My 10 year old lawn mower repair guide that once shared a snippet with B&S was demoted by Google this summer because of a new guide on repairing mower handles on Dengarden. The author used the same first five keywords that I had in my title. I changed one of the keywords in my title from "fix" to "repair" and that made it appear again, but now it's gone completely for the first five words from the title.
Anything I can do about it?
I'm not complaining about the other author, but it's annoying how a similar title can cause a result to be eliminated from SERPS because of the Site Diversity thing, even though an article was well established. It seems anything new is more important in Google's eyes and older articles will suffer. They only allow one or possibly two search results per site on the same or similar topic with similar keywords in the title. These news articles on the network sites are possibly doing more harm than good, and pushing existing articles down the rankings or getting them dumped completely if the titles are similar. Hopefully Hubpages have thought of this.
It seems that our fate is at the mercy of an algorithm. No matter how well-meaning, they can't really read or comprehend. I don't know what can be done about it. I guess we need to try to play their game and try to anticipate/guess what they are looking for.
This kind of goes back to what I was saying the other day about complete rewrites. Would that have mattered? Who knows. Would keeping the same url have resulted in the same demotion anyway? Who knows.
So what are we supposed to do with decade-old articles that are doing well, or were doing well? Total rewrites are a ton of work for unknown results. Writing a brand new article around the same keywords with a new url and deleting the old one seems crazy.
Maybe write new articles around the same keywords and keep the old one? Also a ton of work.
I don't know what the answer is but I am in the same boat. In fact, I've had cases on another account where I've had successful articles ignored by editors, who moved articles by new writers to the front page of the niche site even though they had nearly the exact title as one I'd written years ago.
And I doubt HP cares about news articles replacing ours in the SERPs. They didn't care when they brought in those sale articles on PetHelpful a few months back and stepped all over existing articles. I still have a few articles that haven't recovered from that.
Sorry I don't have something more positive to say. I wish HP would recognize that they have a core group of dedicated writers here trying everything they can to keep traffic rolling. A little help from their end would be appreciated.
It is all very disheartening.
I could contact the author and ask them would they change the title. They only have one article featured.
I am very interested in hearing how this all turns out.
I am in the same boat as you Eric. Another author has inundated the niche site with 12 articles on the exact same keywords as my older articles. They are a mish mash of the same content with minor arterations from article to article, avoiding the duplicate content penalty, but not by much.
HP staff seem not to care about duplicate content or redundant articles.
Even worse, Google and other search engines think that the new articles have more valuable content than the older articles.
I doubt the writer is going to change the title for Eugene. I hope I am wrong as going in and publishing an older article with the same keywords seems to be common practice around here.
Is there any way Hubpages could republish our articles without us having to manually copy and paste all the text and photo capsules?
Are you sure you'd want that? You'd lose any links pointed at the old url.
It's really disheartening when some unethical writers write on the same exact topic and just parrot your info and then Google allows them to outrank you. I mean it's as if you do all hard work for them and get zero credit for it and then you're punished by Google on top of that.
I wished Google would get smart enough to start recognizing who writes on something first using their unique perspectives and thoughts, rewarding them with top rankings and recognizing them as a top leader on the subject and all the rest are just copycats.
I wished Google would start perceiving words as YouTube perceives musical notes, so that, when too many words in a new article are too similar to the words of another article, it would lead to a copyright strike (in this case lower rankings) just like they do with songs. When YouTube notices too many musical notes arranged in typical pattern it recognizes them from an original song and a copyright issue is detected.
Sadly, we live at a time of fierce competition and my husband often reminds me of how even large corporations play dirty all of the time, where every cool invention is mercilessly copied by other brands.
However, I have noticed that often newer articles make it to the first page shortly after being published and then gradually move away after some time.
It's as if Google wants to test them out and see whether people find them informative or not. Maybe Google checks the Feedback system or keeps track whether people still visit the articles lower down because they haven't found the info they were looking for in the newer article.
If the new articles pass their stringent criteria they will sit somewhere at the top or middle of the first page, if they don't pass, they are gradually pushed more and more at the bottom and often end up in the second or third page or even farther down.
Of course, this is just speculation, but I have seen similar happenings with YouTube. When I publish a new video it shows up at top spots for some time and then gradually settles somewhere farther down, but if they are superior videos with lots to offer, they are likely to stay atop for longer and sometimes stick there permanently.
So if my theory is right, if the Google query is "mower repair guide" this new article about repairing mower handles should not get many views since people may not be looking for that specific information and therefore it should gradually move away.
If it sticks there for longer, maybe it's a sign that people indeed are looking for how to repair handles, so perhaps it may help if you add some content on handles? or maybe add the keyword handles to the title"? Like "mower repair guide (handles, engine etc.)"
In fairness to the author, they just wrote about repairing mower handles, whereas my guide is about engine starting problems. I don't think they intended to copy anything. And they used the phrase "How to fix a lawn mower.." at the beginning (followed by "handle") which is very generic. It's just unfortunate that my guide also started with "How to fix a lawn mower" and Google thinks they're pretty much the same and both are not worthy to be listed in SERPS. If I search for "How to fix a lawn mower that won't start", my guide appears, and in fairness to Google, both my basic and advanced guide are listed, one after another. I think most of my traffic has decreased because I've lost the featured snippet for this mower guide and several other guides and tutorials on both Dengarden and Owlcation.
Sorry, my little rant about the copying was in reference to Solaras who stated that an author has created 12 articles on the exact same keywords as her articles being mish mash of the same content. Didn't mean to make it sound as if I was accusing the author of the lawn mower article.
In any case, I hope you find a way to regain it's original ranking in some way.
I'd love to know where all the views have gone for articles that still rank high. For instance my guide on Owlcation for converting hex to binary is in fifth place on Startpage.com. I'm not sure of the actual place in Google SERPS because results are biased by past search history. Initially it was getting 1500 hits per day within a couple of months, but now only 70 on average. If it still ranks why, how come there's such a huge drop? Possibly I think this had a snippet which is like gold dust for traffic.
The mower guide seems to be in the "Home and Garden News" section on Dengarden. I wonder when that happened?
Edit: It's only under the title "Home and Garden News", not in the actual news sub-category.
Google seems to be re-ranking the guide now for some reason and the other one is gone from the first 100 results.
There's been a lot of turbulence and testing. Now there's a core update happening for the next two weeks. I think it's difficult to know how the rankings will eventually settle.
Traffic is up 5% or so for me this Friday compared to last week. It's been really stagnant since March though. No seasonal ramping up like previous years.
Yes, I agree about the stagnancy, I consider the lack of seasonal improvement to be a decline for all intents and purposes, because traffic would naturally rise.
Now we're about to enter the summer quiet season.
We can only hope that May 22 core update is better than the May 21 version.
I suspect that some of the brief surges that people have been experiencing recently have actually been Google testing pre-algo update (not all related to the niche news changes)
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