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Thursday, December 08, 2005

SQUIDOO Impressions

Thanks to Peter's reminder I've added a lens to Seth Godin's content network, Squidoo BETA. The Lensmaster Workshop makes it easy to add text content, images, links lists, RSS feeds and whatever. Even a technically challenged expert on a topic should be able to put together a nice page within minutes.

Squidoo promises to share the ad revenue, but a few shared AdSense cents don't make a goodie. If Squidoo ever gains an authority status like Wikipedia or the ODP, a well linked page in this network can help to move a Web site into a good neighborhood of related high ranked sites. For example if you have a Web site dedicated to foo, then link to all great foo related resources including your site from your foo lens, and wait.

Unfortunately, most likely Squidoo will never become a trusted authority from a search engine's point of view; from the sales pitch:
WHO SHOULD BUILD A LENS?

You should, if you...

1. ...have a Web site and you're not happy with your PageRank in Google, a lens will increase it. That's because a lens provides exactly what search engines are looking for: authoritative insight so people can find what they're looking for.
Sounds like a fox' free raid into the hen house. Inviting link spammers to flood a non-audited content network with crap is plain weird. LensRank will not be enough to close the loopholes:
Wikipedia has a system with one entry per topic. We don't. Instead, we encourage multiple lenses on a topic. Then, we use an automated algorithm—LensRank—to rank the lenses. We look at user ratings, lensmaster reputation, clickthrough rates, frequency of updates, inbound and outbound links, and other factors and give the lens a number. And we make it clear to the lensmaster what her rank is and how to improve it.
There is nothing a savvy spammer can't abuse with ease.

Besides potential spam issues, I do like Squidoo.

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