This post formed part of an email response I sent to a new Squidoo lensmaster some months ago. They contacted me because they wanted advice about how to go about Networking on Squidoo, particularly with regard to commenting in Guestbooks.
If you are not sure about what to do about networking on Squidoo, I find it helps to look at something from other Lensowners’ point of view. To explain what I mean, here’s some examples of how I deal with visits to my lenses and the action I may take:
Comment = “Nice lens”
Action= I will delete
Reason? Apart from the fact that it comes across as a “fly-by” comment, there’s a more serious reason.
There’s a concern that when Google is looking at our content to ascertain our keywords, a huge number of comments that refer to “lens” may just confuse Google into thinking that the page is about just that = “lenses”.
OK – I know some people do not feel confident about what to say when Commenting, but if you really have read the lens, then there must have been something about it that you liked? Or something new you learned? Say exactly that in the Guestbook.
Comment =”Nice lens, I liked it because it reminded me of my Dad”
Action= I will allow the comment
Comment= “Nice lens, please visit my lens about [enter link to related lens]“
Action = Delete
Why do I delete? Because it is clear that the visitor is not in the least bit interested in my lens and only visited to promote their own lens.
Comment= “Nice lens, please visit my lens about [enter link to completely unrelated lens]“
Action = Delete and ban them from ever commenting on my lenses again
Why? Because this is Spamming.
We are pretty sure that when Google is crawling our content the Guestbooks on our pages get a good look-over. This is why it is important to ensure that Spam and irrelevant comments are cleaned off our lenses.
There are situations where it is OK to tell the lensmaster about your own RELATED lens, but my personal view is that it is best to not try to leave a link. Many of us have HTML disabled in our Guestbooks, so the links won’t work anyway.
One way to go about it is to say something like: I found this page about bullying really interesting and helpful because [enter reason why]. I was bullied as a teenager and I tell my story on my lens “How I was bullied”.
But don’t try to leave the link. If I, or my visitors are interested in visiting other pages on the topic then we will check your Bio to find your lens.
And finally never, ever actually email another Lensmaster to ask them to visit your lenses – this is Spamming, which is against the Squidoo Terms of Service and will get you into trouble and possibly banned if reported.
Try to look at visiting other lenses as something you do because you want to and not because you are looking for something in return.
Further reading: Squid Etiquette