It’s official…Squidoo has finally given up the ghost and joined the choir invisible!
I suppose it was on the cards since early 2013 when Google gave them an almighty slap in which they never recovered. Lenses have been almost impossible to rank in the Search Engines since…it’s as if every lens had a black mark against it in Googles eyes and was punished beyond recovery.
I’m a little surprised it’s gone altogether though because it was held in such high respect by content writers, but if you fall foul of the Big G, then it’s a slow and painful demise.
I have over 100 lenses still hanging on for dear life and I feel the only option I have is to save them to my hard drive, wait until they’re de-indexed and then bother some other content website that allows Amazon links in their articles.
I’ve found Hub Pages pretty hard to get along with. I have a few pages, around 20, that have earned me nowt and I’ve had a few refused to even be accepted…what they would make of my Squidoo lenses, as is, isn’t worth thinking about, because they are pure sales pages! I don’t think it’s worth bothering anyway…I’ve spent too much time faffing around with them as it is.
Besides that, there will be thousands upon thousands of lenses that won’t get through the Hub Pages QC, so saying all we have to do is transfer them is a bit of a porky pie. Only the best, well written lenses will transfer successfully whilst others, although good enough for the Squidoo filters, will be refused entry like a annoying drunk at a night club.
Squidoo had been good to me in the past and I enjoyed making lenses (well around 2010/2012, that is) so a little bit of me is sad to see it go, but on the other hand the way they treated good honest lensmasters during the cull of 2013 was shameful. There were thousands of lenses that were first rate, written by very clever and intelligent writers. It is these lensmasters I really feel for. They wrote great content and applied Amazon, Etsy, Zazzle links to earn a few bucks on the side. And who wouldn’t, seeing as that is how, and why, Squidoo was conceived for the first place. They openly wanted us to earn money from our articles.
It all went belly up when Squidoo became a magnet for getting great backlinks and as marketers caught on, it was inundated with quick 300 word articles splashed with boatloads of spammy links. These lenses would then shoot to the top of Google because of the weight Squidoo gave to them, Page Rank wise. It then became a bit silly with countless WSO’s promising a quick way to make a buck from this easy target.
Most of these ‘courses’ were truly awful and openly contained material to spam the hell out of Squidoo. There were only a couple of courses that offered any value, PotPieGirls One Week Marketing course and some of Erica Stones WSO’s…among one or two others.
Some marketers made a ton of money from Squidoo and had blogs detailing their earnings. Unfortunately, they suffered badly during that 2013 period of annihilation. I, myself was starting to earn pretty decent money with Squidoo, but now it’s severely depleted!
Because of the success these marketers were experiencing, everyone jumped on the Squidoo bandwagon and that’s where the problem lay. It was easy to rank your content, easy to get backlinks and easy to earn commissions from Squidoo, Amazon and even Clickbank in the early days.
Well, it had to happen, and I even admit setting up lenses with more Amazon links than you could shake a stick at! But I was no where near as bad as some of the ‘lensmasters’ out there…thousands of lenses were just plain ugly and when you get ugly, spun, promotional pages offering no value sitting at the top of Google…something had to be done. Google wanted relative, original, engaging content to sit on Page one (well, that’s what they say!) and Squidoo was raining on their parade.
So, Google told Squidoo to clean up their act or face the consequences. Then, around March 2013 (I remember it well!) without much warning, Squidoo started using filters to rid spun content, excessive links, bad internal links, bad links out, duplicate content, not enough content…the list goes on. The result was tantamount to genocide! Thousands of lenses were all of a sudden ‘locked’, accounts were banned, warning were administered…it was carnage.
Thousands of lensmasters were shell shocked and given some very vague reasons why their content was being scrapped. Thousands of writers had no option but to move away from Squidoo, but thousands stayed and kept loyal, me too, to a certain extent.
I stopped making lenses because instructions were never clear as to what constitutes a quality lens. So, spending a day researching a subject, setting up a lens the way Squidoo suggested, and staying within the rules of Squidoo to pass their filters, my lens would invariably be subjected to an insulting message of being poor quality or too much of this and not enough of that!
I have 30+ lenses that are pure crap to be honest, and they all survived the cull and still make a few bucks a month…but it was the inconsistency of the filters that made me mad and I finally just stopped making them. I tell a lie, I’ve built around 10 lenses that passed the filters since March 2013…those 10 lenses have made me around $200, so it’s just not worth it.
So, an end of an era! All good things come to and end, but rarely have I seen a slower death than Squidoo. It was almost painful to watch.
I really feel for those loyal lensmasters who’ve stayed positive this last year. They have defended the decisions Squidoo made, written excellent content, kept happy and stoic throughout and yet Squidoo have given them a couple of weeks to move out!
What about the poor folk who have 200, 300, 400+ lenses? All that hard work is now having to be transferred to another platform with the risk of most of them being refused entry.
All those experienced lensmasters who left after the cull of 2013 will be saying ‘told you so‘ but with sadness in their voice. I have nothing but respect for those who stayed loyal to Squidoo and hope everything goes smoothly with the transfer. And those who don’t want to transfer their hard work to Hub Pages, I hope they make a success through their own website or another platform.
I’m only glad I moved away from Squidoo when I did…I would be a broken man now if I had 400+ lenses to take care of. It’s pretty heartless of Squidoo to end it this way. Not enough warning given and not a lot of respect shown.