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Why SEO’s Hate Internet Explorer

I’m a generally pretty reasonable guy. I can usually adapt and amend myself for the better good of the world. But lately, I’ve become quite nasty towards our little friend, Internet Explorer. The delinquent browser lacks any integrity and forces me to spend countless hours trying to adapt my coding to fix. Did I mention I hate Internet Explorer?

Reasons SEO’s Hate Internet Explorer:

  1. It is not a standard-compliant browser. Microsoft has set its own ‘standard’ with IE.
  2. CSS rendering- it doesn’t happen. IE needs very specific (non-valid) commands within your CSS to render properly.
  3. No addons are available. With Firefox, users have a huge amount of customization with Firefox extensions.
  4. It’s a Microsoft product. Ok, I’m not completely against all MS products, but seriously: who uses IE?
  5. It doesn’t like certain types of code and will crash. Don’t believe me? Check out this post on SEO 2.0.

Whew. I actually feel a bit better now that that’s off my mind. So in any event, if you plan on succeeding in the world of SEO, use Firefox. Period. But don’t forget to check what your site looks like in IE because chances are it looks completely different than what it should.

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

26 Responses to Why SEO’s Hate Internet Explorer

  1. Rob Woods says:

    @Rick It’s funny that a site ‘works best’ with IE considering IE makes it look worse and creates a web development nightmare.

  2. Rick Hobson says:

    Internet Explorer sucks. Just as you said, it is noncompliant, and has always been so. Microsoft is too arrogant to bring it into compliance. Unfortunately, the vast majority of computer users haven’t got a clue and will use whatever comes on their computer. I’ve used Mozilla and now Firefox for years, but whenever I do or redo a webpage, like everyone else, I have to do it over and over to get it to look right on IE.
    I’d love to see Explorer go belly up from abandonment, but I know that as long as people are basically simpletons, it will be the main browser.
    I recently signed up with Thirdsphere to host my website. I was very disappointed when I read their unhappy footnote: “This website has been tested and shown to work best with Internet Explorer”. I found that to be offensive and highly irritating. There’s no excaping Explorer, no matter what.

  3. Pierre says:

    I also hate loosing my time fixing my code for IE. But my visitors experience is my biggest issue. And 80% of them are still using IE. So no way to get rid of it.

  4. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Pierre, I’m having a hard time understanding your “not very smart” comment. Do you think Rob is in danger of actually offending someone because they use Internet Explorer? It’s a DEFAULT browser! It’s not something that people invest their identity in. Unless you’re worried that Microsoft will suddenly make their browser non-compliant to all our our client websites. In which case you might be onto something. I think they already started down that path!

  5. pierre maisnon says:

    Not very smart, critizising IE. It is still used by MOST of users, not freaks. Because people don’t bother downloading other browsers. I use Opera, a real browser. Firefox is huge amongst developpers and freaks, just because it’s kind of a fashion trendy browser out of the ms world.

  6. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    No worries, I didn’t consider it rude, just didn’t understand. You’re right, most people still use IE because it’s default. But that doesn’t excuse Microsoft from having an inferior product that doesn’t even meet industry guidelines. Just because most people don’t change their own oil doesn’t mean there isn’t a wrong way to do it.

  7. pierre maisnon says:

    Sorry if I’ve been rude. I meant than most people will never ever download any browser because they already got one when they bought windows. And that’s a fact. And guess who is using firefox, your 45 year aunt or your friend that works in this business?

  8. pierre maisnon says:

    True, people don’t change their own oil. But still majority rules as long as developement is concerned. Winzip has become THE standard, but all of us in this conversation know winrar is better. Again, who uses winrar? Advanced users. Just as firefox, used by a large majority of microsoft deceived and angry users, opera (which is better than firefox), and so on. What I mean is that the use of firefox has become a trend, a sort of flag anti-ms users want to exhibit. And they use it just as a message meaning “I’m no ms slave”. Don’t you think Opera is better than Firefox? I do.

  9. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    But I’m still failing to see the point. Are we not to criticize an inferior program just because the masses us it? Are we in any danger of damaging our reputation because an IE user might be offended by us pointing out it’s inferiority? I couldn’t imagine that being the case.

  10. pierre maisnon says:

    I meant those critics are worthless, cos no one except the advanced users will appreciate the difference between a truly free browser like IE (yes, it’s a default browser, zero effort is required, no download, no testing, nothing, it’s already there) and a trendy stuff called firefox you have to search, download, install, bla bla bla, too complicated for most users. And why don’t you go for the best browser, opera, and stick with the firefox? Ok, IE is a bad choice, but firefox still is a not the best, because there is something better called opera. So I guess, the choice of firefox is not a sincere choice but only a kinda hate-ms statement. Anyway, users will always rule, if 80% use IE, you can’t code against them.

  11. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    I completely disagree that FireFox is nothing more than an anti-ms browser. Not it’s been years since I’ve used Opera so I can’t really speak to that but for me, and many people in my industry, FireFox is much more than a browser, it’s a tool. Any browser that doesn’t provide the same add-ons that I can get with FireFox is a browser that prevents me from doing my job effectively. Can I get all of my FireFox tools installed into Opera?

  12. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    good to know. Thanks. But that still doesn’t make FireFox an anti-ms browser, nor does it negate any relevant conversation about the drawbacks of MS. However I’d invite you to guest post a complete review of the Opera browser for our readers.

  13. Rob says:

    @Jonathan I couldn’t agree more with you, Jonathan. Programmers, coders, and their more nimbler SEO conterparts like myself have no mercy for IE. It wastes my time and gives head pain. Alas, though, we need to begin a grassroots effort to convince users to ‘make the switch’.

  14. Jonathan the angry developer says:

    For one thing, Firefox is not a “fancy non-ms browser”. I don’t like firefox because its ‘cool’, I like firefox because it F-ing works.

    Non-web developers don’t understand the fact that Internet explorer is painfully annoying at best, hair-pullingly stupid at worst to develop in. For every website I do, I spend an extra 30 minutes to 2 hours for every hour I spend developing and coding just to make it work in Internet explorer.

    Code up a page, works perfectly or nearly perfectly first time in Firefox. Load it up in IE? Elements are all over the place on the page, things are sized wrong, and i end up sitting there for hours creating work-arounds in javascript and CSS to make things work in internet explorer.

    for example…. created an element 1000px wide. Load it up in Internet explorer… sure enough, it’s 1200px wide (approximately). I have yet to figure out why, and will likely have to re-code a large portion of the site to ‘work-around’ Internet explorer. It’s complete and utter B.S. and the exact reason I encourage everyone I know to boycott IE and move to Opera, Firefox, or Safari.

  15. Dave says:

    As a developer, IE sucks. That’s established. I bet it costs us quite a bit of money in wasted time.

    I have never considered using Opera over Firefox (in the past), because Opera always had adverts, or you had to pay (yeah right). I guess now they don’t charge? I’d always just written them off, because there was no chance I was going to give them money over using netscape/mozilla/firefox _for free_; I think that’s where they screwed themselves.

    I didn’t realize it was free until this thread made me curious to check. I just downloaded it, and the developer tools look pretty nice.

    Of course, if people have to pay to get _all_ of the addons which are free in Firefox, Opera is again going to loose out.

    Irrespective, anything is better than IE…. just don’t use that, for the sake of all Web developers’ mental health.

  16. Pingback: (EMP) E-Marketing Performance » Blog Archive » Top 10 Most Useful Open Source / Free Software Programs

  17. grassroots marketing says:

    that`s cool. there is always a conflict BTW Firefox and internet explorer. should think twice for benefits of SEO…

  18. Download Software says:

    I agree, and I also agree again that firefox is indeed far better than that of IE. Who uses IE again?

  19. free pinball download says:

    I have yet to figure out why, and will likely have to re-code a large portion of the site to ‘work-around’ Internet explorer. It’s complete and utter B.S. and the exact reason I encourage everyone I know to boycott IE and move to Opera, Firefox, or Safari.

  20. Family doctor Canada says:

    It’s not something that people invest their identity in. Unless you’re worried that Microsoft will suddenly make their browser non-compliant to all our our client websites. In which case you might be onto something.

  21. Ralph says:

    OMG! I’m working on a site for a client and I thought well lets check it in IE8. Result: Loads of script conflicts (such as PNG Alpha transparency in combination with jQuery opacity statements) and heaps of display problems. I’ve tried to look for a png fix such as the ones for IE6 and came to the conclusion…. THERE IS NOT ONE!!!!!


    I’ve checked all the sites that I made over the last 2 years in IE8 and I was shocked to see that they all have major issues regarding usability, display and functionality.
    After cursing for an hour or so and wishing Bill Fucking Gates everything what we don’t want to have, I really don’t know how I’m going to explain my former clients that I need days and in some cases even, weeks, to solve all the issues and that they have to pay for me to do so while actually BILL FUCKING GATES have to pay me for that.

    Seriously, I know that I as a web developer can’t ignore Internet Explorer, because there are still too many end users stuck with the shitiest browser on earth, but deep in my Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome, etc, HEARTH… I WISH I COULD!