Do Designers and Search Engine Marketers Argue?

When you optimize a page sometimes it’s difficult to fully apply all SEO recommendations because of content and design constraints. That is why there is a quandary on whether search engine marketers are against designers. SEM professionals think designers build pages whose design are less friendly to search engines – remember search engines do not index an image but only its alternate value – as much as search engine marketers recommend methods that result to the missing “wow” effect of a page.

But wait, I believe this is a myth based more on common sense than further study. Yes there is a tendency that that designers and search engine optimization professionals have good chance of disagreeing but most of the time this problem is addressed.

You don’t have to have a bad page to rank well. Take an example of our client La Kasbah, a Moroccan restaurant in Mid-Levels here in Hong Kong. The page was built in 2004 and was starting to appear prominently on search engine results in 2005. It’s a Flash page with no other html page except the index that holds the animation. If you search for “hong kong restaurant” in Yahoo! Hong Kong it comes up at the first page, ranked 8th. When I switched to Yahoo! International ( it came up 7th. In Google it’s a poor 29th.

It did not have any “black hat” technique such as inflating font sizes hidden from a visitor’s site nor implementing some doorway pages and other crazy linking scheme. Perhaps it was the backlink generation that made the site popular. So it just shows that a page can get a good search engine placement without sacrificing attractive asthetics. Kasbah has managed to get nominated at the Webby Awards held in New York City. And with 972 queries for the keyword, “hong kong restaurant” is pretty competitive not to mention that Hong Kong is home to more than 10,000 dining places.

Thus, there is no cause for worry between search engine optimization staff and design crew members. If they collaborate well, desired results aren’t difficult to achieve.