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  1. #1
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    How UGLY is your site?
    Ugly or out-dated in appearance -

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that. If you're relying on traffic from the Google, (the beholder) you may want to get some extra eyeballs on your site, gather some feedback, and make some changes. Good place to start is the Review Forum here on ABW:
    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/site-...er-review-146/

    Take a look at this video where Matt Cutts speaks about how an algorithm that "touched" MetaFilter (site dinged in the SERPs, recently). Starts at about 6:00 minutes into the video. ONLY negative thing Matt Cutts mentioned, was the "dated" site design.
    WATCH: Matt Cutts AMA Keynote At SMX Advanced 2014

    An APPEALING and ATTRACTIVE site does go a long way, IMhO - UGLY, dated looking, hard to navigate sites have a lower visitor retention and higher bounce rates. Despite what the Google says about bounce rates, still feel it is one of the ranking factors - and now, it seems, UGLY or dated-looking sites can get dinged ...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  3. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Ugly or out-dated in appearance - ...
    Funny you should mention that...LOL...

    www.TheUgliestWebsiteInTheWorld.com

    Actually gets a couple dozen visits per day and earns its keep with a few sales every now and again. LOL


    Sorry, couldn't resist...
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  5. #3
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Ugly mess seems to work ok for Amazon.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
    DESIGNER DOG CHECKS ~ We double-dog dare ya to write one!

  6. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    @Bill

    Ewwwwww...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  8. #5
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Funny you should mention that...LOL...

    Ugly Stuff at The Ugliest Website In The World - One Ugly Web Site

    Actually gets a couple dozen visits per day and earns its keep with a few sales every now and again. LOL
    OMG, ROTFLMAO!
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  9. #6
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    When I worked as a Google site rater in order to try to educate myself on exactly WHAT Google rates/wants - the look of a site was on some of rating forms. I always found it a tough one to rate, because it's really a matter of opinion (to some degree) so I paid more attention to if it was updated and if I could navigate it. Unless it was like the ugly stuff site... even I could figure that one out
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

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  11. #7
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Ugly works. The last thing you want is for your website to look better than the merchant's. Matt Cutts can go sit and swivel.

  12. #8
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post
    Ugly works. The last thing you want is for your website to look better than the merchant's. Matt Cutts can go sit and swivel.
    Never thought of it that way - but certainly a valid point.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  13. #9
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post
    Ugly works. The last thing you want is for your website to look better than the merchant's. Matt Cutts can go sit and swivel.
    I disagree... Here's a story.... I launched my site back in 2003 and I created all the graphics myself using photoshop and illustrator. I'm not a graphic artist, I'm a computer programmer. It had a clunky 1990's look and feel. In a word, it looked unprofessional.

    One day, while I'm working my day job a friend I worked with (who is a really good graphic artist) told me he would redesign my website for me. He spent about 20 hours giving me photoshops of all the major pages, paying attention to the color scheme, font selection and workflow. If I had paid for the work, it would have been between $20K - $40k (this guys was a team lead for a big ad agency).

    And the rest is history... I've been running with the same basic design for about eight years, but I have expanded upon in drastically. I always refer back to the style guide my friend established for me whenever I add elements.

    Here's the thing... I don't think I could have maintained my business without a professional look. You need it when dealing with business partners. It definitely increases visitor trust and website stickyness.

    I've started a redesign of my site and once again I'm working with a graphic artist that I can have an extended "back and forth" with until things are just right. What happened? Well, the web moved on and some of the design elements that were originally used have become a little dated. I also want a little more "polish" in my design. I've started with a slight logo redesign.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!


  14. #10
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireSkunk View Post
    Matt Cutts can go sit and swivel.
    I thought that was what he does most of the time anyway.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
    DESIGNER DOG CHECKS ~ We double-dog dare ya to write one!

  15. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Look at sites like craigslist. Very popular, yet it's almost pure text with a ton of information on each page.

    If you provide true value to consumers, I think they don't care so much about how a site looks.

    I'm not saying to make your sites ugly or spartan. I'm just saying to focus more on providing value.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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  17. #12
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Look at sites like craigslist. Very popular, yet it's almost pure text with a ton of information on each page.
    Can't remember the last time I ran across a Craigslist link in the SERPs.

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    If you provide true value to consumers, I think they don't care so much about how a site looks.

    I'm not saying to make your sites ugly or spartan. I'm just saying to focus more on providing value.
    And I'm suggesting UGLY is a ranking factor...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  19. #13
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    If you provide true value to consumers, I think they don't care so much about how a site looks.
    I dunno man... Here's the deal... Many website visitor's think they are purchasing from my website, not from the merchant website. I've got disclaimer's all over the place but still people don't "get it". They don't understand the concept of a "website" or a "http address". To them, it is just a "click stream". You get on a computer, you type a search term into any available text box and you click, click, click until you see what you want, whip out your credit card and in a few days it appears on their doorstep.

    So, if you have a polished website design, they will be much more likely to make that purchase "from you".

    I highly suggest people have some sort of feedback mechanism where website visitors can contact you. The results will be eye opening to say the least as you will get some insight into how people think. Its super scary...
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  21. #14
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    I can see both sides of this issue. There is no uglier, worse designed site than the Drudge Report, and it is the world's third most popular political site, drawing 21 million visitors per month. But then I see comments like what isellstuff wrote. My first site is an ugly mess, basically unchanged from 2001. For years it was my most profitable site, but that has changed drastically the last couple of years, though there are other specific reasons why that has happened. I'm now thinking it's time for a total re-do, but that will be a 3-month job.

    You had to start something, huh Convergence?

    Let me add that my ugly site in question has always gotten very frequent emails from various customers who assume that I am the site for a variety of major brands that I promote and about which they have complaints, usually about products that they purchased elsewhere, more often than not at B & Ms, but they come to me to complain.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  23. #15
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    I've landed on websites so ugly they make your eyes burn but I must say this kind of annoys me. It seems Google is now telling us how our websites should look. We'll all be cookie cutter after awhile. Hmm..that almost sounded bitter, didn't it?

    This thread does serve as a reminder that I need to update some old image navigation menus to text/css menus though.

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  25. #16
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    @isellstuff - Ditto.

    Remember a year or so ago we received an email through our ticket system giving us feedback on our color scheme.

    Guy was a cranky old curmudgeon. Literally b!tched about how he was visually impaired, and how some young web designer thought our color scheme was cool without thinking about those with disabilities.

    Replied with great restraint by thanking him for his input and would take his comments and suggestions under consideration. Held back from telling him the designer was indeed blind in one eye and doesn't see well out the other.

    I designed the site...
    Last edited by Convergence; June 24th, 2014 at 04:59 PM.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  26. #17
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    You had to start something, huh Convergence?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  27. #18
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound View Post
    Let me add that my ugly site in question has always gotten very frequent emails from various customers who assume that I am the site for a variety of major brands that I promote and about which they have complaints, usually about products that they purchased elsewhere, more often than not at B & Ms, but they come to me to complain.
    Me too... Complaints about a merchant's service, where's the owners manual, when will my package arrive, how do I cancel an order, where is my tracking link, how unreasonably priced my items are, will I take $xx dollars instead, can I place a bulk order, send me an invoice, etc, etc, on and on...

    On the plus side, I see comments on the Internet that say, "I've purchased several times from xxx.com (my website) and they are reliable with fast shipping". :-)
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

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  29. #19
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    .... I lost the cord, send me a new one.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  31. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    I see comments on the Internet that say, "I've purchased several times from xxx.com (my website) and they are reliable with fast shipping". :-)
    You own xxx.com.... just kidding.

  32. #21
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound View Post
    You had to start something, huh Convergence?
    LOL - He's kind of like my conscious, in a good way of course.

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  34. #22
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Look at sites like craigslist. Very popular, yet it's almost pure text with a ton of information on each page.

    If you provide true value to consumers, I think they don't care so much about how a site looks.

    I'm not saying to make your sites ugly or spartan. I'm just saying to focus more on providing value.
    Excellent point.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  35. #23
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    The ugly sites mentioned in this thread have been popular for quite some time, as in when many sites were unattractive. I think that having an attractive, well laid out site helps, and for sure, it doesn't hurt.

    On a side note..... if this topic doesn't bring Leader back, nothing will.
    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
    ~Lynn Hall

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  37. #24
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think my point is that the most beautiful site in the world, if it doesn't provide value, is useless, while an ugly site that provides value can work.

    Having BOTH consumer value and beauty is ideal, of course, but I would put more emphasis on providing value.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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  39. #25
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    A site's purpose matters. People know what they're looking for when they go to craigslist. Same thing back in the day for plentyoffish.

    An affiliate site doesn't have to be "beautiful," but at the very least, be easy to navigate and doesn't look like your "whatever" closet. If you have a WP site, it's easy enough to select a more contemporary theme & create a child theme.

    Do you want to look like a very slick merchant site? Probably not. And truly, some small merchant sites look dated, but convert very well.

    If your site doesn't come up fast enough, time to trim the fat. To me, that's what really indicates a dated site.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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