User-Centered Or Usage-Centered Design: Which Is Better For SEO?

When creating a search-engine friendly website, do you follow the principles of user-centered design, usage-centered design, or both?


Why Blending Usability & SEO Really Matters

Whenever the phrase, "usability and SEO", enter a conversation, there’s a very good chance it goes in one ear and out the other. Corporate management interprets it as "We need more money", and middle management fixes their poker face until they’re free to run to Google to look up the term. Though there is improvement, traditionally the term, "usability and SEO" represent two distinct countries, each with their own culture and belief systems. SEO inhabitants live, eat, breathe and play in the realm of marketing, especially in search engines. Their challenge is to monitor search al [...]


Twitter, Mozilla Strike Deal That Bakes Twitter Search Into Firefox 8 Search Box

twitter-firefox-search-featured Twitter and Mozilla have struck a deal that makes Twitter search one of the default search options in the new Firefox 8 web browser. It's included in the Windows, Mac and Linux versions, which can be downloaded now. As Mozilla's blog post explains, the Twitter search option can be used to search Twitter usernames, hashtags and topics (without hashtags). It's available in four languages: English, Portuguese, Slovenian and Japaneses. Mozilla says more languages will be enabled in future releases. Twitter search was previously available as a separate add-on for the Firefox search bar. T [...]


Eyetracking & SEO: Fad, Fact, Or Fiction?

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Do SEO professionals use eyetracking usability studies as a link-juice fad? Can eyetracking tests yield useful information about Web searchers?


Cats & Dogs Living Together: Bing Promotes Firefox

bing-firefox-featured If you ever wanted proof that Microsoft has learned that for Bing to succeed, it needs to spread its wings beyond Microsoft, look no further than today's news that Bing is offering "Firefox With Bing." That's right, Microsoft is pushing a rival browser to its own Internet Explorer. Firefox With Bing In a blog post today, Bing invites people to download a version of "Firefox With Bing" where Bing is used as the default search engine for the Firefox search box and for searches conducted from the "AwesomeBar" address window: In most countries, Firefox uses Google as its default search engine [...]


Google News Moves Advanced Options To Search Bar; A Sign Of Things To Come?

google-news-logo-square In what may be a sign of things to come across other Google properties, the advanced search search options in Google News have been moved away from their own page and placed right inside the main search bar. Here are before and after screenshots to show what I'm talking about. Before: After: There's a small triangle on the far right of the search bar and, when your mouse moves over it, that "Advanced news search" indicator appears. When you click on the triangle, a full set of advanced search options appears -- no need to click through to a separate page. As far as [...]


Keys To Understanding Search Marketing & User Intent

Search engine marketers spend a large portion of their marketing strategies on keyword research. One method is to seek words and phrases that are most likely to be used by searchers to find a particular website. What may be ignored or overlooked is understanding the user intent behind these searches. It’s one effort to provide pages that come up in search results for particular words, but a very different approach when you want to understand why they are searching and what they’re looking for. An enormous number of studies and research has been done around the globe on search quer [...]


98% Of Mozilla’s $121 Million In Revenue Comes From Search Royalties

Mozilla released its annual report (PDF) yesterday and reports came in that 98% of the foundation's revenue comes directly from search partners, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Mozilla said it earned $121.1 million in revenue in 2010, up 19.3% from 2009's $101.5 million. Even with the growth of Google Chrome, Mozilla increased revenues through this model in 2010; will it in 2011? Mozilla said: The majority of Mozilla's revenue continues to be generated from the search functionality included in our Mozilla's Firefox product through all major search partners including Google, Bing, [...]


What Is The Key To Effective SEO Elevator Pitches?

Diagram of SEO merges user-centered design (UCD) and technology-centered design.

If you only had 30 seconds to explain search engine optimization (SEO) to others, how would you do it? Would your explanation be different for user experience professionals? Here’s how I explain it.


Google News Launches “Standout” Tag for Featured Content

google-news-logo-square Today at the Online News Association conference, Google introduced a new link rel attribute that news organizations can use to mark their best work. You can mark up to seven pieces of content per week. Google News will use this information as a signal for labeling news stories as "featured" on the Google News home page and in News search results. The attribute works a similar way as other link rel attributes: The tag should be placed in the <head> section of the source code on the page The syntax is <link rel="standout" href="URL"> For example: <link rel="standout" [...]


The Language Problem: Jaguars & The Turing Test

"I love Jaguars!" When I ask you to understand that sentence, I’m requiring you to take on a pretty significant undertaking, although you do it hundreds of times each day without really thinking about it. The problem comes with the ambiguity of words. "I" is pretty straightforward. I’m referring to me. Not much ambiguity there. "Love" is a little more difficult, but not much. Given the grammatical structure and syntax, we can easily reduce the possible meanings of "love" (of which there are 28, according to Dictionary.com) down to a subset that have slightly different meanings, [...]


SEO Smackdown: Information Architecture vs. Technical Architecture

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Why do SEO professionals believe that technical architecture is more important than information architecture (IA)?


Confirmed: Google News Archive Search’s Home Page Is Gone

google-news-logo-square Another Google search service has gone missing: the home page for Google News Archive Search is no longer available. It was previously accessible at news.google.com/archivesearch. Google News Archive Search allows you to search through news articles that date back longer than the 30 days that are typically covered by regular Google News. It's still available. However, it's now more difficult to use without having its own home page. Yesterday, the URL for the Google News Archives started redirecting to the Google home page. Today, it now redirects to the Google News advanced search pa [...]


Exploring A New Search Landscape, With Microsoft’s Jacquelyn Krones

In my last Just Behave column, I shared the first half of my conversation with Jacquelyn Krones, a senior product manager from Microsoft that spearheaded a large scale user study that explored how we use search. In that column, we laid the foundation for what should be a significant shift in user behaviors. Krones said one of the goals behinds the research was to understand how search fits in the context of our every day activities. More and more, we find search as a relatively inflexible connector between our intentions and our desired actions. Search has struggled to continue as a one siz [...]


Interview With Louis Rosenfeld, Author Of Search Analytics – Part 2

earch Analytics for Your Site: Conversations with Your Customers - book cover

Part 2 of a two-part interview with information architect and author Louis Rosenfeld about search analytics that can (and should) be used for optimizing your website.


Google News Brings Editor’s Picks To Home Page

google-news-editors-picks More than a year after the experiment began, Google News has brought Editor's Picks to the home page of its US site-- marking the first real human-curated content on what Google has proudly said was always a completely algorithmic way of presenting news. It could also be seen as something of an olive branch toward publishers, especially given the shaky relationship that's existed between the two. In today's announcement, Google says it's been working with "nearly two dozen publishers" in the Editor's Picks program -- a group that includes "local, national and niche publishers." On quick [...]


Does This Website Usability Fairy Tale Have A Happy Ending?

Whenever I’m asked what usability is, I get tongue tied. "It’s about humans and computers," I may say, but they’ll picture robots and talking cars. "I help make web sites that work," is closer, but vague because technically, if it’s on the Internet, it’s working. Then I’ll hear myself try to make it clearer by bringing up the "abilities", such as credibility, understandability, accessibility and findability. Of them, the most nods vote for understandability. It’s in our nature that we all want to be understood. We each want that something that fits us just right. We all [...]


Google Warns Of Malware Redirecting To Its Search Results

MalwareWarningScreenshot Do a search on Google, and you might get an unexpected surprise. A big notice at the top of your results warning that your computer has been infected with malware. Here's an example of how it looks: What malware? Produced by whom? Google's not giving any details there yet, simply blogging: This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called "proxies." We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their antivirus software and remove the i [...]


Belgian Newspapers Claim Retaliation By Google After Copyright Victory

Perhaps the lesson is: be careful what you sue for. The French and German-language Belgian newspaper consortium that successfully sued Google for copyright infringement got more than it bargained for this week. The newspapers' content has been removed not only from Google News (as desired) but the entire Google index. Now the newspapers are crying foul, saying that Google is "retaliating" against them for their legal victory. On behalf of the newspapers an organization called Copiepresse sued Google in 2006 for copyright infringement. Copiepresse claimed that links to newspaper stories i [...]


Exploring The Shift In Search Behaviors With Microsoft’s Jacquelyn Krones

[caption id="attachment_85751" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Jacquelyn Krones (Photo: Annie Laurie Malarkey)"][/caption] I first met Jacquelyn Krones, a Senior Product Manager from Microsoft, at a search show. A mutual friend on the Bing team, Product Manager Stefan Weitz, introduced her to me and said, "You have to meet Jacquelyn. You speak the same language." Stefan was right. Jacquelyn started talking about the research project she was then actively engaged in. She explained about the ethnographic approach Microsoft was taking to understanding search behavior in a broader co [...]


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