Squidoo Do the Dirty on Affiliate Marketers

I just happened to check on one of my better performing Squidoo lenses today because I’d noticed a drop om affiliate sales coming from it. In fact a drop in affiliate sales coming from all of my lenses. Why should this be I wondered?

I know there has been some devaluation in Google’s search index of such web 2.0 properties like Hub Pages and Ezine Articles, but for the most part Squidoo has been left alone. Sure a lot of my lenses have dropped a little in the SERPs, probably a by-product of the recent and on-going changes that Google are making to their algorithm. But even with some of the low competition buying keywords that my Squidoo lenses are targeting, they were still ranking high enough to attract visitors looking to buy the product the lens was promoting, and converting into sales.

But as I said, sales have dropped noticeably and I needed to know why. Now I do.

First some background. For a several months, I’d known about a neat trick you could do with lenses to improve the conversion rate of affiliate sales by getting at least one ad banner above the fold. You could place the code in the lens bio with a couple of lines of text and that banner would more often than not be the one that got most clicks and most conversions into sales.

If you put ad banners inside text modules, the highest one is still below the fold because of the way Squidoo sets out their page design to place their own or adsense ads highest. Fair enough, its their site and their business which we are contributing to by building the lenses, for which lensmasters get a small reward from their revenue sharing scheme. It is only small change, but the value of lenses was increased many fold by being able to use a squidutils banner in the bio box to attract clicks and sales.

But no more. Squidoo have done the dirty on affiliate marketers using this necessary trick. They have somehow altered the bio box so that the code from squidutils (or any other affiliate banner code) does not display any more.

You know what?

I’m just about sick to the back teeth with these greedy buggers who run web 2.0 sites like that and pissball about with the earning potential of the handful of marketers who know what the hell they are doing.

Like me.

Well I’m done with them if that’s the way they are going to undermine the hard work I put into building and ranking their site for them. I’ll be looking at unpublishing those lenses I set up to sell affiliate stuff and once the content is de-indexed from Google, I’ll be putting it up on my own sites and taking ALL the earnings for myself. Geez, don’t these guys want our business?

Terry Didcott

6 thoughts on “Squidoo Do the Dirty on Affiliate Marketers”

  1. I noticed it last week on one of mine, another reason to simply forget about any of these bloody Web 2 sites Tel and leave them to drown in their own stupidity.

    They are simply never static as far as layout or earnings potential, but I guess that is what we get for riding on their backs, a slap at some point.

    1. Oh wow… a comment! Don’t get many of those here these days lol!

      Hi Dave,
      yeah, I probably should have looked at my lenses sooner – just shows how much notice I pay of these things once I put them up!

  2. Hey Terry,

    I also have some Squidoo lenses but I might do the same as you did and put them on a website that I control. This way I don’t get bloody changes in the way a site looks. It will probably be harder to rank them, but when they do, I can make the most of it.

    cheers!

    1. Hey Bruno,

      I’m not so sure it’ll be harder to rank pages on our own sites than squidoo right now. I have lenses that I really linked hard a few months ago that started ranking well before Google made its changes, then they faded away. I tried reviving them with a load more links but they are not coming back. Interestingly, I put up similar product reviews on some of my own satellite sites to link up to the main site and those pages are ranking better than the squids now.

      Our own sites are the way forward without a doubt.

  3. I’ve got a few Lenses but mostly only used them for backlinking so having paid much attention, but i thought the squidoo model had all ads/affiliate links etc in their name and just paid lensmasters a share (if they’re very lucky!)? Maybe this is why I’ve never made a cent on squidoo….. 😉

    1. Hi Kirsten,

      Squidoo have a weird payout scheme that rewards high ranking lenses that get most traffic with a small percentage of the pooled adsense revenue (from all lenses) and a percentage of any amazon/ebay etc commissions your lens makes using their modules. The way to make money with lenses is to have your own affiliate banners in them and convert your own traffic. It was always a fight against Squid’s own ads, which get the best placement, but that bio box was a really good competitor to their ads. They probably figured that out and nailed the loophole.

      I still get some sales with the affiliate banners in the text modules, but because they’re all below the fold, they get far fewer clicks. It still works, just a lot less well.

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