I think the same applies to SEO and Google nowadays.
Man SEOs and Google laughs.
I was always a bit suspicious of SEO, and let’s face it, the sea of snake-oil SEO salesmen doesn’t help to establish credibility here, does it?
But I think that I’m becoming even more cynical of it every day.
The problem with getting good advice for SEO is that there’s no money in telling you “Don’t do anything”, “It’s a waste of time”, or “Focus on valuable content for your audience”. But there’s tons of money in doing a site audit, in telling you about best strategies to extract link juice, or why alt tags for images are important.
This post has been on the back of my head for a couple of years now. I think we actually switched-off Intercom in 2016 or so… But the reasons should still stand now, or might even be stronger. Of course, things might have shifted, so please forgive me if some features are totally different by now.
For those who don’t know intercom.io (now intercom.com), well, I think you probably do know it, but maybe not by name. It’s the technology (or company) that adds those little “bubbles” on websites, with friendly faces offering to help.
Of course, intercom.io isn’t the only one now, and there are a few competitors in this space. The principle is pretty similar though. I think intercom was the most successful company doing this, or the first, or both. But it’s not really important. It’s mostly about intercom as a concept, rather than a specific implementation.
The short, simple, and most crucial reason: it didn’t work. How do I know? We A/B tested it. Over a fairly long time and a large number of people.
When you walk inside the Ben Tanh market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, you’ll eventually end up inside the food area. There are probably hundreds of stalls selling local food. Lots of delicious Banh Mi sandwiches, noodle soups, fruit juices and summer rolls.
One thing that you can’t ignore however, is that as soon as you walk around, you’ll get approached by one of the stall owners. They’ll simply hand you the menu to choose from.