Squidoo’s “Improve The Magic” TOS

This morning, I was working on a lens that is close to tier one since updating lenses gives them a brief lensrank boost. When I published my updates, I got redirected to a screen that was not my lens but a new terms of service page, which Squidoo is calling their “Improve the Magic” TOS. Excuse me while I LOL all over myself.

If you are already on Squidoo, then I assume you have seen this, or will the next time you log into your account. But, if not, I’ve copied it for you below…

An important note from Squidoo to all of our members!

(You’ll need to read this and hit the big button at the bottom, and then we’ll get out of your way). We have a challenge and we need your help…

Thanks to you and the millions of Squids who have embraced The Scroll of Originality,  Squidoo has reached records amount of traffic, charitable donations and user revenue. We stand (we always have) for passionate, original content. Squidoo is about storytelling, first hand reviews and recommendations.

Our site is only as good as the pages our users build, and lately, too many people are taking a short-term view and building pages that don’t work, pages the search engines don’t like, and pages that are cookie-cutter instead of personal.

We need all of our users to reconfirm that they’re committed to our approach to content.

The important rules are still the same: share your passions, tell stories and be personal.

Starting in March, 2013, we’ll be running scans on all of our featured lenses to more aggressively detect spun content, junk and keyword stuffing. If your lens gets flagged it will get locked (and eventually deleted without notice) but you have the opportunity to fix these lenses and make them better. And you can start right now.

Check out this lens which explains how you can fix some of the widespread problems we’re seeing before you get flagged. It’s entirely possible that your lenses need no improvement at all, but if you’ve actively swapped ratings, added countless affiliate links and focused on the short-term, we need you to take action now.

It’s simple: go through your lenses, make them personal, delete extraneous affiliate links and ugly buttons. Make them the sort of thing you’d like to see, not the product of gaming the system and industrialized linkbaiting.

98.4% of Squidoo is amazing. If we work together, we take take all of our pages where they need to go.

My favorite part is the text on the buttons below the TOS, which I’ve screencapped …

squidoo

You guys – let’s improve the magic!

</sarcasm>

So, here’s what I’m thinking – how the hell are they going to automate the process of seeing if lenses are personalized? Now, I’m no programmer or coder or whatever, but I can only assume that this can be done by searching for the types of words that would be used, such as:

  • I
  • In my experience
  • I think
  • I’ve found
  • my
  • mine

And I’m sure that there are other words that fit into this as well. So, guess how you can update your lenses to make them personal? Add in some bullshit sentences that include words like that.

I just love my new Hello Kitty shower curtain, it makes my bathroom so happy. But I almost bought the My Little Pony one for myself because I love me some Rainbow Dash.

See how easy that is?

Now, time to finish making all my lenses personal.

About Henley Griffin

6 Responses to “Squidoo’s “Improve The Magic” TOS”

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  1. John says:

    I’ve read both your books on Squidoo. Really like the info.

    Given this blog post, it really looks like Squidoo is ultra oppressive when it comes to making lenses. If I’m going to take a website that seriously, it’d probably be my own.

    My question is do you think it’s worth it getting started at this stage in the game?

    Awesome books and I’ve bookmarked your blog.

    You’re doing a great job.

    • Henley Griffin says:

      Thanks, John! I think the days of people trying to game the system, so to speak, are definitely over. However, it doesn’t take all that long to throw up 350-550 words of original content for a lens. Write it in first-person POV to meet their “personalization” preference and maybe throw in a little BS here and there. Honestly, I haven’t stopped with Squidoo due to their new TOS, but I wasn’t making thin or spun lenses to begin with. Plus, they are still ranking well in Google. I have a lens that has been #3 in Google for about 9 months for a keyword phrase that gets almost 250,000 exact local monthly searches ….and it’s still there :)

      I also HIGHLY suggest using Squidoo as a tool to test out potential niches/keywords if you are making your own sites. In the past few weeks, I have done that with four brand new sites and started making $$$ from them within a week of the sites going live. So now, I’m ranking the lenses and my own site on the first page of Google for the same terms. It’s a win-win.

      • John says:

        Thanks for the awesome answer! I will give it a shot. I can do the original content.

        Are getting just straight good natural rank out of the gate – and leaving them – or are you backlinking to your properties?

        • Henley Griffin says:

          Awesome news! Just don’t get discouraged if you don’t start seeing sales/traffic immediately. Sometimes it takes the new lenses/accounts a little while to gain traction. To jumpstart that process, find some lensmasters who have a high PR profile page and leave them a comment since that will give you a high PR backlink to your profile. And, of course, your profile will have links to your lenses…but you may already know all that :)

          I assume your backlinking question is about the niche sites I’m making based on successful lenses? If so, I’ve had time to do zero backlinking on those and they are showing up in the SERPs with a good ranking within like a week. It’s insane. But, I’m also pulling my keywords straight from my lens traffic data, so that is a bit of an advantage over some competitors I suppose.

  2. John says:

    This is fantastic information. Thanks so much!

    You inspired me and now I’ve got a lens published. My line is in the water. I’ll give it 10 days and see where I’m at.

    I need to read over your keyword book again so I can jack some of the keywords. I know some good niches from my pre-Google penalty days.

    • Henley Griffin says:

      Sounds good, bro. If you’re doing Easter lenses right now, you might see sales pretty much immediately. Same with long tails/ low hanging fruit. For the big competition keywords, it will (sadly) take longer. You’ll have to keep me updated on your progress.

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