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Google Search Ranking of Hubpages

Updated on November 11, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is retired. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.

Introduction / Background

I have been publishing on Squidoo for about 6 years. One of the attractions was the amazing search ranking that my lens were getting from google. This was always a mystery to me since I did very little to promote my lens or added back links. I suspected that Squidoo might have some inside knowledge on how google compute its ranking though I don't know one way or another. As a simple test, I tried and put together a simple lens that is totally unrelated to the subject matter and needless to say, it too got a very high SERP ranking. This leads me to believe that it is the Squidoo domain that is giving preferential treatment to all lens that I created. I was in the dark but was happy with the results. Recently, Squidoo was merged into Hubpages. I took a few months to convert some of my lens into hubs and I've created a few new hubs. I was curious if hubpages would produce the same search results.

- December 2014

A Real Test Case...

I am familiar with some of the basic guidelines of getting good SERP results. The importance of picking the "right" keywords to be the main topic of the hub.

Here is my simple steps in creating a new hub.

(1) I start out with an idea (topic). - ie. Artificial Intelligence

(2) I try to come up with a unique but related phrase and then test it out on google search.

This will give me an idea of how good the "phrase" is in terms of how many other results "hits" will come up and if any other pages have related content. I settled on "hitchhiker's guide to artificial intelligence" which produced a hit count of 871K. I tried to come up with a phrase between 2 and 7 words that will produce a hit count of less than 1M. From my past experience, I noticed any hit count that is very high will have little chance for getting a good SERP rank. What I consider a good SERP rank is anything that will return in first 3 pages (#30 or less).

(3) I wrote my hub and published it.

(4) I started to monitor the SERP over the next few days.

(5) Voila! After 5 days, my SERP ranking on google search is #21 out of (1.6M hits). Pretty amazing results!

By the way, I am not a top hubber. As of Dec. 2014, I have created 34 hubs (30 are featured and 4 are not featured). The hub rankings range from high of 81 to low of 49). My current hub number is 74. I have some other hubs that are equal or better in the SERP ranking.

Some of my SERP ranking as of 12/2/2014

# of HITS
westchester county gems
jackclee (my hub user name)
trump state park
hitchhiker's guide to artificial intelligence
jonathan hyman

Some of my other hubs that did not rank...

Some of my hubs that did not do so well:

art of fencing 21.4M hits.

power of three 31.7M hits.

global warming solutions 43.2M hits.

image processing for the web 17.2M hits.

Thomas J. Watson 1.5M hits.

Ed Lucia 84.4M hits.

Note that most of these terms produce very high hits.

Obviously, getting high SERP ranking is no guarantee that you will get higher traffic. It just increase the chance that your page will get found.

Updated Ranking on 5/21/2015

Hub Title
Number of Hits
What IF AGW is Wrong
Great Idea To Help the Third World
Fixing Our Broken Electoral Process
Trump State Park
Westchester County Gems
Group Think and Intellectual Laziness
Atheists quandary
Hitchhiker's Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Status Update August 1, 2015

Hub Title
Google Page Rank
Numbert of Hits
What if AGW is Wrong
Atheist's Quandary
Conservative Principles Defined
Trump State Park
Groupthink and Intellectual Laziness
Westchester County Gems
Jonathan Hyman
Conservative Outreach to Millennials
Best Beachtown in New England
American Civics 101

Some Observations

My simple approach is to treat this as a black box. I am the prober. I create some stimulus and measure the results. So far, it is working fantastically.

Having provided a real test case, I have noticed some idiosyncrasy in the process. For example, I have noticed how google search will provide personalized results that are specific to the user. This would produce erroneous results. To get around this, I would try doing searches on public computers. Another trick I learned is to append &pws=0 to the end of the google search string.

Another observation is that SERP ranking will bounce around and go up and down almost randomly from day to day. This happens regardless of how popular the hub is or is not or the quality of the hub.

Finally, the number of hits is also subject to tremendous swings. Using the exact search terms, I have seen the number of hits vary up or down by 50% or more. This makes no sense to me.

The high ranking results are not replicated with other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo. This leads me to believe it is some special relationship between Hubpages and Google that produces the magic.


Conclusion or ?

In conclusion, I'm baffled by how this whole thing works. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining in the least. I'm happy with the search results and hope it continues. It would be nice to understand how the algorithm works. The big question is this. If these results hold true over time and if the SERP ranking is independent of hub ranks, why would anyone try so hard to increase their hub ranking? It seem it is an arbitrary number that fits some general criteria for rating hubs. I could be wrong.

If anyone out there has some inside knowledge, please share with the rest of us.


© 2014 Jack Lee


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