Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Do Web Standards Help SEO?

I myself have often searched around for a set of do x, y, z and it will improve your rankings but with no concrete results. I've come to the conclusion that good quality SEO begins as soon as you start that first HTML tag. By this I mean that if you follow the standards, your site will always rank well, but what are my reasons for this sweeping statement?

Well, when I write code to import or manipulate data (be it in .Net or some other language), it has to be in a certain fassion or else it will not get split how I want it. One characeter in a possition it was not expecting too be in can cause many issues and throw off the complete algorithum and the remaining data, or in an extreame case cause an error. So it makes sense that in order to index a page, the easier it is for the spider to crawl the site, the better.

Since the spiders are effectivly taking the content and splitting it down into sections so it can pull out what items it needs to read and what it doesn't then the more rigid a document the better. Taking the CSS and XHTML standards seriously gives the spiders a guide of what to look for and where they expect it to be so in theory should index a site well.

Or would it? Since the spiders appear to only pull out the elements they require such as the hyperlink tags () and then scan for heading tags and paragraph tags then why would the document need to be in the correct mannor? It might be that they don't even bother to look towards standards and these web standards are mainly to help browser developers to display pages consitently.

This is only my option but I would say that sticking to the rules for generating a website (i.e. adhearing to web standards) is a must and can only increase your ranking. But perhaps not because the site is well structured, more it is easier for a person to read and reccomend. So do the standards help? I would have to say yes.

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