Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Analyse your code efficiency for better SEO

The Search Engine Code Efficiency analyses how many lines of code are contained in the source of a website's code prior to the Body tag. The Body tag is where the body copy content is located and what search engines typically look for.

By reducing the number of lines of code before the Body tag this will improve the efficiency by which the search engines will index the website.

Designers are recommended to consider inserting content following the Body tag across the website to increase visibility to search engines. This can be achieved through a technique called ‘absolute positioning’.

So what is the importance of Search Engine Code Efficiency?

As search engines interpret the HTML code of websites from the top of the page to the bottom of the page - reading the content from left to right - the spider or crawler often gives up before discovering content if it is buried within the website.

Search engines will open the <table> tag and look for the first "table row" <tr> and begin to read each "data set" <td>"data"</td> inside the "table row" from left to right until they find the closing </tr> tag.

Often, if there are too many code lines before the <body> tag, the main body content may not be indexed because it is situated too far down the page.

It is also known that search engines usually look at many page identifiers such as the page headings, chapter headings and the main paragraphs of the body copy to determine the consistency of the first 200 words of content after the opening <body> tag. Generally, the first 200 words at the top of the page are considered the most important text. It is common-place that website developers have unknowingly pushed the indexable content below the radar of the search engine crawlers.

As an SEO best practice, you will want to make sure your code is as error-free as possible, from a W3C validation standpoint, and that you follow guidelines for semantically correct markup. Testing shows that good, clean, semantically correct code not only allows your site to load faster in major browsers, but also allows for faster indexing by the search engines.