Who is at Fault? Google or Hubpages?

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  1. LeanMan profile image80
    LeanManposted 9 years ago

    There has been a lot of discussion in the last few days about HP changing the rules and people being un-featured or even un-published for spam and over promotional activity. So I just want to add my thoughts......

    Whether people (writers) like it or not most of their traffic will be coming from Google - Which means that we have to follow their rules if we want to continue gaining traffic. Without traffic referred from Google this site would be in the toilet and none of us would have a site to write on.

    Whether we believe it or not, or like it or not, the Google search engine wants to return the best result for the search query. To do this as I am sure everyone already knows and has heard repeatedly Google will look at over 200 factors and signals about your webpage to decide where your page should sit in the search results.

    Panda is the biggest problem that faces this site - it assigns a score to the site as a whole (or maybe individual sub domains depending on the way the wind is blowing) which will affect every page on the site. If it sees that some pages are spam or poor quality it will treat even the good pages as such.

    Why does it treat the whole site the same? Because Google cannot read, they cannot spot every piece of spam, so if they spot some poor pages then they have to assume that there is a good chance that there will be more.
    They are actively ensuring that sites that are free to use and targeted by people who just target keywords to gain traffic (and ad revenue and sales) are penalized heavily. We ARE a content farm; people have hubs about "Best Christmas gifts for 2014", Gifts for 2014 Christmas" and a million and one variations around the same keywords... Google does not like this! Why send a searcher here and not straight to Amazon where they are going to end up anyway?

    Google is constantly changing its algorithm and expectations (NOT Hubpages) and we all need to react if we are going to maintain our traffic. So while it may seem unfair that once it was OK to have 10 amazon links that were vaguely related to the subject of the article, it now is not! IF HP is going to maintain ALL of our traffic those hubs that Google now sees as Spam or low quality have to be de-indexed or  "improved" to better meet the expectations of Google.

    HP has tried to do their best to ensure that both they and us can earn money through Amazon and Ads. But Google is fast changing the rules to ensure that they can provide the best results to the reader and yes there is I am sure some bias there to ensure that Google makes more money from what they deliver to the searcher also.This means that we HAVE to change if we want to get search traffic.

    If someone searches for a recipe which is likely going to be the one that is going to offer the reader the best? The one that offers half a dozen links for mixers, saucepans, and other culinary equipment (written to promote sales) or the one that has no sales links just a clear and well written recipe? Google wants to promote the one without the "spam" sales links.
    Google knows that for every real writer that has something original to offer the internet there are a thousand that will take that original thought (or recipe) and will add to it or twist it a little so that they can try to attract a few variations in keywords and promote sales - Google wants to deliver that original thought (The fact that the only ads left will be the ones offered by Google is irrelevant!!!)

    Whether we like it or not - there is very little originality on HP (Those of you that write original stuff please don't attack me as there is a lot but remember that there are 100's of 1000's of pages here that are not!) So why should Google promote a site that just rewords information that is available in a thousand other places just to add a few ads and sales links to each page?

    I personally think that HP is making the right changes but they are still chasing after the changes that Google makes - maybe it is time to make a leap ahead of where Google is today and see where things will really end up in the future...... Where ever that may be.....

    1. Mark Ewbie profile image82
      Mark Ewbieposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Great post LeanMan - you are one of the few that I always read.

    2. NateB11 profile image89
      NateB11posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      One of the main things I think about the recent changes that ended up unfeaturing a lot of Hubs is that it was a response to the recent Panda update; out of necessity and practicality the changes were implemented.

      I do remember the Internet in the late 90s, not that I've spent much time on the Internet until fairly recently, but I did dabble on the Web a little back then; anyway, back then you couldn't escape spam. Considering this, Google has done rather well at getting rid of spam, kind of hope they keep getting rid of it.

      Only thing I think differently about concerning what you said is keywords. I haven't found any viable way to get traffic other than using keyword research. For a serious writer that delivers informative content, keyword research is still a viable tool. If there is some other way, I'd like to know about it. Originally I hated the idea of SEO/keyword strategies until I realized that just writing cool articles wasn't going to cut it; no matter how genuine, original and detailed they are; I tried that, not effective. I'm not into doing a lot of work and then getting nothing.

      However, I agree many tricksters spend time finding keywords just to get traffic to thin content with a lot of ads. Clearly such articles are going to damage a site.

    3. relache profile image73
      relacheposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      The Tl;dr summary

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        What in the world are you talking about here?

        1. rebekahELLE profile image86
          rebekahELLEposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          TT2, relache simply made a brief summary of LeanMan's OP. 
          tl;Dr means 'too long; didn't read'

          1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks...I don't "text" so when people hand out wordage like that it looks like Greek to me!

    4. jeffryv profile image64
      jeffryvposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Neither, it is the fault of 2 billion search engine users who constantly demand better results to their query's.
      (Silly searchers smile smile )

    5. OldRoses profile image93
      OldRosesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Very well put, LeanMan.  In all the screaming and finger-pointing, everyone seems to have forgotten that Google is the bad guy here, not HP.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image86
        Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        It's true that HubPages' action was taken as a result of Google's new algorithm.   However it was HubPages who chose to break a promise to Squids without warning them.   That's what they are mainly upset about.

        1. Valerie P Davis profile image73
          Valerie P Davisposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I'm not upset. I know perfectly well that when Google tolls, sites are going to change. And this is far more important than my pretty pink feelings.

          Break a promise, my hind foot. I'm not dating the HQ staff!  As long as those earnings keep ticking they're doing everything I want. My hubs that got unfeatured needed to be.

          1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

            It is so refreshing to hear someone speak with clarity and common sense about this issue.  Bravo!

    6. aesta1 profile image92
      aesta1posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I totally agree with everything you've said. I worked really hard in the beginning when my lenses were moved here as there were just many things that needed changing. I had so many broken links, so many Amazon products and links. because it was allowed in Squidoo, I was the one who decided to do it so I just revised those lenses and deleted some because they were in the 60's until I read marisa's comment that there was no need to do so especially with the ones that were getting views. Google has searchers to satisfy and it is running a business. We still can choose not to be part of this. I wish they offer a fair playing field but what is fair? It means differently to each one of us.

      The warning would have been useful but time to move on.

    7. Nick DeGeorge profile image60
      Nick DeGeorgeposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I admire your being direct but I will add that hubpages is greatly at fault as well. From the get go they discouraged original content in favor of farms of how to's and five best of this or that .

      Look at their best of the week and editors choice when was the last time an original story was featured if ever. Yes you are correct, how many best recipes for pumpkin pie does the world need? However hubpages through their scoring system penalizes orginal content because it does not get high searches after all it's original?

      As I mentioned the greatest writers of our time and all time would have had hub scores of 65 why how many fiction books or novels do you read with photos and videos ? Is the answer zero! How people are incented is how they write, the original content writers abandoned hubpages a long time ago because it's easy to see you can't make money and you are penalized.

      Yes recently they were asking fiction writers to release some chapters so they could diversify but why bother. I did that earlier on do you know how much additional work to find photos, videos etc to fit a novel!

      I imagine it will get worse as Google sees many of the articles are regurgitated Wikipedia articles without insight or analysis but hubpages rewarded them with 100 scores.

      if you write orginal content you will see your scores yoyo and plummet at random till you spend more time tweaking than writing. Of course ad their technical errors I had hubs which I had not touched for weeks go from the 80's to the 60's literally overnight . Coincidentally that was the same day they made their upgrade. They are still checking on it! But after you spend 20 hours plus upgrading articles, watch them finally gain traction then collapse it's time to go independent.

      I can live without the 1.50 a month I think featuring work on your own site is a better way to go.

      Thanks for saying what needed to be said!

    8. peachpurple profile image81
      peachpurpleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      you mean that google wants fresh titles? those repeated titles are out of touch?

  2. Marisa Wright profile image86
    Marisa Wrightposted 9 years ago

    Great post, Leanman.

    It's a great pity Paul Edmonson didn't write an email like this BEFORE he introduced the new filter, because I think there would've been a lot less upset if he had.

    I don't think any sensible writer, understanding how the latest Panda has affected the site, would argue about the need for action.  What has upset people is that HP took action without forewarning us, and many (especially Squids) had Hubs unFeatured with no explanation.   

    It appears that HP didn't expect the filter to affect so many, but again - no matter how much testing is done on a new filter, there's always the chance of unexpected effects, so it would've been sensible to let people know and avoid the risk of alienating/losing good writers. 

    Having said that, there is no point flogging that particular dead horse any longer - what's done is done.

    Let's just hope that any further actions - and I'm sure further changes will be needed - are announced properly.

    1. TheDragonBringer profile image91
      TheDragonBringerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed. I am guessing they didn't expect it to have this big of an effect either. What did they say, they notify if it will apply to more than 10% of us? This seems like more than 10%, but maybe I'm wrong. Well said everyone! Here is hoping for clear, and advanced communications. I feel terrible that so many people are feeling so frustrated. I know how it feels, and it's not nice.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image96
        DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        If there were several hundred thousand Squidoo pages imported, and only several hundred pages affected, that is less that 1/10 of 1%. It seems like not many were affected, but almost all of those who were complained on that other thread.

        1. makingamark profile image69
          makingamarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          450,000 lenses were imported - and I suspect a lot of the problem would never have existed in the first place if they'd stuck to the original notion of only importing the 175,000 featured lenses. 

          I don't think anybody at Squidoo would have objected to that so long as they were given time to get the rest of their content off the site.

          This is what Squidoo had to say about "The New Featured Lens Threshold" back in June 2014 http://web.archive.org/web/201407020343 … threshold/
          "1) Lenses that are ranked over 175,000 (on average) have not been updated in 3 years. This means these lenses are pretty much abandoned and in many cases have outdated information.

          2) These lenses are getting little to zero traffic which means they aren’t bringing much value to Squidoo or the lensmasters who created them.

          3) The lenses are incomplete. Some of the lenses we’re seeing in this group were started, published but never really finished. They had enough content to get published but they are clearly incomplete which probably accounts for the low traffic and lensrank."

          Also a lot of the owners of a lot of the lenses >175,000 <450,000 lenses haven't been active on the site for a very long time - which explains why they're not complaining!

          It seems to me that HubPages imported deadwood and then realised rather late in the day that they'd given themselves a fairly major problem which had to be addressed

          1. jeffryv profile image64
            jeffryvposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            On August 29th 2014 there were 834,323 Hubs, Sept 14th 962,901 hubs, currently there are 977,779  Hubs.
            Hubpages did not import 450,000 lenses

            Side note: 1 year ago  Dec 2014 - 914,677 hubs
            May 2013 - 1,116,112

            1. makingamark profile image69
              makingamarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Is that hubs or featured hubs?

              I distinctly remember somebody referencing (and I think the comment came from both sides) 450k lenses.

              I don't think there was any intention to feature any transferred sites other than the 175k that were featured on Squidoo. However as we well know rather a lot of content left Squidoo between the announcement and the transfer so if they featured 175k they would have been featuring ones which were previously unfeatured due to being categorised as low traffic and/or low quality

              I also suspect more than a few reluctantly made the transfer so they could pick up their payment of outstanding income due - and then deleted as soon as the lenses became hubs and satisfied the conditions for making the final payment of tier income from Squidoo.  The transfer started on 2nd September so that's nearly two weeks for transferred lenses to become hubs and then disappear.

              P.S. Where do you get the number from for the number of hubs?

              1. jeffryv profile image64
                jeffryvposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Use Wayback to view historical data
                It is all published hubs, both featured and unfeatured, according to Hubpages
                Side note: Check out staff member count over the past 2 years

                1. makingamark profile image69
                  makingamarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  Well that's interesting - because the first figures you quoted would make more sense in the context of 175k featured added to HubPages minus those that were deleted as soon as they arrived.

                  I definitely remember that 450k figure as I was really shocked. I had no idea they were bringing that many across.

                  UPDATE: I took a look and they are referencing the figure as published hubs - hence my scenario still holds water.

                  i.e. 450k transferred - but not all featured
                  some 175 featured lenses transferred - but a significant percentage deleted as soon as they got to HubPages as the only reason for some people's agreement to the transfer was to collect the outstanding tier income payment

                  Either that or they did actually have a list of the featured lenses as at the date of transfer and only featured those on transfer that were on that list. However that then blows my theory out of the water as to why some problem lens/hubs had a featured status which needed to be unfeatured

                2. makingamark profile image69
                  makingamarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  I see what you mean about staff numbers - however even those have reduced.

                  Even more interesting are the numbers from 3 years ago
                  As of December 1st, 2011, there were
                  * 1,209,574 PUBLISHED HUBS
                  * 229,564 PUBLISHED USERS
                  * and 24 STAFF MEMBERS

                  1. makingamark profile image69
                    makingamarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    More HubPages by the Numbers

                    As of August 14th, 2014 (day before the transfer announcement), there are
                    837,756 PUBLISHED HUBS
                    58,593 PUBLISHED USERS

                    As of December 6th, 2014 (AFTER the purge of featured hubs), there are
                    978,118 PUBLISHED HUBS
                    83,929 PUBLISHED USERS

                    = 140,363 new Published (and Featured?) Hubs AFTER the purge of the featured hubs for engagement and quality and the deletion of hubs by people who only transferred so as they could pick up their last tier income payment from Squidoo - and never had any intention of staying.

                    = 24,336 new users.  I wonder how many of them are people associated with unfeatured hubs?  Most of these people are going to have only a few hubs published or none at all - because of the number of new hubbers who have hundreds of new hubs EACH.

                    Plus what's with the big gap on the Wayback Machine between 15th September and 6th December?

          2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Check out the info from this link posted by Phyllis Doyle on the other forum.  It clearly explains the original rules about how the transferred hubs would be handled.  It's a real eye opener.


            1. makingamark profile image69
              makingamarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              No it doesn't - it explains the FAQs as at today's date without any inidcation whatsoever as to the previous versions in terms of archived versions or clear indications within the FAQ as to when new sections were added in.

              The current version is NOT the FAQS that we were working to back in September when the lenses transferred and became hubs.

              HQ have stated they are constantly updating the FAQs and indeed have admitted in another post that what they had not written precisely what they intended and that they needed to make the unfeatured bit clearer.

              see the post by Marina in http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/125999#post2661754

            2. Marisa Wright profile image86
              Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Like I said on the other thread, even I know that particular FAQ has been updated, because I was on the thread where they said they'd changed it.  It previously said nothing about the risk of being unFeatured for quality outside the QAP process.

  3. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 9 years ago

    Great post, LeanMan.  I'll never forget a quote from some article I read a while back.  This is paraphrased, but it basically said, "If an article or page doesn't add value for the reader, it's spam." 

    If I find it, I'll post the context.  I thought of it when I read your statement about very little originality on HP.
    Value is giving the reader something they can't find anywhere else in the best way possible.

    EDIT:  OK, I found it.  It's one of the best articles I've read and I have it bookmarked.  I had it off, but the message is the same.  Cyrus Shephard said, Content without value is spam.  You can read the entire article, How to Rank: 25 Step SEO Master Blueprint, or download it as an ebook.  The quote is in the section about Content.

  4. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
    Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years ago

    Bravo ! Leanman. You wrote a very insightful and informative comment. Thank you for clarification on the issues.

  5. LeanMan profile image80
    LeanManposted 9 years ago

    I am always worried if people just agree with me!

    1. colorfulone profile image78
      colorfuloneposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      That is a good post, LeanMan, and I too agree with you.

  6. sandybrownpop profile image60
    sandybrownpopposted 9 years ago

    informative and interesting discussion.

  7. language-services profile image61
    language-servicesposted 9 years ago

    There are plenty of examples of what LeanMan has said out there. Websites that were doing very well, just to get cut down by Google. One such website, which I used, is Ezine Articles. It used to have good articles that were reviewed by moderators. But they were surrounded by ads, literally. With the Googles changes to its algorithms, the website started falling down. Now you can have pretty much any article accepted.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm amazed EzineArticles is still in existence at all, frankly.

      EzineArticles is an article directory.  It was designed as a  place where bloggers could come and copy articles for use on their own blogs.   Writers contributed their articles free because they were allowed to include a few links to their own website or blog.  The idea was that when the article was copied again and again, those links would be spread across the internet, creating hundreds of free backlinks.

      The trouble is that no longer works.  No sensible writer would want their work associated with websites that use copied content, because reputable bloggers and website owners wouldn't dream of it.  The people still using article directories like EA are spammers and misguided amateurs.

  8. JenwithMisty profile image70
    JenwithMistyposted 9 years ago

    Does someone have that email address where we can ask for a manual review?  Thanks.

  9. LeanMan profile image80
    LeanManposted 9 years ago

    Ezine Articles and many other sites existed almost purely to provide their members with links. The majority of the content was second rate and produced purely by the writer for gaining a link to their main site or articles elsewhere where they could earn.

    While there may have been some "real writers" that used these sites the MAJORITY were after links. That means that they used spun articles, keyword targeted articles that offered no value to the readers and articles that added nothing new to the subjects in the areas that they were targeted. So why should Google or any other search engine send them any traffic. Google are not stupid - they know why people wrote for that and other sites.

    So Google stopped sending them traffic!

    Now look at content farms such as Squidoo (RIP), Infobarrel,  and Hubpages....

    The sites are free to use and most of the users are there for purely one thing - to make money (MOST of the users - if you are one of those "genuine writers" then please overlook my generalizations - unfortunately Google will not overlook the generalization!)

    So "most" of the content here is written to target keywords with the aim of gaining traffic to generate an income through ad revenue or sales via Amazon etc. Invariably this means that the bulk of the writing that is done with this intention is not done by experts in the fields that are being written about but by people that open the top couple of pages about the keywords and then rewrite what they find in the hope that they get better placed. They add nothing new to the subject area! So WHY should Google rank them in the search results?

    So what does Google think if they see that the majority of the pages on here are plastered with links to Amazon and that many of those links are only vaguely related to the actual article? What does that tell Google about the intent of the writer? What does the intent of the writer infer about the likely content? Google cannot read; they have to use other signals to decide if the content will be good and is going to add any value.

    So if you were Google which would you offer the reader; a page from HP with 2 or 3 amazon ads on the page and a link to ebay from a subdirectory that has many pages with the same structure and level of ads or a dedicated site about the subject that contains only a limited number of Amazon style ads on a limited number of pages?? Which of the pages was probably written by someone that was actually passionate about the subject rather than making money?

    On my sites I no longer have any Amazon or any other links within my main informational pages - if people want products they can go to the section that contains the products and those pages are not indexed at all within Google. By doing that I have not reduced my sales; in fact they have actually increased and so have my visitors from Google.

    For Relache and others that want a summary because I write posts that are too long;

    If you write stuff that looks like all you are doing is chasing sales or giving links you will not get traffic from Google.......

    Some people need the long version so they can see how things are connected.......

    Back to my real work.......

    1. DrMark1961 profile image96
      DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Not too long, did read.
      Thanks for your insights.

      1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
        TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I am glad you wrote this "loooong" post because people need this information...again, and again, and again!  Personally, I think the team would do this site a big favor if

        1.  It discontinued the use of all Ebay and Amazon ads
        2.  It vetted writers to make sure that those here ARE experts or experienced enthusiasts in their fields.

        This would take care of the Google issue.  It would also eliminate a good number of writers here, but if the team does not do this, it will not endure.  On the other hand, losing so many writers might mark the end, anyhow. 

        Some here think that Google does not mind the ads, but since there is no way for the team to monitor them, what good are they?

        1. DrMark1961 profile image96
          DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I have an issue with your second suggestion. How do you propose the vetting is even done? I applied to provide answers at a website for veterinarians, but since I no longer have a US license they did not consider me qualified.
          Even if you state that you have 50 years experience with RVs, how do they know it is even true? I do not see any way that HP can research the qualifications for all the many experts that write on this site.

          1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

            They probably can't do this, however, they can get rid of the more obvious ones.  For example, if I want to write about Education, which is what I am now doing on my second site here, I can prove that I was a certified teacher and have a Master's Degree in Teaching simply by sending copies of certificates and diplomas to the team.  This will not work for people writing about recipes, gardening and such, but sure would work for people who write about medical care, etc.  Proving my expertise in RVing would be a bit more difficult, but anybody who reads my articles on that topic would pretty much know that someone who can come up with 80 + hubs must know quite a bit, don't you think?

            1. DrMark1961 profile image96
              DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I agree it is a good idea, and if you read enough you can always tell (as with your RV articles, alexadry dog training articles, or Melissa A Smiths exotic animal articles) but the problem is how it is to be done. As you point out, with some subjects (like gardening and recipes) it cannot be done.
              By the way, that site I mentioned before would not accept a diploma.You had to have a current US license, so even if you had a Masters diploma in teaching they would not have accepted you to answer questions on their site.
              And, as you know very well when trying to contact Google, asking for a human to review what you send them is a waste of time and energy.

              1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
                TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

                It is so hard to know what Google wants and will accept that it is maddening.  All I know is that I would love to see well written articles presented by intelligent people that are not buried in advertisements that would not drag down this site.  I am so sick of opening a page and seeing ad after ad when people have continually been told this is not a good thing.

        2. NateB11 profile image89
          NateB11posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I agree with you on the Amazon and eBay ads. The issue about expertise is problematic. If you've been married to your wife for 25 years and want to write about how to have a successful marriage you should not have to have a Psychology degree to write about that. Years before the Internet skilled researcher-writers wrote articles on subjects they were not experts on because there was a demand and they were good researcher-writers. To me it seems the issue is content; whether the content you publish is substantive and has value and gives the reader what they want. So, again, quality would have to be checked and measurements of visitor interaction and time on page would have to be used.

          I think someone searching the Web for information must, hopefully, understand that it's just informational what they find. Always, to get to the nitty-gritty you have to venture out into non-cyber land.

        3. PegCole17 profile image93
          PegCole17posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Your number 2 suggestion would imply that journalists need to have experience in every field on which they report, for example, if they do a segment on which they cover an outbreak of Ebola, they need to be a doctor. Is this what you mean? Human interest stories or those of personal experience were recently listed as desirable on the Hub blog.

          1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
            TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

            No, I'm saying that is what Google seems to want...but then Google changes its mind almost hourly!

    2. NateB11 profile image89
      NateB11posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I particularly agree with you about backlinks. I think the practice of exploiting sites just to get backlinks, or sites dedicated to giving people backlinks, is an underhanded tactic and not surprisingly penalized by Google.

      I don't think Google particularly favors experts with authority sites though. I have one of those sites and it performs the worst of all my work. On the other hand, using keywords has been much more fruitful. Of course, no matter how attractive your keyword phrases are to visitors, if you're not giving them what they want it will do no good. And so there's the middle ground. Keywords for articles with substantive content.

      Also, even Matt Cutts gives advice on using keywords. It's still an acceptable practice to do keyword research. It's just not acceptable to use keywords to spam, etc. Which, I realize, is your point.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image96
        DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        It is a rainy afternoon here, perfect goose weather, so since I am stuck inside I wanted to address a point in your article.
        I just opened up a profile page from someone who has written about affiliate marketing, weight loss, and mesothelioma. The articles look well written and informative, and the keywords are just what are being searched for, right.
        However, this person has less than 1000 page views, ever, but has been here 9 months. By that time I had over 100,000 page views.
        So, is Google able to tell the difference? Are they able to rank authority sites over generalist sites? This is just one piece of evidence. I am sure you can find a lot more, or if you want you can find authority sites that have not ranked that well.

        1. NateB11 profile image89
          NateB11posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I'm sure that's true. My bad luck with my authority site has more to do with it being a subject for which people don't use the Internet, I'm sure. I'm sure generally authority sites do better than generalist sites. My information is anecdotal, I imagine. In fact, right soon I'm going to abandon work on that authority site I have and figure out if I can find another subject more likely to get traffic. I was already thinking about doing that, long before I participated on this thread. And I already have other sites in the works that I can tell will already be more profitable.

          So, the lesson is some subjects will get traffic on the Net, others will not.

          1. DrMark1961 profile image96
            DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

            My information is anecdotal, too, so maybe it is wrong. I think most of the people that come on here and give advice are just guessing.
            Like you said, Nate, maybe the only lesson we can gain from this is that some things work and some things do not!

          2. Marisa Wright profile image86
            Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I write on specialist aspects of dance, which don't get high search volumes - but I still do fairly well because I offer information that dancers need.   I get fewer visitors to my sites than to my Hubs, but because they're so specialist, I make much higher revenue per visitor.  You should be able to do the same - so if your site isn't getting traffic, I'd be looking for other reasons.

            I took a look and I've sent you an email with some ideas.

            1. NateB11 profile image89
              NateB11posted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Actually, I was thinking the same thing. While the traffic is low on the site I'm talking about, if you figure revenue and visitors it's actually doing well, comparatively.

              My problem is traffic, so you're right I'd have to look at that. I'll check my email. Thanks.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image86
          Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          They write on mesothelioma, which is a saturated topic mercilessly exploited by spammers.  Unless you've got a large dedicated site on the topic, you've got no chance of getting traffic because Google assumes you're one of the spammers.   It's frustrating for people who have a genuine desire to write about it.

          The word "authority site" is heavily misused (by me as much as anyone!).  However, Google can easily tell the difference between specialist and generalist sites - all they have to do is look at the keywords used in each post.   If the site is all about one topic, then the keywords used will consistently relate to that topic.   If it's a generalist site, the keywords will be all over the place.

          That's why it's not true to say that Google is looking for experts - their robots can't read qualifications.  The best they can do is look for a website that contains a lot of information all on the same topic - because that suggests the person knows a lot about it.

      2. TolovajWordsmith profile image89
        TolovajWordsmithposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Google's business is built on keywords and backlinks, so both are here to stay in my opinion. I never got ANY traffic until started doing both.

        There are of course many alternatives to Google, but all other search engines and social media are organized in similar way. They use keywords too, because they are running business/advertisement based on keywords.

        Building a mailing list is unfortunately not one of the options here, as far as I know.

    3. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with everything you say except the bit about limiting the number of Amazon style ads.   I have eBay ads "plastered" liberally on about half the pages on my own websites - and I mean plastered!     In spite of that, both of them got a great boost in traffic from the most recent Panda.

      For me the key is not to limit the ads, but to make sure they are absolutely and utterly relevant to the subject and useful to the reader.   If that means 2 ads, I use 2 ads.  If it means 20 ads, I use 20 ads.

      1. Susana S profile image93
        Susana Sposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        The difference is you have ads on pages with matching, appropriate, niche specific page content and do not plaster them on all pages across your sites. On Hubpages nearly every single page has amazon or ebay ads on them and most of those pages aren't appropriate for those kinds of ads.

        Also, what sites can or can't get away with depends on their panda score or in other words how much trust Google has in the site. For instance sites with maximum Google trust can get away with the dodgiest linking campaigns you've ever seen. They can also plaster affiliate links all over the place, even when they aren't that useful to the reader, and not get dinged in the SERPs.

        The further down the trust scale you go the less leeway or benefit of the doubt the site gets.

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          This sounds good, but where did you find this information?

          1. Marisa Wright profile image86
            Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Susana probably got the information the same way I did - by reading, reading and reading about SEO, Panda etc.

            Essentially we agree, but what she is saying that my site has a good Panda score and therefore I can get away with lots of ads.  Whereas HubPages has a bad Panda score and therefore lots of ads  just put the nail in the coffin, especially as some people still use irrelevant ones. 

            She may have a point.

            1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
              TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

              This confuses me!  Just as I started adding a few ads back in, now I'm hearing this is a bad thing for me because I write here at HP.  What's a mother to do!!

              1. DrMark1961 profile image96
                DrMark1961posted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Except...if the whole site has a bad Panda rating, as Marisa has pointed out in the past, does what you do even have any effect? (Especially if there were thousands and thousands of hubs added recently, many of them with unrelated Amazon ads.)

                1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
                  TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  but...there still are people here who are earning good money and getting plenty of views, so if the entire site is poorly rated, how are those people doing that???

                  1. Marisa Wright profile image86
                    Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    Who are these people?     CrazyHorseGhost says he's doing well but he has over 1,000 Hubs.   So he may still be getting only a dollar or two per Hub for all you know.  WriterFox is doing well but he's an SEO expert.   Both are expert at promoting their Hubs, which you (and I) don't do, and that is the main factor in their success.  It's that promotion that drives the traffic in spite of the bad Panda score.   If HP didn't have a low Panda score, they'd be doing even better.

  10. The Examiner-1 profile image61
    The Examiner-1posted 9 years ago

    Has anyone taken the time to look at the date when their unfeatured Hubs were first published plus the amount of traffic, and views, that each Hub is currently receiving?

  11. Mark Ewbie profile image82
    Mark Ewbieposted 9 years ago

    Dear Google,

    I am writing to tell you that I am now an expert in drawing stickmen.  I have a certificate which I printed from a web university which shows I achieved distinction in drawing legs and a mention for marvellous hair.

    I am also an expert in writing about mesothelioma. 

    Please make sure I get lots of traffic.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image85
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 9 years agoin reply to this



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