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Monday, November 10, 2003

Nielsen: Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines

1. Emphasize what your site offers that’s of value to users and how your services differ from those of key competitors (...)

This is one of the most important issues in homepage design, so it’s particularly sad that it’s the least followed of all the guidelines. Websites are incredibly bad at explicitly stating what they offer users. Instead, they hide their offerings in generic marketese that makes very little impression on prospective customers.

Remember: when users have needs, they typically query search engines and allocate only a few seconds to scan each of the sites that the search engine drags up.”
– Jakob Nielsen, The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines (Alertbox), November 10, 2003

A Site Worthy Of Being Ranked at the Top

“The quest to “preserve” PR may well be much ado about nothing, and in the long run may be counter-productive. When I am asked about how to get a top listing in the SE’s, my response is always the same - “Build a site that is worthy of being ranked at the top.”

This means building a site that is relevant and authoritative. Not only is such a site easier to promote, they have a tendency to generate lots of inbound links without any real work on the owner’s part. Other sites will link because of the relevant content.

A site worthy of top rankings will be long lived, and will require minimal upkeep in regards to SE placement. A site designed around the latest theory of SE algorithms will require constant tweaking and will be vulnerable to dropping from the SERPs like a rock whenever the algo’s change.”
– John Merrell, Re: SEO Dave... (, Sat, 8 Nov 2003


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