HTML Structural Elements
In general, HTML provides structural elements that may help a search engine understand the overall
topicality of documents, as well as where logical divisions and important parts are located, such as
tags, and so on. If you don’t include these elements in your HTML code, the search
engine must make such decisions entirely itself.
Although most hand-coded sites do well in this regard, especially when a search engine marketer is
involved, many content management systems are abysmally bad at it. Also, WYSIWYG (What You See Is
What You Get) editors typically do not use these tags, and tend to generate HTML with CSS embedded
pervasively in style tags. This is not ideal with regard to search engine optimization. For example, this
provides more semantic information than this:
<img src=’bullet.gif’>Item 1<br>
<img src=’bullet.gif’>Item 2<br>
<img src=’bullet.gif’>Item 3<br>
even if they look entirely identical onscreen.
If you’ve developed web content using a WYSIWYG editor, it may be wise to hand-edit the generated
HTML to optimize the content after the fact. You may also choose to create your HTML directly instead
of using such an editor. An additional solution of using a custom markup language is explored later in
Copy Prominence and Tables
Copy prominence is the physical depth — that is, the actual position (counted in bytes) in the HTML
document where the copy starts within your document. Because search engines may consider the con-
tent closest to the top of the HTML document more important, it is wise to avoid placing repetitive or
irrelevant content before the primary content on a page.
tag. If you do that, Internet
Explorer won’t parse your script.
c06.qxd:c06 10:55 141