I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking what happened to Lensroll so I guess it’s time that I shout out the official word. The directory of Lensroll has been permanently shutdown.
Let me explain.
About a month back Glen shared a short message he had gotten from a fellow Squidoo user. He had received the message from Gil.
“Google is about to release a major update to their Penguin algorithm, which is focused on link building tactics. Unfortunately, sites like lensroll.com and dir.squidutils.com are no longer considered white hat.”
To us the message from them was crystal clear. In their eyes we had become bad neighbors. (If you do a quick search you will find Squidoo’s position on incoming links)
So without hesitation, Glen and I discussed and weighed all the factors and came to the conclusion that Squidoo HQ had already made up it’s mind about us.
The short of it is Squidoo might flag a lens as spammy just because of it’s incoming links. So with that it mind we thought it best to follow Tim’s lead and close down the Lensroll directory too.
We did not want to be the cause of any rash judgments handed down to a lens as it is well known to any user of Squidoo that they have their own internal ranking system and wield that sword recklessly at times.
I spent the better part of 7 years perfecting an open source code called Pligg to run the directory so forgive me if I appear to close to the subject. I taught myself how to code, fought and won battles of malware and defeated the spammers. Basically I’m damn proud of what we were able to accomplish.
The sites own statistics clearly showed Google did not appear to consider us a bad neighbor. Traffic had been steady for 6 straight years. 90 percent of organic search came from Google. Bounce rates were in the 50’s. We had survived all of the previous updates that Google had thrown at us.
Not to mention there were plenty of pleased users too. There was a real community of real people. Over 5000 comments and climbing daily. Real participation!
I personally think that HQ is paranoid and jumped the gun. Lensroll was not hurting them. What’s hurting them is their own stupidity. Knee jerk reactions rarely payoff in business.
I regret that Zujava, Hupages and Wizzley users were caught up in this. The directory had over 50,00 Squidoo lens submission which made up about 85% of the site. To delete all lenses only would have had the same affect, rankings wise, as shutting it down entirely.
We want to thank everyone who helped us grow over the years. Without you we would have been just another place card on the Interwebs.