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In Anticipation of Panda 5
We work hard to improve HubPages everyday. Since Panda we have made tremendous changes to our business. We are now much more tightly controlled. All new content is initially screened and content that is widely read is assigned professional editors, illustrators and photographers to compete at the highest quality levels. This is an ongoing effort to provide more services to Hubbers and help them by offering resources so they can compete with other professional publications.
Quality Improvement Since Panda 4.1
In anticipation of the next Panda update, I thought folks might be interested in what we have done.
The last confirmed Panda update (Sept 23, 2014) came a few weeks after we started importing Squidoo authors into HubPages subdomains. We couldn’t tell if it was Squidoo content that contributed to getting us whacked hard, or if it would have happened on its own.
Before we began importing Squidoo, we had roughly 340,000 articles indexed in Google. We added about 160,000 pages from Squidoo. We now have about 310,000 combined articles indexed. About 45,000 of those pages are from Squidoo. Nearly a 40% reduction in total articles in Google's index.
While we have no indexed or removed a tremendous number of Hubs (articles), we have also been following Google’s advice to either fix up or remove pages (avoiding merging because of HP’s structure). Pages representing nearly 30% of the site’s Google traffic have been substantially improved by a team of professional editors, illustrators and photographers. We’ve concentrated on the top traffic pages to impact the greatest number of readers.
- We redesigned the layout of our article page to remove the display ads located in the body of the content. Now, all display ads are located above the main title, below the main article body or in the sidebar.
- There were a few partial manual site penalties placed on the site for unnatural links, spam, and inappropriate use of rich snippets. We entirely removed support for recipe and reviews rich snippets, and submitted a request to have our manual actions reviewed. All of the partial manual actions have been removed by Google.
Has HubPages made enough quality improvements to see some traffic increases after the June, 2015 Panda update
Is it Enough?
While I wish Google would provide specifics to help us improve the issues causing ranking problems, the best we can do is try to make a guess at the issue.
We've benchmarked the quality of our site against other large UGC sites. Based on our data, we are very competitive in terms of overall quality.
As Long as Google Doesn't Kill us
I'd sleep a lot better if I didn't worry about a Google algorithm update putting us out of business without a channel to understand what happened. As long as that doesn't happen, we will keep on improving the site.
Over the next several months we are going to continue to edit Hubs and continue to no index Hubs without traffic or that are lower in quality.
At some point you would think we will have no indexed and improved enough content that we will have to be considered a high quality site.