Natural Web Design
SEO Tips & Tricks: They Don't Want You to Know About

W3C Validation

 W3C Validation of your webpages recommended, especially in reference to correcting problems with Google? The answer is a definite: NO!

  1. Validation does not guarantee crawalability.
  2. Validation does not guarantee accessibility.
  3. Validation wont get you out of the Supplemental Index.
  4. Validation does not guarantee that your pages will look the same in different Web browsers.
  5. Validation does not guarantee that your site will rank well in the SERPs.

W3C Validation is Broken

The basic crux of the W3C Validation argument is that all modern webpage coding should comply with the original coding standards. In other words, its basic argument is that all progress is inherently bad. Therefore the basic W3C Validation concept is ludicrous.

W3C Validation is also paired with another ludicrous concept: That all use of tools to automatically generate webpage coding is inherently bad. You will find that promoters of W3C Validation complain vehemently against the use of WYSIWYG HTML editors. According to these purists, the only valid way of writing webpage coding is with a plain text editor. According to them, anybody who cannot knock out HTML coding in notepad don’t know what they are doing. This of course is total nonsense.

W3C Validation is Nonsense

When a Windows program encounters an error on a PC, the program automatically aborts. This characteristic of Windows is both extremely irritating and stupid. This is especially frustrating when a program written by Microsoft aborts for attempting to perform a so-called invalid operation.

Thank goodness modern Web browsers are remarkably resilient. While some of the earlier Web browsers would lockup on invalid code, that is definitely not the case today. Google is able to crawl any Web site that can be navigated by an old out of date Web browser, such as Netscape version 4.0 no matter how many validation errors a webpage might contain. If a resilient Web browser like Netscape 4.0 can view and navigate it, then Google can crawl it. While Matt suggests using an archaic text browser like Lynx, just about any browser introduced when CSS just started to appear (when operated in text mode) will do.

Validation Does Not Matter to Google

“My typical answer is, normal people write code with errors. … there is no way that a search engine can remove 40% of its content from the index, just because somebody didn’t validate or something like that. … we don’t have a signal like that in our algorithmsand its probably for a good reason. … But validation and sort of closing off those last little things usually doesn’t matter that much to search engines.” — Googler Matt Cutts (rather unaccessible video, Transcription)

W3C Validation Does NOT Help In Search Rankings

Just like in health, in ranking well in Google, the one third rule applies. No matter what type of changes you make to Web pages:

  1. one third will improve,
  2. one third will get worst,
  3. while one third will remain the same; in the search engine rankings.

Just because you observe two separate events occurring at the same time does not prove that one caused the other. Anecdotal claims that their ranking in the SERPs magically improved after completing the validation process makes for:

  1. Bad science,
  2. Bad SEO advice, and
  3. Just plain Bad thinking skills.

Anecdotal claims, and all the thousands of Web pages promoting this W3C Validation nonsense, are being made by superstitious people with extremely poor observational skills, who possess a total lack of training in the most rudimentary concepts of basic scientific health research, and only document that they are talking about stuff that they have totally failed to understand.

Google has, in fact, officially said so in one of their FAQ webpages.

Again just like in health, many problems with Google are self-correcting. And, they are more apparent than real due to two different factors. Google uses many different datacenters. Call it bugs, variation, a byproduct of using 8,000+ PCs, or whatever, but Google changes slowly over time on how it treats specific webpages. In Google, changes occur from hour to hour, day to day, and week to week. So, while validation might appear to have fixed a problem, those problems would have self-corrected all by themselves. Even Google deciding whether or not a site belongs in the supplemental index can take several months to finalize.

Promotion of W3C Validation is Quackery

Promoters of W3C Validation should be treated with total contempt and disdain, just like the quacks that they are. They are wasting your time with their superstitious nonsense, and anecdotal evidence that has long been disdained by the scientific community.

Does W3C Validation have Any Value?

Obviously, W3C Validation does have some value. For one thing, it will keep the W3C Validation quacks from criticizing your webpages. For another, it will keep you busy with non productive busywork. Occasionally, it can help solve some obscure display bugs. Some people find using unbalanced code embarrassing. So, it will help you catch stuff like trying to close a table that was not open.

At best you might try validating your webpage templates. Validation will make you aware of your use of Internet Explorer specific coding and uses of bloated font formating coding. It might, also, help you in a transition to using CSS in your webpages.

But the bottom line is that the claim that W3C Validation is required by Google, is required for a Web site to be crawlable, or will improve your ranking in Google’s search listings (SERPs) is total and utter nonsense.

 W3C Validation





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