has been moved to the footer, where no-one is likely to click and is why my adsense revenue has crashed.
Yes my HP adprogram CPM has increased slightly but at the cost of the google adsense income. Clearly, the in content ad box was the highest converting ad. What message are HP sending to it's writers by swaping this as out?
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I am getting traffic from hubpages and getting little bit traffic from google. Please suggest me how to improve google traffic for my hubs.
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