Prompted by a comment in another thread, I thought it would be useful to perhaps slightly change the way that we commonly think about changes to hub scores, hubber scores and the like. Rather than see them as a judgement on us or our quality of writing, we can use these scores and other tools to make improvements to our hubs, increase our search traffic and ultimately our revenue.
I'd like to propose that if we do make changes and experiment on our hubs, that we post the results here in this thread. We can keep this going over a few weeks and see how things are changing. A few quick points:
- Correlation does not equal causation - It's not necessarily true that changes we make and improvements that we see are necessarily *directly* related, however it does provide a useful guide to what seems to be working
- This experiment can be successful if we crowdsource data from hubbers, so if you're making changes, post your results
- Remember that hub scores and hubber scores have *no* impact on your placement in Google search results; they are purely an internal HP metric. However, hub score does have an impact on appearing on topic pages, in related hubs etc, which is a way to get referrals, so it's still worth increasing hub score
- The metrics that we can measure include:
- HP measures - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/hubs … bber-score
- Hub score (directly measured by HP, available on your account page)
- Hubber score (directly measured by HP, available on your home page)
- Hub metrics - View Duration (directly measured by HP, go to your hub, click stats then hub metrics)
- Google Analytics - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/sett … -analytics
- Source / medium (where people are visiting your pages from); more is better
- Time on site (How long people are spending on your hub pages; if they only visit one page, it will count as 0 seconds); longer is better
- Bounce rate (How likely people are to only look at one page on your site before leaving), lower is better
- Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … ster-Tools
- Performance over time in search (How your pages are performing in search as regards impressions and clicks; remember to look at 'web only' and also 'all' as images play a significant role)
- Top queries (Use 'with change' to view how ranking for individual queries changes over time)
- Top pages (Use 'with change' to view how ranking for individual pages changes over time) - This is the measure that I use most often
- Links to your site (How many other domains and sites are linking to you and how they do so)
Please note that setting up and using Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools is outside the scope of this thread.
Here's a link to other forum discussions looking into how changes to hubs can impact on search placement, hub score and more; as you post your findings below, I'll update this:
- Does turning ads off impact rank? http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128719
- Latent semantic indexing and rank - http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/129440
- Are less pictures the trend? http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/129345
- A 2 day experiment with hubs and hub scores - http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/129817
- An interesting experiment with photo upgrades - http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/129597
- A critical mass of hubs - http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/129330
- Images and their impact on search - http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/128906
So, here's my request - Please have a read through of this information and start trying out your own experiments. Post the results here on what is working and what isn't. I'll keep this thread updated and once we have a decent amount of information, I'll build a hub around it as a resource.
Existing useful resources:
- Stellar hubs - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/Elem … tellar-Hub
- Search friendly titles - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … ndly-Title
- Standing out in search engine results - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … ne-Results
- Improving the quality of a hub - http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/How- … y-of-a-Hub
My hope is that through working together and sourcing data, we can each make improvements to our work to increase our individual views and revenue as well as the quality of HP as a whole.
My suggestions on posting experimental results are:
- What you did (be as precise as you can)
- The metrics and measures that you had before you started
- The amount of time that passed
- The metrics and measures that you had when you finished
- Anything else you think is relevant
You can also post suggestions on changes that more hubbers could make, so we can see what the improvement is when we consolidate results.
Any comments are very welcome.
Thanks for posting this, Paul. I already put some thoughts of mine on that other thread, but as time goes on will be adding them here. I'm still tweaking.
One thing I will say is that when I compare one month ago with this month, my views have increased by 6,000 views, but I attribute this to the fact that my topic is seasonal. On the other hand, last months views are twice what they were the year before.
I have now set up a chart that shows the month by month page views so that I can get an overview of what has been going on. This is easy to do if you use Google Analytics. I was shocked to see the difference between last year at this time and this year and am hoping the uptick of the trend continues.
I will add here that last month is also the month when I started upgrading every hub, so I do think this must have something to do with my views, also.
Paul if you believe this:
Remember that hub scores and hubber scores have *no* impact on your placement in Google search results
Then the experiment is a 'naval gazing' waste of time IMO - better to focus on things that increase traffic and lift the position in the SERPS. Hub score and Hubber Scores are irrelevant to the main game. There is a delicious circularity in what HP is doing.
Ahh, not so fast.
While I agree with the basic content of what you just said, you should think about the fact that updating and editing improve articles and can as such improve people's work to the point that it can eventually be ranked higher.
This may not work for everybody or in all cases, but it will work for some, and this makes it worth the effort.
I am not personally updating to improve my scores, but rather to improve my income...and that is happening. CPMs are up and income is up, so I know the better my work the better I will do.
Also, by editing, I am finding tons of errors and problems and correcting them as I go. This alone makes the effort worthwhile.
OK - you can improve hubs, but there is another perspective. It is hard to get a high ranking article that delivers traffic. Also only about 20% of your gems will be successful for traffic. Is it better to 'flog dead horses' than to create more and more little 'black beauties' that get traffic? Your time is limited, use it wisely. The time it takes to edit old stuff may be better spent on crafting better new stuff and developing skills to compete to get traffic effectively. IMO
PS many of my highest hub score articles get very little traffic. This situation is likely to worsen as traffic has been eliminated as a factor for HP hub scores and Hubber scores. I don't see the point of editing hubs that get high traffic - too risky. Just my opinion.
Is it really too risky? I opted out of the Editors Choice program since I did not want all of my good hubs being taken off of my subdomain. It did not affect my traffic.
I let HP edit all of my high traffic hubs to evaluate the effect. I wanted to see if the traffic increased, and was willing to lose the traffic if it did not help. But was it a big risk? Do you earn most of your income from HP? If your traffic fell off to 0 tomorrow, would your life be severely affected?
TT2´s suggestions to improve those Hubscores is a good one. It is not directly correlated with traffic, since some of my highest traffic hubs are only placed in the middle of my hub scores. However, if the hubs are improved (like fixing grammar, spelling, or improving images), over time they will get better traffic.
It seems like a win-win solution. It is worth any perceived risk.
Hi Dr. Mark - What was your experience with Hub Pro - improvement, collapse or too soon to tell? I agree, Hub Scores don't mean much to me. If I get traffic, so be it.
I elected to leave EC and got a bump in views (20%+) when I did so. One day I will inspired enough to write a new hub, then the sky will be the limit
Too early to tell you about any change in traffic, but I figured I would give it a try anyway since I had read so many doomsday comments in these forums. I can definitely tell you it has not gone down at all. The hubpro editor contacted me several weeks before starting, checked with me to discuss each change made, and, when I disagreed about some things (like internal links, images, etc) made sure that I could change it back if I wanted to do so. I did not like one of the MFP images and she made up another one that was more suited to the hub.
The Hub Pro editing did not improve hub score on those hubs that were edited though. That is not a big deal, but I was kind of surprised that their own editing was not enough for hub score improvement.
I think you made a good move on that EC program. My own hubs did not see any improvement when I opted out, but then again they did not see any improvement when I was in the program either.
I have about 10 hubs almost finished but have not published anything in over a month. I guess I am waiting for that limitless sky too!
Apparently Hub Pro really helped the writer whose diet article just went viral. If you look at her other articles, they are nothing like that one. It makes me wonder just how much input the professional editor had and how much of that article is hers. So far she's had 2.2 million hits and to me that proves, no matter who wrote the article, it's the popularity of the topic that really makes the difference. Dontcha' wish we could come up with winners like that one??
There's also the fact that hubs with higher scores place better on topic pages and on 'related hub' placement, which gets you more referrals, so it's by no means a fruitless exercise. Also, as TT2 said, overall hub score is *a* gauge of how HP determines the quality of our hubs and read in concert with other metrics can prove useful.
I'm assuming that HP has SEO experts that it works with and that their advice is reflected in hub score, so although hub scores don't have a *direct* impact on search results, higher hub scores *should* mean we place better in search results, although as always, correlation != causation.
There is another perspective as well. HP believes that poor quality hubs that get lots of traffic are the cause of Panda slaps. Hubpro and the drive to improve the quality of high traffic hubs is HP's strategy to address this. If you already write good quality hubs, then you are beyond or outside the target of this drive. If your overall sub quality is generally good, especially the high traffic hubs, then no need to worry, and upgrading is much less important for you. It is HP's job to fix the poor quality ones. Hence the focus.
Individuality is another aspect, and you may have to cop HP score penalties for this.
I have done some "experimentation" with some hubs. Here are my results;
1.Editing nothing more than the title gets the hub into featured and gets an increase in views over a short period of time because it gets crawled again.
2. Choosing what time to publish your hubs has a direct correlation to the number of initial views. My best time seems to be about 3:30 pm. Hubs published at this time (approximately) seem to do better over time when compared to hubs published at different times.
3. The words that make up your tittle directly correlates to the initial hub score (the more complex or niche the better).
4. The times and days that hubs are socially shared directly influences the number of views
Some studies have suggested to share at 12:00 pm, after 5:00 pm, around 10:00 pm on weekdays. The best days are weekends with no specific times.
5. "How to hubs" do not necessarily perform better than non "how to hubs". But this is heavily dependent on the topic.
6. Number 1 thing (for initial views and somewhat for continued views) appears to be the key words that are specific to search parameters (what are people searching for). The more Niche or complex the tittle the better it performs.
Thanks for starting this thread and posting some thorough and expert tips.
As I mentioned in the other thread, there are many positive ways we can use the information HP gives us through the Hubber Scores on our profiles, the icons that say whether a hub is featured or not, and the scores on individual hubs. We can benefit from thinking of them as dashboard readings on our cars. If the gas gauge is low, we need to add fuel. If the engine light is on, we need to check a few things.
HubPages has adjusted the way those scores are generated so better reflect what Google actually filters in search results. This is helpful, and it's more objective than scores based on internal activity on the site.
It's usually pretty easy to address a hub that is 'unfeatured' for traffic, for example; just edit it or update it, if it's already solid content. This helps Google 'see' it again and put it back into the mix. I know it may not make sense if your accounts page says the hub has had a lot of traffic, but there might be a pattern of declining traffic over time or some other signal that lets us know to freshen things up.
Another easy way to tweak a hub is to review the summary at the top - those few words are valuable in helping Google parse out the content and what it has that relates to searches.
Is there anyone else out there right now that's running hub experiments that wants to add it here?
I'm still working on my hubs and can honestly say that as the scores rise, so do the views...more on some articles than on others. Here is what I have done:
Added and improved photos and captions
Decided to revert to putting an intro first and then the first photo
Made everything wide width
Made every article at least 1000
Upgraded titles to be more search friendly
Made every first image Pinterest ready and am posting many of them
Am also posting some photos to Google plus and FB, although Pinterest posting is bringing in way more views than the others.
Am keeping ads to one or two or less per article and only where they compliment the article.
Combined several articles because they seemed to be on the same topic and were partially repeating info.
Am now getting between 500 and 700 views per day and CPMs are quite high. I expect to make three figures again this month if things continue. Sales are also increasing.
As before, however, I will add that my articles are mostly seasonal and right now is when they should be taking off anyhow, so it is very hard to know if the changes have truly affected the views, etc.
However, the scores are not seasonal. My overall hub scores have gone from 79 to 83 as of today. My Hubber score, however, is still more or less the same. I now have no articles left that are below 70, and a fair number in the 80's and 90's.
It has been a lot of work, but I really like the way my articles look and read much more now. I just wish I could find a second niche that I could build up for my second site that would cover my off season months.
It's still pretty early for definitive answers, but I've updated about 1/2 of my hubs, trying for mobile friendly. Full width photos (or at least a full width set of thumbnails), an early large photo, shorter paragraphs, etc.
Traffic is up about 10%, although it's hard to see because my traffic varies so widely during each week, with weekdays high and weekends lower by at least 30%. Still, I'm getting higher highs each week (for a whole 3 weeks).
We did an interesting test where we fixed grammar and spelling, capitalization, broke the hub up into logical sections and we actually didn't see an improvement in quality, but we saw HUGE increases in traffic. We will do a more detailed post on this.
That is interesting, as it appears the quality would improve immediately with all those fixes. Increases in traffic is what counts, so that is terrific. Can't wait to hear more.
Paul: I'm really glad you did this because as a former Language Arts teacher I have been harping on this very thing for some time now. We must make sure that people writing on this site have the basic competencies to do so, otherwise Google is going to nail all of us.
Good basic writing skills won't produce stellar hubs, but you will never have have a chance of getting stellar hubs and tons of traffic without them.
Thanks for this one. At last, someone is paying to attention to my rants!
Paul, do you mean as far as QAP ratings? How was quality assessed?
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