What is ASCII code?

ASCII code is a character set which, with a total of 7 bits, allows most characters to be represented on a computer keyboard. Since this is an American invention, characters such as umlauts and the ß are missing in German (and other languages). The code can be converted into human-understandable letters using an ASCII code table.

On the history of ASCII

According to percomputer, the abbreviation stands for “American Standard Code for Information Interchange”. The coding is identical to the less well-known ISO standard 646. There are a total of 128 characters in the ASCII code, whereby those characters largely correspond to those of an English-language typewriter. Therefore, ASCII has been around for a long time, the standard was first approved by the US authorities in June 1963. Despite its great age, ASCII is still in use and is sometimes even used in art as ASCII Art.

ASCII in detail: how it works

ASCII is not understandable to humans under normal circumstances. Each character that is output by the code consists of the 7 bits mentioned at the beginning (i.e. 7 zeros and ones). For example, the capital letter D would be represented as 100 0100. A curly, closed bracket – i.e.} – on the other hand has the code 111 1101. Words or even entire sentences can therefore only be deciphered for people if someone takes the trouble to memorize the code to learn.

On the basis of these ASCII code table can be seen as ASCII works.

  • The abbreviation “MSB” in the upper, central area of ​​the table stands for Most Significant Bit. These three bits are always named first, i.e. 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110 or 111.
  • The left column “LSB” contains the Least Significant Bits, which are always appended to the end. Using the table, you can now quickly find out which character corresponds to which bit representation in the ASCII code.
  • 011 0111 would therefore be the number 7. The dollar symbol, on the other hand, has the bit sequence 010 0100. In this way, most of the symbols that are important in everyday life can be displayed. Since this is a rather old standard, modern symbols such as the EUR symbol are missing.

It should also be noted that the control characters on the left cannot be displayed or printed out. Apart from that, an ASCII character set can still be used to hold conversations in apps or write texts on websites without any problems, despite the old age.

Value of ASCII in SEO

With regard to search engine optimization, ASCII plays a small role, but it can still be valuable in exceptional situations. Texts on websites are usually coded differently today, but ASCII can be used in search engine snippets. In relation to ordinary letters or Arabic numerals, this makes no difference. However, it is possible to include the special characters in meta tags or meta descriptions. It would be conceivable to include asterisks, arrows, mathematical symbols or even hooks in the description.

Since these special characters are usually rarely used, they immediately attract attention if a website operator does use them. In the end, there are higher click rates on the search result. It is true that their impact will not be particularly extensive. Especially with highly competitive keywords, however, these small codes could be the deciding factor why a searcher decides on this website.

Conversion of ASCII code

Due to the complexity of ASCII, there are numerous converters and ASCII tables on the Internet. Simple search queries such as letters to ASCII code or hex to ASCII code to convert from hex values ​​to ASCII are sufficient. The output values ​​can then be used.

ASCII Art: By-product of ASCII code

Over time, a form of art has developed on the Internet that is based on the ASCII character set. The letters, numbers and special characters in ASCII code are used to create images and pictograms. ASCII is particularly well suited for this type of art, as the character set can be understood and correctly displayed by devices of all kinds virtually anywhere in the world. Automatic tools automatically generate ASCII variants from existing images on request.

From the SEO point of view, ASCII art does not play a role: The character sets are recognized as characters and not as images. Search engines understand images of this kind as an illegible collection of characters and not as valuable content.

What is ASCII code