Reducing Code Bloat for SEO

March 26, 2009 SEO

A problem with some of the ‘usual suspects’ in e-commerce website development is the code. Not that it doesn’t work – everything is as it should be – but there’s so much code that you risk harming your SEO strategy without doing something about it. Here are some simple tactics I’ve employed for recent Cubecart websites

1. Where is the sidebar?

In the global website template, the order of page elements was: head, sidebar, content, footer. Content and sidebar were divs floated to the left and right respectively, but in terms of a search engine spider, the sidebar’s contents (in this site’s case – the basket) preceded the main content, and therefore considered more important. One simple reversal has no effect on design to the end user but changes the complexion of a search engine’s interpretation completely.

2. Strip unnecessary javascript

Every little helps – if your site is referencing javascript that isn’t used, get rid of it. though the few lines of code you save have a negligible effect on SEO, you could be saving valuable seconds in load time. You can always put it back in if that lightbox or scriptaculous effect is absolutely necessary.

3. WYSIWYG code bloat

Cubecart’s page editor is quite guilty of embedding superfluous <span> tags for page styling. Particularly on front page and category pages in an e-commerce site, code bloat like this ought to be stripped.

1 Comment

  1. Web Design UK 8 years

    Cleaning up code is quite important. A majority of website shave redundant code which when reduced can improve the efficiency of teh website, reduce errors and warnings and above all improve the SEO for the website. Using css based design is a basic requirement of a good search engine optimised design. There is little or no reason to use complex table based design code for your website any more. Some time ago, most open source systems were table based so we did not have much of a choice. However new versions of most web based software now support table-less designs.

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