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Posts tagged ‘internet marketing’

17
Sep

First Impressions of Firefox 3

The Reviews are Mixed: Firefox 3 Friend or Foe?

On June 17th, Mozilla released Firefox 3 browser; a browser with purported enhancements for “faster, safer web browsing”.

The Synopsis of Firefox 3 release:

Available today in approximately 50 languages, Firefox 3 is two to three times faster than its predecessor and offers more than 15,000 improvements, including the revolutionary smart location bar, malware protection, and extensive under the hood work to improve the speed and performance of the browser.

Three years of work and thousands of developers to produce the new browser. Many of us in the SEO/SEM/Search Marketing industry, as far as I can tell, have nothing but complaints about the browser thus far. The main issue: continually crashing. This browser, as far as I can surmise, doesn’t play nicely with Javascript or AJAX, and causes continual issues of crashing. Additionally, I’ve noticed that users are having trouble with Add-Ons, specifically the ones that we all can’t live without in order to do our daily work. Right there that’s a deal-breaker for me. In fact, it was such a deal breaker, that I downgraded back to Firefox 2 just so that I could continue to work at a decent pace with all my add-ons. And, it doesn’t seem that I’m alone.

Here are just a few choice conversations from the community:

Tamar\'s Plurk about FF3 Andy Beard\'s Tweet about FF3 Michael Graywolf Tweet About FF3

But then there are folks that think Firefox 3 has been nothing but awesome thus far. I’ve seen comments like, “FF3 is smoother” and “I’ve had no problems with it thus far.” So, it appears to be a mixed bag at this point. The Mixed Bag of Results

Conclusion:

I’m waiting for a Firefox 3 update when they release some updates to play nicely with other web-standards like JS and AJAX, and when adding Add-ons doesn’t crash the entire browser. I would downgrade back to Firefox 2 until a new version is released. There’s been quite a backlash thus far, so I imagine that Mozilla been busy working on an update already. Downgrade as quickly as you can, and then upgrade when they release a new version.

14
Sep

The Milwaukee SEO: SMX Advanced 2008 Reflections

Welcome to the Dark Side: SMX Advanced 2008

Don’t let the title scare you (or for those of you who enjoy the “Dark Side”, get excited) no Give It Up! Tips will be talked about here until the full 30 day time period expires. (Sorry. Being ostracized and shunned in a community is something I won’t do just yet.)

This was the first major SEO/SEM conference I’d been to, and it didn’t disappoint. Outside of the awesome information flowing through each session, it was a real pleasure to meet some of the folks I’d been reading and following around the net for the past several years. The networking opportunities were worth it alone. And, now that I’ve had a few days to reflect on it, I know now that there is a real “dark side” out there in the SEO world. Let me explain.

I’d always considered myself ethical and moral (not exactly a “virgin” white hat, but a nice shade of off-white) when it came to my SEO: I’d look to cut some corners, be a smidge sneaky when it came to optimizing, and take advantage of as many search weaknesses as possible, as long as it was in the Google/Search Engine Playbook. But, never in my wildest imagination did I think the Black Hats were as strong as they are, nor as simply creative as they are.

Jay Young, of Link Fish Media, had a quote that I didn’t necessarily think pertained to SEO, but always felt like it should be said, “SEO isn’t about morality, it’s about money.” And, really, in a nutshell, that’s what is all about. Yet, that being said, I can’t justify nor condone the attitude, the behavior, of some of the things I heard at the “Blow Your Mind Link Building” session or the “Give It Up!” session. Some of those techniques were just downright dastardly and could potentially destroy businesses. And, perhaps I have a weak constitution when it comes to being “dark”, but I could never do some of those things, even if I knew it would bring successes to my clients.

I think the Developer Track was excellent, and out of the Organic track, the “Analytics Every SEO Needs To Know” and “International SEO” were tremendous. Tons of incredible information those two sessions that can really help businesses struggling to justify SEO/SEM/SMO to their clients.

I will say this: at least I know they exist and what techniques other might be using against me. I have knowledge of it now, and it makes me wiser to the games others might be playing. Was SMX Advanced advanced? Yes. Was it advanced in a way that would be applicable to “White Hat SEOs”, no. It wasn’t. That’s the sad truth. If you can, check your morality and business ethics at the door, then this conference was a gold mine. If you can’t or won’t, then you’re like me, and found some useful things, but none that you’d be willing to risk a client site over, or your job over.

The best part of working at Aloha Digital Marketing, is that I have a team dedicated to same principles of clean SEO that I subscribe to. Again, I never claimed to pristine and virginal; I want to maximize as many advantages as possible, I want to build my clients’ businesses along with our own, but I want to do it in clean, ethical, and moral manner.

SMX Advanced was quite informative, excellent place to meet and network, but not enough “White Hat” I can really take back and apply to my clients’ sites. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of “burning” a site or two in pursuit of rankings and conversions. And, my guess is, neither do most of you. So, my hope is that next year, there will be ONE Give It Up, not several Give It Ups under the guise of “White Hat” Sessions.

14
Sep

3 Easy Steps to Design a Website for the Boomer Generation:

Designing Sites for Baby Boomers

It’s the market that still seems to be eluding the online marketing world: Boomers. In the last two years, several sites have popped up to court this generation. And, yet, they still can’t find a way to form a real boomer community with them, even though there are, according to the 2000 Census, over 79 million. Sure, many companies are investing heavily into tapping this market, but online, I believe that many still consider this to be a niche group not worth catering to.

Three Boomer Sites Not Up Snuff:

eMarketer predicts that by 2011, over 83% of the Baby Boomer population will be online and active. Logically, and naturally, these folks are going to want a place to congregate. And, whomever can find the right model and design, will own the market. As you can see from the chart, all three sites are below half a million monthly users. So where are they all going?

How To Design a Dynamite Baby Boomer Site:

Just a few quick tips on how to design a site that Boomers may actually want to visit

1. Color Choice is Key:

Studies have shown, and science has proved, that the color blue is actually the hardest color on the eye on the as we age. Moreover, you have think about the psychological implications of the palette you choose, what group of colors best represents that generation. Blue, while being a very gender-neutral color and representing trustworthiness, also represents sadness and the ambient. Physiologically, blue calms and sedates.

Colour perception and sensitivity; less violet light is registered, making it easier to see red and yellows than blues and greens and often making darker blues and black indistinguishable.

-Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review

If you look at three sites listed above, blue dominates the palette. Seems this would be the color to stay away from, right? These sites aren’t banks or financial entities in any sense, so why use blue? What kind of trustworthiness do they have to build, visitor loyalty? Why “calm and sedate” your visitors, seriously?

2. Large, In-Your-Face Text

Not only does body deterioration come with age, but so does eye deterioration. To be honest, I like sites with text bigger than 10 point font, considering I live at the keyboard 60+ hours a week. If your users have to struggle to read the site, then you can bet 99 out 100 times, they’re gone, especially a demographic that has poor eyesight to begin with.

I would stick with no less than a 12 pt. font, possibly in Arial or Tahoma.

3. The Site has to be About Boomers

Of course all three sites are “about” Boomers, but are presented in such a way as if they are selling something to them, rather than a place to commune. I believe the website will have to serve the ego of the Baby Boomer generation, not merely have a name and outer shell that identifies with them.

If you’re following, then the solution to designing the Boomer site is to create a robust social networking site. All they’ll want to do is talk about themselves: photo-sharing, video sharing, blogging, discussions, etc. (after all it’s what they’ve done best the past 50+ years) It doesn’t need to be as globally-integrated to other sites, they won’t use it. They key is to have very easy to use functionality: pick and post. Remember the K.I.S.S. Rule: Keep It Simple Stupid.

No website is going to take over for Ebay or Amazon to serve their commerce needs to buy goods. No website like this going to serve as the “News” station replacement over their local newspaper sites and national news sites. They don’t even want to connect with one another; they just want to talk out loud to everyone else.

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