Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How To Un-Junk Your Squidoo Lens

People who go to your site have certain expectations. It is up to you to reshape those expectations or reinforce them. Use the Introduction Module of your Squidoo lens to target your market and to set your reader's expectations. Tell them what they will find on your page.

Then follow through – give them what you told them you would. If your lens is on how to bathe a cat, don't include facts about the latest kitchen gadget or wrench.

A Squidoo lens which sells something – and most do – does not necessarily have to appear as a junk site. In fact, I go to certain lenses, especially shopping lenses, because I'm looking for a product and I want to have a variety to choose from. This usually equates to lots of Amazon or CarePress modules.

However, I also want and expect some content - product reviews, care tips, what style goes with what, materials comparisons, etc. There are lots of ways to add value to these lenses and keep them from being junky – facts that make it a valuable resource for deciding which product, if any, to buy.

How to your sites stack up?

For an example of a lens selling products but offering more, click Bear Paw Boots

Thursday, July 9, 2009

eBay and me

I took eBay off all my lenses. No, I didn't have a bad experience with them directly, but after adding them, I noticed a huge drop in Google traffic to those very lenses. One of my top lenses at the time, Fantasy: Castles, Dragons, and Wizards, was completely dropped by Google. It had a PR of 3 at the time, and I was frantically trying to figure out what I did wrong. My lighthouse and wolf lenses fell drastically, and I couldn't figure out what was going on. I scoured the 'net' for a solution, and came up with very little. I did a 'site ban' check on my fantasy lens, and it wasn't banned by Google, they just dropped it. Perhaps it was penalized for some reason? All I did was add eBay modules, and not a lot of them, because I didn't want to junk up my lens. Finally, I did a keyword density check on it...and got 'cat' and 'seller' as the top keywords, also the phrase 'cat seller' as the top phrase of words. Huh? I didn't have either word in my text, so it must have been linked to eBay code. I suppose the Google crawlers thought I was trying to fool the public into thinking my lens was about one thing, when it was actually about 'cat sellers'. I honestly don't know. It's all I could come up with.

Well, all I could think to do was delete all the eBay modules on all my lenses and see what happened, and it worked. My lens got picked up by Google again, but started all over with a PR of 0, and my wolf and lighthouse lenses have shot up to the 3rd and 4th spot on my dashboard. I hate not offering eBay products, because they have some great collectibles at good prices, but for now, it's the best thing for me. I never made a sell from them anyways.