Autumn 2014: this article is thoroughly outdated. Squidoo has closed shop. Zujava has been banned from the amazon affiliate program and Wizzley is apparently incapable of fixing (or getting rid of) a broken link-checker. Hubpages is the only quality platform in town today. Unfortunately, it is experiencing a Google slap, so even that option is not too good. I recommend sticking to your own sites in any niche where you have sufficient content. Google is rewarding small quality sites right now. [/edit]
Panda and Penguin are thoroughly messing with the Web 2.0 online marketing / online making a living business. The result for Squidoo is that has a lot less traffic than this time last year.
Hubpages was caught earlier and seems to be recovering decently. Wizzley and Zujava were started when Google was already making it clear that it was going to come down hard on low quality content, so they have more stringent guidelines built in than either of the others originally did. In other words: they have less legacy low quality content to deal with.
The reason for this post is that @jasoncox1983 asked me on twitter:
So what do you think is better now adays since Googles update Squidoo, Hubpages, or some other web 2.0 platform? Thanks
The fact is – part of me thinks that this whole web 2.0 business is simply being outmaneuvered by Google and the only way out is building your own quality blog and promoting it and hoping it draws traffic. I’m sure that’s what Google wants you to do. Only start monetizing when you have a solid subscriber base AND a few hundred visitors a day.
On the other hand, Penguin and Panda aside, I do still make a living on my online income. That income is made mostly, still, on Squidoo.
Do I recommend Squidoo to newbies?
Absolutely not! It’s been user-unfriendly to non-giants for at least a year now. Over the past month, even giant squids (lensmasters who have at least 25 quality pages on the site) have been banned, seen their lenses locked without warning etc. Two of my lenses were locked, in fact. One was probably a bug. The other deserved the lock, has been improved, and is waiting review.
In other words: your content simply isn’t safe on Squidoo. You can always take it off, of course, but the fact is that currently the site treats it’s writers very badly.
What’s a lock? A locked lens is invisible to both Google and visitors.
Do I recommend Hubpages to newbies?
Well, that’s a different story. While Squidoo’s filters are unpredictable, and you can have your hub locked (aka: invisible to both readers and Google) without warning, Hubpages only hides them from Google. Also, their instructions on what is ‘wrong’ with your page are clear and if you follow through, will result in your hub being visible to both Google and visitors again.
Hubpages still has more hoops to jump through than I’d like, but I can definitely cautiously recommend them.
I’m putting these two in one boat as they started around the same time and have similar advantages and disadvantages. My personal preference is Zujava, just like my personal preference between Hubpages and Squidoo was always Squidoo. That’s a personal taste thing though – I don’t have hard data to back that up. Also – look what happened to my Squidoo preference…
Wizzley and Zujava both have very clear content filters (for now): just make sure your content isn’t copied from somewhere else on the web and make sure you have enough words.
If you started out today, where would you start?
If I started out today I would probably take that job as a software tester I turned down and limit my online writing to the stuff I REALLY care about (aka spirituality).
The way things are today, I’m very glad I put off buying a house and getting a mortgage.
Here are my original tweets to Jason:
@jasoncox1983 Squidoo – crazy to publish anything new there. Hubpages – seems stable at least. zujava and wizzley – decent options.
@jasoncox1983 Btw: mostly determined by how these platforms RESPOND to Google updates, not the updates themselves.
@jasoncox1983 Basis of web 2.0 marketing is still, and more than ever: quality content. DO NOT over-use keywords. Do use plenty of words.
@jasoncox1983 The kind of words a real human would appreciate, relevant to the topic.
Note that in this post I’m only recommending (well, sort of) sites that I’ve used. All the links here are affiliate links. Depending on the platform I may earn something if you sign up through one of those links, or if you visit the site and click on ads there.