Squidoo is a highly ranked article site
Squidoo is an article hosting web site that can be very useful for Infobarrel authors. The site has a very high Google pagerank of 7 out of 10. The Infobarrel pagerank is only 3. Any links from Squidoo to Infobarrel will boost your content, in the search engine rankings. Because of this, Infobarrel authors are well advised to set up some Squidoo lenses that point to Infobarrel content.
When you go to Squidoo, you will notice a lot of references to squid and other marine and whymsical creatures. The operators have developed a theme around various characters. New site members, for example, are called "squids". Members who have advanced on Squidoo are known as "High Level Squids". Other members achieve ranks such as "Squid Angel", "Giant Squid", "Giant Squid 100" and more. Several of the ranks impart benefits to the member while others act as labels. The notion of squids, ranks and levels is very evident on Squidoo. A new member starts as a "newbie squid". By participating on the site, they earn merit points. When enough points are earned, the member rises to the next level. There are currently 80 or so levels on the site. As members reach higher levels, the number of points needed to progress to the next level increases. As well, the number of points earned for site activities go down. This has the effect of slowing the progression of members into the higher Squidoo levels. Luckily, there are not very many benefits to be gained by progressing above about level 30.
In order to increase the differences between Squidoo and other sites such as Infobarrel, articles are referred to as "lenses". Hubpages does the same as their articles are known as "hubs". Squidoo authors are called "lensmasters". Hubpages calls them "hubmasters". The logic behind the lens term is that each person is an expert on something and their particular view of a topic is focused by their knowledge and experience. In time, the terminology becomes familiar to site members, (squids).
Squidoo also has a series of trophies that may be earned for site activity. These are similar to achievements on Infobarrel. When a new member registers, they are given the "Newbie" trophy. This signifies that the lensmaster has successfully joined the site. Another trophy is earned when their first lens is published. More trophies are given for the 2nd, 5th and 10th lenses are published and when other numbers are reached, (25, 50, 100, etc). If enough comments are made on other lenses, a trophy is awarded and so on. Each trophy is highlighted on the lensmaster's profile and with it, a number of merit points are earned. There are in excess of 70 trophies available on Squidoo. They don't carry any particular benefit to the lensmaster but they are a sign of participation on the site. Certain lensmaster ranks such as "Giant Squid" are signified by a trophy. The trophy doesn't confer benefits to the lensmaster but the rank does.
Writing for Squidoo is similar to writing for Infobarrel. Content is expected to be unique and of high quality. All lenses are now subject to a quality check prior to publication. This requires the lens to have at least 140 characters in the introductory text module, an introduction photo and at least 5 custom content modules. This is a fairly easy set of requirements to meet. A typical will have an introductory text module which will have some textual content and an attached image. The next module will be an Amazon link which highlights up to 5 products available from Amazon which are related to the topic of the lens. These products may be selected by the lensmaster from the extensive list of items sold by Amazon. The next module might be a user poll designed to attract opinions from views. The next would be a user comment module. Finally, a module highlighting other lenses may be included. This gives the lens a photo, some introductory text and 5 unique modules which is enough to meet the publishing requirements. Unlike Infobarrel, lenses are not required to have 400 or more words, although it is usually a good idea to provide more rather than less content.
Within a text module of a lens, the lensmaster may specify links to other web sites. Each lens is allowed to have up to nine links to the same web domain. This allows an Infobarrel author to link up to nine of their articles to a single lens or to link a lens multiple times to the same article. Lensmasters are likely better off it they have fewer links rather than the nine allowed. It can be a good idea, however, to link a lens to a couple of Infobarrel articles and also to a couple of related articles on a third site. Use your own discretion if you are employing multiple links.
Squidoo lenses are also able to link to Amazon multiple times. There is a limit of 10 or so Amazon modules that can be included. Each of these can highlight between 1 and 5 products. Additionally, you may include Amazon affiliate links in the body of the lens. These would count towards the count of nine links allowed to a domain. The Amazon modules do not. A lens may then have 10 Amazon links showing 50 products and a further 9 affiliate links for a total of 59 product highlights. While this is theoretically possible, lenses constructed this way tend to appear "spammy".
Squidoo lenses are typically constructed with keywords, just like Infobarrel articles. The lensmaster is given a section where they may highlight up to 40 of the lens keyword tags. These aid the search engines in finding the published content.
Squidoo does not give you an easy tool for HTML links. This means that you must hand code the links yourself. Basically, you must include "href" link statements for the links. See the example box below for complete details.
While Squidoo lenses do earn money for the lensmasters, revenue is calculated based on the lens ranking within Squidoo, not by interaction with the lens by viewers. All lenses are ranked from 1 to 1.5 million in popularity based on a ranking algorithm known only to the Squidoo staff. The top lenses receive payments each month based on a complex sharing formula. There are extensive reports of how the payments are calculated and how the lens ranking works. Infobarrel authors should be aware of the revenue potential of Squidoo but they should employ the site for backlink purposes first. Many lensmasters make just a few cents per month for their lenses while others are quite successful.
If you agree that Squidoo can be useful for backlinks, sign up today, (affiliate link). It's free to you, you get a good site on which you can establish your content and you may even generate revenue while you use the site.
How to insert a backlink into a Squidoo lens
- Presuming that your Infobarrel article is titled "Ice" this is the exact HTML code that would be required on Squidoo:
- When water is cold enough it turns into