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Is code to text ratio a Google ranking factor?

Does the ratio of code to text really matter for a search engine like Google?Is this a ranking factor?You may have heard the saying that when displaying content (usually text) on a web page, you want to have a healthy code-to-text ratio (also known as text-to-HTML ratio).

All in all, it's a ratio that tells you what percentage of your webpage should contain text.

This concept is supported by many SEO professionals and my own experience when figuring out the correct word count or designing a new user experience (UX).Anyone who has built a website knows the pain points of your code-to-text ratio in terms of user experience, page indexing, and page speed.

However, the ratio of code to text for search enginesReallyIs it important?

Let's break down the evidence and see if search engines use code text as a ranking factor.

Disclaimer: Code-to-text ratio as a ranking factor

Some SEO professionals claim that the code-to-text ratio is used not only to improve user experience, but also as a key ranking factor for search engines.

The code-to-text ratio is known as the search engine used to determine the relevance of a web page.If you have a low code-to-text ratio (less copy on the page), it can lead to confusion for crawlers.


Because crawlers don't have enough information to determine the context of a web page and all its content.


Let's start with the first question: Is the code-to-text ratio a ranking factor?

On March 2018, 3, Google's John Mueller confirmed in a Google Webmaster Office Hours Hangout that code-to-text ratio is not a ranking factor.

Mueller explained that some sites use more HTML, while others use less HTML.

"It's more of a question of design preferences and how you set things up on your site," he said.

So, should you care about the ratio of code to text?

Now that you know that code-to-text ratio is not a ranking signal, is it still relevant to focus on SEO?

Short answer: yes.

The ratio of code to text can tell you if you have bloated HTML, which can slow down your pages, especially on mobile devices.

With Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console, you can see how SEO and user experience can go hand in hand.

This report can help connect the dots between content and page speed.It shows how long it takes to load the main content, how it loads, and how the layout changes.

It can help you identify areas of your website that are causing pain points for your users.

What is a good code to text ratio?

When it comes to code-to-text ratio, a good rule of thumb is to aim for 25-70% of visible text compared to invisible elements (i.e. alt tags).

How to Improve Your Code-to-Text Ratio

The key to improving the code-to-text ratio is building a better user experience.

First make sure your HTML code is valid.You can check with tools such as the W3C's Markup Validation Service.If you have invalid HTML code, you need to remove it.

Next, evaluate your page speed and identify what can be improved.

Then, remove any unnecessary code like spaces, tabs, comments, etc.Avoid tables if you can, as they create a lot of HTML.

Finally, remove any hidden text that is not publicly visible, resize and compress images, and aim to keep page sizes under 300kb.

Code-to-text ratio as a ranking signal: our judgment

As the above evidence shows, code-to-text ratio is not a ranking signal used by search engines.Instead, you should use this as a guide to help determine encoding quality and page load speed.

Extended reading:

Are co-citations a Google ranking factor?

Is Click Through Rate (CTR) a Google Ranking Factor?

Top 8 Google Ranking Factors - What Really Matters for SEO

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