Search Relevancy & Keeping Promises

Jun 1st

Paypal.com has been down for hours. I usually make a good number of sales, but today my site is on vacation. One way to lose a market leading position is to screw your partners out of millions of dollars of sales. Hopefully some of the people who were thinking of buying my ebook come back when I change processors or Paypal has a product worth using. One of my clients had some blank database pages ranking in the search results. Imagine what a searcher does if they land on one of these. Would they ever want to come back to that site again? Or did they lose all trust on the first click? If the page has no value and I lose trust on the first visit I would rather not get the ad impression than get the one impression and lose the visitor forever.

Another client had a button for their soon to be launched product on their site which said on sale now. The sales page said coming soon. When the product actually launches fewer people will click through to it because they will assume that it is still not available.

The best spot to sell is on our own sites, but we all do some form of anti-selling. No easier way to undermine profit potential than placing roadblocks that kill trust or conversion on our own sites.

Published: June 1, 2007

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Comments

Ben Murphy
July 14, 2007 - 1:12am

Hey Aaron - I just blogged at benmurphydesign.com about a weird relevancy issue I saw right on the Google search page. Short version : they're serving ads for previous searches on subsequent ones. I'd be interested in your take on it.

I mention in my post I might just be behind the curve on this one, but I figure if anyone would know about it - it'd be you!

Sapphire
June 1, 2007 - 11:17pm

No kidding. I tried to log into PayPal today - it's how I get the majority of monthly payments - and it's there, but returning a "page not found" error when you try to log in.

It's not like they're a struggling young site. Far from it.

I probably go overboard panicking when one of my sites go down, but the people who drop by during your snafu are not too likely to come back.

werty
June 2, 2007 - 12:09am

I noticed the outage today too... wondering what is going on with it. It has to have cost them millions in transaction fees, and who knows how much damage to existing clients or their reputation.

I will still use them because it is easy. Luckily I do not depend on them for any income.

Satish Talim
June 2, 2007 - 2:35am

Just registered with MoneyBookers, as a safeguard. However, PayPal is far easier to use.

Dan
June 2, 2007 - 7:32pm

I'd be happy to talk about sponsoring your site. We write SEO-friendly ecommerce software and support about a dozen payment gateways. So far as I know none of those gateways have ever had major outtages. I remember seeing the occasional memo on one of them that they'd be down for 20 min at 4am on a Sunday night but that's about it.

WebKit.com is the site, please feel free to contact me privately if this is of any interest to you. Your book has been of tremendous value to us and while we are still working on our SEO skills we are VERY skilled at the ecommerce side of things.

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