Entireweb Search Engine Top ad
Entireweb Poll
How often do you change your passwords?
Alternative 1 Once a week
Alternative 2 Every other week
Alternative 3 Once a month
Alternative 4 Every six months
Alternative 5 Rarely
Alternative 6 Never
View Results
New Free Service!
Our Keyword Analyzer tool is now freely available for unlimited use to all holders of Express Inclusion accounts (with no purchase necessary!) And we'll add more free tools soon! Sign up now!
Express Inclusion
Get your site noticed in a network with 100 million searches every month! Some of the world's most heavliy used meta search engines rely on Entireweb for providing quality search results. Make sure your site is not left out!
Advertising
Advertise with us and reach more than 430,000 active subscribers! You will reach a targeted audience of webmasters and siteowners within a couple of days.
Newsletter Archive
View all the past issues of the Entireweb Newsletter published to date: Over 230 articles written by experts in website and business promotion.
Free XML Feed
Do you want your own search engine? Do you want to get results for your meta search engine? With Entireweb's XML feed you can easily include our free search results into your services.
Top 10
The top 10 searches for countries throughout the Entireweb Network:
1.Canada
2.France
3.United States
4.Italy
5.England
6.Ireland
7.Germany
8.Spain
9.Holland
10.Brazil

Want to research your own keywords?
 

Entireweb Newsletter   •   July 4, 2006   •   ISSUE #245
If you can't see images, click here to view this newsletter online    •   Printer-friendly version


Do Search Engines Care About Valid HTML?

Like most web developers, I've heard a lot about the importance of valid html recently. I've read about how it makes it easier for people with disabilities to access your site, how it's more stable for browsers, and how it will make your site easier to be indexed by the search engines.

So when I set out to design my most recent site, I made sure that I validated each and every page of the site. But then I got to thinking while it may make my site easier to index, does that mean that it will improve my search engine rankings? How many of the top sites have valid html?


New tool: get top 10 rankings on Google & Yahoo!

To get a feel for how much value the search engines place on being html validated, I decided to do a little experiment. I started by downloading the handy Firefox HTML Validator Extension (http://users.skynet.be/mgueury/mozilla/) that shows in the corner of the browser whether or not the current page you are on is valid html. It shows a green check when the page is valid, an exclamation point when there are warnings, and a red x when there are serious errors.

I decided to use Yahoo! Buzz Index to determine the top 5 most searched terms for the day, which happened to be "World Cup 2006", "WWE", "FIFA", "Shakira", and "Paris Hilton". I then searched each term in the big three search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and MSN) and checked the top 10 results for each with the validator. That gave me 150 of the most important data points on the web for that day.

The results were particularly shocking to me only 7 of the 150 resulting pages had valid html (4.7%). 97 of the 150 had warnings (64.7%) while 46 of the 150 received the red x (30.7%). The results were pretty much independent of search engine or term. Google had only 4 out of 50 results validate (8%), MSN had 3 of 50 (6%), and Yahoo! had none. The term with the most valid results was "Paris Hilton" which turned up 3 of the 7 valid pages. Now I realize that this isn't a completely exhaustive study, but it at least shows that valid html doesn't seem to be much of a factor for the top searches on the top search engines.

Even more surprising was that none of the three search engines home pages validated! How important is valid html if Google, Yahoo!, and MSN don't even practice it themselves? It should be noted, however, that MSN's results page was valid html. Yahoo's homepage had 154 warnings, MSN's had 65, and Google's had 22. Google's search results page not only didn't validate, it had 6 errors!


Need Traffic?
Get listed in Entireweb  •  Mamma  •  Ixquick  •  KartOO
FindTarget  •  InfoGrid  •  WindSeek  •  Seek2Day
FlexFinder  •  Search66  •  eTools  •  WebFerret  ...
... within two business days!


No pay-per-click fees, no keyword bidding, just targeted traffic!
Click here for more information!

In perusing the web I also noticed that immensely popular sites like ESPN.com, IMDB, and MySpace don't validate. So what is one to conclude from all of this?

It's reasonable to conclude that at this time valid html isn't going to help you improve your search position. If it has any impact on results, it is minimal compared to other factors. The other reasons to use valid html are strong and I would still recommend all developers begin validating their sites; just don't expect that doing it will catapult you up the search rankings right now.


About the Author: Adam McFarland owns iPrioritize - to-do lists that can be edited at any time from any place in the world. Email, print, check from your mobile phone, subscribe via RSS, and share with others.


Entireweb SpeedyAds


 
Advertisement
Advertise here
 

Click here to discontinue mailings

If you can't see images, click here to view this newsletter online
Advertise  -  Affiliate  -  Contact Us  -  Privacy Policy  -  SpeedySpy  -  About Entireweb

Copyright - 2006 Entireweb