Exploring the Bleak Future of IE6

As of March 1, Google will stop supporting Internet Explorer 6.

For some, it is a sad moment. For the rest of us who have already moved on, it’s about time. Why, you might ask, does this have anything to do with search engine optimization, web page ranking and why should I care?

Maybe you shouldn’t care, but I’m willing to bet that your friendly neighborhood computer programmer and web designer care. When they are looking at your website and adding in some goodies for you, they’ll be grinning from ear to ear. One less step to take, one less line to modify. One less error to wrestle with. The less time they spend accommodating outdated browsers, the more time they have for other things that will improve your website and its rankings. If Google isn’t spending the time to support it, should anyone?

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With the nail in the coffin for IE6, its share will go either go to IE7, IE8 or, quite possibly, the Internet Explorer users will jump ship and go to Firefox. IE8 and Firefox have been dueling for supremacy since September. A few months ago, Firefox exceeded IE8 in user share. At the moment, IE8 is on top. This might be a way for Firefox to get some of it back. Guess that means our programmers and web developers will continue doing double duty with both browsers at more than 20%.

As websites become upgraded to attract Google’s bots, this will certainly affect your rankings since it’s easier to optimize without jumping through hoops. If you are upgrading, you will be happy. If your competitor who just figured out what SEO is has upgraded, it might not be such a banner day.

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