My friend Tim Key runs a modular homes website and every now and then asks me for advice. I always enjoy helping him because it is very interesting to see what goes on in the smaller less spammed industries. What I have more commonly found is “innocent search engine spam”.
By this I mean it is only natural that people will want their sites in Google and will try their best to achieve it. Unless you regularly spend alot of time dealing with Google it is not simple or easy to know what to do and more importantly what to avoid. Here are some examples of “innocent search engine spam” that I have found working on a new modular home blog.
Sins of the father don’t clean themselves up
I came across a modular architect’s website. This modular architect is award-winning and commonly referenced by the press and good quality inbound links. You would expect to see his site do well. It doesn’t because the company that built his site in 2003 used hidden keyword stuffing (white font on white background). How do I know this because when I noticed the hidden text I checked out the html code and there was an actual comment in the code explaining everything. Clearly by the html comments they thought they were doing what Google wanted. The site is managed by a different web firm but the offending invisible text has not been removed.
Pretty Modular Homes Stink
Experienced internet marketers know where this is going – search engines are robots that can only read and can not read pretty images or video. No matter how pretty the site is, if you only have images, video or flash animation the search engines will not show you alot of search love. I have lost count how many sites have pages of quality text hidden from the search engines because it is in flash or images.
Even “Expert” Marketers Make Mistakes
Some of the modular housing sites are doing a great job. You can tell they have put alot of work into building good content with nice usability. But even these “expertly” optimized modular home websites have issues. The most common I notice is the improper use of 301 and 302 redirects. The worst use I have ever come across was a 301 into 302 into 302 into 302 into 302 into a 301 redirect. I would be shocked if the search engines had no issue with that setup. If you think you are an expert make sure to audit your work. It is easy to build up excessive layers over the years for your website. If you audit your website yearly you should be able to identify innocent mistakes that are easy for you to fix.