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Summary:

Update: HubPages and Squidoo officials explain on their respective blogs what they are doing to overcome the spam-related problems. Thanks guys for listening, and we understand the problem is hard. Keep trying! Last year when one man brand, Seth Godin, launched Squidoo, it was greeted with […]

Update: HubPages and Squidoo officials explain on their respective blogs what they are doing to overcome the spam-related problems. Thanks guys for listening, and we understand the problem is hard. Keep trying!

Last year when one man brand, Seth Godin, launched Squidoo, it was greeted with enthusiasm. Squidoo offered a way for Lens builders (often enthusiasts) to aggregate some of the best links and information about their pet projects, and get paid. Squidoo, no wonder is (generally speaking) showing decent growth. Unfortunately, Godin’s baby has become a favorite haunt of spammers, especially blog comment spammers.

squidoospam.gifJason Calacanis, who runs a competitor marginally competitive start-up, Mahalo, recently called Squidoo, a “dirty, SEO back-alley.” Squidoo responded by taking some preventive measures, but they don’t seem to be having an impact.

Over past three days we have seen an inordinate amount of blog-spam emerging out of Squidoo. Akismet has been good at catching most of it, but a few of them are slipping through. Other such services, HubPages, Google Pages and the dreaded Tripod have been used by spammers. According to Akismet data, nearly 94% of comments on blogs are “spam.” This is an insanely high percentage, and start-ups such as Squidoo should ensure that spammers don’t hijack their platform, and turn what has been

  1. “a marginally competitive start-up”
    Meaning it is not a direct competitor or that it’s just a marginal effort/site?

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  2. bad link – unless that was on purpose. Calacanis’ “dirty back-alley” adsense abusing trap is called Mahalo, not maholo.

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  3. Well, we really are not competitive at all.

    Squidoo is a very powerful publishing platform–perhaps too powerful–like Blogger.

    We are a human-powered search service (I’m using that word over directory or engine these days–thoughts on it?).

    If you want to see the difference please try doing a search for iPhone or Paris Hotels on Mahalo and Squidoo. It is very clear that these are two very different services after you do that.

    We have one iPhone page that is created by individuals with community review… very similar to a Wikipedia page.

    We do not have over 100 iPhone or Paris Hotel pages (most of which are of unknown origin) like Squidoo.

    Also, we pay folks who we know to write our pages. Squidoo splits revenue with an unlimited number of people… thus the spam problem I think.

    Squidoo is just too good at what they do (personal publishing, SEO, and affiliate revenue), so spammers are leveraging their platform for nefarious purposes. If Squidoo locked down creating pages they would solve the problem–they would also lose a ton of revenue and page views.

    Mahalo for the thoughts,

    Jason

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  4. Nick,

    thanks for the catch. fixed it.

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  5. PXLated and Jason,

    well, i looked at the sentence again and decided to drop the marginal and competitor bit. folks can make their own decision. meanwhile i am getting increasingly irritated by the comment spam from squidoo.

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  6. The link still points to maholo.com?

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  7. Jay (living in First Life) Monday, July 9, 2007

    We can all agree on one thing – Jason Calacanis and Seth Godin are great at getting blogosphere coverage for themselves.

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  8. While Seth is a great writer and buzz-maven, ironically enough Squidoo isn’t all that “purple.”

    ~ Vik
    PersonalBrandMarketing.com

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  9. Links Roundup

    You’ve got worms Google to Acquire Postini Google Press Center: Google to Acquire Postini Google buys email security firm US claims top spam spot A New Form of Gold Spam Declare Your Independence from Spam 90% of corporate e-mail…

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  10. Daily SearchCast, July 9, 2007: Google Buys Security Company; eBay Says Google Checkout Only Liked By 14%; Virtual Earth Maps Kwik-E-Marts & More!

    Google buys a security company for over 1/2 billion dollars; new social networking systems coming for Google and Yahoo? eBay cranky over Google Checkout? You might be too, if Google Checkout threatened 1/4 of your income. How to do search term researc…

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  11. Thanks for the feedback and discourse, Om.

    I’d commend you to:
    http://www.squidoo.com/blog/?p=155

    And this, today’s update: http://www.squidoo.com/blog/?p=156

    Squidoo for the thoughts,
    Megan

    Megan Casey
    Editor in Chief
    Squidoo.com

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  12. [...] The Squidoo Spam Problem Last year when one man brand, Seth Godin, launched Squidoo, it was greeted with enthusiasm. Squidoo offered a way for […] [...]

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  13. Askimet at http://akismet.com/ does an excellent job of combating comment spam on WordPress and MovableType. I’m sure the folks at Automatic would be willing to discuss the technology.

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  14. [...] would only say if I lost a bet – I thought he had a real marketing slipup when he first heard about the Squidoo spam problem (here is Squidoos blog on the subject) But then a few days later he comes back with this: This is [...]

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  15. There have been a lot of comments and questions on what really happened with Google & Squidoo

    I interviewed Seth Godin on the “Squidoo Slap”

    http://www.searchingdot.com/2007/07/17/interview-with-seth-godin-on-the-squidoo-slap/

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  16. [...] industry people have created greate Squidoo Lenses, unfortunately there has been some discussion of Squidoo spam, meaning more noise to signal at the [...]

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  17. Great example Jason, I now know the different of those two.

    Squidoo slap is quite predictable. It’s been in the spotlight of spammers too bright and too long. The free report at http://special.providenthost.com/squidoo-slap/ also explains that those squidoo gurus suggestions are not really effective. Guess squidoo will become “just another” social network, imo.

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  18. [...] Malik seems to have cottoned on to the fact that Squidoo has a bit of a spam problem. The only surprising part of this is that it has taken so long for it to become an issue. As soon [...]

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  19. It is unfortunate that these sites have become spam meccas because, in the beginning, they provided quite useful information. Now, they are often just filled with self-serving links to get you to somewhere else.

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