When we speak of web design it is a vast subject. What with old technologies and new one's being introduced there is maddening confusion as to what is a standard.
Well the technologies are generally bounded by the purpose and the type of the website. For say a static personal website may not require interactive features and the size may be limited. Hence the site will be easily manageable as well. But in case of an e commerce website or a corporate website there will be greater interactivity and the size may be mind boggling. In such case technology used may be different with lot of scripting and content management systems along with greater utilities and functionality.
For interactive web sites a web design company should have unique content writers, expert programmers and web designers in the team. But web designing does not end here proper planning and implementation is required. The web page designer should have first hand knowledge of the client site, the web as whole and user preferences before technologies perform their magic. That simply means there is lot human angle to web designing.
User are not impressed by technologies or what wonders it can do to make the designing task easier etc. In case of users, the friendly lay out and easy navigation means a lot. Then the content and utilities matters since the web visitor should find what he or she is looking for with ease. Information which is unique and relevant in nature means a lot to the user.
Search engine have learned to ascertain the above factors since they also consider that website is for users. In due process their algorithms make out besides the above many other factors. Some aspects that search engine rate a site higher are by its downloading speed, proper declaration of DTD and character sets, server query load, compatibility with web browsers and operating systems. They are also able to determine the internal architecture of the site.
There are some limitations under which the spiders works which the web designer should be aware of or he should consult a good search engine optimization specialist. Thus elements which search engine spiders and algorithms are not able to render correctly or are confused by should be avoided in website design and development process.
But over all the user takes the cake so preference is to make the site user friendly and unique. Most important the query returned is what the user types so make a well focused website rather than putting everything into one basket.