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« You Can Be Successful Online Without Programming Skills | Main | Who Else Wants Great Clients? »

Clean Code and Better SEO

Yesterday evening I had a short telephone conversation with one of my friends.  He maintains a very large web site that gets tens of thousands of visitors daily.  A few months ago we sat down for dinner and he told me about some of the changes he was making to his web site.  At that time, he was in the arduous process of cleaning up his code.   The end result was well worth his time.

Sloppy Code and SEO
Search Engines don't like sloppy code.  Think of it like trying to read someone's really sloppy hand writing. Now imagine having to read through pages of sloppy handwriting.  There probably would come a point in time when you would want to give up.  The search engine spiders are the same way. If there is a significant amount of code that is clogging up your individual pages the search engine spiders just stop.  This has a negative impact on your search engine optimization.

Recently Google has become much better with reading CSS and Javascript. You can still miss out on getting important pages indexed properly or not indexed at all. It is in your best interest to keep your code very clean.


Using Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets are helpful in keeping your code clean.  It also reduces the size of individual pages and minimizes download time.  Learn more about CSS (external link). My friend who recoded his site noticed a significant reduction in data transfer and faster loading pages.  Creating links to style sheets files instead of having the styles defined in each document is one of the easiest ways to keep your code clean.  Bottle up your Javascript and place it into individual files.  This will help spiders get to the core of your content. If you are using tables for formatting try replacing them with style sheets.

There are going to be a few people who can automatically grab on to the information in this post and quickly apply the simple suggestions. What's more important is understanding that CSS can help create a more efficient and streamlined code that is search engine friendly.  If you're contracted with a web development company ask them how they're using Style Sheets to optimize your site.  You can probably find someone local who programs web sites that might be able to help.

My friend who recoded his web site noticed a significant increase in search traffic from Google.  He was getting thousands of additional visitors daily because of cleaning up his code. At the same time he had the usability benefit of faster loading pages.  This never fetches complaints from users.  CSS and SEO are important, but be careful not to over focus on one technique or solution.  It might be the small things that count, but you still need a comprehensive strategy and approach.

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Comments

SEO Elite Fan

I agree completely with this article..

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