Will the BODY Tag Impact Google's Spiders?

Dec 29, 2008 • 9:03 am | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Every web page should have a HEAD and BODY tag, but some people, erm, forget them. What happens if your BODY tag or other significant tags are missing? Will search engine spiders ignore the web page?

Both tags are optional. The big issue is more that Googlebot may not know how to distinguish between the HEAD of the page and the BODY of the page if the code snippet is missing.

In general, though, if your page does pass HTML validation, the crawler should have a good idea of how to traverse the page and get the content. And if not, and there are some missing close-tags, some portions of the web page may go unnoticed, but it's not 100% definitive.

A test is ongoing to see how a missing BODY tag will impact the crawlers in the related discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Ike Horvath

12/29/2008 05:20 pm

Here in the US is the same for some terms. The term tarp has been in a major Yo-Yo for a week now, My site is moving from 6 to 14 and everything in between. http://www.wholesaletarp.net

Michael Martinez

12/29/2008 06:22 pm

They nofollow the links here, Ike, so you're wasting your efforts. As far as tests with the body tag go, they had better introduce a LOT of variations in HTML syntax or else they'll be spinning their wheels, too. Since Google normally parses and indexes many different document types, I would not say that the presence or absence of a body tag is itself critical. Broken HTML structures are more likely to have an impact on what get's indexed.

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