Tagged: website Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Nate 4:07 PM on April 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , website,   

    Dealing with low-quality backlinks 

    by Kaspar Szymanski, Search Quality Strategist

    Webmasters who check their incoming links in Webmaster Tools often ask us what they can do when they see low-quality links. Understandably, many site owners are trying to build a good reputation for their sites, and some believe that having poor-quality incoming links can be perceived as “being part of a bad neighbourhood,” which over time might harm their site’s ranking.

    If your site receives links that look similarly dodgy, don’t be alarmed… read on!

    While it’s true that linking is a significant factor in Google’s ranking algorithms, it’s just one of many. I know we say it a lot, but having something that people want to look at or use—unique, engaging content, or useful tools and services—is also a huge factor. Other factors can include how a site is structured, whether the words of a user’s query appear in the title, how close the words are on the page, and so on. The point is, if you happen to see some low quality sites linking to you, it’s important to keep in mind that linking is just one aspect among many of how Google judges your site. If you have a well-structured and regularly maintained site with original, high-quality content, those are the sorts of things that users will see and appreciate.

    That having said, in an ideal world you could have your cake and eat it too (or rather, you could have a high-quality site and high-quality backlinks). You may also be concerned about users’ perception of your site if they come across it via a batch of spammy links. If the number of poor-quality links is manageable, and/or if it looks easy to opt-out or get those links removed from the site that’s linking to you, it may be worth it to try to contact the site(s) and ask them to remove their links. Remember that this isn’t something that Google can do for you; we index content that we find online, but we don’t control that content or who’s linking to you.

    If you run into some uncooperative site owners, however, don’t fret for too long. Instead, focus on things that are under your control. Generally, you as a webmaster don’t have much control over things like who links to your site. You do, however, have control over many other factors that influence indexing and ranking. Organize your content; do a mini-usability study with family or friends. Ask for a site review in your favorite webmaster forums. Use a website testing tool to figure out what gets you the most readers, or the biggest sales. Take inspiration from your favorite sites, or your competitors—what do they do well? What makes you want to keep coming back to their sites, or share them with your friends? What can you learn from them? Time spent on any of these activities is likely to have a larger impact on your site’s overall performance than time spent trying to hunt down and remove every last questionable backlink.

    Finally, keep in mind that low-quality links rarely stand the test of time, and may disappear from our link graph relatively quickly. They may even already be being discounted by our algorithms. If you want to make sure Google knows about these links and is valuing them appropriately, feel free to bring them to our attention using either our spam report or our paid links report.

    To learn more about backlinks, contact NC Square

     
  • Nate 1:53 PM on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: design, web, , website,   

    What Makes a Website Design a Good One? 

    A lot of people can recognize good design when they see it on the web. But most people don’t really know what makes that design good.

    How do you define “good design?” Is it subjective, like your favorite flavor of ice cream? Although there is some subjectivity within good design, there are artistic principles that good design is built from. Here are a few that form the foundation of good design.

    1. Proximity

    Because items that are in close proximity to one another become one visual unit, items that are related to one another should be grouped together. Laying out related items on a website page this way helps the eye associate the information and enables the viewer to mentally categorize the information easily. The flip side of this principle is that items that are not related should not be placed in close proximity to one another.

    The purpose of the principle of proximity is to organize information in a way that enables viewers to quickly and easily comprehend. When information is organized, people are more likely to read it and respond. People are also more likely to remember information that is organized.

    How can you determine if items form a visual unit? Squint your eyes and look at the page on a website. Now count the number of times your eye stops as it views the page. On a page that is using the principle of proximity well, your eye will stop three to five times. In other words, there will be three to five groups of information for the eye to comprehend separately.

    2. Alignment

    You’ve seen website page layouts where the text and graphics are placed wherever there happens to be space. The effect is messy, with no impact. Nothing should be placed on a page arbitrarily. There should be a visual connection between each item on the page. When items are aligned, it creates a cohesiveness that the eye appreciates.

    The purpose of alignment is to unify the website page. Imagine a well-organized kitchen. All the pots and pans are stored in the organizer, the fruit is nicely displayed in a basket on the counter, the spices are all on the rack – everything is in its place. A page layout needs the same thing.

    Look at a website page that you feel is good design. Now focus on the main visual element. Where does your eye go from there? Do you see how other elements are aligned with that one main element both vertically and horizontally?

    3. Repetition

    Good design repeats some aspect of the website design throughout the site. It’s this repetition that makes all the pages in a site look like they belong together. Color scheme, graphic elements, typefaces – all of these elements should be repeated – used consistently – throughout.
    Forget Expensive PPC Advertising – There is an Alternative!

    The purpose of repetition is to create consistency and to add visual interest. Repetition creates a professional, polished look that the eye is drawn to. When a website design uses repetition and is consistent, it is more likely to be viewed and read.

    Here are some ways you can create repetition beyond simple consistency in typefaces and colors: Use some element in your logo as a major graphic element in the design. If you are using a ruled line, make the line more interesting visually by perhaps making it with tiny dots or dashes, then repeating the line element throughout the design. Create patterns that are repeated throughout the design. Take a small element and place it somewhere on each page for a whimsical look. Just be careful not to overdo the repetition, or viewers will be annoyed rather than pleased.

    4. Contrast

    The principle of contrast states that if two items are not the same, then they should be different – very different. Contrast creates an organizational hierarchy of the information and graphics on a webpage. When using contrast, you can’t be a wimp! The contrast must be strong to be effective.

    The purpose of contrast is two-fold: to create interest on the page, and to organize information. A page that is interesting to look at is more likely to be read. And contrasting elements will help a reader understand the way the information is organized.

    Contrast can be created in many ways. You can contrast large type with small type, a serif font with a sans-serif font, bold with light, smooth texture with rough texture, a small graphic with a large one, a dark color with a light one.

    A design that integrates these principles will automatically gain a professionalism and polish that it would otherwise lack. Next time you stumble across a website design that makes you say “wow”, check for these principles – you’ll find them quietly working to make that design a good one!

    Get top notch web design by NC Square

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel