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using <div> to display middle section first.is it kind of spamming?

will google treat such display via <div> as spamming


vikram lashkari

8:21 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One of our client's web site has ecommerce website whose pages are dynamically generated from one global page template.

This template has Five areas/sections designed with <div> tags. Everything was working great and fine since last 26th dec update from google. and since than he is constantly loosing trafic and SERPs for his major keywords for which he was coming top since long time.

After through analysis by his developer he found that the global page template was such designed that it might have give problem to google in this update. He has five sections

If we think in terms of table then the Top section should render first and the left and then center and then right and lastly bottom. And thats what we see.

But his <div> sections are such designed that his center section was rendered first and then the rest, which seems to be good in terms of SEO technique but google might not have liked it any more as per him. but they really want to change the way their pages are rendered.

So i have two question in this respect

1) Do you think it is advisable to change content rendering in the order of top,left,center ,right and then bottom as i think it is not good. The current technique center,top,left,right and bottom is the best as it gives/renders the most important keywrods to the google first then the others.

2)If suppose i have to change the <div>'s section back to the normal standard order and render top,left,center ,right and then bottom as my client is forcing me do so. Do u all think instead of doing any good it would make the thing more worst and he may get fully chopped off from google or all his existing keywords SERPS also?.

Please your advice will be very helpful for me to take decision and save my client to do any more harm to himself



9:45 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Very good question. I've never heard of Google not liking absolute positioning, so I don'think any penalties will be based on that, but to be safe I would indeed feed a page to a bot in the way it displays in a browser.

[edited by: Martin40 at 9:50 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2007]

vikram lashkari

10:21 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hi Martin40,
ya it is....but i think it is normal seo technique which everyone is following..why i suspect this is because the client who is got affected by this 26 dec changes is the only one in his industry, rest all are ok and doing great after that update. And the only think what my client has different from them apart from content is the rendering data to google or browser.

So what you see is not what u actually get. What actually you see is top section and then left ,center,right and lastly bottom but what u actually get was center,top,left,right and bottom, he is sounds bit spammythought it is not.

What i would like to know from you guys over here is that..is anyone else following same rendering pattern as of my client and is anyone of you feel that u r penalized for this rendering technique.

hope to get response from you all


Patrick Taylor

10:59 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Under most circumstances I'm sure it doesn't make any difference to Google either way. This really is not an SEO issue at all. I always place the main content first in the source code regardless of how the page is rendered. Others do it the other way around. This is the whole point of CSS. It doesn't matter, and there are plenty of reasons why it never should.

What you see is what you see.

[edited by: Patrick_Taylor at 11:04 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2007]


11:13 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

The analysis may have been thorough, but it isn't any good.

What I am about to say is really hard for some people to understand.

Most of the time, losing ranking in Google is simply losing ranking in Google. It isn't because of something that you did or you didn't do.

Unless you find that you did something that is obviously against Google's guidelines, or an obvious and well known cause, the best thing for you to do is wait.

Even the best sites have down months (or quarters). If you were consistently ranking well for a long time, you will probably move right back up by March. If you mess with things too much, you might not climb back up to where you were before.

No matter what, there is little chance that it has anything to do with source ordering. Google would have to process the CSS for each page on the web, and that isn't a very good use of resources.


11:14 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

yikes -

i just moved all my top and left navigation to the very bottom of page and displayed it via absolute div positioning. I had hoped to increase focus of main text/headers titles at the top to improve ranking.

I'll let you know in a week if it backfires.

Patrick Taylor

11:23 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

save my client to do any more harm to himself

I have to laugh at that phrase (lol). BigDave is right on.


12:07 am on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

I began using CSS to change the order of the source code many years ago. My main motive was to have usable text content render first and fast for every user. The idea was to keep them on the page, rather than hitting the Back Button -- even if their web connection was slow or temporarily problematic. It also seemed to help a little bit with ranking at the time, a small bonus I was happy to discover.

I am so very sure from my ongoing experience that this approach is not the cause of lost rankings that I don't know where to start explaining. The idea feels similar to the paranoid feeling some webmasters have -- that styling and sizing the H1 tag with CSS is somehow "cheating".

BigDave's advice is sound. I would not make any changes that are really just stabs in the dark. Yes, save your client from hurting himself.


7:17 am on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

I hope not.

I use DIV absolute since 2000

I changed also the order to improve AdSense targeting.

I tried to group the most relevant part of the page close to the AdSense code.

The last relevant part of the navigation as far as possible away from the AdSense code.

I think it brought a little bit improved ad targeting
I hope it has nothing to do with the penalty now reduced to 7 of my 10 subdomains of my main site.


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