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Why Dot-Coms Fail - a Webmasters Perspective

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Everyday we hear that another company goes out of business.

When and why does a dot-com become a dot-bomb?

After checking few dozen defunct companies, I think the main reason for dot-coms failure are:

I'll focus my comments on the last reason:

How Errors in the Web Site Can Affect the Company's Health

It's clear that you can make money on the Web if you have customers. You have customers if you have viewers- "traffic" in the geek's language. And you get traffic if your site is easy to find -- near the top -- in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). That's not so easy to achieve.

First of all your site has to be indexed by the search tools: Search Engines and Web Directories.

Although some Search Engines will eventually find your site by themselves, most of the time this only happens if somebody links to your site. In the case of a NEW site, having existing links is almost impossible. Rather than wait for links to be made, start a submission campaign.

A big no-no is submitting a Web site using submission software. Using software of this type may be quick and easy, but some Web Directories and Search Engines do NOT accept automated submission.

It's true that manual submission is a time conuming process -- you'll have to read AND follow each Search Engines' submission guidelines, to effectively perform the submission - but it's a necessary step.

Most of the defunct sites I've checked had only a modest presence and visibility in the Search Engines.

Let's say that you submitted your site correctly, you waited a reasonable amount of time - usually few weeks - for the Search Engines to process your submission, but your site does not appear near the top in the Search Engine Results Pages.

You're wondering why, right? Well, one or more of the following reason might apply:

1) Your submission was not accepted by the Search Engines. If you used spamming techniques, such as:

"Search Engine Spamming Sucks!" [ http://www.web-design-in-new-york.com/articles.html ]

Some Search Engines also have difficulty in indexing pages that use frames or Flash.

2) Your submission was accepted, but your site is not listed in the Top 10-30. Because very few people check pages after the first 30 results, you want to be in the Top 10-30. There are many reason why a site is not listed high.

The most common reason are:

A Web site with HTML errors can look fine in Explorer, strange in Netscape or Opera and totally unreadable in a text browser. Although Explorer has the largest market share, an important percentage of net surfers use other browsers. Don't forget the more than 50 million people in the USA with disabilities. Many of the latter use text/voice browsers.

Other Types of Errors in Web Sites

Proper HTML coding is very important but the structure and the layout of the pages are equally important. I saw sites without ANY way to contact the company: no email address, no "contact page". I saw sites so crowded that it was almost impossible to find my way around. I saw sites with ugly color schemes. I saw a site so "heavy" that it took nearly three minutes to download the Home Page.

According to statistics, users have very limited patience when it comes to loading a page. If after eight seconds they cannot see the page, they leave. And we all know what that means or the success of a Web site.

I not only saw all those errors in sites that are now gone but I also found them in sites that are still alive, including, incredibly, some Fortune 500 companies' Web sites.

So Do We Dot-Com or Not?

The answer is a resounding YES! But with one condition, learn from your predecessors.

How can a dot-com become profitable? I don't pretend to know ALL the answers. If I did, I would be millionaire by now.

Advice for Forming and Managing Your Company:

Advice Regarding the Web Site that Supports Your Company:

For more about spam please read my article:

"Search Engine Spamming Sucks!" [ http://www.web-design-in-new-york.com/articles.html ]

Also, use the Title tag, the Keyword and Description meta tags in your HTML coding to list targeted keywords from the contents of your pages. This helps the Search Engines rank your site higher.

So, let's see: do we dot-com or not? You bet we do! There are tremendous opportunities on the Internet. Find your niche, follow the rules, work hard and you'll make it.

It will not be easy but if you believe in your dream and set realistic expectation, you'll be successful.

Good luck!

About The Author

Daniel Bazac is the Web Marketer for Web Design in New York, ( http://www.web-design-in-new-york.com ), a site design, Search Engine Optimization and promotion company. He's been online from 1995 and he's also a seasoned Internet Information Researcher. He can be reached at mailto:danielbazac@hotmail.com


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