Competition with Squidoo

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  1. ourevolution profile image58
    ourevolutionposted 9 years ago

    Good day,

    Been learning the online publishing ropes (mostly duplicate content issues) and explored Squidoo.  Squidoo does not require tax registration for collecting royalties.  They simply ask for my paypal email address, end of story.

    Hubpages requires a tax registration process be done first, which slows down motivation and can even kill it, especially if the author thinks there is risk that their effort may never pay itself off. As well, these reasons favor Squidoo as a choice host for our articles.  Remember that we are only allowed one online publication/article; see my other topic forum for comments on this issue.

    Its time for Hubpages to reorganize their administration process before more authors find this out and favor their competition like Squidoo. 

    FYI:  Other companies allow royalities to be collected in an account until tax information is registered (ex. Amazon companies like kdp and Createspace).   This option is available for Hubpages.  I recommend you make use of it Hubpages!

    1. Marisa Wright profile image83
      Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I don't understand US tax law so I can't even guess why HubPages wants tax info and others don't.  It's not an issue for non-US members so I haven't taken much interest.  However I agree, there are several companies (e.g. Smashwords) which will allow you to earn money without tax info - you just can't collect it until you claim.

      Where do you get that idea?   You are allowed as many online publications/articles as you like, they just can't be duplicated.  When you write on Squidoo and HubPages, you don't write just one Lens or one Hub - you write multiple articles.   If you don't have enough material to make each one unique, then you probably don't have enough material to make a success of writing online.

    2. Barbara Kay profile image72
      Barbara Kayposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Since Hubpages no longer sends us our tax forms and claims Paypal is suppose to, I don't know why they even need it anymore. By the way, Paypal doesn't send it either if we have a 1099 form we should be getting.

      1. ourevolution profile image58
        ourevolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you. for the Paypal info.

        Sounds like HubPages need to get motivated at updating there website, as well as their ability to insert eBooks into the Amazon capsule.

    3. Matthew Meyer profile image72
      Matthew Meyerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I will do some research and determine if the legal requirement has changed on our end.
      I think part of the logic is that it would be very frustrating as an author if you signed up for an account and accumulated a balance only to then later find you were ineligible for a payment due to a tax issue. In those cases it is likely to be less frustrating to find this information before doing any additional work on Hubs.

      1. ourevolution profile image58
        ourevolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Very, very few will be ineligible.  For these few, recommend we all review the requirements to avoid future disappointment, but not require it.

    4. Matthew Meyer profile image72
      Matthew Meyerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I did some follow up.
      While the current US tax law does not appear to require that we collect tax information, the fact that this requirement has changed over the life of HubPages rersulted in our decision to continue to require this information.
      This makes us better prepared for possible future changes to tax law.

      1. ourevolution profile image58
        ourevolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I doubt the tax laws will change enough to require tax information form people you do not pay.


        Hopefully PayPal will forward you any relevant tax information if a change does occur.  If not, the tax submission process will already be completed once (learning is the biggest battle!)

    5. aa lite profile image84
      aa liteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It might be true that HP would lose out to Squidoo if all things were equal.

      However, not all things are equal. Ever since the huge panda slap over a year ago, traffic (and earnings) at Sqidoo are terrible! Of all the user generated content sites, I think HP has managed the Google black and white animal attacks the best. I have over 50 lenses on Squidoo and I earn a couple of dollars from them each month!

      Nobody in their right sense would choose to write over at Squidoo rather than at HP, no matter how cumbersome the collecting of the tax info.

      Yes, things could change. There was a time when HP traffic was being pulverised by panda and Squidoo was doing brilliantly. However, I've been observing how the staff at both places deals with the new online publishing realities, for about 2 years now. I've sort of given up hope on Squidoo ever digging itself out of the hole.

  2. The Examiner-1 profile image61
    The Examiner-1posted 9 years ago

    It sounds to me that going with Squidoo may get you in trouble with IRS if found out. I would say that HP is doing it the legal way.

    1. Barbara Kay profile image72
      Barbara Kayposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Since our payment from Hubpages goes into a Paypal account, we need to pay taxes on the money anyways. Squidoo does also and Paypal accounts could be audited, so you'd better pay the taxes on the money for them also.

      1. The Examiner-1 profile image61
        The Examiner-1posted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I only use HP.

  3. ourevolution profile image58
    ourevolutionposted 9 years ago

    It not about paying the taxes, its about when. 

    I don't think you understood my post.  I'm trying to make the process more convenient for the authors.  Some authors may only make $20 for all their hubs, so why go through the tax process, but if we makes $2000, then its worth while going through.

    Hubpages does not need to require prior tax registration.  Several companies put royalties on hold upon request.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Hard to imagine that the 10 seconds necessary to input a SS# is that big a deal.  For those paying their taxes legally, anyway - those earning but not reporting it may well take exception.

      1. ourevolution profile image58
        ourevolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I'm Canadian.  I have to mail a passport in.

        1. Barbara Kay profile image72
          Barbara Kayposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Why would you need to mail a passport in?  Are you sure you need to do this?  I thought you only used those when you cross the country's border.

  4. Kathleen Odenthal profile image89
    Kathleen Odenthalposted 9 years ago

    Squidoo is considered much less authoritative then HP and therefore it is ranked much more harshly by google. You are best off just filling out the forms. They really don't take long at all.

  5. Greekgeek profile image79
    Greekgeekposted 9 years ago

    Hubpages is not competing with Squidoo on how to save us a few seconds in filing our tax info. Registration is step zero for any online author, a step which most of us forgot about years ago.

    It's competing in terms of visitors, presentation, and ease of use as a publishing platform.

    Squidoo has turned itself into a site that's slightly more effective for affiliate links and Amazon commissions, and its lensrank algorithm rewards occasionally-updated pages with a lot of interactive features and links that visitors click on. However, Squidoo plastered itself with more aggressive advertising and has been promoting brief product reviews and short, shallow pages so much that for the past two years that it's having a little trouble ranking well in Google. (That said, I'm drawing between 20,000-30,000 visitors on my Squidoo pages right now, thanks to one of my niches doing exceptionally well).

    Whereas I find it difficult to convert affiliate sales on Hubpages, but its clean, more professional-looking format lends itself to evergreen, informational pages that attract a steady trickle of traffic and modest but direct advertising income. I don't have hubs falling into WIP status and being hidden from visitors just because I haven't edited them in a while and/or they only get a few visitors a month. That means I can "set and forget" unless they actually need to be updated.

    There. The big question you're not asking here is, "Where will my content actually earn money, and what's the best ROI on my time?"

  6. PaigePixel profile image88
    PaigePixelposted 9 years ago

    @Greekgeek, do you think Squidoo's new 'best of' system is going to help with their SERP? It seems like at least somebody over there's woken up to the overall problems.

    1. Greekgeek profile image79
      Greekgeekposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Squidoo's HQ has been aware of the problems for a couple years now, and has taken all kinds of steps, but with mixed results. (Take what I say with a grain of salt; I was banned last year from posting on their HQ blog or their forums after I wrote an analysis of which particular Google algorithms Squidoo appeared to be running afoul of.)

      Squidoo's "Best of" experiment seems to me to be the latest in a series of experiments. My lenses that they shifted to the "Best of" category had their URLs changed, yanking them away from my subdomain to make Squidoo look better. That means those lenses have lost the authority they'd built up through my subdomain. I'm not convinced that fiddling around with URLs and creating a new subdomain for "best of" content is going to do much for content on Squidoo's pre-existing domains; it's like pulling a few vegetables out of a garden and transplanting them to a brand new bed instead of tackling the snails, powdery mildew, or other problems in the existing garden.

      FWIW, Quantcast doesn't seem to show any improvement yet.

      I'm also not convinced that what HQ thinks is the "best of" content on Squidoo really is the best. I'm still dismayed that in order to retain our Giant status, we were required to reapply by writing five shallow, thin-content "lenslets" this past Christmas. I disagree with what they think search engines -- and, more importantly, actual web users -- are looking for.

      I still make more money on Squidoo than Hubpages, mind you. I still draw more traffic. When I average it out, I'm getting more average visitors per lens than per hub. And I know some people who are still having decent luck on Squidoo. But I am...not putting new eggs in that basket, for now.

      1. PaigePixel profile image88
        PaigePixelposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for your detailed response, it's very much appreciated! I read all of your information some time ago, and was amazed at the depth and breadth of your knowledge and research. I walked away from both sites for awhile, without having made a dime, and am coming back just now to try again. Without your insights to guide me, I'm not sure I'd be getting back on the horse, so thank you again!

      2. Marisa Wright profile image83
        Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        This is similar to HubPages' Editor's Choice.   Does that mean you also disapprove of Editor's Choice?

        1. Greekgeek profile image79
          Greekgeekposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I don't have a beef with the "Editor's Choice" selection for a few reasons.

          1. The hubs I'm seeing selected are informational, well-written, and well-researched, ones that really do reflect well on the site and would rank as "Useful" or at least "Relevant" under Google's quality rater guidelines, whereas the lenses I've seen chosen for "Best of" seem to be shorter, thin content that would rank as "Slightly Relevant." (Admittedly, small sample size: I'm looking at my own dashboards).

          2. Hubpages lets us opt out. I opted out with my Greekgeek account, where I've got authorial pull thanks to an established username across multiple platforms, and I opted in on my niche account whose username and domain probably count for squat.

          3. I don't see Hubstaff getting so caught up in the latest new and exciting "Best of!" project, community morale raising program, or contest that it feels like they don't have time to address site fundamentals such as its architecture, speed, filters, or member concerns.

          4. Editor's Choice hubs get moved to, which partakes of and reinforces the Hubpages domain on which all our content is hosted. "Best of" lenses get moved to various new subdomains like and that don't reinforce the root "" and content hosted on it as strongly. Also, so many times, I've seen Squidoo unroll new projects with themed subdomains, populating them with lenses they've plucked from our accounts, only to drop support for those projects and change our lens URLs back after a year or three (sometimes without redirects).

          TL;DR Hubpages doesn't dink around with our stuff as much. wink

  7. profile image0
    Motown2Chitownposted 9 years ago

    Am I correct in my understanding that you think submitting tax info to HP somehow delays or reduces payout?

    It does not.

    HP pays at a threshold of $50.  They do not hold back any portion of what they pay you for tax purposes.

  8. Sherry Hewins profile image91
    Sherry Hewinsposted 9 years ago

    The only reason I can think of that submitting tax information would be a problem is if you don't have a social security number.

    1. ourevolution profile image58
      ourevolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Or you live outside the USA.  If so, you need to get a passport and mail it in.  I'm sure the form is straight forward, although government forms tend not to be straight forward situations.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image83
        Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        If you live outside the US and are not a US resident then you don't have to supply your tax information at all, you simply make a declaration.  Did you click on the correct link? 

        HubPages is not asking you to get a US tax number.

        1. ourevolution profile image58
          ourevolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Apparently not.  I got the WE8BN or something form, which I have seen before elsewhere.

  9. ourevolution profile image58
    ourevolutionposted 9 years ago

    Just wanted to make clear that I was under the impression that I needed to fill out Form W-8 BEN, which requires the passport being mailed in.  The standard application is simple, but...

    The reason why Createspace requests me to use Form W-8 BEN is because without it I pay something like 30% more in taxes.  Whooa!  Is this true for Hubpage earnings as well?

    1. Matthew Meyer profile image72
      Matthew Meyerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It sounds like your question is related to taxes.
      We can not provide tax advice.
      Please consult a tax professional with any questions related to the rate at which you will be taxed.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image83
      Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You had this question answered elsewhere.  If you are not in the US, you do not have to fill in any tax information on HubPages - just complete the statutory declaration on the site.  That's it - you don't have to send anything in. 

      You are not selling a physical product here, that's the difference and the reason HubPages doesn't need to collect any taxes.

      1. ourevolution profile image58
        ourevolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        hmmmm.  Thank you

        1. Marisa Wright profile image83
          Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          You sound doubtful.   Have you actually tried following the instructions - it takes you to the page where you make your declaration. Simple.

  10. jellygator profile image89
    jellygatorposted 9 years ago

    I have not read all replies. I have used both HP and Squidoo. I originally thought I would like S. better, but I stayed with HP for the most part, and this registration plays a tiny role in the reason why. HP has content in English, and it's written by people who are native to the language. The tax registrations helps to ensure a higher percentage of hubs that are written by native speakers. I was raised in the U.S.A. and I took several years of both Spanish and French in school, enough to read and write at a basic level, but not enough to provide high quality content that a Parisian would even understand, so I would not try. However, this isn't the case for every freelancing site!


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