In the heyday of article marketing, when a genuinely good article at EzineArticles could do wonders for a website, sites like Squidoo, HubPages, and Helium were often used for offsite optimization of websites. Making a Squidoo lens about your company, for example, allowed you to introduce yourself to potential customers via squidoo.com, a domain which is almost certainly more powerful than that of your small business, while also linking to your website as an authoritative source. In fact, we ‘d create high quality content on relevant topics at a company’s website specifically in order to link to it from a high quality Squidoo lens, and often ended up with multiple links from other sources to both the pages. It worked well.
Unfortunately, it worked well enough that the web became infested with poor quality and even autogenerated articles thrown together simply to game the system. Hundreds of valueless pages clotted the search results for popular topics and search engines cracked down on the practice.
Does that mean that hub pages — user generated pages including good articles and curated content — are now worthless? Not necessarily. After all, Squidoo.com still probably gets more traffic than your domain.
Here’s my advice on hub pages:
- Make sure you have plenty of good content on your own site first. If you don’t have authority pages, a blog, whitepapers, or some other excellent stuff to read at your own website, don’t spend your time building other sites.
- Use hub pages as a linkbuilding tool. That is, treat the opportunity to drop a link into a good hub page or lens just as you would any other linkbuilding opportunity: focus on the quality, the relevance, and the overall value.
- Think of a good hub site as a good directory. Squidoo says that every business should have a Squidoo lens, and you should. You should have a Spoke page, too, and a LinkedIn page, and a page at BrownBook, and a good Google Places page. Any site that lets you share good content about your company is a good place to be. The better your page, the better it is for your company.
At Spoke, a shot from which is at the top of this post, your company may already be listed. If so, your company’s page very likely has almost nothing on it. It could have a link to your website, a video, links to your press releases, and an enticing description of your company and its offerings. Which do you think will be more beneficial for your company?