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Validating Your HTML Code Does More Than Just Look Good To Google

April 28, 2011 by Dustin


Does code validation really matter and if so to whom does it matter to, a website visitor, a search engine, both? Not everyone thinks that code validations are all that important and feel that search engines do not consider validation when ranking a website. Regardless of the impact that code validation has on a websites ranking, both sides of this discussion can agree that code validation is useful for a number of other reasons.

wc3 validator Validating Your HTML Code Does More Than Just Look Good To Google

Code validation is the process of inspecting and amending the code or your web documents. This is done by comparing the code to formal standards like those established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The W3C is the main international standards organization for the Internet. This organization offers a markup validation service to check HTML documents for errors and ensures that they are in accordance with their standards. To fully validate a websites code two separate assessments need to be performed, one for the HTML or XHTML and another for the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Although a number of programs like XHTML-CSS offer code validation services that are based on the standards set forth by the W3C it might be best to use the actual html validator and css validator provided by the World Wide Web Consortium.

Getting back to why it is important to validate your code regardless of how it impacts the page rank, of the many reasons for validation there are 6 fundamental reasons why it should be done.


Debugging and Maintenance:

HTML and CSS validation works similarly to a spell checker by locating errors found throughout your web documents. During the validation process errors are identified and documented so that a user can easily fix them.


Learning and Prevention:

As the validation process identifies common errors you can learn from your mistake and therefore prevent the errors from reoccurring in your other web documents. At the very least you will gain the knowledge and experience from previously solving that certain error.


Professional and Self Satisfaction:

The process of identifying, understanding, solving, and preventing code errors can leave you with the satisfaction of presenting a solid and well formed code to your audience. In addition, when using valid code you present yourself as a professional and more authoritative source. Having code that is in accordance to the W3C standards could mean all the difference to a potential customer deciding between your company and one with invalid code.


Accessibility and Browser Consistency:

Without valid code a website can appear differently depending on the browser that is being used by the visitor. This can happen because the browsers are left to make auto corrections when invalid code exists. By validating, you are ensuring that the browsers display your website in a uniform and consistent manner.


Rendering and Display:

A web page with valid code allows the search engine to think less and exert more energy to display your site. This is helpful because a page that requires less time to load is more likely to attract and retain visitors and potential customers.


Future Success and Validation:

Following the validation standards that are used today will keep your code valid in future browsers or updates. Browsers are often created based on the standards expressed by the W3C and when newer browsers are created the current procedures or standards are past forward as well.


Although these are the fundamental reasons for validating your HTML and CSS the majority of validations occur due to the notion that Google likes it. When considered it would seem obvious that Google may favor valid code over invalid code however, this argument lacks any concrete evidence. None the less the validation process provides enough alternative benefits that should encourage users to always validate their work.

Regardless of the benefits, validation is not required and if code works in the manner it was meant for then certain sites can ignore validation all together. After all many of the major websites lists several validation errors but still remain successful in the rankings and in customer perception.


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What do you think, should you always use validation and is it important to the Google ranking algorithm?


Thanks for reading!

Internet Beacon

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