Where’s Wally? That is a question that children and adults alike have been asking themselves ever since British illustrator Martin Handford published the first book of images within which this stripy-shirted, hat-wearing character was hiding.
Wally became something of a pop cultural icon after a meteoric rise and enjoyed a number of adaptations to different media in the 1990s, including board games, video games and even a cartoon series. A live action movie has been in the works for years, although a rocky road to actual production has kept it from the big screen for some time.
Although he is known by different names around the world – most notably as Waldo in America – Wally’s distinctive look and the intricate illustrations in which he has appeared have helped to maintain his popularity over the years. There have even been recent developments which allow people to use mathematics to find Wally as quickly as possible, which is an intriguing idea even if it does slightly defeat the point of the original publications.
Wally is so difficult to find because the scenes which he inhabits are so richly peopled with other characters, many of whom look a little like him in some way, thus leaving the viewer with a big distraction as they search for the man whose name is on the front cover of the book. And an interesting analogy can be drawn between the sometimes infuriating process of looking for Wally and the difficulties that are often involved with looking for websites online.
Organic search results are based on a number of criteria, from the quality of the content to the quality of the inbound links received by a site. And with these parameters shifting all the time as Google and its contemporaries attempt to hone their search algorithms, some sites can rise to the top even if they are not offering the most relevant or suitable content for users.
This is why many webmasters turn to companies such as www.elevateuk.com and instead use pay per click search tactics to boost site traffic and improve conversions. PPC can be beneficial if your site is languishing in the organic rankings, allowing you to target specific keywords and place at the top in the sponsored results rather than hiding out like Wally and waiting for one or two people to stumble upon you by chance.
Even with all the hard work on search engine optimisation in the world, it is sometimes sensible to get a foot in the door by using PPC, as organic ranks can fluctuate and even the biggest brands in the world can be found investing in the marketing of their links in this way – even if they also come out on top of the organic SERPs.
Where’s Wally? is a cultural phenomenon that has already survived for almost 28 years and will no doubt continue to thrive in the future. But to survive online you cannot hide away as Wally does.