Rithmix: Web-design and algorithm analysis.

These Rithmix ™ pages look at how search engine algorithms look at web-design issues such as tables, graphics, Javascript and other features of presenting your content. Learning how the algorithms of various search engines are affected by web-design issues and layout has obvious applications to webmasters.

Technically speaking, web-ranking algorithms should ignore the HTML tags and simply look at the content that is presented between the tags. Rithmix is going to see if this works in practice as well as in theory. Knowing if certain layouts interfere with algorithm ranking systems will help you to design for good rankings as well as good presentation.

The search terms for this test are "Rithmix web-design issues". The pages that are 'live' for this test are titled "Rithmix: Analysis of Web-Design Algorithm Issues". The pages are nearly identical in terms of content, but the layout will change significantly for each. This is comparable to situations where pages are created in a version for browsers, another version for WebTV users and perhaps a version for WAP device users too.

The tags in the HEAD of the pages will remain constant throughout these test pages. Likewise, the text in the body of the page will be largely unchanged from one document to another which should keep the Prominence, Weighting and Density of the keywords identical from the algorithm perspective. Remember that algorithms should be largely stripping out the html tags when analyzing the pages.

With all else being equal, it would be expected that the pages would rank in numerical order. Not because of the numerals of course, but because that is the order they are linked to from the main page of this section of Rithmix. That small factor of link importance should be the only factor that sets the documents apart, except if the web-design factors affect the algorithm.

The following are the pages in this test:

  1. web-design_1.html - This is the plainest possible HTML page consisting of absolutely minimal tags and with the emphasis on pure text content.

  2. web-design_2.html - This page places the text of the above inside a table layout with nested tables. This adds a lot to the layout but leaves the content unchanged.

  3. web-design_3.html - This page adds some graphics to the page to improve the appearance and design of the plain page. We replace one incidence of the keyword 'Rithmix' with an image which has the keyword in the ALT attribute

  4. web-design_4.html - This page adds some Javascript functions to the content while again leaving as much of the content itself untouched as possible.

  5. web-design_5.html - This page is an exact duplicate of page 1.

  6. web-design_6.html - This page is an exact duplicate of page 2.

  7. web-design_7.html - this page is an exact duplicate of page 3.

  8. web-design_8.html - This page is an exact duplicate of page 4.

The reason for having a duplicate of each page is to isolate rankings that are based on content, from other factors. If the layout is the ranking factor then we should see the identical pages ranked together. For Example: If page 1 were the highest ranked, we would expect to see page 5 (the duplicate) right behind it if the layout is indeed the factor.

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