[updated] This is bigger than your garden-variety broken navigation.
First, I conducted a Google search for “verizon cellphone plans.” The number one hit on Google took me straight to the plans page (an SEO win):
This is the page:
Now look what happens when I click the “individual plans” link:
This pristinely blank page is lovely picture of “disconnect” within the company:
- Marketing has done an excellent job of Google SEO, since the Verizon page is the number one hit for the search query.
- However, IT has architected the page … in a meaningless way. It appears that there is an assumption that I got to this page from within the Verizon website (why else a “back button” call)? But “back” makes no sense in this context: I think it is highly unlikely that someone would visit the individual plans page first then then want to see the “general” plans page.
The “individual plans” link resolves to the online “store” making the “back button” page an even stranger result:
No one thought to test this scenario, clicking on a Google result link?
Update: the problem truly lies with IT. Here’s the link to “individual plans” that is on the navigation bar:
We can see the disconnect between the “visible” link and the “invisible” one! These links “say” the same thing (Individual Plans) and thus should “go” to the exact same page in the site. This is a basic user interface misstep.
However, both links result in a “back button” blank page, which suggests that something far more problematic is happening on the backend. My guess is that the ecommerce side of the Verizon Wireless website is down.