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Scrolling and Eyetracking Data Results Get More Traffic to your Articles

Updated on August 20, 2013

Fact:

Internet users spend over 80 percent of their time reading above the 'page fold' on the PC. Only 20 percent of the readers actually scroll down to the bottom of the article.

This information was discovered by Jakob Nielsen who has been named the Guru of the Web Page. The page fold is the part of the screen that you can see without touching the keys. In other words the part that does not need to be scrolled down.

This is how Web users first began to read the internet. Over the years it has changed slightly, but according to statistics readers have now adapted to partial scrolling and have incorporated scanning. In other words, we the User will use our eyes to scan the page, scroll down to the centre of the article, and skim over the rest of the words.

Many people are in a hurry to get to the information that they require. They want the information and they want it now.

Keywords, scrolling and Eyetracking are the way to keep your reader on your page. By understanding how the Web User works, we can incorporate these ideas into each and every article.

Inverted Pyramid Writing and Scanning

Web users have become very proficient at keyword scanning. Instead of reading the whole article, they look for keywords that jump out of the page. That is why the writing should stay compact. Keep to the point and make sure each article will allow the reader to see exactly what they are looking for by scanning the page.

The inverted Pyramid webpage is an idea first introduced by Journalists. To get the readers attention, they give the conclusion of the story. For example: The outcome of the Trial proved the defendant guilty'.

This is followed by the supported information, and then finished with the details filling in the background to the story.This helps the reader to get the information that they desire, and if they are still interested they can then scroll down the page to get the added information.


Eyetracking How Users Look At The Article Page

Studies have shown that Users tend to follow the same pattern when looking at the article page. As you can see in the diagram below, red is the most read area, yellow and orange are visually scanned slightly less, and the blue is rarely read. The grey area is completely ignored.

Eyetracking Web Usability developria.com
Eyetracking Web Usability developria.com

The F Shaped Pattern Readers Apply.

In the above Eye tracking study, you can see how Users tend to look at certain areas of the screen. This is called the F shaped Pattern. Thousands of webpages, and over 200 Users were studied to see how they looked, scanned and read the article. The results were astounding. Nearly every single reader used the same eye movement pattern.

  • Using the horizontal eye movement - Users read the first two or three lines at the top of the article.
  • The second Eyetracking movement - Was once again across the horizontal area, but tailed off slightly towards the end of the sentence.
  • The third movement - Involved the Users scanning down the left side of the article. This sometimes seemed to show a solid strip in a vertical line. Other times the vertical line was thicker and occasionally it tailed of very quickly.

Implications of the Eyetracking Study

  • Users will never read the whole article however interesting it seems to be. As I mentioned above, most people need the information fast, and really don't want or need the extra words or paragraphs.
  • Your first two paragraphs are the most important part of the article. This is where your main information should be. With tags, keywords and most importantly the main information, preferably with the Conclusion in the first paragraph.
  • Start paragraphs, sub headers and all numbered and bullet points with information. And always highlight in bold all keywords and important points.

By incorporating all of these points, you should satisfy the reader by giving them all the information in a short precise way. This will ensure that the reader will be back for more.

copyright nell rose

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    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks again Vellur, glad you liked it, nell

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Very useful information, thanks for sharing. We must catch the readers interest within the first paragraph or else they just skip reading. Great hub,

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Stephanie, glad you found it helpful, it totally suprised me when I first heard about it, thanks as always, nell

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      SO interesting! Although I always hope that readers will actually read my whole article, I know from my own experience that scanning an article is much more common. The data on eye movement patterns is fascinating. This is such useful information that I will use when revamping some of my older hubs. Voted up and useful!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Cheeky Girl, thanks so much for reading, yes it is fascinating isn't it? thanks for the tweet!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Cheeky Girl, thanks so much for reading, yes it is fascinating isn't it? thanks for the tweet!

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 4 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      What an awesome article on how web pages are viewed and read and scanned. Nielsen was a genius! it's horrifying to read this and then look up something in a search engine and then battle through the mire of pointless crap in ads right in those very places where our eyes expect to find what we want. Only for Christmas just gone, I'd be saying "Baah Humbug!" LOL! Great hub! Just tweeted it!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Aw thanks Integrity! lol!

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      You certainly deserve all of your success. I applaud you.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Glad you like them, thanks!

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      You write a lot informative ones.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks again Integrity.

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      You are welcome, Nell.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      lol! thanks dingy, glad you liked it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      lol! thanks dingy, glad you liked it, nell

    • dingyskipper profile image

      Carolyn 5 years ago from Northamptonshire

      Thats great tried it out on myself as I read, I do it too it seems LOL, thanks

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Integrity, glad you liked it, nell

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      I voted up for sure. You receive many props from me.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Wheretostay, thanks for reading, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Deborah, lol! thanks so much, nell

    • wheretostay profile image

      Travel Advisor 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Very useful information, for improving our hub traffic..... thanks...

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Very interesting, Nell. Thanks for the great information. I do a lot of scanning myself, but when I find an article that interests me, I do read the entire thing. By the way, I read this entire article. : )

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Jools, thanks for reading, yes its all about the first paragraph, I call it fingers crossed! lol! thanks!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Great article Nell - HP sort of shackles us then? It is much more of a vertical layout and the space either side of articles is for ads I think.

      I agree though with all of the assertions here though I do real whole articles if I find them interested. The first paragraph is a deal breaker though - if that is interesting, I keep reading.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Nell, this is spot on. As a retired teacher, I can tell you that students for sure do not read more than they have to. This F shaped reading is truly what they do. This is so infomative and I agree with this one hundred percent. Great idea for a hub! Wish I had thought of this. LOL

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi grandmapearl, thats great! I am glad you found it helpful, thanks so much, nell

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Very interesting stuff, Nell. I will definitely be incorporating this important information in everything I write from now on! Thanks a million. Bookmarked and Voted Up and everything!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi teaches, yes that does make sense, I should have really studied this before starting to write on hubs! lol! I did creative writing for long enough, its a wonder that the info didn't go in! lol! thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi lyric, thanks so much for reading, glad you found it useful too, and have a great day, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Jackie, good luck with the book, I did publish my ebook but haven't got around to sending off the forms to america with the hard back book, thanks!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This all makes great sense to me, Nell. I thank you for pointing out these methods of writing to attract readers. I teach my students when writing resumes to put all the important data and information within the first half of the page -- it's what is read and kept by a reader. Voted up.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Nell, what a great article! Those are some interesting stats and facts. I would figure this. I thought they would look a little further down. This will be helpful information to take forward Nell. Voting this up, useful, and interesting. Take care Nell:)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Strange I noticed this lately on a hub, because the second half is what the hub was really about and almost if not every comment was about the first half, nothing on the subject of the hub, lol. I didn't really care though since it was a quick throw out there while I am trying to finish my book up.

      Did you get your book out yet?

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Genna, its something that I sort of knew but needed to look into, there are so many articles out there that are not completely understandable, that to find this simple and easy explanation was great! thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent article, Nell. You have made something that can be difficult to understand accessible to everyone. Eyetracking is also utilized in the way people read brochures. Understanding “the grab” is almost an art form. Well done. :-)

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi christopher, thanks as always, glad you found it helpful, thanks nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Rema, congratulations! that must be awesome, hope you have a wonderful time, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi alocsin, yes it seems that the old ways are the best ones I hope it really helps with my stuff I know I need to do some serious editing! thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Alicia, thanks for reading, and I hope it really helps, not that you need it as your hubs are amazing!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Ruby, I am glad you found it helpful, its just common sense really that I obviously never had before! haha! got a lot of editing to do! thanks!

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Definitely one to come back to. Packed with useful information. Thanks Nell.

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Hi Nell,

      I am in Dubai visiting my grand daughter (am a first-time grandmother at 52) and am enjoying every moment of my life here. Will be flying back to India next week. Very sweet of you to notice it. Cheers, Rema.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      This is all fairly sensible information -- interesting that we learned similar results when learning about writing technical documents about 30 years ago. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is very useful and interesting information, Nell, and is definitely something that I will keep in mind when I write my next hubs.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      It makes sense about the first two paragraphs being the most important. I know i can get bored if the article is not interesting right at first. Great research..Great hub..Thank you..

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi RedElf, thanks so much for your vote, thats great to know you found it helpful, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks avian, glad you found it helpful, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Lilly, nice to see you, appreciate your reading, and thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Hilary, I always appreciate your reading my stuff, I have to do revision too! lol!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi alan, Aw! thanks! haha! thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi search, lol! thanks for reading, all of it! haha!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi susie, glad you found it helpful, and thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi John, yes of course, never thought of that! lol! its similar when they keep changing the store around so that you have to keep trying to find the goods, we get so complacent with looking in the right place, that they do it to wake us up again! lol! thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Sally, lol! thanks so much, I am glad you found it helpful, thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks sandra, I am so glad you liked it, thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Martie, always nice to see you, thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi sgbrown, thats great to know, I expect we all do it when searching for something, thanks so much, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Vinaya, its great when we realise how people use the internet, I have been on here two years, took me long enough to learn! lol!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi tills, thanks so much, it was fascinating to suddenly come across this on the internet, and then I had to find other bits and pieces across the web, thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi remaniki, thanks so much, I really do appreciate it, just noticed you are in Dubai, wow! lucky thing! lol!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi michael, love the swimming! lol! oh and the gymnastics! following britain and america, got to be patriotic and of course because of all our friends on here! thanks so much again, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi mary, totally understand your questions, yes hubpages do say write over a 1,000 words, I think this just covers how we do write them. To write a long article they say it should start with the conclusion and follow with the extra information. Saying that it really does all depend on what you are writing about. I know that I have added words and paragraphs that I really don't need, so its about tightening it up I think, and as for the shorter articles this applies more, maybe about technology, such as phones etc, people would want to read it quickly to get the main info, sorry it took me so long to answer, my computer packed up and I had to reboot, reinstall the drive etc, took me ages! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi mary, totally understand your questions, yes hubpages do say write over a 1,000 words, I think this just covers how we do write them. To write a long article they say it should start with the conclusion and follow with the extra information. Saying that it really does all depend on what you are writing about. I know that I have added words and paragraphs that I really don't need, so its about tightening it up I think, and as for the shorter articles this applies more, maybe about technology, such as phones etc, people would want to read it quickly to get the main info, sorry it took me so long to answer, my computer packed up and I had to reboot, reinstall the drive etc, took me ages! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

      Interesting article, and an excellent example of the technique we should be using. Thanks Nell! Up and awesome!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hmmm, interesting. Thanks for the necessary info.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      This is well written and very helpful! Thank you for laying this out in an understandable and simple way. Kudos

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      This a great Hub Nell and confirms what I suspected for a long while. Of course I have to tell you I read EVERY word!! :) It's an art to keep the reader moving along and you do it so well. I'm off to do some revision work!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      What it is to be popular! Hello again Nell, this looks worth a second - probably even a third look. Just scanned it first time to see what the basics came to. I shall return.

    • searchinsany profile image

      Alexander Gibb 5 years ago from UK

      Nell Rose

      This is an excellent Hub, very informative. I even read it from start to finish!

    • susiebrown48 profile image

      susiebrown48 5 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Awesome hub! So informative! I'm going to try applying some of these suggestions in my next hub! Voted up and useful!

    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      Very interesting Nell. We used to use similar research in the retail trade. For instance if you are thinking of renting a shop in a shopping mall, don't rent the one just inside - and on the same side - as the entrance. People tend to come into shopping malls and stand with their backs to the entrance as they survey all the available shops.

      The same idea is used when you enter a grocery shop. If you are going to buy milk or bread or any of life's essentials, you can guarantee that it will be at the back of the store so that you have to pass all the other merchandise to get to them.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Excellent information about how people read (or don't) and how to apply that info to online writing that stands a better chance of being absorbed. You are "write" on! Up, interesting, useful.

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Your hub is not only useful, it is beautiful. I love the graph showing the F figure reading. Thanks, as always.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting! I knew about the pyramid, but not about the 7-figure, though I must agree wholeheartedly.

      Thanks for the info, Nell :)

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I find that I do the same thing when I am in a hurry or maybe when I am "hub hopping". This is very good information. I am going to keep this in mind when I am "tweaking" some of my hubs. Voted up and useful!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I knew about the inverted pyramid and scrolling fact, but did not know much about eye tracking. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Information surely good for all of us to know. We want the Internet user to read...if he's only going to read part of it, we want him to read the best part! You've provided some valuable information here Nell. Thank you.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Hi Nell,

      Great hub as always. Very useful; learnt a lot of things from it. Great! It is a real pleasure to visit your hubs. I am sharing it across as I do always for the simple reason that it has to reach lots of people. Cheers, Rema.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I suppose it is like many things. We read and forget sometimes.

      Luckily for hubs like this one, it reminds us of the way people (other than hubbers) actually read our work.

      It is all rush, rush, rush. They miss so much useful information as you have shown right here. It helps for us to be aware of these eyetracking simple ideas to get more traffic.

      How are you enjoying the Olympics : ) lol sharing with hubbers, retweeting & pinning

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Question: If you give too much information in the first two paragraphs, won't your reader leave your page? Also, you mentioned "trimming" your work. I thought HP encouraged Hubs 1,000 to 1,500 words long.

      Thanks for the info here, Nell.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi midget, thanks so much as always, glad you found it helpful, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi billy, yes I learned it at night school, then as I mentioned above, totally and completely forgot! haha! thanks so much for reading, and I am glad you liked it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi howler, thanks for reading, and appreciate the visit, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Arlene, yes I know what you mean, its something I learned years ago and promptly forgot! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Agree with the pattern, Nell! The beginning is the most important part of the article. While the whole article has to be good, people will usually only pay attention in terms of the "F" pattern you've explained so well! Thanks for the info!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I learned this a long time ago in Marketing classes in college but had forgotten all about it. Great information my friend; very valuable and I thank you!

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Very Interesting hub. I think I'll experiment a bit with my next few hubs.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      Haven't used the inverted pyramid in a long time. Change is good.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Pamela, I think we all do this without realising it. I know that when I am looking for something on the internet it is usually the first couple of paragraphs then a scroll down, but I didn't realise just how much it was in the F shape, thanks as always, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Mekenzie, thanks so much, yes I need to go back and do a bit of editing too! she says with a groan! lol! thanks, nell

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      Nell, This is such good information. Nielsen did do us a favor but I relate so well to that information also. If you've read 2 paragraphs and are bored, you won't continue reading. This is a well-written very good information.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi joan, thanks so much, and I am glad you liked it, hope your having a great day too, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Cyndi, glad you found it helpful, nell

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 5 years ago from Michigan

      Nell Rose, thank you for writing such useful information. I'll need to look at my hubs with your research in mind. I appreciate your help and enjoyed the article!

      Mekenzie

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Wow, what a wealth of information! I will have to read this several times to really grasp the implications. Voted Up, awesome and interesting. have a good day!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi natashalh, thanks for reading, yes it was funny because I thought I would try and do as it says, and it came out alright, I must remember to do it next time though! haha!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Julie, glad you liked it, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi steph, thats a great idea, I should know better because I did an evening class on creative writing and they were always going on about, cut out those words! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Nell Rose, Great information you have given us. I will evaluate my articles with the inverted pyramid and scanning in mind. You have my vote up.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks Mohan, I have no idea why I never realised this before. Mind you I tend to write what I am thinking about, or desperately want to get down on paper so to speak, but just a few tweaks make all the difference, glad you liked it and thanks as always, nell