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Valid Websites

All Lab 99 websites benefit from the use of valid HTML code.

What is Validation?

Just as you risk being misunderstood if you break the grammatical rules of English, a website risks being misunderstood by humans and by search engines if it doesn’t abide by the grammatical rules of HTML, the web language.

Validation simply means checking that the code under the surface of a website works correctly. This isn’t the same as checking how the website looks. A modern website’s visual appearance is entirely separate from its grammatical structure.

The Benefits of a Valid Website

Invalid code acts as a barrier to search engines, which look at the code under the surface and ignore the visual appearance. The fewer validation problems a website has, the more efficiently its content will be indexed by search engines, and the higher it is likely to appear in the search engine rankings.

How Do I Validate My Website?

If you already have a website, you can check the health of the code under the surface by using the free tool provided by the World Wide Web Consortium. Go to http://validator.w3.org/, type in the address of each page of your website, and see how many errors it contains.

One or two errors may indicate nothing more serious than the odd spelling mistake, which usually won’t cause any real problems. If you find more than a handful of errors, however, there will be parts of your website that the search engines may misunderstand or may not even reach. Fixing those errors will almost certainly improve your search engine rankings.

You can check the validity of any of this website’s pages by clicking the XHTML1.0 link at the bottom of each page.

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