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Does w3C matter at all?

Axandra says: if you write bad code you are dead...

     
3:25 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've heard several times that your code MUST be W3C valid in order to be accessible to SE...
I've tried [validator.w3.org...]
on my site and index throws all that "errors"...

I wonder if really matters at all, since it detects as invalid code the very common attribute leftmargin and marginwidth as invalid... they are for IE and NN ..

Line 15, column 76: there is no attribute "LEFTMARGIN" (explain...).
.../diag.gif" text="#000000" leftmargin="20" topmargin="0" marginwidth="20" marg
^
Line 15, column 91: there is no attribute "TOPMARGIN" (explain...).
...="#000000" leftmargin="20" topmargin="0" marginwidth="20" marginheight="0">
^
Line 15, column 107: there is no attribute "MARGINWIDTH" (explain...).
...argin="20" topmargin="0" marginwidth="20" marginheight="0">
^
Line 15, column 125: there is no attribute "MARGINHEIGHT" (explain...).
...in="0" marginwidth="20" marginheight="0">
^
Line 16, column 26: there is no attribute "HEIGHT" (explain...).
<table WIDTH="90%" height="100%" border="0" ALIGN="center" cellpadding="10" CELL
^
Line 43, column 80: there is no attribute "BORDERCOLOR" (explain...).
...ding="0" cellspacing="0" bordercolor="#000000" rules="all" id="paginas web">
^
Line 43, column 113: value of attribute "ID" must be a single token
...lor="#000000" rules="all" id="paginas web">
^

3:31 pm on Sept 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In fact the leftmargin, topmargin and margin width attributes were never standard HTML. The fact that browsers understand them is no clue as to their validity. Try using CSS and you pages will validate (but not rendered correctly by NS4 any more.)

It's a choice you have to make. To me, supporting (some few) older browsers (i.e. NS4) to some extend is more important than validation.

3:50 pm on Sept 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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marginwidth and marginheight are proprietory Netscape 4 tags and will always cause validation errors. If you're bothered about NN4 then leave them in. If not, throw them out.

However, the other errors are avoidable. Topmargin, leftmargin etc. should be specified in CSS for your body tag.

Table related heights should be specified for TDs instead of TABLE tags.

Bordercolor - again CSS.

ID - I'm assuming this means no space.

Whether it's 'important'... well that's down to you. In my case, coding to standards has made me a better coder, and and pushed me into using CSS in areas where I had avoided it in the past. The result? Faster, smaller and more compatible pages.

At least if you know what's standards compliant then leaving in NN4 tags is an informed decision rather than an unwillingness to embrace standards.

As for for search engines not reading non-compliant code; they'll read pretty much anything at the moment, and quality of code is not a ranking criteria. It might be in the future though, and that should be reason enough to stay on top of your game.

4:19 pm on Sept 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You're right that compliant code is not an INTENTIONAL component of any search engine's ranking algorithm. But there are side effects of using valid code (especially using CSS approaches instead of deprecated or proprietary attributes) that have given many people improved rank.

And having well-formed code, at least, is a very important factor. I once had a section of a page that contained critical keywords, and it wasn't showing in the searches -- even though the page itself was included. After quite a few weeks I had occasion to validate the page and discovered mal-formed HTML right there. So the page was being indexed, but the ection around the error was being skipped.

At least if you know what's standards compliant then leaving in NN4 tags is an informed decision

Exactly. Don't be rigid about validation, but DO make it a conscious choice when you use any exceptions in your code.

5:11 pm on Sept 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thank you all. Perhaps I should work in the code, using more css in future.

In fact I dont care about NN 97% of browsers are IE 6 and 5 so ...

But again I reall don't know how much impact may cause in SE's... frankly I think not much and recoding the whole site it's an enormous task..

5:35 pm on Sept 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Validation insures that you are keeping with standards that user agents are keeping with. This helps insure your code will last and appear pretty consistant across UAs. Like tedster says, make a conscious choice about where you go around validation, and you will be a lot happier in the long run.
7:40 pm on Sept 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well in that case:

Line 16, column 26: there is no attribute "HEIGHT" (explain...).
<table WIDTH="90%" height="100%" border="0" ALIGN="center" cellpadding="10" CELL

How do I replace my table height %...?

8:00 pm on Sept 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Set the height in the individual cells, not for the whole table?
11:46 pm on Sept 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

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didn't work for making a 100% table to me...
1:14 am on Sept 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about the table height 100%, as this might be a tricky one. Anyway, what code validating and CSS does to your pages is to cut off some of the fat that is of no use to the SE's, as it's just formatting and not content.

Most spiders will try their best to chew through your pages no matter how many errors you have in them, and they will (try to) extract the important information as well. Validation makes it so much easier for them to do so - it's not required, but it's comparable to doing them a favour, or to peeling the banana before letting them eat it, if you prefer.

It's not the validation in itself that will improve your rankings, it's the mindset you will be forced to enter when you write valid pages, as this is very much a question of structure and consistency - plus separating content from layout. Also, you reduce the risk of critical coding errors (eg typos) greatly by validating.

Still, it's perfectly possible to write validating pages that rank very bad in the SERPS - you must combine it with your SEO knowledge to benefit. Eg. you can still have valid links that just say "Click Here", valid titles that say "NewPage1", valid body text that says "Lorem ipsum" and all kinds of other nonsense.

/claus

8:42 pm on Sept 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I can't be bothered to validate my code.

I can't be bothered to spellcheck my pages.

I can't be bothered to check if the right prices are shown.

I can't be bothered to check if I described my products correctly.

I can't be bothered to process orders correctly.

You let one thing slip, and how many others slide with it? How many things might your most websavvy customers think that you let slip too?

 

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