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September 24, 2004

Cricket Australia website

I love cricket. That's something you will probably find it hard to fathom unless you grew up watching the game. In Australia, during winter three sports with largely independent fan bases compete for attention. Rugby League, Rugby Union and Australian Rules Football. Plus more kids play soccer than any of these sports.

In summer though, cricket is the national sport come obsession.

But this post is not about cricket, its about Cricket Australia's web site (CA is the governing body for cricket in this country).
Here is a little test. Go and find CA's web site.

OK, I bet you had a lot of trouble finding it. I actually gave up in frustration (someone gave me a link).

Here it is

http://www.cricket.com.au

So how can such an important cricket site, with such a good URL, and surely many links from other cricket sites essentially be invisible to Google (and so to you)?

Take a look at the source code.

From a title of "Home" to the ridiculous use of tables for layout, to the hugely code heavy page, and the absolute and utter lack of any semantic markup - the headings are in fact things like this <span class="headLink1">, I have never in my life seen a better example of the value of correctly coded pages in my life.

You can't really blame the clients, after all their core business is not in developing web sites. Blame the developer. And in this case I am happy to. They take pride in their absolutely dismal efforts. The reason I am happy outing these people is that they are a huge consulting company, they must charge an almost unimaginable amount of money for this rubbish. They should be ashamed of themselves. Instead, they trumpet

as a wholly owned subsidiary of [name removed to protect the guilty, you can find it on the site], we have access to a global network of knowledge and expertise - ensuring that as always, we are ever-evolving and ever-improving

Thank heavens for that, cause they need a fair bit of improving, and need to evolve beyond the amoeba stage. I won't speculate what "knowledge and expertise" they have, but it sure doesn't have much to do with web development.

BTW, CA, if you are listening, I love cricket. I am happy to come over and give you a 1 hour spray about just why and how your site is so bad at present for nothing. But if you can get Steve Waugh to sign my red hankie I got at the Sydney Test a couple of years back, that would do nicely.

John

September 24, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

Google gets in at No. 9 searching for "cricket australia governing body". I didn't think google relied that heavily on tags, etc? More on content and what links to it?

Your point is still valid though. But I say all credit to them. If they can make money by flogging cr*p (ala Microsoft and windows, Autodesk and Autocad&Inventor, Dell and dell machines) then fair dues. They are obviously good at business.

Posted by: Si | Sep 25, 2004 1:15:20 AM

Si,

while Google does keep its tricks close to its chest, anecdotal evidence suggests that makup is not unimportant for google rankings.
The higher the content to code ratio, the more headings, titles, and other such semantic markup is used, andthe more text, rather than images are used for content, the better pages appear to be ranked.
This is just a great anecdotal example of that.

A ranking of outside the top 50 for "Cricket Australia" (I gave up after then) means that in terms of Google the site essentially doesn't exist.

I'll ignore the suggestion that criket is crap, its just the English (recent result aside) are crap at it :-)

John

Posted by: John Allsopp | Sep 25, 2004 11:08:12 AM

John,

Sorry, didn't mean cricket was cr*p. Quite like it actually, although prefer playing to watching.

I was referring to the developer that did the site. I.e. some credit is due to their business model in that they obviously aren't providing the best service (flogging cr*p), but have still managed to sell it.

And I was having a bad day with all the others I mentioned

Si

Posted by: Si | Sep 30, 2004 10:15:13 PM

I typed up 'love cricket' into Google search and I got several 'I love cricket' blogs.
I didn't think it was true, but there are cricket nut heads out there, people who love the game almost as much as me.
Anyone who questions cricket's greatest deserves to be violently shot in the back.

Posted by: Justen Bellingham | Nov 24, 2005 11:00:45 AM

This is beside the point, but every aussie cricket fan goes to www.baggygreen.com.au, not the cricket australia site.

I think you'll agree this website is pretty decent and a lot harder to pick apart.

Posted by: B | Nov 25, 2005 3:36:59 PM

B,

Check my recent survey of 100 or so Australian sites for adherence to best practices

http://westciv.com/style_master/house/good_oil/best_practices/

search for baggygreen - not very good results (but then again, not many do)

thanks

Posted by: John Allsopp | Nov 25, 2005 3:45:11 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdKEhNGJgFg

Posted by: victor | May 22, 2007 3:21:55 AM