My question revolves around the number of nested tables that a page should have. How many nested tables are too many for a search engine spider? Can a spider find the links if the links are in a table that is within a table within a table within a table within a table (4 or 5 nested tables)??
Theoretically, it shouldn't matter - but it does. Why it still does, confounds me. However; if you take the same site with a template 4-5 tables deep into the real content, vs a site with bare content - the bare content wins the referral race every time. I've seen it for years on site after site after site.
Two of the worst table bigots are infoseek and Alta. Surf many of the top listed sites on either engine and a template choice will become clear after 15-20 sites. I limit myself to 3 tables deep. Try to do 2 whenever possible. Try also to stay away from color combinations that are the exact opposite of the body tag. If you are using black text on a white background in the body tag, do not try to do a black table background with a white text font. There is a site I know over here [searchengineworld.com] that got into trouble last year trying to do just that with a fancy template ;) There are engines that confuse the color combination and don't read the table background color value properly or at all - they just see the font command with white text on a white body tag background and think you are an inviso text user.
I try to keep important text and links no more than 2 tables deep... the only content I put inot a 3rd level table would be a sliced graphic or some minor explanatory text that really doesn't contribute to the page's ranking.