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I just read a WSJ article about how some hotel chains are trying to woo people leaving negative remarks publicly about their brand.


'I Hate My Room,' The Traveler Tweeted. Ka-Boom! An Upgrade!


Generally speaking, the idea is crap.


In essence they are spending resources trying to make the most unsatisfied segment of their market happy, and rewarding people for trashing their brands with free upgrades & other perks. And so it teaches more people to complain & to find arbitrary things to complain about. Hence the friendly article offering the tip o

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n how to get free room upgrades, with tips like: "Have a lot of online friends or followers. Hotels will pay more attention to your requests."


Hey Ritz-Carlton & Shangri La ... we have 10,000's of readers and you suck! Please save my complimentary upgrades for the next time I am in town. :D


Does anybody think those leading brands got to where they are by tracking complaints on Twitter? The customers who have complaints actually worth listening to will probably give it to you directly rather than Tweeting it.


The people who are unhappy are often the type of people who shop by price and have 0 brand loyalty. And no matter what you do it is never enough. About two days after opening up our membership site (nearly 2 years ago) I got a phone call while on the road by someone who couldn't figure out how to log in. I pointed out where it was. That wasn't good enough. I spent about 6 hours digging through the PHP to try to make the login even more intuitive for them. The next day they asked for a refund because I didn't provide 24/7 phone support. The login wasn't the problem. It was just a handy excuse. The problem was that they were cheap and nothing was going to be good enough for them. And just to put a bit more salt in the wounds, about a week later someone else complained about how the login was changed. FAIL! :D


Since then we have increased our price 200% (as we have added more tools, more staff, and the value of my time keeps going up every day) and we still have many people who are happy as longterm customers at a higher price point. In fact when some people accidentally cancel their account I can get 3 to 5 emails in an 8 hour period when I sleep because they miss the site that much.


But there is the opposite end of the spectrum as well: potential "customers" who demand a free trial, beg for aggressive discounts, or have 50 "one more question" questions before joining. They probably are not sold enough on the solution to be worth the effort of selling to. No matter what you offer them its probably not going to be enough. Their lack of internal value is reflected into their perception of the works of others, and if they buy from you without being sold on you they will probably ask for a refund, or find a way to be abusive to make you want to can them.


In our support suite many non-paying non-customers mark their messages as critical. Whereas the people who are paying customers use a less extreme level, like normal. The levels that people can select are almost a filtering mechanism. Have you spent $0 with us & you mark your issue as critical & you use caps lock & rude slurs? Shift-delete.


I didn't intentionally plan it, but our old programmer even built another filter into our business model. The people who join and then cancel right away get locked out right away. We then send them refunds, but this level of filtering filters out a major type of potentially abusive customer. The type who generally won't read or research but will ask 5 different questions 8 different ways each every single day until they have annoyed your members so much that you are forced to boot them to lessen the noise. The person who makes over 100 posts in their first 2 days isn't taking any time to read or listen or implement, so they would just harm your community without getting any value out of it.


This leads to my theory of filtering: if a person needs lots of support becoming a customer (or before they become a customer) then they probably are not going to become a good customer. And if you take them on as a customer (or spend any money pushing in that direction) you will probably lose money.


The person who sends me an enraged email about "why should I install Firefox" just wasted 5 seconds of my life & will never spend a penny with me. And that is fine.


Many of the best companies aim to be polarizing. They pick their spots and define what they do, and work hard to make that market segment happy. That is how Steve Jobs views flash, and it is how Marc Andreessen likes to invest.


Find out what people smarter than you are doing and find a way to incorporate those themes into your business strategy. The smaller you are the more polarizing you can be, because you don't have to create something that feeds thousands of employees to be profitable.


You could spend every day trying to make any unhappy person happy with your offering.


... OR ...


What if you took those same resources that were spent trying to appease the angry and spent them on making those who are happy that much happier? Does the free upgrade go further when it is given to an enraged steroid addicted customer, or does it go further when given to someone who has stayed with your hotel multiple times in the past? Where are they on this circle?


The concept to think about here is that if someone is already fairly loyal it doesn't take much more marketing or attention to make them *super* loyal. And then they spread the word.


There is a concept of fairness which is preached in school, but you should overweight your business toward your best customers.


The person who has been a paying subscriber for years is worth thousands to tens of thousands of Dollars to our future business interests.


And for clarity purposes, I agree with Chris that their can be great value in being a guide & helping people out. But angry high-maintenance people are rarely where sustainable profit margins come from (unless, of course, you are a divorce lawyer OR a PR firm who gets paid to give hotels bad advice).


From the above WSJ article's comment section


It wasn't enough. It never is. :D

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When the internal Google remote quality rater guidelines leaked online there was a core quote inside it that defined the essence of spam:
Final Notes on Spam
When trying to decide if a page is Spam, it is helpful to ask yourself this question: if I remove the scraped (copied) content, the ads, and the links to other pages, is there anything of value left? if the answer is no, the page is probably Spam.
With the above quote in mind please review the typical Mahalo page

Adding a bit more context, the following 25 minute video from 2008 starts off with M
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att Cutts talking about how he penalized a website for using deceptive marketing. Later into the video (~ 21 minutes in) the topic of search results within search results and then Mahalo come up.


Here is a transcription of relevant bits...
Matt Cutts: Would a user be annoyed if they land on this page, right. Because if users get annoyed, if users complain, then that is when we start to take action.

And so it is definitely the case where we have seen search results where a search engine didn't robots.txt something out, or somebody takes a cookie cutter affiliate feed, they just warm it up and slap it out, there is no value add, there is no original content there and they say search results or some comparison shopping sites don't put a lot of work into making it a useful site. They don't add value.

Though we mainly wanted to get on record and say that hey we are willing to take these out, because we try to document everything as much as we can, because if we came and said oh removed some stuff but it wasn't in our guidelines to do that then that would be sub-optimal.

So there are 2 parts to Google's guidelines. There are technical guidelines and quality guidelines. The quality guidelines are things where if you put hidden text we'll consider that spam and we can remove your page. The technical guidelines are more like just suggestions.
...
So we said don't have search results in search results. And if we find those then we may end up pruning those out.

We just want to make sure that searchers get good search results and that they don't just say oh well I clicked on this and I am supposed to find the answer, and now I have to click somewhere else and I am lost, and I didn't find what I wanted. Now I am angry and I am going to complain to Google.

Danny Sulivan: "Mahalo is nothing but search results. I mean that is explicitly what he says he is doing. I will let you qualify it, but if you ask him what it is still to this day he will say its a search engine. And then all the SEOs go 'well if it is a search engine, shouldn't you be blocking all your search results from Google' and his response is 'yeah well IF we ever see them do anything then we might do it'."

Matt Cutts: It's kinda interesting because I think Jason...he is a smart guy. He's a savvy guy, and he threaded the needle where whenever he talked to some people he called it a search service or search engine, and whenever he talked to other people he would say oh it is more of a content play.

And in my opinion, I talked to him, and so I said what software do you use to power your search engine? And he said we use Twika or MediaWiki. You know, wiki software, not C++ not Perl not Python. And at that point it really does move more into a content play. And so it is closer to an About.com than to a Powerset or a Microsoft or Yahoo! Search.

And if you think about it he has even moved more recently to say 'you know, you need to have this much content on the page.' So I think various people have stated how skilled he is at baiting people, but I don't think anybody is going to make a strong claim that it is pure search or that even he seems to be moving away from ok we are nothing but a search engine and moving more toward we have got a lot of people who are paid editors to add a lot of value.
One quick thing to note about the above video was how the site mentioned off the start got penalized for lying for links, and yet Jason Calacanis apologized for getting a reporter fired after lying about having early access to the iPad. Further notice how Matt considered that the first person was lying and deserved to be penalized for it, whereas when he spoke of Jason he used the words savvy, smart, and the line threaded the needle. To the layperson, what is the difference between being a savvy person threading the needle and a habitual liar?

Further lets look at some other surrounding facts in 2010, shall we?
  • How does Jason stating "Mahalo sold $250k+ in Amazon product in 2009 without trying" square with Matt Cutts saying "somebody takes a cookie cutter affiliate feed, they just warm it up and slap it out, there is no value add, there is no original content there" ... Does the phrase without trying sound like value add to you? Doesn't to me.

  • Matt stated that they do not want searchers to think "oh well I clicked on this and I am supposed to find the answer, and now I have to click somewhere else and I am lost" ... well how does Mahalo intentionally indexing hundreds of thousands of 100% auto-generated pages which simply recycle search results and heavily wrap them in ads square with that? sounds like deceptive & confusing arbitrage to me.

  • Matt stated "and if you think about it he has even moved more recently to say 'you know, you need to have this much content on the page,'" but in reality, that was a response to when I highlighted how Mahalo was scraping content. Jason dismissed the incident as an "experimental" page that they would nofollow. Years later, of course, it turned out he was (once again) lying and still doing the same thing, only with far greater scale. Jason once again made Matt Cutts look bad for trusting him.

  • Matt stated "I don't think anybody is going to make a strong claim that it is pure search" ... and no, its not pure search. If anything it is IMPURE search, where they use 3rd party content *without permission* and put most of it below the fold, while the Google AdSense ads are displayed front and center.
    • If you want to opt out of Mahalo scraping your content you can't because he scrapes it from 3rd party sites and provides NO WAY for you to opt out of him displaying scraped content from your site as content on his page).

    • Jason offers an "embed this" option for their content, so you can embed their "content" on your site. But if you use that code the content is in an iframe so it doesn't harm them on the duplicate content front AND the code gives Jason multiple direct clean backlinks. Whereas when Jason automatically embeds millions of scraped listings of your content he puts it right in the page as content on his page AND slaps nofollow on the link. If you use his content he gets credit...when he uses your content you get a lump of coal. NICE!

    • And, if you were giving Jason the benefit of the doubt, and thought the above was accidental, check out how when he scrapes the content in that all external links have a nofollow added, but any internal link *does not*

  • Matt stated "[Jason is] moving more toward we have got a lot of people who are paid editors to add a lot of value" ... and, in reality, Jason used the recession as an excuse to can the in house editorial team and outsource that to freelancers (which are paid FAR LESS than the amounts he hypes publicly). Given that many of the pages that have original content on them only have 2 sentences surrounded by large swaths of scraped content, I am not sure there is an attempt to "add a lot of value." Do you find this page on Shake and Bake meth to be a high quality editorial page?

  • What is EVEN MORE OUTRAGEOUS when they claim to have some editorial control over the content is that not only do they wrap outbound links which they are scraping content from in nofollow, but they publish articles on topics like 13 YEAR OLD RAPE. Either they have no editorial, or some of the editorial is done by pedophiles.

  • Worse yet, such pages are not a rare isolated incident. Michael VanDeMar found out that Mahalo is submitting daily lists of thousands of those auto-generated articles to Google via an XML sitemap...so when Jason claims the indexing was an accident, you know he lied once again!


Here Jason is creating a new auto-generated page about me! And if I want to opt out of being scraped I CAN'T. What other source automatically scrapes content, republishes it wrapped in ads and calls it fair use, and then does not allow you to opt out? What is worse in the below example, is that on that page Jason stole the meta description from my site and used it as his page's meta description (without my permission, and without a way for me to opt out of it).


So basically Matt...until you do something, Jason is going to keep spamming the crap out of Google. Each day you ignore him another entreprenuer will follow suit trying to build another company that scrapes off the backs of original content creators. Should Google be paying people to *borrow* 3rd party content without permission (and with no option of opting out)?

I think Jason has pressed his luck and made Matt look naive and stupid. Matt Cutts has got to be pissed. But unfortunately for Matt, Mahalo is too powerful for him to do anything about it. In that spirit, David Naylor recently linked to this page on Twitter.
What is the moral of the story for Jason Calacanas & other SEOs?
  • If you are going to create a thin spam site you need to claim to be anti-spam to legitimize it. Never claim to be an SEO publicly, even if you are trying to sell corporate SEO services.

  • If you have venture capital and have media access and lie to the media for years it is fine. If you are branded as an SEO and you are caught lying once then no soup for you.

  • If you are going to steal third party content and use it as content on your site and try to claim it is fair use make sure you provide a way of opting out (doing otherwise is at best classless, but likely illegal as well).

  • If you have venture capital and are good at public relations then Google's quality guidelines simply do not apply to you. Follow Jason's lead as long as Google permits mass autogenerated spam wrapped in AdSense to rank well in their search results.

  • The Google Webmaster Guidelines are an arbitrary device used to oppress the small and weak, but do not apply to large Google ad partners.

  • Don't waste any of your time reporting search spam or link buying. The above FLAGRANT massive violation of Google's guidelines was reported on SearchEngineLand, and yet the issue continues without remedy - showing what a waste of time it is to highlight such issues to Google.

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Back in December 2007, I observed that "Blogs Are the New Trade Press." Today, it appears that news blogs are becoming the new online newspapers, too.

According to "The State of the News Media 2009," an annual report by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, "nearly one out of every five journalists working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone, and 2009 may be the worst year yet."

It adds, "Perhaps least noticed yet most important, th
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e audience migration to the Internet is now accelerating. The number of Americans who regularly go online for news, by one survey, jumped 19% in the last two years; in 2008 alone traffic to the top 50 news sites rose 27%."

In other words, people are still looking for news, "But audiences now consume news in new ways. They hunt and gather what they want when they want it, use search to comb among destinations and share what they find through a growing network of social media," reported the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

A Pew Research Center Survey in December 2008, found the number of Americans who said they got "most of their national and international news" online increased 67% in the last four years. The presidential election was almost certainly a key factor in the growth. More than a third of Americans said they got most of their campaign news from the Internet in 2008 -- triple the percentage in previous presidential election year.

Although the growth in online news consumption cut across age groups, the growth was fueled in particular by young people. Young voters and activists now rank the Internet as a news source of importance parallel to television, according to the Pew Research Center Survey.

The State of the News Media 2009 added, "And the video site YouTube also became a major delivery system for people to get news posted and recommended by friends and associates, and often from political campaigns. The Obama camp reported more than a billion minutes of campaign-produced material was downloaded from YouTube. And Youtube reported that the Obama campaign's 1800 web videos were viewed 100 million times in total."

According to Pew Research Center data, as of August 2008 the percentage of Americans who went online regularly for news (at least three times a week) was up 19% from two years earlier to nearly four in ten Americans (37%). No other medium was growing as quickly. Most saw audiences flat or declining.

The new numbers put the Web ahead of several other platforms for the first time. In the same August survey, 29% of Americans said they "regularly" watched network nightly news, 22% watched network morning shows and 13% Sunday morning shows.

The percentage of Americans, who relied on the Internet regularly, according to this data, was now roughly similar to that who regularly watched cable television for news (39%). More people still read a newspaper "yesterday" (34%) or listened to news radio (35%) than had viewed news online "yesterday" (29%). But the gap was narrowing.

Although the shift in audiences from print newspapers to online newspapers is "old news," Newsknife, which rates the top news sites at Google News, has just reported some "new news" that indicates of source gathering the news is also shifting.

According to an article posted yesterday, Newsknife noticed changes at Google News at the beginning of March that could affect traffic to news sites.

It appears to Newsknife that Google News has significantly increased its listing of blogs. "Compared with our previous findings there's now a real blogstorm," it reported.

Newsknife found 150 blog sites at Google News during March. "The growing number of blogs appearing at Google News seems to offer a simple success formula to news site owners: start blogs for your site and increase your chances of being listed at Google News," it advised.

Many news site owners started doing this a year ago. For example, Newsknife reported on March 1, 2008, a that blogs from the Washington Post, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today, and Los Angeles Times were starting to appear in Google News.

The topic of news business models for publishers in these changing times was addressed at SES New York last week. I moderated a panel that included (in aphapbetical order): Mark M. Edmiston, Managing Director of AdMedia Partners; Murray Gaylord, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Insights at NYTimes.com; Erik Matlick, CEO of Madison Logic; and Gill Torren, Associate Publisher of SC Magazine at Haymarket Media.

Following the session, Byron Gordon of SEO-PR interviewed Gaylord about the changing media landscape. Gaylord says The New York Times was aware of social media's impact back in the 1990's and has taken steps to integrate such developments into its brand making it the largest news site on the Web.

Gaylord added that NYTimes.com has more than 55 blogs and is integrating thousands of videos and related digital media into to its website, making the NY Times the most shared site on the Web. He went on to highlight a particular New York Times collaboration with Facebook, in advance of President Obama's inauguration.


S. Murray Gaylord, VP Marketing, New York Times, on social media's impact on publishing

What does this mean to readers of this Search Engine Marketing News Blog, which is also one of the more than 4,500 English-language news sources worldwide that have their headlines aggregated by Google News?

It means news search SEO is larger than press release optimization. It's larger than news article optimization. It includes blog post optimization.

And based on the latest Newsknife findings, it appears that news bloggers may be better at optimizaing their posts than traditional newspaper reporters. And this was happenening even before the economy collapsed.

What are the implications? The news industry has to reinvent itself sooner than it thought. And it has to do this at a time when economists are trying to draw the line between a recession and a depression.

In the meantime, marketers need to focus on the news blogs that are becoming the news online newspapers.


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Professional web design and internet marketing company in india.Our internet marketing strategy encompasses a wide range of activities, from optimizing websites, improving their indexing on search engines or building link programs to managing traffic generation lists or making your website more user-friendly.
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The other day a person contacted me about wanting to help me with ad retargeting on one of my sites, but in order to do so they would have had to have tracked my site. That would have given them tons of great information about how they could retarget all my site's visitors around the web. And they wanted me to give that up for free in an offer which was made to sound compelling, but lacked substance. And so they never got a response. :D


Given that we live in "the information age" it is surprising how little people value data & how little they expect you to value it. But ther

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e are still a lot of naive folks online! Google has a patent for finding under-served markets. And they own the leading search engine + the leading online ad network.


At any point in time they can change who they are voting for, and why they are voting that way.


They acquired YouTube and then universal search was all the rage.


Yes they have been pretty good at taking the longterm view, but that is *exactly* why so many businesses are afraid of them. Google throws off so much cash and collects so much data that they can go into just about any information market and practice price dumping to kill external innovation & lock up the market.


Once they own the market they have the data. From there a near infinite number of business models & opportunities appear.


Google recently became the #1 shopping search engine. How did they respond? More promotion of their shopping search feature.



All those star ratings near the ads go to a thin affiliate / Google value add shopping search engine experience. Featured placement for those who are willing to share more data in exchange for promotion, and then over time Google will start collecting data directly and drive the (non-Google) duplication out of the marketplace.


You can tell where Google aims to position Google in the long run by what they consider to be spam. Early remote quality rater guidelines have highlighted how spammy the travel vertical is with hotel sites. Since then Google has added hotel prices to their search results, added hotels to some of their maps, and they just acquired ITA software - the company which powers many airline search sites.


Amongst this sort of backdrop there was an article in the NYT about small book shops partnering up with Google. The title of the article reads like it is straight out of a press release: Small Stores See Google as Ally in E-Book Market. And it includes the following quote


Mr. Sennett acknowledged that Google would also be a competitor, since it would also sell books from its Web site. But he seemed to believe that Google would favor its smaller partners.


“I don’t see Google directly working to undermine or outsell their retail partners,” he said. “I doubt they are going to be editorially recommending books and making choices about what people should read, which is what bookstores do.”


He added, “I wonder how naïve that is at this point. We’ll have to see.”


If they have all the sales data they don't need to make recommendations. They let you and your customers do that. All they have to do to provide a better service than you can is aggregate the data.


The long view is this: if Google can cheaply duplicate your efforts you are unneeded duplication in the marketplace.


Look at the list of business models Google publicly stated they were leery on:



  • ebook sites


  • get rich quick
  • comparison shopping sites
  • travel aggregators

3 out of 4 ain't bad. But they even on the one they missed, they still have an AdSense category for it. :D


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Credit: HardForums
Do you work in an office?
From home?
If you're thinking of starting SEO business, one of the key decisions you'll need to make is where to setup. One of the advantages of the internet is that distance doesn't become the obstacle it once was. An office can exist virtually, with the workforce spread out across the country, or around the globe, with employees working from home.
Let's take a look at the many advantages and disadvantages of the virtual business. I
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t would be great if those who have already established their own SEO businesses could share their experiences in the comments :)
1. Financial Concerns
One of the biggest problems for any start-up is lack of finance. Keeping overheads low in order to maximize cashflow is therefore a good idea, and one of the biggest overheads a business faces in the early stages, besides wages, is setting up an office. The rent must be paid and equipment must be hired or purchased.
A virtual company uses existing premises i.e. the home and, in many cases, existing equipment.
2. Opportunity Cost
Small companies can out-maneuver bigger companies by being more efficient and more productive.
Say employees in a traditional company must commute an hour round trip each day. Then add the time they take to get ready for work. Perhaps that all adds up to an hour and half each day. In a year, this dead time adds up to months! Whilst employees can get work done on the commute if using public transport, it's not an ideal space for concentrating.
The lost time for the virtual office is essentially zero. No commute. No getting ready. Well, maybe putting some pants on might be a good idea :)
3. Less Meetings/Water Cooler Activity
How much meeting time is actually useful? How many hours of the day do we spend chatting with work mates?
Having worked both in traditional environments and virtual environments, I've found I get a lot more done in virtual environments. The social element of traditional workplaces, whilst beneficial in terms of morale, can result in less productivity. The virtual office, on the other hand, tends to be a lot more task focused. "Meetings" (Skype) are a lot shorter, organising them is a lot easier (no room bookings), and because you're not face-to-face with people all the time, there are fewer minute-by-minute distractions.
4. Virtual Office Employees Can Work Longer Hours
I don't know why this is, but I suspect it's because virtual office employees make less of distinction between working time and personal time. It was actually one of the "downsides" I found when I first worked from home - it was near impossible to leave work! Each time I passed the office, I was tempted to do a little more.
When you commute to an office, it's easier to walk out the door and leave it all behind.
5. Employees Really Like It
Some people will work for less wages for the privilege of working from home. They gain in other ways i.e. more flexible arrangements, time spent near family, reduced costs of lunch, enjoying their own surroundings, not having to communte, etc. A happy employee typically produces more work, and stays at the company longer, thus increasing productivity and reducing expenses.
Downsides?
Of course, the virtual office has downsides. One of the big downsides is the reduced social interaction. Some people thrive on the social interaction of the work place, and are not suited to the virtual office. The key is to screen employees carefully. Some virtual offices also setup in coffee shops to help counter the social isolation.
Home can also be a distracting place. Employees need an area away from other people.
Clients may perceive your company as less serious if it operates out of a home address. The way to get around this is to rent a mail forwarding address and the occasional meeting room in the center of town. There are companies that offer these facilities, and you can use meeting rooms and secretarial services on an hourly basis. I've also found that big clients don't go to small suppliers anyway. They demand you to come to them!
Some people need to be micro-managed. Again, careful selection is the key. Also try to make delivery task-based as opposed to based on hours worked.
What have been you experiences - positives and negatives - of your office setup?
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What is the purpose of that new page you're adding to your site?
Is it to rank highly for a keyword term? That's half the battle won, of course :)
After the visitor has arrived on your page, what do you want the visitor to do next?
According to Seth Godin, you probably want a visitor to do one of five things:

  • Click to go to another page on your site

  • Buy something

  • Register for something

  • Click on/view advertising

  • Pass y
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    our message on to a friend



So, if you build a landing page, and you're going to invest time and money to get people to visit it, it makes sense to optimize that page to accomplish just one of the things above. Perhaps two, but no more.

Keep that desired action firmly in mind when you design and optimize your pages. The first rule of optimization is to optimize for humans. Ranking a page, only to have visitors click away, is a waste of time and effort.
Optimize For Focus
In the SEOBook Forums, we offer site reviews as a service to members.
We often see sites where it isn't clear what they visitor needs to do. This is usually caused by too many options presented on one page. By trying to please all audiences, we often end up pleasing nobody.
Decide the key action you want people to take, and relegate all other options. Either move some options to a different page, or reduce the visual weight of other options relative to the main action you want a visitor to take.
Here's a great example of a site where the one key action is in clear focus: DailyBurn.com
An exception to this rule is when the user is very familiar with the site. A lack of options often means too many clicks to get things done. However, if your page is focused on the first time searcher, then simplicity and clarity is the way to go.
Visual Focus
Do you know where people's eyes focus when they land on your site?

Check out this tool at FenGui. The tool tries to work out how people will visually scan your site. Some web statistics packages, such as Google Analytics and ClickTracks, provide visual click tracking based on user activity.
Before deciding on a template for your site, it is a good idea to test out your ideas using PPC. Knock up a few different designs, run a short campaign and use split/run testing to determine which page layout result in the user taking the desired action most often. Armed with this information, you're less likely to waste time in your SEO campaign.
Design Considerations
There are few hard and fast rules when it comes to web design, because each element you add will affect what is already there. Or not there.
However, a few factors remain constant:

  • The eye will be attracted to color blocks

  • The eye will be attracted to human faces or forms

  • Whitespace promotes readability - keep paragraphs short, use headings and bulletpoints


Make sure all visual elements underscore the desired action.
Where Web Design/ SEO Often Goes Wrong
The success of a page should be measured by one criteria:
Does the visitor do what you want them to do?
Often, other criteria will blur this vision. For example, a designer who is more interested in winning awards than ensuring your pages do what they should, may make a page pretty, but sometimes pretty doesn't result in a desired action. An SEO can sometimes be overzealous in terms of keyword usage, which can result in dense text and odd-phrasing, which has the potential to put visitors off.
There is little point putting a lot of effort into attracting visitors if they don't do what you want them to do.
A Word About Adsense
Positioning of adsense can be the difference between making pocketmoney and making a living. Look at Adsense as a visual element, as opposed to a block of text. Typography and text layout are design elements, every bit as much as graphics.
Are your eyes drawn to Adsense as you scan the page? If not, you may need to tone down other visual display elements, including color, to make Adsense Ads stand out. If Adsense is the way you monetize, the desired user action is the click. Are other elements on your page, be they links or graphics, competing for that click?

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In this edition of our weekly Twitter column I’d like to ridicule Twitter search. Yes, no mistake here. We know now, after I’ve predicted it a few weeks ago that
Twitter search will finally rank tweets
instead of just showing the latest ones.
Search Engine Land asked when the news Twitter search ranking will get live but they [...]© SEOptimise - Thinking of attending SMX London in May 2010?
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In the past when I claimed that the Google Maps insertion in organic search results wasn't more organic search but rather a Google promotion, I was met with skepticism by some, who argued that Google Maps was just another flavor of organic search and visitors would still be able to go to the end ranked website.


If you search for something on Google and click on one of the end URLs you can still visit them, but Google made one step in the opposite direction today. If you click on the map now the Google Maps section lists a bunch of places on the maps, rather than giving you the

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URLs. You then have to click onto one of the locations to see it on the map and open a pop up area which contains information including the URL. More clicks to do the same thing.



How long until Google replaces the URL listings in the search results with links to locations on the Google Maps or links to Google Places pages? It is the next obvious step in this transition.

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Crossroads by Captain DJ. Getting targeted traffic for a website is just the first step in a thorough SEO process. What comes next? Landing page optimization or conversion (rate) optimization/CRO follows. After all you want the visitors you get to stay on your site and perform the desired action (like ordering or subscribing). One of [...]

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