The farm is sold, Spring is close and lots of changes at Squidoo

by Skeffling-ton on March 7, 2013 · 30 comments

Georgian Bay here we come! Flowerpot Island on the Bruce Peninsula, very near our new home.

Welcome new readers!  I hope you’re enjoying the Squidoo experience. Things are changing rapidly there, but it is all for the good. I wanted to chat about what I am doing for the new Squidoo content changes. As far as the likes and blessing limits, I am not concerned at all, and think it will improve things a lot.

I can’t believe it has been two months since my last post, and have to apologize, as I know people check back regularly. I have had some really nice emails from some of you asking if everything is okay. And it is!   We just found out the farm is definitely sold.

We have had multiple conditional offers on it for over 7 weeks of this year and we have been jumping through hoops for months. We have a new place an hour away, right in cottage country, where we could never live before, as we needed to be close to employment. Things will be crazy for the next 2 months, as we renovate the new place, but the chickens have to stay at the farm til it is warmer.

For those wondering, online earnings have been good, and as far as I can tell, we just equaled or beat November’s earnings in Jan and Feb.  My Squidoo traffic seems to be steadily increasing despite reports of Google slaps.  I hope everyone else is doing well with their earnings.  For those wondering about the book, in light of the new Squidoo changes, I am not sure the book will be relevant any more, and I need to see how things unfold. There’s no point in me showing you how to get lenses locked, wink

Squidoo HQ changes to type of content

The main reason for my post today is to see how everyone is coping with the new content changes at Squidoo. I have looked at all the information that they have sent and posted on Squidoo HQ, and although I follow rules and TOS, and don’t break them, I always have a guilty conscience and wonder if my articles will pass muster. Just like when applying for Giant Squid!

HQ has been asking for first person product reviews for some time, and I prefer reading second person reviews myself, they are not so obviously biased.  So that’s what I have always produced, usually 500-1000 words with very few shorter than that (like maybe 5!) and some much longer. I’m not sure they will be human enough going forward, so the main changes or edits I am going to be doing to my articles are:

1) Add a few first person sentences in the introduction as Seth Godin stays “to let people know that we’re the best person for the job”. I have changed a few already and it is getting faster to do them. I am not deleting any content, just adding, as I do not want to disturb the google rankings.

2) Make sure that none of the eBay or Regular or Spotlight Amazon modules are empty. I am favoring putting first person content in the text box over just a subtitle. I think subtitles look weird on there, and hardly ever use them. HQ have suggested that they don’t want thin content, I am not sure if the new algorithm will look for empty Amazon modules and total them up, or link to text ratios, but it would be pretty easy for them to do.

3) Remove the “lens love widget”. The reason for getting rid of them, is to make a subtle reminder or suggestion (not begging which I don’t like to do or see) on it takes a lot more words. It seem the shorter the H2 tags (subtitles), the better the article looks and the less likely it is to flag the spam filter for non-giant Squids. If you get steady Google traffic, the likes are not that important at all anyway.

I think the changes on Squidoo are beneficial, as long as we get to keep our accounts!  I have noticed some of my top lenses increasing in lensrank in the past week. It may be to do with updating them, but as long as those lenses get to stay alive, I’ll be happy. These new moves should improve things for everyone who is not afraid of good honest hard work.

Concerns

My main concern, that I cannot do anything about on my profiles are the cookie-cutter lenses.  I tend to use the same modules over and over, because they are so successful.  I will happily add more content (and have the Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.0 set up), but I do not want to slap a bunch of YouTube videos or polls in there just to make it look different.  With good ctrs and bounce rates of under 50% and long read times, I like my on-page setup and am quite attached to it.

The other concern down the road, is eventually they will insist on single product reviews only rather than lists. Lists do very well whether 3 to 5 or top 10, so I don’t see myself giving those up unless forced to.

What if..

My contingency plan if any of the lenses are flagged or locked, will be to remove the content to other Web 2.0 sites. Not that groundbreaking of a plan really, but if I already own the content and have already paid for it and it converts to sales, why not? I have experimented with Hubpages is a little this winter, and although people say the site is dead, some of the traffic is comparable to Squidoo and did not take as long to mature, also with no backlinking.

I have about 10 hubs on a new subdomain (3 posted in October and the rest in Jan) and they earned around $350 in Amazon commission and about $15 in page views in February. I do consider Hubpages more at risk for a 100% Google cutoff in traffic, but if the content is already proven to sell, and cannot be posted on Squidoo any longer, I think it is a reasonable gamble, provided it is on multiple subdomains.

I have neglected Infobarrel sorely this spring, and would definitely consider putting longer articles on there or Seekyt, as both are definitely set up better for selling Amazon than they have ever been.

Ideas

If anyone has any suggestions, or insights, or tips on what they are doing, I’m sure we would all love to hear them!  Or your thoughts or interpretation on the new policies.  Thanks for reading.

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