FYI Many of you know that my own problems with page view losses began exactly one month before Panda hit. I was desperate to find out what happened, and still am in limbo about it...however, I have followed the forums carefully and want to give this issue some perspective. Because of what happened to me, I KNOW that losses are not due to the articles transferred here to Squidoo. Some of it may be due to competition, however. In my case, this is a non issue right now. I do think Google is making a serious effort to get rid of all content farms and so far has done a pretty good job of it and continues to do so. So, there is not much we can do about that. However, there are a good number of writers here who continue to get admirable numbers, so this is NOT a site wide issue, as so many believe. I personally feel it will be a good six months until the ashes settle and we all can move on. Finally, think about this. We may be losing views and we may be losing money, and these things hurt and are upsetting...but hey, we are ALIVE! I can tell you that if I survived Breast Cancer, I certainly can survive Google, Panda, Penguin and that moron, Matt Cutts! So keep it all in perspective...you'll be better off for doing so.
@TIMETRAVELER2 an awesome perspective to have.
Well-said, TIME. Very refreshing post. Good to see you exhaling. All is well . . . All will be well.
Well said TIMETRAVELLER!
This is not the end of life. There are many other important things to worry about. Though we must wish each other for the page views to return. Otherwise one loses the enthusiasm to write.
Thank God you survived breast cancer, and you are here giving such encouragement to others.
And oh, I always thought you were a guy, not sure why...lol
Cardisa: Don't feel bad...lots of people think I'm a guy! I like it that way because it gives me a more even playing field in discussions...and the comments are sometimes hilarious! And by the way...guys get breast cancer, too.
I know a man that died of it; it metastasized to his brain. Glad you are with us and hardy! I thought you were a guy too until I read the vinegar foot bath Hub. Then I thought, seems more feminine to me now.
I think it is time not to stop writing on HubPages, but to change our game a little. You are right, not everyone was hit. Why? There a couple of reasons.
Technology comes and goes. Remember AOL??? Google might be the top dog right now, but will it last that way forever. I actually do think that Google might just take over the world, but that is an entirely different discussion. We must think outside of the box. A lot of the writers who are complaining of traffic issues are fully utilizing Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or any of the other tools at our disposal.
The latest Panda problem gave more weight to authority sites and less weight to amateurs. You have to prove to Google that you are an authority on the subjects you are writing on. For instance, my Hub on Minimalism has done well consistently for over a year. I linked it to the best authority sites on the topic as well as my own 50+ post minimalist blog. It slipped 2 spots down for my Keyword, but that could be for a plethora of reasons. Plus, everyday more minimalist content is being added, so to stay ahead of the game, you have to constantly be eyeing the competition and offering a better product.
Here's a tip, Pinterest has very little to do with formulas and algorithms and is more about what people like (for now that is). If you put awesome graphics, quotes, or pictures on your hubs and pin them, if people like the image, they will pin it. My Hub "What You Need To Know Before Booking Your Maui Vacation" has been pinned about 650 times in only a few weeks. I don't need to bow to Google, in fact Google has hardly sent me any traffic. No, I let the people decided if my product is worthwhile to them. I created an info graphic that told you where to stay on the island and people ate it up. What I did was create value, in exchange, I get viewers. Isn't that the way it should be?
So here's how you play the game. Write a review on a book or movie, then using fun fonts, make a graphic of one of the famous or poetic quotes. Pin it and hope that someone else saw the movie and share it with friends. What's helpful is if you write several hubs on the same topic, then create a board. To make it not look like a marketing scheme, you can add other pins to the board. If people like it, they will follow your whole board and be an eager customer for when you pin your next pin to that board.
Since Google wants authority, I have a feeling that if you write a series of Hubs on a topic and link them all together, Google will smile on you. You see, if one of your hubs in a series is popular, then those readers will be nudged towards your other pages. Google wants someone to click through several pages, being exposed to more of their advertisements, right? You can build your own authority within HubPages.
Use this takeover of Squidoo to your advantage. There is a huge flux of new writers, which means more readers for your work, internally and within HubPages. You can get thousands of views just from HubPages if you have enough followers. Here's a tip: Go make friends with people who contribute to this site regularly. What you want are followers who will read and comment on your work. When they comment on your work, their comment shows up on their feed, and thus, their follower's feed. So, friends of friends see your work. Get it? So if you make friends with people who have tons of friends, your work gets more exposure. But, people can tell when they are merely being used, so please only follow people whose work you are interested in. If they comment on your work, comment on theirs and be a good HubPages citizen. I see Hubs that have over a hundred comments, the day after they are published, just from HubPages traffic. That's hundreds of internal views, in only a day.
Maybe HubPages will never pay your bills, but myself and several of my HubPages friends, see that HubPages is a great vehicle for building your platform. The smart ones use this site as a gateway to their e-books, affiliate products, and personal websites.
After writing on this site for a couple of years, I have seen several changes and Google/Panda freak out sessions. It's a roller coaster, but the ones who hang on tight, are usually rewarded. In a few months, you will have learned how to adapt and everything will be fine. If not, keep your Hubs backed up somewhere so you can use them in e-books, sell them to bloggers, or blog about them yourself. It is not the end of the world, but from here on out, only the strong will survive.
I know that when HubPages first started, there was much less content on the Web. Everyone had their choice of niche to build an empire on. Now, niches are getting harder to come by. Everyone can sign up for a content sharing site or build their own website on any topic they like. Good luck ranking for "How to Save Money" or even "How to Save Money on Dog Food" or even "How to Save Money on Organic Dog Food in Europe." You see, millions of articles are being written everyday, making your article land on page 10 of a Google search. The only way to win is with fantastic content. The world will always need writers of the caliber of the ones who write for National Geographic or any of the other high end magazines. Maybe what the world doesn't need is another article on "How to Work From Home." It comes down to value--is your product unique, valuable, and better than the competition. If the answer is yes, then Hub away and I'll be the first to comment on it.
Very insightful perspective, some of which I've come to know. There's still much more I can do to maximize success. I'll keep plugging away, a little at a time. Thank you.
Availiasvision: WOW...that was some comment! Of course what you say to do will work, and for many it does. However, it doesn't always. I have a great deal of expertise in my main niche and have written 85 articles about it. Was doing well with it, too...until two months ago ...before Panda, et al...when overnight I completely lost it all, and I do mean all! Nobody has been able to explain what happened and there were no penalties or anything...my numbers simply dropped by over 90% and may never return. At first, I was frantic, but now realize...so what? I had a good run and do not do this for a living, I have made many friends here and have learned a lot. I work daily to upgrade my articles and expect at some point to create an E book from my niche once that is done and if things do not improve.
Unfortunately, Google is here to stay, at least for the short term. What they have done in terms of allowing companies to pay for ranking is immoral, but we can't change that. "The man with a club is a lawgiver"!
I came here originally to write, not to become a competitor or tech guru. I don't want to do those things, and as a result, it is probably over for me. BUT...as I said...in the larger world, this is nothing but a blip. In the world I grew up in, if you produced good work, you were rewarded. That is no longer the case for online writers . When you have to manipulate the system in order to get people to find and read your work, writing loses all joy.
I know many have to play the game because that is how they earn, and my heart goes out to all of them. The internet has been great in many ways, but it is also a devil. My situation proves this.
So, I'll just limp along and look for something else that adds pleasure to my life. I have better things to do than try to deal with Google, and at 71 do not have the energy or time to do social networking and all of the other things you mentioned.
I am happy for those who are doing well, but as you said, things change, so beware. What seems as though it is working well right now could change in a heartbeat, just as it did for me.
I remain saddened and frightened by your inexplicable loss of pageviews. It is a cautionary tale for any of us who want to depend on the internet for income.
It seems that some crazy error has occurred with your account, perhaps a new refresh will help you out. Good luck with your book!
Very good advice. I am just soaking it all in.
Time traveller, your post is refreshing to read. I am similar to you in age, and I do not want to spend 10 hours a dAy at the computer any more. I want to earn a bit of extra cash but I don't want it to take over my life.
Changing the subject a bit, who in the world was Matt Cults? His name keeps cropping up and I am curious.
June: Matt Cutts is the Google guru who is in charge of web spam over there, and who heads up all of the stuff that makes us all miserable.
This is what mystifies me about the world of online writing. Why are so many people willing to spend 10 hours a day at a computer writing for peanuts.
Sure, it's like any small business - when you're starting out, you have to put in a lot of extra hours to build up your reputation etc. But I see writers still writing for pennies, years later.
There are so many alternative ways of making money from home. If you're a writer, of course you want to write - but by spending a few hours doing something more lucrative, you can free up your leisure time to write for fun, and the pennies become a bonus.
That's what I did.
- I work one day a week at a dance store, and that pays me more than I could earn in a week online.
- I also design websites occasionally - one website will pay me more than I could earn in a month writing online.
- I got on eBay and sold all the clutter in my house - which earned me more than I could earn in a year online.
Now start buying and selling precious metals and coins, as I do, and on a good day net $2,000 for 4 hours of work!
I am not healthy enough to do that anymore, but boy was the money great. Now I write because my health sucks and it is one of the last things I am physically able to do that gives me joy. Lately it has been frustration, but when it's good, it's a wonderfully satisfying feeling.
I think many who are disabled, retired or older do this for that reason, but you are right...this is no place for most of us to try to earn a living.
Hi, Marisa. For some reason, I'm guessing that you, yourself, aren't among the "just want to make money from home" crowd; and that income from material you've already written probably isn't completely ended at this point. I could be wrong, of course; but I'm assuming you're just taking the discussion in the general direction of "make money from home" for those who have viewed online writing as "just one other way to make money from home".
The points you've made have hit so close to home for me, mainly because I've run into more than a couple of people who either out-and-out say what you have, or else seem to not to generally understand that online writing isn't "just for the downtrodden" and it isn't a futile waste of time. Anyway, I just thought (also for the sake of discussion only) I'd post here.
"... still making pennies" suggests that's one's only income, potential source of income (etc.) comes from the online writing.
That aside, "still making pennies" happened for a lot of us who were on just approaching/seeing "decent income" before Panda hit, and threw the whole Internet-writing climate essentially into cyclone mode.
People who haven't spent years writing online haven't seen how it all happened and yet have years of time/words invested in writing that is still making them money. Figuring out how to shift things around, sort things out, where stuff needs to be posted, etc. etc. is time consuming; and the "cyclone" still hasn't settled down.
As of the recent times. I've got my whole, big, mix of "all kinds of stuff" just kind of sitting and waiting and "whatever", and that included my HP stuff (some of which needs to be deleted, some of which has been, some of which needs to be fixed, etc. etc.)
Anyway, without going into all that; I have a life (and a writing life) outside of my online writing. In fact, if it's online it pretty much means it's my free time writing. Up until a couple of months ago (when my PC needed repair and when I figured it was a good time to get a bunch of business-related/writing-related sorting/updating done), I was spending 19 to 23 hours a day, not 10, on my computer. Only x percent of that time was online writing. The rest was either projects I don't share with others, administrative type stuff with some of more professional writing places/projects I've dealt with, etc. I'm not on the computer during the two weekend days (just mornings and late nights, overnights); or if I have guests at the house.
Contrary to the image that online writers are either too old or too sick to do much else, that's not the situation for me. I have lots of energy and lots of reasons to write. Even with having lost a good part of my previous income, most of my problem has been taking stuff offline or deleting stuff; and temporarily making a big mess that - really - doesn't belong as a search result anyway.
What I do online is what people see. They don't see what I don't "post all over the Internet". I don't do what a lot of people do - like watch tons of TV, play video games, watch YouTube for no real reason, waste time on Facebook (or wherever), or otherwise spend their free time doing things that aren't writing.
I have several reasons for writing online, and I've always been kind of "thrilled" to think I could pick up the spare few hundred dollars here or there (less these days).
I actually have no real "spare time" (for reasons I won't go into), but I've found ways to skim some for myself, not only to try to do something that has at least a shred of redeeming value (even if only for me) AND make an income.
I'm going to stray from kind of addressing "whoever" on this thread and more aim what I'm about to say at anyone in offline life (mine or someone else's - I don't know..) who either has something to say about online writing or else who sees it as useless endeavor equal to, say, watching cartoons or maybe gossiping. (In other words, this subject is very much a sore spot for me, and I can't resist here.)
People can make spare money doing all kinds thing like stuffing envelopes, delivering newspapers, whatever.. but I kind of resent the thinking that what I do online is "just one of those other ways to make extra money". And, I resent those people who spend THEIR free time watching television, playing video games, going on Facebook, or whatever else having an opinion about what I do in my spare/skimmed time. And, I'd like to see them do better than I've done under any number of circumstances (like Internet "cyclones", for example). I don't knock anyone else for having a hobby or other spare-time endeavor that is not writing, even though there's a good chance I don't particularly value putting time into some types of hobbies that I see as "not worth the bother", but I figure, "Hey, not everyone is all that comfortable with/skilled at writing.". I just don't appreciate someone else's essentially belittling and under-valuing the potential of writing income and good writing itself. (Not saying that anyone one this thread has done that; I just mean "in general" whether online or off. In other words, I'm venting here. )
I do what I do online for my own reasons for as long as I have those reasons. It's not because I'm too stupid or lazy to do something better. I'm guessing that out there in Internet-land there are all kinds of people writing for their own reasons.
Oh well... as I wind down a vent/rant that I won't earn a dime for, I think of that saying, "Those who can do, and those who can't......". Usually, the "can't" is followed by "teach", of course; but I'm changing that to "those who can't... pretty much don't know their rear end from their elbow, and probably should get their busy little minds off those who CAN."
Beyond the value of a good rant, the thing here is that "those who can't" tend to have tendencies to try to define other people, their efforts, and the value of their efforts - and we all know how that tends to work out. If someone can make more money stuffing envelopes, returning bottles, delivering newspapers - or whatever. Bully for them. If they can stand eBay long enough to even deal with it all and can make money from it (or YouTube, or whatever), bully for them too. If someone can pick up a few spare "bucks" working in retail, bully for them too. Bully for all the smart, hardworking, people who seem to think they're the only smart, hardworking, people in the world; ;and bully for anyone who thinks he could make better use of my time (AND my skimmed/spare time) than I have, can, and/or do.)
Just bully for the wonderfulness of all those superior people who think they know better what all those other people should be/could be doing. (Clearly, I'm temporarily "losing it". It's nicotine withdrawal. That's all.)
LisaHW You can expect a bill for five cents shortly for the psychological release you just got from making that rant!
I hope PayPal takes nickles. I probably would have rather made the "vent/rant" into a Hub, but Hubs aren't supposed to be rants OR vents these days.
I think Cutts likes making videos. He says one thing is okay yet Goggle is penalizing for it. I have learned that most of the time if Matt Cutts says turn left, you better turn right
Since moving here a little more than a month and a half ago, I've had about 28,000 views come from Google. Don't give up. You just have to find a niche. TimeTraveler2 are you writing personal pages on your breast cancer experience? How are those pages doing?
Cari Kay: I wrote several hubs awhile back about Breast Cancer, etc, but the views were abysmal because there is just so much online about it that nobody could find my hubs. I finally deleted all of them. I do have a major niche that has done well until recently, but tonight it appears to be picking up steam again. I recently deleted all of my health related articles, even though they were getting views, because Google is now going after those types of articles...wants professionals writing them, etc. I am not giving up, I am simply slowing it down and changing my tactics a bit. Thanks for your concern.
From my own experience and from reading what people say in the forums, it seems as if the Panda slaps us down, we lose views, then slowly creep up again. Soon as we reach a number of view that make us happy, we are slapped down again. The question is, why do certain hubbers continue to increase in views. Maybe it's because people like to read their stuff!
I am sick and tired of hearing that Google want authority. What is authority? When I look for info on Google, I see that the authority is people selling stuff. To me, that's just commercial. Someone trying to sell me something is one thing. Advise and information is another.
In the old days of magazines, writers wrote articles based on research. Someone who excels at what they do, someone who is a professional is not necessarily a writer. They hire writers. I had one hub stolen by a professional. She was very nice when I contacted her. She had a student writing content for her, actually stealing content. So it goes in the ridiculous world of BS that we inhabit.
Dolores Monet: You are spot on with this comment...and you are right, the whole thing is a big joke. Thee is so much we cannot control in the world of online writing that succeeding is very difficult. Yes, some do...but I believe they are those who have expertise in SEO, etc.
As for authority, G wants doctors writing about medical things, etc...but even then, there are things doctors miss. Again, G wants far too much from people, but, hey...that's life!
Time Traveler, yes. I am sure that a busy successful doctor has time or the inclination to write an article for online reading. That was sarcasm (not directed at you, but at Big G). If a doctor is going to write, it will be for a medical journal. In today's world, doctors are business people selling a product. The world of writing is for writers.
I just looked up something this morning for a simple craft project. The first article offered up on Big G was one paragraph. Of course it was by a big name big money person.
These changes made by Big G affect not only me as a writer, but affect me as a person looking for information.
Dolores Monet: I absolutely agree, which is why I have written my federal senator to ask him to launch an investigation about how Google is monopolizing and manipulating the internet. There is, right now, a class action lawsuit against them for cheating people out of their ad sense earnings...check it out online...interesting. In fact, they have been sued many times for various issues. There is no question that those who pay for rankings are getting them, and you are correct, the interests of the consumer are being damaged as well as those of writers.
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