Does clean code affect your website rank?

This is a question that I found myself trying to answer when I realized that a high percentage of top sites as rated by google have not perfectly cleaned their code as a step towards search engine optimization.

I did a validation test for various standards on top rated web sites and I found that the top rated sites averaged a total of 99 errors with 15 warnings. This does not mean that the developers of these websites are dirty coders but that Google does not take W3C validation into consideration in their ranking algorithm.

Most search engine optimization firms take a firm position that clean code matters in SEO. In a statement by Matt Cutts, a Google software engineer, W3C validation does not affect search engine rankings meaning that higher search ranks at Google are not achieved by error free code as measured by the W3C code validator. However clean code helps search engine spiders, bots read and understand your website easily.

Websites laden with hundreds of errors perform worse than websites with clean code. Therefore you need to take your website through a W3C validator test and find out if errors are crippling the search engine spiders from effectively indexing your pages and hence rewarding you a lower search engine ranking.

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