Interpublic Invests in Huge: But Is Huge's Web Site Any Good?
Ad holding company Interpublic announced that it has bought a majority interest in Huge, a digital design shop. Because I've recently been on the war path against the crappy websites maintained by large ad agencies, I wanted to check out the site of Huge.com, to see what shape it was in, and what such shape might tell us about Huge's digital prowess. Here's what I found:
Compared to the sites maintained by old line ad agencies, HugeInc.com is significantly better, but still needs help in terms of usability and search engine fitness. While it does make good use of metatags (yes, Virginia, you still need to pay attention to them, because they'll be used as the descriptions on SERPs), the site should add TITLE tags to its home page index.html file. This title tag can be populated with the same text used in the META tag ("HUGE is a strategic design organization that develops commercially successful websites, software applications, branding solutions, and more)." Frankly, I don't think a lot of people are going to be searching on these terms, so I'd throw them out and start over.
It looks like somebody at HugeInc.com has been studying SEO. The site's main content areas ("Process," "Our Work," "News," "Why We're Different") are all hosted on static pages, which is a good thing, and they do have unique TITLE statements, which is also good. Not so good, however, is HugeInc.com's crappy URL formation. For example the URL for the page for its AtlanticRecords client page is: http://www.hugeinc.com/casestudies/clients.php?ID=14
This URL would work much harder with search engines if it read:
http://www.hugeinc.com/casestudies/atlanticrecords.html. Accomplishing this no harder than installing the right Blog plug-in.
When I test-drove HugeInc.com this morning, I noticed that the site was not always available (other sites were). This may have been due to the site being under a heavy load from all of the press coverage about the Interpublic announcement, so it's probably just a temporary bug.
Again, HugeInc.com is many steps above your typical ad agency site. The signs of obvious cluelessness are minimal, the site is generally usable and its minor infirmities could be easily improved with just a few tweaks. Best of all, HugeInc.com makes controlled use of Flash, which tends to sprout like unwanted Kudzo on other ad agency site.
It's refreshing to see an ad agency site that doesn't suck outright. Good job, Huge, you've got a clue!
Searchability/Usability Score: B