I've seen Squidoo listed as an article directory all over the net but it is really quite different from an article directory. First, unlike almost all article directories, writers can get much more creative with the content they submit to Squidoo. In fact, Squidoo writers don't submit articles; they submit entire multi-media units called lenses.
Squidoo writers can embellish their writing with multiple graphics, photos, videos, polls, and other fun interactive media. Squidoo writers also have a lot of control over the layout of the page. They have editorial control over the look and feel of the page including the headers, the colors, and how the page is broken into sections. They can create tables to organize information.
Editorial control over the overall layout of the page is something I have never seen on any article directory. Writers can creatively link together their different lenses, or even certain sections of lenses. This can enrich the user's experience, as well as boost the link popularity of links to the writers own personal website(s). Second, Squidoo lenses may not be legally copied by publishers and used as content on their own websites, newsletters, and blogs. This is very different from an article directory.
Squidoo is a good example of what internet marketers refer to as an HTML 2.0 property. This is a high profile domain that allows multiple users to build content under the domain with some quality controls in place. Historically, it was relatively easy to get new pages created on these HTML 2.0 properties to rank very highly in Google and other search engines.
However, Google has now instituted several major updates to their algorithm and these sites no longer rank as well. However, they do still perform fairly well sometimes depending on the amount of duplicate content and other factors. However, one should never expect an automatic high ranking in Google even if they create a 100 percent original and very high quality lens. It's just not that simple anymore.
Squidoo links are do follow links so they definitely have the potential of boosting the link popularity of the site(s) they are linking to. Also, unlike article directories, writers are allowed to link to up to 9 pages on a single domain from a single Squidoo lens.
This is significantly different than every article directory I have reviewed, as article directories seldom allow more than 3 links. This makes sense in a way though because Squidoo lenses do take considerable more time to create than do most articles, at least creating a good lens does.
I have personally explored many Squidoo lenses. The quality varies as much as the quality of articles in an articles database. There are some Squidoo lenses that are quite good from the user's perspective. When multi-media and layout control is used wisely, a writer can really create something worthy of a bookmark. However, I'd say the average Squidoo lens is only mediocre on delivering information and only mediocre in style I based this on my personal observation that most Squidoo lenses contain very little, if any, original information or unique perspective.
They usually do not contain original graphics or photographs either. This may be due to the fact that many internet marketers used to churn out hundreds of Squidoo lenses in an effort to build link popularity to their website(s) as well as drive direct traffic to them. In these cases, they weren't going for high quality, just good enough to get the job done.