Stop chasing that green light

Green lightWell, after a long while of thinking about it, I finally saw this post.

Matt Cutts, probably the only guy in the world that can discuss the google algorithm finally breaks the silence about it and goes out into the open saying this…

DO NOT break your head struggling with getting your code to validate, I will exaplain some more about my opinion in this post.

Well, I’m a clean code kinda guy. I like to write clean lean code both on server side and on client side, although I do not put all my efforts into getting that green light from the W3C validation.


Well, it’s mainly because I believe (and now my beliefs are backed by Google) that valid code does not push you forward not in search results and not even in client flowing to your website.

I’ve seen websites in the last 10 months or so that are build with tables but validate, these sites had the W3C valid icon on the footer and that is just plain stupid.


Because semantic code, not using tables for building the website, creating the proper tag for the right place and more are more important for me (and for you).

Accesibility is a bigger issue in my opinion, I would love to see labels being coupled with a inputs and fieldset surrounding logical parts of your forms and more.


Well, first let’s say that I’m not saying you should not validate your code, you should pass it through the validator, even to just check that the images you have are with alt tags and that you don’t have duplicate tags and stuff like that.



You should really balance the amount of time you invest in getting your code to validate, take some of that time and put it into actually writing semantic code.

Think about the accesibility of your website.

What I do every single time is: I’m using firefox to disable the css and js of my website, I take the time to see whether my website still remains in logical structure that I intended it to be.

I check to see if I have the links in the right place, If I can navigate my way through the website using the keyboard.

When I have the demand, I also check the website blind-folded (literally), I check the website with a screen-reader and listen to it.

If I would have invested all of my time to see that green light I promised you, some of these checkpoints and tests would have been unlooked.

I’d love to hear your opinion on this, feel free to comment or even reply to me via Twitter

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[NOTE] updated November 4, 2009. It's 3372 days old . This article may have outdated content.