Making surume (Dried Squid)
Credit: Takanobu Shuji on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

If you write online, you probably already know about HubPages acquiring Squidoo.

The main problem with this "business" transaction was how Squidoo forced writers to choose between keeping their stream of income or forfeiting their previous 60-days worth of ad pool revenue.

Even though it was stated by Corey Brown numerous times that the transfers would not begin until September 2nd, 2014, writers were denied access to their content and could not delete, edit, or close their accounts after midnight ET on August 29th, 2014.

If you missed Seth Godin's announcement on Friday, August 15th and were away until after August 29th (at midnight) you had no option but to sit and watch your work remain online (for the public to view ads and buy products) while you were locked out of your own account.

Rusty Chain | a tangle of rusty chain links
Credit: Creativity103 on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

"I'm Keeping My Link Juice!"

It seemed strange to me that people were willing to jump on board to accept the HubPages deal. That is until I realized why it was so important to them.

I kept hearing, "I'm keeping my link juice."

What was so important about these links, I wondered. I mean, if your content is good, people tend to share it.

So I went snooping and found some of the strangest links that led to unrelated things and keyword stuffing in the hundreds for some tier one Squidoo pages.

Why didn't the filters on Squidoo catch these?

Was It Too Hard to Play Favourites?

I personally was baffled by Bonnie Diczhazy's response when I reported someone, a Squidoo Contributor, for sending me two of his or her pages to boost.

My exact words were to the contributor were:

"I checked out your lens [URL inserted] and here's the thing: 

Your first link titled "Blah Blah Blah" led to: a URL (with doubleclick (dot) net and strange numbers).

The word "[keyword]" is used 69 times and 281 times when I viewed source. You've quoted from the book, essentially (except for your intro). And your lens is fairly thin on original, personal content.

Sorry, can't endorse (boost) it."

Then, I checked out his or her other lens and asked:
Why does your first link titled "[Two Words]" lead back to this exact page? 
The unnamed contributor wrote me back the following:
Thanks for the heads up on my [Blah Blah] lens. I do not know where that link came from in the first line. The link back to the same page which is located in the first sentence of the [other] page was part of an experiment. I cannot remember which lensmaster gave me the idea, maybe [lensmaster] or [lensmaster]. It was intended to help Google crawl the lens.
Bonnie wrote me back the following:
So-and-so has been around for a long time and s/he is a good egg so I wouldn't worry about him/her too much, we all have lenses that could use an update : )
I forgot
Credit: Karen (misbehave on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

The Latest from Google

And it doesn't look good for Squidoo pages

Beach of IronyCredit: David Goehring on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericSome people who transferred over to HubPages on September 4th, 2014 now have no redirects from their lensmaster profile page. They are getting a 404.

Hmm, what could be going on there?

Well, it could be a glitch, but I don't think so. 

Could HubPages be trying to show Google they are trying to clean up their (Squidoo's) act?

When the latest Panda 4.1 update rolled out, Searchmetrics SEO Blog posted (Sept. 26th) the overview of those who lost SEO visibility (and by how much). HubPages lost a whopping 46%.[1]

On October 21st, 2014 I checked HubPages

Profile of Former Squidoo Person with the "No. 1" Lens

The Profile Page on HubPages of the Person with the No. 1 Lens on Squidoo
Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

What's a 404?

First of all, a 301 redirect is permanent. If someone from Squidoo transfered their account and lenses (articles) to HubPages, their URLs would all have 301 redirects.

Apparently, on HubPages, if a Hub (a former Squidoo URL or profile URL) is unpublished, it becomes a 404 page. If it stays that way for too long, the Hub loses its Google ranking. 

Dead End SignCredit: Sadie Hart (sadiehart on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericBy definition a 404 error indicates that the requested resource may be available again in the future; however, the fact does not guarantee the same content.[2]

Notably, a 404 error is often returned when pages have been moved or deleted. A 410 would indicate it has been permanently deleted.[3]

The message showing on these pages now states: 

"No longer published. The article you are looking for is no longer published. The author may have chosen to unpublish it, or it may have been unpublished by a moderator because of a violation of HubPages rules."

And it gets worse for thieves online

Just three days ago I read (to my relief) that Google was releasing a new Pirate Update. It's been over two years since their last one.[4]

The main points:

  • Sites deemed to be violating copyright laws will receive a downgrade.
  • Google says it will show fewer websites with DMCA requests filed against them.

Oh Look, HubPages Still Has My Profile Though

They're Still Showing My Profile and Content (OMG)

My Stolen Profile on HubPages October 21st, 2014
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel (Formerly sousababy on Squidoo)

Google Penguin 3.0 Update

The first penguin update in over a year

King penguins, Salisbury Plain, Bay of Isles South Georgia (UK)Credit: Brian Gratwicke (briangratwicke on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericOn Friday, October 17th, Google's latest Penguin update[5] targets spammy sites and particularly those with linking violations.

Sites that were negatively affected by last year's update (Oct. 2013) who took measures to clean up their site might see an upswing in traffic already.

The downside for Squidoo-HubPages imports is that even if Paul Edmondson et al. tried disavowing bad links within the last three weeks - it would be too late.

Perhaps the Best News I Read

Sockpuppet accounts on various media was something I knew was problematic on Squidoo. I decided long ago that I would maintain only one account (on any platform). I have only one Facebook, Google, Pinterest account too. I don't tweet.

Thankfully, Penguin will cause numerous links to be ignored. And those links will no longer give a credit, boost, or vote to those pages.[5]

And even if Google didn't specifically target certain people, sites that were artificially boosted from this activity will lose both credit and visibility.[5]

What Are Your Options?

1) You may be able to get all of your earnings back from Squidoo and no longer be held to HubPages Terms of Use by filing an IC3 (which is free to do, without a lawyer). Or you can consult a lawyer on your own.

Admin on InfoBarrel in a TuxCredit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel 2) Work on your own site or blog.

3) Join InfoBarrel (the platform run by Canadians) which boasts the most generous ad share program around. You get 75% which can increase to 90% if you write regularly and gain the points.

After 1 month on here I wrote InfoBarrel Or Squidoo | Why I Prefer InfoBarrel (and all of my revenue is donated to charity from this article).

And a must-read is classicalgeek's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing on InfoBarrel.