Nestled at the back of SquidUtils.com is a lens directory, which features lenses in a hierarchy of categories and tags. What makes this directory different from others is that is grows automatically, including new lenses that it finds. Today it has a little over 23,000 lenses.
How does it work? Well, the key is in the Primary Tag. Whenever SquidUtils finds a group of lenses in the same category and with the same primary tag, it creates a page in the directory. For example, Harry Potter in Books.
A lot of lenses (over 90%) are not featured, often because they use the lens title as their primary tag but no other lenses do. Get your lenses featured by either picking a primary tag that is already featured, or by picking a new unique tag and adding it to 3 or more of your lenses.
To help you figure out the best primary tag to use, the Advanced Dashboard has a new feature – login and look up in the top right corner, and you’ll see a link that lets you sort by Primary Tag. You’ll be able to quickly see which lenses use the same tag, and which of those tags are featured in the directory.
Continue reading “SquidUtils Directory – Showcasing YOUR Lenses”
Recently, Squidoo updated their tag pages to be more useful to visitors and search engines.
If you’re not familiar with tag pages, these are pages that list lenses that use a particular tag. Have a look at the Lensography tag page for an example. There are hundreds of thousands of tags on Squidoo, providing an additional method of navigating and linking between related lenses.
Here’s a summary of the main improvements:
- 20 lenses are displayed (it used to be only 10), with snippets from the Introductions. This will make the tag pages a lot more ‘content rich’, which the search engines will appreciate. The title of the page is also improved.
- Priority is given to the lenses that use the tag as their primary tag, so that those lenses will be listed first, followed by the other lenses that use that tag. This means it’s more important than ever to pick a good Primary Tag.
- Tag pages link to other related tag pages, based on the lenses that use them. This provides the perfect system for navigating through the tags to find the right ones to add to your lens. But, remember: less is more when it comes to tags, so choose your tags wisely – limit yourself to just 10 – 15.
- Finally, in stark contrast to my sensational post this time last year, tag pages are once again indexable by search engines. As a result, your lenses will get a share of the PageRank and search traffic that these pages get. With any luck, this will also boost the overall authority and traffic to Squidoo.
In other news: Continue reading “Improved Tag Pages at Squidoo”
Originally posted on SquidU Forum as The Importance of Primary Tags.
This post was published on April 21st, 2008 and updated on July 23rd, 2009.
The Primary Tag is the first tag you are asked to define when creating your new lens, and it is an often misunderstood and poorly utilised by many Lensmasters. Admittedly, it doesn’t seem do a whole lot, but there are some important points you should know.
Over half of the lenses on Squidoo have poorly chosen Primary Tags!
It is important for Lensmasters to choose good keywords for their Primary Tag, as it can have a significant effect on the ranking of the lens. Every appearance of the Primary Tag on your lens adds weight to that key phrase on your lens, as well as creating a relevant link from the tag page.
More importantly (and relatively recently), the tag page gives priority to lenses that use that tag as their Primary Tag, listing them before all of the other lenses. This means that for one well chosen tag, your lens will get the prime spot on the tag page.
There is also the lens directory here at SquidUtils, which automatically collates lenses by Primary Tag. Only those tags that have 3 or more good lenses under them will be featured, so there’s another reason to pick yours carefully.
Here are some tips to help you pick the right keywords:
Continue reading “How To Pick Your Primary Tags”
Some of the best places to get backlinks to your lenses are directories. These are websites that collect and categorize links to other websites, and there are a growing number of directories specifically tailored to Squidoo Lenses.
I have been assessing the relative merits of these Squidoo directories, and I have put together this review of the best ones for your lenses. The ones I’ve listed here have been proven to provide backlinks, and will pass PageRank and maybe even a little traffic.
Continue reading “The Best Lens Directories”
Squidcasts. These are short messages that you can send out from your lens, and they will be seen by anyone who has favorited your lens, or joined your fan club. To see the squidcasts from the lenses and Lensmasters you have subscribed to, you have to visit the Favorites tab on your dashboard.
On their own, this is about as exciting as they get.
But here at SquidUtils, the messages that you cast can do so much more, and reach out many more people (and search engines)…
Continue reading “Give Your Squidcasts More Legs”
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.
Continue reading “Making the Most of Squidoo Tags”
One of the oldest tools here at SquidUtils is the Lensmaster Feeds. These are RSS Feeds that contain links to all of your lenses (or groups). These are perfect for syndicating – which will result in many websites linking directly to your lenses. And the great thing is, as you build new lenses, they will automatically appear on all the sites that are publishing your feed.
If you are a frequent user of these feeds, you may notice that your primary Lensmaster feed is now provided directly by Squidoo, and not from SquidUtils any more. But don’t worry, all of your links to the old feeds will be redirected, and all previous syndications will continue to work.
Continue reading “How to Use Your Lensmaster Feed”
One of the most common pieces of advice these days seems to be “write good, unique content”. While this is true, there’s a word that I seem to use a lot in my forum posts: “relevance”.
Why? Search engines love to make associations between ‘things’ that are related – this is how they work. Ultimately, they associate your search query with a web page that is related to it. They do this by finding similarities between words on a web page, and in the links to a web page.
So, how can you make your lens have “relevance”? Continue reading “Relevance is Key!”