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Implications for CSS Layouts for SEO

     
6:38 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Another member posted the following question about CSS layouts and their impact on SEO.

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!

6:41 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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My team are currently researching and discussing what are the ranking factors for Yahoo. One of the things that we have determined is for future designs to go tableless to clean up the code. Also, we are considering to place all javascript code in a .js file and call the file when needed. This will clean up a sites code dramatically.
7:42 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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One nice thing about css design is that you can force the content to the top of the page above the navigation links and other less important information.
1:32 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hey watercrazed!

I was just looking for a solution like you mentioned.

How do you do that?

11:54 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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HansHenrik,
How do you do that?

there a many methods but using CSS the main two are:

  • absolute positioning of divs
  • floating your divs

    For more info on CSS:
    [webmasterworld.com...]

  • 12:22 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    Thx.

    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 :)

    6:09 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    HansHenrik, not really but what you could do is absolute position your top/nav div and move the code for the main content above the code for the navigation.
    7:12 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    So simple and yet so brilliant.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    It did in fact "manipulate" that little spider!

    10:39 am on May 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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    strange. Seospecialist is asking wbout how search-engine-bot might look at the website if the css is used, and people are replying with phenomenon of CSS.
     

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