I suppose this is the question of the day.
I am currently working on some of my websites’ HTML code…trying to clean it up. The code itself is about three years old and a bit bulky. I am noticing a lot that doesn’t need to be there. The main thing I am coming across has to do with tables. When making an HTML table, you deal with a few tags, but the most frequent one you will come across is the “td” (table data) tag. For some reason, the developer used all “th” (table header) tags. I am not sure if there is much of a difference when it comes to SEO, but I am fixing them all to be “td” tags anyway. Also, I have a lot of nested tables. I can clean that up when I am really bored…one day.
Well, that had nothing to do with what this post is about. This may be more on track…since I am going through the pages, I thought it might be a good idea to run the pages I am working on through the W3C Markup Validation Service. Whether or not getting my pages closer to W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Compliance will have any effect on my rankings is to be seen. I don’t think it will, but I sure will let you know if it does.
What is W3C Compliance? Well, here is a great page on W3C Compliance and SEO. Give it a read and you may learn a little something. Here is a good thread on compliancy too.
What I am coming across when I run pages through the validator is many of my “alt” attributes are missing. No big deal…I’ll just put them in. There are a few more little things, but I am still coming up with about 40 something errors per page. Now, I am not going to be one of those people who sit up all night perfecting their websites to be 100% W3C Compliant, because the outcome isn’t sure to have much of an effect on my ranking anyway. When working on projects like this, you can go crazy. I know a guy who has a pagerank of 1 and has become absolutely obsessed with his site’s W3C Compliancy. I want to meet him, grab him by the shoulders, slap his face and tell him, “Dude, your site has no ranking whatsoever. Why in the world are you going crazy with this stuff?” This is an example of two things; 1. How many webmasters don’t keep their eye on the big picture, and 2. How violent I become when I am exposed to idiocy. And just to let you know, no, I have never met this person, he is a frequent writer on a web forum I visit a lot.
I had a little conversation with Paul this morning, who is into the web thing more and more these days. He is striving to break a million too. I mentioned that I was going to write a post on how (if) W3C Compliancy affects SEO. Before I could finish the sentence, he said, “No.” I told him that I wasn’t even finished talking yet and he became heated and through me out of his office. Just kidding, but he did say no.
He has been down the road of attempting to validate his sites and tells me it didn’t make much of a difference. So what does make the difference? Ahh, well, if you wanted to know that, I would have to ask for a teensy bit of money.