Home > The New Featured Lens Threshold

The New Featured Lens Threshold

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 4.50.18 PMIn our relentless focus on unique, useful, and updated high quality content, we’ve found that many of the lenses in our lower LensRank ranges either don’t perform well or no longer meet our editorial standards. So as of today, any lens that has a LensRank of over 175,000 will move into work-in-progress (WIP). We’re doing this for a couple of reasons and we wanted to share why we’ve made this decision.

1) Lenses that are ranked over 175,000 (on average) have not been updated in 3 years. This means these lenses are pretty much abandoned and in many cases have outdated information.

2) These lenses are getting little to zero traffic which means they aren’t bringing much value to Squidoo or the lensmasters who created them.

3) The lenses are incomplete. Some of the lenses we’re seeing in this group were started, published but never really finished. They had enough content to get published but they are clearly incomplete which probably accounts for the low traffic and lensrank.

The tricky part is that there are a handful of good lenses in the group that just haven’t gained speed over the years or are holiday lenses that lost traffic because they are out of season. The good news is that you can easily get quality lenses that you care about out of WIP. Simply edit the lens, add some new content (or edit outdated content), republish and share. If the lens is good it should pick up speed from there.

Above all, our most important reason for moving the featured lens line is that we want our best content to shine. There’s some spam that accumulated in these lower ranks over the years and we want to make sure it’s not live on the site.

So what about payment? Only lenses with a rank of 85,000 or better are eligible to receive Ad Pool earnings from Squidoo, so pooled payments will not be affected. Additionally, lenses in this range generate very little Amazon or eBay revenue, so attributable earnings will not be significantly affected either.

Image Credit

Bonnie Diczhazy is the Editor-in-Chief of the SquidooHQ Blog. Send her a Tweet at @bdkz.

  • britflorida

    This is fantastic news. Squidoo will truly be a high quality site. Must go,I think I have lenses to update!

  • Ruthi aka abitosunshine

    I think this is a good move on Squidoo’s part! And yes, I just looked, I have 1 lens below the mark and a dozen close, and now I need to up my updating schedule. And that, too, is a good thing! Keep me on my toes to strive for high quality lenses, please and thank you!

  • DaveStone13

    You can’t hear it, but I’m applauding enthusiastically. Keep up the good work and strong focus.

  • LoreleiCohen

    This sounds very reasonable. Off topic Bonnie can you point me in the direction of the topics for the BEST OF lenses? Pretty please.

    • bdkz

      Thanks! Look on the tabs section of HQ there’s a Best of Squidoo tab.

      • Ladymermaid

        Thank you Bonnie. I was lost on that one.

  • RoadMonkey

    I am just deleting any that go below the mark and I will NOT be updating. I joned Squidoo and Hubpages at the same time and HAD about the same number of lenses on each. While I have not earned much on either, I have earned 10X as much on Hubpages as on Squidoo!

    • jen09_writes

      Thanks for the feedback. I am leaving Squidoo and trying to choose between hubpages and zujava

      • sockii

        I wouldn’t recommend Zujava at this time due to very poor upper level management. The best thing really is to devote time to your own websites and blogs, where YOU are the one in control.

    • LindaJM

      I never did well on HubPages… Squidoo has been amazing, in comparison.

  • nancycarol

    Well I did have a lot of deadwood…and it’s a good thing that I’m getting rid of some of them, so thanks for the prod. Others are worth keeping and editing, which I will do. Question for Bonnie: What’s our time limit on the editing? I have nine that I need to edit and want to make sure I don’t lose any of them. Thanks again!

    • bdkz

      No time limit, they will just stay WIP until you update.

      • luvmyludwig

        it says they’ll be deleted in 30 days when you click on them.

        • bdkz

          I’ll find out.

          • marsha32

            Bonnie, did you find out if the 30 days is true? I’m updating daily but not just WIP but my other lenses as well.

  • anna-hofman-98

    Hi I’m pretty new here but I think this sounds like a really positive change – plus it’s a great way to encourage people to write about interesting topics and subjects they care about rather than just churning out mediocre sales-pitches.

  • rauspitz

    I’m not agreeing with your premise Bonnie. There are some quality lenses that were designed to educate, not get a lot of “traffic.” The last year I’ve seen a lot of really bad lenses with totally meaningless content get above your arbitrary lens rank number. I’m sure I’m in the minority but I think this is a really bad idea.

    • Barbara Radisavljevic

      I agree. I’m in the same boat. I also fail to see how seasonal lenses can be brought back by gaining in-season traffic if they are invisible to the search engines and on our profiles. I agree there are some lenses, mostly those I was encouraged to make in RocketMoms assignments, that are pretty much dead wood and probably can’t be redeemed. I certainly can’t take time to update 55 lenses in the next thirty days while neglecting the sites where I am making money.

      • Ohohdon

        Your purpose may be different than mine, but I wouldn’t sacrifice money makers for those that just won’t gain any traction.

    • Ohohdon

      Regardless of your intentions for your lens, if they are getting little or no traffic, they aren’t doing anyone much good. In other words, what good is great, educational content if nobody sees it? Low ranking lenses that truly have great great content just need to be properly promoted so that people find them. Then they will rise in rank and everyone will be happy.

  • RockinPicks

    It’s not going to effect much because lenses down on the bottom don’t really do anything for you or against you. Good move on Squidoo’s part.

  • veryirie

    YAY! This is a great move for Squidoo, the writers AND the viewers especially. Thank you!!!

  • kiwinana71

    Great News! Nice to know the bottom line I wasn’t sure.

  • Deborah-Diane

    Thanks! I’ve never had a lens that sank that low, so I think that is a good idea that will benefit the entire site.

  • oldnavyguy12

    That will be nice to see

  • sockii

    Well, I guess I have a fair number of lenses which ARE recently updated and/or added (within the past few months in fact) which will just be getting moved to my own personal blogs and websites now…

    • bdkz

      Like I said there may be some quality lenses in this group that just have not gotten traffic. My advice is to give these lenses a once over, edit and republish. If a lens is worth being featured by all means give it some love, share it around and make sure it gets back in action.

      • sockii

        “May be”? I’d say there are plenty of quality lenses in this group. For me, I have little incentive to try to republish many of them when I can put them on my own blogs and do better with the traffic they will generate. Sorry but it’s kind of insulting to the many people putting their hard work into original content only to be told it’s not good enough to even be featured, let alone possibly earn a few pennies each month. I spent most of a month in Italy this year and put a lot of effort into sharing my experiences, my photos, etc in related lenses…I write my own recipes…and in one day 10 of those lenses are unpublished. They will mostly all go elsewhere at this point, I just am tired of trying to jump through hoops when I get better traffic for the content on my own websites.

        • fisheagle

          Hi sockii, with regard to moving lens content to your own blog/website, do you know what or if there are any consequences with regard to duplicate content from Google? I also have one lens possibly two that I am considering moving, just worried about getting Google Slapped for duplicate content.

          • sockii

            Delete them first from Squidoo, then submit a Removal Request to Google so that they see the content is no longer at the original URL. This expedites having the content removed from their cache so that you can then republish elsewhere without it appearing as duplicate content. I still advice waiting a little while and/or reworking content as best to suit a new platform. I have often been pleasantly surprised by how well relocated content can do once it finds its proper home.

          • fisheagle

            Thanks for the info, that helps me out a lot, appreciate it!

          • prosperity66

            If you take a look at Google’s search results you’ll also notice that Google doesn’t really mind duplicate content these days: stolen content from genuine pages often overrank it on Google’s results…

  • CalobrenaOmai

    This was not a good move especially since the majority of the lenses have been updated within the past few months. More recently so my Games for Girls lens was updated just yesterday and was within the 30K rankings but has dropped back down to WIP.

    Not just this lens but my lens on Cancer Awareness along with a book review got knocked into WIP. I know you want to promote quality content but this is not a good way of doing it. Its discouraging enough a cash out limit was put in place and now this.

    That Games for Girls lens is one of my top earners next to the ones on Wartune and Urban Legends.

    • bdkz

      If you updated the Games for Girls lens and republished it should got back into Featured status after tomorrows LensRank update.

      • Ramkitten

        I’m afraid that’s not happening. I updated a lens — actually changed some things — and republished yesterday, but not only did it not go back into the green as of today’s lensrank update, but the rank got worse. :(

        • bdkz

          I looking at this lens.

        • CalobrenaOmai

          Same here.

  • adventuretravelshop

    Phew my lowest is 130.906! How can I get that to 85.000!!? Getting rid of spam is a great idea! Good show.

  • sockii

    “Squidoo is millions of useful, fun pages built by real people.” — Guess it’s well past time to change that front page statement too, eh?

    • Royal-Lensmaster

      So, you are saying it should be “Squidoo is 175000 of useful, fun pages built by real people.” :)

    • marsha32

      apparently they do need to as the way I see it, this means that only 175,000 of those millions will ever be able to be seen at one time.
      Someone correct me if I am wrong here?

  • Brite-Ideas

    IMO this is a good move, forces us to keep our coveted bottom lenses a little more up to speed as well

  • Snakesmum

    Better get to work on some of my older lenses! :-)

  • Luv2help

    Yes, this is a smart move and the ideology behind the decision to cull the ‘duds’ from the ‘dos’ is spot on. I’m going revisit my stale lenses and see of they’re worth saving.

  • takkhis

    What a great decision!

  • flinnie

    I need to update a few lenses. Thanks for the head up.

  • prosperity66

    Are you sure WIP lenses are safe? I refer to seasonal ones. Valentine’s Day is far from today and those might fall in WIP for example.
    Also it’s not really fair to pretend that WIP lenses are outdated or no quality lenses, especially when talking to your older lensmasters, who made Squidoo and worked on its popularity :(

  • tim-bader-982

    I just managed to keep all my lenses over (or should that be under?) the limit, but methinks I still have much work to do. Bravo to the team for a good decision.

  • vegival

    I’m wondering if you have considered switching from “absolute number” lens-ranking (example: lens is number 178,547) to tiers based on percentage (example: lens is performing in the 65th percentile). It seems that with thousands of new lenses being published, even really (REALLY) awesome lenses may never make it into the top 1,000 or 100. There’s just too much competition for the top 100 spots, making that coveted lensrank nearly impossible to achieve. I’m thinking that being ranked/paid by lensrank percentile would be more fair. Being in the top 5% should result in major kudos (and appropriate ad pool revenue), even if there are hundreds (thousands?) of other lenses in the 5th percentile. It would still be interesting to know the lensrank number, but the percentile would give a more accurate reflection of how well or poorly a lens is performing. Having said that, I do think it’s a great idea to encourage quality and remind us when we have neglected our lenses. Two of my lenses were flagged last night; I’ve given them some love and republished. Thanks!

    • bdkz

      Thanks for the feedback Val : )

  • dbodnariuc

    While I understand the overall reasoning, and it seems like a good plan, losing so much content might affect Squidoo in general. The amount of pages on a website seems to contribute to the overall ranking. My two cents.

  • topclimb

    I am very new to Squidoo, so this doesn’t really affect me, however… You say, “The tricky part is that there are a handful of good lenses in the group that just haven’t gained speed over the years or are holiday lenses that lost traffic because they are out of season.” I understand the “just haven’t gained speed” part, but a holiday or seasonal lens is just that and probably won’t have the chance to gain popularity and prove it’s worth until that season comes around. If the seasonal lens is in WIP too long will it just be deleted after a period of time? If so, I do not think this policy full captures the need to make sure a seasonal lens has a chance to be updated and allowed to flourish for the season it was created. Is that potentially true? If so, I think Squidoo management needs to revisit this and adjust the policy for seasonal lenses or we potentially all loose out (including the Squidoo management team and all who potentially share in the revenue pool). Thanks! :-)

  • topclimb

    Additionally, I think the Squidoo management team needs to take into account those lenses that provide great depth to the knowledge base published on Squidoo. Even if that lens is low ranking, but has terrific content, there is value beyond revenue, that should be considered. How is that going to be accounted for? Or will those lenses just be “lost” to this management policy?

    • bdkz

      It’s really easy to get a lens out of WIP and Featured. If you’ve got a holiday lens just republish it every 6 months or so, that should do the trick. The lenses we’re talking about here have not been published or updated in about 3 years and they are getting 0 traffic.

      • topclimb

        bdkz, Thanks for your reply and clarification. :-)

      • Moe aka @biggirlblue

        Bonnie, 100 of my lenses were unpublished. I spent all night making minor changes (deleting old modules etc) and republished them all. They are still unpublished in the dashboard. There were maybe five or six that I didn’t republish because they really need to be deleted. I was expecting everything to be fine today. Also I notice a big drop in my upper level lenses by 2000. I’m just finding it harder and harder to justify my time here.

        • CalobrenaOmai

          you’re not alone. one of my lenses i’ve updated two to three days in a row and its still in wip.

      • RoadMonkey

        Mine were NOT in that category. I have not been on Squidoo for three years! They changed around as people visited them. Sometimes one would be bottom, another time another one and their ranks changed quite often, depending on visits. I found that getting a purple star gave my lenses a lift overall for a while but although I managed to get some below 85,000, I never managed to get all of them there and I have no intention of moving over to writing lots of recipe lenses (I enjoy reading other people’s though). I have found recently that the variety of lenses shown on the front page has ceased being much of a variety – the same ones seem to be displayed over and over. That stops me visiting so many lenses – most of the ones shown I have visited already!

      • Barbara Radisavljevic

        Not true. I updated most of mine in November of last year when we had to reapply for Giant Squid status. Many of my seasonal lenses are in the red.

      • Barbara Radisavljevic

        Even so, Bonnie, if only 175,000 lenses can be featured on the site at once, it seems there won’t be room for all those updated lenses to be published without others being put back into WIP. Am I misunderstanding something here?

        • terrapin719

          This is what I was thinking as well…. if only 175,000 pages can be active at any given time and I’m ranked 175,001 and republish my lens today, it might go green tomorrow, but then I’ve inadvertently pushed Barbara to the 175,001 spot and now she needs to republish to go green – and so on and so forth only in larger scale, especially once Halloween gets closer and everyone is republishing their Halloween and holiday lenses to get them in the green.

      • Grifts

        You maintain that lenses have not been published nor updated in 3 years and they are getting 0 traffic, but I have 12 lenses that have gone to WIP, 6 of them updated in the last month that have gone to WIP. :/

  • —Chazz

    Great idea. Also wish there was a way for us to put some of our own lenses on hold or move to WIP status- such as if we notice a need to update but won’t have a chance to do that for a couple of weeks, or if it is a holiday specific lens that gets little traffic most of the year but does great seasonally and won’t be updated until the new info to keep it timely is available.

    • Gil Hildebrand

      Not a bad idea

      • dbodnariuc

        If you do that to a lens, it will be considered a new page by search engines. Web content gains ranking in time, so when you unpublish your lens it disappears from search engines, hence loses credibility. I have had lenses which ranked after more than one year, other after a few months.
        That being said, the feature might be useful sometimes, but no as described by the OP.

  • Nonersays

    Eeesh..there is some motivation to update right there! None of mine are ranked that low, but they are getting close!

  • NanLT

    I had about 50 that 2 days ago would have been caught in this filter. Not because they were poorly written, or unfinished, or even updated over 3 years ago (everything was updated in 2013); several had earned a much coveted Purple Star and 2 were previous LOTD winners.

    I can’t compete in an uneven playing field where those who suck up the best are given the most publicity and those who dare try to say this emperor has no clothes are shot down.

    Two days ago they’d have been caught. I deleted them. I predict that due to the diligent leadership we have over the past 2 years that Squidoo will be dead within another 12 months. I anticipate the remainder of my articles will be either removed (or locked on trumped up charges, long before then.

  • partybuzz

    So, if you update your WIP lens, and it does not immediately rise above the 175,000 threshold, what happens? It sounds like you are limiting Squidoo to 175,000 active lenses?? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good idea to weed out the outdated lenses, but just a little confused as to how it will work. Mine are all ranked ok, thank goodness, but I know that some of mine probably have no value, except to me.

    • CalobrenaOmai

      Wholly fudge ripple I didn’t even look at it from that vantage point. I’ve already deleted several and hope I don’t have to do more. This is going to be interesting.

  • AlleyCatLane

    Sounds like a great idea to me.

  • OneFootPutt

    Here are my two thoughts. My first thought is when calculating the average update date, did you include the lenses that were already in WIP, those that had a lensrank above about 350,000? My NEW WIPs would average about 9-12 months old since a lot are seasonal and are complete. I’m sure this is the case for most people My second thought is that value isn’t measured with JUST traffic, there’s emotional value to a lens which creates an emotional bond to the platform, there’s SEO value for having lenses linked together with a theme, and there’s the value of time which a lot of people don’t have extra of because they are out enjoying life so they can write about it later. I place those three and others above traffic every day of the year.

  • lhbeninger

    I applaud Squidoo’s push to up the quality of lenses. However, I question this tack…the SquidSquad is constantly calling for Quests (including now Quick Quests – a questionable push for quality), thus increasing the number of new lenses that flood the site. NOTHING about those requests guarantee that these new lenses are of quality. New lenses seem to jump in the lens ranks (at least for a time), displacing older, far better lenses (I see that among my own lenses, so I imagine the same happens across the board).
    It was hard enough to maintain high lens ranking when lens rank had to be kept under 400K – at 175K, who knows? I update nearly every day – yet I struggle to keep my lenses under 100K. The more the site is flooded, the harder that will be. But nothing, nothing, about this threshold guarantees quality in what is left.

  • paperfacets

    I deleted my deadwood writings last year. I am at the point where I got one lens in WIP for this house cleaning go around.

  • GiftRepSandy

    Sorry, but I don’t feel like this was a good move. I am constantly updating and improving my lens only to see they have dropped to WIP. I lost 10 lens to this change, and am not happy about it at all. To assume they are old or need updating is a bad assumption on Squidoo’s part. Unfortuntately, I have a small niche, so my traffic is not as high as others. On the other hand, one of my lens that dropped to the WIP has 164 likes and was featured in your holiday ‘magazine’. Not as popular in the summer time as in the fall for holiday sales. But what happens in the fall if this lens is not published?

    Personally, I would like Squidoo to rethink this policy!!

  • LindaJM

    I think this is a good move. I lost 10 lenses to WIP but I won’t miss them. Obviously the content didn’t work on Squidoo and I should move it elsewhere, delete it, or improve it. Thanks for making this decision, Squidoo HQ people!

  • grammieo

    Question for all of you, How do you update a recipe lens where the recipe is a featured Culinary Experience that can only be made one way, or it’s not true to it’s roots? I understand the need to update things, but I’m not sure how to do this with this type of lens.

    • Kylyssa

      You could write some more commentary on it or find a new photo to go on it or sell some different Amazon product on it. You could even explain how the recipe is only true to its roots when made a certain way.

      • grammieo

        Thanks for your input, I was stymmied and didn’t know what I should do with it!

        • holisticwriter

          It seems to me that very tiny changes are often enough to qualify as an update. I tested this on one of my lenses. I deleted a word from one sentence. Deleted one more word from another sentence. Save & Publish. Done. Maybe I am missing something but it seems to me that you do not have to invest a lot of time to refresh your lenses. Anyone else?

    • terrapin719

      You can actually open the edit page and republish without changing a single thing. (Obviously the recipe ingredients don’t change.) I usually swap out an Amazon product for a different one just so that I am making some sort of minor change though, maybe a different color serving dish or a different utensil, or add a cookbook or magazine to the page.

  • Kylyssa

    Is there something in place to prevent new lenses from immediately falling into WIP if they are published too close to the lensrank calculation and get ranked before they get enough views to rank above the cutoff?

    • GardenHarbor

      Kylyssa, I always wonder about this too. I am usually nervous to do any marketing on the first day b/c I know when I wake up the next morning before the lens rank happens, it sits in WIP.

  • Jeremy

    Wow. Now every new or updated lens that cracks the top 175K unpublishes a lens that until then was considered up-to-snuff. I’m predicting lots of unhappy lensmasters between Halloween and Christmas. But I guess if HQ feels there are enough high-quality lenses, they can always increase the number of publishing spaces.

  • PaigSr

    Sometimes when I look for things to read I start at the oldest and work my way forward. Its sometimes amazing what you find that is not high on the lens ranking. I agree that some of my lenses were not being visited and could have been retired. But others I am proud of and even if they are at the bottom of the list would rather not have them as WIP. And that’s with or without having items for sale. Loosely translated I don’t think I like the new threshold.

  • harrybarack
  • rlmodranski

    I have several that fall there, but they really don’t get traffic. I think this will help all of our really great lenses get more traffic as google will begin to appreciate the real quality on Squidoo when it sees less lenses “published” more than three years ago!

  • rlmodranski

    Bonnie, I did just comment that I think it’s a good idea, but I too, am wondering about seasonal lenses that fall below the threshold. I always have a few. Right now being exactly six months from Christmas, I have a few of my Christmas lenses that have fallen behind. I generally update them once a quarter to help them stay fresh so that when people start searching for Christmas resources they are ready, but is there any plan to revisit this policy once you discover a lens has a “seasonal” quality.

  • RoadMonkey

    And do you think the software might have something to do with the problem? I just got three comments on my lenses. I have approved all three and responded to them all but only ONE has shown up on my dashboard as providing points for me! All three comments are sitting correctly on the lenses. I have not counted points being attributed to my lenses up to now but perhaps I should!

  • knowledgetoday

    Okay, it makes sense to do this.

  • GreatGazoo

    I think that any attempt to improve the overall quality of Squidoo is great and must be supported.


    I also want to draw your attention to the dozens of efforts you have made to that end over the past few years. Some of the most noteworthy were those that penalized extremely hardworking lensmasters in an automated fashion. Though a site like Squidoo will win some people and lose some, I find that you have not been sensitive enough to your best assets (most prolific, high quality, ardent lensmasters). One look at your Alexa rankings or any other traffic-linked graph shows that your attempts have largely failed. You are now at roughly a 90% traffic loss compared to where you were a few years ago. I think it is not just the Google algorithm to blame. There is very little doubt that you too have to accept a lot of the blame for your exaggerated actions that resulted from your simplistic conclusions of search engine behavior.

    Honestly, I think that your present action is a good one. But at the same time, this one-size-fits-all approach, and little concern for the small percentage of good lenses that are going to be affected makes me wonder when you will take your writers really seriously.

    I wish you the very best, and hope that the uptick you have seen in the past few days / weeks after years of downturn is not just a blip. But even if you do turn around, the bad will that you have generated will not be very easy to overcome.

  • CalobrenaOmai

    Ok… I’ve been waiting as patiently as possibly for my games for girls lens to publish. It hasn’t be published and its been several days. Is there a bug that we don’t know about that is keeping newly updated lenses from getting published?

  • Barbara Radisavljevic

    I’m working on a lens I really need to recreate under a new URL. I’ve done every update I can do to make it work with the old URL of a RocketMoms Summer Session URL, but I need to delete the old lens, revise and add content, and resubmit as a new lens. Some of the content does remain the same. How long to I have to wait to resubmit to prevent it being flagged for duplicate content?

  • Barbara Radisavljevic

    I do have dead wood. Some of it needs to be cut down, but parts of lenses to be deleted are still good. If I use those parts in new lenses, how long do I have to wait after I delete a lens before it’s safe to republish parts of it and not trip the duplicate content filter?

  • MSchindel

    Just got back from a stay abroad and am thrilled to see this move, Bonnie!

  • flatsindwarka

    this is Great article

  • aswahayah

    Squidoo is a high quality site.

  • neenu12

    Fantastic site

  • Denmarkguy

    This announcement makes me very happy… there does seem to be a lot of “deadwood” on the site, stuff that is best “hidden” somewhat. I think it’s a great move that will help Squidoo get “taken seriously” again.

  • richard1988

    As a newer member still trying to find my squid legs….?? erm… tentacles I am pleased to see this. Driving people towards quality rather than dross is a smart idea and something that I would like to be a part of.

  • RoadMonkey

    OK, that’s another lens deleted. No, the information wasn’t outdated – it was on how to create a mind map – it’s an evergreen – it couldn’t have been 3 years old, because I haven’t been here for 3 years, but it dipped below (above) the 175,000 cut off point and it has now gone. After a decent mourning interval, I will now have another article to put onto my own website.

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