Answering my own questions since 2001

The Weird Top List at Squidoo and a Better Google Zeitgeist

The other day I was creating a Squidoo lens for DeSmogBlog, and happened to check Squidoo’s list of its top 100 lenses. It’s really peculiar.

The number #1 lens is run by Vancouver’s own Kate Trgovac, and is entitled Funky, Chic and Cool Laptop Bags. There are two other lenses about handbags in the top twenty. Other oddities include:

#5 – UpDos For Proms, Weddings or Just Everyday
#10 – Make Your Own Fairy Wings
#19 – OOAK Polymer Clay Babies

It’s as if Squidoo is filling in a bunch of holes that the rest of the Internet missed.

I have yet to figure out how much scope Squidoo has. I hear people discuss it occasionally, but I don’t have a clear picture of its influence.

I also recently discovered (an apparently new) list of top articles on Wikipedia. This is a really effective real-time, transparent Google Zeitgeist, and can give you a pretty clear idea of what the Web wants to learn, right now. Predictably, it’s all about Pokemon and the movie 300 at the moment.

UPDATE: Coincidentally, Seth Godin just published an ad hoc year-end report on Squidoo. It doesn’t really help me gauge Squidoo’s reach, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

4 Responses to “The Weird Top List at Squidoo and a Better Google Zeitgeist”

  1. Chris Garrett

    I mainly hear about it in relationship to parasitic seo techniques so have pretty much avoided it. Being a Seth Godin thing I guess it should have something going for it though?

  2. Kate Trgovac

    Hey, Darren .. thanks for the link! Squidoo is definitely a weird mix; that’s one of the reasons I personally like it. I had thought about writing an online marketing lens, but realised that’s what my blog is. Laptop bags were much more fun.

    Chris’ comment is an interesting one. There are definitely a lot of folks jumping onto Squidoo trying to improve their SEO and take advantage of the overall good “Google juice” that lenses get. I find this incredibly frustrating as a lensmaster. However, I do believe that good content rises. Most of the top lenses are a great combination of content and links. And I’ve resigned myself to the fact that *every* service on the Internet will eventually be gamed and/or exploited by spammers. Sigh.

    ps .. hi Jeff!

  3. Mike Levin of HitTail

    I’m maintaining a lens, and I admit I was interested in it from an SEO perspective. But it also fills a hole: an outward-facing NetVibes-like homepage. Why did one’s own homepage take the form of a neat little PageFlakes or My.Yahoo, while outwards-facing pages take the form of blog journals? Shouldn’t our outwards-facing pages have just as much power and pedantic organization?

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