Jeez, I check my stats this morning and it's a disaster. I run to Quantcast and discover it's all of HubPages and not just me. What the heck is going on? I even rushed to a calendar website to see if there was something special about May 1; there wasn't. I checked the news for anything that could have caused it: nothing.
Yes, I noticed the same thing, significant decline. Sort of looked like it returned to the traffic I had before the surge that happened I think a few weeks ago. Although, also, my traffic goes up and down fairly regularly; it's dropped this low and then headed upwards within a few days before.
Edit: Yes, I checked quantcast too and noticed the drop. Seems like it dropped, too, to traffic the way it was during the beginning of last month.
Yesterday is the lowest HubPages traffic has been since August 2013. Totally not good.
One thing has occurred to me. Did summer arrive early for us? I checked my GA stats for last year. The first major summer traffic drop for me hit on Saturday, May 17; followed by a second more precipitous drop on Saturday, June 14. Lasted until Saturday, August 30 before it started crawling back up.
May 17, 2014, was the release of the Google Panda 4.0 update.
June 13, 2014, was the date of the Google MetaFilter 2 update (increased traffic to forum sites) and June 12, 2014, was the Google Payday Loan 3.0 update which targeted spammy pages with spammy keyword phrases, spammy page titles and queries.
Google's mobile-friendly algorithm (launched April 21st) completed its roll-out on May 1st, but it can take up to ten days for search results to reflect these changes globally when all affected sites are re-indexed.
My traffic is about what it usually is this time of year for a Friday and Saturday. On Sundays and Mondays, my traffic goes up.
Traffic yesterday to HP was lower than December 25th. In fact, visits haven't been this low since August 23, 2013.
Traffic went down 20% for U.S. views and 18% for global views from the day before. But, that is just one-day's traffic so we can't say that is a trend just yet. According to Quantcast, HP is still the 67th most visited site in the U.S. and #36 globally, so it still compares well to other sites.
In my opinion, the HubPro and EC programs have done nothing to improve traffic site-wide to HP or even to individual Hubs collectively in the programs. Cleaning up the low-quality Hubs still on the site would help, as well as giving greater exposure for highly-trafficked Hubs on Related Hubs, HOTD, Topic pages, etc. Also, as I've mentioned before (to deaf ears), what would help the site gain traction is improvement of content on all Topic pages to make them true landing pages and running PPC ads for them. That would also help in positive branding for HP.
Since HP staff has shifted the emphasis away from traffic, maybe what we are seeing now is the result of that decision.
+1, + squidoo "the emphasis away from traffic" in the hubber and hub ratings sends the completely wrong message. Hubpro focuses on hubs that get traffic - yet hubs and authors that get traffic are not rewarded. Bloated Stella has not worked. HP should shift focus away from 'quality' and 'capsule stuffing' towards nimble, succinct, concise, smart hubs that supply what mobile users want and need - its not dwell time, but WOW time!
I like that "WOW time" and I especially like it when a visitor starts to read a Hub and clicks on an ad quickly. I don't care if people read the whole Hub or not. All I want is traffic from Google, eyeballs on the page and clicks on ads.
I noticed a drop yesterday, and then again today. The thing is that for me, summer is my most productive time due to my niche topic...so something is really off. Also, my CPMs have dropped quite a bit also. This is not good.
May 1 is May Day in many parts of the world, but that's probably not the cause. Various webmasters have reported something odd happening to their search results and traffic over the past 2 - 3 days and some believe it is an algorithm update that is unrelated to the mobile-friendly algorithm. It's too soon to tell what is actually happening though.
At least I know it wasn't just me. I had a pretty good month in April -- better than I'd had in a while - and I made the mistake of getting optimistic for a change. ....then as soon as the calendar changed, things went straight down the poop chute. (shrugs) Eff it. I give up.... (opens beer)
Cock a Doodle Doo - we're on the wrong horse waiting for a Panda update (cargo cult?). Trends are still within Quota boundaries with the quota algo perhaps overreacting to the viral comb. Perchance it is MobileGeddon reacting to bloated Stella becoming obese.
Well, just for the fun of it, I'm going to go ahead and make a prediction. I predict Saturday's traffic will be even less than yesterday's. Prediction made 7:30 pm, HP time. Other predictions are welcome.
Sunday's traffic will be the real revelation as to what we are in for...
My Saturday traffic is a bit lower than friday, but then that's Indian Time. I have a feeling HP's Saturday traffic is gonna be lower too at this rate. I don't see any relevant changes in position of my two top performers, but from over 200 views a day one of them dropped to just barely 100+
Same here. Saturday just became my new worst traffic day of the year. I peeked at Quantcast, they still haven't reported yet. I tell ya, I really don't know if I can put up with another round of Google screwing with HP again; especially what with my impending permanent increase in living expenses.
Egads, definitely a major drop in traffic. I lose traffic on the weekend, but this loss was more than usual. And quantcast figures are looking very bad. Hoping there's something going on that's keeping people off the Internet. I (like a lot of people) was watching the disappointing Pacquiao/Mayweather fight last night, that might explain yesterday's traffic (but not Friday's).
Garden work is rewarding work. I spent time getting tree branches and brush trimmed at the edge of the woods today. Sometimes we really can't see the forest for the trees, and I like seeing into the forest.
Anyway, it took my mind off of HubPages and all the online stuff for awhile. It was a refreshing vacation of the mind, Barbara.
Google has told us we are mobile lovable. Just to be sure, I just now checked my hub that had the biggest traffic drop yesterday. The message came back, "Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly." So whatever our problem is, it apparently isn't that.
It does mean that search results pages for people viewing from mobiles have changed. So, this could be an indication of how some Hubs' rankings have changed. Now that mobile-friendly sites have some (unknown just how much) advantage in rankings, it puts all Hubs in a different playing field when people search on Google from mobiles.
If you look at the Quantcast graph, views have gone down more from mobile searches than from PC searches. It is still too early to predict if this is a permanent traffic fall and it is still part of the three-day weekend holiday in the UK.
48 posts here and you're the first to clue me about the UK 3-day holiday weekend I believe. Meanwhile, my stats for today are now starting to look the same as yesterday and extremely pathetic compared to last Sunday. Oh,well. At least Google keeps showing me that cute blonde every time I check.
Alas, it just plain never registered with me as a major UK holiday. Oh, well. Meanwhile, I'm still not seeing any major rebound in today's stats so far, but at least I'm also not seeing a further collapse.
Well, I think it's not too big here in the US; only hard-core Anarchists, Socialists and maybe some Union people celebrate it; but in my experience, almost no one observes it here and sure don't get the day off for it. Ironically. However, I've heard of people in Europe and Asia for certain celebrating it. It's huge in the Philippines, I know that.
After a few ups and downs, and the accompanying elation and dejection, I start to feel like I am used to it, and I can take it all in stride. It's not like I ever make a lot of money, not enough to worry over really. Still, it seemed to be building up steadily, then the bottom dropped out, again.
May Madness - Wild speculation! I noticed that the decline in my GA traffic started last Monday, which coincided with a sharp drop in CPM on Sunday (dropped by 25% and has stayed low). Could CPM and the value of ads on page be The Answer to Everything (not 42).
=> Google secretly includes CPM (what adverisers are willing to pay) in its ranking of pages which affects SERP
=> There was a 'morning after effect' for HP advertisers which followed the mega sustained Viral payout. Advertisers paid out heaps, but this was not sustainable and they dropped their offers. CPM fell, traffic fell.
=> CPM is the driver for traffic. If the CPM is higher you will get more traffic initially, BUT higher traffic will mean it is harder to sustain the CPM.
=> CPM and the 'dog chasing its tail' may be the cause of the traffic Quota] it [provides a feedback mechanism which keeps traffic within a narrow range. Higher CPM -> more traffic -> CPM is harder to sustain with more traffic and it drops -> lower traffic -> CPM rises etc. etc.
=> CPM or what advertisers are willing to pay on a page may explain the reason why some 'lower quality' pages rank higher than expected - they have higher potential CPM.
What do you think? Crazy? Perhaps not?
Did your CPM drop on Sunday/Monday? Obviously limited data to test this.
As CPM is a calculated value based on income and traffic, and google does not have access to private HP contracts with advertisers, it's hard to see how big G could include that calculation in it's SERP rankings.
The plot thickens. Somehow, somewhere, CPM appears to be an indicator, with a link to traffic. Cause and effect are difficult to crack. However, drops in CPM appear to herald subsequence traffic plunges at other times as well (though data very limited). Ye old 'CPM drops when traffic rises' is a well known curse for those counting pennies. Further checks are warranted.
PS I think the stats are wrong again! Don't match GA.
'Falls off a cliff' is a good description, paradigm.
I opened one of my 'reliable performer every day of the year but never spectacular' type hubs and took a look at the stats on the top of the page. There's more than 100 extra views showing on that single hub for the past 24 hours.
Don't know what the go is with my other hubs because I don't have the time nor inclination to check them all ... but I posted my observation in the tech trouble forum.
Google result pages can be different for every person, as well as in different countries. Plus, what you are using as a keyword to find your article may not be what your traffic has been using. It could have lost rank on a related keyword it was ranking for, and this is what is causing a loss of traffic.
Use Google Webmaster Tools to get a better idea of what search terms bring traffic to your articles, and how you rank for each term.
Compare the number of phrases bringing traffic from google in GA. When panda has hit before I've seen big losses in rankings for many hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of long tail phrases, with no change to the main few ranking phrases.
Monday stats are even better than Sunday! Continue to stay positive and keep hope alive. Things are turning around for the better. The new hub design is a plus, albeit with the glitches, which I trust will be fixed soon.
Yep, my Monday GA stats were up again as well. When Quantcast's Monday data comes out, I'm guessing everything will be back to normal or even better. Besides, yesterday HP gave us all something new to rant about anyway.
I think this is more of a stats glitch than a Panda update because the only news about Panda I can find is pretty much outdated. The fact that our stats have not changed in 4 days is a pretty good clue...plus, the big fight was this weekend, the weather is improving, etc., so people may be reading less.
Today my views are right back up where they were prior to the weekend.
My traffic is rising but still below average in GA, HP stats appear to be up as well. Here's hoping its just a churn not a burn. Quantcast still lists HP as 67 (no change) and so does not appear to be a major Panda slap. Time will tell.
PS - Perhaps the churn has been due to Google refreshing their index after crawling freshly re-ranked mobile-friendly sites which are re-positioning. It would seem likely that the mobile related changes would be major, and would take a while to settle down.
I ran my 'morning after, quota adjustment model' and it predicts a 10% decline over the next week as 'punishment' for the sustained viral rooster comb traffic. It may take 2 weeks for the Quota-algo to 'get over it' and for traffic to return to average 2015 levels.
Wouldn't it be something if the weekend was just a little pre-Panda indigestion and it turns out we are actually liked this time around? We'll certainly know one way or the other by the end of the week.
BUT still a lot of debate occurring that something is happening, perhaps some other changes. Or may be 'housekeeping' associated with the Mobile ready upgrade to rankings etc. Maybe signs of update being prepared for rollout.
head to head - chooks, tete a tete - prediction falling into place (see image above). Quota rules and you can't get over that.
I'm glad I found this as I was wondering why my traffic had seemed to almost half over the weekend! It does seem worrying because I think the decline was quite sharp and sudden as opposed to a gradual decline you could monitor and somewhat combat.
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