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SEO and HTML Character Entities

December 3, 2011

Make sure your information is processed correctly in searches, marketing emails, blogs and the product listings in shopping sites by validating your HTML, especially the special, non-standard, or foreign characters. There are many special HTML entities, including quotation marks, apostrophe, ampersand, numerical marks such as less-than and greater-than, currency symbols, foreign alphabets and accent marks, copyright and trademark symbols, superscripts and fractions. Search engines may differ in the way they handle HTML entities in search processes and may have trouble displaying or converting search information with special or newer html characters.

This is important in regards to the metadata in your HTML tags. The use of numeric character code in the Meta tags is recommended to avoid potential problems. Use HTML entity codes since programs may not recognize all the character entity values which are part of the html standard nor the ALT+NUM method of displaying ASCII characters. Do not expect special characters which you paste directly into HTML documents to display or be searched correctly either.

For example, the apostrophe may not display or be recognized by programs correctly, so the actual code for it should be placed in your Meta tags. Instead of entering “Rapoport’s Restaurant Group” you should enter “Rapoport's Restaurant Group.” Ampersand symbols should also be replaced with the code. And if you are using accent marks or foreign language letters, the same action is recommended.

Search for the many HTML Entity Tools on the Internet to find out the correct codes for the special characters you may be using.

Some HTML Entities with Entity Codes:



Entity Code

Quotation mark