Do Robots Hate Your Web Site?

There are all kinds of things that you can do wrong when building a website that even the most seasoned veterans of the web wouldn’t know or recognize.

Well, maybe "robots" is not the correct term; maybe I should say "bots and spiders." Even more confused? I'm talking about the way search engines such as Google find and look at your site.

Search engines don't know when you launch a new web site or update the content. So they use programs called robot (bots) or spiders to continually "crawl" the web to find new web sites, new content, and to index your site. They index you, so when someone comes to their site and performs a search, your company's site might possibly be used as one they display in the results.

So why would the bots hate your site? Well, there are all kinds of things that you can do wrong when building a website that even the most seasoned veterans of the web would not know or recognize. There are literally 100's of reasons that would cause a search engine to dislike your web site.  And if they dislike your web site, you don't rank very well.  Here are just a few common mistakes:

  1. Building your entire site in flash. There is nothing wrong with using flash elements in your site but building the whole thing in flash is a big mistake. If you want the search engines to find you under anything other than your name, don't use all flash. They look great, but search engines cannot see or read graphics and flash is nothing but a big graphic.
  2. Building your site with bad code.  Just to keep you from falling asleep, I won't go into what that is all about. What you do need to know is that there are a lot of web developers using scripts and code that the search engines hate. It looks really nice to the visitor but not to the bots. Because of this, their sites perform horribly in the search engines even though they look great.
  3. Not using any keyword you want to be found under. As hard as it is to believe, a lot of companies don't come out and say what they do on their web site. They talk about core values, customer service, and other "important" things that people want to know about. The problem is, a search engine can only put you in a category based on what you say about yourself. So if you are a car mechanic and you never say that on your site, the search engine doesn't know.
  4. Relying on graphics to tell your story. These tie in with numbers 3 and 1. A lot of times people will have several graphics that tell you just what they do. Again, search engines can't read a graphic, so (sticking with the car mechanic analogy) you can have 50 pictures of cars and people working on cars, but the search engine can only read text. If you don't say it in text, Google won't know what you do.
  5. Providing too little copy. Search engines want to display web sites that are a rich resource of information, not just sell you a product. This is one of the reasons Wikipedia performs so well. When your site has 3 lines of copy, and then goes for the hard sell, it isn't likely to perform well in the search engines unless you are Walmart or Target.

There is a fine line between building for bots and people. You can build a site that the bots will love but people might hate it.  We are very familiar with what it takes to make both bots and people like your site. E-mail us at sales@infomedia.com or give us a call at 205-823-4440 to discuss your web site's search ability. We would love to talk with you about how we can help your web site perform better, drive more traffic and make more sales.

Jerry is not afraid of a good fight. Not with other people mind you, but with your competition. He loves to help our clients get web traffic and high search engine rankings for terms that are usually dominated by big box retailers and Fortune 500 companies. This doesn't happen overnight, but when it does, it will transform your business. He is one of the pioneers (he hates that term) of Web Marketing in Alabama and is scary good in his understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, analytics, and online user behavior. You definitely want him in your corner.
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