I have to admit that I did not do a lot of research on Hubpages before joining, but since that time I had read countless articles on it along with the Google Panda updates. Of particular interest to me was the demise of Squidoo and the parallels to Hubpages.
Seems to me that the site prioritized income above all else and encouraged people to use all kind of tricks and tactics to get clicks from Google queries. Content became secondary as people rushed to publish anything and everything until a lot of it was noted as spam. Of course, there were many quality writers who had pure intentions, but the spammers won out and content suffered.
Google felt the content was a threat to their brand and made changes to weed out this type of stuff with the Panda updates. Eventually the site was put out of business as the monthly income couldn't even pay staff.
Hubpages was also hit hard by Panda, showing that Google also felt Hubpages was a threat to them. The difference was that Hubpages found a workaround with subdomains to help weed out the people who factory produced articles more centered on SEO, keywords and backlinking.
Here is my question. Do you feel that Hubpages will also eventually be put out of business as Google works to weed out poor content made for the express purpose of income? Seems it is already happening and traffic keeps going down with every update.
From the forums it does seem that the most successful people have adopted the same strategies that put Squidoo out of business. Will the people who concentrate on SEO, ad placement, backlinking, keyword stuffing, and all the other tricks end up helping to kill this site also? I find that I have been unwittingly reading all the articles from people on how to drive traffic in order to become more like them. I think most people do since that is an objective here, to make money.
So what do you think? Is Hubpages around in a couple years? Google has put quite a few other sites like this out of business and this seems to be the only big one left. Recent updates to Panda seem to be pointing this way.
They won't be around much longer if images stay broken. Nothing more basic to a website's operation than having crucial images load.
They also won't be around much longer if they do not get rid of the low quality and spammy articles that still abound despite the QAP process...and I am not talking about Squidoo transfer hubs here...but work that exists on the entire site. Google has gotten very serious about this to the point of ruination, and too few writers here are willing to prune their subdomains, get rid of spam and do the right thing. It is very scary.
I believe that content is key. Every writer has their own experience in life and the ability to present unique and detailed information which stands out from the rest providing original pictures is attractive to Google, and their audience. No one likes to read the same book over and over again, however if you have the ability to tell the story differently with unique illustrations and engaging information no one can discredit your content.
I believe some writers may struggle in this department which leads to duplicate content and thin material which is undesirable to Google.
The perfect example is the HOTD'21-Day Fix Review - What's All the Buzz About?'
The author wrote about her own experience involving The 21-Day Fix DVD's.The author also provided original pictures of herself and content which stood by the images. I believe Google is looking for original authors that can present their own pictures as resources. Originality is the key.
Two words used in terms of content are troublesome to me: Original and authority. Here's why. I am an expert on a particular subject. I can write quite a bit of original and authoritative work on the subject. That's what I did when I first wrote here. I found out, no one is searching Google for that subject. Try as I may, I can't find the keywords that give me traffic on my authoritative and original articles on that subject. What I have seen are popular articles on how to make a ponytail. Hope that's not insulting to anyone who writes that kind of article, but also hope you see my point. Probably the best of writers who are well-versed in a subject will eventually look for what will get traffic just so they're not wasting their time writing stuff no one is going to find.
Of course, there are alternatives. Start your own site or find something outside of the Internet to do. It's just a shame, that the Internet could actually be this great opportunity to share information that you actually know a lot about and maybe earn your livelihood doing it, but Google doesn't want it; or people don't want it, whatever.
Just to echo a bit of what you have shared here ... I personally think it is best to use HP as part of a general SEO strategy. I only put a handful of my articles here. It's never a good idea to put all of the eggs into one basket.
I know some people use HP for all of the writing they do and I personally think that may not be the most effective strategy to income generation. I know other folks here may disagree.
The future of HP seems a bit cloudy. I say this because in some ways, it seems like HP has escaped a lot of what others did not. Has time caught up to them?
I agree that no one should concentrate all their efforts on HP. Maybe a year and half ago, I started looking into alternatives, including starting my own sites. Interestingly, one of my own sites has more traffic right now, as my traffic here was falling. I don't exactly know why, but it's a good lesson in the eggs-and-basket metaphor.
Same here. Even Hubpages encourages everyone to not have all their eggs in one basket. That is what I like about Hubpages. They are honest with us.
I cannot agree with much of your premise. From the very first, HubPages and hubbers have emphasized that "content is King" - it was almost a mantra to be repeated at every opportunity. As a result, most of my hubs (and all those that do well) are from an "authority" perspective, with personal experience.
Yes, as I studied the question I found the advice SEO was necessary, mostly in the form of on-page use of keywords. It was necessary to both teach the dumb algorithm what the hub was about and to use language that searchers were likely to use. Both of those I still find useful although Google's algorithm has improved and lessened the importance of keywords as an algorithm teaching tool and to some extent even as a tool to help searchers locate the hub.
Backlinks - from early on I found disagreement there. This "advertising" was both supposed to increase the standing with google and provide direct traffic, and I suppose it did the standing some good but that, too, is dying with the Panda and Penguin updates. Now, it is as likely to hurt as help. As a method of providing direct traffic, I never found it of much use, but then I never did much of it, either. Pinterest (and similar sites) may be the only valuable backlink - providing a visual "hook" seems to work with some hubs.
So, the bottom line is still "content is king" and backlinking from most social sites is nearly worthless. So is most linking from more professional sites; there aren't enough professional people looking for amateur advice to matter. Write what you know, write from experience, do a little keyword research and let the chips fall where they may. I WILL add to write to your expected audience; using college level grammar and language to the man in the street isn't likely to produce a "well done" from a reader and word of mouth still counts here. If HP can encourage that, it will survive for some time; if not it probably won't.
Yes, and for the following reasons:
1. Too much of the content here is merely treading old ground already well covered by major authority sites, so there is no reason why any of it should continue to keep ranking highly, if at all in Google. What does HubPages offer that is any better than anything that sites like Instructables, AllRecipes, Livestrong, WebMD and all these other authority sites already offer?
2. The grim reality about Panda is that its entire purpose is most likely to sweep out the batch of sites that were designated content farms back in 2010. Google does not care one way or the other whether these farms eventually clean up their act. It wants them gone, which is why we keep having update after update after update. The updates are really Google HQ fine-tuning Panda to target the sites that keep stubbornly finding ways to still survive in spite of all the rollouts.
So that's my take on the whole situation. Content farms are being marked for removal by Google and the Panda updates won't stop until every single one are gone. I would honestly be surprised if HP and all the remaining farms were here in five years.
On the subject of whether a writer should "know" the subject he or she writes about. Years ago, probably 20, I looked into becoming a writer. This was before the world wide web, the way it is today. Already back then I discovered that most writers, who make a living writing, do not write about what they know and love: What they are "passionate", as people like to say on the Web these days. They wrote what they could sell. They wrote what magazines were looking for. They did research and wrote on those subjects. This is an old thing that people who expect to make a living writing have to do. I've thought about that for quite awhile since I've started writing on the Internet. It is very, very rare for a writer to just write what they know and love only, and be able to make any kind of real money. I'm saying this Internet "phenomenon" of people on the Internet doing research and writing on a subject that is not "their" subject is nothing new and, actually, is par for the course for writers.
The easiest way to write an article with enough detail in it to sell is to look at areas you already know a lot about. Ergo, in the overlap between love and profitability. Sure, you can become a shallow instant expert on anything--but real expertise is an advantage especially for professionally paying gigs.
For me the difference now is that in those days, writers were writing for publications which were published, read and then disappeared. There was a constant need for new articles to entertain and inform the public.
Now when we write those articles, they stay published and new articles just add to the pile.
I wanted to come back to this subject of experts and authority, because I've thought about it some more and made some observations.
I've noticed that there are people online who make some exaggerated claims of expertise and also have seen articles in which obviously the person was not knowledgeable on the subject. It is troublesome to me. There is something off-putting about seeing someone make exaggerated claims on expertise, especially when there are actual people who have knowledge and experience in an area that can give good information on the subject. Someone making wild claims such as that discredit the field of study, online anyway. This, of course, says that nothing replaces actually meeting someone face to face for training and advice.
However, I think it is different if someone writes an article, with no big claims to qualifications, and openly admits the article is informational and purely based on research. If it is actually based on real training and experience, of course, even better. In the case of a purely informational article, the reader can decide what it is they want; just information or going to an actual authority.
I take your point, but you're talking about a different kind of authority.
Google's robots can't judge the veracity of the information on a webpage, nor can they assess the value of whatever qualifications are claimed. So that's not how Google judges authority. Of course, as usual, they're not admitting how they do it: but most people seem to agree that an "authority site" is one which (a) contains a LOT of information on a single topic and (b) has a lot of backlinks (presumably from people quoting it as an authority!).
Fact is, I'd rather Google didn't use the usual ways that something is judged authoritative; for instance, some believe that if someone belongs to a particular organization that they are an authority on a subject; which is untrue, many experienced and knowledgeable people are authoritative on subjects and some organizations are fraudulent even when everyone thinks they're legitimate. I guess my statement was more a comment on writers and my amazement at seeing quite a few frauds online and what effect I think they have. I guess it's mainly a lesson in how we get our information. Most of it has to come from real life and the Internet could only be introductory or supplemental to what we get in real life.
It is already happening. You are asking that question a few years late.
Google Declares War On Content Farms
Seeing as you have been here a long time, why do you stay? Wouldn't it make more sense to start developing your own site and moving things off?
It's easy. It's profitable. You don't need to write your own code. You benefit from other pages. Getting your site SEO friendly takes a lot of work; having someone else do that is a load off when that's not your interest. You don't need to maintain a domain or hosting and make sure it's all going well. Having a community around you is not so isolating. I can go on .........
The more I look at the content on here I fail to see the point of it. What does any of it provide to a searcher?
A few hundred words of generic content, some advert links, a whole load of HubPages links and theoretically related searches which just point to more of the same.
Does anyone really believe they are offering something worthwhile to an internet that is crammed with this stuff?
The lesson is that if you provide an opportunity for people to make money they will spam, game and cheat their way to that extra dollar.
Will HubPages continue? I have no idea. The rush to take on Squidoo did not seem a thought through decision. HP should have let it close (I mean who cares?) - and let the writers who wanted to try their luck on HubPages go through all the normal hoops.
I suspect they hoped to grab some Halloween and Xmas sales traffic before Panda found out. Didn't work.
What next I wonder? Years of this game since Panda and nothing much changes for the better.
I had exactly the same thought a couple of years ago, from a slightly different angle.
Leaving aside the spam/thin content Hubs, what is the point of most Hubs? I see Hubs giving facts and figures about medical conditions, basic information about hobbies, sport or anything else - all of it available on umpteen large, authoritative sites written by people with much better qualifications. Who do we think we are, writing these Hubs as if we are doing the world a favour? All we're doing is cluttering up the internet with duplicated information - because it earns money. And then we whinge because Google sends the traffic to those big authoritative sites instead of to our little amateur articles.
I felt so disgusted with myself at the time, that I deleted half my Hubs. I kept only the ones which offered a personal angle or which weren't well covered elsewhere. I blush to admit, I also kept the ones that were making big money.
I have a few hubs that are written about topics on which I'm considered an authority. In fact, I have one topic in which the top three or four articles in any search engine will be mine, posted on various sites.
It may be possible that a small percentage of hubs are being written that really are the best, or even the only, information about their topics.
Yes, I have a few Hubs which are very successful because, for some reason, no authority sites have bothered to write about that particular aspect of the topic. But I have to say those Hubs are only a small percentage of the totality of HubPages - or any other rev-share site and most blogs, for that matter!
I meant my statement more as a philosophical reflection on the nature of writing online.
I don't think I've ever seen a post like this from you! I'm sure a number of us have had the same thoughts. There was a time when I left the forums for quite a while because I was so tired of hearing people whine about the loss of traffic to their hubs. I had the very same thought that you have expressed. Who do we think we are?
But there are hubs which have real value that someone with more authority or knowledge cannot express in writing on a site like this. Maybe they don't have the time, or the writing is dry and uninspiring. We need to focus on writing for people, sharing information that is unique, relevant, evergreen, interesting, inspiring. This is the writing that I hope will continue to keep this site going and that HP gets tougher on weeding out the spam and duplicate, thin content. Some of us do have an area of expertise and experiential knowledge. We're still climbing in rank on Quantcast despite a rough period of decreased traffic. When I checked today, we're ranked 55 - US.
RebekahELLE, maybe you don't realise that I stopped writing regularly on HubPages a very long time ago. The HubPages forums are my procrastination place - the place I come when I should be working on my websites but am looking for an excuse not to...
I agree, there is great value in ordinary people sharing their practical experience and knowledge online to complement the authority sites (not all of which are dry or uninspiring, though). But let's face it, that's not what most Hubbers do.
That's ideally, in great part, what it's supposed to be according to the About Us page. Plenty of hubbers write like this. I find interesting hubs daily!
Marisa, I think you've hit the nail on the head for the reasons many of us originally came here. I started writing articles here as an outlet for humorous ideas when not working on other (more serious) writing projects. My Hub writing is now sporadic at best as I simply have more pressing work to get to. When I do login it is (usually) in the hope to find an entertaining or thought-provoking question, or to post a question myself.
As someone who is prepared for "whatever" lies in the stars for HP's, I will make this personal observation: what Hubpages once was, it isn't today. When I joined it was on the premise that Hubbers could write whatever they wanted as long as the grammar was sufficient and the writers didn't jump into the deep end on impolite behavior. For a long while this was par for the course. But that era is sadly over. Now Hubs are governed by the whims of what Google thinks is proper, wholesome and vanilla (heaven forbid we use the words v*gina or br*asts while writing a Hub on human anatomy). YET we are bombarded every day with spammy junk like a Forum post I read about two minutes ago from someone hoping to hook up with married women. ( I used to think HP's would never see the day of Twitter-like 'Ho posts, but boy was I ever wrong!) On top of this, forums have gone from places of polite discussions to heated, frothing, disrespectful arenas of political and religious bickering. We add to these scenarios the fact that king Google has no compunction about making HP's wait for stat reports and money, well, it is just one sorry state of affairs.
Now I know there are going to be those that disagree utterly with my opinion, and they are free and welcome to their views. In the meantime, I'll be watching with curiosity what happens to Hubpages; just not holding my breath for any improvements. Although, to be perfectly frank, I sure would LIKE to see those improvements.
Marisa: What you say is basically true, except for the fact that some people, like me for example, write in an area where they are not experts and where there are many other articles, BUT, they have more to offer than just basic information. For example, my main niche, as you know, is the RV lifestyle. I chose it because I have more than 50 years of experience as an RV owner and traveler and know many little tricks that someone who has not been around as long as me would not know. For example, I recently looked at a beautiful motor home that was very well appointed, but was 15 years old. To the untrained eye, it was a beauty. However, I noticed that the ceiling was too new to have come with the unit. So, upon closer inspection, I noticed a few "dark spots" on that ceiling over the bed. This was a red flag to me, due to my experience, that someone had replaced the old ceiling due to a leak or some other serious issue.
This is the type of tip I can give that most others would not even think twice about. They would think it was terrific that someone had installed a new ceiling because this would save them money.
There is absolutely nothing that can replace experience and the sharing of same when it comes to teaching people about things or sharing life's ups and downs. Am I an RV expert? A Mechanic? No, of course not. But I know when to advise you to seek help from a pro and when doing this is not necessary. THAT is what makes the difference.
TT2, do you read these forums in threaded view or chronological view? I recommend chronological, because in that view, you'd see that LisaV, RebekahELLE, Nate, and RobertZimmerman all made the same point as you, and I answered all of them the same way.
When I say "authority", I'm not just talking about the big sites. I'm talking about people like you too - people who have authority on a subject due to their experience. That has real value.
What I'm saying is, if you look at HubPages, how many Hubs are written by people like that? I may have some claim to be an authority on dance, but why does that entitle me to write a Hub about how to fix your hair, or cough remedies? They earn money, but I don't know why, because there are plenty of other sites that give exactly the same advice and probably better. There's probably a hairdresser out there, working hard on her blog and cursing me for stealing her traffic in spite of her hard-won expertise.
Marisa: No, I don't...sorry. I cannot seem to remember to do that. I get your point.
If you switch to chronological once, the forums should stay that way every time you log in. It does for me. I wonder why it doesn't work for you?
Don't know, but then I often don't pay attention to such things. Sorry.
What I connected to most in your post was how raw and real you were in sharing.
Well Adsense still isn't going anywhere any time soon as it makes money for Google. Google seems to like long, original content more and more. It seems to penalise spam and spamspeak (ie too many keywords) more and more.
So theoretically if HP tightens up further on spammy content, the original content will shine! I keep running into HP articles featuring well in general Google searches, and the hubs are still relevant and thousands of them ARE useful.
Just because we've had a funny week doesn't mean the giant's going to kick the bucket.
On a side note, I suspect Google is now able to determine natural vs unnatural writing patterns with its algorithm...
PS - I think of HP as a giant ship on the seas of the internet. The Google algorithms etc are the waves. We float up and down, just like an ocean journey or being a company on the stock market. As long as quality content with writers (the crew) stay on the ship and make it bigger and better and keep going, they will weather the storms.
However if the crew were to depart and the content disappear or become rusty and full of holes (spam content), then HP turns into a little boat or sinks.
The update isn't finished yet. I think we need to be a little positive. I don't think it helped that the site was inaccessible for most of the weekend though. That is going to hurt.
Another way to look at "authority" is personal authority based on personal experience. So many Internet users today "connect" to a topic and when they find people who have dealt with that topic and have written their "story" there is informational value.
Articles that communicate genuine knowledge in a story form benefit Google through the ads that appear and the length of time the article is read by a viewer. The better the "story" the longer the view.
If the majority of Internet users are information "story" consumers then there will be a spot for HP if we all focus on personal authoritative content.
Exactly what I was trying to say. If everyone did that, HubPages (and other writing sites) would be wonderful places. But that's not what happens. Those "authority" stories form only a small percentage of what's written here, and I include my own Hub account in that assessment.
I agree with this, for certain. In fact, I argued recently with an "authority" who took exception to me writing about a subject that I have experiential knowledge of, and of which he was an "expert". I think the Internet should be for people, not elites. People do have knowledge of things that do not require credentials. Just like the Internet should--and this was the hope of many early pioneers of the Internet--take the power of products out of the hands of corporations and give it to people, in the form of reviews of those products; we don't have to be force-fed by commercials, we can read what actual consumers think. I think that, at least in one field, is what the Internet was supposed to be. I almost want to hurl at the term "expert", even though I used it in reference to myself in a previous comment. It's an elitist term, but since people like it so much, and I do have training in certain areas, I'll use the term because it's palatable to most people. I'd rather just have people read what I've written and let it stand without proving something.
And one thing I discovered recently was that product review hubs still have an important value too - the value of independent reviewing for a start. I'm finding that people are turned off Amazon because they believe the reviews to be falsified and look elsewhere for real information.
A fellow who writes for Bubblews told me awhile back that he earns his living writing "reviews" for various companies. These are for products he has never used and knows nothing about. It takes him less than 10 minutes to write the review, and he earns $5 for each one. Amazon, by the way, is one of the companies he writes for!
There's thousands of Amazon reviewers - it is a job, though a really low paid one. Plus companies go and hire people to do reviews.
I realised that the user intent is how to figure out review/Amazon hubs. For example, on my Barbie movies hub, the reason people go there is because they want a real parent's perspective and want to find out the age appropriate movies, not just a plot or fake reviews.
Gauging user intent is extremely important in winning this game.....otherwise they'd all just go to Amazon or whatever and not read my stuff.
Not disagreeing with it either. When I said "authoritative" sites I didn't mean just large corporations or people with fancy letters after their name. I can think of several blogs which I'd call "authoritative" because they offer comprehensive and valuable information on their subject, but the site owner is qualified through personal experience not a college degree. Blogs like that are a very valuable counterpoint to the "official" (corporate or charity) sites.
But if I look at my HubPages account - or yours, or anyone's - how many of those articles are genuinely written with "authority", experiential or otherwise, and how many are just written because we felt like sharing an opinion, or thought it might be a profitable topic?
Exactly. Most Hubbers are just being "pretendy experts" to make money. It's unlikely that a "pretendy expert" can write a better article or review than someone with genuine experience, but if you're good at self-promotion and SEO, you can easily beat the non-techie genuine person.
For instance, TT2 and Randy Godwin have both written a large number of useful Hubs on RVs, many of which offer invaluable advice based on their real-life experience. But they're being far outranked by "pretendy experts".
My point is, is that ethical?
For a long time, I was one of those pretendy experts and didn't give it a thought. And I have to admit, I still have a lot of those pretendy Hubs published.
I have deleted my input since I feel you are not worth sharing it with. If you want to follow people around stalking them and correcting them, you're going to find yourself a little short on "friends". Have fun with your "pretendy" expertise conversation with yourself on cough medicine, since you can't have a natter in forums without pulling out the battle armor and having the urge to stab someone every day.
Suzanne, I wondered where your posts had gone when I was reading what I missed from last night. Yeah, she seems to do that. As far as 'most hubbers being pretendy experts', I don't necessarily agree with her statement. There are plenty of hubbers writing on their expertise. But they're not spending all their time in the forums. Sorry I missed the rest of your posts!
I'm sorry if I offended you, I have no idea how. I thought we were agreeing that pretendy experts were a bad thing?
Also, I thought you'd like to know the correct situation with crediting photos. I know you've been here a while but we are always learning new things and I thought that the issue of Pinterest credits was something that had slipped your notice. In hindsight I should've put that information in a private message - that was laziness on my part and I apologise for that.
Exactly MW, I was just expanding on your thought.
Experience does have its limits though. In a subject like medicine, for example, placebo effects are possible with any medication. If someone writes that they experienced certain side effects, their article has no real value. It's not necessarily the medication in that case. It could be an interaction with another medication they are taking, an allergic reaction, or a placebo effect.
When analysing the potential side effects of drugs, double blind trials are absolutely necessary. This takes away the issue of placebos on both the side of the patient and doctor. Neither knows who is getting the actual drug. If the patient says they're experiencing a side effect and it turns out they're on the placebo, this can be examined next to the active drug group to rule out what really is placebo and what is an actual side effect. This is the only real way to tell if a drug actually has a specific side effect.
A product review, on the other hand, isn't subject to this kind of problem. Or at least, not to the same extent. In this case, it is the product reviewers experience that is expected. It's not a case of experience vs logic and professional knowledge. Both are useful and necessary when writing about certain topics. You have to be able to use the right one for the task at hand, rather than say either is worthless.
Absolutely agree with that NateB11 - a good writer is someone who is also a good researcher. Even novelists who, you might think, are writing what they are passionate about often end up writing what sells, influenced by their publishers. Hence the raft of book series of anything up to 7 books (even more for children's books).
On the topic of whether HubPages will still be around in 2 years - I would like to think so and evidence of what happened to article directories from way back shows that some sites can survive a Google onslaught if they are prepared to adapt to the changing conditions.
I would say it is HubPages hands, not Google's, as to whether Hubpages survives the next few years.
The answer really lies in what Hub Pages does moving forward. It is just like any other site that has been 'Pandalized'. If you weed out the thin content, and keep the site fresh with unique interesting pages that are NOT spun, the site should survive.
OK, here is another question to you all then.
All the other content sites have been put out of business so there is really no one to take Hubpages over if it folds.
So,... lets say you wake up Tomorrow and the site announces it is going out of business.
What do you do? Where do you move your content? Can you transfer your Adsense account?
Once you have an Adsense account, you can use it on your own websites and blogs with no problem. Keeping copies of our hubs is a good idea. The opportunity that Squidoo members had to move here, probably wouldn't happen.
You back up all your articles and put them onto your own website. My own site has its own Adsense account from before I opted into the HP ads program. We could also post articles on each others' websites, like an ex-hubbers network.
Let us hope it won't come to that. I like it here with all its ups and downs.
Most of my articles fall within my own expert niche. However, I frequently become very curious about a topic, issue, or problem. I try to find out as much as I can about it. If some of my questions have not been answered, I do more research until I can satisfy my curiosity. Then I figure that perhaps many other people have asked themselves the same questions. So I write a concise stellar hub on my elaborately researched findings. Hopefully the result gives readers a new insight, or a new approach towards a solution to a problem.
As long as my angle is new and refreshing, not just a re-hash of what everyone already knows, then I believe that my article may be interesting and useful.
Your Adsense account will work anywhere. You would need to start your own websites for your various niches, and post your articles there after the Hubs had been deindexed from Google.
I think most people here would recommend that you diversify, and have multiple venues to write in should one of them go South, then you would not have all of your eggs in one basket.
I have three of my own sites. My plan B has been to move content to those if the bottom drops out over here. I already use Advertising on those sites, so that would remain the same.
If you've built up enough of a portfolio around a subject that has enough content for a book, then you enter the brave, scary world of freelance writing or publishing--either traditional or self-publishing in the way of eBooks or vanity press.
I wouldn't waste my time starting over with Adsense. IMO, there is no real future for online writing anymore because of the growing cannibalization problem. Right now, there is a huge cannibalizing of content on the internet, thanks to the rise of monster sites like Wikipedia, Pinterest, etc. which are little more than overglorified aggregators/curators of other people's content. It's resulted in something not unlike a "big fish eat little fish" scenario.
Say 15 years ago--back when there were no monster sites-- you put out a well-written, extensive blog or website on a particular subject. Chances are, you would've been the undisputed "go to" person on that topic and everyone would've been visiting, bookmarking and citing your site for information. If you had placed affiliate ads on this site, you would've made some decent income.
If you put out a site like that today, the first thing that would happen is that someone from Wikipedia would then take it to build a page around or beef up one of its stub pages. Of course, since you're nothing in the grand scheme of things, guess what would then happen? Wikipedia's page entry on your topic would then supplant your site as the ultimate authority that everyone bookmarks and visits and shares and you will have lost all your visitors. It wouldn't make one damned bit of difference that Wikipedia was basically getting all the glory for your work. Because you're "little fish", all you basically did was help the "big fish" grow bigger and fatter.
This problem has gotten steadily worse over time. It's getting so bad that there will be a time--mark my words--that there will be no point in setting up a blog or publishing content online for recognition or revenue, because all you'll be basically doing is giving away your hard work to the monster curation/aggregator sites.
At some point I think the story will surface that in fact Google is a Mr. or Mrs. somewhere, one person, who is making the calls on all the large sites that are out there.
I know it sounds far reaching, however, if it does happen and Snopes agrees with it, then I would expect at least $.01 from each reader who reads this and disagrees. I will be rich!
All we can do, as online authors, is hang in there and see what happens. Continually tweaking is something I will not do, nor have the time to do. My content resides here until unfeatured, and then it moves to my blog or my website.
New material by myself, for the time being, here on HubPages, will continue to be very limited as it is very time consuming to create hubs simply to watch various updates and other "things" kill them off.
I've also realized that this is a big problem, so, to fight back I've decided to write about subjects that most people would think it be a waste of time.
Example: How to Become the Most Perfect Get-Away Driver, Knife Fighting, Meat Glue, etc. Although these subjects may not interest most, I've written these HUBS in a way that they are VERY interesting indeed.
Just ask yourself - what do the searchers want and how will google provide it..
So if a searcher wants indepth medical advice that is right which site will google provide? A dedicated site in that area or a hub? - I think a dedicated site will win out every day...
If someone wants someone's personal experience of an illness which will it provide? Possibly Hubpages may still have the best article in this area.
What about a recipe?
Just think about what you are writing about and think how and where google will take that information. If there are going to be dedicated niche authority sites in that area then Google is unlikely to point you anywhere other than those....
Basically just think about the competition that your hub will see from the rest of the internet - HP is not going to be a competitive place to get your stuff written - but if no one else is writing it then you will still get seen..
Also ask yourself how many other people are writing about that subject on here - if there are already hundreds of hubs on that subject will Google ever show your hub over the others?
I think that HP still has a future but I don't think that that future will include all of us.......
The future of HubPages is in our own hands. The HP forums used to be an interesting learning ground where we shared knowledge and helped each other with technical problems. In recent times however, most threads have turned into moaning and groaning, blaming Google and HP with vague, often contradictory speculations as to the reasons for a lack of traffic and earnings. That is unproductive.
We should all aim to produce well written, original, interesting, stellar quality articles. Which is not all that difficult.
1. Find searchable long-tail Titles. What would people "Google" to find your article?
2. Have all items ticked in the "need some goals" box.
3. Supply good quality illustrations, either original or properly accredited.
4. Format for Mobile platforms, i.e full-width pictures and text capsules.
5. Trust and listen to our dedicated staff members.
6. We must be patient. It can take years for an article to gain good traffic.
There is very little point in filling the forums with threads that spread a negative gloom and doom attitude. We should concentrate on following the rules and improving our hubs rather than moaning about Google or the temporary hick-ups of this wonderful site that gives us such a fantastic opportunity to succeed.
I agree with you, Sue. Let's keep things positive and give it some time.
To me, it's like the stock market...things go up and down, and sometimes you have to hang in there until things improve.
I think diversification is the key too, as far as where folks write and post articles. Instead of having all your eggs in one basket, in addition to Hubpages, I think it's always a good idea to have one or more blogs which focus on your main interests, whether that is health, cooking, technology or travel. I have a computer learning website which I consider a hobby website, a blog and hubpages, and I try to tie some articles together if they are related. It's good to have a business Facebook page too for more social networking.
I plan to hang in there because Hubpages has really helped me and I consider it my springboard to more opportunities.
Success to us all!
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