Back in the days of the Rodney King riots, one of my favorite folk composers, Fred Small, wrote a song called something like "Can't We All Get Along?"
Why am I not entirely sure of the title? Between having lost the original CD in a house fire and all the Google changes in the last few years, that info is gone to me until I can get a new copy.
But the point was that in the middle of those horrible riots, King asked a very simple question. Can't we just get along? (And maybe even support each other as fellow human beings?)
I really like Hub Pages. I was a total newbie on Squidoo and hadn't finished my Rocket Squid training when we got moved over. And yeah, Squidoo made some giant mistakes and gave some terrible suggestions that flew in the face of what's regarded as good SEO policies.
And yep, some of us didn't know better. For myself, I haven't studied SEO since 2004. Back then, my two websites were first page for the keywords associated with my site. Then medical issues, the various conniptions of a bad divorce and finally a house fire that destroyed my ability to communicate with my clients crashed my sites into oblivion.
I totally understand why established Hubbers are concerned about their stats. And now Google is hitting us with Panda 4.1 at the worst possible time. Right in the middle of this unexpected transition.
Hubbers, please get that some of us have upwards of 400 to 800 lens/hubs to get in shape. Even at the rate of 4-5 fixed lenses a day, that's going to take us a bit of time. Yes, this stinks.
Many of us ex squids and many of you are now concerned with the latest Google updates. And we should be. But throwing blame around isn't doing anything helpful.
I'm fortunate to have only 20 published lenses to have needed fixing. They are now IMO fixed. Now I can move on to write new stuff that I hope will enhance both HP and my own web presence.
At the same time, I'm faced with a giant onslaught of negativity from my new fellow Hubbers. Part of the stinkoid factor is that one of the most helpful hubs I've found, which explained what was actually going on over at Squidoo, is also one which is being used in Comments to bash us ex Squids.
Now I'm against anything that impacts freedom of speech. I'm not in favor of banning folks from the forum. I'm just asking everyone, new Hubbers and old to be adult and gentle.
The number one reason I loved Squidoo? When I came in I was welcomed with open arms. The other writers realized that I was not their competitor, I was their potential ally.
It's sad that we're not getting that sort of welcome. And from those of you who ARE offering that welcome, apologies - this post is NOT about you.
If anyone requires further proof that squids were not to blame and Panda is, they should check out the latest Quantcast figures, which are showing HP riding its little wave back up again.
It will be up and down in its usual wave pattern for a little while. Then I suspect it will climb a bit as the impact of tons and tons of new content spreads around in its new home, getting backlinks, being edited etc.
By Christmas, I expect we'll all be raking it in as buyers come out in force.
I've been here a little over a year and have never used Squidoo. I'm happy to say I'm glad to see all of you former Squidoo members. Everyone has seemed so polite in all areas of HP which is more than I can say for some of the veteran HP members. I think you hit the nail on the head (as the saying goes). We all need to just get along. It's going to take some time for everyone to get things straightened out and we should all have patience and understanding. What we veteran HP members have to remember is we were all new once and we had to work at learning the ropes. We need to be helping any new member whether they're brand new to this type of writing or have lenses transferred from Squidoo.
Thank you Sheila, there are some people who have gone out of their way to welcome us and others who have done nothing but gripe. What we want to see is a little friendly advice, a little patience and a recognition of the fact that we have a lot of work to do and we are trying to get it done efficiently and effectively. Hopefully in time the suspicion will end when people realise we are all in this together.
It's such a shame that Panda decided to go on the rampage at exactly the same time as the Squids arrived. Personally, I think the loss of traffic is due to Panda not the transfer, but I seem to be in the minority. I guess people would rather blame someone they can yell at, rather than a fictitious animal.
I think you're right that Panda is what caused the drop in traffic. Because it looks like the usual effects of Panda; a number of people lose traffic, the positions in the SERPs get shuffled, then it settles; some people regain traffic then. Also, there was a pretty quick increase in traffic when the Squidoo transfers happened, and now, last I checked, traffic dropped down to what it was before the transfer. What that looks like is that a good number of transferred articles got traffic at first, then lost it (Paul explained what that was about in a forum post). So, the dramatic drop in traffic is partly due to that and also due to the initial ups and downs of a Panda rollout.
There HAVE been some remarks about Squids I could do without, actually some even coming from embittered ex-Squids who felt they got a dirty deal from Squidoo a year or so ago. But on the whole, and I'm happy to say this, I've found the MAJORITY of Hubbers to be welcoming and friendly. There will always be a few who play the "blame game," and of course, since we're newbies, we're their targets. The best way to handle it, is to ignore those, and embrace the friendship of the ones who offer it. I'm happy to write on HubPages, and hoping this Google Panda will be over soon.
One thing you do have to keep in mind is that when Hubbers talk about low quality hubs, they are not necessarily referring to hubs that migrated. We were complaining about low quality hubs probably since the beginning of the site. Of course, we are never the ones who write low quality - it's always the other Hubbers.
I offered all the former Squids a virtual beer when the migration/merger (whatever you want to call it) was first announced and I stand by those words.
I'll join you as we raise our tankards for Squoktoberfest on Hubpages and celebrate the hard work the Squids are putting in
FatFreddysCat - I don't drink anything alcoholic. No soda, either... Offering me anything?
Things are getting better. I don't think I've seen a squid harpoon flying by in several hours now.
In fact, I predict everybody will be back to their usual loveable selves before the week is out.
All the Squid harpoons have been traded for humane Panda traps!
Speaking of pandas, I've been wondering... Which is better, A1 or Worcestershire?
Let's hope things have calmed down. If I wanted to witness the griping, the assaults, and the harassment I was seeing on these forums, I'd frequent the political and religious forums, which I avoid like the plague. If it was getting uncomfortable for me, I can't imagine how it must have felt for those coming over from Squidoo.
I agree - we should try to get along. And one way to get along is to try to understand each other.
The people on Squidoo have had their content moved all of a sudden to another site, one which many did not know existed. They have to learn the new rules, and change all of their content so that it follows these new rules. And there is a deadline, and pressure from practically everyone - Google, Hubbers, etc., to do it quickly.
The people on HubPages have had new content moved to the site en masse. This content is coming from a site that tanked and is not doing well. A site where people have lots of outgoing links and is focused on sales, which we have been told are bad. We don't know how Google will view this massive influx of articles. We have been trying to recover from a big Google slap in 2011(?) and were making slow progress. This change does come with changes for us too - our Amazon capsules look different, and there are new capsules for us. While these are good changes, it also means that we have to edit our hubs to take good advantage of them and repair the spacing issues on our hubs..
It is normal for both sides to be nervous about this change and wonder what is in store for us, long term. The key is to take what is said in this light, instead of taking it personally. We can all learn from each other and work on making the site the best it can be, and together we can make it an even better site than it would have been without this purchase. The management must have thought so, or they wouldn't have agreed to this merger..
I think perhaps one key is for everyone who expresses concern about the move, to be sure they word their posts carefully. Make it clear that you're unhappy about the decisions made by HubPages and Squidoo, and you're not blaming individual Squids who had no say in what happened. Because far too often, the message they're getting is that people DO blame them.
The other factor, which I'd never considered until now, is that we're slating Squidoo - and it was their home. How would we feel if HubPages folded?
According to this article which discusses exactly what venture capital means, HubPages would have to have an exit strategy somewhere already, which would have been set in stone somewhere around the end of year one.
What I meant was, how would we feel if we lost HubPages - I think many people feel an attachment to it. I'm sure they do have an exit strategy but I don't see how that's relevant.
I am sure we would feel like the Squidoo folks feel - a sense of mourning. I am sorry for their sudden loss of the site. I can understand how they feel hypersensitive to criticism that is not necessarily leveled at them. I think a lot of the griping is really leveled at management.
I think HP HQ thought it through and it will be good in the long term, however Panda's timing, the server migration and the lenses aboard are a "perfect storm" so to speak.
I agree, most of the griping is aimed at management and at first I thought Squids were being a bit over-sensitive - they're not management, after all. But then I thought of how quickly Hubbers spring to HubPages' defence when the site is criticised by outsiders! Logical or not, we all get attached to the platforms we write on.
It's relevant because that's what Squidoo just executed: an exit strategy.
That's true - in their eyes, complaining about the site Squidoo is about the same as complaining about the lenses and the people who made them, even though we see a distinction.
Another thing that may cause them to think of our forums as more harsh is that theirs were more moderated for "positivity" - at least that was reported in other forum posts. I do hope that doesn't happen here. People need to be civil, but discussing negative things can actually help.
I have welcomed all. Panda and the blame? Shoot it is a wild guess. With all the Pandas I have been through I don't think there has been ONE instance where anyone has come up with a concrete reason for any fluctuations in traffic or ranking.
HubPages will pull out it as time goes by. In the meanwhile, well it is close to the holiday season, so we can sell holiday greeting cards!
As a forum addict, I have seen far more friendly and welcoming reactions from hubbers to the merge than negative ones. HP will gain enormously from the ex- Squids additions. It just takes time for all lenses to turn into HP standard approved hubs. Panda doesn't help.
Like with any big changes, things get worse before they get better. Let us welcome our new colleagues with open arms. The Squidoo/HP merge is a great opportunity for growth.
Blame does not help anyone. We should be grateful for the staff's enormous insight, transparency, and work efforts. Let us all be patient, polite, and as helpful as we can towards each other to speed up a (sometimes painful) process towards long term growth in quality, quantity, exposure, and earnings.
I am all for everyone getting along. One thing I truly loved about Squidoo, was that everyone was always so helpful - especially to any newcomers.
Hubbers here - if that is the correct term - have all been very sweet, helpful, and kind to me. However...I have been chagrined to read some "less-than-kind-and-bordering-on-nasty" exchanges between some of the members. It really (that is underlined, bolded, and in caps) surprised me!
Thank you everyone who replied. I really appreciate what everyone had to say. And the kind way they presented their cases.
I'll be the first to agree that there are many lens-turned-hubs that need to go. And I know everyone's working like crazy on them.
It's sad that Squidoo betrayed the trust of many of its users by encouraging us to take our pages in an unhealthy direction. Even worse, the game playing that's now coming to light. And the policing of the forums for "happy thoughts only." (Especially when some of the more SEO savvy Squids seem to have been trying to warn Squidoo that they were making bad choices.)
Some of us just didn't know better. After all, we were being pointed at allegedly top performing lenses and told "this is the way to do it."
I unpublished one of mine that I didn't like from the beginning. Eventually I'll take what was good from that page, and I sure as heck won't let it be just a thin hub promoting soap of all bloody things.
One of the changes that got rolled out about a month after I joined Squidoo was that they created a bunch of short-format review style templates. I didn't like them from the moment I saw them. You COULDN'T add more content because those templates insisted on a maximum of modules.
Another challenge was that (in Rocket Squids, at least) we were being encouraged to dilute our "authority" by focusing on a wide range of subjects. As someone who has an extremely wide variety of interests, this was appealing to me. I'd had blogs before and was somewhat irritated that they "forced" me to stick to just one small subject area.
*Sigh* I hope this is something that Google will get over, but for now I'll go back to focusing on my main niches.
I also understand that the Giant Squids were pretty much forced to write thin content review pages to maintain that status. That also is disturbing, and was something we newbies had no clue about. I'm sure discussion about that in the general forums was also policed.
So yes, I'm mourning my old home. And at the same time feeling relieved that I've inadvertently landed in a new home that might be far healthier.
And I certainly understand how established Hubbers might look at those of us migrating in the same way I'd view an invading army.
One complaint I have seen that I'd like to address. Some established Hubbers are complaining that more articles on "their" subjects dilutes their search results. I don't know enough yet about present SEO to know how true it is, however here's a fact that I do understand from countless years of studying counseling, hypnosis and NLP. Every person has a proclivity to "hear" a message differently. Some may "get" it from the first page they come across, some may not. I have a lot of confidence that (as I do) many folks will come via one particular search and then spend time exploring related pages, which may ring true for them.
So I'll take that virtual beer now (I'd like a Blue Moon with a slice of orange please) and raise a toast to all my fellow Hubbers, old and new. May this transition be peaceful, empowering and prosperous for all of us. So Mote It Be.
I work in retail. When I started this job, I would have told you that 80% of ppl are nice, 20% fall under the rude/crazy category. After having been in the job for a while, I would be likely to say it's the opposite. When it comes to TIME and MONEY, people lose their minds.
I have yet to make any money writing online, so I can afford to be generous and kind... who cares, right? Come on in! The water's warm! But then there is a group who earns anywhere from a pittance to their livelihoods doing this and they are the ones who are hit with the moral question, "Who are you when the chips are down?"
If you're a farmer, the rain may not fall. An oilman may not strike oil, and nobody's making any money when a recession hits. So when life throws you a curve ball... who are you going to be?
A study was done in '10-'11 that showed that the poorest gave 3.2% of their gross monthly income while the very rich gave 0.9%. When people have more to lose, generosity flies out the window.
Life doesn't come with any promises, no matter what your profession. Maybe you're a person of faith, maybe not, but for me; when my life has been weighed and measured, I want to be found someone who chose people over money every time.
DL Moody, an American evangelist and publisher was once scheduled to speak at a church filled with people. They awaited his arrival with great anticipation to hear the great speaker teach and were surprised to see a man, not DL Moody, take the stage with just an envelope. He explained that, due to weather, Moody was unable to travel, but that he'd sent his sermon via telegraph. He opened the envelope to read the letter and read out loud, the only word on the page: "Others."
In another forum, I expressed my dismay as well as the reason it hurts so bad to hear the snide remarks about Squidoo. Perhaps if some folks realize we've lost a friend, they will have more compassion:
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/125338? … ost2646399
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