Is this traffic or congestion?
This is one of those Friday Afternoon Projects
- it's been put off all through a busy week
because it's unpaid,
I'm not completely sure how to approach it
and now my arms hurt like hell
from travel jabs which are making it hard to
concentrate! So I'm going to float it on here...
I've been asked to brief a meeting next week
about that group's current web site and
its problems. I'm not linking it yet to avoid
The site looks OK,
but doesn't rank well on search engines
and doesn't allow much member participation.
I need to explain why that's a bad thing and
how the site's technical choices
have led to that.
I'm not directly pitching for
to get any work (because
I'm a member of that group, it might
be a conflict of interest and we're pretty
busy anyway - even our own site needs work on
some of the points I'm going to mention),
but I don't want to be unhappy
if we're asked to
implement my recommendations.
I've got a usual outline that I follow,
but my presentation's time is limited,
so I'd like to ask you: what about this is
important and what isn't?
If you give me useful feedback, I'll put you
in the Acknowledgements with a backlink and
I hope the briefing will be shared pretty
widely over the next few months.
The current plan is to start
with a basic explanation of
how search engines rank pages, as far as we
can tell, referring to
PageRank Explained Correctly with Examples, by Ian Rogers
as well as the shorter official summaries
from the dominant search sites at
Then I go through a quick evaluation
of the site against the basics of validation,
accessibility and robot-friendliness,
followed by a couple of SEO-style checks of
its current rankings and inbound links.
Next is a bit different because I have access
to some of their web access stats: I summarise
what we know and suggest some other stats
they've probably not considered
and why they're useful, along the lines of
Dave Briggs's measures of blog success.
Finally, I suggest ways to improve the
site. The top tip will be to take control
of the site hosting and stop using the
cheap and cheerful donated server that makes
all links except the front page point
to another domain. I'll probably suggest
a mix of free and open source software
tools to power it.
If they don't want to move it all yet,
I'll suggest running a second site for
member participation, using tools like
Wordpress, NoseRub and so on.
What do you think? Plan for success, am
I missing some tricks, or am I setting myself
Let me know with a comment or email, please.