The Info Box
The info box looks like a cookie cutter approach to providing information on the various poker sites reviewed at Poker Listings, and that might be a good idea for the sake of simplicity but it certainly isn’t appropriate when you have blank fields like you see in this one.
The fields that are left blank here seem to be some pretty important ones as well. There are no entries for auditor, license, and telephone. They actually do have a licensing body, which is the Government of Gibraltar, which is information anyone can get simply by visiting 888’s website.
Leaving this out is simply terrible, if you’re going to have an info box displayed so prominently then you should at least take the time to fill it in properly. For a long time 888’s software wasn’t audited independently, they did this in house, which may have turned off some people, but nowadays they do get it audited by a respected third party firm, as is the expectation in the industry.
So by leaving this blank this looks like it’s not audited at all, nor is this site licensed either because that field is blank too. This is terrible. It also looks like you can’t contact them by phone either, I’ve no idea why something like this would be so prominently displayed and there are some sites where they don’t even have toll phone support but this isn’t one of them, although you certainly wouldn’t guess that by looking at this box.
I don’t even like having this box here at all as it deals with some rather nitty gritty bits of info that certainly cannot be construed as the sort of teaser material we would want to feature in a box like this, in other words, to tempt readers to read on. This might even accomplish the opposite effect I would say, and at best it’s pretty much a waste of critical space.
Going Deeper Into The Info Box
They start with the name of the site, as in name, 888 Poker. This surely must be for the benefit of the search engines since I can’t imagine any human needing to know this in this spot, unless you were blind and they had this box in braile and your fingers wandered over to it, people at this point in time are already going to be very clear on the name of the site being reviewed.
So what’s the harm in telling them the name of the site here? Well aside from the wishy washiness of this, we could instead use the space to give them some information they could actually use, information that would at least in some sense contribute to our objective here of further enticing them to play at this site or to read more of the reviews, in other words have some practical value to it.
Putting the website name here doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either. There are plenty of links to it peppered throughout the review, and they are our affiliate links, we don’t even want readers to know what the actual website is lest they note it in order to visit it directly at some point in the future, leaving us missing out on the business.
Sure, they could do a web search to find it and that probably won’t lose us much business but the main thing here is that we need to ask ourselves why in heck we would even think of providing people with such information? What useful purpose would this serve anyway? I envision a cub reporter right out of high school doing up this box, someone without a clue of how to market anything in other words. It might look newsworthy but that alone doesn’t count for anything in this business.
So I clicked on the link and it takes us not to 888’s site but to a landing page put together by Poker Listings it seems, and while it does have the Poker Listings name on it, other than that it is a watered down version of the actual home page of 888. This is a whole other topic and one that deserves its own article and I will be addressing that for you very shortly actually, as I feel it’s an important topic.
The Rest Of The Story
We are then told that the network that this poker site is on is the 888 Network, that’s pretty benign, considering that the 888 Network these days is pretty much just 888 anyway, although Lucky Ace continues to play a small role as they have for a few years now.
Once again though I don’t think this stuff is anywhere near important enough to put in a box such as this, some of it may seem OK until we realize that we should be acting with a lot more purpose than just pasting some minor details in such a key area of the review. That’s basically all this stuff is, minor details. This is especially true of the download size of the software which I’m not even sure anyone cares about at all.
So it’s 15.5 MB, so what? This isn’t even info that’s worthy of mentioning anywhere in the review actually, and especially not in a place like this. There’s also the email for support, you haven’t even read the review yet, let alone signed up, why would you need the support email at this point?
There’s also a date thrown in there which tells us when the review was created, and it’s just a few days ago, wow that’s incredible because we’ve been looking at this review in my blog for a lot longer than that. So they are just changing the date as we go obviously. I wouldn’t put any dates in here for sure, you either lie or you date it, and I don’t think that readers really expect you to redo these things every week, and they will assume the info is correct and current even when it is not.
So in the next article I will see if I can fix this box a little.