‘Lo, folks. Back from adventures.
The good: I managed to make a solo trip to the UK, including Scotland, Ireland, and northern England, which I haven’t visited before. I had a ball at a classic Who convention, indulged in geology and mythology geeking at the Giant’s Causeway, poked around old castles and ruins, and rambled around in the British Museum saying hello to all the bits of Greece that aren’t in Greece. (Sooner or later I need to post about the Elgin Marbles controversy.) Also, Flynn the Cat and I hung out. Thank you, Flynn, for putting up with my being so ragged!
The bad: Bleeding ulcer. I was too stubborn to cancel my trip, but boy howdy do I never want to travel again while feeling that awful. I’m now on the mend, and finally able to sit at the computer for enough time to work.
Also good: My Buzzfeed-style listicle, 25 Funny Things on Google Maps, picked up Hub of the Day on Jan 4. Mind you, I’ve always mixed feelings about that article. In 2012-2013, it was my top-ranked Squidoo page, thanks to high traffic and clickouts. I’d like to think that my educational articles are better quality. On the other hand, I did go the extra mile (so to speak) to hunt down interesting information about each item on the list. So thanks, HP. I hope someday one of my meatier articles earns an HotD nod.
For what it’s worth, even when it was Hub of the Day, its hubscore still hovered around 83. [See my thoughts about Hubscores.]
My Hubpages To-Do checklist
I gather that transferred Squidoo articles were given a two week extension before they undergo the full Hubpages Quality Assessment Process? At least, when I was working on revisions last week, the warning messages on those flagged with “overly promotional links” said that I had two weeks to bring them up to snuff.
Here’s my checklist.
- Convert all the Amazon Associate links I’d had on my Squidoo lenses in HTML to Hubpages Amazon widgets, looking up items to make sure they are still the best listing.
- Delete Zazzle, AllPosters affiliate links.
- Reassess Amazon links: I used to put in a few products that readers of that article would probably like. Cull them to “only if linking to that Amazon product adds obvious value to the article — it’s highly useful, highly relevant, and/or almost certainly something that readers of this article are looking for.”
- Replace missing images. This is the most onerous task. I have well over a thousand missing images, and many of them are small, lower-resolution images suitable for the bandwidth of 7-8 years ago. Nowadays, they need to be replaced with larger-size, better-resolution images.
- Delete dead YouTube videos and cull/trim/prune the ones that work to show only one or two.
- Fix all mangled accented characters (Éowyn turned into A3owyn, for example, sometime before or during transfer.)
- Replace missing quiz questions and answers.
- Get registered with eBay on all accounts to make sure I’m earning commissions.
- Remove or modify the remaining “How to Squidoo” articles in my Greekgeek/Mythphile accounts. I’ve temporarily unpublished some that might be repurposed as more general blogging or online writing tips.
- Simplify, shorten, and edit for clarity, relevance and readability.
I’ve updated 30% of my transferred lenses so far, by and large those which were flagged with red skulls for “overly promotional links” (all of which are now eliminated, except for a few that I tucked into unpublished mode to deal with later). I’ve pretty finished steps 1 and 2, and now I’m working on steps 3-6.
Traffic and Panda
Traffic dropped for me as it did for many of you, although it’s climbed back up now that I’ve started revising transferred lenses.
In my previous post, I measured traffic for my transferred lenses during their first few weeks on Hubpages. At that time, my portfolio of transferred lenses showed a significant increase in traffic after the transfer. Then Google Panda came along and took a swipe at Hubpages traffic, affecting my transferred lenses along with my native-to-hubpages hubs. So let me pick up where I left off in my last post.
What: Total Traffic for my transferred lenses
When: September 15- Jan 5
Yardstick: Google Analytics
2013 Pageviews for that timespan: 145,164
2014 Pageviews for that timespan: 150,110
2013 number of articles across all Squidoo accounts: 413
2014 number of articles acros those same accounts after transfer/pruning: 254
2013 Average pageviews/lens/day on Squidoo: 3.11
2014 Average pageviews/lens/day on Hubpages: 5.22
In sum, despite Panda hitting Hubpages hard in late fall 2014, my transferred Squidoo lenses are still averaging about 40% more traffic per article than they were at the same time last year.
What’s odd is that my established Hubpages accounts are in much worse shape.
What: Old Hubpages accounts
When: September 15-Jan 5
2013 pageviews: 90,082
2014 pageviews: 39,079
Number of Hubs: 112
2013 daily average visitors/hub: 7.12
2014 daily average visitors/hub: 3.09
In other words, for my preexisting hubs that did not come over from Squidoo, my fall 2014 traffic is 43% of my fall 2013 traffic on Hubpages.
Why are my native-Hubpages articles hurting while my transferred-lenses are happy?
I wondered if the Squidoo lenses were enjoying the benefit of traffic from old backlinks which the Hubpages accounts don’t have. So I checked the “Acquisition” tab in Google Analytics to find out where visitors to all my different accounts are coming from…
|[S] Mythphile||[S] Niche||[S] Niche2||[H] Greekgeek||[H] Niche2|
“Mythphile” and “Greekgeek” are/were my main Squidoo and Hubpages accounts, a grab bag of articles on the ancient world, science topics like astronomy and geology, random reviews, and whatever random topics catch my interest. “Niche1″ is a niche account on gaming. “Niche2″ is a niche account on Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
The Tolkien accounts are picking up a lot of social media traffic right now due to the Hobbit films. I’m not promoting those hubs, but evidently fans are finding their way to those articles and sharing them with friends. The gaming account gains most of its traffic from people searching for help or looking up geeky details. Then there’s my mythphile account, and here I run into a mystery: what is direct traffic?
Originally, “direct traffic” was people typing urls directly into the searchbar of a web browser or coming to a page via a browser bookmark. Nowadays, it’s every kind of traffic for which Google doesn’t have any clue where it came from. Unfortunately, this includes traffic from most mobile apps (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Gooogle app) and iOS Safari. So there’s no way to know how many of those are search, backlinks, or social.
In conclusion, I don’t have enough data to figure out why my Hubpages hubs are in worse shape than my Squidoo lenses. And at this point, I should stop pondering and get back to working on revising old lenses, since that’s what’s going to bring more traffic.