Post up … Shoot … Score!

I haven’t paid much attention to web site design and optimization for a few years. Recently, however, I have noticed and read a few posts around the internet discussing how to make one’s website rank better, look better, work better, be greener and more politically correct, etc etc. Besides the great tutorial from Photoshelter on how to tailor a photography website intended for editors and photo researchers, I also found WebsiteGrader. This nifty site “grades” a website on its SEO (search engine optimization) using a scale of 0 to 100, relative to the rest of the web, using criteria gathered from Google, Yahoo, Alexa, DMOZ, Zoominfo as well as examining the webpage coding itself.

However, if my experience is any indication, these scores may be just a tad bit inflated. WebsiteGrader gave my website a score of 98.8 and my blog a 98.7, considers the content of my blog appropriate for high school and doctorate-level visitors, and it informs me my website has a Google rank of 6 (of a maximum 10). Mondo Teknospheric! Comon, are these for real? Seriously, these seem like pretty good scores, particularly for an individual photographer shooting stock “when able”, especially in comparison to some large agencies for some of the specialized subjects I shoot. Important to remember that these are just scores and what really matters is how many phone calls come in from buyers wanting to use an image. These scores are transient benchmarks, somewhat arbitrary and could change at any time.

You might find it illuminating to see how WebsiteGrader grades your website. In my case it offered some good feedback. For example, I had no idea the main page on website had NO KEYWORDS in the metadata. Ooops! In spite of having had a website up and running for over 12 years (that’s 583 in www-years) I am still making rookie mistakes. It also said something about making a “301” to redirect “oceanlight.com” to “www.oceanlight.com”. Hello, English please? My initial reaction is that I should figure out how to fix that stuff soon. Upon further thought, I realized that I would likely screw something up and kill my own rating. Better leave it alone!