View Full Version : New..feedback appreciated...fuzzy about Google...
Hi, I am new on this list. I used Overture bidding successfully with another business. I had planned to use Google for a new business and sites I just published www.ASLcd.com and www.honeygardenGIFTS.com. I would appreciate any feedback on the sites. Also, I have read for weeks on the Google changes and still fuzzy. Is it for the 'little guy' like me? I am glad I found your forum. I hope to read and learn a lot from you. SD
12-27-2003, 03:50 PM
I have read for weeks on the Google changes and still fuzzy. Is it for the 'little guy' like me?
Hi, Maria... welcome!
The Google changes are for everybody, in a sense, since, like it or not, Google is still the number 1 search engine and the recent changes affect what comes up when you do a search on Google.
In another sense, though, unless you have either (1) been doing things that Google frowns upon, or (2) are in an industry where such misdeeds were rampant, you probably are not going to see your statistics significantly affected.
For the best information on what to do and what not to do with your website, here is your best starting place:
Google's Webmaster Guidelines (http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html)
Google Information for Webmasters (http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html)
Google Information on Search Engine Optimization (http://www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html)
12-27-2003, 05:21 PM
My preliminary reactions to your two websites - Bear in mind that these are mostly just my personal impressions and opinions, and that what I'm doing here is trying to highlight some of the things that I would recommend you change - I hope it doesn't come across as overly negative, because it honestly isn't intended that way:
American Sign Language site
The colors are rather dark for my taste, although that is a personal thing - on some pages, the red on black can be hard to see (e.g., the "top" link).
I'd also suggest you "pad" the tables a little so that your text isn't crammed up against the side of the page. The spacing of your text is also a little funny (at least at 600x800): remove hard breaks from the html.
I'd move that big "join our mailing list" thing on the home page to a separate page with just a link from the home page. Then move the "Products" drop-down box and the search box closer to the top of the page - I didn't even see it until my second look, way down there at the bottom...
I also personally didn't like the fact that in order to get your "free" list of resources on ASL, I had to give you my email address so you could send it to me - I don't usually do that because I'd be expecting a phone call or followup emails trying to get me to buy your product, and if that's what I wanted I email you for more information or order it. Why not provide these resources free with no strings attached? As one example of a benefit in doing so, I'd link my own website to a site that offered a product PLUS free information on ASL but quite frankly I wouldn't link to this one the way it is now because I would be afraid I'd be directing my visitors to a site that might spam them or otherwise bug them to buy something - and that's a pity because I am looking for sites like this to link to from certain pages on my website (note: I'm not saying that you would do so - I'm just saying personally I never link to sites with that sort of restriction). I think offering some free information with no strings attached is ofcten a good way to get inbound links and returning visitors, and either way the chances of making a sale go up.
From a "search engines" standpoint, it's not bad... although either remove ASLCD.COM from the title or put it at the very end - if people know the URL, they won't be looking for it in a search engine so give it less prominence there. Are there any other search terms you can think that people might use or inlcude in their searches to learn ASL? If so, add them here and/or in the keywords yag and content.
Honey Garden Gifts site
Here the TITLE tag is being wasted - what will people search for to find you? Probably not "Honey Garden Gifts" unless they already know you and are just trying to find the site again quickly... use the title tag to highlight what the business offers.
<META name="Meta" CONTENT="FREE old fashioned honey recipes, unique handcrafted honey gifts, one-of-a-kind gift baskets, unique holiday gift certificates, Heirloom Christmas Ornaments, Hanukkah gifts, gourmet food present, local clover honey,
simple Christmas present for him, her, kids"
name="Meta"? is this a typo? should it be "description"? if these are intended as keywords, "her" and "kids" would be interpreted as separate keywords - not what you want since if people are doing a search for those words, they probably aren't looking for gifts...
Same problem with the meta tags (you have two of them by the way) labeled "keywords" - make sure these are optimized for phrases that people will actually plug into search boxes.
You also have a very long list of meta tags that don't do anything except make it harder for spiders to find the meat of your page - you can and probably should eliminate all but TITLE, DESCRIPTION, and KEYWORDS. Between that and all your menu scripting, you have to scroll way down the page (about 75-80% of the HTML) before you get to the actual content - that's not ideal formatting for spiders.
Again, there's that huge "email this site" thing on the front - it looks garish and I'd recommend it be moved to another page somewhere with a simple link on the home page.
The content of this page looks rather "spammy" to me and may to a search engine too:
Honey Garden Gifts specializes in unique hand crafted gifts: delicious honey gifts and gift baskets MADE in the MISSOURI HEARTLAND. We personalize your gifts to your taste and event, birthday gifts, and gifts for him, her and kids. Our practical gifts are reasonably priced and quality conscious and one-of-a-kind gifts. We offer Gift Certificates and Gift Reminder Service. We also have gorgeous unique handcrafted Heirloom Christmas Ornaments; a Christmas present for that very special person.
Hanukkah Food Gifts
Christmas Gift Baskets
Gifts For Nursing Homes
Gifts Of Honey
Gourmet Food Baskets
Heirloom Christmas Ornaments
Gift Reminder Service: Never Forget a Gift!
Gift Certificates: Easy Gifts
We customize / personalize your gifts for color, taste, and cost.
Unique handcrafted GIFTS from America's Heartland! We add new unique gifts and gift baskets regularly so visit our site often. We personalize our gift baskets YOUR WAY. Register for our GIFT SERVICE. ''Made In Missouri'' GIFTS and GIFT BASKETS are delicious and well crafted.
The keywords seem to me to be repeated way too many times on the page...
You have been such a GREAT HELP! I have been a member of this forum for only a few hours and you have given me a huge amount of information and help! Your constructive criticism is EXACTLY what I wanted and need. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I will get right onto your suggestions.
12-27-2003, 11:26 PM
Well, you're most welcome - I was afraid it would come across as overly critical... :-)
If I wanted compliments, I would ask friends and relatives! I wanted HELP and that is what you did. Thanks again. SD
12-30-2003, 09:51 AM
I like your sites and agree with Minstrel... I too am unsure about the colour scheme of the ASLcd site and the home page layout needs some revising. The Honeygifts site has a general welcoming feel but I don't like the font used for the navigation, can be a little tricky to read. I also feel there could be some images of hampers (edited > I meant giftbaskets) etc on the home page - at present there is no visual indication of your products.
Good luck with these projects, they should do well..