Lensmasters were dismayed by Squidoo Headquarters’ announcement that lens transfers were suspended. Actually dismay is a euphemism for pissed off. It was most unsettling news. There were dire warnings of locked lenses and even locked accounts. The problem seems to be spun content that moves around Squidoo via the transfer process.
Discussions are fast and furious on the HQ forum and on the Facebook groups devoted to Squidoo. Some perceive it as the end of the world, while others say “it’s just for a month, no big deal.” Well, it is a big deal since there’s been a thriving business in creating and selling lenses. That has come abruptly to a halt. Some top lensmasters are hastily moving their content to another site. Word is filtering around that a major lensmaster had his account locked.
Is buying and selling lenses a bad thing? No, HQ has stated in the forum that it is OK to do that.
What to do? I choose to sit tight and ride it out. What seems to be the trigger for this heavy-handed crackdown? Recent HQ postings and quests place more and more emphasis on quality and lots of personalization for lenses. It appears that “thin” lenses, such as a starter sales lens, may be getting more scrutiny.
My response is to plump up my slimmer sales lenses with polls, talk bubbles, sticky notes, black boxes, text arrows, etc. spaced at intervals to break up long stretches of products. In addition I’m adding more descriptions of the featured products. This is something I try to do with these lenses anyway, but sometimes it is more fun to make a new one than to keep working on existing ones. Now I must buckle down and do the basic improvements that I know they need.
The other hot button is keyword stuffed introductions. Since I’ve bought lenses from a variety of lensmasters, some arrive that way. Cleaning those up requires using some synonyms instead of the main keyword. Try to make it flow in a more natural way like a conversation.
You would never say, “I bought this blue dress because I love blue dresses. The blue dress has short sleeves and the blue dress has a blue dress sweater to match the blue dress.” Don’t write like that either. Make sure your keyword is in the first sentence of the introduction, then sprinkle it another time or two in the following paragraphs.
It’s been fascinating to see the reactions to this and you’ll want to read lakeerieartists‘ Squidoo Content and Traffic Woes in SquidLog. Don’t miss GreekGeek’s thoughtful post, Thin Content on Squidoo Is NOT a New Problem; Something Else Is. Take a look at BoutiqueShops’ blog on The Squid Zone. Her topic is Squidoo Rant: It Never Fails–Who Let The Boss In?
For a different angle, check out what Seth Godin has to say in his blog post, All Boats Leak.
Headquarters is asking for feedback on how and why lensmasters need to transfer lenses. Please fill out the form with your reason or reasons and give your suggestions for fixing the problems raised.