Submitted in partial fulfilment
of the requirements for the degree
FACULTY OF BUSINESS INFORMATICS
CAPE PENINSULA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
|dc.description.abstract||Research has shown that most website developers first build a website
and only later focus on the ‘searchability’ and ‘visibility’ of the website.
Companies spend large amounts of money on the development of a
website which sadly cannot be indexed by search engines, is rejected by
directory editors and which is furthermore invisible to crawlers. The
primary objective of this dissertation is to compare and report on the
impact of text-based versus graphic-based hyperlinks on website visibility.
The method employed in the research was to develop two e-Commerce
based websites with the same functionality, contents and keywords,
however utilising different navigation schemes. The one website had all
hyperlinks coded in text-phrases, while the other embedded the hyperlinks
in graphics. Both websites were submitted to the same search engines at
the same time. A period of eight months was allowed to ensure that the
websites drew sufficient ‘hits’ to enable a comparative analysis to be
conducted. Two industry standard website ranking programs were used to
monitor how the two websites feature in the search engine rankings.
Graphs as well as text-based reports produced by the ranking programs
and the t-test were used to compare and analyse the results.
Evidence based on the reviewed literature indicated that there are
conflicting reports on the impact of text as opposed to graphic hyperlinks
on website visibility. However, there is unsupported evidence that text
hyperlinks achieved higher rankings than graphics-based hyperlinks.
Although the ‘human website browsers’ find a certain amount of graphical
aids conducive to easier navigation, ‘search engine crawlers’ find many of
these same graphic aids impossible to index. The study supported that the
graphic-based website ranked higher than the text-based website, which
calls for a balance to be found between these two extremes. This balance
would satisfy both ‘human website browsers’ and ‘search engine crawlers’.
It is posited by this author that this dissertation provides website designers
with the abilities to achieve such a balance.
search engines, hyperlinks, text, graphics, visibility, navigation, ecommerce,
|dc.publisher||Cape Peninsula University of Technology||en
|dc.subject||Web search engines||en_US
|dc.subject||Internet searching computers||en_US
|dc.subject||Computer network resources||en_US
|dc.subject||Web sites -- Evaluation||en_US
|dc.title||Visibility of e-commerce websites to search engines: a comparison between text-based and graphic-based hyperlinks||en_US