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Validating web page code for better SEO

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Let me start by asking one simple question. Would you turn in a resume to the job of your dreams, without spell checking it? If the answer is anything but no, then move along please, this article won't interest you. For those of us that would say yes, we must ask ourselves why we would not validate our web pages before turning them loose to the search engine spiders?

W3C the World Wide Web Consortium has set standards for a reason. It is so that there can be protocols and guidelines called W3C recommendations, set to ensure long term growth of the Internet. What does that mean to you? It means that the W3C is looking out for us. The want to make sure that some genius doesn't come along and completely revamp the way a browser looks at a web page, hence making ours unreadable. It also provides us a means of writing code that will look the same, or very similar across several browsers.

How does code validation effect search engine optimization?

It effects SEO for many reasons. Foremost, it provides easy to read code for the "spiders." Most search engine spiders are programmed to read code according to W3C. Although search engines are pretty good about overlooking most of our common errors, we are also pretty good about putting out some pretty sloppy code. What happens to our web page, if a spider comes across a tag that it doesn't recognize? There is a good chance that it may skip that section of the page, or even worse, move away from the page completely.

What are the benefits of validating the code?

Aside from just putting out a piece of work that is correct, it also shows an interested person, that you do things right, and you take pride in your work.

Here are some other things.

1. It ensures that your code conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium recommendations

2. Less chance that your visitors will run into problems with your web pages, because of code errors

3. Makes file sizes smaller and more easily understood by search engine spiders, thus making your website easier to index

4. Making sure that your site is Indexed the way you intend, ensures that you get the search engine ranking that you deserve

5. Enables visitors to experience your website in many browsers, the same way you see it

Ok, so how do we validate our pages?

After you have designed your page, and you think that you have it correct, make sure that you have declared a doctype. Here is a list of recommended doctypes.

Next, you can go to many different places online to have your code validated. If you are using an editor, such as Dreamweaver, some versions even have a built in validator. I prefer validate directly from the W3C. Once you are validated, you get a nifty little icon from them to show that you have validated.

About the author:

Jamey Perkins has spent the last few years working in website design. He is currently studying SEO techniques to further provide better service to his web design clients. You can visit his website on Search Engine Optimization and learn more about his techniques.

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