Nerd Weekly Digest

some good links on innovation, futurism, marketing, webdesign — week 41‘14

“Every web marketer knows about the call to action. But how many web marketers really understand the call to action?
The answer, I’m afraid, is not very many.
The call to action has a fascinating psychology behind it that includes width, color, border size, copy, and cool CSS effects. Yet, at the same time, this psychology goes far beyond those elements. When we understand the psychology of the call to action, we take huge strides forward in our effectiveness as marketers.
To know the psychology of the call to action is to be a wizard of conversion optimization because psychology drives the entire science and art of conversion optimization. If you know just a little bit about the psychology that motivates our behavior, you will massively increase your power.
Here are the psychological principles that power the CTA:”
Everything You Need to Know About the Psychology of the Call to Action

“You may be familiar with the concept of a call-to-action (CTA). It’s a sentence, link, or button that leads visitors to complete some action — preferably one that results in your company earning money. There’s no shortage of conversion optimization articles out there that promise insane improvements for just tinkering with your CTA.
As much as I wish that were true, here’s the reality as I’ve learned…
Focusing on the the “call-to-action” is usually a waste of time, and can even result in lower conversion rates.
By taking a slightly different approach, you can actually multiply your user or customer acquisition rates instead of wasting time playing with button colors.”
Forget Calls-to-Action, Focus on Obvious Next Steps

“I admit that I did not know how the myth of “200 Google Ranking Factors” was created, but a good SEO pal of mine, Giorgio Taverniti, revealed it to me.
The first time Google declared it was using 200 ranking factors was in its Press Day on May 10th, 2006 (you may also want to read the live blog Matt Cutts did, as it illuminates many things that happened thereafter).
Seeing that the correct phrasing was “over 200 ranking factors,” we can say that “200" was an approximated number, perhaps offered to journalists in order to explain how complex Google’s algorithm is. If the audience had been composed of information technologists, Alan Eustace would probably have used another wording.
Another proof of how silly it is to claim to have discovered “the 200 Google ranking factors” is that, in 2010, Matt Cutts himself declared that, yes, Google counts on over 200 rankings factors, but that each factor may have up to 50 variations:”
The Myth of Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

“People love to follow trends. And there is nothing bad about that. In fact, in order to be “cool” following trends is a must. This is very important for web designers in order to keep up with the growing competition. But when it comes to following trends, web designers sometimes tend to overthink or overlook some of the most important details, especially for usability.
In this post, we’re going to try and point out some of the more “annoying” things of current design trends. When you understand what makes them annoying, you’ll be able to avoid doing them for yourself.”
Annoying Web Design Trends That You Should Avoid (Or Do In Moderation)

“One of the most common problems experienced when trying to rank in Google, is that your website is not currently being indexed correctly. If this is the case, it means Google is failing to access your web pages to index your site’s content effectively.
To check whether your site is efficiently crawled and listed, you will need to log into your Google Webmaster Tools and check the “Google index” tab. There you will find the total number of pages the search engine has indexed. If you see a drop in the number of these pages, you are likely to experience a decrease in traffic levels. ”
Is Your Website Being Indexed Properly by Google?

“Jeff Hawkins is best known for bringing us the Palm Pilot, but he’s working on something that could be much, much bigger. For the past several years, Hawkins has been studying how the human brain functions with the hope of replicating it in software. In 2004, he published a book about his findings. In 2012, Numenta, the company he founded to commercialize his work, finally showed itself to the world after roughly seven years operating in stealth mode. I recently spoke with Hawkins to get his take on why his approach to artificial intelligence will ultimately overtake other approaches, including the white-hot field of deep learning. We also discussed how Numenta has survived some early business hiccups and how he plans to keep the lights on and the money flowing in.” Jeff Hawkins on the Future of Artificial Intelligence

“Trends come and go, whether you’re talking about fashion, music, or web design. When it comes to having a great website, it’s important to keep it up to date with the latest design. Even looking at a website that seemed amazing a few years ago, it can now seem dated and out of step with today’s best sites. Worse yet, it might not even function properly on the mobile devices more of us are using for browsing on the go.
Here are seven of the big web design trends that are already out of date, and why you should avoid them on your site:” 7 Web Design Trends That Are Outdated

“Tiffany’s, explains Christian Vizcaino, CEO of Shipster, is a company that has mastered one of the key components of sophisticated design: Consistency. So what else goes into designing elegance? There are a number of elements designers must take into account when working with luxury brands, creating websites that exude modernity and building brand identities for high-end clients. We’ve talked to experts, artists and designers about the components of “sophisticated” design that separate magnificent from mediocre.”
The Elements of Elegance: What Makes Design ‘Sophisticated’?

“The eight-week-old social network Ello has a manifesto: no ads, no data-mining, no algorithms that make decisions about what you should see, no turning users into products. If you hit the “I agree” button after the manifesto, the site puts you on the waiting list for an invitation. If you click “disagree,” it sends you to Facebook’s privacy page.” Facebook vs. Ello

“Web 1.0 was defined as the ‘read only’ web while the current 2.0 has been dubbed as more interactive. Today, users interacting on web 2.0 platforms are not only able to change and edit the existing information, but could also contribute to content to their blogs and websites on the go.
What does this mean for web design and development?
While web 1.0 has been easy to design and maintained because pages were static, the new wave of interactive web 2.0 requires a lot more elements in design and development to make computing seamless. The aim is to offer users the opportunities to network, socialize, and interact with the web without any limitations.And then there’s more.
Currently people are looking for something beyond interactivity; they are searching for ways to make computers communicate seamlessly with each other, and this is exactly what the ‘Semantic-web’ or web 3.0 is all about.”
Designing and Developing for Web 2.0 and 3.0

“Push notifications are no longer just for mobile apps, we’re seeing Website Push Notification for Safari browsers and both Firefox & Google Chrome are to follow very soon. How will this new trend help or affect bloggers and is it something we should pay attention to? Well, let’s take a look.”
Do you think Web Push will replace feed readers in 2015?

“The lifespan of the tracking cookie is about to expire.
With the rapid emergence of mobile devices, the big three — Facebook, Google, and Apple have turned to new and more potent methods for advertisers to keep track of you across multiple devices.
The impending death of the cookie can be traced to the launch of the iPhone in 2007. Apple initially restricted third-party cookies in iPhones because it believed advertisers would be able to garner too much personal information as they tracked you across websites, according to Medialets chief executive Eric Litman. Third-party cookies still work on Google’s Chrome browser and the Android OS, but they don’t function effectively on a large number of smartphones and tablets produced by other companies. Also, because cookies are not shared between the browser and apps on the same device, they have very limited relevance on mobile devices.
Here’s how each of the big mobile players is trying to replace the cookie with its own brand of tracking.”
The cookie is dead. Here’s how Facebook, Google, and Apple are tracking you now

“Mobile-friendly websites provide a much better user experience for the mobile users. According to our studies, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing from their phone. That includes sites that use fonts which are illegible on mobile, or sites where users have to zoom in or pan around excessively. Mobile is a very important area; the mobile device penetration is over 50% in the USA and most users use their device for browsing websites.
Because at Google we are aiming to provide a great user experience on any device, we’re making a big push to ensure the search results we deliver reflect this principle. We want users to be able to enjoy the web wherever they are.” Google: Web Site User Experience As A Ranking Factor

“A case study done on NASA best practices used to develop the code that landed the Curiosity Rover on Mars.
The study is an interesting read, mainly due to getting an insight into the extreme level of quality demanded of NASA code, and yes, you guessed it – peer code review plays a big role in maintaining these high standards.” Code Review: Learn How NASA Codes

“Whether for lead gen or customer acquisition, landing pages allow you to create delightful experiences for your prospects that are laser-focused on the action you want them to take.
This may seem pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about landing page optimization “best practices.” And weeding through all the LPO literature can be daunting and painfully time-intensive.” 11 Landing Page Optimization Infographics and SlideShares (with Takeaways)

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