If a beautiful website wins a Webby Award will anyone be able to find it? Frankly, if a site isn’t search engine optimized, it really doesn’t matter how pretty it is, or how many Webbys it has won. If it’s not on the first page of Google, Yahoo or Bing, it will be invisible to almost everyone.
In an effort to bring the importance of Search Engine Optimization from out behind the curtain of the Webby Awards stage, we at SEO company Jungle Torch are taking this year’s Webby winners in 6 categories and putting them to the very real world test of seeing how they do when it comes to SEO.
Using our SEO company proprietary software, we did an SEO and link analysis to see how these ultra clever, oh-so-wonderfully designed websites actually do when it comes to being found by people on search engines. What we found is not very encouraging. It’s apparent that the Webby judges give no weight to the ability of the online masses to find any of their award winning sites. That means winning a Webby award is akin to a musical winning a Tony award but not having a theater to play in.
We may not have a celebrity presenter like Patton Oswald, a fancy stage or even actual awards to hand out. What we are is an SEO company with the practical capability to see how easy it will be for people to find Webby award winners when they’re looking to buy a car, electronics, or finding the latest fashion.
Search engines look at things like how friendly the coding is to SEO, how many unique inbound links a site has and how many bad or broken links there are. They also look at the source code to read the Meta tags. If they’re not there, it doesn’t matter how pretty the site is, how good the navigation is or how brilliant the content is, the search engine has no idea what the site is about and ranks it accordingly. Google also assigns a “Larry Page” ranking to each site. 10 is the best number. 0 is the worst. Google uses this number to rank the overall quality of a site. And when you see a 404 or 304 redirect, Google sees it too, and views these broken links very badly when it comes to search.
And now, without further ado, here are the winners of the JT So-So SEO awards:
Award for “Inactive Activism:” counterspill.org
This site, which allows you to search for oil spills around the world, is clever and edgy. Unfortunately, the site is not written in SEO friendly code and it has only 74 unique inbound links. It also hasn’t been submitted to the major search directories and it has more than 50 bad or broken links. That’s why no matter how good counterspill is at finding oil spills; you are unlikely to find it on Google.
Award for “Biggest SEO Bug:” http://www.beetle.com
The VW beetle has been popular for many decades. Not so its official website, which is written in Flash (search engines can’t read it), there are no Meta tags and it isn’t listed in the major online directories. Search the terms “VW,” or “New VW cars” and you won’t find this site anyplace.
Award for “bungled banking” site: http://www.manilla.com
Manilla lets you put all your banking accounts, bills and other financial items in one online location which is great. But unless you search for the site by name on Google you won’t find it. That’s because they have no Meta Tags, they have 78 broken links and they aren’t listed in any of the online directories.
Award for “beautiful site/ugly SEO:” http://www.ysl-experience.com
No site description tag, no Meta tags, a bunch of broken links, no directory submissions and a “Larry Page” ranking of only 2 means the beauty of this site is only skin deep…at least when it comes to SEO.
“Award for unsound SEO strategy:” http://www.urbanears.com
A consumer electronics site with no Meta tags, SEO code that’s unfriendly, no search directory submissions and a whopping 968 broken links makes this a site for techno geeks that they ultimately can’t seek—at least on search engines.
Award for “Seeking SEO expert: http://www.glassdoor.com
It’s possible that glassdoor.com might be better than monster.com when you’re trying to find a job. Just don’t try to find their site using a search engine. They don’t have any Meta tags, their coding is decidedly unfriendly to SEO, they have 137 broken links and they aren’t listed on the major online directories. They should look through their 3.5 million pages of jobs to find an SEO expert to employ.
In all, there are 70 different Webby award categories. We found none that were what you might call “award winning” in their ability to be found on search engines. Ah well, we’ll do this again next year. It would be a giant leap forward if the Webbys for 2013 gave one award to the site that had the best search engine optimization.
About Jungle Torch
Jungle Torch is an SEO company that offers unprecedented insight into how to improve positioning on search engines. We employ a purpose-engineered program that consolidates diverse marketing analytics into a powerful, single platform. Using a best-in-class sentiment engine, Jungle Torch SEO company provides an easy-to-understand, single view into Twitter, Facebook, weblogs and news sources with targeted identification of postings relevant to the user’s organization, as well as a complete sentiment analysis that determines whether online comments are trending positively or negatively.
In addition to tracking social media, Jungle Torch SEO Company also gives users the ability to measure and improve the success of SEO programs, including providing the rank of a user’s Web site on hundreds of keywords and phrases. Jungle Torch reports on the SEO-friendliness of a Web site when it comes to coding, inbound and outbound linking, and numerous other critical SEO metrics.