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News » CSS & SEO: benefits and disadvantages

In this short article I'd like to take a closer look on several pluses and minuses caused by using CSS in your website styling. It's not a secret that we cannot picture a modern website without using some serious amount of CSS in it. CSS won its own place under the sun several years ago after evolving from a simple styling solution to a serious web development tool.

Let's consider all advantages first to understand clearly where you should and where you should not at any rate use CSS code in order to get your pages properly indexed, evaluated and ranked by Search Engines.

<H1>, <H2>, <H3> etc...
These tags are vitally important, for they together with Title meta tags, Desсriрtion meta data and body text are three major "pillars" supporting success of your SEO works and bright ranking future for your website. <H1> and others are usually used to define HTML headings (yes,those big titles that inform Search Engines what is all page's content about. Do whatever you want but < H1> tag must present at the very top of your page.

Normally <H1> tags look ugly because they are too big and are able to spoil any design. That's exactly where CSS can help. Simple styling in external CSS file solves this problem, because you can set whatever you want style to <H1> tags. Note: avoid styling INSIDE <H1> like this: <h1 style="color:#af0000; font-size:12px;">. Lots of report prove that SE often (if not always) ignore such tags, though externally styled tags cannot be so easily ignored because they look absolutely the same as they should. Here is the example of external CSS styling for better SEO:


H1 {color:#af0000; font-size:12px;}

This way you'll get your title tags fit your design and still properly working for the best Search Engine Optimization results.

Ofter webmasters use CSS to hide from users some certain SEO copy using visibility:hidden; or "display:none; attribute. You can add as many SEO copy as possible- your website visitors won't see it anyway! So far it works fine with all Search Engines including Google and Yahoo though it is considered as "black hat" (illegal) practices and you may face penalty if caught. Consider yourself warned!

Now let;s talk a bit about disadvantages CSS brings if used not wisely. Most common mistake is to stick with classes to style literally all copy. It is wrong! Just one little example - some webmasters use font-weight:bold; and abandon real <strong> and <b> tags. It will make Search engine think that no words in a copy stand out (since no words are emphasized with <strong> and <b> tags). To read more about imprtance of using <strong> and <b> tags click here

So don't forget to use <strong> and <b> tags to make Search engines pay more attention on your keywords.


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