Greekgeek's Online Odyssey - Hubpages and Online Article Writing Tips


Squidoo Lens Transfer To Hubpages Has Begun

Hubpages has set up a new help forum for Squidoo members making the transition to HP.

As expected, HP is transferring accounts a bit at a time, with early opt-ins getting early transfers.

Relache reports on how her lenses looked after import and what happened to modules that work rather differently on HP.

Still waiting for your lenses to transfer? Here’s what I’m doing.

  • One final Traffic Stats compilation. My weekly traffic for all my Squidoo accounts dropped below 9000 this week. Partly because I deleted over a hundred of lenses (Squidoo-related tutorials and community lenses, lensographies, and some product review niches that I’m moving to my own site), but that’s still sad for 259 pages.
  • KEYWORD DATA DEEP DIVE. Last chance! Whatever else one can say for it, Squidoo gave us good data on keywords tucked away in the depths of the dashboard. Really tucked away, since they hid the 90 day data.

You can get it by creating a random bookmark (be sure to add it to your browser toolbar), then editing the bookmark in your browser’s bookmark editor and changing the URL to the following mini script (scroll right in the code box below to make sure you copy all of it):


Click that bookmarklet while you’re logged into Squidoo, and it’ll ask for a lens URL  — just the stuff after — and then it takes you to the 90-day traffic pane for that lens. Be sure to click the “see more” toggle at the bottom of the keywords list to grab ‘em all. Save ‘em to a text document with all the keywords for one niche, and they may give you some ideas about the sorts of things your primary audience is looking for.

I’m trying to collect the keyword data for my favorite niches and top hubs. That’s not something HP is going to preserve.

Hubpages Dashboard: Sorting Hubs to Help You Batch Edit

SPIRITUALITY WROTE [on the hubpages forum]

GreekGeek – any idea how hubs are organised on our profiles? What determines their order?

Yep! By default, they’re sorted according to [Hub]Score, but there’s lots of other ways to sort & filter. Pardon my scribbles…

Hubpages Dashboard

Click the top of any column to sort by that column. “Published” is original publish date (Hubpages will keep our lens creation dates). “Changed” is the most recent update. Or sort by traffic to tackle popular articles first.

Export as csv” creates a tidy list you can import into a spreadsheet and use as a to-do list.

Hubs > Groups  Create new groups. Scroll down on that pane for “orphaned hubs” which you can add to groups. You can also add a hub you’re editing to groups in the “Display Options” pane in the workshop sidebar.

Warning: Hubpages asks us to limit groups to hubs that are relevant to one another. Each grouped hub gets a “Next” and “Previous” link at the bottom, passing traffic to the adjacent hubs in the group like a webring. Therefore, we can’t set up groups for our own organizational purposes. (i.e. no “hubs I need to work on” group.)

The filter pane  (beige box) has some useful sorting functions for finding hubs that need work. For example…

designation > Not Featured – Engagement 
…lists all hubs that have fallen out of “Featured” status because not enough traffic or reader engagement

designation > Not Featured – Quality
… lists all hubs that need more work to pass QAP.

capsule > Amazon
…lists all hubs with an Amazon capsule. Or look for hubs with eBay capsules, or hubs with Photo capsules (although that’s probably all of them).


As we revamp our imported lenses, the sort by “Changed” (last edit) is going to be the most helpful option, and I also highly recommend “export as csv” and plugging the result into a spreadsheet, which you can then use to cross off those you’ve updated.



EDIT: AND I TOTALLY FAILED TO ANSWER SPIRITUALITY’S QUESTION. Hubs on our profile are displayed to the public according to creation date, newest to oldest. I have found no way to sort them.

Thoughts on Squidoo’s Revised Activity Stream

UPDATE: This post is now obsolete, as Gil has continued tweaking the new activity stream and has taken our suggestions onboard. There are now TABS that let us filter our Squidoo activity stream according to sales or other specific info we might want to see, and the data goes back more than 200 entries. YES! THANK YOU, GIL!



Squidoo is testing an update to our Dashboard. Squidoo quests, LOTD, and HQ announcements appear in the Activity Stream. Participation in polls has been removed. Participation in quizzes is still there, for the moment. The stream gets truncated after listing 200 items from our own lens activity, but will show HQ blog posts, LOTD notifications, and other HQ announcements going back a month (I think).

Here’s HQ announcement about the New Squidoo Activity Stream A/B Testing.  Obviously, it’s not finalized.

The revised version has been unrolled for many Giant Squids, so it’s gotten my two big Giant accounts. The sales data that I rely on has now been lost, and cluttered up with a bunch of things I used to filter out using Fluffanutta’s Workshop Add-on from SquidUtils. I wanted to share this comment I made in SquidU’s discussion of these changes, because I think it’s an idea that has broader applications:

I would’ve loved if they’d just made Fluff’s tool canon and then added a set of checkboxes that stuck, so we could set our dashboard up once and for all to show the stuff we care about.

I’m a victim of the A/B testing. It only shows the 200 most recent items from lens activity. For me, that’s 100+ people taking my quizzes, and there’s not even a day’s worth of sales records. Every Sunday, I sit down and review my sales for the week. I’d grab the info right out of the activity stream and GREP it into a tab-delimited chart that I could plunk into Excel. Now there is no easy way to do that.

Every one of us has a different lens profile and different goals. Some people may WANT to track how many quizztakers and polltakers they’ve got. Maybe someone’s built some polls for research purposes and honestly wants to see that. Whereas others of us are here to earn a living and don’t want the quests, monsters, and points cluttering up our dashboard — we’re only interested in real-world results. If we could customize it to fit our needs, instead of being mashed into what Squidoo thinks we should use Squidoo for, that would be really great!

I loved Fluff’s tool because it did exactly that: let us focus on whatever we think is important.

It’s hard to make custom tools that show different information to different users. It’s much easier to extrapolate what most people use a site for, and create an interface tailored to that particular kind of user, figuring that everyone else will manage anyway. Big sites like Squidoo have so many features and stats (yay!) that it’s hit the point where they can’t show everything. That’s a given. But what we’d love is to be able to tailor those features and stats to suit our own needs, instead of being given the options package the car dealership thinks we want.

Shortcut to Squidoo Login Pane

I get it. They want us to visit the front page of more often. The trouble is, if one is working between three accounts all the time, every time you logout, you get tossed to, and then you can login, and then you get tossed to, and THEN  you can get back to your dashboard. Argh!

It was fun for the first day in the half, but I am tired of having to go to Alberta by way of Atlanta. (TWA frequent flyer program — I hold long grudges.) Therefore, here’s a shortcut to the Squidoo login pane.

Bookmark this:

Don’t bother logging out. Just go to that URL and you can log in and get back to work.

Thanks to TheFluffanutta of SquidUtils for reminding me of this.

Responding to Traffic Stats and Visitor Searches

LisaAuch asked a good question in SquidU on how we update lenses (which could apply to any kind of webpage). My answer got longwinded, so I’m posting it here!

95% of the time, I confess, I assume I made a good page and don’t update much. I’ll just skim titles and images to see if anything jumps out at me that I could tweak. I’ll trim a word or two since I tend to be longwinded. Then I hit publish.

During the 5% of the time when I decide to make a significant update, it’s for one of four reasons:

  1. I have new content to add
  2. I’ve decided to improve the graphics and appearance,
  3. I’ve decided to improve the on-page optimization to increase traffic, or
  4. I want to add things people are more likely to want to click on (which boosts lensrank).

With 3, it’s often because I’ve learned a new SEO method I didn’t know before. For example, using words and phrases from searches related to my main keyword, rewriting titles so that the most significant keywords are at the start, or reviewing images to make sure their filenames and alt-names are concrete words and phrases like “pictures of the statue of liberty” that people are more likely to search for (as opposed to, “liberty”).

One time consuming but powerful method is to

use traffic stats as clues on how to improve a lens


My Squidoo Lensrank Has Dropped: and That’s a Good Thing!

Doot de dooo. Time to check the dashboard and see how the lenses are doing. Hm hm hm, good good, hey, that’s one’s back in the second tier, and…

WHAT? 300 visits + recent sales = THIRD TIER? Oh, Squidoo, I am WOUNDED TO THE QUICK!

You’re picking on me! No, wait, you’ve changed the lens algorithm to cheat me out of my rightful lensrank! It’s a conspiracy! It’s a bug! It’s inconceivable!

And it’s been happening with that particular lens a lot lately.

In fact, this is a VERY good thing.


Lensrank Factors: Pages Per Visit?

My theory about Lensrank is that most Dashboard stats are used to calculate Lensrank, although we have no idea how they’re weighted. Otherwise, why is Squidoo taking up huge gobs of server time and space to crunch those numbers for hundreds of thousands of lenses each day?

I have been away for a while, and just noticed a third stat added to the Traffic stats for a lens:

Total visits: 174 visits     Total pageviews: 256 pageviews     Pages/visit: 1.47

O-ho. Squidoo’s decided pages/visit is important!

EDIT: Oh, but what IS pages/visit? No, it’s not how many times your visitor comes back to the page, as I had thought. Fluffanutta explains: each lens now has sub-pages aka “Module pages,” so this gives you an idea how often visitors are going to those pages as well as the main lens.

Lakeeerieartist has a great lens explaining Module Pages and what they’re good for.

Two More Quick Squidoo SEO Tips

Here’s two easy steps I do as a quick “freshness boost” for a lens about to slip past the bottom of its tier. It’s no substitute for adding new, updated, exciting content, but it’s a quick fix.

  1. In traffic stats, I change the window to 30-day-traffic and add any keyword phrase to my Squidoo Tags that’s been searched 4-5 times, if I haven’t got it already. This won’t help much with Google, which doesn’t put much stock in Squidoo tags, but it may help with MSN and Yahoo (once Yahoo rediscovers Squidoo). Don’t forget you need to PUBLISH a lens again after adding tags!
  2. I make note of my chosen keywords and the top 2-3 searches for my lens. I then add each as alt-tags to one image on my lens, in a module talking about that topic, or a graphic that illustrates it.  I may even delete an image, change its filename on my computer to a better keyword (use hyphens to separate words, e.g. picture-of-stork.jpg), upload it again and change the HTML to point to the new filename. Both these methods are using images to attract search engine traffic.

Voilá! Publish, and you’ve just updated your lens, which can give it a small ranking boost. Again, you can’t always cheat like this — sometimes you need to add new content! — but we can’t be rewriting all our lenses every day.

The Squidoo Dashboard: What Lens Stats Tell Us

Welcome back to the third and final segment of my “Lensrank secrets” study. In Part I we squeezed the Squidoo FAQ for every scrap of information it could tell us about lensrank. In Part II, we tackled the Squidoo Dashboard stats, on the theory that most of those factor into lensrank (the FAQ showed that many do). Whether or not they are all lensrank factors, they certainly give us a lot of clues about how to improve and promote our Squidoo lenses.

Now I’m going to finish up with an in-depth look at the “individual lens stats” part of the Squidoo Dashboard.


Lensrank Secrets Right Under Your Nose

In my last post I dissected the Squidoo FAQ to squeeze out every bit of official information about lensrank.

There’s another possible source of official lensrank information right under our noses: the Squidoo Dashboard. I submit, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that Squidoo is not expending great gobs of computing and hosting power calculating and storing lens stats for our sole benefit. Most of these stats measure factors alluded to in the FAQ. I suspect that most if not all of our Squidoo Dashboard stats are lensrank factors. We don’t know which carry the most weight, and the lensrank algorithm changes from time to time, but dashboard stats tell us a lot about what Squidoo, at least, thinks is important for an effective webpage.

So let’s dig deeper and see what the Squidoo Dashboard has to tell us.