Turning Off Ads on Articles to Boost Ranking

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  1. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    Would this work or is ranking predominately determined by a network site's rating? Would it help get more traffic so that backlinks would potentially be more likely to be produced pointing to an article, then ads could be turned back on again later?

  2. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
    PaulGoodman67posted 17 months ago

    Certainly, too many Amazon ads can cause SEO problems, as I understand it. That's what we were told some years back and why they introduced measures to reduce them and began clipping Amazon capsules and links.

    However, I don't think that the same applies to Hub Ads.

    If your theory (shared by many others) that the Hub Ads are a major cause of SEO problems, then turning off the ads should raise the ranking and traffic.

    My belief is that turning off the ads will have little or no positive effect regarding ranking/traffic.

    It might be a good empirical experiment. How long you would have to wait for any potential effects to happen is difficult to judge, though. It could be days but might be months.

  3. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    I have just tried it on one one article that isn't getting a lot of traffic, but is quite long and comprehensive. Let's see what happens in the coming months. I would think that it's the site and its reputation in Google's eyes for excessive ads that's affecting its ranking though.

  4. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
    PaulGoodman67posted 17 months ago

    I don't think any strong conclusions could be drawn from just one article, given that rankings can and do fluctuate for all sorts of reasons.

  5. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    Traffic is way up on this guide now with the ads off. It might be too early to say whether it's just a coincidence though, but I think it has jumped in the rankings (up to 19th place for "How to solder"). GA Real Time shows traffic trickling in constantly all morning. Half of these views are organic and the rest direct. Direct views can also be due to people clicking on images in an article.


    1. chef-de-jour profile image96
      chef-de-jourposted 17 months agoin reply to this

      Fascinating! That leap in traffic looks phenomenal. To verify the theory you'd have to do the same on how many other articles, to make it scientific?
      Have you stumbled across a legal way of rising in rank - stop ads and gain status - then once established as high ranking turn the ads back on?

      Or choose one article with ads off to act as losing leader which would presumably attract many more readers to your ads-on articles given the high quality information displayed, of course.

      Keep us up to date with your experiments Eugene.

      1. eugbug profile image95
        eugbugposted 17 months agoin reply to this

        I was thinking of that. Letting the rank increase and maybe the position would hold for a while, or the article might gain backlinks. The loss leader is a good idea too. The rise might be just due to referral spam, but fingers crossed.

  6. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    I'm getting a view on this every 5 minutes now. Views today have reached 140 so far, compared to five on a normal day. Maybe I should ask them to donate to my PayPal account? I think I'll try turning ads off for another one.

  7. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    I just turned off ads for a guide that gets 100 views per day, but got 1000 to 1500 peak for months after it was published.

    1. SerenityHalo profile image93
      SerenityHaloposted 17 months agoin reply to this

      Fascinating experiment here. I wonder if HP would benefit from a different model altogether, one that was more like Medium's. I would be willing to pay $5 a month for an adless user experience if it meant a boost in traffic and a higher paycheck in the end.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
        PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

        I think most articles on HP are aimed at search engine traffic and answer specific questions asked by users. I don't believe that a subscription model would work.

        Added to that, I see Medium as being in worse trouble than HP in some ways. At least HP has wider backing from Arena. Medium seems to be operating on limited investment since Ev Williams left.

        Some years back, it was suggested to us by HP that we might want to switch off Hub Ads on articles that were Amazon-orientated. I dutifully did so.

        But after that, the official view seemed to change and I switched all the ads back on following an email from HP suggesting I do so.

        Switching the ads on and off didn't actually make much difference to my traffic when I did it back then, although it did lose me quite a bit of income.

        I think any meaningful experiment by a hubber should involve multiple articles and run over at least several months. Even then, I think it's unlikely to generate any new knowledge that HP is not already aware of.

        1. SerenityHalo profile image93
          SerenityHaloposted 17 months agoin reply to this

          I see problems with all of these writing sites. I do appreciate your thoughts. They are insightful.

          I've never really been big on using Amazon with HP. I had one article I did this year that was specifically a product review, and the Amazon capsule I linked was removed months later by an editor. If that review can't have an Amazon link, I don't really know what can.

          Medium's traffic has been declining, but it's still getting somewhere around 25 million a month according to SEM Rush. Its authority score is higher than any HP niche. 89 looks pretty good compared to niche sites here.

          My issues with Medium are that you don't get paid for external views at this time and their model doesn't make it the easiest to find strong content. HP does a better job with curation, in my opinion.

          Vocal.Media doesn't have a great model for earnings, traffic, or curation. What it does have going for it are the creative prompts that get people to think outside the box. I also like the deadlines of doing those because it forces me to write. This year I wrote more short stories than I ever have, thanks to VM... but HP is far better at what it's doing than VM.

          I think HP can be improved, and I will be very happy with HP if they can get the kind of recovery I want to see. I think HP can flourish... I think it's floundering at the moment.

          1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
            PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

            I feel like Medium is a kind of closed system. Most of the subscribed readers are also writers and so the money is just being taken off one writer and given to another.

            That's an exaggeration, but there's some truth to it.

            I don't feel like I earn that much from Medium, considering all the effort, but I'm supposedly in the top 6% of earners.

            In the past, Medium supported publications to promote strong content. Then they undermined the pubs and many folded. Now Tony S is saying he's bringing back pubs and promoting them to be the main curators of content.

            It all seems very circular.

            As far as turning off the HP ads goes, I might try doing it with a few of my Amazon articles that have hit the skids. Maybe things have changed since I last did it, it's difficult to know whether it's worth it without guidance from HP. Maybe I should email editors and ask...

            Amazon was always the main way to earn dollars on HP, but it's gotten much harder over time. I think you either have to build the article around the product (eg a review) or the product has to be intrinsic (eg it's a necessary tool in a how-to article). Even then, it might not work out as an earner.

            Many of my old top Amazon earners now bump along with only a handful of views per day, which is sad.

  8. Lowdown0 profile image84
    Lowdown0posted 17 months ago

    Maybe an in-between strategy like Vocal does would work, yet it hasn't yet proven to work there long-term. HubPages has proven to work.

  9. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    Most of the increased traffic on the soldering article I turned ads off on seems to have been a coincidental surge, although it was primarily mixture of organic and direct traffic. Direct can be the result of people clicking on images. However now traffic has increased a bit again over the last couple of days, so I'll leave it for the moment and see what happens. The purpose of my experiment is really to see whether no ads encourages more people to stay on an article rather than backing out before their view is registered or at least if the time on page increases (They may back out quickly, if a page displays ads, after the view is registered)


  10. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    This seems to confirm it, but more stats need to be gathered.


  11. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
    PaulGoodman67posted 17 months ago

    I've noticed some possible turbulence from the current Google update. My traffic went down and then up over the last couple of days.

    1. eugbug profile image95
      eugbugposted 17 months agoin reply to this

      Mine is relatively stable for the last month and half what it was in 2020.


      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
        PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

        Your traffic is almost weirdly stable. Part of it is that you don't write new material, I think, but it's still odd that you don't get any intermittent boosts from MSN or someone posting on social media, or whatever.

        Even though they're brief, my accounts tend to get brief surges sometimes which skews against the underlying trend for brief periods. It's usually just one article for a few days, but the surge can be big enough to double the overall traffic or more sometimes.

        That said, your graph is over a relatively long timespan which tends to even things out.

        My wavering traffic was really over a couple of days, and in this case, I think, was likely caused by the update rolling out and hitting sites at different times.

        There doesn't appear to be a significant longer-term impact at this stage, but it's early days. I seem to remember that the equivalent update last year did do us damage.

        Google are apparently making trust even more important now and EAT has become EEAT, according to SERoundtable!

        Goodness knows what it means for HP. In theory, the site should benefit from all the editing, but who knows...

        1. eugbug profile image95
          eugbugposted 17 months agoin reply to this

          I haven't written anything for a month. None of the articles I wrote in the last two years have got a lot of traffic, so I tend to just keep trying to make the existing ones better. The values in the graph are daily, so there's no smoothing of surges. I only get a small trickle of views from social media.

          1. SerenityHalo profile image93
            SerenityHaloposted 17 months agoin reply to this

            I haven't seen great new traffic for articles I've written in the past two years; however, a couple of articles I've written this year have experienced surges. These surges are unlike anything I've experienced in the past. It might be worth it to write new content occasionally to see if you might get a surge.

            Not that writing for surges should be the goal, but I think they're happening more frequently. Even though my overall earnings are down this year, there are a couple of single days that brought in the highest daily amount ever.

            1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
              PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

              My more recent articles tend to get more traffic than the old. I think that's partly because I've got better at what I'm going (research as well as the writing), but also there are trends in what works well.

              A few years back, for instance, you could write various fact lists and facts for kids and they would do reasonably well, but nowadays they're not worth bothering with, in my opinion.

              I do have some old stuff that does well and new material that's failed to take off. I'm just talking about tendencies.

              It's often advised that writers specialize and stick to a niche. The only problem with that is you're putting all your eggs in one basket. I tend to be constantly trying new things.

              1. SerenityHalo profile image93
                SerenityHaloposted 17 months agoin reply to this

                This is good info. I think I’ve only survived because I expanded my writing to different niches. It’s great to have a ton of articles for one niche, but you can get stuck in a rut.

                1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
                  PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

                  Of course, there are questions about how Google assesses "experience" and "expertise." I do think that if you write a lot on a certain topic then it sees you as having more credibility than someone who just published one article. Niche writing is good in that respect.

                  It's just worrying if you rely on the revenue in any way. We've all seen what's happened to certain niches, traffic can fall like a stone. Variety does spread the risk...

                  That said, I'm not sure there's any niche that's doing well right now...

                  1. eugbug profile image95
                    eugbugposted 17 months agoin reply to this

                    That would suggest there's an element of Google Authorship or whatever replaced it still in existence. Google is still deliberately vague about whether it forms a profile of authors.
                    https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ran … authority/

  12. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    I'm in maintenance mode too and have given up writing. Nothing I write, whether it's STEM tutorials or gardening/tools/DIY articles seem to do well anymore.

    1. chef-de-jour profile image96
      chef-de-jourposted 17 months agoin reply to this

      I'm sad but not surprised to hear this news. Recent performances of the niche sites, together with a lack of radical response from the editors and team regarding ad placement and text, so far, reflect a gradual demise and that's hard to take; draining and frustrating after you've contributed so much over the years.

      Seems the Arena takeover, and associated change in style, started the slide and since then each Google update has hit HP hard. 

      Recent mass editing by HP however does bring with it a bit of hope. And the tweaks here and there mean that someone is trying to move things upward. Google is cruel, Google is kind.

      My instinct is to say think again - you write wonderfully informative, helpful and clear articles. They deserve a decent platform.

      1. eugbug profile image95
        eugbugposted 17 months agoin reply to this

        Well it's only temporary really. It's mostly because the Oracle hasn't given me inspiration for stuff to write about. I have to think of things that people want to know about and apply to everyone. I found that that was usually a good way of creating content that was successful and drew in a lot of traffic. So for instance issues like lawn mowers not starting, quartz clocks stopping and remote controls not responding affect most people at some stage. So those guides used to get a lot of traffic. Unfortunately while Google used to like them and give them a high ranking, they now as we know often rank thinner content, often with no photos higher in the SERPs.

        1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
          PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

          Your practical guides shouldn't be being hit by the EEAT changes, as far as I can see. I think that they must be being dragged down by a wider malaise across the niche(s).

          As with everyone, my work is variable, but I think I have some solid stuff, too, that's been hit unfairly.

          I so wish that Google just assessed individual articles, as they did before Panda.

          Post-Panda, Google behaved like the Romans and burned down the entire village for transgressions by a few.

          It's frustrating when so much is outside of our control.

          1. DrMark1961 profile image96
            DrMark1961posted 17 months agoin reply to this

            I was kind of curious about your comment on subdomains. I remember them being sort of successful because the Google Romans did not burn down the whole site, just some of the subdomains.

            1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
              PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

              My experience of the subdomains was that they were very erratic/unstable. When they first came in, traffic to accounts dramatically rocketed. Put one foot wrong, though, in Google's eyes, and your views went down to almost zero.

              The subdomains were why I created extra accounts. I didn't want all my eggs in one basket. It seemed too risky.

              They certainly seemed like a good solution on paper. But didn't live up to their promise.

              I'm sure that there's more to it than that. But the bottom line was that HP scrapped the idea and moved to the current niche system after a relatively short amount of time.

  13. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 17 months ago

    "Post-Panda, Google behaved like the Romans and burned down the entire village for transgressions by a few"

    I like that quote and analogy. Can I tweet Danny Sullivan with it? Or maybe you could? Not that it does any good, but I keep hassling him to make me feel better.

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
      PaulGoodman67posted 17 months agoin reply to this

      Sure, if you're being serious and want to.

      I was just looking at one of Google's "helpful" Venn diagrams that explains EEAT, it's so useless, it's laughable.



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