Articles about content
HubPages unmercifully decided to unfeature hundreds of former Squidoo Lenses-turned-Hubs on or around December 1st, 2014. While former Squidoo writers are wondering what happened, I drew on my social psychology classes and research into workplace bullying to provide you with some theories. Bottom line: we need to hold HupPages and Squidoo execs to their terms of service and both federal and state laws.
If you were a writer (aka lensmaster) on the Squidoo writing platform, you may have been hesitant to have your content moved to HubPages. If you haven't clicked a link on HubPages yet, it's not too late to file DCMA complaints with Google. Squidoo has denied writers access to delete their content and their accounts since August 29th, 2014 even though Squidoo made it clear that content would not be moved (even without your consent) until September 2nd, 2014. You are entitled to your work, ad pool revenue, Amazon earnings, eBay earnings, and other late payments.
Both Squidoo and HubPages broke the law when author content was sold and bought without the express permission of each content owner. I've written numerous articles detailing what was morally and ethically wrong throughout this business transaction. Today, I felt it was wise to focus solely on the legalities. I've provided proof that may also help you file a successful lawsuit.
I was shocked to find 10 emails from HubPages in my inbox on Saturday, September 13th, 2014. I refuse to open any of them. Apparently, HubPages has at least 100 of my articles posted publicly (with their ads) on their website. My content was moved to HubPages without my permission and now I am reporting HubPages to the IC3. If you wish to report HubPages or Squidoo, I take you through the form step-by-step.
Squidoo's Seth Godin announced on Friday, August 15th, 2014 (around 5 pm ET), that HubPages has acquired Squidoo. Part of this transaction, apparently, is the "promise" of the "highest rated" and "most useful" content. This content does NOT belong to Squidoo, it belongs to the writers. Before you accept any transfer of your work, consider what you are giving away. I outline facts (and possible legalities) in this article.
I was disappointed on January 15th to discover only a few of my articles were unfeatured on HubPages. For a sec, I thought I might be able to post my content on InfoBarrel where I earn 90% of the ad share. Guess I wasn't spammy enough. The irony is HubPages has always been able to keep authors' content, earnings, and tax information. It still bothers me that author content can "never be removed" which is one reason I never joined HubPages.
As predicted, the tension between Hubbers and former Squids has writers scrambling to find the spam on HubPages. Many people still believe that Paul Edmondson was telling the whole truth when he stated that Google had put a manual action on a couple of subdomains for pure spam. I had a hunch the problem wasn't with the writers. And finally, I figured out where Google sees the spammiest line of all - thousands of times online. And no, the writers are not to blame.
In a response to a forum thread posted on HubPages, I felt compelled to answer Marisa Wright and others in this short article. I'd like to clear up some facts, present the law, and dispel any myths. Any anger directed towards me is clearly misplaced. My hope is that every writer is able to leave the HubPages platform and receive the entire amount of his or her earnings.
It's getting harder to stomach all the excuses that HubPages is coming up with for abusing authors. Yes, abusing is the right word. I feel it's high time Hubbers took a look at what has transpired over the last few months to see how their rights have been infringed. Any opt-out policies that are currently in place need to be examined carefully. Often, these types of clauses are unenforceable and even illegal.
Just when I felt like giving up chasing plagiarists, Google comes up with an easier way to report them. I couldn't wait to try out Google's Scraper Report and I bet you'll love it too. Plus, it gives me an emotional boost to know in mere seconds I can report a page - even if it's written in another language. The key way I find scrapers is to look for words that don't translate easily. Often, I find my pen name or the name of this site, InfoBarrel, gives them away.
If you are wondering what being "unfeatured for lack of engagement" really means on HubPages, I can bust some myths for you. Does the Hubber score (or Hub score) make you wonder too? Since I have never joined HubPages, I can spare you some work. I haven't tweaked any of my 293 articles on there since 2013 (those are posted without my permission). I haven't promoted any link with the Squidoo or HubPages domain in the URL. In this short article, I share my theory of what might be behind this mysterious number.
Google's improved Panda algorithm released earlier this fall has targeted low-quality content on even the largest writing platforms. It appears that quality is being rewarded over quantity. Thankfully, high-quality (small or medium-sized) sites such as InfoBarrel are leading the pack. I sat down with Ryan McKenzie and asked him a dozen questions. Find out what he had to say about InfoBarrel's success and what's on the horizon for this Canadian-based company.
I was stunned by Corey Brown's post yesterday that only addressed these two scenarios: until lenses are deleted or transferred. The problem is that no one can access their content right now to delete it or even edit it. You can't even delete your entire account. The only option is to transfer to HubPages even though Squidoo states it's fine to move your content to another platform. Also, people are being denied ad pool revenue, even though lenses continue to be displayed online publicly.
In the most impromptu way, Seth Godin announced mid-August that HubPages would be "acquiring key content" from Squidoo. He forgot his own TOS though, that the content belongs to each individual writer (aka lensmaster). If he meant himself and other SquidTeam members, though, I guess he'd better start writing. Oh and it seems we won't get our share of the ad pool or small payments late - even if our lenses remain online until August 31st at midnight ET.
If I had to pick one article that I wanted every writer online to read, this is the one. We need to be able to retain our rights online, on any platform. Content site owners need to be held accountable to their terms of service/use and adhere to both federal and state laws. HubPages and Squidoo cannot be allowed to proceed with their "deal" that has broken these rules and the law. Now is the time to take back what is legally ours - our content, identity, profile, and all of our earnings.
Sooner than I predicted, HubPages is tanking fast. Why? Because Google knows about the unacceptable and stolen Squidoo content (and profiles). So does the IC3. Seth Godin and Paul Edmondson thought no one would notice. How arrogant. However, a few women writers brilliantly dissected this "deal" and now the truth is being exposed. If I were on HubPages, I'd be leaving sooner than later.
After wondering for months why my Pinterest traffic nosedived, I discovered that someone created a Pinterest account using my old Squidoo pen name. Not only is my work still being posted on HubPages without my permission, it appears that this new Pinterest account is sucking traffic away from my real Pinterest account. If your Pinterest traffic is drying up, you might want to follow the steps I've taken (detailed in my article).
It's not a matter of if you will have your identity (and content) stolen, but when. In the war against scrapers and thieves online, I created a pictorial guide to help you report an impersonator on Pinterest. Since Google Plus has added "Pin it" buttons to photos, I feel that Pinterest has become one of the newest methods scrapers are using to outrank original authors.
After I found out about CBS's new reality show, The Briefcase, I knew I had to try and pitch a better idea to Mr. Les Moonves. My gut reaction is this new reality show will flop. There is nothing gratifying about watching struggling families try to rationalize who deserves to be financially helped more. But there is great satisfaction in seeing deceptive business people forced to pay back those they have scammed.
The grace period for Squidoo authors who transferred to HubPages ends soon, on January 15th, 2015. At which point, authors may find their work doesn't measure up to the QAP on HubPages. Moving content off of HubPages means losing the 301 redirect that proves you are the original author to Google. Plagiarists and scrapers seem to target HubPages more than any other site I've researched. Feel trapped? Well, you do have some recourse and choices.