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W3C Compliance, SEO, Internet Marketing And The Advancing Internet

W3C Compliance, SEO, Internet Marketing And The Advancing Internet
Posted by Dexter Nelson: Monday, December 13, 2010 (8:11 AM)

W3C Compliance, SEO, Internet Marketing And The Advancing Internet


As a developer for almost eleven years now W3C Compliance has been something of a developer's niche and a big advantage to people who have made search engine optimization their business.


As a developer for almost eleven years now W3C Compliance has been something of a developer's niche and a big advantage to people who have made search engine optimization their business.

History: So what is W3C Optimization?

In 1994 Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, (the inventor of the Internet) headed the World Wide Web Consortium, whose makeup now includes more than 400 members including all of the major search engine and global corporations from Toshiba, HP and several others.

The Consortium determined to create a set of standards for the Internet. What they did was develop, and continue to advance the technical specifications and guidelines related to content, to ensure the quality of information on the web.

This began with coding specifications and now include standards for the following, and we can expect to see that list grow as technology advances.


  1. Web Design and Applications (CSS, SVG, AJAX, etc)
  2. Web Architecture (including URIs and HTTP)
  3. Semantic Web (Web Data - more on that later)
  4. XML Technology like XML, XQuery, XML Schema, XSLT, XSL-FO, Efficient XML Interchange (EXI), and other related standards
  5. Web of Services (SOAP, WSDL, etc)
  6. Web of Devices
  7. Browsers and Authoring Tools


How Does This Affect SEO?

First, it's important to understand that not being W3C Compliant affects a lot more than the search engines, but to get back to the question...

I recently began optimization for a few clients' websites and to my horror they all failed W3C Compliance, meaning that they didn't meet the requirements set by the World Wide Web Consortium as being quality websites.

I spent several days going over the code, page by page and showing my clients the possible impact non-compliance could have.

All of the major search engines are part of the Consortium, and with that in mind, quality is a factor in how search engines index and rank your sites. While some engines weight compliance more heavily than others, engines will most likely give you a lower ranking or even not index your site at all.

But as I mentioned, it's much more than just indexing. Readability is one of those factors that comes along with quality and many browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Lynx and as I found out recently, Google Chrome will not display your pages properly.

Many contend that W3C Compliance is a long term effort and more study is needed, however we have already begun to see the effects of non-compliance. In fact many of the SEO tools now factor in compliance as a required element to ranking.

Which, for us bloggers bring up an interesting dilemma. Is your blog W3C Compliant? If not, it's definitely something to inquire about. There may be a reason why your blogs aren't ranking highly, or even showing up in the search engines.

So why all the concern now about compliance?

Quite frankly, it's the direction the web is going. As a career engineer and programmer and Internet Marketer I have a unique perspective and I've noticed that there seems to be this emerging battle between marketing and the path the Internet is going.

On one hand you have marketers still trying to capitalize on existing technology, and on the other you have technology itself saying, "Keep up. I'm going this way."

There's already a big play towards the term Web 3.0 and in this author's opinion it's just another marketing play for the next big buzz term, however there is some truth behind the next web.

Many believe that we've barely scratched the surface of the potential to the Internet, (myself included), but Internet Marketers seem to lag behind technology.

For me, it's always a race to keep up with both, but it's given me a rather keen edge and what's turning out to be a big advantage in both development of software and Internet Marketing.

February of last year Tim Berners-Lee participated in TED Talks with a discussion on the next web. Here in his own words is the next emergence on the web. Keep in mind that I just listed the Semantic Web (linked data) as part of the W3C Standards governed by the Consortium.

Take the time to watch it. It's not very long, but very insightful.



Now that you've taken in what he's said and it's now 2010 you can already see the huge difference in where marketing is and the direction the Internet is going. Already there are applications that use Linked Data like dbpedia and statistics used by Hans Rosling in his TED Talks - the best stats you've ever seen.

In Conclusion:
Is W3C Compliance important enough to pay attention to, and put out effort on? In my sincerest opinion, yes it is, and it will become even more important in the very near future.

As I said, having professional experience in both development and marketing, if I had to give advice and not just make people aware of what is going on behind the scenes it would be this.

The World Wide Web Consortium is defining the Internet including data and applications as to what is quality, (a growing factor in the major search engines). The major search engines are part of the Consortium and as a result, striving for compliance can only benefit you and your audience and give you an advantage as technology advances.

Will the gap between Internet Marketing and Internet Technology ever sync up? I personally thing it will be hit and miss for the next several years. Lined Data applications are a whole new emergence of the Internet and I'd bet we haven't even begun to see the new Internet's potential.

Resources and Links


  1. World Wide Web Consortium - http://www.w3.org/http://www.w3.org/
  2. Markup Validation Service - http://validator.w3.org/http://validator.w3.org/
  3. TED Ideas Worth Spreading - http://www.ted.com/http://www.ted.com/

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