spamdoo.jpg Well, not really – but it might as well be. Squidoo is Seth Godin’s web 2.0 redheaded stepchild. It’s a user-generated experiment gone bad. The basic premise is that anyone can create a “lens” and become a “lensmaster” of a page about anything they want or are passionate about.

But lately the only time I hear Squidoo mentioned is when somebody talks about parasite SEO or ways to get easy trusted one-way links. About five months back Techcrunch blasted Squidoo. There are just so many problems with the Squidoo concept once reality sets in. Here’s a few notable ones:

  1. Most non-seo’s probably build a page and never come back to it. There is just nothing to come back for. The site is 0% sticky.
  2. Once someone claims a lens it’s theirs. This means there’s a crapload of really empty pages that will just stay that way because of point #1 and nobody will fix them. It’s like wikipedia without the wiki or the pedia.
  3. The whole payment/revenue-share concept is ridiculousy complicated and confusing – how the money splits before and after expenses, what those expenses are, how much of it goes to charity and under what circumstances, etc. They even have trouble explaining it themselves.
  4. The children in a Bangladeshi sweatshop earn more than the top Squidoo lensmasters. The highest payouts (if you work really hard and promote it) go all the way up into the low 2 figures range. Cha ching!
  5. Even their best content (Top 100) is utterly useless and complete crap. I sure hope the Magic of Harry Wong makes it into the top 10 to overtake Chocolate Obsessions. (Did John Mark Karr shadowrite the “Wong” lens?) I’ve seen content on scraper sites that puts Squidoo content to shame.
  6. Visually the whole site looks like a bunch of IRS agents decided to create their own Friendster, but with instead of writing, they scraped a bunch of articles from a network of grandma blogs. The visuals on the site are really bland and the users have no control over layout or style.

So I went ahead and created a new lens called Spamdoo. Do me a favor and go give it 5 stars. I want to see just how easy it is to move up the “most popular” rank. This is assuming the editors don’t get offended and remove it before you read this.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

NB October 24, 2006 at 2:17 am

“Squidoo is Seth Godin’s web 2.0 redheaded stepchild.”

WTF? I’m redheaded, so are you saying I’m an experiment gone wrong. It’s the same f***ing thing as being racist. You don’t like people because of the way they look. You’ve just been removed from RSS feeds and I hope other people do the same. You are racist, no question about it.

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Adam October 24, 2006 at 10:59 am

NB–

Is that a joke?
If not, lighten up.
He was obviously not putting down bastard redheaded stepchildren.

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Markus October 24, 2006 at 11:29 am

Haha, Adam.

My spamdoo lensrank went from #49,286 to #6,521 in 9 hours. Weee. Somebody gave me 1 star though. Probably some redheaded stepchild.

And for the record, I am not a racist, (since I’m pretty sure I’d have to discriminate against an actual race to qualify). However, I am an anti-dentite.

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Curtis October 24, 2006 at 3:11 pm

Has anyone else has made the connection between Squidoo and the author E.E. “Doc” Smith who wrote the Lensman series? Apparently, in that series, the “Lens” is a tool that gives the user enhanced mental capabilities that include bridging the communication gap between lifeforms. Only reason it clicked for me was having just finished a Robert Heinlein book that referenced it.

From what I can see of Squidoo lenses, they do none of the things that their namesake did…

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Markus October 25, 2006 at 3:59 pm

Lensrank update: Today it’s #1,976.

Nice connection, Curtis.

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Scammbuster January 14, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Yes, Squidoo community is growing unstable. Your lens has been flagged for adult content and is currently locked for review.

My lens CLICK HERE TO CHECK also deals with the same topic. We differ in the aspect that i think Squidoo still is a nice community despite all the people trying to screw it up.

It’s my attempt to get content back on the menu. Once Squidoo really was great until web wannabe guru’s like tellman knudson came along.. and the videosense people.

please take a moment to visit my blog about the topic. the scammbuster blog

thank you very much :)

nice article btw.. too bad you don’t have faith in squidoo as it was intended to be.

AJ

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Josh January 17, 2007 at 12:48 pm

You need to take the good with the bad, you could tighten up squidoo to make it less able to be spammed, though then you miss out on a lot of great content by members who are newer to the internet

Seth has done a great job, allowing non tech people the ability stamp their place on the web, without the need of any html experience.

to scambuster, ive read a couple of your sites, and honestly youve given me the biggest laughs in a long time.

Nothing like watching a 15 year old kid with delusions of grandeur and I must say ignorant to boot try to make his voice heard, needing a bit of attention are we? Didnt mummy and daddy give you enough luv huh?

Please continue with your diatribes, you are amusing the masses.

Keep up the great entertainment, we all watch it with baited breath. Im a member of 3 different forums who are all just pissing themselves at your postings :)

Josh

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SEO Consultant June 10, 2007 at 8:52 pm

It doesn’t help that search engines love squidoo and give the lens a high ranking in search results. I’m doing an expeirment here to prove just that:
http://www.larrylim.net/seo-online-marketing/squidoo-and-seo/45/

The good news is the Squidoo guys know what’s going on and are taking actions like having a “report this” link to flag lenses that are created for the sole purpose of spamming, and having a “ban lensmaster” option when you receive solicitations to increase somebody else’s lensrank.

It doesn’t seem like much but it’s a start.

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Jane December 9, 2009 at 6:28 pm

I like squidoo, but they keep blocked my lens. All the work I had done are waste. I hate the new policy. I had 171 lens at the beginning. I made some money and I got blocked and all the money in squidoo were all gone to squidoo. The secondo time, I had 51 lens. I got blocked. I didn’t want to make money in squidoo, but I made clickbank money from squidoo.
Too bad ,they block my lens.
How about you?

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