Is Wizzley Doomed to Join HubPages on the Search Engine Scrapheap?

Welcome to another new year and a rare update to my personal space on the Interwebs in this here blog with my real name on it. Time to put back on my Internet Marketer’s hat for a wild stab at yet another potential money making idea that is soon to be en expired money making flop. I’m talking about the new Hubpages clone, Wizzley.

I’m hearing a lot of good things about Wizzley and how it seems to have taken over from where Hubpages have left a gaping hole in the SERPs thanks to being unceremoniously shat upon by the Google machine that doesn’t much care for “content farms”. To a point, I actually agree with Google that such pages should not be cluttering up the top pages of their search results especially when the bulk of them are written by people like, well, me who may or may not know very much about the Hub page I created.

In my own defence, I actually did do a lot of research when compiling each Hub page, so the information on them was sound and factual. But what were they, really? How useful were they to people searching out information on a particular topic? In truth, they were just a collection of unrelated pages on a bunch of different topics that I discovered I could make money from by either cashing in on Adsense or grabbing some affiliate commissions from Amazon.

There were and still are many good writers that are still putting out sterling Hubs for no monetary gain whatsoever, but instead are using it as a platform to voice their opinions or show off their skills as writers. It has a great social side and should attract better recognition for that, but unfortunately Internet Marketers out to grab a fast buck did a lot of damage by pumping out pages and pages of little better than drivel to cash in on.

But that is the past. Hubpages were stomped on by Google for being a content farm and despite some panic-fuelled measures by the management of Hubpages to get back into Google’s good graces, the site has lost its authority and you cannot expect Hubs to rank as easily as they used to do.

So that brings us to the alternatives for people on a budget that maybe can’t afford to create and host their own websites, but want to make some money by putting out pages of content using some keyword research in the hope of hitting a lucrative vein of gold. The current buzz name is Wizzley.

Wizzley is another content farm similar to Hubpages. Whatever anyone might say to disagree and paint the site in a totally different light, you can be sure that as far as Google are concerned, its another medium for Internet Marketers to write pages of keyword researched, optimised, barely better than drivel content to make money with. Its a content farm and what does Google think of content farms?

You know the answer to that.

But there are plenty of “expert” marketers out there that think this is something new, different, better than Hubpages or Squidoo or any of the other many free repositories of people’s manic keyword optimised effluence. Those experts believe Wizzley will weather the storm and not be affected by algo changes or Panda updates or whatever search index altering shenanigans Google decide to implement next. People are writing pages of content for Wizzley and yes, some of those avid advocates of “keyword research” are even making some money from it. How long that will last for is anybody’s guess.

It’s my guess that it won’t be very long. Especially as some of the, erm, shall I say prominent or high profile Internet Marketers who are extolling the virtues of this latest money sharing dumping ground for keyword optimized content are being rather vocal about it. I wonder who might be listening other than the hoards of newbies (and some seasoned marketers at that) looking for a way to make some easy Internet bucks? Mmm.

So is Wizzley really doomed to join HubPages on the search engine scrapheap?

Put it this way. If I were the guy at Google responsible for taking a dump on Hubpages and I was hearing all these good things about Wizzley and how people who made all that money with Hubs are now switching to Wizzley to make great money, wanna know what I would do?

I think you know what that would be… 😉

Ouch!

Terry Didcott

Hub Pages Change their Rules in Reponse to Google’s Update

So Hub Pages have made some sweeping changes to their publishing rules that will affect all users (Hubbers, as they like to call them). Well, it was going to happen and to be honest, I’m really glad they finally came to their senses. So what are the changes?

Here is an excerpt from an email I just received from them:

…it is now a requirement on HubPages to have at least 50 words for each eBay or Amazon product you feature in a Hub, and it is no longer permissible to place RSS, Link, News, Amazon, or eBay capsules as the first full-width capsule in a Hub.

We have also changed our policy regarding duplicated content. While we used to allow Hubbers to have some duplicated content (e.g. to publish their off-site writing and blog posts to HubPages as well) so long as they did not link back to the original source, we have now simplified the rules so that no duplicated content is allowed on HubPages, period.

No big surprise about the duplicate content thing. It is a big no-no from Google’s point of view and really anyone who was going to the trouble of creating a Hub Page and then copy/pasting a page of text from their own website was being pretty naive. Two reasons for that.

  1. Google hates duplicate content so duplicates get removed from their index pages
  2. If you put your website’s content on a big authority site like hubpages.com then they are going to “own” the content in the eyes of Google simply because that site has more authority than yours, meaning your site could end up taking a penalty from Google resulting in a drop for your site (or its page) in their index.

They don’t seem to have addressed another potentially big problem that may well have had a big influencing factor in getting the whole domain devalued in the Google index. That is the nature of the content that is being published on hubpages. Most topics are fair game and rightly so, but there are a few topics, particularly those branded as spammy, that Google are cracking down on. They include things like weight loss (or more particularly the acai berry and hoodia side of that subject), penis enlargement (yes, we are all fed up about hearing about it), getting your boyfriend/girlfriend back (this has reached epic proportions), certain feminine viral infections along with male virility drugs, smokeless cigarettes and of course the old chestnuts of adult topics.

There are more and to get a good idea what they are, just head over to squidoo.com and check their list of banned topics to see what they are.

That last statement may make you stop and think for a moment why Hub Pages were penalized and Squidoo were not. In 2009, Squidoo were badly penalized by Google because they were allowing so much spam to be published on their site. They reacted back then by creating a list of banned topics and systematically removing all lenses that fell under them. It took a while, in fact the best part of a year before Squidoo lenses started to rank well again in Google’s index but they did and they still do.

Reason?

They don’t allow certain spammy topics that places like Hub Pages and Ezine Articles (another casualty of the recent Google crackdown). Funny, neither do eHow, who also came through the crackdown unscathed.

Anyway, I digress and these theories have already been written about elsewhere so I won’t go expanding on them too much. The point of this post is to let my 3 readers know that Hub Pages are doing something positive about their current lacklustre performance in the SERPs because of Google’s “Farmer” update as it has become known.

Whether they are doing enough remains to be seen.

Terry Didcott