A week or so ago I posted in another forum wondering if anyone had figured out the traffic drop. I also sent an email to Google asking them to reconsider my subdomain because the traffic had dropped off so badly. This is their reply - and I guess it is back to the drawing board for me...
Dear site owner or webmaster of http://maryeaudet.hubpages.com/, We received a request from a site owner to reconsider http://maryeaudet.hubpages.com/ for compliance with Google's Webmaster Guidelines. We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site's ranking in Google. There's no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team. Of course, there may be other issues with your site that affect your site's ranking. Google's computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking can happen as we make updates to present the best results to our users. If you've experienced a change in ranking which you suspect may be more than a simple algorithm change, there are other things you may want to investigate as possible causes, such as a major change to your site's content, content management system, or server architecture. For example, a site may not rank well if your server stops serving pages to Googlebot, or if you've changed the URLs for a large portion of your site's pages. This article has a list of other potential reasons your site may not be doing well in search. If you're still unable to resolve your issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support. Sincerely, Google Search Quality Team
So, there ya go. Google doesn't know either.
Can I suggest you try interlinking - add 4-6 links to your other hubs + 3-4 links to external authoritive sites that are all highly relevant. Pushed by IzzyM and others in your other forum.
Yep I am in the midst of that. I just thought it was funny that even google had no clue
They know! - they are not telling, and they could not be bothered. G never offers advice that could be construed as helping anyone "Game" the system.
Google has the knowledge. But they would have to examine your account to diagnose the reasons, and they're not going to do that. When you file for reconsideration, they just check to see if you've had a manual penalty - and if you haven't, they send you the stock reply (which is what you've got).
As Izzy says, it's very important to know when your traffic was affected. If you had a big drop on a particular date, then that enables you to narrow down the reason for your traffic loss.
Google "Panda update April .." or "Penguin update April.." and see what you get. Webmasters are constantly analysing these updates, trying to work out their effects and how to recover from them - and blogging about it. You can learn a lot by reading the various interpretations - you may be able to get clues on why your account was affected.
http://searchengineland.com/winners-los … ate-119493
Google knows, they are telling you it is an algorithmic reason not a manual action. Reconsideration requests are only for manual actions against your website.
Mayre, I applaud your contacting Google about your traffic drop and subdomain. I think Google's response to you is very revealing to you and to all of us. I do think Google knows; it's just not going to let its cat out of the bag. But beyond that...
Google says to you: "If you've experienced a change in ranking which you suspect may be more than a simple algorithm change..." Seriously, how would you or I know anything about any of their algorithm changes being simple or complex, shrouded in secrecy as they are? So there's no action to be taken by you or us regarding their shrouded algo changes.
Then Google also says you might want to consider: "...a major change to your site's content, content management system, or server architecture. For example, a site may not rank well if your server stops serving pages to Googlebot, or if you've changed the URLs for a large portion of your site's pages." Oh my goodness, isn't that just what happened and is happening with being served up via HP, where all the URLs have changed because of the change to subdomains?
I guess we should all use G's webmaster help forum, as they suggest, but we are not the webmasters for our content on HP, so what good would that do, unless perhaps to gain some insight for how we manage our own websites. Plus, it would really be a lot nicer if they'd provided you with a phone number.
Thanks for sharing this response from G.
If your traffic dropped on July 17th. I think I know why? Just a theory! I checked your domain in several places it clearly shows your traffic dropped on July 17th. check your domain in your account on the 17th.
I noticed you wrote 2 hubs from the 17th to the 24th. I also noticed on both hubs.You have a large photo at the top of page and no content above the fold. Thats a big no no!
Large pics. at top of page means very slow loading time. This causes people to bounce off your page right away because a lot more people have dial-up now more then ever.
I checked your PR its a 41/2 which is far better then mine. My traffic has been rising. so that is what I think is causing your traffic to drop. Just a theory!
I would make the photo smaller and put content above photos.
More than ever?
There was a time where everybody I knew had dial-up.
Right now, I can't remember the last time I heard the dial of a modem, saw a modem, or talked to anybody who had dial-up.
Funny, Paul Edmondson has pushed the big photo at the top as a way to get traffic - see his recent forum topic. I am not a believer!
I think the point of the large intro photo at the top is to gain new traffic sources from areas such as Pin. not necessarily gain more traffic from google. At least this is how I read Paul Edmondson's post? It seems to be working for some people.
They were all like that until a google slap and everyone said NO put the photos on top..It was actually the April thing that hit me..and it sort of keeps sliding from there. .... and I havent written any new hubs... just adjusted them...
I didn't know up until now that it was the April update that affected your account.
I had two slapped accounts, this one and my second subdomain.
This one got slapped last August (and has never recovered) but my second account had yo-yoing traffic that was slapped right down in April.
I applied some serious interlinking through intext links to both accounts, and my second sub got its traffic back round about the 11th/12th of July (over a month after I made the changes).
I don't think there was an update then, but several of us here saw traffic changes around that date.
It's all weird, but the way I read it, interlinking strengthens your account and you may see positive results at the next Panda/Penguin run.
They don't have the statistic for dialup for this year yet but heres the link https://www.google.com/search?q=satisti … annel=fflb you can search our country and other countries.
Some people here have confessed they are currently having very good traffic. May be you can consider creating another account here and transferring (without changing anything) about 7.5% of your hubs into that account and see what happens?
I also requested a site reconsideration a couple of months ago, and funnily enough received the exact same reply - word for word - apart from the domain name reference of course. Just thought I'd let you know in case you thought any part of their reply was written just for you!
Unfortunately, applying to Google for reconsideration only works if your domain has triggered a special manual penalty. It doesn't work if your site simply isn't ranking well in Google's algorithm. Google's reply is telling you that there was no manual penalty, so it can't remove the penalty.
Here's what a manual penalty is:
-- Google sends you a warning in Webmaster Tools telling you that your site is doing something fishy and manipulative, and may be dropped in rankings if you don't remove the paid links or other manipulative practice.
-- If you don't comply, your site is completely removed from Google's index. It won't show up if you searched for the title of any of your webpages, or even the domain name.
-- If you then fix the manipulative links or other bad practices that triggered the penalty, you can ask for Google to reconsider and re-index your site.
Here's an algorithmic traffic drop:
-- Google looks at all the webpages out there that discuss red sprockets. Either a new red sprocket website has come online with better info and user experience than yours, Google has changed its algorithm so it can evaluate webpages about red sprockets more effectively. It decides that other red sprocket pages are a better match than yours for the "red sprockets" query.
Google isn't penalizing you. It's trying to judge what people searching for (say) "red sprockets" really want. It then attempts, as best it can, to turn up the absolute best "red sprocket" page that will give them what they want, whether that's information, help, prices, a place to buy them, or an excellent user experience. (In fact, lately, Google has been tweaking its algorithm so that "excellent user experience" is front and center.)
Another possible cause for traffic drops is that lately, Google has been providing more and more content on its own search results pages. Formerly, if you Googled "John Lennon," you would have gotten links to webpages on John Lennon. Recently, Google added a Knowledge Graph box to the right of search results which may satisfy many people's basic "John Lennon" needs, so they're less likely to click a search result.
Similarly, Google has just revamped Google Shopping. Try going to Google and typing "Recurve." Formerly, it would've turned up a bunch of archery supply outlets. Now, the whole first page of results is taken up with Google Shopping product images, names, and prices, so nobody will SEE your Archery Supply Store unless they scroll down.
Changes like this are not manual penalties, they're how the algorithm works. So you can't say, "Hey Google, I removed those manipulative links you were penalizing me for, so can you reconsider?" Instead, we have to check competition and try to improve our writing, our content, our readers' experience, and provide more bang per search query. If our pages are no longer getting traffic, what's beating them out, and why? What are our competitors giving users that we don't? If our entire subdomain just dropped off Google's radar, what are subdomains that ARE getting traffic giving to visitors that we don't? Is our author profile hooked up? Is anyone else linking to and sharing our work, and if not, what would entice them to do so?
Sometimes it's hard to figure out. All we can do is keep studying the web, learning what works, and improving our game...because that's what millions of other web authors are doing!
Great summary, thanks heaps!!! - the only thing missing is the Panda impact of the author's overall reputation and the degrading this causes to all the hubs aboard the sub. In this way 'Google is penalizing you' tainting all your hubs for a few bad apples, and tainting all the HP subs for a few bad ones as well. This is algor related as well, but doen via the Panda refreshes. I would be pleased to get your take on this topic as many hubbers have been trying to address this issue.
I have looked at a few websites on load-time and all say large images take longer to load. They also say Google considers load-time when ranking websites. I will post a link later.
I remember being on dial -up it sucked! If I went on a site with no pics. it was great! If it had videos and I was looking for info I couldn't watch the video. It was so slow you just wanted to throw your computer in the lake. Poor thing!
Large pics. loaded so slow you almost want to give yourself a Mohawk. Even worse if you were interested in a article and it had a video that automatically started you were screwed.
Congrad. on your 100 hub score! I read that somewhere on Google. I tend to believe what Google has to say vs what so called SEO experts have to say.
I think Google Penguin slapped a lot of sites and has kept on slapping ever since. My hubpages don't seem to have been detrimentally affected too badly but I don't have a lot. Other sites I operate suffered a 70% drop in traffic after Google Penguin but as most of my online income is passive recurring income I haven't suffered financially.
If reciprocal links are an issue, I wonder if HP's automatic linking thing to related hubs creates problems if the system somehow creates what looks like reciprocal links?
Nah, because that's not reciprocal links.
What Matt Cutts (chief Google spokespundit) describes and derides as reciprocal links are when linkbuidling addicts send hundreds of emails to sites with good pagerank saying, "links will help your site rank better, so link to me and I'll link to you." This has been a staple of the SEO industry for ten years or more, and it's dumb, because the links are often to and from sites that have nothing to do with each other. (Matt Cutts sometimes uses the example of, say, a roofing company that's got reciprocal links with a casino).
For instance, here's a forty second vid where Matt talks about reciprocal links:
http://www.seo-creare.co.uk/seo-blog/se … video.html
The key with bad reciprocal links is that they're solely meant for search engines to manipulate rankings; there's no reason that readers would want to follow them or find anything they wanted at the other end.
That's very different from an in-house algorithm that tries to show other content that visitors might want to read. Even if it doesn't always get it right, that's done for readers, not just for search engines.
(Besides which, it's not reciprocal: a link from your hub to related hubs doesn't mean they link back: they're liable to show links to still other related hubs instead. The algo pulls from a whole pool of possibilities and displays a different set of related hubs on every page view or searchbot crawl.)
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