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Squidoo Health Check Tool – Tagging Your Lens Video

by PotPieGirl on December 9, 2008 · 12 comments

Oh, That Pesky Primary Tag!

Over in Wealthy Affiliate today, a fellow member and I were discussing the Health Check tool that is available from within our Squidoo lensmaster dashboard. Our main topic of discussion was the primary tag. Seems we both have lenses that WE feel are tagged properly, but the health check tool gives us a big thumbs DOWN. I kept trying different things trying to figure out what Squidoo wants… and by golly, I think I’ve got it. I’ve made a little video showing an easy way to get your lens tagged the way Squidoo wants it to be tagged.

About the Squidoo Lens Health Check

I first want to start out by saying (again…lol) that I am not totally nuts about the health check feature. Yes, it is good to pick up on modules that have that nasty default title, but all-in-all, it seems to be confusing people more than helping them

As I said the other day when I talked about why Google drops a Squidoo lens from the index, these back link checks on tools such as the Health Check tool are a little slow. You may KNOW you have back links out there, but the tool says you don’t. Confusion… but we got that now, right? I have to say I agree with Tiffany 100% when she says “Squidoo’s New Health Check: Don’t Sweat It“.

This is a tool and is to be used for reference…not as an absolute. If you have a lens that is doing great, *I* wouldn’t mess with it. However, for new lenses or for lenses that are struggling, why not see if you can get things better aligned to what Squidoo is looking for.

Translation: If It Ain’t Broke – Don’t Fix It! :)

Getting a Primary Tag That Squidoo Likes

Today, over in Wealthy Affiliate, Scott asked….

“When I check the health of my lens everything is good except the primary tag and some things that I just don’t have yet like ratings, backlinks.

For the primary tag it says the tag does not seem relevant to my lens. I put my lens title in the primary tag and I have switched it out and nothing seems to change that health section from orange to green. All my other tags are relevant to the lens content. Does this always say this to just try to get it better?”

Oh, Scott, I hear ya! I have a lens about Home Energy Conservation Tips, and no matter what my little brain came up with, Squidoo gave it the “no go” for use as a primary tag. It became a matter of pride for me to figure out what Squidoo wanted.

I do believe I figured it out.

Now, I am not going to go into the whole value of tagging a Squidoo lens again, but this is for those who, like me and Scott, cannot stand to see that orange bar in a lens health check…lol! I also think this might be a great way to get tags for a NEW lens…and get started off on the right foot. It’s also a form of “confirmation” that your lens is actually being crawled and understood to be about the topic YOU think it is about.

For this little idea to work, you need to adjust all your tags – not just your primary one. Why? Well, ’cause I said so…. LOL! (That means I don’t know why, but it just does)

Again, I don’t know if I would do this for a lens that is working fine ‘as-is’. To me, that is like waking a sleeping baby. WHY would you do that? haha!

Also, using this method, you may be given tags that you don’t think your lens is about. But, you will find that Google thinks so… and Squidoo likes it too. I think this has something to do with what the Health Check tool is using to make this diagnosis for our lens and also might have something to do with helping to make sure our lenses show appropriate AdSense ads. Just my thoughts…. feedback is more than welcome!

Squidoo Health Check – Lens Tagging Video

Ok – in this 5 minute video you can see how I go about getting the Health Check tool to love my lens a bit more. I will apologize for any moments when I seem to falter a bit. For some reason, the cat insisted on participating in the creation of this video :)

In the video I say that I take 10-15 of the first 10…. obviously, that doesn’t make sense (darn cat…lol). What I meant was that I take 10-15 phrases from the top of the list.

So, what do you think? Have you tried it? Did it work for you?

Cool Tool To Help You Tag Your Lens
Take a peek at Squidoo Tag Buddy (it’s free – FireFox users only). This little tool can make tagging your lens a LOT faster!


Lewis December 9, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I haven’t watched the video as I’m reading this on my BlackBerry, but adding the primary tag as a regular tag worked to fix the problem Squidoo seemed to have with the lenses I checked! I don’t use the health check tool at all. I just look at the lens!

thefluffanutta December 9, 2008 at 8:57 pm

As Lewis says, adding your Primary Tag as a regular tag is what works for most people. I wrote a blog post about choosing a primary tag on SquidUtils.

It’s important to note that the Health Check is only a recommendation. Having a few bits of orange is not going to affect your Lensrank or search engine traffic. If you don’t agree or understand what it means, don’t worry about it.

Also bear in mind that the tool does not pick up your changes right way.

Julie December 10, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Jennifer – were you reading my mind the last two days? Your tag method worked like a charm! I have been going NUTS trying to figure it out. You are one smart cookie. I almost emailed you personally to help me out with this problem. THANK YOU – THANK YOU -THANK. You share so much information freely – you are amazing.

Alexander Conway January 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Thanks Jennifer – for two things:

First, for reassuring me that the ‘Health Check’ is not infalliible – I’ve spent two days trying to rewrite and re-arrange my squidoo lenses so the HC will give them the thumbs up..

Second, for showing us how to make those changes if we do want to ‘listen’ to the health check.


Jolene Christopherson January 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm


First and foremost, thank you for all of the help you have given all your readers, myself included.

Here is a question. Is it possible that sometimes there is just nothing you can do to get squidoo to like the name on your image photo for the purposes of SEO? I’ve tried everything that should work but the health check keeps saying no. Based on my lens I think it is fairly simple what should work. So how important is the image title? Thanks again.


PotPieGirl January 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I think it is TOTALLY possible that the health check tool may never “like” things on your lens! haha!

Don’t get too consumed with pleasing it, tho. The health check tool is just that – a tool. It is a wonderful indicator of potential problems and also can help remind you of areas on your lens you may have some opportunity to improve.

It’s not a MUST, it’s a good suggestion =)

eric January 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

wow, wow, that was awesome. I couldn’t understand at first why the lens health tool was not liking my primary tag. Now I see. Thanks a lot a million times.

Barry March 17, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Hi PPG! Thanks for the search link at the bottom of the page (where my eyes usually finish your pages!)


Brett Jarvi June 15, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Thanks, That health check deal used to bug me.
The other gem in this post is using the External tool to have Google show you some great keywords for your lenses!

Brett Jarvis last blog post..How To Speed Up Computer Performance

Graham July 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Hi Jennifer,
Every time I have been to your Lens you have given me really good advice. My Primary Tag is now “Good” as the Health check would say.!
Best wishes,

Erin November 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Detox has always been part of my life.

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