The somewhat misleadlingly titled article “16 Elements You Must Include in Your Site Design”:www.webhostdir.com/news/articles/shownews.asp?id=16417 has been proving popular in Delicious lately.
Guideline #5 recommends that you:
bq. Place content near the top of the page. Search engines spider the content that comes first in your source code.
Nothing too earth-shattering there about considering SEO when building web pages. This has been said before many times.
However, through a coincidence of timing, search engine optimization expert Jill Whalen covered this very topic in the latest issue of her @High Rankings Advisor@ newsletter but provided “quite different advice”:www.highrankings.com/advisor/lowbodycopy/.
Asked by a reader about whether body copy appearing 2/3 of the way down a page’s source code negatively impacts search engine rankings, she replied:
bq. This is an old SEO myth. It actually makes no difference where in the source
code the copy of the page shows up.
That’s a pretty definitive statement about a widely-held SEO belief. However, given Jill’s expertise in this area, I am inclined to believe her.
What do others think – do you agree or disagree?