The SEO Sins No Designer Should Ever Commit

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  • February 14, 2008
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

We’ve all seen the problems that search engines can have when they encounter sites that haven’t had the magic touch of a search engine friendly web designer.

Let’s take a look at some of the worst issues in action:

html in your title tag

Sometimes it would have been better if a site didn’t have a title tag.

Html in title tag

404 errors

How hard is it to track when Googlebot finds a 404 error and tell an admin to create a redirect rule? In this case MSN 302 redirects to the 404 page which spits out a 200 OK server header. This means all the missing urls stay in the Google index for ever. Not a good idea.

404 errors

Not having content on your homepage

Seriously, the reason shops only have one door is to make it easier for customers to get in. Splash pages, especially ones with no content at all, didn’t work 10 years ago and they certainly don’t work today.

Splash pages

Adding a date to makes content less linkable

The internet changes every day and good content becomes out of date very quickly. If I see an article from 2003 I assume it is inaccurate and won’t usually link to it. If the author chooses to put a date in h1 text at the top then the chances of a link are very low.

Time critical content

Requiring cookies, even for Googlebot

Most websites use cookies, the key is to find a way for the site to work well for people (and spiders) who don’t use cookies. Redirecting Googlebot to a page explaining how it can enable cookies in IE6 is a bad solution.

Cookies

This post was going to be called “The 5 SEO Sins……” but judging by the current backlash I thought it was a good idea to remove number from the title. :-)

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