Sometimes it’s very useful to return to basics and refine good old SEO techniques you might forget. SOC (“source ordered content” or “front-loading”) is one such technique that basically incorporates placing content as close to the beginning of the page as possible and using CSS to display page elements where they “belong”.
Here is a very simple example: that’s what you see at the top of a very popular blog: (1) head (+ (2) navigation) => (3) left column => (4) content => (5) right column – that’s the way it is displayed:
So we expect to see content block going after the left column in the page source…. but instead we see content much closer to the top, right after the head navigation (you can also check that with SEO browser):
Source ordered content is especially useful for SEO because:
- it allows to give prominence to keyword-optimized sections of your site (e.g. content above the navigation);
- it allows to show spiders unique page elements first – before sitewide elements (e.g. article before sitewide navigation);
The benefits of this technique include:
- no “undesired” elements (e.g. navigation, paging, etc) being shown as a snippet in the search results;
- important and informative content loads first (lower bounce rate from slow page loads);
- better rankings (priority is given to that content that resides directly after the <body> element).
The only downside (I never felt myself but heard other webmasters report) includes some cross-browser compatibility issues. Can you think of any more method drawbacks? I would be eager to learn about them.