Tag Archives: search engine

Perpendicular Search: The Difference between Horizontal and Vertical Search

Perpendicular Search_The Difference between Horizontal and Vertical Search

Do you remember how Google was way back in 2004? I still do. The internet was still relatively new to my 14-year-old self back then that I still somewhat vaguely remember how Google search engine results page (SERP) look like back then. It was a couple of years after my family switched to a proper broadband connection after years of intimate struggles with dial-up and thanks to my sterling grades at the time, I was finally given a computer of my own.

Horizontal and vertical search

Right now, when I type in the word ‘Mission Impossible’ into Google, the SERP will be populated by a smorgasbord of different types of content. The right hand side is filled with what is known as Google’s knowledge card, displaying details about the first film in the series such as posters and screenshots, synopsis, cast members and other relevant search queries. The actual SERP lists Wikipedia and IMDB entries on the film and the series as a whole, news updates on the new Mission Impossible: Fallout film and trailer for that same film, plus suggestions at the bottom for other Mission Impossible films, films featuring Tom Cruise and other action films.

Had I typed in the exact same word on Google 14 years ago, all I’d get would just be articles. Wikipedia entries and IMDB entries and maybe the Rottentomatoes page of the first film would pop up in the results. If I want to look up some images on the film, I’d have to switch to Google image search and if I want to see a trailer for the film, I’d have to pop over into YouTube. Google and search engines in general have come a long way in the past 14 years.

This current version of Google search engine that we have right now uses what is called a universal or horizontal search. It pulls in contents from across all four corners of the internet, blending web pages, images, videos, news etc to provide you with the most wide-ranging result possible. The Google search from 2004 uses what is now called a vertical search, in that it only covers web pages while image and video search is covered by Google image search and YouTube. Understanding this difference and how to utilize it is crucial in understanding how SEO services work.

The universal reach of horizontal search

It is referred to as such because horizontal search is wide-ranging but shallow and would cover any topics relating to your search query. All of the major search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, fall under this umbrella. Generally, when someone is starting the search process for a particular object/subject, a horizontal search engine is what they start with. A horizontal search won’t always give you the answer to what you’re looking for but they can always be relied upon to point you in the right direction.

The laser-like focus of vertical search

In contrast, a vertical search is a narrow but deep look into a subject by limiting coverage into a single type of content, website or even a geographical region. There are a huge number of examples for a vertical search engine. YouTube and Vimeo for videos, Google image search for images, Google scholar for scientific journals and the search function in Amazon are several examples. If a website has a built-in search function then that particular site could qualify as a vertical search engine. Due to the specialized nature of vertical search, this is usually employed when a user already knows what they’re searching for.

So, which to optimize for?

In short, both. Using Google as an example, the SERP would display local search results depending on the query, which means that if you optimize for Google you can kill two birds with one stone, optimizing for both horizontal and vertical search. The tricky thing is in dealing with specialized websites as depending on the field of business, there can be a lot to choose from. For food alone for example, you’ve got Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor and even Facebook in addition to Google reviews. You have your work cut out to maintain your presence across all of those platforms.

E-commerce is where things might get a little complicated. Due to the sheer number of items available in those sites, retail giants like Amazon with their own search algorithm and SEO methods. When you start peddling your goods across different retail sites, optimizing for each would be difficult so focusing on a select few or even just one is advisable. If you operate your own website on top of that, you’re going to have to decide which takes priority in your SEO efforts.

Popular Web Design Trends since 2017: An Honest Review

Popular Web Design Trends since 2017_ An Honest Review

It is not uncommon anymore for business owners to have a website to attract more potential customers turned into real paying customers, in a world where almost everything is constantly changing. A website helps a business grow by providing complete information about a company and reliable services online that can also help in interacting with them in an easier way. Therefore, a business with a website is more credible than other businesses without a website. However, having a website alone doesn’t guarantee you 100% success, because it also depends on its web design. A website without its web design is like a burger without its beef. You could see the bread, but you couldn’t eat it and it simply is not considered as a proper burger at all and therefore you won’t eat it. Also, the proper design should not only give the visitors the entertainment for their eyes to see, but should also provide easier access for them.

Some web design trends are not giving the visitors what they need to see, and sometimes the design would only make it difficult for the visitors to navigate. In this article, we are going to share our thoughts on popular design trends since 2017 with you. Keep reading to find out!

Typography integrated into images

Bold and catchy typography has good influence both in web and mobile layouts. This time, it got a new touch with a widely spread technique of cutting or inscribing the title keyword or a headline into the visual elements on the page, like the example below.

web design review 1

However, we think it is a little bit risky putting typography between pictures on the headline if not properly done, because it would make the text unreadable. Therefore, make sure your web designer knows how to do it right.

Animated hero banners

Hero banners are used for attracting users’ attention using visual interaction the moment users come to the website. The attractive visual presentation of the main content is the main contribution it gives for the website. With hero banners on the homepage of a website, it helps set the users’ mood so that they can comprehend the message the website is trying to convey more effectively. With the right content marketing strategy topped off with great interactive hero banners design, the website can be both informative and emotionally appealing at the same time.

web design review 2

That being said, having animation on the homepage can be risky and tough, since it could cause crash or lag during visiting the website. Also, slow loading page can make it difficult for visitors to access the website. Therefore, if you are considering this, you need to make sure your web designer knows how to deal with this.

Unframed layout

Imagine if your website had big background images or patterns without any frames. It would be spacious that would leave room for your imagination to play out. It enabled users to feel the layouts more airy and spacious while the background image deeper and stronger without breaking the interaction and without limits.

we design review 3

However, if not designed properly, it would come off as unruly and random; therefore, great design thinking is required for this design so that it can adjust to the size, the rows, and the images.

That’s all our review on the popular web design trends since 2017. Hopefully, this will give you some insights on your web design. That being said, in designing a website, it is better for you to consult to the web design professionals to get your website done more beautifully. If you need more insights on web design, feel free to contact us and our team will be ready to help you.

Instant Feedback: Choosing the Right WordPress Commenting Plugin for your Website

Instant Feedback_ Choosing the Right Commenting Plugin for your Website

It’s no secret that for every insightful feedback or comments you’ve received on the internet there’s going to be at least 10 more that are downright unconstructive. Whether it’s in the form of trolling, incendiary rhetoric or questionable stories of how Jenny earns $8,000 a month working from home and can now afford a brand new Mustang GT, pointless feedback has always been a problem with the internet. If you’ve ever spend some time inside Reddit and 4chan, you should already know firsthand how chaotic the internet can be when let loose, as the veil of anonymity it provides allow users to deflect consequences, a luxury real life does not provide. A glance at the Gamergate harassment scandal from a few years ago should leave no doubt to just how toxic the internet can be.

The biggest critics are in the online comments

Things have gotten so bad in the last few years that a couple of prominent publications decided to remove comments entirely, partly because the discussion itself has shifted to social media platforms and partly because it can easily devolve into an anarchy only with the slightest instigation. It’s not totally uncalled for but such blanket movement does severely restrict a website’s capability of fostering a community and negating users from being able to have a two-way conversation with the writers themselves, as I know from personal experience. Take for example, the music blog Stereogum, where a close-knit community around its regular commenters and the writers has formed thanks to the site’s regular interaction with its community and fostering them through a regular weekly roundup of the most and least-liked comments.

Now, if you’re just starting a WordPress website, it’s not very likely that you’d have the resource to create a specialized comment section of your own, not that you have the required community to support it anyway, so your choice would strictly be limited to plugins. There are a number of choices available for your web developers when it comes to this, some coming with more bells and whistles that you’ll ever need while others are barebones and anonymous so as to encourage impulse feedback. As it’s impossible to do an overview on every one that’s available, I’d limit my coverage into 4 of the more popular ones.

  • Native WordPress plugin

Simple, straightforward and as sophisticated as a doorstop. The native WordPress plugin is bundled within the core WordPress platform and as such remains the go-to choice for a lot of spartan webmasters out there. The only requirement for commenting is users are required to leave their name, e-mail address and optionally, their website but as there is no confirmation required, it practically allows anonymous comments and as such, it has made a name for itself as a breeding ground for spams. To top it all off, the native plugin does not allow threaded comments, no notification for commenters, no comment edits and its Achilles heel, no upvotes and downvotes, depriving our society of instant gratification from their primary lifeblood. It’s definitely usable but should probably be used solely as a stepping stone for better and bigger things.

  • Jetpack comments

Jetpack is one of several enhancements available for the native WordPress comment plugin and arguably the most popular. While it doesn’t fundamentally change how commenting work, it is after all an enhancement to the native plugin, it adds several useful functionality that improve the experience. Jetpack adds social media logins, enabling users to comment using their Twitter, Facebook or Google credentials while still allowing anonymous comments, providing a compromise between both worlds. Additionally, Jetpack allows for response notifications, making it easy to start a discussion between commenters. The problem with Jetpack is that the comment plugin is bundled with several different plugins that you might not want to use even though the comment plugin itself is light enough to not seem intrusive to your website.

  • Facebook comment plugin

This one’s self-explanatory; the Facebook plugin basically turns your commenting platform into a Facebook wall and all its functionalities. That means the like button, a reply button for threaded comments and the ability to sort comments based on newness or likes. As with everything Facebook, you are required to have and login into your Facebook account to leave a comment, which could limit your audience as even with 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and data privacy issues has left users somewhat nervous about the social media giant. Still, this restriction also means that you could cut down on spams as anonymous comments are impossible and Facebook has been doing a relatively good job shutting down spam accounts. The thing is, Facebook’s comment plugin isn’t the easiest to integrate so unless you have a web developer on standby, stick to other plugins in this list.

  • Disqus

By far the most fully-featured and popular third-party plugins out there, Disqus is used by a lot of mid-tier websites (popular websites that aren’t big enough to warrant a specialized comment section) such as gaming-focused Destructoid and pop culture magazine Entertainment Weekly. Disqus has all the necessary features: comment edits, threaded comments, social media logins, upvotes and downvotes and response notifications. What makes Disqus different is that it acts as a social network platform of its own, enabling commenters to see the profile and comment history of other commenters (as long as it’s not set to private) and follow them to see what they have to say across all sites that use Disqus.

As a dedicated commenting plugin, Disqus offers a lot of functionality that comes with the territory. Disqus is one of the few to offer support for other media, with image and video linking being supported but also offering users to hide them if seeing the same memes over and over again is not their thing. Disqus also allows for administrator moderation, either by the site administrator regarding problematic comments or by Disqus’ automatic spam filter, and self-moderation, enabling users to block other users so that any other comment from that user will be hidden from view. These fancy features come with two major caveats though, Disqus can be slow to load and the free version is bogged down by ads, requiring you to step up to the premium plan of US$9 a month to go ad-free.

So, which one should you go for? That mostly depends on your needs. Disqus is by far the fanciest of them all and is objectively the second-best feature outside of having a specialized comment system of your own but is only free with ads. Enhanced WordPress plugins like Jetpack offers just enough features to keep them from being primitive but still leaves you vulnerable to spam. Facebook plugin is a middle-ground, it has more features and Facebook’s ecosystem already has a way of handling spam but ongoing issues with the platform isn’t likely to sit well with a number of users. You could always start with the simpler ones and move on to Disqus or a specialized comment system down the road but I should point out that such systematic changes aren’t always going to sit well with some users. Figure out which features you need and what limitations you could live with and choose accordingly.