Making the Most of Squidoo Tags

When you create a new lens, the creation wizard asks you for one Primary Tag, and three other tags. When you edit your lens, you can add more tags to the list – up to 40. Knowing what tags do will help you figure out the right ones for your lens.

Tags help Squidoo choose the right lenses whenever someone uses the internal Search facility, but tags aren’t the only it factor uses. Squidoo’s search tool also uses the text from within the lens itself too, so if yours contains a particular phrase then it’ll appear in a search for that phrase.

The Discovery Tool directly connects lenses that share the same tags, which is much better than indirect linking via tag pages. These appear in the blue box immediately after the lens Introduction, with the title ‘Explore related pages’. This can result in a dozen or so links to your lens from other lenses.

The Primary Tag has more weight than the regular tags for searches, so make sure you use your main keyphrase (not your title!). For more details, see the previous blog post How To Pick Your Primary Tags.

Some Lensmasters like to add Long Tail keywords they find in their traffic stats as tags. Long tail keywords are search queries that are uncommon, but highly targeted. A lens that is getting a lot of long tail searches will generally only see each one a few times.

However, adding long tail phrases to your tag list is a waste of time, because the chance of anyone using that exact query again is very low. This applies to internal and external search traffic. Also, it is unlikely that any other lens will be using the exact same long tail phrase, and so it won’t help with connecting with other lenses either. Instead, pick out the common words and phrases from these queries, and work them into your content and tags.

A lens will display a tag list in the side bar, which adds to the number of occurrences of those words on the lens. They will have more weight if those tags also appear in the content too, otherwise the search engine might penalise the lens for keyword stuffing.

The tags also make an appearance in the Meta Tags part of the header, which as a user you won’t be able to see. Search engines used to use these to rank a page in their results, but stopped doing so years ago because of abuse by webmasters. Instead they look at what your lens is actually about, as well as the links coming in to and out from other pages.

Tags that are wordswithoutspaces are really of no value at all. Words like ‘howtoswim’ or ‘buybluefuzz’ are not likely to appear in your content, and no one will be using them in their search queries (not on Squidoo nor on Google). At the same time, choosing phrases that are just variations on word order are also of little value: ‘fuzz blue’ = ‘blue fuzz’.

In conclusion: I recommend that people choose only 10 – 15 keywords that are directly related to their content. I personally prefer 2-word phrases, though sometimes 1- and 3-word phrases are also appropriate. Avoid repeating a word more than a few times, and don’t try to fill up all 40 slots. Less is more!

PS: Installing the Lens Workshop Addon in Firefox or Chrome will give you a more powerful tag editor that colours the tags based on the popularity. Avoid using tags that are highlighted in red, as these aren’t used by any other lenses.

Related posts:

  1. How To Pick Your Primary Tags
  2. 4 Out Of 5 Lenses Have Poor Health!
  3. Relevance is Key!
  4. Improved Tag Pages at Squidoo
  5. The Best Lens Directories