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We have a site that has css being parsed into each page. It's dynamically parsed from the content management system and is generated by a .dll. The css is at the top of each page, BEFORE the <html> code and the head.
Concern: Some spider simulator tools show the css code in their reports, but others don't.
We understand that a link to an external file would be the ideal world, but due to the 2,000+ lines of code, we're not sure if it's worth the programming.
Does anyone have any idea about the "weight" or importance of this factor in SEO for search engines?
The css is at the top of each page, BEFORE the <html> code and the head.
From my understanding, the CSS definitions should be in the <head> element, not before. Regarding SEO, I haven't heard of any pro's or con's of a long CSS definition inside the HTML code itself, but some shady SEO-ers prefer to put it in a separate robot.txt disabled file to prevent spiders reading their font size 1px, and other disputable code.
While its not vital you do this, it certainly does help, especially when your file sizes are large enough already without another large amount of CSS in there.
If all pages have different CSS it's probably faster and better to let it sit in the <head> section (not before).
As for search engines: that's a moving target that should aim to try to do the same than what your visitors like and dislike. So the long term strategy is to think of the visitors and not the currently implemented algorithms. They change and you'll know too late.