Why Is It Important To Validate Your HTML?

Making valid HTML or XHTML is often thought to be just another way to pump up the prices for development or maybe a gesture of observing the decencies. Partly it is. Writing valid (X)HTML is harder than making HTML that “just works”, and writing valid (X)HTML that looks identically in all major browsers is even harder. Of course, the coders, who write it valid should be more expensive than the ones who can't do that.

But why do we need our pages to be valid? Isn't it enough if the site will just render well in IE, Opera, Firefox and Safari? Well, it is, actually. If you aren't expecting a lot of visitors, or if you have stable community grown around your site or if you aren't planning any growth of evolution of your site, you may not pay attention to your pages' validity. But.

But.

Are you really going to stay where you are?

I will give you just one example. www.rock.ru was a simple non-profit fan site for years. It's layout have been intact since (AFAIK) 2000 or 2001. It looks pretty, but it is built using tables. Lots of nested tables. It's a miracle that older browsers are able to render all those terrible tables correctly.
So, what am I talking about? It didn't change for years, but one day I decided to try AdSense with it. Google approved me, I created ad blocks, put the nesessary JavaScript into my pages, it started working. Everything's fine? NO!
After a month (yes, long time, I'm not that experienced with AdSence, and I was a total newbie then) I saw, that most ads were relevant to “table” keyword. There were furniture, hotels, and even mortgage tables (which is a cool ad, with very high bid, but totally irrelevant for a music site). Thus, ads had awfully low CTR. I couldn't understand, why! The pages were filled by music-related keywords, there are no word “table” on most of them...

I think, some of you have already understood what was wrong about that site. Right, the pages lacked a couple closing a tags and lots of closing tables. So what? Google_bot thought that some parts of invalid HTML are the parts of content actually, and decided, that table is the most relevant keyword for my site. Once I fixed the layout, ads became adequate and started giving me much more income than before. I can afford not only hosting and a glass of beer with it.

The browsers are smart. They try to correct or suppress webmasters' errors, and often they succeed. The robots (and yes, even Google_bot!) aren't. If you want you site to be more bot-friendly (whether it's search engine spider, context ads or something yet uninvented), make your pages as simple and as valid as possible. It would be a pity, if you won't be able to use some new service, doing your best, wouldn't it?

Don't wait for the future to come, get ready now.

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Category: work Words: adsence, valid xhtml, valid html

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Serg

Bull$hit. Fairytails for newbies

29.04.2007 // 23:59 [ Link ]

Penguin Pete

Yeah, what's with web developers, anyway? HTML, CSS, Javascript: it's all code that has to run the same on multiple computers. C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, all of these are written to a cross-platform standard, and developers know it and accept it. But put code on a web page, and all of a sudden they're going "Standard? Hah! It looks fine on *my* computer!"

30.04.2007 // 00:41 [ Link ]