How well do search engines understand the linking structure of a web site? Do they have ways to organize and classify individual links and blocks of links that they see on the pages of a site? Do they treat links and collections of links that they find on more than one page of a site differently than links and collections of links only on one page? If they find more than one group of links on a page that contain many of the same links, though at the top and bottom of the page, how might they treat those links? I came across a patent filing from Microsoft from last summer that explored many of these topics, as well as others. It hadn’t drawn much attention, so I decided to take a closer look at it here. Segmentation and Link Blocks In the 2002 paper, SmartView: Enhanced Document Viewer for Mobile Devices (pdf), a couple of Microsoft researchers discussed how web pages might be analyzed and partitioned into smaller logical sections to be viewed on small devices, such as handheld … [Read more...] about How a Search Engine Might Analyze the Linking Structure of a Web Site
Monitoring web site
I’ve been exploring and researching the relationship between computers and people. More specifically, I’m fascinated by web sites and how, or if, they affect us emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. As a web site designer, what special power do you hold in your artistic hands? As a blogger, what kind of reaction are you seeking from readers? As a well branded company, are there in-house human instabilities that can be sensed by your online consumers? A change in perspective Over the past dozen years, we’ve learned that a secret to a web site’s long-term success is to build it for your visitors, rather than yourself. This doesn’t mean you need to avoid putting “you” in there. With some brands, “you” are part of the attraction. However, what end users can smell from a mile away is a site designed to make “you” get rich or slanted to make you look good. They could care less about you. They can tell when the … [Read more...] about How Does Your Web Site Make Visitors Feel?
Chances are that you’ve seen or heard a lot about responsive web site design lately. It’s a popular topic that is becoming a very big deal for business owners and entrepreneurs who have an online presence. But what exactly is a responsive web design? Simply put, it’s when a website is responsive to the device it is being viewed on. This means the layout and/or content of the web site will automatically adapt depending on the device the viewer is using. Responsive design usually four different screen sizes: the widescreen desktop monitor, the smaller desktop (or laptop), the tablet, and the mobile smart phone. Responsive design has become increasingly popular because not only does Google recommend it, but because people are surfing online on various devices. For example, predictions say by the end of 2014 mobile internet usage will be more common than desktop internet usage. It also has implications for online marketing. Research has found that 67 percent of people are … [Read more...] about The Top 10 Responsive Design Sites For Mobile
Please note, there is an updated version of this article now available here: How to test a website before you launch: a 28 point checklist. Launching a website is a little like making homemade soup. You’ve got many ingredients coming together, and before you’re done adding them, you sample it to see that you got it just right. But this step – the testing – is often ignored before a site goes live. Testing a new website can seem overwhelming. Teams aren’t sure where to start. But you may have more help than you know. Every team member can assist in the pre-launch process. Most websites have writers, web developers, marketers, search engine optimizers, and network administrators coming together to create the site. These same people can help test it. Here’s how. Writers and editors have strong attention to detail when it comes to the written content on your site. And this attention to detail can also be used for other tasks as well. Here’s what … [Read more...] about Website Launch Checklist: 25 Things to Test Before Your Site Goes Live
Google has kept a promise it made last year: Site speed is now a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, and is already in place for U.S. searchers. But Google also cautions web site owners not to sacrifice relevance in the name of faster web pages, and even says this new ranking factor will impact very few queries. More on that below, but first the background on today’s announcement from Google Fellow Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team. Why Page Speed Matters The first warning that site speed was on Google’s radar came last November, when Cutts said there was “strong lobbying” inside Google to account for site speed as a new ranking factor. Speaking at SMX West last month, Google’s Maile Ohye showed a slide indicating that delays of under a half-second impact business metrics. In addition to the numerous studies over the years that show Internet users prefer fast pages, Singhal says Google ran its own testing on how … [Read more...] about Google Now Counts Site Speed As A Ranking Factor