It has been said that Search Engine Optimization “is not yet a science — it’s still an artform.”
I totally agree with that quote. Search Engine Optimization is hundreds of little things that you with your site to make it more search engine friendly. The table trick is one of those SEO things you can do to improve your rankings (however slightly) in the search engines.
Search Engines don’t usually index your entire page. They usually have a KB limit of how much it will index from each page, and it will probably value the information near the top of a page more than it does the information at the bottom.
Unfortunately, it is the style of the internet to have menu/navigation bars on the left side of the screen. Usually this means that the menu/navigation bar shows up in your code before the content of your web page. So the search engines have to sift through a bunch of formatting code in your navigation before it gets to the meat of your site.
Here is where the table trick comes in:
Using this code, you will be able to have a left navigation bar that shows up below the content of your code. Here is the code:
<td><!– leave this TD empty – it will disappear –></td>
<td rowspan=2>Put the text for the page here. </td>
<td>Put the Navigation Bar Here</td>
The above quote and this table trick supplied courtesy of Jere Matlock of Words in a Row. Jere is the best SEO resource anyone could ask for. His site is full of useful Search Engine Optimization tactics and ideas. You can also check out his blog: JMblog.