Preloading images and search engine ranking
1) Script Title:
Preload Image (with progress bar) Script
2) Script URL (on DD): http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamici...eloadimage.htm
3) Describe problem:
Not sure if this is a problem. Just wanting to use this preload page as an entry point to my web site (lots of images on first page) but worried about how search engines will treat it.
I have a current site without a preload page and I am in an OK ranking in the search engines with a good description appearing as text. But I'm worried this preload page will mess that up.
Do I simply put in meta tags and some content and <title> in the preload page to get the search engine to list the preload page and get me in a good position?
What I would suggest is keeping your current index page. You might want to optimize the images and remove some. That would improve the page. Critical and small rollover images may be preloaded quietly in the head of the page.
Having a preload page as your index page would definitely confuse some search engines, no mater how you meta tagged it. You could give it a descriptive title and put a little bit of description as text on it for folks to read while the progress bar wends its way toward completion. The search engines could understand that.
However, just having your users go through that is off putting. Using a preload page makes more sense for a special part of your site, not the index page.
For the most part though, for webmasters concerned with ranking and, more importanly, overall traffic, a preload page is a no no.
I guess I had some naive impression that all sorts of big web sites have have users enter through some sort of page where stuff is loading - i.e. users have to wait for a flash movie or something like that.
This is actually connected to another post where I'm trying to produce some fairly elaborate images and transitions on the front page of my site - but it looks like you're telling me I need to scale down. Oh well.
Well, it depends upon the site. Lexus, the car company for example - they could probably afford a preload page. Their product is high end, so they can expect their web clients to have high end machines, at least for the most part. They are also the only authoritative site on the web featuring the latest and most complete product information on Lexus, so they don't have to worry too much about folks going elsewhere if their page takes a little while to load.
However, in most cases these mitigating factors do not apply, so a preload page, even if it didn't cost you ranking, would cost you traffic. Even in the case of Lexus, they would stand to lose traffic to other companies like Jaguar or Mercedes Benz, if those sites loaded up more quickly. Still, this wouldn't be too important for Lexus, as their primary sales tool is not the web site. The web site is there more just as a courtesy for folks who would like to browse their product line online.
Thanks again. Seeing more of the reasoning is really helpful. One of the services provided on the web site I'm working on is "Anger Management" . Hmm maybe if potential clients actual wait for the images to load they'll be ready for a few sessions of Anger Management!