Squidoo Gone! The End of an Era?

squidoo_goneIt’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.

All Squidoo lenses will be transferred to Squidoo’s biggest rival Hub Pages. That’s what the Squidoo HQ claim anyway, but I feel it won’t be that easy.

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.

9 thoughts on “Squidoo Gone! The End of an Era?”

  1. I haven’t logged in in a while, so I got a shock when I opened my email and saw the news. I’ve used hubpages before and didn’t get on with it, so I’ll probably be moving the content there.

    It just seems such a shame. A few years ago it had a thriving community, and now it’s just gone.

    Reply
    • Yes, I also found the Squidoo community very friendly and helpful back in the day…it had a real family feel to it. It’s always difficult when big changes come along like this, but perhaps, in a couple of months, Hub Pages will benefit from the many great writers joining them from Squidoo and will become a helpful and engaging community again. Time will tell.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment…have a great day!

      Reply
  2. Overall, I enjoyed being part of Squidoo, learning a lot, and meeting some wonderful people. It was a bumpy ride for the past couple of years with a lot of frustrations, but I decided to stick around until the end.

    In the past year or so, I was not motivated to create lenses, so I created only a handful of new lenses. The drastic changes that Squidoo implemented with haste didn’t help as well and drove away many top lensmasters. I made more than a few thousand dollars while at Squidoo so I’m grateful for the opportunity and platform to do so while being part of a great community.

    I don’t like HubPage (i.e. the format and what I’ve heard so far), but after much thought, I have decided to move some of my lenses to HubPages and see what my experience is. The rest of my lenses I will move to my blogs and delete them.

    I was saddened that Squidoo fate came to this, but I’m not surprised they decided to take this route. I’m grateful, but now it’s time to bury the hatchet and move on.

    Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours and stay blessed!

    Reply
    • Hi AJ,

      Thanks for commenting, I’ve seen many of your lenses over the years and squidliked quite a few of them, they were always well written and entertaining.

      Squidoo helped me out financially when I needed it, so I will always be grateful for that, but as we all probably knew, Squidoo’s days were numbered when all the abrupt changes happened in 2013. It’s a shame that day has come, but as you say…’time to move on’

      Thanks for one last ‘blessing’…it’s much appreciated! 🙂

      Reply
  3. I won’t be moving to hub either. I never did well there and they booted me out sometime last year. Most of my content will go to my own blogs. Some will go to some favorite writing sites. I am one of those overwhelmed with over 300 pages to redo in the next few weeks. But quite frankly, it feels like relief. I was broken hearted last year. Right now, I just want to close the door and move on. I will always be thankful for all the wonderful friends I have made at Squidoo and for all the lessons learned re internet marketing. but as you say, it’s the end of an era. Time marches on!

    Reply
    • Hi Joan,

      I know how active you were over at Squidoo and how true that you say ‘it feels like a relief’. At least we can move on now that closure is complete and I wish you luck with those 300+ pages…quite a daunting task!

      Reply
  4. Hi Gary,

    I have mixed emotions right now. I held on to Squidoo but didn’t have very much hope and did not expect this, at least not so soon. Like you, I feel for those who have 100s of lenses to move or deal with.

    I have 64 to move and putting them on my own site in draft mode until they are de-indexed from Google.

    From now on, I will control my own content and I doubt I will ever use another free site. I did not get along well with HubPages when I tried, so that is not an option.

    So while Squidoo had a good run, I hate the way we were treated in the end.

    It will be interesting to see what other Squidoo members decide to do with their lenses.

    Reply
    • Hi Monna,

      I tried to give Squidoo the benefit of the doubt by releasing a new lens every now and again, but they just wouldn’t rank. At least now we know the Squidoo avenue is closed to us and we can get on with writing good content for our own sites.

      I also felt the same way as you about Hub Pages…it didn’t quite have the same ‘feel’ as Squidoo and the community could be a little ‘stiff’. And I think you’re quite right to put your Squidoo content on to you own site…64 new pages! Whoo-Hoo!

      Reply

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