Squidoo seems to have died twice
This is an absolutely fascinating hub http://hubpages.com/community/Google-vs-the-Hub-Pages if you have a penchant for analysing numbers. It records the number of hubs and followers on a daily basis since September 9th 2012.
In September 2014, the import of Squidoo lenses started - and you can tell from this just how many lenses were imported which were not in the top 80,000 featured lenses (ie the ones which got paid by Squidoo)
(i.e. 160,000 lenses were imported along with some 26,000 lensmasters. For the record I came on board in the first week)
"September 3rd 2014 - 835,291 published hubs / 58,416 published users......... (Gained another 36 fellow hubbers)
September 4th 2014 - 838,695 published hubs / 58,597 published users......... (Gained another 181 fellow hubbers)
September 5th 2014 - 850,149 published hubs / 58,879 published users......... (Gained another 282 fellow hubbers)
September 6th 2014 - 858,515 published hubs / 59,168 published users......... (Gained another 289 fellow hubbers)
September 7th 2014 - 864,888 published hubs / 59,484 published users......... (Gained another 316 fellow hubbers)
September 8th 2014 - 876,931 published hubs / 59,666 published users......... (Gained another 182 fellow hubbers)
September 9th 2014 - 885,927 published hubs / 59,789 published users......... (Gained another 123 fellow hubbers & today marks 2 years of statistics)
September 10th 2014 - 896,938 published hubs / 59,961 published users......... (Gained another 172 fellow hubbers)
September 11th 2014 - 916,163 published hubs / 60,737 published users......... (Gained another 776 fellow hubbers)
September 12th 2014 - 934,270 published hubs / 66,252 published users......... (Gained another 5,515 fellow hubbers)
September 13th 2014 - 949,853 published hubs / 70,936 published users......... (Gained another 4,684 fellow hubbers)
September 14th 2014 - 962,901 published hubs / 74,970 published users......... (Gained another 4,034 fellow hubbers)
September 15th 2014 - 970,741 published hubs / 77,115 published users......... (Gained another 2,145 fellow hubbers)
September 16th 2014 - 976,676 published hubs / 78,737 published users.......... (Gained another 1,622 fellow hubbers)
September 17th 2014 - 995,362 published hubs / 84,536 published users......... (Gained another 5,799 fellow hubbers)
So very nearly a million hubs as of September 2014.
Now 18 months later - as of today's date (February 14th 2016) - there are 757,447 published hubs / 49,744 published users
In other words there are now fewer hubs and fewer hubbers than the first day on which the Squidoo import started The site has reduced by some 238k hubs and 35k hubbers. That's some reduction!
The figures suggest to me that not a lot of lensmasters decided to stay and/or were felt as if they were being "encouraged" to leave. (That's ignoring the huge quantity of lenses - at least 80,000 - which should never have been imported in the first place - IMO!).
It also suggests that there has been some considerable "weeding" going on. Whether we would agree with the quality control exercised by the weeders is another matter - the fact is an awful lot of hubs have been unpublished, unfeatured and/or deleted.
Obviously now separate sites are being set up there's going to be some structured and organised reduction in numbers.
However it strikes me that one good way of monitoring HubPages health and people's confidence in the site's future is to watch the stats on this hub. Currently hubbers are deleting their accounts at the rate of c.50 people a week.
One can sort of see why a strategy of moving towards a smaller number of specialist sites with fewer account holders and fewer hubs seemed more sensible as an impetus for future growth.
I remain of the view that if HubPages wants people to stick around to see what plans are in store for future sites it needs to start being better at communication and more open about what niche topics it hopes to focus on in future. That's a hint!
When Hubpages acquired Squidoo, my first mental reaction was -- "Ah what a blunder they have made!"
When the antagonism of Google towards content sites was obvious, it looked meaningless to me to buy out a huge chunk of content and attach to HP. Perhaps HP thought they would now become big enough to have a negotiating power with Google. But obviously it didn't work that way at all.
Perhaps the best course would have been to allow Squidoo to die and concentrate on HP's content quality. Ultimately, I believe everything became unmanageable.
HubPages peaked in 2012, with 1,137,066 published Hubs, and 133,349 published users.
By the time we get to the fall of 2014, the site had already shed about 25% of the content, and over 50% of the published users.
As of today, there are 33% fewer published Hubs and 63% fewer published users overall, down from peak numbers.
In another thread, Robin Edmondson said the edited 3000 HubPro hubs account for 41% of the search engine traffic the site gets.
3000 Hubs is 0.4% of the current published pool, drawing nearly half the traffic.
That seems to suggest a lot more content shedding to come.
Although one might query whether those 3,000 would generate that amount of traffic on their own account without the benefit of the rest of the site....
However the point of the thread was also that the site had absorbed an unnecessarily large amount of content from Squidoo and has shed the equivalent again - and more - all within the space of 18 months!
If that is true that the 3,000 HubPro edited Hubs account for 41% of traffic, that is not a great sign, as I have a few, and they are getting decent, not great traffic.
It's always the case that relatively few sites get great traffic. How few is 'few' depends on how well the site is doing.
One hub on this site managed to transform the whole traffic profile of HubPages for a while. (One day that individual is going to wake up to the fact she could have 100% benefit from her traffic)
The reduction in hubs and published users may nor reflect how many have actually left and put their work elsewhere. The data does not show at all where they went. Nor does it show which came from Squidoo and which are originally from HP. All the data shows is that there has been a major reduction in numbers.
While some users have left for reasons of their own and many others have moved work to their own sites I would guess that this is a fairly minor number compared to the number of hubs and hubbers that have been removed because they were quite frankly spam, breaking the rules, inactive and gaining zero traffic, or frankly crap...
I wouldn't disagree
However I have to tell you of the people who I used to know on Squidoo I think about 80-90% are now majoring on other sites.
While a portion of the closed Hubber accounts and deleted Hubs are due to low quality and spam, it is obvious from reading the HubPage forums over the past few years that many good Hubbers have left on their own for a variety of reasons. Many good writers have left HubPages and taken their high-quality material withe them. Many left with compliments from other Hubbers regarding their work. There is more going on with this relentless decline in Hubbers and Hubs than just housecleaning by the staff. It still continues, months after this thread was started.
Whatever boost HubPages was hoping for from Squidoo, seems to have not panned out, unless they grabbed some really high-traffic material from Squidoo. We can't tell that from the outside, but it seems as if a lot of former Squidoo writers have left since joining HubPages.
It's hardly surprising about Squidoo people - given:
* the notice that people got at the time about Squidoo closing and
* the alternative option of transfer to HubPages OR deletion of lenses.
A lot of people transferred just to get their payout of all money due and to get some thinking time. They never ever intended to stay. They also exited fairly fast once they'd got their new websites set up.
A significant number felt "burned' by the experience of what can happen when you trust your content to a site you don't own and vowed only to put their content on sites they owned in future. That's a view which continues to be held by many.
For the rest the exits have varied - depending on the number of hubs involved, the drop in income and the need to get alternative sites set up - and for different reasons (eg how welcome or otherwise they were made to feel).
Some were made to feel less than welcome by Hubpages and whole accounts were deleted. While there were undoubted accounts where a good case could be made for this approach, to be absolutely frank very many jaws dropped when a few notables had all their hubs unpublished. It really didn't help make a good case for why people should stick around.
I think the main reason many of the top authors have left/are leaving is that the income levels on Hubpages have been a paltry shadow (10% is not uncommon) of those enjoyed on Squidoo - even during the final days of Squidoo. That in turn essentially revolves around HubPages's attitude to the number of Amazon products on a hub.
Another thing that happened is that communities from Squidoo set up Private Groups on Facebook to continue their mutual support for ex-Squidoo authors and those in turn provided valuable feedback about alternative options for where to put content and what people were finding worked best as an alternative to an article site which Google had obviously fallen out of love with in a major way. Crowdwisdom - from lots of people trying different things - is dictating where people go next.
Hence the common conclusion that if you know how to write about niche topics, get traffic and generate income from Amazon - and don't need a community associated with an article site - then HubPages (or its niche sites) is probably not the best place to do that.
More to the point - people have proved that there is life after Squidoo on their own sites (with more than one Amazon module per webpage)
Thanks for sharing the perspective of why former Squidoo Lensemasters left HubPages. As far as Hubbers, they have been fed up for a variety of reasons. I have never been pushed far enough to leave, but I see why others have. What sites did Squidoo Lensemasters land on? It would me nice to make 100% from sales related to Amazon ads and to place them where and when you want in an article.
The majority of those with serious intent have created their own websites and/or blogs and are using these.
Obviously to make it work you need something of a following to start with, be recognised as an expert or authority in your particular niche and be prepared to work at the marketing - as you generate all your traffic on your own.
For the most part it seems to have worked better for those with an established identity in relation to a specific niche or niches.
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