CitrusKiwi's Web Design, Internet & Marketing blog
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Here's the final part of clueless mistakes that I see around the web, and are, generally, committed by "professional" designers who should know better.
"Last updated <years ago!>" and out of date content. Google (and you can bet the others are close behind) is now weighting search results in favor of fresh content according to one of the latest updates. That means website owners need to be even more vigilant in adding new content, and this makes blogging (points a finger at myself!) something we all need to be doing with even greater frequency.
There's nothing wrong with this in itself. I regularly use it on pages where there is time sensitive material, for example, pricing pages. Visitors like to know that content displayed on a pricing page is current, and they won't rush to buy the latest blue widget for $9.95 with "FREE shipping", only to find that it's really $29.95 and $5.50 shipping.
Most CMS (Content Management Systems) allow designers the flexibility of showing this information or not. Alas, some are just too "something" to turn it off. I have seen sites that have it displayed on every page. One site in particular (sadly, a web designer's own site) had it on every page and the dates were 2006 and older.... 'nuff said.
Rule of thumb; if it is time sensitive or should be date stamped - for example blogs, or, say, information about the latest specs on....., then, yes, use it. Otherwise, it will often tend to show (like the web designer's site) that the site owner doesn't care about adding content.
Out of date content
Okay, "Last updated...." is bad, but it's grotesque, and far worse cousin, is out of date content. I sometimes feel site owners don't realize that their website is telling every visitor just how good, or bad, their company is. Would a business send out a salesperson dressed in scruffy old clothes, ungroomed, smelling like last week's garbage to a client meeting? Of course not! But this is precisely what many companies do with their 24/7 web "salesperson" - their website. I will judge a company by its website - I used to do it about mobile phones. I figured that if their important staff didn't have one, they weren't a serious company. Then email addresses. If a company still uses @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, or similar, I doubt their seriousness. Some may think that's harsh, but, in this cut-throat business climate, WHY would you do anything to hamstring your chances?
Make sure your content is up to date - it makes you look with-it. I see this with our industry regularly. Some "experts" ranting about Meta data like it's the panacea for the SEO industry. The usefulness of Meta data in SEO has been gone a long time. Yes, it's still useful in other ways, but not for ranking.
Treat your site like your most important salesperson. Keep it well groomed, and make sure it's up to date with the latest trends, techniques, and information.