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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!
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.
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.