How deep do SE's go into a page
I have read elsewhere that SE's only go about 7500 characters deep into the body of a page to determine the relevancy of keywords. Is this true? And if so do SE's count as characters the html code used in the body of a page for formatting, positioning, etc.?
Welcome to the forums, Ray2. I've seen this number in a research paper somewhere, I believe.
I don't think you can take the exact number to the bank, and it's bound to vary from engine to engine, but as I understand it, the design of an efficient spider requires some kind of cut-off point.
Yes, this means that having lots of structural information at the top of your HTML can hurt your ranking. Using external css and js files can help your deeper content get indexed.
Benefits also come from using absolute positioning, so you can locate your most important text near the top of the HTML, no matter where it appears on screen.
>>Benefits also come from using absolute positioning, so you can locate your most important text near the top of the HTML, no matter where it appears on screen.
Oooh! Very clever. Now all I need to do is become proficient at making that sort of thing cross-browser compatible.
Positioning is pretty cross-browser compatible -- it's one place where there seems to be a standard.
You'll be startled when such a page renders, however. The text comes in first, and the nav, etc, fills in around it. This does give the visitor some immediate gratification, but if you have banner ads, you might want to load them first!
>>Benefits also come from using absolute positioning
Tedster, could you expalin "absolute postioning" please?
Yes, please explain... because heavens knows when I use <div> tags with position:absolute vs. relative, I can never tell what's going to happen when I switch browsers... (but that could have something to do with the jscript I'm using with it.)
I'd hate to have my primary text block appear in some random spot for Opera users, or other oddballs like them. ;)
Ha! Yes, this oddball Opera user has noticed some striking differences after the recent switch from IE. I haven't analyzed it in depth yet, but colors often bleed into places where you would least expect them. We may have some additional homework to do if Opera keeps picking up steam (and signs point to YES).
Opera admits to a lack of complete support for CSS and DHTML... I'd say it's Opera that has the extra homework. I'm thrilled that the web is finally getting more visually dynamic, and I'm not giving up my nifty scripting wingdings for Opera!
Designing an entire page using positioning though.... ugh. I'm an old fashioned print layout person! How will I ever cope with laying out in code and flopping back and forth to my browser to look at it? My eyeballs hurt just thinking about it. The SEs need to get their spiders & algos caught up with the times. It ain't all text anymore.
I'm talking here about page layouts that are not defined in percentages, but fixed size. If a page is set in percentages, this doesn't work out very well.
In my css file, I give each div an ID name in a statement. For a standard "inverted L" page, it might look like this:
In the HTML body, I say
<div id=content>text text text text text</div>
<div id=topnav>top navigation content here</div>
<div id=sidenav>sidebar content goes here</div>
As far as I know, every browser that uses CSS at all will display the content text beginning 220 pixels in from the left, 120 pixels down from the top, and wrap the text after 490 pixels (710 pixels in from the left).
The other divs that follow in the HTML, each with their own ID, will be rendered at (0,0) and (0,100)
Oh yes, if the browser is very old, or doesn't support CSS for some reason, the page can get very strange. The text is at the top, but the nav blocks are rendered BELOW the text. In other words, the browser will render the page in theb order the elements appear in the HTML, since it doesn't read CSS.
But absolute positioning has been around for a while. Very few visitors will have a problem. And the help this gives my pages far outbalances the few who see it oddly. And, as a backup, I usually include important text links right at the bottom of the "content" div, so I know that any visitor will be able to get basic navigation, even if they don't see the beautiful layout the way I planned it.
Well, hopefully Opera will finish their homework before they surpass Netscape. I have not viewed any major positioning problems, just a few oddities (mixups w/ background colors making text less readable).
In the example of positioning you are using a total of 710 pixels. On a large monitor this would display about 300 pixels of blank screen. Have you tried using a script to detect the screen size and call for the correct .css file to fit the screen?
Good point, thanks for mentioning it. I do that sometimes, and a few other things as well that I eliminated from my example.
When I use it I may end up with four css files: nn800, nn1024, ie800, ie1024. For now, I send everyone above 800 to the 1024 file. My assumption at present is that many people with the highest screen resolutions are not running their browser at full screen.
I generally set my browser full screen at home (800x600 screen) and to 1/2 to 2/3 screen width at work (1024 screen)... the vast majority of websites look crummy at 1024 full screen, and I'm more than happy to live with a partial screen browser. Heck, if I find a couple of sites designed for 800 or 640 I can look at them both at the same time.