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Poor sites WRT design, usability and SEO

Why so many?

9:17 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It surely canít be just me that thinks this but there appear to be so many sites that have shocking design, poor levels of accessibility/usability and virtually no thought of how the search engines will cope with the site.

Some of the sites that I am sure you know of, look like they have spent big bucks on what they have produced but in the real world are terrible. Now I am positive that their CEOís think they are all spivvy rather slick but I like to think that we know different. I know that sounds arrogant, but thatís how I feel. Give me one on one access with a few of these characters and I will inform them :).

I suppose it is like any industry that you get all levels of product from the best to the cackest. Some excelling in one area, some in another and a few in most.

I suppose the purpose of this post is pretty pointless, I just felt like a little rant. Perhaps my real rant is at myself for not getting in with these characters like I should do.


9:32 am on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think they probabably do know it, especially over time when they dont see the benefits, but would rather not talk about it!

I see this attitude a lot when dealing with SMEs who have spent ridiculous amounts on IT in the past and had no returns.

>It surely canít be just me
No..Jakob agrees at least :) Did Poor Usability Kill E-Commerce? [useit.com]

12:37 pm on May 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In my experience, there are too many people involved with the website in the corporate world.

By the time the designers, web development team, database team, systems team, marketing team, product development team, general managers, vice presidents, and CEO have their individual say, the "vision" is lost.

The end effect is kind of like having 100 conversations with different people at the same time.

3:14 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Oh! Corporate World. Don't even get me started. I did SEO for a regional version of one of the top 3 music companies and only i know how i did it. Their whole web development team was clueless and the time they took to communicate and modify the content was horrible. Even after we gave them the titles and description they only added titles and no description.:(
4:21 pm on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Search Engine Friendly Design: It's the exception, not the norm.

I think that is my theme for this weekend.

In a previous post [webmasterworld.com] message#24, I stated that the majority of web sites are indeed created in a manner that renders them incompatible with proper indexing.

If you visit Communication Arts web site, and view their site of the week you'll see one Flash web site after another. Pick up any web design magazine and you'll see even more search engine unfriendly designs in there as well.

Search Engine Unfriendliness is the Norm. We Are the Exception.
I was speaking with the author of a New Riders book about web design. He asked my opinion of his work and I said it was great but that his advice was sure to sink a thousand web sites. He was floored when I advised him about search engine issues, something he admitted he never paid attention to- coming from an advanced Graphic Design background.

Offline Mentality in an Online Environment
A perfect illustration of a company not "getting it" when it came to their online activities:

I knew the webmaster for a major business magazine and he asked me to help him gain more SE visibility so I went over and did some minor tweaks... But the company was stuck in an "Offline Publishing Mindset" and were reluctant to change their story headers to something topical that a searcher could find them with- They chose to keep their clever story headers.

Many months later they declared banktruptcy.

The Evolution of a Better Webmaster
A strong Offline Mentality pervades the Online Activities of many companies, and unfortunately this is the status quo, the current state of affairs.

Ultimately, they are the dinosaurs and we are the fast moving mammals.