Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Do Your Homework When Choosing an SEO Company

If you are an online business owner, investing in search engine optimization (SEO) is an absolute must. There are millions of sites on the Internet and in order to stand out, your site must be designed and formatted in a specific way. This optimization process is very complex with a lot of variables involved, so it is best to go with a professional to ensure that it’s done correctly. Since more and more businesses are deciding to cultivate a web presence, a lot of SEO companies have sprung up in the past couple of years and it is necessary to do your research in order to choose the best one.

The first thing you should ask an SEO company is what kind of tactics they employ. Do they use best business practices and employ “white hat” techniques? You want to work with a company that only uses ethical methods for optimizing your site, otherwise you run the risk of your site being penalized or banned outright.

Another thing to look out for is a company’s willingness to share information with you. Are they willing to answer your questions and explain the processes they use? Or, are they being secretive and evasive about their methods? If it is the latter, you should steer clear, because they are most likely utilizing “black hat” tactics that violate search engines’ rules and regulations and will only end up negatively affecting your site.

Once you feel confident you have found a reputable company, make sure you check out what others have said about them. Do an online search of their company name and see what comes up. You cannot afford to not take this step, for you will gain invaluable insight into what they are really like and if they have any unhappy customers. Although it would be nice to be able to trust a company’s claims, you just never know, so do not neglect to do a little digging.

Keep in mind you will not see results overnight with SEO; rather, it is an ongoing process that is constantly changing and evolving. So, make sure the company you choose isn’t promising you overnight results and request frequent updates. If done right, SEO will yield great dividends and is a worthwhile investment—just be smart about it.


Posted via email from FindYourSearch

Friday, December 17, 2010

How Squidoo Can Boost Your Site’s SEO

There are tons of social service websites out there, each with its own unique interface and tools to help with link building and online promotion. It is easy to get them confused and to be unclear on what, exactly, these different websites have to offer, especially in terms of search engine optimization. Squidoo is one such site that can positively influence your SEO.

Squidoo consists of a collection of lenses, which are pages on a wide variety of different topics. In order to use Squidoo to your advantage, you need to come up with an appropriate topic pertaining to your area of expertise and write your lens using well thought out and researched keywords. The name of your lens will be reflected in your URL, so take care when naming it to glean the most beneficial ranking results. You can add eye-catching modules to your lens, such as videos, images or infographics, to attract attention to your lens.

Each individual lens is ranked on Squidoo, with a higher ranking earning more visibility, so it is a good idea to take some time to really make sure that your lens looks thorough and professional. Make sure to add a photograph and a biography frequently update your lens and make comments and “favorite” other lens that you find relevant. Once you have created a high-quality, relevant lens, you will then want to promote it through the usual channels of link building, social media and the like. Since Squidoo contains a PageRank of 8, it is a very effective tool for gaining quality links back to any page of your website.

Although it will take some time and effort on your part, Squidoo is worth experimenting with to boost your SEO by attaining free link juice.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Evaluating Your Marketing Plan

In today’s economic climate, every edge is important. That’s why you need to make sure your marketing plan is up to speed. It’s a good idea to go over your marketing plan periodically and audit it to ensure your plans and methods match with the overall goals of your organization.

One of the most powerful tools of any marketing campaign is the measurement. Metrics are the most reliable and unbiased way to test the effectiveness of your campaign and any changes you may make. You need to decide exactly what needs measuring and why. If you aren’t sure, you can measure a number of metrics until you determine which are the truly important ones. Then, keep careful track of those metrics and set reasonable goals to improve them.

It is also crucial to ensure your marketing team is being maximized for its effectiveness. Ensure people are being used for their strengths and are motivated to produce their best efforts for your company. People are what make up a company, so you need to fill your company with the best and then make the most of them. That means keeping tabs on the strengths and productivity of your personnel is just as important as tracking the success of your website directly.

Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind with regards to your marketing plan is whether each aspect of your plan is in keeping with your primary company goals. Do your metrics reflect a general trend in the direction of your goals? Are your people all on the same page, whether they be marketers, technicians, or the CEO? Do you have a plan in place to continuously move the company forward? Each of these areas should be evaluated regularly to ensure your company is progressing along the right track.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Targeting Moderate Relevance Keywords in PPC

Much of the job of a search engine marketer is finding the perfect balance between competitiveness and value in keyphrase choice. Much has been said about utilizing the long tail (including by us here at FindYourSearch), and of course most SEO/SEM articles focus on how to rank for and profit from nearly any keywords, including those in high-competition, if you have the time and money and find them worthwhile in terms of return on investment. In PPC, in particular, it is usually accepted that highly targeted, highly relevant terms provide the best ROI. One article contends differently, however.

The basic premise is that, although some level of relevance is necessary (e.g. cat breeders shouldn’t market to people looking for roofing companies), sometimes a bit of cross-marketing can be profitable. For instance, a business just outside a city can profit by marketing to people looking for hotels within the city, as long as certain care is taken. The article outlines three steps.

First, separation of the ad campaigns is essential. Ads targeting the most relevant keywords should not be the same as those going for the less relevant. In fact, you should have a few campaigns of varying specificity going at any one time. This makes tracking much easier and allows you to properly refine the ad copy for the keywords being targeted.

Secondly, the messages of the ad campaigns need to cater to the audiences they target. Less relevant keywords need more qualification. If someone is searching “purebred puppy breeders” it’s impossible to know whether they want to buy puppies or simply research breeders, or what breed of puppy they’re looking for in what location. Therefore, an ad for a dog breeder selling Golden Retriever puppies in Las Vegas needs to specify all that information in the ad to ensure only qualified click-through.

The third and final key is persuasion. Since you are targeting people who are not directly searching for your product, you need to explain the reasons they should choose you. If you’re promoting a hotel just outside an area being searched for, you should express how easy it is to get to the area. That way, you weed out people unwilling to consider something nearby before they click your ad and cost you money.

As you can see, it’s important to be extremely careful with ads targeted for moderate relevance. When proper care is taken, however, it’s possible to get returns even for these terms.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Building an Outstanding Brand

When you are starting a business or building up an existing brand, you need to make it your goal not to be simply “good,” but to be absolutely amazing. You need to think big, plan big, and design your entire branding strategy around blowing your competition out of the water. As the saying goes, “Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” So how, exactly do you go about this lofty goal? Here a few things to keep in mind as you build your brand.

From Oskay on Flickr
First and foremost, develop a solid core company value and belief system. Far more important than logo and design (and foundational to them) is the core driving force behind your company. Once these are established, the rest flows more naturally. Not only that, but the people working on other aspects of the company will be encouraged to protect the brand on a deeper level than simply following color and style guides.

Once you have a core value system, you can be bold with your vision. Put aside your fears and dream big. Don’t just dream big, however -- act big. When you embark on a marketing campaign, you need to put forth a message of confidence through every channel you choose. This doesn’t mean you should pour every dollar you can access into your every campaign until your business has been bled dry; it does mean that whatever avenue you choose to pursue should be done with gusto and confidence.

Finally, don’t be afraid to be strict with how your brand image is being handled when it is in your control to do so. Don’t let people off the hook with “good enough” when it’s your business that’s being represented. Make sure everyone working for you puts forth only their very best efforts.

These suggestions only just scratch the surface of the intricacies of brand management, but they should give you a beginning from which to start building a truly outstanding brand. Let FindYourSearch partner with you in getting that brand more exposure and helping you find success!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

3 Common Types of Link Bait

When you're working on SEO for your site, you'll quickly learn that the most important step is link building. Once you have the basics in place for on-site SEO -- proper title tags, keyword optimized content, and so on -- you'll begin the process of building links. The more influential the site you are linked from, the more value the link will provide. One link from the front page of would be worth more than a considerable chunk of links built from commenting around on various small do-follow blogs. The trouble is, you can't plant links on or other major sites yourself; they have to want to link to you. So, what can you do to encourage this?

The key is to create content others want to link to, aka link bait. The higher quality of content you create, the more likely people will be to share it with others, first through social media, but eventually by creating content of their own linking to you. Link bait is content developed specifically to attract links. Infographics, "how to" guides, and "best of" lists are some of the most frequently shared content on the Web, and so are often created as link bait.

Infographics are particularly popular at the moment (so much so, I believe the market is nearing saturation, so be careful). These are visually pleasing representations of data. They're a step above charts and graphs, usually incorporating cartoon-like characters, silhouettes, or vector art scenery. They must be both pleasing to look at and contain accurate, interesting data which is clarified by the visual enhancements.

"How to" guides answer the obvious, often in steps. How do I build a website? How do I build a deck? People will always need instructions, and "how to" or "how do I" are common phrasings for this style of query. Just don't stick a question mark at the end of "How to build a website" -- that's just a statement. The question form of this phrase is "How do I build a website?" or "Are you wondering how to build a website?"

Finally, "best of" lists are another common form of link bait. You might collect a group of the funniest cat pictures from I Can Has Cheezburger, the most useful SEO tools on the Web, or the most valuable marketers to follow on Twitter. There is a lot of content online, and people are constantly looking for quick and easy distillations of their favorite subjects to help them quickly digest top quality content.

Just because this kind of content is often created with link baiting in mind doesn't mean it loses its value. If you do real work to find your top list of funny cat pictures or create the best how-to guide you're able, you are providing a service to your readers, old and new. As long as your link bait is high quality, relevant to the rest of your content, and interspersed with other articles less obviously "link baity," your readers will appreciate your efforts, and you'll be inviting backlinks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SEO: The Essential Blueprint of Any Website

There really is no overstating SEO’s crucial importance in a website’s overall effectiveness and success. Just as you would not rush into building a house without first having a clear plan and blueprint in place, you shouldn’t start building your site without a plan in place. Before you buy that domain or start debating the aesthetics of your page, you need to tackle the “nuts and bolts” of your site so that it will operate optimally.

(Image from Peg Syverson)
The foundation of any website, no matter the industry, lies in SEO. It is crucial you take the time to research the terms that people are searching so that you can formulate a list of keywords you can build into your site from the get-go. Implanting these terms is a vital step that must be taken, the same way that it is imperative to build a strong, lasting foundation when building a house.

Once you have taken the time to lay out the necessary groundwork, it is then time to address the structure of your website. You need to decide upon the levels of navigation you want to present to the viewer, keeping in mind it is integral to present just the right amount of information. You don’t want your visitors to be underwhelmed, yet care needs to be taken to make sure that they aren’t overloaded, either. It is also essential to structure your site in a way that is logical so that visitors can follow a path through the sales process.

Just remember: building your site is a lot like building a house. If you were building a house, you certainly wouldn’t go off, willy-nilly, building aimlessly with no clear plan in place. By the same token, you need to approach the website building process in the same manner. Take your time to do the research and planning and you will be well on your way to success!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don’t Forget About the Images

As important as it is to optimize your website’s written content, your website contains more than text. As such, it’s also vitally important to remember to optimize your images as well.

Search engines view Web pages as a series of text and code only; they do not “see” images like we do. When using images on your site, it is important to take time to optimize them so the search engines recognize and index them.

One extremely simple, yet amazingly effective, step is to give your image a relevant name, even using a keyword if possible. While it is crucial to not use a generic, meaningless name, such as ‘photo 1’, you must not stuff in too many keywords, either, as your craftiness will be recognized by the search engines. Just be sure the name you choose is relevant to the image and not overly long, and you should be fine. It’s also a good idea to replace any spaces in the title of your images with dashes.

HTML tags are another great feature that can be adjusted to increase your image SEO. By adding keywords into the tags for your title (the words that pop up when your mouse hovers over an image) and alt text (the text that is displayed when an image cannot be displayed), you’ll be strengthening your site for those phrases. As always, don’t be spammy about it - the search engines will catch on and it will be useless to any visually-impaired users who rely on those tags to experience your content.

Although these steps are very simple to carry out, they are massively effective and the necessary time should be taken to ensure that your images are optimized. You will be amazed by the results!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Foursquare: The Ball is in Your Court!

Since its launch in March 2009, Foursquare has been able to reach one million users in just over a year of existence. The phenomenon of location based social check-in is poised to forever change the way businesses and consumers interact with one another. This leading player in the space is being called the Twitter of 2010. With its game-like quality, it encourages users to explore their neighborhoods with their smartphones by offering rewards and incentives for people who “check in” to various places of business. These rewards can range from simple Foursquare badges to actual coupons, specials, and interactive contests and promotions. So not only is checking in a fun and easy way for users to share their lives with friends, it also offers them tangible (and intangible) rewards for doing so!

While there is no denying the incentive for the customer to check in, the business also reaps many benefits from participating in this new social media service. It is no secret cell phones are everywhere nowadays; it has become an uncommon experience to see someone NOT using one. There is no denying there is an ample audience for this type of communication and, by recognizing and harnessing the power of social media, a company can use Foursquare to easily and quickly give their businesses a big boost.

By making sure your place of business has an up-to-date presence on Foursquare and encouraging your customers to check in, it is simple to get a good “word-of-mouth” campaign going. In embracing this social media trend, you’ll be able to better directly interact with your customers. In turn, by offering their feedback, the customers are then able to provide you with invaluable information they may have not been able to receive otherwise. It’s truly beneficial to everyone!

Foursquare is ingenious because although it is a social media phenomenon with the addictive quality of a Facebook game, is also an extremely smart and simple way for businesses and consumers to better connect. No matter your industry, you can’t afford to discount the power the Internet has to make or break reputations. As a businesses owner, it’s wise to embrace this new way of communication and use your imagination to see how far you can take it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Focus on Quality Over Quantity

If you are just starting out in the blogosphere, you may be tempted to churn out as much content as possible to keep people coming back. Common blogger knowledge dictates that more content encourages return visits. In addition, active sites rank better than stagnant ones; frequent, regular updates train the search engines to crawl your site often. Unfortunately, quantity over quality doesn’t produce stellar articles, and the Web is full of mediocre content that is generated at high speeds. If you want your users to come back, share your content with their friends, blog about you, link to you, and most importantly convert from you, you need to stand out.

If you need figures to back up this presumption, take a look at this blogger, who claims a single, well written page from 2004 has drawn in over $50,000 over time. This content was carefully optimized for both search engines and readers, and continues to pay off even six years later. While writing this type of solid, detailed, helpful article will take more time, it clearly pays off. Creating high-quality content will increase readership and conversion, and that is really the ultimate goal of any blogger. Don’t cut corners; spend the time to generate content that serves your audience, and you may see returns for years to come.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Engage on Facebook for Greater Returns

It can be tempting as a business to create a Facebook page and never visit again, but this ignores the true power of Facebook to market your business and connect with your customers. A recent article on discusses the importance of engagement with fans in order to build followers and influence. Fans of a business on Facebook are probably some of the most loyal it has, and engaging them will cement this brand loyalty and a positive perception of the business.

So how does one go about engaging fans? Remaining active is the most important thing you can do. Updating regularly is critical, even if these updates are pulled from your Twitter or blog feeds. Be careful the conversation is not one-sided, however. It’s very important to monitor the activity on your page and respond promptly to comments, questions, and complaints. No one likes talking to a brick wall, and that’s exactly what your company will appear to be if you do not respond to viewers. Of course it never hurts to offer incentives for engagement, either, such as contests, free gifts, or discounts for your Facebook followers.

Follow these tips and you’ll no doubt see a marked increase in loyal customers generated from the company Facebook account.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Focus on the Positive to Improve Conversion

Last week we posted about how design influences conversion rates, but the question remains: Where do you start the process? You may have taken an honest look at yours or your client’s site and discovered an overwhelming number of things that need fixing. One way to get started is to do as blogger Robert Brady suggests and focus on the positive.

It may seem counter-intuitive at first; after all, you want to fix what’s wrong not pat yourself on the back for the good stuff. Although it’s important you learn from mistakes, don’t forget you can learn from successes as well! Brady suggests reviewing your analytics tracking to find out which keywords, referrers, or other traffic sources are working best, then comparing them to what isn’t working. Once you discover what the differences are, you can mold your other content against a working template. After making the first changes, you can again observe which rise above the others and make improvements based on the new information in an iterative process.

This is only a starting point. Eventually you will reach a ceiling, at which point you will need to look outside your site for further possible improvements. However, looking at what already works is an excellent way to begin your conversion improvements.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guest Blogging Tips

There is no denying guest blogging as a great way to get your ideas before a wider audience, especially if your own blog is not yet widely known. It’s also a way to put your name and your brand in front of your target community and build lasting relationships. Finally, it gives you a chance to link back to your site, which is great for SEO. Recently, a few folks around the industry have shared their thoughts about guest blogging, including The Blog Herald, Richworks and DKS Systems.

When considering guest posting, first give some thought to your own site. Does it have a lot of entries already, or are you still building up your content base? If the latter, you should probably use every article you write as content on your own site. Assuming your site is solidly packed with content and you do decide to guest post, is it ready for the influx of visitors? You can be assured you will see an increase in traffic to your site as people seek more information about the topic or the person behind the article. Be sure your contact information is up to date, your content has been recently updated, and your design is user-friendly.

As with any form of promotion, you will see results based on the amount of effort you expend. Research your niche for blogs that best suit your target audience base, then spend some time on those blogs getting to know their style and the community which follows each. Leave meaningful, well articulated comments regularly and the editors may recognize you when you make your guest post request. In addition, the community might also recognize you when they see your name or brand in the byline.

Guest posting is a powerful promotion tool when used effectively. Consider spreading your content before a wider audience, but don’t forget the simple tips above.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Quick Look at Optimizing for YouTube

Do you have videos on YouTube or another video hosting channel? Videos are a great way to engage viewers and build fans, as well as provide links back to your company. However, with millions of videos already posted, how can you make sure yours gets found? SEOptimize has published a great guide for optimizing your YouTube videos. Their checklist of ten steps can help ensure your video gets the best possible exposure.

Writing descriptive titles and relevant tags is perhaps the most basic step in video SEO. As with blog posts and site titles, careful crafting and keyword inclusion is a must. Internal linking, important in any campaign, can be achieved on YouTube through video responses and playlists. Link out to your main Web site through the video description, and don't forget to build external links as you would in any campaign. Comments and ratings are another important factor, so consider adding an annotation reminding users to leave their feedback. Finally, perhaps the most frequently forgotten step when posting a video is to remember YouTube isn't the only online video hosting service; don't forget to post to various places like Google and MySpace.

Be sure and check out the original article for more in-depth information about each of these steps, and remember to treat your YouTube channel with as much care as any other site in your SEO campaign.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Optimizing for the Long Tail - A Brief Overview

While it can be tempting for the SEO to focus on a few primary or “trophy” keywords, this ignores a significant chunk of all keyword referrals known as the long tail. The long tail is made up of those key phrases that are only searched a few times, but collectively make up a significant portion of searches.

Graph of the Long Tail

Those trailing keywords, which can be thousands or tens of thousands strong, are actually responsible for far more traffic than the head keywords because of their sheer numbers. Bill Tancer of Hitwise concluded they make up nearly 90 percent of search traffic.

Clearly, the long tail should not be ignored in optimization. Should an SEO attempt to focus on thousands of individual keywords? Returns diminish quickly when optimizing for too many keywords. Even a thousand is too many to effectively cover, but according to Tancer’s research, even the top 10,000 keywords only bring in 18.5 percent of searches. So what is an SEO to do?

The key is to focus on keyword groups. By targeting one primary keyword and its variants per page, that page can be optimized for thousands of related tail keywords all at once.

Start by carefully planning the site with keyword grouping in mind. Mark Nunny of Wordtracker suggests categories as a great way to build around primary keywords. Each category then targets a specific primary and secondary keyword. Write a long article (1,000+ words is suggested) focusing on each of these keywords and their variants, and the tail keywords will appear naturally in the copy. Be sure to put the primary and secondary keywords in prominent locations such as the page title, headlines, and links.

By targeting the long tail, you probably won’t rank first for any trophy keywords. You will, however, gain access to considerably more potential customers through a broader variety of searches.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Marketing and SEO with Google Squared

Nearly nine months ago, Google Labs released Google Squared. Rather than displaying a list of correlating websites in the usual fashion, Google Squared combs the Web and attempts to display relevant information in tabular form, organizing that information according to item, image, description, and a number of item-specific headings. For example, a search for “roller coasters” returns the following square, with capacity, height, and speed as the additional fields:

Google Squared has particular value for product comparison searches - just search “iPod” or “digital camera” to see what I mean. Prices, capacity, and video playback values are all displayed side by side from across the Web. Due to this exceptional potential for product comparison, product websites should pay special attention to further developments in Google Squared.

Optimizing for Google Squared should be much like optimizing for regular Google queries. Attention to semantic layout would appear to be of paramount importance so Squared can easily discern the relevant information and categories to include for a user query. Content, as always, is king and should be treated with particular care. It is unclear as yet if or how inclusion in Google Base, Google’s structured online database, will impact ranking on Google Squared, though it certainly can’t hurt. Rich Snippets, a type of microformatting technology introduced by Google last May, could also play a role.

Google Squared is by no means perfect, reflecting its status as a Labs project. Included columns and rows are not always relevant, nor are they always populated. The displayed data itself is only as accurate as the source from which it is pulled. Sometimes, the results themselves are downright strange. Searching for “Persian cat” seemed to include intelligent data about every feline breed except Persians -- although “Persian kittens” was included some distance down the page, with descriptive data not about the breed, but about breeders and distributors of Persian kittens.

One important feature of Google Squared is its ability to accept and adapt instantly to user feedback. Rows or columns can be added and deleted dynamically, and a completed square can be saved for future viewing. The “Persian cat” query resulted in only one additional column, “eye color,” besides the three default, so I imagined that I had been searching for a comparative display of cat breeds and added “fur type” and “temperament.” Squared found relevant possible values for the majority of breeds it listed, though it required me to select the best choice for each before displaying it in my square. Despite requiring this further user interaction, Squared provided me with a way to compare cat breed data much more quickly than if I had compiled it myself.

Google is not terribly clear on exactly how Google Squared functions. Still, it is safe to say that Google still reads pages based on their semantics and SEO-friendly content. When adding my columns to the cat search, the values I was presented to choose from were essentially highly specified keyword search results, as though I had typed in something along the lines of “Burmese cat temperament” into a normal Google search. In fact, selecting “search for more values” opens a normal search results page with “Burmese Temperament” as the query.

Google is legendary for its long beta times, but the smart SEO will keep an eye on Google Squared long before it leaves the Labs. While its specialized, comparative nature makes it unlikely to replace traditional search even once perfected, Google Squared provides another window into the increasingly complex, ever growing Web.

Posted via web from findyoursearch's posterous

Monday, January 18, 2010

An Opinion on Personalized Search

Google announced Personalized Searches for everyone on their official blog on the 4th of December. What does this mean for web searching? At first it sounds pretty awesome for all your searching needs, but will it actually be awesome when it’s fully implemented? This reminds me of the suggested search function from Amazon when you’re looking for items on the site. Unfortunately more often than not it will come up with items that are not what I’m looking for or worse yet, items I’ve been warned against for being inferior or bad products. Now if that doesn’t work for Amazon, how will this work for web searching? I can’t honestly see it working well because it will start filtering things I might be looking for but can’t find the perfect search words.

On the other hand this could come in handy for SEO sites like FindYourSearch, because if I’m looking for say, “New York Style Pizza” and Google already knows that I look for businesses in the San Diego area they might just show me results in my area. This sounds cool as less keywords are needed to find what I’m looking for but “New York style pizza in San Diego” isn’t that much longer. This sounds more like a tool that will benefit the lazy more than really save the average user much time.

All Google needs according to their help page on Personalized Search: Basics is the use of an anonymous cookie that will keep your search history information up to 180 days. Now that sounds pretty easy to deal with because most people don’t clear out their cookies on a regular basis. Don’t forget with multiple people using the same computer your results will get skewed by other people’s searches.

At the end of the day I feel that this can be a good or bad thing depending on how you’re looking at it. On the SEO company side it can make things a lot easier as less keywords will be needed to return the desired search results. At the same time that can also make it harder as less keywords being needed means more sites will be fighting for the first page with the same keywords which means there will be need for changes in the way sites come up. On the user side this means they will be less likely to explore other sites meaning less diversity on their end which can get very annoying, for example; when you’re looking for different prices for the same object or similar objects. For things like recipes, tutorials, how-to guides, etc this could be really nice as typically I myself prefer to use the same sites for that because they typically are written in the same fashion when from one site but for other searches I can see this being more annoying than helpful.