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If you owned the Squidoo.com website, how would you run things? How would you reward your lensmasters for a job well-done? What would YOU base lensrank on? Today, you are going to pretend you are Seth Godin, creator of Squidoo. I know, I know… it’s a bit odd to play make-believe, but bear with me. This brain-storm session may give you great insight as to how to improve the lensrank of a Squidoo lens.
YOU Own Squidoo – Now What?
YOU are a genius. You thought of creating this cool site that enables ANYONE to make a page on your site on just about ANY topic they want – For FREE! YOU are also a financial whiz and have decided the best way to attract people online to participate is to share revenue with each of them. Money IS a pretty cool reward, isn’t it?
Uh, YUP! Works for me! =)
Now then, how will YOU decide who has the best page on your site? How will YOU decide to rank these web pages with some sort of a formula, an algorithm, that is automated – because, being the genius you are, you know that you can’t do all that by hand simply due to the fact that you know YOUR site will be wildly successful and VERY big.
How do you decide on a formula that rewards the best contributors and gets the contributors to work even harder to have better pages?
You certainly can’t do it objectively, or by opinion… you can’t automate opinion, now can you? You need a formula that ranks these pages based on facts and stats – not opinion.
What would factor into the formula that you have decided will be called ‘lensrank”?
Stop for a second and think about this AS THE OWNER OF SQUIDOO (not as a lensmaster).
Go ahead, I’ll wait =)
::: cue theme to Jeopardy!::::
What Determines Lensrank?
I imagine that if you owned Squidoo, you would want each contributor (now named ‘lensmasters’ thru your genius mind) to:
— BRING TRAFFIC TO THE SITE
Isn’t that what EVERY web site wants? Traffic? Lots and lots of traffic? I know I do! You? You’re a genius, of course you want traffic!
While no one on the ‘outside’ will know for certain what elements make up the formula for lensrank, nor how heavily each factor weighs… I think we can all feel pretty darn certain that traffic figures prominently in the Squidoo lensrank formula.
Want some examples?
Good! I’m glad you want to see some proof instead of just taking my word for it! You ARE smart!
Lensrank Example 1
You can see that this random lens had a REALLY BIG surge in traffic on the 24th. Maybe it got ‘Stumbled” or something, but it is a BIG surge of traffic.
Now, look what happens to the lensrank of that lens the very next day.
Interesting, huh? But now that was a BIG wave of traffic, so let’s see if I can find another random lens to look at. (Just a note, these are not MY lenses. These are random tests I ran on Squidaholic. While these stats are public, I don’t have permission to post WHAT lens these stats belong to.)
Lensrank Example 2:
This lens saw a smaller rush of traffic one day….
But still saw a nice little jump in lensrank the next day….
You can run a hundred, a thousand, or more tests on various lenses and the majority of the time you will see that following a decent improvement in traffic one day, a lensrank boost will be seen the next.
I think it is safe to say that traffic plays a decent part in determining your lensrank. Agree?
What Else Determines Lensrank?
As I think about this and mix in the things I’ve noticed and tested, it seems that activity on a lens can help lensrank, too. Comments, clicking on links, bookmarking, making it a favorite, leaving stars, emailing, etc.
I would also think that if your lens makes money for the site as a whole, you just might see a boost.
I wonder if there is a lensrank “bonus” for getting traffic to a lens from OUTSIDE of Squidoo, as opposed to inter-site traffic (just thinking out loud)… maybe for links around the internet that point to a lens, also?
I’m Not Seth Godin… and Neither Are You!
Needless to say, there is only one man that is THE Seth Godin. There are also VERY few people who know EXACTLY what improves the lensrank of a Squidoo lens…. and I imagine that formula changes from time to time (I know I would change it and tweak it). However, traffic is power in the website game. It gives power in rankings… it gives power in getting advertisers… traffic rules.
I have three lenses right now in the Top 100 OVER-ALL on Squidoo. Thats out of what… half a million lenses? Two of them just get SICK amounts of traffic. They rank in Google exceptionally well for the nifty little keywords I picked out (Note: “Nifty” means hot). Oddly, while I make top tier payout each month from Squidoo for those lenses, those lenses make next to nothing otherwise. They just get a lot of traffic.
I have other lenses in the Top 1000 over-all that don’t get NEAR as much traffic, BUT they are targeted, have a lot of activity….have a lot of click-outs…..
So, what are your thoughts? What do YOU think boosts lensrank for a Squidoo page?
Does Lensrank Mean As Much To You As Sales YOU Make Off Your Lens?
So, let me ask you a straight question…. Does lensrank matter to you as much as your profit from each lens does?
My answer (cover your ears, Mr Godin)… No, my revenue generated from a lens means more to me than the lensrank of that lens. Hopefully, Mr Godin will forgive me for that honest answer… and I think he just might.
I make lenses that get traffic because, well… I need traffic to sell stuff (how’s THAT for honesty?) By reading GREAT Squidoo guides (like Squidoo Cash Machine), I have learned how to make even better…and even MORE profitable lenses for the Squidoo site. I make pages for Mr Godin that last….and get natural traffic….and get good Page Rank.
If I was Seth Godin, I’d be ok with that. It’s a win/win for both of us.
Speaking Of Squidoo Cash Machine
My last post where I BEGGED Karl to NOT raise the price of his FANTASTIC Squidoo guide seemed to have worked! THANK YOU to all that commented, sent email to either myself or to Karl. While I don’t know how long the price will stay ‘as-is’, we should be good for at least another week :::crossing fingers::::
THANK YOU, KARL!!
Also, Karl says he’s got something pretty cool up his sleeve for yet another free bonus for those that get Squidoo Cash Machine from PotPieGirl.com (Or for those that have already gotten the guide).
I can NOT wait to find out what it is!
Thanks all for bearing with me last night and most of today. We had bad storms here in NE Atlanta and I was without internet for over 24 hours (just awful…. worst withdrawal symptoms EVER!) I appreciate everyones patience while I tried to get all caught up on my email. If I missed anyone, get up there to that contact form and let me know.
Have a great day!
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Nice topic! Although you do seem to concentrate on visitors in being the key to lensrank jumps, surely what will have a bigger effect is if they interact with the page, whether this is click on a poll, leave a comments, click an ad, buy a product, click on a link or go to another squidoo page. All these probably have more weight than simply looking at traffic in, it is what it does once through the door that will effect lensrank much, much more.
Also, it would be interesting to know if these lenses you use as examples manage to sustain their lensrank, or if the traffic boost was really a flash in the pan and they will now sink to a more realistic level. You may want to check the lens I started debating lensrank as being the most important factor, I think I know how you’ll answer! Chasing Lensrank Is Pointless
Roos last blog post..Chasing Lensrank On Squidoo
I have not been around long enough to really get into the ownership role, but — my first thought is to average everything over the month. visits, click-outs, etc
Joan Adamss last blog post..Added poll of Whitey’s favorite golf courses
I have added something that will help those that are lost for ideas on what to lens about… and its free 🙂
This is the first step I take when creating a new lens.
So use this to help you.
I will create a similar thing for those that have purchased the book. However, it will be a fully researched idea, which takes me a good 2 hours to do.
Hopefully I will have time to even create example lenses for those fully researched lenses… who knows, I may even make some money 😛
Hi Jenn (and Karl too!) I have bought the book,, the book itself is really wonderful! Now I did what’s inside the book.. I wonder if I get same result like you too 🙂 I get lots of resource and useful information there.. PS: This book is not one of the bestseller book in ClickBank!
cowys last blog post..Homer Simpsons USB Light Toys
Squidoo is a great website! It’s fun to use and full of great ideas and inspiration.
The one thing that I can say for sure about LensRank is that they will never publish the algorithm because this secret produces so much discussion on the web!
It’s very tempting to spend a ton of time figuring out what works but I do agree with your comment: maybe chasing LensRank is not quite as important as you think. If your LensRank is ‘OK’ and you are meeting your online goals (profits, visitors, signups, etc) then why worry about it?
BTW: If I ran Squidoo for a day (lucky me) I’d improve the traffic reporting tools and introduce some elements from Google Analytics. Matching visitors to time spent on a page and clickouts would be a VERY useful thing.
Dr. Richards last blog post..The Long Tail of Your Vacation Rental
I agree with the traffic, but also think it has to do with updating your lens. I had done nothing with 5 of my lenses for over two months. The day after I made updates (significant, not just one word here or there) to these lenses, they made a nice jump in rank with little change in the amount of traffic.
I’m a little lost. You talk about creating new lenses with different topics, Why? Do you create one lens, say on skiing, write all you can about it and then leave it? Is it left like that for days, weeks and months.? How much else can you add? This is what confuses me. How big or long should a lens be? Fix my dull brain.
A very interesting post.
I have long been wondering about this.
I have 10 (I think) lenses and none of them has received more than 2 visitors in 18 months.
Needless to say, I’ve given up on Squidoo as a total loss.
I can’t see how getting any money from Squidoo is possible.
Especially as they’ve altered the dashboard so much I can’t even put up a lens, any more. LOL
Oh well, I tried.
There is a post on my blog that you might find interesting on Squidoo etiquette and getting backlinks from Squidoo. It also explains a little about Squidoo being a social networking site, which is why you do want to interact with other lensmasters.
Junes last blog post..7 Great Tips to Affiliate Marketing
I’ve played with Squidoo some time ago but never really got the hang of it. Your posts are helping me get my head around it and I’ve started tweaking my lenses, following your advice. Thanks, PPG!
Pity there’s only 24 hours in the day…
As a new Pot Pie Girl follower, I am astounded by the wealth of information you put out there for people who are new to the biz to see. For that I thank you. Great info on Squidoo.
Agreed PPG! I never got the hang of squidoo lenses either, so my lenses never got any traffic. Hmmm . . . perhaps I should take a 2nd look???
Thanks for the info and inspiration!
Carols last blog post..Why Willpower Doesn’t Work For Stress Eating
Jennifer – Great Post! I LOVE Seth – He’s just So Darn Cute!
I totally agree on traffic being an issue. However – I have noticed on some “New Lenses” they can rank very well on Squidoo based on competition – Low Competition = Better Rank. I’ve also noticed that my longer lenses do better faster – the ones with a variety of modules do better – text, poll, youtube, featured, rss… It seems the variety helps.
Are some students of 1weekmarketing make money with this program or not.
I personnally ant to see some snapshot accounts and also those of Jennifer but updated (2009).
I want to be your student but there’s nothing convinced me. I read some articles, comments saying that people are doing hundred lenses but still no sales!!!!
I’ve tried Squidoo before, it has less restrictions than HubPages, but I still think HubPages is more user-friendly.
But, it was a nice post overall. 🙂
Thank you for this wonderful post. Now I know What I’m going to do with my Squidoo lens to make it on the top rank.
At the beginning of October I decided that I needed to make some book lists based on horror themes with Squidoo.
I made a lens book list of giant monster stories, werewolf stories, ghost stories, zombie stories and one about horror novels and short stories centered around Halloween or the month of October. The last one is called Halloween Stories.
These lenses were made with the Halloween Squidboo theme and listed on the Squidboo Blast. When Halloween Stories was published, the lens rank rose from 1,000,000 to 821,152 with a few visits and then jumped to 233,267 on the 15th and steadily climbed to 9084.
Along that way, Bonnie, the Squidboo organizer visited my lens and added it to her Squidboo Blast — a list of Halloween inspired lenses using the Squidboo theme which gave me more traffic.
The Sunday before Halloween, Halloween Stories made lens of the day! I got over 150 visitors and lots of wonderful comments. My ranking rose from about 9084 to 542 and jumped to 374 in the span of a couple of days. It has climbed to 178 in the week following Halloween and has begun to fall as the visitors declined.
However, while I was 178 overall, I reached — and to this day still am at — number 5 in the books category so my lens is now on the Squidoo homepage under the book category. If you hurry it may still be there.
Other than to use the Amazon modules, I haven’t monetized these horror book list lenses. I have, however, added a Favorite Link module half way down the list pointing to my website on horror fiction and at the bottom I have an RSS Feed module drawing posts from that same website. This has been very helpful in driving traffic to my primary website. In a month’s time, that one lens has sent me 21 visitors.
Just think what it’ll do next Halloween.