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Guestbook's Improvement: When Is Enough... Enough?

It seems that HQ made some "improvements" to Squidoo's guestbook module. Hm... Improvements. Is it some kind of joke? Apart from the disappearance of the "delete" button in view mode and the appearance of a "like" button in the same mode, I don't see any kind of improvement done to that guestbook.

When is enough... enough? I ask the question because while they "improved" the guestbook module with the false motive to ease the user experience (we, lensmasters) I don't see any kind of ease of use in all this mess! Please, HQ, can't you test things on a separate domain or subdomain before making them go live ????????


Two Halloween Lenses Deleted Today

Halloween season's round the corner and traffic is increasing on my Halloween site as well as on Squidoo. Hm... not all my Halloween lenses, I'm afraid :(  I built 30 Halloween lenses and deleted some of them in the past for whatever reason. I was left with 26 scary stuff lenses. 

When the changes occured on Squidoo, I cleaned up my account and deleted 3 of such lenses as I didn't want to make them comply with the new TOS given the huge traffic drop Squidoo experienced and still does experience nowadays despite the Halloween season.


Another Batch of Deleted Lenses

Although I have never had any lens locked on Squidoo - not since the new policies introduction (and just one locked lens in the past for a "junk" word in it, lens deleted: I've never played that silly game and never agreed to cast my pride aside asking for HQ to unlock what they locked by mistake) - I started to delete the lenses that could be locked as I didn't want to waste time modifying them.

For a few weeks I don't delete lenses that might get locked, I decided to delete non seasonal zero traffic lenses. Last time I deleted a batch of such lenses, I was left with 152 of them. Today I deleted another batch but had to modify my overall lensography as I was about to delete an entire lensography and 50% of its matching lenses! 


Zero Traffic Lenses Are Going To Be Deleted

Five minutes ago, I went to my Squidoo account and checked my zero traffic lenses. I've never had zero visit lenses in the past - apart from the very first days I joined Squidoo or until the day I seriously worked on the pages I built over there.

But today I was quite surprised to see a bunch of zero visit lenses in my portfolio. What was the most shocking is that those lenses aren't seasonal pages. They're evergreen pages, the kind of pages that always generated traffic, no matter the time of the year. Not that they used to get thousands of visits per day. Nevertheless, they weren't failure and should get their share of traffic.


Is Squidoo Dead?

Strange title, isn't it? Is Squidoo dead? I ask myself this question several times a day. Especially when checking traffic stats. Traffic stats are quite depressing these days I must say.

Quantcast's stats

First let's have a look at Quantcast's stats for the site. The graphic has the same shape as last month's one. Traffic still decreasing and nobody in HQ seeming to pay attention, or having a word with us regarding the dramatic situation. They keep posting their quests... Are these quests profit anyone? Not sure if traffic dies for good. They keep making changes, the last ones being the introduction of the new templates. Are they going to profit anyone if the site dies for good? No...

Still HQ doesn't seem to even notice how dramatic the situation is. Click on the images to enlarge them.


Is Google's New Algo Hurting our Business?

These past days, I've had a conversation with another lensmaster who asked me to check out their new site and asked for feedback.

At first sight, the site looked great and is probably going to get traffic and generate sales. Though I provided a few suggestions the lensmasters isn't obliged to follow, just my personal thoughts. However, one thing that disturbed me on this site were the displayed Google AdSense ads.


Squidoo Introducing New Lens Format

A new product review lens format is about to be launched


After the new workshop announcement, Squidoo introduces new lens format options. These are short (and probably sweet) pages that can be built about any kind of topic you're interested in. 

These new types of lenses are niche focused ones. These new pages won't require more than 2 modules - but we're free to add up to 5. 

Let's take an example: I recently wrote a tutorial on how to make Halloween animatronics. I could have done this on one of the new lens templates that are going to be launched. It wouldn't have required more than what I have already written on my own site, along with some pictures and a guestbook so as to allow my readers to ask questions or leave a feedback.


Halloween Stats on Squidoo Are Actually Frightful!

Boo! Not Halloween yet but Squidoo stats look like a good old frightful Halloween movie !

Hello September ! I woke up this morning thinking about the new month. This month is going to be decisive in terms of the Halloween lenses I'm going to keep active on Squidoo and those I'll delete.

First task: checking my stats. They're quite depressing. Especially Halloween stats. Come on! Halloween's in two months only and stats are looking like January stats. 

Scary Halloween Homemade Decorations is my best performing lens right now. Last year, its August stats were 4.3 times higher than 2013 stats. How on Earth had this lens reached tier 1 with such a low amount of traffic? That is beyond my understanding ; unless Squidoo stats are even worse than I think. Given the figures I seriously doubt that each of the top 2,000 lenses on Squidoo drive 4 or 5 figure traffic stats!

Second best performing lens: Grease Halloween Costumes. This one hasn't reached tier 1 yet - and might never reach it, though. Still it's ranked near tier 1 while not getting more than 500 visits for the whole month of August! It's got 1/3 of last year traffic only. Another quite depressing stat.

In general, my Halloween lenses are between 1/3rd and 1/10th of their usual traffic numbers for August.

Cherries on the pie are two figures traffic numbers. Long established high traffic driving lenses are now lost in nowhere or near some kind of no-man's land stats. They hardly got 2 figure traffic for the whole month of August while last year they reached the 4 figures without any kind of promotional effort. Though last year's stats were lower than those of 2011 - which didn't profit from any promotion either.

It hurts and is quite painful to see my Halloween Homemade Costumes for Kids getting only 53 visits in August - 1/5th up to 1/10th of their usual stats at this time of the year.

Then there are the more or less new lenses, created back in 2011 as I didn't make lots of Halloween lenses last year since I wasn't home and didn't have a computer on hand at this time period. These were very niche lenses, they used to have their fair share of traffic, although quite new and focused. This year, they've hardly got 30-60 hits for the month.

As said earlier, September will be decisive in terms of traffic and trust for Squidoo. Oh there will always be those that think positive and see flowers when old timers like me who know the actual Squidoo figures and their own account figures for the previous years will see the final coffin silhouette.

In any way, if by the 15th I don't see an improvement or one sale coming each of my Halloween lenses' way, I'll certainly delete and move those that don't get the traffic they used to generate. Low traffic for low traffic, I'd rather see them adding a few full commission figures to my personal affiliate accounts than sharing them by 50% with Squidoo.

Meanwhile I already deleted 5 recipe lenses that I plan to post on my related blog. I just need a few more hours in a day to move all the removed content from Squidoo to a new home.