An Open Letter to Web Designers & Developers

by seoibiza on 12, November, 2008

Hello Mr Webbie, we look forward to working with you on (insert client-name) website.

Although we are sure it will be a productive relationship there are a few basic ground rules that we need to establish to ensure smooth running of things, set out as below.

Please ensure that you continually and consistently adhere to the following guidelines:

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

  1. Do not randomly delete HTML sub pages without telling us.

HTML pages rank for search terms, delete the page, you delete the rankings along with any trust and linkjuice the page may have acquired

Worse still the missing page had links on it, to other pages which are an integral part of their rankings, which will now also suffer

Lastly, the page quite likely has time-consuming external links pointed at it, supporting that page’s rankings directly, and the whole site indirectly, through the (now missing) node (page)

If we need to change or move a page, please notify us, and we can redirect it correctly and re-route the internal linkage with minimal disruption as possible.

  1. Do not randomly overwrite current pages with new versions without telling us.

HTML pages rank for search terms, overwrite the page, you delete the rankings along with any trust and linkjuice it may have acquired

Worse still the overwritten page had links on it, to other pages which are an integral part of their rankings, which will now also suffer

If we need to change or move a page, please notify us, and we can modify or redirect it correctly and re-route the internal linkage with minimal disruption as possible.

  1. Do not delete all the content on any page, but especially the index page -replacing it with a single line meta refresh to your new Flash site. Twice.

Apart from meta refreshes also being against Google’s webmaster guidelines see above for further reasons why not as we try not to repeat ourselves too often.

If we need to change or move a page, please do notify us, and we can modify and redirect it correctly and re-route the internal linkage with minimal disruption as possible.

  1. Do not move or change site / directory / page structure without telling us first.

Google indexes pages on the end of a specific URL, and knows where that is. The same page in a different directory is not the same page to Google.

You basically deleted your old page, along with any trust, rankings and linkjuice it may have acquired, and put a inferior copy of it somewhere else in the site instead.

This is not the same thing to Google

If we need to change or move a page, please just notify us, and we can modify or redirect it correctly and re-route the internal linkage with minimal disruption as possible.

  1. Do not remove links from body text navigation or footers

SEO is about links both internal and external, what they say and where they point to is a fundamental part of what we do.

If we put a link there, we need it there please.

If we need to change or move a page, or anything along the lines of structure, content, redirection or whatever, please!  for the love of God! – just NOTIFY US, and we can modify or redirect it correctly and re-route the internal linkage with minimal disruption as POSSIBLE!!!!

We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship, any questions, give us a call.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Numpty of the Year 2008
31, March, 2009 at 11:25 am
Wordpress SEO - Content Creation
31, August, 2009 at 12:17 pm
Derek Powazek - Numpty
14, October, 2009 at 9:32 pm

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tam @ Smith Travel Blog 13, November, 2008 at 9:56 am

Ouch – sounds like you have been burnt – feel like outing the offending client?

seoibiza 13, November, 2008 at 10:59 am

it’s not just one client, it’s a continuous thing with each pretty much each and every new web developer we start working with (apart from the mighty D3R)

this isnt just a rant it’s somewhere to direct new webbies to when we first start working together that will hopefully get the message across.

the particular client who inspired this post yesterday is on their 3rd set of web developers, each and every set have done this kind of thing. but it’s not just them it’s webbies who don’t get seo in general we want to try and stress the importance of this to.

most seem think all we do is mess with keyword metas, and nothing else they do will affect things.

Ibiza catering 25, February, 2009 at 1:47 pm

haha this is funny, is it about us and our adventures?

see you tonite? Navine xx

twilliam 5, October, 2009 at 2:18 am

This is not how you influence folks. Given the business model of SEObiza, I’m surprised & disappointed at the pedantic (and insulting) nature of this post. Should one hope to change the behavior of web developers, stressing through italics that you know better will only widen the divide between SEO & development.

seoibiza 5, October, 2009 at 7:54 am

@twilliam

strange, that hasnt been the case at all. it’s generally been taken in sense of humour it was written in.

the bold and emphasis are there to stress the frustration involved in having the same things happen over and over and over again recurring.

and I disagree about widening the gap, some of the developers we’ve come across couldnt have been any further away if they had space travel..

like Numpty & Maltese dinosaur.

but you talk about SEO Ibiza’s business model, the most important part of our business is choosing the right clients and in particular the “careful who we work with” ethos, if they don’t like it they can go somewhere else and we’ll all be happier.

An Expat in Belgium 5, October, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Lol,
I am certainly no expert in SEO – far from it, but I laughed out loud reading your open letter.

I ‘got’ the humour – Actually the really interesting thing is that for you these are really obvious and basic rules to follow, and for most webdesigners they are cruel and unusual restrictions.

Does this get to the root of why there exists two disciplines – Designers/Developers and SEOs?

Good rules though – I’ll follow them!

Thanks
Simon

seoibiza 5, October, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Hi Simon

haha “cruel and unusual restrictions” never thought of it quite like that before :)

& yes without a doubt there’s a need for both, we’re lucky, clients cant actually see what we do so there’s no having to pander to their whims or bad tastes, no sudden changes of mind or last minute revisions, there’s no way I could do the job of designer, for that reason alone the good ones deserve respect.

thanks for your comment

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