Yes, There Is Such a Thing as Too Much
September 3, 2008
You may be wondering what, exactly, I mean by this. While this adage holds true in many fields, it may not seem like it applies to your site. This, however, is where you would be wrong. I am going to look at your code, and let you know if, and how, it is negatively affecting your site and what you should do to fix it. Why you should fix it should be obvious, it is hurting you.
Numerous things can mess up your code. While most of these are overlooked by search engines and browsers alike, some things are unforgivable. Some errors in your code can prevent your site from being indexed, others can be seen negatively, such as a high code to content ratio or bad placement of content within code, and others can make your site so heavy that it takes way too long to download your content.
The obvious problem if your code prevents indexing is that your site is not returned, at least not as highly, in searches. If your HTML code is not 100% validated, the search engines may run into a portion of your site that prevents it from continuing indexing your page. A good example would be not closing youtag and causing the bot to overlook your body of text.
If your code to content ratio is too high, it may prevent an entire page from being indexed. The bots have a limited amount that can be downloaded and the more code that is on your page, the less your content is actually indexed. This can be an especially big problem if your content falls at the end of a page, after many lines of code, and the bots never reach it because they get their fill going through your code. Eliminating excessive code can also help your more important elements stick out on your page more.
The placement of your content within a code can effect how your site is indexed as well. Since the algorithms used to develop the index engines are designed to work as humanly as possible, certain elements of your page are weighted more than others. By placing your content in certain parts of your code, it can be weighted more heavily and give you an important advantage.
Finally, the length of time that it takes to download your page’s content, the more problems it can cause. Search engines are essentially doing the same thing a visitor is doing and searching your site. The longer it takes for your page to load, and this can be due to an excessive amount of code, the lower your site will be ranked.
Search engines are evaluating your site in much the same way that a consumer does so it is important to make sure that your site is accommodating. Using clean code is an important part of setting up your page to be as useful and easily navigable as possible.
Written By: James Blackburn, Website Office Staff Writer