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Is It Important To Have Less Tags?
Posted 15 June 2005 - 03:52 PM
SEO experts speak a lot about putting on
the page the actual content as sooner as possible,
so for example the less HTML tags there are there,
How important this actually is?
I ask because we've asked an SEO/designers firm
to change the website template from lots and lots of tables
to something lighter using CSS that can be hidden
to a separate file, and they tell us the advantage
would be so marginal, that there is no point in it.
Could you please tell us if it's important or not?
Posted 15 June 2005 - 03:55 PM
In my opinion, as far as rankings in the search engines go, it's not at all important.
It's a nice thing to do to make your code better and lighter, but it won't help you rank any better, as far as I can tell.
The search engines know how to ignore superflous code and only bother to read and index the stuff that they know is important to them.
Posted 15 June 2005 - 05:23 PM
Posted 15 June 2005 - 05:56 PM
You know what happens when you assume!
Put it back and see if your rankings go down. I highly doubt it will unless of course that code is taking up 100k of space on your page!
Posted 15 June 2005 - 06:06 PM
No thanks, I'm not that currious. It was about 45K in size..
Posted 15 June 2005 - 07:47 PM
You can use it in the same way as a dummy table cell so that your page content precedes the navigation menu in the html. But if your only motive is to achieve that then why not just stick a dummy cell in and save the effort of a rebuild.
On the other hand, if you do go for CSS based design, there are a battery of improvements you can achieve, you can reduce page load times, improve accessibility and, once you have converted, future redesigns can be as simple as adding a new stylesheet.
Go for it!
Posted 17 June 2005 - 09:53 AM
If people are likely to do image searches for your keywords, the switch is worth doing. My client has seen a big increase in visitors that searched via image searches since we switched from tables to CSS. But then again, his products are very visually oriented products.
Even if your images are not likely search targets, I still favor the use of CSS for the possible load time improvement. If your file sizes are large, CSS can speed them up by up to a couple of seconds, which helps your visitors. And, after all, what will help our visitors should be the primary concern for us anyway, not what will get the attention of the search engines.
Posted 22 June 2005 - 01:56 PM
Posted 22 June 2005 - 02:28 PM
I disagree. Can you please show us some evidence of this actually happening?
Just because you may have seen people at forums post that, doesn't actually make it true.
Posted 22 June 2005 - 02:38 PM
I've seen some really code-heavy, hideously repetitive ,<font> <font> on every line, Word or Powerpoint-created pages that rank really well.
I've never seen a site where cleaning up the code helped the page to rank better.
It does however, make the page load faster and might help with abandonment issues and other usability things, so I do recommend cleaning up bulky code, but not for rankings.
Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:02 PM
Converting from tables to CSS will just make your life much easier when the site is redesigned or just tweaked - and give you lots of flexibilty to do things that takes loads of time to do now.
Vviewstate is a hidden form field that is used by .NET to maintain state for variables in fields on the page. As such, it is seen by a SE - just like a list item in a dropdown form field. Since it looks like random text - and I've seen some that were 126K in length on a complicated form - using that feature could cause SE indexing problems.
They may see it as stuffed text on a page?
Posted 22 June 2005 - 11:33 PM
It is something I learned with my personal experience rather than reading somewhere else on the Web!
Posted 22 June 2005 - 11:45 PM
Since rankings go up and down a few spots or more all the time, it's often very difficult to know for sure what the true cause is. Maybe it was the clean code, maybe not!
Posted 23 June 2005 - 02:38 AM
Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:57 AM
Thank you very much for your help.
Now I'll know what's important or not.
I guess I configured something wrong, so I didn't get email notification on your replies, or I would reply much sooner.
P.S. To Chief Botlte Washer Jill: thank you for your warm welcome. I've been reading your articles for a long time now and I'm actually a fan of yours.
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