HubPages’s Big Acquisition: The Story of How Squidoo Died

It’s game over for Squidoo. Here’s a scrap of what it had e-mailed to its users before it died:

“Here’s some good news, big news, news that will open some new possibilities for you…
HubPages is acquiring key content from Squidoo, creating the largest site of its kind in the world.”

This content publishing platform planted in 2005 and recently acquired by its arc rival, HubPages faced a slow death. The interesting question here is why? Even when both the platforms had got the black eye, due credits to Google’s Panda updates?

Well, THIS is why-

The ‘filter’ experiment gone wrong:
Those who have used the platform will know this : Squidoo wasn’t a breeze at all. It was tough getting into it or getting a lens (at Squidoo, a page created was called a lens) approved. ‘Low quality content’ messages weren’t unusual, even though any other content hosting platform would give such writing an A+. On top of that there were approved lenses that would sometimes revert insultingly back to ‘Work-In-Progress’ – something that left writers both confused and hurt. And, if, by any god-alone-knows-why way, a lens went on to get locked, there was no way you could get it back. Deletion was the only painful option. So, what really was the content filter criterion? No body knew.

The goofy scorecard:
A 100 for your content was supposedly the highest possible score to rate a standard. But, on a serious note, where really was the standard? Half written sentences, absurd words, unrelated topics and tags – anything could sometimes bring on a 100. On the flipside, great stories and great pieces had the power to go low rated at Squidoo – one reason why so many (and this number is huge) people had already left the platform beforehand. Why care for something not worthy enough?

A note on account deletion:
Sometimes an account would get deleted altogether with a stabbing e-mail left from Squidoo to you, stating how it was way too ”commercial” for the purpose. Along went all the data, all the lenses and the hard-earned traffic, straight into the dumping zone. Vague reasons and vague explanations – enough grounds to offend users, especially SEO content writers, and make them leave the platform once and for all.

The Panda blow:
Squidoo had earned a bad name in the search engine world too. Google hated it for all the wrong done and downranked it fatally. The Panda algorithm of the search engine giant came about in 2011 and then in November 2012, it found out duplicate, thin and spam content in Squidoo. The result? Google punished the site with a 60% killing of its visibility. HubPages, too, was affected in a similar way. But, while it recovered, Squidoo had a hard time getting back on track.

Most writers had slowly started to find Squidoo a scary platform given the endless lit of dubious rules it had for content hosting and those unexplained and sudden lens locking, lens freezing and account deletion events. The site somehow was negativity with a capital N for some and a nightmare for those who wanted to make money writing online. Squidoo wrote its own doomed fate with the hatred from offended writers and a very angry Google readily hammering the final nail into its coffin. Today, the site has successfully managed to push by the daisies.

R.I.P Squidoo. Not everyone will miss you.

A post by Chayanika Deka. 3rd of November, 2014.


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