| 2:04 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Yes, it pays to do some homework first and check references BEFORE laying out any cash.
| 2:30 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
A friend of mine has had a site since 1998 and it is top 10 for several competitive keywords. His pages are the ugliest thing you ever have seen, the HTML is bloated and sloppy because he uses MS Word as his editor. Recently he added a few new pages that are nothing but text documents created with Word and within a few weeks those pages made it to the Google top 15.
He has almost no back links, (PR5 now for some reason) and what he has are mostly dead-links from and old directory listings which he has no idea how he got listed in. He does not know what an H1 tag is or how to put a graphic in on his page yet his pages all achieve amazing search engine rankings. Recently he removed all links between his pages on his site because “he didn’t want to confuse visitors by giving them options to click elsewhere”. He is counting on direct hits to each page from Google, which is not a problem with his pages ranked so highly.
On the other hand, I have a site that competes on some of the same keywords and have been utilizing every SEO technique known to man… I have worked on getting over 50 one-way links to my site with perfect anchor text, optimized the text, built content, and created clean HTML code for Google to easily read. However, no matter what I do, I can not get closer than within 10 spots of his placement.
This leads me to believe that Google loves one page plain text html pages with no graphics, tables, java, menu systems etc....
A good looking site does no good if Google ignores it.
| 2:39 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|A good looking site does no good if Google ignores it. |
I hear a lot of people say that and it is a very good point. But to me, that is the ultimate goal of good design - a close marriage of function and form.
The holy grail is the website that is both beautifully SEO'd, in the top 5 for its major keywords and also looks fantastic, with those looks directly related to intuitive navigation for the user.
CSS is the tool of the holy grail seekers.
| 2:47 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I'm afraid our business is no different to any other business in that there are the good the bad and the downright ugly out there. There is no excuse for what you describe and you should be able to find a suiotable company for your needs.
Ask your next SEO for real examples of his work and check them! This takes a little time but it will ensure you get what you pay for in the end!
| 2:54 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Sounds like the latest SEO people have gone for the form through function approach which, although it may work beautifully, is unacceptable in this context.
In some respects, this is something of a 'how long's a piece of string' question. There are hoardes of SEO companies, but sorting them into the good, the bad & the ugly isn't an easy task.
From your comments, it seems you need an SEO company who are willing to work with your existing pages and possibly go down the gateway route - building some targetted pages that fit in with your existing style and needs.
As has been mentioned in this thread already, ask for references and example sites. How will their optimistion work & how is it implemented? Is it a one-off event or will they continue to work with you and consult whenever you need to make changes to your pages? What guarantees can they offer & what are these worth in the cold light of day?
Take some time to investigate & don't rush in.
| 3:05 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Sounds like the latest SEO people have gone for the form through function approach which, although it may work beautifully, is unacceptable in this context. |
Unacceptable in which context?
Form through function is the only acceptable approach in any form of design.
Websites are no different. You target your audience, you analyse what functionality your site requires (including SEO techniques) and you design accordingly.
| 3:17 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Unacceptable in which context? |
Simply in that Pricey finds these new pages to be aesthetically unacceptable and that in the field in which this particular business operates, appearence is of great importance. Perhaps if this SEO firm had spent more time on cosmetics following the creation of these pages, their Client would be more satisfied and more willing to carry on with their services.
I certainly agree with the form through function ideal - to the point where I've studied it extensively, especially in the automative arena and Giugiaro's work in particular - but it isn't necessarily the right choice for all occasions!
| 3:34 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
The very fact that Pricey finds the pages cosmetically unacceptable is the very reason that he needs to find a good designer! And any good designer worth his salt will follow basic design principles, of which form through function is the most fundamental.
There's as little point in the pages being incredibly pretty but non-intuitive as there is in being fully functional but looking unprofessional.
Both sides need to be taken care of.
I think you're thinking of "form through function" as being biased towards the "functional" side. It isn't - there's a fundamental balance required between the two. That is the artistry behind design.
Would you say that the Ferrari 250 GT (one of Giugiaro's designs) is an ugly car? I think it's stunning (OK, that's subjective, but you'll see the point) but it is also 100% functional as a car, and it's form very much comes from the fact that it needs to have 4 wheels, an engine and passengers inside.
| 3:42 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Heading off topic - I never realised how subconsciously drawn to Giugiaro's designs I was until I did some research.
Six out of eight cars I've so far owned (including my beloved Scirocco - rest in pieces :() were penned by the guy whilst many that I've merely lusted after were by his hand too.
250 GTO?...ruggedly beautiful (in a Pit-Bull fashion) and certainly fulfilling its function as an early supercar...your point on form & function is well taken.
| 3:49 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Six out of eight cars I've so far owned (including my beloved Scirocco - rest in pieces :() were penned by the guy whilst many that I've merely lusted after were by his hand too. |
I'm exactly the same with furniture (Ron Arad)...
Scirocco, eh? Now that was a butch looking car!
| 3:51 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Fantastic car, but sadly brought to its demise by a nice lady in a Nissan who didn't bother with the 'Give Way' sign. :(
All is not lost - there's another in the pipeline, although that may involve a trip to Germany at the end of this month. :)
| 7:34 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I presume you refer to the GTO. Ahh, but the SWB was a far more attractive car with most of the GTO's abilities. So, a happy medium? Enzo thought so!
So, what does that teach us about SEO I wonder?
| 7:56 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
I would like to chime in on SEO- a client of mine paid $3,000 for SEO and as far as I can see they used word tracker to select keywords then once they were selected I was asked to incorporate then in our copy. The site design was attractive but for less then $500 in sales since February, I am wondering if this was worth the money?
Btw what are gateway pages?
| 9:22 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|So, what does that teach us about SEO I wonder? |
Well, what it should teach you is that to think purely in terms of SEO can often result in poor design for the user.
As much cosmetic work and functionality needs to go into a website as engineering for the search engines.
A 250 GTO has 4 wheels, an engine and a steering wheel.
So does a Trabant.
To a search engine, both are "cars" and both will take you from A to B.
Which one, as a user, would you prefer to drive?
| 10:02 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|Has anyone else had this sort of trouble with SEO companies? If so I'd be interested to hear what everyone thinks: are they just a complete waste of time and money?! |
Not at all. There are great ones, good ones, incompetent ones and scam artists. You would do well to read up on some of the technique of SEO in this forum, so that you are in a position to ask questions of your SEO company that will reveal which type they are.
| 11:22 am on Jun 13, 2003 (gmt 0)|
There are so amny scams about that is is sometimes difficault to tell whats good and whats not.
Oh and whilst I remember, when I queried the SEO company about the pages they created for me they said "You can't have the best of both worlds" This is complete bs, cus I'v seen companies with great designs, who have PR8+ and who have #1 places on SE's.
| 6:51 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)|
Hello All! We are looking for a good (?) SEO company (starting to wonder if this is an oxymoron) to work with. We are in the insurance business (try not to hold that against us, we get frustarted working with the insurance companies too!).
Our speciality is assisting in the IT sector, programmers, consultants, web designers, ISPs, WISPs, etc. The insurance industry is very competitive, HOWEVER, only a HANDFUL in the US work in this area.
We need to get noticed, as quickly as possible. Can anybody advise us who to stay away from, or even who you have had GOOD luck with?
Many thanks, Tom
| 6:55 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)|
|good (?) SEO company (starting to wonder if this is an oxymoron) |
Tom, this just means that you need to be more careful when selecting a SEO vendor.
There are plenty of good SEO firms, and even more good SEO specialists that could help you.
| 7:11 pm on Jun 19, 2003 (gmt 0)|
And just how does an insurance geek go about finding/ selecting one? LOL comments, please?