Two suprising things happened yesterday: (1) I watched the local news and (2) I began to wonder about the importance of valid HTML code. The general consensus has been that a web site developer must validate the HTML code of the web site in order to achieve good Search Engine Rankings. Have you heard this? Have you spent precious time and energy fixing your HTML code in order for it to validate? Well, we ran a little experiment to test this theory.
Using the HTML Validator Tool on the W3C site, we checked several of the most popular sites on the web. A few of the big names on our short list included:
Guess what the results were? They all failed HTML validation 8O. What does this mean? Evidently, none of the webmasters of these sites used the same tool that we did OR they don’t care about valid HTML code. However, all of these sites still achieve super high Search Engine Rankings.
I think HTML should still validate because there are other benefits to be had. For example, it is important for people with disabilities who view the web site using special browsers. Also, it makes the web site easier for the spiders to index. However, according to the results of this simple little test, valid HTML will not affect your Search Engine Rankings. Sure, this was not an exhaustive test, but the results are interesting.