David R. Malmborg

Observations from a Train

How are you being remembered?

People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.

-Maya Angelou

Does Structuring Data Alone
Add Value to Your Site?

NYTimes

Help Google help you. That is the philosophy around Schema.org and structured data on your website. The question is, how much value is there in structuring your data? I’ve talked to a number of developers that want to charge a lot to build schema into existing templates. Is that cost worth it? If you did no other on-page optimization to a website, what benefit would you receive? Would your site see more traffic from Google with this change alone?

The New York Times had an internal digital innovation document leaked last week with over 90 pages of the NY Times having a heart-to-heart conversation with themselves. On page 44, they drop this little nugget:

“Just adding structured data, for example, immediately increased traffic to our recipes from search engines by 52 percent.”

Which goes to show the easier you make it for Google to understand the data on your site, the more benefit you’ll receive from them. This is one of the only examples I’ve seen where structuring data lead to a direct increase in traffic while presuming little to no other optimization efforts were in play. Did this happen because they are the Times, or would other sites see relative increases in traffic by just structuring the data? If you have other examples of the benefit of structuring data, please share in the comments.

Arrogance vs. Confidence

fine-line

In my vernacular there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Even though that line is so thin, or in some case completely blurry, it’s amazing to me how differently I react to those characteristics. I do not like arrogance; I can’t stand being around arrogant people. I don’t think I’m openly rude about it, but it’s hard for me to hide my dislike. On the other hand, I am very much attracted to confidence. I work better with confident people. I can relate to confident people, and most importantly I really love being around confident people.

This in itself is not news to me, or you. We’re probably all like that. However, it really struck me recently as I interviewed with many new people. When I interviewed with arrogant people, I bombed. Even when I was dead set on having a job that I really wanted, I hesitated when my interviewer was arrogant. When interviewing with someone who showed confidence, I did great, and I couldn’t wait to get started.

My question is, what makes up that very fine line between the two? Am I arrogant? I feel that I’m rather confident as a person, but am I really arrogant? Time to look at Webster…

Marriam-Webster

ar·ro·gance [er-ə-gən(t)s]
noun

: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions

con·fi·dence [kän-fə-dən(t)s]
noun

: a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something

Dictionary.com

ar·ro·gance [ar-uh-guh ns]
noun

: offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

confidence [kon-fi-duh ns]
noun

: belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.

When reading the actual definitions of the two words there are two things that stand out to me: one, confidence seems to have a underdog notion—the perception of someone stepping up to a challenge. Everyone loves a good underdog story. The second thing that really stood out to me was in the definition provided by Marriam-Webster. The idea of arrogance leading to “presumptuous claims or assumptions,” I believe this is what really sets me off. The thought of someone assuming they know my intentions, abilities or attitude is not something I respond to, even if they’re right.

In the end, the old adage stands true: those who assume are are often an ass. I’ll let you know if I see this idea shows itself more often now that I have an idea of what to look for.

DRM2

Image credit

Understand why I write.