Matt Cutts is back to answer another question on the topic of search engine optimization. Is page bloat truly detrimental to a site’s chances of getting to the top of search results? Are the keyword leaders mainly those with sleek and simple pages that are nearly devoid of design elements?
Matt does not agree with the observation that minimal sites dominant the rankings. He points out that several blogs and websites continue to lead despite having plenty of large images, Flash animations, and other heavy elements. Google, he says, does a good job of finding the core content despite the bloat and can thus generate a fair score based on relevance.

He sees this perception as a remnant of Google’s old crawling method in which sites are truncated at 100KB. In this scenario, pages with a lot of extraneous elements may be cut before the crawler gets a chance to read the bulk of the content. Fortunately, this approach is no longer used and even the heaviest pages can now be scanned in full. Contemporary webmasters need not be consumed with achieving a minimal look. Their efforts are better served by focusing on the usability of the site and quality of the content.

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What impact does “page bloat” have on Google rankings? –