KNOWN ISSUE: Google SERPS affecting authorship display and WMT

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  1. Matthew Meyer profile image82
    Matthew Meyerposted 7 years ago

    We have several threads going about this.

    It is an ongoing issue on which we are working with Google and is related to how they are displaying information.
    Currently, the issue is affecting traffic counts for a subset of Hub URLs in Google webmaster tools as well as how authorship is displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs).

    I have closed the other threads and will update this single thread when the issue has been resolved.
    There is no current need to post more examples nor to post new threads regarding this issue.

    Thanks for your continued patience.

    Here are the other related forum threads.

    1. Writer Fox profile image42
      Writer Foxposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I think one of the reasons this is happening is that HubPages' programming doesn't add a canonical URL tag referencing the URL to the header of the page, which it should be doing!

      Could you please ask the programmers to check this out?

      1. Alison Graham profile image95
        Alison Grahamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Matthew, I know you said that there was no need to post further examples as the matter is already under investigation however, I have not seen my (related) issue mentioned so thought I should bring it to your attention.

        In relation the question about webmaster tools and hubs indexed. I initiated webmaster tools for my hubpages as suggested in the apprenticeshop program at the beginning of March 2013. The indexed pages shot up to 141, then 156 then dropped off slightly to 136 on 31st March. Then the number of indexed pages plummeted to only 68 on 14th April before slowly climbing again to 82 which was reached on 5th May - since then it has stayed steady. I cannot understand why this should be, I have not had more than a couple of hubs unfeatured, have continued to add hubs to my account. Can anyone shed any light on this?

      2. pauldeeds profile imageSTAFF
        pauldeedsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        You only use the rel="canonical" tag when you serve the same content at two different urls, which we do not do.  Hubs have a single canonical URL, which includes the subdomain.   For legacy reasons there are other URLs that can lead to a Hub, and we already do a 301 redirect from those to the canonical URL for those.  For example:

        redirects to:

        This issue is entirely on Google's side, and they've told us that  it's expected.  I'm not sure why they don't consider it a bug, but they don't.   Anyway, I don't think there is much we can do about it.

        1. Writer Fox profile image42
          Writer Foxposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Bummer.  But, thanks for letting us know.

        2. rebekahELLE profile image87
          rebekahELLEposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I'm bringing this up again, because I'm still wondering how this issue was entirely on Google's side and how it was resolved.  Isn't an URL an URL?   (how can it display differently than what it is)

          It is mentioned in a different post that HP was working with Google on this issue, which there has been a reverse back to subdomain URL's.  My question is exactly what was worked out?  Obviously the URL's were once again reindexed, but can someone please explain how all of this happened.

          Google can't possibly like all of this switching back and forth.  With the initial switch from the HP domain, traffic went up for many of us, then mysteriously a while back it was noticed that some of our hubs were being indexed on the root domain and some of them weren't.  Now within the last few weeks, those hubs have been reindexed back on our subdomains and views are very low for many of us that were affected.
          Now with once again the EC hubs being reindexed to the HP domain, it seems this has to confuse the bots.
          Are some of our subdomains being slapped for this switching back and forth?

          1. Matthew Meyer profile image82
            Matthew Meyerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Google determines what they display for search results.

            You can test the authorship for a URL using the rich snippet tool.

            Both subdomain and Editor's Choice Hubs should have authorship information.  We just tested both and confirmed this.

            If authorship isn't working properly for your Hubs, please follow the steps for setting up authorship.

            1. rebekahELLE profile image87
              rebekahELLEposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              This is more my concern.  How do they decide what to display if the URL was not changed on our part?
              For example, the hubs that were on our subdomain being displayed with the root domain URL instead of our subdomain URL.. 
              Perhaps I'm not understanding how URL's can be displayed in different ways.
              I wasn't questioning authorship.

              1. Matthew Meyer profile image82
                Matthew Meyerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                We are not privy to the exact algorithm that Google uses.That is information that they are unlikely to disclose.

                1. rebekahELLE profile image87
                  rebekahELLEposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                  Sorry Matthew, I must not be communicating clearly.  All I'm wondering is how G can display a URL differently if we ourselves did not change the URL to our hubs?  (as I tried to communicate in my first post).  Thanks.  I'm not trying to be difficult, simply trying to understand.  Maybe I need food..  dinnertime.

                  1. Matthew Meyer profile image82
                    Matthew Meyerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                    Sorry I have not answered your question fully.

                    Let me start over and give some history.

                    Originally, all Hubs where only available on
                    When we switched to subdomains another URL was essentially created for each Hub.

                    Let's use one of my Hubs for example.
                    Here is the subdomain URL.
           … ws-machine

                    You can also access the same Hub here.
           … ws-machine

                    Currently we are returning a HTTP code of 301 (Moved Permanently) for the the non sub-domain URL for my Hub.
                    You can use this URL to see the HTTP code returned for any URL.
           … s-code.php

                    So that is the origination of the multiple URLs.
                    We found that many times, despite our pointing Google to the subdomain address, they chose to index the Hub on the URL instead of the subdomain.  Many Hubs, especially those created before subdomains, tend to do better as far as search traffic goes using the address.  This is why we rolled out Editors Choice to give exceptional Hubs a chance to benefit from the increased traffic.

  2. Writer Fox profile image42
    Writer Foxposted 7 years ago

    Matthew, is the staff still working on this problem?  Those five forum threads on this topic are all from five weeks ago, just the time when Paul E. said he thought the site was hit by Google Panda.

    If Google detects the same content on different URLs on a site, the site can be penalized.

    HubPages may need to do massive, server-side 301 redirects.

  3. rebekahELLE profile image87
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

    Got it! smile  Thanks for the explanation, and your patience.

    1. Matthew Meyer profile image82
      Matthew Meyerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      You are very welcome!


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