As 2011 dawned, the number of online publishing sites which paid were; (and this is just a handful of them) Triond, (which I discussed previously) Hubpages, (which still exists as a vastly unlucrative time waster) Wikinut (low paying but consistent) Helium, Xomba, Bukisa, and a half dozen more which paid.
Factoidz, (which had been the highest paying but turned into a rip off) was taking its last gasps, and other sites which were promising, had faded.
Google introduced its 'Panda' which was not immediately understood by the owners of publishing sites.
What was not known immediately was that Google intended to create a writing site which would not pay writers. All revenue collected from Ads would go into Google's pocket and the writers were to work their fingers to the bone for nothing.
This is, of course in sharp contrast to its 'Do No Evil' slogan which wasn't worth the eyesight to read it.
What Google did was to label all writing sites which paid as 'Content Farms' and give them negative ratings.
If you entered a term, for example; "Was There a Real Dracula?" into Google's Search Box, it would kick all those published on what it determined to be 'Content Farms' to the end of the queue.
Although there might be an article titled "Was There a Real Dracula?" on Hubpages, it would ignore it and go to it's pal Wikipedia and return "Dracula", go to various movie sites, go all over the Net to its 'friends' while items with that exact title were ignored.
This meant that views would plummet on 'Content Farms'.
Where Triond would easily get 3 Million Views a month, Google's choke hold caused their rank to plummet to 300,000, then to 50,000 because no item published on Triond would be returned via a Google Search.
Hubpages went from 12 Million to 6 Million and has been plummeting ever since, payment dropping so low that publishing there is virtually giving away your work.
This attack was not accidental, nor were the results unexpected. It was done deliberately.
The fact that many people all over the world lost real income meant nothing to Google.
As time passed, many sites, such as Hubpages, to survive, dropped revenue. One no longer got $1.00 per so many views, the writer got 1c. Earning 14c a month on Hubpages replaced the usual $20.
Triond, which paid double (it paid its writers, plus encouraged Ad Sense use) ceased to pay 1c per 6 views as it had done since 2007 and paid 1c per 600 views.
Into this carnage came various scams, notably 'Bubblews'.
There is no controversy; Bubblews was created to be a scam. It was created to amass a great deal of money for its owners by operating on the standard Ponzi modle.
WHAT IS A PONZI
A Ponzi scheme was created by Charles Ponzi. He hadn't meant for it to happen. What he learned was that the post office had a way of sending 'pre paid' responses. If one didn't use them, they could cash them.
Hence if someone in Italy sent a pre-paid response to the US one could cash it at a Post Office in the US for about 100x what one paid for it in Italy.
Charles was making a lot of money, he was inviting others into his scheme, and it reached a stage where he couldn't get enough postal orders to fulfill the demands.
What happened was this;
Investor 1 would give Charles $100 and expect to get $200 next week. Investor 2 would do the same thing. Charles would pay Investor 1 with his own $100 and Investor 2's $100. Investor 1 would reinvest his $200. Charles would use that to pay Investor 2.
Investor 1 would not be paid again, but told he had $400 coming which he would reinvest. This imaginery money would be turned over and again, while the policy was created that all Investors are paid the first time. Those who reinvest may never be paid again.
Eventually, with thousands of investors, all demanding their money, Ponzi went to prison.
Bubblews used the First time Payout to fool thousands of people.
People joined the Bubble reached that $25 pay out, were paid, and went back to writing. Most were never paid again. They'd put in for their redemptions but wouldn't get them. They'd complain but nothing would happen. Then the redemption was moved to $50 to create a longer time from join to payout.
As the owners of Bubblews knew, Americans were fairly dangerous as there were many law enforcement agencies which would slap them into cuffs. Those who were Americans would be paid, and paid again.
Those who lived in the 3rd of 4th world got that first payment, and never were paid again. They could do nothing but complain.
They would complain on other writing sites, and the Americans, who had been paid, would attack them.
Eventually, the owners of the Bubblews ponzi decided to get out, so without a word to anyone, they shut the site, took their money and ran.
This kind of taking the money and running was done on many sites as it was such an easy scam to run.
Create a writing site, put it on a free server, use your own Adsense Ads, and fill it with stuff stolen all over the 'Net. The site opens, shills run all over the Internet touting it, newbies arrive, see all the good stuff, join, and start writing. As they write their little fingers off, the stolen stuff which was of high quality, and fooled the advertisers, is slowly withdrawn so that in a month none of it remains.
What is there are items published by members which earns Adsense revenue. The owners play with the numbers so that they satisfy the earlier members and award them for each new body they drag in.
Eventually the site is churning thousands of dollars, paying out hundreds, and the writers who are ripped off start to complain. As long as there are those who are willing to run them down and shout; "You Broke The Rules" the site stays up. The day ad revenue falls to a certain point that to pay the writers would not allow the owner to make his car payments, the site closes.
The reason why there are so few writing sites that pay is basically the fault of Google. If it had never interferred many of the sites would remain.
Today, even the thirteen year old 'Blogjob' has ceased to pay.