We’ve been having a great Google conversation over at the SquidU forum. We’ve been talking about getting a lens indexed in Google – or, getting it RE-indexed by Google – the importance of back links to your lens – and about Squidoo tags. One poster made the comment that “…tags are just not that important anymore…”.
With all due respect, I disagree. Personally, I think that Squidoo lens tags are more important that ever. Now that the Squidoo site is older, more mature, and many pages within the Squidoo site are developing their own very strong Page Rank – even the tag pages – it is worth it to repeat the value of properly tagging your Squidoo lens.
What Are Squidoo Tags?
Why Put Tags on Your Lens?
No need for me to re-invent the wheel when Mr Lewis Smile has already made a FANTASTIC lens about Squidoo Tags and Tagging Tricks. If you don’t understand tags, how they work, or what Squidoo lens tags are good for – go now, and read that lens. The lens will open in a new window/tab so you don’t lose your place. Please make sure to leave Lewis some love. The lens is very informative and deserves every 5 star rating it gets . Go read…. I’ll wait.
Nice lens, huh? Learned a lot, too, right? And you left love, didn’t you? =) Thank you!
Ok, now go read How To Pick Your Primary Tag over at the SquidUtils blog. That primary tag is super important – learn how to use it properly.
Alrighty, now we are all up to speed with Squidoo tags and tagging techniques… let’s get back to business.
In a previous post about How to SEO Optimize a Squidoo Lens, we talked about how your Squidoo tags are used as the ‘meta keywords’ in the code make-up of your lens. I know many SEO’s claim that the meta keyword tag is irrelevant, but I disagree. While these meta keywords have WAY less weight then they once had, they still can be important for telling search engines (and Google AdSense) what your lens is about. Also, don’t forget that Google isn’t the only search engine in town
I think that every opportunity to tell these search engine robots and crawlers what our web page about should be used.
What About Squidoo Tags and Back Links?
Do Tags on My Lens Make a Back Link?
Yes. Tags you put on your lens will count as a back link. The topic your lens belongs to make a back link. The groups your lens belongs to make back links to your lens, too. I’ll even go further and tell you that any Top 100 lists your lens is on also create back links.
Yes, these back links are all internal links within the Squidoo site…and no, not all of these links will pass value to YOUR lens…. but every single one of them are opportunities for your lens to build the back links it needs.
Does Google Count Back Links From Tags?
Again, yes, Google does count links to your lens from tag pages. I’ll admit, it is hard to check. Asking Google who links to your web page is tough. Google is stingy with that information (I imagine in order to protect their algorithm). BUT, sometimes we can get Google to give us hints and show us some proof that we need .
Let’s take a look at Squidoo tags and Google.
If you go to the ‘Animals and Nature‘ topic page on Squidoo, you will see that page is a Page Rank 7 (that is, IF you have a Page Rank tool bar installed). Now, the Google PR tool bar is not THE be all to end all answer to Page Rank, but it does provide a healthy glimpse into what is going on.
Ok, now, we look at that list of lenses in the Animals and Nature topic page, and then scan down the right to see “Popular Tags in Animals & Nature” – the most popular is the tag ‘dog’.
When we click the tag ‘dog’, we come to the Squidoo Tags page for Dog. This page shows a Page Rank of 5. Now, we will look at the #1 lens for this tag and ask Google who links to this lens. Just a note, it is very common to perform the link:url query on Google and have zero results returned. As I said before, Google does not like to share this information very often. If you get a ‘no results found’ – don’t freak! This does NOT mean Google does not know of any pages linking to your lens. They know….
Ok, now we are checking for pages that link to this #1 lens on the dog tags page. Guess what? Google shows this link!
Google sees it. Google SHOWS it… and I’d like to think that Google COUNTS back links from tags, too.
Squidoo Tag as ONLY Link to Lens?
Heck, I’ve seen Google back link checks for lenses that ONLY had a Squidoo tag page showing as the ONLY link to that lens!
Tags, Groups, Topics and Links To Your Squidoo Lens
Tags, Groups, and Topic pages on Squidoo each count as a back link to your lens. Here is a link: check on Google for my Home Energy Conservation lens. See the tag page? See the group page and the topic page? Yes, Google sees them all.
Now obviously, this is just a real brief over-view of how tags work on Squidoo, but I’d like to think it is enough to show that Squidoo tags ARE important. Used properly, they can be REALLY important to the over-all success of your lens. Tags do not replace the need to create ‘link-worthy‘ content – but tags ARE important. Use Them!