We have looked at a selection of 'Local' websites which don't appear in Search Engines and we wanted to know the reason. Further research shows that while the design is fine, many website designers, either ignore or don't realise how important valid (X)HTML code is to site promotion and display.
Very few websites met W3C standards.
The Common Problems
- No Document Type Definition (DTD)
- No META tags
- Designing to non-standard code
- Invalid Code
Why is this important?
You could be losing visitors to your website and not even realize.
A DOCTYPE Declaration (DTD) is mandatory for most current markup languages and without one it is impossible to reliably validate a document
Invalid code is supported by the main browsers but new browsers that are being built now will follow WC3's code recommendations. This means that your website may not be seen as it is meant to be, or the site may not show at all.
Internet Explorer, is the most commonly used browser. Inexperienced web developers only check websites using Internet Explorer. There are many other browsers including Firefox, Opera, Netscape, not to mention Screen readers used by people with Accessibility problems and mobile phones.
Coding errors may hide large amounts of your page content from search engines and cause incorrect indexing, if any at all.
Some indexing engines look for META Tags that define a comma-separated list of keywords and phrases, or that give a short description. Search engines may present these keywords as the result of a search.
W3C validation helps reduce the amount of coding, thus emphasizing the importance of content. Your site will have the chance to get indexed and as a result get higher rankings in the most important search engines, since spiders are known to crawl websites with relevant content.