There’s a whole lot of competition to get good spots in the search engines. Proper html syntax and a clean code will help toward better positoning.
With site design mainly done with wysiwig editors today, there appears to be a whole lot of reliance on these tools without realising they are much less than perfect.
Software such as frontpage tend to create a rather complicated html code and we as users simply assume that since it’s software generated there will not be any issues with it.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Wysiwig applications is very often unable to correctly integrate extra code e.g. affiliates links, AdSense code, shopping cart codes etc..
The more complex the page, the greater the possibility of there being a issue with html.
It’s quite surprising how many websites there are out there with html issues.
Only run a few competitors pages via the a validator and you’ll see.
Today’s browsers are really tolerant and will still display a webpage properly that has all kinds of problems. But it’s a different story with robots. They like it easy and easy and will normally take the path of least resistance — nearly human, are not they?
So let’s say we have two competing websites, both are appropriate for the top spot and the search engine has a difficult time deciding who to place first. There’s a really significant likelihood that the supported site with appropriate syntax is going to be the winner.
Validation of this html on your website alone will certainly not secure you a top score, but as with so many other things it will help and may even be the contributing factor to get you across the line.
Also an essential point for webpages using SSI, PHP etc.. It’s sometimes tricky to validate code offline since there are lots of tiny bits that are assembled by the server. So you really don’t understand what you may get in the long run. Be certain you validate all these pages and get it done using an internet tool.
My favourite html validator is validator.org
And also a case to the point: I recently set up a datafeed code to get an affiliate website.
There was one mistake in the item screen, two tr and td tags in which the wrong way around. And as each page recorded over 20 products the mistakes of course accumulated…
It is only going to cost you a little of time to validate and perhaps lots of time to fix all of the issues, but believe me it is well worth it!
Proceed and validate!