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Should I build a doorway or splash page?

...but google links?

     
8:26 am on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hello everyone.

Happy Halloween!

one of the client has asked me to make a door page (more of screen page, where their index.html is just a nice picture with "enter the site" button...), I guess this came from other sites having very nice inviting picture for their customer, and the fact that I have mentioned that the smaller the size of the index page is the better (?) it is for search engines (?)

The client showed me a site with just that today.
asking me to make similar page for him.
The door page (screen page - whatever the right name it is) would replace index.html and current index.html would be something else (main.html)

I have seen a site with the door/screen page, with page rank of 7, back link of 32, ranked 8 out of 850,000 pages.

Would the site be loosing all the links from Google, if the page changes?
or would the new index.html be just fine with the way the old index.html was?

Little confused to what would happen....

The door/screen page would not have any text at all.

2:09 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi James,

As I undestand it..

1. You will not lose any links to your index page by changing its content. (As long as you don't change its name!)

2. There will be some PR drain for the rest of the site as google will have to make the extra hop to the main.htm and the rest of your site.

3. Consequently you will lose a higher PR for the keyword phrases that are currently on your index page (and replaced with the lower PR main.htm)

4. *Most importantly* google will only return your index page in the SERPS based on the anchor text your incoming links (& of course your page title). You should look at this issue closely before making any changes, if you don't have strong key phrase rich incoming anchor text I'd recommend you don't change it.

5. I'm not sure about this but there may well be a duplication issue with Google

...anyone else?

Lastly if its not broken why fix it!

PS I call it a splash page

2:47 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes, they're called splash pages. They're generally laughed at in the web industry. They serve no useful purpose and are best avoided.

These days they tend to have a nasty flash animation on them, which makes the twice as laughable. If you put a skip intro button underneath, people will skip it, if you don't, they'll probably leave your site!

The splash page's origins are in print. Print designers are used to having covers on their publications. Covers are mainly used to grab the attention of a person. As print designers moved to the web, they bought their old habits with them, forgetting what the actual purpose of these habits were. As a result, a lot of web sites have a non functioning attention grabber. It's daft because a user will never see it unless they are already at the site, and their attention has already been grabbed!

5:01 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I highly advise people against this.

The index page is the one that gets the most link power because usually that's how everybody links - site.com. They don't use site.com/index or site.com/main

If you move the index and replace it with an image, Google will have nothing to rank you for. Obviously this depends on the competitiveness of the keywords, but it doesn't seem to me like this is a mega competitive area.

So tell your client that you can build a pretty picture into your current index page, alongside your current text and any other "spider food" you already have.

Your other option is to monitor traffic, change it, and show your customer the drop.

6:25 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Now I can say "NO" with confidence.
Thank you.

>>> "Your other option is to monitor traffic, change it, and show your customer the drop."
This would mean more work for me down the road.

9:12 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>> "Your other option is to monitor traffic, change it, and show your customer the drop."
This would mean more work for me down the road.

Quite an ethical issue in a few words there!

More work equals more pay - surely a good thing? Or not?

But at the same time, it's at the expense of the customer.
It's as if the SEO is having to say "Hey - I'll do what you want, it'll go horribly wrong and then I'll charge you for putting it back as it was"

Seems that it would be to everyone's advantage to be able to say
"Hey, I've done a lot of research on this for you, and in the interests of our business relationship, I'll recommend doing nothing, and ask you for just a small retainer for the advice"

How does one convince the customer that doing nothing isn't laziness, sometimes it really is the BEST option! Customers, like managers, only feel contentment when everything is turned upside down for the hell of it...
</jaundiced mode>
DerekH

9:27 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I would never use a splash page, because of the reasons already stated.

Punta
I never even thought about the evolution of the splash page. I think you are right on the money. It seems that it is the multimedia design companies that are pushing that crap. Although it is not crap when your competition is using it, in that case, rock on. :-)

10:27 pm on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Personally I think Flash is great for presentation. Just a matter of how you use it.
10:03 am on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Personally I think Flash is great for presentation. Just a matter of how you use it.

Exacly!

CD-ROM = Flash

Web site = HTML

10:16 am on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It all depends if you want a flashy home page with few visitors or a well optimized home page with many visitors. The choice is yours :)
2:33 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm one of those 'idjits' who has a flash splash page - albeit accessible to those who don't have flash. Still, all the same, I'm going to change it into something more useful.

You know, it seems that everyone has been treating this splash page ethic in a rather black and white 'with or without' way - but I think it's high time to find something suitable for the web: on one hand, as mentioned above, we have our not-so-needed hardcover hand-bound nice picture front page (splash) and on the other a text-filled-page-with-nice-logo-header which gives a viewer the 'hardcore info' he wants right off the bat - but I have seen very few successful compromises. The former bugs the hell out of a user who knows what he wants, the latter bugs (yawns) the hell out of a curious user who is following a link from another page.

How about something visual and highly discriptive with links to sections of the site that might interest the user? I, for one, am working on it.

Just my two centimes : )

Josefu.

4:42 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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CD-ROM = Flash

Web site = HTML

Not necessarily. Flash can be used on a website in a good presentation manner. In fact, Flash was meant for the web.

5:03 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You can use flash on the home page and still make it look good and be usable by the viewers. Just don't let the Flash over power the page.

I mix it in with the page for visual presentation and our site does very well in attracting and keeping visitors.

It's all in how you do it!

CD ROM = Director
FLASH and HTML Together = Web Site