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There were declines for hubpages after the initial traffic improvements. But 23 aug seem to have reversed the downward trend and they are almost back to pre-panda levels. Sub-domain strategy is proving to be fruitful for this large content farm. This might help the other larger content farms to recover as well.But it might not help the mid and small sized sites and they will remain hurt. Here is why I feel that way.
Hubpages are creating sub domains at the user level and not at the topic level. I am noticing several of their current top ranking pages are from users who post on a variety of topics. This beats the theory that panda is favoring topic focused sites.But what surprises me is the upward movement of some low quality pages from poor quality writers. I have examples of such sub domains which I cannot share here.
So what is really helping them? As I understand it, the move to sub domains are helping them beat the panda's sitewide penalty. This suggests that the sitewide drag enforced by the google panda algorithm is very strong.
But why will this subdomain strategy help only the large content farms and not the smaller ones?
The relatively smaller and mid sized sites can branch off to only a fewer sub domains, in comparison to what the bigger content farms could. Hubpages have now created a large number of subdomains. I am guessing that the panda algo isn't applied to several of them. The smaller sizes of these new sub domains are probably helping them keep a distance from the panda evaluation.
If other bigger content farms intend trying the sub domain strategy, they should follow the hubpages model as it is and create sub domains based on user
or any other unit
that will lower the number of pages per sub domain
I guess that this will be relatively difficult for mid and smaller sized sites, as the number of authors will be less and hence pages per author will be high enough to be trapped by the panda net.
[edited by: tedster at 9:55 pm (utc) on Sep 2, 2011]