Do you have Lorem Ipsum?

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Worst Practices  |  Case Studies

For many years, printers and designers have used a standard chunk of text as filler when they are creating a new piece to show what the font looks like. The same standard text, which begins with “Lorem ipsum” has been widely adopted by in recent years by Web designers and content creators as they build or modify sites.

Sometimes called “Greek” the passage is dummy text that approximates the normal distribution of letter and word counts. The dummy Lorem ipsum text is used because with real words (such as repeating a phrase like “insert text here”) humans will read the text and get distracted from the font and design choices that need to be made.

As marketers build out the content of Web sites, they often use Lorem ipsum. However, as sites are built out, sometimes people forget to remove portions of Lorem ipsum. A recent Google search turned up 404,000 hits for the phrase Lorem ipsum. Of course some of the hits are explanations of the text such as this post.

However, many cases of Lorum ipsum are just errors. Some of the more notable organizations with Lorem ipsum appearing in search results include KPMG, the University of Chicago and Liberty Media. Some of these examples were probably placeholder Web pages that were crawled by search engines but were then later updated with real text.

When Lorem ipsum is left on a live site, sometimes it seems to have been a forgotten inner page such as this PBS listing for a show called Earth on the Edge, or it is a new site that is in the midst of being created and is awaiting work such as Women’s Interactive Network, or maybe the copywriters just forgot to fill in the page with real text such as this real estate site promoting moving to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. (Note that these sites may be updated and Lorem ipsum removed after I post this...)

So what about your site? Do you have Lorem ipsum?