Negative-SEO Technique Strikes Squidoo

Last Update: May 15, 2013
Earlier in the day good-sumaritan Potpiegirl posted content specifically made to address the problem of the current policy changes at squidoo. She mentioned there was no way to necessarily peel back the veil and look behind the curtain to see what changes were taking place that were causing the problem.

I may be able to shed a little light based on what I observed in an effort to preserve one of my squidoo pages. I followed Potpiegirl's sage advice and attempted to salvage my page but lo and behold when I tried to re-publish my new content over the deleted page I was greeted with the following error:

"A large number of "nofollowed" links pointing to this lens were found. Avoid linking from blogs or forums where links are nofollowed due to high rates of spam.

Because of the large number of suspicious inbound links on this lens we're locking it. Unfortunately there's no way to fix this problem so the lens will remain locked.

The best advice we can give about suspicious inbound links is to avoid linking from places like forums or blog comments where untrusted links are typically "nofollowed" due to high rates of spam.

What would you like to do?"

Based on this idea - it seems clear to me that if a black-hatted / or negative SEO minded individual sends a bunch of crummy links and points them at your squidoo lens then you (and your precious lens) are doomed. I think Seth Godin and Team Squidoo have screwed the pooch on this update - and average folks like you and me are gonna get squished.
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healthywendy Premium
What's wrong with nofollow links? All Pinterest links are no follow. A blend of do follow and no follow is quite normal.
onefineham Premium
I know... it's a mystery to me. Nearly all comment links are nofollow esp at top quality trusted domains. The whole thing makes no sense to me.
onefineham Premium
I should add... this lens' worst offense was a plexo voting module and I prob had built all of 10 backlinks to it. To me it was a lens I didn't much think about. Totally benign in my mind. Thanks as always for the great tips PPG.
PotPieGirl Premium
That's always a valid concern (negative SEO) - is another lens in my way, just backlink 'em outta there! That can happen to ANY web page - not just a lens. In fact, it's easier to do to smaller sites - Squidoo has a massive backlink profile and a lot of really great backlinks.

That said, I do agree that their way of doing this is a "knee jerk reaction" that may not have been totally thought out. But, they are the only ones that have access to the info Google gives them in their Webmaster Tools so all I can say is that is their site - not mine.

As for your lens with that "suspicious links" notice... While you can't reclaim that url on THAT lensmaster account, you CAN do it on another lensmaster account (oddly, that warning goes away if another lensmaster picks up/claims that url)

onefineham Premium
Your tip was spot on. Changed user, re-made lens and off we go. It's just sad what Squidoo puts us through. I love that site though - fun to use and stuff looks pretty (not a strength for me lol).
ZachMN Premium
Yea that's what I though to ... I noticed that too, my team of writers told me that the lenses that I'm sending Links to are getting Locked ....

But They will have to change this ...

I mean lets say I'm trying to Rank for "Product Review X" ... and I still a Squidoo Lens siting in the Top 3 spots, whats to stop me from setting up a GSA Project with Tons of Forum links and Trackbacks and Image Comment Links (The spammiest of the spammiest, type of Links) and set it to Run for a Week and have it Blast over 10k of Crap links to it and Blow it right off the front page.... Its funny how all this "Prevent people from Back-linking Crap" is starting to blow up in Google's face .... watch before you know it they will eventually roll back to time when Links are valued more and the crap links won't count (Like back in 2010), but the Alrgo will tell if the Link is on a page with good content or something ....

All I can say is google better be careful with the Punishing Links, because they could screw up the Index reeeaaaallly bad if they push the Alrgo to far....

- Cheers
onefineham Premium
In my mind google already has... really bad.
bothewebguy Premium
Wow - There is something to think about.