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Happy New Year!

In a few hours, I'll be having my New Year Eve with the family - at least part of the family and won't be thinking about writing articles, Squidoo's TOS and ever changing rules for a while. I'll have plenty of time to think about it tomorrow.

So, in order to finish the year pretty well and start the new year with a good mind, I wish all of you a very happy, prosperous and healthy year 2014!

Let's not forget about a huge lot of happiness.

See you soon, Guys and Gals!

Posted by Squidoo lensmaster Prosperity66


Considering Around 50 Lenses Deletion

Since traffic is so miserable on Squidoo these days, I'm considering the deletion of around 50 lenses I built in the past. Plus three built these past weeks - they are product review and one how-to lenslet which don't get any traffic at all.

All in all, let's put it in words. What's the benefit of deleting my Squidoo account?


  • It's going to provide my own sites with new and fresh scheduled content for months,
  • I'll gather all my writings on just four sites, 
  • I'll have TOTAL control on what I write,
  • I'll be able to buy good targeted traffic for each site,
  • I won't have to share my commissions with anyone,
  • I'll save time to work on other things more important than modifying my lenses over and over again to comply with their ever changing TOS.


  • This year was a total waste of time in terms of traffic and earnings but next year things might get better,
  • I worked hard for Squidoo and spent lots of time on this site,
  • I'd lose my autopilot earnings - but even when they're miserable I can use them to pay a domain name renewal ;)

Whatever I choose, I must do it as soon as possible.

First, all my lenses are saved onmy computer. I did that long ago and sometimes update my saved lenses, especially when I make some changes to comply the ever changing TOS. The beauty of the thing is that I number the lenses I add so I can see the lenses since their very first day of existence and rewrite them accordingly - with more products and often more content to feature.

So for example and because Halloween traffic that was very very low, was paid last week, I could start by deleting the lenses that don't show any pending payment. I'd break them into several parts that I could rewrite and post to my Halloween site. I'd schedule the posts to be published one per week. This would provide the site with constant content and, therefore, traffic.

Thanksgiving traffic: this year it was absolutely non existent. I myself wondered where my Thanksgiving lenses were gone to... Then found them in a very unusual rank... 

End of year holiday season traffic : will be paid in February. Then once this one paid, I could start deleting the lenses after payday, break them into several parts, and start scheduling Christmas posts on my site.

And then with the Valentine's ones - but I don't have that many lenses in this niche nor in any other holiday related niche, though :(

With these lenses posted on my sites, I could pay Facebook ads or Google Adwords ads for promotion. I could make a test drive to see if paying ads work and what they're actually worth. If these work well, then I won't lose anything. If they don't work, I'll lose more but I'm not sure that compared with this year's earnings it would hurt that bad.

And if Squidoo ever gets Google's love again, I'll just have to rebuild... product review lenses for these holidays. Short and easy to create - well for some, not for me I prefer to offer a wide array of different things to my readers than just one product review thing that's as boring as the "aunt Nellie's stuff" that is required nowadays from HQ.

All in all my account would still feature more or less 85 lenses  covering:

  1. Valentine's Day
  2. Mardi Gras
  3. Easter time
  4. Prom Night
  5. Mother's Day
  6. Father's Day
  7. Thanksgiving
  8. Recipes - that should also be deleted and moved else where
  9. Strawberries
  10. Some gift lenses
  11. Some toy lenses
  12. History lenses 

Hm... Food for thoughts.

Posted by Squidoo lensmaster Prosperity66

Traffic Drop Due to Google's Latest Update?

It's holiday season and my Christmas traffic dramatically dropped last week. It seems that the drop happened around the 17th December, which is the day Google manipulated one of their algorithms. At the same time, Squidoo seems to be playing with our lenses as well.

Strangely, it is always during the holiday season that Squidoo and Google make a decision on badly hitting lens- and webmasters. As, unfortunately on the 17th this month my Christmas site that's updated every day with unique content was hit as well - all other sites also, though but their traffic doesn't hurt as badly as it hurts the Christmas related one.

Even more strangely nobody seems to want to talk about it or even didn't notice that their lenses and site traffic had dropped. Or am I the only one webmaster in the world whose traffic got hit so bad? I'm pretty sure this is not the case since some other talk about an article relating to Google's latest update (17th December) and Matt Cutt's multiple lies through videos.

Some even benefited from this last update on Google's database. Some saw their sites sinking for good. Good Google, thank you so very much. And with Squidoo playing Google's game the wrong way the situation is even worse.

For example, a lens of mine that used to generate 1,000 visitors/week - and it is a very very very low amount of traffic for my Christmas lenses - dropped to 99 visitors/week since the 17th December. The speed is astounding! I've never seen such a fast drop!  Another lens of mine that is extremely popular at Christmas and even all year long dropped by 2/3 of its usual traffic. If things keep going on this way, the traffic to this lens is going to be like in April... long before Christmas.

Another very strange thing happening on my portfolio is a lens that's never been popular at all is seeing its traffic climbing. But this traffic comes from Pinterest, which is, for some topics, a great traffic generator. Unfortunately this traffic, while generating sales, doesn't generate huge commissions from a site of which I don't get many payouts as it's a site that I don't use a lot for affiliate stuff. 

Could you believe that an unique Christmas lens that still has NO competitor on Squidoo because based on a topic that is quite unusual, has only 23 visits/week? How can this lens, in this case, generate any kind of sale? Well it got three sales yesterday but it's the first time since the start of the end of year holiday season that this lens makes any sale!

Apart from two or three lenses of which I had to change the introduction as they were stolen by some sites like "www dot besthomever dot com" and "www dot bharatmoms dot com", I haven't touched my Christmas lenses in any other way than updating products. So this huge drop can't be explained by this. Instead and while checking the past 30 days traffic and comparing it with last week's traffic I notice that Squidoo wasn't just kicked out by Google, it also had been hit by Yahoo and Bing as those two sources of traffic dramatically fade away as well! Yahoo and Bing sent my lenses 1/10th of the previous weeks traffic! Are they going to align their search results, database and algorithms on Google's?

Even my craft lenslet that used to get traffic stopped getting any kind of traffic since the 17th December...  With zero traffic to product review lenses and now zero traffic to my craft one, I don't see the point building 5 lenses per year to keep my Giant status... That is another thing I'm going to think of these days...

I'm seriously considering deleting my Christmas lenses from my portfolio and moving them to my Christmas site. They would provide me with 50+ blog posts - therefore I'll be able to schedule 50 weeks of fresh content since I'd break them into two parts and would rewrite the whole lot. 

If I do this with my Halloween lenses of which traffic wasn't as miserable as the Christmas one but wasn't optimal, I could also fill my Halloween site with 50+ weeks of content. This would leave me with a portfolio of +/- 85 lenses.

I don't know why Squidoo is so hatred by search engines and about to lose all their juice. And because I wanted to make sure about what I saw as traffic trends on Squidoo I checked my site traffic as well. It's harder to make difference between one and another search engine as I noticed a strange trend.

Out from the related holiday period, my sites get traffic almost exclusively from Google but once the related holiday period started, I get a good mix of Google, Yahoo and Bing traffic. So for example Christmas time gets its share of the three search engines though less traffic from Google - since the 17th December as stated earlier.

Other sites still get their share of Google traffic, 10% from other search engines with a huge decrease from Google starting on the 17th December.

Let me know if you experienced such a huge traffic drop - both on Squidoo and other sites.

Posted by Squidoo lensmaster Prosperity66


Squidoo's censorship has hit me again...

Squidoo has come with some more new policies that are applicable to product review lenses. However, for a few days, I could note that traffic has, once again during Christmas time, dramatically dropped!

My top lens that used to generate more than 1,200 visitors/week -which is extremely low for the season but still I take it, eh, I won't be rejecting that small amount of visitors when the rest of the year was more than miserable - has now seen its traffic drom by the half! So I'm left with more or less 600 visits/week and, therefore, half sales.

My second lens has its traffic dropped by 3/4 - from 500 visits/week it now is at 150... And so on.

There's a huge problem with Squidoo - with Google as well though but my income come from Squidoo not Google. 

So when I read those new policies I forgot that we were only allowed to post supportive comments and posted something that came from the bottom of my heart:

Once again don't take me bad, but what do you plan for Squidoo to get traffic? Policies over and over again aren't going to get us in Google's good graces again.

Also is Squidoo bound to become now a movie and book review site only, just like, previously in the year it had become a mom's oriented site?

Unless on a particular-highly-popular-under-exploited product, these product review lenses don't get any kind of traffic, maybe it's time to simply review that part of the site instead of adding policies. What's the point building such lenses if they don't get traffic at all? Product reviews are pretty well done on personal sites, they've always been popular and still are. Squidoo will never overrank them in search engines. And still what's the point building thousands of lenses on the very same book or movie?

Useless and the fastest way to become a cached site in Google's database...

It seems that it's an awfully disagreeable, insulting comment since censorship has hit me and that my comment disappeared. My writings were probably not underestandable and didn't deserve a clear answer. Instead, they were removed from the site. Period.

How can one, in this situation, keep on building lenses, work for Squidoo? Ok there are new lensmasters that start creating lenses every day. They abide by the new rules, aren't aware of what the site was in the past, don't know that many old timers are those who actually made Squidoo become the number one reference site that it had become. 

Sometimes, some kind of respect would be welcome. I would have been glad to get a simple answer "we work on this as well" or so. This would have reassured me regarding Squidoo's future that I don't see as bright as some do.

And this makes me wonder if those lensmasters who left Squidoo after Halloween payment these days, aren't on the right track. I seriously wonder if there's anything to be expected from Squidoo.

Posted by Squidoo lensmaster Prosperity66


Squidoo's Traffic (Temporary) Increase

I just don't get it. People seem so naive... Ok, what do I mean? Well just that: the temporary and small traffic increase on Squidoo - due to Halloween and Christmas - seems to have provided them with a new kind of faithfulness. Ah, Squidoo's back in Google's good favors. 

Hm... I don't believe it at all but if it helps them face life, well, I'm ok.

However I don't see any traffic increase on my Christmas lenses, only on those that have been "evergreen". I mean, those that brought traffic and generated sales all year long although being end of year focused lenses. The kind of traffic I can see, instead means a lot to me: Google definitely doesn't love Squidoo and their lensmasters as much as they used to.

And once again I will make so-called experts in Squidoo traffic scream but once again I'm pretty sure that anything they come up with is, not absolutely false, still... Google doesn't love unique content that much, they don't expect huge content pages either, they want FRESH content. And when I say "fresh", I mean... anything that is fresh! Even if it's scraped content, duplicate, stolen, whatever, as long as it's NEW.

That is why my Halloween and Christmas lenses, that always generated thousands of hits during the matching season didn't generate that much this year.

Halloween season on Squidoo

Was miserable. Never been that miserable! All in all, compared with last years, they could be moved to my Halloween site that's been neglected till 2013, they would get more or less the same traffic numbers.

Grease Halloween Costumes is the only one lens that generated more traffic than any other lens on the same topic and it's a first time for this lens as it had never got any kind of absolutely marvelous figures in terms of traffic. It's a low traffic lens although one that generates sales all year long. I mean, it doesn't get more visits in October than any other month of the year - it just generates more sales.

This year, Grease Halloween Costumes got more visits than all previous years but generated less sales - strange, hm... But given the economic crisis, I'm not surprised.

Addams Family Halloween Costumes generated 3.07 times less traffic then its very first year, 13 times less figures than back in 2012 as, as a reminder, MY lenses weren't hit as much as others last year (between October and December); instead some benefited from even more traffic than any other year.

So figures for Addams Family Halloween Costumes: 5,571 in 2009 ; inscrease for the next years ; huge decrease for 2013 : 1,809 visits this October! What a mess!

  • Halloween Ghoulish Party Foods: 9,538 in 2009 ; 1,141 in 2013 --> 8.35 times less traffic
  • Scooby Doo Halloween Costumes: 1,701 in 2009 ; 988 in 2013 --> 2 times less visits.
  • Halloween Homemade Scary Decorations: 12,020 in 2009 ; 3,725 in 2013 --> 3.23 times less visitors.
  • Halloween Homemade Costumes for Kids: 7,662 in 2009 ; 742 in 2013 --> 10+ times less readers.

All these lenses were created back in 2009. All of them generated traffic during the season until... 2013.

Most of these pages were copied everywhere on the Internet, of course. Still, they never got hit as hard as they've been this year. And this is where I really question the Google's actual demands when it comes to content!

If they wanted unique, informative, correct, no sale page or shopping cart content written from webmasters, then they should index these pages accurately. However this is NOT the case! As most of these lenses were replaced in search results by pages that reproduced MY content!

For example, while looking for other places that would feature my lens content, I found, in the top search results:

  • Paying traffic positions - since they disappeared from the sidebars - they didn't use my content, of course;
  • Stolen content pages - yes sites/blogs that used my STOLEN content ranked higher than genuine pages,
  • Pinterest pins - most people who pinned my lenses also added MY content as description, which lead into the disappearence of my own lenses from Google's page results.

So there's no need to be an expert to clearly see that Google does NOT only want unique content, they want FRESH content. Whatever some so-called experts pretend, adding graphics and other stat charts. I'm definitely convinced that FRESH content is king on Google's ORGANIC INDEXING nowadays. In addition, I noticed the trend on most of my niche sites and pages - this happens most of the time on holiday related stuff. Maybe a "desperate housewife" thing?

Christmas Season on Squidoo

How could my personal Christmas pages rank between #1 and #5 for specific keywords when one knows that the pages are brand new and feature products for sale?

For example, in a series of Christmas trains I produced for my site, I could find some of these pages ranking really high in search results although these trains have been reviewed for a while and aren't that new. Not that I copied the content from elsewhere, I just neglected my site for years (because I was working hard on Squidoo) and didn't make these pages before this year. However, these trains do already exist everywhere on the Internet, some pages are so old that they should be ranked higher than mine. 

Oh wait... NO. Google wants FRESH content! Chances are that by next year, these pages will disappear from the search results.

Now the example of Christmas trains isn't probably the best one since my Christmas train lens performs pretty sell since its very first day: it never generated tens of thousands of visits but it is some kind of evergreen lens that gets traffic all year long and makes sales at least once a week, whatever the season. The more Christmas approaches, the more sales the page generates. Bing and Google are my top traffic drivers for this lens.

I just made a how-to lenslet on how to make a Christmas train and, for the very first time ever, I've seen some traffic generated towards this pages. It seems that Christmas trains are a really popular topic. How-to pages are also really liked.

However, I noticed the same trend on my Christmas village pages. The Halloween village page I created for the other site never brought that much traffic, however Christmas villages are highly demanded and these pages are also quite popular on my site. I should have make a lens about them.

I won't pretend that all the traffic my lenses get come from Google, it would be untrue. For example most of my fun Christmas printable games traffic comes from Pinterest. Strangely, although until last year, the Halloween printable games got most of their traffic from Google, it doesn't receive traffic from Pinterest - at least not buying traffic while the Christmas one does but doesn't interest Google.

My overall Christmas traffic looks like this - please note that, depending on the actual subject of the lens, my Christmas traffic may be higher in November than in December. Unless specified, these figures are those of the month of November.

  • Stunning Outdoor Christmas Decorations: 1,026 in 2009 ; 16,007 in 2011, 2,454 in 2013
  • How to Plan the Best Christmas Party: 130 December 2009 ; 2,579 in 2011 ; 332 in 2013
  • Homemade Christmas Wreaths: 584 in 2009 ; 7,014 in 2011 ; 584 in 2013 (funny - same figure than when created!)
  • Homemade Christmas Gift Baskets: 144 in 2009 ; 2,144 in 2011 ; 282 in 2013
  • Themed Christmas Tree Decorations: 618 in 2009 ; 19,253 in 2011 ; 409 in 2013

These aren't my best performing Christmas lenses but those of which the difference between figures are the most dramatic. Now the outdoor decoration lens hasn't dropped like the others, this also must be acknowledged.

All in all, Christmas is miserable for me this year on Squidoo, though Halloween was even worse. I've never seen such a low amount of traffic reaching Squidoo although it's certainly 10 times more than during the year. Still it is miserable and isn't promising for the after holiday season: if traffic is that low now, it's going to be even lower after December.

Whatever the expert amateurs out there pretend, Google has certainly a hidden agenda and that what some of us experience these days on Squidoo doesn't always relate to actual UNIQUE content... It also is a question of freshness. It all depends on your niche, I think. 

And, apart from Google, nobody has the answer to what happened to our traffic, and this includes me.

Posted by Squidoo lensmaster Prosperity66

03/12/2013 Reports, Earnings and Payments

Today I want to cover a topic that's not absolutely related to Squidoo - but is in some way, though. I mean, reports, earnings and payments. 

These past months, we observed some troubles regarding reports which have, at times, been missing from our Squidoo dashboard as well as our dash. Then suddenly we could see our account filled with missing sales and, therefore, commissions.

However, while reading Amazon's affiliate discussion boards, I also could notice that some reports weren't absolutely correct. I recommend anyone double checking their Squidoo dashboard and take note of all ordered items through Amazon so as to be able to check later if all commissions have been properly reported.

I also recommend doing so on your Amazon affiliate account as it happened there too.

While reading some Amazon discussions on different forums, I also realized that many users are like I am, from foreign countries and, therefore, not able to get their payments through direct deposit in their bank accounts. Sadly many countries removed the check payment options from their bank facilities and charge a high fee for us to get a check to our bank account.

So we had to find an alternative for getting our commissions. This can be very easily done through Payoneer, an online solution for payments, which allows us to receive payments from many US companies like, Share A Sale, Commission Junction, etc. and spend our money through the use of a prepaid debit MasterCard card.

For companies that need to send mass payouts, they come in handy as well as they allow them to pay their affiliates or employees around the world with this solution that won't cost them an arm and a leg. They allow the transfer of funds to those famous preparid debit Mastercard cards and send bank transfers to many countries around the world.

I've already subscribed and got my prepaid debit card, it works great and allows me to withdraw the money any where in the world. The best thing with this card is that now, I don't have to wait for my to reach a large amount of dollars to be paid: I can get my payment once I reach the $10 minimum required. What a relief!

So if like me, you're from a country where getting paid your commissions is some kind of hassle, I seriously recommend using Payoneer. It's the best way to get your money quickly. Their debit card can also be linked to your Paypal account and used like any other card with such a payment solution. However, Payoneer doesn't partner with Paypal so make sure to read their terms before signing up with them.

See you soon for some news - at least if I have some to share as I'm not really active on Squidoo these days and work a lot on my own sites so as to provide them with a new polish and traffic wave ;)

Posted by Squidoo lensmaster Prosperity66