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Jeff Yablon, No Color  

Perception, as we know, is reality. It’s true when penguins go marching, it’s true when musicians want you to pirate their music, it’s true when your File Host Gets Shut Down … truth is, it’s just always there. Perception is Reality.

Which of the four Jeff Yablons you see above would you buy Search Engine Optimization from?

Last week, a bunch of SEO Geeks started talking about the impact that your picture has on traffic. Specifically, the point was that when you jump through the hoops needed to get Google to show your picture next to search results for things you’ve written, your click-through will be better if people like your picture.

It’s not entirely a surprise, right? “Good looking” people tend to get thought of better; it’s the reason you fix your hair and put on your best suit before an important meeting or a job interview. See that one no-goatee Jeff Yablon picture? I used it back in the day when I was on-line dating, and I heard the same thing from a lot of women who might have ignored me otherwise: “you look just like John Kennedy Jr.!”

Pictures and video sell. Everybody isn’t swayed by visual cues to the same degree, and sure, there are different kinds of information absorption (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), but in general we like to look at pretty things, and we tend to respond predictably to them.

A couple of years ago, two of my younger Facebook contacts actually took this so far as to tell me that unless I changed the profile picture on my Facebook account, they wouldn’t friend me.

No, I’m not going soft on my position on Cute Kitten Videos. And if you do shoot video you need to be careful about how you use and share it. And I still don’t think trying to “capitalize on media” is a great strategy unless you actually understand media (yep, we can help).

But when you put a picture up on the Internet, whether you’re shooting for SEO or something else, please make sure you choose the picture you want “out there”

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