Since I joined HP there has been a constant battle against the rise and fall of traffic. We are often encouraged to tune our titles, edit our content and generally try to improve our Hubs. Now with the threat of having Hubs unfeatured, as well as the new quality assessment process taking place across the board, there is even more of a focus on editing our hubs.
And yet people still say traffic is falling...
Over the last few weeks I have been working on my own website. I decided to go through and edit 50 pages, changing many titles and editing the content. Then all of a sudden my traffic plummeted and has not recovered.
I initially thought I was hit with a Google penalty, so I hired a freelance SEO person to look into it for me. What he told me was a bit of a shock. What he told me to read was even worse. Here was an excerpt from his reply:
What exactly did you change? The page’s content? The page’s tag and the meta “description” tag? I have learned before that changing many pages of a website at once (in a very short period of time) determines Google’s crawler to erase the indexing information, because it considers that the keywords those pages have been indexed for are no longer accurate. There are so many domain owners complaining about visitors dropping after site redesign, that I think it’s worth reading the following (though there are also people saying that massive content changing did not affect Google SERP)
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how- … ign/42824/
http://www.seroundtable.com/google-on-p … 14626.html
Having read those articles it does seem a regular topic in the SEO world that doing major work on your website at once can sometimes result in brutal traffic drops.
So my question is, if a huge quantity of hubbers are doing this on their subdomains due to a fear of being unfeatured or failing the QAP, could it be that we are in fact shooting ourselves in the foot and ruining our own traffic?
Any thoughts from Hubpages or those with more SEO knowledge than myself would be interesting to hear:-)
I had the experience that when I was changing titles to some of my hubs, and it just happened to be during a Panda update, the hubs in question lost all traffic. They had been some of my most successful hubs, and they went to 0. I resubmitted via Google Webmasters Tools and they crawled back up gradually.
What did you resubmit? And what is google webmasters tools?
Google Webmaster Tools is one of the most important things you can use to keep track of how your websites, and Hubs, are doing. Here's a simple beginner's explanation:
http://www.reliablesoft.net/how-to-use- … beginners/
I would hope to hear what the HubPages staff have to say on this too. I haven't seen any difference. On the contrary, I've seen my earnings grow. But this is definitely food for thought. Thanks for the helpful links.
This is frustrating to hear. I, like many Hubbers (I think), jumped right in without fully understand SEO. Now that I'm learning more about it I'm regularly tweaking my hubs eg adding keywards to sub-headings and photo's etc. - something that I didn't do at first. All I'm doing is strengthening my hubs by adding more of the relevant keywords, so I'm hoping this wouldn't be reason enough for Googles crawler to erase my indexing because the keywords should still be more or less accurate. Thanks for sharing this with us Ethan. Matt
I have had pretty positive results when re-writing hubs. I have done massive re-writes on nine of my oldest hubs. The results have been largely good, with 2 going down in traffic but 7 going up. I have followed HubPages advice, adding photos, quizzes, polls and maps. I am planning to continue the re-writes following HubPages guidelines and also the advice here on the forums.
I can tell you from my last 3 months following Hub Pages advise that it works. Every one of my hubs is now featured. I have found that Hubs should contain at least 7 legal photos if possible, use nice large photos you can pin when ever possible, buy a simple digital camera and start to shoot as many of your own photos as possible. If you have Hubs under 1200 words rewrite them and get them above 1200 words. Add polls, quizzes, maps, etc. Try to get the person visiting the Hub to interact. Write articles related to your Hubs on other sites and point back to your Hubs. Check your Hubs daily and work on the ones with no traffic first. Traffic and content go hand in hand.
I see people whine all the time about traffic. There is traffic out there for you if you'll pursue it. But pursue it you must. If you build it they will come. But you have to let them know your there.
That was some interesting reading, and I'd like to hear any comments HP staff has on it as well. I don't know that most of that would apply to HP, since it is such a varied site that doesn't depend on one niche or set of keywords to rank most of its content. They probably faced some issues when they switched over to subdomains though.
FWIW, for individual Hubbers I think this is the key sentence in your SEO guy's comments: " . . . changing many pages of a website at once (in a very short period of time) determines Google’s crawler to erase the indexing information, because it considers that the keywords those pages have been indexed for are no longer accurate."
I hope Hubbers aren't changing keywords around just for the sake of change. Once our Hubs are active for a while we have a whole bunch of info to work with in Analytics to determine what edits might make sense. If a Hub is getting a little traffic for a certain word or phrase we didn't mean to rank for, it might be wise to add those keywords to the title tag and meta description. Or maybe not, depending on what our keyword research tells us.
But, yeah, I can imagine haphazardly changing titles could result in a major rankings crash. Not saying that's what you did, but the dude in the forum post said he changed like 20,000 titles and removed the same keyword from each. Yikes!
It seems to me that as long as Hubbers make decisions based on the data available in Analytics and the tools here at HP we shouldn't have to worry much about loss of traffic due to a slight title change. But again I'd like to hear what more experienced Hubbers and HP staff have to say about this.
Great. Last time I take advice from here.
My page on cupcakes was moderately successful - a few hits every year. Then someone says "Cats are popular". So I called it Funny Cats and put a picture of some cat on it. Since then only one visit from a rude person who said I didn't know anything about cats. "Like.. yeah. It's the internet - asshole" I replied in a joky way.
After checking some keywords I have changed it again to "How to Bake a Haddock" and am looking for a picture of one.
You need to call it "Where to Find a Haddock" - then you can get a map in, see. Then it will be super-successful.
Or, "Where Can I Find a Haddock?" - then you can include a quiz.
I'm sure your Haddock hubs are destined for great success.
Thanks JB. I checked Haddock keywords. Useless.
Try "barbecued Bambi recipe". Guaranteed to get you lots of comments...
Shame. I feel quite deflated - it all seemed so promising.
Based on your feedback it seems you should have gone in the direction of adding more keywords that would further enrage cat people. Cat people hate being made fun of, and you could have had them coming to your Hub in droves to take a shot at you. People with cats named Cupcake may have been especially beside themselves with fury.
Then you could have added an Amazon capsule pitching some Haddock recipe books and cleaned up. Cats love fish, and people with cats want to keep them happy.
You should have written 10 Adorable Cupcakes To Make Your Cat Love You More.
That's got "winner" written all over it.
Hehe I'm glad, in a weird way, that you brought some humor to my dry forum thread. Now while I lament my loss of traffic I can think of Haddock and smile to myself;-)
This thread reminded me I hadn't poked the Title Tuner in a while. It gave me some worthy suggestions for some hubs that weren't getting much traffic anyway, so I went for it.
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