Content on top for better search results and PageRank

Browsing around on Flickr, I came upon a pretty funny screen shot of a Google search ‘verlee’.

Search results and PageRank

So many people misspell my name on my blog that Google now rewards me for this by making Verlee also a top result 😀
Originally uploaded by Veerle Pieters.

It reminded me of a funny thing I discovered just last week. A search for ‘Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía’ gets me the 4th spot, while I’m only pointing to Veerle’s article about it. The article it self comes way below that at #12, on the 2nd page.

Why is that so weird? Veerle’s PageRank is 7, while mine is 6!

So what could be causing that? It can’t be the xHTML doctype and it can’t be the incoming links (she’s bound to have WAY more). So I started looking at the source of the respective pages. Mine has the content right up there after (the minimal) navigation, while Veerle has the whole sidebar in first, before the content.

Although there’d have to be more detailed testing, I feel it’s safe to say that putting content first – in your source code – is a good idea regarding your search engine ranking, especially as it’s supposed to be more accessible to screen readers.

This is also the reason I don’t have a ‘skip to content’ button.

One reply on “Content on top for better search results and PageRank”

I never understood the purpose of a skip to content button… until now.

But I won’t need it, because just like you, I made the decision a while back to have the content first and the sidebar after.

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