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Working Smarter to Enjoy Google Favor

Recently I tried an unscientific experiment. I wrote three articles all targeting the same keywords. Although the keywords were the same, each article was unique, approaching the topic from a different angle. I then decided to place one article on Suite 101, one on HubPages and one on eHow.

After posting the articles I searched for them using Google. The article placed on HubPages made it to page 9 when I first wrote it and then it disappeared. The eHow article initially hit page 2 and then disappeared a couple of days later. The article placed on Suite 101 made it to Google’s first page and it remained there.

Non Apples to Apples Stat Comparison

The first day the article was posted on HubPages it received 14 views $0 earnings. The eHow article had 25 page views the first day and earned 31 cents. The Suite 101 article received 203 views the first day. Unfortunately, I cannot tell how much it earned because Suite does not provide per article earning statistics.

Non Scientific Experiment

Although the key phrases are the same, each article had to adhere closely to the site’s writing guidelines. My goal in performing this little exercise was to make sure that I spend my time wisely.Busy Work

I recently decided I was going to beef up my article production on several sites so that I won’t have to work next summer. Activity for activity’s sake is a waste of time. Just like I often say to my kids, “I’m not impressed by busywork. I only get impressed when I see results.” I want to make sure that my efforts are placed on the site that will get the best results.

Non Scientific Experiment Testing Google’s Favor

After performing my article writing exercise, I started to pay particular attention to Google search results to see which content sites had ‘Google Favor.’ With any given search term, I paid particular attention to the content sites appearing on the first, second and third pages. I only used Google because it is the search engine that sends the most traffic to these sites.

On several occasions I would find articles from Suite 101 and eHow at the top of the search engine pages. Of course About.com and on occasion Associated Content articles would come in at respectable positions, but I never seemed to find articles from HubPages on the first few pages of my Google searches.

Monitoring My Time

That being said, I still like HubPages. They’ve only been around since 2005 (at least that’s when they registered their domain name). Compared to eHow’s 1998 domain registration and Suite 101’s domain registration of 1996, HubPages is a mere child and is still growing and developing.

Monitoring My TimeGiven my very unscientific experiment, I’ve decided to rearrange my work efforts in order to dedicate more of my time to the proven winners. Keeping in mind, however, that it is extremely unwise to place all of my eggs in one basket, I’m not kicking HubPages to the curb. Some writers have been very successful there. Additionally, I’ve earned a few dollars with them ($3.75 to be exact) in the short time since I started writing there so I will continue to write there.

My initial plan was to write as many Hubs as I write articles for Suite. That 50/50 article split will probably be more like 60/40 or 75/25 with more of my time being devoted to Suite articles. From time to time I’ll monitor search results and perform other unscientific experiments. The internet is a moving target and as writers, we have to move along with it.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Lovelyn August 12, 2009, 10:14 am

    Interesting test. I’ve only written a couple of Hubs, but I like the format a lot better than eHow. Like you said, the how to format can get to be tiresome. I’ve never written for Suite 101. It seems like a lot of work and I want to concentrate on my content sites right now.
    .-= Lovelyn´s last blog ..Scary Tea =-.

    • Felicia August 12, 2009, 10:24 am

      Suite isn’t so bad. Once you get used to writing in the third person, it’s easy.

      Today in the forums it was announced that one writer’s payout for July was just shy of $5,000. Not too shabby.

      What I like about Suite is that I can write about anything. Although I’m the Insurance FW, I make sure to write one insurance article a week and the rest of the time I get to choose my topics. I also find that the more I write for them, the faster I’m able to produce work.

      The pay initially is small, but it picks up over time.

  • Julie @ Write for eHow August 12, 2009, 9:13 am

    Great analysis. I’ve also noticed the same thing about Google results.

    So are you writing for eHow any more?

    I don’t feel like HubPages has the same earning potential but they’re so much fun!
    .-= Julie @ Write for eHow´s last blog ..eHow Quick Tip: Add the Right Photos and Related Articles at the Time You Publish Your Article =-.

    • Felicia August 12, 2009, 9:35 am

      Hey Julie,

      I write for eHow from time to time to time, but not as much as I used to. I got a little tired of the ‘How to’ format. That’s the reason I started writing for HubPages.

      I’m not done with them, however, just needed to switch up a bit. That’s why I so love online writing. When I get bored with one site I can always find somewhere else to write.

  • Deanna August 12, 2009, 12:23 pm

    Another great post! I have also noticed that when I post an article on Suite101 it initially receives more views than a new article on eHow. The eHow articles, however, tend to receive more views in the long run. Of course, subject matter and popularity of that subject are all factors. I do enjoy reading other writers take on each site and am glad you share your opinions.
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Sorry No New Posts for Awhile =-.

  • Rachel August 12, 2009, 12:23 pm

    What an interesting experiment! I have been learning a great deal about optimizing Google rank and this was very helpful. Gives me more initiative to write more articles for Suite!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Freelance Writing: A Career From Anywhere =-.

  • Maria -- WAHM August 12, 2009, 3:32 pm

    Felicia, I’d be interested to see a follow-up in about a month to see if there is a change. Also, were those keywords already in use on any of the sites where you published?

    In my experience, Google seems to “test” an article for a day or so to see how it is received and then maybe drops it or re-ranks it, and the placement in search results may change for a month or so before staying somewhat steady.

    In addition to writing for content sites, I think authoring your own niche sites can be profitable and best of all, you retain control over the content and earnings.

  • Matt Green September 25, 2009, 12:49 pm

    I have never used eHow or Suite 101, but will be sure to check out Suite 101 as it seems like it could be a useful money spinner. I have written on both Hubpages and a new website called Infobarrel. I started on Hubpages and so this is where I have the most articles, but in terms of earnings per article I have found Infobarrel to be better, especially in September.

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