I work hard to make clean code but even Googles pages donít validate!
I am sure valid code canít hurt but have you ever seen your rank increase with just cleaning up bad code?
it seems to depend on who you ask.
a lot of people in this forum will run your site through an html validator and judge your website soley on the outcome of the report...
i think thats misguided. good, clean html is kind of important but i dont believe its going to make or break your site. so long as the search engines are able to navigate through the site it should be fine.
id run a search on whatever search terms you are focusing on and then compare your site to the the top ranking sites for the search term. maybe run them through one of the html validators and see if the sites that rank ahead of you have better formed html.
if they do, then maybe you should look into cleaning your code a bit. but my guess it that it wont matter too much.
i have pages that rank #1 for keyword terms that have terrible html code and i have pages with perfect html code that dont show up at all for keyword terms.
I think nobody does that - just "cleaning up" the code. Bad coded sites usually have a whole bunch of problems, which usually get addressed all at once.Originally Posted by suesheboy
For example, most do not have proper semantic markup (or none at all). So, you are going to change that as well. But in doing so, you are raising concerns about the texts itself, and most of the texts will undergo changes, too: Different headlines, different teasers, different paragraph structures. Different titles, different ALT and TITLE attributes. Different link texts. etc. etc.
So the process of "cleaning up" is a rather manifold process.
Having said that: Yes, I have seen dramatic changes. For example, I took CTABUKs "old" content (after his site crashed), changed it a bit, weeded out unnecessary parts, added proper semantic markup, put it in a clean structure and, of course, validated the pages. All this *together* resulted in roughgly doubling the number of visitors.
Again, let me stress it: Purely "cleaning up code" won't help you much (unless your code is reeeaaallly crappy). It is the new "awareness" of the fact that all parts of a website have to play together, and that in the end your code shows the way you go about your business.
Once you've grasped that holistic concept, you don't think any more about it. You just do it.
Just my thoughts and experience,
Faglork hit the nail on the head that when the code is real bad usually other factors are atrocious as well.
The question I pose them is it worth the effort to do CPR on code then tweak the site for the host of other problems or wait longer to do everything at once.
Both of these posts, by ccroke and faglork, bring up excellent points!
Alex (faglork) is one of the premiere sources in the world for web code, css, and anything web. For those old enough to remember these old ads, he's like E.F. Hutton - when he speaks ....
My position is that valid code is important to SEO.
Not in the sense that non-valid code won't or can't rank, but it ensures that there are no show-stoppers in the code preventing good indexing.
Is it necessary, no, not if your code can be crawled by the bots without issue. For me, the way to ensure this is to ensure that the code validates. Chris (ccrooke) brings up a good point to this end.
For me, another great thing about code validation, especially when done through W3C, is that you have the option to "show outline" which gives you an outline of your usage of headings.
Yes, simply "cleaning" will not suffice. Having good schematics throughout with clean code will make a world of difference though, as faglork points out about his redesing for ctabuk.
Is clean, valid code necessary? It can't hurt.
W. R. Mineo