For those of you hoping you can ignore Google and become successful via the social networks, this survey is not good news:
http://searchengineland.com/study-organ … l-5-202063
Basically, for most websites, the search engines are still by far the biggest source of traffic, and social is a tiny proportion.
I don't know about "chasing" social traffic, but the traffic that I've grown naturally has been very good. Some of my lenses get their best traffic from Pinterest, some from Google search, and some from Facebook. (I stay very carefully away from anything that sounds like a buy followers/pins,etc scheme. Those are always disasters.)
And the social networks are a way to find out what's in fashion. For instance, I made a very complete pinboard for a particular hobby that I thought my mother might be interested in. She never took it up, but the board has been a steady hit. Guess what I'm learning to do, so that I can take original pictures?
I've had more success with search engines and have no faith in social media for traffic. I'm surprised sometimes people still talk up social media and even backlinks, seems outdated to me.
Social media is a piece of the pie, and for some, it works well. As far as links, yes, spammy backlinking is outdated and will knock you down in SERPS, but attracting quality links is a huge factor in ranking well. You may want to read through this very recent, reputable moz link, including the comments.
Yeah and now they're all tobogganing just like the penguins when they're out of water (Fish out of water kind of thing)
Oops. I didn't know anyone replied to my comment before I deleted it. Just so there's congruence here, I'd made a comment about so-called experts advising people to build backlinks a couple years back, then everyone getting slapped down by Penguin. I personally never liked that idea of unnaturally getting backlinks; they come naturally when you write good content. And I think that's why Google slapped the backlinkers.
You're correct that I get most of my traffic from Google and other search engines, but because my niche, gardening, is popular on Pinterest, I also get a significant amount of traffic from there. I've been upgrading the photos on my hubs to make them more attractive on Pinterest, while also improving the text for the Google gods.
Yep. I write craft how-to articles, and plant-based recipes, which also do well on Pinterest. I don't feel like I'm "chasing" anything. I just make it a habit to pin my finished hubs after I publish them.
This is actually good news for me, since I don't want to "bother" my FB friends with all I write. I use Facebook for other things rather than promotion. Twitter has never been too interesting for me to use regularly, and while Pinterest does bring in some traffic, it's not much so far.
I'm relieved that organic searches bring in the lion's share of traffic overall.
I was reading a tutorial on moz about links this past week, and it included an interesting pie chart of ranking factors that they put together from results of a 2013 moz search ranking survey. Social media represented only 7.24% while domain level quantity/quality of links to the site, domain level PR, represented 20.94%, the largest portion of the pie. Here's the link. I'm certain it's a big reason HP is trying hard to get rid of spammy type hubs which often have low quality links both to and from the hub. BTW, the link is to a very recent article, within the past week from the moz blog.
Scroll half way down the page to see the chart.
@rebekahELLE we are trying to change hp for the better. I think our content plan has been enhanced a ton with HubPro, but we have a long way to go.
I think spammy elements in Hubs is still something we need to improve upon by finding good ways to reduce it.
There is a lot that goes into why a piece ranks. For us, we have to be about satisfying readers. If we do a really good job satisfying readers traffic will grow:)
I'm not sure. I get a lot of reads from my Facebook friends (I have around 3000 now), and although I definitely don't want to bombard them all, there are specific groups you can join.
I've also read a few articles about how poor social traffic is in terms of conversion (be that ad revenue, sign-ups for something, a specific call to action).
Which does make it even less attractive.
Thanks for sharing the link Marisa. I will make three points from personal experience:
1. Yes, organic is always good.
2. There are certain niches where social media drives good traffic, and any additional push is welcome.
3. Over-reliance on either organic or social media is dangerous. Building our own audience and subscriber base is the best strategy in the long run.
I agree that building your own audience and subscriber list is the way to make money online these days - but you can't do either on HubPages, because there is no RSS feed and no way to sign up subscribers.
I've only been here two weeks, and I've already seen an uptick in new subscribers to my email newsletter list. Perhaps some of them are finding me because I mention the name of my web site in my bio? Or because when I pin hubs to Pinterest, they follow me, and find the link to my web site on that profile? Or because a couple of my hubs link back to related information on my own web sites?
This is exactly what I was going to say. Specific niches do very well with social media depending on where your audience hangs out.
I read the article.....interesting.
Essentially, I think that although social is a much smaller percentage, it's how it is used by hubbers that will matter for traffic.
Eg. When you want to search for something, you go to Google, not Facebook. However, it's unlikely you'll be sharing that result with your friends, especially if it is specific and asks a question (eg. how do I get rid of pimples?) It's usually questions and answers for you, not your buddies.
When you're in a browsing mood on social media, you share stuff that's interesting, weird, funny or eyecatching. It's a whole relaxed different atmosphere. That's why there's different ways to write for both beasts.
Search traffic visits once or twice and then goes. You answer their question. New people turn up etc.
Social traffic visits if it is interesting enough. If it is, they share it. The next person visits and shares etc.
Both of them can be long term traffic and both offer a great way to diversify, so you're not relying on just one.
Once you get some things really rolling on social media, the traffic tends to stay the same each day, even if you get high numbers, just like organic search. The trick is to get that ball rolling into a big zone where enough people are sharing it to get the next batch visiting it without you lifting a finger.
This is my experience also. While I know it's not ideal to focus on social media alone; it is where I get a great deal of my traffic, it's consistent - and I'm fine with that. I tire of the constant Google changes. I will write good content, with what people are searching for in mind, but I am not going to bend over backwards anymore, only to have to change things because Google is "updating" again. I'll write great content with users in mind and keep developing my social media friendly graphics etc. If Google shows it love; great - if not, I am not going to let it stress me out. Traffic is traffic and I'll take it in either form.
I have some hubs whose primary sources are search engines, but I also have some whose primary sources are social media, especially Pinterest. I'd love to be able to leverage these so that the search engine one also gets Pinterest traffic and the Pinterest traffic also gets search engine traffic.
Social traffic will come and die naturally within short period, Organic traffic will ever remain so far one keep updating the content.
Social shares will help rank your content higher in the search engines and quicker than allowing your content to organically flow to the top. So, if you're not chasing social traffic then you better be producing unique searchable content that exceeds your competition.
honestly social traffic can get u started. I use facebook to spread the word about my hubs and it gives them a tiny boost!
I just went to my account, traffic sources which shows where all of your traffic is coming from. However, it is total traffic, not per hub which we can find for each hub on stats at the top if we put hub in edit mode. Anyway, I have a lot more traffic from search engines. Although, hub stats created the illusion that social networking was working well, here are the results from traffic sources: Google 1955 Facebook: 582 My biggest source is actually Hub Pages
I think there's an issue here which HubPages might do well to address.
The critical issue is how well action converts
On Squidoo we had stats for individual pages we traffic and purchases re the site scheme for sharing royalties. That provides invaluable feedback for how well you are doing at marketing a site and/or listing different items.
On my blogs I've been able to focus and develop certain topics because I know which posts do well in terms of generating organic traffic and what the clickouts relate to.
Is it the intention that detailed stats should always come from Google Analytics (so far as they go) and that HB will not develop detailed statistics for individual hubs?
You have detailed stats for individual hubs too. Just go to your hub and hit stats. You'll see once your lenses are transferred.
Just curious MAM, why do you call HP (Hub Pages) HB?
Actually, those aren't detailed stats. On Squidoo, we could click the source link and get each individual page and how many hits it had sent. I could see, for instance, what traffic I was getting from specific pins.
I think I also read somewhere that you don't see the Amazon sales attributed to the hub that generated them as happens on Squidoo.
Not a clue whether this is correct or not but would be interested to know - as it's an important piece of feedback about the performance of a webpage
Yes, this is correct, which makes it hard at times to figure out which hub generated the sale. I have no idea if this has any correlation, but sometimes I wonder if hubs that appear at the top of our stats, especially out of the blue, have had recent clicks that resulted in sales. I've never read anything that indicates this to be true, but, bottom line, HP likes hubs that generate revenue.
@lobobrandon, keywords no longer appear in the statistics.
I have a few articles that have done well on Pinterest before Google sits up and takes notice. I also have a few articles that have never done well on Google, but receive regular traffic from Pinterest. Pinterest is probably the best promotional tool I've ever used - I know some people don't even consider it a form of social media.
In general, I view social less as a traffic source and more as a "brand" builder. As writers, we are out own brand; social provides us a way to connect. Not every platform is going to work for everyone, and having an account everywhere just for the sake of it is a waste of time, but I still think it's an important piece of the puzzle. Social is also an important part of organic SEO. I think people forget this.
Interesting discussion! I have also been wondering how effective social media is to drive traffic to hubs - thanks for all the insight!
I'm not really surprised about these results. I've never gotten good results via social media except through Twitter. I also get a lot of hits by putting links to my web pages in my signatures on forum sites.
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