We talk about table less design these days so that they are more search engine friendly. So what is this table free designs. Well, it is not really new it is just that search engines have started giving CSS more importance now as Web 2.0 standards are adapted by many.
CSS means Cascading Style Sheets and it is a simple way of displaying your content to the search engine which is better than tables. In short the spiders were having issues with tables so they have decided to go CSS way.
Well, you need to create correctly formatted may be based on Yahoo GRID base style sheets in your HTML pages that can make your site more accessible. You should test it with various browsers such as IE 6 and IE 7. It is important to test on Internet explorer because if you miss a simple tag, it will not display your page.
Your website design decides your presence on the Internet. Many sites were originally made with tables and are now migrating to CSS, why? Because the communication of CSS with search engines is friendlier than the tables as stated above as well. Other benefits of CSS includes faster download, changes of color scheme is much quicker among others.
Recently at Applelounge.com we have migrated our team from developing sites in tables to CSS, it was a daunting task. It is ongoing as new things are being introduced and lot of testing goes in CSS. So if you decide to get your site developed in CSS expect to pay more for it than a regular table based site.
CSS is certainly the new way moving forward with certain observations recently noticed by allocation of Google Page Rank to different sites, which is sites that have migrated to CSS have received higher PR rankings than the sites that do not have been implemented on CSS.
You should also consider in what version of HTML you are using. If you use a specific version then it might not work in all systems. So you will not get all your pages accessible, but with CSS you are bound to get it right. See for yourself on a major search engine such as Google.com.
You may consider inserting flash to give a better look to your site or applets or other plug ins that look great, however you need to be aware that these plug ins do not assist you in Search Engine optimization but add an extra pressure to your server. Of course use of such plug ins is important for interactive demos but these embedded tools should be followed by strict guidelines.
In Conclusion, websites are evolving and so are search engines. Sites are competing each other on a global scale to be on top of each other by adopting technologies that help them the most. CSS is the way to go now and there might be another powerful weapon in the future that may further charge up your site. But in the near future, CSS is the way to go.