• http://www.website-and-graphic-design.com/ Anne

    Classic! :D Deeper investigation reveals that the site was built with FrontPage! LMAO !

    Server response data
    Response code 200 (OK)
    Response headers
    date: Thu, 14 May 2009 14:05:52 GMT
    server: Apache/1.3.37 (Unix) mod_auth_passthrough/1.8 mod_log_bytes/1.2 mod_bwlimited/1.4 PHP/4.4.4 FrontPage/ mod_ssl/2.8.28 OpenSSL/0.9.7a
    x-powered-by: PHP/4.4.4
    connection: close
    transfer-encoding: chunked
    content-type: text/html

  • Emile Bourquin

    The site was not necessarily coded in FrontPage. That just means that the web server has the FrontPage module installed on it. Many hosting companies run the FrontPage module in case the client has a need for it, just like the PHP, mod_ssl, etc. modules also listed.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Love it! You saved me from having to do my own dissection, Stephan — not that I would have gotten around to it.

    I should say that I was totally joking about Matt doing a hand job on Pinkberry. Anyone who reads his blog knows he loves them, but he’s not alone — and I presume there are enough links out there pointing at them to get them onto the second page of results for yogurt naturally. They made top of page three at Yahoo.

    But that makes the anti-SEO so sad. You’ve just got to wonder if they dropped the Flash, updated the page titles and other small things, perhaps that would be enough to tip them into the first page of results.

  • Winooski

    Well, at first blush, they don’t appear to be doing so badly in the link department compared with Dannon.com:

    4,548 links for http://www.pinkberry.com

    2,333 links for http://www.dannon.com

    All other things being equal, that’s gotta help.

    Oh, and re FrontPage: The circa-’98 version was teh suck as far as inserting unnecessary code, but the 2000+ versions have in my experience been as robust as Dreamweaver. ‘Tis the poor craftsperson who blames (or stigmatizes) the tool, and I encourage us to refrain from passing judgment based solely on the tool used.

  • http://joshgarnerproject.com seofactor

    I don’t know, Stephen. I love a good rant every once in a while, but I think it would be wise to point out the overall situation. I would hate to find that someone not “in the SEO know” would read this and use it as an example of not needing SEO. I’m sure you know as well as I that we get that a lot.

    As Danny noted, they have some decent links, and the overall site is decent to look at (subjectively). Sure, the code sucks and is stuffed full of Flash and JS, but who cares? At the end of the day, it’s a quality site. They have an apparent following (they are actually new to me) and plenty of national news about them. And I think that’s the point.

    We as SEOs do our work because of the situation we are often given. Brand new sites, or sites that are so poorly thought out (in any sense, not just SEO) that they need a professional to polish them up and set them out. And more often than not, these are sites that are not only in a competitive market, they also don’t really have anything that sets them apart (yet another e-commerce site selling shoes).

    The site seems to be part of a larger marketing plan (I’m downloading that song as we speak) which probably has a hefty price tag. That marketing has obviously worked for them; and again, they seem to be of a higher quality yogurt. Though I didn’t think anyone other than Jamie Lee Curtis actually ate that stuff.

    As Danny stated, surely a decent SEO could push them to page one, and likely expand their ranking portfolio (not in the top 5 pages for “yogurt ca”). This would make for a better marketing strategy overall.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve upped my price because a client wants SEO to be their silver bullet to drive their business. Sure I can work with a half-assed business model and marketing plan, but it’s gonna cost you. It would be the same scenario in reverse. Run of the mill sites ranking fantastically.

    Seems to me that there are tons of ways to market a brand, and a proper online campaign goes great with that of the offline variety. But you have the option of going either way. But without one you’ll be paying more for the other.

    Just my 1 cent (bad economy).

  • http://www.planetc1.com/ chiropractic

    Lesson learned: If you cannot afford a really talented SEO maybe build a site that’s so horribly wrong it’s bound to get attention, especially if that attention comes from Sullivan, Cutts, or Spencer. :)

  • http://www.website-and-graphic-design.com/ Anne

    I know FP code, used it “back in the day”. It’s not just the response header that is giving the site’s poor development away, it’s in the deprecated source code as well.

    As for “blaming the tools” in this case it is relevant to note the tools used to craft the site, especially since it is enjoying high rankings! I smell a blackhat SEO rotten fish here.

    The designer used a combination of hand-coding + MSFP: Note the use of standards compliant code (read: search engine friendly code) and deprecated code (read: search-engine UN-friendly code).

    Under “normal” circumstances the likelihood of the site losing rank due to the deprecated code (MS FrontPage circa 2000 – 2003) will only increase each time web standards are more fully supported by ever-modernizing browsers & search.

    Any web developer worth their salt knows this, so I stand by my “critique.”

  • http://www.danmozgai.com/ Dan Mozgai

    It’s got to be the mass of incoming links, and they do have yogurt in their meta keywords for what that is worth. Still they’re not in the top 10, so from the perspective that they are a major corporation in the frozen yogurt industry, they have failed.

    The site is absolutely bad in terms of accessibility as well, and of course good accessibility practices (use of Headings/on-page navigation, text content, alt tags) seem to go hand-in-hand with SEO practices. I suppose sight-impaired customers don’t eat frozen yogurt.

  • ellen

    It should be pointed out that, in spite of a site that defies all SEO common sense, they sit @ #1 for a google search on “frozen yogurt” w/ no geographic qualifiers…just “frozen yogurt”

  • http://www.semtek.net Michael Pieper

    There’s no knocking the theme song though… It rocks!

    Great example from an SEO perspective though.