Documents > Reports > Building industry (November 2000)
 
Preliminary report
9 websites scanned - Date: November 7, 2000:
PRELCO S.A. - Jean Piasio S.A. - Rampini & Cie S.A. - Induni & Cie S.A. - JACQUET S.A. - Conrad Zschokke S.A. -
P. Stoeckli & Cie - C.I.B. - Geneux Dancet S.A.
1. General aspects:
1.1. Search engine visibility - Test: Yahoo, Altavista:
Incredibly weak if you search with building / Geneva or build / Geneva, whether in French or in English; i.e. none of the above listed enterprises appears on the first page of results?! Yet… by entering "building + geneva", one accesses a unions' publication about the salaries applied in the building industry (very interesting for potential clients!), in addition to the yellow pages which display some enterprises.
As stated in the Documents area, only companies meeting specific conditions are selected for our survey; other building enterprises did show on the first page of results - through just a couple of combinations - thus not considered in the following.
Research with the following combinations Altavista Yahoo
+construction +genève
+construction +Genève
+construction +geneve
+construire +genève
+construire +Genève
+construire +geneve
+building +geneva
+building +Geneva
+build +geneva
+build +Geneva
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
All pages included, these results give an obvious idea of what efforts remain to be done accordingly …
1.2. Websites compatibility with browsers:
This analysis will be performed upon request...
2. Ease of download:
Unable to analyze 6 websites not yet connected to the Internet age?!… we can then consider the following 3 categories - percentages stand for the number of slow downloading pages:
1. very slow: 86% 1 site
2. average: 50% 2 sites
3. "ultra quick": less than 10% 2 sites
We will further describe this aspect in Chapter 4.
3. Ease of use:
3.1. Broken links:
As for the real estate industry, we noted that the number of broken links is very low. What does it mean? On the one hand - internally - that the sites are well managed (regular checks and clean-ups), bringing to a minimum the number of bugs which could occur while surfing on a site (one good point!). On the other hand - externally - it shows that these websites are not connected to others; i.e. they are functioning like islands ignoring one another - which is the exact opposite of the Web purpose - therefore becoming invisible for the search engines which pick up sites ONLY with regards to the number of links they have with other sites having a similar content (e.g. Google).
Moreover, the most important argument is that broken links frustrate your audiences/customers and make you look bad...
3.2. Attributes:
An attribute consists of tags (information) regarding the height, width and alt (alternative text description for an object) of an image on a webpage. Adding these tags decreases the time needed for a browser to render a page when requested.
Furthermore, an alt tag (name) allows to reduces "further" surfing difficulties; i.e. for even slightly disabled people or for users with the 'image function' turned off.
Missing attributes average out at 40%, situation that could be rather easily improved... Yet, if adding an alt tag is technically VERY easy, think about the amount of patience needed when it comes to searching for every single image over hundreds or thousands of objects!!!...
Needless to say the more detailed a project is planned, the less amendments to be made later...
4. High quality content:
It is rather difficult to make an overall comment. Nevertheless - as for the Ease of download - we can distinguish 3 different categories:
1. advanced: these sites are fairly complete and take most of the checklist criteria into consideration. It is rather easy for the various target groups to collect the information they need
2. average: having their own information scheme organization, surfing becomes a little uneasy
3. beginners: only very little information is disclosed.
5. Frequent updates:
Generally speaking, 30% of the pages are more than 4 months old… however, this ratio shows a relative 'freshness of content', by reflecting the innovation Internet implies for this industry, thus influencing its activities. It does appear that the related enterprises have just entered this new area, which could explain the 'newly wed' feeling we have while surfing on their websites.
Besides, the software used to perform this analysis determines the 'last modification date' by reading the header codes returned by the server when a page is requested. So, websites setting the 'date of the day' instead of the 'last modification date' of a page render the test impossible; i.e. some pages might be 'old' but they are not visible... we therefore cannot establish which elements should be 'updated' on the related sites.
However, what should be kept in mind is that updated information increases recurrent traffic, customer satisfaction and therefore helps building trust! - in addition to the fact that old content should be examined to ensure it is still relevant!?!...
 
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