Squidoo Lenses: Worthwhile for SEO?

Squidoo lets you build pages or “lenses” around topics about which you’re passionate. A good lens can pack a surprising amount of information onto one page; it can also let you build links back to your site from a very popular place on the web. So are they worth building for SEO?

That’s a question that came up recently on our SEO Chat forum; you can check out the thread yourself. It got a lot of our members talking. So what’s the consensus? As you’d expect, it’s complicated.

Many Squidoo links are nofollow. Because of this, they’re not going to pass link juice to your website, so they won’t help your ranking in Google. Now this doesn’t automatically mean your links in Squidoo will be nofollowed; the site seems to use some kind of algorithm to determine whether it will make your links nofollow or dofollow, and whether your lens will be “featured.”

Does this mean that Squidoo links aren’t valuable? Well, it depends. Remember that you’re trying to rank in Google to bring traffic to your website. If visitors to Squidoo find your lens and follow your link to your website, guess what? You’re getting traffic. The bigger question is whether the traffic you get from Squidoo is worth the effort you need to put into your lens to get it noticed.

Squidoo lenses may also have purposes beyond building traffic. They can add a little diversity to your link profile, and make it appear more natural to Google. Again, though, you need to consider whether it’s worth the work. Keep in mind, by the way, that even once your lens does get noticed, you’ll need to keep working on it here and there (and adding fresh content) to maintain your position. It might make a lot more sense to apply that effort to your own website.

One of our SEO Chat forum members opined that Squidoo lenses are “best used to help build an audience that would be willing to link to your main website. But this can be done with the same amount of effort by providing a guest blog to someone else’s website that has a large following already. And this type of link will have a lot of SEO value.”

Long-time SEO Chat forum member prasunsen summed up the issue nicely: “In practice most Squidoo lenses are nearly worthless because they have no authority. If by any chance your lens becomes popular and attracts links, then excellent. Most don’t. And if yours does, you are still working to build…authority for someone else’s domain (squidoo.com), not yours.”

What do you think? Have you built any Squidoo lenses? Did they perform as you hoped? Feel free to check out the thread and join the conversation!

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