Teaching Examples

Search is more important than you realize
May 7, 2006, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is too good to bury deep inside my earlier post about the Maine blogger story:

Soon after the lawsuit came to light, Mr. McCartin [Tom McCartin, president of Warren Kremer Paino Advertising] told Ad Age he was most concerned about the blog because if potential clients search for the agency online, they could see the blog before the agency’s own Web site. As a result, Mr. McCartin said his business, which sees capitalized billings in the $40 million range, has been hurt. And he wanted to protect his reputation. (From Advertising Age, May 6, 2006)

Go ahead, Google “Warren Kremer Paino Advertising” and see what you get.

There are TWO lessons here: The first and more obvious is that getting yourself a lot of mentions in blogs can have a HUGE effect on search results.

But the second lesson goes to the principles of Web design.

Go and look at Warren Kremer Paino’s Web site. Pretty, isn’t it? Looks like an (expensive) Flash job to me. Now, if you have ever read this blog, you know I love Flash. I really love it. But effective Web design requires a lot of specialized know-how, and Flash is only one part of many.

The whole Web site is only one page: http://www.wkpadv.com/portfolio.htm (that’s the way the Flash designer built it; it’s a choice the designer made). That means no one can bookmark individual parts of the site or e-mail specific URLs to clients, investors, etc. (The designer also chose to make none of the text selectable — not even the mailing address and phone numbers on the contact page.)

This affects search. Big time. When you only have one Web page, you will miss a lot of possible search hits.

Finally, let’s View Source. Oh, yes, let’s open up that hood and have a look at the engine. Oh, my! There is no engine! That is — there are no meta tags — and also, no (HTML) text, because it’s Flash. Poor Warren Kremer Paino — they are INVISIBLE to search engines!

One last thing: The title of their sole Web page is “Warren Kremer Paino” — and that is why they do not show up if someone Googles “Warren Kremer Paino Advertising.”

I hope that Warren Kremer Paino does not get angry at me. The Web designer did this, not me. The problem is not Flash. Flash is good! It all depends on how Flash is used. You CAN make Flash sites searchable, printable and bookmarkable. You just have to know how.

Search is important. Learn how it works.

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