Corporate sites missing search engine hits due to design flaws

9 juni 2005, 04:54

Design flaws in websites of 25 of the top 30 FTSE companies make them difficult for search engines to find, a new report claims, with Diageo faring worst.

Fundamental flaws such as failure to source appropriate keywords on webpages mean that the sites are not at the top of search index listings, losing hits for the companies concerned.

The research, carried out by search engine company Seekport, found that nearly half of the corporate websites for the top 30 FTSE companies were inaccurately described in their code, adding another difficulty for search engines.

The report is also critical of the increased use of Flash in corporate sites because these pages do not use HTML code, making it difficult for search engines to find and index them.

Seekport said that Diageo, the drinks business, fared the worst in the survey, scoring negatively in eight out of the 11 test categories.

Sites faring better included HSBC, Shell, Tesco, mmO2 and the mining firm Rio Tinto, which all achieved equal high marks from Seekport’s analysis.

Stefan Karzauninkat, director of quality management, said: “Without realising it, website designers are making life difficult for the various search engine robots to determine how useful their website is and subsequently how high up the results page it should feature. Frequent errors are made on thousands of sites such as the use of complicated linking and confusing nested frames.”

Seekport carried out the research using its online evaluation tool Seekbot, which analyses the technical characteristics of the first HTML page found on a website. It can be accessed free at the Seekport website.

Marco Derksen
Partner bij Upstream

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