• http://www.jexanalytics.com.au jexley

    HA! Yet another reason you are Queen of some Awesome Things in my head Jill. Fantastic list and literally had me laughing.

    Worse still, I contract out to web design firms that are still doing these things. Like this morning, like 5 minutes ago, still doing them. And then emailing me and asking “This is cool right? Because I told the client they should get this new domain name and move their site over because the new domain has ‘pool covers’ in it! They’re other domain name is like, 12 years old and doesn’t even mention that! Aren’t we smart!”

    Oof. I’m so emailing this list around and starting an SEO meme. Smooches for that.

  • http://www.goatsmilktavern.com murrydan

    ha, pretty funny post, just 85 more reasons to hire us web designers that do know SEO instead of the cheap guys. But I do leave the link building up to the SEO consultants, I hate begging and groveling.

  • http://www.markrushworth.com trooperbill

    I think part of the problem is that developers/designers see SEO as a technical, programatic problem which is unlike their current process which ends in a definate and accountble result, yes SEO requires technical knowledge however its application is more like marketing which is always a more fuzzy thing to do… with SEO there is no 1+1=2 as there is with development, its more an x + y / z =n where the variables are all unquantifiable.

    also in my experience developers are lazy always seeking the simplest solution to code (grid view anyone) without really thinking about the semantics of a presented page.

  • johnoflah

    86. They think you’re a twat

  • http://bradley-holt.blogspot.com/ bradley.holt

    “They use drop-down menus as the sole navigation of a site.”

    The problem here is that most people implement drop-down menus using non-semantic (X)HTML. They either use JavaScript and/or really difficult to parse (X)HTML. If you use simple unordered lists (ul) for your dropdown menus and stylize them correctly with CSS (OK, IE may need a bit of JavaScript to coax it into working correctly) then they can be spidered just fine by search engines as well as read by those using text-only browsers or screen readers.

  • Jake

    I’m annoyed about this post. So many points are repeated and basically I could apply most of this to the prolific number of SEO company’s that are out there. As a web designer I do my best to make a website search engine friendly and spend considerable time in this area. SEO’s I have come across have ongoing contractual arrangements at very expensive rates which give very vague promises such as “we’ll get you to number 1 in Google”….my favourite sales pitch that my clients tell me they receive from SEO’s….When I ask my clients what keywords and phrases they would be getting the number 1 spot for they have no idea. This article doesn’t even make sense stating the reasons why web designers keep SEO’s in business. The reason is that without web designers SEO’s would have no attractive, interesting (visually) sites to optimise and they would just churn out content rich pages, forums, blogs and whatever the favourite optimisation algorithm of the moment is. Just taking a quick note of things when registering on this site…. broken image link at top of registration page, page rank 0, same old format that’s been around for years, just the same as any other SEO site out there although wait “the content is fantastic”. All well and good….content is king but design brands your site and differentiates you from competitors. I have been a long time subscriber to your newsletter (9 years in fact) and follow your advice on all my sites. Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of having contracts for ongoing monitoring and adjusting to make sure my clients sites are maintained fully optimised. I do suggest that they seek a professional SEO if they want ongoing site optimisation but basically all of my sites fare very well organically following your advice.

  • http://www.awebapart.com paul.i

    Nice list, and if I was to add one, it would be:

    86. They create static HTML sites.

    Whilst it is a good list, with any list of short bullet points, things can be taken out of context or misinterpreted without a fuller description, caveats, or execptions behind each list item. There are plenty of items on that list, which if interpreted one way are correct, but if interpreted another way, are wrong.

    To be fair, that list is also merely a list of bad things for SEO, and as such, items on that list can and are done not just by web designers and developers, but also by SEO consultants too, all too often. So perhaps it also a list of why bad SEOs keep good SEOs in business.

    Perhaps some web designers or developers who know a little about SEO, should also come up with a list of bad things for SEO which so-called SEO consultants have recommended for their client’s sites too. I could start the ball rolling here…

    1. Giving the client somebody else’s sitemap, a sitemap for a completely different website, to load up to their site

    2. Only understanding static HTML sites and asking the client to change static HTML pages, where the site is clearly a dynamic content managed site

    3. Participating in link farms, which could eventually lead to search engine penalties

    4. Using blackhat SEO techniques, which could eventually lead to search engine penalties

    5. Asking for ftp access to the site to make changes, thus invalidating the warranty provided by the web developer (how can a web developer support a site if someone else can go in and make any changes to underlying code they want)

    6. Selling to a client by jumping on the bandwagon and evangelising about the latest SEO technique in the hope that the client hasn’t heard of it and thinks it’s the latest miracle snake oil

    7. Cold calling clients, going for a mass market client base and still convincing the client that they will do things on a personal custom basis rather than offering a budget run of the mill conveyor belt SEO service

    8. Giving meaningless guarantees or tricking the client by giving guarantees that are meant to be misinterpreted

    9. Providing tie-in SEO, that only has affect whilst the client is signed up, as soon as the client stops subscribing the ranking goes, because the SEO is just in the SEO consultant’s link network

    10. Telling the client their site’s SEO is bad for reasons that have no affect on SEO

    … etc …

  • http://www.sitebetter.com SiteBetter

    One thing missing from this post: Web designers are not paid to do SEO. They are paid to do design and the client’s budget dictates that. With a budget of a few thousand dollars it would be impossible to do anyone of those things mentioned in this article. Designers are paid to design and SEMs are paid to bring in traffic. It is up to the client to decide which is more important. I have several clients who do NOT want any kind of SEO. They deal with high-end customers and do not want tire-kickers from the internet.

    This article make sit sound like designers are not doing their job. Far from it.

  • Jake

    Exactly and this is why I’m disappointed about the initial post from someone that should be more aware of where their business is coming from and the real reasons rather than just childish swipes at designers that make sites more difficult for SEO’s to optimise. Sorry…we don’t like boring sites that all look the same and none of my clients do either.

    Oh…more common cliches from SEO’s

    - We’re employed by Google to optimise your site
    - We’ll submit your site to 300+ search engines
    - We’ll get you to number 1 spot on Google
    - It may take some time but it will be worth the money….12 months @ $1000 should do it for our base package.
    - Free consultation? but only if you signed up for the 12 month contract with us
    - We guarantee the search phrase (that we choose) will get to #1 spot
    - We guarantee your traffic will increase. WOW
    - We’ll monitor your sites statistics. WOW
    - You ask how we optimise….not sure, we leave it up to the Indians to look after that side of things, we’re sales lol
    - Not sure how long it will take but in 12 months you should be seeing some positive results.
    - What do you mean you don’t like the copy we’ve written, it’s SE friendly, jammed full of keywords and phrases.

  • http://www.highrankings.com/newsletter/ Jill Whalen

    Thanks, Jake, I think you just gave me my next article!

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com nickstamoulis

    Hi Jill, This list is fantastic and SO TRUE!

    I plan on saving this post ever time I need a laugh and encounter any “number” on your list :o)