Sites that don't work: Reveal.ca

Greg pointed out a story at the Globe and Mail that covers Reveal.ca:

The creators of an all-business search engine want it to become "the bible" of small business.

"If I want to find a hotel in Banff, I just punch in 'hotel' and 'Banff' and I see a full listing of hotels in that community — not 850,000 hotel listings in Rome, Paris, or Detroit — just in Banff," Mr. Hamilton said.

Mmm...interesting, because when I search for hotel Banff, the entire first page of results are actual hotels in Banff. Since I can't bookmark search results on Reveal, I can't point you to the page of hotels in Banff that they offer.

Read on if you want to know the many, many ways that Reveal.ca breaks all the rules of Search Engine Voodoo.

  1. Code doesn't validate

    I had to override the doctype specification, since they didn't include one at all. Validation shows 39 errors on the front page alone. Don't even get me started on the terrible design and massive use of tables and font tags.

  2. URL Structure is non-existant

    There is no way to browse businesses, either by category or by region. Since I also can't bookmark search results, virtually all the content within the site is invisible to search engines.

  3. Individual pages use search-engine-unfriendly URLs

    You can link to individual entries, like for the Arrow Motel in Banff. The URL used (and the fact that there is no way to get to that page without searching) guarantees that that page will never be indexed (except, ironically, perhaps through the link I just posted).

OK, that's all I can stomach for the moment. Use of JavaScript for links and the unbelievable pricing for a Gold Membership are just some of the additional problems with the site.