This is our first look at your raw HTML code. We finally got there. And the first SEO tool we use on our HTML code is a very popular freeware authoring assistant known as HTML Tidy. You may have previously encountered this tool as it is widely integrated into many other HTML authoring tools including many free and premium HTML editors. This tool is also available online and is free for you to use so again you should explore the site and including any interesting offers the websites' sponsors have on offer.
The purpose of the HTML tidy tool is to ensure your html code is correctly formatted according to your selected doctype. This includes ensuring your HTML tags are correctly matched and formatted.
The Doctype is already referenced in several articles on this site. In short, each Doctype delineates the playing field and the terms of play that both, the web-browser and web-page author agree to follow. This demarcation allows your communication to be rendered and viewed as you intended. But who comes up with these rules for webpages? Well, anyone can. The trick is to have a browser that will support your rules or to use the rules that popular browsers will support. This is why the W3 Consortium came into being. Still, some very popular internet names will try to introduce their own special HTML tags (FaceBook, Google, MicroSoft et. al.) which are outside of the W3C recommendations.
W3C (with Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Sun etc.) produces and is the most used and linked of common Doctypes in use today.
It follows then that when a search engine is doing it's job, it will be less inclined to offer SERPs to clients that possibly will not render or perform properly in the client's web browser.
Make sense? It does to me. Yet, at this writing, this is not entirely true. The number of doctype errors which do exist in many top serp results leads us to believe that our search engines have abandoned W3C guidelines to quality standards in html coding.
You are going to be able to verify this claim in the next module. I'll not speculate on various possible Why is this so? here.
I will state that I personally do not see how disrespect for world class standards of HTML coding can inspire any webmaster to better learn his craft and offer a superior product. Uncorrected, such a webmaster can be counted upon to deliver many such shoddy pages in the future.
We will cover this point a little more in depth in the next module so we will ignore this current anomaly and ensure our Google SERPs are all high Quality World Class HTML pages.