Saturday, 22 October 2011

New Experiment

Well, my hubpages traffic is still holding up at higher than pre-Panda, but it looks like some hubbers have sunk to well below where they were before the sub-domain switch.

The whole hubpages thing throws a spanner into a lot of accepted wisdom. One myth was that sub-domains needed to be themed on a topic, and if they consisted of a hodge-podge of different topics Google would punish you. Well, that seems wrong.

Another myth was that what helped you rank on hubpages was the internal links the site distributed through the related hubs feature on every hubpage, plus the category pages. This is why they justify keeping 40% of revenue. Yet despite everyone getting this benefit, it is only helping some.

I think I know why I've retained my traffic - but I need to replicate the model before I can declare success (and if I can do so, I've cracked Panda!). So - I have set up a sub-domain on tumblr, where I shall be posting a hodge-podge of topics and seeing whether I can get the posts to rank, using the same techniques I am using on hubpages.

Why tumblr? Well, they are a web 2.0 (albeit organised a bit differently from hubpages). I thought about setting up a sub-domain on one of my own hosted sites, but felt it would be better to set one up on tumblr as I could then use it for backlinks to my main sites (as it has a different ip address) and test the web 2.0 thing in one go. Finally, tumblr is pretty relaxed about monetisation - they allow you to add your adsense to your sub-domain and keep the lot (i.e. you get 100%), as well as use affiliate links (though they don't like affiliate links on every post).

I wasn't able to get silver rose as the url of my subdomain, so I chose something else. I think url matters - either it must describe what your website is about if you are doing a specific niche, or it needs to be something normal and faintly attractive if you are going for a myriad of topics. I think the click-through rate from the SERPs diminishes if you have a weird or inappropriate name in your url, simply because searchers react badly.

Anyhow - I have set up the tumblr and have put in a privacy policy page and written my first post. It was easy to add both google analytics and adsense to the sub-domain - just click on "customise appearance" and then "edit html" and drop the code in the appropriate places.

I shall continue to write a selection of info posts, mixed in with product posts monetised with amazon. Will report back in a month as to how it has fared.