Monday, April 18, 2011

Splash Pages Are Lousy Seo

A discussion of splash pages and how they are not a design element that supports a profitable search engine optimization strategy.

One of the hottest web site design crazes on the Internet are “splash pages.” A splash page is a web page that is completely or partly animated. You could think of it as being an animated book cover. These pages can consist of just a few words, just a graphic, a company’s logo and also many shifting images. Music is also usually a component of a well-designed splash page.

Usually your user has to do a lot of clicking in order to get through the “splash page” process. If you are on a web site that starts with a long introduction and there is a link called Skip Intro on it then you have encountered a true blue splash page.

There is some debate about whether or not splash pages are a good idea. It is good if you are a bigger company that needs to branded then the addition of an introductory splash page to your site is not necessarily going to hurt your business. However if your site is not a household name it is probably best to stay away from splash pages. Splash pages displace the first page (which contains your real content) and the search engine spiders then read these flashy intro pages as blank space.

The problem is that splash pages lack content that can indexed, contain zero links, usually and often display a "redirect" to the real home page. Search engines algorithms think you are trying to trick them if they see a redirect on what is supposed to be a home page. The bottom line is that you must avoid redirects if you are serious about being found by search engines. An introductory splash page is not recommended for businesses that are not known as not only can they sabotage your SEO efforts but often they are quite expensive to be designed too.

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