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Google Result Offers You to "Skip Intro"  (View post)

Zim [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
11 years ago11,914 views

I'll love this implementation. :)

Jeff Greco [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

The paranoid web designer in me starts to twitch at the sight of that, but then the *good* web designer in me realizes that whatever kills flash intro pages is a boon to us all.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Seriously, that's awesome.

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Y.A.Y.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

It's great that they finally added this feature.

Regular Reader [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

News websites like the New York Times arent going to like this, since they have been been trying to force advertising on you that way
Try accessing nytimes.com, it comes up with me a lot when I do that.

Kyle Wegner [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I would be one unhappy web designer if people searching my site skipped over my pretty little intro. I would have no problem changing the code Google is recognizing so they do not publish this "Skip Intro" link, or if that isn't possible, I would be compelled to remove the Skip Intro button from my site altogether. This is terrible for usability, but I'm sure the flash intro (as horrible as I personally think they are) was created for a reason.

This will probably push people to stop creating flash landing pages, which I wholly support, but still feel this is a slap in the face for current design.

Oh well, I guess this is all about usability. So much for branding.

jamesoclark [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Love this. Can't stand the flash intros, music blaring, etc.

I live in my Google Reader, so I don't surf many sites, but having the ability to skip over this is brilliant.

Noah [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Kyle: Much more successful branding can be accomplished by methods other than Flash intros.

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

At last..
Thanks Google :)

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

It seems to be present for a month.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I could do without Flash landing pages as well.

Hmm, sometimes a hard slap in the face is what's necessary to change current design.

Hashim Warren [PersonRank 4]

11 years ago #

This is wrong.

This makes it easier for people to skip the ad page some websites show you when you visit their page.

This is as bad as Google placing a pop-up blocker in their toolbar, which is them essentially choosing what kind of advertising they deem as acceptable.

John Honeck [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Bravo Google, Bravo.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> This makes it easier for people to skip the ad page some
> websites show you when you visit their page.

Are you sure? I would have thought that they will only do this for pages which include the text "Skip Intro" in a link. Otherwise, how would Google know where to take you?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Hmm, I don't think there's any netiquette against "deep linking," even when some site owners complain about deep links. If the intro page is not the most relevant for the query at hand, Google could also omit it altogether, I suppose, as webmasters in general don't decide how Google ranks their sites.

As for ad pages, aren't those usually triggered if a certain cookie isn't set yet, so that you will see them on almost any URL (deep-linked or not) but only once, until you hide it? Google's current Skip Intro link may only be for Flash intros, not for ad pages per se, but I don't know... for what it's worth, the link URL reads "...&oi=flash_skip_intro&...". And perhaps if you really want to force your intro on visitors despite of deep links you also need to emulate the cookie approach (well, likely to the detriment of your visitors).

Varun Mahajan [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I like it, but don't know if this is legal/ethical on Google's part

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

"make information universally accessible". If you want to access a site, you want information of this site, not a stupid intro page.

Ferris Bueller [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Please, explain to us how a search engine linking to a specific HTML page on another site is in any way less than perfectly "legal/ethical". That's what search engines do.

Michael [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

As a web designer, I personally welcome this addition.

Flash-based websites, and flash-based intros have been passé for years now, at least within the web-design community. And I hate these things as much as the next person. If the designer can't communicate their message without blinking, fading, panning and scrolling, they're not trying hard enough.

All that being said, it's worth re-emphasizing that this is a tiny little link on the fringe of the listing. The main link still goes to the landing pages (for now), and nobody is forcing you to skip those pages.

All in all, I'd say that it's an overall welcome addition, one that we'll keep our eyes on.

Satan [PersonRank 6]

11 years ago #

This is a cool feature. I wish Google could add this to certain people, too. Imagine how cool parties would be if you could skip straight to the "content" of your conversations, all the while bypassing the introduction stuff. That said, I love some introductions, both in reality and in Flash.

Patrick [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Woot. Another Google takeover. At least this one doesn't require a nointro tag or something. :-)

Seriously, is there anything Google doesn't feel they can control in terms of "user experience"?

Jacob, the guru, says many sites still write for print. When oh when will Google "fix" this for everyone, too? Maybe a search result to rewrite the content the company wants to provide in the format they want to provide it?

Charles [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

This is great!

It shows Google really understands the difference between an effective user experience and superfluous eye-candy that ignores user's needs.

Any corporate Web site manager that hires a Web design firm that proposes a Flash intro page for ill-defined and nebulous "branding" rationale should replace that firm with one that understands user-centered Web design.

Splash pages serve only to gratify the "creative" designer's ego.
How many of you have actually sat all the way through one of these in the past year?
How many of you think that a dancing animated logo of the company is something of value?

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

To those that don't like it: It's not like Google's replacing the main link to a site in their search results – They are simply adding another link to a page within that website...

Kinda like they do with the "Site Links".

/pd [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I wish we can just type in something like this <target.url.com : Skip Intro> into FF address bar like.. so that a user can skip the ad which happens on the landing page... sites like NYT drives me crazy with the ad and load times..

[put at-character here]Kyle Wegner : I agree it's a slap in the face for marketers or designer ? Remember the Designer does not care where the ad is placed. S/he creates an ad , buts its the marketing dept that figures out where and when its to go live on the web..

But at a different level, is this ethical move of google ? Think of it- they are leveraging technologies and by that virtue are enabling users to skip ad's. . In that same frame of mind, can I request Google to please stop display ads (Skip Ad's) on my gmail account or have an options where users can opt in/out from ad display. Contextally, is that not the same as "Skip intro" ?? ...just asking :)_

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Like I said, they didn't replace the main link for a website, they simply added an additional "Site Link" that users can click on if they know what the intro is and they don't want to see it again...

I don't think it was meant to be much more...

John Dowdell [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

.

We need "Skip Intro" for text more these days, I'd wager.... ;-)

jd/adobe

.

Selina [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Finally!!

Seriously, I work in marketing, and there are much better ways to deliver branding than making your customers sit there, sometimes for upwards of 2 minutes, doing nothing, but making them watch your pretty lil story.

When i personally come across this, and the product category is something I'm after (as opposed to the actual brand), I just click back on anything with flash.

Elad Kehat [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

This is one of the best features I've seen lately.

Nevertheless, expect frivolous lawsuits by websites claiming that Google violates their IP or something by letting you skip the annoyance they're shoving down your throat.

Kyle Wegner [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Noah & @ Selina: There is no question that branding can be delivered in multiple formats, and that flash intros are generally not the most effective way any more. I agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. I think the issue lies in the fact that Google is choosing what format of content is "best" for the user.

Say what you will, but when the user searched on a term, that flash intro came up as a relevant search result. The company built that flash intro to provide some sort of content or entertainment for the user, but now users will be tempted to skip it since they have the option to dive past the intro page. What happens when the intro page is more relevant than the homepage that follows it?

Susanna King [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I think this is great. And is it any less ethical than me passing along a link to a company's "homepage," i.e. the actual page with the content and not the Flash intro page, to someone via email or my blog?

Joseph Balderson [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Unfortunately this is at least five years too late. Skip intros went out a few years after Jacob Nelson's (now very obsolete) "Flash 99% Bad" article in 1999... the only sites I ever see with skip intros nowadays are old Flash 4 & 5 sites still hanging around, or from students whom have obviously not yet learned proper usability.

We could of really used this before, but now it's clearly a case of Flash being way ahead of the HTML dev curve. Get with the times Google. However, as a Flash developer myself I do admit, that any sites still having skip intros definitely deserve to be skipped right from the search engine to save people from *the horror*, so although it's a little late to the race, it is definitely useful.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Say what you will, but when the user searched on a term, that flash intro came up as a relevant search result.

And that flash intro is still the main link in the search results, so that's what most people will click on – Especially if they haven't seen it before, why skip it?

If they've already been to that site and they don't need to see the intro again, now they can use the "Site Link" to quickly get to the relevent page...

Also, I agree with Joseph Balderson, this isn't as big of an issue/annoyence as it was years ago.

Astralis [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Makes me focus on content that people actually want instead of what I want to give them.

scjm [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Can someone provide an example of this feature? The only website I know of that uses an ad-intro is The Onion, and I see no such link on the SRP.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

scjm, there's an example in the post:

google.com/search?q=yuasa+fran ...

And here's the one from the Google OS blog (which ironically takes you to a full flash site anyway):

google.com/search?q=%22Recre-A ...

(It's not for ad-intros, it's for splash pages which have a link on the page that says "skip intro".)

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I think Vanessa Fox put it best over on MattCutts.com when she said,

"It’s not only Googlebot who doesn’t watch a 20 second video load before the home page comes into view. A lot of users don’t either."
mattcutts.com/blog/guest-post- ...

At least "skip intro" sites offer the options, it's sites that require users to watch the that really get me!

Either way, worth pointing out that this feature doesn't seem to impact sites in all Flash. The scenario here involves html with Flash elements and links using anchor text "Skip Into" linking to another URL as a landing page.

Technically it doesn't seem like "Deep Linking" would be possible as Googlebot ignores #anchors in URLs. Flash requires #anchors to advance the playhead and therefore create the "Deep Link" which in turn provides the "skip intro" action.

I can't find a single "Skip Intro" result in "Flash-File" only SERPS:
google.com/search?num=100& ...

++++++++++++++

IF ANYONE CAN COME UP WITH AN EXAMPLE WHERE GOOGLE RETURNS "SKIP INTRO" RESULTS FOR PAGES WHERE "SKIP INTRO" (or translation) DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE PAGE'S SOURCE CODE, please post a screen shot here or email me directly!

I'd love to have a look and thanks in advance... :)

++++++++++++++

PG [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Great ideia!, I don't like flash but many customers still ask for it, a googd argument for a webdesigner.

Paulo Gradim
[Signature URL removed – Tony]

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> It's not for ad-intros, it's for splash pages which
> have a link on the page that says "skip intro".

Though the text does not need to be "skip intro", it can also be something else... as the French example with "Passer l'introduction" shows. I'd be surprised though if Google would look at the text itself at all, as that doesn't seem to scale too well (text could be "skip this intro", "Jump to content" and what not, and then there's the many different languages). Perhaps they're looking at structural clues.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Either way, they must surely know the difference between a "Skip Intro" link and "Privacy Policy" or "Copyright" links – otherwise they'd be sending people to completely irrelevant pages.

beussery [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Good point Philipp and yes there seem to be a number of examples where some translation of "skip intro" or similar in the page's html are treated the same way. The example seems pretty cut and dry in my opinion from Google's perspective as there is only one link:
209.85.215.104/search?q=cache: ...

Think there could be some list of multiple criteria Google uses perhaps like, Flash homepages containing one link at sites where "child pages" contain multiple links?

*
By the way, my request above isn't for pages where anchor text is contained in HTML but rather pages where either there's no "skip intro" option and/or where "skip intro" feeds into or is contained within Flash (not visible to engines). Sorry, bit of a Flash/SEO junkie here!

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

They're definitely looking for an isolated "skip intro" link (and other variations) displayed next to a Flash object. I checked many Romanian sites that used a different anchor text and none of them has the "skip intro" link in the search results.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Some examples of false negatives:

google.com/search?q=thomas+sim ...
google.com/search?q=Rhine+Rese ...
google.com/search?q=wabi+namib ...
google.com/search?q=crazybuild ...
google.com/search?q=grandmaste ...
google.com/search?q=ahlpoker

It seems that the link needs to include "skip [this] intro", as you can see in this example: google.com/search?q=Syosset+Fo ... . In many other cases, the page includes: "click here to skip this intro", but only "click here" is linked – and Google ignores these situations. If only "skip" is linked, Google ignores the page as well – google.com/search?q=phillip+gl ... .

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> It seems that the link needs to include "skip [this] intro"

"Passer l'introduction" also worked. Or did you mean "skip [this] intro" in any language?

Mike Wheaton [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I go on Google looking for information, and having the search result bring me one step closer to that goal sounds good to me. :-)

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