The internet is a very visual place. Photos, videos, memes, animated graphics, and company logos flood every social network. When used incorrectly, they also create clutter on websites.
One of the methods I use to gauge how often a website is updated is to look at the 3rd party logos used throughout the website. I'm especially critical of search engine optimization companies that tout their modern SEO services next to search engine logos that are more than 10 years old.
Here's one such cluster of search engine logos I found on the website jmdinternetmarketing.com:
You should never hire an SEO company that's using these logos. It's a clear sign that they don't know what they are doing. Here's why:
* Netscape hasn't used that square logo since 1993. Netscape is also part of AOL now.
* AOL hasn't used that logo since 2006.
* Ask Jeeves hasn't used that logo since 2008. In addition, they don't even use the "Jeeves" part of their name any more.
* Lycos hasn't used that logo since the late 90's. I haven't even seen Lycos on my search engine radar since about that time too.
* Altavista was bought by Yahoo in 2003 and is now a defunct search engine.
* That Yahoo logo was replaced in 2013.
* MSN was replaced by Bing in June 2009.
Jewelry Logos and Brands
SEO agencies are not the only companies to fall far behind in branded logo usage. Jewelry manufacturers and retail jewelers do it all the time.
There are a lot of designers and vendors in the jewelry industry. Mergers, acquisitions, and simple rebranding of products happen all the time. Some companies notify their business partners of the logo change, while others don't think of it.
A few years ago, Pandora Jewelry changed their logos as you see here:
Pandora, being the control freaks they are, made sure to notify all of their retail jewelers that the new logo needed to be changed on all websites and in all marketing material. Pandora even gave them a deadline for the change.
Every once in a while, I come across a few stragglers still using the old logo as you can see here on ridgleawatchandjewelry.com:
I feel it's the responsibility of the jewelry designer to notify all their retail jewelers when their logos have changed. They should also provide the needed artwork and vector graphics so the retail jewelers can change what's needed.
Some jewelers will postpone a logo swap because they don't want to pay their web designer to change logos and recreate needed artwork. Even though a jeweler should do this willingly, designers might have to make several requests.
Jewelry Organization Logos
Jewelry trade organizations also go through periodic rebranding. Those organizations usually provide logo artwork files to all members, but it's up to the members to do something with them.
Of all the jewelry organizations, it's the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) logo that bothers me the most, for good reason. IJO was my client from 2003 - 2008 and I did a lot of work with their rebranding campaign. Although I didn't create their logo, I was the guy who converted the logo into a usable format for their members.
Even though IJO begged all their members to update their ads and website, there are still websites using the old logos. Vendors and suppliers working with IJO are supposed to use this logo on their website:
Yet the cutbygauge.com website still has a logo that predates 2003 shown here:
(click to enlarge)
The wexlerinsurance.com website is not even using the official logo. They nabbed the "tab" logo from the website design I created for IJO. It's the purple tab you see here:
(click to enlarge)
MJSA is another organization that's struggling with logo recognition and replacement. All three of the logos you see here are still very common on the internet:
Incorrect and outdated logos are probably one of my biggest pet peeves about the internet. Perhaps the older generation doesn't care if logos are out dated; in fact, they might not even notice. However, logos are supposed to carry brand recognition which can't be achieved unless the brand identity is consistent.
Younger generations look for logos as a way to determine if they are in the right place and looking at the right product. If you don't keep them updated, you are only hurting yourself.
My final comment on this topic is that you need to take responsibility of keeping your website up to date. It's not your web designer's responsibility to pay attention to the logos on your site and swap them out when needed.