Riddle me ree, riddle me roo, why is Hubpages traffic different than Squidoo?
And what the heck happened around August 4/5?
Dates of Recent Google Updates:
- [May 26: last Penguin update]
- Jul 24 Panda 3.9 (no algorithm tweaks, just a refresh of Panda data)
- Aug 10 (announced; set to go into effect following week): Emmanuel Update (downrating sites with lots of verified DMCA notices)
- Aug 19 Panda 3.9.1
Which just goes to remind us that big, publicly-announced Google updates are only one small factor, and that Google is CONSTANTLY tweaking its algorithm. (In fact, there were about 85 minor algo tweaks announced for June-July. Here’s a good discussion of some of them on Searchengineland.)
At first, my hunch was that this was due to one of the other algo tweaks. But I don’t think it’s that. With past algorithm tweaks, we’ve often seen Hubpages dip afterwards. But this isn’t a dip. Squidoo is climbing. What’s up?
Hubpages has a lot more writerly writers, whereas Squidoo has a HUGE chunk of Rocketmoms, work-at-home moms…. see a pattern? They create a ton of lenses based around kid-related and family-related products. I suspect we’re seeing a back-to-school climb, corresponding to the dip in traffic starting at the end of May .
What’s odd is that Hubpages writers also have mentioned a summer slump, but they’re not seeing a climb yet. I suspect there are more “informational” hubs and fewer sales hubs, or at least fewer sales hubs catering to the Soccer Mom demographic. Squidoo seems to have a lock on those. But that’s just a guess.
Why do I care? Partly, raw curiosity, but mainly, here we have a lab experiment: two sites with very similar models and similar ratios of spam to content. When their traffic diverges, that means there’s some small difference causing the change. If we can understand that difference, then we may begin to get a better grasp of factors that impact search traffic. (I would love for Wizzly and Zujava to grow enough to get directly-measured traffic for Quantcast; then we’d have four sites with basically similar models to compare and contrast.)