If you’re reading this you’ve probably got the dreaded “Squidoo Lens Locked” email. If you’ve tried to edit the lens you might have noticed that there really isn’t any guideline, just a reference to the Squidoo policies and why you should abide them. At least HubPages gives you specifics on why you’re hub was unpublished. I guess Squidoo just can’t bother with those niceties. So what are your options? Well you have a few.
Edit Your Lens to Comply With Squidoo Policies
For every lens that got locked undeservedly there are 10 more that deserved the penalty. I’ve been using Squidoo since 2008 and I have seeing plenty of low quality lenses that deserve to be taken down. So the first thing you should check is whether you’re lens falls into that category. Although Squidoo doesn’t give any hints here are few things that usually trigger the algorithm.
- Suspicious Keywords – There are a set of keywords that trigger the algorithm which instantly locks your lens. Although it’s impossible to come up with the list some obvious ones are Forex and weight loss. Obviously you can create awesome content around them, I promote Forex myself. But there are simply too many thin content around the topic so Squidoo just ban any content around those keywords. Check if your lens fall into this list and try to fix it.
Note: Even if you don’t have those keywords in your content they might be present in your comments. So make sure to check the comments.
- Affiliate Links – This seems to be another factor that get your lens locked. I’m assuming my lens about increasing Twitter followers got locked for this reason. It was the first result in Google for the highly competitive keyword “increase Twitter followers” and was making more than $1000 per month. You can judge the quality of it yourself by visiting the above link.
The point is if you’re adding affiliate links be very careful about using Squidoo. And if your Squidoo lens got locked and if the content is also good try removing affiliate links and see if fixes the problem. If the lens is a product review it might not make you money without the affiliate link, but you can still use it as a doorway page.
- Duplicate Content – With search engines penalizing duplicate content left and right it’s natural the folks at Squidoo are worried about this. If you’re actually copying content from other places and adding it to your Squidoo lens then fix them before you contact Squidoo and ask to unlock your lens.
Another things that seem to trigger this is adding Amazon modules without personalizing them. You can be creative here and add a personal touch to your Amazon modules. This obviously means you have to lie if you’ve never used the product before. It’s a fine balance between been ethical and getting past the algorithm.
- Unrelated Links – If you’re page is about travel and you’re linking to a SEO article then that is another thing that triggers the algorithm. This is one area where many struggle with because definition of related will differ from person to person. However if you’re lens is the “Heads Up Warning” state you can remove links one by one and see which triggers the algorithm.
Another thing which many forget to check is the links in the bio section. If you’re using the default bio for your every lens then the link in the bio might not be the best fit for your content. So make sure to edit the bio links as well when checking.
Squidoo gives you a heads up warning and I think it lasts for around 30 days before the lens get locked. This is the best stage to modify and test your content because then you don’t need to send mails back and forth to get your lens unlocked.
If you believe your lens doesn’t have any of the things above then you can go ahead and do the next step…
Contact Squidoo And Ask to Unlock Your Lens
Sometime the algorithm locks lenses because of false positives. It’s an algorithm after all. So if you believe your lens adheres to Squidoo policies you can drop a mail asking to unlock it. Just don’t expect a reply. In fact I think they only reply if they’re going to unlock your lens. I have tried to get few of my lenses unlocked and never gotten a reply from them. And there are hundreds more lensmasters who suffered the same fate.
There doesn’t seem to be any timeline but if you didn’t get a reply within two weeks I guess you have little chance of getting them unlocked. There are some people who’ve gotten their lenses unlocked after contacting so don’t think of this as a hopeless task. Do the necessary changes and hope for the best.
If this fails you can…
Move The Content to Your Own Blog
Now your own blog will not have the domain authority of Squidoo, but what you will have is control. Ability to add affiliate links, monetize the way you want and write the way you want. Now before you go gun-ho and start moving content to your own blog consider the following benefits of Squidoo.
- Easier to Rank - When I’m writing this Squidoo had a domain authority of 94. Although it will fluctuate a bit it is unlikely that it will drop significantly. This means that search engines will give preference to content published on Squidoo. You can of course get your blog post to rank in search engines, but it wont be easy as getting ranking for a Squidoo lens.
- Internal Linking – There are millions of pages on Squidoo. There are lenses, topic pages and tag pages etc. And all those pages give you powerful internal links. One of the main reasons Squidoo lenses rank very well in search engines is all the relevant and powerful internal links.
- Easier to Create Content – Although content management systems like WordPress has come a long way they are still not even close to the formatting options provided by Squidoo. Squidoo modules makes it very easy to add Amazon products, images, polls etc to your content.
Even with all the advantages mentioned above I still think you shouldn’t publish with Squidoo. Especially your best content which has the potential to bring you traffic for years to come.
Can Giant Squids Bypass the Rules
For starters it’s extremely hard to get the Giant Squid status. You need to have 25 exceptional lenses just to quality for the program. But the general feeling is giant squid lenses have some tolerance level, especially when it comes to affiliate links. There is no scientific study done on this but this is my assumption based on what I have seeing.
And this is understandable as well. These are lens masters that dedicated their time to create amazing content so they are entitled to some benefits.
My Lens Got Locked. I Will Not Publish Lenses Again
Believe me I know the feeling. One of my lenses that made around $1000 per month ( you can now see it here ) got locked. Most probably because affiliate links. But as I mentioned above Squidoo has it’s advantages.
If you’re doing SEO for a living as I am then you can make use of lenses to build back links and get traffic from related searches. I know outgoing links are not followed in lenses. But a link has the potential to bring traffic as well.
For example lets say you’re selling jewelry. You can make a lens about birthstones and deftly link back to your website. The possibilities are endless so it would be unwise to ignore the platform completely.
Your Thoughts on “Squidoo Lens Locked”
Received the dreaded “Squidoo Lens Locked” error message. Managed to get it unlocked? Do share your experience in the comments so others can benefit from your knowledge.