Shari Thurow: Eye Tracking is Overrated

13 comments

In SEO Niches and the Big Picture Shari Thurow hinted that eye tracking is overrated. Gord Hotchkiss replied, with the gloves off:

Shari says we don't focus on the big picture. Shari, you should know that you can't see the big picture until you fill in the individual pieces of the puzzle. That's what we've been trying to do. I only wish more people out there followed our example.

I think the Enquiro Eye Tracking Reports are some of the best pieces of writing on search marketing ever done. Sure some people take golden triangle out of context, but I think Gord's research is more big picture oriented than most of Shari's articles are.

Via SEL

Comments

Big Sigh

Dear God of Online/Internet Marketing,

It's me, natasha. I pray that a week will pass where people in the same industry will not tear other parts of our industry down to build up their USP. Last month it was PPC vs. SEO. This week it was PPC Agencies vs. Bid Management Software. Now it's (Insert Niche) vs. (Insert Niche)... argh. There's a pretty decent Online Marketing Pie out there, God. Why can't we see that all of these peices are necessary and instead write articles about how one company's USP can be augmented by the use of another provider. No one can do it all and no one can specialize in it all. - Amen.

Thanks God It's Friday

dear natasha, please PM me

dear natasha,

please PM me next time you want to get in touch. thanks.

Click Z

So exactly how/when did Click Z position itself as the pulpit from which every Internet Marketing expert is now using it to attack everyone else? Is this a conscious shift or the absence of someone guiding the ship of Z?

Hmmmm

Funny, as soon as I saw this, I went in search of a quote I remembered someone giving me during an interview:

"Another person I got to meet, if only briefly, is Gord Hotchkiss from Enquiro. I’m a fan of his eye-tracking studies - everyone who is interested in search usability ought to buy a copy of his latest one. ;)" -- Tim Converse

what a jackass

what a jackass

Dear Kid Mercury

It's me Natasha. Thanks for making me laugh. I will now PM all of my prayers to you. Do you also answer prayers about Cute Red High-Heel Shoes, because I make alot of those? If so, I'd like these Shoes :) TKMIF - Thank Kid Mercury It's Friday - lol.

I felt for Gord

because his eye-tracking reports on search usability provided valuable data and information for search marketers. Nowhere do I recall anyone saying the data was written in blood and was to be taken as gospel, however. I thought it productive that Enquiro studies were offering insight into user behavior that marketers didn't have access to or didn't know was even being done.

Shari likes things to be precise and orderly. My impression is that she doesn't like any missing information. I think Gord took her words personally, but I'm not convinced her intent was to put down his work in any way. I think she is displeased with how it may be applied by readers instead.

There is other eye tracking data out there. One case study is
Eye Gaze Patterns while Searching vs. Browsing a Website
. For those who read it, the conclusion is that a lot more research needs to be done because there are so many ways in which a site is designed and responses vary. Gord's research is on one type of scenerio, I believe, but still valuable and helpful.

Shari Thurow SEO contest

Why do I smell a 'Shari Thurow SEO contest' coming up?

seo contests...

are overrated

Agreed...

I suppose people are getting extremely bored with regurgitating the same old info, and are looking to break through the clutter by nit picking.

I would LOVE to see a site/blog/forum called, SEO DEATHMATCH (ok, maybe something a bit more subtle) that pits two SEOs, PPCers, Link Studs, Creative Copy Writers, etc., etc. on the opposite side of a hot topic for debate. That would be really fun to create, and read; I know I would! Oh, and if you use "SEO DEATHMATCH" as the name, I get royalties! OK, I'll settle for just being part of the think tank for such a project. :)

So exactly how/when did

Quote:
So exactly how/when did Click Z position itself as the pulpit from which every Internet Marketing expert is now using it to attack everyone else? Is this a conscious shift or the absence of someone guiding the ship of Z?

Since when did ClickZ even take note that SEO even existed!

..And since when did we link to such irrelevant sites as ClickZ.

My real response and intent

Hi everyone-

My initial response to Gord's comments? Well, I think he took my comments way, way, way too personally. Kim Krause nailed the intent of my article. The idea was never to put down his work -- not at all. I just did not like the fallout. Too many people focused on this data at the exclusion of other valuable data. (Thank you Kim.)

Then I just became really pissed. Was it really SO DIFFICULT to pick up the phone and call me, drop me an email, snail mail (whatever) and ask me what my intent was if there were any confusion? When I read the word "assume" or "assumption", that is a good indication that you should contact me and not make erroneous conclusions.

I admire Gord Hotchkiss' work. He is one of the few speakers I tell people to listen to at many conferences. I dislike it when we are scheduled to speak at the same times, in fact, because I like to listen to him talk. Just because he flamed me does not change my opinion of him and his work.

I've been doing usability testing and analysis for many, many years. As a developer, I often use eye-tracking software. In fact, I'm about to purchase some new software and hardware. I was very happy to find out that the trademark "search usability" was granted to me. I've been a "search usability" developer for years. Had Gord done his homework and got off his behind and called/emailed me, he would have found that the basis for his comments were largely erroneous and really...unnecessary.

I do not believe that SEO professionals need to be so mean spirited toward each other. Spammers know I don't like their way of doing business, but that doesn't mean I think they are stupid people. I just choose to run my business in a different manner. Though I admit, I have bad days. I'm human.

Maybe Gord was having a bad day. Who knows? Maybe I'll just ask him.

People, if you have a question about my intent, ask me. It is not that difficult to ask me.

>Was it really SO DIFFICULT

>Was it really SO DIFFICULT to pick up the phone and call me, drop me an email, snail mail (whatever) and ask me what my intent was if there were any confusion?<

hahahaha, you newbies kill me.

Boy, you MUST be new to the internet because that is not how it works. What kind of net would it be if people started using common sense and courtesy towards each other. Sheesh, you'd never get a link!

:)
Just kidding. I've actually been a fan of Shari's since I saw her speak right after Jim Wilson,(still miss him!), in Las Vegas in 1999. She knocked me out! Shari must have been about 13 then.

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