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Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0137004201
ISBN-10: 0137004206
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Mathewson has followed the Web since 1994, first as a contributing editor specializing in Web publishing and search for ComputerUser magazine, and later as the editor in chief of the magazine and its Web site. As the ComputerUser.com editor, he published more than 1000 articles, mostly related to Web technologies. He has also published in several other magazines and periodicals, including IBM Systems magazine.

     Since leaving ComputerUser in 2004, James has worked for IBM as a Web developer and Web content editor. In his current role as editor-in-chief of ibm.com, James sets standards, and creates and delivers education to improve the effectiveness of IBM’s Web content. James has trained more than 1000 writers, editors, and content strategists on Web content quality and search engine optimization (SEO) within IBM. James leads all search effectiveness efforts for IBM’s Smarter Planet Web presence (ibm.com/smarterplanet). He is also the search strategy lead for IBM Marketing and Communications, a role that gives him influence over future Web and social media content efforts at IBM.


Frank Donatone is an Internet professional with over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry. His experience includes people management, project management, Web site design, usability, accessibility, search engine marketing with a SEMPO certification in advanced SEO, and social media optimization. Using his previous experience in addition to customer satisfaction survey analysis he provides tactical and strategic recommendations to IBM for Web site improvement. His position as a IBM Worldwide Web Effectiveness Lead has a strong focus on SEO and social media to improve IBM’s ranking on the Web for key terms, managing the brand’s reputation, identifying sales opportunities, and improving share of voice. Frank has also co-developed and taught several search engine optimization courses at IBM with his coauthors. Recently, he has participated in the design and presentation of education related to using social media for sales inclusive of Twitter, LinkedIn, and event promotion. In addition to his Web Effectiveness role Frank also serves as a social media lead for ibm.com.

     Prior to joining IBM, Frank was an IT consultant to IBM as well as a second-line manager for Keane Inc. accounts at three IBM sites, Reader’s Digest, and VSI Communications. His second-line management position encompassed the management of 4 first-line account managers and 50 consultants. His dual role as a consultant at IBM during this tenure was Lotus Notes help desk management, and Lotus Notes and Web application deployment quality assurance. He also holds a professional certification in Lotus Notes administration and development.


Cynthia Fishel is a Senior Interactive Marketing and Brand Specialist with over 24 years of global agency and corporate Fortune 500 experience in the IT Industry. She has a proven track record of building teams that build successful Web sites. She was among the original team that launched ibm.com back in the early 90s and has continued to work on IBM’s Web site for the past 15 years. She produced the ibm.com interactive and visual design standards in support of all ibm.com worldwide Web development for consistent customer experiences across IBM Web sites. She drove IBM’s strategy for Web collaboration and developed the first Collaborative Branding Standards for co-marketed and co-branded Web sites.

    Cynthia has always been part of the IBM team that sets standards, and creates and delivers education to improve the effectiveness of IBM’s Web content. As a Search and Social Media Evangelist for IBM, Cynthia led the development of five Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) education modules for IBM internal use, IBM Business Partners, and interactive agencies, used to train over thousands of associates worldwide.

    Cynthia has spearheaded ibm.com initiatives and education in Corporate Identity & Design, Digital Branding, Rich Media, Accessibility and Privacy. Her recent position as the IT Consultant Specialist/Web Customer Satisfaction Team Lead for ibm.com focused on Web content effectiveness and gave her the opportunity to be the single point of contact for IBM business units, helping them to more effectively attract, convert, and retain business through the Web.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: IBM Press; 1 edition (May 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137004206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137004201
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,035,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I have read about a dozen books in this general area and this is one of the top books I have read. It has a lot of different nuggets that make your scramble to take notes. I would recommend this book to anyone that is relatively new to this subject matter. It may not fill the needs of veterans of this subject area, but I could see it being a great refresh of important thoughts.
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Format: Paperback
Even if you're the next William Shakespeare, if you don't write according to online standards you will fail as a web content creator. Internet users will not just ignore your web content; they probably won't know it exists. This savvy new Internet writing guidebook by IBM web pros James Mathewson, Frank Donatone and Cynthia Fishel covers all of the technical information you need to develop web content that Internet users will find relevant and engaging. The authors emphasize that quality web content - material people can find and will read - depends on the right keywords. getAbstract recommends this superb, readable, wholly practical guide to editors, writers and those who plan and create material for the Internet.
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Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a guide that explains SEO in all its glory, READ THIS BOOK. I found it to be comprehensive in scope, very clearly written, and especially well organized. Everything from linguistic characteristics of keywords and how keywords work to site architecture ... and lots more. Great information about gaining page rank and using social media to create success. Tons of useful charts and graphs. There are many books out there that claim to give you this kind of information -- Do yourself a favor and start with this one.
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Format: Paperback
How can you get more traffic to your website or blog? And how can you make sure the content you write is relevant to the people who visit? In Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content, the authors show you how to ensure your site is giving your visitors what they want.

The authors give an excellent overview of how writing for the web is different than writing for print. The main point they make is that to be successful on the web, you need to write for search engines, especially Google. You need to use the right keywords to help the right people find your site. And you need to focus on linking strategies that ensure your audience can find you from other places, and that sites like Google consider your site important.

I have attended search engine optimization educational sessions run by the authors, so when I started my blog, I actually tried to implement some of their ideas. Through the book, I learned a great deal more about how to analyze keywords that my audience uses and where to include them within my pages. I also learned about how Google's PageRank works. And I got a lot out of the chapter on Capturing Social Media Opportunities, which includes a section on specific ways to optimize your blog for search.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is responsible for web writing. Most of the examples are from IBM, and it's more focused on websites rather than blogs. But I also found a lot that I can apply to my blog. So if you're looking for ways to improve your blog visitors' experience and increase your ranking on Google, check it out! And if your other job involves writing for a website, as mine does, I'm sure you'll find a great deal of valuable information as well.
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On the web audience behavior rules! Writing for the web and connecting with target audiences are integral to online success. What often eludes many writers, editors and content providers, is how to attract and engage with the right audience.

More than a guide to effective web writing, this book illuminates the facets of creating relevant web content, using search and social media. You'll be introduced to the search-first write methodology, for defining your audience and strategic tactics that are woven into an integrated approach. And, you'll take away knowledge of sustainable practices for responding to and engaging with diverse audiences.

As the authors point out, the web is a writers medium. I liken this book to having a personal trainer for writers, to step you through the exercises that will fine tune your skills and advance your expertise for delivering relevant and targeted web content.
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