I have read many forums over the last couple of months on how traffic to HubPages has dropped considerably since July. After much investigation I believe to have figured out what has caused this drop (and I don't think it was the algorithm change).
I keep statistics on my keyword performance for each of my Hubs. My highest ranking Hub was receiving 800-1000 views per day before mid July. It actually stayed up for the week after the algorithm change. Then it suddenly dropped to 500 and now down to under 200. I have compared my page ranking in Google search and they are the same now as before. I have about 10 different keyword strings for this particular Hub that ranks on the first page of Google at various positions, and amounting in total to approx. 50k LMS.
This would lead me to believe the problem is one of 2 things:
1) Google has lost a considerable amount of viewers to Yahoo or Bing?
2) Traffic on the internet has dropped (could this be the "summer doldrums")?
Has anyone else done the same research and experienced the same drop? If you rely heavily on Google search for your Hub traffic, maybe you could do the same research and share with us your results and views.
I am the farthest thing from a SEO expert, but only having a few hubs makes it possible for me to monitor them fairly closely. Of the five that were consistently page one in Google for their common key words prior to July, two have held their positions, two have slipped to the second page and the fifth has fallen completely off the grid (I gave up after page 4). The two that are still on page one get some traffic, but nothing like they did in the spring. Over all, my traffic is a half to a quarter of what it was in May, which was my best month ever on Hubpages.
Yes, it appears that Google search volume has dropped considerably.
HOWEVER, SOMETHING BROKE LOOSE TODAY!!!
I have also just noticed that many of my site rankings on Google today have INCREASED drastically. In just one day many of my Hubs have moved up by over 3-4 pages, and some even on Page 1 that were never on Page 1 before. SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED!
However....traffic is still WAY WAY DOWN!
Again, proof that for some reason Google traffic is way down. Maybe things will pick up again after school starts or at least after Labor Day. And I believe when they do, looking at stats, we will get more traffic than even before this HUGE drop.
Things may be looking up soon.
I don't know if this could be part of the problem too, but lately for the past few months, every time I try to browse in Google the delay time is huge. I usually have to close out everything and start again. Also, that's interesting what Jenn says above about the best month on HP was May. Overall in any internet site that I have been reading, everyone says the same thing. Things changed after May.
I'd say check the long tails. I had a similar thing happen quite a while back. My hub was still ranking well for its main keywords, but it had lost significant traffic. When I did a comparison of the number of phrases bringing traffic from google I found that I'd lost the 1000's of long tail phrases that individually brought minimal traffic, but when added together brought a lot.
My views this month also declined here in hubpages almost 77%
but still i am not earning here because i dont have adsense, i wonder if it affects earnings
1000 views on one hub per day, that's amazing.
As someone who's followed search engine news and SEO prqctices since about 2007, I would say:
-- If your own personal traffic has changed, that is NOT evidence of anything about overall internet traffic or Google/Bing. That's like assuming that the world's bird population is dying because there are fewer birds on your feeder, without realizing that several of your neighbors have put up feeders with yummier food than yours.
-- Keyword ranking is no guarantee of actual traffic. So you rank well for five or six keyword phrases. Great. Now, how many people are searching for those actual phrases? Is there any external cause -- apps that do the same job, or just changing search trends -- that could mean fewer people are searching for those phrases?
--Are Google Shopping, Knowledge Graph, Google Cards, or other newer Google products appearing at the top of Google results, securing the bulk of visitors before they get down to organic search results? Google Shopping has been doing this for a while, but Google keeps tinkering with how it's displayed; Knowledge Graph, cards, and the new "in-depth article" boxes are fairly recent and are still being tweaked. Every time Google changes what appears at the top of Google search results pages, the traffic that "trickles down" to stuff farther down the page changes, too.
-- How are you checking rankings for keywords? Are you aware that Google personalizea all search results, so that the rankings you see will not be the rankings anyone else sees? Of course, it will rank Hubpages well for you since it sees that you visit HP often.
-- Are you aware that the bulk of Google keyword traffic data is now "not provided" in Google analytics and to third party keyword traffic stats tools that rely on Google for data? So traffic to a given keyword will appear to have dropped just because it's filed under "not provided" instead of the keyword?
-- Hubpages traffic is down overall as a domain. Domain-based Google traffic drops are due to its domain-based ranking algorithms, such as Panda.
Sorry for the double post, but I needed to do my homework. You asked whether these two things might be true:
Here's some data that may bears on those questions.
Comscore's July search engine traffic report shows that Google still drives 67% of search traffic (a modest rise from the month before), Bing at 17.9% (stable), Yahoo at 11.3% (a slight drop).
The longterm trend is that search traffic is still rising, despite the inroads made by apps which mean that many web users are now bypassing search since they can get what they need on apps. (Why search for restaurants using Google when restaurant listings appear in your map app, e.g.)
I hesitate to post this, but someone will ask if I don't, so:
You may have seen news reports that "Yahoo websites are now getting slightly more traffic than Google." However, that's visitors to Yahoo and Google as destinations, not users of websearch. Yahoo websites include sites Flickr, Yahoo news and even the venerable Yahoo groups. It is indeed impressive that Marissa Meyer has turned Yahoo fortunes around. It shows that Yahoo is getting back to its roots: it built itself up as a destination, a content host and social platform, whereas Google, despite Google Plus, Picasa and (most importantly) YouTube was originally a search engine and ad provider, a gateway to other people's content. While Comscore's July report doesn't include traffic to Tumblr, Yahoo's new darling, Tumblr still plays a part: millions of web users are now sharing and viewing YouTube videos embedded on Tumblr, so that's a lot of lost traffic to YouTube.com. Another thing about this Comscore report: it only covers desktop traffic, not mobile traffic, which is growing fast.
But to repeat, this report isn't talking about how many people are using Yahoo and Google as search engines. It's only about how many people are visiting Yahoo and Google websites. That does include people visiting them to do web searches, but also includes a ton of people visiting them to visit them, whether that's fantasy baseball fans going to Yahoo news to pick up sports scores or YouTube users uploading videos of their cats.
About "summer doldrums": The best way to answer that question is to look back at your past years' traffic. For what it's worth, I do see a slight traffic drop-off each summer on some places where I write, and I know other online writers who report the same trend. It depends on what you write about. But the traffic drop Hubpages experienced this summer is much, much bigger than the "summer doldrums" of past years.
(As far as I know, the internet overall doesn't experience "summer doldrums": people just tend to look for different things in the summer, particularly college-age web users, who are a significant audience for many of us.)
I certainly hope your theory about Google is wrong, as that could very well hinder them in their ongoing quest to get the entire world in a stranglehold and pummel it into submission.
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