Everyone I know here seems to have their Google traffic back. I don't know about Randy, he hasn't posted recently.
I am taking a long hard look at my writing, and I guess it falls at every hurdle, somehow.
Yet when I search Google for many topics, I see first page results that I should be able to beat easily, because the topic has not been well-researched, contains infactual information and is badly written, not to mention copied from reliable sources.
Some of those front page results are from other hubbers, who have written hubs that could have been written better by a 10 year old.
What is wrong here?
Izzy, how much has your traffic declined and when did it start declining? I got Google/Panda slapped bad but have recovered. I have noticed another dip though in the last few weeks.
My traffic has declined now to July 2010 levels, when I had been here 9 months, and had very little traffic to speak of, and a fraction of the hubs I have now.
I was never one of those hubbers who came here and found instant traffic.
Round about July 2010 I learned how to write for search engines, and saw my traffic levels soar right through until February, 2011 when Panda hit.
Even so, I saw a 50% decline in traffic that slowly rose throughout spring and summer.
Then subdomains were brought in and I saw a huge rise followed by an almost total collapse on August 10th 2011.
I should probably shut my mouth at this point, because there are those that would say I have many hubs under my belt which are frankly embarrassing. And they may well be right.
I find the whole field of marketing to be embarrassing.
We rave on about products we have no experience of, but you know, you have to be rich to be able to afford to buy and try everything.
That said, I have never promoted any products that a lot of people have described as a rip-off.
I do actually check these things, even though I have not bought or tried them.
So it is not my marketing skills (or lack off) that are held up to public scrutiny, but something else.
I know not what. I write well enough to correct other people's errors, but still Google hates me - why?
I wish I could help you but I have no idea why. As someone who joined after Panda, I simply can't fathom why some people are being hit more than others. My guess as to other people are, like CMHypno below, there are indeed others who haven't recovered but don't go in the forums.
No, IzzyM, you are not alone. I'm also in the club, and I'm pretty sure a few more Hubbers are as well.
Nothing I'm doing seems to be working. It's maddening, but on a positive note, this situation has motivated me to actually go and write that fantasy story I've always wanted to write.
Here's to hoping that we get out of the hole soon.
Oh well done you on that writing. I keep wanting to, but I am far too lazy!
Sorry to hear about your traffic too. My six months is almost up, maybe it will return on its own, who knows?
My story is now at 16 pages. I'm determined not to get lazy this time. I understand where you're coming from, since my poor discipline in writing is what keeps me from writing anything longer than a short story.
But, you could try what I'm doing: Write for one or two hours a day, no matter how much or how little results from it. Little by little, you can get it done!
The stuff I'm trying to rank is improving position and traffic, but my Adsenes CPC values have gone down significantly. I've made changes to how things are displayed, removed ads that are underperforming, and instituted new traffic measures and now have to wait and see if the changes take.
As to your Hubs lacking in rank, a lot of people here don't understand SEO at all. You can't just put up some good content and hope that Google "likes" what you have to say and pops you to the #1 spot. Content structuring counts so where you place your keywords in the text count. Did you bold/italic the keyword in the content somewhere? Is the keyword in the first/last paragraph? Other things, which you have no control of on Hubpages, are important too. This includes the Title Tag and H1 tags.
Finally, the biggest factor about ranking is backlinks. You have to build backlinks to your content to rank. If Google has to choose between your well-written content with zero backlinks and someone else's content on a different site with 150 backlinks....the other site is going to get picked. You don't hear a lot about backlinks here on hubpages.
I think that's a bit presumptious of you to assume I had no idea about SEO. Many hubbers are very well-learned in this area. Where did I talk about rank? I assume you mean page rank which has everything to do with number of backlinks and not content. Most of my hubs are optimized thank you very much, and not only that, they did exceptionally well before I was viciously slapped down by Google on the 10th of August 2011. I had many many hubs in the #1 spot on Google for their keywords, and have lost the lot.
If you hang around to learn, you will find that Hubpages frowns upon what they term excessive and spammy backlinking, and will unpublish hubs that show this, as well as kick the user off the service.
150+ backlinks has to be spammy!
They prefer you wait for natural, organic backlinks to come, and they will, although doing a little backlinking yourself is OK too, just not going overboard.
Many hubs have done exceptionally well in the past, based on well-written content and the power of the Hubpages platform, and as far as I can see, nothing has changed there.
Six days in with two Hubs, and this is your contribution to this thread started by one of the best Hubbers here? Have you done any background reading at all about this situation and the issues discussed here?
I thought I had seen just about everything from know-it-all newbies, but this is waaaayyyy on up there, and I can't tell whether I'm gasping from shock or from laughter.
I've no doubt girlgonestrong does know what she is talking about for 'out there on the web' but not for here on HP.
You are probably right, Izzy, and you are being much kinder to her than I was. I should probably modify my scorn or backtrack a little. But it certainly did not appear that she has read the entire thread. And she certainly could not know much about your account or situation!
She doesn't seem to know that you wrote a terrific Hub suggesting some of the better ideas that she mentioned in her post (or maybe that one has been moved?) - the one about on-page optimization.
It is clear that a huge percentage of hubbers are newbies if they are giving you advice on SEO Izzy. It amazes me that people don't even bother to look at your account and see your accomplishments before they write. I was finally seeing decent traffic in Oct and Nov, even half of Dec, and now it's way down. I think I'm a decent writer, and after 15 months never even got nominated for a hub nugget or had my presence acknowledged in any way. Then somebody writes a hub about a recipe or how they give their dog a bath, and they win them. Maybe I'm feeling pissy, or over thinking things, but I read a book sometimes to have material for one of my hubs. Everyone dissed Helium, but I wrote 10 pieces there and at least several of them were purchased. You have to be a favorite here and it's to the point I haven't been writing as much. I have my book to market, and am exploring other sites.
Traffic must be down across the board, or else we wouldn't have been given the advice to 'spring clean'.
Even the success stories are down, most of them though I don't see any of the posting to complain. Probably warned against it.
Jean don't get too down about things. You had a traffic rush at the best time of the year. Don't forget that January is normally quieter anyway.
As for HP accolades, sorry but they don't pay the bills either, so I wouldn't worry about them!
I wouldn't even worry about favoritism here, what counts is search engine traffic.
Although it is true that some of the favorites get an extra boost from HP in the form of a high PR backlink, if you continue to write well, your hubs should find their own place in the search engines, eventually.
I started this thread feeling really down, but now I feel re-energized by some of the comments here.
Eggs in a lot of baskets is a good idea, for now and forever.
I guess you're right. You never steered me wrong yet. It's easy to get attached to HP when the going's good. It gives us freedom, it's not really formal, and for the most part, everyone is pretty nice and tries to work together. It seems like everyone is trying to figure out what's going on, but it's good to diversify. I'm glad you feel better.
Tell me about it! I (and others) have been tearing our hair out, watching Izzy fret over her HP account when she could've created so much in the last six months if she'd only managed to leave HP alone for a while and build some websites instead!
But I know why - HubPages is addictive, especially if you're a solitary online writer. It becomes your online home. It took me a long time to discover I could stop writing Hubs while still being part of the community here. Maybe we should start HubPages Anonymous for recovering Hubaholics...
But I don't want to recover (just published another one, too).
I just totally missed that post you quoted!
As I can't find it either (an age thing again) I just to add that I have got my own web sites and blogs.
I don't spend nearly as much time on them as I should.
I have been given the advice, I know where to go, and what to do.
But I do like it here!
Well, you've got the beginnings of a few websites and blogs, but I'd love to see you choose one or two and do something serious with them!
I'm agreeing with Marisa. When Panda hit me last year (extremely hard), I think I wrote maybe 2-3 hubs after that. I immediately realised that keeping all my eggs in one basket because I was "comfortable" was a bad decision. I now have half a dozen websites with decent traffic, plus articles on about three revenue sharing sites.
If another big change hit, I'd feel a lot more comfortable riding it out this time, knowing that it's more likely that while some content will fall, others may rise.
Good for you! Panda didn't hit me hard - in fact my traffic soared after the sub-domain switch, until early December. However, I still held off writing Hubs to see how things worked out - wisely as it now seems.
Unlike some others, I would never recommend anyone to abandon HubPages altogether - but I do agree with Paul that once an account gets up over about 150 Hubs, it gets too big to manage easily. If people haven't already diversified by the time they get to that point, they need to call a halt and widen their net.
Marisa, I meant when Panda hit me in Feb/March '10. After the subdomain switch I got it back. But by then I'd already planted myself other seeds.
I have 85 hubs on this account that earn well, plus a scattering on other accounts. I think that's more than enough to leave here.
Yes, both you and I found out the hard way about only writing in one place, eh Marisa? I wouldn't advise anyone to only write in one place these days as both terms and online conditions change too frequently to ever place much trust in any content site.
I think E-Books are perhaps the way to go now!
HPA, love it!
That's me, stuck in the doldrums with my account, but can't let go like many people have done.
My husband thinks I'm addicted, I think he's jealous I spend so much time on HP. But when I began checking out more sites, it's more time. Sometimes I find myself wishing he would fall asleep on the couch, so I didn't have to feel so guilty that I'd rather be writing. I love him, but I can't stay off the computer! Marisa, you always gave me good advice too. I am shocked at these people who have been on for a week and are telling experienced people like Marisa, Izzy, Wilderness, and Randy (I always see you on the forums) how to go about their writing!
Perhaps you should examine the platform in more depth. As you do have control of such things if you know what the Hubpages term is - read some source code before making assumptions
I was very interested to read your reply as you seem to know a lot about SEO. I'm new here and have been trying to do some things such as putting key words in my titles, repeating them when possible and including them in my closing lines, but I'm getting butkus on views. However, I have checked a few of my articles on Google and some have come up on page 1...but the views from Google are abysmal.
I find backlinking very difficult, as the backlinked articles have to match what you're writing about, and that doesn't always work out. Also, I understand hubpages limits you to two non hublink backlinks per article. That's pretty confining.
I'd love for you to write a hub that includes all of the info you just mentioned plus more so that I can have it all in one place. Your info seems to be much more in depth than some of the others I've seen. If you've already done that, please let me know the title as I'd very much like to read it. Thanks.
Bear in mind that Google now personalizes search results. So other people are not seeing the results you see. Try searching for it on scroogle.org, that will give you the true picture.
Also, if you're typing the title of your Hub into Google, you will always end up on page 1 - but no one is searching for your title,so that means nothing.
What do you mean by "the backlinked articles"? Do you know what a backlink is? I think you're confused about the two link rule: when you're writing a Hub, you can have only two links out to the same website. There's no limit to links coming IN to your Hub.
There's a lot more to SEO than could possibly be learned from one article. Sign up for a free trial of Market Samurai or Keyword Academy and spend a month watching the videos. Then you'll begin to have some idea.
Hey Izzy I'm going to break my self-imposed forum ban to show some solidarity (only other person I have done it for is the Queen!). My traffic also hasn't picked up since the August plunge. I also haven't seen Randy around in a while, so don't know how he's going.
I've taken a fair few hubs down, and from my broken hub links so have a few others, so I reckon that there is a lot of folk that have just quietly faded away.
Don't beat yourself up and listen to any negativity as I have just read your shark hub and it is excellent
Thank you ever so much
I had stopped writing hubs but you know the writer within us is stronger than we are and I just kinda accidentally got back to it.
I need to get over it, but I just plain don't like putting articles someplace else.
Izzy, I hate to see you so cut up about this. Take Lissie's advice and do some writing elsewhere and get your confidence back. As she suggested, there seems to be a thriving community of ex-hubbers doing well over at Wizzley.
I have hubs that have 5 stars for time on page that get no traffic and some with 1 that do, so am not entirely sure that time on page is the whole answer either.
But as the saying goes 'no point in crying over spilt milk', so don't waste valuable time and energy in getting depressed over HP, move your hubs, write articles elsewhere but try and stay in 'go-forward' mode.
We have such a short time to be happy and a website, however great it used to be, is not worth this anguish. Write that best selling novel instead!
I am happy to write more hubs, *IF* I know they stand a chance of gaining an audience and/or income. But if I feel my efforts are better directed elsewhere then I have no qualms about moving on. You don't owe HP anything. Your relationship with HP should be an equal relationship, with both parties deriving benefit from it. If you're not feeling the benefit, then don't stay on out of a misguided sense of loyalty.
The fact that it's possible to have a "slapped" account here on HP, but find that hubs within that account do perfectly well if unpublished and republished elsewhere, should tell you something. Namely that it ain't your writing that's the problem.
I've read your writing Izzy, and it just can't be your writing. No way.
I really don't think it is your writing though I don't know what the answer is. This is my main hubpages account but I have another one which used to have 130 hubs on - mostly, but not all, sales hubs. I just didn't want to mix them with my very different hubs on this account. I was not making any money and quickly realised that quite a bit could be made from amazon. Last Christmas was excellent and then not so good with Panda.
So I stopped writing much on this account and concentrated all my efforts on the other one. When the subdomains came out, my traffic shot up and I was really pleased. Like you, I lost most of my traffic very abruptly on Aug 10 and it has never returned with the exception of two days. I made changes, nothing worked so I left it and gave up and wrote some more hubs on this account instead.
About three months ago I set up a third account and decided to test the waters by moving my hubs to see what happened if they were on yet another account. I have done it very gradually and so far moved only 11 - at first nothing much happened but now, although it is a very low traffic account (and what would you expect with 11 hubs) I am getting more google views than the orignal account, which the hubs originated from.
Interestingly, with one hub that I moved, I forgot to delete the original and didn't notice for ages - neither account came up as duplicate. When I discovered the error I realised that the hub on the new account had outranked the original by quite a lot - in fact it was on the first page whereas the other one was far behind. Not good.
The long and short of all this is that I'm not sure it has much to do with the writing at all, but I don't know what the problem is. I do remember, with my slapped account, getting this robotxt message spring up on the screen just before I lost all my traffic but not sure what that meant.
This account is quite the opposite - traffic is only going up, but unfortunately it does not make much money as many of the hubs are not very commercial.
Thanks everyone for responding, and especially those of you who said my writing was OK.
I think I only started suspecting my writing was suspect when Paul from Hubpages pointed out that my writing did not read well aloud.
I am ever so sorry about that. I do not know how to fix it.
I may just have to write a best selling novel to disprove that theory (I wish!)
All this has left me with serious doubts about my own abilities, and considering that writing was one of the few things I knew I could do well at, this hurts to the core.
"The long and short of all this is that I'm not sure it has much to do with the writing at all, but I don't know what the problem is. I do remember, with my slapped account, getting this robotxt message spring up on the screen just before I lost all my traffic but not sure what that meant."
Polly, you said this. You got some message that you didn't understand. I don't understand it either, but then again, I didn't get that message.
I think that was a nasty thing for Paul to say.. I am familiar with doubting my abilities at something I thought I'd excelled in. For me it was singing and I was told by someone that I should stop singing in public. That stung until I discovered that she insulted everyone, including children. I was 21 at the time. So I ignored that woman. I would say ignore Paul. you do know how to write. Goggle is just looking for something other than skill at writing. Who knows what.
It was a very fleeting message, I could have missed it if I wasn't looking. I don't know if it is significant or not, but definitely coincided with my downfall! Could it not be the writing at all, but some kind of error to the subdomains?
You are a good writer, Izzy, and I remember thinking that most of the hubbers who claimed to have been affected were also good writers. I fall short on the technical side of things so haven't a clue how to fix it.
Gosh Izzy I just don't know. Your writing is easy to read, great spelling and grammar from what I can see - with very well researched topics. I just don't have a clue.
You are a very good writer, and have given so many people excellent advice. I asked lots of questions, and many people gave me bad answers, but your advice was always sound. And who reads this stuff aloud anyway? We aren't doing books on DVD. Go write your novel.
I am reading a brilliant book just now about vampires.
Do they work for HP? Lol only joking.
The book is originally Belgique and translated into English.
It's called 'Let The Right One In' by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and was the inspiration behind 'Let Me In', whatever that is.
You are a good writer. No one said you were a bad writer, not even Paul. When he said some of your Hubs sounded awkward when read out loud, he meant something like this (taken from one of your Hubs):
There is something scary about the cat shape, and put women in a cat costume and you have something that is both scary and sexy. Sexy cat Halloween costumes have a timeless look. As an adult, you could buy one and keep it at the back of the wardrobe for use year after year.
Adult Womens Halloween Costumes Black Feline Kitty Cat Catwoman Costume Dress Theme Party Outfit Roma
The Adult Womens Halloween Costumes Black Feline Kitty Cat Catwoman Costume Dress Theme Party Outfit Roma is available in sizes small/medium and medium/large.
I will say to you what I said to Randy: this is not a good demonstration of your writing ability. It sounds decidedly keyword-stuffed, almost spun, and a repackaging of the stuff you would see on an Amazon page. It also seems to demonstrate that you are not personally knowledgeable about the products you are reviewing and hoping to sell via Amazon.
Amazon sales pages are dangerous to begin with, because while they might convert really well in terms of earnings from each visitor, Google might very well consider them doorway pages, which they're on record as disliking. And keyword stuffing is never a good idea, despite some advice you can read online to the contrary.
In addition to being a talented writer, in our interactions I know you're a reasonable person so I hope you can understand the motive behind this critique.
Aye aye aye aye.
I hear you.
That first paragraph you quoted was so good, everyone leapt on board and stole it.
The second paragraph sounded like something from Amazon. Pitiful, but there you are.
Are you saying I should unpublish this one hub?
I will and the others like it, if necessary.
I am actually failing to see, so need some help, in knowing which hubs Google hates.
Will ubpublishing just the one hub place the rest back somewhere decent in the search engines?
Or I am forever destined to walk in dark shadows?
I don't know enough to advise you here. It would be helpful for others who might have plunged and did some "surgery" on their Hubs, and saw a rebound, to weigh in here.
That Hub was just one example. Do you have others like it? I can understand the appeal of Amazon sales Hubs in the pre-Panda era, but nowadays I think you have to tread lightly.
I read every post about the collapse/return of traffic.
I have read everything everyone has to offer on the topic.
Some people have had their traffic return when they deleted the last post before the latest Panda hit, or the last few hubs.
Some people did nothing and their traffic returned.
Yet others deleted all their poorly performing hubs, and their traffic returned.
Yet others like me, did nothing but add more quality hubs to the www and everyone but Google likes them.
So then I went back and deleted the poorly hubs....nothing
So, added them back onboard and deleted the good hubs I had.
Annihilation. Google liked my good hubs!
Put them back.
Look, I'm only a stupid old woman at this stage in my life and I don't know what to do.
Delete all my Amazon hubs that used to work....?
Well, it appears that if an account "plunges" it affects the good along with the "bad," very much like Panda swept away a site's traffic without regard to the good-quality stuff.
I need some help Jason. Please. What are the 'bad hubs' I need to get rid off?
I would unpublish Hubs with short "average time on page" as indicated by Google Analytics. That's what we recommend in the LC entry.
Well you know something Jason, I have very few of them. In fact, I have none. Either people read my hubs in their entirety, or they don't read them at all.
Jason, is there any way you could ask the powers that be to translate our hubs into foreign languages?
I only ask because I only found out tonight that a young diabetic friend of mine lost his toe through diabetes.
I wrote a hub about the danger of this only last year.
I never even knew he had this problem, no doubt he did his research online like the rest if us.
If he saw my hub he passed it by, because it was written in English.
This lad is in his 40s at the most, but could pass for 25.
Toe first, foot next, whole lower leg next..know the story.
That is what we are here, everyday experts.
I just wanted to point out that I don't believe these areas; 'well-researched, contains infactual information and is badly written' are what Google puts most emphasis on when ranking your work.
Not saying that hubbers should neglect these though, I am a strong supporter of well written content but Google might turn a blind eye to 1 or 2 spelling mistakes, I'm not even sure the bot picks up spelling mistakes.
Obviously duplicate content and spun articles can be detected. I see what Jason is pointing out and I am guilty of basing some product hubs off information in Amazon summaries when I have made the odd Amazon targeted hub
The first part Izzy wrote sounded really good, but this part does look keyword stuffed:
Adult Womens Halloween Costumes Black Feline Kitty Cat Catwoman Costume Dress Theme Party Outfit Roma
The Adult Womens Halloween Costumes Black Feline Kitty Cat Catwoman Costume Dress Theme Party Outfit Roma is available in sizes small/medium and medium/large.
I have mainly targeted all of my effort towards Adsense now.
Do you know, I have never done that well when targeting Adsense as I have with targeted Amazon hubs?
When trying to learn how to write for Adsense, I accidentally targeted Amazon.
When I realised my earning potential with Amazon,I dumped trying for Adsense.
Now Adsense and Google are not the same - same company but different departments.
My Sexy Cats hub, that Jason has mentioned now as well as Paul, brought me loads of traffic, loads of Adsense clicks, but not one single sale.
I've no idea of the type of ads they used to carry, don't forget I am not in the USA and don't even see their adverts.
I am grateful to Jason because he has told me, in not so many words, that this hub is partly the reason why Google hates me.
This is easy to fix, but what else is wrong?
I have not seen reasonable traffic for nihgh on six months. What else is wrong?
Still suffering the ill effects of the year of the Panda on my account, too. Sigh!
Awww, I am so sorry, email me if you need an ear to lean on.
I spent some time in the last year learning more about Squidoo, and didn't do too badly there through the holidays. Also worked on some blogger stuff, plus took Lissie's advice from a few months ago, and worked on getting a better feel for Wordpress. Just letting my hubs wait it out a bit, while I learn new things.
There is a video by Matt Cutts in which he discusses several things that can be checked to diagnose the problem when a publisher discovers a drop in rankings. He referred specifically to the robots.txt issue. It is probably worth looking at, but I'm not sure we ourselves have anything to do with robots.txt. (Not sure.)
I transcribed the gist of the video (practically - maybe not totally word for word, I forget) here; my post also includes a link to the video. Both may be worth checking out.
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/84035?p … ost1827598
You are not alone. Mine is still down. I unpublished all but 40ish hubs and did cried in my milk for several months. That was a hard one for me to deal with because the 250-300 hubs that I unpublished made a decent amount of money before the plunge.
After a few months off, I created a second account and decided to start again. I changed my focus completely and decided to write hubs that were laser-focused on a particular area and answered a particular question.
Anyway, I only have 23 hubs published on that account, but I have twice the traffic as this account.
I suspect the reason is somewhere in the following:
- I wrote new hubs on that account that answered a VERY specific question and began most with "How to ..."
- I wrote much longer hubs (most are over 1,000 words - as compared to this account where most are 300-500)
- I abandoned the "doorway hub" idea and went to the other extreme by only have a VERY small amount of amazon products per hub. My amazon sales are still languishing, but I can play with that later.
- I experimented with several different topics - some started receiving views from google for the keywords targeted within hours (scary-fast!), others did not see any movement for weeks or even months - I have no idea why.
- I had failures. These were ones that languished for several months with minimal views. I unpublished them even though Google was CLEARLY wrong by not ranking them very high! ;-) It was much easier to unpublish on that account than it is this one...this one is my first. I figured that if the articles weren't swimming on their own, they were dead weight and dragging me down. I may have been wrong, but it seems to be working so far.
It is completely anecdotal, but I think that unpublishing the vast majority of my hubs of this account is working...my views are up, albeit not substantially.
So no - you are not alone, but at least in my case, a new account and a fresh start has helped.
It was very painful to unpublish sooooo much work on this account - I fear I have more to go.
You see? You cried when you felt the need to unpublish. You unpublished hubs you thought might be bringing your subdomain down.
Who the Hell are these Google people anyway?
I read, today, or was it yesterday, two or three articles that made me cringe.
Page 1 Google results, so all those folk who feel that Google is now up to scratch are really showing their own ignorance.
OK Google is run and schooled by children,but this is a writers' site. Or supposed to be.
I'm sorry. but we are a long way from decent results.
Somebody had a link to here:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools … -url?pli=1
I indexed my Hub pages and WordPress account and my views have tripled. Still not that great, but it sure has helped.
Here's the Bing index toolbox:
Yahoo was supposed to have something, But it looked to be too big for me.
hey nothing matters too much when you hear your kid singing like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3d63dYCrVg&sns=fb
This is the last time I'm saying this to you Izzy - that account is doomed - stop wasting time worrying about which bit the google algorithm, doesn't like. Un-publish them and move them elsewhere - or ignore them - but you are truely wasting your talent and time there.
I am churning out "amazon doorway pages" over at wizzley and they are doing juts fine. Its a hubpages issue you have here nothing to do with you or your writing. Time to move on. IF you like the forums fine - but you will notice that a lot of us have moved to publishing elsewhere.
My traffic has fallen to what it was 8 months ago even though I have instituted some changes which are supposed to increase traffic.....
Hi IzzyM, first I want to apologise for my ignorant reply the other day when you mentioned Panda. I had no idea what exactly you were talking about and as a hubber who joined post Panda I can't fully understand.
I can assure you that your hubs are excellent and I have seen crap displayed on first page of Google when the best articles are on page four or five.
I wish I could help you because I do see your frustration.
You can always expirement and unpublish a few of the hubs you think are particularly unappreciated by google and republish them under a new account here. Wait a bit before republishing so as to avoid any duplicate content issues.
If they perform notably better, it helps to tell the story about this account.
Izzy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your writing!
Personally, I wonder if that's part of your problem, right there. Is it possible you learned your Market Samurai lessons too well? You might recall I sent you a link to a Google blog post - they said they were targeting was sites which don't write for their readers but instead "generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines".
Pre-Panda, that was the recipe for success, which is why you did so well. Post-Panda, the fact you've got no "specialist subject" and instead write on a wide variety of topics (including subjects associated with spammers, like Hoodia), all with keywords repeated in every heading and sub-heading, and all promoted heavily, might just have left a big footprint that told Google you were "generating content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines".
I've previously brought up the issue of keyword density - I found a couple of your Hubs had a density up over 6% and you weren't worried. Once again, it worked for you pre-Panda - but this is now. No one knows the percentage Google uses, but the consensus seems to be that even 5% is too much. You may be getting hit for keyword stuffing - and remember, the words in the ads count too.
The other highly relevant quote from Google is:
"low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages....could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content."
If you're able to take Hubs from here, publish them elsewhere and have them do well, then it suggests your good Hubs are getting dragged down by the "bad" ones.
I think you do know what's a good Hub and what's a bad one. You just have to get over the mindset of, "oh, I can't delete that Hub, it was one of my best earners pre-Panda". That was pre-Panda. It's possible the features which made it work so well pre-Panda (like heavy keyword use in titles and sub-headings etc) are the very things causing the trouble now! And I'd certainly be deleting anything that's on an over-exposed subject, unless it's still earning good money.
Of course it's still all guessing, but those quotes are from Google itself.
Marisa, you might be on to something here. What has worked well for me is using only 5 key phrases - one main which is included in the title and one more time in the body and four others scattered anywhere. This method I discovered a few months ago when researching Google keywords density. I don't worry so much about percentage because I don't know what percentage Google uses to rank the hub.
I may be talking absolute BS but I was reading some rubbish about words that Google does not like such as "murder" (CMhypno - you have this in several titles) and cannabis (Izzy) as well as having a downer on anything medical if you are not an established medical site. Maybe the removal of anything in the slightest bit controversial may help??? It can't make things worse to unpublish a few and see if it makes a difference.. I remember checking someone else s accounts a few weeks ago that had plunged and he had several hubs about forex in amongst his other hubs..
Otherwise I really don't know!
Or maybe it is just the Google sandbox and it will all rebound back to normal after 6 months or so..
I do not think medical hubs per se are the problem. Possibly my medical hubs do not work against me, because I reference and link to the medical journal literature to back my statements. I also know a few hubbers get a massive number of views on hubs about somewhat prurient medical topics. I haven't checked whether they reference the literature or not in those hubs.
I am wondering if tabloid-style ("yellow press") sensationalist subjects can bring down a sub-domain if there are too many of them. That would include murder stories, celebrity gossip and such like.
Going by a number of specific hubbers who have reported big drops, I'm fairly convinced that hubs specifically focusing on Amazon sales are bad news now.
I don't think amazon hubs are bad news per se, it's just the ratio of them on a subdomain that has to be looked at. If you think about a subdomain from google's point of view then a high proportion of sales pages/doorway pages/affiliate links is probably going to look rather spammy and low value (even though the actual pages might offer great info).
If overall the subdomain has plenty of quality pages that point to high quality internal & external sources and don't have any aff links in them, then it will help dilute the ratio of affiliate links within the subdomain and keep it below the (possible and unknown) threshold.
That's my theory anyway!
Hi LeanMan, thanks for your suggestions. I'm gently removing a lot of my hubs, although I think that it is a very sad world if you can't use certain words in your writing without being penalised. It would be nice if the world was all kittens and bows, but I write a lot of history hubs where unfortunately murder and mayhem were commonplace.
The big G is beginning to remind me a lot of certain religions, where only the one true and approved word is allowed LOL! What happened to free expression in writing?
This account has picked up but my Amazon earnings account is still in serious slap mode. Used to get me 90% of my Amazon sales - gone from about 250 daily views to maybe 3 and never risen.
Then again, I'm aware that sales articles are the new "naughty."
Does anyone have an account with many Amazon sales hubs that is still going strong??
I don't know of anyone that has a high ratio of amazon hubs, that hasn't tanked.
True. I'm thinking of writing some non-sales content but then I'm like...phsaw no, eggs in one basket and all. I have plenty enough eggs here!
You could always unpublish some hubs instead of writing more - that worked for me.
I was away on holiday most of last August and not online, so I know exactly what I did when I got back and it was just two things. I unpublished 7 hubs that had historically low time on page (under 1 minute) and removed my referral trackers from links. At the time I thought of these minor tweaks as very inconsequential, but something there did the trick.
As it turned out the hubs I unpublished happened to be sales hubs - mostly amazon but one or two were affiliate hubs for other products. At the next panda run in Sept my account recovered and has stayed recovered (for now at least).
EDIT: I should add that the pages I unpublished had never received much in the way of sales or ad clicks which led me to believe that most visitors were bouncing back to the search results, rather than bouncing towards an income for me!
Thanks Susana, might give that a go! Easier than publishing new stuff!
Wrylilt, if your other subdomain was also hit in August, you might might want to wait a bit longer to see if the sandbox effect lifts after six months, which is nearly up.
I am holding off any major changes until after February, basically because I have tried tweaks and they haven't worked. So its a major overhaul, which I really don;t want to do.
Mind you HP are at the unpublishing again, so I've yet less hubs to worry about (they took away another one tonight, but I just republished another to keep the numbers up lol)
Thanks everyone for all your comments and ideas.
Yes sorry it did all really get to me last night, especially as I know of a few hubbers off-site who were fellow plungers, but have recently got all their traffic back, and then some.
At least two of those accounts have a high proportion of Amazon hubs, so its not that.
Nor is it the style of writing - what could be termed keyword stuffing - because those accounts have not been changed from pre-Panda, yet traffic has returned.
I, myself, am now seeing Google love on one hub. It has gone from 2 or 3 views a day to almost 100, and nearly all those views are from Google.com, the rest from the other Googles.
If they hate my whole subdomain, why send traffic to one hub? Doesn't make sense.
This hub pre and post-Panda had views in the 100s, and now it seems to be partly back.
Other 'dead' hubs are picking up Yahoo or Bing traffic, but those search engines are a total mystery to me.
I would say that round about 90% of my portfolio is dead.
I did unpublish my cannabis and my 'medical' hubs. They were out of circulation for well over a month, and it made no difference whatsoever, so I put them back. Don't know why, they don't make money without ads. I guess it is because they get hits, and some traffic makes me feel better.
I also wonder how much HP have to do with all this. When I want to add an in-text link in a hub, on a topic I already have several other hubs about, my hubs never seem to be in the list of 'suggested' hubs. Why is that?
Lissie is right, it is time to move on.
Leave the hubs here to do whatever, and just write new articles elsewhere. I hate the thought of losing all that 'ageing' many of them have acquired.
Maybe Sunforged can chime in here, but I've heard him say that once the Hubs have dropped out of the SERPS, they've effectively lost their "ageing" anyway. So leaving them on HP doesn't offer them any advantage - you may as well move them elsewhere and start afresh.
I would have thought they would lose their ageing if they de-indexed. Simply moving down a few hundred pages should not lose them their age, or does it?
Good question - so none of yours are de-indexed, then? I thought if you were sandboxed you were de-indexed,so does that mean it's definitely not a sandbox situation?
I don't honestly know if none of them are de-indexed, there are too many to check unless someone knows a shortcut. There are 599 results listed for site:izzym.hubages.com but I don't know if all my hubs are there, or if that number is made up of forum posts or whatever.
I know the Googlebot only crawls about 200 hubs per day.
Google said there wasn't a problem with my account when I asked for a re-inclusion request.
I'll maybe go check, but I thought 'the sandbox' was a kind of mythical, unspoken about place that Google never admits exists. If sites are de-indexed, they have a direct issue with Google, but when they are still indexed but way down the list, is that not the sandbox?
Izzy, I think part of what may be hurting your Hubs is weak tagging.
You have a lot of nonsense words on what looks like all of your Hubs, words that all start with "iz." You also have tags like '60 day challenge' that don't relate to the actual topic of the Hub.
That little stuff adds up especially when it's happening to an entire subdomain.
That is interesting. I never was much good at tags but the 60 day challenge one was for off-site promotion, but hey it doesn't seem to be working now so maybe I should take them off. The iz ones will give me a lot of work as they are rss feeds, but as I have learned now how to do proper rss feeds I could get to work on that.
Yeah, good idea, thanks, worth a try.
Unfortunately, its not as easy as linking to a FAQ but if you did a tiny bit of searching about how tag pages are configured here at HP you would know that they are meaningless now.
I wont explain. That would be boring. Tags are pointless here no hinder/no help - just internal navigation tools
Perhaps HP announced it at one point, have to look at the page code otherwise
Whoaa! Wait a minute, I'd starting working on getting rid of my iz tags. Are you saying I am wasting my time?
Each feed is pretty big because I have a lot of niche hubs on the same topics.
Please explain, and thanks by the way for pointing out something I didn't know either. I'd love to learn more about tags if you have the time to explain.
I knew they were internal, obviously, but was never that sure about how they affected search engines, or not, as the case may be.
Hp neutered the tag pages, they are noindex. Internal links from the main Hub domain to your subdomain, arent helping or hurting you.
Why the hell would Google care if you had link called Iz?
That nitpicking foolishness will drive you nuts. Time better spent moving forward developing new content, new places, even here at HP in new accounts.
Until the moment someone shows you a graph of their account "plunging" then a log showing their edits, date marked with an accompanying graph of a positive effect .. Just close your ears.
way to many variables and you have way to many hubs to really listen to every pet theory
Do a search for some really really difficult term - something in insurance or medical - look around at the top page, tell me if those link titles mean any more to you or the content of the page then "iz"
Tags at HP were unique beasts, one cant call them anything but a "link" now, and a link to a noindex page at that
Ill throw in some more untested, invalid advice.
I read somewhere that Google dislikes the use of the color pink in some niches, they also feel that British spelling should never be shown to US readers.
You might also try and read it out loud. The use of meme talk and images of "kittehs" is shown to be crucial in other niches.
Have you tried "tweeting" them?
You should revisit every single article and add 10% new content and add links to only authoritative sources that start with the letter H.
- You will drive yourself nuts running in circles trying to reverse engineer your SERP's change, especially if you don't make your own changes in a very,very formulaic and trackable manner. which, I think may drive you crazy in its own.
Have you tried a brand new account yet? Tried moving a select number of hubs to a new "niche focused" account .. or any other more radical changes? The little tweaks hardly seem like they will be worth the huge effort it would take across your rather large portfolio .. you really need to test and watch after each one
I plunged for two months- 90% drop overnight- ( I think it was August) two months to the day- traffic increased and has maintained its levels.
What did I do? Got rid of two hubs that were topical when written but with no lasting search value and then started another account!!
You work is good as is CMHypno's, it may be that after a six month sandbox you will emerge ( six months must be up soon), if not, you can change and add and delete all you want, but it may be that you would be best to remove some of your portfolio of work to other sites- therefore reducing the opportunity for another "Panda" shock.
How is the new account going?
the new account has worked well for me so far. I have significantly more views on that account with significantly FEWER hubs. Whatever is tainting the other account can be speculated about, but at the end of the day, the new account really seems to have made a huge difference. Nothing like a clean slate and a fresh chance to get you re-motivated!
I can't really speak to most of this because I came back to HP after Panda had done its worst. But I might have two items that could help:
1) You feel embarrassed about marketing. So do I! What helps get me past my embarrassment is to write reviews of things I LIKE AND USE. That way, I know what I'm talking about, I care about what I'm talking about, and I can stand behind what I'm talking about. I can give pros and cons. I can share photos. It's so much easier to sell stuff -- and more useful to your readers -- if you recommend things you know well and sincerely would recommend if a friend asked your advice. Don't worry about whether it's something that's liable to draw a hefty commission. You're more likely to make a sale, or at least get the reader to Amazon where they might buy SOMETHING.
2) The whole tags issue. This might help? What's the difference between keywords and tags?
That is an excellent article thanks. I'd already started working on one group of my iz tags and so had to complete or I'd have left some hubs out.
I don't know if HP will now unpublish my other hubs that have those tags or not, but each feed is pretty massive so I don't see why they should. Hope they don't anyway, because each of those feeds have been used extensively in off-site promotion and it would be a shame to lose that.
Your hubs has filled in a lot of blanks for me, because it puzzled me as to why some people reported that changing their tags increased their traffic, and now I know why.
I saw before that they were hidden from the search engines, but still wasn't sure of their exact purpose apart from creating internal links.
The other thing I worry about is categories.
I write a LOT about sharks, but somehow placing the hubs under 'Pets and Animals' seems to be the wrong place, so most of them end up under Education and Science where there doesn't seem to be a correct category for them, unless I just put them in Oceans and Seas, which isn't strictly the correct place either.
I'm guessing, and trying to put them under categories where they did well before...wonder if that has anything to do with Google dropping me like a hotcake? Probably not, but worth a look, no?
Seems to me that your main account is screwed. It's a shame that HP don't make it easier to move pages between accounts. Especially now we have subdomains.
I know you would lose valuable aging, but if it's screwed anyway doesn't matter what age it is.
I would remove the Shark articles, create an Izzy Shark Id, and publish them all under one new account.
Make sure when you put them up again that they are all squeaky clean in terms of decent content. Not saying anything negative to you, because I haven't read many of your shark articles, but personally I have published some real crap, and it is taking me a long time to go back through and weed it out, fatten it up, etc.
Sunforged is right about advice. You can take a rough view on what people are saying, but they are not you, and they don't have your account.
And I know nothing either of course. Just seems it might be worth a shot.
Good idea, but why not on a separate blog? If you're going to move them, the URL changes anyway. May as well move them out.
Yes she does, as do I. However, unlike me, Izzy has to make her living at this. She can't afford to be sentimental.
Well I just spent the last hour learning how to make a new email address with Gmail (its all changed now), and have set up a new focussed hub account, but I am planning on making a shark website at some point.
Not for making money because my shark hubs have never made money, but they are interesting.
It is actually just as easy for to write afresh as it is to copy hubs over anywhere, so I wrote a new hub too
These were the top two results when I looked.
http://www.webduckdesigns.com/pages/web … andbox.php
http://www.bigoakinc.com/seo-articles/g … effect.php
I am definitely in the sandbox, and nothing I do or change will bring me out any earlier, so I guess I just have to wait it out.
Izzy, I feel your distress, and was in a similar boat a couple of months ago, so I decided to try out a few things which seem to be working.
1) I opened two other accounts and had each in a specific niche.
2) I unpublished hubs related to those niches from here, waited for about 4 weeks, and republished them in the other accounts as per relevance.
3) I unpublished, some hubs from this account (my main), literally threw them in a bin (with so much pain and anguish too, but hey...). I concluded that they were dragging me down.
4) Stopped adding new hubs but instead, taking those left one by one and started to rework them, cutting out repeated keywords, checking for typos, rewording some titles, removing all unnecessary "bold" wordings, etc.
5)I switched off HPads on this account and decided to stick with Adsense. I turned on HPads for one of my new accounts, its earning peanuts at the moment but im experimenting, so im cool with that.
6) I reduced considerably my Amazon capsules as I wasn't getting much sales anyway, but lo and behold, as soon as i did that, I started to get very steady sales from Amazon. I dont know why/how, but who is complaining?
7) Started a few websites based on those hubs that bring me good traffic. I get 100% Adsense, and a couple of them are doing fairly well.
8) I read through Robins hub and tried to follow what she wrote about improving traffic, to the "T".
9) Removed all challenge and contest tags.
Then traffic started to inch up here, and now its higher than Pre Panda levels.
Its such a long process and i still have miles to go as im continuously upgrading.
How i arrived at this?
I took some "HARSH ADVICE" (not given to me directly, but to others) while reading forum posts. Mostly, if i may say, from Marissa and Relache. I barely comment in the forums, but i seek out what they say and it is helping me in no small measure.
You will be okay Izzy and you MUST believe that all is not lost. You seem to me a very determined woman who wants to get things back to normal and i admire your fighting spirit, because despite your continuous plunge, you still find time to write new, and great hubs too.
I dont write half as well as you do, so i cant really claim that this will work for you, but it certainly worked for me.
Relax and take it slowly, probably one hub at a time. Cut out the sentiments and throw out the ones you know are under-performing. Or better still, use them for a new website.
Set a goal and go through them all. Yes, you have over five hundred hubs, but once you split them into 2 or 3 different niche related accounts, it wont be so hard.
Dont despair. With patience and your strong determination, you will probably see improvements much sooner than you expect.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write me such a detailed response.
As the six months are almost up, I am as well waiting a couple more weeks to see if anything changes on its own - as I said already I am basically lazy and the thought of going through this many hubs fills me with dread - then start doing the things you suggest.
I started this milarky later than most people in this thread, but I really think that I will probably stick with a 200 hub maximum for a HP account - for the reasons you've outlined. I think Google will keep changing the rules quite regualrly from now on and big accounts, which worked in the past, can seem a little unweidly nowadays, if you have to go through them looking for potential problems and then editing them.
I had a traffic drop after the first of the year. I immediately filed a reinclusion request with Google and waited a week. After nothing happened, I removed a handful of low-performing hubs and my traffic came back over the course of the next week and has continued growing steadily.
I hope you get this worked out. I enjoy reading your hubs, for what it's worth :-)
My traffic was absolutely dire from August onwards, so much so that I stopped writing Hubs altogether, and concentrated my energies elsewhere. Then, just before Christmas I saw something posted by Will Apse about the value of adding polls to your hubs. I thought it might not do any harm to try, so I added a poll to my (previously) best performing hub. Et Voila! Suddenly, since mid-December my traffic is back to pre-Panda levels. I find it hard to believe that adding just one poll had this effect, and it was a probably an enormous co-incedence, but I'm delighted to actually be earning again. Anyway, I hope it will come together for you eventually. There's so much dross on the net, that good writers surely have to float to the top sooner or later.
Congrats on your traffic return!
Quite a few people have seen a recent return of traffic without making any changes. It's all weird.
I'm coming to the conclusion that it is my sales hubs, I have a huge proportion of them, some of which have never done well.
I tried unpublishing some of them and it never worked. I started renaming the ones entitled "Buy...online", but lazy as always, didn't get more than a few done.
I have far too many hubs!
What Paul says above about limiting accounts to 200 makes perfect sense when something like this happens.
That is not to say this will happen again.
The 'sandbox effect' is applied to new domains. And unless HP change us all back onto the main domain, it shouldn't happen again.
Everything should settle down inside a year of the change.
When I started this thread I was feeling really down about it all, but now I feel more philosophical about it all.
I'd been adding in loads of new, quality, non-sales hubs to no avail, and it is true, it does get to you after a while seeing all that hard work going to waste.
But maybe when the sandbox is lifted, those new hubs will strengthen my subdomain and make it better than ever.
Who knows? Fingers crossed.
I think you're right Izzy, and the great thing for me is that once the traffic returns, the money comes in for things that were written long ago, and it just keeps on rolling (well, hopefully!)with little or no effort on my part!
Oh Izzy, sometimes I think you're your own worst enemy! Why on earth would you add more new Hubs to an account that's not working?
If it's a sandbox issue, I guess those new Hubs will pay off in the end - but they'd have paid off just as well on another account, where they'd have more chance of earlier success.
But if it's a Panda issue, and you haven't been able to identify the problems that caused you to be hit, then adding new material is just wasting your hard work, as you say. In particular, if the problem is a few "bad apples", it's not a proportional thing - it doesn't matter how much good stuff you've got, the "low quality" posts will still get you slapped.
Not happy with the slow climb since starting to post hubs seriously in the last couple of months. Hoping it picks up eventually. If not, hopefully I have at least I have a few solid articles I've written.
The worst thing anyone can do if they have been Google slapped is nothing.
I would set the stats to total views and unpublish the bottom third for a start. I admit that didn't get my second account up and running again but that had nothing but affiliate hubs. Anyone who has plenty of solid non-affiliate pages could do better.
Also, I have seen some of my affiliate hubs in this (my main account) get sandboxed. If I remove the affiliate ads (Amazon in my case) they usually pop out of the sandbox.
So getting rid of all affiliate links could be an option. You could add them back carefully to successful pages later.
Any of my hubs with low read times get the axe as a matter of course- affiliate or otherwise.
Also the option of moving pages once they are out of the Google cache is a serious option. I took my best pages from my second account to Wizzley and they started making money after a few weeks.
Why Wizzley? Well it may crash and burn since it is new and ultra commercial bu it won't hurt my account here and, maybe the management over there know what they are doing. I only need them to avoid Panda for a few months to get a reasonable return on my effort.
Agreed! The way I see it, even if you do the wrong thing, you stand some chance of success. In particular, unpublishing Hubs doesn't mean wasting work - you can always use them elsewhere, so you haven't lost anything.
I'm gonna give Wizzley a go too, although they effectively reward you for publishing more hubs/pages, which almost encourages low quality, in some ways? They are supposed to be fairly well vetted so I hope that's not the case!
I think it makes sense to spread your work around - for one thing, as you've observed, once you get more than 200 articles on any rev-share website, it gets unwieldy to update when rules change (as they inevitably do).
One possible solution for surplus Amazon Hubs is to create a review site. I recently came across a Wordpress plugin (www.myreviewplugin.com) which marks up each of your posts with Google rich snippets. I'm thinking this should prove to Google that you're writing a serious review not a landing page?
Talking of landing pages, I was writing a new hub this evening (not on this account) and I went to add an in-text link, and Amazon results came up!
Is this something new?
It's been there for a little while. There are a couple of options between amazon and hubs. I use it every now and then, but I am fearful of having too many links back out to amazon, so I stay away from them mostly.
Rather than moving sales hubs, I am gonna create some new material for now at Wizzley. I have deleted a few crappy sales hubs from here and also pretty much erradicated any Amazon ads on non-sales hubs.
I agree that spreading eggs between baskets isn't a bad idea, the only thing to be wary of is the other extreme of
spreading oneself too thinly! :-)
Talking of thinly, I now have 3 other subdomains, and I have already confused myself.
Easily done at my age!
What are the rules exactly about forum posting when we have different personalities?
I know I couldn't use my other names to flame, but I'm not a flamer anyway, but can I use them to forum post? Or not?
I'd like to see those other accounts get a bit of interest from forum users, is it OK to say it's me, Izzy, and post, or is it OK to not say anything, and post?
I wish I knew. I thought the rule was you had to pick an identity and stick to it - however since then, I've seen people use different accounts. I think the rule is that you can only use one persona on a particular thread.
Here's what HP says:
Multiple Accounts: While we don't prohibit having more than one HubPages account, we ask that you stick to a single persona in the forums. The deceptive use of multiple accounts, especially in a single thread is prohibited. The use of secondary accounts to circumvent a forum ban is also prohibited.
My bolding, but to me that is the definitive word. 'Deceptive'. So if I walk into a forum and post, and some one says 'welcome to Hubpages' or something (because the subdomain is new) and I say, oh thanks but I'm not new, I'm Izzy then it is not deceptive.
But then again, this is HP and their interpretation of image 'watermarks' include signatures.
While we don't prohibit having more than one HubPages account, we ask that you stick to a single persona in the forums. The deceptive use of multiple accounts, especially in a single thread is prohibited. The use of secondary accounts to circumvent a forum ban is also prohibited.
I'm thinking I read a post by AEvans who said she ran afoul of HP based on the above bolding. And I doubt there was any deception as we interpret with sock puppets. I could be wrong on either count though.
But is it really possible to spread oneself to thinly? Provided they're not paying you direct, it's not a problem - all your income from multiple sites goes into one basket.
Really? Thanks for responding.
It's a new thing to me
My traffic is down too and as you can see my Hubscore is only at 90 now which is the lowest it has been since my first year here!
My traffic is at a lowish point but I don't think either of us has been Google slapped. I am expecting mine to go back up again.
My traffic has been unusually low for a couple days, down about 30%-40%. Given that I have followed this thread, reading just about every post, it does give me cause for a little paranoid concern.
I, too, have read each post in this thread. My traffic, like yours, has been going down, although over the last two months instead of over a couple of days. This, after a huge surge starting in August 2011. I don't know that I feel paranoid about this, more like clueless. What I'm thinking about now is that there's an equalizing process going on, totally dictated by Google. By equalizing, I mean content is being ranked based on readers' patterns (as gathered by such things as Google Plus), and readers' patterns are shifting, perhaps away from the "content rich" and into the "easily digestible" and the trend-based. One thing I do know is that the majority of my traffic comes not from search engines in general but from Google in particular. If I want traffic to my Hubs, Google needs to be appeased. But anyone who might know how to do that isn't sayin', so to speak, unless they work for Google and know what the magic formula is but share it only with, perhaps, their pets.
From everything I learned in this thread and from the advice of others with whom I've been conversing over time, I decided to unpublish my most poorly performing Hubs (poor performance measured by lack of Google traffic and also by lack of time on page). Maybe doing so will strengthen what remains in my subdomain here, maybe not. But I'm also off looking for new venues.
@IizzyM, what happened to your Hubs here has not happened to mine in such a drastic way. Yet, the punch hurts. It really is time for me to move on from investing my writing in a shared site like this one. I do think there are good reasons to maintain a presence here, maybe for the purpose of feeding into online venues I own outright, at least for as long as HP continues to be a credible business. The cliche about not putting all your eggs in one basket was never more true than now.
I suspect time on page is the important one. Google's concern is about what it considers low quality, or not relevant material achieving high positions in the search results - lack of traffic almost by definition means that a hub is not in this category. On the other hand, as Paul E and Jason have said, a hub could be getting lots of traffic and earnings and be considered "low quality" by Google, because, for instance, they consider it to just be a doorway to Amazon.
My traffic has slumped badly too recently (although not crashed). Like Will, I am hoping that it is essentially just a seasonal drop and there will be a gradual recovery over the next couple of months.
This thread on Webmaster World has an interesting discussion on Jan Google algorithm changes.
Some people are saying that changes in traffic could be from the new social Google+ integration. Others speculate that it could be because there was a refresh on long tail keywords.
I don't think ebooks are the way to go.
I think everyone and his grandmother has jumped aboard the ebook bandwagon, and the public are not better served.
They are in some cases, because many a brilliant writer would never have been discovered had not not been for ebooks.
BUT, and its a big but, we also have the biggest plagiarists on the web stealing other people's writings and ideas and putting it in their ebooks.
Real-life 'friends' of mine got ripped off big time at the start of the ebook revolution.
They paid $100 for an ebook promising them the secrets of how to make a great pizza.
They paid for this, unknown to me, while I was working with them helping them set up a pizza parlour.
They are not friends or they would have confided in me that they didn't have a clue, not just about how to make pizzas, but how to use the net, because there a million free recipes out there.
So they got got their fingers burned.
Who else did?
Do you really thing the public want more of that?
Find a publisher for your writings. It may take a bit longer, but published works do better long term, apart from those who get lucky breaks.
So not true - basically now if you want to be published in some genres you should have your book up there and selling so that the publisher knows there is a market first.
Also why would you as a successful author want to pay the middleman, and make your public pay more because of it. One of the best scifi books I've read recently is from hubpages own http://www.amazon.com/The-Galactic-Mage … B006VCZMVS - he couldn't get a publisher - the book was a bit different you see ...
Oh Lissie I am only trying to inject a bit of realism into the thread.
Yes there are exceptions, and Hubpages in the whole is home to an enormous creative writing talent.
In fact, writers here are probably better placed to write books than most of our top authors who need editors and proof-readers to take out the spelling mistakes etc.
That is your biggest expense in the middle-man thing. Paying someone to fix your own errors.
Then again, agents need their cut, printers need theirs, and at the end of the day, there are not a lot of JK Rowlings around, who became a multi-millionaires through their writings. (she did get a lot of help from the British government, all the same)
I have taken a kinda sideways step, and wrote that site that sells books.
It's still on the front page of Google, though God knows how when I ignore it, but I need to put my creative talent there and add everyone and every book to it, which is a huge undertaking for one person, but can be done.
If I removed myself from these forums.
Point is, we can market ourselves quite well. Only I haven't written anything, but if I did... lol
And now that I have totally taken over this thread, can anyone explain to me why, after Google send the bots round, as they do at least every half hour according to Analytics real time, I get a flurry of traffic right after, that tails away?
Perhaps the penalty has to be removed while the bots do their thing. But who knows, this is merely a guess.
Do you see the same, Randy?
It's like they like what they see, but then they 'phone home' and get told 'forget it!'
One of my hubs published in Aug '08 didn't get any traffic until March '09 and it's my highest producing hub. The traffic dipped along with my others and then two days ago it reached the highest levels ever. It dipped yesterday.
I occasionally add a new sentence at the beginning. I've been going into my other hubs, tweaking the titles, and adding a bit new content. We'll see if this sustains.
Reading this jogged my memory.
I remember reading a forum post way back (might not even have been here) about the robots.txt file.
It's a file used by site owners to give search engine crawlers/robots instructions about whether to index that site (or page(s) within that site).
Confused as to relation to topic? I believe this may be used on some images/certain types of index pages, but otherwise would not be an issue on HP?
I don't know. I only put it out there because that's what was in the message that Izzy said flashed momentarily on her screen all those months ago.
Perhaps a member of staff can explain whether such files are used on HP and if so, whether they're relevant to the Google-slapping issue and if/how it's possible for a person with a slapped subdomain to go about fixing them.
Though it's 2.30 am on a Sunday in California so I don't think any of us should hold our breath.
It didn't flash up on my screen (or if it did, I missed it), I was quoting it happening to someone else (using inverted commas instead of the proper quote syntax). Was it Jean is happened to?
It is relevant here because someone lost all their traffic immediately after this message popped up.
But if its a file used by site owners to give search engine crawlers/robots instructions about whether to index that site (or page(s) within that site), could a mistake have been made resulting in someone losing all their traffic?
It's not something I know a lot about. Or anything about for that matter, really.
But the whole subdomain switch must have been a huge amount of work and mistakes can be made.
In my newest account, hubbers leave comments on some hubs or my profile and end it with "welcome to hubpages".
It feels so strange not being able to say "oh hi XYZ, its only me, viryabo".
LOL, on one of newest accounts a hub greeter stopped by and commented about how professional my hub looked for a newbie. I replied something along the lines of how I only write about x,y,z. And then she cottoned, "oh, oh a niche account"! lol
IzzyM is one of the great hubbers most of us try to emulate. I posted a thread some days ago, titled "is this another google panda" when i noticed traffic to my best hubs declining at an alarming rate. Surprisingly, after deleting less performing hubs, traffic has started rising again.
Of course with your level of success here, you still remain one of the great hubbers. If you don't know, then let me you this, some of us are looking for ways of matching your success.
I got the worst traffic I've seen for months yesterday. Yes, I know that Saturday is a bad day and January is a relatively bad month, but this traffic was almost on a level with Xmas Day or New Year's Eve. The worrying thing is that my traffic hasn't crashed but has been gradually worsening over the last few weeks (despite me writing more). I hope I can turn things around with the work I've done at diminishing Amazon capsules and hubs.
I don't know who spread the word for pages with amazon links being "doorway pages" but considering the success of some of the other affiliates with that strategy, this sounds funny to me.
I notice it requires a lot more backlinks to get our pages ranking higher compared to when I first started, I think online marketing and writing is becoming a lot more popular and niches more scarce.
Some of my hubs start off with very low traffic. Then pick up after about six months. What if I delete a hub just as it is about to take off.
Is there no science to this Google traffic challenge?
Nope, no science at all! Google has gotten too big for their britches and seek to rule the internet in their favor. Otherwise, where did their latest huge profits come from after the Panda introduction? I sincerely hope they are scrutinized closely by those authorized to investigate those breaking the anti-trust laws in this country.
Yet others are seeing a jump in traffic. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/92005
Guess Google hasn't finished...
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