Are you trying to keep your website compliant with current web standards and free of validation errors? Validation helps ensure that your website will work properly on the widest range of web browsers. Often times, validation errors don’t do any harm to your site, however, it’s usually best to be as standard compliant as possible. Plus, all the big companies try to validate their page. Well, not really.
Google certainly doesn’t. The Google home page is declared as HTML 5 and, according to the W3 Validation Service (as of May 2, 2010), has 40 errors and 2 warnings. Google is currently using many deprecated HTML tags including
<valign>, and much more.
In addition, the home page does not have a closing
</html>. This is apparently still considered valid in HTML 5, so no error was detected here.
By using these deprecated tags, even though its not valid, it still works fine for users. Plus, there’s less HTML requests since there’s no need for a CSS stylesheet. The user computer does not have to interpret the CSS but just read HTML code. Google is clearly choosing performance over standards.
Blogger, a service owned by Google, isn’t exactly very valid either. In fact, the XHTML generated by Blogger are invalid, therefore making it impossible to create a standards compliant Blogger template. In fact, the default Minima template contains over 340 errors alone without any modifications. Standards compliant? Not even close.
That’s right, the Google Blog has 569 errors using its provided HTML declaration of XHTML 1.0 Strict.
For comparison purposes, let’s check out WordPress.com. It declares itself as XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
Well, it looks like WordPress.com has fully valid code. Many WordPress themes are fully valid also.
So does Google care about web standards or does it care more about performance? Isn’t Google, as the largest internet company, supposed to be setting standards for the web? Leave your thoughts in the comments.