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Nesting tables

 9:57 am on Jan 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've understood for quite a long while that nested tables can cause ranking problems if they are nested too deep. But what I don't grok is why this happens.

In other words, what does it matter if text is inside a bunch of tags -- surely it's a simple matter to strip all tags before analyzing the text?



 10:28 am on Jan 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Could it be an intentional thing? If weight is given according to the spiders idea of an ideal page's layout (ie heading, important paragraph, smaller heading, less important paragraph etc) they could be assuming tables are sidebars or footnotes or whatever incidental to the main thrust of the page.

If they give lower weight to tables maybe it's just a cumulative effect with nesting.

Just an idea...

Paul Woodley

 8:22 pm on Jan 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

It's a File Size Problem!
The more Nested Frames or anything for that matter you have in a document the longer it takes the spider to crawl it! Thus, the spider may time out! And a lot of time does!



 8:56 pm on Jan 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

If it's only a file size issue, then I can breathe easy, because I am a bandwidth lunatic -- 40kb total page weight is my max in almost all cases, and I strive for a lot less. I've made a study of both gif and jpg compression and I can get a lot out of my 40kb.

BTW, just for clarity sake, I am talking about tables, and not frames.

In new sites, I mostly use CSS with absolutely positioned divs for layout, rather than tables -- but tables still come in very handy from time to time. I love CSS, because I can get the best content at the top of the HTML file, no matter what is going on in the page layout visually. Can;t wait until browser support stabilizes.


 9:04 pm on Jan 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

SugarKane is right on - the logic is the deeper the content within a table, the less important the content is.

Paul Woodley

 9:29 pm on Jan 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

Yes Tedster I am talking about Tables too (oops)!

Brett I'm not so sure about that! Even so if that were true best to limit your table table tags. I have always taken out the 2nd,3rd, or 4th potential <table> tags and replaced them with proper <tr><td> tags.
IF..and it's a big if (in my opinion) they are trying to outthink the TABLE TAGS (and they put the least weight on the actual <table> tag then if one were concerned about this one would eliminate most of the table tags and replace with TR TD TH tags (Of course you still need at least 1 set of <Table> tags.

But in observation..I would have to say 7-10 of ALL the #1 Ranked sites for ANY Keyword have much TABLE Tags.



 9:56 pm on Jan 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

If I understand correctly then, no one is saying that a deeply nested table structure hurts the ranking for ALL the content on the page.

It's just the content inside the lower level tables that takes a hit. But top level content would still get plenty of SE weight -- hence the number of top rated sites we see with nested tables. Those pages rank well for their top level text, page titles, etc. but not for the deeply nested content.

Is this a right understanding?


 10:51 am on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

>content inside the lower level tables that takes a hit. But top level content would still get plenty of SE weight

This is what I've always thought, but if anyone has a different opinion I'd be grateful to hear it.

I've got to add some extra text to a well ranked page, and was thinking of intentionally burying it deep inside nested tables so as to hide it somewhat from spiders.



 2:13 pm on May 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

That sounds like a great idea to me, sugarkane. I face that situation in several places, and I never thought about intentionally nesting tables to minimize the impact. You're turning a challenge into a benefit.

If you do this, I'd really appreciate a report after 60 days or so.

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