The slow agonising death of Squidoo is about to come to its inevitable conclusion. I must admit I was wondering how long the site could possibly carry on. It finally got hit by Panda almost 2 years ago, and has been limping terribly since then.
The Panda hit was utterly deserved. And although the site did try many dramatic things to get back into Google’s good graces nothing worked.
I’ve often wondered about how exactly this works with Google. It kept sending Squidoo oodles of traffic, despite the con tent there being more and more spammy. Until one day it must have applied a big penalty. Finally the Squid stuff decided to get rid of the ‘shower curtain’ lenses (there was a whole account, over 100 articles, all devoted to different ‘types’ of shower lenses).
But despite the rules becoming more and more strict, and admittedly a lot of bad stuff getting removed, traffic never recovered.
Just take a look at this quant cast graph:
It’s almost like if Google likes you, you can get away with a lot of bad ‘behaviour’ and still get the traffic. But if Google decides it hates you, it is incredibly difficult to get out from under the penalty, even if you remove all the content that made it angry in the first place.
Mind you Squidoo is not simply going off line. Its featured content (175000 articles) have been acquired by HubPages.
It’s truly amazing to see the spin that is being put on this, especially by Seth Godin. Nothing is being said about Squidoo going under. It is an ‘exciting merger’.
This is reflected by the happy clappy brigade from Squidoo forum that are now on HP forums, taking umbrage at the somebody saying that Squidoo ‘failed’ and arguing it’s a merger not failure!
My one big worry is that the lenses, many of them with aggressive Amazon selling, will make Google angry at HP again.
My traffic there has been rising dramatically. It is now around 1000 views a day. Earnings have been increasing pretty nicely, and now it makes a very useful chunk of money (sadly it is the only of my online properties that does that).
I have around 50 squid lenses. It’s nice to think that they will be making some money, possibly again, as hubs. But it will not be nice if I lose the traffic to my main HP subdomain.
If I were Paul Edmondson I would not touch Squidoo lenses with a barge pole. One can only hope that the merger will not be as close as advertised, and that they have some quarantine in place to stop contamination with Google hate.