I suspect folks are getting worried about the move from subdomains and while we can't say what will happen with every page, a loss of traffic at this stage isn't unusual.
I put together this Hub on the process. http://hubpages.com/business/What-Happe … Large-Site
If you are really concerned about traffic loss at this stage, I've seen updating the Hub give it a boost to speed the process up. Hang in there with us on this move. We moved a really large site with hundreds of thousands of pages. I feel very good that in the long run this will be a good move for folks.
Thanks for the update and also the Hub which I read earlier. Things appear to be looking good. I am especially pleased that I have sold a few things from Amazon links in the past few days. I know people are beginning to say that these capsules are a waste of time, but I do feel when the items purchased are directly related to my hubs.
One major potential problem is Pinterest, which does not allow redirects. Their HELP says ["We may block a link if: The link redirects from one page to another"]. While I have been editing 4000+ pins to the new URL- which is taking days - all the re-pins that generate much of the traffic cannot be fixed.
In doing the edits I have found that some links are blank - others are 404. This could potentially cause a major loss of traffic for HP - for example 50% of my traffic comes via Pinterest. Breaking the Pinterest rules could also cause a ban for HP. Any feedback in this would be appreciated.
OMG - better than 60% of my traffic comes from Pinterest. I have noticed a pretty major dip in traffic today, I certainly hope it isn't a Pinterest issue. I'm almost afraid to check. You'd think with Pinterest being such a huge source of traffic HP would have worked something out with this in advance - I sure hope so now I'm panicking.
**Ok, so I just checked a couple of pins and they do go to the redirected link - at least for now.... I hope this isn't going to be an issue? **
Unless you've got loads of time there's no need to do it. Paul just commented on his hub that they spoke to Pinterest before this move.
You go to the pin and click on the pencil icon (if you just hover over the pin as it is on the board it will just be a pencil; if you click on the pin, it will show up as a pencil icon with the word edit). When you click on the edit/pencil button, there is a space for "website"; you put the new url in there.
Thanks, that was very useful. I also see that it can be done from opening up the actual pin in the same way. I do wonder if it is necessary as the old URL seems to be working ok.
Well thankfully my traffic has risen, in particular that from Pinterest. So I am not complaining.
I was getting some 450 page views (all Hubs put together) before the move. Now I have 50 to 80 views per day for the past 4 days. No sign of any improvement. What's really happening?
C.V., Did you read Paul's hub? He actually answered your question in complete detail.
Sort of nothing unusual I've encountered so far, but thanks for the update. Got HubPage's message in my inbox today, reminding me of my nearly one year of inactiveness from hubpage activity (posting, i mean). Logged in just now..so far nothing unusual. But out of my curiousity, would you mind me asking what will happen to my hub-page account and hubs I've written after sub-domain's launch? Will submission process remain same? Thanks.
Hi Paul. Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. In your post, you told us to prepare for a decrease in traffic and that it won't be that unusual. You also suggested that we update or hubs to give them a boost to get through this transition.
It's been 3 weeks, albeit holiday time at this point. I updated several hubs, all are doing poorly. This stark decrease in traffic doesn't seem right. Is this what you expected? Please share with us a new update on the site move. Thanks.
My traffic is equally grim, but at least the HubPages Quantcast rank has come back from 118 to 107 as of this post. Hope still lives.
Hi Paul. Update: Things are beginning to improve. Traffic is returning to my best performing hubs. Some of the increase is due to the latest shooting tragedy which usually happens with my hubs on violence, giref and loss, shootings, etc. So I really can't tell yet but it appears things are looking up for my pages.
As per my last two forums posts which were closed before any satisfactory response had even been received, why have you completely destroyed all internal traffic by removing the feed and just showing the latest 5 hubs/questions/forum posts only? Now we are getting just about zero internal traffic and nobody can actually see what's going on or which users are active or who has commented on which hubs or who has published new material - there's just virtually nothing there unless you manually go through each of the hubbers you are following, clicking on their profiles and checking to see if they've been active or not which is a humungous waste of time and is pretty stupid. Additionally, it makes it difficult to find new hubbers to follow. The place has become a ghost town (or site, rather) since this change (which in my opinion is absolutely absurd) and HubPages staff are refusing to acknowledge this problem or even make a relevant comment about it or answer my questions about it. WHY??!
Sparkster - click on your name in the black bar at the top of the page and scroll down to 'Feed' and click on that. You will find what you are looking for.
EDIT: I am so sorry - I meant to say click on 'Explore' then scroll down to 'Feed' .
Well you're not allowed to promote your own pages on the forums but...
Just read your hub. As you explained, I also had a huge increase only to be followed by the stage two drop in traffic. At least I understand what's happening now and I trust the process. Thanks for writing about how the process works.
Yup stage 2 seems to be in process with mine as well.
A great hub; very educational. Thanks for sharing with us folks.
Don't worry, your answer is here:
http://hubpages.com/business/What-Happe … t-16653358
Sorry if this question has been posted and answered, but where are Editors Choice Hubs going. Do they remain in their own silo? Do they end up at the top of a new category related silo? How is it now an advantage or disadvantage?
Does this mean that having a niche site is no longer necessary? Hubs will stand on their own in relation to the others in their category?
Do you mean a niche subdomain?
No, there is no point in having a niche now (if there ever was) because your Hubs are just individual Hubs within a topic structure
We have seen dramatic increase in traffic. Nice decision!!
And while we are at it, please unf-ck the CPM.
I want to give a little update. The site is still moving over and settling in. We are noticing that several pages are acting like Google lost them. We've seen a number of pages go through this, but it eventually gets worked out and the page returns to it's previous ranking position.
My best guess is that in Google's massive infrastructure, data hasn't been fully updated to all the places Google uses to serve a query.
This is a pretty major move, so I think we just need to give the pages that are straggling some time to get fully processed. We will keep you updated as we see things get processed.
Perhaps moving over in several batches -- one small chunk after another could have eased the problem on Google as well as HP. I am sure this seems to be a major hit on HP massively affecting your earnings for an unexpectedly longer period.
@PaulE Thanks for the update. I have been using site:[username].hubpages.com to monitor progress for re-indexing and re-caching pages. So far it shows about 1/3 of my pages and other subs have yet to be converted. Several listed pages show no 'cache' button. Perhaps these are the pages 'missing in action'. Others show 404 error for cache.
Is there another way of tracking progress for re-ranking of pages to identify pages needing a re-boot via editing?
I think the move to one major domain is a good one. Any thought about moving certain editor's choice or good traffic hubs to subdomains by topics?
Get rid of blue Matthew.
Anyone else seeing a tank in their CPM? My views have been steady if not higher than normal but there's been a major drop in the CPM and subsequent earnings.
Yep! CPM tanked - probably associated with re-indexing of pages and ads allocation to multiple versions of the page.
My CPMs tanked a year ago, so I don't see them any lower than they have been for the last 14 months.
Mine are 60% of what they were 2 weeks ago, and they are 30% lower than my average over the last 3 months.
Mine are also down. Not sure about the traffic, I haven't really looked at that, but I would guess it goes hand in hand. I will try updating some hubs with minor changes, but I am not holding my breath...
Yes, I have seen a major drop in my CPMs -- about 30% in three weeks. And they are continuing to fall. My traffic has dropped 35% during the same period.
Paul, I noticed that when I look under "Behavior - Overview" in GA, my top performing hubs have two URLS each. Neither is the subdomain URL with "janshares" in it. I believe those are long gone, right? Is this why I've seen an increase in traffic because two URLS pop up during searches? I think this started right after the site move. Whether this is part of the transition or a transitional glitch, it's cool, just curious.
Just got my answer from HubPages Weekly. I do recall reading about the two URLS in your hub. Thanks.
@janshares You can monitor the demise of your sub using
site:[username].hubpages.com to monitor progress for re-indexing and re-caching pages in your sub. About 25% of mine remain.
Traffic Dives as Subs Sunk
Lets hope this is temporary?
The traffic drop I was prepared for, though it does seem to be lasting longer than it was supposed to; it's the CPM crash&burn that's really freaked me.
The only constant is change. If it really is indeed over, at least it sure was a fun ride while it lasted.
I was noticing that too. Traffic drastically dropped on one of my accounts and I checked Quantcast and saw it was site-wide. Also hoping it's hoping it's temporary.
I read that graph as showing the beginnings of the usual climb up to Xmas - followed by the change and subsequent decline.
Seems I have been waiting for things to "settle down" for about four years.
It does conclusively prove that SEO 'experts' are not worth wiping your ass on.
Can I suggest that when you try to define a trend line you compare apples with apples i.e. you can go from peak to peak or dip to dip
If you go from peak to dip you don't define a trend line so much as an ignorance of how statistical charts work.
Yes, there's a dip in traffic - and we were told that was to be expected and that it might last a fortnight ot so.
Do you really think you've given the site enough time to settle down into a new pattern. I'd say we have a clearer idea after a month.
My personal view is that matters have been greatly confused by unfeaturing lots and lots of lenses at the same time - which also depresses traffic - at the same time as the subdomain change. I would have done one and then the other and assessed the impact after each change. To do both at the same time means nobody can actually tell what the difference is or what it is due to. To do all of it in the run-up to Christmas is not a great idea.........
The expectation was "After day 10, the page had settled in to its previous traffic level." There is evidence that about 20% of my articles have yet to be re-indexed as the caches are still the sub-versions. Not looking good, but time will tell (I remain hopeful, but it may take a long time to see a real boost in traffic above sub-level => maybe 3-4 months after 1 Nov 2015). The traffic decline may be triggering un-featuring due to low traffic. Overall loss of income.
I do recall the point being made repeatedly at Squidoo that the run-up to Christmas was the worst possible time to introduce new changes to a site as, based on experience, it often took longer for the site traffic to settle down than those making the changes expected. Not that it made a difference....
Agreed. Just logged in to see this going down. Why was it done 1 month before Christmas? Worst timing ever...
I think there is an increase in spam traffic - sites crawling hubpages.com.
I am regularly seeing a spam Chinese crawler - copyrightclaims or something in Analytics. That's not real traffic.
Indeed. "Copyright claims" is a referral spammer. The goal is to get you to check the url which redirects to a dodgy Russian site.
Ditto, I am also getting copyright claim crawling my pages.
I'm still WAAAAY down on my Google traffic. I must be offsetting those of you who are doing so much better. I'm wondering if this change is permanent. It's still trending down. I don't have much lower to go. I'm almost getting the same amount of traffic from hubpages.com and from Google.com. You know there's something wrong if you cross that line. Google traffic is 1/4 what it was before the switch. Any thoughts Paul?
I'm pretty sure it's temporary. The adjustment seems to have ups and downs. My traffic was way down, then crept back up, then went down again and is now going up a bit. Google is taking awhile to adjust to the site change.
I wonder if maybe there will be winners and losers from this change.
It is possible that some subdomains had less authority and perhaps more penalties (of whatever kind) than HP's main domain. People moving from a blighted sub could do better on the main domain.
And the reverse might be true also. Pages moved from a high authority, low penalty sub might suffer a little.
Also, pages that have very popular keywords might suffer. A whole clutch of similar pages might look like suspicious duplicates to Google, or just difficult to rank effectively.
Some categories here might be stronger than others, too.
'Course, I don't really know much about this stuff. If anyone really does.
Alea iacta est ("The die is cast"). Time will tell.
Will, we often disagree about various things - but on this occasion, I think you're very likely to be right.
Bear in mind that what I said is highly speculative and only offered for discussion.
At the same time, since I got a traffic boost, I am going over my hubs to see if there is anything that might be harmful.
If I was HP, I would check to see how subs that were heavy on Amazon ads have done compared to subs that were light on them.
If Paul thinks Amazon ads are a burden on a page it is possible that it is a factor that held certain subs back.
I think you could be right. The interesting thing is that I had a lot of hubs already on the main domain, and they also seem to be doing worse as well.
What you say about the strength of the topic and the density of similar hubs makes a lot of sense. I have worried more about internal competition in the last 3 years than I have external competition. I don't see Google showing 10 results first from the same domain. This may create a polarizing effect on content that is very similar. One may win a top spot, and all the others will need to go further down the search list to allow for more results from different domains. Having the second best hub on a given topic may yield you nothing but internal traffic from the best hub.
If it's any help to you, I barely have any Amazon products on any of my hubs. Those hubs weren't doing well anyway.
which I guess is why Google considers article sites / content farms as an irritant?
They've got all their bots crawling the one domain going "same old, same old" - they must think crawling a lot of this site is a waste of time!
How about HubPages operating the site differently so that there's a competition to create the best page on a specific topic - and then only one hub got featured?
It would have to start from the premise that everything that has gone before counted for nothing (because there are some really dreadful hubs which still rank highly in topic listings) and start again from scratch - maybe on a new domain?
That's a variation on the about.com model which has just one article for each topic
What if the site was broken up into smaller sites that specialize. This would be a very complicated move though and would be like starting over from scratch.
I've ALWAYS thought that was much the best solution for those of us who are niche specialists
Closely followed by the thought I could create my own website for my niche specialism!
That is a scary graph.
HP have always said that no one owns a keyword phrase but I reckon they should look at the issue of multiple articles on the same topic.
My feeling is that if someone nails a subject do not let others produce inferior copies.
Not easy to do, perhaps. But maybe QAP could be adjusted to take this into consideration when featuring pages.
It is enlightening to examine the stated reasons for sinking the subs are administrative/site management ones - apart from Pauls E's: "I feel very good that in the long run this will be a good move for folks"
1. Having the hubpages 'brand' display on mobile SERPS rather than subdomain usernames:
hubpages.com › animals › Bee-Stings-on-the-Eye
author.hubpages.com › animals › Bee-Stings-on-the-Eye
2. HP gets control of Google Search Control "With subdomains, we only get a limited view of our data, but by combining it into one site, we will have a better way to see data and issues across all content."
The expectation is that traffic will return to previous levels - no increase was promised! "In our initial test, we saw some pages get removed from the results and stop ranking for a few days to about a week. After about a week, they returned to their previous rankings and traffic levels.
It is also worth remembering that subdomains saved HP from the massive impact of Panda in 2011. While the effectiveness of subdomains has declined there would appear to be no real benefits for sinking the subs in terms of Panda.
IMO the decision to include the top category name in the URLs was risky because it effectively re-creates 22 new subs. The problem is that the category names are very poor from a keyword perspective - for example "style" and 'living' and 'education'. But as I said "the die is cast". My guess is a 20% drop in overall traffic until the new year at least. But this is purely a guess based on very slow re-indexing/re-ranking of 20% of my hubs + a guess at the residual Panda impact.
The thing I wonder about a lot is if anybody at HQ is doing an aged analysis of the hubs leaving the site re. income and traffic
If I was running the show that would be one of my first priorities for "things I need to know"
I wonder whether HP should flip the page and be more proactive and make more positive suggestions, even via emails. The Negative stuff appears to dominate. Pinterest regularly makes positive suggestions; perhaps HP could do similar promotions regarding 'vacant niches' and trending topics. There was a HP Holiday Hubbing weekly email sent out a while ago, but it was very general! The suggestions could be much more specific (using GSC) => Pinterest example:
If something is not working (subs were not working) then you have to try something different. There are not many choices.
HP could have walled the subs off from each other and created genuinely separate sites. Or they could bring everything into the main domain and use folders for site architecture. They obviously reckon page quality is now good enough to go for the big mix. I hope they are right.
Seeing all the data seems like a very good reason for the site change in itself. Given how much you love graphs, I thought you would have approved.
I guess it's woth a try.
I think the bit they didn't think through is that some decent hubs by decent authors have been unfeatured. The reponse by most is not to try and get them featured but rather to move them elsewhere (ie they know the content is OK - it's only the HubPages rules they have run foul of).
Thing is once people start moving content and deleting hubs - it's not too long before they start moving the hubs that Hubpages would quite like to keep......
I think there's at least a distinct possibility that Hubpages might have shot itself in the foot with the purge of hubs from featured status that they've been doing recently.
I will be honest, I think your pages might need a rethink.
They are a great resource for someone who wants to explore a subject in depth. They are the kind of page I used to love to find back in the days of Alta Vista and Dogpile (if you remember it), when resources were hard to find.
I still write pages around the same principle.
At the same time, Google is not that enamored of pages that are mainly links to other pages (no matter how carefully selected). Perhaps it reckons that resource finding is its terrain. It might also decide that somewhere in that link list is a site that you are promoting and that the whole enterprise is just spam. If there is an affiliate link, it might decide that the whole page exists to promote that link.
I have been reluctantly removing useful links on pages over the last few years and focusing on delivering the info myself.
Please don't take this the wrong way, it is not meant to be unhelpful.
I can understand your perspective - I had it at the back of my mind when moving content and developing my new websites. It's still there and I check constantly - but all I'm seeing is masses of traffic from Google and a steady upward trend on the visitors and traffic. (and the websites are nowhere near finished!)
I think the new sites are working fine. I find that having the content on a website means that I can split the hub into pages (big mega-niche topic sits over topics (ie ex hubs) which then gets a number of sub-topic pages)
It's then much easier to get a decent balance between text and links and images and videos. Plus I can spread the Amazon Books around more and link these much more clearly to relevant text. Plus of course it's very much easier to draft the meta description and the keywords for a very specific topic.
You can take a look for yourself if you like. Just google my user name, and my blog of the same name should come top in Google - then look in the right hand column and you'll find the two new websites - either side of the "popular posts last month" module.
The only thing I'm worried about now are those pages which are pointing back at the HubPages hubs which have yet to be moved - and I think that means these very good hubs will be moving very shortly.
You obviously have a good thing going with an excellent reader response (seven million page views is not to be sniffed at).
I would get the blogspot site tooled up with a domain name as soon as you can, saves problems down the line.
The pages here might be better off without the bold sections. HP have specific advice about bold somewhere, I seem to remember. It might not help on the featuring front.
I would be worried if your pages here were getting views mainly from referrals from your sites rather direct from Google or social media.
No - On Squidoo and HubPages the great majority of referrals come direct from Google. That's why I've always been really bemused by the notion that my hubs have to be unfeatured because Google would find them spammy
I think instead of employing MTurk people and/or anybody else HubPages could just try a simple text of the percentage of traffic that arrives via Google search queries. If Google is listing and sending traffic then in my book that means they don't have a problem with your site because otherwise they would bury it in the index!
PS - it's 8.3 million pageviews now!
What is temporary and what is permanent?
Any good traffic is temporary and every drop in traffic (caused either by Panda, Google, HP's policies, decisions) is permanent!
Hope that the trend continues. My organic traffic has increased by about 52% since the new changes.
Geez Will, we need to stop agreeing with each other, it's scary
Well, sports fans. Another variable has been thrown into the chaos, http://mozcast.com/
stats 101 - when you see a funny number check out what the other numbers are doing
take a look at http://mozcast.com/metrics which goes some way to explain what's happening
This chart is organic traffic to my articles. The blue line is search engine traffic after the redirection, whilst the orange line is that same traffic source in the equivalent time period before the redirection occurred.
Overall, it represents a 25% loss of organic traffic, and a continuous downward trend that suggests worse is yet to come. Thanks HubPages.
Seeing the same, Maffew, over the last 3 days or so. Organic traffic disappearing fast. I guess this is that next dreaded phase of the change. I hope it doesn't get any worse than this.
Edit: It's always a bad sign (at least for me) when a bunch of blue arrows appear across hubs simultaneously. Bummer.
One can only hope. I moved a website to a new domain recently and the process was quite odd. Organic traffic gradually dropped to near nothing and then slowly climbed back up to close to where it originally was as each page began to rank with the new domain. The traffic recovery only took a little over a week though, which makes me worry that the situation here isn't going to be the same.
Panda? Is it that time again already? *sigh*
It does bring a theory to mind though. If Google had been giving each subdomain its own Panda quality rating, this could explain why some people are seeing a positive effect from the redirection, whilst others are experiencing a significant loss.
I'm aware most people believe subdomains had 'stopped working' in this regard, but what Google says, and what Google does, are two different things. An authority differential between subdomains and the root domain doesn't seem to be a good enough explanation by itself.
You're not alone. My hub traffic is down 75%. This has been the worst day since the move.
I would love to see the cost benefit analysis.
Well, folks. I do believe the usual yearly Thanksgiving-timeframe traffic doldrums have begun and will continue as such for the next 10 days. I'm not really that disconcerted. After all, that's the way it normally is.
I like how people always use the seasons to explain away losses of organic traffic. It's obviously not that reason on my account. Maybe your account always drops around Thanksgiving, but mine doesn't.
+1 it has nothing to do with seasonal stuff for me either. My traffic doesn't usually drop so much around this time, it's everything to do with the switch back over and I hope that was a good move, but time will tell.
Your post caused me to revisit GA for the last two years. It's even worse than I thought. My account is basically doomed from now until the 2nd week in January. And that's just from the expected seasonal pattern. Throw in the URL-switch effects and the looming Panda-update onslaught...
For my emotional health, I probably should just stay away from HubPages (particularly my stats page) for the remainder of the year...
But I won't.
My HubPages traffic hit a new ytd low yesterday, whereas my other website traffic did not.
At first I thought this was the holiday drop in traffic too, but just checked some of my best performing articles in the SERPs and they've definitely dropped down a few slots. Don't know if it's temporary but it definitely, I think, is the effect of the changes on the site and maybe, if it's been initiated, Google changes. Also does make me ponder if my subdomain would be performing better.
I've reached the point of resignation. With resignation comes acceptance. With acceptance comes peace.
But that won't stop me from a worthy meme or two.
HP Traffic drops to lowest level in 12 months - sad!
Wow, sadness confirmed. Time for a vacation from HP. I hope we all will rebound in 2016.
Apparently there is a lot of grumbling out there in Webmasterland. No telling if Google has made a change over the last few days. At least they aren't telling.
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-upd … 21225.html
My increase in pageviews that started with the site move, had remained up 50% until yesterday. Those gains were wiped out on Friday. I am not seeing my usually weekend boost.
Since I was one of the first to see my traffic decline, I'll let you all know if I start to see any recovery. As of now, it's just going lower and lower ever so slowly.
I've been looking into it and from what I can tell is Google did an algo update of some sort. I've compared notes with a few sites and we are seeing more of a decline than they have, but others are reporting changes as well. So, I'm not sure if we saw a larger decline because of the recent changes we've made or something else. The group we've been working with on seo changes says 60 days to 6 months to see an impact from what we've done. To me, it looks like Google is confused a bit with the changes we've made - brand searches like "hubpages how many pounds of turkey for 12 people" isn't bringing up HubPages as the first result. To me, this is wonky. I'm hoping this is a symptom of their confusion right now that will get straitened out. I'm going to check with google and see what they say.
"how many pounds of turkey for 12 people hubpages" works - lists HP on first page of SERP, not sure why you expect the reverse order to work?
Interesting that a search for "egg recipes hubpages" has a listing for subs on the first page SERP for my computer. So something is very messed up (Dual URLs).
johndlee.hubpages.com › ... › Breakfast Around the World
whitney05.hubpages.com › ... › Dessert Recipes › Dessert Cakes
When I search for "egg recipes hubpages", it shows a result from food.squidoo.com.
And redirects to this hub: http://hubpages.com/food/how-to-cook-eg … e-avocados
Under the result, it says written on April, 2015. So how is that possible?
A transferred Squidoo lens which has been updated?
Yeah, that's what I figured. But why is it still showing the squidoo.com domain? It has been more than a year already.
Maybe because that's how Google first indexed it?
I've seen mine listed both ways.
Thinking about it - if the link driving the traffic to the Hub is still Squidoo then it's likely that's the way it will rank on Google is under the Squidoo link.
I think there is a big hole in Google's result listings caused by the extraction of the sub.URLS from the rankings (with 'hubpages' in the search). Google is struggling to fill the gaps. Maybe.
PS on the plus side Pinterest traffic is holding or even improving, as Pin URLs fill the gaps.
Just wanted to note the slideshare website right under the eggvocado recipe. That website has copied several of my Hubs and had to contact them to take them down. There are several websites like this around lately. Some put your content and make it available to download, some even for a fee. Most likely, the user who posted this Hubpages content is likely not the original author. Even though they copy, I noticed Slideshare ranks pretty decently for displaying copied content. The other websites that show up in this search query are also likely displaying copied content from people's Hubs. I would have expected more egg-related Hubs to show up first versus websites who have have likely copied from Hubs. Does Google prefer so much other websites that it makes them rank more than regular Hubs even despite being duplicate? That would be very upsetting. I am thinking something should be done about that, if that's the case. I think there is even a form that Google makes you fill out if a website that has copied outranks the original (something to consider doing on top of filing DMCA?)
There's a form that Google wants you to fill out if your content has been copied
However they can't do anything to remedy problems like sites that copy if nobody completes them....
Not saying this applies to you - but it's a point worth making
Wait. Now I'm confused. So now it's Google's algo change that caused my Google traffic to be decimated? It just happened to correspond perfectly with the whole site redirect timing? What's the rumored date of this algo change? November 3rd is the date that my Google traffic started a nose dive.
BTW, thanks for working on a Saturday and checking in with us. I'm glad you're checking in with Google.
Probably a weird suggestion - chicken and egg? - but perhaps HP restructure and re-indexing of 250,000 pages has caused the churn in SERPS for similar sites?
I am getting HubPages at 1 and 2 for that search query from the UK, so it might be a datacentre lag issue.
Surely most people are going to have a search query which does not include 'HubPages' as part of the query?
The issue isn't whether or not hubs are ranking first when HubPages is included in the query. That IMO is a side-issue.
The BIG issue is whether there are any hubs on the first page of Google for the basic query.
Try "how many pounds of turkey for 12 people" or "egg recipes" without the HubPages included
I looked on Google.com and got to Page 6 before a hub came up. Ask.com made it to page 4. However the bulk of websites were all much more specialised sites - i.e. food oriented for the most part.
Isn't that the BIG message from Google? It's favouring the more expert and authoritative websites (what I call the "mega-niche") over those who don't carry the same weight on that topic.
What Paul is saying is that hubs should always show up first when HubPages is included in the search string. The fact that he's not seeing that can point to a number of issues ranging from the not so serious e.g. data centre lag, to very serious e.g. high level panda/penguin penalty or a problem with the redirects. It's definitely worth investigating the possible reasons.
I don't agree with the assumption.
Google makes choices from the words included in a query string and decides what to serve up based on what it considers are
1) most closely associated
2) most important ; and
3) most relevant/useful
IMO if 'HubPages' is excluded from the top positions, then that tells you how Google evaluates its contribution and relevance to the query
My point about the fact HubPages does not appear until page 6 of the list of sites which are identified in response to the query which excludes the word 'HubPages' from the query string rather underlines what I'm saying.
Bottom line - the way I read it is that Google is saying the word 'HubPages' is just not relevant to the query.
Now if the NAME was the name of a relevant food website then it might very well decide that name was relevant - because it had close associations with the substance of the query.
It's basically all semantics - which words are associated with others - which is how search queries have been going for some time.
Just read Google's Guidelines and it says on page 71 of Part 2
12.5 Queries with Multiple Meanings
Many queries have more than one meaning. For example, the query [apple] might refer to the computer brand or the fruit. We will call these possible meanings query interpretations.
￼Not all queries have a dominant interpretation. The dominant interpretation should be clear to you, especially after ￼doing a little web research.
Common Interpretation: A common interpretation of a query is what many or some users mean when they type a query. A query can have multiple common interpretations.
Minor Interpretations: Sometimes you will find less common interpretations. These are interpretations that few users have in mind. We will call these minor interpretations.
Try a real world example.
Use a clean browser. Open google search.
Now search for instructables egg recipes. No quotation marks. Now do another search but use hubpages egg recipes as the search string instead.
What difference do you see?
The most revealing comparison is to compare the results for the following searches.
site:hubpages.com chicken recipes which works fine and shows heaps of indexed HP new URL pages after the directory ones
chicken recipes hubpages
which shows heaps of Pinterest results but the HP chicken recipe pages are glaringly absent. => huge hole in search results.
=>> Clearly Google has not incorporated the 301 HP pages into the search algo - despite indexing and caching the pages several times over the last 14 days (some of my pages have been re-indexed 3 times).
Hopefully it is a time issue or something that HP can fix if the transfer was not done correctly. (see links below)
Yes I've done a few similar search result comparisons and seen the same results as you. It certainly could be a time issue. When we went over to subdomains in July/August 2011 many experienced a significant drop in traffic for 3 to 4 weeks while Google sorted out which urls to index, followed by a spike which lasted about the same length of time, before traffic finally settled down to the new normal. I wouldn't be surprised to see that kind of pattern again.
The worse case scenario in my mind is that as one site Hubpages is not yet of a high enough quality to get decent panda/penguin/trust ratings. We'll see in time.
Whatever the issue is, we can be sure that when links to content (in this case Pinterest links) outrank the content itself there is a problem.
I'd suggest the major difference is that Google likes Instructables.
My traffic is only down a little from last week. I don't think this is search quality, site wide, algo hit. Or we would all be plummeting. I reckon it is just an indexing issue that will pass.
After that we might get a search quality hit, as you suggest, lol.
Don't know why I am laughing. It must be the endless cruelty of life that has unhinged me.
You need to go and look at the pics of cats on #BrusselsLockdown on Twitter!
I'm down about 17% in the last 7 days.
I guess we are so used to "flux" on this site (and being f* over by Google) that loling definitely seems to be the most psychologically healthy response
Hi Paul. Has Google gotten back to you yet? Pinterest Pins are still outranking my content even when I use an exact match of the title. Interestingly, I'm seeing the same issue with Bing search. Maybe it's not a Google issue. I do have one hub that seems to be doing o.k., but it's just like a lot of my other hubs.
I noticed something really interesting. When I look at time on page for my hubs, the time has drastically decreased. I was averaging about 4:20. The last three weeks have dropped an entire minute to about 3:00-3:20. I realize that I'm probably getting a poorer quality of traffic, but it makes me wonder if something else changed on the site that would cause people to stay on the page less time. Then I remembered that you mentioned that you did make some kind of a read more change around the same time that the site was migrated. Could there be a link to the other change that was made?
This particular issue has been going on for years. I've ranted about it a few times in the past.
And I've got the same problem with my main website versus G+. The G+ entry shows on page one, while my actual website post shows up on page 3, etc. Highly frustrating to say the least.
I think Google just likes to mess with us.
You're G+ post will outrank the site if you are logged in to you Google account or any account following the account that posted the G+ post. Try going incognito or signing out and clearing cache, the G+ post may not rank at all.
Sorry for the confusion. Yes, we did one major change (redirecting the entire site) and another change for mobile traffic where we added a view full article button in the last couple of weeks.
On top of our changes I believe there was a significant google update Thursday.
It's hard to know what we caused and what Google caused. I suspect it's a combination of both.
I am seeing strangeness where our site isn't ranking like it should. I'm hoping to get feedback next week. I'll keep you posted.
If I look at my hourly figures, they do not seem that bad (maybe ten per cent down). Might be a passing storm. Hope so, anyway.
I am new on HubPages and I am just noticing this information about the move. I am learning and feeling my way right now. So this now helps me to understand the very little activity my Hubs have gotten so far. Not a great way to start something new. So now I know patience is the key for now.
Debra, Hubs have never gained traction quickly, that is not generally how writing online works!
If you participate actively on HubPages, commenting on other people's Hubs and being active in the forums, then you will get readers from within the HubPages community - but our community is very small. It is nice to get feedback from the community because you can learn from it and it's nice to get supportive comments - but you will not earn much money until your Hubs start doing well on the search engines, and that can take months.
When I started writing online, a wise mentor told me, "What you write today will earn you money next year" and I think there's a lot of truth in that - there is a big learning curve to online writing and as time goes on, you'll go back and revise your Hubs and improve their performance. Also unless you are very lucky, it takes time for Google to decide to rank your Hub high enough to start to get readers. So have patience!
These links provide insight into possible cause of the re-indexing problem for HP. There does appear to be a 'hole' in search for HP - Google is no longer delivering HP pages in the SERPS caused by delays with 301's (hopefully).
http://www.thesempost.com/google-slow-p … redirects/
https://support.google.com/webmasters/a … 3049?hl=en
https://support.google.com/webmasters/a … ic=6033084
This is a tough one =>
Update incoming links
Immediately after the site move is started, try to update as many incoming links as possible. These include:
External links: Try to contact the sites in the saved list of sites linking to your current content, asking them to update their links to your new site.
Profile links such as from Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. [Plus "pinterest" - my addition]
Ad campaigns to point to the new landing pages.
https://support.google.com/webmasters/a … ic=6033084
The loss of GSC for the subs means that authors can no longer track the progress of the changes for their own pages using GSC.
That's kind of reassuring because the first article says that Google has a harder time reindexing big sites that haven't changed in a long time. Which implies that it's just going to take some time for things to be in order.
I agree, but HP is hardly a site that "haven't changed in a long time". Most pages get re-indexed once a week of so. I think it is more likely some issue with the shift process for such a large number of pages. It may take a lot of time to be resolved. Authors are powerless because we have lost GSC with subs.
John Mueller (Google) ... "does say if you are doing a 301 redirect, there are some things you can do to ensure the process goes smoothly. You want to follow Google’s site move guidelines, that you have the redirects setting up correctly and using the change of address tool if applicable."
HP would have followed the process, but the massive size of the shift of 250,000 page is problematic. My guess.
Well, my overall traffic is 74% of what it was last year at this time. Whatever will be, will be.
Additional reading on 301 site moves.
"One Google group thread documents one company's domain migration headaches in 2012 and reveals some interesting information. They migrated 130,000+ URLs from one domain to another and saw significant drops in their SERPs and organic traffic. However, after roughly 13 weeks, they had recovered almost 85% of their traffic. "
http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/ … omain.html
http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/0 … iler/?_r=0
https://productforums.google.com/forum/ … j5XrvdtEgo
The progressive drop in traffic, rather than a sudden plunge, is worrying as it may signal a "real" and permanent ranking decline, rather than a temporary shift. Time will tell. Many of my pages have been re-indexed and re-cached 3-4 times since Nov 1. - Most now show cache date 21 or 22 Nov.
@ Paul - No sign of a similar traffic plunge for Answers, though some decline in last week.
Have you has feed back for your query with Google?
'Google has blamed a coding bug for burying search results for TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Executive from the two sites, which compete with Google to offer travel and business recommendations, tweeted examples of smartphone searches over the weekend that included their company names but pointed people toward Google's reviews and maps results.'
http://www.cnet.com/au/news/google-blam … in-search/
Sounds a bit like the stuff Paul was talking about (including hubpages in search queries).
If they're really messing about with search results then they will get their come uppance in relation to trading regulations when somebody finally wakes up to it.
On the other hand Google might argue that any company might attempt to distort search results by bombarding Google with a search query including a company name. I'm sure it must have been done many times. Their response would be to provide a neutral response - including their products.
However it does go back to my point about the point of SEO is where you rank according to the 'proper' search query (ie excluding any particular database)
People generally want results from a particular site if they append the site name to a search.
In which case the fastest way to get them is to put the name of the website into google - and then search that website when it comes up.
If that's Google's thesis as to the way search works best I don't have a problem with that
I'm really worried about the changes, not just the most recent but various changes to the pages in the last year which have lead to a decline in traffic like I haven't had in over 4 years previously where my traffic has been steady. This is what I feel Hubpages could do to increase page views despite what Google may be doing:
1- Add prominent share buttons, including overlayed share buttons on the mobile site.
2 - Make the Copyright notice default to display (It has switched off on all my older Hubs and I have to edit each one to change it back to display the copyright notice which I never knew had disappeared). Or make the text on Hubpages unable to be copy/pasted (I lose views due to copied content regularly, spend about an hour each week reporting copied content and philishing sites).
3 - Indicate the photos in the Hub are 'Tap to share' - Or how will anyone but us know!
4- Other Hubs shown in the right margin of a Hub, as well as the Hubs displayed on my profile should have the red/black text reversed as it is misleading- The red seems more obvious to click on other than the Hub title in black text which doesn't look like an obvious link with the red above it. The red heading only takes you to the menu for the category and not to the actual Hub you want to read. It could be like a redirect from a readers point of view, and a loss of actual Hub visits. eg reverse the red/black colours here so readers are directed to the Hub and not a menu:
I have seen a significant jump in traffic in the last 24 hours. Seems to be about recently updated pages with seasonal impact.
I would strongly recommend updating Amazon orientated pages and Xmasy stuff over the next week.
Even though my account has absolutely no Amazon-orientated or Xmas items, it still has a heartbeat; a quite promising one actually, considering. Once the season is past, I am cautiously optimistic as to what January will bring.
Quite a few of my pages have lost traffic because it is holiday time, so I'm sure you are right.
Anything educational is doomed for the next few weeks...
Wasn't it January 2015, paradigm, when things started to go downhill? We were told to update hubs, remove unrelated ads and links, yada, yada, yada. I never recovered from that until two weeks ago when traffic was off the hook. That was fun while it lasted.
I want to be optimistic, too, but this is different from what I recall at holiday time. It seems worse. I'm hoping for the best. I did see a bump today which is usually the case for Sundays. Earnings for Thursday and Friday are unspeakable but I know that has a lot to do with the holiday. I'll be glad when the negative effects of this site transition are over.
One of the biggest drops in traffic occurred September 2014 after the Squidoo acquisition and the Google algorithm update happened around the same time, leaving us unsure what caused the traffic decline; I still haven't fully recovered; so that was kind of the beginning of trouble, though there was somewhat of a recovery. Again, we are in a situation in which two major changes have occurred simultaneously so it's hard to determine which, or if both, are causing the traffic to drop.
How much of the traffic loss is due to:
1) the domain name change? (an HP decision) - unfortunate timing - rather like the Squidoo acquisition and the Google algorithm change in 2014
2) lots of unfeaturing of hubs by who knows what? (i.e. mechanical / MTurk / or people based?) - because if HP second-guessed Google and got it wrong then traffic loss due to this is entirely down to HP
3) the Google algorithm change? (a Google decision): - It's certainly not having a negative impact on other sites now hosting content previously on HubPages
4) removal of content from the site because hubs keep being unfeatured and/or unpublished and the traffic keeps dropping? (a hub owner's decision)
5) a drop in traffic because there are fewer hubs (due to 2 and 4) bringing traffic to the site - to recirculate based on other hubs it sees listed on the hub it first visited? (In other words ANY reason for a drop in traffic is likely to impact on everybody's hubs to some extent)
In other words
* HP HQ and a lot of hubbers seem to be very focused on 1 and 3
* while I'd suggest that it would be a great idea if HP HQ monitored 2 and 4 as well.
After all it can definitely quantify and report on the traffic loss from 2 and 4 due to those particular actions - it just needs to pull of a listing of ALL hubs unfeatured, ALL hubs unpublished and ALL hubs deleted - and then look at the traffic these used to get.
I suspect that exercise might be rather informative
Well... Well... Traffic may have just bottomed out. The latest lowest low is a lot less low than the previous lowest low.
https://www.quantcast.com/hubpages.com? … rafficCard
In fact, I hereby predict that the following week's low will be less low than this last low. In other words, I do believe the turnaround is ready to commence. How much of a turnaround that will be remains to be seen.
It is sobering to consider how similar sites have fared in comparison.
But here's hoping for a turn around!
Are there any other similar sites with quantcast data?
I've still got all my charts which recorded the demise of Squidoo - and the steady downward trend in traffic which preceded it.
It got to the point where you could actually predict when it would close just on the basis of data contributing to the trendline!
I think you're maybe forgetting to factor in a lot of people sitting around and not at work because of Thanksgiving.....
One day of holiday can make a big difference - especially if it's one when people go shopping online.
Yea, Nate. Things are getting well due to recent changes. Let google spiders crawl our hubs. I'm sure all of you will see increase in traffic like me if you have got google search friendly articles. I rely on google search for traffic not on social media.
Paul, have you heard anything back from Google yet?
We heard that there was a core algo update on the 19th.
Darn. I was hoping for some insight about the steep ski slope that formed two weeks before the 19th.
We didn't get any meaningful insights from Google about what happened on the 19th. However, we did find a bug that started when we moved the site that could have caused some issues. It's been fixed. The consultants we hired think we are on a track to see good growth in the next few months. Browsing around the site, I feel like the content looks pretty good. We did make some major changes and it does take time for Google to relearn the site. We keep working on improving. Hopefully, the hard work that everyone has done will be rewarded.
What was the bug that was fixed? What kind of issues would it cause? I'm just trying to make sense of why my account took a nose dive and hasn't shown any signs of recovering. Even if there is an increase in traffic, it would have to triple my search engine traffic just to get me back to where I was before the switch from subs. Others are reporting increases in traffic, so I'm wondering if there's anything in my control that might be an issue. Are we still thinking that this might be a temporary depression of traffic even though it has been several weeks now? Are you seeing other accounts that were performing well losing a majority of their search traffic around November 3rd and maintaining a new low amount of traffic?
Okay, huge jump in traffic on my subdomain... Good news, I guess.
Forgive me if this has been asked before in this thread, I just haven't yet managed to slog through 10+ pages. I originally opted out of Editor's Choice specifically BECAUSE I didn't want my URLs moved away from my other URLs. Is this no longer a problem?
If so, how do I opt back in for Editor's Choice and is there a reason I still shouldn't?
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