Over 20% down since last week. Has anyone else been affected. Semrush indicates some bumps on the volatility graph.
I recently had an article picked up on Google.Android, so I'm coming out of a surge. Wildly, I might be in one week seeing my all-time highest earning day ever and my lowest.
I hate to say it, but if Q4 is like this the whole way then January and February are going to be miserable.
I wish someone from HP staff would jump on here and give us some insights. Like Samantha did when there were drops two years ago:
https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … onday--921
For new people, Samantha no longer works for HP.
I have. I don't understand why my traffic has taken such a plunge.
My earnings are half of what they used to be! Traffic is also down! I am sure that people are still online and doing research, reading, etc. so what is the problem? This seems to be getting worse. As mentioned before, January and February are going to completely suck!
Wednesday's traffic is 30% down on the previous Wednesday. 2022 has turned out to be the worst year for traffic since 2017. The decline started in June last year and never recovered.
A product reviews update was released Tuesday. I wonder is this affecting network sites and presumably then pulling down the rankings of non-product articles?
Same here, waaaaaay down. I've never seen it plummet this fast. Concerned. I don't have any product articles.
No recovery this afternoon either as US traffic kicks in. For me, every year, traffic used to ramp up in September. Starting last year, this hasn't happened. In fact there were no surges since June last year, with traffic flatlining over 15 months.
Traffic's been volatile with two Google updates running simultaneously. Too early to draw firm conclusions, but yeah, everything's bleaker than ever right now.
Seasonal effects normally dictate that traffic and earnings increase for me at this time of year, but instead I've seen the opposite happen.
I'm beginning to wonder how far this site will fall... Each major update seems to take another chunk of traffic.
The rot started in earnest over a year ago and so far, HP doesn't seem to have a good solution. If they do have a plan, they're not telling us.
Maybe the major editing project will help, I don't know, but it's very slow...
The solution, or at least one possible solution, seems obvious. We need a cleaner ad layout that doesn't drive readers away. The pages are simply too hard to read.
Cleaning things up and eventually bringing in more traffic will better ensure the long-term health of the niche sites. All of those ads are useless if there is nobody left to advertise to.
Contrarian view to the Cassandras. I'm enjoying my highest views and earnings in September since coming here six years ago.
I don't write product articles - at least I don't think I do. I assume these are pieces that praise Acme's full collection of left-handed screwdrivers or some such.
Since the Great Edit my views have risen steadily. Send blank cheque and self-addressed envelope for advice on how to make you're writings gooder.
I think that you may be getting your mythology confused, Rupert?
Cassandra was fated to accurately prophesize future events, while all around disbelieved her.
The contrary to Cassandra would be make wrong predictions of future events, while all around believed you.
That video at the top is the most annoying thing of all. It covers up the page too for many vital seconds when a reader is presented with an article and they're forming an impression of a network site, probably turning many of them away. I'm a very patient person and it pisses me off, so I'm sure half the viewers just don't bother continuing to read.
There have been times that I've closed that video and then it reappeared. It's painful.
I think many people look at that video and think WTH is this? This isn't what I clicked on. And they immediately leave. What do they call that... bounce rate? Regardless, comes across as very spammy.
This is brutal. I'm praying to eke out enough views over the next 8 days to make payout.
Same. Down 25%. Hoping staff will know more and post a reply.
For me, it hasn't this low since New Year's Day this year. The news articles on network sites don't have a video although we were told as far as I recall there was a problem removing it on "normal" articles because of the template used. Maybe it could be converted to a fixed rather than floating one like the "Watch the Video" video on those articles?
Traffic continuing to fall day by day. Nearly 40% drop so far since last week.
I appear to have clawed back a little lost ground.
It's a crazy situation with two Google updates happening simultaneously.
Your account (Eugene) makes a reasonable guinea pig, as it's established and you don't add new material, just edit, the same goes for this one I'm writing with.
When new articles are published to an account, it distorts the stats, I've noticed, as new views are occurring, which makes things look not so bad.
It's terrible over here too. This month earnings will be 2/3 of last month with the earning trickling down to half of what they were at the start of the month.
I noticed from Copyscape when checking for plagiarism that an extensive comment on an article was also published elsewhere on a forum on another website. This is something I hadn't though of before: Duplicate content in the comments and us getting penalised as a result.
Can we delete all comments?
Still falling. I notice my best traffic article has been pushed down from about 5th place to 31st place for the same two search keywords.
Here's another example. Something's seriously flawed. Do Google ever give advice to companies on request about what's wrong with their sites or they just spout vague stuff about sticking to their webmaster guidelines?
Google just give out vague info, I believe.
However, HP do have a vast amount of statistical info available. They should be able to figure out what works and what doesn't.
Unless a revolutionary, structural change is needed, like happened with the creation of the niches...
While the quality can always be improved, I guess, the standard of articles here is way higher than it ever used to be and the stuff in the niches is hand-picked.
Yet the niches have low authority scores on sites like SEM Rush...
I don't think HP will tell us anything like Paul used to update us. That is a tremendous difference between the good old days and now.
The problem is that HP have to guess what's coming down the line before it's happened. They have to read between the lines regarding Google's stated intentions.
Otherwise, they're left trying to play catch-up after the event. That's what killed Squidoo. HP has more backing, I believe, so can hopefully keep going through the bad periods and find a solution.
What's happening now is rough, though. It's been hit after hit after hit recently.
Can you please remind me of where to view our stats chart, like the one you posted?
Thanks in advance!
From the menu, go to "My Account". By default, it should show the statistics page, but if it doesn't, click on the "Statistics" tab. Then pick an article and click on "author view". There's a blue "stats" button at the top of the page, so click on that. I never really use Hubpages stats, Google Analytics provides a lot more useful and detailed information. There's information on setting it up here:
https://hubpageshelp.com/money/Learning … -analytics
Total traffic still dropping. Interesting that it seems to be a linear drop.
I'm not sure what you mean by saying the "linear" element is significant? How can a line graph be anything other than linear?
I don't mean the individual line segments. I mean from 20th Sept., the overall trend downwards is fairly linear, rather than curved.
The equivalent graph for me (this account) is more kinky, but trends downwards nonetheless, with losses similar to you.
For me, the biggest concern is that the falls currently appear to be across the board. Even Owlcation, which has been heavily edited, hasn't come out well, which is worrying. A lot of resources have been poured into Owlcation and yet it still looks like it might be sinking.
It goes without saying that my earnings are now unbelievably low.
Anyone else seeing a slight recovery in the last day? It's recovered about a 1/3 of the losses for me.
Maybe very slightly yesterday, but still about 40% down on a fortnight ago and earnings are halved or more than 50% down on the value of those for last year because of lower CPM (2/3 this year of what it was for the same period) Semrush shows more high volatility for yesterday and traffic has dropped again today. Normally I would have had 20 to 30 readers on site at a time. Now 5 or 10 minutes can go by when there's no one on site.
That's my experience, too. It's drastic. 40% all lost in one go. I think that the baked beans are drifting out my price range.
40% decline on PetHelpful for me as well. Earnings are now 25% of what they were when Amazon accounted for half of my earnings. Sad.
My traffic and earnings are NOT GREAT. I haven't seen earnings this low in years and I've been on here from almost the beginning.
It's pretty disappointing but at the same time something I've learned being around here and creating web content is that if you keep producing quality content, it all catches up eventually.
Still, seeing such horrible stats is demotivating.
I'm with you, Kierstin. I've been here for a decade and don't recall it being this bad. I'm praying I'll make payout today but it looks dismal. I'm concerned about when we will see things turn around. It's disappointing. I'm grateful for what I have, but I look forward to the HP income for gas, copays for doctor visits, etc. It does help pad the pockets a little.
I agree. The low traffic the past couple of weeks has been demotivating. I'm concerned things won't go back to what they were.
Can anyone remember what the update was in June 2021? That's when my traffic dropped sharply and never recovered.
Edit: A core update it seems. There were spam updates later in the month.
The algorithm update at the end of May was the start of the problems generally, I believe, which extended into the start of the following month.
The core update in early June immediately followed and made things much worse.
It's all history now, though.
Spammers are still able to find the forums though, so I guess that HP has not disappeared entirely from search.
I wish HP would tell us what is going on. I am sure they know.
Exactly, Dr. Mark. I reported 15 this morning before I gave up. I do have something resembling a life.
If they could set up a filter that catches the words "best," and "course" from sites that emanate from India most of these annoying spammers would be blocked.
My traffic numbers have been dropping steadily for most of the past week. Not cool.
There has got to be some core update at play here because everything looks so volatile. Articles that have steadily done well for me are dropping and articles that have never been very successful are (slowly) gaining traffic. There's no rhyme nor reason. My total daily traffic hasn't been THIS low in I don't know how long.
I guess something to look forward to is when it hits rock bottom, then The only way is up, baby, For you and me now..... ♫ ♪ ♫
A thought for today's dismal traffic - it's possible that the hurricane is impacting traffic as many are not only without power but aren't searching for most of the stuff people like me are writing about.
Most of the content here seems quality. I think the main issue that I'd like clearer answers on is whether or not the page videos and video ads are creating a negative user experience. I've noticed a lag when I'm on niche sites, sometimes so bad that I leave and go somewhere else.
If that's most people's experience, then I imagine our bounce rate is high.
Yes, we've been giving out about that lag and the way the video obscures everything and can't be closed, for a couple of years. It can be turned off or fixed in position as we see in the "News" articles on network sites
I feel the same way and suspect there must be something that Google doesn't like about the website.
Many of my oldest articles that have been at the top of search engines for many years are now at the bottom, and websites who have parroted the content of my articles are at the top. When I update the content, they update it as well a month or two later always rewording my content.
I suspect it's an issue with the website not being considered as valuable as others for some reason. I did see some dips in one of my personal websites after this latest update where articles aren't as high quality and updated as frequently as here, but the dips are not as dramatic.
When this happens, I feel like our articles are cards, and when an update arrives, Google shuffles them putting our cards at the bottom.
After some time, the cards may resurface back up (I suspect this may happen when readers can't find exactly what they need in the first few articles displayed as a result of a search query and reach ours), but lately, I see a trend where they don't bounce back as easily as before, probably because they likely find already all they need at the top.
My traffic is generally utterly terrible, but like Kierstin I'm seeing traffic that's traditionally done well sink like a stone, while a handful of individual articles that have always performed mediocrely at best are currently surging. It's odd.
My lawn mower troubleshooting guide used to rank jointly with Briggs and Stratton for a featured snippet. Now it's in 20th place for the same search term.
Oh boy, that sounds rough!
Most of my problems arise from articles dropping one or two ranks, or maintaining their rank but losing authority and no longer getting traffic from the related keywords.
Something in 20th place is essentially in the dead zone.
Maybe using someone other than Saymedia for hosting images would help. It takes forever for them to load on a mobile device.
15 seconds, I timed it, is just way too long for whitespace to disappear and ads to load.
I've been updating a lot of my articles on another account. The editor is adding a lot of images and videos as he reviews them. He is doing a really great job and the articles are certainly better for his effort, but I do wonder if it is impacting load time and if this is something editors consider.
More supporting media make articles better, but I always tried to balance it with considerations for load time.
Even when using ad blocker, pages seem to load in kind of clunky with weird spaces.
I don't know what the right answer is. Sometimes it feels like if there is nothing we can do about it we may as well just try to forget about it. Hate to think of it like that but, you know.
I have a 100 Mbps connection, so it's not my broadband speed that's causing the delay. I don't know about other people's articles, but I compress my images as much as possible before loading so they're usually 1 MB or less. It seems there's just a huge lag in accessing images from the Say Media server and also rendering ads. Maybe the whole hosting configuration needs to be changed or a different server used which I guess would cost more because TAG owns Say Media.
My stats get worse every time I look at 'em... Ugh!
I've got three new articles in the works but once those are published I may go on hiatus from HP for a while. I've got enough going on in my real world right now without stressing about HP stuff on top of it.
Strangely I have some that weren't affected. One of them is a science guide for kids with 100 facts. I wish I could figure out what it is that they like about these Maybe numbers or steps in the headings of capsules? No Amazon links?
It's important to always remember, though, that the search engine rankings are a *relative* thing, never absolute.
While it could be something to do with the article, it could also be to do with the competition for that keyword or phrase.
The competition is always as important as the article itself.
The competition for topics like facts for kids can sometimes be relatively poor, as the CPMs for the associated keywords are very low.
They therefore tend to maintain their ranking better, even when they lose authority.
I'm talking in general terms, of course, I don't know about this specific case.
For me, traffic is about 10% to 15% better than last Sunday, but still 30% to 40% lower than a fortnight ago. I presume CPC is going to fall somewhat, now we're in Q4, not that it ever recovered much during the last year or more.
My traffic's actually down by a similar margin. However, I don't really think much has actually changed over the week. I think it's just a natural fluctuation.
Both those Google updates are now finished. I think the big question is really how HP reacts.
Sometimes traffic slowly ramps up over months or a year or more. I've never understood this and the slow creep upwards. Why isn't the result of an update instant and the changes stepwise?
Good question. I suspect that there's not one single easy answer to this in practical terms. I did study pure maths at university for a year, but it was before algorithms took over the world(!)
Generally speaking, though, I think Google sees sudden changes as undesirable. They want something that's smoother and evolving, rather than results that change dramatically from day to day. The algorithm is designed accordingly.
That's how I interpret their utterances, anyway.
It would maybe cause Internet instability if there is such a thing. I mean when an article is published, even if it doesn't get backlinks to improve its ranking, daily traffic grows slowly over years. Unusually I had two guides for converting number bases and organic traffic surged to over 2000 within a month or so, then plummeted again over less than a year. Now it's less than 100 per day. Possibly this was mainly due to them getting featured snippets. Bing has given me a featured snippet now for the article "How to Plant a Tree (or Shrub) in 9 Easy Steps" and search term "How to plant a shrub". Google has it in 15th place or so. Traffic hasn't really changed though because of course few people use Bing relative to Google.
From Google's perspective, I think they generally see it as easier to cheat the system if you get sudden results from changes or new material.
Early on, nefarious people would do something like, say, add a thousand backlinks, quickly get massive traffic, and profit from it in some way.
There was no fast and easy way for the search engines to react to the nefarious crap and it contributed to the Wild West feel of the net.
Starting to look like a flatlining EKG.
Yeah, I thought it was getting better until I saw my latest earnings. I use my HP earnings to feed my pets so I went out and had a serious discussion with the ducks.
They are all going to have to go on a diet!
My traffic's pretty much stable. I don't think there's been any changes.
My earnings are in the toilet, the lowest they've been in forever.
I think early 2017 for me, back when I had about a half of the number of articles.
2022 seems to be bad for everyone. 2021 and 2020 weren't that great either. I'm disturbed and upset that October, which should be a good month, is as bad as this year's January. What the heck is January 2023 going to look like? It's all really demotivating.
2021 was the best ever year for me, both for traffic and earnings. 2022 is probably the worst for 5 years.
Yeah, first five months of 2021 were the best ever for me, certainly in terms of Hub Ads.
In the earlier years of the site, Amazon was the only way to make any good money on here. It makes long-term comparisons awkward for me.
Nowadays, both Hub Ads and Amazon are generally pretty crap, though.
This current period, running from summer last year until now, is the worst!
Summer of last year to now has been awful. I think for everyone.
June 2021 seemed to be when things started going downhill.
There is still hope. But the bad periods have got longer and the good times shorter in recent times.
My earnings for this account I'm writing with are just a third of what they were in the first half of 2021. That's bad.
It's those damn core updates!
I've been doing a lot of updating. Most of it is the regular checks I do to keep the Amazon links up to date. But also, I'm desperately hoping to start a few surges...
Sometimes, you get a big temporary boost after updating and it was surges that kept me afloat last month.
Do you think it makes a difference or there's any point if a site is punished as a whole? My articles have massive swings from maybe 2500 views per day to 250 per day, depending on the mood Google is in. It's not my fault they're getting low traffic now and there's nothing I can do to improve them. Maybe you can add content to yours, but my fear is that if I write a maths guide, for instance the one about triangles (which was my highest traffic article) and I start adding content to it, Google will penalise me for it being too long and overly detailed and fussy. Already, they put thin guides with only a few paragraphs and no images higher up the SERPS than mine.
Last month my surges netted me almost enough to plug the gap caused by the general decline (the rest of the gap was filled with money from a particularly good Medium month).
So financially, it's potentially worth it. (That said, most of the extra money was reaped from a single freaky surge that peaked at 16,000 views/day or something like that).
Of course, the best surge is an Amazon article, but that almost never happens (aside from the naturally occurring Xmas traffic increases, which isn't what I'm talking about here). The second best surge is one that's chasing a high value keyword and that can happen. I wouldn't worry too much about low value keyword stuff like maths articles, if money's the issue.
Inducing a surge is ju-ju though, I'll admit. I feel like I'm doing the equivalent of wearing amulets and reciting spells.
Sometimes I can make a very minor alteration (one or two words in the text) and the article will soar the next time it's crawled, at least for a few days. Most of the time nothing happens, though.
I guess with some articles, Google detects a change, gives it a bunch of extra traffic to see how readers react to the new version, so it can collect stats.
I have some articles that seem to have a tendency to surge big time, they've done it several times, so I'm focused on them.
What do I do?
If an article is fine as it is, my changes are minor.
Obviously, if there's room for improvement, then a more substantial edit is done.
I leave the rest to the ju-ju gods.
I'd still prefer a general recovery though. I'm just feeling a bit desperate nowadays.
I've not had as much surging happening as I did during the summer months, neither the Google, Android or MSN variety.
However, I do have one article that is getting more traffic than the rest of the account it's in put together. While I'm sure it will be short-lived, it does make some difference.
When the traffic goes back up to high levels, my earnings go back to looking more like they used to, which tells me that the current problems with the site are mainly traffic issues. If that came back, the earnings would likely follow suit.
"I feel like I'm doing the equivalent of wearing amulets and reciting spells."
Works for me
I have a couple of articles that for some reason weren't affected by the Google updates.
I had some that went up.
I wish I knew why.
Maybe the competition just got punished more harshly and it wasn't directly to do with the articles.
On the other hand, I think that Google deliberately makes things complicated and has a degree of unpredictability. They don't want people to figure out simple formulas for playing the system.
That used to happen in the early days, but it's rarer now.
When I look at the traffic stats graphs, they can seem almost random sometimes, especially when I compare them with each other.
What one really needs is a massive amount of info. That makes it more feasible to figure out what works and what doesn't. HP has that. I don't.
My Halloween articles were doing so well last month, but now I am observing a sudden drop in traffic; I don't know why. I hope it gets better soon!
I've now recovered about half of my losses, but that could just be down to October being a good month for traffic to my articles.
Tuesday was the highest it was since 21st September.
Posted two new articles this week. Neither one helped my overall view #'s at all, they are still in the dumpster. I repeat.. ugh.
The hiatus I spoke of previously is definitely going to happen soon. I have more important real-life things going on and I am tired of feeling like I'm screaming into the void.
I see they've dumped my weed killing guide into 105th place too for the first bit of the title. I think it was up around 5th place, once upon a time
Maybe we should nag Danny Sullivan on Twitter to get some info out of him? He does reply to me every so often, but answers can be very diplomatic. I see Paul was trying to get him to help with Sports Illustrated in April.
I'm not convinced you'll get much real joy that way. The answers will come in Google-speak, it will all sound super-positive, but be completely vague.
It will be a bunch of terms like "quality" and "tools" and "results" and "user experience" fastened together with staples and gaffer tape.
Sorry, if I sound cynical.
That's given me an idea, now where's my bikinis?
Now I am thinking about changing my profile pic.
Oh boy, now you tell me! I thought profile pics of fat, balding, middle-aged men did best!
I'm actually a young, cute woman who absolutely lives in her bikinis!
I’m almost at the point of having a pizza image as my profile picture. Maybe we can all do that as rebels.
This article by Danny Sullivan about excessive ads is 10 years old, but still interesting reading.
https://searchengineland.com/too-many-a … go-108613?
I remember this algo change. It was much-discussed at the time, although the impact was small.
I don't think that Google's overall commercial strategy has changed much over time. Their ideal is for sites to ditch on-page advertising and instead pay Google for ads in the search results.
If anything, the decline of Adsense just further intensified the strategy.
I tend to see all of Google's utterances as being driven and underpinned by this commercial strategy.
For sure, ads are obtrusive by their very nature and there is a limit to what people will tolerate. But disguising adverts as search results has always struck me as deeply cynical.
As far as HP goes, I think the recent traffic issues relate to "reputation" problems, rather than adverts.
by Claudia Porter 3 years ago
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