Sub-Domain change-Author as a "Brand"-More accounts needed for Topics?

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  1. Michael Willis profile image67
    Michael Willisposted 12 years ago

    The Sub-Domain introduced to us here at Hubpages is suppose to help our hubs/writing to be separated out from the entire HP site to do I say this?...judged by Google for quality and credibility by author?

    I noticed after a slow beginning the first couple of weeks, after I made the switch-over, that my hubs seem to be doing better as far as ranking and views are on the rise. So, in the short time since the switch, overall I have benefited it appears. (Hope it continues)

    I have read some comments about the writing/Author name Brand that is now linked to our username with the hubs we write.
    To those of us who write on a variety of topics, I wonder if it would be better or more advantageous to have separate accounts with appropriate usernames for the other topics we write about and keep that name in one niche.

    I know from my own hubs that two of the niches I write about have done far better from the sub-domain change than the other hub topics. (Of course the majority of my hubs are in one topic, but the second most topic is also doing well.)

    If Google sees our hubs and username as a brand,...then would it not be better to write about topics that were all similar? Instead of a variety with one username?

    I have some articles/hubs I would like to post, but if my online name is now a brand, then should I add a new author name to author by for topics that are not in suit with the hubs I already have?

    What are your thoughts?

    1. Rik Ravado profile image85
      Rik Ravadoposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I tend to agree with you.  On sites like blogger (users also have their own subdomain) it is known to be important to stick to one topic on a subdomain and a small range of keywords in order to get good traffic and relevant ads.

      Logically this must also apply to our new subdomains on HubPages.  I'm therefore thinking in terms of separate subdomains for topics such as business, technology or education.  I'm aware that not everyone here on Hubpages agrees with this, however.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image88
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      A few of us have been having the same thought. Like Rik says, if I were starting a new blog (on Blogger or anywhere else), I would pick one topic and stick to it, because that's the best way to get ranked by Google.  So it's hard to see why that wouldn't apply to our new sub-domains.

      That said, I'm reluctant to move any of my Hubs to new accounts while traffic is improving, since they'd lose all their "age" and any backlinks they have.  So I'm holding off to see whether things settle down first.

      1. Michael Willis profile image67
        Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks Rik and Marisa.
        I do agree with not moving any existing hubs if I were to sign-up a new account and sub-domain. They would lose what has been regained.

        I have a couple of outlined articles and one almost complete that I have planned for hubs, but...since I am beginning to see the "topics" that appear to be ranking better with the Author name I have now, I have wondered if the "new" topics would do better with a different username.

        I may wait a little longer and keep watching how all of the different topics I have already  are ranking before deciding if I need another account. If all my different topics rank high enough with the existing name, maybe I should keep it.

        At least while using a real name, I am not limiting myself to a single topic.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image88
          Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Before writing any new Hubs, I'd want to work out what my most successful topic is under my existing account. If your new Hubs are not on that topic, I would open a new account for them or write them elsewhere.

          Why do you say that? It's widely accepted that if you have a blog about anything and everything, it will do less well than a blog that's focussed on one topic. So that applies to your existing account too.  Mark Knowles used to say the importance of having keywords in your domain name was over-rated and he could get a blog to rank for anything, regardless of domain name.

          1. Michael Willis profile image67
            Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            That makes sense, Marissa. Of course my sports hubs I would continue here since they do rank very well for me.
            I have a couple that are totally different than I have written here. Those would probably need to be under a different account/sub-domain.
            What I would wonder about for a new account is the "newness" of a new sub-domain in relation to Google ranking.

          2. Will Apse profile image89
            Will Apseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            If you look at the people who have reported doing well from the domain switch (many people in a range of threads) none of them are niche writers.

            This is one those SEO driven topics- in other words, nobody has any evidence for what they are saying, only the speculations of the SEO rumour mill.

            Many sites that cover every conceivable topic never suffered as a result of Panda- from Wikipedia to Squidoo to all those magazine style sites like Askmen.

            Hubpages was hit because of too much poor content. Sub-domains insulate good content from the bad.

            At the same time if you want to develop some real expertise in a particular area and produce high quality content as result that could be a good way to go.

            Its the quality that matters, forget the SEO speculations.

            1. Marisa Wright profile image88
              Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              That's true, but those sites are huge and have considerable age and thousands of backlinks. Because of their size, they have a large number of posts on each and every subject covered. 

              You can't compare that to a new sub-domain consisting of only a small number of articles, which means there may be only one or two articles on each topic.

              I don't think it's true to say "nobody has any evidence" for the importance of having a "niche".  True, we don't have any statements from the search engines, but we can draw on the combined experience of people who've been working online for years.

              Do you have years of experience online to back up your statement that "It's the quality that matters, forget the SEO speculations"? 

              With the introduction of sub-domains, HubPages has changed. You now have to compare with sites like Blogger or, not Squidoo or the old HP, because each of our sub-domains stands alone.

              1. Will Apse profile image89
                Will Apseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                I really don't understand why people don't get the fact that quality matters. If you can't produce it you will not do well whatever SEO tricks you employ.

                Also, let me point out that new accounts on Hubpages did as well during the test period of sub-domains (according to HP staff) as they did pre-panda.

                New writers should not be misled into thinking that they get no juice from Hubpages now. They do. So do all of our sub-domains.

                1. Mark Ewbie profile image80
                  Mark Ewbieposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  What happens tomorrow when all of HP splits into sub domains?

                  1. Will Apse profile image89
                    Will Apseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    We all die.

                    Might as well get it over with now.

                2. profile image0
                  EmpressFelicityposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  Are you sure? lol

                  I tested this out using the search term _oolong tea weight loss_ - this is what came up as the second result (link has been broken to avoid giving them a backlink which they really don't deserve IMO):


                  It's English Jim, but not as we know it:

                  "Besides, it is very well known fact that a lot of celeb persons drink Oolong Wuyi tea to keep their body mass in the norm, including Oprah Winfrey, Rachael Ray and others."

                  You're surely not telling me that this person rose to their number 2 position on the basis of, er, quality alone?

                3. Eric Graudins profile image60
                  Eric Graudinsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  And what I don't understand is why some people who have obviously never used google search and looked at the results don't get the fact that a nebulous attribute like quality (which a machine cannot identify) is the only thing that matters in google search results.

                4. Marisa Wright profile image88
                  Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  Will, I'm always keen to learn more about earning money online and if you were able to produce anything to back up those statements, I'd be all ears.

                  However, looking at your profile I can't see that you have any experience of making money online other than HubPages.  As we know, what worked on HubPages last year is no longer relevant - that's why HP is making such big changes.

                  If you do have relevant experience and can share some more detail which substantiates your views, please do.

                  You can't really conclude anything from the testing because it was for such a short period.  And you've just seen Lily - one of the beta testers - say that after her initial boost, she's gone backwards again.

                  1. Will Apse profile image89
                    Will Apseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    My detailed experience boils down to doing the best I can and picking up a reasonable income as a result.

                    I would avoid thinking of all the bad stuff that might happen and just go out and try.

                5. thisisoli profile image72
                  thisisoliposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  They get significantly less Will, since they are no longer under the Hubpages domain trust score, they have to build a new domain score from scratch.

                  The benefit that users stil get from Hubpaages is - wait for it - backlinks from Hubpages site structure.

            2. Eric Graudins profile image60
              Eric Graudinsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              And how, pray tell, can a person who trawls the web cutting, pasting, and regurgitating the words of others to write "reviews" of products he has not used or even seen, lecture the people here about "quality" ?????

            3. thisisoli profile image72
              thisisoliposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Since quality content is a key part of SEO you clearly have something very mixed up.

              Just so you know the websites owned by all these SEO people were for the most part unaffected by panda.

    3. Lily Rose profile image87
      Lily Roseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I have been wondering if what you're saying here isn't part of my problem.  After the subdomain change (I was in the Beta group) I quickly regained my pre-Panda stats and was very pleased.  Suddenly a week ago my traffic plumetted to worse than the initial Panda hit and has not recovered (yet?) and I had been wondering if it could have anything to do with my varied content.

      I have over 300 hubs and to move the main "categories" that I cover to different subdomains would be a huge undertaking, not to mention a huge pain in the ass!  I'm not sure where to go from here...

      1. profile image0
        TopUniverseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Sorry to hear this news. Will see how other beta group testers respond about their traffic.

      2. Marisa Wright profile image88
        Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Aaaargh, Lily, that's not good news.

        I'm still dithering myself, but I do think I'll eventually move some Hubs so that my main account is about one broad topic.  Based on everything we've ever been told about having your own domain, it just makes sense. 

        I'm sure you've seen the advice so many times - if you want to make money from a website or blog, pick a niche and stick to it, so the search engines will find it easy to categorize it.  If I've trusted that advice up till now, why would I willfully ignore it now?

  2. Mark Ewbie profile image80
    Mark Ewbieposted 12 years ago

    Yes, I'd like a lead on this from someone, HP, anyone?  Some of my hubs are now ranked decently while others are not, I haven't quite spotted a pattern but the brand thing does concern me.

  3. Alastar Packer profile image72
    Alastar Packerposted 12 years ago

    Right Marisa. Say if one has an approx. equal number of hubs under  Philosophy & Religion, Pets & Animals, Education & Science & Books & Lit. and most all have gotten better page placement  along with an increase in views. That would appear to mean Google is judging a site in its totality not constitute parts. Besides, if one had to write on only dog stories to get good ranking & traffic on any particular writing platform, they would then spread out their work all over the place which doesn't seem like it would be advantageous to any party concerned. Thats just a take on the situation. Hopefully correct for all of us.

  4. Sundaymoments profile image60
    Sundaymomentsposted 12 years ago

    I have used multiple accounts before here on Hubpages and really can attest that it is only more work and still very little Google money.

    Though Google likes your hub account to stay on one subject (Or Niche) and truly your keyword density will be more deeply rooted and richer by focusing on that one niche; however without the needed experience with ad-words (Keywords) you will find the same problems no matter how many Hub Accounts you open.

    I have had more success writing on three subjects within one account. Keeping those three subjects as the only niches I write about.

    Google will recognize these niches and eventually give you the ranking and traffic you are looking for.

    Blogging (Hubbing) takes time to gain success. There are many rules to finding the success you are wanting. If you apply the rules of Hubpages you will find that most of the rules are only to help you gain blogging success through them.

    Hub Pages makes money when we do; so they have established these rules to help there site stay rich with great content and still allowing everyone to make money.

    So instead of opening multiple accounts read the many blogs on the subject. I can recommend Aevans as one Hubber who has many years of talented experience. smile

    1. thisisoli profile image72
      thisisoliposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Squidoo was hit by an algorythm cahnge a long tiem back, it already has a domain trust dampner on it, which mean changes after Panda were less noticable. In some ways Squidoo profited from the first Panda update, because it meant less competition (One of my squidoo lenses, rarely catered for, overtook my Hub).

      Also - Squidoo did not make huge knee jerk changes as did Hubpages.  The sites that took the punches dropped once and then began to reise, the sites that kept changing everything were the ones that lost out.

  5. Richieb799 profile image77
    Richieb799posted 12 years ago

    Well, my traffic has been up really well the last week without the subdomain but since I secured my Adsense check for next month I decided to take the plunge 2 minutes ago! I will be monitoring if my great traffic drops or rises based on this weeks great traffic roll
    I saw my first ever 98 Hubberscore yesterday as well smile

    1. profile image0
      TopUniverseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Don't worry, most of them gaining traffic after subdomain switch. You will be realize it after 3 to 5 days when your hubs gradually reindexed.

      All the best.

  6. Richieb799 profile image77
    Richieb799posted 12 years ago

    Marisa do you know any tools that can't check in bulk to see which hubs have been re-indexed?

  7. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image82
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 12 years ago

    I'm following this thread.  I'm very hopeful about the subdomain switch because I want my content to stand on it's own for obvious reasons.

    I'm very interested in this "author authority" thing for many reasons - but what concerns me is that I can write with great authority on at least two of my main niches, acoustic guitars, and air conditioning things. . . .but I also write about a dozen other things as well.

    Am I hurting myself by writing in too many niches?  I hope not - because I also want my name to be a brand of it's own, as I do go by my name - and if I were to find that it would be best to have multiple accounts. . . .I'd still be using my name, or I just wouldn't do it from multiple accounts.

    1. thisisoli profile image72
      thisisoliposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Wesman, Google have told us that they are not using Author trust across website YET, but it seems very likely that they will do soon.

      As to whether or not writing across many subjects will harm your 'authority', thats a good question, which we unfortunately cannot answer until people have had time to run some test.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image88
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      No, you won't hurt your "brand" by writing in too many niches, but you could very well hurt your income. 

      As Amie demonstrated with her blogs, Google will rank your site or blog higher if it specializes in one topic.  Readers are also more likely to take you seriously, because you sound like an authority on your subject.   

      You could have one HP account for each of your main topics plus a third one "just for fun".  They can all still contribute to your "brand" - there's nothing to stop you mentioning your other accounts on your HP profiles, and you can link them all on your Google profile.

  8. thisisoli profile image72
    thisisoliposted 12 years ago

    Can I just clarify soemthing here, since Will seems to be perpetuating a false fact about SEO being unrelated to quality.

    Lets say you own a shop in a maze of streets with about 700,000 stores.  These stores vary in quality.  The higher quality stores generate repeat trade, and through this a little more passing trade, and plenty of good reviews.

    The stores that give a crap service get treated like crap by their customers, they don't get any reviews.

    Marketing can help both of these achieve more traffic, but for the marketing to truly succeed, the store itself needs to provide quality.

    SEO and IM is about combining quality with marketing to get sites to the top of Google.  Just like combining quality with marketing in a real life store is the best way to succeed.

  9. Michael Willis profile image67
    Michael Willisposted 12 years ago

    I am glad that I went ahead and posted this forum thread. I do appreciate everyone adding their input to this discussion.
    I by no means am not a SEO expert, but keep learning as I go, as well as from others who share their knowledge and experiences.

    I realize that the sub-domain change is still new to Hubpages, so any results are still unproven. And that any results in the very short term can't be taken too seriously, yet.

    What I have noticed from my own hubs:

    1. Sports hubs (which is my main niche)- have done well since the sub-domain and kept their links even after Panda.
    2. Political hubs (written with humor and some sarcasm)-appear to be about the same, but this week a little boost.
    3. Recipe Hubs (which have been the most consistent with max links in hub stats link on page)- These have suffered the most with lost links! Incoming links started disappearing after the Panda hit. These were also the slowest to get re-indexed outside of Google. The Recipe hubs stayed the same after Panda, but not after the sub-domain switch. This has been my biggest disappointment and I wonder if I should create a new account and move these.
    4. Entertainment hubs (only 2)-These have lost the most with page views, not ranking. These 2 just may be a natural slump due to the niche.
    5. Comedy- Haven't had these online long enough to tell a real change.

    The re-indexing from Google after the sub-domain has included all hubs. Yahoo has all but 1 re-indexed and Bing finally just over half. AOL has all but one as of last check.

  10. profile image0
    Amie Warrenposted 12 years ago

    I've read SEO and Google specialists say that Google is looking for specialists, so a separate subdomain per topic would be better. Otherwise, they treat it like a personal journal blog, and they are ranked lower than just about anything. I have 5 Blogspot blogs, and they are all on different topics, and tied together under another main blog I use mostly as an entry point. They all have different subdomains, though. Individually, they each do much better than the main blog, simply because they are specialized to different topics. Plus, having them separated like that, I can see what topic is worth continuing with and which isn't. I recently closed one and put the domain name up for sale, because there is too much well-established competition for it, and it wasn't making enough to pay for itself after almost six months. I think the same principles could apply here. If one subdomain isn't doing well, you would have the option to take it down.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image88
      Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      This is exactly what I was trying to say, and thanks for posting your experience which illustrates the point perfectly.

      Our subdomains on HubPages are now exactly like a Blogspot blog.  The only difference is that we get some backlinks from HubPages' site structure.

    2. Michael Willis profile image67
      Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I wish there was a way to "relocate" some of our hubs to an additional sub-domain (if we choose to create another account) instead of having to "delete" the hub and write it again under a new sub-domain. Why could we not "move" a hub or two and HP use the re-direct as they did when the sub-domain was first introduced here?

      1. Eric Graudins profile image60
        Eric Graudinsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It can't be done because HubPages has decided that they will not provide this facility.

        Understandable, because it involves some work for them. If thousands of people wanted to do this, the resources needed to do this would be significant.

        But if they decided to charge a couple of dollars for each hub you wanted to be moved, then this could be a nice little earner for them. You could ask them.

        1. Michael Willis profile image67
          Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          That could be a good idea! I am sure they would not consider this, but an upper level with a fee for extra support or more features would be nice. And they could leave the "free" part the same as is.


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