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Like Its 1997

If you were a big web surfer in the 90s you probably remember the browser wars – Microsoft was hell-bent on getting all the market from Netscape (as if there weren’t enough browsers for both of them). At one point there were actually websites that you COULD NOT SEE in Netscape (which I used for many years back then). We all know Microsoft paid dearly for its aggressive grab for 100% market-share, but that didn’t end what I call Browser War Light.

You have your users with IE 6, some using Firefox (particularly snobby bunch who tend to be designers who think it is the ONLY browser worth using, and, apparently, designing for – the rest of the public using other browsers be damned), some on Safari, and a growing percentage on IE 6.

Why should all these different browsers be a concern to Internet marketers? Because web sites have a tendency to look different in each of them, depending on how clean the code is. This is particularly true if you use table-less designs and primarily use cascading style sheets (css) for placement of items on the page.
Rule of thumb: look at your website in as many browsers and browser versions as possible. Clean mark up will lessen the problem, but I know even top-notch designers/coders can find some of the differences between IE6 and IE7 frustrating.

So if you don’t want a chunk of your visitors seeing your type floating over or disappearing behind images, be sure to validate your code, but also, LOOK AT IT in other browsers.

I just had an experience with a new site I took over – it claimed to validate perfectly – had it’s little w3.org validate banner – and it does validate – but it is a total spider trap and the Google spider can not get into the site to index it for searchers.

Bizarre but true – 100% validated code can still contain spider traps and kill your SEO!

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