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Google Search Ranking of Hubpages

Updated on November 11, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years.

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

(click column header to sort results)
# 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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    • Mamerto profile image

      JR Mamerto 7 months ago from Cabuyao

      Now I find this hub unique and helpful!

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      You can use rank checker and enter the title of your hub. It will give you the top 50 rank only.

    • Raymand Gadores profile image

      Raymand Vico Gadores 23 months ago from Samar

      Where and how can I assess the ranking Sir? Is there any site or app to monitor my ranking and hits?

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      davetromp, congratulations. Just be advised, getting high google page ranking is no guarantee of increased traffic. The topic is the key. If people are searching for the topic you write about, the high google page rank will definitely help. Good luck.

    • davetromp profile image

      Dave Tromp 2 years ago from Amsterdam

      Jackclee_lm, my first hub is already on the firstpage of Google for "learn python investing" and a second spot for very long tail "learning python research trading investing". I guess I'll be sharing my knowledge on hubs from now on. Thanks again for sharing your insight.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Davetromp, I see you are new to hubpages. Let me know how you make out. I am curious to see if other hubs will get the same results especially new hubbers. One of my guesses is that the more hubs you write, the better they rank in google. The reason being they are counting links and hubpages link many of your hubs behind the scene...

    • davetromp profile image

      Dave Tromp 2 years ago from Amsterdam

      Nice article. I will try your method to see if I can get articles I will write anyway to rank better.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Marlene - I just post what I know. Take the information as pieces of a puzzle for what is worth. I'm told by some on Hubpages that I don't know what I'm talking about. There are some that claim they are SEO experts and knows how things work. I haven't found anyone who does know. There are people with excellent hub content who gets lots of views. That's the only sure way to get ratings.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from USA

      This is quite fascinating! I learned a lot by reading your hub. The updates are quite telling and very helpful.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Marisa, I didn't know it changed. I thought it was suppose to turn off personalized search - Here is the description in detail.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 2 years ago from Sydney

      The trick is wrong and though it will change the results, it does not completely remove personalisation.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      snakesmum - I learned about this trick from another hubber in the Q&A forum. It goes to show we can all learn from each other to improve. Thanks for checking in.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Susansaies- Here is how I do it. I enter the search term without the switch on google and wait for the reply. Then I go to the top line containing the search term and append &pws=0 to that string and resubmit. The refreshed results will be the one I use.

    • SusanSaies profile image

      SusanSaies 2 years ago

      Thanks for your reply. I've been working online for years, and although I knew about personalized results, I've never before read about this easy way to get around that. Just to be sure, you use this appendix without quotes, right?

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Didn't know that about "&pws=0" Very useful to know. Thanks.

      You've certainly done a lot of investigating of your results, and it makes an interesting read.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Susansales - When you search on google, the results are personalized based on your account. If you append "&pws=0" to the end of your search, you switch off this option. Your results will be the generic search results. I've found this gives a more accurate page rank. I hope this helps.

    • SusanSaies profile image

      SusanSaies 2 years ago

      Can you please explain exactly what "&pws=0" actually means? Why does adding this at the end of a search term make a difference?