This might become a continuing series of SEO research articles because tackling the Search Engine Optimization game by looking at some Google result pages is 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 html. At 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!