Monday, 29 June 2009

How Hubpages internal linking helps boost some hubs

I was browsing through the "hot" hubs on the Hubpages site when I wondered if the hubs listed on that page got any particular boost from it. It turns out they do. The hot hub pages (and "latest" and "best" hub pages) carry page rank of their own. Here's the pagerank of these pages@

Hot hubs page 1 - PageRank 5
Hot hubs page 2 - Pagerank 4
Hot hubs page 3 - Pagerank 0

Latest hubs page 1 - Pagerank 4
Latest hubs page 2 - Pagerank 3
Latest hubs page 3 - Pagerank 0

Best hubs page 1 - Pagerank 4
Best hubs page 2 - Pagerank 0

It's clear from the above that Hubpages gives you a boost as soon as you publish a new hubpage by listing you on their "latest" list. But this lasts only as long as you are on pages 1 and 2 of the latest list - once you are bumped off onto page 3 by new material, the boost fades.

Being a hot hub also has a lot of benefits if you are on page 1 or 2. Hot hubs seem to be those who are gathering traffic and comments fast. They tend to be mainly hubs published in the last four weeks. The "best" hubs are older and the ones on the first page all have a hubscore of 100.

It's definitely worth trying to gain "hot" or "best" status because you get a link from a very strong page.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Keyword Tool - Detecting Commercial Intention

Have found an absolutely brilliant free Keyword tool from Microsoft called Detecting Commercial Intention

Here's what the tool looks like (click image to enlarge):

All you do is type in an URL or keyword (be sure to click the buttons at the bottom to say whether you are checking a website or keyword) and then press Go. It then calculates whether it thinks it is a commercial keyword or not.

In my example, I was checking "purple carnations", because I was in the process of making a Hubpage about it. The result came back that it was a 0.93 probablity that it was commercial. So I made my hubpage - All About Purple Carnations.

However when I typed in "Nicolas Sarkozy", it came back and said that that phrase had a Non-Commercial Intention probability of 0.96. One of my very first hubs was about Sarkozy, and I can sadly confirm that this keyword tool is correct in judging commercial intention - despite loads of hits to that hub, I have only made a few cents from it. I wish I'd seen this tool earlier!

In general, I would advise people to stay away from making hubs about politics or celebrities - they may be fun to write and get loads of hits, but they don't make any money. Therefore only write such hubs for your own pleasure.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

How the social aspects of Hubpages and Squidoo can help push you up the SERPS

I was checking the backlinks in Google for one of my Hubpages, and found that they counted my Hubpage Profile page as a backlink. It made me pause to think. How was this profile page sufficient to propel my hubpages up the SERPS?

The answer is through the forum. Every time you post in the forum, you leave a link behind to your hubpage profile. The more links, the more powerful your Hubpage profile becomes. The same thing applies to Squidoo - they too have a forum (called Squidu), and again, when you post on there, there is a link in the left to your profile. Squidu also allow signatures, so you can build additional backlinks to individual sites (not confined to Squidoo lenses).

It seems to me that both Hubpages and Squidoo are designed to reward people who interact with the community. Having lots of fans gives you the same benefit - you end up with a lot of other profiles linking to yours, giving you link juice.

On both sites you can also add blurb and links to your profile page to emphasise certain keywords linking to certain pages/blogs/lenses.

It's tempting to ignore the social aspects of Hubpages and Squidoo. But because of the structure of the sites, they genuinely deliver benefits to the pages/lenses that you write if your are socially active within the communities - because your profile starts to gain authority in it's own right and then starts to push any pages listed in your profile up the SERPS.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

More on Diversifying Income

As mentioned before, am anxious to try out more than one method of earning online, just in case something goes wrong with an income channel.

On the platform front, I have had success with Hubpages. I have abandoned Google Knols because their ad placement is so poor it's unlikely anyone would ever click on one (see here for the post about my Knol experiment). I have also opened an account with Squidoo, and have produced my first Squidoo lens - Guide to Hubpages. Squidoo lenses don't seem to get indexed as fast as Hubpages. I had to submit my lens to a social bookmarking site to get the search engines to pay it attention.

It's too soon to say whether Squidoo will work out - will update later on this. From chat in the Squidoo forums, most of the successful lensmasters make money through affiliate earnings. Squidoo lens are very flexible as long as you know basic HTML. You can add whatever links you want in the text capsules, and add banners in the "big picture" capsules. I don't think javascript works in Squidoo lenses, but any affiliate links based on HTML will.

On the advertising front, I've had success with Adsense, have abandoned Kontera because it's useless, and am experimenting with Adbrite on this blog. Am not too sure what I make of Adbrite to be honest. They haven't yet served up decent ads - maybe it depends on the blog generating sufficient traffic. We'll see. I think I need to give it a couple of months before I decide it's not worth it.

In the meanwhile, I have decided that I really need to push on and make more Hubpages, as that so far is the only thing that has brought in money.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Hubpage challenge - results

In the end I didn't manage to make my 30 hubs - only made 17. These 17 hubs produced $11.77 in Adsense income.

Looking closely at the results, all the income came from just 7 hubs. Clearly only some niches have readers inclined to click ads - the others attract readers too savvy to click ads at all. Of the hubs that got clicks, some got low value clicks, but the click rate was high, while others got high-value clicks, but the clickthrough rate was low. Obviously the best thing would be a high clickthrough rate, a high value click and high traffic, but I'm not complaining. As long as I make some money from them, I'm not bothered.

What I really want to do is avoid the niches where you put in a lot of work writing a good useful hub and earn nothing from it, and I now have an idea of where to concentrate my efforts.

The other thing I noticed is that it's worth writing really useful hubs - some hubs I produced got found in the search engines straight away (because hubpages gives a lot of juice to new hubs) and then attracted natural backlinks from other blogs and sites. I was very excited about that, especially as these hubs then went on to get a lot of traffic and produce income. Given that getting backlinks is the hardest part of earning on the net, it was interesting to learn how to get these spontaneously.

All-in-all I'd say it was a very useful experiment. I intend to continue writing hubs till I've got about 100, and will be focusing on those niches I feel are both lurative and which I can write something genuinely useful that isn't present on other sites.