Chrome & the meaningless button

Have you noticed this button (new tab) on your Chrome Browser, does it make any sense to you?

Chrome meaningless button

Chrome meaningless button

This symbol/button has been out for quite a while now, and we haven’t heard much about it.
Look, It’s empty and it has no distinctive element to fully understand its main purpose. It goes against any U.X fundamentals, and only rely on its shape to suggest it can do something. However, I click on it when I want a new tab on my Chrome browser, this or CTRL+T.

Why do we click on it?

In fact, and this case, Chrome (Google) is inheriting from years of habit people had on previous browsers.
It has nothing to do with the work the designing team put in this symbol. Somehow, a sort of “because it’s there” feeling takes it all and makes you give it a try. Even though you have no indication whatsoever on what consequence or impact it could have, not even a pointer when hovering the symbol.

What does it mean?

It means humans have the ability to consider behaviors based on “no other” possibility, but also we mainly and often rely on our previous experiences to make a judgement, even with flawed design such as this one. I just found-out Internet Explorer also has an empty tab while Firefox and Opera have an explicit “+” symbol.

As an SEO manager and user, I was wondering what would happen if we were to avoid writing words when making links, replacing them by empty spaces instead (joke).

I think Google’s results pages would be pretty much useless.


Please: S.M.M is not S.M.O!

People are commonly mistaking S.M.M (Social Media Marketing) and S.M.O (Social Media Optimization).

You might think I’m a little picky about this subject, but S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization) is not S.E.A (Search Engine Advertising) right?
S.M.O : mainly consist in setting appropriate tools on your website to easily create social signals : Tweets, Likes ,+1 and so on. (ex: share this , add this)
S.M.M : as with Social Media Marketing, It does exactly what it says on the tin!

As a reminder:

+ S.E.M (Search Engine Marketing) includes both S.E.A (Search Engine Advertising) and S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization) and this is also a good thing to remember.


Website architecture: hierarchy, tags and links.

Website architecture is pretty much like a tropical tree: roots are branches and branches are roots all together.

It does not stop once you have directories, subdirectories and pages defined, it’s the opposite! Every opportunity has to be given to make sure users and crawlers find your content and have a clear understanding of what your website is all about. Just like tropical trees make their way without paying attention to directions (up, left, right or down) you should take any chance you have to bear cross-linking. When defining and organizing a website architecture you should also consider how this very defined structure can also generate unsuspected linking opportunities, it’s how you will improve your website crawlability.

And you have 3 elements to trigger magic:

  1. Hierarchy
  2. Tags
  3. Links
Tropical Tree ramification

Tropical tree ramification from Ken Lund

Interesting read:

…If you think SEO from scratch

Quote of the day: “if you have SEO in mind before your site is built, you should find that you don’t have the technical issues that some of your competition does, and you’ll be in a better position to get on with the job of building links and getting traffic, instead of putting out fires and playing SEO catch-up.”

Source :  “Why SEO needs to be baked in