2

I have many sites with this old code which is intended to direct IE6 users to get a newer browser or to get Google Chrome Frame.

<!--[if lt IE 7]>
        You are using an outdated browser. Please
        <a href="http://browsehappy.com/">upgrade your browser</a>
        or
        <a href="http://www.google.com/chromeframe/?redirect=true">activate Google Chrome Frame</a>
        to improve your experience.
<![endif]-->

The Chrome Frame link is no longer valid (it returns a 404).

Since this doesn't do anything for any significant number of visitors anymore, it doesn't seem to matter if I remove it or leave it. It may be best practice to remove it, but it would take time for each site.

The only downside I can think of to leaving this code unmodified is that perhaps it is a negative factor for SEO. Is it?

1

IE7... was released in 2006

Google does not care about outdated browsers, it focuses on majority and majority doesn't use a browser released 11 years ago.

IE7 is older than most cars on the road in the UK

If you want to cater for users with browsers older than most cars on the road in the UK then you should change the HTML code so it includes a new link or no link with just the message. It should be noted that most IE7 users will encounter millions of websites that do not render and most of these sites will not inform the user to upgrade their browser.

IE7 has 263 vulnerabilities

It's extremely unlikely that 'real' users will visit your site using IE7, it has over 263 known vulnerabilities and personally I wouldn't bloat my code for these few users.

Traffic

With all this said it boils down to how many users visit the site, if you receive millions of unique visitors a month then the 'amount' of people using IE7 increasing therefore it may be worth while having, but for the majorty of sites with hundreds to a few thousand visitors a month, it'll be extremely rare to see a spike in IE7 user agents lurking in the log, if they do they could also be 'naughty' bots.

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  • I agree with you. I will offer one point. What is the likely oldest Windows OS still used? XP. What is the latest greatest browser for that OS? IE7. I still use XP but with Chrome since IE is an abomination. So for me, IE7 is as low as anyone should go. – closetnoc Dec 15 '17 at 0:13
  • Anyone with a once of sense of security will not go under IE11. – Simon Hayter Dec 15 '17 at 10:39
  • Good to know. I have not kept up on the subject. I started using Chrome mostly because IE had memory allocation problems where it would allocate memory per HTML tag and not release it or reuse it. Even exiting and restarting IE would not clear the memory. You had to reboot. I do not trust Microsoft at all. No code discipline. Not to the level I have had to work when coding for DEC and others. – closetnoc Dec 15 '17 at 15:28
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    I'm not interested in browser differences. I'm only interested in how search engines would evaluate a broken link in a conditional comment. – Liam Dec 15 '17 at 16:26
  • Google and other search engines do not use conditional resources... The conditional 'link' http://www.google.com/chromeframe/?redirect=true does not, will not and has never given you any SEO benefit, its for users, not search bots. – Simon Hayter Dec 15 '17 at 22:54
1

HTML comments have ZERO value for SEO; crawlers just ignore the comment tag. They simply add no value.

Conditional HTML comments are treated the same, leaving them will not affect the performance of your site.

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