Why should I care that Miller Media uses HTML5 or XHTML 1.0 Strict, CSS, and W3C web standards?
When properly used, W3C standards enhance accessibility and promises long-term durability (which we call "forward compatibility") for any document published on the web. If you care to reach the largest audience for the longest time possible, you want to work with web standards, and where document structure and layout are concerned, XHTML & CSS are the way to go.
Why Valid Source Code Matters For SEO
Testing your web pages in different browsers is an absolutely necessary process for building any web page. It allows you to see what others can see, and often you will notice mistakes in your website's HTML code because of the broken appearance they cause in browsers. But what if your site displays the pages exactly as you intended. Are your pages error-free? Not necessarily.
If you're concerned at all with search engine optimization... validating your source code is a necessity.
The W3C sets the standards for coding XHTML and CSS for web pages. They also provide tools to validate your code for free. So do some third-parties. The question you might be asking is, "If my page looks fine in Internet Exporer, Netscape, Safari, Firefox, etc., why do I need to worry about validation?" If all you're looking for is proper display, you might not have to. However, if you're concerned at all with SEO, and you probably should be, validating your source code is a necessity.
One reason for this is the difference between search engine spiders and browsers. Spiders "crawl" the web indexing web pages and their content. They are basically toned-down web browsers that aren't concerned with displaying for a user but with recognizing content. In other words, search engine spiders are looking at the same code your web browser is and parsing it in a very similar way. This difference in functionality, however, is vast.
There is pressure on web browser developers to ensure that their browsers display pages correctly.
This often includes forgiving errors in the source code. Improperly nested elements, unclosed tags, unrecognized parameters - these are all errors in HTML code that might not affect your web page's display in your favorite browser. However, when it comes to search engine spiders, it can be an entirely different story.
Why leave the possibility open of causing problems for search engines when they try to index your pages?
That is not to say that small errors in your HTML code will spell death for your search engine rankings. Certainly they won't normally make your page invisible to spiders. They can, however, disrupt the vastly important process of a spider parsing your page for all relevant content or make some of that content invisible. And since so much of SEO is paying close attention to every little detail of your site and its content, why leave the possibility open of causing problems for search engines when they try to index your pages?
Benefits of valid XHTML & CSS
- Increased interoperability. XHTML pages can easily be viewed on wireless devices like PDA's and cell phones.
- Cleaner, more logical code adding better integration in older existing systems.
- Future transition to more advanced technology. Allows future XML technology to be easily integrated in to an existing site.
- Greater accessibility, broadening your potential customer base. Pages will work with screen readers for the visually impaired.
- Bandwith conservation. Pages are smaller than old HTML designs and will load much faster for slower internet connections.
- Increased readability by search engines