I'm going to stop looking to see where my hubs are... I just checked again for a hub and now I see that some site took my place; the URL is the name of the product. I looked at the cache article and it's written poorly. There is no about page. How does that stuff rise?
The worm Has Turned ^^^^^ UP!
I have seen a slight rise in traffic and lots of red arrows.
Anyone else seeing an improvement at last!
From my own perspective and testbed websites the biggest factor in the Google ranking change is down to duplicate content, my testbed sites with duplicate content and spun content dropped like stones.
My sites comprised 100% of unique content rose.
My overall opinion is that a large part of this algorithm change has targetted duplicate content, this has affected domain trust as well as page trust. So if a site with duplicate content has a single page with duplicate content, that page will take a big hit, but the overall domain trust will drop as well. To put it bluntly, the duplicate content on Hubpages has affected us all.
I would also be interested in knowing if Google has increased the impact low quality spelling and grammar has on rankings.
I think it is manual targeting of sites, despite what Google has said. Otherwise the "good" pages would not have been hit as hard and the "bad" ones - with lots of duplicate content, low word count and few backlinks.
I have seen a response from Google that they are "tweaking" the algo, but I suspect this is merely tweaking the penalty applied to the 'hit list' of sites.
I find it hard to believe that a duplicate content page would downgrade its neighbors on the site, except by manual targeting.
It doesn't have to be manual.
It could be
Is the percentage of duplicate content greater than X%? Add 1 point for each 5% above
Are there more than X internal links pointing to more than X% of pages? Add 1 point each
Are more than X% of pages receiving links fro known spammy sites? Add points.
and so on.
the problem is that we don't know what caused this or even if Google meant for HP to be affected.
Are you kidding ? Splogs, autoblogs and scraper sites are ranking high right now on google.
I found this link interesting (by the way, I've been searching on google.co.uk because .com is screwy).
http://bloggerlens.com/hubpages-just-lo … r-for-now/
Besides the fact that there are many good writers here, hubpages has indeed become a linking farm, to a significant degree since I have seen enough of backlinking only hubs. I liked the article, though I'm not a good writer, I feel the same as this writer. I've made the decision to focus on my own existing sites and may create new blogs, I feel that is safer and more profitable in the long run. I've spent too much time on hubs, but gained little so far, now it just gets worse without knowing when and if things would turn around
that is an interesting analysis from a writer here..
there will always be gamers and yep, they probably helped to bring on the slap.
http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/google-far … after.html
This is interesting too - mentions Hubpages in there and why the drop off
lol - You would think writing and reading comprehension would go hand in hand.
One big thing to consider I think is expertise level. Anyone on here can write about anything. I mean can people really trust medical advice about chemotherapy from a 17 year old on hubpages just writing whatever for the heck of it?
Here's a quote from a Google exec:
But after this change, the company asked additional questions about top sites to judge their quality, including “Would you feel comfortable giving this site your credit card number?” and “Would you feel comfortable taking medical advice for your child from this site?,” according to Singh.
Would I take real medical advice from HP? No.
it was previously linked.
if it is any consolation - I would not even take fashion advice from yenajeon.
I agree with @yenajeon on credibility part. There are many religious quacks giving medical advice using hubpages platform. For example, vaccine causing autism hub - there is no credible reference on such hubs. You can find many such hubs here.
Whilst some do write low value content just to reap the revenue, we're not all like that. I always write from the same perspective. I'm honest, I'm fair and that's the way that I write.
And maybe that won't win me much in terms of online revenue but that's fine.
Anyway - my point is this: you're right to a degree. But there are still many hubbers like me that put 100% into their hubs, everytime they write one.
Fine, google may be weighing the crap. Well let's get fair here - what about weighing up the quality?
I don't think they were necessarily talking about bad-quality vs. good-quality. I think it's more about authority or expertise on a subject. If you worked as a nurse for 15 years, why not talk about nurse-experiences, you have the authority. But someone who knows nothing about fashion speaking like an expert on it? Or more serious, someone who writes about cancer procedures who is not an oncologist is dangerous, no?
Oh ok. So you are an expert in everything you write about? You have studied the fine art of *insert whatever is relative* in order to write about it authoritatively?
I am a qualified 'expert' in various fields. I'm most definitely not an expert in history, yet I've written a fair few articles (not just on HP) related to history. I read. A lot. I travel. I ask questions. I need to be a historian in order to produce relevant, informative content that enriches and engages the reader?
There's also a vast difference between telling someone that to eat mulched grapes, peppers and sesame seeds will cure a horrible disease or affliction, and advising someone on how to get great looking hair.
Here is the link I posted earlier in this forum, it is worth looking at the links at the end of the article too.
In the piece linked here I found it interesting that it said
"Singhal admits the change might not have been perfect, since “no algorithm is 100 percent accurate.”
“We deeply care about the people who are generating high-quality content sites, which are the key to a healthy web ecosystem,” Singhal said. “However, we don’t manually change anything along these lines.”
“Therefore any time a good site gets a lower ranking or falsely gets caught by our algorithm — and that does happen once in a while even though all of our testing shows this change was very accurate — we make a note of it and go back the next day to work harder to bring it closer to 100 percent.”
“That’s exactly what we are going to do, and our engineers are working as we speak building a new layer on top of this algorithm to make it even more accurate than it is,”
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/03/ … e-effects/
As I see it, one of the advantages of the internet was that who you were didn't matter, and everyone had a chance to judge what you said based on their own critical thinking. If we have to depend on authority, then it means no dissenting opinions on important topics will ever be heard.
GOOGLE IS PENALISING SITES!
The article below is the clearest clue that Google has a site 'classifier' that it uses to rank the quality of sites and to penalise accordingly.
Hubpages has been classified as 'Poor' - all it's articles have been tarred with the same brush and penalised.
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/03/ … ates-farms
Singhal: I won’t call out any site by name. However, our classifier that we built this time does a very good job of finding low-quality sites. It was more cautious with mixed-quality sites, because caution is important.
Wired.com: So you would say to this guy, “Sorry, but we’ve figured out what a low-quality site is, and that’s you”?
Cutts: In some sense when people come to Google, that’s exactly what they’re asking for — our editorial judgment. They’re expressed via algorithms. When someone comes to Google, the only way to be neutral is either to randomize the links or to do it alphabetically. If we don’t have the ability to change how we rank things to try to improve the search engine, that goes right to the crux of everything. [Cutts is referring is the “search-neutrality argument” proposed by Google’s foes, which contends the company should accept oversight to make sure it doesn’t play favorites.]
But where the backlink comes from is also of vital importance. If it comes from another web 2.00 site, forget it. The hub I mentioned has a couple of backlinks at PR0 from web 2s, but I don't think they count. In fact I know they don't.
I've spent way too much time this week obsessively reading all of the threads here, other news articles and outside forums on this whole subject. The masses collectively have come up with a checklist of what the algo consisted of: dupe content, stolen work, in-text ads, blah, blah, blah.
You can literally go down the list of sites that got smacked and check them off as meeting the criteria. Except for WiseGeek. That's the one that really stymies me. There is no duplicate, stolen, spun or thin content on there. Their articles are authoritative, concise and (almost always--I found a misspelling once) grammatically correct and well-written. The only thing anyone has said negatively about them is their ad layout (which is horrendous).
I use them frequently as the start to my research. Their articles are well-rounded, comprehensive and concise. And believe me -- it's really, really difficult to get accepted as a writer there (I haven't applied, but many friends of mine write there or applied there.) And the editorial staff, from what I've heard, makes Hitler look like a pussycat.
If they hadn't gotten smacked, I would have felt like I had a much better handle on things.
Maybe with this site it is not the content but the way they link could be the issue. As I see this there is the 'stuff' and then there is how the stuff is 'found' - the links are the how stuff is found - and if they are solid hierarchical links then that should indicate authority as a machine countable indicator of quality.
IF this was my decision...
AND I wanted to make even more money from my already multi-billion dollar advertising program...
THEN would I change an algorithm to define search results with sites that are more advertising friendly...
Oh, the possibilities...
I see Mahalo have reacted pretty quickly, does this mean they don't expect to recover any time soon?
http://www.stateofsearch.com/did-google … -of-staff/
Mahalo's been pretty messed up for a while. They've flipped between freelancers to in-house writers for quite some time, firing a boatload of people with each change of business model. I can't imagine they were on very strong footing going into this. And any established freelancer writer out there would have had to be literally starving to even have attempted to work with them ever again. Calcanis makes Zuckerberg look mature. I'm totally not surprised he made a knee-jerk reaction like this.
Mahalo was kind of awful, though. I was one of their freelance writers for the videogame guides. It used to pay pretty well and actually be the only part of the site that was well respected. Then they switched to paying their writers funbucks and it got ugly. I was done with it real fast.
Well after a week of my Hub Pages being "okay" today Google finally put the stake in it's heart.
I have single blogs getting almost as much traffic as my 200+ Hubs combined.
My traffic is like a seesaw, the first two days that they changed the algo, it was down a bit (ten percent), then it has risen for two days. Now it is down thirty percent for the last three days. RPM and CTR are both low the past week which is below my averages. I am suspecting my informational hubs are good and are still there, so they don't click for further info anymore, LOL
This past week :
The views in my sales hubs in my another account decreased by almost fifty percent views. I didn't do backlink for those hubs. Individual product hubs however fare better than multiple product hubs. My sales hubs with my main account (part of 60dc) is faring better.
The rest of my hubs (information related) is seesawing in G search engine (some keywords will rise and then fall).
It's hard for me to have faith is adult 'logic' from Google sometimes, especially when Microsoft and Google recently displayed childlike bickering in the open in public on Twitter. Something like this: Google" "Bing stole our stuff from our search engine." Bing: "We most certainly did not do any such thing." And on and on. Not exactly grownup adult responses from rather large companies. No love loss between Google and Microsoft.
Quantcast does not show any meaningful recovery.
Hubpages now ranked 53, was 49 a few days back.
I wondered - has it been a week now? Is it time to panic yet?
Nope, don't think it's time to panic yet - maybe time to start on the panic plan though - you know Day 1 - mild panic, Day 2 - Head in teh sand followed by slight hysteria etc etc...
Seriously though I don't think a week is enough time for this to have settled, I think there is still serious 'tweaking' going on, and panicing at the moment would simply be a waste of good panic power.
I'm going with the 'keeping my fingers crossed' approach for the next few days - will review Monday and maybe move to getting the lucky horseshoe out
Well it's not so bad for me, I'm just an amateur with a few rubbish hubs.
I wasn't previously in the top 50 US sites and now 53.
Don't do yourself down, your hubs are great, but right now there really is no point panicing because until the ride stops you don't know where it's all going to end up.
It might get better, it might get worse, it might stay the same - each outcome may demand a different approach so I think we just have to wait it out for a bit longer.
Mark you do not need to panic! Just keep on writing and wait and see how it all pans out. If you stop writing, you may regret it in a few months time. Some traffic is better than no traffic, and the only way you are going to increase your traffic is by working - either promoting or writing
Panic as in yank your content and take it elsewhere?
I don't think so.
Certainly I am prepared to do that, but I have always been ready for that. That's just normal preparedness: you have backups because any site can disappear for all kinds of reasons.
I'll admit to being concerned, but I came here mostly to post things that don't fit well at my main site, so if I yank 'em, what am I going to do with them? They'll have to go somewhere new where they have no age, no links, no nothing.
So, at least for March and quite probably through July, I'll let them sit here even if it stays just as bad as it is. If by July things are still looking bad, well, I'll probably start finding homes for them.
Of course other people who have much more time in here and who had much more income pre-Farmer (actually "Big Panda" according to Google) might need to move sooner than that - if - IF - they have convinced themselves that there is no chance for HP to recover.
I can't imagine how anyone can convince themselves of that one week in.
OK thanks for your answer, and CM Hypno. I have nowhere else to go, and had already wondered about increasing my output - although I don't want to end up writing low quality spam as a result. Wait a minute...
For me it has been a bit of a blow because I was doing that "give it 6 months" thing like you said - and then in month five they kick me in the testicles. I hadn't expected that I must say.
In terms of increasing the level of bile which I think all 'satirical' writers need though - it has been most useful.
Look at it this way, if you keep creating content, you will have more to move, should you choose to do so? Always a silver lining!
But there's a lost opportunity cost - having non-performing content for six months - when it could have been making money.
Yes, but that's a tough calculation.
You have x pages of varying ages with varying backlinks.
Move them elsewhere now and they are all brand new and organic backlinks are gone. You MAY be able to get some of those back, but not necessarily.
If you are sure HP will never recover, of course you'd move them now. But if you are not, where do your losses match the losses from moving?
Not easy to figure..
The only reason I write for HubPages is having the ability of removing my Hubs, PC. I learned my lessons with content sites by losing lots of my work to them. I now see those stolen articles outranking mine even though they are nowhere near as informative as those published here. Quite depressing.
Have done some number crunching. I have two accounts, my main one with 92 hubs in it and another salesy one with 72 hubs.
I got Google Analytics to add up all my page views in each account, over two week-long periods. The first week was 18th - 24th Feb inclusive, and the second (during which I gather the Google update was carried out) was 25th Feb - 3rd March incl.
For my main account, my page views dropped by 2.2% from one week to the next.
For my salesy account, my page views dropped by 14.5%. FWIW, I have done very little backlinking on this account, which is 8 months old.
I think the roll out has begun now.....I did a comparison on analytics for a week before the change to the week after per country
US traffic down 56%
UK traffic down 18%
Canada down 20%
SA down 31%
India and Philippines Up, though not by much lol
I'm not panicking but it has gotten worse over the last few days.
A couple of my product hubs have held up (they are mutliple product ones) but most have tanked. The majority of my 60DC hubs have dived too.
I can feel a backlinking campaign coming on
I'm seeing the same thing. I had gained back over half of the traffic I lost in round 1, but the bottom fell out yesterday. I've lost everything I gained back and more. It looks like my info hubs are taking it hard now.
I'm in the same boat Susana but is it the right time to be thinking about that just yet. Even the Hp hierarchy have said give google a bit of time to sort things out. You may find that things may pick up again in a few weeks without doing much. Keep your fingers crossed anyway.
Sorry to hear it Bryan. You may be right, I'm a bit all over the place really I'm working on a couple of other sites, but I have this feeling of needing to take some control over what's happening with my HP content and not just being passive to the whim of google. I hate feeling powerless - it's not good for me.
If I do start putting more effort into promotion, it probably won't be for a few weeks anyway. Patience is a vitue......lol
I think your right patience is the name of the game, I also have started a new site today. Nothing focuses your mind like seeing your earnings shriveling up. And remember to backlink some of your hubs from your site. As they say, every little helps.
It's either the next wave or it's down to the usual weekend dip. Whatever it is, I'm down to an all time low. I getting the kind of traffic I was getting a year or so back, with a lot less hubs.
Or maybe I'm not down to an all time low, maybe there's lower yet to come *nods*
I'm in the same boat traffic wise, not quite as low as a year ago but about the same as September.
Yes, I fear it could get even worse. Just gotta work my butt off on other stuff I guess!
I read in one site which analyzed what happened to the site 'ehow" that there is still continuously tweaking of search algo.
http://www.businessinsider.com/google-c … 011-3?op=1
I have given up attempting to make sense of this. My overall HP google.com traffic is down 80%. There is no pattern or system on how it's been applied to my own different types or styles of hubs. I will leave it to HP staff, who can see many more hubs than I can to determine a pattern. But I bet there isn't one.
This is not a slap at affiliating marketing, as it has been in the past. My own affiliate sites are doing fine.
It feels like there's a Top Ten Penalty being applied to HP though. They'll put anything in the top 10 spots except a hub or other "farm site" icluding 5 pages from Amazon or Nordstroms or Macy's, which is what I'm seeing in a lot of my niches.
For me to spend any more time on this is nonproductive time and I need to work on other things. My new resolution is to check in on my HP traffic stats at the end of the day and that's it.
I only have 14 hubs, but my 4 top scored ones are still on the first page of Google. Two have PR, one 2 and one 3. They are mostly hubs that have good content. I don't make a lot of money with so few hubs, but it seems like my hubs have stayed where they were.
If they are good for you What's the traffic like?
My traffic is up 33% from the previous week. I do think that if we work at it, we can make everything better for ourselves - seeing what categories of hubs are dropping. My content is medical, technology, meetings and presentations, and home improvement. Those are the four that I checked on that are still on page 1 I still have to check the others, but those are the ones with most traffic on an ongoing basis and are still on Page 1. Remember, I only have 14 hubs.
My traffic is completely down... probably 80% ish. It's been like that for the past while and earnings have gone WAY down. A few of my pages are still on googles first page but still a lot less traffic, confused?! On Google chrome a lot of my pages are still first page but I checked on internet explorer and they didnt appear on the first page. Does it differ with each Google search engine?
http://www.potpiegirl.com/2011/03/my-th … go-change/
Another interesting article on suspected factors in the algorithm
I found this pretty funny:
With HubPages, I am wondering if their loss after this update might also have to do with all the “no-follow” links that are on the site. Unless you work your tail off and improve your author score to a certain level, all your out-bound links in your Hubs are no-followed.
Work your tail off?
yup - to get to a 75? I think that is the number.
I do think it is an interesting thought about the types of articles. I find a lot of Forex and insurance articles while hub hopping that appear to be very thin. The poetry hubs would be another interesting variable to look at - if they played a factor in the algorithm.
That was a very interesting read. Thanks for finding it. I think the author made some very valid points.
This may sound like a really stupid question to folks who understand this subject better than I do (just about everyone then ) how search engines and algorithms work - but are they purely to do with text or do they involve page layout and images too? I mean is it just about the words or does positions of photos and number of ads etc. influence the SEO of the page?
Hope I have worded that in an understandable way, the first sentence looks a bit clumsy to me.
The google algo is very sophisicated, it looks at everything you mentioned and more. Apparently, it even can evaluate whether or not you've quoted people in your hub or work. After reading Matt Cutts' comments and hearing how they've been conducting manual reviews, I've decided that magazine quality writing and layout is the gold standard.
I bought a journalism writing texbook yesterday, to learn how the pros cover a story and that's going to be my new standard of web writing. It looks like I'm going to have to combine my marketing background with a journalistic approach.
For example I was writing a story about psychic readings and actually went and interviewed three psychics and learned about their craft and why they located on Cape Cod. They'll be heavily quoted in the article.
Anything I write from now on, will be with the intent of having to pass a manual screening.
If you want to see what google crawler sees when it checks your website then download lynx. Google crawlers check img tag for information related to your images. They're rolling out video sitemaps feature in crawler to index video content on your page. Crawler doesn't pay attention to things like layout, position of ads, photo position etc because page is rendered similar to what text browsers normally render. For other factors like page loading time/navigation/usability i guess there is something else used to judge the quality of page.
Mutiny I echo Nelle.
Think about the recent contest. The money/financial niche, how many thousands of articles were published in a four week period? All were focused, SEO was encouraged, in fact it was required in order for hubs to included in the judging process.
Whilst I don't doubt the quality of what was published, that was an awful lot of content, over and above the usual amount, dropped into the internet from one site in a short period of time.
Yes, I do think these contests are a very clear signal that Google may (MAY) not like.
Good point FD. If the theory in that second article is correct then all that finance content would have been a big minus point for hubpages.
Maybe we are over-saturated in other topics as well such as make money online.....
@mutiny - Thanks for posting that link, most informative.
@PDH - The article you posted is an interesting read as well, thanks
@lontach - Google chrome saves your browsing history unless you manually remove it and then pause it. It will save other data as well unless you uncheck the boxes to disallow, so it's highly likely that you'll see more accurate results with another browser.
Quality is more than just grammar or the credentials fo the writer. I think G. wants to see the top of their SERPs moving the level of information forward, not just going to other websites, taking their info, rehashing it and combining it. I've seen a lot of people here write that that's what they do for their research for their info hubs.
As you move up the SERPs your level of scrutiny apparently increases. Hubpages has recently garnered a lot of publicity and actually started calling hubbers "Everyday Experts." Sometimes to make money on the internet invisible is a very good place to be.
Thank you Nelle Hoxie I appreciate you taking the time to answer this query. I have been reading your posts since the changes and respect how helpful and knowledgeable you are in them. Your experience and advice is useful.
I will now concentrate on writing more in depth about subjects I understand and try to avoid the 'scatter-gun approach' that is at times tempting.
Quality is more than just grammar or the credentials fo the writer. I think G. wants to see the top of their SERPs moving the level of information forward, not just going to other websites, taking their info, rehashing it and combining it. I've seen a lot of people here write that that's what they do for their research for their info hubs.]
You may be right, but the data disagrees. My tax and audit hubs, where I use 28 years of experience, provide real life instances, and offer links and solutions used by tax professionals, were slapped the hardest. I am an authority in the industry. I train other CPAs and enrolled agents. This authority means nothing. Google has decided to kiss the a$$ of TurboTax instead of providing relevant information.
Now, my hubs that I consider light reading and are more tongue-in-cheek have held up better. So, Google results say: Write fluff.
This brings up the real issue: relevance. Google results have become less relevant. My personal searches have provided such poor results I had to move to Bing and Yahoo to get anything close to what I wanted. If Google is less relevant, should we not do as Google demands and go elsewhere?
I think all content providers need to look hard at moving to a different search engine platform. Bing wants in bad and this is a perfect opportunity for Bing to take market share. Once content is written for Bing's platform, Google will no longer be king. Remember, Yahoo was king of the walk not so long ago and it didn't last forever.
If Google wants relevant search results in the tax arena, perhaps they should rank real authority higher. Articles written by a member of the team that wrote the IRS's first efile program should rank well? Right? Nope! A late comer has more authority: TurboTax. The IRS audits more TurboTax prepared returns than any other software. The IRS says this is because Turbo prepared returns have the most errors and are easy audits for bringing in additional revenue. Still, Google considers this superior authority. With authority like that who needs enemies.
"Authority" is a great buzzword in a blog, Google, but you actually have to mean it.
I think the people who were hired to "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" the search results probably caused a lot of craziness. They were short term independent contractors given a short amount of instruction from google.
My guess is that Google is going to take some time to see what kind of input they're getting and before rolling this out internationally, they might have to redo this over again.
I agree with Mutiny92, if we enforce MAJOR rule changes like Squidoo then we could probably be back to where we were before.
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