SEO Experts and Matt Wells - Tables in hubs

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  1. Solaras profile image94
    Solarasposted 15 months ago

    Are tables still a good thing for SEO?  I find them difficult to read, especially if they are lists in three columns. 

    They are also very difficult to edit, if it is an alphabetical listing. It throws everything out of whack to add or remove an item in the list.

    Editors keep taking content and putting them in lists, so am I to assume Google has a preference for this.  I am thinking that it is old school, and maybe I should revert them to a single column of info.  I base this on those who have moved up the SERPs ahead of me.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. PaulGoodman67 profile image98
    PaulGoodman67posted 15 months ago

    This has been discussed before, I believe. You may be able to find it by searching through old threads.

    If I remember rightly, tables are very good for SEO and visibility on the Google results page, according to HubPages. That's why editors will occasionally add them to articles (it's happened to me anyway).

    I agree that tables are a pain in the ass from a practical perspective. But there are apparently benefits.

    1. DrMark1961 profile image96
      DrMark1961posted 15 months agoin reply to this

      The editors have been going into my older articles and removing the tables and replacing them with bullet lists. I thought that was so that they would have better SEO and visibility on Google results page!
      Based on this, I have not added a table to one of my articles in years.
      So, I think there is some disagreement out there, at least among the editors.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image98
        PaulGoodman67posted 15 months agoin reply to this

        I think it's complicated, especially if you are getting into a tables Vs. bullet points comparison.

        However, I believe that it's better to have a table than no table in certain circumstances.

        Their main use is for making a comparison between things and they are still being promoted in the HP writing style guide (updated October last year).

        For instance, pros and cons summary lists seem to do good in tables for Google.

        For sure, HP did seem to go through a phase a few years back where they were putting tables into everything, and they seem to be over that, I agree.

        That's my understanding of the situation anyway.

      2. Shesabutterfly profile image94
        Shesabutterflyposted 15 months agoin reply to this

        I wonder if that has to do with how tables are rendered on the new sites? Two of my three tables on Owlcation look terrible on mobile devices. They are zoomed in (due to being the same size as the article text), so you can only see one and a half columns. You either have to scroll over, or zoom out to see the whole table. I wish I could replace them, but a table truly is the only way to present the information in a way that is easy to understand/read.

        My table on Wehavekids is broken into two tables (on desktop as well) and looks even worse.

        It's frustrating that this new platform does not have the same capabilities as the old HP. Tables are a great way to display information, but only if a reader can actually read and understand the information being presented.

        1. PaulGoodman67 profile image98
          PaulGoodman67posted 15 months agoin reply to this

          I have an article, which used to be number one in Google for multiple key phrases, but has since been pushed down to #2. As far as this article goes, its tables used to show in pole positions, but now there are other tables winning.

          There are certain competitions in the SERPS where there's a battle of the tables goes on. But in some other situations, tables are virtually irrelevant and it's all about lists or whatever.

          1. Shesabutterfly profile image94
            Shesabutterflyposted 15 months agoin reply to this

            Of course this is going to be topic specific, but when the competition (like mine) is using tables or columns of text to compare something, we have to do the same to hold rank. I'd rather have a battle of the tables, vs trying to compete with tables using a list not many will be able to decipher. Converting a table to bullet lists, does not come across the same way when trying to convey similarities and differences between more than two ideas.

            I haven't actually looked at my competion on mobile, as I do all things HP on my desktop, but I think Dr. Mark is right. It is not just HP. Of all the similar ranked content, only one had a table that I could see on my full screen, however the text is so small I would never be able to read it.

            Perhaps it was always this way and I never noticed simply because I don't use my phone for research or reading. Either way, tables are still relevant for plenty of topics. If they can't be rendered in a readable way on mobile (for any website), how does that ultimately affect our readership and how content is created? Not all information can be transferred to lists or what have you.

            1. Miebakagh57 profile image78
              Miebakagh57posted 15 months agoin reply to this


        2. DrMark1961 profile image96
          DrMark1961posted 15 months agoin reply to this

          I dont think it is just the HP sites.
          If I am on my cell and am reading something with a table I just bounce out of there and find something that I can actually visualize. (One reason readership may be down--there is so much information out there that we can pick and choose the most readable pages.)

          1. Miebakagh57 profile image78
            Miebakagh57posted 15 months agoin reply to this

            Yes, on most mobile phones, table loooks terrible.                                               And, if the device or phone is small, you can't help it.                                  One had to switch to say a big smart phone with a screen equal to the lenght of the phone, that can be view horizontally. This make sense to what the table is try to convey.                                       Alternately, I switch to and turn on my laptop for a better or best view of the tabular items.

            1. DrMark1961 profile image96
              DrMark1961posted 15 months agoin reply to this

              Since so much of our traffic is now coming from mobiles, I think we need to adapt and phase out those tables. (Of course all of those excessive ads make reading hard too but we cannot change that yet.)

              1. Miebakagh57 profile image78
                Miebakagh57posted 15 months agoin reply to this

                I'm fully in agreement with you in that.                                      But we writers can't do without a laptop/desktop. We're more than glancing readers on the go. We're home-bound-researchers.                                       Signficantly, the computer can open more than 2 windows for a read on the internet. Plus the fact that you can still hit away on any word document at the computer keyboard, while window is open at minima screen. I don't ever imagine that, that can be done with a cell phone.

      3. Solaras profile image94
        Solarasposted 15 months agoin reply to this

        These were originally bulleted lists and not comparison tables, just lists of names.  The winners in SERPs just have bulleted lists, which are easy to read instead of reading down one column, then up to the next column etc.

        I'd like to switch them back, unless editors have a reason that is still valid for using them.

        1. DrMark1961 profile image96
          DrMark1961posted 15 months agoin reply to this

          Did an editor make those changes? Are the articles getting AMP traffic? (Written from my phone!)

          1. Miebakagh57 profile image78
            Miebakagh57posted 15 months agoin reply to this

            Good questions.

          2. Solaras profile image94
            Solarasposted 15 months agoin reply to this

            I certainly did not make it.  It is 6 columns wide, so you have to use a scroll bar to see the last 3 columns, which I never even realize til you asked about it lol.

            For the week, it gets 5 AMP referrals, so I would say not really.  This article is one of my first, and used to get 800 views a day. Now it gets about a quarter of the traffic. 

            I have tried to retrieve the old traffic, but no matter what I do it only gets a little bump and then flatlines again.  Competition, Google, who knows.

            1. DrMark1961 profile image96
              DrMark1961posted 15 months agoin reply to this

              I am not sure that this is the way to go but if it were my article I would go back to a bullet list and make the table not visible. If the editors complain about the change you can always unclick the "not visible" and use it again.

              I thought you were going to say 0 AMP traffic. If there are even 5, that would indicate the article is altered to get more mobile traffic.

              No idea what to say about the traffic. Mine has gone down a lot since 2020, in all of my articles, and even extensive editing does not seem to help. I have an experiment ongoing at the moment whereby I am deleting some of my worst performers, rewriting them after checking out the competition for the keywords (longer lists, for example, with more sources) and then republishing. I just published the first one this last week, so will not have an answer for at least a few months.

              There is a lot more competition here than when we started. I think all those people on COVID lockdown must have started writing to keep busy.

              1. Solaras profile image94
                Solarasposted 15 months agoin reply to this

                I am working on an experiment of my own.  I have purchased a new domain name, and am trying to see if I can get ranking better on a site that is more focused on cats and dogs. It will be a while before I have enough articles to publish it. Then I will need to make at least weekly contributions to keep it visible. 

                That is a lot more work than here; I prefer the original HP arrangement. But it could be a better payoff given that I feel we are paid based on someone else's financial needs any given week, and not on any agreement.  Other people have a way of over valuing their contributions compared to those of their partners.  It is part of the human condition.

                I know you tried something before, how did that go for you? I have continued publishing here to just keep further losing ground.  If Spruce can come up out of nowhere with truly crappy articles, I will give it another go. You are welcome to join me lol. 

                I think I like the go your own way better than Medium. Medium seems like even more work than your own site.  I might try adding Kofi to it on the more helpful articles.  I can have comments that I moderate as well.

                1. DrMark1961 profile image96
                  DrMark1961posted 15 months agoin reply to this

                  That sounds great. I am not sure how Google ranks but do you think once a week is enough? The site I set up never did do that well and I wonder if one of the big reasons was that I just did not post often enough. (I have seen some blogs post less and still rank okay so I am not sure about this; I do not think anyone else is either. It may be due to total of article posted, not frequency.)

                  The Kofi would do okay if you also had comments, which is something I miss around here. Are you planning on adding a reasonable amount of ads after a while? Do you want to run the whole thing by yourself?

                  I would be interested in contributing even if the financial part of it does not work out for awhile. Some days I am really busy but others I am just around here all day so I have often have the time. (I wonder if all of those contributors to Spruce just wrote their articles in down-time during a 12 hour shift at the emergency room.) I just left a notice on your profile page so you should have my address.

                  1. Solaras profile image94
                    Solarasposted 15 months agoin reply to this

                    Yes, I think a new article a week works well for google.  I have heard others who left say the same, and updates to my blog have had similar boosts from a monthly update. That blog was narrowly focused on a few dog things.

                    I would be happy for someone else to run the monetary backend, and figure out how to divide the earnings. I think there is a real synergy to be had with a couple of PH authors.

                    Ads would be handled by Ezoic, who does not have a minimum  page views/impressions but after 10,000 monthly you can opt into better earning schemes.  Any of which, I  believe would be superior to my current earnings. Some say CPM is $18. after their take. Amazon ads are not illegal in the Google realm, contrary to HP dogma.

                    I have read a number of Spruce's more "serious" articles and they are crap.  Real crap - I would be interested in having real comments, so people like me, who have have scary things happen with their dogs - mastitis for instance - get real answers.

                    It turns out I have a ton of ideas for articles. I thought I had nothing to offer on HP until I started thinking about niches within niches. Adrienne  is invited too!

  3. Miebakagh57 profile image78
    Miebakagh57posted 15 months ago

    Tables are very easy to read by most people. It expressed descriptive items in few words or at a glance.                                         But on hubpages end side, it's one of the one basic element that can make a write a feature piece.                                    That said, I no longer add table to my reads(and it's with me) when  I've comparision of more than 3 items to make.The bottonline is that tables serves as a pictorial format in a story.

  4. Miebakagh57 profile image78
    Miebakagh57posted 15 months ago

    No matter what's the situation, tables have a useful purpose in a read. And, it's easy for some, including me to constructed.                                        A table can replaced a long text in few words. I've done just that. But what roles tables play in SERPs, that I'm yet to note because my searchs has never land me on a table. Twice, a given link I click on took me to hubpages writing comparison guide on it's site.  (editing)I

  5. Sue Adams profile image95
    Sue Adamsposted 15 months ago

    The HubPages table capsule is so frustrating that I stopped using it. Instead, I make a table in Word (PC) or Pages (Mac), take a screenshot, and save it as a PNG file to upload as a photo in my HP articles.

    Here is an example in an article I wrote for Owlcation:
    Learn Any Latin-Based Language With Shared Words You Already Know
    It doesn't get cut off on mobile because it's actually an image that looks like a table.

    1. Solaras profile image94
      Solarasposted 15 months agoin reply to this



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