Sunday, February 7, 2010

Squidoo Tools – Part 2

Today I’m going to talk about the discovery module. The discovery module has caused quite a heated debate on squidu. Personally I like the discovery module and I have got a lot of traffic from it. However, I do believe that the large lenses at the top of the page are a bit too ‘in your face’, but you can manipulate them to your advantage….want to know more?

First up lets look at how the discovery module works, let me start off by saying that Squidoo does not just pluck random lenses that are totally unrelated despite what some people have seemed to suggest. Squidoo actually uses the tags to match your lens to the ones in the discovery module. Now if you use a really broad tag that someone else has used then their lens may appear.

If a lens is appearing in your discovery module that you don’t feel is appropriate then check out what tags you have in common with it and (if you choose to) you can delete those tags and not have that lens showing up.

How to manipulate the discovery module? Use your tags wisely. The first thing you need to do is make sure that all of your lenses have your lensmaster name as a tag. This seems so simple, but I’ll put my hand up to say that until the end of 2009 I hadn’t been doing this. I read a post somewhere and had a ‘doh!’ moment :)

As I mentioned yesterday I changed some of my tags on my HIMYM tees, this was because I had other people’s lenses showing up on mine… of this morning all of the lenses that show up are mine :)

Now choose a lens of yours and open it up in the right hand column you’ll see an area that says Related Topics and this is where the tags you have chosen to use will show up. Now click on one of them and this will show you all of the other lenses using that tag, if your lens doesn’t appear on the first page then get rid of that tag. There is an exception to this rule – if you have several other lenses on this page for the tag then I would leave it there as there’s a chance that they’ll be the ones showing on your discovery module.

If you have a number of lenses around the same niche then you’d really like to have all of these lenses show up in your discovery module, but what do you do if they don’t? Well I had an epiphany last night….use a unique tag. Now I haven’t actually done this yet, but I remember a discussion over a year ago about the use of a module and manipulating it so that your own products appeared in it (something like Zazzle or Cafepress) and a number of people said that they used unique tags on their products – why not do the same on your lenses?

For an example let’s say that you have 7 lenses on widgets, but there are a number of other lenses on widgets that rank higher than you. Now you’ve got the external traffic coming in so you’re not worried if other lenses are found internally. Your lensmaster name is peterrabbit so you add as primary tag – peterrabbit widgets to all of your widget lenses. In theory this should mean that on each of these lenses you should hold all of the spots in the discovery module.

Well that’s all that I’ve got for you today as I have a heap of other work to do so happy Squidooing!