Google should rank websites following W3C standards more highly than others

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The Internet was built on standards, and became a huge success because
everyone followed standards. Standards like TCP/IP, HTTP and HTML.
Today anyone from a huge company to a lone individual can set up a web
site and have an equal chance of being heard.

The future of the web depends on everyone following standards, but
that future is under threat. Microsoft would love to use its monopoly
to embrace these standards, and force everyone to have to pay a tithe
to use the web. Microsoft have lost interest in developing Internet
Explorer to support the latest standards, leaving it laughably bad in
the face of competitors like Mozilla, Safari and Opera. The next
version of Windows will do away with these standards altogether,
replacing them with a proprietary version of HTML which will require
expensive Microsoft-only browsers and servers.

Google is in a position to influence the outcome right now. Google
could do the Right Thing by weighting more highly websites which
follow the open W3C web standards. Specifically Google could validate
each webpage against XHTML, and provide higher rankings for websites
which validate.

Why would it be in Google's interests to do this?

Because Google wants the best experience for its users. And the best
experience for users will be to get an XHTML valid webpage which works
across any browser, is accessible for the blind and partially-sighted,
and works on devices like mobile phones and PDAs.

The interests of Google, of Google's users and the future of open web
standards are aligned.