Feedback/Questions on the NEW Look and Feel

Please post your feedback on the new look for merchant listings here (layout, customization, placement of features, photos, etc).

We appreciate all the feedback, good or bad.

-Trish Burnside
Community Manager
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  • I’m interested
    1
    the layout of my listing doesn't allow me to put the offer I want to make up top and front-and-center where I would like it to appear when someone arrives at my listing. It would be good to give us the opportunity to present the coupon/offer more prominently.

    This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
    Make my coupon/deal more prominent on my listing!.
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  • 1
    Would like to see who I am following on my front page, how about you?

    Also if I need to send an email to my connects, I have to send each individually can't select all. Anyone else.?

    This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
    FRONT PAGE SUGGESTION.
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  • What a great, easy to use site!

    This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
    My listing.
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  • 3
    The site shows business information below the fold instead of above. To many ads and features to other business have a higer visablity than our own business information. If this would have been the format when I signed up I would not have signed up. I find it troubling that MC puts more wait on getting visitors off our pages that seeing what our business is about.

    I am going come back to this in a week to see if MC has addressed these concerns. If not I just may dump MC all together. To bad I was convinced before this that MC was a much better place for merhants than facebook. I no longer feel that way.
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  • I’m discontent
    3
    I feel like the majority of the time I've spent building my presence on the Merchant Circle site and within the community has largely been wasted. I strongly dislike the new design relative to the old, and believe M.C. is trying to monetize features that should (and originally were) free and designed to lure in merchants to the community.

    Give back our preferred look and preferred features. Merchant Circle has become little more than Manta with blogs...
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  • 4
    My profile traffic has gone down since the new version was implemented.
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  • It is surprising that with the resources available to MerchantCircle now that they would be choosing a layout that will be penalized under Google's layout algorithm.

    Surely that's not good for MC either.

    http://searchengineland.com/too-many-...

    On an entirely different matter it is a big loss to members that we can no longer find the MC page for members posting to the board. Or even know if anyone posting is actually on MerchantCircle. I don't understand the logic to this.
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  • HELLO EVERYBODY!!

    Here is the latest discussion our team has had regarding features that are being heavily considered for changes per the merchant community (thank you again for all your feedback).....

    Invite button is broken--and will (hopefully) be fixed by Tuesday, January 24.

    Pictures--Photos are going to be moved up HIGHER on your listing page.

    Business Description--Is being moved just below photos, which is being placed higher on the page.

    "People who viewed this also viewed...."--this feature is being moved BELOW Photos and Business Description for all claimed listings.

    Mayor Program--has been discontinued on the public facing side (moved to the dashboards of merchant accounts) to speed up page load times and clean up the presentation of merchant listings.

    The concerns surrounding the discontinuance have recently been expressed to Product and Development and the Community Team is awaiting a response. As soon as we know anything we will let you in on it.

    Request a Quote has been temporarily removed from claimed listings-it will likely not be back until better placement and clarity on the feature can be expressed.

    Remember, Request a Quote it is still on UNCLAIMED listings--this means, if a browsing customer requests a quote from an unclaimed merchant listing, the request will be sent out to CLAIMED merchants--this is why the feature is still visible behind your dashboard, in your "Customers" tab;.

    Reviews and Ratings---Reviews and Ratings may no longer be left anonymously. Customers must register with a valid email to leave a review or rating.

    Listing Traffic--the traffic icon on the listing page itself has been removed, you may still monitor your traffic from inside your listing, under Performance. Traffic

    My Story has been removed as it was deemed too similar to "Business Information." Content duplication only hurts listings online. We recommend using "Business Information" to tell your story, then use "Products and Services" to list your service details.

    Community Bulletins were removed to "clean up" listings for browsing customers and prevent link farming, which hurts the network as a whole.

    WE ARE ALREADY SEEING AN INCREASE IN VISITOR TRAFFIC TO THE SITE!!! WE"LL HAVE SOME STATS FOR YOU VERY SOON. THIS IS EXTREMELY EXCITING AND WE ONLY ANTICIPATE THINGS WILL CONTINUE TO GROW!
    • view 2 more comments
    • Trish -

      *** The "People who viewed this also viewed...."--this feature is being moved BELOW Photos and Business Description for all claimed listings. ***

      Any idea when this will be moved on our Info pages? It is above our descriptions so it does not even let visitors read what our businesses are about before they are redirected elsewhere.

      When website viewers come across blocks with "People who viewed..." usually means they have seen everything there is to see regarding the reason they reached that page, thus inferring its time to move on!

      Chances are, not very many business' About sections are being read anymore. This change should be expedited.
    • Yes when is this going to be addressed. This is a major issue and still not resolved. One of the reasons for the new format was to increase traffic. Well that is a big failure. Looking at the performance stats for my pages on MC the traffic has dropped off dramically. So why should I even continue to use MC? Why should I continue to get new connections?

      I saw the Mayor of my city lose out the mayor ship not because another merchant recieved new connects but because they lost 20 existing connections. Is this the start of the exit of many merchants.

      I am losing faith that this site is worth investing any time in. The amount of new connections from invites is so small now that it just is not worth the time to continue building it unless MC starts expediting these corrections that should have never happened in the first place. Testing before moving the new format into production should have shown the issues and they should have been addressed before going forward.

      There was suppose to be a major updated on 2/14/2012 but I have not seen it. No explanation as to why the 2/14 updates didn't happen either.
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  • 1
    Noticed we have not received one invitation request from any members of Merchant Circle since the update. We had a steady steam of invites for years until last week.

    We sell wholesale packaging and operate via word of mouth as even if you pay Google (PPC) their traffic is not relavent anymore and they really do not turn conversions like low prices will. Without sites like Merchant Circle to spread the word to companies that really want or need the lowest price we would be forced to use ppc advertising and of course pass on the cost to our customers.

    Low pricing is the best advertisment and thats what we are famous for. www.gbepackaging.com
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  • 5
    Put it back the way it was - No one likes the changes
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  • Tony, your page rank of 5/10 for your listing is a function of the links coming into the page, the PR on the listing is not made by the content you created on the tabs (tabs were always there for the content).

    BUT, you are right that the individual content pieces used to have direct links from the PR 5 page, and now those links are gone, reducing the rank of the content tab pages. This needs to be corrected and we are discussing how to port the PR to the content you have created so those pages will not be 0/10, and can rank for results on Search.
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  • Member pages do not become PR 5 without a great deal of work
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  • May be a little off topic but This is for all the Mayors or Ex Mayors and the members that put in thousands of hours on MC and now feel a loss of marketing power with the recent changes and it seems clear its up to the new owners to decide whats good or bad now.

    So until the smoke clears I posted a suggestion in the Tips and tricks for marketing a business section. If you have a minute check it out. If you dont have the buttons I would add them it seems they are here to stay.

    There are lots of us and we can all use our Like buttons and Google +1 buttons to get some SEO juice as they seem to be using them in the serch engine results more and more.

    http://getsatisfaction.com/merchantci...

    Thanks all
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  • I’m Wait to See MC improves SEO
    1
    Improving MC~

    Ok Andy, do not like being blunt and insensitive but what many of us have learned regarding seo, MC is doing a 180 turn, trying to invent the wheel. I put merchantcircle.com in a website grader last night, and reaffirmed my thoughts, just like everyone's. The optimization suks canal water from a content and Adsense, top links on pg. point of view. Anyone who views, who also knows anything about optimization would look at all of our pages as a beginner on the net, a laughing stock.

    I have taken screen shots of City Search, and these folks may also hard to contact, but they are 1) Very profitable & 2) Know how to lay out a landing pg. 3) Gives opp. to switch between Old and New version, as they currently are rolling out. Proper SeO will alway allow a much Higher Serp that MC is much worse than before.

    Also, City Search is indexed nicely by Yahoo/Bing. Google not indexing any directories any longer, as it's their way of keeping everyone on Google Places, but I'm sure you are aware. To get MC much more respected, having Yahoo/Bing index MC reviews would be a real plus.
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  • 3
    I have to agree with Cal the new look is worse than my first frontpage site in 1997. It looks like a link farm that was designed by someone who has not read anything about seo and Googles point of view.

    I do not think you knew what you had and not have from your replies. We had our page with products reviews and blogs all on the home page. Now its ads above the fold and one paragraph of company info below the fold. Link farm - Bad link farm
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  • Looking at my stats, which have dropped like a stone in the past few days I can only say there seems to be no upside to this.
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  • 4
    The new layout is pitiful. I have limited time for online advertising...so I pick and choose. MC had been on the list. Now, it is a complete waste of time for me. If I cannot navigate my way around MY OWN site, I am sure my customers will not be able to either. In a positive sense, I can now spend more time on the other online/social marketing sites that actually do draw business. Thanks for making the decision easy, MC!
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  • Kerri, you may not have time for this, but if you do have a minute, can you note what navigation problems you are most concerned about? What cannot be found by you or users on your listing?
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  • 3
    Personally I find it very difficult to request a site to join my network; to look up people; and to add/edit my "wall" of comments. (All of which were very easy before.) Obviously others are also having difficulty with the network requests as mine have significantly decreased to almost nothing. AND the pages are NOT AT ALL eye appealing. To me, it looks like a bunch of words and blah blah blah. I don't even want to look at my page anymore. So very poor design and changes. Sorry, have nothing good to say about it....
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  • Some comments from Matt Cutts may help explain the drop in traffic. Note in particular that he emphasises that Google are looking for original content to be prominent above the fold - and penalizes

    " ... or (layouts) that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page."

    Exclusive: Google Page Layout Update: The Top Losers
    January 28, 2012
    http://www.WebProNews.com

    >>Upon announcing the update, Google "Distinguished Engineer" Matt Cutts wrote:

    Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don't have much content "above-the-fold" can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn't have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site's initial screen real estate to ads, that's not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.

    We understand that placing ads above-the-fold is quite common for many websites; these ads often perform well and help publishers monetize online content. This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree

    -------- or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page.

    This new algorithmic improvement tends to impact sites where there is only a small amount of visible content above-the-fold or relevant content is persistently pushed down by large blocks of ads.

    Following the announcement of the Page Layout update, Matt Cutts hosted a Google+ Hangout where he clarified it a bit. As my colleague Chris Richardson recently reported:

    "It's not a numbers game. Google hasn't written their algorithm to punish sites with, say, 20 ads above the fold, as opposed to the site owner who only has 19 showing. No, from the Cutts/Google perspective, the algorithm alteration inspects pages to see how the space, especially above the fold, is being used.
    In fact, Google isn't concerned about the number of ads at all. Instead, they just don't want these ads -- however many are appearing above the fold -- taking up too much space. <<

    It looks as though the changes are affected by this. My interest now is in how MC will respond to improve this situation for merchants.

    Lindy
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  • Was wondering if they are going to address the fact that our descriptions are now one big long run-on paragraph? Maybe allow us to at least put in some hard returns?
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  • I’m frustrated and angry.
    2
    The new format does nothing for loyal MC businesses! Other businesses appear before your own on your page, and having to click on another tab to see your map, coupons and blogs really sucks! The less "work" potential customers have to do to find the meat of a business means the more likely they are to become customers!
    Now, you have to scroll down past things that have nothing to do with your business to even get to your business' information!! TERRIBLE MOVE MC!! Will you care enough to change some of these things???!!
    • MC has stated in the past that the about information will be moved to the top. I have been waiting for a month for them to full fill that promise and still waiting. The longer this goes the more damage it does the search engine results. Having ads above the fold is link farm and they should move them below the important information. All they have to do is read what Google expert Matt Cutts has to say to see that. MC when are you going to move the about information back up top??????
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  • 1
    I don't know what good the layout of your format is. How do you service the community. You don't and when the public is made aware that some of the businesses you trumpet are rip off artist all of the business on your site will loose credibility.
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  • I found out how to make our "Business Info" more readable.
    Even though we have made clear paragraphs and line spacings, it looks like one giant blob of info! Try this:
    After each of your sentences or paragraphs, add many dots (periods).......... so it looks like this......... Your sentences, services, product offerings, & your phone numbers and info will become clearer & easier to find...........
    I tried it on my page & for now, that is the only way to fly!
    The new techs here are extremely slow to fix things, so just make do. :)
    ..........http://www.merchantcircle.com/busines...
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  • Even without the ads, the MC page layout is unappealing, cluttered and user-unfriendly - the color theme is awful. Furthermore, a (paid) business listing should receive 3/4 of a page width, not just 2/3 - who cares, what else people viewed - that column is a waste of valuable space! The site is an embarrassment to any proud business owner.
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