08 Jul

SEO Table Trick

Search Engine Hints: Tables

Most people, when using a table to lay out a page with sidebars, will do something, like this:

Side
Bar
Main Body of Text

The code for this table looks something like this:

<table>
 <tr>
  <td>Side Bar</td>
  <td>Main Body Text</td>
 </tr>
</table>

The problem is that, in the HTML file, you must include the text for the sidebar before the main body text. This isn’t what you want for search engine spiders! You want the main body to go first. The trick is to do something like this:

Main Body of Text (use rowspan=2)
Side
Bar

The code for this table looks something like this:

<table>
 <tr>
  <td><br />/td>
  <td rowspan=2>Main Body Text</td>
 </tr>
 <tr>
  <td>Side Bar</td>
 </tr>
</table>

Of course, you’ll want to make that empty cell as small as possible, or even invisible. However, this puts the main body of text in the first row, ahead of the sidebar, which is in the second row.