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Wishy Washy colours are useless

Community Veteran
Posts: 17,550
Thanks: 1,519
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Wishy Washy colours are useless

Two days ago, I made a reference to the bottom paragraph on the PlusNet home page, regarding the wishy washy colour of the text which is near impossible to read.....
In the Plain English thread, I refer you to reply number 7 from me....
reply number 8 and also reply number 10....
Whilst you may not consider 3 out of thousands that agree on this matter, perhaps it is possible that the "thousands" have not even seen it....
Wishy Washy colours may be trendy in website production, however, they should be used with care, and as a background only, especially where text is concerned..... The whole idea of text is to "communicate" with the person viewing it..... if the person cannot view it, then what is the point of putting it there in the first place..... if it is an important element of PlusNet operation, then surely it should appear as such. IMPORTANT.  or emphasised, not left in the shadows...
Could it be rectified      sooner than later.....?
14 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

I hadn't noticed it - it is just like you get in Word in the header and footer when they are not selected.
That is the most appalling piece of website design I have seen in a long time
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Ah-ha! This text is actually not supposed to be read. It's PlusNet's stupid 'search engine optimisation' which I have previously campaigned to have eradicated (with partial success). Basically, it's there just to add a bunch of keywords to the home page for search engine spiders to pick up on in order to try and increase the rank of the website in search results.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,012
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Rarely go to the Home Page myself, but you are oh so right.
Come on Plusnet please rectify this.
Tony_W
Grafter
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Whenever you see these difficult to read colour combinations, you can select the section using the mouse (click and drag over it). This allows the section the be easily read.
Tony
Community Veteran
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Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Which is what I pointed out in my post referred to in the original post on this thread.....!! Doh!....
The point I am trying to make is that IF PlusNet think the information contained in that paragraph is IMPORTANT (not shouting) then it should be readable  by the viewer, and not in an indistinct colour.....
The reader of anything on the net, can use the method described to make something more visible, but I think in this case the wishy washy colour it is presented in makes it almost invisible, as others have pointed out.....
Why should we have to correct the error of the website designer?
He / She got paid for doing it.... and it is obviously a problem to more than just me..... so he /she should correct the "mistake" and prove his / her wages were worth paying.....
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,550
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Quote

Ah-ha! This text is actually not supposed to be read. It's PlusNet's stupid 'search engine optimisation'

I detect a little "tongue in cheek" with that, as I suspect the SEO (search engine optimisation) technques do not recognise the colour of the text, more to do with the actual "content" of the text.... Cool Roll eyes
Community Veteran
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Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

No tongue in cheek: the reason the text is a hard-to-read colour is because PlusNet don't intend for their customers to read the text. Indeed, it appears they don't actually want the customers to notice the text, which is what seems to happen in most cases. (I guess the only reason they don't make the text completely white is because it'd then appear strange if someone did do the highlighting trick and found 'hidden' text.)
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 691
Registered: 12-04-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

I do actually agree with you personally that this text should be black and legible.  But our web designers felt that it would be easier on the eye to fade it out.  And you are correct in your statement that the primary target of that text is Google rather than a human reader..   We discussed this in another thread where Thomas made the point that similar text on the webcams pages (again put there for SEO purposes) was embarassingly bad.  If you'll remember we removed that immediately.
What we will not do is to potentially affect the volume of search engine traffic to our home page by removing a block of text that is proven to help potential customers find our website.  I won't make any apologies on anyone's behalf for wanting new customers find PlusNet on Google, if they are searching for a good deal on broadband.
It's a tricky business is the art of getting your pages ranked highly on Google.. I've blogged about it.  You might've read how even celebrities these days are getting into SEO.
Community Veteran
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Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

I still don`t get the point that a piece of  electronic equipment, that deals in 0 and 1 as its primary method of communication can distinguish between black text on white background, and light grey text on a white background.  Surely you are not telling me that the SEO can do this? and because it can do this, us humans have to strain our eyes to read the text.  The information contained in that section of the website  is potentially just as interesting, if not more so, to "new customers" as all the rest of the information..... to take it a step further..... if the SEO can only read greyed out text, are you telling me , (and everyone else) that the rest of the web page is not read by the SEO, and therefore is not important to it?
No one is asking that the text should be removed
Quote

What we will not do is to potentially affect the volume of search engine traffic to our home page by removing a block of text that is proven to help potential customers find our website.

What I, and a few others are saying is..... make it readable.... it can`t be that difficult.... the rest of the page is.....

Community Veteran
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Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Shutter, you're missing the point: PlusNet were trying to hide the text by making it grey. The colour is nothing to do with its SEO function, it's to do with making the text less visible to humans, so they wouldn't spot it. I'm really not sure how else I can explain it. Huh
Peter - I'm not trying to suggest that you should deliberately reduce the number of hits to the website. Nor am I trying to tell you how to design your/PlusNet's website. But I do think that obviously SEO-based text looks tawdry. The text should, IMHO, be reworked so it seems like a proper useful piece of information, and made more visible, or it should be eradicated and other methods found for optimising the page.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,550
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Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

I may have missed the point, but your second paragraph has covered what point I was trying to make in the first place......
So which point did I miss? 
Plusnet puts the information as text..... seo can read black and white (or any combination of colours apparently) so why try to hide it..... The text will still do the same job in readable colour combinations as if it were greyed out to be almost invisible...
That was the point I made in the first place, and I am still sticking to it.... 
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
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Registered: 12-04-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Quote from: shutter
Surely you are not telling me that the SEO can do this? and because it can do this, us humans have to strain our eyes to read the text.

No, I'm saying that the text is made up of 'keywords' that we want to get picked up by Google and thereby increase the likelihood of our page appearing higher up in the results that Google displays.  Repeated use of the word 'broadband' makes it more likely that our web will be displayed if you search for "best award winning broadband" for example.  Go ahead try it.  You'll see that Zen are better 'optimised' for that search phrase than we are.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is the art of getting your web pages ranked higher in Google.  That's all it is.. there is always a lot to consider when we make significant changes to a page.
The reason we don't in fact make the text white on white is that some search engines 'understand' that you're trying to affect rankings by placing content purely for SEO purposes.. which brings me around to where I agreed with you in the first place that I think the text should be black and have equal value for humans as well as engines.  But that is in the hands of the graphics guys.  If I recommend that the text be made a darker grey we'd probably be able to reach a compromise?

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
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Registered: 12-04-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

Quote from: shutter
The text will still do the same job in readable colour combinations as if it were greyed out to be almost invisible... That was the point I made in the first place, and I am still sticking to it.... 

Yes, I think we are agreeing with each other on that point.
ddunford
Grafter
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Wishy Washy colours are useless

http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/002788.html
Looks like a good reason to me Cheesy