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Site Traffic Ranking: Falling Passive Income

Updated on March 7, 2012

Mountain Bluebird Analyzing Traffic

Flickr photo by almiyi
Flickr photo by almiyi

Steps To Regain Traffic

You wake up and check the "my account" section of Hubpages and see a streak of down pointing arrows that contrasts with the white HTML background like an omnivorous mountain bluebird upstaging a snowy winter landscape. What is the best course of action? Should you begin uprooting recently placed hubs in an effort to restore traffic levels, perhaps pulling desirable organic growth while searching for the weeds? The answer is most likely no. There is a deluge of factors that could be causing your passive income to disappear, and so it is best to follow a series of investigative measures in order to determine the best course of action that will help increase traffic back to normal levels while minimally interfering with your SEO efforts and SERP placement.

The first thing to do is to determine what type of traffic decrease you are experiencing. One of the best tools for analyzing Hubpages traffic is the Google Analytics tool. Although, some might consider other analysis tools as better alternatives because of their fear of giving Google too much information, it is probably the best tool for a new author to use with Hubpages because of the ease of integration and the extensive feature set. From the Standard Reporting tab there is a "Sources" section and if you check the "All Traffic" subtitle it will reveal where all of your traffic has been coming from. Use the date selector in the upper right corner to narrow the results to specific days. For example, if you were having 200 hits yesterday and the traffic has fallen to 20 per day, then do a comparison of the two days to see where the differences may be arising from. If you realize that the missing traffic is coming from organic searches then you have some more investigating to do.

First, it must be understood that search engine traffic (especially Google traffic) can fluctuate wildly even on some of the better sites, and your articles are especially vulnerable on Hubpages if you are a newer author and your subdomain has not had time to age properly. With a steady increase in backlinks and organic seo practices the subdomain will become more tolerant over time to these fluctuations. Once that happens, you may still see serp results for certain keyword phrases rise and fall a few spots, but the maturation process should keep pages from disappearing into the 10th page of search engine results from the 1st page, for example. But at the same time, there may indeed be legitimate reasons for sudden traffic loss. I am working on a variety of sites, and I have only been producing content for Hubpages for about 3 months. However, I have experienced what some may call the Google sandbox effect or even the Google reverse sandbox effect. Traffic slowly rose with many keyword making the 1st page in the Google serps, only to have traffic suddenly plummet to a fraction of the previous level. To be honest, I believe a lot of the results are now more fair as it seems that the newness and the Hubpages authority was giving these articles a temporary boost and they are now more reflective of their true position. I am still hoping that with time these hubs will rise in ranking just as has been the case for other blogs and writing endeavors. Another factor to check is duplicate content. If someone is copying your work then this can affect ratings in certain situations.

If the traffic fall is not always a natural course of things, however. You may find that Google has applied a penalty to your domain that is causing a drastic drop in traffic levels across your entire set of articles. Well actually, you probably wouldn't find that a penalty has been applied because Google quite effectively obscures any such information. You can use the Google Webmaster Tools Suite to check things out like the crawler stats or even apply for a reconsideration request if you believe that something is askew, but the return time on such requests is long and the information returned light. You can check certain things like violation of Adsense TOS (excessive profanity, etc). I think another important factor on Hubpages is people's use of Amazon and Ebay capsules. An excessive amount of products and affiliate capsules can lead to Google believing that your articles are merely sales pitches. Make sure to judiciously use external links that build authority and backlink to related sites.

If you find that your traffic has fallen, and there is no clear reason, then it is probably best to think about what most recent changes may have tweaked things in the wrong direction. It is still a trial and error type of game and you may need a little luck as well. The forums and comments on articles like this an be good places to gather advice and share what is going on with your traffic. We can all learn from each other.


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    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 5 years ago from United States

      I am just starting to learn how to use Google Tools and Google Analytics. This information is very helpful. I am still confused about the sandbox effect and the reverse sandbox effect, but I will figure it out!

    • thoughthole profile image

      thoughthole 6 years ago from Utah

      This has been helpful, I have just recently experienced what has been refered to as being "sandboxed". I did have a whole string of related articles that were doing progressively well on google, suddenly plummeted and nearly dissappeared from existance it seems. It's almost as if google shook all of the site link's in that catagory up, turning it on it's head. I appreciate you having shed some light on the phenomenon, I have some things I can try now. Thank You Againsttheodds.

    • BizVT34 profile image

      BizVT34 6 years ago from USA

      So much to learn, so little time.

    • viquar profile image

      viquar 6 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thanks for the article. I have been a victim of google panda and still recovering. Your tips will surely be of help.