Enlightening indeed. There are a few comments I'd like to make, but I am going to defer. Suffice to say, I'm going to keep doing exactly what I have been doing.
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/goo … 19/334803/
My traffic usually slows in the fall and winter because I write mainly about gardening, but it is usually a slow decline. This year, it has fallen off a cliff. My traffic is drastically less.
As I understand it, Google have since confirmed there was an update, but say it was just a minor, routine one that they do regularly.
Google Confirmed Search Algorithm Update Rolled Out; Here Is What We Know - SE Round Table
My traffic's down 20 % and 50% on one hub due to the latest upodate and the BERT one.
Blue arrows everywhere with no real rhyme nor reason. I have articles on a niche that are doing fine traffic wise while other articles on the same niche are plummeting. It's just how it goes. My traffic is still down considerably for November.
Yeah, my HP traffic is starting to look pretty grim. And this is Google Analytics talking, not the HP stats page. By comparison, my website month-to-date traffic is now significantly higher than my HP month-to-date traffic. I want to update my articles here, but there is that fear-of-HP-editors thing. Meanwhile, I'll just keep writing whatever comes to mind and throw it against the wall and see what sticks. Amazingly, I even wrote a religion article recently that Google originally hated, but is now being sent daily double-digit traffic; never saw that one coming. As for medical; yep, still continues to be deader than a door nail; no surprise there; Google has outright said they'd do that.
I honestly don't get it. More and more this year I've had to DIG to find results in the SERPs. I don't mean on my own articles, I mean on information I'm seeking (a product review, advice, etc.). It doesn't feel like it's HubPages that's not keeping up, it feels like the SERPs are just getting worse and more irrelevant to what I'm hoping to find by searching in the first place. I find so much s-h-*-t on the first page that I'm usually not clicking until I get to the second page anyway.
Also, my earnings are abysmal compared to this time last year and the year before. Again, I don't blame HubPages. It just seems like in order to be a first-page result on Google now, you have to be a crappy catch-all blog with sponsored posts.
Contrarian here. My numbers are doing very well this fall, helped by several articles that people have spotted and posted somewhere that gets others to visit. I know a lot of people look at SERPS ( I have no idea what they are) and incomprehensible (to me) Google Analytics to divine their success or lack thereof.
I'm an old-fashioned chap who believes that if you write a well-crafted article that ignores SEOs (again, whatever the blazes they are) some people will read it, and, through the miracle of digital gobbledygook that passes all understanding I will end up with something I can exchange for a bottle of wine.
Yes traffic down here too. My traffic is now about 10% of what it was last year :-(
We need an update that gives us a boost rather than a kick in the head.
Having stated the obvious, I will decide which wound to lick.
"Entropy: Meaning, Concept, Examples". Stick that in Google.
I have a feeling that more is it at work than mere entropy. Quite what it is, is hard to say.
I know what I would do if I was up to me, though.
I would cull any pages that had poor dwell times, all Amazon ads on pure info pages and remove any writer called pinky23 (or similar).
I would also make all staff wear stetsons.
Not sure if the latter would help, but it would amuse me no end.
Sometimes the updates relate to purely technical issues though, rather than the actual writing content. That's why I'm always a bit wary of blaming the content. Sometimes it is, of course, but certainly not always. There is some stuff simply out of our control. In fact, most of it is out of our control. But it's still easier than doing your own website if you're more interested in writing than coding. Hehe!
My views are generally down, but only 5% or so as far as I can see and that was after a partial recovery from the earlier shenanigans. Earnings is more of a concern in some ways for me.
When the niche sites first launched traffic was excellent. Now many people (but not all) have seen a downturn.
Since the launch, Google has pumped out its usual slew of updates. At the same time, the niche sites have acquired a lot of new pages. And a few new features.
Competition from other sites has also intensified.
So, somewhere within the cauldron of algo changes and niche site changes and competition changes lies the culprit for decline.
Given there is nothing we can do about Google's algos or the competition, it is worth looking at the HP network sites.
The niche sites launched with nothing but tried and tested articles. All had high traffic. All probably had plenty of inbound links and good user metrics.
Are the new articles doing as well? Are they supporting the niches or dragging them down? I would take a tranche and look at their dwell times.
If there is an issue, revisit criteria for selecting new articles. Maybe shorten the trial period for publication.
edit: I should say that I haven't been through recent articles looking for terrible stuff and have no reason to believe there is any terrible stuff. It is just the logical thing to check the success/failure rates of newer pages to make sure the selection criteria is robust. Maybe it has already been done...
I would be very surprised if they aren't constantly doing that.
I've had a few articles kicked off niche sites over the years.
The truth is that out of the 300 hundred or so hubs I have published, most of my traffic is generated by just 10% of them. Those 10% are the ones that really matter to me, and presumably to HP.
HP are in a situation though where they can't be too draconian as they don't want to discourage new writing. They need new hubs to expand. I think it's a balancing act. I mean, I've been here for years and consider myself pretty thick-skinned, but it does put me off when I get articles declined by the niches. If you've put in the hours for nothing, it takes a lot to dust yourself off and start again from scratch. Most newbies will just walk away in that situation, even if they have potential.
Encouraging new writers is part of the equation, for sure. Things are getting a bit severe for many right now, though, so I reckon everything should be looked at.
It would be nice to check the performance of the newer pages and find they are all doing fine. If they are not, it would be nice to have found something constructive that could be done on HP's end.
I think it's also important to always bear in mind that the different niches perform differently. The niches I tend to write for are generally doing okay. I've always stayed away from say, health, which has a great potential for instability. My understanding is that the toughest thing for HP to assess is not visit times and technical elements like that, but the actual quality of the content, by which I mean in this context the verisimilitude. Google can afford to employ hundreds of people to assess whether they trust a site, or niche in this case, but HP hasn't got the same resources. The editors are generally checking the grammar, spelling, layout, but less so the content. When I was doing the Mechanical Turk thing of checking out hubs for publication, I got dinged because I marked down hubs that I suspected were presenting inaccurate information, because I'm supposed to just assess things like spelling, grammar, layout. It's a problematic area that has yet to be resolved, as far as I'm aware. Obviously, with some of the niches, eg Soapboxie, even Dengarden to some extent, have more subjective elements.
I reckon your post points to some of the most important issues of our time but I also think you are being wildly optimistic about what is currently practical.
Apparently Google has 10,000+ human reviewers that check how well the search algo is performing but they can only read a tiny proportion of the billions of extant webpages.
It is quite possible that no Google human has ever read an article on the network sites. It is the algo that handles the actual ranking of pages.
The algo tries to look at a lot of stuff including expertise, authority and trust (EAT) but it is not tasked with assessing verisimilitude. How could it? It is just a mindless string of equations.
The EAT thing, incidentally, is why I mentioned "Pinky23". Weird author names destroy trust. And rooting them out is a practical step HP could take to improve the site.
At some point, search results from Google will have to become genuinely reliable, with actual verisimilitude baked in or our societies will just be buried in falsehood.
Are you saying assessing "expertise, authority and trust" are not attempts to gauge verisimilitude? Not sure how to respond to that.
For sure, Google uses the algo as its primary tool, but their techniques have got much more sophisticated over the years. They seemed to move away from assessing individual articles and started looking more at the reliability of websites, that's what keeps hitting HP, it's difficult to maintain uniform standards as they have multiple authors covering multiple topics, some of them very specialist. The hubs look much more professional nowadays, but there's still quite a bit of bad information - it's a small minority but enough to lower the reputation of the niche as whole in some cases. To be brutally honest, if I wanted reliable health info, one of the HP niches would not be my first port of call. If I wanted to read twenty reasons why Leeds United will get promoted to the premiership next year, on the other hand, I would happily read Howtheyplay.com.
The silly author names is obviously a bad thing, but nothing new - HP has been trying to change that for years, and has been largely successful, as far as I'm aware.
Anyway, I don't know the ins and outs. I'm just sticking my oar in. My own issues aren't really to do with traffic which has been pretty sturdy for me. It's more the CPM's and Amazon sales that seem to be flagging in my world.
"Are you saying assessing "expertise, authority and trust" are not attempts to gauge verisimilitude? Not sure how to respond to that."
Try this: Google does not fact check articles. It looks at the, apparent, credentials of the author.
I sincerely hope "BigBrains" does not appear as an author name anywhere on the network sites, lol.
I used the world "verisimilitude", because in most cases, Google can only really assess what "appears to be true", not what "is true". Just as that applies to the content of articles, it also applies to author's credentials. I'm aware that's why Maven's pushing for all of us to update our author pics and biogs, which I must do soon.
"Paul Goodman" appears on all accounts viewed by public. HP pushed the name stuff years ago. I agree that all hubbers should use a real name or something that looks like a real name. (Squidoo was a different kettle of fish, silly names were more in keeping with the style of the site over there, that's how I ended up with some. I never really took Squidoo seriously, but then it began earning me more than HP. Of course, it ended up collapsing in a pile of ash. But it was good while it lasted.)
Well, for the record, I think "BigBrains" is sweet.
I have no regrets about my Squidoo days: it was fun, I earned money, and I got to keep all my articles at the end of it. But it does remind me that I need to diversify my passive income streams. I am too reliant on HP nowadays. HP is also a lot tougher and more serious than it used to be - it's not much different to writing for a traditional magazine now, you get rejection letters, or they tell you to make various edits, or they change things themselves. Maybe it's necessary, but I do miss when you could write whatever and it would get published. There was a certain fun in that. Now, we have to sing for our supper.
My traffic is good but earnings are low. I'm still working for HubPages out of the love of writing, but it'd be nice to see some reward for my efforts. Just got to keep trucking along, I suppose.
It is sad there are so many obstacles and blockading gateways to contributing to society. All we can do is just keep trying.
As things stand at the moment. I can do the required amount of exercise to stay alive, or do a couple of hours of work. My contribution to this thread constitutes half a day's work.
So, some TV for me and hope I stay awake, lol.
That is where the entropy comes in...
Just to revisit your observation... I thought I would update one of my pages but decided to check its health first. So I took a paragraph and dropped it into Google search.
My page was nowhere to be found. Instead I got a rip off copy on a site with about 20 other pages (all copied as far as I can tell) and launched in June this year.
I thought I could at least report it as a copyright violation to Google. Except, I can no longer remember the tortuous route that leads to the complaint form.
Searched around a bit, got distracted, ended up playing a video game.
Could you help me please? I can't search for any specific phrase of hubber(s). All I see is a magnifying glass giving me some catagories which sends me to external sites. where is the search bar? so frustrating!
That is where I started earlier, lol. Do you have the direct URL for filing a DMCA with Google search? I used to keep the URL to hand because I did not want to start hating the internet.
Edit: Okay, I ran a search for "google dmca form" and found it.
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools … tice?pli=1
It will go in my bookmarks.
Yeah, the maze from the URL that I posted to the URL you posted is indeed considerably longer now. I wasn't sure what was applicable and it's only going to get worse. I give our society less than 50 years before total collapse, "COMPLEXITY: Collapse expert and historian Joseph Tainter has proposed that societies eventually collapse under the weight of their own accumulated complexity and bureaucracy": https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2019 … n-collapse
In this case, the complexity has to be deliberate. They want to discourage writers from reporting copyright issues.
Becoming aware of the contempt for writers, is one reason the maze is so hard to navigate, You start to hate the creator of the maze, and hatred is an unpleasant feeling that does bad things to cognition.
Anyway, reported the copyright outrage, will wait for the wheels to grind.
Another issue: how concerned should I be that my page seems to have a significant Google penalty? My snippets of text should be coming up first in search, not way down the list.
Maybe start another thread when I stop hating Google.
Something is wrong. Google Analytics says my website traffic (both user and pageview) are literally double my Google Analytics HP traffic for Monday and Tuesday. Either my general-topic website is becoming awesome (yeah, right) or Google and HP are having another squabble (the latter being the more probable). Something is definitely going on. As a general-topic website, my website is nothing more than a minimal benchmark for me for what HP should be accomplishing. The subject matter for both groups of my articles is generally the same, the only variable is the platform.
How old is your site?
I have to wonder if age is a problem for sites these days. The niches launch, they get a lot of traffic. A few years later it slips away.
HP tried updating every article on axleaddict (or maybe on another niche) in a short period. Heard nothing about the results but I am guessing the benefits were not staggering or the exercise would have been repeated.
Maybe something happens over time that is irreversible. Penalties accrue, pages are copied, etc etc and traffic is trashed in Google's relentless search for what it thinks readers want.
edit: maybe the most important asset that HP has are the individual pages while the sites (any sites) are a liability over time. Instead of updating pages, rebrand i.e. mix up some new sites, and take the few years of traffic that Google will allow you.
"How old is your site?"
It's coming up on 9-10 years. And I'm pretty sure, "Old is beautiful." Reason being Google Analytics just welcomed me with this message: "Great work! You just hit a new record for monthly users." If it wasn't for the editor barriers, I'd be doing the same experimentation here on HP. Meanwhile, am still fond of HP. That, but also somewhat resigned.
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