W3C errors and why they’re ruining your SEO

W3C errors and why they’re ruining your SEO

Does the title seem a little overwhelming?

Let’s clarify and elucidate the terms and what they mean for your search engine ranking.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C /WWW/W3) is an international community where the public works with around 500 member organisations of the consortium and a full-time staff to chalk out the standards of Web. Web is defined as a space where resources or items of information are identified by a string of characters known as Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI). W3C works on developing open standards so as to make sure that all content can be displayed across all arenas all the time.

One of the most remarkable, relevant and useful tools of the W3C is ‘Markup Validation Service’ that checks the validity of Web content in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML and others. This tool checks errors from codes, removes them and validates Web content. This ensures that all the pages of a website are in accordance with Web standards.

Why W3C errors should be eliminated

Markup Validation Service validates codes and conforms pages and documents to Web standards. This is highly significant for a variety of reasons.

  • Keeping W3C errors in check will ensure that your website is functional across different browsers and different operating systems.
  • Apart from browser compatibility, W3C compliant documentscan be easily and swiftly converted into other types of documents with different formats.
  • Not only is data and information that conforms to W3C standards viewable across multiple browsers but data that is written in old standards is also viewable and editable in new browsers.
  • W3C errors need to be removed so as to ensure that all and any major issues that could be created with regards to styling from a web design viewpoint are avoided.
  • This point can be enunciated further to reveal that W3C errorsif removed and eliminated can create documents that are Consortium standards-compliant and have standard coding. This means that developers anywhere can easily comprehend the coding and work further on material that had been documented by other people.
  • Avoiding W3C errors will increase traffic to your website. Since the loading time for your page will become faster, more visitors will be attractive to your page. Additionally people who had browsed your page or site previously will make repeated visits.
  • Clean codes will also enhance your SEO visibility and ranking. This is a point that has become highly debatable and controversial in the SEO Let’s focus more on how this works.
W3C errors and what they mean in the world of SEO

The issue of W3C errors and validation and what they mean in the world of SEO is a topic that requires more focus. Before we elaborate on the workings of the system and highlight its effects, you must bear in mind that on a wider practical realm, W3C errors will pose problems and negatively affect your SEO visibility and ranking.

Opponents of negative effects of W3C errors on SEO state that browsers manage just fine with broken and imperfect codes. Hence there is no effect of errors in codes on SEO. Moreover since many multimillion sites like Twitter and Amazon do not validate codes and focus more on content, the debate on doing away with W3C errors for its consequences on SEO suffers.

While these views and a handful of other search engines believe that rewarding you for a valid W3C code seems like a futile activity, many SEOs have observed that the advantages accrued from having a valid code are worthwhile and immense. The most prominent among these being that search engines can understand exactly what your page is trying to state, without being baffled or perplexed. This will inevitably lead to more traffic on your site and page and result in greater revenue.

Moreover, the type and number of errors matter a great deal. While SEOs more or less agree to the fact that W3C validation does matter when it comes to SEO, they emphasise that this is only for those W3C errors that cause poor rendering.

A case in point

The fact that W3C errors need to be removed for better SEO rankings is further buttressed by the MarketingLand’s 2016 research that indicated that many smartphone search results were unusable. Out of the total sample of sites tested, 66% of them gained a zero out of 100% on the W3C’s mobileOK test – a test that is used to gauge the possible usability of sites on mobile devices.

If you are putting up content on the Web today, it would be a great idea to utilise all platforms. Your burgeoning business will flourish dramatically if your content does well on mobile devices and other gadgets like tablets. To put up documents and information up without ensuring the best and most friendly user experience will harm your search engine rankings. Hence mobile user experience is crucial – as evidenced by recent research – when it comes to SEO and SERP visibility and ranking.

Since mobile SEO exists and is becoming an increasingly popular and significant phenomenon, W3C’s announcement of new standards that will make mobile Web browsing easier and faster becomes more relevant against this backdrop. The W3C has released a mobile Web code checker to allow developers to rectify code errors for sites and pages to be viewed on a mobile. Given this development, the harm inflicted by W3C errors to SEO becomes even clearer.

Verdict: bolstering the stance

W3C errors can often lead to bad rendering of your site or page on various arenas, which in turn can create user experience and site speed issues. Subsequently, the performance of your site and page will suffer from search engine rankings point of view. This may not be a direct impact from a rankings perspective, but if your site has used the codes correctly and conformed to W3C standards, you can still see an increase in rankings because W3C gives great layouts that are optimised and also grants better coding techniques that make your page speed faster. In other words, W3C validity is not a prerequisite of ranking sites, but does lead to an indirect increase in rankings.


author – Jamie – Barton
Jamie Barton
CEO of NASN Licensing Inc. & Shopincities.com

Jamie has more than two decades of experience in accelerating brand visibility for online businesses. His company operates SEOResellersCanada.ca, a white label SEO and digital marketing agency. With his unique and actionable business processes, agencies and small businesses can successfully expand online operations without the traditional associated cost overhead.

For over 18 years we have been the solution to fit any size agency or business. Our team of creative SEO experts and marketers develop some of the best results driven campaigns in the industry.

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