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Question: Tables within Tables

     
2:38 am on Jan 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the process of creating a website in which the use of tables are neccessary. As far as search engine promotion goes, do the search engines care how far content is buried within tables? For example, I might need have tables that are 3-5 levels deep (for graphic design purposes). If content is contained on the 5th level table, will the search engines rank it less compared to content that is in a 1st level table (all things considered equal)??? Thanks so much - Bradley
2:51 am on Jan 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I have a second question pertaining to site design and SE promotion. My friend wants to use style sheets to define the layout/look of certain tage. Specifically, I want to use H1 and H2 tags, and my friend says that we can use the style sheets to make the H1 tags look smaller in size. Is this "cheating" - will the search engines still recognize my H1 and H2 tags if I use style sheets to redfine the size of the tags? Do the search engines penalize against this?

In general, if I use style sheets, will this affect my search engine optimization abilities? Thanks SO much! This will help us define the layout for the entire site!

4:34 am on Jan 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Brad, the common view (and anybody please correct me if im wrong) is that many Se's have difficulty picking up links the more table levels you have. We try to have at the most 1 table within a table.

Av spcifically states (I think) that their spiders have trouble here.

Avoid using one big table on a page also, it takes longer for text to start to show up. Design wise it is smarter to have several separate tables on a page all with the same width properties, one below each other and that will get rid of one level at least.

4:58 am on Jan 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Using style sheets to make your <h> tags fit more aesthetically into your pages is a good idea. As long as you are using the tags on true headings, and not just attempting to do a keyword stuff, you should not incur any penalty at all.

I've also heard that CSS can help your larger pages by removing extra code and keeping the HTML on a diet. Most spiders, to my understanding, will truncate at a certain file size, no matter whether the entire file has been dealt with or not. So getting rid of all that inline code can not only help you read your files more easily, but also help larger amounts of text actually get indexed.

It used to be this way, anyway. Haven't seen anything in recent months about the issue.

In fact, using style sheets with absolute positioning can help you get away from the deep nesting of tables. And that also helps with the search engines, as well as speeding up the browser's rendering which can be confounded and very slow when tables get tangled.