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The Love Principle

(An article by Clive Knowles of Goldhosts December 2013)

I have used the Love Principal as an example of how a website should be viewed for a number of years now. Finally it is time to put it on the website...

The basic premise of the love principal is aimed at Search Engine Optimisation, and it primarily is a way of thinking like a search engine.

How a search engine works

A search engine is actually made up of many parts. The one you see everyday is the place you go to do a search for something. This then shows you a list of results. The secondary part, which people only see when they start asking the right questions, is called the robot. A Search Engine's robot ("bot" or "spider") trawls around the entire web looking for websites and pages to list in the aforementioned results. The third major part of the search engine is it's indexing. The Indexing uses the search engine's algorithm to order the results. The Love Principal is aimed squarely at the algorithm.

What is a Search Engine Algorithm?

Each Search Engine needs to list the results it provides in order. The aim of the search engine is to list these, with the best results at the top. The reason Google works so well is that the algorithm puts the best results at the top, so you can easily find what you are looking for. In reality, the algorithm helps the search engine rank the results, by providing different scores for all of the results which could be returned.

An Example. If there are 50 plumbers in Ashford, and ten of those have websites, which one should be listed first? The answer of course is the one with the best, and most relevant website. So what determines the best?


A search engine measures all of the metrics it can for a website. Examples are number of pages, speed which the page loads, how many times the related words appear on a page. Any way which the automated systems of a search engine can measure a website or page can be considered a metric.

The algorithm takes all of the metrics, and balances them against each other, some metrics matter more than others, but collectively they equate to a score.

It is this score that the search engine uses when deciding what order to show each page in.

So what's this Love Principal got to do with it..?

The answer becomes obvious when you think about it. The plumber who hates his website may only have bothered with 1 or 2 pages. The plumber who loves his website will have 40 or 50 pages, with testimonials and case studies.

In fact, every metric you could think of will make a difference:

The number of words on a page;
The number of pages on a website;
How often the website is updated;
The age and registration length of a domain name;
The quality of the website hosting;
The quality of the code in a website (Reactive features, ++);
The number and quality of links to a website...

...basically anything which a computer-program can measure. (Note: This is by far not an exhaustive list, it is estimated that Google alone use between 1000 and 1200 metrics.)

Why is it this way?

By providing results, with loved websites at the top, the search engine is giving the end user the best and most up-to-date information. Google has become number one in most of the world because it gets the result right most often.

So if you apply the Love Principal to your website, you too can see better results.

Real Life Example

We built a website back in the late 1990's. It has been through several re-designs, and make-overs. The latest came in 2012/3 when the site was re-designed and re-coded from the ground up. During this process the owners decided to update the images and text on all of the 900+ products.

Some of the product descriptions were still the same as they were when the site was originally built. Some of the products had only ever had an "awaiting photo" image. These were not core- or everyday-products, as those had seen regular updates. These "forgotten" products had barely sold at all. After the descriptions were changed from just a few words to a few paragraphs, these re-vamped products suddenly started to sell.

It all goes to show that "loving" your site, can bring in more business.

See also:

Domain Names and the Love Principal
Website hosting and the Love Principal