On May 3rd, our Google traffic compared to the prior week was off by 22% across all of HubPages. Google has said that this isn't a Panda update. Even so, it's pretty brutal. I feel tremendously bad for Hubbers and the team at HubPages that have worked extremely hard over the last several years to improve the site.
We've spent the last few days looking at data and trying to glean any information from these stats. Here's what we found out about this recent Google update.
This Update isn't About Quality at the Page Level
When we analyze each Hub by internal quality score, we see very little differentiation between our lowest-rated and highest-rated content. It's extremely unfortunate to see really good authors lose a tremendous amount of traffic.
We compared the traffic losses of our hand-picked, high-quality Editors Choice Hubs that are on the main HubPages domain vs Hubs on subdomains and they both lost 22%.
We compared professionally edited, HubPro-Edited Hubs to unedited Hubs and they were virtually a tie at a 22% loss on average.
Squidoo-imported Hubs were down just about the same as original Hubs.
We compared how Hubs with external links and affiliate products did comparatively, and we didn't see any meaningful variation.
This means Google
applied a site-wide ranking factor that ignores quality and subdomains. I'd call this a very blunt site-wide whack if your site is on the wrong side of this algorithm.