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The New Text Link Ads VS Your Own Intro Link Ads

Posted on Jul 19 2009

Cashing In On The Lessons Learned

The Bad:

Have you seen the new Text Ads that appear automatically on all your lenses?
If you haven’t go now and take a look at one of your lenses. There will be 3 links on your lenses in green, and hovering over them will pop up an ad box. Personally I hate these kinds of ads and have opted out of them. Whenever I visit a website that uses these ads I am VERY tempted to leave, and I definitely steer clear of their other links, so I do not want this to happen on my lenses. You can opt out by scrolling to the bottom of

The Good:

Squidoo HQ has given us some figures to show that these tacky ads earn rather well for lensmasters. ย What you should be careful of though is going after the money from these text link ads at the expense of your other lens-income. Lenses are covered in adverts as it is. I suppose it depends on how you use your lenses, what your goal is.

The Better:

In a forum post about these ads Megan from Squidoo HQ posted the following message: “We tried excluding the links from the Intro module, and that made revenue from these ads nosedive. Really nosedive. So we put them back in”.

So, good news!

Squidoo can see from their stats on over one million lenses that text links in intro modules get LOTS of clicks.

The Best:

Forget the text link ads – it’s time to go through all your lenses and add a relevant affiliate link to the intro module!

This could give you an extra revenue stream of several hundred dollars a month, with no info-ad-popups. I’m going through all my lenses, slowly, to do this.

What’s opposite of a nosedive? A noserise? ๐Ÿ˜‰


P.S. yes yes yes, I should really have been doing this on every lenses I built anyway, but I’m only human! Sometimes it takes things like this to make you learn your lesson ๐Ÿ™‚

Lewis Smile

Lewis Smile is a Writer, Blogger, Web Geek, and very much a daydreamer. He helps people for a living, and works online. See the Contact Info page to say hi. Find out more about him here.

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  1. Bcarter says:


    Great idea. I am also guilty of this oversight. It will be something to do when going through and updating all of my eBay RSS feeds.


  2. Mike Stokes says:

    Great tip, Lewis. Thanks!

    Mike Stokes
    Baton Rouge, LA

  3. Art says:

    Placement and relevance are big problems. I have a lens about Buffalo Nickels.
    The first two info-links (which appear in the very first nineteen words of my lens–I truly object to that) actually involve coins. They are direct competitors of two of my affiliates which appear much further down the lens.
    The third ad is in a module which pertains to the system used to refer to a coin’s grade. It is notated in a group of “letters and numbers.” Well, the phrase “letters and numbers” links to a design-your-own-shirt site. Considering other links that I placed on the lens are for similar products, I guess that means that Squidoo is directly competing against me. Let’s see, what’s the better business model, click my shirts and I earn a couple bucks or click the irrelevant Squidoo ad and I’ll earn a few cents?
    I suppose it’s better than one I saw about a week ago which tried to get me to travel to Buffalo NY.
    I’ll take the bad with the good, I guess. But I’m really not enthusiastic about these ads.

  4. JaguarJulie says:

    Lewis, I’ve got mixed feelings about all the ads — banner and text link that I’ve been seeing. When ‘they’ get it RIGHT, it really complements my lenses. But, because the text links can appear in blocks of text within your lenses, it is not always related or relevant to the content/subject matter of the lens — I’m thinking intuitively that these text links should be relevant to be good.

    I don’t think I’ve ever put an affiliate link in my intro module — I keep that short and sweet [for the most part] and a summary of things to come. At the moment, I am not wild about that AT&T banner ad across the top of our page that doubles up and lays down over our lenses. That ad has got to GO!

  5. Interesting points about the links in the intro module. Something to consider.

  6. Dianne Hansen says:

    How I wish I could earn some income from my various lenses!

  7. Chuck Bartok says:

    Thank you again Lewis for the Information.
    Your style is impeccable.

    But I am a bit dense sometimes.
    What do you mean by:

    “Forget the text link ads โ€“ itโ€™s time to go through all your lenses and add a relevant affiliate link to the intro module!”

    Add links to the First text Box? Links that would be pointing to sales pages?

  8. MrLewisSmile says:

    @Chuck Bartok – Essentially, yes! Squidoo has seen that the intro module is super-effective for hyperlink clicks embedded in the text. Even links as ugly and irrelevant as these pop up Info Link Ads…

    So I’m using the lesson learned to not ignore the intro module.

    Whatever your lens promotes, use the intro module for it.

    Not just salesletters, but amazon products, profile pages, whatever.

    Lewis ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Tonya B. says:

    I completely agree – I have already opted out of these links and personally find them very annoying. Even though they are statistically proven to make money, I think that “not annoying” visitors is just as, or more important. Text links (your own) that don’t “jump out” at the visitor are not intrusive – the others are.

    • MrLewisSmile says:

      @Tonya – precisely what I’m thinking. I don’t want to chase away the other income just by chasing after the infolinks income. Who knows how it will turn out for the people opted in, but these ads just aren’t me.

      @JaguarJulie – oh how I hate that header banner….

  10. Chuck Bartok says:

    Thanks for the response Lewis.
    How do I see the Ads you mention.
    I visited my Lenses through the Dashboard and did not see them
    Do you have to come in Externally?

  11. ClassyGals says:

    Hi Lewis! I agree with you and don’t care for the infolinks. They only add confusion to your lens. Readers don’t know which links are yours and which one aren’t. This is especially annoying when these ads are placed on unrelated text. I am slowly removing them all from my lenses.

  12. Helene says:

    Thanks Lewis for confirming what we all suspected was the best link placement in the squioo module (as per Tiffs training too!)

    Squidoo can see from their stats on over one million lenses that text links in intro modules get LOTS of clicks.

    I have opted out of the text links because all they do is clutter up my own text links, and they are often quite ridiculously out of context.

    And Jaguar Julie – I also really, really dislike the big ugly banner ads on top of my lenses now! It makes me think of all those other “free website” hosting services that replace what should be a nice website Header, with ugly banners.

    You know the ones, they drive you crazy with pop-ups and slide ins, and nasty annoying advertising that just drives you away from using their hosting/sites.

    Now my squidoos, that I agonize for hours about the appearance or, the look & feel of, that I spent over $2,000 on beautiful graphics for all my squidoo to make them even more appealing …. now what do you see when you click on a squidoo link….. UGLY BANNERS like those nasty ‘free’ horror sites…. ugh!

    I’m glad that Squidoo is raising its revenue, and we can’t really complain, since we can at least opt out of the text links for the time being.

    But it does make me wonder how far all this will go, with constant changes it seems, toward only ‘squidoo shared’ revenue, and no other advertising links might soon be allowed for the lensmaster / owners…. could this be the long-term plan???

  13. Helen Hunt says:

    Nice tip – I will see how this Squidoo thingy works. I have seen it discussed around the web, but have never thought of getting an account – I guess I should.

    I will follow the tips discussed here, thanks again.

  14. Ramkitten says:

    I wish we could opt out from having the ads in our intros only, but perhaps that would be too much to ask. I haven’t opted out yet … but I don’t know what I’m waiting for, because I REALLY don’t like the ads at all.

    Personally, I wonder how many of those who click on these spammy links in our intros then leave our lenses right away and never read the rest.

    And I certainly hope that, for those of us who haven’t opted out (yet), we’re getting “credit” for all those additional clickouts and the related lensrank increase, whatever that may be.

  15. RickyRobi says:

    Now, why didn’t I think of that. Great idea! Time to get to work.

  16. Paula Atwell says:

    Interesting point. What about nosefly?

  17. June says:

    I didn’t realize that this was going on and just went to have a look at one of my lens. Like Jaguar Julie, I have not had any links in my intro, and I have discovered that I don’t like Squidoo’s choice of links. What the hell does Maryland have to do with Hawaii? Not a damn thing. More work to do removing these links and adding one of my own instead of 3 irrelevant links. Funny, but it seems by lens rank has plummeted the last 2 weeks. Could this be related?

  18. Brett Jarvi says:

    Most of my lenses were doing well on Google ( I work at it) they have been dropping off the radar like nose-diving flies. I thought it is because I added banners to the sidebar. I figure if a flashy banner is going to be distracting readers, it might as well be mine.

    Do you think those ugly irrelevant text links screwed up my SERPS ranking? I think so.

  19. Chuck Bartok says:

    I thank you for your energy Mr Lewis but I still don’t see the “hover ads” through Seth’s Introduction or are they somewhere else?

  20. Chuck Harmon says:

    This is great information, I just built two lenses tonight after not having visited Squidoo for many moons.

    Yes, it was a shock to see multiple green ad links all over my lenses.

    Off to the intro, lol.

  21. Ecolicious says:

    I dont mind them as long as they relate to my lenses. If they don’t then that may be a problem.

  22. VictoriaNTC says:

    I agree!
    I have anchor text in all of my intro modules.
    Should one track these links, the results would be impressive!

  23. drew says:

    I think they are annoying also. I opted out the first day I joined. But from squidoo’s point of view if they are bringing in revenues I can see where they would want to stay with them.

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