The older I get the less I believe in coincidence. Let's take a step back and look at this from a longer perspective. Over the last say two months, many content sharing sites have tanked, traffic is nuts, and now a new Panda update coincides with stats being down for over 24 hours. These things are all connected and I would bet the bank there's an iceberg worth of stuff going on no one is talking about while the writers flap in the wind. I'd bet that's purposeful too. Someone looking to write the next best seller would start connecting all those little dots... I'm thinking I need better detective skills.
It is a well-known fact that way back in 2011 when the first Panda was introduced, Google declared war on content farms. Usually we have to guess what they're doing: but they actually announced that one! They also made it clear that their definition of content farms was far wider than ours: it included all sites hosting articles on multiple subjects by multiple writers. Google has never changed that stance, and has continued to tweak its algorithm to win the "war". This is just the latest assault.
Since all rev-sharing sites rely largely on Google for traffic, it's a wonder that many of them lasted as long as they did: the writing on the wall has been there for a long time.
HubPages and Squidoo both attempted to avoid the war by splitting their sites into sub-domains, because Google judges each sub-domain separately. That definitely worked on HubPages because when the sub-domains were introduced, some sub-domains became very successful whereas others bombed - demonstrating they were each receiving individual treatment from Google. I can't speak for whether it worked for Squidoo.
I think it was working for some sub-domains on Squidoo and not others, much like here. I was not aware they were going after all content sharing sites so hard but I do believe what you say.
It brings many questions to mind that are all disturbing. First and foremost from a HP perspective, it makes one seriously question the future viability of the site no matter what the site does.
Secondly, and more concerning, it brings to mind the question of too much power. It brings censorship to a whole new global level in a very subtle, yet real way. While I found the information provided in your comment enlightening, it's depressing beyond measure.
When you say it worked for some sub-domains on Squidoo and not for others, you're confirming what I say. The sub-domains that did well were liked by Google. The sub-domains that did not do well were disliked by Google, for whatever reason.
Thank you for the link, much. It does confirm what you say but only to a point. Some of those that were doing really well on Squidoo are not here. What was liked by Google just a few weeks ago now is not. Some have mentioned too many 301 redirects being the problem and maybe it is a contributing factor. Regardless, a lot of good writers are seeing virtually no traffic, through no fault of their own and now left guessing at what to do about it to please some virtual computer algorithm. What's wrong with this picture couldn't be covered in a five hundred page text.
There have been TWO Google Panda updates since the transfer to HubPages was announced, and both or either of those could have affected Squidoo sub-domains just as much as HubPages sub-domains, either negatively or positively.
A sub-domain or website can go up and down in Google's estimation because they are constantly updating the algorithm to improve it (which just goes to show that they know it's imperfect).
One thing Google always loves is long, original and creative content. If you are creating that, then keep going. If you are creating product hubs, wait for the dust to settle. Hoping all this will turn out OK for all of us
Thanks for the post. We just keep learning what we need to do to respond to Google's perception of what searchers want. These updates may be a little frustrating but consider an internet overpowered by spammers and black hat operators. I appreciate Google's policing of content.
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