Friday, April 24, 2009

Best Sellers

Each week on Friday evening or Saturday morning (sometimes both), I update my Squidoo lens based on The New York Times Best Sellers list. I don't usually blog about it, but it seems like a good idea this time because recently the Yahoo search engine changed the way it lists web pages. The changed caused just about all Squidoo lenses to disappear from their listings. Unfortunately, the Best Seller lens was getting a fair amount of its visits through Yahoo's search. Once they changed things around April 7, the lens started sliding down in lensrank. Last week, even adding Kindle links on Friday and publishing the lens, then updating it on Saturday morning - two updates in two days, didn't halt the lens' slide.

It can take an hour or two to update the lens each week, depending on how many new books are on the list, because along with getting the new rankings from the newspaper's website and the information from Amazon plugged in for links, I write a blurb for each new book. Each description is in a box with a colored border and background, with the colors matching those on the book covers. (I wanted to show an example of an entry, and it looked OK in a preview, but it didn't work when I published this entry.)

It all took some figuring out with revisions happening over the months since I started the lens back last July 30. It really doesn't look too much like it did back then. I've learned a lot about HTML and CSS in figuring out how to make the lens look good. It was doing quite well for a while until the Yahoo search thing happened, so it's been disheartening to see it slipping over the past few weeks. One reason for blogging about it is to create a link that search engines will see, and just maybe Yahoo might pick up the listing again.

In seeing what's been happening with Yahoo, I've done some searches there for my Mount St. Helens lens, which used to get a fair amount of its traffic from that search engine. I can find several results for places where the lens is mentioned and linked, but not the lens itself. Very strange.

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