Search Engines and CSS

Website Design Beaconsfield and Buckinghamshire
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A massive factor when designing a website to be search engine friendly is the use of CSS. CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are a web protocol developed back in 1996 to separate two parts of a web page; the layout or visual design and the text content.

If we look back to how web pages were designed in the past (and some websites even now), they used tables to ‘slice’ a page into separate pieces to create areas for text, images were used for titles and text elements when the limited number of web fonts were not adequate!

The major flaw with this way of developing web pages was the amount of code required to create even the most simple layout, below is an example of the code required to create a basic table with just two columns and two rows:

<table>
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>

Imagine creating a page with 50, 60, 100 separate elements within a table filled with images and text elements not to mention the need to define the height and width of each element! When a search engine visits a page like this it will only read a small amount of code before moving on, some sites have hundreds of lines of table code before they even show a page title!

Were CSS made all the difference to web design was the ability to define the styling of individual elements of a page without the need for a table to contain them. This extended beyond the basic layout, spacing and padding tables provided and gave us colours, fonts and floating elements. As well as styling we could use the ‘cascade’ to apply a single style or class to many elements on a page, reducing the amount of code required to style common elements found on a web page such as titles and paragraphs.

All of this means that CSS allows web designers to create pages with less code, great design flexibility and style – and because the search engine does not see CSS styling the page appears to contain only the text content which is what the search engine is there to find. This, in turn, speeds up the search engine crawl process allowing the search engine to crawl more pages per hour.

Our Online Business Platform uses CSS for all styling and layout, we would recommend that you check your current website for any tables and think about using CSS to improve your search engine exposure.

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