I’ve just had my first encounter with the new filter on Squidoo. Three lenses in my Christmas niche account triggered it as they were updated and ready to re-publish. Here’s the message it gave me:
Low Quality content
This lens appears to be too commercial, or otherwise low quality
Our system has flagged this lens for being overly commercial, and for being generally lower quality than our community would like to support.
We recommend the following:
• Review your lens for too much duplicate content
• Review our SquidDon’t policy
• This is a big one: If your lens is dedicated entirely to promoting an affiliate program, these are sometimes called Doorway Pages, and you might be out of luck
• Try to add more real, original, you-written content to the lens. The Squidoo Originality Pact says that by continuing to maintain and publish lenses on Squidoo, you are pledging to craft original, unique, editorially sound lenses. We at Squidoo have pledged in return that we will remove low-quality, aggressively non-original lenses.
What would you like to do?
1 – Go back & edit
I’ve read the above and want to fix my lens!
2 – Delete this lens
I’ll make a lens on something else instead.
3 – Request Greenlighting
I’m staking my reputation that this lens is not even close to violating the SquidDon’t policy and doesn’t violate Squidoo TOS.
I’m actually glad to finally see the monster hiding under the bed, as now I know what I’m dealing with. Here’s how I’ve responded to the first three challenges:
I added more content (personalized sentences in the introduction and in the Amazon modules). More interaction (polls, duels) and non-commercial modules (link list and youtube videos) were added to the lens.
This worked on the first lens and the filter let it publish. The lens, Hot Rod Christmas Cards only had 8 Amazon products on it and the rest were mostly Zazzle so the infusion of text was enough apparently.
On the second lens, the same improvements did not suffice to get the filter to let it republish. The lens is still viewable by the public but the improvements are not showing. It has quite a few Amazon modules showing 5 products in each. I read somewhere that for a rough guideline, that Google wanted to see at least 500 words throughout a page if it had 10 products on it. I’m not willing to write 1,250 words to go with 25 Christmas ornaments, especially where this particular lens had few sales this year anyway. Time to delete this one.
The third lens, also one with Christmas ornaments, was specific enough that I added more text boxes with personal experiences to make it a more solid lens. The filter still did not want to accept it even with those additions and the added interactivity (polls, countdown, etc.) so I submitted it for the greenlight process. Yes, it is still has things for sale on it, but it is a more balanced page now. If it doesn’t go through, then I’ll know that I need to cull this one as well.
What Have I Learned?
My next step is to take my lens list and review the traffic and lifetime earnings for each lens. If its performance has been lackluster over time, then I’m not willing to work hard to save it. Essentially what I’ll create is my own KILL list for my lenses. Then I won’t waste time editing and tweaking a lens that has limited potential.
I’ve already saved all my lenses to my computer. That’s step 1. Now reviewing and deciding what I’m willing to work to salvage is step 2.
This past two weeks I’ve worked steadily to add content to Amazon modules and to tone down/fine tune keywords in introductions. Apparently that will not be enough, since the filter is set to pick up lenses that are “too commercial.”
From listening to the conference call, I feel a straight product page is no longer acceptable. Ideally it needs to have a story line, some personal passion and then sprinkle in some products. That’s how I’m interpreting this.