I'm not sure if this Matt Cutts/Singhai interview has been shared at Hubpages, but I think it's worthy and was just published today. Cutts was told by Wired.com that the owner of Suite101.com stated that he felt the rankings were unfair towards his site in the recent algo. change. Cutts responded, "I feel pretty confident about the algorithm on Suite 101." You can read the full interview here: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/03/ … s-farms/2/
With that said, seeing his comment towards Suite101.com makes me feel that Hubpages may not bounce back after this change. What do you all think about this Q&A with the two Google employees? They seem rather satisfied with the algo. updates.
I appreciate what you are trying to say, and I will look at the Cutts interview pretty soon.
Also, some of your suggestions for improving our site are good.
Look, I was a medical research librarian for 26 years, and I write at least some of my hubs on medical subjects. Some of my hubs have citations from PubMed, and some don't. If I thought it would help, I'd add even more citations.
However, some of my best (and oldest) medical hubs are still on the first page of Google, if not in the top spot, after the recent update took place. So I can't say that my medical articles were penalized very much.
My hubs have been hit hard in areas of product reviews, and sadly, some areas where I did not do any backlinking, but I know that someone did, due to their eventual rise in the SERPS. Even with nice, organic backlinks, they still fell way down in the rankings.
Well they may be smug and happy with themselves, but I'm not happy as doing any searches or research using Google is now officially a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!
They are using outside testers like another hubber stated yesterday or the day before. They use questions like, "Does this site have excessive ads?" or "Would this be okay if it were in a magazine?" I think that the whole site has been penalized as a "mixed" or "low" site in terms of quality. This goes for Hubpages, as well.
I can just hear what will be said on the Suite 101 forum tonight...
People have complained about the ads quite a bit.
I think I will be talking a long break from writing there, I haven't written a new article since June anyway. My articles are doing okay on Google still though.
It's already on the forum over there. Just look under optimizing for SEO. It should be the first thread. What concerns me with the comments in that article is that I considered Suite101 to be pretty decent quality and iIf G thinks about Suite101 in that way, then I'm guessing that Hubpages is thought of as worse.
I think this pretty much confirms that all article sites where anyone can sign up and write on have been permanently slapped.
I agree.. Hubpages doesn't have that trust anymore --- it's a quality issue from what Matt Cutts says in that interview. I don't really blame Google though. Would you take medical or financial advice from Hubpages or similar sites? Apparently the outside testers wouldn't either. The reason why eHow survived the slap is that they use references to back up each and every article.. If an article makes a claim and it isn't written by an author with credentials, the references provided from .edu or .gov sites make the article "authoritive." Quotes are also used a great deal from high authority sites and articles aren't overloaded with ads. In fact, ads aren't even within articles. Google doesn't want medical, financial or any type of informative articles that are iffy ranking high anymore from mixed or low trusted sites. Richard Rossenblatt of Demand Media even said on Facebook the other day that he knew that eHow would be okay if they created quality and original content. Can Hubpages bounce back? Yes but it will take a lot of site cleanup and quality control. If you take a look at Google Knol (even though it stinks) you'll notice that they have options for including citations for backing up articles. What should Hubpages do? In my opinion:
1). Remove short and low quality content --- a massive site cleanup.
2). Reformat articles --- don't include ads within articles. Take a lesson from eHow and place advertisements to the left and right of content instead.
3). Ad a module to include citations (like Wikipedia) and a module specific for references at the bottom of articles.
4). Require mandatory trusted references (.edu, .gov, etc.) for certain topics --- health, finance, etc.
5). Require that articles are at least 400, 500 or even 600 words in length.
6). Provide a spelling and grammar checker. Articles will not publish if there are X amount of errors found (sometimes checkers are wrong so an allowance of a certain amount of errors should be allowed -- maybe four or five.
7). Stop allowing duplicate content.
8). Come up with article format guidelines -- so that they entire site has an article format flow.
9). Stop allowing first person for certain types of pages. Product reviews are okay but not for informative articles.
10). Ban the use of certain affiliates like ClickBank on Hubpages. ClickBank products are pretty crappy, like a lot of hubbers have stated and products are spammed to death all over the internet.
Those are my suggestions anyway.
Whilst i agree that articles should be at least a minimum of 400 words I dont think its that necessary to create "quality" content.
For example, there can be many quality articles that are done within 250 words and I think google knows that too. I doubt they actually mark pages down due to their word count, no matter what the gurus tell you.
I think the key is the CITATION and the use of trusted sources to back up the information that is being written.
So hubpages should include a module where you can add your sources of reference which should make this site much more trusted overall.
I agree with a lot of those suggestions.
I agree with:
-Massive Site Cleanup of Low Quality Content
-A references module
::I would also add that it should allow both offline and online contact and be based (somewhat) on a formal format such as MLA or APA (in other words: have author, publisher, website, date accessed, and date published sections)
-Require mandatory references for certain topics
::I wouldn't say to reformat all articles, but the option to have ads in the sidebar instead of the content should definitely exist.
-Stop allowing duplicate content
-Ban the use of clickbank
:: I agree with this one as a lot of clickbank products are mediocre, but I'm sure there are a few gems. So I would alter this to say to ban the use of clickbank links for hubbers with an authorscore less than 90
Otherwise I disagree with the other suggestions.
I would also say it might be pretty awesome if we could have a "verified credentials" box in our author profiles and/or hubs. We could send in proof of certain credentials to prove our status. To limit abuse (we don't need 1000 people trying to prove they are SEO experts by sending in analytics charts...), only specific credentials could be proven (ex: doctor, teacher, pharmacist, lawyer) and only by using scans/faxes of official proofs.
I like your idea of having a credentials box. I don't think it should be mandatory but it would help. You can write quality content as long as you have expert references to back up points or information. I also like your idea of allowing the options for different ad placements. Finally, I agree with the ClickBank scoring. That would probably work well if a Hubber has a decent score.
I think it's still too early to see the effects, as changes are still being made by G. I know there are hubs that still rank well from what I have seen and read from other hubbers. We are starting to see more google traffic
I do agree that links are important and should be included to cite references and authority sites. I'm sure HP is moving forward with the necessary changes as more insight is gathered.
As far as getting rids of ads and formatting pages like eHow, no thanks. I personally don't like the eHow layout. It's boring.
Did you read the interview from the link that I posted above? Matt Cutts is HAPPY with the algo changes and it pretty much confirms that the effects are here to stay and get much more worse when they changes are rolled out worldwide. Suite101 is a revenue sharing site that was hit just as hard as Hubpages. Suite101 doesn't allow duplicate content and has real editors looking over articles before being published. If Google is confident with giving Suite101 lower rankings then its presumed that they are okay with Hubpages rankings too. Here is what site quality testers were asked:
Do you consider this site to be authoritative? NO
Would it be okay if this was in a magazine? NO
Does this site have excessive ads? YES
Bingo... lower site rankings and they are here to stay or become more worse unless things change at Hubpages.
I think that jaymelee23 has raised a very important point about citations, especially for writers of health articles. There are so many Internet sites making numerous, wonderful claims about the health benefits of nutrients, foods or natural medicines. Quite often there seems to be no scientific research that supports these claims. I’ve seen some great, informative and - as far as I can judge - accurate health articles on HubPages, but I’ve also seen articles in which the writer has uncritically made claims which may someday be found to be correct but haven’t yet been verified by scientists. Since Google says that it asked people to decide if they would trust advice from different sites, I think that it would be very helpful to add authoritative reference sources for some of our information hubs.
I kind of agree with the citation thing but then I also think about magazines. I am struggling to think of citations being used in magazines where they compare makeup, sell toasters or have humorous writing.
I have started referring to myself as either a Doctor or Phd in some articles, and sometimes a Professor too.
My assistant Sexologist Susan is always prepared to offer young Matt a quick citation if that would help our case.
I read the interview. I kept expecting Tony Blair's spin team to be unearthed in it somewhere.
They don't care about me (or you, you and you) because they don't need to. So why should they?
The fact that they should may well be another issue altogether but hey ... doesn't money make the world go around?
I'm about past caring about what's happened. Can't change the change. Just gotta roll with it and focus on refocusing. End of Amphibian Opinion
Sadly, I fear this is probably true.
I'm an anesthesiologist writing 'expert' anesthesia articles, but because the pages have the hubpages tag in the URL, they will not be found. Sigh.
Go BING or Yahoo?
I don't think switching search engines will help your hubs do better. I'd say to just wait a week or two and traffic will go back up.
Even added together, those two are insignificant. At my site, the two of them together are 5% of Google.
Well, if the hubpages' URL is the problem, then you have to look at getting another URL...
I would wait and see what happens first though. A huge benefit to using Hubpages is that you can move your material somewhere else if the time comes.
I think Google is trying to be fair and asking for feedback from site owners if their sites have been unfairly targeted. This forum post at the Google Webmaster Central does seem to indicate that,
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/W … &hl=en
So, I would think if a site owner approaches Google and convinces them that their site in fact was unfairly targeted and can prove that - they should be open to manual review of the site, I guess, in due course. No quick fixes in sight though!!
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