Good job hubpages! Tell all your authors to write 3 sentence summaries about their hubs. Then use these summaries for meta descriptions in the actual webpages. Stupid. I bet hubpages has millions of pages with meta descriptions that clearly violate search engine guidelines. Bing won't even index a page that has a 3 sentence meta description. This would be considered an SEO violation by all major search engines in fact. They are literally causing themselves to be penalized thousands of times a day by every search engine in existence. I think its obvious at this point that hubpages executives don't have a clue as to what they are doing at all. They also remove virtually any backlinks that authors here create that point to related articles on the internet. Stupid is as stupid does. Better yet, lets add "nofollow" tags to every single post! Again, stupid.
So I guess you won't be writing here anymore. My summaries are usually just 2 sentences, I figured that out by myself. I don't expect Hubpages to do my thinking for me.
I do not expect them to do my thinking for me but when they give tips I assume there is a good reason behind them or they are evidence based.
If they are just giving tips based on "this seems sensible" any good tips they give are going to be ignored.
@ Univited writer, I have a "real" question, the two sentence summary thing that is under the right side right? Where you just write a "summary" of the article, primarily using some anchor text? And just two sentences are okay and not deem your article as spammy? I am trying to update my hubs and create new content here, so your feedback would be awesome to this question. OR anyone else that reads the thread, what is the best solution. Sorry to get off track of being negative and complain, just really trying to give all the changes here a shot and just go for it. Thanks!!
I like to keep the summary short enough that it doesn't get cut off when you see it appear on your HP profile. Did you notice the text describing your post there is whatever you wrote in the summary?
I tend to write the summary once the post itself is just about done. It's always one of the last things I do. That way I know what I have written, how it turned out and what was included or excluded.
Once I write the summary I usually paste it in as the first intro sentence for my post as well. The odd time I find just the right sentence (or 2) in my post and use that as the summary. But, far more likely I make the summary my introduction to the post.
I don't think about adding heavy keywords because they will already be there if I am doing the job of writing the summary/ introduction well.
He is talking about the summary being used as meta-data. If they are doing that, they really shouldn't IMHO.
Actually Uninvited, I am not here to monetize, I have my own websites, and my content is protected by my good diligence! I have nothing to fear from this sites policies as I write here, but not looking to make money here. Nothing this site does affects me at all. I am more concerned as to how their policies affect you guys, not myself!
HP are now saying summaries should be less than 160 characters but they give you a limit of 500 characters. NOW they tell me. I only saw that tip a little while ago. How much effort would it take to reduce that limit.
While no one in management can get everything right, I notice my traffic has suddenly plunged for no reason, even though I am doing what used to be right and it has beeb observed that individual traffic seems to mirror HP's overall traffic. Very odd
My traffic fell to half of what it was in the past 24 hours..ugh!!!
I noticed a big change in Google search results between Monday night and Tuesday night. I expect a lot of people to be hit hard by this.
Almost all of my remaining (not idled) hubs have falling traffic blue arrows on them.
It's a bit depressing.
But hopefully will not be permanent.
As I just finished writing my question.....So is there a penalty or limit of using some of the keywords in the summary of only 160 characters not words.. Ugh, it seems to be getting more complicated.....
Correct, summaries should be 160 characters or less as defined by the search engines, not hubpages! Then hubpages states 2 to 3 sentences? How does that equate to 160 characters, when search engines generally view spaces between letters as a character. When search engines state 160 characters, they are stating 160 characters in length total. Google will give some head room here and willnot penalize for going over this amount just a little, but bing will automatically flag the article and remove it from their search results.
I wonder if it is fair to say HP executives are idealist who think good writing will make money no matter what.
Personally if a Hub consistently makes loads of money and gets loads of traffic it is a good hub. Even if the grammar and spelling are poor and the layout confusing.
The crash in my traffic seems to be a drop in the number of visitors from Google. This may well be because of the no-index and no-follow policy which, as pointed out, appears totally cretinous.
Most of my traffic is now coming from HP and other search engines, as far as I can tell.
The same hting happened to Triond recently but traffic there seems to be recovering, though not earnings.
I have earmarked the weekend for putting some articles on a private site. This has gone on long enough. Time for HP execs to stop the headless chicken act and start thinking.
So hit the road................
don't let the door hit ya in the arse on the way out.
Djdaniel150, thanks for your tip. If I even write a description, it's short because I am too lazy to summarize my hub. Maybe this is a good exercise for this morning. I will do anything to improve my traffic.
There is almost know validity to this conversation. Meta -descriptions and how they interact with search indexing, placement and presentation is very well documented subject.
It doesn't match up with what is said here.
The no-follow strategy is pure lunacy though, stupid is a mean word
Please be more specific. I would like to know more especially how the reality does not match what is stated here.
The recent traffic crashes on HP are making me wonder how much of my writing to leave here and what to move elsewhere.
There is also the question of how long HP can survive. I think they will as they have a lot of traffic, unless people start leaving in droves.
Yes, the no follow strategy seems strange, especially as someone noted that once a page has a no-index tab search engines ignore it for ever even if the tag is removed.
Then your <personal attack snipped>! Its not my opinion, I am college educated and have been doing this for 7 years! I am not writer moron, I am an IT specialist! So bite me!
Sunforged doesn't have to point to a diploma, he can point to his long-ass track record. The guy has been owning SEO face and website earnings for years and those of us who have been around for years paying attention to this "idiot" have learned insane amounts from him, which has helped us earn too.
You need to put a comma between writer and moron; otherwise; oh, my!
Needs an apostrophe in "your" too, and an "a" before writer. Wonder what college it was...
In all fairness, forum posts are given slack.
I'm still an observer at this point.
djdaniel, I have asked you on another thread to link to a page where Google, or somebody else who writes more about SEO, state that long summaries are penalised, and I notice that you did not bother to reply.
Writing long summaries is not very useful, because they are truncated in the SERPs, but that is very different from incurring an actual penalty. I have read many things from Google about what they consider "good quality content", listened to Matt Cutt's youtube stuff, follow sites such as searchengineland etc. and I've never come across the idea that long summaries cause a penalty to the site.
I hope you will not be upset that I just don't automatically accept what you say, what with your extensive IT expertise and college degree (v. impressive mate! good for you). Still if what you say is true, it must be very easy to point to somewhere that other people mention this SEO factoid. I could easily link to pages saying buying links is bad, keyword stuffing is bad etc. Similarly it should be easy for you to link to somewhere that says "long summaries will be penalised".
Or is it a top secret that only a few chosen SEO gurus are allowed to know?
+1 Totally agree - if this is SEO fact, then all the other SEO experts on the web should be saying the same thing.
OMG! I just wanted a link, not an essay! Sorry don't have the time to read this.
Do you mean 'no-index' rather than 'no-follow', as I understand it links in pages by hubbers with score <75 are no follow to discourage spammers hubbing purely for backlinks. I don't think this is such a bad idea, although it probably doesn't work that well in terms of discouraging spam.
I think the no-indexing of pending hubs, and good hubs with low traffic is pretty bad, although I think the removal of obvious 'low quality' is a good idea.
I am not sure if that is a sensible policy since all new hubs start with scores around 50.
Aaah but it's hubber score of 75 rather than hub score. My new hubs start off with a score of 50 but my hubber score is 90+, so all my links are do-follow. But when I started my hubber score was under 75 and my links to other sites were no-follow. Just stops this site from being used purely for link building. I don't have any problem with that.
I agree "aa lite!" Why would hubpages want to have Google index content that is "sub par?" This would be bad. Also, You would know more about how hubpages works than I would when it comes to the whole "hubber score" thing, etc. I will start reading the FAQ's on here to get a better idea of how hubpages goes about doing things.
I hear ya on the 3 sentence meta description as I use SEO Quake and they tell me on every single hub I have written that my meta description is to long and it should be between 70 - 160 characters so I started going back and editing my earlier ones.
The information about how much content will display in SERP's is generally correct,
"Bing won't even index a page that has a 3 sentence meta description.
This would be considered an SEO violation by all major search engines in fact. "
Meta-descriptions are not guaranteed to display as one "suggests" by entering them into the page source and what displays is heavily influenced by the user query.
A long description is usually just truncated in display at the character limit.
Utilizing them "wrong" is a lost opportunity, not a "penalty"
No its not sunforged, once agan your <personal attack snipped>! Bing will not so much penalize you for one or two pages, they just wont index your content. You are preaching to the choir. Obviusly you dont have a Bing webmaster account or you would know this.
Being the choir, you understand the value of simply testing your postulations.
So, If i pull up a site from my tabs
A Credit Union in Orange County (the first result for Orange County Credit Unions in BING)
the following text appears in SERP's
"Orange County's Credit Union - Home Bank
www.orangecountyscu.org - Official site
Customer service 888-354-6228
Orange County's Credit Union offers the access, security, and stability of any high-profile bank, with access to over 29,500 CO-OP Network ATMs, as well as … <-- ellipse indicates it is truncated
The Meta-Description is:
"Orange County's Credit Union offers the access, security, and stability of any high-profile bank, with access to over 29,500 CO-OP Network ATMs, as well as investment options, auto loans, and mortgages"
That is a character count of "201"
So we have a site that is in a Competitive Market - Indexed in Bing (and Google) a Meta-descrip that exceeds 160 characters
Then I stick it in Screaming Frog - crawl the site - wait about 30 seconds, turns out that the character count is 202 and that its the ONLY meta-description entered for the entire site - all the rest of the pages are empty
Yes, it is not only indexed, but leads the rankings in Bing?
Then, another first position return in Bing
"San Francisco Lawyer"
Home Page Meta-Descrip Count: 236
Screaming Frog shows that 15 Pages exceed a character count of 160 (yet, this is the top return in Bing)
http://www.sanfranciscolawyer360.com/co … greements/
This page has a character count of 249 - does Bing index it? yes ... does the whole site rank well (yes)
Where is this penalty?
It took me 3x as long to type this up as it did to do a cursory check of your assertion. It takes perhaps 30 seconds of searching to see that there is no validity to what you are so passionately defending. Perhaps this information will help you to put your energy in behalf of your clients or yourself into more important efforts.
I will return to my day now, Good luck
Search engines don't automatically truncate meta descriptions, you havent F*cking clue! Younothing about anything!
If you can't follow a simple forum rule in relation to personal attacks, why should I assume you have an accurate understanding of very complex SEO rules?
This is too horrible. I thought Hub Pages was a nice place to belong.
Can you list your source for this information. There seems to be mixed messages when searching for this - some SEO experts say Google simply ignores anything over 160 characters.
Is there an official Google statement?
You don't even have to do summaries.
I bet I've not done summaries on the half of my hubs....I'm clocking around eight hundred page views per day.
My advice....is always listen to what Mr. Sunforged has to say.
800 page views? Where are those views coming from? Any ad clicks from authors on hubpages for your articles are completely discounted by Google, they log your IP address. Listen to what Sunforge has to say? He didn't build his website, he used a content management system to create it. He doesn't know web design, or he wouldn't need a program to do it for him!
That sounds a bit semantic. Penalty could be taken to mean just :making the page rank poorer than if you didn't do it.
Reading quite a few SEO sites, many say it doesn't change ranking - but as the meta tag description is often 'seen' when searches 'search' then the opportunity to get a click may have gone if the description is poor.
Most suggest creating a 160 character succinct description that provides a lot of info...
..of course, SEO is such an imprecise science that there are others who state that it does penalize ranking!
I point out "not penalty" for the same reason that Simey is stating.
Meta-Descrip have been specifically noted as not being part of the ranking algo. Hence, no "penalty" possible.
Good metadescrip can cause more ctr and better activities that are measured ranking factors - but your main concern is to influence the "pick me" factor.
It is a case of anal semantics - but considering the tone of the OP, I think necessary. SEO is quite a bit about anal semantics.
As for documentation, Simey, I have been in the midst of rewriting around 300 pages worth of metadata that was stuffed by a previous SEO , these domains spread across multiple industries, banking, insurance etc - see millions of pageviews and are under intensive daily tracking - my own experience, data and the constant research I partake in is my source.
Someone else did provide some links to googleblog - i prob could pull up an informative and recent article from seomoz in a few seconds, but so could you
A good meta-descrip - is one half optimization/one half marketing copy.
Oops - wasn't actually asking you for sources - but the OP. As stated by other people - if you say it, then it's most likely true!
once again you guys, I am a web designer, I do this for a living, and you are preaching to the F*cking choir!
Well if you are so sure about what you are stating, why not link to some kind of source for your information. Somewhere that says, "long summaries will lead to a site being penalised". How did you find out about this? Did you just wake up one day and a lightbulb went off in your head "if you write long summaries your traffic will vanish!"
If that is the case, I sympathise with your frustration. I have been telling people for ages that a careful reading of my hubs everyday, preferably several times will bring them great riches, and that buying the Amazon products these hubs recommend is a sure way to Nirvana, to no avail. I am constantly met by derision and ridicule.
I am getting almost no traffic from Bing and Yahoo and I did previously. I am going to try this on a few hubs and see what happens. Google is doing fine though.
G doesn't use the meta description for direct ranking purposes, it's just used as a snippet on the serps. An enticing description can however increase click through rates, which in turn affect the position in the serps. A spammy keyword stuffed meta won't result in a penalty from Google. Instead it will put off people from wanting to visit your page, and the reduced click through rate will result in a lower ranking.
If the meta is too short then you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to reel potential visitors to your page. If it is too long then Google will crop it or use some text from the page instead, that may/may not be good enough to entice visitors to the page (ie sub-optimal)
If the meta is missing entirely then Google will try to replace it with text from the page or if that is not possible (perhaps because a page isn't crawlable or only contains images), then they will grab some text from elsewhere. The Dmoz directory is often used as a last resort.
Official Resource: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bi … swer=35624
In a nutshell, write a relevant and enticing meta description that is unique to the page, keep it less than 160 characters so Google doesn't need to crop it. Don't worry about being hit by a penalty for having a crap/short/long meta description, that doesn't happen, just means your page isn't fully optimized and you may be missing out on clicks as Google users click on other results that look more relevant and enticing.
Official Resource (in the Q&A section) :
"Q: Does this mean that Google ignores all meta tags?
A: No, Google does support several other meta tags. This meta tags page documents more info on several meta tags that we do use. For example, we do sometimes use the "description" meta tag as the text for our search results snippets.....Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don't use the description meta tag in our ranking.
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … a-tag.html
Atleast Daniel Roo has a brain unlike the rest of you idiots! This "sunforged" guy is trying to tell us how a meta description tag works, yet he doesn't even now what it is. Meta descriptions are not part of your content, they are part of the code that makes up a webpage! Meta = data about data to put it in a nutshell!
I never really focused on how many sentences or characters/words I had in my hub summaries. Perhaps I should look over them now. I wonder why one of my newly published hubs is already not featured. I published it a few days ago. This never happened to me before. And it's a hub about Black Friday, which I want to be featured.
I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
The OP has totally misunderstood how meta descriptions are used and has made an assumption that a long meta description will result in a penalty.
That is incorrect.
OK I get it now. A meta description can be as long as you want but probably only 160 characters will be used by google.
However HP state that summaries longer than 160 characters will be ignored by search engines.
We have two things here; The meta description, which I follow, the summary, which attracts people, and the fact HP use summaries for the meta tag.
For me the summary should be as long as needed but no longer. Up to 500 chars. This must be human readable and attractive. Only the first 160 will go into the meta tag so these should hold keywords.
Or am I missing something??
Meta descriptions that are too long, once again will get you penalized, and yes, ignored as well in search results.
How does that fit in with Daniel Roo's (the man with the brain) quotes from Google blog?
It is pretty clear to me (and sunforged and ppl who actually bother to check things rather than blindly believe every self-proclaimed IT guru who shows up on these forums) that a good summary can help getting more ppl click through to your page, but a bad, or too long, summary will not hurt your ranking.
Where do you get the penalisation idea from?
Sometimes the, uh, SERP recognition framistat supports an elemental input from meta tag phosphorescence listings under an XYZ triptic scheme which, if combined with a meta description hufflefluffle in an HTML head and shoulder area can create a downward and cascading colonic effect effusing, if you will, a paradigmatic perplexity of apocalyptic proportions. And stuff.
Freaking perfect. About time someone elucidated it. Problem solved.
If you can generate stuff like this you should be in the civil service
Just think, we people who have been here more than 4 years don't know what works and sells. I know things have changed in terms of earnings but there are still successful people here who also have success elsewhere online.
The hub of mine that gets consistently good traffic has a summary of at least 160 character, the 2nd best one is shorter, probably 100 characters.
I have one hub that has received almost 700.000 views in less than a year. And guess what. It has no summary. No sorry I won't tell which one it is. But it usually gets well over a thousand views every day and sometimes up to 4.000 views in one day.
Wow... I only hope that I can write a post or two like this...
I have a hub like that -- a few 100,000 in a year. Wish I could get more hubs like this today. My hubs are not ranking well like they did in 2011.
This one gave me a chuckle. You really must be very new here. We're not all as ignorant as you would have us appear, specifically not this guy, 'sunforged'.
You may want to check out his site, sunforged.com.
Read this. It will give you more information about the meta length from someone who has experimented with longer than 160 characters. It doesn't contain any hysteria.
http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/ … -2011.html
I am pretty sure Google just truncates it, I don't think it's penalized... by Google or Bing.
I personally don't see what's wrong with the summary being used as the meta description. It's a good way to give searchers a short snippet of what your article is about. I figure it's better than Google pulling random bits of text related to the search.
Summaries should be 160 characters or less. So when you get to "340 characters remaining" you've gone far enough.
Interestingly, my google traffic went up a lot at the start of this week, so that seems to be the opposite of what people are experiencing here.
That little summary is not related to SEO at all. It is just a little explanation about the webpage used by search engine to show under search result. Nothing else, A well explained and attractive summary can increase your click through rate. Through that little summary you can describe the content of your whole article, and users will get to know what they are going to get inside without visiting tha page and if it is related to there search, they will definitely click and visit your page. No SEO issue with summary at all.
Lowest it's been in over one month...why?
The fact it is low is not worrying for the time of year. What is worrying is that the only trend I can see is down. With the eye of faith hope and charity I might be able to see an upward trend in the last two months.
Thanks Giving day in the US - most people eating Turkey and drinking Egg-Nog!
What is with the new hub url: email@example.com/hub/category/name of hub.
Wow, Djdaniel, you may have an IT degree, but you've missed out on some basic web design. Hint: "Wall of Text" has been a web no-no since 1993.
It's also not a good idea to insult people who may have more experience than you, even if they're not boasting about their resumé.
Several people have asked you to provide a link to some official info backing up your claim that a long meta description (a.k.a. hub summary) results in a search penalty. You have failed to provide a link, so we'll take it as given that you can't.
So, How DO search engines use Hubpage's summary (the "meta description")?
Here's a link for you. Google's official blog says:
That's crystal clear, especially for Google. There's no way a long hub summary could trigger a penalty, since Google doesn't use it for ranking purposes. How about Bing? It says:
Bing doesn't absolutely rule out using the meta description as a ranking factor, but the message is clearly: "Minor, at best." Bing deemphasizes the description as a ranking factor, and instead strongly emphasizes its use as a blurb to attract visitors in search results. Bing also states that if your meta description is lousy or missing, it'll provide your page with a better one. That doesn't sound like a penalty to me!
How does HubPages' "Summary" work? Why is it so long?
Instead of railing against Hubpages executives for being "deaf, dumb, and blind," you might've asked a question: "Hey, Hubbers, why does Hubpages have space for a 500 character summary, when it gets truncated to 120-155 characters in most search engine results?"
As many Hubbers can tell you, the "Summary" of our Hub appears in full in a number of places on the Hubpages website:
• In our Hubpages feed. This is not crawled by search engines, but it's a way that most Hubpages members find new hubs.
• On Hubpages Categories pages, like this one. These are crawled by search engines, and can provide a slight boost in relevance thanks to co-citation. Co-citation is a fancy term for "the text and links around a link pointing to your page." Search engines check the context of links pointing to your page as a very minor ranking factor. So, in that way, a hub summary can help boost your hub's relevance for certain search terms, although the rankings boost from co-citation is probably tiny.
However, as you were clumsily trying to point out, the Hubpages summary is also fed into the hub's meta description tag, which is used by search engines as the default snippet when they list a hub in search results. (Sometimes. Often, search engines pluck a quote from elsewhere on the page that more closely matches the search query). This snippet is very important, because it's our ONE chance to get people searching the web to click on your page, instead of all the other results that came up.
Problem: while Hubpages will post up to 500 characters of a summary in-house, search engines truncate a meta description at somewhere between 120 and 155 characters. And they're not consistent. Search engines keep changing the length of the snippet they show.
So, how should we write our Hub summaries?
Simple! Write summaries that do double-duty, both as a Hubpages summary of up to 500 characters, and as the short-form 120-155 character snippet that shows in search engine results. Front-load the first sentence.
Remember, while the snippet may influence search rankings a tiny bit, 95% of the summary's purpose is to convince people your page is worth reading.
If you're a writer, you probably know the adage "show, don't tell." Here's what you need to show:
• The hub's topic. Do you cover what your potential visitor is looking for?
• Writing competence.
• Trustworthiness. Avoid phony boasts or marketing sleaze.
• Compelling, unique, intriguing writing that entices clicks.
Here's a tool I sometimes use for this purpose: Google Snippet Optimizer. (Warning: useful site, tasteless site logo.)
Keep in mind that Google will often chop off a Hub description to 120 characters, occasionally even 110 characters. Put your greatest effort into optimizing the first 120 characters to achieve the above goals. Then add another sentence or two building on that kernel, creating an appealing and interesting snippet for Hubpages' longer 500-character summaries, which appear wherever your hub is listed on Hubpages.
But when you quote complete with the link - are you not doing their work for them?
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