Here’s something that really chaps my hide – web designers who take advantage of a client’s general ignorance of how the Web works and use a client’s site to promote themselves at the expense of the client.
Take my good friends over at The Cabinet Center. They wanted a nice flashy website to showcase their great cabinetry (let’s not even talk about why using a Flash-only website is problematic for SEO) and they hired a designer. The designer decided that the Cabinet Center’s potential customers would get a lot of value out of seeing a link to the designer’s site in the top right of every page of the site. Check out the home page:
Adding insult to injury (or maybe adding more injury to injury), if you search “The Cabinet Center” in Google, the designer’s name shows up as the first text in the description below the link. See graphic above or click here.
Now in the designer’s defense, the guys at The Cabinet Center probably were not paying enough attention to what he was doing and were probably happy to have someone build them a site that had moving pictures on it.
The moral of the story: If you are in the midst of building or redesigning your site and see your developers name popping up on your pages you may want to ask yourself “how else is this guy screwing me?”
7 Response Comments
Wow that’s a great example of wasted real estate. another fantastic tip! Also when I click on the link to the SERPs it shows just how important it is to manage your representation on all the various IYP’s and Local Search Directory sites. There are at least 5 such sites listed directly below the businesses actual web site. Each of those sites offer a representation of that business whether the business owner engages that representation or not.
Actually, I feel no defense is needed for the designer. The only time you see a plug for Above The FlaT (the official business name) is on pro bono work. And even then, a conservative link is tucked away so as to not take away from the deisgn. Clients, searchers, the business. Those are the priorities.
Besides, such a tactic would be counter productive for the designer. As a consumer, if I saw a site I liked, I would find my way to the designer well enough. If I was a design I like, but with a self promotional tag too prominently placed on the site, I would suspect my site would receive the same treatment, and I would continue my search.
Josh, if you are given money to do anything that involves having the ability to place a link to one of your websites… it’s not cool to just do it…
Even if you use a nofollow.
Only way this is remotely OK is if you own the company or you are doing the work for free and only being rewarded with the link love.
About time someone told the story of the webdesigner doing this. We are always having to instruct clients to remove the links to the web designer/developers website.
Just last weekend, I had to instruct the designers to remove the site from their server as it was ranking in the SERPs which could have caused the client site to fall due to duplicate content.
Nice touch Andrew.
Appreciate the post. Just wanted to say, I have been designing websites for a little while, and I would never do this. Hopefully this isn’t giving all web designers a bad name. We don’t all promote ourselves that heavily.
Top right huh? Never seen that one before! heh
I hear you Andrew! I see this all the time, especially with template driven web sites that are sold to hundreds in the same industry. All the links back on every page go to the company marketing the templates. Guess who ranks on top for keyword searches. It wouldn’t matter so much except that the clients continue to call me wondering why their web site doesn’t rank. Go figure.
Techniques like these will harm the designers in the long term as prospective clients will not be impressed