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Google Still Loves Squidoo and Here is Proof!
From New Lens to Top Position of Google Search Results in Just 3 Days!!?
I have only just recently started to pay attention to where my Squidoo lenses rank in Google's search results. I've always noticed that Squidoo lenses seem to get indexed by Google VERY quickly. However, I'm increasingly impressed with where some of my lenses appear within Google search results without me even really making a focused effort to get my lens to the top of search results.
I recently published a niche lens and while doing so I decided to take a little more time than I normally do to think about targeting some keywords. I wanted the lens to eventually be toward the top of Google search results for most of my target key search terms. So I had planned to embark on a long lens promotion process to see just how beneficial it was for my lens' postion in Google search results.
I did just a little work above what I do when I publish any new lens and I was simply blown away with the results. I couldn't believe it but my lens was indexed by Google and appearing at the TOP of Google search results for most of my keywords within THREE DAYS! Unbelievable!
I don't like to brag and I'm definitely not one to toot my own horn. That being said, this was cool enough that I had to share it with the rest of the Squidoo community and others who might be interested. I apologize in advance if it appears this lens is a little self centered!
Was this just a fluke? Will the lens maintain its spot near the top of Google search results for my target key search terms or will it eventually fade into the Google search abyss?
- About the Lens -
About the Lens
A small niche lens + not much competition + content = BIG RESULTS
I recently had to replace a starter motor on a 1996 Chevy Impala SS. It's a fairly easy job, but to make sure it was as easy as I thought I decided to Google some "how-to" articles on the procedure. I have service manuals and repair manuals for the vehicle, but I was already anticipating writing a quick squidoo lens on the topic. (I like to take life experiences and turn them into an opportunity to write a Squidoo lens.)
There were a few good sites and a lot of information about picking a replacement starter, but not too many how-to websites outlining the procedure for inexperienced Impala SS owners. Since I was planning on writing up the procedure anyway, I decided to see if I could fill a niche and help out others in the process. I wanted to create a lens that would basically walk the most inexperienced shadetree mechanic through the procedure. I also wanted to make a lens that would be equally beneficial for more experienced Impala enthusiasts already comfortable with the actual procedure. I decided including a section detailing what type of starter to buy and where to find affordable Impala SS starters would work well. With that in mind I created my How to Replace a 1994-1996 Chevy Impala SS Starter lens.
To provide a useful lens that would actually be found in search results I knew I had to create at least a few SEO strategies and more importantly some goals related to search results. From my own personal experience I know that most people aren't going to dig much further than about the 10th page of Google search results. I had an absolute goal of nothing less than the last result on page 10 of Google search results for my targeted keywords. Anything less would be considered a dismal failure. Of course the ultimate goal would be the first result on page one of Google search results, but I that's pretty much the holy grail and I would honestly consider anything on the first page of Google Search results an amazing accomplishment.
Ultimately my main goals were:
- Nothing less than page 10 of Google search results for the majority of my targeted key words.
- My squidoo lens must appear in the first 3 pages of Google search results for the majority of my targeted search terms for me to consider my efforts a success.
- Obviously, high search results on page 1 of Google's search results would be considered the greatest success possible.
With those goals outlined I proceed to spend a couple of days making the lens, tweaking it and focusing on some basic SEO strategies and most importantly getting the lens published and featured on Squidoo. Once the lens was published, cleaned up a bit and featured on Squidoo I would slowly begin the process of implementing further SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies to slowly boost my little lens's Google search results ranking.
I was prepared to slowly and methodically use social media promotion, bookmarking and other common tactics to promote my squidoo lens. Afterall I was convinced I wouldn't achieve much in the way of Google search results positioning without a respectable amount of traffic to the lens. We all know that takes time. Rather than spending months slowly promoting my lens, I was absolutely shocked to see just how fast Google indexed my humble little lens and rocketed it to the TOP of its search results for the majority of my targeted search terms. We aren't taking months, but a matter of a couple days! Don't believe me? I don't blame you. I was just as shocked as you are when I discovered this rare occurrence.
- To the Top of Google Search Results in Just 3 Days? -
So Just HOW Fast was This Whole Process?
I have a confession to make. I'm not exactly sure just how fast the process took, other than I can guarantee and prove it was no more than 3 days. The problem is I think it was actually more like a day and a half or two days, but I didn't carefully document the date my lens published and featured. I have the "created on" date from the "stats" section of my lens. It was "created on" 6/15/2011. From what I can tell that "created on" date is simply the date I created the new lens and started to work on it. Anyone who's ever created a Squidoo lens knows that the day you start a lens is often not the same day you publish said lens. Furthermore, you have an additional wait after your lens is published before it is upgraded from a Work in Progess status to featured status by Squidoo.
I thought it was going to take weeks, and more likely months, for me to see any sort of results in Google's search rankings. Since I figured I would be dealing with a much larger time frame I wasn't worried about a couple to several days difference between the "created on" date of my lens and the date I actually published. Therefore I can't remember the exact date I first published the lens. I THINK I published a basic version of the lens on the 15th and it wasn't featured until the 16th, after which I made a simple update or two. In the long run it was still VERY quick and I suppose a day doesn't matter.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that my lens was created on 6/15/2011 and at approximately 9pm EST on 6/18/2011 my lens was showing up at position number 1 on page 1 of Google's search results for most of my targeted keywords. That's right! Top position...in 3 days or less. I was blown away. There are a few targeted search keywords where my lens appeared toward the middle of the first page of Google search results, but that doesn't make the achievement any less significant in my opinion.
The kicker of it is, I'm not even sure WHEN my lens first appeared in Google's search results, there is a chance (although highly unlikely) that things were even a little faster than I think.
- The Proof -
A Little Video Proof - A video screen capture to provide a little evidence!
I was very surprised to see a lens get indexed and to the top of Google search results so fast. Since I was sure everyone else would be just as surprised, and sense I have no idea how long the lens will remain near the top of Google search results, I decided to take a video screen capture of my Google Searches and the results.
Since I'm not sure if this was a fluke I decided I better have some proof that it ever occurred in the first place! You can watch the video below:
Proof Lens was Created on 06/15/2011 - Screenshot showing the date the lens was created.
Here is a screenshot from my Squidoo Dashboard showing the lens was created on 06/15/2011.
Here is Proof of the Lens at the Top of Google Search Results - A screenshot showing the lens in position #1 in Google search results for just one targeted keyw
Above we see a screenshot showing proof that the lens was at the top of Google Search results for one of my targeted keywords on 06/18/2011. In my excitement I wasn't sure how to show proof of the date and simultaneously show the Google search results page so it was readable on the screen for a screen capture. So I decided to take a video screen capture of me showing the date and then doing the Google searches.
How Did This Happen?
Luck? Lack of Competition? A Fluke? Divine Intervention?
I know somewhere along the line someone is going to ask me how I managed to pull this off. Clearly it was more accidental than any brilliant planning. Since I figured this whole process was going to take a long time I honestly did very little promotion of the lens, which is what makes this all so surprising. Just because I didn't do much promotion of the lens doesn't mean I didn't work hard on creating it. I strive to do things to the best of my ability each time I publish a lens.
In all fairness I should point out that the subject matter of the lens in question wasn't exactly the most popular topic. My target keywords weren't exactly search terms that are extremely competitive. Then again that's sort of the point of Squidoo. Find a niche and work some magic! Before I toot my own horn too loudly, I realize we aren't talking popular search phrases like "free MP3 download", "Video Games", "Justin Beiber" or anything like that. My keywords and phrases were things like "1994 Chevy Impala Starter", "How to Replace Impala SS starter" and similar combinations. There probably wasn't a huge number of websites I was competing with, but that doesn't make how rapid the process was any less astonishing!
The only thing I did significantly differently than I normally do with my other Squidoo lenses was the amount of time I spent focusing on using keywords. I mainly chose a dozen or so target keywords and key search phrases and I tried to naturally sprinkle them into the content of my lens a little more than I normally do. You can't force things or "stuff" your lens with nonsense, but you can carefully take any reasonable opportunity to use your target keywords within the content of your lens. Don't forget module titles, subtitles, and image titles!
I believe I pinged the lens on squidutils.com and also submitted the lens URL to Google once it was featured. I also sent one Tweet on Twitter about the lens and added the lens to StumbleUpon. These are all things I ordinarily do with all new lenses, so it was nothing special.
How Did I Discover This so Soon?
You are probably wondering if I thought this was going to be a long process, how on earth did I discover this so fast? The answer is accidentally of course! Honestly I was surprised because my lens was receiving a bit more traffic than normal for one of my brand new lenses.
Anyone who has published a few Squidoo lenses knows it can take a great deal of time to get some visits, especially if you've done next to nothing to promote the lens. It's not unusual for a lens on a niche topic to sit for weeks without a visit if you don't do much promotion. Even with social media things can take time.
On the 18th of June I noticed that I had around 6 unique visitors to my lens that was barely out of "work in progress" status. That doesn't seem like much, but its more than most of infant lenses generally get. To be brutally honest most of my new Squidoo lenses sit for at least a week or two before they much of any traffic. So sadly, 6 visits in one day a few days out was unusual enough for me to suspect something unusual was going on.
It was enough traffic to make me do a quick test Google search to see if my lens was somehow already showing up. I was expecting to possibly see something near the end of the first 5-10 pages of Google Search results, but not the top! I was shocked and happy enough that I thought I should take the time to take a video capture of the screen and share my story here with the rest of the Squidoo community.
How Long Will it Last?
Is This Mini Success Sustainable?
One of my concerns is whether or not this is a fluke or if these results are sustainable. I was surprised enough, and skeptical enough, to feel compelled to document some sort of evidence that this ever happened in the first place!
Only time will tell if the Squidoo lens remains near the top of Google search results or if it fades away into the land of page 11 and beyond. I'm tempted to do little to change the lens to see how long it can hold its own. I'm also tempted to pull out all the stops to ensure the lens stays right where its at. What do you think?
The Main Point
What should we make of all of this?
The main point of this lens wasn't to brag or anything like that. The main point here is that in 2011 Google still loves Squidoo, and still holds unique, updated, and useful content king. While making your way to the top of Google search results for a competitive keyword may not be as rapid as the example we saw here, it is still achievable. With careful planning, dedication, and some luck I'm confident Squidoo is not only a fun way to share and make a little money on the side. It can also be a valuable tool to help you reach your target audience on the web!
Here is your spot to sound off. Let me know what you think about this lens. Ask me a question. Criticize me...or just drop a note to say hi! I'd love to hear what you have to say!