homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.237.249.10
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: 66 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Does google notice validation?
No page in top 10 in search validates
texasville




msg:748173
 11:16 pm on Nov 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have spent the time making sure that sites I create validate. I have heard for a long time that google counts validation as a sign of a quality site.
I became curious today about sites in sectors I watch. I ran a three word search "green widgets texas" and looked at each of the top 10's source code and ran them thru the w3c validator.
I was shocked at the results. Not ONE in the top 10 validates. Only 2 out of the top 10 even had a doc type. Most had a very high number of problems.
I am starting to wonder if google sees validation as seo work and discounts the page.
I wonder if I went back and removed my doc type if my sites would finally make it into the top 10.
Anyone have anything to dispute this? Any experience to show otherwise?

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:748174
 6:14 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I recently revamped one of my own high ranking sites and part of the work involved full validation. I agonised over this for some time because I was afraid that it would damage my already high rankings. What I have found is that it did not so me any harm and the site has actually gained slightly since the upgrade.

Having said that, most of the new sites that I have created recently were fully validated and all of them have been sandboxed so who knows?

Lord Majestic




msg:748175
 6:17 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Validation is highly unlikely to have any significance beyond making sure that you did not make some HTML error that is not seen in browsers but totally confuses indexers.

twist




msg:748176
 6:28 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Validation future proofs your website for new browsers. It helps you find simple coding errors. It will make upgrading to new standards easier. It will create cleaner more streamlined code. It would make selling your website or hiring an employee easier (i.e. must know xhtml). Helps with indexing of your site because you will have no coding errors that would disrupt indexing.

Help you with search engines, probably not.

pageoneresults




msg:748177
 6:30 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was shocked at the results. Not ONE in the top 10 validates. Only 2 out of the top 10 even had a doc type. Most had a very high number of problems.

An excellent experiment would be to take that site in the #6 or #7 position and clean up the code (validate it). Give it about 30-60 days and see what happens.

Keep in mind that less than 5% (estimate only) of websites will pass a 4.01 Traditional validation.

Johan007




msg:748178
 6:31 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

no effect.

pageoneresults




msg:748179
 6:42 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

No effect.

Wow! That was a really quick experiment. Care to share with us the steps that you took? ;)

texasville




msg:748180
 7:24 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, I know what validation is for. My point is with the results I got I am wondering if google isn't looking at validation as seo. Maybe even over optimization.

pageoneresults




msg:748181
 7:35 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

My point is with the results I got I am wondering if google isn't looking at validation as seo. Maybe even over optimization.

I don't think I would consider Google looking at validation from an SEO standpoint, it doesn't apply really.

I look at it from a different perspective. How clean of a path can I provide the spider in getting from point A to point Z? Is my content being indexed properly and completely. If I have errors, it may not be. So, eliminating the errors makes that path a straight shot. No detours, no guessing, no problems in the html. The first step in optimizing your html. Once you've done that, then you can concentrate on the SEO stuff.

texasville




msg:748182
 7:40 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Still, these sites were listing, actually I checked all real sites in the first 20 and none of them validated. Even being parsed by the validator, most were loaded with errors. They seemed to be navigable and looked okay in both ie and firefox but still had many mistakes. The results total was 2,090,000

netmeg




msg:748183
 7:46 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I took the time to validate 8 or 10 of my top client sites a couple of months ago - what I noticed is that it didn't seem to make much of a difference in Google, but they did jump way up in Yahoo and MSN. And I have the satisfaction of knowing they work pretty well for most browsers, plus I found some typos and other errors, and altogether, I felt it was worth the time spent.

texasville




msg:748184
 7:59 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

"but they did jump way up in Yahoo and MSN"

Since I make sure mine validate, this might explain why they do so well in those se's.
I would still like to see a sector where the top ten in google was populated by validated sites predominantly. Until then, I am concerned as to it being overoptimization.

idolw




msg:748185
 8:07 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am starting to wonder if google sees validation as seo work and discounts the page.

why shall they? they want good, not always strictly e-commercial sites to be at the top, just the most relevant ones. the latter may be built by my grandma and i doubt she would care about validation.
would be illogical for me if validation meant anything.

pageoneresults




msg:748186
 8:07 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am concerned as to it being overoptimization.

I'm curious to know what over optimization is in this instance? If its a highly competitive industry you are looking at in Google, there is the strong possibility that links are the determining factor here. ;)

Okay, so now we have 10 sites that all have strong inbound links. None of them validate. Let's take the worst one (in positions 5, 6 and 7) and validate it to see what happens. We'll remove all of the presentation markup and move that into an external stylesheet. In turn, that will reduce the html to text ratio of the page. In turn, that will increase other on page factors. Which in turn should cause that page to possibly move up a notch or two. That's just a wild guess on my part. ;)

Unfortunately that won't happen, unless of course it is one of your sites and you are following this topic and know what sector is being reviewed. ;)

BigDave




msg:748187
 8:09 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

The only reason to validate as far as google ranking is concerned is to avoid screwing up the spider.

If you think about it, the pages that are most likely to validate are those of web professionals, not the pages of those that are the experts in the different sectors that are just trying to put up a page with the information. The only validation that those people are likely to do is make sure that it looks okay in whatever browser they use.

As a searcher, I don't care if a website on secret fishing spots has HTML that validates, I want a site where the secret fishing spots validate.

walkman




msg:748188
 8:12 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Not ONE in the top 10 validates

Google.com doesn't validate

texasville




msg:748189
 8:19 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>the latter may be built by my grandma and i doubt she would care about validation.
<<<<

>>>If you think about it, the pages that are most likely to validate are those of web professionals<<<

I think both of these statements prove my point. Only web professionals validate, so it might trigger an algo.

[edited by: texasville at 8:31 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2005]

roodle




msg:748190
 8:22 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I try to build pages that validate, but I don't think Google ranks a page any WORSE for not doing that. Maybe at most you'll gain a few points for having valid script, but, yet again, "who knows?"...

Johan007




msg:748191
 8:26 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow! That was a really quick experiment. Care to share with us the steps that you took? ;)

nope.

...oh ok. Any jumps in your ranking is more likely to do with the many other factors around. I donít believe its worth using valuable processor time to do such an intensive task of validating the web ahead of downgrading pages with many broken links which is not yet done. I have converted very static PR5 HTML that would get many back links to use XHTML valid. The effect was as predicted Ė nothing. Same goes for a number of other sites.

Valid HTML requires skilled users to build professional accessible websites. The Web is not just about standards for these skilled users, itís more about the little guy who can compete with the big guns.

[edited by: Johan007 at 8:30 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2005]

pageoneresults




msg:748192
 8:29 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have converted very static PR5 HTML that would get many back links to use XHTML valid. The effect was as predicted Ė nothing. Same goes for a number of other sites.

Not really a valid test, I think. Did you also correct the semantics in your markup? Or, did you just remove some presentation attributes to squeeze by the validation?

Validation is just one part of the equation.

BigDave




msg:748193
 8:29 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Only web professionals validate, so it might trigger an algo.

Only web professionals are likely to run validation software, but that does not mean that other pages will not validate. Many of the WYSIWYG editors produce web pages that usually validate, as do many CMS programs. Not to mention, many of those web professionals work at authority sites that produce great content.

It would be just as stupid to trigger on validating HTML as it would be to trigger on pages that do not validate. And contraty to what you might read around here, Googlers ain't stupid.

Johan007




msg:748194
 8:31 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not really a valid test, I think. Did you also correct the semantics in your markup? Or, did you just remove some presentation attributes to squeeze by the validation?

Erm... please who do you think you are :)

No its not a scientific test. But it was a table messy website before with invalid tags it is now a WAI Double A accessible standard, CSS valid and table less website with changeable CSS style sheets. The mark up was changed to use <li> etc.. for menus, H1, P, acronym tags the works! I could go on.

And yet it had zero effect on all SERPS.

texasville




msg:748195
 8:38 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Big Dave-
Maybe it doesn't trip it negatively but maybe pages not validating connote a more simplistic and seemingly non seo'd site that then receives a boost?

BigDave




msg:748196
 8:49 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nope. Google is not against basic SEO. In fact from everything I have seen, they encourage it. In fact, their Webmaster Guidelinse are SEO 101.

What google cares about ranking is the information that is shown to the user. Whether it validates is of the same importance as keywords in HTML comments, it is ignored.

As someone else mentioned, why waste the processor time validating when it is something that simply doesn't matter. There are a lot more telling factors to look at that would be nowhere near as expensive.

texasville




msg:748197
 8:58 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would still like to see a sector where the top 10 is predominantly validated sites.

roodle




msg:748198
 9:36 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think BigDave is right. Why do people say to test your page in a lynx browser to see how a bot will "see" it? Ok, where the content appears within the markup is also very important, but surely the "quality" of that markup can't be so influential on a bot's analysis(?)

Texasville, I don't buy it. How can you get a rankings boost from not paying any attention to how your code looks? Doesn't make sense to me.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:748199
 9:47 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am starting to wonder if google sees validation as seo work and discounts the page.

I think that to suggest that Google sees validation as SEO is ridiculous, but then again ...

... so is the sandbox ;)

g1smd




msg:748200
 10:11 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

At this point in the discussion I always like to point to this search where validating the code might have led to the author finding the messed up <title> tags...

[google.com...]

Do you think that particular error would have any impact on ranking?

I do.

soapystar




msg:748201
 10:27 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

theres invalid code and then theres invalid code...if the code is bad enough to not display correctly then i would hope Google would think thats worth downgrading...if the the user cant view a page correctly i would assume google wouldnt want to serve it...so perhaps theres a threshold or they have their own relative validation....

aeiouy




msg:748202
 10:56 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would still like to see a sector where the top 10 is predominantly validated sites.

Since most sites don't validate that would not make much sense and would like be a huge exception.

I know you think it would make you feel better, but I think you should relax. It is HIGHLY unlikely google is handing out penalties for having a site that validates.

That being said, as others mentioned, I like to try and prevent the search engines for tripping up, but I have never tried to get a site to validate 100%. Not like a new browser comes out every day that I need to future-proof my site now. I will have plenty of time to respond and react if it is ever necessary to make adjustments for some new options or upgrades.

Bottom line is I think you are worried about nothing. You are not likely to find what you are looking for, because statistically speaking it is probably extremely rare. Sure you could go through 100s of thousands of top ten rankings validating sites, but I would think that might be a colossal mis-use of your time.

This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: 66 ( [1] 2 3 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved