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Let’s Talk About Squidoo Tags

by PotPieGirl on October 15, 2008 · 9 comments

Squidoo Tags Are Useless? Really?


With all the recent conversation about the effectiveness and worth of tags on a Squidoo lens, I’ve had some readers email me and ask my opinion. Naturally, I have an opinion…haha… but I didn’t want to share it until I had some sort of proof to back it up. So, here is my opinion…and my test to determine whether Squidoo tags are useless… or useFUL… for ME.



Are Squidoo Tags Worth The Effort?



At one time, the Squidoo tags pages were indexed by Google and they obtained Page Rank. This made for some powerful deep-links within Squidoo and also additional traffic streams to our lenses. Earlier this year, Squidoo blocked the search engines from indexing the tag pages which resulted in many folks claiming that Squidoo tags are now useless and/or have no longer have any SEO benefit.

Here are two posts on this topic:



Squidoo Tag Pages Have No SEO Benefit!



FINALLY: Why Squidoo Tags Are Useless



While I don’t disagree with the point that the benefits we once had internally on the Squidoo site have changed, I do disagree with whether the tags we put on our lenses being “useless” or having “no SEO benefit” at all. I still see definite on-page SEO benefits.

Instead of going into a whole thing about why I think this or that, I’m just going to show you a little experiment I ran….and you can make a decision for yourself as to whether Squidoo tags are useless for YOU.



The Squidoo Tag Experiement.



I made a new lens… that is on a NEW Squidoo account. No lenses are linked to it. As of this writing, it has no stars (ratings)…nothing. Just a lone lens out in the great big Squidoo sea.

I came up with a unique phrase and made that a tag on my lens. I chose the phrase “potpiegirl is really smart”. Believe it or not, there was not a SINGLE incident of that exact phrase anywhere on the internet before this experiment. (Laughing at myself for the silly things I think of to entertain myself! haha).

Now, this specific phrase is no where within the content of the lens. The ONLY place on this lens that the phrase “potpiegirl is really smart” is found is as a TAG.

This is the lens:

http://www.squidoo.com/work-online-preparation-tips



After the lens was indexed, I did another Google search for the exact phrase “potpiegirl is really smart”.


This is what was returned:





So…. there you have it.



ARE Squidoo Tags Useful For YOU?



It’s important to look at all the information and run your own tests. Perhaps many of you already have. Please, share with us….

Do YOU think Squidoo tags are useless?





{ 8 comments }

Lewis October 15, 2008 at 1:10 am

This is a funny test :) I do indeed like your style!

The thing is that the text ‘potpiegirl is really smart’ is on the lens, but there isn’t anything special about it being a tag. It isn’t getting any power from being a tag compared with being just written into the text or put in a module sub-heading. I see your point though! They have ranked you for the term that appears only in a tag box. Because google doesn’t follow the tag links, all it’s seeing is the phrase in the sidebar. So it would make more sense to put the tags in module sub-headings or just at the bottom of text modules. Interesting experiment.

I am going to conduct some experiments on some different stuff!

With every post here I say to myself ‘I knew it was a good idea to subscribe!’ :)

Lewis

Lewiss last blog post..FINALLY: Why Squidoo Tags Are Useless

PotPieGirl October 15, 2008 at 1:15 am

I amuse myself, Lewis… haha! I just can’t believe that NO one in the WORLD had ever typed “PotPieGirl is so smart” on their web page! hahhahahaaa!

I agree, and you make a good point. That phase being anywhere on the lens would lead to it showing in the SERPs for that query.

However, would you agree that it appears that search engines (namely Google) give more weight to words/phrases that they find as a text link on a web page?

Thanks for reading, Lewis… Love having you around!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Adrian Lee October 15, 2008 at 1:36 am

Boy, the both of you have weird sense of humor.
Who would ever type “PotPieGirl Is so smart”, other than PotPieGirl?

Really enjoy reading your blog & lenses.

Chef Keem October 15, 2008 at 2:07 am

Although I don’t know SEO
I bake a “killer” tart.
And what is pretty clear to me -
our PotPieGirl is smart!

Nate October 15, 2008 at 2:34 am

That’s a great looking Squidoo.

thefluffanutta October 15, 2008 at 7:15 am

Jennifer,

The phrase you targeted appears twice on your lens; once in the side bar and again at the very bottom as a ‘Related topic’. Given that you have zero competition for this phrase, getting the lens to appear in the search results is no challenge. (The tag also appears in the meta keyword data, but Google ignores that).

It is important to make the distinction between ‘tags’ and ‘tag pages’, as they are not the same. Tag pages are lists of lenses that share the same tag. These pages used to appear in the SERPs and acquire PageRank, thereby passing traffic and PR to the top 10 lenses for each tag. Not any more.

Tags are still useful (see my latest post), and they do make an appearance on your lens adding to the weight of your keywords. However, you’ll need more than just a couple well chosen tags to get a lens to rank well in today’s competition.

thefluffanutta

thefluffanuttas last blog post..Making the Most of Squidoo Tags

PotPieGirl October 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Hiya Fluff =)

Yup, that phrase appears twice. I manually entered it as a tag, and then Squidoo adds it to the bottom of the lens because it is a tag (and yes, they also add tags to the meta keywords on the page source).

I completely understand (and agree) about tag pages, but I was responding to whether tags were still useful in their own right. Many folks have become confused and have thought that tags are useless because of recent discussions on the topic.

Of course it was totally “easy” to rank for a phrase that never existed on the internet before, but I had to choose something that was easy to test and track to show some basic results so others could make a decision or do their own tests to see if tags are still useful for THEM.

Yes, you totally need more than a few tags to get good results from a lens, but tags can help… and in my opinion, Squidoo tags DO still have some SEO benefit in the SERPs

And boy oh boy, in todays competition, we need all the help we can get, don’t we?

Thanks for reading! Love hearing your input!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

jpetals November 5, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Jennifer, I never thought it would get indexed… hmmm…… And I can completely see you using that tag. LMBO! Love your blog.

Jodie

jpetalss last blog post..I Am very Sorry

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