- HubPages Tutorials and Community»
- Getting Traffic for Your Articles
Google and I Made Up, Writing on the Web. There is no Fast Track.
Rate my Hub for Me!
Driving Traffic to my Hubs - a dangerous game.
It was over four years ago that I challenged the Great Google.
At that point in my career, I had written several Hubs where I had even bragged about my success' on HubPages. I felt I had the formula to my future fortune.
You see, HP recognizes your passing certain of their unique writers milestones by attaching little "badges" to your front page for all to admire.
And at first, I enjoyed watching these pop up on my pages and I even bragged to friends about some of them.
For instance, back then, in the same month, I had passed several significant milestones, as a Hub writer.
1- I had written and published my 100th Hub.
2- I had reached my 2-year anniversary as a Hubber,
3- I had passed the 100 mark of total followers.
My pride in myself (and ego) was boundless because these things had not happened arbitrarily.
In fact these things took a lot of time and dedication on my part, as I improved and increased my writing skills. And, of course I has spent a lot of time studying what I thought were the best ways to market my Hubs.
So, of course, I felt even more sure of myself when I hit what I considered the magical HP score of 100, several times.
And, let me be honest, what I write today, truly is so much better due of my involvement in HubPages, and with my reading of the works of my fellow Hubbers.
So,at that time, I made a commitment, to myself, to learn more about the best ways to drive increased traffic to my Hubs.
Research of my Peers drove change.
But, I fell headlong into the trap so many of us are susceptible to. I became hungry for even more, and far too impatient.
After a while of observing and researching what other Hubbers had written on subjects like; keywords, tags, search engines, content quality, advertisements, Adsense, Hub Ads, Google Analytics, and on and on; I realized that my writings were so poorly optimized for decent levels of traffic, that I finally sat down and put together a plan to bring my stuff up to a higher standard.
My new money-making writing standard.
The first and biggest problem, that I recognized, was the sheer number of Hubs that I had already written.
Rewriting, reformating, and restructuring over 100 Hubs is a formidable task and this consumed a large amount of my spare time over several weeks.
But, it was worth it, and even as I plodded my way through Hub after Hub, I started to see indications of increased traffic on most of them after just a week or so of implementing my changes.
I was ecstatic.
Pulling others tricks for exposure
I was so happy, in fact, that once I was done with this task, I dove into the Hub Forums and other peoples Hubs, searching for even more ways to pull my stuff up in popularity.
I researched and gathered even more information from my fellow Hubbers on other ways to push the Great Google's Search Engine into leading more people to my Hubs.
I would read, consider, evaluate and then I would implement all kinds of changes; forward links, back links, strategic ad placement, more ads per Hub, links to my Blogs, literally everything that others suggested as another trick, that had made them successful.
I did it all!
I thought that I had finally gotten over the fence and into that place where the grass was definitely greener.
I was suddenly Lost on a Desert Island
But I made Google MAD!
And then, after a little over a month of increasing success, the Great Google got mad at me.
Yeah, We kind of "Broke Up".
The Google Search Engine dropped me! Google turned its back, on me, or so it seemed.
She even took all of my friends (traffic) and diverted them to others.
I was suddenly alone. The only friends that I had left were my fellow Hubbers. All I had left were my tried and true friends, my fellow writers and readers of Hubs.
Gone were the strangers who stopped by and read and then moved on, sometimes with a little purchase from an ad that was shared with me by the Great Google machine.
I was looking around, and it was as if I had been dropped onto a Desert Island. It was just me and my PC.
Search Engine Optimization
Recognizing Google is a Business
OK, enough of my little melodrama.
What I found out, after much much more research and study is that the Google Search Engine system has some very strict standards for publishers/writers.
And these standards are not chiseled on a rock somewhere, that you can walk over and read at your leisure..
No, writers like us, we get to study, think, and make assumptions on what these standards are, and we get to push the envelope until we overstep Google's undefined and mysterious bounds.
And when we do this, the Google Search Engine system reacts.
Here is the Reality of the world of Search Engines. They are a Business and they exist to make money for their shareholders, like any other business.
To do this, they provide their search capability for free to the world.
But, along with the data desired by their customers, there are ADs included.
These ADs are paid for by people who want to sell their products, and pay Google for their ADs to be placed into high quality data sources.
And, if you want to be listed at the top of the list, besides writing the best article, you have to allow Google to insert their ADs into your articles.
And, for allowing them to insert these ADs, Google gives you, the writer a small cut of what the business person pays them.
And, the theory is that if you write a quality article, then more people will read it, and possibly even click on the AD, and just maybe, they might buy the business persons product.
With this system, Google makes money, and you get a cut.
A great system for everyone, Right?
Google and it's constraints are Dynamic
The hardest thing for many of us writers to understand is that Google has dynamic standards, that they change continually.
Sometimes they change just because too many people figure out how to get around their constraints and start making far too much money from them.
Remember, we writers are just one segment of data sources that people search. There are untold numbers of small business' and institutions out there, also.
And if I structure certain parts of my article so that it implies it is a source of data on something that it really does not include, then Google, has been tricked into paying for information that isn't really there.
When Google sees this happening, they react. It might take a few weeks, but they do eventually react.
If what we did was only mildly offensive we might just have a few of our writings punished with reduced or no traffic.
If we were really pushy, we will look one day and there is, suddenly, NO TRAFFIC to our sites.
And that is what I did. I was pushy, and obviously I had gone far over the acceptable edge, in my exuberance to get more traffic.
And I was, suddenly, punished with; NO Google traffic; NO US traffic, NO Canada traffic, NO Australian traffic, NO Asian traffic .......... NO Google traffic at all!
Just some few visitors form the other search engines and, again, of course, my fellow Hubbers.
I was Lost in the wilderness of the web.
And me? well, I was left, sitting there, lost and confused.
You see, I had changed and added so many things, across all of my 100+ Hubs that I didn't have a clue which one or more of the things that I had done were the actual culprits.
I asked questions, of course, and I go a few responses that were somewhat helpful.
But there was no magic answer that would erase my sins and bring me back into the good graces of the Great Google Search machine.
I was on my own.
Pulling back to a standard and conservative format
So, there I was, with only one real answer!
Yep, I went to work and plodded through those 100+ Hubs I had at the time and removed pretty much all of my traffic driving innovations, and I brought my Hubs back to a more pure and structured state.
And, guess, what? After I finished my massive cleanup of ALL of my Hubs, I sat back, and sure enough .....
The Great Google spiders crawled through my newly cleansed writings, and after waiting for weeks, they put my stuff back onto their "acceptable" list.
Google and I had made up!
We were in love again! She now visits often, and she tells all of her friends about my stuff.
She even gives them my address and tells them how to find me. Our relationship is Great!
Of course, I do have a long list of "Honey-Do's" that I have to perform regularly, to stay in her good graces.
But, it's worth it!
Keep Up to Date on what is required, now.
So, what did I learn from my transgressions?
I went back and looked at all of those advice Hubs and Forums that I had followed and I discovered one glaring problem that I had previously ignored.
They are always changing, evolvong and expanding, along with their requirements, all of the time. What was acceptable to Google six months ago, might not be acceptable at all now, or tomorrow.
If you don't keep up with their evolving dynamics and change with them, you can be in trouble, at any time. And, I, in my enthusiasm to increase my traffic, was often looking at, and following, outdated information.
At times, I was implementing "tricks" that were already doomed to fail, today.
I guess that is what I get for not reading EVERYTHING about improving my traffic, by EVERYONE, and at the same time, pay attention to the timestamp on the HUB or FORUM response.
You see, like my Hubs, all of the other peoples suggestions, and the forum's responses, they are still out there, even if they are outdated.
So, my fellow Hubbers ...... When you're searching for advice, READ the TIMESTAMP on any advice articles you might decide to follow, and consider if that advice is still valid.
Google and I Made Up!
As to me, and my being ostracized?
Well, eventually, Google and I Made UP!
I had tried to cheat on her, so to speak, and I had made her Mad!
Now, she has forgiven me, and we are once again, happy together. I get a decent amount of traffic, if I write a decent article.
And, in the future, I will be a very selective implementer of others advice, when it comes to suggestions for cheating on her, again.
All is now good!
How Google Search works
Understanding how SEO works
© 2011 Don Bobbitt