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    18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 19, 2009 10:54 AM by AlexTampa

    CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...

    patkins Newbie
      I wish CSS was the end-all for good SEO but you are wrong, oh so very wrong!

      There are many very well documented sites that are built with Generated code from something like a Content Management System (CMS). In many of these cases the code is not perfect and all using nice pretty CSS markup. "Don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of CSS" BUT, that is not what makes SEO tick.

      I find that anyone who sells that notion is trying to sell a service. Good SEO comes in many formats and techniques.

      Unless you can put somthing in writing that your CSS will always get the ranking the customers want you may want to be a little less definitive.

        • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
          LUCKIEST Guide
          patkins, Do not understand. Way over my head. You posted Open Source software.
          O K. Does CSS have anything to do with Open Source software??
          • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
            If anyone ever put anything in writing regarding a guarantee of ranking - I'd run the other way. Quite simply, you can't guarantee a ranking in any search engine, since you can't control or buy your way to the top.

            No, CSS is not magical. But good, clean, structured code is a key ingredient in the SEO soup. So are:
            1. great content!
            2. great content!
            3. great content! (yes, repeated on purpose - content that is relevant, unique and interesting - search engines want to return results that matter, or people won't use them
            4. proper TITLE, DESC and header usage, keyphrase density, etc.
            5. as little code as possible around the content (which is why CSS, being external to the HTML, makes the magic happen)
            6. good internal linking, with proper titles and key phrases ('click here' is just plain bad)
            7. good external links from other websites of authority (not just shady link farms that link 1000 pages to your website for a fee)
            (the above aside from 1,2,3 are in no particular order)

            And a well written CMS can generate nice structured code, and use CSS for layout and styling - WordPress is a great example.

              • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                tokyov Wayfarer
                MTCreations is absolutely right. It takes ALL of the above for SEO. CSS is a very BIG part of item. Of course, you must know what you're doing to leverage the magic in CSS and optimization. Anyone who claims that properly used CSS does not help your rankings doesn't know what he/she is talking about, and may be trying to rip you off. Any service that claims they can guarantee rankings or traffic is full of it. I would run fast from any "professional" who gives you this line. In addition, any service that claims you need to resubmit your site monthly is full of it. These people are trying to make money off of you. If your site is linked and properly coded, the spiders will find you and visit often. However, you have to be up to standard to fully leverage the hidden magic of CSS and know how to write CSS as well as XHTML/XML for true optimization. You can't just attach a stylesheet with a bunch a colors and think that will boost traffic & rankings.
              • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                moogrdotcom Adventurer
                CSS is not "SEO"

                CSS makes SEO easier because it seperates design/layout from content so you can easily update the content indepent of the site design.

                For those not in the know CSS = Custom Style Sheets. Its a way of implementing markup so the design is more independant from the content. Its really nifty for thinking of things as elements/containers so you can move them around in a page just by editing the stype sheet (aka CSS file). The beauty of CSS in SEO is you can hire a designer to do your designer and a copywriter/seo firm to do you seo and you get the best of both worlds.
                • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                  Biz Online Adventurer
                  Since your comment is not a question, but a statement, I can only agree.
                  CSS is not SEO, period. CSS is cascading style sheets. Simply put, it is code that is NOT on the web page, making the page "lighter" and quicker to load on your internet browser. The code loads when a page is queried, or ask for, on your internet browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox.
                  CSS also lays out your web page rendering, like 2 column or 3 column layouts, and all of your font attributes like color, size, etc.

                  I completely agree with MTCreations comments!

                  Happy New Year!
                  • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                    Amazing post, and i'll agree that while CSS is not a 'silver bullet', it can be an integral part of a well-formed webpage. As you stated, Good SEO comes from many different facets of a website. Good content, good structure, and plenty of networked material makes the system run. I wrote an article on here about SEO, but i forgot to mention these three points in full detail. In an analogy, those who think CSS is your answer-all to SEO, that would be like putting up a skyscrapers framework but forgetting the interior.
                      • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                        intechspecial Ranger
                        You really have to understand CSS to understand that CSS and SEO are not two relevant topics.

                        CSS is simply today's standards for designing the front end of static and dynamically loaded websites.

                        Comparing CSS to SEO is like comparing fruit to coffee.
                          • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                            Yes, but CSS provides a clean layout for both usability purposes and content structuring, which helps along SEO.
                              • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                                intechspecial Ranger

                                This is true but this is just one small portion of SEO.


                                CSS is more for functionality and design, and is not meant specifically for SEO.

                                Using meta tags, images, keywords in paragraphs and title tags is just a small portion of SEO.

                                Google does not care if you use CSS, Tables, XML, or other design types. There are many other methods to gain high SEO rankings.CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and this has to do with how the browser renders the code.

                                Search eninges take other things into there ranking of your site. How many keywords are on your site? How many links point at your site? What is the Page Rank of these sites?(page rank should not be confused with Search Engine Rank as they are completely different) Of these links that point to your site, how much traffic and such do they recieve? Is your site correctly designed to meet basic WAI standards.(Alt text next to images for example is relevant to accessibilty and not just CSS). Is your site doing anything "illegal" to super inhance your keywords? Is your site HTML or XHTML valid?

                                It might help to do a search on CSS and then do a search on white hat seo and/or black hat seo.

                                You will probably be able to understand better what I am saying.

                                I hope this helps.
                              • Re: CSS is not the SEO silver bullet...
                                AlexTampa Newbie

                                CSS can be used for changing the order they way things on page are read by the bot.


                                For example,. if you want your main content to be read before the navigation menu, but the navigation menu is displayed on top, you can easily do this with CSS.

                                Also, CSS can make your webpage load faster. This can produce better user behavior on site. Which google uses this for serp results.