Hands up who doesn’t do the following on Squidoo:
- Check on our Dashboard to see who has visited our lenses, left comments, or given them a Squid Like etc.
- Right click on their name and open their Bio Page
- Leave them a nice comment to thank them for visiting our lenses
- Visit one or more of their lenses and Squid Like them in return.
I know we have all been guilty, but allow me to give you some good reasons for not approving comments from lensmasters that you don’t know, and why you should NEVER leave a “Thank You For Visiting My Lenses” comment on their Bio Page without checking them out first.
Let me give you a typical scenario of what I find quite often when an unknown lensmaster visits my lenses.
I might find a lensmaster profile with No Biography (This is my Bio I can edit it later), and quite possibly no lensmaster image, just the default Squidoo logo.
I might find maybe 1, maybe 2, or maybe a whole collection of lenses.
Now, any lensmaster that is genuine, will want the world to know who they are, so the first thing to do is to create a Bio and to add an image.
If a lensmaster has not done this and has gone on to create more than one lens, it ought to automatically tell you that something is suspicious.
Now if you were to go and leave a nice comment for them on their Bio page, that tells other lensmasters that this is probably a genuine lensmaster, since you left a comment. Even more-so should you be a Giant Squid or other well recognized member of the Squidoo community.
Before you consider leaving a comment, go and check one of their lenses. If they are genuine, it ought to be at least the beginnings of a good lens.
However, more often than not I find keyword stuffed intro modules with multiple links to the same domain(s), and empty Amazon and Guestbook modules, that still retain the default titles.
Now you know that this lensmaster is spamming, and depending on how far you want to go, and how much time you have, these are some of the actions that you can take:
- Report them to Squidoo HQ for spam lenses (and for any other reasons you find). There is a link at the bottom of the lens and bio pages. Make sure you include the lemsmaster/lens url in your comment.
- Ban them from leaving more comments on your guestbook – do not approve their comment(s).
- Click on the link(s) on their junk lenses to see what their web sites are about. If they are obviously spam, report them on WOT (Web Of Trust) and leave a comment to describe the problem (promoted by link spam, spam pages etc).
In certain cases, there might be a whole host of domains from the same person that are spamming, scamming, selling illegal/counterfeit goods etc.
If this is the case, you can report them to their Hosting Company, and if they are selling fake products, like Nike or Coach, you can report them to those sites, who are eager to know about any activity that is helping to drag their sales and reputation down.
If their sites contain links to Amazon, Adsense etc, you can also report them to these companies. Right clicking on their pages will reveal their Amazon/Adsense account details.
I hope this helps, and you can find more information in my lens Fight Back At Spam.
It’s always good to see when spam and phony web sites have been removed, or that they have lost at least some of their income that is gained by breaking TOS.
Repeat As Necessary
Sometimes, when you find a spam lens, you find that there is one or more comment in the Guestbook. These comments are very often, actually very very often, left by friends of theirs, or by them using another lensmaster profile. Sometimes these comments also leave links to more junk sites.
Now you need to visit the Bio pages of the lensmasters leaving the comments, and to repeat the cycle.
This can get very time consuming in some cases, especially when you find a whole ring of lensmaster profiles that are there purely to leave comments or to promote the same junk lenses. It is however rather rewarding to see the accounts taken down and to know that you have played your part in keeping Squidoo spam free.