Beautiful websites do not necessarily guarantee traffic or popularity. Aesthetics do not translate to pageviews. Some truly awful websites are seeing internet fame despite their grotesque visual appearance and lack of functionality. What makes these bad sites so good is a topic of research for web developers and SEO experts.

No Uglybot

Google’s Page Ranker is the most common of the website popularity metrics. With an algorithm known only to the people at Google, the Page Rank looks at the searchability and number of views of a website. It uses a piece of programming called a robot to index every site based on its algorithm. These robots look at all kinds of tags and definition elements but it does not have anything to catalog ugliness. Google simply does not care if the site is hideous.

If you want to look at your site and see it the way that Google does, use www.browseo.net/ which will show you all of the internal and external links, as well as the heading tags for each page in the domain. If you want your site to be pretty by the standards of Google, name images with names that drive traffic back to your site. There are several website builders with templates that let you create image tags so search engines see the beauty beyond the code. If you’re not sure where to begin in the search for a website builder, best10websitebuilders.com provides information on the top rated builders including features, pricing and customer reviews. You can also compare builders before choosing the one best suited for what you need.

Kitsch Is King

A pageview is a pageview, no matter where it comes from. The website LingsCars.com has been touted for its ability to assault your eyes. Notice that there is a link to the page attached to this article. Odds are you just clicked the link and Ling gained another pageview. This click is noted by Google to make the site more popular with a higher page rank. The fact that people are looking at Ling’s site because of the chicken walking across the page or the psychedelic background means nothing to the pageview.

Things that shock the eye can also gain viewership. This is the success behind prank shows like JackAss and humor sites like Imgur. Recently, European produce marketers have used the concept to sell ugly fruit and vegetables. The campaign’s aim was to reduce waste from unsold produce, splashed images of traditionally deformed carrots, bruised bananas and pear-shaped apples across the internet. The result was a 24 percent increase in ugly produce sales.

Functionality Of Plain

Sometimes aesthetics detract from the functionality of a website. Ultimately, you want people to read your blog, click your links and buy your products. If they get caught up in the visual display of the site, your bounce rate may improve but your conversion rate may decline. Look at Google; no bells or whistles. It’s not ugly, but Google.com is practically bare with just its frequently-updated logo and a search bar, which really is all it needs; Google is a search engine after all, so anything else would be a distraction.

When designing your site, perform a quick analysis to identify the necessary site functions and what could potentially drive a user away from them. If it doesn’t enhance functionality, leave it out.