Monday, August 04, 2014

Ad Overhaul Impending: More Useful Sonic Stuff Links

Another week, another timely update.
This one was mostly fueled by doing a store update mid-week. There is really some buried stuff on Amazon, like that "Totally Sonic" book that somehow nobody (not even me) managed to find before it came up in an irrelevant search. I was looking for pillows. THATS how irrelevant it can get.

Two topics are in this blog post
1. fix the ads
2. Don't use adblock

SonicGear used to be better about the ads.
However, it hasn't been mentioned in a long time, so a refresher:

The ads on Gear are provided by Google.
Google is basically the master of search & pairing up the right content with what people are looking for. It's like their whole job and they do real well at that. So, by labeling the pictures properly, having good descriptions & titling the pages of Gear correctly, the ads (not under Gear control directly) can be reliably "steered" into being relevant to what's on the page. That way, if you are looking for Sonic t-shirts, you browse the clothing page, but then you might want to buy one. Wouldn't it be handy if there was a button for a store that was selling Sonic tees--right there?

Yes. And it used to be so!
It worked well & people got what they wanted. However, there had been a decline in relevance, so what was up with that?

Well, when the ads started out there were like only 4 or 5 types you could pick from. Different sizes attracted different advertisers (of course) So Gear itself only ever had 2. That thin bar in the middle and a long one on an edge. They shouldn't disrupt the galleries of stuff, but they should also be useful.
However, times changed and Gear didn't. Same code copy paste copy paste. Well it turns out like nobody (no stores) like the sizes that are on there anymore so you get stuff like "Insurance co" and "Doctors HATE WEIRD TRICK"  which are relevant to like exactly nobody.

So it's time to get some different better useful links in there.
I've got the code, so an overhaul is on the way. It's unlikely to affect the formatting much. There's 1 glitch to work out where the website building program hates something about all new code for anything (yes even the Amazon Gear Store little squares--it doesn't like those) which I want to solve first. It should get solved because it creates a fake "broken stuff is here" warning, when nothing's actually broken. Then, it would hide if something WAS actually broken, which is bad.

So, once it's solved, look for better stuff to appear on the pages. Maybe even this week. It will be gradual too, there's no way to put everything new over the whole site in one go. It's just too big. Once it starts there will be another blog post. The first 2 pages of Australia Gear are acting as test pages currently.

2. Don't use adblocker software while viewing Gear!
Adblocker software didn't used to exist. It is an extension or browser add on of some kind that puts a white space on top of anything it sees as an ad so that you literally can't see it. Most people who use these forget that they are using it.

That's not good on SonicGear...
Because I had someone complaining that "The gear store is empty but I want to buy a tee" Wellllllllllll technically the Amazon items in there ARE an "AD" because it shows you an item you could buy if you want to. That is the whole purpose of a store, is to go see items that interest you & to maybe buy one if the price is right, you learn about it and you still want it.

So it's like ad blockers actively harm the experience of trying to shop for a Sonic item on Gear & it will continue to do so, especially in the future after the "big ad fix" takes place and stuff gets relevant again.

There will be added a paragraph about "dont adblock if you want to see all the content" to the index page too, once all this is done. It's too easy to use a program & forget and I don't want anyone who goes there to think the site is lame or have a boring/bad/couldn't find their thing experience.

Item of the week:
If you got this far! Oy! Has to be Megadrive Megatron. A cameo item that really looks like it goes all-out with quality. It's too bad he is a badguy though. However the 2 instances of the prefix 'mega' and really there wasn't anything else you could use.

Next week: more store fixes (fall season always means merchants put up more stuff)
Maybe something about Sonic show videos , like a section that covers all, or something to really get into DVD & VHS coverage because that has been lacking and people want it