Matt Cutts – W3C Validation not a Ranking Factor in Google

glendaledesigns September 17, 2009 6 Comments Tags: ,

Here we go – Matt Cutts explains why W3C validation should be used when developing any site (if at all possible, as sometimes it is not, depending on the browser) and also why Google doesn’t look at site/page validation when determining ranking.

We still believe that clean, valid and accessible code will help your site do better in regards to SEO, plus assist with  browser compatibility and load time – regardless if Google factors it into their ranking algorithm or not. It’s just simple site development best practices…

Comments (6): Matt Cutts – W3C Validation not a Ranking Factor in Google

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  2. Cesar Castro

    I think that some people are somewhat obsessed with w3c standards, yes, it’s nice that it validates, but is nothing really necessary (and sometimes it blocks older or different browsers unless a lot of hacks are involved).

  3. Glendale Designs

    Thanks for your comment, Cesar – I agree – but it is nice if it validates :)

  4. vinay

    1) Validating my pages against XHTML1.0 standards gives me more than 300 errors, Which is quite huge and bit difficult to resolve them.

    2) Validating my pages against HTML5 standards gives me around 70 errors, Which is not a issue and can resolve them easily.

    So In this case which HTML version i have to use so that It does not affects SEO of the pages, Because w3c validation also affects the SEO

    If i just use HTML5 doctype but not exactly the page structure (nav, header, section, footer, article ….), Will this really matters Because I have got around 1000 pages which is very difficult make them to follow the HTML5 page structure.

    What i am thinking is to reduce the errors in w3c, I will just change the doctype to HTML5 and resolve the w3c errors. Is this a good idea. Or If any please suggest me.

  5. glendaledesigns

    The concern here would be user experience and browser compatibility, not “SEO”. An HTML5 doctype declaration is going to be much more forgiving than XHTML all around. Using an HTML5 doctype does not mean that nav, header, section etc. are used, as HTML5 is backwards compatible.

    If “SEO” is the primary concern, not an issue. If there are browser/usability issues, then the code should be updated to meet the specifications of the specific doctype declared.

  6. Jon Matthews

    Worth noting that html validation can save you from seo problems indirectly by making sure your code can be parsed by Google and others. For example, if your links are badly formed, like this…

    <ahref = “”>link</a>

    … validation will pick up the issue. Would Google have followed the link example above and indexed the target page? I’m not 100% sure, but I doubt it. That’s an example of the kind of issues validation can save you from.

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