There have been many arguments as to whether or not Google search engine ranking factors look for a clean code in a website. The W3C Schools have brought forth a very popular and widely used tool, called the W3C Validation and the CSS Validation. Basically, both these tools look at your HTML and CSS Style Sheet that code your website for any errors that may arise. This free tool will scan all of your code to make sure it is compliant with current web standards and free or any errors.
Recently Matt Cutts, Google software engineer, has said again that the W3C Validation does not affect search engine rankings. This is not the first time he has said this and will not be that last as many people are convinced that W3C is a factor in search engine rankings. Many people are convinced that having a clean coded website will increase search engine rankings. This is in fact untrue. A clean code does help the search engine spiders read and understand your website easier. A clean coded website will guide the spider to the important places on your site, without getting jumbled up in a web of unnecessary coding.
The main reason that W3C Validation is not used is because Google is concerned with browser compatibilities. Because a website shows up looking perfect in Internet Explorer does not mean it will look the same in Mozilla Firefox, on mobile phones, on web TV, etc. This is a big issue for many website developers as one site can look great on one computer, and look horrible on another computer. This is Google's main issue with the W3C Validation. Just because a website passes the W3C Validation test does not mean that it will be compatible in all browsers. This is why Google does not factor this into their ranking. Another reason that Google does not validate websites is because of the time it would take to validate each individual page. Internet users want everything to happen instantaneously. They do not want to wait around for slow loading websites, when there are another million sites out there with the similar information. Therefore, Google eliminated the use of validating websites, to increase website load time and user appreciation for the speed and agility of their search engine. This makes sense, as larger websites would be slowed down by the validation process, causing unhappy web users.
Although it seems glum that there will be any universal web standards anytime soon, we can all keep our hopes up. Universal web standards will make web designers and developers lives so much easier. As of now different web browsers will show websites differently. On Mozilla-Firefox your website may look perfect, but on Internet Explorer the website may be off centered. This causes many headaches and tiresome trial and error to perfect websites.
There have been efforts made to create universal web standards, but these have yet to be widely adopted. Website designers and developers are at heeds with one another because of the issues caused by web compatibility. Until universal standards are adopted, there will be angry people working behind the scenes to create websites that look good in every browser. This becomes a time intensive, tedious project that can be eliminated once universal standard have been adopted.
The major roadblocks to having universal web standards are the browsers themselves. They are not compatible with one another causing websites to look good in one browser and horrible in another. Designers and programmers are frustrated by these inconsistencies between browsers, making their jobs nearly impossible. They do not know which website standards to use when building or coding a new website.
Matt Cutts even admits that he wishes Google did validate webpage's, but the reality is that a lot of sites on the web, even popular sites do not pass the validation. This would mean that these pages would be dropped from their rankings, or need to redesign and recode their site. Both outcomes can have daunting effects on the website. If the code needs to be changes, then the site may need to change to adjust to the new coding.
Now you may be wondering why so many websites have a link at the bottom saying W3C Valid. They are under the impression that this adds value to the page when customers see it. The big reason to validate your website is too look for human errors that you may have overlooked when building your site. The W3C Validation will show you broken links and many other important coding factors that can negatively impact the way humans see your site.
In conclusion, it is a good idea to have the W3C validation on your site to check for errors and clean up unnecessary coding. Who knows, in the next few months or years this may become an important ranking factor for the search engines and you can be one step ahead.