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Loss of Traffic Due to "Link Churn"?

  1. iQwest profile image57
    iQwestposted 6 years ago

    First, to provide some background ...

    I stumbled across Melbel's very informational Hub (10 Proven On-Page SEO Methods for Your Website).

    I actually found Melbel's Hub doing some research trying to figure out why in the world my traffic has been horrendous on HubPages while many Hubbers have been noting a solid increase in recent traffic levels.

    A couple points of interest in trying to figure this out ...

    My traffic has actually tanked on my Blogger blogs recently as well.  However, over the past month, I've written roughly 20 lenses over at Squidoo and my traffic is solid (300-400 page-views a day for roughly 25 lenses while 30-40 page-views a day for 83 Hubs).

    Notes about my writing and another potential cause for drop in traffic ...

    I just started writing for sites like HubPages this past January.  In looking back at my Hubs and other writings, I do believe one potentially legitimate issue is that I've had a tendency to over optimize my pages for keywords.  Not on purpose, just simply trying to figure out how to do a better job ranking and wrongly erring on the side of doing too much.  With that said, this may have a negative impact on my traffic levels, but I'm hard-pressed to believe that it has taken my Hub page-views from a height of 702 (after Panda, with less Hubs, to 30-40 page-views daily now).  Other than that, my writing (good, bad, or indifferent) is my own.  Yes, I do have to paraphrase or direct quote other web pages when providing facts, but I'd say that's very minimal at best and would not fall under duplicate content issues. Additionally, my Blogger blogs have fallen off the face of the earth, too (not de-indexed, just significant drops in SERP).  Again, the only place I'm writing and not experiencing a problem is over at Squidoo.

    Coming full circle ...

    Item #5 on Melbel's Hub referenced above (10 Proven On-Page SEO Methods for Your Website) discusses "Link Churn".  Among many helpful tips, Melbel states, "When a website frequently changes the sites which it links to, Google starts to penalize the links and the site."

    After reading Melbel's statement on "Link Churn", it hit me ...

    I'm an ex-CA Amazon affiliate since the program has been dropped.  As a result, I've made extensive changes to my better performing Hubs and Blogger pages by removing all of the Amazon links / capsules / etc. and replacing them with new links pointing to landing pages on Squidoo where I can use their Amazon / eBay affiliate modules to regain the ability to monetize traffic.  I realize there's other methods I could employ, but this change was the quickest and easiest for me to implement to regain the Amazon affiliate revenue I'd lost ($25 - $200 a month).

    This massive changing of links wouldn't be categorized as frequently changing the sites in which these pages link to, but it would be a HUGE change. Additionally, it seems reasonable that I could be incurring a domain penalty since my Hubs are under the new sub-domain and my Blogger pages would be from the same main domain.

    Where to go from here ...

    I apologize for being so long-winded, but wanted to provide some background to get a better feel for what may be going on because my traffic has absolutely tanked.  And, after pouring through my Google Analytic accounts and reading Melbel's Hub, the massive amounts of links I've recently changed is the only variable that has drastically changed in my writing.  Furthermore, as noted above, my Squidoo lenses are doing fine, but these are the only pages where I haven't had to make any drastic changes to the link structure!

    Based on my explanation, do you think my pages are being penalized by Google for "Link Churn"?  And, if so, how long would you guess the penalty will last?  Lastly, is there anything I can do to get back into Google's better graces in a more timely fashion?

    Your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance!

    1. relache profile image87
      relacheposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Actually by making all your Hubs just point at Squidoo pages, it's the Hubs that you've turned into landing pages, referential ones to be more precise.  Landing pages that then point to landing pages... Do you think that may have contributed to the downturn?

      1. iQwest profile image57
        iQwestposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you, Relache!

        I could see an impact on being able to monetize a visitor and no doubt there would be a bit of a decrease in user experience (due to the extra click), but why the tanking in SERPs even across pages that don't point towards Squidoo and are merely informational in makeup?

        I should have also noted in my original post that I do have one Blogger blog performing as would be expected, but that blog was created to monetize using Google Adsense.  As a result, like my Squidoo pages, I didn't have to update the link structure on that blog either.

        1. relache profile image87
          relacheposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Wouldn't that be a function of Google having determined that part of your sudomain isn't as valuable?

          Really, I can't say and am just theorizing.  I don't follow many web convention in regards to SEO or backlinking, and almost exclusively focus on content.  As for my own experience. I've seen near pre-Panda traffic and earnings since the subdomain changeover, especially since the end of last week.

          1. iQwest profile image57
            iQwestposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Not being an expert myself, I'd agree with your statement that it would seem that Google has determined my subdomain isn't as valuable.

            With that said, I'm still leaning towards my subdomain having had a penalty because my Hub traffic went from having had only 30 page views a week ago Monday, to 36 page views this past Sunday, and then, out of the blue, my Hub traffic went to 188 page views yesterday, and is on pace for over 200 page views today.

            Getting some traffic back is definitely nice to see, but I'd really like to figure out what was going on to circumvent any inadvertent issues in the future!

            Nonetheless, thank you for taking the time to comment on the issue I was having.  I appreciate your insight!