Does the homepage text make a difference? (Google rankings)

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by kirky29, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. kirky29 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Lincolnshire, England

    Wondering something... I'm in the process of redesigning a homepage, making it more simplistic with just a few larger images and less text. Currently the homepage has a fair bit of text, if I were to remove most of that would or could I see a big drop in Google's search rankings?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. CBJammin103 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2007
    Louisiana, United States
    I'm not personally an SEO ninja like some people claim to be / possibly are... but my practice is generally "design the most functional website possible with the best content possible" and that seems to work fairly well for search ranking.

    These days I'm not sure there's much else you can do to improve your SEO reliably since search results are now geolocation-based, social-media weighted, and so on.
  3. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Don't know about the volume of text, but the relevance of text on your homepage definitely has a big bearing on search engine ranking.

    I have a similar mindset though, put out good content and market to your customers and let the search rankings sort themselves out.
  4. trenthanover macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2013
    If you are going to put unique content it will not be affected.
  5. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    The problem with what you describe is the images are largely irrelevant when it comes to ranking. The spiders read the copy and based on that decide how relevant the site is based on searches for that information. The dilemma for me personally is, tons of text is a turn off to the reader but search engines love it. So do I design a text heavy site just to get higher ranking or do I create a visually aesthetic site that is appealing to humans?
  6. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    Does the text in question contain your keyword search terms, are customers finding you by searching for those terms, and do you currently rank on the first page of Google's search results for your key terms?

    If the answer to all 3 is "yes", then you will potentially drop in Google's rankings, so I'd recommend leaving the homepage as it is.
    If the answer is to any of those 3 questions is "no" (or "I don't know"), then it's unlikely you'll notice a difference.

    Why do you want people to land on your homepage? You need to take into account how people search the web. If I search for the title of a book and the top link on the SERP is for Amazon, I do not want that link to take me to Amazon's homepage (where I'll need to search again) - I want it to take me to the exact page where I can buy that book.

    With that in mind, is the information useful to your customer? If it is, should it have it's own page, seperate from the homepage?? It really doesn't matter where on your site the customer lands as long as you have good design & it's easy to navigate. What matters is that you customer finds exactly what they're looking for as quickly as possible and knows what to do next.

    Hope that helps.


    Design for people. Being #1 on Gooogle is worthless if every real visitor hates your site.

    The search engines don't love "tons of text", they love unique content. With each new update, Google is trying to more closely mimic how a real human searches the web. So designing for search engines rather than customers is mostly pointless.

    Best regards.
  7. laurim macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2003
    Minnesota USA
    I think the number of other sites linking to your content matters much more to a search engine than the keywords its spiders find on your site. OTHER people thinking your site is relevant matters a lot. So, yes, make your home page friendly to your visitors and work on getting other people to link to your content because what you offer is valuable. I think the playing field has become way too crowded to rely on homepage keywords to raise your ranking.
  8. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Yeah, there seems be some confusion between popularity and relevance. The whole reason google dominated is the lack of reliance on content, which can be easily gamed. google even punishes sites that detected to be gaming.

    Focus on content that people will link to and have enough words such that 1 or more of those words will be typed by those doing searches. This will at least make your listing in the results bold and more likely to be clicked. Especially page titles.
  9. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole

    Of course we design for people but without good ranking people can't find your site. I wasn't asserting that one should post text just to have lots of copy online but rather if you've got relevant, useful content it doesn't hurt your cause and will get you visitors and incoming links. Since the early days, Google has gradually eliminated most of the loopholes and tricks.

    But if you're a designer you can write it into your contract that each site you build must link back to you. You can put links back to your site from all the free internet DBs, listings with trade organizations and Craigslist. Get into DMoz or on Wikipedia if you can manage it. Obviously build pages on social media sites and get into Angies List.

    OP, my point is, useful, relevant copy on your home page is a good start but only one piece of your SEO strategy. Spend an hour or so and make it live so it can start working for you. Optimization is an ongoing process that takes time and will require constant fine tuning and upgrades over the life of your site.

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