Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?
More SEO Content
Css Design Vs. Table Design - Effects In Seo
Posted 03 August 2006 - 06:20 AM
Long time no discussion...
It's been awhile since I came back to the forum to discuss great ideas and solutions with you. But I'm back and I have tons of ideas and doubts that have been on my mind for the past months.
Anyway, let's get to the topic:
In the last couple of months I've working a lot with CSS. Thanks to this technology, I've been able to improve my designs and literally think out of the box. However, I haven't started a SEO campaign with any of the CSS Designs.
I couldn't help thinking about the early days of SEO when there were all these theories that help you structure the content with tables. One of the old myths, which I still believe, was that the more complex the table structure of the website is; the more difficult it is for the search engine crawlers to find the information. There’s where the old concept of SEARCH ENGINE FREINLY DESIGN comes into the picture.
One the top competitors of the company that I work for has a SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY DESING. By this I mean, a very simple three columns, no rows, no inside tables. The information is displayed in the simplest way ever. This is certainly a concept that I disagree with. My designs are well structure and apart from being pretty and catchy to the eyes of future clients the do rank very well in the search engines. So you guys may be asking your self, what's my problem?
My problem is that even thought I rank in the top ten for almost the 75% of all the keywords that my competitors has also targeted, they are always on the top. These guys have no clue whatsoever of good SEO, the stuff keywords everywhere in their pages; however (and here comes my theory), because the fact that search engine Crawlers/bots do not have to spend a lot time drilling the table structure and they find the information right there, the crawlers rank my competitor faster and better. On the other hand, my design is excellent, well table-structured but the crawlers have to go down a couple of levels into the structure to find the information, I'm always behind my competitors. I know that even though many of my clients design to buy the products that we sell, the fact remains the same, who’s on the top is more visible; therefore, it has a bigger chance to sell more.
Now the real question and juice comes along:
What would happen if I provide the search engines with the same design, not table structured anymore but CSS. Since CSS and Content work separately but are joint to together by the code, maybe the crawler will not have to struggle with the structure, find all the information right away and rank me better.
I know it's a very silly theory, but hey guys think about it. A CSS design without the CSS is pure content. The CSS is to organize the content and display it better. The content stands alone and the crawler doesn't mind about the CSS, does it?
Ok, let's start this forum, I'm already excited on all the replies, but this can certainly make our job easier.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:20 AM
Sure there are rare instances where the table code is so bungled that the content can't be crawled, but that's another story. If you had valid nested tables and valid css you're not going to see any difference in rankings because of the coding methods used.
There are a ton of good reasons to use CSS. SEO is not one of them though.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:32 AM
Thanks for you answer. I guess you are more experienced in this matter than me. However, how can you beat up this "search engine friendly design" websites. Are there then problems with tables and crawlers finding the content? Don't get me wrong, the googlebot gets every single keyword in my website, but would it make it easier if the table strcuture wasn't that complicated?
Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:50 AM
No. And there have never been problems, if the tables have been coded correctly.
The problem has never been Tables, just shoddy coding. Tables just got the blame.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:53 AM
I use both table and css layouts in my sites and I don't see any difference. You can use CSS to style tables just like you can style DIVs with it. Using CSS in external stylesheets does make the code lean by clearing the attributes from the html tags.
I have found that I get a more consistent cross-browser appearance when I use DIVs with CSS than I've been able to obtain styling tables with CSS.
As mentioned though, my traffic on the table layout sites is really not adversely affected (in terms of SEO) in comparison to my css sites.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:56 AM
Tables not properly nested and/or "tag overlap" (what I call it, can't remember the official term) can mess things up.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 09:04 AM
The largest expense in running a website (exluding promotion and content development) is maintenance. To be successful, you need to optimize your maintenance expense. Money saved on maintenance is money that can be spent on promotion and content development.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 09:19 AM
While I can't wait to see the day that CSS positioning is universally compatible, I don't trust it to render consistently across all browsers. I use it for styling, but will continue to use tables for structure until I have confidence that every likely viewer of my site will see something very close to what I intended.
Posted 03 August 2006 - 05:04 PM
Tables aren't always a piece of cake across-the-board either.
Why not keep the old table layout and redesign the same content with CSS, use a browser detector and only serve the tables to old clunker browsers. Then when "the day that CSS positioning is universally compatible" does come, you'll already be in the saddle.
Tableless designs load fast. One good reason to use CSS.
Posted 04 August 2006 - 05:14 AM
You're the best . Excellent insides on CSS Technology. I thought that this technology could improve and make our job better, I mean in SEO terms. From I designer point of view you can do anything you want. Moreover, It's always content, just a nice and pretty way to present it.
Thanks for all the advice. However, if you have any insides on how CSS Technology makes our job easier please feel free to post it. Sharing is KNOWLEDGE,
Take it easy...
Posted 04 August 2006 - 09:58 AM
Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:10 AM
Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:46 AM
I know to hard-core CSS enthusiasts, my reluctance seems simple-minded. But, though clunky old browsers only make up a small segment of my market, I don't want to alienate them. As a fair portion of my customer base are older, and at least potentially on older machines w/ older software ... I am very hesitant to do anything that might give them pause, or cause them to shop elsewhere.
On the other hand, my pages are still much heavier than I would prefer, and slow load times are likely behind a good percent of my bounces. Any improvement in load times would be a huge benefit (I've got a lot of images , and that part won't change, much anyway)
Posted 04 August 2006 - 02:43 PM
If cross-browser compatibility is what you're after, then go with HTML 4.0 tables and 1px transparent spacer gifs. You won't get more cross-browser compatible with anything else. It'll always render the way you want it to.. But don't complain come time to modify the code if your head feels like it's going to explode.
If you want maintanability (especially if your content is written dynamically) then use CSS. Far easier to look a piece of code that loops through and writes a bunch of divs out than it is to look at a piece of code that loops through and attempts to figure out where the tds, trs and ths go in order to generate a valid HTML table... Just be prepared to jump through some CSS hoops to get things to look the same in all browsers.
Posted 04 August 2006 - 02:48 PM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users