Friday, July 4, 2008

Blogger Templates and XHTML markup errors - problems with W3C Validator

I have just ran this blog through W3C Validator. It failed with 700 errors.
Granted, I take credit for plenty of errors. For example, I didn't escape twice the ampersand symbol in my FoxRecord page popularity meter. Knowing that it goes through template parser, I should have written & not & when building URL's there.
Fixing it removed 60 errors. 640 to go. What next?
To check how much errors Blogspot Jeans Template brings me, I've ran my another Blogspot blog through Validator. The other blog runs with 'Minima Black' template and basically serves as a stub, having only one post. 347 errors.

Then I compared distinct post pages. Both posts contained only one picture. The resulting disparity between error numbers would define the amount of XHTML markup errors introduced to my blog with Blogger Blue Jeans template, Blogger Tag Cloud trick and Blogger Related Posts hack from JackBook.com.
The results were astonishing.
XHTML Validation Errors
My custom Blogspot Template with Blogger Blue Jeans template, Blogger Tag Cloud trick and Blogger Related Posts hackStandard Blogger 'Minima Black' template
342 errors348 errors

The simple minimal standard Blogger template in fact contains more XHTML Validation errors then my custom template that I've created from a very ugly port from a WordPress template, with plenty of my self-made and borrowed hacks and tricks.


Of course, there is quite a way to go. For example, my simple 'Google fail' post totally breaks Internet Explorer. It simply stops rendering the page after first paragraph. The rest of the post and the whole right sidebar is not visible. This is my small 'ACID2' test.
'Related Posts in Blogger' hack from JackBook is no good. It simply puts all the related posts into your post page, hiding their bodies with CSS. That doesn't result in duplicate content since it is done with Java, though it noticeably increases page loading time. This is totally no good, and that's the reason I started to write FoxRecord.

So far so good. Google Webmasters Tools meanwhile only complains about duplicate title tags on my post pages and their comment pages.
But the HTML/XHTML errors in Blogger templates is something that should be really worked on. http://blogger.com contains 19 HTML markup errors itself.
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10 comments:

phydeaux3 said...

Hey thanks for the heads up. Yeah I'm aware of the many people copying my posts - but hadn't seen the two you mentioned. I used to care, but I stopped. Too many of 'em. Plus most are crappy little blogs that aren't going anywhere so I only rarely yell at them now. But thanks for letting me know.

Eterniel said...

NP. I was concerned because I've recently figured out that my posts are getting 'borrowed' as well.

silfiriel said...

Hi
I am just interested if you found a solution to the "duplicate title tags" issues. Google indexes the post url and the comments url as duplicate and I think i am being penalized for this, since I had a considerable drop of visitors. Any helkp would be appreciated.

Cranked said...

Hi :)
An easy solution to resolve this is to remove permanent links to comments from your blogger template (they are under the comment saying 'August 22, 2008 5:46 PM').
No links - no crawling, and thus no 'duplicate title tags' issue.

However, from my experience, you are not getting penalized hard for this 'duplicate title tags' - it's more of a mere warning.

Issues like this should be originally solved by robots.txt - but you don't have influence on robots.txt in Blogger.

I have to go now, will write a post on this issue.

Cranked said...

Silfiriel, I've written a post with detailed description of this issue here: Google Webmaster Tools and Blogger blogs: Duplicate title tags / meta descriptions with instructions on how to deal with it.
Took me some time to find the right solution and write a post, and took quite some time for Google to re-crawl everything.
However, now I have zero problems with duplicate meta descriptions and title tags.

Sms Fandu said...

I Got:- 348 Errors, 231 warning(s)
Whats to do????

Brad Fallon said...

HTML 4.01 transitional, or XHTML? I use oscommerce if it makes a difference.?

Cranked said...

XHTML 1.0 Transitional iirc. The template got changed.

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