Posted to Volacci's blog on March 11th, 2011

Mona Lisa's Secret


Last Friday, I discussed the Mona Lisa’s smile - the “knowing smile”. When you look at her, she’s looking at you and she is subtly letting on that she knows something no one else knows; well, at least you don’t know it. What is it that we don’t know? Her relaxed disposition suggests that the answer is right in front of you and she is watching you, waiting for you to figure it out. When you finally discover the answer you will smile the same way too and she will smile back knowing that the two of you share a powerful secret. While we here at Volacci have yet to discover the Mona Lisa’s secret, we are about to share with you the secret behind our Mona Lisa smile. Before I tell you the secret, remember that Volacci specializes in Drupal SEO. But it isn’t just Drupal and search engine optimization that we know, we hold the secret to total optimization and social strategy. We smile because SEO is more than just effective keywords and link building, it is a set of elements that, when combined, create the recipe for success. Today, I’m going to share with you a few of those elements:

  • Mercury Services: Named after the Roman god Mercury, a messenger amongst the gods and goddesses who wore winged sandals and a winged hat, Volacci offers a new service that focuses on content delivery to multiple channels on behalf of customers to extend and optimize their channel reach.
  • CRO: Stands for “Conversion Rate Optimization” which focuses on optimizing your website so that after more traffic is generated through your SEO campaign, more visitors stay on your site and follow through with conversion goals.
  • Digital Transformation: It used to be that straightforward search engine optimization made a difference for your business. Times have changed and we are entering a digital transformation where more people than ever are finding content in hundreds of sources, not just your website. Content is shared and re-shared hundreds of times over and this changes the way that search engine optimization is done. Volacci is up to date with the latest methods and is ahead of the curve by developing new ones.

These are just a few elements that are the reasons for our smiles here at Volacci. Visit our informational page HERE . Now, as promised, I will divulge the answer to the cryptogram puzzle I shared last week: Just to recap, here is the puzzle and its riddle-hint: [Riddle-Hint: If you decoded the words correctly (each word is it’s own cryptogram) and the phrase still doesn’t make sense, it might be that you need Da Vinci’s mirror to “write” back the wrongs.]


First, hopefully you realized that each word in the puzzle has it’s own Caesar Cypher. This means that the letters were shifted by some amount. In the case of each word, the Caesar Cypher alternated by shifted by one letter up the first word and one letter down the second word. This was repeated throughout the entire puzzle. Therefore, the Caesar Cypher pattern for each word was as follows:

1up, 1down, 1up, 1down, 1up, 1down, 1up, 1down, 1up

Resulting in:


It still doesn’t make sense, right? Recall from the riddle-hint that I mentioned you might need Da Vinci’s mirror to “write” back the wrongs. If you didn’t already know, Leonardo Da Vinci wrote in his private notebooks using a mirror. This resulted in both everything (including the way the letters were written) being backwards. He wrote right to left this way and it made it difficult to read his writings without the aid of a mirror. In our case, only the spelling and word order is backwards, but not the letters. So, starting with the beginning of the last word on the right and working our way back to the first on the left, the letters and sentence become rearranged and make sense.


Molto bene! But who is “La Gioconda”? It is the Italian name for the Mona Lisa painting. Gioconda is equivalent to the English word “jocund” meaning, “jovial, exhuberant, lighthearted, merry, joy, satisfaction”. How appropriate, given her smile, and now yours.