I was assisting a client in moving their content from one company to another, and they had added an under construction page, and put up an icon to make people aware…BIG Mistake.

Don’t Use An Under Construction Page

I think that the “Under Construction page” should become a thing of the past. I think that putting up the under construction page forces Google, Yahoo and MSN to drop all of the links it had to all of the internal pages of your site.

This could set you back greatly because Google will check the site less for new content if it thinks that there is no content there and it will take longer once you remove the under construction page to re index and rank your site.

Websites are living, growing beings. They’re never “finished”

The primary fallacy of an under construction page is the idea that websites are like traditional buildings. When a building is under construction it is of no use whatsoever, however even a fledgling website, if done with thought, can be useful to visitors even if it doesn’t have every thing the creator imagined. Aside from the icons looking like they came from the 90’s dot com bubble, people can of course tell that site isn’t complete.

Don’t Have Stub Pages

As a site owner, you should know that Google doesn’t like “stubs” or placeholder pages that have little or no content. The best way to build your site, is to build it page by page, and publishing when it is filled out. This isn’t to say you can’t add embellishments, or more pictures later on. Ditch the cheesy gif files, and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was any good website.

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

  1. Hello Jeremy,
     
    I’m going to bust your chops a little on this post.  You are more then welcome to smack me upside the head later if you’d like.
    The ‘Under Construction’ concept should indeed become a thing of the past for many of the reasons you mentioned and probably some more after that.  However I disagree with a few things you wrote and am going to point them out.
    ”I think that putting up the under construction page forces Google, Yahoo and MSN to drop all of the links it had to all of the internal pages of your site.”
    This isn’t an accurate statement because if it was then you’d be saying that G.Y.M. only starts on the home page.  Search engine spiders follow links and have a huge database of web pages found on the Internet and therefore can find those pages regardless if your home page stops linking to them.
    Now what is likely to happen is that Google will visit your home page, find the ‘Under Construction’ logo and no links.  They will crawl the page like normal, their system will identify the change to the page from once having links to not having links at all and move on.  That might have a direct effect on your rankings that your home page may have typically but chances are Google will come back time and time again and only after a period of time will that particular page lose its value.
    The only reason your internal pages get hurt is because search engine spiders will see that one possibly valuable page no longer links to them.
    “The best way to build your site, is to build it page by page, and publishing it when it is filled out.”
    While this is always an option, if someone is launching a brand new website on a brand new domain it might be better that they build a flexible navigation where they can update footer links or navigation links by editing one single file.  They can then post their home page with no links, later add an about page and update their links and so on.
    There is no reason why a site can’t have a small amount of pages during launch and holding off until you are completely finished just means your website takes longer to attract the search engine spiders.
    Now of course if you are creating a huge network of pages that require some custom coding, a back end CMS and maybe even a design then it probably isn’t a good idea to launch something like that as it grows.
    Anyways, other then that I thought this post was OK.
    John Jones III
    – 10 minutes of SEO, SEM & Internet Marketing

  2. Thanks for the zingers, I don’t mind a good critique. You’re right, in the fact that GYM doesn’t start from your homepage, they look at your link structure. But I think that in the long run that removing your homepage by placing it under construction is akin to killing the conductor of an orchestra. Of course each band member can still play their part, and may even be able to interact with a few other band members, the whole thing loses it primary direction. Over time, I believe that without the direction of the site from the home page the individual pages will atrophy on the SERPS, so you’re still killing yourself by putting up the Under Construction page.

    Perhaps I went to far in saying that is the “best way”, as there are a couple of different methods of building sites. However, I think you would agree that posting up links to pages that say “under construction” should be avoided like the plague. 🙂

  3. I’ll agree that in the long run an ‘Under Construction’ icon on your main page and / or the removal of all internal links is a bad practice. These days the web community uses the word, “Beta” is some way or another instead which indicates to the users that the site is still in development. Those kinds of sites still provided some kind of value for anyone visiting the site while it is being added to.
    Your analogy between an orchestra’s conductor and the band is a good one. Depending on the size of your site that might be as simple as it is. However let’s say that your website was Amazon.com. What you end up with is the category pages serving more of a conductor for their grouped pages while the home page acts as a conductor for those categories. Should you cut the home page out by putting an ‘Under Construction’ page up then the category and the pages within will still do its job just fine.
    Over time not having a home page with links to internal pages can and will probably hurt a website. However, hopefully an ‘Under Construction’ page will only be temporary if used at all.
    I do agree with you that no one should be sending traffic or search engines to a page that has very little to no value or would be considered a dead end page.
    John Jones III
    – 10 minutes of SEO, SEM & Internet Marketing

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