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Old 11-25-2007   #1
NewKidOnTheBlock
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Layout with CSS vs. tables

Is there any truth to the fact that using tables for the layout of a page is worse than using CSS, because search engines might consider things they read at the top (in the code) more important?

Was this ever true? Is it now outdated?

Do you ever use tables for particular things (such as tabular data) or do you use strictly CSS?
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Old 11-25-2007   #2
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Re: Layout with CSS vs. tables

Tables are specifically to present tabular data and that is what should be used. Besides the inherent problems in physically laying out a complicated table-like presentation using CSS, it is impossible to build one that would be semantically correct, say if you wanted to use the caption and th elements.

As for the first part of your question, yeah, that was the generally accepted wisdom. Today's SEs have gotten much better at seeing past the clutter by being able to identify repetitive header, nav, footer elements, etc. Even so, I still prefer to hit them in the face with my "well" content. On most of my newer sites I used simple CSS positioning, nothing too fancy; some older ones still use the old "table trick" to bring the main content closer to the top.

Might not be necessary today, just an old habit.
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Old 11-25-2007   #3
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Re: Layout with CSS vs. tables

I still believe that less code on a page is a good thing when it comes to SEO so, I like CSS. It also seems easier to me than using HTML to style each element on every page. I try to stick with CSS for the most part!
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Old 11-26-2007   #4
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Re: Layout with CSS vs. tables

Quote:
some older ones still use the old "table trick" to bring the main content closer to the top.
Hehe, I remember that trick. Actually I bookmarked a couple of pages about it and still have them in my browser. Time to delete them!

Actually I'm a big fan of CSS, too. So if I use CSS, but have to use tables for presenting tabular data (if I ever run into such an incident) Ill know tables are just fine and I don't need to create a CSS solution for that, right?
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Old 11-27-2007   #5
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Re: Layout with CSS vs. tables

Tables aren''t "just fine" for tabular data, they are the correct solution for tabular data.

Don't confuse the old debate of using tables vs. CSS for layout with using table for what they were designed for -- presenting tabular data.
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Old 11-27-2007   #6
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Re: Layout with CSS vs. tables

I like CSS. Code is cleaner. Ultimately, it comes down to if you and your keyword competitor is exactly equal in everything - the slightly cleaner code is better.

But, additional benefit is that it's easier to follow the code. Code and site management efficiency makes it much more attractive to go with CSS.
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