Squidoo's cautionary tale continues to unfold. Many blogs are reporting major declines in its traffic after running a-foul of Google's ranking algorithms. Here's some data. Driving 65% of its traffic at the beginning of July 2007, Google now accounts for only 35%, according to Hitwise. Impact on Squidoo's overall traffic has also been huge, with a 50% drop in July.
These data continue to highlight the challenge posed to social media / web 2.0 sites by search optimization: the same things that make a site like Squidoo so valuable for sharing information also make it irresistible for natural search optimizers, whether well intentioned or not. Viral success is a double-edged sword, as the word itself should remind us: unchecked, they kill the host.
Percentage of Squidoo's traffic coming from Google.com
Squidoo's overall traffic trends (as a % of all visits to all internet sites)