To those of you, like me, who are seeing traffic changes, here's why - http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … ality.html
Funnily enough, the subdomain that is affected has no backlinks except those provided by HP.
This article is great - http://jlforums.com/search-engine-optim … le-update-(april-24th)/
Make Money Online #1 spot is taken up by a BLANK BLOGSPOT BLOG!!!
Honestly, I am still trying to learn what this all means. I just can't seem to wrap it around my brain. Like math, it seems like foreign language.
The material found on search engines is supposed to be the CROP.
The algorithm Google engineers are working on is insecticide meant to help produce the healthiest crop for searchers.
The only problem is that they don't get to alter their insecticide formula in private, they have to do it while the crop is growing, and all the farmers are watching.
When an accident happens in the formula, the insecticide works to kill the pests, but it harms the crop, too. Everyone says, "Oh, no."
The engineers go back to work on the formula and try again as soon as they've tweaked it. Hopefully, the crop doesn't die before they get the formula right...
Thank you for trying to put into "English" for me. My husband tells me that yours is a good description (he does it for a living), but I still don't get it. He's been trying to teach it to me too, and I just don't understand it all...yet. Maybe I never will. I leave it up to him, and he leaves herbal medicine to me.
Don't worry about understanding everything ... or anything. Just create good content ... and that can be repositioned for lots of purposes like ebooks, other sites, etc.
I like that advice. Thinking about how you can write an article about "anchovies on pizza" (an example) that is share-worthy and full of great content to interact with, is a better way to spend our time, definitely. People with their own sites have far more to worry about than we do here.
Sad to say some of the healthy crops died already. I don't think Google is able to resurrect them. Revival now lies in the hands of the farmers but it would really take a long time. But as of now, farmers are really worried but they have to wait since Google has not published any further information.
Surfing the net is really cool!
Beautiful answer- did you help write the bible too?
Thanks, Izzy, for helping to make all this easy to understand!
A maintain several websites and blogs. Fortunately, this recent update has improved their rankings in the search results.
Interesting stuff Izzy. My traffic has gone back up, so I don't need the big G coming along to make any corrections in the next few days lol!
How is your big account faring?
Helps if I post on the correct account!
My main account has lost about a third of its views, but I'm not too worried as it has been up and down over the last few weeks. Drops a bit, slowly rises, drops a bit...
My second subdomain has just lost 75% of its views. I saw it dropping hourly yesterday and thought the change must have taken place the day before.
My niche subdomains are unaffected.
I was actually waiting for it on the 23rd- should have guessed they dont work Sundays!
I am about the same having taken a large hit last month on the main account- it is just about at a tolerable level.
My niche account which has not a lot of content has doubled! I know its low in numbers but the % swing is there!
I have seen changes across my sites so I was also reading about the various updates and some of the weird search results that people are reporting.. I guess we will have to wait and see how things settle down.. I have seen slight drops across the board as with most of the previous updates I just hope that they will recover again as they always have done..
I hope Google gets it right.
I'm not sure it is live yet, though. The post is dated 24 April and it says:
'In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam.'
If it is live already, I must be one of the lucky winners. Traffic is up this week.
Did they roll it already? (the post is dated 25th April). I think that they did it already. Anyway they said they will roll out many changes this year so that is why there is see-saw in our page views!
I am confused by what he said towards the middle of the blog page "Here’s an example of a webspam tactic like keyword stuffing taken from a site that will be affected by this change" he then cite an example.
Then he goes on to say this : "Of course, most sites affected by this change aren’t so blatant. Here’s an example of a site with unusual linking patterns that is also affected by this change".
I noticed in the rank position of my few sites. Overall I got few steps up. Only 2 sites gone down. I appreciate the efforts of google to make the search results very relevant.
From what I can see, the roll out has started and it has already caught a lot of quality sites out.
Check out the other link I posted ( a forum) to see for yourself.
I can't read the top example they showed, but the bottom one is, as they say, typically spun nonsense with unrelated links, much as I have seen people post here on HP.
I honestly can't see why my other subdomain has been caught out - it has no backlinks, artificial or otherwise, and no spun content nor unrelated links.
However, they really can't start penalising sites for having links as it is too easy to create artificial links for your competitors sites and knock them off the serps.
I think this one is pretty major, but will require a lot of tweaking in the coming days if Google wants to keep any semblance of credibility.
We've been following this update closely since it was preannounced. Looks like traffic is slightly up across the board from Monday this week, where we are traditionally trending down on Weds. It's unclear how far it's been deployed at this point, so we'll keep watching for major trends.
Personally, I'm trying a test out where I'm converting old Hubs to video Hubs that once saw major traffic but have trended down. There has definitely been a trend where the search results show more video results. I've seen really good results by converting a good Hub to a video Hub where it ranked below the video results. Typically it took a few days to jump into the video results, but they tend to rank highly.
I got lost 50% of my traffic overnight! I am in panic mode! I knew I should of published more hubs just in case an scenario like this occurred!
Will this decline in traffic be permanent or does the new update change things around in the search engines for a while?
I'll have a wee look into my crystal ball and tell you, but you need to cross my palm with silver first!
My traffic is plunging! I was shocked to see a huge drop in my views this morning, and have been monitoring my stats since then. At 6:30pm I had lost about a thousand views. Please please please make it stop!
This is as bad as the Panda in Feb 2011 (well for me so far). At least I saved up some money, but will probably be more conservative.
I'm trying to become self-employed and make full-time income through various content. It's going to be a tough road when Google ****s over innocent people like me (Well I'd like to think I do everything right)
A thousand sounds about right.
Just buckle in and ride it out like Panda.
As the Hitchhiker's Guide says...."Don't Panic!"
It looks like Google will be hitting us with these little sledgehammers every few months.
Protect yourself and like everyone says...diversify.
My "other" sites are actually going up in traffic...not down today.
All the little blue down-triangles on my hubs list make it look like its raining. Rain is nice. It makes plants grow. And stuff.
Acid rain... mine are dying on the vine.
On the first part of the journey,
I was looking at all the life.
There were plants and birds, and rocks and things;
There was sand and hills and rings.
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz,
And the sky with no clouds.
The heat was hot and the ground was dry,
But the air was full of sound.
I've been through the desert on a horse with no name.
It felt good to be out of the rain.
In the desert you can remember your name,
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain.
After two days in the desert sun,
My skin began to turn red.
After three days in the desert fun,
I was looking at a river bed.
And the story it told of a river that flowed,
Made me sad to think it was dead.
You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name.
It felt good to be out of the rain.
In the desert you can remember your name,
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain.
After nine days I let the horse run free,
'Cause the desert had turned to sea.
There were plants and birds and rocks and things.
There was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with its life underground,
And a perfect disguise above.
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground,
But the humans will give no love.
You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name.
It felt good to be out of the rain.
In the desert you can remember your name,
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain.
I see no change in my traffic, but I still sit here and dream of the days when my traffic was... five times what it is now.
It would be interesting to know if people losing traffic have been using manufactured backlinks.
What is considered 'manufactured'? I don't give much thought to backlinks-- but I do Tweet or Pin some.
I'm sure you are OK with genuine social sites like Twitter or Facebook, Google is not against 'reasonable promotion' of a site or page.
If you are deliberately creating articles (or whole sites) purely for the sake of getting backlinks that is web spam.
A lot of articles on Hubpages are webspam, unfortunately.
Google has already done its best to devalue comment spam in blogs with semantic analysis and other measures.
Google also encourages you to report sites that are riding high on the SERPs on the back of spam links or paid links of any kind. I can't say I could be bothered to do that myself but plenty of people will, if it gets a rival out of the way.
I suppose I am wondering if sites like 'She Told Me' and those other snippet-accepting, backlink-providing sites are going to be a liability now.
I see them as borderline blackhat and would never use them.
If they're not, then Google must be really, really dumb.
It would take Google very little research to work out that "snippet-accepting" sites, as you call them, only exist to accept links from webmasters - and there's no real audience for their output. They downgraded links from directories and social bookmarking sites (as opposed to social networking sites) long ago, for that very reason. I also wonder whether RSS feed aggregators have been downgraded - there was a huge fashion for submitting all your sites to those a while ago,and they also don't seem to have much purpose apart from as a promotional tool.
Geez, Will, can you please sing a different song? God, you are so annoying! I could even put up with the annoying part if you were close to being right. Geez....
@Rochelle: Tweeting, FB liking, Stumbling and Digging your own hubs could 'technically' be considered manufactured links, but that's not what Google is looking for. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. I would bet a gazillion dollars you've never 'manufactured' a link in your life.
Could be. The google penalty dance is in full swing. Anyone who claims to know the dance hall etiquette on this one must earn their paycheck from the Googleplex itself!
There are so many many changes in Google search all the time it is very hard to decide what is really happening.
The one thing people should always keep in mind is that Google is genuinely trying to come up with the best pages for searchers. Its continued business success depends on it.
So if you just focus on producing good pages with plenty of info, pictures and videos you can be sure Google will try to reward you in the long run.
The blackhat SEO fiends will still be doing their best to promote their poor pages above the good pages (with backlinking campaigns and all the other unpleasant tricks) but Google has been slowly winning the war for a decade or so.
No this is certainly not the case, and the Make Money Online results prove that manufactured backlinks still work, despite anything Google has to say on the matter.
I read that a pro-blogger set that site up some time back to prove the point, and even after this latest update it is still the case.
One of my subdomains has been badly affected by this update, and it has no added backlinks at all.
Quite. I just can't understand why people are so willing to believe all the spin about Google's changes being all about improving quality/removing spammy backlinks.
Put it this way: if that's what the Google changes ARE about, then Google has failed to achieve the results it wants.
'I just can't understand why people are so willing to believe all the spin about Google's changes being all about improving quality/removing spammy backlinks.'
The truth is that Google is out to GET YOU! Whoever you might be.
I don't think Google is out to get anybody. I think they are more concerned with how advertisers and users feel about their search engine service
Here's the one thing I noticed about all this online writing, and I'm a layman that's only been observing for a few months, but here it is:
The habit of link building by creating author accounts all over the web seemed silly. It meant I could rank anything, by quantity, rather than quality. It meant I didn't have to wait for others to notice and share my stuff on one site, when I could drive traffic from an older domain and speed up the process.
Now, we all know there are ways around being identified as a site author. But, the fact remains, that this practice isn't good for anybody, even the authors who work so hard to drive traffic and secure links. And ending the practice is good for the users and advertisers, because the public doesn't need ten different sites (from the same author) about X-brand hairdryers or money-making techniques. One would suffice.
It was a way of gaming Google, much like buying links, but Google tolerated it. It seems that tolerance is coming to a close.
I agree it's not a good method of link building. Google tumbled to it a long time ago, actually - if you use the same Adsense account on each site, they already know you're the same person linking to yourself and treat it accordingly.
However, it's still worthwhile as a means of spreading your "brand".
It seems easier to create good content, then to try to cheat for page rank. I've read about some of these techniques, it's hard work. In the end, google engineers know all this stuff, and they write algorithms to punish this activity.
I am at my lowest point since August 2008 and continuing to drop. sigh. Glad I have other income sources but this really sucks. Hoping this is resolved quickly... Oh, and I don't backlink so it shouldnt be that.
I'm wondering if you guys are going through the same thing Izzy, CM, and I, have been experiencing, as we don't do anything penalty wise either. Is it your only your Google traffic which has disappeared from your best hubs, Mary?
I'm slinking around feeling a bit guilty Randy, as my traffic has come back again in the last couple of days. It's a bit of a roller coaster, but at least the big G seems to have let me back on the ride again after waiting in the queue since August. I prefer big ups and downs to a continual flat nothing
But like you and Izzy, I know what the shock feels like when you wake up one morning to find your traffic falling away, so I hope that all the hubbers who are reporting massive traffic drops are just on the down slope of the roller coaster and will be soon happily chugging up the slope again.
Mine has come back a bit but it still jumps up and down from day to day, Cynthia. It is nothing unusual for it to be half what it was the day before. I has never returned to what is was in August except for a couple of days in December when it regained its former traffic.
Let's face it, Google doesn't care who they harm with these stupid algorithms and despite what Paul said earlier, I have no interest in adding videos to all of my articles. There's enough amateur homemade videos on Youtube as it is. Not to mention,already enough here to quell a a writer's urge to even consider becoming a video producer in lieu of simply creating quality test.
Yes, I realize videos are useful when done correctly and they may be the wave of the future, but I have realized simply jumping into HP's new ideas of what is good is often an exercise in futility. As well as a waste of time in some cases.
I've just realized what a dead end program the new EBay affiliation really is if you have a good niche. I wasted time putting the capsules on my hubs and now more time is wasted taking them off. This is the worst program on HP for those with an established niche as it robs sales from Amazon products and pays practically nothing. At least to the author of the hub, that is.
I know what you mean Randy. While I accept that videos may be a good way to bring in money, I'm a writer and not a video producer. Is HP going to morph into a Pinterest/YouTube hybrid?
HP as a business does have to chase turnover and profit, but such a fundamental change of direction is not necessarily good for those who want to write.
Sorry that you have had such a mare with your Ebay capsules - I bet you keep finding hubs where you forgot to take them off - but thanks for sharing the info with the rest of us.
For what it's worth, my traffic seems unchanged to slightly up (hard to say for sure since I'm publishing more with the whole apprentice thing) and I NEVER backlink. Rarely, I used to FB or tweet or occasionally link through listmyfive or stumbleupon, but it's probably been well over 6 months since I even did that (and it was really rare).
Not sure if that helps or just makes the whole thing more confusing.
My traffic is...utterly unchanged. That includes Hubpages, other UGC sites, and a couple of blogs in different niches.
I thought I'd seen an uptick on Hubpages, but then I realized it was mostly a bunch of panic hits on an old article about how Google treats duplicate content. Why oh why did I start writing on Google and SEO? I should've stuck to stuff that's 2000 years old and unlikely to change!
If Google's being honest about the tweaks in Panda 3.5, then keyword repetition and puff piece articles written for the sake of backlinks just took it on the chin. As usual, there's collateral damage. Sometimes, a webpage that gets demoted didn't actually get a direct Google penalty; the penalty hit some sites upstream whose backlinks no longer count.
That "make money online" blank blogspot blog has been a source of public teeth-gnashing for a long time now. I suspect so many people have linked to it to point out Google's flaws that all those organic, natural backlinks are helping keep up its rankings. Sooner or later, Google's going to have to apply a manual penalty to it to correct the problem.
So what you need do is write some good pages that bring in genuine backlinks.
But that is a chicken and egg situation, Will.
For your post to appear in the SERPS, it needs backlinks. But if your post isn't appearing in search engines, then no one will read it, so therefore no one will link to it.
If you are writing pages on tired subjects and have nothing new to offer that might be true.
"5 best computers I have never touched or used, and clearly know nothing about but am hoping for some Amazon clicks." Comes to mind.
You are here to tell us it is impossible to make a living without web spam, I imagine.
And you are here to tell us it is impossible to make a living without writing reviews of products you have never touched I suppose?
I don't believe in web spam myself. I only build quality backlinks and write content that is so awesome other people naturally link to it.
You should try it some time. It is way more satisfying than writing product reviews for products you have never touched.
I write reviews of products I never used myself but have seen in action and know from friends as to how they work and function. It's similar to first hand experience.
How convenient that you have 6 friends all with different glass cooker hoods plus another 4 friends with canopy cooker hoods and another 4 friends with stainless steel cooker hoods.
Both you and Mr Aspe write what I (and google) consider to be webspam.
And Google is coming for you as hard and fast as they are coming for the fake backlinkers.
It's actually not 6 friends. It's quite a few. I have a website about cooker hoods too and people write reviews you know. But, most of the ones are what my friends have and I did mention the ones I found useful and they are at the top. The others are options that I mentioned in one of my hubs. Will have to edit the latest ones though.
Oh and btw I do a bit of research not just from my site but various places across the web. Find any info that I've written that's a bit wrong and I'll delete the whole hub
You just put yourself in the way of myself and the Self righteous Mr Aspe. He looks down on backlinkers as being unethical.
I was simply pointing out how hypocritical that is coming from a web spammer who writes product reviews of products he has never touched.
I doubt he has as many friends as you do either.
Like I said, friends and my own site. The site is just 2 years old or more. Began it when I was 16 didn't have any ads or anything as adsense needs you to be 18. It was actually a school project. Was made on wordpress, since it began getting traffic and a few comments I just kept updating it with general info and asking ppl what they thought was the best. And then wrote an article about it and got more comments (the site was on page one for many keywords - pre panda though) and that's where I got some additional info. I've given up on the site now though as Hp was a better platform acc to me. Got more tops to write - plenty of other categories of range hoods
I made a mistake. You are not here to tell us anything.
Yes I am. I am here to tell you that spamming the internet with faux product reviews is unethical and your self righteousness is hypocritical.
I suggest writing something of value and quality instead of writing articles on tired subjects that offer no value.
And if you are going to make backlinks - add value to them also.
You need to say what is really on your mind, Mark. Or say something with some substance. Personal invective gives me nothing to work with. Though, of course, I would love to spar with a former star.
I just did. The fact that you did not recognize it as such does not come as a great shock. Hopefully others will understand and mend their ways.
Let's go back to the statement that upset you so much.
'If you are writing pages on tired subjects and have nothing new to offer that might be true (you will never rank and never get organic backlinks).'
This means: if you want to rank for keywords that have been around for a long time but are tempting because they pay well you are going to have a tough time. A lot of other people will have already covered the subjects. Some of them might be high PR sites like CNET, the New York Times or whatever. So what do you do?
Well you could offer something dazzlingly original, useful, insightful, maybe with a special app that everyone wants to try or an original movie that goes viral.
Or you could try and muscle your way into this lucrative subject area with heavy duty, old-school SEO. You could create dozens of interlinked blogs to point at your page, you could flood forums and comment boxes with links to your page, you could tweet and like and digg for a few months.
This approach has a downside. Google hates it. Readers don't benefit. You might pick up a serious slap.
Or you could say. That has been done. I'll find something that hasn't. The upside, if you get it right, is organic backlinks, grateful readers and a place on the front page of search.
There you are. I unpacked it for you. Now you can have your say.
I have already said it. Faux product reviews that result in essentially empty pages for ad clicks offer nothing to the reader. Google hates it and is trying very hard to get rid of it.
It is - in essence - a different type of webspam.
Not sure how you think adding "2012" to a keyword is a new approach. At the end of the day - writing empty product reviews adds no value. It will never attract organic backlinks and will never rank for anything.
In any case - it usually takes several years for a page to age. Who wants to read a 2012 product review page in 2015?
So, you would never-ever have any alternate accounts or websites that feature reviews of products that you have not personally used? Never have, never will?
It's true regardless of what subjects you're writing about, Will, that's the point I'm making.
You start a new blog. It joins millions of other blogs and articles online, many of which already have thousands of backlinks (organic or otherwise).
How do you get readers? It's not going to appear on page 1 of Google because it has no reputation. So no one will even know it exists. If no one knows it exists, there's no one to create links to it. So how do you get the ball rolling if you don't create some links yourself?
Our Hubs were different. They were just posts on a big site which already had massive backlinks, so you just needed patience. Things are different now.
As far as I am concerned this is the final straw. I have been considering whether there is any long term worth writing articles when almost all ones efforts rely on the vagaries of an algorithm that is essentially flawed, and always will be.
I am transferring all efforts away from SEO, BLs, KWR and all the other BS associated with SERPs rankings and concentrating on writing in a style and format that is not influenced by any Googlecentric nonsense.
I am off to write ebooks and convert my articles to ebooks. They will be on Kindle etc and in pdf format also. I reckon that 70%-100% of the sales value will equate to a higher income than 60% of 60% of Adsense values, considering that Google determines which ads to show on never stable audience numbers. I will also be able to write more because I will not need to learn or undertake the Google dance routines - that will free up around half of my time.
I am in the early stages of putting a strategy together to maximize this new adventure.
If anyone else would like to join me discovering how we could help each other to stabilize income generation and forget about Google just e-mail me from the link on my profile. Perhaps we could form a self help group of writers who together make a greater force than the sum of the parts-icipants.
Freelance writers posting fraudulent online reviews - Beware. New Google Algorithm will catch you: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/feeds/writing … u-out/4776
Thanks for this post - not relevant, but it led me to this post:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/will-goog … -container
I especially like this quote:
!It’s as if Google looked at its backyard, spotted a bunch of dandelions, and instead of taking hand trimmers and going out and clipping them, Google decided to build a highly-advanced chainsaw to deal with it. The chainsaw eventually got rid of the dandelions but it also whacked some chunks out of the hedges, put some gashes into the ground, and took out part of the back fence."
I have been here for a few months, with steadliy increasing traffic and income but over the past two weeks it's taken a bog dive. Thanks for the link - it is good to know what's going on behind the scenes.
There is an edit button bottom right of your post that is only there for a short time after posting, so you can go back and edit errors you notice after hitting 'submit'. I have to use it all the time LOL
Sorry to hear you have 'plunged', as that is the word hubbers have settled on to mean a sudden huge traffic loss. This type of thing has only happened since Panda was rolled out last February.
Before that, a huge traffic drop would have been due to something else entirely, if it happened at all.
bog dive could be the correct term. Maybe hyphenated though. Bog-dive. Has a kind of aura around it.
Bog-dive, meaning my traffic has gone for a ball of s##t.
I'm with Tony - I thought I was reading some cool, trendy term from the U.K. Bog-dive definitely has a catch to it. You may have launched a future entry for urban-slang dictionaries!
Bog diving or bog snorkelling IS a UK pastime!
I am beginning to think that being too lazy to do SEO is a good long term strategy. Since the big whallop a while back I haven't seen much change,
I am wondering if my hit is do to all of the copied content... not that I have copied but that others have scraped from me...I literally can't keep up with it. If so, then hopefully Google will figure out the original and things will pick up nicely. My blog is going fabulous... so that is one thing to be thankful for.
I am experiencing much the same thing others have mentioned. Some of my best Hubs ranked in the top 2 or 3 on Google for my keywords for weeks and now they are nowhere to be found! (The same Hubs still rank high on Bing and Yahoo!) The thing is, I didn't have that many links -- just to my own Hubs, most of which I have now removed. Still can't find anything.
What is more, the sites that rank ahead of mine in no way can be more relevant to the topic than my keywords are. This sounds like Google is going after a fly with a brick and I hope they fix their "improvement" ASAP.
"The material found on search engines is supposed to be the CROP."
Pity that at the moment it is the CR_P.
My traffic has established. Still down 30%, but holding for now (fingers crossed).
BTW, I don't backlink. Ok I do. After writing a hub I twit it (sometimes), I share it in FB (again sometimes), and pin it.
Traffic from Twitter - 0 or so negligible that it doesn't show in my traffic stats
Traffic from Facebook - 2 today, past 7 days - 21, past 30 days 93
I only opened a FB account to promote my hubs, but I have very few FB followers, mostly my family who couldn't care less about my hubs lol
Traffic from Pinterest - I'm not sure, no stats available, and again, I don't have many followers.
Ethcuth me, are theeth "mechanical links"? I ees not 2 brait.
Paradigmsearch is bored and uninspired. Paradigmsearch wants more traffic. Paradigmsearch contemplates doing a porn hub and getting 1 million views before HP and google notices....
If this was facebook I would have hit LIKE about a billion times.
Yes, worst hit on me since the aftermath of the subdomain switch. My traffic down 50% on the good levels I was getting 2 weeks ago. Disappointing, to say the least. The only linking I generally do is between HubPages and Google Blogger, certainly nothing spammy.
Please don't hate me and I'm not bragging or anything.
But my traffic has gone up significantly over the last few days, since Thursdays 19th, when instead of a weekend tail off I started a rise. This week I have been running at at least 50% higher than my normal numbers.
I know this is the traffic drop thread, but it's not everyone who is dropping.
Very good, Mark, and mine is a bit willy nilly - but not particularly dropping either.
I do the bare minimum in backlinking. I think a good three or four dofollows and social network crap links....ought to be enough for anyone.
I'd much rather write, and scream at people than anything else...well...you know...
I did come "THIS CLOSE" (imagine me making gestures with fingers) to joining a free version of one of those crap link empires once....I did join, looked around, didn't participate - I hate the games, I just want what is good shit to get recognized.
Your hubs are starting to age nicely, now. Another few years and you will be rich, rich, rich!!!
Will. That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me. I'm touched.
My traffic spent a week at heights I'd not seen since the run up to Xmas, just before it dropped like a stone. Just sayin'. ;-)
It is a serious point. Despite all the changes online, age still matters and most pages take a year or two to really mature.
Of course, you need decent pages to start with. And it looks like you have a few of those.
Not sure if anyone has caught this yet, and if I'm repeating I apologize.
The new Google algorithm is called Penguin and apparently it's gotten a lot of people upset. Google has been soliciting feedback.
Also, FWIW, it seems to me that Bing has been doing some algorithm tweaking as well. I did a test search yesterday for some of long-tailed keywords and found one of two Hubs ranking high in the search. Same search today and they're gone and what's left is mostly garbage -- not at all what one would expect to find for that search.
Bing tends to fluctuate a lot. It's not uncommon for large sets of terms to rank and then disappear.
Most people that saw swings down were caused by the 3.5 panda update. Penguin was pretty much neutral.
Yes, my drop happened on the 19th/20th, several days before the Penguin.
The Penguin algorithm update was on April 24th.
From what I can tell, Google got it wrong this time really bad. But they are struggling to get rid of spam in search results just as fast as spammers figure out loopholes.
Meanwhile, writers on HubPages and elsewhere get burned by the algorithm changes.
Google has a form to report if you think it mistook your Hub for spam...
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/vie … aTBQbkE6MQ
If your Hub traffic started plunging, as mine did, a few days prior to Penguin, then it may be due to one of two other things...
A bug Google had when they discontinued the AdSense for Parked Domains on April 17th. Matt Cutts posted a note in his blog about a "classifier for parked domains" which went haywire." Details at http://www.seroundtable.com/google-upda … 15023.html
In addition to that, on April 19th Google released a Panda 3.5 algorithm update. The prior update was Panda 3.4 on March 23,
In the past 24 hours my traffic stopped crashing. But didn't come back much yet either.
Thanks, Glenn, for the very informative post. My traffic seems to have stabilized as well. Today is Friday and usually my traffic drops in the weekend.
My traffic must have been affected by the Penguin algo on the 24th, as I was shocked to see the unusually very low traffic on Wed the 25th. Normally Wed is my high traffic day.
Thanks again, Glen. You're one cool dude!
As opposed to their earlier updates? Sheesh....
There were many hubbers that were hit in earlier Panda updates. My traffic plunged 90% back in December, and the same happened to many other people here. Those hubbers don't have "spam" hubs (if I even understand what you mean by that), and neither do I.
Maybe instead of getting it wrong, Google is finally getting it right. Starting on the 24th, some of my hubs have been returned back to their #1 spot in the SERPs, and my traffic has been on an upward trend.
"Google has a form to report if you think it mistook your Hub for spam..."
Unfortunately, any traffic plummeting that took place on April 35th is likely to be due to an algorithm change and not a manual penalty. As such, you will get no joy from complaining about it or filing a report. Try if you like, but if you have fallen foul of an algorithm, your only hope is to figure out why and change it.
I believe a Worldwide Boycott Google Week is in order right about now! It surely won't hurt us much with the results being observed by many lately.
I love the idea, and I think you are just the one to organize it - under a different, secret profile, of course; one not linked to Adsense!
Sounds like something I would have celebrated last year!
(If you read the majority of hubs I pumped out last year )
sounds good to me! My websites appear to already be having a boycott Google day
Quick, someone give me an idea for a viral hub. I need to pick up a fast 5 million views by the end of the month.
My traffic is lower than it has been in 3 years. Total views today average barely over 1 per hub. .. and my two most viewed hubs account for about 67% of the total. Haven't seen so many zeros since I took that astronomy class.
Apparently a lot of webmasters are really pissed. And I'm pretty sure there are plenty of legitimate complaints. Personally I do too, on several of my websites I've dropped completely off the radar. I found this though http://www.change.org/petitions/google- … -update-l# and yeah I know most likely it wouldn't help but boy did it feel good to vent.
results are not accurate in Google search because of this update non quality sites are ranking top of the table
My traffic is pretty much neutral for the past 2-3 months after I lost around 40% of views. I just saw 0.50% increase on traffic despite of adding 25 hubs last month. My efforts to bring the traffic back to the earlier levels has not worked out so far. Today is Saturday and I am seeing the normal weekend dip in traffic.
You have to keep in mind that hubpages is just 1 site with a collection of many users. It's not a blogger or wordpress.com site where each blog is truly separate according too google and thus viewed through their own microscope. Here, you're more subject to what google thinks of hubpages.com as opposed to your individual hubs.
That's not true, Sonny. Hubpages divided into subdomains so that the individual author takes more responsibility than the site itself as a whole.
You are still one manila folder in a file cabinet and Google gives a grade to the entire cabinet which definitely affects the inner manila folders. No matter how pretty the manila folders are, if Google thinks the cabinet itself is a rusty mess, your pretty folders will be affected.
This from Google:
"If you own a site that’s on a subdomain ... and don’t own the root domain, you’ll still only see links from URLs starting with that subdomain in your internal links, and all others will be categorized as external links."
Translated, that means if you're the author of the main domain AND the subdomain, the subdomain is treated as part of the main domain.
If you're the author of the sub-domain but you don't own the main domain, any links from other sub-domains and the main domain are external.
Google how sub-domains are treated and nearly all the discussions are by webmasters who run both the main domain and the sub-domains, which is not our situation. We're more like Wordpress.com, Blogger.com or Tumblr.com.
My traffic is going down and down on a daily basis. It has happened despite adding 24 hubs last month. No fruitful results till now. It seems the traffic will die out. I have lost major earnings due to this problem and I am looking ahead to a professional job change for better prospects to compensate the losses from HP.
A 'different kind of web spam'? Different to what exactly?
To the other types of webspam. MFA sites, comment spammers, misleading sites, water4 gas etc, etc, etc.
Faux, empty product reviews are just another type of webspam. Google already stated their intentions to destroy that type of webspam.
You really do need to say what you mean. You want to defend the creation of webspam to support a site. You are upset because I clearly disprove.
Just come out and say it. Then we can use these forums for one of the things that they are useful for- debate.
Personal attacks just won't work with me.
No - I don't. I don't believe in webspam. Sorry - you are confusing me with some one else. I do find your double standards funny though.
Not sure how pointing out that producing product reviews of products you have never touched is just another type of webspam is a personal attack though.
Ok. There is clearly nothing that upset you. You would never advise anyone to backlink. You would never create a site purely for backlinking purposes and you would never make money from a review page about headphones for iphones.
So we are all safe.
I clearly said that if you are going to backlink - you should add value instead of emptiness. Of course one must backlink, but only ethically and only when offering value.
How does what I do affect your safety?
I suggest writing quality pages that offer some value - that is all. I just want an end to webspam, and that includes empty product reviews. Sorry if you see that as a personal attack. I want to see google provide the best possible results.
"Of course one must backlink, but only ethically and only when offering value."
What would you say was ethical? And how does backlinking offer value?
I suspect you probably won't understand that. If you are happy writing reviews of products you have never touched, I don't think you are going to get "ethical."
I will attempt to explain though.
Let's say you write an article on site ABC. Then you write another, related article on site XYZ and link to your article on site ABC. The article on site XYZ offers some actual value. Say - a review of a product you have actually tried. This would be ethical.
Well, I am glad you said something positive and something that you actually wanted to say. And I am impressed with your ethical approach.
The problem is it is Saturday night and the bar is waiting. So I will have to say good night.
I am inclined to think WordPress based sites are going to be hugely effected; possibly Tumblr, Etsy, etc. Not to forget StumbleUpon, Reddit (especially), Digg and the like for back links and sites like Craigslist, CitySearch, Yelp as well.
IMO, if people cannot produce quality White Hat content & pages they should get the boot. And if the parent sites folks publish on are not supplying the correct measures for people to produce said quality type, should also get the boot.
Of course - sometimes you can produce quality content and never see any traffic. Big G is looking pretty closely at "thin" affiliates - not for any altruistic reason other than they want the affiliate commission themselves - and will reverse engineer back to sites that link to them.
I notice that you missed out Google Blogger and Youtube from your list, both of which feature highly in Google searches and often contain spurious information and lots of advertising. And therein lies the problem. Until the ideal algorithm is created (which you seem to believe is feasible), is it ethical for Google to promote its own, profit-making products above others, even though they are just as (and sometimes more) imperfect than the competition?
Google is primarily a business responsible to their shareholders.
I have said, more often than not, Google is in business for themselves, despite a frontage of altruistic ideology. In essence, Big G is competing against "Yingbook" (the Yahoo-Bing + Facebook united front) who are set to take over the world.
Big G was forced to drop a ton of products, because no one bought into them. Google Places is the next to go, as will Blogger and Plus. Sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, etc are highly established against -say- the new Blogger design and many social Bookmarking sites exist. Funny though how Big G created G+ as a social bookmarking/mini-publishing platform, which is completely adverse to their cry of article spinning.
Wordpress is the largest open source Publishing Platform on earth. Albeit the crappiest, but nonetheless the biggest. It only makes sense Big G would want to stay ahead of them in product and consumer visibility. But also, they need these sites to remain sustainable and avoid the stigma of a monopoly. That means that cannot out-right kill them off, so they made it necessary to produce better content to place inside their system. since nearly 60% of all sites are running some type of Big G product it is a catch 22. Good that it is cleaning up tons of digital garbage. Bad because they are forcing the masses into the same feeding trough of AdChoices and such.
I and a friend have been working on a hybrid CMS publishing outlet + search engine solution for digital publications (articles, ebooks, screenplays, sheet music, etc), that we feel is much more efficient, user friendly and nearly spam free. But, even we know what lies ahead: the 'Fantastic Four', digital thieves and just plain old lazy people who want to make a million with less than a paragraph.
"But also, they need these sites to remain sustainable and avoid the stigma of a monopoly."
This is the big problem. Google portrays itself as being an altruistic defender of the humble internet searcher. But many of us suspect that their policy is, as you imply, not to wipe out their rivals (and be an obvious monopoly), but to keep their competitors weak in a "gamed" competiton. One could argue that, in some ways, Google themselves are the ultimate in black hatters!
Well, I am guilty of Black Hat maneuvers too. And yes, whether anyone cares to publically admit it, so are search engines with attached self-products. Should Big G not serve up its own Ads or Products while that "humble little searcher" went about finding what they need, things would be quite different.
But, alas, business is. And despite the searcher, Big G knows other web businesses stand to gain much and compete -even surpass their methods. Again, not to call crow, but FB has shown extreme return on their "altruistic" investment. User generated content meets user generated advertising, stuffed into a very nifty user generated internal search engine results. Coupled with the partnership between them and the hybrid Yahoo-Bing, and getting back to its roots, a multi-billion dollar purchase of the photo sharing start-up Instagr.am, have essentially surrounded the camp of Big G, in what appears to be quite a battle for the next generation of content.
One clear thing many forget is the Internet is still VERY young. After the decom of the National Science Foundation Network and the allowance of Internet Service Providers (ISP) -who were initially granted assess by the DOD, the Internet came into being. That was 1990-1995. The Dot Com Bubble shortly after, 1995-2000. Big G came in to the game in 1998 and went public in 2004. In 2007 they introduced Ad Revenue Sharing. For nearly 10 years they kept all the cash for advertising.
Long story short, 1995-2012 is not even a generation. That's just 17 years in total. Actually, most websites didn't really get revving until 2000-2004. So, it is more like 12 years ago. Not very long at all. Keeping up with fresh content is nearly impossible, because 12 years of content is still considered new, SEO and Guidelines are also new -and ever changing- based on user driven markets vs corporate profiteering.
It appears from what I’m seeing “real content” may be King again. Hits on my articles, since inception of the new algorithm, are way up. And researching thru Google is not as much of a lethargic swim thru pages of useless ads and know-nothing reviews.
As many have pointed out here already, content and backlinks are king. Google still has to have a way to know how relevant your page is for the search term(s) applicable to it.
Great content that no one sees as the answer to their query still won't do well (in theory). And with the penalties being applied for exact-search keywords and domain names (becoming black hat now), it's probably more important to build quality backlinks.
Since Google places so high a value on traffic, rather than only content, it's still important to have people share your stuff. It's still important to share your own stuff where it's asked for, where it's relevant.
@readytoescape - Even Google, with their enormous technical and manpower resources, takes months to analyse search results, so forgive me if I don't take your 4 day singlehanded assessment very seriously. (I apply the same skepticism to those who claim to have worked out that the changes are negative as well, by the way).
I would also say that I doubt even Google would claim that they have the power to introduce "content is king" overnight. The best they can hope for is essentially incremental improvement.
Not being a jerk but, from what I'm seeing, if your results are up then everyone says "Google got it right!".... but if your traffic is down everyone says "Oh, they ruined the search results, I don't deserve this... I did nothing wrong!"
I think their formulas are so complex and mechanical that they will never be able to give the best results across the board. It's not billions of people looking at the sites with real eyes and grading them; it's a bunch of robots.
It works in their favor (to a degree) when people can't figure out what they are looking for, but in reality they don't get what they are looking for through their robotic approach.
Gotta love the BS... even if you attach 2012 to it!
I don't write webspam.. and I've always had my PD account landing page on Page 2 or in the top 25 in Google search...
Today.. that HubPages PD account is on Page 18 in the SERPS and has dropped to 185 position... Yet my other PD accounts elsewhere rank far better than here!
This is the Worst ever, since inception with my HP account.. so WTF?
My HP traffic is down by 70% and I am back to where I was when I first started here! So... what a complete waste of time this whole exercise has been!
Clearly there is a major problem in regard to HP and Google... and contrary to any other promotion to the contrary, I believe HP are considered to be competition to Google's agendas and therefore are nailed negatively with each manipulative change made by Google! If this is so, then I applaud HP and can't really bleat about what fruit is borne from that situation!
What I liked most about this monopoly situation was.... losing my hard earned SERPS authority - but then getting emailed by Google offering me a $100 Adwords credit, if I start advertising my PD site with them!
- What a Joke!!
My Google page views today are the lowest they've been since I started writing on HP in '08 and '09. However, my Yahoo! and Bing traffic remain steady. My views from those two are quite small but nevertheless remain steady.
Google sux! Carp is being promoted now. My Yahoo! account has soared although the articles there are so inferior to similarly articles here which go into great detail and are fully illustrated with step-by-step photos.
With only 18 articles there they are gaining more views than my entire portfolio here on HP. Pathetic!! Somethings got to give! I think it may be me!!
Randy, I'm sure you know 100 times more than me about writing online, but one problem that people are having is to hammer the keywords in the title, header, and first paragraph. This seems risky (and I'm guilty of it, too), and I doubt Google needs that anymore, to know what our articles are about.
I'm not sure anyone writing online knows what to do at this point, Jason. And no, I don't claim to know more about it than anyone else lately. This seems to be the problem for many of us now as the big G seems to turn everything upside down frequently now. There is nothing one may depend on now as anything which seems to work has a very short shelf life.
I think Pearldiver has a point, though. I think there is definitely an issue between Google and HP. I've not seen the rollercoaster affect on other sites, like I've seen here. HP has had spam problems. But I think the main reason is that Google sees HP as a rival, especially in relation to its products such as Blogger.
There are many people from many sites, especially their own, complaining about the changes to the algorithm, on the Google forums. I've read here that some people think it's an HP issue, but it seems pretty widespread.
Sure, I don't dispute that - the Penguin is intended to have a widespread effect. My comment was written in the context of writing to earn online, which is what Randy was talking about. Once again, rivals like Squidoo and Blogger appear unaffected by the Google changes, while HP seems to be reeling. My HP stats over the last year and a half look like an Alpine mountain range!
It's hard to overlook that the longest-tenured writers here are seeing what looks like a penalty. I've always found it difficult to imagine Google would slap HubPages with an overall penalty, though. It probably would have been done long ago if they didn't want it here. Seems like a nice place to advertise to me
I guess you must have missed the massive, site-wide slap that google gave to hubpages February 2011?
Google's original Panda slap didn't just apply to HP, though, right?
No - it hit most of the content farms that have no quality control in place. Does that mean Hubpages did not get a Google slap and you are right?
It means HubPages wasn't targeted exclusively.
I didn't intend to give that impression, Jason. Content farms in general have been hit on different occasions. Some changes affect a portion of the writers each time they are run. Unless everyone writes the same way it hits ome and not others each time. I suspect everyone, even some of the most lauded success stories, have been affected by these changes, even though HP cares not to advertise the fact. Duh!
Well some of our big success stores have stated here in these forums that they've hit the tank!
Me, not so much! Not the golden boy - I'm going to make as much or more than any of them in time.
Or as little, what ever the case may be, Wesman! Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Google. They wish to make their stockholders money and the manner they use to do so is not important at the moment. I long for the day they are brought down a few notches, as inevitably happens to such businesses.
Of course you're right about that...
I was startled when I'd read something you'd wrote about how your helpful material was linked all over the web - and Google assumed you'd spammed the EFF out of the net with your own links....I don't doubt you a bit on that, I'd imagine you were right about the situation.
Me - I'm not so helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@Jason M - As Google are currently being sued by a number of companies for unfair practises, I think it is unlikely that they would be foolish enough to target one website in an obvious way.
I personally don't think questions of Google's neutrality can be resolved without the search engine part of the business being made into an entirely separate company from the other parts.
Yeah, I have many other sites and I just checked all the Analytics pages for all my sites... HubPages is the only one that keeps going down.
So, it's not me, it's not my style of writing, it's not my marketing methods... it's the platform it seems.
All my other sites are steady or climbing and my HubPage articles were fine on the 24th, dipped down on the 25th, leveled out on the 26th and dipped down again on the 27th.
I think HubPages needs to look into some kind of new tactic that isn't just pretty on the eyes... it has to be something that works and brings traffic up across the board.
I don't see how it can be. If the platform was the problem, we'd all be losing traffic across the board. That did happen when Panda was first introduced, but since the sub-domains were introduced, it hasn't.
Individual sub-domains have risen and fallen at each subsequent Google update. For instance, my traffic dived by 75% in early December, and came back after the Panda update in late March. I'm sure I could find other Hubbers with the same experience, but then I could also find Hubbers who had the opposite experience.
Not sure then...
I have sites on the same topics as what I wrote about here, using the same marketing methods, and only on here have they dropped.
The only hubs on here that seem to be doing OK are my fitness hubs, which are anywhere from 2 to 5 years old.
They are not 2 to 5 years old, they are just over 1 year old due to the sub-domain implementation.
That's the subdomiain. But, the hubs published earlier have redirects right? Won't that make them older than the subdomain switch? Just asking as I'm not sure.
Redirects from where?
A site that has little of its own content now (HP).
By transferring to sub-domains HP obviated some of the need to regulate and remove content deemed to be against that which Google 'approved'. The content is now linked to the author more than to HP as a whole. That, IMHO, is why HP stats are 'broadly neutral' after each Google hit. HP was slapped and went into the sandbox with the Panda update. Since the SD change the slaps are personal to the author (but perhaps mitigated somewhat by the 'quality' of links from other SDs on HP. My view is that HP's move to increase cross-fertilization of SD links throws the chances of making any sense of the vagaries of Google changes much more difficult, and that they are counter-productive.)
The traffic for the site as a whole will see underlying 'increases' as the sub-domains gain age.
My guess is that each sub-domain will be seeing gains and losses unrelated to other SDs as they have different 'profiles'. These profiles are not related to the HP domain as a whole but to the individual writer and what they are deemed to be in Google's eyes. Each writer has a profile that Google generates and it follows each wherever they go - just check yours through adchoices - you will or will not be surprised to see how close your Google 'profile' comes to what you really are in the online world. The gains and losses will also be affected by the profiles of the authors of the HP generated X-ref links.
You may win, you may lose - but the overall effect on HP will be neutral - so they do not need to care. HP does not 'need' to do anything in this scenario.
We, as writers, do not have an influence on how our content is 'changed' by HP. My pages do not now look how they were designed.
As far as Google is concerned, there is a way to give our articles a boost. With the stated move towards semantic search, it is possible to tell Google exactly what each article is about (and to get ahead of the opposition, however old and established it might be. In fact, the more established, the better we may fare against them.)
By implementing extended HTML that Google tells us it will take notice of - and utilizing the G category system to let Googlebot know that 'Panda update' is not about how the Panda's are doing in Edinburgh, but about their (Google's) b...dy Farmer update, or similar for their Penguin update.
Will HP implement anything to allow us to take advantage of this?
They have not so far. I doubt they will in the future. That's assuming they have any knowledge of it in the first place.
If you want control over your visitor numbers you must first have control over your content. We have seen comments in this thread stating that HP views have fallen, yet personal sites have seen no change, or an upward trend.
As authors we need HP to reinstate author control over design and interlinking, otherwise each of us is never going to be the master of our own destiny with regard to Google likeability and visitor numbers.
Thanks for the detailed explanation Humagaia.
When the sub-domains were introduced, the URLs of all our Hubs changed. So all the old Hub URL's were redirected to our new Hub URL's. It's irrelevant that the main site has "little of its own content now" - what matters is that we're still getting the value of any links created to our former Hubs, which could be substantial if the Hub was 2 or 3 years old.
Be careful with your terminology here, so as not to confuse newbies! The sandbox happens only to new sites or blogs,within a month or so of creation, and is basically a probationary period. So HP was NOT "put in the sandbox" with the Panda update. It was given a very low Panda score. There's an excellent explanation of Panda score in the highlighted text box in this Hub:
http://greekgeek.hubpages.com/hub/googl … ounce-rate
I agree completely, that's why sub-domains were created. But it's not so much about our profile, it's the fact that each of our sub-domains is now individually given its own Panda score.
I think they do, because their profitability depends on ours.
+ 2 Well said Charles.. as usual.. nice summary mate!
The subdomains were implemented last July, unless you were on the beta program, so they have not been here for a year yet.
Each new member may have to wait a year from their date of joining to be free of the sandbox effect.
Not got a clue how the re-direct works, because unless I am mistaken, all new hubs can also be found under the re-direct.
New hubs too? Oh I didn't know that was the case.
...that's assuming they were put in the sandbox, which not everyone was.
My understanding is that the risk period for the sandbox is within the first month or two of a new site startup - if you survive that, then you're not going to get sandboxed. You may get Panda'd or Penguin'd though...
True, but the old links pointing to them (from outside sources) that built up over the years (now weaker redirects) are 2 to 5 years old.
Not true, Marisa. Back in February of 2011--I think it was anyway--When almost everyone's traffic fell, mine kept slowly rising as it always has since I joined HP.
It was only until last August mine fell, shortly after switching over to subdomains. I've often wondered why mine did not fall during the very first Panda attack like most were reporting happened to them. This one doesn't seem to be affecting me very much as my traffic is roughly what it usually is this time of the week. Nonsensical it seems to be, but still I am at less than 2/3's what it was last August.
Hmmm.... I just checked Quantcast and the 28th of April is the lowest dip in traffic that the WHOLE site has seen since Christmas of 2011. And the only other dip that low, within the past 6 months, was Thanksgiving of 2011.
To me, that appears that it is a site-wide problem... it doesn't mean it's hitting everyone the same but it's a big problem. Especially when you have to go back to August of 2011 to see dips in traffic that low, on a day that isn't a holiday.
Yet the rank is 61, and it was only 60 a couple of weeks back.
As has been stated, not everyone has seen drops. I have seen a significant increase. Ok, Penguin may be circling (ed: they don't circle) but for me there was a boost in traffic.
So HP went from 60 to 61, that's not a big drop.
It could be nice to have everyones stats to look at - then we could see a bit more what is going on.
Hi Mark - please spell that out for me, so I can be more obviously humiliated in my ignorance! I mean learn something...
This is a graph of the entire site's stats.
Yep. That's the one I was looking at. I appreciate it has gone down and looks awful but... does the Rank mean anything? If it's only gone from 60 to 61 it's no worse than anyone else, apart from whoever is now 60?
Stats are not my strong point obviously. Or the internet.
No, the rank means nothing and is in any case very, very delayed - 3 months I think.
It has gone down and looks awful is more to the point.
Today is the first time I have ever seen my hubber score higher than my daily views.
Yep. got down to 80 today. I have never had thousands a day, but have been previously been in 600-700-800's quite often.
I'm starting to consider the bacon-zombies hub.
These Google changes have not yet affected me (my hub traffic), but they seem to randomly strike just about everyone, so I'm fearfully waiting my turn!
I hope you can avoid the drop, Terry! I am putting together an "action plan" for things I might do if there's no quick recovery.
I can't say that I'm completely surprised by the drop. After the Panda, the post-subdomains drops, other people's falls and the general decline in the site's traffic since December - I was half expecting something like this. I wish I had bigger alternative income streams, however, as HP is still my main one.
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