The source code or source text is a computer program converted into machine language, which is read out by a machine and compiled in image and function. The code of an HTML website is also called source code. In the context of SEO, this source code plays an important role, because it decides whether a website is executed correctly and provides information about possible optimization potential. Source code optimization is therefore also part of Technical SEO.
Source code for websites
While the source code represents the basic structure of a computer program for programmers, the source code or source code for online marketers is an important area that is not visible to the normal user. Not only can SEO errors be discovered and corrected in the source code, but important additional information about a website can also be found.
For example, hidden links can be detected by analyzing the page source code. In addition, the source code contains important information about the CMS used, markups or meta information such as meta description and meta title. Canonical tags and the content of a website are also visible in the source code. In addition, tracking codes for marketing can be found in the page source code.
Special web analysis programs and compilers as well as browsers can be used to read the source code of a website. Browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Edge have a simple function that can be used to display the page source code. As a rule, the web source code is distributed over several lines.
Importance for SEO
The correct execution of a website’s source code can be counted among the ranking factors of search engines such as Google. A defective source code can lead to reduced functionality of a website and this error in turn can lead to a downgrade in the ranking. The text-to-code ratio is also helpful for on-page optimization.
Source code optimization is also important to reduce the loading times of a website. Since the loading time is considered a ranking factor, the optimization of the code is also necessary for this reason.
A “lean” source code also helps crawlers crawl content faster and thus index it. This means they need less time and a crawl budget to crawl a single page, which in turn can increase the crawl depth. In general, the simpler the source code of a website is written, the faster bots like Google can crawl the site. On the other hand, superfluous spaces or paragraphs as well as comments slow down the crawling.