Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mexican Fluffy and Fluffier

Website Title: surf-mexico.com
Type of website: Travel guide
Excellent source of...: Travel and surfing information...and advertisements.

This isn't the best website about Mexico that we've seen, but there are worse. It appears that it started out as a website about surfing spots and towns in Mexico, and then decided to expand. It is full of Google ads and other affiliate advertising, but it balances that out with a healthy dose of original writing and photography. The writers appear to live in the Zihuatenejo/Ixtapa area and seem to have spent most of their time in Western Mexico (well, that's where the surf is....) and the website is heavily weighted with information about Michoacan, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Morelos and Guerrero.

One of the reasons this isn't a better website is that it is not well organized. I find it confusing and hard to navigate....unless I want to reserve a hotel room. There's no problem finding a link to do that. This website has some good content and lovely photography... but it is close to being overshadowed by advertising and seems a little light on timely content.

Website Title: go2mexico.com
Type of website: Travel guide
Excellent source of...: Advertising

Here's a website that promises much more than it delivers. Go2Mexico.com looks like it got started quite a few years ago, and that is one of the reasons that it does so well in the search engines. And it does come up a lot for keywords involving "Mexico" and "travel". But is it full of useful content? Not hardly.

Go2Mexico appears to be all about making money when you make reservations for hotels, cars or flights. There is a general go2mexico.com website, and then there are linked city-guide websites, such as go2cancun.com, go2acapulco.com...you get the idea. Each city guide has listings of hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc. but they are far from comprehensive. In fact, they don't even attempt to be comprehensive. They are basically listings of whichever businesses pay to advertise on the website. For instance, on go2cancun.com, there are THREE restaurants listed. Have you ever been to Cancun? There are three restaurants per 100 yards in some places in the Zona Hotelera...and far more than three restaurants that the informed traveler will want to read about.

Occasionally one of these sections has some articles associated with it. The same articles for shopping in Cancun were listed for shopping in Puerto Vallarta. And they were written in 2000 and 2001. Hardly up to date, and hardly pertinent.

There's a "What's New" link on the left, where I expected to read new information about traveling in Mexico. What I found instead was a listing of the new advertisers that had been added to the website. There is a Travel Tips page that has useful information, but nothing unusual or hard to find somewhere else.

In short, this is a website that appears to be selling a lot and not providing much in return. Mostly fluff, not much real content.

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