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When are we going to see the benefits of the layout upgrade?

  1. janderson99 profile image84
    janderson99posted 5 years ago

    Traffic and earnings appear to be down for many. When do HP expect the benefits of the layout changes to shine through the gloom?

    1. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      There has been a big increase in pageviews per visit recently according to Quantcast.

      To an extent it makes up for the loss of visitors overall.

      The jump is around 25% from approx 2 pageviews per visit to approx 2.5.

      I reckon you have to call that a significant triumph for the page designers.

      1. EmpressFelicity profile image80
        EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Maybe I'm missing something but I'm not seeing this? In fact, I found that the average number of pages views per visit had only gone up by 0.02 over the month from 30th May - 30th June, from 2.30 to 2.32. And the overall visitor numbers are on the same downward curve they've been on for a while.

        Personally I think it would be an idea to wait for another month anyway before breaking out the champagne (or not), while things "settle".

        But I'd still like to know where you get your numbers from.

        1. Will Apse profile image87
          Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Go to http://www.quantcast.com/hubpages.com

          Select Pageviews

          Set the time frame to one year. Mouse over the graph to get pageviews per visitor.

          For most of that year the figure is less than 2.

          These last couple of weeks, pageviews per person have gone up sharply. And page views are near record levels.

          You can't be sure it is the hub design, perhaps, but it is certainly the most likely explanation.

          1. EmpressFelicity profile image80
            EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Oh right, I see now. Interesting to see whether this trend is going to continue. What you also want is for overall traffic to increase.

            1. Will Apse profile image87
              Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              If HP ads are most important to you then pageviews are all that matter. Anyone oriented to Amazon needs motivated buyers coming straight from Google. So yes, falling visitor numbers are a problem for the site as a whole and many hubbers.

      2. aa lite profile image89
        aa liteposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I'm not sure whether the option to scroll through all the images on a Hub, offered with the first image came with the page redesign, or was there before that, but it seems to me that it is a recent change.  I don't remember seeing that when I started a few months ago.  Do you think the increased pageviews might be coming from people doing the slideshow view, rather than going to a different hub?  I don't think the slideshow shows ads, so in terms of revenue it might not be that significant, although it probably helps with Google by decreasing bounce rate and increasing visitor 'engagement'.

        1. Will Apse profile image87
          Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I did wonder myself. I think the biggest increase came well after the slide show redesign went live but only Hubpages can answer that question definitively.

    2. relache profile image86
      relacheposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe I'm missing something but I'm not seeing this.

    3. rebekahELLE profile image88
      rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think it takes time to analyze such a big site change in the middle of summer and in the midst of continual Google updates, etc. Maybe ask again towards the end of the year. We have the summer to get through, and then typically views start picking up again through the end of the year.

      So far with the new layout, I've seen an increase in traffic. Whether it's due to the site redesign or recent Google updates is hard to tell.

      +  yes, I agree.

  2. wavegirl22 profile image45
    wavegirl22posted 5 years ago

    ^This

    1. EmpressFelicity profile image80
      EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Totally unscientific straw poll: whose traffic and earnings are down?

      ::puts hand up::

  3. janderson99 profile image84
    janderson99posted 5 years ago

    Data

    http://www.a1niches.com/newone.jpg

    1. EmpressFelicity profile image80
      EmpressFelicityposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      can't argue with that


      It's nice that some people haven't been affected by the drop in traffic/views but it would also be nice if they could lose the "I'm alright Jack" attitude.

    2. Peggy W profile image92
      Peggy Wposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Looks like choppy wave action with overall page views holding their own but overall visits declining.  I haven't been actively tracking things long enough to know about a so called normal slump of summertime viewing.  All I can say is that I am looking forward to Fall if that is the case.  Also...in hot, humid Houston summers...we always look forward to the cooler temperatures.  So hoping for better days ahead!

    3. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      If you look at the same data for Squidoo, you see a downward trend in both visitor numbers and page views. Which may be seasonal or may be algo related.

      Anyway, I am staying with my contention that the hub redesign looks like a triumph right now.

      I reckon the design team here deserve a pat on the back,(despite the pain involved!).

      1. Peggy W profile image92
        Peggy Wposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I agree.  I like the new design!

  4. Greekgeek profile image96
    Greekgeekposted 5 years ago

    Will, that shows traffic is down (which is typical for summer), so it could be that fewer pages are getting the benefit of increased page views.

    Which would definitely explain the "I'm all right" vs "I'm sick of tumbleweeds!" dichotomy.

    Of course, there's no way to know how many of the tumbleweeds victims have great content that the rest of the web is dying to find as the answer to their searches. (People often forget that search brings the bulk of traffic BUT is not fitted to all forms of content: one doesn't use a search engine to find "random cool stuff to read" but answers.)

  5. incomeguru profile image91
    incomeguruposted 5 years ago

    Earnings down and traffic down too. Am totally devastated. sad

  6. relache profile image86
    relacheposted 5 years ago

    July and August are when North Americans traditionally take their longest vacations of the year, not to mention most young people and kids are not in school at this time of year, all of which adds up to a lot of people doing things that involve a lot less online time. 

    This time of year is not known for broad increases in web traffic, and for many this is the slowest and lowest time of year online.  Use this time to fix Hubs that are weaker, and spiff up material that will become relevant in the fall, for back to school, Halloween, etc.  Build your new winter holiday material and get it published now.

    1. SincerelyT profile image60
      SincerelyTposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Great advice.

    2. janderson99 profile image84
      janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Does it ever rain! This seasonal + weather argument does not make sense.

    3. wavegirl22 profile image45
      wavegirl22posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      ^This

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
        PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, to be brutally frank, I find Relache's seasonal and weather arguments somewhat unfeasible most of the time.   Seasonal and trends obviously vary, but they are easy to check (and discount?) by looking at previous stats and Google Trends, if you are unsure. 

        (You can also look at some of the graphs in Quantcast and on the HP Success Stories to get an idea of overall traffic trends, although since Feb 2011 individual hubbers have increasingly diversified in their fortunes.)

        If Google introduce an algo change and your traffic is down by 95% the next day, the likelihood is that the algo caused your drop.  Of course, Xmas Day and Thanksgiving in the US cause big drops on the day, and there are weekly and yearly cycles but most of the time the effects are not dramatic, although it depends on the specific topics you write about of course.  Like I say, you can check the trends for specific keywords.

        As Paul E said, the 3 factors that can cause a sudden drop in search engine traffic are google algo update, something HubPages have done to the website, or seasonal/traffic trend.  The seasonal/trend changes are often the easiest to find out about as Google gives you all the info you need most of the time.

        That's my 2 cents worth, anyway!  smile

        1. Will Apse profile image87
          Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Schools and colleges are out. People take vacations. People spend a lot more time outside.

          There is a lot less shopping as therapy.

          Summer is a bummer.

          1. janderson99 profile image84
            janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Prove it - what about sunglasses, hats etc. etc.,
            It rains - then traffic should rise, OK, but it never seems to go up!!
            What about the rest of the world - its 8 degrees C in oz.
            Its a very lame argument. I know its the 4th of July!

            1. Will Apse profile image87
              Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              There are a lot of things in play, as there are always are.

              Summer is just one of them.

              It certainly doesn't explain massive traffic loss on some sub-domains.

              It does explain lower than average amazon and e-bay sales because it is something that happens every year.

              1. janderson99 profile image84
                janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                No worries !

                1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
                  PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Relatively speaking, my Amazon sales are actually doing much worse on HP than they are at other sites at the mo, even though all the websites I use are experiencing the same seasonal factors. 

                  I think HP will sort out what they need to sort out in the medium term, I have confidence in them.  I am not sure that there will be a return to the "Golden Period" though.  I don't think Google wants that.

  7. Dorsi profile image92
    Dorsiposted 5 years ago

    I've noticed an uptick in traffic the last few days. I watch my numbers closely after losing 75% of my traffic when Penguin squished me. My page views went from 5,000 a day, to 2,500 a day, to about 600 a day. Now at about 700-800. Maybe the page design, who knows?

  8. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
    mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago

    Just checked the percentage my views are 'down by' compared to where they were from Oct 11 until about March 12. I am actually now down by around 77%, but that did not happen overnight, it kept on dropping in increments, and the worst drops happened after HP went mad on the recent layout changes. Earnings are now diabolical for me, and I am seriously considering moving my best hubs elsewhere, e.g. Wizzley or Xobba where I think they will 'earn their keep'.

    1. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I wouldn't trouble with Wizzley. I put up 20 pages as an experiment 6 months ago. They make about a dollar a page a month.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image84
        paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        A dollar a page a month!!! That seems like good money to me! If I could count on that, I'd have 910 hubs here, instead of just 91. big_smile

      2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        At the rate things are going I might still be better off doing that (earnings wise.) That said I do have a few articles on Wizzley already, but mostly chutney recipes etc. Most of my HP stuff is 'How to' type articles as opposed to product reviews, so that kind of stuff may do better on Wizzley. Some articles I can move to my own website on growing vegetables, but other than creating new websites for each niche I have written on I am not sure where else would be a good place to locate them. I am looking at the possibility of converting some of them into ebooks as well however.

        1. Barbara Kay profile image88
          Barbara Kayposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          mistyhorizon, Don't give up yet. I experienced the same drop. I updated most of my pages to make them a wee bit better, took my links off Xomba and wrote a new hub. I've regained most of my traffic, but not all. I did remove a couple of hubs that hadn't gotten good traffic in a long while too.

          The hubs that haven't gone back up are the ones that I didn't update, so it must help.

  9. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 5 years ago

    Since the new pages design has rolled out and the continued optimizations we have seen nice increases in pageviews per visitor that people pointed out.  We are also seeing nice increases in social shares and revenue generated per visit has gone up substantially. 

    There is considerably more to do.  Summer is definitely a seasonally low traffic time, that said, we started seeing a nice pick up in traffic this morning.  So significant that it feels like a google update...I'll let you know what changes we see when more data comes in.

    1. janderson99 profile image84
      janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks for the update. Very helpful to get feedback on progress.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
        PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, it's great to get regular updates on what's happening.

  10. paradigmsearch profile image84
    paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago

    Well, shoot me. I've seen nothing to contradict this.

  11. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
    mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago

    Well my views are down from just over 10,000 per day to just over 2000 per day, and I seriously doubt this is 'seasonal', especially as even in the last two weeks I have seen near enough a thousand views a day drop, (not to mention the fact the weather for summer has been appalling, at least in the UK). Today is no exception traffic-wise !

    1. paradigmsearch profile image84
      paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Other than SS, HP is it...

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        SS? What is that?

        1. paradigmsearch profile image84
          paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Social Security. I applied, but still unknown as to amount or valid. We are supposed to get that when we turn age 62.

        2. paradigmsearch profile image84
          paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          And sorry for the non-sequitur.  big_smile

  12. paradigmsearch profile image84
    paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago

    I would like other posts about this please...

  13. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
    mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago

    Oh I see. I thought you were using an abbreviation for another publishing site I had never heard of lol.

  14. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 5 years ago

    Certainly, people are seeing wide variances in how their traffic is trending/changing. I don't think the page level changes are having specific impact on people that have seen traffic go down/up a large percentage. 

    We definitely see huge variations in folks traffic trends and traffic trends by category. 

    Is there data that folks would like to see?

    1. paradigmsearch profile image84
      paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago in reply to this
    2. janderson99 profile image84
      janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I would like to know if anyone with more than 200 pages at present, with a sub 12 months old, has seen a trend for increasing traffic in 2012. Also several people have suggested that setting up mini--subs with narrow niches may do a lot better than larger subs with a broad range of topics. Do you have any data on this. Thanks!

      1. Rosie2010 profile image76
        Rosie2010posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        +1

      2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image90
        mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Hi Janderson, I have just under 300 hubs, have had a sub domain since they came out last year and have been on this site 4 years. I have seen a steady decline in traffic in 2012, especially in the last 2 weeks, although it generally began to fall rapidly over at least the last 2 months +. In late 2011 I was at a peak of over 10,000 views a day, now I can't even make it to 2600 a day even though I have published at least 30 more good quality hubs since I was on the higher traffic levels.

    3. paradigmsearch profile image84
      paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Knowledge is power. Please tell us all you can. smile

  15. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 5 years ago

    There are very few people with a sub 12 months old since we didn't roll them out widely till Aug 2011 (getting close), but I'll work on this. 

    I haven't seen a correlation between niche focus and better traffic, but there may be something to accounts with fewer hubs being less volatile.

    It can be a little tricky to run some of these reports since not all data is in a query-able form, but we'll work on it and share once ready.

    1. janderson99 profile image84
      janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      What I meant  was an account more than 12 months old - I realise that the subs were launched in August. Trying to work out whether a staleness factor applies for older accounts. The "success" stories all show a drop late 2011 - just wondering if this is universal.

    2. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My own experience is that pages I put a lot of work into, and pages that just worked out well (I found useful info for the visitor and actually mastered the topic) have kept their traffic.

      It's my mediocre pages that have really suffered during Panda runs and the pages I published and then gave up on, update and improvement-wise.

      A large account (500 pages or so) would be too much for me to manage well. Other people might be more adept at this, of course.

      Anyway, I will be interested in the data.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
        PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        It's difficult not to notice that the two HP Success Stories with the least hubs have kept their traffic relatively stable in recent times in contrast to pretty much all of the others (with large accounts) who have been dropping like stones.

        I've cut my number of hubs back in this account by 25% and intend to update them regularly, hoping that helps.  I've also set up two smaller HP accounts too. 

        My problem is both a sudden steep traffic drop a couple of months back *and* ongoing gradual falls, essentially since February, with this account.

        At first I thought the problems might be mainly centered around Amazon product hubs, but it's clear now that there are hubbers with well written info/non-commercial hubs that are suffering too.   My income from Amazon hubs has virtually halved every month since its peak way back in December, however.

        I hope that HP can figure out what's happening from the data.  With only one's own stats to go on, I am reduced to what feels like idle speculation as an individual hubber, which is somewhat frustrating.

    3. Peggy W profile image92
      Peggy Wposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      That would be terrific to know.  Perhaps all recipe hubs should be under one HP domain; travel hubs under another, etc. as an example?  Of course we would probably lose some of our followers and I wonder how that would impact things?  I realize the goal is to have more people from the outside readiing our hubs ultimately...but most of the comments come from other hubbers.  Please let us know if you think this is a good idea Paul.  Thanks!

  16. ftclick profile image61
    ftclickposted 5 years ago

    I am not seeing this jump either.  Traffic is way down to levels of a few years ago.

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
      PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My traffic is creeping up at the moment.  Nothing dramatic.  I am not cracking open the champagne though, as I've had quite a few "false dawns" and anyway, traffic is still very low!  I am getting frustrated because I am running out of things to do on here (editing etc.) - my account is definitely much improved from what it was!  Google seem to be widening their definition of "spammy" to absurd levels, however, if indeed it is Google who are the cause of my main traffic troubles, which seems likely (Yes I know Summer's bad and HP are playing around with the site, but the (almost) weekly algo updates seem to be the main source of the fluctuations, at least in my case!).

  17. Shadesbreath profile image87
    Shadesbreathposted 5 years ago

    So is what I'm seeing here suggesting that I should pull down all the satire and slapstick stuff and just leave up the hubs that get search traffic? Are my comedy hubs actually hurting my "serious" ones now?

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image82
      Mark Ewbieposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Shades, I tend to get shouted down if I dare contribute on this topic, not being an expert but....

      I don't think comedy hurts unless it is resulting in a lot of dissatisfied searchers who were genuinely looking for that which you were mocking.  Even then, my experience is that the page just drops down the rankings but it doesn't pull the whole lot down.

      To lose traffic across the board - in my opinion - means that you MAY have some keyword stuffed or badly backlinked or whatever content going on.  Enough garbage and Google drops the whole lot.

      Usual caveats apply.  I am not saying those who have been hit suffer from that, or even that I have the first idea what I am talking about.  In fact, I regret posting this and am tempted not to bother.

      On the other hand I am trying for that coveted Hubbie - SEO Guru of the Year - and so am forced to press the reply button anyway.

      tbh - I don't know.  But I have revised all my crap, and found some pretty piss poor stuff amongst it.  You know where you write some garbage and slap some Amazon adverts on?  Well I did some of that - it seemed to be the game a year or so ago.  Most of it has gone now.  Now it's just crap without so many Amazon adverts.

      1. Shadesbreath profile image87
        Shadesbreathposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yeah, but none of mine are built for money, so, I can't undo any SEO stuff. I'm getting the sense from this thread that having too many "topics" under my sub is the problem, and, as you know, comedy fears no niche and owns both none and all, so, my crap is all over the place.

        I probably should just go use the damn domain I've been paying for for years. I wish I wasn't so lazy.

  18. janderson99 profile image84
    janderson99posted 5 years ago

    I have seen a 40% loss of traffic in 2012 despite publishing 200 hubs in that time. My 2-year graph is essential the same as for the "success" stories. My traffic has been steady for the last 6 weeks which I attribute to extensive cross-linking between related pages in my sub, and steady addition of new hubs. My mini-subs have performed poorly. Analytics = av page views 1.3; time on page 55 seconds; bounce rate 87%; new visitors 90%.

  19. janderson99 profile image84
    janderson99posted 5 years ago

    Is the future in our hands?
    From what I've read Google uses humans to rank pages and then tweaks its metrics to try to produce the same rank order for the pages. While it doesn't use Analytics data (it has confirmed this) its metrics measure the same thing (bounce rate, time on page etc.). To understand G's measure of quality is impossible - its a changing feast anyway. The key data we have is Analytics, both for subs and hubs. This measures engagement and user satisfaction with the page (for all things that matter). Google wants to deliver pages that satisfy users. Writers want to deliver pages that satisfy and engage users. HP wants to please Google by delivering quality. The only metrics that hubbers have access to and can use to really improve 'quality' is their Analytics data. Analytics IS the answer to everything (or is it 42?).

    I don't think a high quality page with good analytics, but with poor traffic is necessarily a poor hub - getting traffic is not necessarily correlated with quality - it depends on the topic. So deleting hubs to boost analytics should be done with care. Things to consider are cross-links, time for a hub to mature and the value of low traffic in obscure topics.

    I read that 25% of PR is determined by on page SEO and 75% by external SEO (links etc). A good quality page should attract more organic links. However every page needs a WOW factor, not boring good quality stuff. A super quality page can be really boring and will not attract links - how do you measure WOWs. Again the proof is in the pudding = number of quality links.

    The burning issues of course are: If we are going to use analytics as a measure of 'quality' and likelihood of success what are the target values we should be aiming at?, and what are the key metrics?
    Any thought on this?

  20. rebekahELLE profile image88
    rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago

    I'm not sure that's so true any longer. While organic links are still important, I saw a video yesterday on Search Engine Land with Matt Cutts 'discussing' links and the value of social signals in SEO. http://searchengineland.com/matt-cutts- … paign=wall

    Maybe some of these sub domains with hundreds/thousands of hubs have too many links?
    I really don't know, I'm simply sharing something I read.

    1. janderson99 profile image84
      janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It says links are not dead yet! and are still important

      1. rebekahELLE profile image88
        rebekahELLEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, they are still important but perhaps not as much as they once were. There has been a lot of discussion about links in the past few months. To say links are not dead yet does say something though. It's an observation.

  21. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 5 years ago

    I think analytics data correlates poorly with quality.  For that matter, albeit simpler, traffic from google isn't the strongest signal of quality either.  Google sends traffic to many poor quality pages.

    The best way I've seen quality recognized is by people saying what is and is not.  The bar is higher today to get traffic and the big change Google made impacts domains site wide.  There are still formulas for creating content that do very well at getting traffic.

    We continue to see accounts/hubs that create hubs full of step by step instructions illustrated with photos do very well.

    1. janderson99 profile image84
      janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      So why is "quality" important then, if it does not help traffic. Why are you editing your hubs to improve their quality and deleting poor quality ones?
      Does analytics correlate with traffic and so provide a strategy for getting more traffic?

      1. janderson99 profile image84
        janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Paul E   - "Google sends traffic to many poor quality pages."
        Is this because of flaws in their ranking systems that deliver the SERPS?
        Is because of hidden money making tactics?
        Or is it the way Google wants it to be?

        Quoting Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts - Panda
        [Panda] is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on. …Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.

        Quoting Matt Cutts - Penguin
        In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change [Penguin] targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines.  …Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.

        1. IzzyM profile image90
          IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Quality is hard to define. I wouldn't call Amazon quality - have you read their product descriptions??

          Then again, their name is trustworthy, because they have been around the net long enough to prove it.

          I remember when Amazon was just a bookseller, but your book would be delivered the day after you placed an order, and at a great price.

          So the quality, relied-on sites, are those that have been around the longest.

          But we still have fly-by-night keyword in url sites popping up, full of stolen content, ranking above us, now and again.

          You check their links, and learn that despite having next to no content, and no original content, they have thousands of links.

          Google's algorithm still can't see that the site is false, MFA rubbish.

          This is a problem for a programmer.

          I really hope that Penguin is going to discount those links, because for the longest time it seemed that to get anywhere online you had to spend more time backlinking than you did writing, which is stupid.

          I never did get the whole backlinking thing down pat, because I refused (read that as 'couldn't afford') to pay for backlinks.

          Yet I still got slapped as if I did?

          Now that's not fair.

    2. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think there is a temptation to equate quality with a longish page, full of facts, pictures and videos. You glance at a page, say 'that has everything'. It's high quality stuff!

      And it can still be terrible. It might read badly. It might not get to the heart of the issue. The things that matter might be drowning in a sea of non essential facts. The pictures might not really be adding to the text.

      The only people who should be trusted to offer an opinion of quality are the people coming from the SERPs.

      If you were to say that there is absolutely no correlation between view time and traffic I would be depressed.

      Not that long read times guarantee traffic, of course (there might be even better pages, or pages on higher reputation sites). Still, there should be a big difference between long and short view time pages.

      1. Aficionada profile image88
        Aficionadaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Uh-oh, Will... I don't want to contribute to any depression here, but....

        There was a discussion here once about "time on page" and how Google takes it into consideration.  The problem with time on page is that Google may not have a good way of knowing how that time is spent or how the reader feels after finishing the page. 

        The example in that conversation was that sometimes a reader will open several pages at one time and then read through them leisurely.  The last page opened would have a much longer time on page than the actual time the reader spent on it.

        And, in fact, just yesterday I did exactly that, when I went bingeing on reading up on Scientology.  I had 5-6 pages open at one time, and they were all long reads. I wouldn't mind in the least if Google gave those pages some extra points, because they were very good and informative.  But that's not always the case, and I would hope that Google would try to find ways to factor that uncertainty into the algorithm.  I don't know how - maybe they don't either, yet.

        The opposite situation is that a reader may be seeking some very specific information.  If the page is well-written and laid out, the reader may find the specific information quickly and move on.  In that case, the time on page would look very short, but the page quality might be very high, even excellent.

        I agree with you that time on page really should correlate with traffic, but there's not a straightforward way to measure it or correlate it as far as I know.  I hope Google's smart kids can figure it out soon!  In the meantime, I agree that (until we have some authoritative details) our best bet is to work on quality in every respect, to the best of our ability - quality of the page, quality of backlinks, quality of self-promotion, etc.

        1. Will Apse profile image87
          Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I agree that view times have no kind of literal meaning. A view time of 5 minutes doesn't mean that people spend an average of five minutes reading the page.

          At the same time, a short read times mean that significant numbers of people are disappointed enough to quickly move on or back to search.

          It is not much of a quality measure but it is probably the most reliable there is. I have no idea if Google uses it (it is easily gamed, after all) but webmasters and writers should.

          The main point is that if we all decided that quality had no meaning and it was all just Russian roulette, we might as well start planning our move into the shelf stacking profession.

          1. Aficionada profile image88
            Aficionadaposted 5 years ago in reply to this


            lol Some days, shelf stacking sounds pretty good!  lol

            I understand what you're saying, and actually I agree.  I think the thing that frustrates me the most is that as soon as one factor seems to be identified as the most important one, then along come the shady people who figure out how to game that factor.  Or along comes someone in HP forums or elsewhere to explain why it isn't such a good measure after all.  Grrrr!

            In the meantime we writers have to figure out how to make use of the wisdom that gets tossed around - and which may be outdated tomorrow.  As you said above, "I don't think there is any obvious route to take."

            What I'm trying to do these days is to pay attention to what I like when I run searches of my own.  Certain characteristics appeal to me for certain types of articles, when I'm the one searching, and the factors are not identical with every kind of search.  So (when I'm the searcher) I now try to notice why I like a certain article - what is it about the article that makes it work well for the type it is? (sales, review, information, how-to, entertainment)  And then I try to incorporate those same factors as much as I can, as much as I find to be appropriate.

            1. Will Apse profile image87
              Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I think it is worth taking in different writing styles that you encounter online and different lays of laying out info.

              In fact, it is worth imitating and a mastering a few different approaches before settling on a synthesis that suits you. No one writes well without a learning process.

  22. IzzyM profile image90
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    Quality is important to writers.

    I like to think of myself as a writer, but when it comes to making money, writing sales hubs wins hands down.

    I have a lot of sales hubs. When I first started writing sales hubs, I couldn't resist adding the 'how-to's', so they weren't great sales hubs, and their titles didn't make them great 'how to' or 'sales' hubs either.

    So when I forayed farther into the field, I wrote sales hubs that were full of sales talk.

    Wow! That worked too, but I'm not especially proud of them, because to write a sales hub, you have to leave your conscience at the door, and write what people want to read.

    I got slapped with Panda, along with the whole site.

    Subdomains brought my account to higher heights than I had ever seen before.

    Then disaster struck. Just 3 weeks later, my sub got hit.

    I have been struggling for nearly a year trying to figure out what Google doesn't like about it.

    I have edited every single hub, removing this, adding that, and still there is no difference.

    The only positive is that I have stopped the slide into nothingness.

    I still make payout every month, but it was touch and go for a while.

    I can't help it, I'm a writer, I like to write, and I like to write on this platform.

    So I started new subdomains, concentrating each on niche topics.

    A couple of them are doing OK, and all of them are doing better than my main account (in terms of views per hub).

    Same author, Google!

    So it is not how I write that is the problem (didn't you say something about hubs not reading well aloud, Paul?)

    I still do not know why this account has been slapped.

    I find it hard to believe that TPTB on this site do not know either.

    On the subject of deleting hubs, the trouble with doing that is that when those hubs are on related topics, you are deleting backlinks.

    Orphan hubs can be built on, or deleted.

    1. Peggy W profile image92
      Peggy Wposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Izzy,

      Question regarding your words...
       
      "So I started new subdomains, concentrating each on niche topics.
      A couple of them are doing OK, and all of them are doing better than my main account (in terms of views per hub)."

      If you moved existing hubs from your main account into new subdomains, were you able to do it immediately or did you have to take it down and wait a while so it would not appear as duplicate content?  If you had to wait...how long a time?

      Also, is it possible to somehow let your regular followers know where you have gone or must you start all over again with new followers?

      I will be curious as to your answer.  Thanks!

      Niche domains make a certain amount of sense to me with those of us who after writing hundreds of hubs have various topics.

      1. IzzyM profile image90
        IzzyMposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Sorry Peggy, I only just saw this.

        I have moved some hubs, but very very few. It;s just too much work! First of all, I need to check Google for copies, then issue DMCA's and wait for Google to act. Then I have to unpublish the hub and get it de-indexed. You can do that in webmaster's tools. Meanwhile, you then have to set it up on a new account, and wait for it to clear the cache if you haven't asked Google to do it. THEN you have to hit publish with your fingers crossed, because if you missed a copy out there, you can't republish the hub. This happened on one of mine and it took me ages to track down the copy. Then I had to remember the original URL so I could find it on the wayback machine, and file a DMCA showing Google the wayback url. I finally got that hub re-published, but I could have re-written it in a fraction of the time.
        It still doesn't get traffic, after all that palaver!

        Most of my followers and indeed, friends, I have online do not know my new subs, so yes it is like starting again. But these subs are aiming at Google traffic, and I am still here under my main name, so that whole followers thing doesn't really matter.

        What I have come to realise is that niche domains really need to be niches, not categories. The only one that is successful is a proper niche. The others all write within a topic heading, but the topic range is too broad.

        I might experiment with drilling down to find a niche within those topics, writing a handful of hubs on this tightly focussed niche, and seeing what happens.

        1. Will Apse profile image87
          Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          It is great that you are getting traffic in your new sub-domains but so far there is no evidence that niche subs do any better than the usual mishmash most people go for.

  23. IzzyM profile image90
    IzzyMposted 5 years ago

    Oh and also, while we are on the subject, those of you who have seen the sudden withdrawal of Google traffic, will also see bounce rates jump. If you dig deeper, you will also see your hubs ranking for search terms that do not relate to your hub.
    So of course the searcher will not find their answer and bounce away quickly.

    This is a classic symptom that people have reported happens when their account is sandboxed.

  24. Paul Edmondson profile image
    89
    Paul Edmondsonposted 5 years ago

    I'd say it's a really hard problem to present a user with ten or so links to sites and to make sure they are all relevant and high quality.  Couple that with sophisticated spam tactics and it's even more difficult. 

    Google I believe wants to return the best choices for each query - that I agree with.  Some of the tactics they use feel like a blunt object [Panda].  I wish they were more surgical, but I don't think they have the capability to rank on a page by page basis.  That's why Panda now includes site wide negative ranking factors.

    1. janderson99 profile image84
      janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      So the average or overall quality of pages in a sub affects the site's 'reputation' or a few bad eggs can taint the lot. This can cause a negative ranking for the site and the pages will be less likely to appear in the SERPS. A few poor quality pages sneak through because of imperfections in the ranking system or perhaps they are bad eggs in a high quality basket. It still requires a definitive answer to the question of how Google assesses quality, especially if they can't rank on a 'page by page' basis. I still think that analytics is the only metric a submariner can use to assess SUB 'quality' for the things that matter to Google.

      So post-Panda, is it better to add fabulous high quality pages to an old sub to boost its overall reputation or will this not work because of the bad eggs. Or should you remove the bad eggs? Or is it better to start again with a new SUB. How can you know what is a good or bad hub in Google's eyes? Do you have any data to resolve these issues?

    2. Will Apse profile image87
      Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Panda has a nightmarish, lottery element everyone hates and sends plenty of good pages into oblivion.

      Google certainly wouldn't have introduced it if their search algo and array of spam filters were good enough to return the best results on their own.

      I think it is wrong to believe quality is not important, though. And it sends the wrong signal to writers.

      As far as I am concerned the only hope is for Google to get its new approach right.

      Their aim is to return the best results (their business depends on it)and writers should keep plugging away at the quality angle in the expectation that Google will succeed. It is that or give up.

      1. janderson99 profile image84
        janderson99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        The problem is that we don't know how far to go, and what is important. We may spend hours making a fabulous hub that reviewers love but Google hates. We need something to measure and review. At least with analytics you get some metrics related to the user's response to the page that are probably part of the mysterious "quality assessment". If users like it, they will stay longer and read some other pages - surely that is a measure of quality. What else is there???

        Maybe moderate quality is good enough especially if hubs go stale quickly - if this is the case we can write more hubs, rather than a few top class ones. If hubs get traffic and users like them and read more of them - they are good enough. We needs something to go on with "quality".

        Incidentally I don't agree with this
        "it's a really hard problem to present a user with ten or so links to sites and to make sure they are all relevant and high quality."
        Google knows exactly what they are doing and why - they are simply not telling us ($$$$). If its that hard after all these years, Google should give up - which is probably where they are heading with semantic search and Graph (HAL)

        1. Will Apse profile image87
          Will Apseposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I don't think there is any obvious route to take. Lavish time on pages and they could easily be hit by the freshness factor before they give you a good return.

          Dash off pages quickly and they might not be good enough to keep you out of Panda's way.

          This whole Google project we have seen rolled out in the last year is nothing like a finished work if finding the best pages to offer readers is the objective.

          Anyway, I am staying with the course of putting effort and time into pages, cutting poor performers and hoping for the best.

          I did once suggest that Hubpages should establish some professionally edited sub domains. They could compete on equal terms with the pro blogs and other content farms like about.com (doing very nicely). They would hopefully be good enough to provide a Panda proof place to have at least some of your pages and they would probably raise standards across the board as writers competed to be included (issue stars for articles accepted, everyone loves a star, lol).

          1. PaulGoodman67 profile image90
            PaulGoodman67posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I appreciate Paul E giving us his honest opinion.  I think the unvarnished true is that "quality" is no guarantee of success.  We can all see instances where we have good hubs outranked by crap and, indeed, the other way around when mediocre, quickly written hubs do surprisingly well.

            Google is like a surgeon performing operations with a bread knife instead of a scalpel, it seems.

            I don't think that saying that's the same as discouraging quality, though.  It's just saying that Google, whatever its propaganda, has major limitations and challenges and that this always has to be borne in mind.

 
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