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I'm begining to create websites using CSS for layouts and was wondering what the implications were regarding seo.
How do the search engines view CSS pages (laid out using CSS as oppossed to tables)? Do they just view the content and ignore the stylesheet? Probably not - as its all too easy to turn divs (hence content) off - effectively hiding them.
I think that this can also be done by setting margins to minus values or changing the height of divs to 0.
I've seen some sites use minus values to change the navigation buttons on mouseover - but would search engines view this as a form of cloaking?
Or are search engines so advanced that they will spend time analysing each page to determine which elements do and do not appear, what text will show against the background, which divs appear over which other ones, etc?
And if they do go through all this, what browsers do they check things against (bearing in mind some CSS layouts will work in some pages but not others)?
Could it be that search engines will take the lowest common denominator and compare your site against some ancient browser and - if it fails for this browser - would not rank your site highly?
Does each search engine do things differently?
I welcome any thoughts on the issue!
I've already positioned my navigation at the top of the page.
Underneath I've got a 3 coloumn layout containing 1 float left coloumn (sidebar), and right next to that a 2 coloumn content div with a float left and a float right in it.
Is there anyway to "manipulate" the search engines to read the content div before the header and the left coloumn?
I guess not :)