Comments on: Golden Spiders Take #1 Search Engine Optimisation Ireland Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:03:56 +0100 hourly 1 By: Golden Spiders Take #2 - Red Cardinal [.] ie Mon, 13 Jul 2009 16:22:10 +0000 [...] I wont go into the methodology used, full details of which are included in my first report (Golden Spiders Take #1). [...]

By: Siasy Mon, 19 Nov 2007 11:17:33 +0000 Isn’t it just a money making awards racket anyway – charge €150 per category to nominate yourself.
And then sell you a table of over-priced dinner tickets for the awards night…
it isn’t a scam but it is a money making venture – first and foremost.
Patting the backs of big players in the Irish financial and media market helps their profile as well.

By: Dara Walsh Wed, 08 Nov 2006 12:12:05 +0000 I must say I do like, i think its a lovely design and does exactly what it says on the tin, but I don’t think it does anything new.. ( unless I’ve missed something.) and maybe thats why it was overlooked.
Maybe it was just seen as just another property site.

Having said that daft and myhome haven’t really changed and they’re still nominated, but at same time they are very very sucessful sites. and are well known brands now.
would take a lot to kick these two off the top spot..

By: Naive by Design | The Golden Spiders are a Farce Wed, 08 Nov 2006 11:39:28 +0000 [...] Not only was Ken’s site passed for the shortlist, but those that did make it can only be described as amongst some of the most amateur and poorly executed sites on the web today. They display a complete lack of competence in the firms that created them. To think that these sites are the Fruit of the Web in the year 2006 is heart-breaking; but to know they come from Ireland is as surprising as the verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein. I’d like to review a handful of the sites from the category Ken entered to dispel the myth that they exhibit “excellence in design, functionality, creativity and innovation”. Richard Hearne has already reviewed the sites from the point of view of standards compliance, so I won’t repeat that here. His in-depth reports make for interesting, but depressing, reading. [...]

By: Richard Hearne Wed, 08 Nov 2006 10:19:27 +0000 Hi Dara

You can get a feel for the number of problems from the Total Validator (‘TV’) figures. ‘TV core’ relate to parsing errors, ‘TV HTML’ are HTML errors and ‘TV WCAG’ are accessibility errors. The numbers in each column give you the number of errors returned by this test.

I will be posting some info on the most common errors I found during the testing when I get a chance.

Rgds and thanks for your comment (which touches on a lot of important issues for any site).


By: Dara Walsh Wed, 08 Nov 2006 10:02:22 +0000 Hi
firstly i like what you have done and agree standards are important. I agree with David, and also have a site shortlisted…and and I know some of the code isn’t validating.. and trying to rectify to be honest. Some funny things happening where the validator is picking up html within my javascript and failing it even though its valid code.

I’d be interested to see of those that failed some sort of scale of how critical or badly they failed.

I know I have a few alt tags missing on images which maybe make a rounded corner on a box, and should possibly just have a empty alt tag instead of none.. but it can be easy to fail a vaidator over something really simple and non-critical. Not trying to excuse sloppy or lazy coding.

I’d say its more important to ensure that it displays well cross browser, degrades gracefully in older browsers. Accessability is important also. But I think if it does what its meant to do, and meets your objectives that maybe this is where the goldenspiders are coming from and anyway.

anyway, its good for business, good pr and its nice to get recognition externally..


By: Mojo Tue, 07 Nov 2006 17:23:43 +0000 Dave, there’s no real need to defend yourself to be honest. The Raymond Potterton site is nicely designed and the fact that you’re using XHTML/CSS, unlike many of the shortlisted entrants, speaks volumes.

As you said, it’s nice to be shortlisted and it’s good for business. Aside from the low standards of many of those shortlisted and its overall effect on this industry, this was my secondary argument. Yes I paid 100 Euro to enter and no I didn’t get shortlisted, with linkage to my small new business – beaten by far inferior sites. Hardly fair I think (especially considering 3 of the judges are my direct competition)

By: Richard Hearne Tue, 07 Nov 2006 14:42:24 +0000 Hi Dave

The exercise was simply to show that many, if not most, of the sites nominated have very poor coding standards.

I agree that some of the sites are good (I haven’t had time to take as detailed a look as I would like), but I do intend doing some subjective analysis of one or two of the websites covered.

I am very interested in any follow-on thoughts you have. Do please post a link or email me when you you have some further input on this.

Thanks for your comment.



By: David Behan Tue, 07 Nov 2006 13:14:30 +0000 Hi,

Very interesting posts about the Golden Spiders. I understand where you are coming from on the issue of standards. I’ve actually got one of the sites that I have done, up for nomination (it won’t take you long to find out which one) and after viewing this, I doubled checked the site and fixed up some bits and pieces to make it fully compliant (well, the home page anyway… need a little bit more work on the inside cms pages I think). When the site was originally launched, it was tested for all but the WAVE test above and all seemed fine. Even my IE hacks in the CSS validated a couple of months ago but now have been fixed to compliant standards. Anywho… that’s a side point…

You’re making some good valid points on the whole compliant issue but at the same time, I’m very proud to have a site up for the awards this year. Whether the site wins or not, it will still help boost my business IMO. So, are people saying that winning a Golden Spider is pointless or doesn’t mean anything because the general standard is low? I don’t think all the sites up for nomination are bad… some are suspect alright and yes, I agree the compliance issue needs to be addressed. I may be biased but I actually think the site that I have up for nomination is quite a good site and has gotten some good reviews from users and web pros alike.

To conclude, good work (and I’d say a good bit of time went into it) on the analysis of compliancy of nominations. You’ve actually given me and idea along with some other posts from Michele and a couple of others, which I’ll discuss on another site, which is a little off topic here but I’ll post a link when I’ve done it. Rgds,


By: David Doran Mon, 06 Nov 2006 19:28:14 +0000 Great work.
I am amazed by the Golden Spiders.
Even the Golden Spiders awards website isn’t great – they use image links and it all looks stale.
And of course it doesn’t validate.
Golden Spiders – keeping the standards where they are!

By: bod Mon, 06 Nov 2006 10:43:33 +0000 Well done Richard for illuminating how does such poor web design and development content continually get to win awards in Ireland against all common sense and set industry standards – maybe now this exposure will start to filter through to the media and the general public.

There’s also the other side to the awards which are equally farcical – where sponsors and judges can also be nominees and put forward their own sites for awards…

…a comedy of errors!

By: Cormac Sun, 05 Nov 2006 13:52:19 +0000 This pretty much is the media.

If you’re going to approach a website which sprouts on about wining a Golden Spider Award but you don’t have a clue what the Golden Spiders are then you should google it. Hopefully then you will see articles like Richards which illustrate the farce of the awards.

By: Mojo Sun, 05 Nov 2006 12:50:45 +0000 How do we make patrons of web design sit up and take notice that they’re being ripped off by cowboys? We need to take this to the media.

By: Golden Spiders Take #2 | Search Engine Optimisation Ireland .:. Red Cardinal Sun, 05 Nov 2006 12:33:32 +0000 [...] I wont go into the methodology used, full details of which are included in my first report (Golden Spiders Take #1). [...]

By: Richardo Sun, 05 Nov 2006 11:12:21 +0000 So our “Oscars” are rewarding sites that fail to adhere to basic standards.

This is equivalent to awarding architecture awards to buildings that have rotten foundations and shoddy workmanship – they may look good from a distance, but they are bad buildings.

Frankly this is scary. The public, and businesses in particular are being duped by a clique into thinking that the Golden Spiders indicate a “a high standard of excellence”.

High standards in low places or low standards in high places?

By: Golden Spider Awards? - Irish SEO, Marketing & Webmaster Discussion Sun, 05 Nov 2006 11:07:37 +0000 [...] Originally Posted by blacknight Maybe it’s time that we in the industry organised our own awards? My blood is boiling. I have just been reading Richard’s blog. Something has to be done. One wee suggestion: How about we set up a site that tells it as it is? With our combined expertise, particularly in SEO, we should be able to get it up there with the other site. Let the public, and particularly Irish industry know what lies behind the farce that calls itself the "Oscars of the Internet Industry", and how they have been conned by an elitist clique [who frankly wouldn't know a good website if it jumped up and bit them]. And I am all behind a new standard of award. I know I won’t win any, but its time something serious was done. __________________ | | Blog [...]