Andy_Langton - 8:08 am on May 3, 2012 (gmt 0)
The question to ask is WHY "They're volunteering coding practices" given they never volunteer anything.
IMO that's a bit of a jaded view. I'm no Google cheerleader, and they're no longer the cuddly company made of lego they once were. But they've got a pretty good history of sharing code and the like.
The reason that the HTML spec has been the on-page SEO bible for many with a focus on more technical SEO is that good code is about coding in a way that machines can understand - from your browser all the way up to a search engine. So if we tweaked an earlier comment:
These have nothing to do with ranking or SEO.
They are the guidelines that engineers at Google have to follow when building Google's own websites. They are intended to ease development, reduce bugs, promote brevity, and make code understandable to other engineers.
...into "make code understandable to other engines", that's why any major source offering mark-up advice may be worth listening to.
Alright, there's nothing particularly juicy in these guidelines, but if Google gives direct code advice, I pay attention, whether I plan on following their advice or not. There's either a commercial advantage or there isn't.