This might become a continuing series of articles because tackling the Search Engine Optimization game by looking at some Google result pages is truly enlightening, even for somebody who’s been at the game for a while.
With this search I’ll look to see if the idea that valid, well-structured html markup helps you rank better. So what I’ll do is check for html errors with the most famous validator of them all at http://validator.w3.org.
Children Beware! It’s not science, it’s just a random test.
The top 10 results for the term “SEO” at google.com are:
Wikipedia, the king of all SERPs is first. But the validator says 12 Errors, 7 warnings.
Also notice the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization. Where are the hyphens between the words? This is a clear victory for the _underscore.
9 Errors, 1 warnings
This result says that I don’t need to specify that I’m doing these searches from Italy using google.com. Google is always careful to locate the searcher.
63 Errors, 3 warning(s)
Nice article, good source.. but ehm.. the title says it all.
huffingtonpost.com – I checked this page for htmlAt least, that is what I thought. But behold! This page has 232 Errors and 146 warnings!
This is the first Google page on the topic. The validator shows 9 Errors and 2 warnings
This page also does not do well with the W3C validator: 181 Errors, 118 warning(s). There are however lots of links and original content that make up for the improper use of html.
Even the WordPress website has a few validation errors (9 Errors, 2 warnings to be precise).
40 Errors, 7 warnings. This one really beats me! How did this page get in the SERP’s in the first place for this search term? Any Ideas
2 Errors, 2 warnings. This result is credible for a first page
125 Errors, 56 warning(s)
Don’t spend your nights worrying about super perfect code. Think about content instead!