UPDATE – Do I think Google prefers valid code above pages that fail validation when it comes to ranking them in search engine results pages? NO – and I never have…..
Well we’ve started to get some results in from our qualitative Google SEO Mythbuster Test #1.
Does Google Like Valid Code? and the results we have….is yes!
So here’s a re-cap of the first SEO Mythbuster Test:
- 4 Pages on the hobo site
- New but Duplicate Content of Course
- All html pages
- All page names garbled letters to ensure no preference in Google. Will Google read the pages by alphabetical order, date created etc? Who knows – maybe we’ll find out this too.
- 1 Valid HTML + CSS
- 1 Valid HTML + Invalid CSS
- 1 Invalid HTML + Valid CSS
- 1 Invalid HTML + Invalid CSS
- Anchor Text same text so as not to influence Google (of course this isn’t good for accessibility having links to different pages using the same text phrase)
- As far as we know we’ve tried to duplicate the pages including page titles and meta-descriptions etc. What this test should also test is will Google, today at any least, collect at least one page from this duplicate content or will it ignore them all.
- We assume every thing is equal apart from validation – that includes duplicate keyword descriptions, keywords and title elements etc.
- In this first test we’ll put it in a folder. This may make everything go supplemental but we can wait and seo ;)
So lets see what page Google likes best from this simple test. Google should follow these links below and read the pages, apply duplicate content filters to the pages, and pick one of the pages for it’s index? Right? Which one will it choose?
- link / link / link / link (This test is no longer valid)
Well – the result is clear. From these 4 pages Google managed to pick the page with valid css and valid html as the preffered page to include in it’s index! Ok, it might be a bit early to see if the four pages in the test eventually appear in Google but on first glance it appears Google spidered the pages, examined them, applied duplicate content filters as expected, and selected one to include in search engine results.
It just happens that Google seems to prefer the page with valid code as laid down by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).
The W3C was started in 1994 to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.
What is the W3C?
- W3C Stands for the World Wide Web Consortium
- W3C was created in October 1994
- W3C was created by Tim Berners-Lee
- W3C was created by the Inventor of the Web
- W3C is organized as a Member Organization
- W3C is working to Standardize the Web
- W3C creates and maintains WWW Standards
- W3C Standards are called W3C Recommendations
How The W3C Started
The World Wide Web (WWW) began as a project at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), where Tim Berners-Lee developed a vision of the World Wide Web.
Tim Berners-Lee – the inventor of the World Wide Web – is now the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
W3C was created in 1994 as a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), with support from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the European Commission.
W3C Standardising the Web
W3C is working to make the Web accessible to all users (despite differences in culture, education, ability, resources, and physical limitations).
W3C also coordinates its work with many other standards organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Wireless Application Protocols (WAP) Forum and the Unicode Consortium.
It’s clear at least Google seems to prefer valid HTML & CSS. We will keep an eye on the results and see if Google decides to include the other pages, or anything changes.
If these results are correct then their may be a clear case to make sure pages you create are valid html and css – this might be the difference in whether or not you rank higher in Google serps than your competitors.
Note – Take these test results with a pinch of salt of course. Test everything yourself ;)