How To Ruin Your Website

(Please don’t do anything from below!)

It isn’t difficult to find blogs or news posts about what steps you need to take with your website to try and improve your chances of being found online. What is a little more difficult to find, and what isn’t discussed often enough are the things that you don’t do to your website. These can vary from technical points, to filling your pages with nonsensical content which gives you no value at all.

There are a handful of technical points that can cause issues with your site, both with users and with search engines that you need to stay away from. Javascripts are handy snippets of code which can be applied to your website to change function or display, and can even be used to make your site highly interactive with your customers or clients. But some of the features which might seem amazing and you want to have on your site, are actually a problem, both for users and for search engines. One feature which has been gaining some traction as of late is setting up your website with a never ending scrolling pattern, much like how a Facebook page works. A couple of great reasons why this is a poor option for your website is it makes it taxing for your visitors to get through your content, and likely will make them want to leave. As for search engines, it just makes your pages look spammy with no real content or direction on them. One of the biggest pet peeves of my own while browsing, and I’m sure one of most users on the internet is abusing the auto play feature you can build into audio or video plugins. It’s an obnoxious feature which can lead to confusion, especially when the controls are minuscule or difficult to find and use.

badwebsitesAn older browsing tactic that is almost entirely disabled by browser plugins these days are using pop ups or pop under ads for your website to try and engage the user. In terms of search, they’re not the greatest idea either as any content you have within that pop window is typically lost to being indexed, and it can even hide your real content and intent. Because while a user can easily close a pop window, they don’t know the difference between a user, and a spider from a search engine. If a spider visits your site and is met with a pop up that disables the background, it’ll see an empty site at best, garbled nonsense at the worst. Following in much the same vein, you will always hear website optimization experts extoll the virtues of having and growing the content on your website. But you need to refrain from adding content, for contents sake. When you add extra content you run the risk of diluting your message, and mixing up the signals you send to the search engines at first, and that garbled message will eventually pass to your users.