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Seth Godin's Failed Squidoo Site Sells Out to HubPages

Seth Godin Bails Out from Failing Website

Seth Godin Bails Out from Failing Website

After 20 months of tanking traffic,'s founder and president Seth Godin is closing the doors on his user-generated-content (UGC) site. According to, traffic to the Squidoo site was averaging about 2,315,300 unique visitors per day in November, 2012. The day before its demise was announced, traffic had plummeted to just 358,000 a day, a loss of more than 84%. Translate that to an equivalent loss of income as well.

A revenue sharing site, Squidoo paid half of the money generated from Google AdSense and Display Network ads to the writers of 85,000 articles on the site. For the month of June, that 50% payment equaled just $18,640 – hardly enough to pay the salaries of Squidoo's 15 managers and employees.

HubPages Logo

HubPages Logo

Godin made the announcement in a short blog post on the Squidoo website on August 15, 2014, stating, "HubPages is acquiring key content from Squidoo, creating the largest site of its kind in the world." That media spin is more than a little misleading. Squidoo LLC, a privately-held corporation, never owned the content in its website; the copyright is owned exclusively by the individual authors.

Godin's announcement further explained that content would be moved to and that writers could delete their articles or opt out of the transfer and their work would simply vanish online. URLs on Squidoo for transported pages will have 301 redirects to their new locations on the HubPages' domain. The transfer of content began on September 2 with a projected completion date of October 1.

HubPages Inc. Office Location Map

HubPages Inc. Office Location Map

The Sale of

I asked Marina Lazarevic, Product and Quality Manager for HubPages, if money actually changed hands in the acquisition. Her answer was yes. "While I can't disclose the details of the agreement, I can say that yes, we are paying Squidoo for the assets," she said. It appears that certain technology and user information was purchased.

Squidoo was operated remotely, with employees working from their homes or shared-office spaces in different parts of the U.S., so there are no tangible assets involved in the purchase.

None of the Squidoo employees will be working at HubPages. In a veiled message, Seth Godin discussed the fate of his employees in a post on his personal Typepad blog on August 19: "Many of them are off to start new projects, and some are looking to join teams that are doing important work--people with this much talent don't find themselves in between projects for long."

Of the hundreds of thousands of pages of content transferred, only 175,000 Squidoo user-generated webpages are presently available to search engines, trimmed down from 400,000 in the month before the deal was announced publicly. Though all content will make the move, only the pages now visible to search engines on Squidoo will be accessible to search engines on HubPages.

Before the transfer began, there were 838,700 articles published on HubPages. Of these, 335,638 were coded for search engine crawl. The massive content dump from Squidoo will increase crawlable pages by 52%.

HubPages is gambling that the content will do better on its site. It's a business gamble that not many would take. As Google's Panda algorithm is an ever-present and ever-changing beast which evaluates a site's entire inventory of content and applies across-the-board penalties, HubPages is at risk of losing its successful traffic numbers. Also, it is well known that any existing Google penalties follow URLs directed to a new domain.

The day before the acquisition was announced, the HubPages site received 1,282,894 unique visitors and average traffic was running at 33,145,000 a month for the previous quarter. It will be intriguing to watch how these numbers change over the coming months. Beta Test Homepage Beta Test Homepage

Traffic Graph for

Traffic Graph for

What happened to Looking back, Squidoo was a train wreck ready to happen.

Development of the Squidoo site began nine years ago, two years after Google introduced its lucrative advertising program for Web publishers. It was a time when almost any search query on Google would deliver results displaying a handful of webpages from (Remember EzineArticles? Its traffic from search nose-dived in February 2011 with the first release of the Google Panda Algorithm which specifically targeted so-called content farms, and the site never recovered its search rankings. Since the end of 2012, even having backlinks from that site garners a Google penalty for spam links.)

It was Google's own search engine results combined with its AdSense program which encouraged UGC sites to spring up like mushrooms; and it was Google's Web Search Quality team which eventually targeted these sites and wiped most of them off of the first pages of search results, beginning in 2011.

HubPages was hit hard in Google's cleanup and, although its traffic never returned to pre-Panda levels, it did make a healthy recovery. survived the great purge of 2011 and came through relatively unscathed. No one really knows why, for that site was stuffed with similar low-quality content, duplicate content, spam, spun content, etc.

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Easy Money on Squidoo

Many of those drawn to post articles on Squidoo were attracted by the opportunity to make money from AdSense, especially people who couldn't qualify on their own for an AdSense account, those who got their accounts banned, and those living in countries where AdSense accounts were not allowed. Unlike HubPages, on Squidoo, writers didn't need their own approved AdSense account; all ads from Google used the Squidoo ID for AdSense.

Spammers from around the world used software to generate spun content for the site and targeted lucrative keywords. Other schemers opened sideline businesses selling such articles for $5 each. Countless eBooks were written and sold touting methodology for using the Squidoo site to make fast money online. The spam content poured in.

Seth Godin, Founder of

Seth Godin, Founder of

Like EzineArticles and HubPages, Squidoo was also a link-drop farm, where anyone could post hundreds of 500-word articles, crammed with anchor text links to their Web properties. Since its launch, Seth Godin blatantly marketed the site as a place to post links. In an interview with's founding editor Chris Sherman in 2007, Godin encouraged businesses and website owners to enlist people to write Squidoo articles as marketing gimmicks for their companies.

In the initial marketing effort for the Squidoo Beta Test, Godin distributed a PDF file in which he said that he was not looking for articles containing content; rather, he was looking for articles containing links to other content on the Web. He even boldly announced that a link from a Squidoo article could increase another website's Google PageRank. This is the mindset which attracted and encouraged the link spam.

Squidoo allowed unlimited outbound links to the same domain in each article. Word spread online among SEOs and webmasters that Squidoo was a top place to get anchor text backlinks. Shallow content filled with link spam flooded the site.

Example of Anchor Text Link Spam from an Article on

Example of Anchor Text Link Spam from an Article on

Squidoo was also a venue for generating income from products for people with or without accounts on the shopping site. Articles on Squidoo could have unlimited displays of Amazon products and many articles were uploaded to the site which contained nothing more than dozens and dozens of Amazon links.

The Day of Reckoning for Squidoo

When Google's Panda algorithm annihilated search traffic to top UGC sites such as Suite101, DemandMedia's eHow,, and Yahoo's AssociatedContent, management at Squidoo ignored the inevitable.

Google Panda Refresh #21

Google Panda Refresh #21

The time of judgment began for Squidoo with the release of the 21st Panda update on November 5, 2012. Traffic decreased by 100,000 unique visitors the next day. Two more Google algorithm updates targeted the site in late November and December, the height of the holiday shopping season, cutting traffic down by another 666,700 daily visits. In just 30 days, traffic plunged by 30%.

During the first two months of 2013, Squidoo management played the fiddle by ignoring the crisis and taking no intervention to reverse the downward spiral. On February 28, 2013, and after four months of diminished traffic, Squidoo Head of Community Bonnie Diczhazy, posted this message on the site blog:

"Squidoo faces a serious crossroads, one that effects [sic] our entire community."

In the post, Diczhazy explained that certain content on the website "used to be able to fool the search engines, but it’s not fair to our readers and it doesn't work any longer regardless." To many, this statement indicated receipt of Google warnings and/or manual penalties.

The post goes on to reference specifically the massive amounts of spun content on Squidoo, but the example Diczhazy gave in the blog post was actually for keyword stuffing – another indication that management was clueless about search engine algorithms and Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Diczhazy stated that the company was building software to ferret out spun content and remove it from the site. Clearly, the day of reckoning had come.

Example of Keyword Stuffing from an Article on

Example of Keyword Stuffing from an Article on

Two weeks later, with the release of a new Google Penguin update on March 12 and the last Panda manual update on March 14, the death knell sounded for Traffic statistics dropped in a free fall, never to return.

When Squidoo content began transitioning to HubPages on September 2, 2014, Squidoo traffic had fallen to its 2008 levels, the year its measurement statistics were first recorded on Traffic Graph – 2008 - 2014 Traffic Graph – 2008 - 2014

Seth Godin's Leadership Failure

In the 16-month period from March 2013 until the demise of, management made erratic decisions that did as much to harm the website's traffic numbers as the increasing pressure from Google algorithms did. In fact, at times it was difficult to determine which was affecting the site more.

Seth Godin Business Philosophy Quote from His Publication 'Tribes'

Seth Godin Business Philosophy Quote from His Publication 'Tribes'

Management Ethical Failures – Squidoo Writers' Payments

The leadership mentality of Squidoo was reflected in its method of payment to its writers. Most of the writers were never paid for their content. Those who were paid did not receive the actual advertising commissions their articles earned from Google advertising. Rather, that income was pooled and divided among writers according to an internal ranking system which was convoluted, opaque, and manipulated by Squidoo management and by some Squidoo content producers.

The 50% Google advertising revenue split with writers was not evenly distributed. The ranking system paid the writers of 2,000 articles a proportional amount of approximately half of the distributed portion of this revenue. The writers of the next 8,000 ranked articles received a piece of 34% of the revenue and the writers of the next 75,000 articles shared a cut of 16%. Writers of 315,000 articles available to search engines received nothing, even if those articles earned money from Google ads. Before traffic to the site began to fall, the amount of money distributed to content producers peaked at $244,920 for one month.

Squidoo Revenue Share with Content Writers from Google Ads Income

Squidoo Revenue Share with Content Writers from Google Ads Income

Though the algorithm for determining the ranking system was never fully disclosed by management, it was revealed and well-known that these factors greatly influenced ranking and, therefore, payment tiers:

  • receiving push-button 'likes' from other site writers;
  • receiving push-button 'likes' or 'blessings' (or downgrades) from a small, elite group of other content producers chosen by management;
  • receiving 'likes' from a Squidoo employee;
  • receiving awards from a Squidoo employee;
  • daily updating an article;
  • receiving a click-out to any link for another website or to an affiliate link from a page visitor, including clicks on Google AdSense ads.

Traffic was not a factor.

The Squidoo ranking/payment system encouraged internal traffic, not external traffic. It also fostered gaming of its system by writers who manipulated ranking for their own accounts with automated software and actually selling 'likes', 'blessings' and clicks on links within articles.

Ads Selling Squidoo Likes on

Ads Selling Squidoo Likes on

People exchanged AdSense clicks on Facebook, forums and other social sharing sites. Some writers sabotaged the articles of competitors by using multiple accounts to vote them down. Some of the gamers had dozens of articles receiving top tier payments and were receiving thousands of dollars a month from pooled income. All of this was known to Squidoo management for it was often specifically reported by disgruntled Squidoo writers, to no avail.

Squidoo employees were also allowed to write articles and compete for extra income from the ranking-system payout pie. In the 30 days before the transfer of content to HubPages was announced, of the articles featured on the homepage of, more than 50 were written by Squidoo Head of Community Bonnie Diczhazy, writing under her user name Beliza.

Either Diczhazy felt her articles were indicative of the best available on Squidoo or she was greedily double-dipping into tier payments by spotlighting her own content in the quest for 'likes', 'blessings' and comments. Samples of Diczhazy articles which were given site awards for being outstanding – and thus, given a significant boost in tier-payment ranking – are here and here. Resentment of management sizzled among the rank and file.

Crisis Management Failures – March 2013

March 4: Diczhazy issued a new company policy which limited 'likes' to 20 a day per IP address and the 'blessing' system for favored writers was limited to five per day. This, of course, reduced site visits but allowed the gamers to continue by simply using different IP addresses and multiple accounts on the site. Traffic Graph Traffic Graph

March 11: Diczhazy announced a new page-blocking advertising banner on Squidoo which linked to other pages on the website. This above-the-fold intrusion flew in the face of Google's advice for best practices.

As the Squidoo internal filter cranked up, many Squidoo writers found their entire accounts, some containing hundreds of articles, were removed from the site and two months of earnings were confiscated by management. The filter was a slash-and-burn and completely oblivious to which articles were actually favored by Google and bringing in traffic from search.

Other writers spent frustrating hours trying to please the eyes of a faceless algorithm when their content was locked without an identifiable reason. Emails to management were largely ignored.

Bewildered and furious writers were told that they might get a response from their emails to the company within three weeks or they might never get one, depending upon the whim of management. Most writers received no responses.

Locked Squidoo Article URLs Were Redirected to This Notice

Locked Squidoo Article URLs Were Redirected to This Notice

On March 21, Diczhazy told writers that the company wanted them to put another Amazon product on their articles, high on the page in the critical above-the-fold space. "Our research indicates this is a sweet spot for the Amazon module", she posted on the company blog. Apparently their research didn't involve a glance at Google's Page Layout algorithm releases.

March 25: Diczhazy announced another round of deleting articles and automated scans to:

"detect thin lenses [articles], spun content, excessive use of keywords and overuse of affilate [sic] ads.

"We're finding that a lot of lenses that have multiple affilate [sic] ads. 50+ in some cases with very little content."

Countless articles, some generating high traffic, were removed from the site. Again, more accounts were deleted and two months of those writers' earnings were withheld by management. Like a squid chewing off its own tentacles, tens of thousands of webpages vanished from the site.

March 28: Squidoo made the decision to NoFollow all outbound links and made history as the only website to slap a NoFollow on all internal links as well. Under ridicule, the decision to NoFollow internal site links was rescinded the next day.

Amid the helter skelter directives from management, Google was also chopping away at traffic to the site. On March 13, the last manual Panda update began. By the end of March 2013, Squidoo traffic was down 59% from its heyday just four months prior.

Seth Godin's Business Plan Failure – Treading Water

In May 2013, webmasters noted the release of a Google Phantom update. On May 29, Google adjusted domain crowding which limited most listings from the same website to two URLs on the first pages of search engine results. This was to allow for more diversity on results pages. For a site like Squidoo which was stuffed with articles with overlapping content, this produced a further traffic fall. (In fact, Squidoo management regularly issued calls-for-content which encouraged multiple articles on the same subject.)

Squidoo floundered and failed to come up with a clear direction for its site. Throughout the rest of 2013, slipshod ideas were thrown at the wall such as: a new homepage design without links to major content sections, encouragement for writers to produce extremely short how-to articles and 250-word product reviews, a new flyout bar which blocked content, new subdomain URLS for some writers' content and for some site topics, a limit of 20 Amazon products and 20 external links per article, removal of articles which had any backlinks pointing to them, and more wholesale cancelling of writers' accounts and pocketing their earnings.

Dissenters among the content writers were banned from the forum and from leaving comments on the site blog. Class-action lawsuits for collection of earned compensation were threatened by devastated authors.

Following the Leader

During the 20-month downfall of Squidoo traffic, founder and President Seth Godin made direct communication with Squidoo writers only twice – in March of 2013 and in June of that year – both times by invitation-only conference calls with a select few writers and staff. Notorious for his blog which accepts no comments, only a few questions were allowed on the 20-minute calls. Bonnie Diczhazy attended the conference calls and defended her management actions by saying that all decisions were made as a group.

Two months before the sale to HubPages was announced, Squidoo released an increased minimum payment threshold for writers of $25, up from the $1 minimum.

When the sale was announced, writers protested and demanded that all earnings under $25 be paid to them instead of being forfeited to Squidoo. Their outrage was made loudly and clearly across social media, forums and blogs. Squidoo reneged and lowered the minimum payment back to $1 for writers' final payments.

In his 160 page missive Tribes, Godin said:

"Yes, I think it's okay to abandon the big, established, stuck tribe. It's okay to say to them, 'You're not going where I need to go, and there's no way I'm going to persuade all of you to follow me. So rather than standing here watching the opportunities fade away, I'm heading off. I'm betting some of you, the best of you, will follow me.' "

I think he will lose that bet. It's doubtful any in the ex-Squidoo tribe will be following Seth Godin again.

For more information, see:

* The Real Cause of Business Management Failure Is More about Ethics Thank Skills

Scroll down below the video on that page to read this informative article.


Carlos Mendes from Portugal on August 14, 2016:

I don't buy it! For me it was all about money, not traffic, not spam, not google. I joined Hubpages before Squidoo, while in HP I was never good, mostly because I did not have the time to explore it but also because I always found HP with many problems in design, I was making a decent money every month on Squidoo. I had traffic, I had readers and I had comments. Nothing was bought to increase my quality on my lens, all was my own work. Seth just made a selling from Squidoo and of course HP was pretty glad to buy it. For me it was all to fill his pockets. Nothing bad about that of course, it was his own business. While Squidoo had some problems, many people on the community were aware of them and everyone fight evil (spam and so on) every day. In fact after google change for the 2 times I was in Squidoo, Squidoo got more traffic and HP in fact dropped! HP will never pay us the kind of money we made on Squidoo, also, the very strict rules in design also do not allow the same freedom to make more interesting pages like it was in Squidoo, and no, I do not mean making a page with 20 amazon links and no content, those pages never made anything on Squidoo.

Jack Lee from Yorktown NY on August 21, 2015:

Writer Fox - What an excellent summary on an important milestone in the Squidoo / HubPages merger. I am curious, in the year since, do you have an update on how the merge has worked out for HubPages? From some of the comments and seeing the decline of rank on Alexa, I'm getting the impression that things are not going as well as anticipated. I have noticed that HubPages have been getting the Google preferential treatment in searches just as Squidoo. That is a good thing for hubbers.

Thanks for the info.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on December 28, 2014:

Hi Theresa,

I'm glad you read this because it makes it easier to understand why that website failed and what happened to HP traffic when the content was moved here. Happy holidays and have a great 2015!

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on December 18, 2014:

Fascinating and eye-opening. I knew almost nothing about the backstory or history of Squidoo. I had no idea at all. Have a Blessed Christmas. Theresa

LindaSmith1 from USA on November 05, 2014:

WF: I lost my first adsense account a couple of years ago and have not bothered with it for my blogs. There reason was about false clicks, which we have no control over. I use it only for HP. My blogs are under the old gmail address for Adsense and I have deleted content, as well as most of my blogs. Most of my hubs, at least 30 or so are only a few months old, and less, so I have a lot of new content. I have about 10 hubs ranking page 1-7 for G search engines. Some of my top pages, according to Webmaster tools are old ones that are picking up traffic. I am getting more traffic here, sales here, as well as my sites that aren't getting a lot of traffic.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on November 05, 2014:

Hi Linda,

I'm sorry to hear about your AdSense account, but there are other advertising services you can use. If you just search on Google for 'AdSense alternatives', you'll probably find a few dozen of them.

If your content is doing well here, I wouldn't move those articles. But, content which is not doing well probably needs another venue.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on November 03, 2014:

Yes, you were missed. Good to know you are just busy making money. Yeah, you can get a lot of smooth talking clique spell casting material from a couple of resent thread for your eBook. Some people like reading that kind of stuff so they know how to do it or combat it. I hope you write a best seller in it's category. Anyway, I'll check out your new hubs when I get a chance. to do some reading. - Blessing and stay safe.

Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on November 03, 2014:

You have been missed; welcome back! What is sad at InfoBarrel?

Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on November 03, 2014:

Writer Fox, when you say you completed a review of InfoBarrel, do you mean you wrote an article about the site? I have to say, I'd be very interested in reading it, but I'm guessing you can't tell us where it is (if it's an article). I decided to publish some articles there based on reviews I could find which were rather minimal/inadequate in many ways. I published about 11 articles but have hesitated to post more because it's not looking promising to me. So, I'm wobbling, so to speak. At any rate, I'd trust your review way more than I'd trust anything else I'd found about the site.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on November 03, 2014:

Wow WF, you had us worried. Glad to see you are okay. I look forward to reading your review on InfoBarrel. I stumbled upon an article on that site while looking up something. Then I did some research to see if it looked like a good site to write on. I didn't like several things and it looks like you feel the same. I'll be looking for your review, is it a hub? Or elsewhere.

LindaSmith1 from USA on November 03, 2014:

We are happy to see that you are okay WF. As to answer your question, yep but it seems to be a laying low mode for now.

I have a few blogger sites and weebly sites, as well as one on my own domain which are niche sites actually. I am thinking about moving content to them, but some of it is page 1 Google, or avg page 5. Thing is I don't have Adsense anywhere but HP after losing account with them once for clicks which I had no control over. Not a lot of sales, but one a month on avg at HP right now. I have a lot of new hubs, so i don't know if it is a good idea to move them.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on November 03, 2014:

@Colorfulone, Wow, I've only been gone for a few days, but it's nice to be missed. I was off the site most of the summer and I'm not sure anyone noticed! Anyway, I just published two more articles and those will be my last ones here for quite some time. I'm just really busy with my main websites and can barely keep up with the comments and DMCA notices on HubPages. Is the clique casting spells again? Their comments would be great in an ebook about forum bullies. May have to write that when I have time. (My ebooks usually do very well.) Anyway, I just completed a review of the InfoBarrel site which I was hired to do. That's a sad situation.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on November 03, 2014:

@Paul, If you moved your content before the mass-migration, that turns out to be a good decision on your part. Did your traffic follow to the new location? About subdomains: Did you know that there are 84,632 subdomains on this site right now? That's quite a lot compared to the number of featured articles!

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on November 03, 2014:

Writer Fox, I hope you are safe and well. (and didn't get banned because of the clique that came over with the transfer).

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on November 02, 2014:

Writer Fox, your fans would love to hear from you. Me included.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on November 02, 2014:

Just stopped by to re-read this and catch up on the comments.

I hope all is well with you, Writer Fox.

Paul Goodman from Florida USA on November 01, 2014:

An excellent article, WF. I did well for a time at Squidoo but was hit and eventually had my lenses moved to HP (I have/had accounts at HP and Squidoo).

The rules at Squidoo were pretty lax until they were hit, then Squidoo got much more stringent all of a sudden. Not stringent enough for Google though, apparently.

I think HP made the right move dividing into subdomains.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 23, 2014:

Thank you for you input, Snakesmum. It's good to read the comparison between the two sites from writers. I'm glad to know you are having a positive experience writing on HubPages now.

I appreciate your taking the time to comment here and share your views.

Snakesmum on October 23, 2014:

Very interesting article, Writer Fox, and thankyou for doing the research. I never knew about some of this.

Like DressageHusband, I was a Squid Angel, and a Giant Squid, but it never seemed to make any difference to my traffic, which was never very much.

Although I still don't get a lot of traffic here on HP, I am beginning to think that the site is hugely better than the Squidoo site, and I really like the way that problems with hubs are shown on our account.

Hopefully, once I update all my articles to HP's standards, traffic will improve.

Voted up.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 23, 2014:

Hi Jodah: I'm really sorry to hear that. That's a significant drop. So many writers have been affected by combining the content of HubPages and Squidoo. I think one way of dealing with the traffic loss would be for HP to give the former Squidoo writers the option of transferring their articles back to the Squidoo domain. Management is unlikely to make that decision, but I think that is the right decision to make.

Hi June: I think today's statistics will remain the new reality for quite some time.

Hi Stephen (DressageHusband): Your comment about somebody on the Squidoo management team having their own agenda has been said by others as well. Seth Godin and Bonnie Diczhazy were both involved in decisions, but other people were also part of the management team and stayed well out of the limelight. We will never really know what went on in the management ivory tower, but it is interesting to note that none of these people are involved in a new venture together and appear to have each gone their separate ways. I'm glad to know that your articles are doing well on HP. You are one of the more fortunate writers.

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on October 23, 2014:

I am another Squid Angel and Giant Squid I also did the Rocket Squid program. I was beginning to see my personal traffic increasing, but kept having lenses locked for no good reason. I agree that the HQ team or somebody there had their own agenda. Since coming to Hubpages I saw a traffic increase and all of my lenses were accepted here as I submitted them to QAP as soon as I could. Then the whole of HGP got hit and I am still seeing slowly rising traffic in fact I am getting more traffic from Google than before. I found your facts intriguing as I was never sure who was the problem Bonnie or Seth or both!

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on October 23, 2014:

That is pretty telling. Thanks for sharing your research, by the way. Now I guess the question is whether we can expect to see improvements as things settle down or will this be the way of the future.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 23, 2014:

That sounds about right, my traffic and income this month seems to be down by at least 40%.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 23, 2014:

Now that the transfer is finished and the HubPages site has been evaluated by both the new Google Panda and Penguin algorithms, the effects of the transferred content to HP can be dissected. These are the results as of October 22, 2014.

1. In the week before the August 15th announcement, HP had 335,638 featured Hubs averaging 4 unique views per Hub per day. had 175,000 articles available to search engines and averaged 2.14 unique views per page per day. Taken together, the 510,638 articles averaged 3.37 unique views per page, while the content was on two different websites.

2. Today, HubPages has 452,765 featured Hubs which received an average of 2.6 unique views per Hub per day over the past week.

3. The transfer from Squidoo increased the number of Hubs by 34.9%. Unique views per Hub per day have decreased by 23.7%.

4. In the week before August 15, traffic to Squidoo averaged 375,254 uniques per day and traffic to HP averaged 1,344,731 uniques per day. In the past week, traffic on HP has averaged 1,163,635 uniques per day – a decrease of more than 32% when the articles were on two different websites.

5. The combined traffic to HP and Squidoo in the week before August 15 was 1,719,985 unique views per day. The average traffic to HP during the past week was 1,163,635 uniques per day.

6. The seasonal increase of traffic from late August to the third week in October, 2013, was 57%. In 2014, there was no seasonal increase in traffic to HP.

7. The most noticeable decrease in HP traffic is from unique views from mobile: down more than 21% from the week before August 15.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 18, 2014:

Hi June. It's good to hear from someone who had articles on Squidoo. I have to agree with you that the content transferred to HubPages should have been screened first. It's now been six weeks since the transfer started and HubPages' traffic is LESS than it was before. A new Google Panda algorithm update was released and all of that un-scrutinized content actually hurt this website. Even so, HubPages' management is allowing the content to remain without revisions. Few website content managers would agree with that decision.

Thanks for commenting.

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on October 17, 2014:

I am also a former Squid and for the most part, I was oblivious to what was going on. The most I made at squidoo was $65 one month, and then it dribbled down to pennies. I was optimistic about life at hp and studied the learning center materials. I somewhat embarrassed to say that , in my own opinion, some of my transferred hubs were not up to hubpage standards but were published nonetheless. I now think that all transferred lenses should have been unpublished pending quality assessment. It would have been better for us all that way.

I am writing on the iPhone so will keep this brief.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 16, 2014:

Hi Javr: I'm glad your articles are working out well on HP. Many people writing on Squidoo didn't understand why the site was failing. Thank you for commenting.

javr from British Columbia, Canada on October 16, 2014:

This is quite a good read. I thought that there was trouble with Squidoo but I played along. I reached Giant and Angel status, and had several Purple Stars, blessings, and the likes. I never made all that much. Since the switch to HP, my material has actually been doing better. I'm encouraged again!

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 12, 2014:

@ Fpherj48 – Traffic to Seth's typepad blog experienced a significant downturn in July, according to Alexa traffic ranks. After the sale to HubPages was announced in mid August, traffic rank plunged to the bottom of the chart. Whether Seth knew it or not, he was more dependent on the Squidoo tribe than it was on him. I appreciate your lengthy comment here.

@ SandyMertens – It's true that many of those articles will need to be revamped to be successful on search engines. Sometimes starting a new article from scratch and with a new URL is the best approach. Many writers are successful on HP and it's not so difficult to learn their methods. It just requires a different approach and a new mindset.

@ Colorfulone – I agree with you completely and cannot imagine why HP did this intentionally. It's like waving a red flag in front of the Googlebot. Really, what did they think would happen? I have a strange suspicion that Seth might have received his compensation for the sale of Squidoo in the form of HP stock. (Scary thought, isn't it? But that would explain a lot!)

@ NancyHardin – You, like so many others, were hoping for the best from Squidoo management. Unfortunately, we have all seen the results of that management. I think the writers will be much more successful moving on than the management team will be! I appreciate your giving your personal experience here. Your comments add a great deal to understanding the position of many writers on Squidoo.

@ Aesta1 – I'm so glad you have had a positive experience so far on HubPages and I do understand that you and so many other Squidoo writers were never really aware of what was going on behind the big orange squid. The demand to write short product reviews was the final disillusionment for many Squidoo writers.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 11, 2014:

Writer Fox, this flabbergasted me. I never knew all these things and I used to wonder why many writers in Squidoo complained but since I did not understand much of what was going on, I just kept my mouth shut. I gave up about a year and a half before Squidoo got sold because I had a hard time writing sales reviews. I asked my niece to write some for me just to keep my giant status. I did not earn much but because I did not know what others were earning, it did not bother me much. I wrote to improve my writing and there is no better way than write. I read all of Seth's books so I had tremendous respect for him. I was hesitant to be part of another content farm but I just had to edit my work here seeing that they were published and I did not really want to be associated with messy content. But the little experience I had, made me sit up and take notice. Many of my lenses which did not even get noticed in Squidoo, came up on top here and the first days I was puzzled. I did not know hubs are reviewed by persons. I started reading some of the help in hubs pages and learned much. I am still editing but am encouraged to keep on.

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on October 10, 2014:

Writer Fox, if only I could have read this over a year ago, I wouldn't have been one of those writers who stuck it out and tried to help rebuild Squidoo. I was committed to the site, as I had over 400 "lenses" on it at one time. The money, for a while, was good. Once it began going downhill, I just thought we needed to re-work our pages. I fought for Squidoo, because that's how I am, loyal even to the death! HA! What I like about this Hub is that it doesn't get into name calling or bitterness, but just the facts, ma'am, as they said on Dragnet. Once I finally saw the writing on the wall, that Squidoo was dead in the water, I was ready to move on. I hope that I can somehow begin to redeem myself and my writing by listening and learning from more experienced Hubbers like yourself. I have deleted much of my work, and probably will delete even more. I'm hoping that I have some quality writing that will yet be appreciated. Thank you for all this history, and I now see with "open eyes," the folly of being a loyal Squid.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on October 10, 2014:

@LindaSmith1 wrote, "Since the Squidoo fiasco started, everything has gone down the sewer. IMO every lens transferred should have not been automatically accepted. Every lens should have had to go through the QAP process, just like our new hubs do, before they were ever featured."

This would have been wisdom on HP's part.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on October 10, 2014:

Good to know more of the facts. I think even after we do make updates, many of our lenses to hubs won't work. With Google constantly changing, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Suzie from Carson City on October 10, 2014:

WF.....You have provided so much detail here, this should explain all the facts of reality to anyone curious and/or confused.

I will freely and humbly admit I shall remain in the dark in terms of fully understanding the game of online writing sites.

However, what is very clear to me---after doing an extensive investigation into Mr. Seth Godin----I realized I needed to go no further in order to see the writing on the wall (pun intended)

Lo & behold, I discover that Mr. Godin attended High School in a Western NY town approximately 30 miles from my Hometown.

I'll not elaborate....waste of my time. Anyone can find bona fide information on opposed to his own "Blow-Hard" self-praising and highly inflated Bios of Fantasy.

While online sites are not my forte.....human beings ARE. Take it from me...or not....This little man with the shiny head and yellow-rimmed specs.....looks precisely like what he truly is. A Cartoon Character.

"I'm betting some of you, the best of you, will follow me."???? Really, Seth? You really printed this?

Sorry buddy, but I'm betting all everyone is waiting for is the Big Event......when you finally get your head out from up your A$$.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 10, 2014:

Thank you so much, ChezChazz. The research for this article took a great deal of time, but I'm glad that all of this is documented for posterity, as it were.

This article is starting to get search-engine traffic now, so the information is starting to circulate.

I appreciate your comment.

Chazz from New York on October 10, 2014:

Your analysis is brilliant and spot on. This is, IMHO, one of the most well-researched, accurate, and readable articles on the topic that I have found. Thank you.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 01, 2014:

Hi Kathryn (Ecogranny). You, like so many others, knew "There always were gamers on Squidoo." And, yes, management encouraged that. When Seth set up the site and first announced his plan, he envisioned it as a social site where members were the main viewers. He never seemed to expand from that idea and, as the Web matured with powerful social websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Seth never really changed his focus until it was too late to clean up the content for search engines.

When you returned to Squidoo a year ago, traffic had already fallen drastically and never recovered.

HubPages never focused on internal traffic, so you won't find the same kind of game-playing here. You don't make money off of internal traffic here and posting on the forum or commenting on people's Hubs is not done for brownie points or for any monetary purpose because there is no reward for those activities.

Most of the people making good money here never post on the forum and never make comments on Hubs. There are those, however, who are obsessive forum commenters because they are trying to sell their books or drive traffic to their own websites. There aren't many of those types and they are easy to spot because they frequently mention their off-HubPages content and where to find it. (I have never linked to my own websites nor do I ever mention them by name. This is on purpose and I don't need to solicit viewers for my sites or my books.)

I'm glad you have benefited from my forum comments and I hope you will be successful writing on HubPages. Just focus on what Google likes, read Google's advice for great content, and you'll do well.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on September 30, 2014:

@Writer Fox, thank you for your reply. Yes, I am one of the Squidoo crossovers. You've given us a lot to digest. I am impressed with your thorough approach and research. There always were gamers on Squidoo. I dropped out for a few years because I felt that management's approach was too encouraging to them and not encouraging enough to serious writers.

I returned a year or so ago, when Google slapped Squidoo hard, and it appeared management was cracking down on blatant plagiarism and on what some here term the "shower curtain" style pages.

While I had my doubts about all those new sales pages called "Product Reviews," which management pushed heavily in the last year, I was grateful to see some members of management writing helpful articles about ways to develop deeper content. I had hopes Squidoo was growing up. Then Seth dropped the bomb, and here we are.

I've been amazed at the quality of support available to us here on HubPages, including the detailed Learning Center. It's a lot to grok in a short time, but incredibly useful and well-organized.

You've been a great help in the forums as well, as have Relache and several others. Thank you for your kindly welcome to us. I hope that, after the fallout and bouncing back, we help to make HubPages all the more successful.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 30, 2014:

Hi Audrey. Most of the Squidoo writers didn't like the gaming and often reported people, to no avail. The Squidoo forum was filled with those kinds of complains. People simply wanted a fair payment system that paid them for the traffic they received and they really wanted the site to succeed. It's unfortunate that so many were mistreated in so many ways.

Just like everyone else on HubPages, individual writers will do well here, depending upon whether Google likes their content or not.

The scary thing is that all of that uploaded content, 175,000 new featured pages, hasn't increased traffic to HubPages at all. In fact, traffic is lower than it was on August 14, the day before the acquisition was announced. That is not a good sign, especially since traffic normally increases in September when school starts again and summer vacations are over.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 30, 2014:

Hi Writer Fox - Wow, you really put a lot of time and effort into the timeline of the breakdown of Squidoo. It sounds so unbusinesslike of Seth and the others, while I thought the site was a good site. Your article is excellent, though it appears some writers from Squidoo do not agree with part of your assessment. Maybe some facts were unknown. Thank you for sharing this article, and good luck to all the writers who are involved in this merger. I enjoy contacts with everyone. May traffic return as soon as possible. Blessings, Audrey

LindaSmith1 from USA on September 29, 2014:

Ridiculous! Guilty of being funny??? Yet there are the elite who can truly be nasty and get away with it time and time again.

Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on September 29, 2014:

Did you write a book about it? lol.

Mark Ewbie from UK on September 29, 2014:

Haha - well lol and touche Writer Fox. Yes, considering how I write, I was being reserved. Fuming, but reserved. It was a good lesson in forum games. I guess I lost but really it was just a waste of time.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

Well, gosh how wonderful Mark. Someone has to read sarcasm into that comment because you can't hear someone's tone of voice in a forum post. And some people are making hugely long forum posts, which go on and on and on, saying the same thing over and over and over, and which have more words than some Hubs I've recently seen. If that isn't blah-blah, then I don't know what is.

If you were actually trying to annoy people, then I don't think you did a very good job of that and I am really, really disappointed in you because I know you can do much better than that.

Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on September 29, 2014:

I saw that LOL. I didn't think it could get you banned.

Mark Ewbie from UK on September 29, 2014:

Hey guys - I was rude in terms of saying blah-blah to someone and saying gosh how wonderful sarcastically to someone else. Really not much more than that. I think everyone - Squids, Hubs and HP owners are all a bit sensitive at the moment - and I was trying to annoy all of them. Not a duck cough in sight though.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

@Mark Well, did they tell you why you were banned? Did you duck cough someone? I didn't see that if you did. Was a comment removed? Oh, well, never mind. The forums are pointless now anyway – way too much Squid squawk.

I can hardly wait for your new Hub. When you publish it, come back here and drop a link. That's a link I'll publish because I'm sure it will be highly relevant and quality-QAP-verified content.

By the way, Seth and his wife have been known to serve cooked squid to their neighbors for lunch. (Check that out on Google.) You might want to work that in somewhere, you know, like you are what you eat, or something.

Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on September 29, 2014:

@Mark - did they remove your offending comment? I never saw anything either that should offend someone enough to result in your being banned.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

There certainly is a God and His day of reckoning, Yom Kippur, begins Friday night.

Mark Ewbie from UK on September 29, 2014:

Only two days so not too long. I shouldn't have spent so much time on it! Lost it - not for the first time. I am reading some stuff about Seth Godin, his charity and MLM. Interesting. Oh and drawing a picture of him...

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on September 29, 2014:

Well if there is a God Seth will suffer one day soon!

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

@DressageHusband: Hi Stephen. Hey, there's no bias here; these are all facts with the dates and references.

I'm not sure what you mean about who was smart enough to do what with intent. I presume you mean the gamers. Well, here's an ad from a gamer:

That guy set up a network of ten Squidoo angel giants to go around 'blessing' articles to help them move into the top payment tier. He charged $5 for his service and sold this gig 331 times on Fiverr. He made $1,665 on just this offer alone, and that's a fact that is substantiated on the Fiverr site. I'd say that was with full intent.

And, everything written here about Seth Godin is factual, too. I'm sure he's laughing all the way to the bank with whatever money he pocketed to take the failed website off his hands.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

@ Stickman Hey Mark Ewbie: That's unbelievable! What on earth for? I can't find anything you said which warranted that. Maybe it was a mistake, because that has happened before (to LongTimeMother, among others).

It's gotta be your artwork. Maybe Paul E. didn't like the purple mixer drawing you made to illustrate his comment. I really liked that one!

Well, at least you have the topic for your next Hub and I bet you'll have mega comments (and views) on it. Finally, I have something to look forward to here! I say we all go on forum hiatus in solidarity until your ban is lifted. How long are you in for?

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

@ TheHoleStory: I couldn't publish your comment here because of the link you gave at the end, but here it is without the link:

"This is indeed a very well thought out and researched hub on the rise and fall of an Internet writing site. Hopefully even with the new influx of all of those wonderful Squidoo refugees our beloved Hub Pages won't fall victim to this same demise."

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

Hi Jodah. I know that many authors on HubPages were not familiar with the events which led to the downfall of It's a real eye-opener to learn how that site was manipulated by writers and maladministered by employees and directors.

So far, HubPages has not benefited at all from the huge upload of Squidoo content. In fact, traffic has decreased since the 175,000 pages were published here. Not to mention the fact that the website servers seem to be overloaded and the site has had technical problems for the past three days. Even so, HubPages doesn't seem to regret its decision not to enforce the Quality Assessment Process on the Squidoo content, a process which began in earnest two years ago. It was low-quality content on HubPages which devastated traffic numbers in 2011 when Google Panda first hit and now that process seems to be repeating itself. In the information I documented above, you can see what Google algorithms did to the Squidoo site's traffic as it targeted low-quality content and webspam. Now that same, unedited content is on HubPages.

The new members who have quality content are, of course, welcomed to publish on HubPages and some of them have articles which they have edited and have sent through QAP.

Thanks for your comment, Jodah, and I hope the payouts continue for your work here.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 29, 2014:

Hi Kathryn (Ecogranny),

I notice that you are new here as a transferred writer from the Squidoo platform. So many people there never really understood the high percentage of revenue which was paid to a small number of people. This is what caused the cut-throat behavior by some authors on that site, greedily wanting a share of income which was in fact earned by the articles written by other people.

But, it was the management which created the payment structure and the methods which encouraged its manipulation. The other decisions managers made when the traffic began to fall actually increased the declining page views sent from search engines.

I'm glad you appreciate this article and thank you for commenting.

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on September 29, 2014:

I am not sure that there is not a bias here, but I will wait to see how I am affected by the move. I find there is certainly some truth in what you say, but I am not sure they were smart enough to be doing it with intent. The payout system there definitely did favor the elite though.

If you lied Seth could sue you for libel I bet he does not! Much better bet than his!

Mark Ewbie from UK on September 29, 2014:

Just for info - I got banned from the HP forums. A new world is opening up on HP - just like the old dissent not allowed on Squidoo forums.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 28, 2014:

Thanks for this informative and well researched article Writer Fox. I had never even heard of Squidoo before it was revealed that it was being taken over by Hub Pages, so all this is new to me. Whether Hub Pages will benefit or regret the decision I suppose only time will tell. That said, I do welcome all the new members here and wish them well. Most I have spoken to sound like decent people and genuinely want to fit in here.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on September 28, 2014:

Wow, that is an interesting article. I had no idea so much information was available to us. You've touched on a lot of points that puzzled me from time to time. I appreciate your analysis. Thank you for doing this research and laying out your understanding of the Squidoo story.

LindaSmith1 from USA on September 28, 2014:

And to add to it, we are seeing why can't we have this feature, that feature because Squidoo has it. I hope HP wakes up, takes a stand, and decides to keep HP as HP not as new Squidoo site under the name of HP.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

@Linda: I totally agree with you, Linda. The Quality Assessment on HubPages is by no means perfect, but it has been the screening process used for more than two years to determine which articles will be featured for search engines to index.

Since that screening process was waived for 175,000 articles recently imported to HubPages from a failed UGC site, a recipe for disaster was created. The site is now experiencing the painful results of that decision as Google has applied its own quality assessment of HubPages' present content.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

@Jyoti: You're welcome and I appreciate your comment.

@Beth: I share your sentiments. This article was about the demise of Squidoo but it's turning into the downfall of HubPages. I'm glad to know that some of your traffic has been maintained. My traffic has been up the past several days due to a seasonal article and my other Hubs have retained all traffic. I do not, however, believe this will last with what is happening to HubPages.

I'm glad you found this article. Many writers on HubPages are unaware of why Squidoo failed and what effect all of that new content may have on HubPages.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

Yeah Jeffry, you were such a success that exactly a year ago (September 26, 2013) you posted that you got your Squidoo account locked. Whatever for, Jeffry, old sport? Oh, and then you said you had made $70,000. So, did you get severance pay, then?

LindaSmith1 from USA on September 28, 2014:

Although I have not done as well as many do here, in the past six months my earnings tripled, I was making sales, and traffic was up.

Since the Squidoo fiasco started, everything has gone down the sewer. IMO every lens transferred should have not been automatically accepted. Every lens should have had to go through the QAP process, just like our new hubs do, before they were ever featured.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

@Mark Ewbie: You've got them pegged right. The sociopathic gamers of Squidoo were identified by others as well. I don't think Paul E. was truly aware of what went on in Squidland.

Unfortunately for the writers who were making money on HubPages, Quantcast traffic figures through September 26 now show HubPages has lost all traffic gains since March, 2014. Traffic has dropped 40.39% since September 21st. The future does not bode well and all the tricks in the book won't turn this around now. It's pitiful that this has happened to a site which was doing well.

I agree with you about "the ones who shout the loudest." It's ironic that the people – who squeal like stuck pigs at the thought of having their writing screened by HubPages' Quality Assessment Process like every existing article on the site – are the writers whose content is the most severely in need of assessing.

It is hysterical, though, how they doth protest too much as their traffic is tanking.

Beth Eaglescliffe on September 28, 2014:

WF, Thanks for a really informative article. I knew very little about Squidoo before it was merged with HP, so I appreciate the way you have clearly set out the steps that led to the downfall of that site.

I had hoped that HP was strong enough to weather any bad karma brought on by the 301 directs and poorly written lenses, but I'm beginning to doubt this. The downward plunge in views from this last week are making me nervous. (Although strangely the traffic I get from all the other google sites has held up well.)

Jyoti Kothari from Jaipur on September 28, 2014:

Thanks for the hub.

Jeff Vance from Vancouver, BC Canada on September 28, 2014:

8 years of amazing income for very little work, lots of fun and made some new friends.

2,000 lenses, 32 accounts

I made over 80,000 dollars off Squidoo

I call that an outstanding success

Mark Ewbie from UK on September 28, 2014:

The Squidoo gang are now trying to control free speech in the forums by shouting down and ganging up on those whose message is uncomfortable. Most (not all) of the imports - especially from those who shout the loudest - is of poor quality. Exactly what Panda will target.

As for the endless petty attacks from the small-minded - they show themselves up for what they are. Yesterdays spammers hoping to make a new game on HubPages. They have no chance. Paul is not Seth.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

@Carny – Thank you for pointing out that some of those top payout tier articles deserved their positions and congratulations that you wrote a great article which merited the top 10 spot it held.

However, much of the email I have received since I posted this contains examples and names of the top gamers on the site. One Canadian woman had about 34 articles and 30 of them were in that top payment tier. I looked at a few of those articles, now published on HubPages, and all they consist of is links for Amazon products. Those types of articles could not possibly have been the best on Squidoo.

Too bad Squidoo didn't accept your advice. Some decision makers are too arrogant to admit mistakes and reverse decisions. That attitude has brought down larger companies than Squidoo.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

Hi Nell. Unfortunately, the 'bad content' you refer to DID get transferred here and it is adversely affecting the site. Today's Quantcast statistics show that traffic to HubPages has not been this low since March. It's not a traffic glitch, I'm afraid. It's a major reversal.

And, yes, it is going to affect the site as a whole and that is why so many are now reporting that their traffic has taken a major hit.

Putting all of that unvetted content on this site was a high-risk gamble, and one that few would have taken. Management bet the house and now HP has a cracked foundation.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

Hi Kristalulabelle,

So many writers never understood much about the commission cuts on the site. That's because Squidoo didn't exactly go out of its way to let people know that most of the ad income was going to just a few writers.

I don't know what the management of that site was thinking by encouraging articles of a hundred words. Thin content like that doesn't have a chance of ranking on search engines.

The topics in your articles, Kristen, look like a good fit for the HubPages site, and don't appear to be in the group of shallow sales pitch hype which was indicative of much of the Squidoo content. Plus, you won't be competing with anyone to receive the income your articles produce.

I'm glad you enjoy writing here and I sincerely hope your enthusiasm continues.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 28, 2014:

@ Calculus: Hi Calculus, yes she's making quite a mark for herself here!

I did mention Amazon and other affiliate sales in one of the comments above. The reason I couldn't put this in the text is, of course, there are no public statistics on Squidoo's income for these sales and this article was sold to iEntry for its newsletters. Also, many writers used their own affiliate IDs rather than give Squidoo a cut of the commissions. Whatever the income was from affiliate revenue, it wasn't enough to save the site financially, especially with diminishing Google interest in the content there.

Definitely publishing on your own websites is more lucrative and you can achieve much better results on search when you control the quality of the content on your site.

(Loved your 'man behind the shower curtain' imagery!)

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 27, 2014:


Hi Rebecca,

I appreciate your lengthy comment about your experiences on both Squidoo and HubPages and I thank you for taking the time to post here.

When you mention that your award-winning articles got unpublished for "low quality", that echoes many, many other writers' experiences on Squidoo as well. I am familiar with many of your articles on HubPages and the ones I have read are quite good and get tons of traffic from Google. If these are indicative of your "purple star" articles, I can't imagine why Squidoo unpublished them. It seems that there was no one 'behind the curtain' of that algorithm and one of the main complaints from writers was that it was nigh on to impossible to get an email response from someone.

It's also difficult to imagine why some of the poor content on Squidoo was deemed worthy enough to remain published!

Meanwhile, back at HubPages, traffic is falling fast and Paul Edmondson has stated that the traffic drop is mainly affecting the newly transferred articles from Squidoo. As things progress, feel free to come back here and vent away.

Andrew Po on September 27, 2014:

I'd like to make a small correction - external traffic was certainly a factor in lensrank, even if it wasn't the only one. My highest-ranking lens was hovering around top 10 for a long time, all thanks to massive Google traffic. It didn't get a lot of likes or blessings.

Back in the day, I often posted on SquidU arguing that the effect of likes on lensrank should be lessened or removed entirely. I think the common argument was that it was to help well-written lenses with little external traffic to rise in rank and show off the quality of the site. We all know how well that worked...

Nell Rose from England on September 25, 2014:

Hi, this is a really detailed account of what happened, it seems to me that it had been hanging by a thread for quite some time. I hope that some of the bad content, as you said, doesn't get passed over to here. I have noticed how people are saying that the original hubbers are losing lots of views a day, I hope its just a glitch as we go through the change here, and not a long term problem.

Kristen from Wisconsin on September 25, 2014:

Thank you for shedding light on this situation. I was a member of Squidoo for a couple years, but didn't understand all of the mechanics going on in the background. I became disgusted by the "calls for content" asking for short product reviews so I just quite writing in January. I also noticed some favoritism with certain "high ranked" members going on over at Squidoo, which was a bit frustrating.

After I found out about the Hub Pages transition, I have been working on my hubs and making them better by Hub Pages standards. I am actually excited to be writing again!

Thanks for putting information out there on a situation I didn't know much about or understand.

Rebecca Rizzuti from Mentor, Ohio on September 24, 2014:

I've been with both Hubpages and Squidoo (as Everyday Miracles and EverydayMiracles) from the beginning of my adventures writing online. I started out here and decided not to put all my eggs in one basket, so expanded to Squidoo. For a long time I found it virtually impossible to earn money here on Hubpages, but I did relatively well on Squidoo -- or at least I thought so at the time, since the few pennies I made a month on Hubpages were a pittance and I'd never reach payout at that rate.

That was six years ago.

When I first joined Squidoo, I did it because I wanted somewhere to write intellectual articles. You may note that if you look at my Everyday Miracles account here on Hubpages, the content is primarily related to religious issues. At the time I was a new Christian looking for a forum and didn't understand the nature of internet traffic. Clearly I wasn't doing myself any favors with my content.

The historical articles that I wrote on Squidoo did quite well, and of the five or so that I initially published, I believe three earned Purple Stars (an award given for superior articles). That was something to be proud of, but I didn't start to earn honestly until I began writing about The Sims (3), and then about The Hunger Games.

Both were new at the time, and I was one of the first writers to touch these subjects.

Not long after the Hunger Games movie was released (the first movie), my traffic started to drop as more and more writers joined the fray. My opinion is that my articles were superior and more informative. While the content on THG Fan here on Hubpages is far superior to the content I wrote at the time on Squidoo, they do reflect my ability to thoughtfully analyze the narrative.

"Gift guides" and "party guides" drowned my Purple Star lenses, probably because of the type of "gaming" your hub here refers to. The lenses in question were lacking in content while mine were rich.

Then my Purple Star lenses got unpublished for being "low quality." Rich lenses, full of content analyzing characters and discussing the story of The Hunger Games were unpublished and I was only told that they were "low quality." Most of them had limited promotional content, and the image use was (to my knowledge) entirely legal.

Needless to say, I was devastated, and I never returned to Squidoo again. I work my tail off here on Hubpages when I'm actively writing, to provide informative, well researched articles on a number of subjects. I have multiple niche accounts for the topics on which I cover thoroughly (pregnancy, holidays and celebrations [plus gift guides, I'll admit!], The Hunger Games [and Divergent, and Battle Royale], and The Sims 4). I've won several hubs of the day (I believe my last count was six) and I'm earning enough to make me confident but not happy with the amount that I bring in.

But I'll stick to Hubpages because thus far I feel that the decisions that have been made for this site have been in its best interest. I don't always understand or agree with the staff's decisions, but for the most part, those decisions work out in the favor of the writers here, and that's the way that it should be.

Sorry for being so long-winded. I've wanted to vent about this for a while and you gave me a platform.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 24, 2014:

Thanks David. There was a lot which led up to that final crash, both on the part of management and of abusers on the site. Ultimately, the fault for a business failure lies in the management. (How can an article receiving only 20 views a month be considered one of the best out of 400,000??)

The Squidoo site is now the best example of how NOT to run a UGC site.

David Stone from New York City on September 24, 2014:

An interesting take on what happened. You history ads interesting content to other articles that talk mostly about the final crash.

Thanks for the well-researched and ambitious effort.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 23, 2014:

Hi Nate. I think most people writing on Squidoo just gave up trying to be paid by the tier system, and most people don't want any part of the sociopathic behavior that some people displayed to remain in the top tier. The good and the bad, articles and people, transitioned here.

As Mark Ewbie commented on another Hub, it's the people who wrote 600 articles containing nothing but product links that is of concern to most people at HubPages because those articles are now online here, in full view of search engines. And, this is a concern about what Google might do to rankings as a whole.

Thank you for your comments and I'm glad you found this Hub enlightening.

Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 23, 2014:

Hi Stereomike: I'm glad you didn't like the "dross" on Squidoo, either. I'm glad you're making money on HP and that's usually a sign that you are writing quality articles here.

I don't think you have to worry about getting "black listed." Here you are known by the quality of your contributions and the company you keep.

If you want critiques on your articles, there is a place on the forum to ask for that advice and many people will help you there. Welcome to HubPages!

Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on September 23, 2014:

This is very informative. I didn't know a lot about Squidoo. I was a member for two years and only wrote about a dozen articles there. I spent more time here at HP, because I preferred it. I think the stand-out info for me in this piece is the examination of the tier system they had.

I'd been trying to avoid this subject, I admit. But your article here is very enlightening.

Mike Hey from UK on September 23, 2014:

An interesting read. I joined up at Squidoo around the time it was first being Panda whacked as I had seen a few people being directed to my website via the platform and when I did some Google