none
Style sheets in website management, and SEO

    Question

  • It is said better to keep one External site sheet per site for best SEO result.

     In practical when there is need for a total different styles and formats for each page, I am ending up with many external style sheets inside the content of “Editable “areas.

    At the moment I am keeping them as it is until the site is fully constructed and to the final part towards publishing.

    To make all the style sheets in one sheet:

     Method one is merging by dragging and dropping all pages’ styles in one.  It will create confusion and head spinning when to manage the styles (my opinion).

    Method two importing all the styles sheets as @import url ('style-xyz.css') into the Main DWT style sheet.

    Question:  Will importing (@import url ('style.css')) style sheet method give the same result like merging styles in one sheet to meet the best SEO?

     

    Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:27 AM

All replies

  • I'm not aware that using multiple stylesheets is an issue and can't find any references that suggest it is.

    Can you point to any references?


    Ian Haynes

    EW V4 Add-Ins
    EW resources, hints and tips
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:41 AM
  • It is from “Y slow 2.07” – Yahoo’s page performance tool as Add-ons in Mozilla/5.0

    Test result shows as following:

    “Grade E on Make fewer HTTP requests

     

    This page has 14 external stylesheets. Try combining them into one.

     

    Decreasing the number of components on a page reduces the number of HTTP requests required to render the page, resulting in faster page loads. Some ways to reduce the number of components include: combine files, combine multiple scripts into one script, combine multiple CSS files into one style sheet, and use CSS Sprites and image maps.”-

     

    14 External stylesheets come across because all the editable region styles are linked to the Main DWT page

    Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:20 PM
  • That has nothing to do with SEO, that's just about page loading performance, which is totally different.

    Use comments in the CSS page to make notes about different sections; that will help you keep the one large CSS file organized.


    Some see the glass as half full. Others see the glass as half empty. I see a glass that's clearly twice as large as it needs to be.
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:40 PM
  • Yes sorry I understand after I posted only I realised that. It is about increasing the performance.

     

    Question is, can importing styles (@import url ('style.css')) do the same performance like merging, or they are like another form of HTTP requests?

    Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:13 PM
  • Doesn't matter.  SEO has nothing to do with how many stylesheets you have.  Be aware that its been stated by Google that a slower performing site will rank lower then a faster website.  So if you have a page under 50K with 3 external stylehseets it won't do any worse then a 50K page with one external stylesheet.  It will do better then a 750K page of the same structure and content.  Also, when I saw slower performing site I don't mean comparing 50K to 75K, I mean comparing 100K or lower to 500K or greater.  Has to be a seriously slow site.
    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:52 PM
  • I know that I am the perpetual new guy on the block but don't you usaully restrict style sheets with the ROBOTS.TXT file? Since they do not contain content and content is what drives SEO  Am I missing the point?  Would not be the first time LOL.

     

    MIKE E


    "It's like déjà vu all over again." — Yogi Berra
    • Edited by ebermed Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:37 PM finish thoght
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:36 PM
  • No.  I don't.  If Google has a way, through CSS styles, to determine a piece of copy is more prominent on a page (bold, underline, larger font...) I want them to understand it.

    Google's crawler is way more intelligent then it was many years ago. Don't underestimate what the crawler/Google understands.


    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:38 PM
  • Also, content partially drives SEO.  There is way more to SEO then the copy on a page.
    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:41 PM
  • I know that I am the perpetual new guy on the block but don't you usaully restrict style sheets with the ROBOTS.TXT file? Since they do not contain content and content is what drives SEO  Am I missing the point?  Would not be the first time LOL.

    MIKE E


    "It's like déjà vu all over again." — Yogi Berra


    Not content alone, Mike. Structure and semantics matter as well. Yes, the content is primary, but between two sites containing identical raw content, the unstructured, non-semantic site will lose out in relevance scores to one which has its content structured, with relative importance of content topics indicated by heading levels, source order, list nesting levels, formatting, etc.

    If you're searching for "Babe Ruth," for example, which do you think is more likely to be returned on the first page of results, the page with a heading one (<h1>) of "Babe Ruth" and a heading two (<h2>) of "Babe's Early Life," or the one with a simple paragraph topic sentence of "Babe Ruth—His Early Life."

    That's a fairly simplistic example, and Google's ranking algorithms are much more complex than that single example would indicate, but the point is that it is not just the words of the content that matter, but also their context (position in the structure as well as linguistic context) and relative ranking by comparison to other structured content.

    Consider, if Patrick Henry sits quietly at a tavern table amongst his fellow revolutionaries and says to them, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" it has a much smaller impact than if he declaims the same sentiment in the context of the Virginia House of Burgesses, where such public statements can literally lead to one's hanging for treason. Context matters, in real life and, as it happens, in SEO.  ;-)

    cheers,
    scott


    C'mon, folks. This isn't rocket science, nor neurosurgery. It's "Expression" (singular) "Web" (singular), in that order, followed by a version numeral if you wish to be specific. It is often abbreviated "EW." It is not "Web Expression," "Expressions Web," "Web Expressions," or plain "Expression" or "Expressions." Not using the correct name indicates either ignorance or laziness. Most folks would rather avoid the appearance of either.
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 5:27 PM
  • I did a small experiment and it showed that there is no difference in performance whether the page has x- number of separate stylesheets or all in one.


    Thank you Chris as you said basically a page performance depends on its weight that includes HTML/Text, JavaScript file, Stylesheet   file, CSS Images, and Images

    Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:46 PM
  • Your test is a little flawed.  If all CSS is on one sheet then its one HTTP request to the server.  If you break it up onto separate files then its multiple HTTP requests.  The performance hit is negligible, but there is a slight performance hit
    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:58 PM
  • Scott,
    I think the one with the Page title:  Babe Ruth will get picked first.

    ;-)

     


    Expression Web MVP
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:31 PM
  • Heh, heh, yeah, no doubt. ;-)

    OTOH, if the two sites are about, say, "baseball legends," then each might have a page title which less directly refers to the search term, say, "Baseball Legends of the 1920s and 1930s," for example, or, "Yankees Legends," and the Babe article might be one of several including other luminaries (in which case, of course, my <h1> and <h2> of the example would have to go to <h2> and <h3> respecitively ;-).

    You're quite correct in pointing out that the page title is one of the strongest individual page elements affecting SEO, effectively acting as a "heading 0" for the page. It is unfortunate that many folks still think that keyword density and content stuffing are the keys to SEO goodness, and completely ignore the role of semantics and structure when attempting to maximize their SEO. And so it goes... ;-)

    cheers,
    scott


    C'mon, folks. This isn't rocket science, nor neurosurgery. It's "Expression" (singular) "Web" (singular), in that order, followed by a version numeral if you wish to be specific. It is often abbreviated "EW." It is not "Web Expression," "Expressions Web," "Web Expressions," or plain "Expression" or "Expressions." Not using the correct name indicates either ignorance or laziness. Most folks would rather avoid the appearance of either.
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:58 PM
  • Chris, Scott Thanks,

    I can understand how a well formed  both structurally and semantically with a descending flow of relativity to the main idea = <h1> would theoretically Lead the Google  bots down the path of least resistance in evaluating content.  In the case of Style sheets providing information to rank a page.  I would ask would the flow of the CSS following the outline flow of the page be helpful?

    Chris so you are saying NOT to exclude style sheets from being crawled?

    When you think of how many other pages are competeing for the same content rank doing all you c an do to effect a better SEO outcome only makes sense. OTOH jumping through steps that make no difference one way or the other relating to SEO makes not sense either. I won't say more as not to appear to hijack the thread. 

    Thanks for the input,

    MIKE E
    "It's like déjà vu all over again." — Yogi Berra
    Friday, August 13, 2010 2:45 PM
  • Correct.  Let the crawler access your stylesheets.  Remember Robots.txt file doesn't stop them from crawling the pages, it tells the algorithm what to do with the pages.
    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Friday, August 13, 2010 3:18 PM
  • I doubt that you can stop a SE from reading the style sheets. They want to read them to look for fraud. That is, where a page puts in a bunch of links or content having nothing to do with the site just to boost SE ranking and then turning them off with display:none in a style sheet.
    Friday, August 13, 2010 5:08 PM
  • Can't forget the HOUSE syndrome.  Everybody lies.  You would think that a person that is intelligent enough to publish a web site would have higher aspirations than to try to cheat the system with scams like "link farms" and such.  Put then what makes a hacker hack?   So much for the human condition.

    Peace,

    MIKE E


    "It's like déjà vu all over again." — Yogi Berra
    Friday, August 13, 2010 6:41 PM
  • I agree white you,  think better name for style sheet is style.css .

    Sunday, October 28, 2018 7:59 AM