With 2014 rapidly drawing to a close it’s time to plan where we’re going in the year ahead.
While spending most of the last year trawling through thousands of website submissions, in an attempt to drain the backlog and reach the elusive Inbox Zero, I made some notes of the many things that disturbed me.
As it seemed our Webmaster Guidelines were too often ignored, I thought it might pay to outline How Not to Get Listed on Travel Notes.
I hope to offer some form of consistency of what will not make the grade, in response to the growing use of similar SEO tactics and lack of consideration for website visitors in an alarming number of cases.
Search Engine Optimisation
If it looks like text on the page is meant for search engine robots to read, then only search engines should read it; if they can find it.
That means if the font is too small, light grey on white or contains too many dubious anchor text links, then we won’t be listing the URL for a spider to follow.
Turn It Off
If background music or videos on auto start stalls the loading of a webpage, we won’t encourage others to try and find the off button.
We don’t need a mailing list subscription form or Facebook Like widget to invade the content before we’ve had the chance to see if our visitors might find it useful. Thank-you for helping us make a quick decision for them.
Homepage Footer Links
If a service has been paid for it probably doesn’t need to be advertised on the homepage.
A travel website will need to be really exceptional if it’s stating that it’s ‘Powered by anything’, ‘Designed by anyone’ or promotes an Internet Marketing firm; no matter how small or unobtrusive the text link might appear.
Yes I Do Want to Leave The Webpage
If I get asked if I really want to leave the webpage, or every link I click on opens a new window or tab, I won’t be coming back and won’t recommend anyone else pays a visit to the website either.
Quarantine Period For New Travel Website Submissions
Many of the older website submissions lost in the backlog returned the dreaded 404.
As having to manually remove dead links after the travel domain name has subsequently disappeared, changed hands or become sponsored link placeholders is a chore I don’t need, I’ve decided to implement a possible quarantine period of 18 to 36 months.
This will apply to new travel website submissions using the free Add URL service; that maybe didn’t break any of our webmaster guidelines in place, but failed to convince me that they’d be around for the long-haul.
A second review of the travel website at a later date can often save the hassle of deleting the dead link in a year or two.
New Advertising Rates For 2015
For websites that maybe don’t get listed immediately but have time sensitive offers for travellers, there’s always the option of advertising.
We’ve changed our advertising rates for 2015, now allowing for campaigns to be run by the month rather than on impression-based buys.
I hope we’ll have more time to concentrate on improving our own travel content in 2015 and continue to share some of the best travel destinations with our readers.
About The Photograph
Horseriding in Swiss Jura – The High Plateau of the Franches-Montagnes in the Swiss Jura is the birthplace of the Franches-Montagnes horse breed. This horse is descended from native mares that were cross-bred many times. It is the only breed of Swiss origin.