My website has several subdomains with it that represent each major section of the website and I have that to allow search engines to understand what each section is about.

My problem lies with the calendar and photo gallery section of my site, each having its own subdomain.

Now when I recently checked my code/text ratio, most pages report lower than the required 15% which is probably why my adsense RPM is almost zero.

On each calendar page I have roughly 300 words, but whats killing me that I can't remove are the CSS sprites. The website is mostly image focused. On the calendar page, I have events which refer to URL's on the photo gallery subdomain, so I have links similar to http://photo-galleries.example.com/albumname/date/page-number/numberperpage

So I feel now my only options are the following:

  1. Either restructure the URL's to make them shorter and a lot less friendly and/or meaningful (so I could have something like: http://photo-galleries.example.com/albumshortcode/mmddyyyy/nn/nn)


  1. make ridiculously short accessible URL's in the current domain so that anchor tags like this will work:

    day one

If I choose #2, then the code/text radio will be fabulous but the server will have to work harder to process redirect pages.

If I choose #1, then I risk losing ranking in search engines for favoring a less-friendly URL.

I have already removed comments and unnecessary code.

I'm not exactly asking for code for an answer. I'm just asking based on what I mentioned here, how I can improve the code-to-text ratio on my website so that search engines don't believe I'm writing code only for robots.

Any ideas?

If not, then I think I'll have to revamp a whole set of links which is what I didn't plan on doing.

  • 1
    I rather suspect that the code to content ratio is a myth (short of a really ridiculous page). Of course you want your site as lean as possible, but I am pretty sure that Google, for example, does not count code bytes. They are more interested in a site that users like and works well which includes download speed. Make sure you have good content and are taking full advantage of satisfying any user. The rest should not matter. As well, I am not sure how the URL structure effects code size- I did not follow on this.
    – closetnoc
    Apr 9, 2015 at 2:36
  • I've also never seen any evidence that the ratio matters. You do need enough text, but you don't need to worry about too much markup. Apr 9, 2015 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


The text to code radio claim is one of the bigger myths out there on search engine optimization. What actually matters is the page load time not the ratio of text to code. If you have a lot of code compared to the text in your site this still isn't inherently a problem until the amount of code you have is causing significant load time issues.

Google publishes a tool called Page Speed Insights which can be found at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ which is designed to identify issues with your page speed and what is causing the issues and help provide advice on how to correct the page speed issues. As a general rule of thumb pages with a speed insight speed profile in yellow or red will have difficulty ranking as highly as sites with a green speed profile but this is only a general rule of thumb and not a hard and fast rule. As an example with two websites I have worked on in the past for two government departments in two separate states which do the same thing (emergency services websites), one site which has a better insight score actually has a lower SERP rank than the other. The good site actually has a really poor (in the red) insight score but ranks better based on content, whereas the other site (which ranks highly in the green) with an insight score, actually has a much lower SERP rank.

What this demonstrates is that while page speed is important (as Google has said before) for your SERP ranking, the content of your page is more important than page speed.

Focusing specifically on your question there is no real reason to do any of the options you have questioned about, instead run your site through the PageSpeed Insights's tool and it will give you ideas on what Google thinks of your page speed and where it suggests improvements. Generally instead of messing around with URL's which don't really affect the code to text ratio in any meaningful way regardless, there will be other more important improvements to make such as shifting rendering-blocking javascript and CSS in above the fold content and shifting it to the bottom of the page where possible, as well as leveraging browser cache, optimising images, minifying CSS, javascript, and HTML, and reducing server response time.

As a side note the insights tool also has a built in tool to optimise your static content and let you download the optimised content to upload to your site.

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