All of the above have happened to a number of my Squidoo lenses (or articles) and they are now in the process of shrivelling away to nothing. You will already be seeing a gap where Squidoo links used to be, and more will be following soon.
But why, you ask?
Because Squidoo sent me an email yesterday telling me that 13 of my lenses were under scrutiny for the following supposed misdemeanours –
Squidoo’s systems found a few problems with this lens topic, content, or level of quality. Some of the guilty parties here have been award-winning lenses. I’ve had Lens of the Day (twice), Purple Star lenses (for outstanding content), and over 100 Squid Angel Blessings (again for exceptional work).
But you still have a chance to fix it! The lens will be unpublished if the following issues are not resolved by 03/09/2014. (American date formation, meaning 9th March 2014) Once you’ve resolved them, republish the lens in order to remove this warning. This is to be done within 14 days of receipt of the email, and is no small feat. I’m one of the lucky ones with only 13 lenses under threat. Stories abound of 100, 200 +++ suddenly unacceptable works to be fixed or they will be locked. One person reported having lenses locked within 24 hours of the email,and another suddenly received a warning notification of a heap more problem lenses within hours of complaining about the ones that were already under scrutiny.
Squidoo is not only able to look at the links you’ve placed on a lens, we’re also able to see what kind of content exists on those non-Squidoo sites you’ve linked to. If we find that the sites you’re recommending contain a high degree of spam content, patterns of junk, using link shorteners to bypass limits on Amazon affiliate links, or belong to certain other banned affiliate programs, this could negatively affect your lens. It’s up to each Squidoo author to recommend great content on the web, not link to spam. You try to approach the obvious things – links that no longer work or have become unacceptable. (Like a beautiful sparkly purple shooting star I linked to in order to thank my Purple Star awarders. The site creating this has now become a no-no site. Somehow, we lensmasters are meant to know this. Somehow we are also meant to know when some scumbag has stolen our words and printed them elsewhere, thus creating duplicate content. The other cruelty is that much of what is now considered unacceptable was treatment and content that were highly encouraged, even rewarded by Squidoo, just a short time ago.
Of course, the answer is to jump through all the hoops and check and re-check and waste more life attempting to find what on earth Squidoo is referring to. They know apparently, but for some obscure reason, keep each individual’s supposed transgressions a deep, dark secret. No apologies Squidoo for finding your barriers too high for this once-willing old nag to negotiate, even if I had the will to do so. But I don’t and I won’t. Whatever days, months, years I have allotted to me are not going to be spent in aggro situations like this. I am here to write joyously, with the hope my words will have beneficial effects on my readers.
Squidoo also omitted to tell me that one lens has been locked completely. I can still go into it and edit if I choose and all but beg them to reinstate it, but if anyone (including myself from my own computer) clicks on the link, an error message comes up saying that the site cannot be connected. Humble apologies if this happens to anyone on this or any other of my lenses on Squidoo. This is out of my control – but only for the immediate future. This particular lens will be one of the first I will find a new home for, one way or another.
This purge has been going on for some time, due to demands by Google to cut down on spam, plagiarism and all the other nasties some low-life types can imagine. But really Squidoo, was this the only way you could see to handle this delicate situation? The heavy-handed treatment and lack of response to genuine people trying their hardest to understand why their treasured works were being flung out like the proverbial baby with the bath water. Sadly, there are many, many top lensmasters who have left Squidoo and taken their works away forever. Tragically, many of the most worthwhile efforts have been deleted. Others are being transferred to all manner of other sites, including people’s own websites.
What a disappointing finale for a relationship that started me back on my writing path. I have loved and appreciated and enjoyed Squidoo most sincerely. But not anymore. I gained no money from Squidoo because I’m just not a marketer… yet. But the experience was something no money could buy, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I am deeply saddened it must end this way, but like so many other worthy lensmasters before me, I too am in the process of working out when and where I will take my hard work. For now I have removed my major links to Squidoo, and put all those posts back into Draft status. I will remove the few remaining ones as soon as all new homes have been found and my choices made.