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May 04, 2006

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Thomas Jones

Well, since no one else stepped up, I'll disagree. I don't think that it is unfortunate that the home pages of winery Web sites require a visitor to scroll and scroll and scroll to see everything.

The reason I disagree is that I am a user myself and despite hearing the advice from 'experts' for years that no page should require scrolling...I still find sites that pursue that strategy VERY annoying. Especially, if they employ a so called 'Content Management' system.

Most winery sites have little actual content. A wine list, event calendar, contact info, retail locations list, some background info and in the few states that allow it an online store. So far, I have not found navigating these tiny sites to be hugely difficult.

What is difficult for me is finding these sites. I blame the desire to follow the TV Ad model of lots of flash and imagery with all of the text being lovely script text that has been converted into images. It has resulted in sites that are not indexed well by search engines.

If the trend continues I fear that Winery sites will face the same problem that now plagues hotel websites. They are so poorly indexed that the spam sites and big aggregators like Expedia are the only ones folks can find via the search engines.

Mike Duffy

Thanks for adding your comments, Thomas. (for those of you who don't know, Thomas runs a comprehensive site, Oklahoma Wine News:
http://www.nuyakacreek.com/blog/blogger.html

A question for you: what search phrase(s) are you using when you say "sites that are not indexed well by search engines"? It's hard for anyone to rank well for "pinot noir" (over 8 million results).

Obviously, rules are made to be broken, but I think a winery home page that takes more than one screen without some more compelling reason than "we have a lot of things we want to tell a visitor" ignores the fact that every site visitor already has a goal in mind.

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