____________________
Search Content
Contact Us

Template Chooser

template18
 
 

Web Standards and Search Engine Optimization

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Web Standards

Definition

What is a standard, or in the case of web development, what are standards?

The quick and straight (see dictionary.com) definition is:

2. That which is established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, extent, value, or quality; esp., the original specimen weight or measure sanctioned by government, as the standard pound, gallon, or yard.

3. That which is established as a rule or model by authority, custom, or general consent; criterion; test.

The court, which used to be the standard of property and correctness of speech. --Swift.

A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. --Burke.

Wikipedia - Standardized best practices for building web sites, and a philosophy of web design and development that includes those methods.

Advocates within the web standards movement tend to focus on the higher-level standards that most directly affect the accessibility and usability of web sites.

Definition
What Web Standards?
Spirit Of Standards
What's XHTML?
What Rant?

Web Standards?

What Web Standards?

Tim Berners-Lee unbeknownst to some who think the internet was invented by some unnamed political leader, is in fact the true inventor and the founder of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1994 at the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since that time he has served as the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium which coordinates Web development worldwide, with teams at MIT, at INRIA in France, and at Keio University in Japan. The Consortium takes as its goal to lead the Web to its full potential, ensuring its stability through rapid evolution and revolutionary transformations of its usage. The Consortium may be found at http://www.w3.org/. The web is now becoming a friendlier place for the average user due to the newer browsers which support these W3C standards.

Definition
What Web Standards?
Spirit Of Standards
What's XHTML?
What Rant?

Spirit of Standards

The Spirit of Standards!

The spirit of standards when it comes to site design in a nutshell, is when a site is developed from scratch it's best to keep all "styles" out of the html as well as keep sites table less unless the "true use" of tables such as for tabular data ala spreadsheets, is integral. This separation of style from content utilizing CSS for visual layout control and structural markup for data maintains standards. Yes, this won't be backwards compatible as far as the presentational look and feel with any browser created before 2000, but it will generally break down gracefully and render faster especially relative to PDAs and cell phones. There are "CSS hacks" though that still validate and allow a greater backwards compatibility, but usually that involves more troubleshooting that of course extends budgets. If the demographic of the site demands compatibility with older non-standards browsers then be prepared to spend more. If modifying a site, creating standards compliant "containers" with CSS for legacy code is probably the best approach when tight budgets demand this. In this case when the budget allows a Webmaster to later consolidate legacy code to standards compliance, at least the main containers will allow the Webmaster to easily change the presentation with minor edits in just one CSS for the whole site in most cases and thus a very different look and feel within a fraction of the time.

Definition
What Web Standards?
Spirit Of Standards
What's XHTML?
What Rant?

What's XHTML?

What is XHTML?

The following inline frame references the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) site to answer the definition of XHTML and give you an understanding of why standardizing your website is a necessity. Click from the appropriate links below to bring it into view within the iframe.

Definition
What Web Standards?
Spirit Of Standards
What's XHTML?
What Rant?

What Rant?

What Rant ?

The message has been sent and the next generation or upgrades to browsers should finally bring about a conformity (CSS ;-) that will rid us of the digital anarchy that comes about by an exclusive coop that would try to create their own standards in a non creative sterile environment in the name of "capitalism". History has shown this isn't a standard or capitalism, and is going beyond the measure like a fascist dictator who was raised by the people who are plundered by his idealisms of a paragon that are corrupted by depravity. Where collaboration such as with open source and true innovative capitalism derived from open standards blossoms; then a market place will be created in which the average person will easily be able to participate in. The abstracts will be left to the artisans and be obvious to those more often needing order, which for busy lives seems the "order of the day".

Definition
What Web Standards?
Spirit Of Standards
What's XHTML?
What Rant?

Action!

What To Do?

What can I do?

You might consider upgrading to any of the following browsers. Doing so will allow you to use and view websites as their creators intended.

Firefox/Mozilla, has become one of the worlds most highly used browsers. Has great anialiasing of text, is fast, stable, and has thousands of useful Add-ons that enhance Firefox. It's very easy to personalize Firefox 2 to make it your own.

IE7 for Windows delivers support for HTML 4, CSS-1, and other important W3C standards. It however doesn't support CSS-2 like most of the browsers listed below. The browser is available free of charge and highly markets it's security features;-)

Konqueror is a full featured, modern graphical browser for Unix/Linux, with excellent support for web standards including HTML 4.01, CSS-1, CSS-2.1,and the CSS 3 selectors module, ECMA Script, and the DOM Level ?, and support for XML.

OmniWeb/Mac Only, a fairly new browser for Mac OS X is optimized for standards compliance. Omniweb has been much praised for its elegant interface and superb antialiasing of text, and its support for Unicode and international character sets is unparalleled (only Mozilla and Safari come close and by this reading may surpass).

Opera Mac/Windows, supports key web standards and a variety of computing platforms. Its lead designer was the chief author of the CSS-1 standard. The browser, which works well even on older PCs with limited power, is available free of charge. (A pay version is also available.) Opera supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and the OS/2, EPOC, and BeOS platforms.

Safari Mac/Windows, has supported standards from the beginning along with security and is touted as the fastest browser in the world on any platform.

Jeffrey Zeldman explains how defining the access key attribute on link elements allows users to navigate websites via the keyboard instead of a mouse. This helps users with physical disabilities navigate through a website more easily as well as creating a "Hot-Key" like feature that benefits all frequent visitors to a site. The accesskey is a useful feature but as Jeffrey notes, no widely used browser provides a method for users to display accesskey letter assignments, short of viewing the source code. Not knowing what accesskeys are associated with each link makes them of limited value, and they are under used on most websites.

Read about the Web Standards Project Browser Upgrade campaign.
http://www.webstandards.org/learn/faq/

If you're not sure why you should care about this, please read : To Hell with Bad Browsers.

Thanks to The Web Standards Project for this collection information

What To Do?
ROI
What Is CSS?
What CSS Is Not

ROI

Corporations are trying to create their own standards so why not wait till it settles out?
Do I really need to develop my site towards this standard ?
What's this got to do with my bottom line (ROI)?

Of course these are loaded questions, but the truth is that in compliance with standards that have come about with the shake down of the last few years from the formation of the W3C to the anti-trust suites, there are several benefits for you and your visitors as noted below.

  • Downloads Smaller Thus Faster Even though high-speed (bigger pipeline) wider bandwidth internet connections are becoming more accessible and commercial, there are some users who aren't as fortunate for several reasons. This often leads the user with dial-up connections to turn off images which can collapse the layout into a garbled mess. With fewer images in the usual CSS layout it follows that there is less download time and thus the user will see your pages faster and more reliably.
  • Browser Compatibility & Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) When it comes to JavaScript and images some browsers like Web TV and text browsers don't support it. DHTML menu's can be totally inaccessible to them. JavaScript and images are often turned off by end users for quicker surfing on slow connections. Text links are supported in all browsers and when created in conjunction with css standards they can be styled with a nice presentational quality, which also optimizes pages for search engines. The keyword population these text links provide are an excellent search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
  • Maintenance Is Easier When your site is created utilizing textual links, besides being leaner in size and quicker to download, it's much easier to change text then to re-create new graphical user interface (GUI) elements, a fancy name for buttons. What if you need to create a "Contact Us" page in place of the "Email Us" link? The text link can be changed easily by someone who doesn't even know html, whereas the GUI button has to be re-created and placed by someone who's qualified; usually a graphic artist. With html attributes and CSS these links can imitate the buttons and submenus that are widely seen utilizing DHTML.These as well as other benefits will have a positive effect for your return on investment (ROI).
  • Wider Access Group The goal of standards is to create more accessible sites. People visiting your site who have disabilities and listen to web pages using assistive technologies like screen readers or web page readers, find image-based navigation systems hard to decipher when they can't see the images. This is where CSS standards will get rid of the extraneous code that is often difficult to get around utilizing these technologies.
  • Keyword Saturation As indicated earlier a good SEO campaign involves a wise use of keywords and design techniques that help the search engine algorithms (like Google's). Keywords basically are the words or phrases that people use in a search to find a site. In case you're not familiar with Meta tag keywords, key phrases, or descriptions, these are the tags put in between html head tags of a web page along with carefully chosen keywords to help these engines index pages. The content of a page within the body tags below the head is also indexed for keywords often in relation to the Meta tags. Keyword content within header tags (h1, h2, thru h6) is weighted higher in most search algorithms. When using text links the keyword saturation is greater and often weights the pages of a site higher thus leading to better page rank and link popularity.
  • Indexing or Spidering Efficiency A spider or crawler is a webbot that sends the information of a site to a database where it is then indexed. Text links are followed more efficiently in spidering or crawling of the site by following these to all the pages. If links can't be followed because they're hidden within complex JavaScripts, DHTML, or Flash, then obviously the whole site won't get indexed.

What To Do?
ROI
What Is CSS?
What CSS Is Not

What Is CSS?

What is CSS?

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) help to separate the presentation from the structural markup of a web site. The appearance of content is controlled utilizing CSS in a web site which optimizes the pages making them smaller and thus faster at rendering within the browser.

HTML was intended as the structural markup language. This language focuses on the roles that the different elements of a document have to play, not how they have to look. CSS has been invented and developed for the Internet. It is not an adapted tool from print or programming, but a means of enhancing HTML.

Since CSS takes care of the presentation, the structure of the document can be static HTML, and the content either contained in the HTML itself, or generated by ASP, ColdFusion, XML and/or other technologies such as PHP programming and AJAX.

CSS is here to stay. It is a fascinating, elegant technology that can make sites faster, less complicated, easier to change, better adaptable to the need of emerging technologies - and more disabled accessible. And for being that powerful, it is surprisingly easy to learn.

What To Do?
ROI
What Is CSS?
What CSS Is Not

What CSS Is Not

What Style Sheets Are Not

Style sheets are often touted as a means to separate style from content. That's not entirely true depending on your definitions of "style" and "content."

HTML (hypertext markup language) defines the structure of a document, the organization of text and images and other data into individual elements (via tags). CSS does not affect that.

What CSS does is to define how these elements are displayed in terms of typography, color, spacing, etc. It can also affect the visual layout to some extent. But it doesn't alter the structure of a document. In basic terms, styles are applied to elements but elements - the content structure - are defined by the markup language.

What To Do?
ROI
What Is CSS?
What CSS Is Not

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Video Integrations designs and develops web sites using search engine optimization (SEO) to improve the amount of traffic through search engines (SE) to these web sites. The higher to the top a site shows up in SE results, the more likely users will visit the site. One way this is accomplished is in coding the site with targeted keywords (that are thought people will use in searches), to get a higher ranking in the search engines. Search engines use "spiders" or "robots" to crawl website pages for content which is then put into a database that makes up the search engines' index. There are certain pages you may not want everyone to have access to and we recommend some not readily apparent, then set up ways to keep spiders from indexing those pages. The presentation and structure of a website also enters into the ranking. Flash, Javascript, and other media types embedded into pages cannot be crawled and therefore cannot be indexed. We therefore recommend against utilizing only these types of formats or any other type of object that would prevent indexing of content . The sites that are indexed best have a lot of good solid content, thus the cliche' "content is king" still stands today.

SEO have become quite complex over the years due to the many schemes webmaster/programmers have used to try to get their sites to the top of the index. The complexities involve algorithms which prevent keyword stuffing and other ploys used. These algorithms can even lead to sites getting kicked out of the index! The repetition in content should reveal a keyword density which targets those words that should be used for titles, descriptions, and links, creating a strategy that the search engines' algorithms prefer in indexing web sites.

Our administration pages are very user friendly (with Word-like tools) and make it easy for clients to be involved in the SEO process. Clients are shown how to add their own content and keywords (derived from the content), so they can create additional pages or change content (including pictures) of existing pages.

These are just a few of the methods we have used in our SEO process that has proven very effective in getting web sites individual pages noticed within the top 3 pages on the various search engines (namely Google). Other ways we help drive people to sites is by ensuring that unique content is added and by making the site pleasing to users.


Warning: include_once(/home/video/public_html) [function.include-once]: failed to open stream: Success in /home/video/public_html/templates/template18/index.php on line 131

Warning: include_once() [function.include]: Failed opening '/home/video/public_html' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/video/public_html/templates/template18/index.php on line 131