Squidoo Filters Causing Hysteria – Here’s How To Fix Your Flagged Lenses

March 28, 2013

Social Marketing






** Squidoo Filters Update April 3rd **

Just as people are starting to get their Squidoo lenses ticking all the boxes again people started to send me messages saying that the SAME lenses were getting caught again.

Sure enough, I get an email come through letting me know that one of my lenses is back in the danger zone again – it’s the same one!

Squidoo Lens Filters

The same lens that was given the green light after getting the ‘heads up warning’ last week – perhaps it was a glitch?

Given that there is a new date for me to fix the lens by it doesn’t seem likely even though Squidoo has been having technical difficulties recently.

So it looks like all isn’t that quiet after all.

What I am finding a little strange is what HQ had to say about it on their Help My Lens Was Flagged post …..

Finally…If your lens was flagged and fixed.

If you were able to publish your lens that means it meets the new standards to remove the flag. However, the actual yellow icon may still be showing. We’re in the process of running a new scan to remove the flag on fixed lenses which will remove the icon. Going forward you’ll just need to publish your lens to remove the flag (provided it meets the quality standards).

Hmmmm.

Even though I’ve yet to go in and fix it I have to say that this does seem a little odd to say the least.  What I found even stranger is that one lady over in the comment section was actually AWARDED A PURPLE STAR WHILST FLAGGED!

Getting an established Purple Star lens flagged seems pretty harsh to begin with but understandable as changes within the site may not have been reflected in the lens – getting one on a flagged lens means someone at HQ thought it worthy but the system didn’t.

Mixed messages for sure.  Guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for the all clear.

Edit – I’ve cleared the warning by adding a few lines of content to one module – It could be that they added some more criteria to the filters and it just so happened that this lens got caught twice.

*** Original Post ***

Who knew that Squidoo cleaning house would be a headline writers dream!  “Squidoo Is Dead”, “Squidoo Hates Me” and my favourite “Why Squidoo Forcing Me To Leave?” are just a few that I’ve seen in the last 72 hours – I’m certain that there are going to be a lot more coming soon 🙂

Once it became clear that the new ‘squidoo filters’ were being rolled out and lenses were getting warning notices – hysteria wasn’t far behind!  My inbox was on fire yesterday with questions from worried Lensmasters wondering what would become of their lenses and/or accounts and asking what my advice is.

My advice is for EVERYONE with an account at Squidoo to log in and check your dashboard today – once you get the ‘heads up’ warning you have a week to put things right.  Emails are being sent out to Lensmasters who have been caught in the new filters but double check for yourself.

This is what you’ll see if you’ve got a warning ….

Squidoo Filter Warning

Click on the warning sign and you’ll get an idea of what could have triggered the new Squidoo filters.  Here’s what to do next ….

  1. Don’t have a knee jerk reaction and start deleting all your lenses because Squidoo is just sooooo unfair!  That’s a total waste of your time and effort.
  2. You can download my handy guide to fixing your lenses to help you through the process.
  3. Do NOT start making a whole heap of changes all at once.  Make a SINGLE change and see if you can publish your lens or you’ll end up not knowing what fixed it and doing a whole heap of work that wasn’t needed!

Chances are that your lenses might be caught in the filters if they ……

  • Use spun content of any kind
  • Are thin on content
  • Too commercial in nature
  • Excessive keyword stuffing
  • Have overuse of affiliate links

These latest filters might seem very aggressive at first glance, by now I’m sure that you would have heard a thousand and one horror stories, but they have been put there in an attempt to stop the massive influx of low quality lenses that have been damaging the site.

Even established sites like Squidoo have to jump to Google’s dance and there is nothing that Google hates more than poor quality content.  Squidoo has reported a drop in traffic but a massive increase in spun content that’s creating very low quality lenses that have quickly become a problem.

By introducing the filters Squidoo is doing some much needed spring cleaning and this should be seen as a good thing.  Ok, some of their choices such as stopping lens transfers is not one of my favorites and I can totally understand why people are upset that their ‘purple star’ lenses have been caught but I don’t own Squidoo – you should never forget that replying on someone else’s platform is dangerous and putting all your eggs in one basket is just silly.

It’s important that you give the changes a chance – at the end of the day, Squidoo is a powerful tool and anything that improves the site and increases your income should be welcomed.  Of course there are likely to be some teething problems but the long term outlook is still a fantastic one.

 

 

 

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About Kelly Stone

Kelly Stone is the founder of Kelly Stone Marketing. If you enjoyed this post then the chances are you might want to read more from her - you can make sure that you stay updated via Twitter, Facebook or over at Google +1.

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28 Responses to “Squidoo Filters Causing Hysteria – Here’s How To Fix Your Flagged Lenses”

  1. Kimberly Says:

    Thanks for this – I will be reading it right away. I only had one lens flagged and I already tried to fix it so I may have messed it up already.

    It is bizarre to me when Squidoo turns up their nose about things being ‘too commercial in nature’ and I am seeing the inappropriate ads they plaster all over lenses.

    Ah well – Google and Squidoo do very well being commercial, then expect their users to walk a very fine line…

    Thanks for your help!

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      It seems that you might find other lenses that you have get caught in the filters when you try to update them too so just be prepared. Also, the ad’s that you see can be generated by your own previous searches. It’s basically Google’s way of showing you what it ‘thinks’ you want to see!

      I know it can be frustrating but Squidoo ticking all the right boxes and increasing traffic is a good thing 🙂 Let us know how you get on with your lens.

      • Kimberly Says:

        It gets frustrating when I see featured lenses that are riddled with typos, or very short (could have been done in an hour), So I know I am missing something – not “Squidooey” enough?
        Now S. is dropping in their new Amazon module for a great big hint – talk about mixed messages.

        My locked lens’ topic is ceramic watches for women. I went back in and added info about the history of using ceramic for watches, dos and donts, how to care for ceramic, the good and bad of ceramic, etc. but it would not publish. I have a lens on boyfriend watches for women that has not been whacked, with a lot less written content.

        Life is too short for this, LOL! I don’t make more than peanuts anyway.

        • Kelly Stone Says:

          Sorry that I missed your reply!

          I totally understand how frustrating it can be, trust me, you can look back through this very site to see a stage where I totally threw my dummy out over Squidoo locking some of my lenses that were really profitable for me! lol Looking back I can laugh now but at the time I was completely hopping mad and couldn’t believe it when they were deleted before a manual review was carried out – all of which had been done, and approved several times before!

          Working out what gives you more – time (fixing lenses etc) or doing something else that earns you money – then make a choice and feel happy with it. You can’t get back wasted time and if you don’t feel that it’s worth it, you should more on to more worthwhile things.

          Hopefully, you will have sorted your lenses by now and have your account up and running again 🙂

          • Kimberly Says:

            I deleted it. And I feel fine. ; )

            Thanks for all your help; very nice of you!

  2. Virginia Says:

    Thanks Kelly. What might be happening here is that Google announced new algorithms soon and that they were looking at a couple of networks and free DNS. Hub pages, Squidoo fall in that category. I think Squidoo feels the heat is trying to clean up their act. I think their attitude is bothering people as much as the filters. Squidoo is being secretive, but then so is Google.

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      I guess it’s getting that line right, how much information you give out to let your competitors know against keeping your users happy. Squidoo knows it needs to have a solid membership base but it does need to clear out the rubbish that it keeping it down.

    • Squidoo Lady Lou Says:

      I also think that they have been very secretive about these changes. From following a few people and their posts it seems that Squidoo has been seeing a drop in traffic and is now putting a lot of changes in place to try and combat that. I guess Squidoo needs google more than ever.

  3. CloverTee Says:

    Having been a student of yours for many years I was one of those who contacted you straight away about my Squidoo account when two of my lenses got the warnings. Within 24 hours you had got back to me with the help and advice I needed (I was really taking it personally) and you helped me get my lenses back in the ‘green’.

    The advice that Kelly has given here is just what I followed, one of my lenses was fairly old and there were quite a few broken links which I fixed. The biggest problem that I kept missing was right at the bottom of my lens I had an empty text module!!!! How I missed this or why it was even there is a mystery to me. Thank you Kelly for finding it.

    CloverTee

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      Awww, thanks!

      It was my pleasure to help out – sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes to look at something. I think you’d have seen it eventually, you just couldn’t see for looking! It’s all sorted now anyway 🙂

      Let us know how things go over the next few days.

  4. Mike Says:

    One of mine was locked …. no email …. would never have known about it had I not got your email!!!!

    Took about two minutes to fix … just needed a bit more writing and all was good.

  5. SquidooEmma Says:

    No email for me either but one of my lenses was locked. I have to say that reading your report made total sense and did put things into perspective.

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      I think this just shows why its important to check your account regularly – I hate to think what will happen if there are a lot of emails missing and their lenses all get locked, let’s hope that they just go to an unpublished state rather than a full account lock!

      Pleased that I could be of use 🙂

  6. Twenty One Says:

    Thanks Kelly. Got mine fixed in no time at all, it does seem to be hitting some much harder than others.

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      It does look that way! I know that the lens I had was certainly not poor quality but it wasn’t ever going to be in the running for a Purple Star yet within a few minutes I was able to fix it – some Purple Star lenses are really struggling to get fixed and they are the ones with the ‘best of the best’ status direct from Squidoo themselves. Can see why some are really frustrated!

  7. James Says:

    Wish I had seen this two days ago!!

    Spent ages getting nowhere fast so gave up and deleted three of my lenses. Normally wouldn’t have minded but one of them did bring me in an income. Nothing major but a few dollars a week still added up. You live adn learn I guess 🙁

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      Oh no, what a shame!

      It doesn’t look like you’re alone either – so many people said they have just deleted rather than try and fix them.

  8. Julie James Says:

    Someone else said that they were deleting their lenses and I was tempted to do the same. No one wants to run the risk of having their whole account deleted over one locked lens. Glad that I came here first! Thank you.

  9. Squidoo Lady Lou Says:

    Thanks for the help Kelly. I too have been hearing some real horror stories and this has certainly ruffled some feathers. Too many of the ‘older’ lensmasters have been leaving/pushed out. Squidoo shouldn’t have to explain everything they do but they do need to keep members or they’ll end up with no new/updated content!

    Lady Lou

  10. ChongTC Says:

    Hi,
    My accounts has been locked along with all the lens. I’m publishing mainly amazon product reviews with common modules (Amazon, ebay, youtube, etc). What is your advise?

    After putting in a lot of efforts with 190+ lens, it is very frurstrating!

  11. Mary Says:

    I’m so glad I came across this page! I just had one of my lenses flagged (yikes!). After making some fairly minor changes, I hit the Publish button, and I was able to republish my lens without any problems or glitches. Also, it no longer has that yellow warning icon next to it but the same green icon as before.

    Does the fact that I was able to republish mean that my lens is out of the doghouse?

    • Kelly Stone Says:

      I actually thought that it would but if you look at the update at the top of this post you’ll see that it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear!

      Glad that I could ‘sort of’ be some help 🙂

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