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20/12/2014

Squidoo vs HubPages Traffic

So early September, my 36 remaining lenses moved to HubPages. As the announcement stated, HubPages is now the largest site of its kind. However that doesn't mean that former lenses get as much traffic as they deserve and used to get. 

HubPages traffic is dismal...


When former lenses turned into Hubs, traffic was not a big problem as they generated the same traffic rate as on Squidoo. For some, number of visits was even higher. But as soon as Google launched their latetest update, traffic dropped like a stone and never really stopped. 

Right now, with Christmas season in full action, my only one related Hub doesn't get more than 15 visits/day. It's a page that was successful on Squidoo, not for its traffic, but for its huge number of sales. 

Christmas trains riding around the tree add to the magic of the season. This former lens used to receive if not an incredibly huge amount of visits, at least it generated a huge number of sales! Those visitors were actually buyers.

Now that it's turned into a Hub, it's getting very low traffic - 15 visits/day is nothing compared with what it was on Squidoo - and it has not generated a single sale since the move. Last sold Christmas train was in the latest days on Squidoo.

It's unbelievable!


Unfeatured Hubs


I've been without an Internet connection for a few weeks so when I got back online in the end of November, I found some threads about unfeatured Hubs in HubPages forums. 

It seems that a few rules have changed since the initial FAQ put together at the time of the big move. Now Hubs that benefited from the 4 months grace period aren't protected against "lack of quality", "lack of engagement and traffic", etc. They thus can be unfeatured without warning for those motives.

This new rule is, in my humble opinion quite unfair to former lensmasters since many of them, caught in the big holiday season hullabaloo, couldn't fix those moved lenses. HubPages knew it, Squidoo staff knew it as well. Still instead of waiting till the beginning of the year for the move, they acted right in the middle of the biggest season for Internet marketers.

A more natural way to move 450,000 lenses without hurting HP as a whole would have been to unpublish all of them when they reached HP's site in January, then have each former lensmaster rework/fix/modify/whatever, in order to publish them one by one. At their own pace. Less stress, less worries.

There would have been no grace period, many lenses wouldn't have been deleted by lensmasters who knew they couldn't work on them in the 4 months grace period. 

Most lensmasters would have left their holiday lenses on Squidoo as they knew the site would have got decent traffic from Halloween till Christmas. Not the traffic rate we were accustomed to, however we would have had a decent holiday season.

There wouldn't have been this mass exodus we witnessed in August and HubPages would have transfered the best lenses instead of a good balance between good and bad pages.

On top of that, Hubbers wouldn't have been angry after Squids for having joined the party and wouldn't consider them as guilty for HP's traffic drop.

A ruined holiday season on both sites


Because of this, many have got their holiday season almost if not entirely ruined. A big part of these now unfeatured Hubs have been deleted as former lensmasters were misled when they agreed to move from one site to another.

Some play the game, mostly because they have no other place to host their former lenses. Others trust HP enough to give a try to fixing those unpublished pages. But those who have their own sites or are members of other platforms move these Hubs else where.

I'm convinced that the only one individual that earned something in the selling of "Squidoo's best content" is Seth Godin. He sold that content to HP and thus made a profit. HP bought the content and right after the transfer, was hit by Google's update which in addition to its average mess penalized the site for spam or something like that. The "nice" side of Google is that they don't tell you more than "spam"... so you don't know what to do to fix the problem either.

As said, because of this update, HP lost traffic and thus money. Former lensmasters lost traffic and thus money. I'm also convinced that, apart from a few exceptions, even those who moved their lenses in August didn't make as much money as they did on Squidoo with those specific former lenses. 

None of my Hubs were unfeatured for lack of quality yet. They might be hit one day or another, though. However, given the poor traffic figures, I don't think I'm going to take the chance to allow them to stay on HP. Valentine's Day is near and I will unpublish most of these Hubs so as to delete them and move them else where. Hopefully they'll get their traffic share - I'll relocate most on my own site and those that are too similar to existing pages will be hosted on other popular platforms.

So here we are. Another poor Christmas season. Another badly conceived project. Another proof that we definitely should have control over our work and our assets.






Posted by Holly Day a WAHM who is able to turn any day into a holiday.