I often assist or have conversations with people who want to sell their inventions, products or collectables online and too be perfectly honest, a lot of the time I am underwhelmed at the images we use on those websites. When I receive them and ask if they have any others the general reaction is similar to the one I have when I step bare footed into a cat hairball. Unpleasant.
There seems to be three main reasons, but let's be honest they are really just excuses, for shoddy images and I wanted to go over them individually and debunk each one of them here today. You spent some decent money on that website so let's make sure it can do its job properly by looking its best.
UPDATE 10/7/14: The unified version of Pixel Works is up and running with its first project in Dietproof Swimsuit. It's been a longer road than I initially planned but I'm very happy to be moving on to migrating client sites and stamping out any minor bugs I come across.
UDATE 9/9/14: After trying unsuccessfully to get top level domains to work with the system I have called in the assistance of people that know this stuff like the back of their hand and it is now working as it should. I am currently updating the designs (themes) for clients and adding them to the system. You will not see any difference other than some new featuires and a new administration screen.
Last week Expedia was hit with a 25% drop in search results for some of their most prominent keywords on Google. This was because of what Google deemed unnatural links. Similar to what happened to Rap Genius in December of 2013.
Unnatural links are artificial links such as purchased links or links in a bad neighborhood of the internet that point to your site. Examples of bad neighborhood sites include scraper sites (sites that copy all of its content from other websites), link farms (a group of sites that all link to one another) , sites with large amounts of spam, malware or illegal or pornographic material.
I noticed this event being reported in my news feed just as I finished a conversation with a client that said he was contacted by Google about his search results. Wait – what?
A good portion of the time when I'm contacted to look at a website that's performing poorly the owner will have a tendency to want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and start from scratch.
When I create a website home page I use it as a mapping tool. It should have just enough information to tell you what the page is about with links to other pages of the site for more information.
With so many pages indexed by search engines it stands to reason that any page can become the landing page and my projects are designed with that in mind. So to a degree the home page, while still important, caries much less weight alone than all the other pages as a whole.
Occasionally when I submit a home page design a client will approve it based on their idea that the visitor will see all the information fit within their screen. It's not until it becomes a web page that they realize this isn't necessarily the case and we have to have a conversation about the fold.