Do hubs usually outrank forum results in Google search engine results?
Given they have quality relevant content about the subject of course. What about question sites like yahoo/wiki answers?
I actually rarely see hubs in Google. Of course this might be due to what I search for...
Lately, I did come across one hub in Google and it kind of surprised me. Of course this was on a topic that I don't usually do searches on.
To answer your question, I mainly see Yahoo answers and forum threads show up in Google. I just Googled Wiki answers because I couldn't remember what the site looks like... I don't recall seeing results for Wiki answers too often.
I also think it depends on the topic of the search query so it's hard to give a definite answer.
For the most part yes, hubs do show up more then forum posts. You must remember hubs are a full written stand alone page where a forum post is a bunch of different people talking differently from there own points of view. Yes, lots of questions and answers and forums show up in search results but any stand alone page if created and well written has a much higher chance of staying a top rank.
I think it sort of depends on how much traffic a given hub or forum posting has received. It's my understanding that Google ranks their search results somewhat on popularity of a given link. For instance, if you've written a hub that gets a lot of page views, and Google isn't already beset with 1000 articles on that topic, your hub will be more likely to appear in Google's top ten. Same goes from any given link to a forum style website.
The x-factor, as far as I can tell, is how much content has been published on the topic. So far, my hubs that end up on Google search pages are ones that deal with somewhat "unpopular" subjects - subjects that don't have a lot of content already on the internet.
Long tail searches or "unpopular" subjects as you've stated have a better chance of ranking well. It all depends on the search query.
Popularity of the subject is one of many factors that play into rankings. I +1 this. This is why I rarely see hubs
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