Is Good Coding Key to Great Placement in MSN

Good Coding for Ranking in MSN

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MSN Search Engine (BETA)

The two "big dogs," Google and Yahoo, now have a new competitor. MSN came out with a new search engine in February 2005 that has added good coding as a part of their ranking algorithm. They no longer get their results from other search engines, but now they have spiders of their own. Just as before, this spider does not index the same as other search engines. Still, having good content always wins, but here are a few other things I have found that may help your ranking on MSN Search.

Good HTML Coding

The point I want to dwell on today is good coding. In MSN, a website that is poorly coded can very possibly lose the top spot to one with better coding. In the code of a website, all HTML tags need to be closed. For example, you need to make sure that for every <p> tag there must be a corresponding </p> tag.

Now, I consider this a great move by MSN. As a website developer, I am very concerned with proper coding. However, there are many companies that believe in the "Do-it-yourself" method of web development. Now all of those people that "built a site once in 7th grade" and are self proclaimed "web designers" will take a bit of a drop in the search engines if they have sloppy code. (I might sound a bit jaded but there are a lot of ugly websites out there that have been built by these people).

Proper, standards compliant coding is a great move forward for an industry that has taken so long to build standards but never lived by them. These standards make developing new browsers (read the all mighty Firefox) and websites much easier. Now although the W3, the group that decides what the standards are for the web, has been very progressive (sometimes overly zealous when it comes to standardizing the web), not everything they have decided has worked. However, I believe this move by MSN will definitely push a need that has been a long time coming. By requiring a minimum degree of good coding, everyone will reap the benefits.

A new standard for the future

My only hope is that Google and Yahoo will follow suit. Seeing as search engine placement drives much of what happens on the web, I believe they have the greatest reach and power.

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