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  1. #1
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    Hi,
    I'm trying to make my website search engine friendly so I have been cleaning up my code to get it clean. I'm having a problem with the following - here is the error I get using this tool - http://validator.w3.org/ (I have used XXXXXX in place of the real numbers):

    -------------------
    Line 88, column 74: cannot generate system identifier for general entity "siteid"

    ...bfast.com/bfast/serve?bfmid=XXXXXXX&siteid=XXXXXXX&bfpage=hpx" BORDER="0" W
    -------------------------

    It points to the "&" causing the problem and recomends changing it to "&" but this would mean everytime I add a link I have to change this and I wonder if this would cause problems with the tracking code? I also have thousands of products in database's which I could replace with a "search & Replace" but again I would need to make sure the links will still track. It does seem like a problem. Does anyone know what I could do about this?

    This is a readout of the description of the errors from w3.org...

    -----------------
    An entity reference was found in the document, but there is no reference by that name defined. Often this is caused by misspelling the reference name, unencoded ampersands, or by leaving off the trailing semicolon (. The most common cause of this error is unencoded ampersands in URLs as described by the WDG in "Ampersands in URLs".

    Entity references start with an ampersand (&) and end with a semicolon (. If you want to use a literal ampersand in your document you must encode it as "&" (even inside URLs!). Be careful to end entity references with a semicolon or your entity reference may get interpreted in connection with the following text. Also keep in mind that named entity references are case-sensitive; &Aelig; and æ are different characters.

    Note that in most documents, errors related to entity references will trigger up to 5 separate messages from the Validator. Usually these will all disappear when the original problem is fixed.

    --------------------------------

    I have also found these problems with affiliate generated links:

    Line 117, column 155: "NOSAVE" is not a member of a group specified for any attribute

    ...RDER="0" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="1" NOSAVE >



    Line 117, column 155: required attribute "ALT" not specified

    ...RDER="0" WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="1" NOSAVE >


    I also found problems using Googles own Site Search:

    Line 179, column 204: value of attribute "ALIGN" cannot be "CENTER"; must be one of "TOP", "MIDDLE", "BOTTOM", "LEFT", "RIGHT"

    ...border="0" alt="Google" align="center"></img></a>

    The value of the attribute is defined to be one of a list of possible values but in the document it contained something that is not allowed for that type of attribute. For instance, the “selected” attribute must be either minimized as “selected” or spelled out in full as “selected="selected"”; a value like “selected="true"” is not allowed.



    Line 179, column 211: end tag for element "IMG" which is not open

    ..."0" alt="Google" align="center"></img></a>



    Line 181, column 29: end tag for element "INPUT" which is not open

    </input>


    Line 221, column 7: "TR" not finished but containing element ended

    </table>

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Hi rAd,

    The few times that I went to the validator.w3. long time ago trying to clean all they say was bad with my code, I found myself going nuts with the errors on Line xx's, column xx, etc, so I give up on the idea of making my pages pass the validator test's.

    I don't think CJ and Bfree affiliates pages are going to pass those test, even they find a problem in the way we describe the javascript code, so don't lose any sleep about the validator.

    Check any commercial site URL there and you will find problems and errors, I noticed that the sites that make a lot of money with affiliate marketing are full of errors according to the validator.

    It's up to you if you want to go crazy trying to make one page of merchants products pass the validator, about four years ago I did pass it on a index page and I was awarded their famous logo, but, as soon as I tested the next page it was back to square one.

    I think they only work better on personal pages or pages that are mostly content related and not a real money maker pages.

    Don't just go for what I said, just wait for the more experts here reply about the validator.

    Sal.

  3. #3
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    hi Mr. SL,

    I have never worried to much about it either until I just came across a few articles recently with testimonials from people that cleaned up their code and have seen their website sky-rocket in google rankings.

    I have managed to clean up all my code except for the CJ parts, I cleaned up the google SS without altering the layout as well.

    Here is one web page with some more info:
    http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=13731

    I guess my question is would I cause any problems changing "&" to "&"amp";" (I had to use Quotes in that as it wouldn't show up on this post) and taking out the "NOSAVE" from the links? because if I do a Search & replace in my database for these tags then I could basicly clean it all up but I don't want to make my links invalid against commissons.

    thanks for your feedback

  4. #4
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    "I have never worried to much about it either until I just came across a few articles recently with testimonials from people that cleaned up their code and have seen their website sky-rocket in google rankings."

    That's some misinformation. Clean code has nothing to do with Google rankings. That's one of those things that people post and other people see it and repost it over and over again so much that eventually it's accepted as true. Easily disproved by doing some searches and plugging the top sites into the validator and then look at the many errors. I checked one site of mine that is page 1 in all 3 major SE's and let's just say my editor must be spawning out some junk code. Lots of errors like the majority of sites out there.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    I agree 100% that bad code is irrelevent to google. Google's own page is famously riddled with errors. Try validating http://www.google.com for a laugh.

  6. #6
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    Yes, I have to agree not to drive yourself crazy on this as there is only so much you can actually do to satisfy these tests. As Trust said, much of it is misinformation.

    What about the "DOC TYPE" ?? How important is that to have in your HTML???

    You know, the line above the <html> tag:
    IE:<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">

    When I tested my code on one of my sites, it said that the DOC type didn't match. Not sure if it was because I had a couple of flash buttons in there or not. I just ended up removing that line because I can't figure out what the proper DOC type line is I am suppose to add in.

  7. #7
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    Yep, lol
    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...ww.google.com+

    Google - 40 errors

    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...Fwww.yahoo.com

    Yahoo - 265 errors

    I think people just like having those little W3C banners on the bottom of their pages, makes them feel good that they have nice clean code. Clean, validated code has nothing to do with the relevancy of a user's search.

  8. #8
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    I use this code below in my page and I never use to use it but I think this helps:

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
    <html>
    <head>
    <Title>page</Title>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">


    I don't specificaly mean getting a high ranking for a page as this could be based on many things but more importantly from what I have read it effects how many pages get spidered, the BOTS like clean code that uses the w3 standard.

    The way I see it it is better to have clean code rather than not have it.

    TrustNo1®, You wrote: "That's some misinformation"

    How do I know that what your saying isn't misinformation?

    Anyway, I want to have clean code if possible and my questions still remain answered.

  9. #9
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    A validator would probably choke on my code: prolly bring the internet down as it tried to count the errors. In fact, I doubt numbers go that high.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  10. #10
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Yes, I checked Yahoo and Google also and found that my very POORLY coded first site had fewer errors!
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by rAd:
    TrustNo1®, You wrote: "That's some misinformation"

    How do I know that what your saying isn't misinformation?


    You don't know it's not misinformation, but I beleive it.

    My sites are full of errors and my main site just made it to the number 1 position for my main key word out of 4.2M sites. Many below me are run by teams of people and have gazillions more backlinks.

    But if I spent my time looking at errors maybe I could do better, instead I'll put up some more content and sales pages - error laden of course - they seem to bring more sales in that way

  12. #12
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    yes well I tried attempting cleaning the code of one of my forums but that was a joke, i would need a year. but most of my sites use dynamic pages through ASP and although I have thousands of pages generated on these sites they only use less than five pages. I finished cleaning up one site in less than an hour besides the CJ code of course so it's not that hard and knowing a bit about Stylesheets helps overcome many hurdles. I'm going to clean up my other sites over the next day or two and alothough it may be several hours work I'm sure it can't be a bad thing.

  13. #13
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Paul Ward:
    quote:
    Originally posted by rAd:
    TrustNo1®, You wrote: "That's some misinformation"

    How do I know that what your saying isn't misinformation?


    You don't know it's not misinformation, but I beleive it.

    My sites are full of errors and my main site just made it to the number 1 position for my main key word out of 4.2M sites. Many below me are run by teams of people and have gazillions more backlinks.

    But if I spent my time looking at errors maybe I could do better, instead I'll put up some more content and sales pages - error laden of course - they seem to bring more sales in that way


    Congradulations Paul,

    As I said in one of my last posts :

    I don't specificaly mean getting a high ranking for a page as this could be based on many things but more importantly from what I have read it effects how many pages get spidered, the BOTS like clean code that uses the w3 standard.

    cheers rAd

  14. #14
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Anybody notice the PR for the validation page that comes up when a site passes?

    And right near the top of that page, is a nice straight link back to the validated site.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    Before anyone gets carried away, they disallow spiders from going into /check

  16. #16
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    quote:
    Originally posted by qball©:
    Before anyone gets carried away, they disallow spiders from going into /check


    This is true...but it has nothing to do with how their codes are formatted.

    I am also starting to see a reason to some past posts that I saw a bit too optimistic....makes sense now.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    The validator works great with a site that has few or no images, no affiliate links, no javascript, no php, no perl. I am exagerating, of course, but you get the idea.

    Having said that, it is still a good idea to have reasonably good code in your page. For example, close your tags, have a good structure <*h1>'s then <*h2>'s, use <*strong>, instead of <*b> etc... (IMHO).

    Fred

  18. #18
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by qball©:
    Before anyone gets carried away, they disallow spiders from going into /check




    *Instantly throws out uncharacteristically workful ideas of validating everything*
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  19. #19
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    Rad,

    Do a search for webmaster forum(s). I found one that was very helpful and I didn't even have to register. Found an answer to a problem that has been troubling me for some time. Very sound advice, and if its a clean html you're looking for, you will get straight complete, detailed answers and more responses from those that give this kind of advice all the time.

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