Google Smacks Down Hubpages

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 1st Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1fpve2sg/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Web>Hosting

The effect the new algorithm created by Google has had on the publishing site Hubpages.

The Recent Change

Our eyes were on Triond; but Google was watching Hubpages.
eHow was defending itself but Google wasn't attacking.
As soon as the algorithm changed, Hubpages tumbled down the wormhole.

German Company Sistrix reports that Hubpages has tumbled by 87%.

Sistrix Statistics

..... #Domain Change (before) (after) # KWs (before)..# KWs (after)
1 wisegeek.com -77% 121,58 28,22 74.024 21.940
2 ezinearticles.com-90% 65,08 6,65 184.508 54.277
3 suite101.com -94% 54,04 3,28 178.373 36.904
4 hubpages.com -87% 55,16 7,40 152.998 50.178
5 buzzle.com -85% 43,25 6,55 86.472 24.423

http://www.sistrix.com/blog/985-google-farmer-update-quest-for-quality.html

What Does Hubpages Say?

CEO Paul Edmondson says "we think writers rule" .

" Content is not dictated by an algorithm; writers write what they want, opt into a revenue-share program (which would mean that if higher-quality ads are running alongside their stories, writers would presumably earn more money), own the rights to their content, and can delete it at any time. Both articles and the authors who write them are given a "HubScore" of quality, and if the score is above 75, those writers can enjoy "full promotion throughout the HubPages ecosystem,"

What is real?


What Sistrix states seems to fly in the face of the upbeat CEO.

There are hundreds of thousands of writers on Hubpages. If of 200k only a small percentage are crap writers well then Edmundson's version is accepted.

If, however, the site is mostly crap with a few good pieces, Google has found a Content Farm.

How To Prove

There is an easy way to prove whether Hubpages is mostly good stuff with some crap, or mostly crap with a few good items.

Hubhop.

Go to Hubpages, join and take advantage of the chance to 'hop some hubs'. Random items will be presented to you to vote up or down or flag.

One assumes that in a thirty minute period one should be able to hop 50 hubs.
One is simply looking for stuff that would be published on Wikinut, assuming 37, at least, would be of Wikinut standard, 15 would be made up of lesser quality, Spam, and pure crap.

After all, there is no moderator. With no moderator and considering the abundance of Trolls, Spammers, and persons who can't write a shopping list, I assumed about 20% or so would fall beneath the level of a moderated site.

What I found

Out of 50 articles, only 2 could have been published here.

Let me repeat that; out of 50 articles only 2 of them could have been published here.

The majority were SPAM. They were ads for various products. They were chock of 'keywords' that would catch a Google, but were ads for Accounting firms, Ads for shoes, and gibberish full of SEO hit catchers.

This was 39 out of 50 Articles.

The remaining 9, (for two were about something) were 5 Christian Evangelist Tracts, 3 were one paragraph or sentence and 1 was gibberish.

All of these articles were published between 4 hours and 10 minutes of my Hub Hopping.

Ten hours later I repeated the process to similar results, save I found absolutely nothing which could have been published here.

50 articles and NOT ONE would have slipped past a moderator.

Don't Believe Me

Try it yourself.

Regardless of this 'ranking' or whatever which insures that most people get the least possible revenue; the majority of stuff submitted and published on Hubpages is garbage.

Outside of my first run where one article might have been a Star Page, out of a total of 100 articles 80 were the kind of dreck that was found in the comments section mentioned in my article on Spam.

The other 20 were split between those who use Hubpages as a pulpit to preach Christian dogma and badly written gibberish, and a mixture of both.

The Way Forward? If Any

It has come clear to many that what we call 'Writing Sites' are those which use the author's work as wallpaper. Wallpaper on which to hang Ads.

Ads are important.
Writing is not.

Most online writers don't realise that unmoderated sites invite Trolls, Spammers, and the illiterate.

Where the number of good writers exceeds the others, a site maintains a reputation.
Where the majority of items published are flushable, the entire site is tainted.

Hubpages has gotten too big for itself. It can not control what is posted, refuses to have human moderation, thinks a handful of good items is enough, there is no doubt iGoogle is correct in calling it a 'Content Farm' and dropping it's ranking.

Tags

Algorithm, Articles, Google, Hubpages, Publishing, Seo, Spam, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
2nd Mar 2011 (#)

I wonder where Wikinut stats are on that site?

I have to admit I have let some bad stuff get past, but often I catch it later and message the head guys to remove it - we get a lot of plaguarism, and auto translated crap, we try to screen against that of course.
Advertisers hopefully will appreciate better content, I know readers do, as a result better content gets shared more over time.

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author avatar kaylar
2nd Mar 2011 (#)

There has to be a policy; and it should err on the side of professionalism. I can understand a site with 100 users wanting to publish everything they write; to beef up a 'portfolio' but there's a difference between the person whose written something with a few misspellings and dog poo

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author avatar kaylar
2nd Mar 2011 (#)

.

http://www.hypestat.com/wikinut.com

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author avatar Sinbad the SailorMan
2nd Mar 2011 (#)

This is an interesting write for me as I have joined Hubpages a while back and I have written some of that religious stuff not to preach Christian dogma, but to share it and some poetry which some might consider gibberish, and a mixture of both. I have read some and have posted some of the Hubbers widgets on my site now you got me wanting to go and re-read all these Hubbers writes as I only read One from each I guess I'd better do a fast check on the quality now Thanks for the share Google is the power that is and they are setting the standards, but who is regulating them as they regulate every one else checks and balances are needed Or so I think Donnie/Sinbad the Sailor Man

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author avatar kaylar
2nd Mar 2011 (#)

Why should Google have to pay via hits for Adsense when on one has gone to that site; really? A person a does a Google on a topic; "How to Rebrand" Google sends them to Dog poo on Hubpages.

As to Xian stuff; this isn't your little town where everyone is Xian. This is the World; and there are people who no more want to see Xian stuff than Muslim stuff. Religious preaching brings down the quality of a site. Hubpages doesn't care; it knows it is Content Farm. It knows most of its users trick Google with SEO key words. It knows it is full of spam. It doesn't care.

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author avatar Denise O
3rd Mar 2011 (#)

I don't use these sites. I am just a newbie really. I only use wikinut. I hear your pain my friend. Nice read.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Denise O
3rd Mar 2011 (#)

Oh by the way, I have not forgotten you, I am noow trying to get back to all my older articles of so many. I still have your test I have to do. So you are not forgotten my friend. I just am starting to feel up to par is all. Have patience with me.:)

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author avatar kaylar
3rd Mar 2011 (#)

Hubpages came recommended. One actually felt, (few months aback) that it was a real site not a pig sty

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author avatar kaylar
3rd Mar 2011 (#)

btw...nothing is being down right now to get rid of the spam. Most articles on Hub pages are advertisments

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author avatar Retired
5th Mar 2011 (#)

hi kaylar-- I totally agree with your assesment. I do use hubpages, but for the most part, I find exactly the same as you, a lot of crap there. The kicker was finding, ON SAID site, one of my wikinut pages copied word for word, by someone else. Filed complaint and user banned, but the point is if that is there, they either need to add mroe moderators ( they have two!-- only TWO!) and spend some money to improve the site.

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author avatar kaylar
6th Mar 2011 (#)

As I said in the article, I never hopped hubs. When I did I was shocked. 100 hubs, only 2 articles that could have been posted here.
It is a matter of penny wise and pound foolish.

For example, if they paid something like $10 per every hundred hubs vetted, and like here, your name was slapped on the hub that was published, I'm sure each day I would view at least 200 hubs. (yeah, it's an 89 to 1 dollar so $20 U.S. is 1,600 Ja minibucks...) but it would be worth every cent to insure that they had a real site.

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author avatar Retired
6th Mar 2011 (#)

kaylar-- been saying that for many years, and it seems that only now are they thinking of doing this.

You are also being generous, but I'd say these days 1 in 100 are good material. I'll only exclude peotry, but for the most part completly agree.

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author avatar kaylar
6th Mar 2011 (#)

the site is pure adcopy

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author avatar Retired
7th Mar 2011 (#)

yes, it is not good, but I am determined to do what i can there. (actually it's self-serving but hey!) Do you write there as well?

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author avatar kaylar
7th Mar 2011 (#)

I don't see Hubpages making any attempt to 'clean up' -- have you?

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author avatar JohnH
7th Mar 2011 (#)

kaylar-- interesting points, because of this page I went there, and you and Rebecca are right, it is bad! I have a question, if you are on there, would you continue there. (love to read a page about it) and the numbers kinda confused me a bit, but I got the idea that many sites have taken a big hit.

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author avatar kaylar
7th Mar 2011 (#)

I have written there, the point is, and I'm sure Rebecca can back me, is that one will write, get a '50' or so, maybe move all the way up to 75 so think there are better writers...then try to read them.
Ha!
Better Spammers!!

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author avatar Retired
8th Mar 2011 (#)

Hi kaylar-- yep totally back you on this one, 75 is tops for a spammy on, since by that time a few flags are up, so my suggestion if you see a bunch of spam like authors, flag their profile. Or, better yet find me on hubpages, and I'll flag 'em out.

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author avatar kaylar
8th Mar 2011 (#)

Just went to a '100'...
this is the first para..

Atherton is in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont Metro Area, as defined by the US government. The town lies between San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean, on the San Francisco Peninsula. This sounds as though it is not too far distant from the HubPages Headquarters, and it turns out to be approximately 30 miles south of the home office, along Highway 101. ....

And this makes the top of Hubpages...

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author avatar More balanced
9th Mar 2011 (#)

You are not 100% wrong in your assessment but you have used an unreliable method to come to it.

The Hub Hopper is made to make the spam and crap more visible. If it appears in the Hopper it is brand new and falls in a suspicious score range. So you have to understand that - it is expected to find crap there! 80% of the content that makes it into the hopper is unpublished and removed within a week. That is what it is designed to do.

Its interesting that you find support from the hubber Rebecca E here as she is an example of a valueless hub creator. She has perhaps 200 hubs on how to make money online but any online business person who does make money online can clearly see that she does not have any conception of the skills required. In addition, she has a great fanbase that do believe in her and she offers them product recommendations that are clearly just auto generated from keywords. So even if we looked past her typos and the fact that she writes the same poorly composed hub over and over and over again, we still have to look at her with disdain for taking advantage of her fanbase and being a false "guru" -

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author avatar kaylar
10th Mar 2011 (#)

The problem is, as I wrote in Crap Sells, is that one is put in a very uncomfortable position. Do I write an article with substance which gets maybe 100 - 200 hits over time and nets me 1c or do I opt to write crap that sells.

I agree with you about the value of Hopped Hubs. The point is...if there wasn't some niche for them, no one would try post them.

It is like leaving a comment on Triond. One deletes. Leave it again. Delete. There's no sense in leaving comments when one can delete them.

When Hubpages becomes fully moderated that kind of stuff will have to disappear because it is pointless.

Pointless to write which will never see the light of screen.

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author avatar Retired
10th Mar 2011 (#)

Kaylar-- a suggestion, when you go on hubpages do you go to the front page to look at some of the hubs there? I am wondering if you've have all of it there.

As for balance-- me guru? not a chance. =)

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author avatar kaylar
10th Mar 2011 (#)

I looked at the 100 point Hubbers, I looked at the Elite, and I looked in general at random. Rebecca, so I got a potpourri of writing there.

Most of the articles are exactly the same.

"Today many people are concerned about..."

"All over the world they...."

"What you need to know..."

And other SEO phrases.

You see here's the key fact.

The Original writer, the person who creates prose that is new will score very low on SEO because a robot is programmed to pick up only certain phrases and key words.

Learning how to write to please the robot is why so much stuff is bland, exactly the same, and I don't remember who or what I read two minutes later.

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author avatar Shaun Jarmen
10th Mar 2011 (#)

Excellent article, Google did the right thing for all of us.

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author avatar kaylar
10th Mar 2011 (#)

Robots 'read' the articles; Robots do the searches. Write to please robots....that's how to get 200k hits

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author avatar Jtyler
19th Mar 2011 (#)

Hubhopping doesn't cover all hubs, it covers newer hubs only, so this article's argument isn't really valid.

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