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SEO Website Audit

High Rankings Question of the Week

June 19, 2013

To go along with this week's article on Google trust factors, I asked my social media followers:

++What are some things that make a website seem untrustworthy to you (and therefore potentially to Google)?

Here's how they responded:

Question of the Week
Nauman Lodhi: Lots of ads, pop-ups, suspicious download links.

Kristeen Bullwinkle: Grammar errors, spelling errors, odd language choices.

Elaine Zuniga: Titles and descriptions that are nothing but a string of keywords lumped together with no real indication as to what content I might find on that page or site. If the title looks spammy I pass it right by.

Gisele Glosser: Bait and switch sites where the link or search promises one thing, but the site (page) is about something else. Also, JavaScript pop-ups upon exit. "Are you sure you want to leave?"

Dianna Huff: Red text with lots of exclamation points, those long sales pages, web content all one on page, hyped content that promises everything, pop-ups that won't go away, and those things that crawl across the page (hate those), naughty pictures.

Jordan Mawbey: A website where the home page doesn't clearly tell you what the product or service is.


James Fairlie: Too many adverts, spammy link directory pages professing to be "useful links," keyword stuffing (of course), poor spelling / grammar, too many fonts, text styles and sizes, redirects to 3rd party websites (without consent or warning). I also hate hit-counters, although I doubt Google takes a position on them.

Thomas Rosenstand: No or incomplete contact information. Pop-ups and pop-unders.

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Post Comment

 Finn Skovgaard said:
If I'm looking to buy something, I want to know who I'm dealing with, and that means that the official company name, address, and business registration number needs to be somewhere easy to find. It's a legal obligation in France, in face, but a surprising number of businesses don't comply with it.

Another thing that can make me go away is if their phone number is a premium rate number. Many French companies seem to think that if you call them, you must be a time waster, so you have to pay $0.30 a minute, or whatever, for the privilege of talking to them. It's thankfully much less common on US and UK sites.

'Parrot' colors and other basic design that makes the site look as if the owner just finished his first DIY html course puts me off. But I know that a very small business cannot put the same resources into web design as a large one, so I take that into account.

Finally, sites that overdo flash and other animation for no good reason are a real pain. You get the impression that the only reason for this is that the web designers want to show off rather than focus on user friendliness.
 Oral Seymour said:
A website with a lot of broken links. This is an issue I'm dealing with now
 Keith Watson said:
Spoof sites that I have seen never have a store and a quick whois shows them to be in a country far away from the company they are spoofing.