Are CSS-based layouts better than tables for SEO?

Are CSS-based layouts better than tables for SEO?


Question:

Is a website designed with a CSS-based layout more SEO friendly tan a table-based layout? – Thomas, Cincinnati

Are table-based or CSS-based layouts better for SEO?

As Matt Cutts answered in our video above, Google does a good job to score them both alike however CSS is what almost everyone is leaning towards in this Web 2.0 era. Personally, I prefer CSS layouts over table-based for many reasons but mainly because I’ve found that Google crawls through a website more efficiently if utilizing a CSS-based layout.

On the other hand, there are tons of websites that have large amounts of nested tables in their layout and still rank #1 & #2 in SERPs. This is normally the case simply because those sites have been around for AGES and Google puts a ton of weight on websites that have been around for a long time with unique content.

Why use CSS-based layouts instead of table-based?

  1. More Efficient – CSS-based websites load faster which provides a better user experience but it also is more efficient when spiders are caching your website. My overall recommendation is to ensure your website is as efficient as possible so spiders can cache your actual content rather than tons of HTML code, tables, etc.
  2. Easier to Make Changes & Edits – CSS can make your website changes much faster and 100% simpler but as everything it requires a learning curve and is somewhat different than just nested tables and HTML styles.
  3. CSS is Flexible – One of the greatest features of CSS is how flexible it is during the design process and adding new sections to your website – tables are truly of the past and CSS has taken the lead.
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