Why valid HTML code is crucial to your web site’s search engine optimization efforts and subsequent high rankings:Many webmasters and newcomers to web page design overlook a crucial aspect of web site promotion: the validity of the HTML code.What is valid HTML code?Most web pages are written in HTML.As for every language, HTML has its own grammar, vocabulary and syntax, and each document written in HTML is supposed to follow these rules.Like any language, HTML constantly changes. As HTML has become a relative complex language, it’s very easy to make mistakes … and we do know by now the favorable weight the new msn.com beta search engine places on proper coding practise … see a recent article on msn.com coding requirements HTML code that is not following the official rules is called invalid HTML code. Why is valid HTML code important to search engine optimization and your whole marketing effort?Search engines have to parse the HTML code ofyour web site to find the relevant content. If your HTML code contains errors, search engines might not be able to find the content on the page, and there ends your seo efforts and quest for high rankings of that page.Search engine crawler programs obey HTML standards. They only can index your web site if it is compliant to the HTML standard. If there’s a mistake in your web page code, they might stop crawling your web site and they might lose what they’ve collected so far because of the error.Although most major search engines can deal with minor errors in HTML code, a single missing bracket in your HTML code can be the reason your web page cannot be found in search engines.If you don’t close some tags properly, or if some important tags are missing, search engines might ignore the complete content of that page.How can you check the validity of your HTML code? Fortunately, there are free services that allow you to check the validity of your HTML code.The search engine optimization community’s HTML validator is the W3C HTML Validator .It is the service that checks HTML documents for conformance to W3C HTML and XHTML recommendations and other HTML standards.Just enter the address of a web page at the free W3C HTML Validator and the Validator will tell you what errors are on that page.Although not all HTML errors will cause problems for your search engine rankings, some of them can keep web spiders from indexing your web pages and spoil your search engine optimization efforts.Valid HTML code makes it easier for search engine spiders to index your site so you should make sure that at least the biggest mistakes in your HTML code are corrected… run your web pages through the W3C validator, make the recommended alterations and the new MSN.com beta search will love you .. the MSN search engine places a high value on proper coding practise.Entire article available at:Valid HTML code crucial to SEOSunday 27 February, 2005Copyright 2005 Marketing Defined. All Rights Reserved Roseanne van LangenbergCEO – Marketing DefinedMarketing and PublishingMarketing Defined Blogemail: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis article may be reproduced in its entirety, with no alterations. The above resource boxes must be included.