What Google giveth panda can taketh away...

You may have seen in my March 2011 earnings update I mentioned the effect that the Google algorithm update, known as the 'panda update' had on traffic to my online income streams in particular my Hubpages traffic.  At the time I mentioned that it appeared that this was only affecting the US at this time, but that Hubpages traffic to the US had decreased by 50%.

This decrease in traffic from US users to my hubs actually accelerated slightly at the beginning of April, resulting in traffic from the UK exceeding traffic from the US, with Canada and India only being slightly behind.  Well a few days ago the panda update was rolled out internationally.  Whilst this is only a short space of time, I am already seeing decreases in traffic from most countries in the world of between 20% and 60%.  The one exception to this is in America where I have actually seen a slight increase.  This has obviously had a knock on effect on my earnings, both from Google Adsense and the Hubpages ad program.  However, at this stage I am unable to quantify it.

Since Hubpages is an external site there is not much that I can do as an individual to improve the Google rank of my pages, other than backlinking.  I believe Hubpages have recognised that there is a major problem and to a degree the company has been backlisted by Google and other sites, such as Infobarrel, have fared better because of their stricter controls on content (a reason I mention in March 2011 that I would concentrate on Infobarrel and Excerptz for posting articles at least in the medium term).  Therefore Google are starting to crack down on overly promotional hubs and those which have excessive Amazon/eBay affiliate links.  Whilst this is admirable, the checking process is not as thorough as those on other sites where all articles are approved before going live, at least to newbies and therefore I can see Hubpages struggling to bounce back as quickly as the alternatives have.

In addition to posting on Infobarrel and Excertz more, I will attempt to post more on Blogger blogs, eventually leading to starting my own hosted site.  I mention Blogger blogs because this blog and another one which I haven't posted on in a long time, on Renewable Energy in the UK, both seem to have done well out of the Panda update and this will fit in with the research done here on how different websites are affected by the Google UK update.  I may also post more on Webanswers although the degree I do depends on how traffic there is affected by the Panda update.

A side effect I have also noticed is that accompanying the fall in Google traffic there has been a corresponding fall in the amount of traffic which comes from Google.  Previously 85% of my traffic to Hubpages was from Google, now it is nearer 70%.  It might be time to figure out SEO techniques for Bing!


  1. Yes, I noticed that Bing has gained market share in March. I wonder what will happen over the next several months. It will be interesting to say the least, but it feels like starting over again.

  2. It definitely does seem like starting all over again - according to Alexa Hubpages traffic is down to where it was at end of 2009 and presumably there are many more hubs now!

  3. Yeah, it definitely rests the way of thinking. It makes the search engine optimization services community work a little harder in pursuit of making the general public a little happier. Funny thing is, if you asked your average person if they've noticed in improvement in their Google search experience, they'd probably say no