As you may or may not know, I'm a link building guy all the way. As of late however I've been pondering (and tinkering with) on-site SEO, because, it still matters.
Of course, it's changed a lot--now that search engines can sort out 1000 word meta tags and white on white text, how else can it determine a page's value (within the site itself, linking algo's aside)?
This brings me to quality indicators.
By 'quality indicator' I mean the existence of something on a page that tell's a search engine "I'm better than the average web page!"
The theory being, that, for instance, a standards compliant web site that follows every possible accessibility standard *on average* has higher quality content than one that doesn't. This is certainly debatable, but for the purposes of my theory I'm going to assume this is true. And note that I'm not saying every standards-compliant site is better than every non-standards-compliant site, all I am saying that a search engine can get some useful data / correlations by tagging each for what it is.
I've tried to brainstorm for what I think might serve as quality indicators to an SE:
- being hosted on a dedicated IP
- outbound links (these might be the biggest IMHO -- not only to put your site in its topical neighborhood, but also just a plain old GOOD neighorhood)
- doctype and language metadata in your header
- valid code
- invalid code but linking to the W3C validator ("we tried!")
- existence of a print stylesheet
- a file named privacy.*
- the existence of Access keys (accessibility best practice)
- a 'skip navigation' link (accessibility best practice)
My contention is that sites which have the above features on average are better than sites without them (with a wide, wide deviation -- but that doesn't mean the data isn't useful).
So how bout it guys? Am I speaking out of my butt? Or is this possible/probable?
What else could serve as quality indicators to an SE?