Many sites neglect the quality of their front door, or the opening page of their site, and some search engines have made this a bigger
cannot redirect users to new pages designed to their browser, or include animation or splashy introductions without running head on
into two major problems.
If you intend, as is good advertizing practice to have a splashy graphical opening page without much detailed writing on it, when the search engines
come by to index the 'content' of your site, they won't read much about it on your main page! One method around this is to use hidden text, such as tiny
black text against a black background hidden between words and paragraphs or at the bottom of the page. Another technique is to add this text as
information for the image alternate (alt) tags used for graphics handicapped browsers, or in an
otherwise invalid value tag for a nonexistent form element, while the polite method is to use meta tags to do the job.
If you must send users automatically to a page optimized for their browser, you'll have to add these features only after the site is indexed by the search engines
or risk getting very low ratings. This also involves taking down and replacing your front page a few days at a time after submitting it to search engines for indexing.
Unfortunately many search engines operate differently, so pleasing them all is not in the cards. Infoseek have made a major pain out of themselves trying to
stamp out spam, as many poor quality sites use methods similar to these to cheat the index.
How should your site look and work? How about employing a fancy little doodad like Flash animations to spiff-up your page, or even for the whole website!
See dack.com Flash is evil for a discussion of this! All of these infant technologies
impose hardships and troubles that may impede or send visitors away, rather than entertaining them! If your content is not fully backward compatable, it's as if your
site has no content to search engines and directory searches.
It's important to remember that no matter where your site is listed, it is in there, and in any case you are likely to become popular on the basis of referrals from
other popular sites, not search engines! The most important customer is your visitor, and it's they you want to reach, not some guy searching on Alta Vista for the
words 'cool site".
Here's an example of a cool "splash" page. One thing to remember is that people are usually a bit more patient
when waiting for your opening page to load, so you can include some larger files!