Telefónica : Blogging slips

Poor link management dilutes the value of good content.

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The feature

Telefónica, Spain-based telecommunications operator, handles the switch to external channels from its dual-language corporate site poorly.

Telefónica’s corporate site has information pages in three of its sections (About Telefónica, Innovation, CR & Sustainability) that each link to a related blog. The pages appear in both the English and Spanish versions of the site, which can be moved between easily using a universal language toggle. Each blog opens in a new window/tab.

The link for the Public Policy Blog, in About Telefónica, opens an English-language blog site from both versions of the main site; the Corporate and Social Responsibility Blog leads to a Spanish-only site from both the English and Spanish pages on the main site. There is an English-language Corporate and Social Responsibility Blog, but users must be on the separate CR & Sustainability microsite’s English version to reach it, from a ‘Blog’ link at top right. Links for the third blog, Innovation Blog, open in the language corresponding to the version of the main site in which they are located (English to English, Spanish to Spanish).

The takeaway

There is plenty to recommend about Telefónica’s development of a range of blog sites and their integration with main-site content, but the management of the links to them is not something to emulate and detracts from the value. Two of the blogs will frustrate many users’ expectations – and hopes of reading more – by being in a different language from that on the page from where they have been sent.

Part of the poor performance arises when a blog is in only one language but is linked from both the Spanish and English sides of the main site. Here, user expectations should be managed by the addition of a warning in the link caption that the destination site is in Spanish/English only. However, while the Corporate and Social Responsibility Blog link appears to need such treatment, it suffers from a separate management issue – there is an English-language version of the blog but the wrong web address is in place, sending users to the Spanish one.
First published 19 June, 2014
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