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eBay Rule Change Leaves Blogger, HubPages, Squidoo Out in the Cold

eBay Bans Blogger etc

Its official – as of 1 August 2009 you cannot not use eBay (EPN) to monetize Blogger (blogspot) blogs, HubPages hubs or Squidoo lenses or InfoBarrel articles. This one is a bit a of a shocker – the time frame of less than two weeks is pretty bad too. Actually eBay will tell you that they “told you so” back in May when they mentioned that both:

Ad Networks:  Using any graphical ad network to place eBay ads (ads that go directly to an eBay domain) on websites not directly under the publishers’ control…Sub-affiliates:  Any arrangement where publishers distribute their earnings from eBay Partner Network to other publishers.

were no longer acceptable to EPN. Source EPN Official Blog.

The Ad Networks paragraph reflects the HubPages and Blogger business models, the Sub-affiliate model reflects the Squidoo model.

This is a huge change and will take some affiliates out of business and for many more will mean that they will take a huge income hit while they rebuild their business.

Is eBay evil?

Is  eBay is bad, ugly nasty company who treats their sellers like dirt and their affiliates worse? Nope, the point is that nothing has changed: he who has the gold makes the rules.  eBay would rather the buyer bought from direct from them – they don’t really want to pay affiliates – it costs them money.

No eBay isn’t evil – they are in business and they have, and will continue to make business decisions with their own best interests in heart, the interests of the shareholders, not the interests of their affiliates.

Is Building Your Business on Free Sites Bad?

Using sites such as blogger (blogspot) and HubPages meant that you could make money from eBay affiliate commissions without investing any of your own. Now don’t get me wrong – I think making money for nothing down is fantastic! But it leaves you doubly vulnerable – either the affiliate or the website you are using (or as they say these days “the Web2.0 property”) could change the rules, ban your account – and you are back to where you were with nothing.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket : ironically when I used to invest in property for passive income I used to say the same thing:

Build a diversified business
Build a diversified business

Diversification is Everything

If you have built a successful income stream from eBay affiliate sales on blogger and hubpages is this the end? Yes for eBay – time to move on – with blogger blogs you have the option to self-host them (yes blogger does have a self-hosting option same as WordPress) which is probably the quickest option, but if that involves a change of url there is going to be some work involved. Alternatively it will the time to move to self-hosted WordPress.

The other option is to leave the blogger blog where it is and change the monetisation method. Its unlikely that Adsense will work well for an eBay niche but it does sometimes – double check- Amazon is the obvious option but there are literally dozens of others. I have just signed up with Chikita and I quite like what I am seeing with it too.

I expect that Hubpages will come up with something to ease the pain of the transition but obviously the only real option there is either Amazon or a relevant affiliate product.

Once I have my income level up to full-time – my aim is simple – I don’t want any one affiliate to be contributing more than 20% of that income -its just too risky and this is a case example of why!

Where do you stand – how does the eBay change of heart over blogger blogs and HubPages affect your business?

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40 replies on “eBay Rule Change Leaves Blogger, HubPages, Squidoo Out in the Cold”

Lis, I’m just getting started with Hubpages so it doesn’t affect any current revenue streams for me but I like the way you think. I especially like your 20% guideline.

I like the ease and advantages of utilizing web 2.0 properties to place my content online but you have to continually be aware of how vulnerable you are when you do that.

Great post as usual.
.-= Julie @ Write for eHow´s last blog ..eHow Earnings: June Earnings Update =-.

20% felt about right – I guess it depends on whether you can afford to lose that amount and still pay the mortgage so the figure will vary. The irony of it was that I was just about to focus on eBay and Hubpages to diversify away from Adsense – oh well!

eBay sucks. The actual site is a dump. They may not be evil but they are stupid. All this move really proves is that they can’t figure out how to manage the affiliate process. If you read the EPN blog it’s apparent that they don’t know what they’re doing. They have a million different e-mails for affiliates to contact them; it’s a big bureaucracy with no real insight informing their decisions.
.-= Nat@Make Money with Hubpages´s last blog ..Examples of Successful Money-Making Hubs =-.

I suspect Nat that eBay is in real trouble – I think they are probably losing money left and right. If they have a “million” different emails to contact them -well that’s better than Adsense which has hardly any LOL. I do think they seem to have been struggling with Affiliate management since they moved it in house from CJ last year.

Yeah I was thinking that leaving CJ might’ve had something to do with it. Did you know their ex-CEO Meg Whitman wants to be governor of California?

But let’s think about this: if this move by them causes everyone to pull their eBay modules off their Hubpages (which it should if they know and/or care what they’re doing) then how much is eBay going to lose on that? I bet Hubpages sends them literally millions of dollars of business annually, if not monthly. (HP is one of the Top 50 most trafficked websites in the US.) It just doesn’t compute to me.
.-= Nat @ Make Money with Hubpages´s last blog ..Examples of Successful Money-Making Hubs =-.

Hi Lissie,

I was glad to see your post over on Hubpages because this was the first I had heard about the change. I will be sad to see ebay go because as you said those capsules are good for refreshing the content on our hubs, but there are other options too such as rss feeds.

I have done moderately well with ebay, but I was not making large amounts of money with the program either. As you noted ebay is most likely in trouble, and they really need to streamline their output. I am sure ebay will survive the economy, but I often wonder if other sites such as Craigslist might also be taking a chunk away from ebay. As I have mentioned I really have no problems with ebay, but quite a few people over on the
Craigslist forum share how they would rather sell their products there for free rather than via ebay.

In Australia most people would sell one off unwanted items via gumtree which is a bit like craigslist with no listing fees – I certainly don’t find ebay a good place locally to buy stuff like 2nd had fridges etc

Hi Lis
‘Its unlikely that Adsense will work well for an eBay niche but it does sometimes’
For people who can no longer use eBay I’d say ‘try adsense’. I was one of those banned for spurious reasons (a long story – I won’t go into here) and was doing very well at the time. I put adsense on all my sites and have done very well with it since. I still have some sites with eBay auctions on as the type of products (used xxxx mostly) don’t work well with aff products. They are my biggest adsense earners.
.-= janetra´s last blog ..The Hub Pages Adsense Challenge =-.


I actually think eBay clarified back in May that Squidoo’s model would be safe because they don’t consider it revenue sharing, but they instead consider it social networking. At the time I didn’t look into Hubpages because I wasn’t using their site at all. If I do find anything out, I’ll make sure to come back and leave another comment.

The problem that I have is I don’t use Squidoo’s eBay module, like many people I use RSS feeds with my affiliate links in them and then I build a little product mall on the lens. Don’t tell me they weren’t converting, these little lenses were my best money makers. Now I’ll have to go back and change all of these lenses to use the eBay mod on Squidoo which doesn’t convert as well in my opinion.

I may have an idea in my head to solve this, but I’m going to have to play around with it today.
.-= 4 Day Money Making Blueprint Review´s last blog ..How You Can Get Beating Adwords Free =-.

I admit to not being big into the Squidoo community – but sorry – social networking LMAO – and they won’t take HubPages which is not nearly as overtly commercial as Squidoo???

“The reason for making this change is simply that the quality of buyer traffic these business models have sent to eBay historically has not matched the high standards set by the rest of our affiliates.”

I thought sending low quality traffic to a low quality site was how you made a few extra sales… It’s particularly interesting that any site would turn away any traffic in tough economic times. Especially a company that is expected to report a decline in 2nd quarter earnings this coming week. We’re talking about free traffic here folks. And the kicker is ebay doesn’t have to pay for affiliate traffic unless they make a sale?? I used to promote ebay through CJ, but haven’t since the split and because of tactics like this probably never will again. Making it extremely difficult for an affiliate to work with your program is contrary to how an affiliate program thrives. One wonders how many feet ebay has left to shoot.
.-= Jake @ How To Easy´s last blog ..How To Get Free Business Consulting Advice =-.

I tend to agree with you Jake – my point though is that you and I, and even it seems hubpages (one of the popular websites in the Internet) can’t do anything about their decision so we need to move on.

Very similar to amazons decision to not allow direct pay per click to products last year, I believe we will see more of these cuts in the future possibly to a point where the retailer removes all type of affiliate participation, the reason for this is simple working for a retailer my self I can assure you all these affiliate type things that a retailer does is more for branding than anything else the profit from it is negligible.

Amazon have recently added Twitter to the list of sites you can’t make money from…

I’ve got about 50 Blogger blogs I have to transition. I’ve already bought new domains for most of them. The Blogger blogs will have to be repurposed.

eBay management has always been fickle and hamhanded. I knew this from when I was an active seller there. I shouldn’t expect their handling of affiliates to be any different.
.-= Frank Carr@Earn Cash Online ´s last blog ..Earn Cash With Social Bookmarking Money =-.

Oh ouch – yes i feel that the blogger blogs are going to be the biggest impact for people – I just so don’t understand why – you can send crap traffic or good traffic from any blog platform – whether you pay for the hosting or not! Frank you should write the e-book “earn cash by moving your eBay blogger blogs to WordPress”

Thanks for this coherent analysis.

I can recall milestones in my IM educational a-ha’s. One was the importance of KWs, then links, etc . . The lesson from V that the affiliate company will always figure out a way to pay you the least was a tough one, but entirely logical when you think about it. So basically the affiliate marketing business model sucks huh?, and yeah, this all does make real estate seem a whole lot easier than IM. LOL!!!!!!!!


I don’t think this will affect Squidoo because they’re not acting as an affiliate network, and Lensmasters are not classed as sub-affiliates. From eBay’s point of view, Squidoo is just a big website that displays eBay auctions on its own webpages. What Squidoo does with its revenue (i.e. share it) is its own business.

However, this does preclude Lensmasters from putting their own eBay links and RSS feeds on to a lens using their affiliate accounts. If HubPages is going to be affected, then Lensmaster/Affiliates will also be affected.

It’s all very confusing. Hopefully, Squidoo will figure it out and let us know..
.-= thefluffanutta´s last blog ..Tools for #Squidoo Lensmasters – Updated! =-.

You could well be right – I will keep an eye out for the definitive answer on this and update the post as required. It seems odd that as yet there is little commentary in the blogosphere about these changes

On the Squidoo forums they are saying that Squidoo is not affected as they don’t have sub-affiliates (i.e. each lensmaster does not enter their own affiliate ID the way they do on Hubpages (or Blogger). Instead Squidoo itself is the affiliate and they handle the distribution of some of the money themselves. No doubt we will find out in a few weeks if this correct.

I had thought of putting up some hubs with Ebay modules because of the attractive 30 day cookie. Am glad now that I’m a procratinator!
.-= Silver Rose´s last blog ..Four month money making update =-.

It really seems to me like ebay is having trouble realizing they were getting free traffic. I would think it would be fairly targeted because the dustomers were making their second click choice when they clicked off the affiliate sight they originally landed on. I guess ebay must think they can get all the customers themselves but I wonder.
At the end of the day you are absolutely correct Lis, it is what it is and we just have to roll with punches and keep going. As I read the other day at TKA, it’s like the weather, you can b*tch about it but you are wasting your time if you don’t just come in out of the rain.
Another road block in my path to a passive income but it will probably bring even bigger opportunities. Change usually does.
.-= Agrande with online business opportunities´s last blog ..Making Money Online Business Opportunity =-.

Its a topic to ponder over where affiliates are not working for the interest of there marketers, first Amazon ban all its affiliates for no reason in certain parts of world and now its ebay and Chitika is no good either. All the affiliate marketers are having hard time keeping up with them, ya its a great idea to not to depend upon just one affiliate for your income because you never know when they will ban you.

Hi Lis,

I feel kind of fortunate on this one, seeing as how eBay has pretty much always been my least effective income stream. So…maybe I make $20 a year less. And maybe not even that, since maybe the extra clicks on Amazon or AdSense might make me a lot more. Like the blog design quite a bit. Thanks for keeping everyone updated!
.-= Master Dayton@Freelance Writing Blog´s last blog ..Starting a Freelance Writing Career as a College Student =-.

I never had much luck with ebay, nor on hubpages, nor on squidoo lenses. So perhaps I should try it out from August onwards on one of my own sites? Do they actually take in account that, if they fo through with it, are loosing hundreds of thousands sales outlets? I would love to see some stats how the ebay income reacts after 1st August! SY
.-= hospitalera@Blogging Resources´s last blog ..John Chow ebook review =-.

I’m not making anything off them anyway. However, I hadn’t placed Ebay ads on my blog yet and it as actually something I was planning to do. I don’t quite agree with the logic that they are better off selling direct rather than through affiliates being that they don’t pay affiliates unless someone buys something. Which means that they are essentially working under the same deal as those affiliates. In either words they are generating sales without actually paying anything upfront. Their may be some overhead in managing affiliate accounts and maybe that factored into the decision. I tend to think it probably is more along the lines of no meaningful amount of sales are coming from affiliates anyway, so it’s just not worth the trouble.
.-= Kelly W. Patterson´s last blog ..Ticketed for Parking in their Own Driveways in Toledo =-.

Lissie, I’ve been amazed that Squidoo is so confident they’re not affected. I can only assume they picked up on it earlier and sorted it out. Looks like HubPages is still hoping to escape – but it seems to me, the only way that can happen is if they get an exemption. I wonder how likely it is that eBay will make an exception for one site?

I haven’t done all that well with eBay on my Hubs anyway – 90% of my eBay income comes from my own sites. It was a nice top-up, though!
.-= marisa wright´s last blog ..Emma Basc =-.

I pretty sure HP now has more traffic than Squidoo – their latest figures on their blog are quite impressive – so I am not really sure what eBay is playing at with either site!

Yippee, HubPages is safe – at least for existing Hubbers. I’m so glad I didn’t panic (like some other Hubbers) and delete all my eBay capsules. The funny thing is that I’ve written three Hubs in the last two weeks that really need eBay (because there aren’t many Adsense ads relevant to flamenco or ballet), so even though my eBay earnings are not great from HP, I would’ve been annoyed if I hadn’t been able to use them for those Hubs.

I wonder how Squidoo is doing?
.-= Marisa Wright@Dress for Flamenco´s last blog ..The Bata de Cola Kick =-.

So the same lens could get you flagged with eBay depending on the mechanism of providing the ebay link -weird!

What have you heard on the status of this? From the HubPages Forum, sounds like hubbers, including new hubbers, are being approved by eBay again. There are just a few responses on the thread however…

Yes it Hubpages is OK at the moment – Maddie who commented above is Hubpages staff so she should know!

Forunately for me it has no effect, but I know a friend who does use Squidoo as his main income source so it has effected him.

Personally… I think it’s interesting that you said that eBay made this decision perhaps in the interest of the Stockholders. Personally… I think it is a bad decision by eBay to ban these sites as affiliates. But… what we don’t know… is how much money eBay was generating via affiliate links from the websites, and the stats in general that they have… that we don’t have in our hands. In the end… I would think eBay and would hope eBay was wise enough and made this decision based on the stats and earnings report and not on an emotional based decision.

Till then,


Just popping in to update – it looks like new Hubbers can’t join eBay. They’re all getting rejected. HubPages say they’re working on it but they’ve been working on it a long while now!

If you are already an eBay affiliate you can use your ID on HubPages, though.

To be honest given the payout I am seeing from their new system of paying for clicks not sales I wouldn’t waste my time applying!

First of all I have to say that I like e-bay,
I never have any problems buying on e-bay.

Yes I agree, definitely it seems like a big change for affiliates.
I agree with your phrase: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
Diversification is Everything

The affiliates should diversify their income streams, yes, but ebay should also recognize that changing so drastically and often could hurt the amount of affiliates that it has. I’m personally not an affiliate with ebay, but given ebay’s overall track record with changing the rules on everybody I certainly wouldn’t be one.

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