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Google and the read order of DIVs

Div order, will it help my pages rank better?

10:36 am on Apr 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have *completely* rebuilt my site. It is now based on a rather funky template system in which content and design are totally seperated. The HTML templates I use all consist of about 10 DIVs. Since CSS positions the DIVs it is possible to 'list' the DIVs in the HTML template in any order I like. (As long as nested DIVs stay nested).

I could start the HTML templates with the most important div containing all the text and subsequently add DIVs containing less important stuff like link menu's, copyright/contact info, etc.

Will this help my pages rank better?

10:55 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not really, but it will be easier for Googlebot to read the content of your page.
11:01 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Will this help my pages rank better?

Don't know exactly for automated bots, but for humans it is better to have the divs with the most interesting content first. Most people need just a few seconds to decide if a page is interesting or not before pushing the back button. On slow connections it is an advantage to have the most interesting content first displayed on the screen. Most visitors won't care if the menu's copyright messages etc. occur a few seconds later.

11:23 am on Apr 21, 2005 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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A well-ordered source code makes a better experience for someone accessing your site with an audible browser reader. What you're suggesting is worth doing for that reason alone.

As far as the search engines go, it wouldn't hurt, and might help.

8:13 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your replies. I kind of forgot about this topic, because 'premoderation' took some time. My apologies.

I will put the content div at the top of my code for the reasons you mentioned. I wonder if it will have any result on the rank of the particular pages, but I suppose it is difficult to tell.

11:52 am on Apr 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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have done the same thing - content right at top, template stuff down the bottom. Its great for loading the content first. Wouldnt say google likes it 'better' though; pretty hard to qualify anyway

What is isnt good for is the Google cache, which do not seem to read the divs correctly (in my case)

2:49 am on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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IMO the read order of DIV tagged content *should* make a difference.

The theory is an idea called "prominence": That which is at the top of the page in the HTML order is given more weighting than the content lower on the page.

Whether Google uses this or not, I cannot say for sure as I have not run the necessary SEO split-test to determine for sure whether this is used.

That disclaimer said, I think it very likely is used b/c it makes sense that what is higher on the page is more likely to be "what that page is about".


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