Audisto Website Quality Checker

How to detect issues with quality factors on your website

The quality hints section is focussed on hints that highlight behaviour which deviates from suggested best practice. It covers mostly hints that are related to bad user experience, e.g. rendering and performance issues.

The quality hints help you to identify issues that could lead to bad user engagement rates.

Example: Audisto Website Quality Check with the quality hint reports for the current crawl

Audisto Website Quality Check with the quality hint reports for the current crawl

Here is the list of all specific hints related to the percepted quality of a website, that can be identified with the help of the Audisto Crawler.

Table Of Content

Hints

<a> no outgoing internal links

Description

If the HTML contains no internal links, the URL is flagged with this hint. Use this report to identify all occurences of URLs that have no links to URLs on the same host.

Importance

URLs that are part of the internal link graph but don't link to other documents within the host, are dead ends to flow of PageRank inside your architecture. This may lead to structure issues as well as issues with the proper crawling of the website.

Operating Instruction

We suggest not to have parts of a website that don't contain internal links. Evaluate the reason why these documents are not linking to any other documents.

<h1> occurs more than once

Description

If more than one <h1> tag is found, the URL is flagged with this hint. Discover all URLs that contain more than one <h1> tag.

Examples
<h1><img src="logo.jpg" alt="Example.com"/></h1>
...
<h1>Primary Headline</h1>
Importance

The h1 is the most important headline in the document and should reflect the topic of the document. Having more than one <h1> tag is a sign of poor content structure. Content structure partly determines the content quality. While it is not a huge factor for most search engines, having more than one <h1> tag may be a negative signal in terms of content quality.

Operating Instruction

You might want to use only one <h1> tag per document.

<h1>-<h6> chain broken

Description

If the HTML contains a broken <h1>-<h6> chain, the URL is flagged with this hint. Discover all URLs on the crawled website, that have a broken headline chain.

Examples
<h1>headline</h1>
...
<h3>headline</h3>
...
<h4>headline</h4>
Importance

A headline chain is considered broken, when it is not strictly hierarchically. A broken headline chain can therefore be an indicator for a poor content structure. This is important because content structure partly determines content quality. While this is a minor factor for most search engines, positive content structure signals may add to the ranking of a document.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to keep a strictly hierarchical headline chain. Evaluate the occurences of broken headline chains and consider adding the missing headlines.

<img> has no width and/or height attribute

Description

If an image without a width or height attribute is found, the URL is flagged with this hint. Use this report to discover all URLs that contain image tags without width and/or height attributes.

Examples

What we discover

<img src="/img/image.jpg" alt="description" />
<img src="/img/image.jpg" alt="description" width="100" />
<img src="/img/image.jpg" alt="description" height="200" />

How it should be

<img src="/img/image.png" alt="description" width="100" height="200" />
Importance

The width and the height attribute are used by browsers to understand the dimensions of elements like images before they are loaded. Adding the width and height attribute to image tags may therefore improve the rendering speed and user experience in the given document.

Operating Instruction

You might want to add the width and the height attribute to image tags whenever possible.

<meta description> too long for Google snippet

Description

If the meta description is too long to be displayed in the snippet in search results, the URL is flagged with this hint.

Example
<html>
<head>
...
<meta name="description" content="Example.com - The very best long meta descriptions online - We have one of the longest meta descriptions in the internet.">
...
Importance

If the meta description is too long to be displayed in the snippet in search results, it will be shortened by the search engine. This usually results in less appealing snippets and lower user engagement. Lower user engagement might lead to negative user signals, which can be regarded as a ranking factor by modern search engines and eventually lead to worse rankings of the site in search results.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to analyze the Click-through rates from search results to URLs with a meta description, that is too long to be shown properly in search snippets. If a URL flagged with this hint performs low in terms of Click-through rate, you may want to consider shorten the meta description.

<title> too long for Google snippet

Description

If the title of a document is too long to be displayed in the snippets in search results, the URL is flagged with this hint.

Example
<html>
<head>
...
<title>Example.com - Best Examples Site - We have one of the the longest titles in the internet</title>
...
Importance

If the title of a docuemnt is too long to be displayed in the snippet in search results, it will be shortened by the search engine. This usually results in less appealing snippets and lower user engagement, which might eventually hurt your site's rankings in search results.

Operating Instruction

You might want to change the title so the title could be displayed in the snippet without beeing shortened.

Charset: Charset set in HTTP Content-Type header and in document differ.

Description

Both the document and the HTTP Content-Type header specify a charset, but these are not identical. Discover all occurences of conflicting duplicate charset definitions on the crawled website.

Examples

HTTP header

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:34:23 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
...

meta charset (HTML 5)

<meta charset="iso-8859-1">

meta content-equiv (HTML 4.01)

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

XML

<?xml encoding="iso-8859-1" ?>
Importance

If charset definitions in the HTTP header and the document differ, the browser has to use a heuristic to guess the correct charset to display the document. This may lead to problems handling the encoding of the document and slow down the rendering time for the document.

Note: There are multiple ways to specify the charset in the document that may cause the conflict, e.g. <?xml>, <meta charset> and <meta content type>.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to set a proper charset in the HTTP header and in the document to make it easy for web clients to render the document fast and as expected. Make sure the defined charsets are identical and not conflicting.

Charset: Not set

Description

There is no charset set, neither in the Content-Type HTTP header, nor in the document, e.g. through a <meta> tag.

Importance

If there is no charset defined in the HTTP header, the browser has to fall back to detect the charset to display the document. If the charset has to be guessed, this may lead to problems handling the encoding of the document. Additionally, this may slow down the rendering time for the document.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to set a proper charset in the HTTP header and in the document to make it easy for web clients to render the document fast and as expected. Make sure the defined charsets are identical and not conflicting.

Charset: Not set in Content-Type HTTP header

Description

The Content-Type HTTP header does not specify a charset. Discover all URLs on the crawled website, where the HTTP Content-Type header did not specify a charset. However, there may be a charset defined in the document.

Importance

If there is no charset defined in the HTTP header, the browser has to use the charset specified in the document or has to fall back to detect the charset to display the document. If the charset has to be guessed, this may lead to problems handling the encoding of the document. Additionally, this may slow down the rendering time for the document.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to set a proper charset in the HTTP header and in the document to make it easy for web clients to render the document fast and as expected. Make sure the defined charsets are identical and not conflicting.

Charset: Not set in document

Description

There is no charset set in the document, e.g. through a <meta> tag. Discover all URLs on the crawled website, that do not define a charset in the document. However, there may be a charset defined in the HTTP header.

Importance

If there is no charset defined in the document, the browser has to use the charset in the HTTP header or has to fall back to detect the charset to display the document. If the charset has to be guessed, this may lead to problems handling the encoding of the document. Additionally, this may slow down the rendering time for the document.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to set a proper charset in the HTTP header and in the document to make it easy for web clients to render the document fast and as expected. Make sure the defined charsets are identical and not conflicting.

URL too long for some browsers

Description

If a URL longer than 2000 characters is encountered, it is flagged with this hint.

Example

Long URLs are often generated dynamically in scenarios like:

  • a form posts data from input fields or a textarea via GET-method to the form action URL
  • GET-parameters from complex filter combinations in faceted search
Importance

Long URLs might cause problems.

Some browsers are unable to handle URLs of this length. Some web applications might not be able to resolve the URLs and/or shorten them automatically, causing issues with access to these URLs.

Operating Instruction

While theoretically there is no limit on the length of a URL , you should stay below 2000 characters to be accessible by a large number of clients and web applications