Five Website Killers

Nancy McCord is almost back from Russia. This article is one of her previously published pieces.

There are many things that you can do to benefit your website, but have you thought about the things that can kill your website? Here are my five top website killers – things you clearly should stay clear of doing to get good organic search engine placement and impress viewers.

  1. Don’t build your website all in Flash. It looks cool, but search engines cannot catalog the information contained in .swf files or for that matter .flv files. Google has just announced in early August that it is working with Adobe to try to rectify this problem, but that doesn’t help you now.
  2. Don’t ever steal your content from another website. You need unique content, don’t scrape someone else’s site. Not only will Google penalize you for duplicate content but you may get sued for copyright infringement. You can’t use the content even if you give credit – that’s still infringing.
  3. Don’t test your website in Firefox. If you don’t check, you won’t know and you really should. Firefox is an important browser and the browser of choice for nearly 25% of the browsing readers. If you don’t look good in IE AND Firefox, you may alienate a large part of your readers.
  4. Don’t make your web page layout too big. Although there are actually still some people surfing the web with 800 by 600 pixel resolution, the bulk of people are at 1024 pixels wide and larger. For my own site, still nearly 30% of my viewers are at 1024 pixels wide. Make sure you have website statistics that track this and then make sure to design your site to accommodate this important segment and not alienate viewers by having scroll bars at the bottom for 1024 pixel resolution viewers.
  5. Don’t use webmaster tools. Google, Yahoo and MSN have webmaster tools, make sure you are using them so you will know how the various search engines see your website. If you have problems, these tools can be invaluable in order to diagnose problems.