Dreamweaver templates and search engines

Good morning.  I have created a website in Dreamweaver MX and have, of course, used templates.  I am working with a gentleman who is trying to get me to remove the following tags because he believes they are interfereing with the search engines. He says:

"Would it be possible for you to remove the Dreamweaver template tags from %%%.com, like we did for the &&& website? The rankings have already started to increase for &&&.com. The Lodge website has struggled to achieve any rankings since I have been montoring it and I suspect that this may be the reason.

He wants to get rid of these tags but that will disable the templates (not something not I'm willing to do).

<!-- TemplateBeginEditable name="doctitle" -->
<!-- TemplateEndEditable -->
<!-- TemplateBeginEditable name="head" --><!-- TemplateEndEditable -->

Is he right???

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No, it doesn't have much to do with the relevence if all your other ducks are in a row.

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No.  Most search engines are programmed to ignore HTML comment tags (<!--  -->) when scanning a page.  Having them has no bearing whatsoever on search engine rankings.
Google's pagerank algorithm has many components. One part is that the higher relevant textual content is in the page the more likely that content will be indexed and the more 'relevant' that text is. So it could have a very, very minor effect.

Most search engines only index the first 100kb (or less) of a page so if you have a great deal of editable/repetitive regions then this may also have an effect.

Every search engine has different alogorithms, and it could well have an impact on the smaller spiders
That said you have to way up the ease in maintaining your site with these (minor) drawbacks and how competitive your web site's genre is.

I would probably not remove them, but if you are redeveloping your web site in the future, consider using server-side includes and other techniques to have an easily maintainable web site without relying on Dreamweaver templates.
As said before, most search engines ignore comments, however the more relevant text the better, Google will drop the page rank of any page they think is trying to use random keywords to boost its results, although I don't think Dreamweaver's templates are considered random keywords - but you never know.

Another thing you might consider, is that it makes the site slightly slower to load, as well as makes it look less professional when users who may be web developers view the source. I would recommend switching to a PHP based templating system, that way you wont have any extra comment tags, and thus you don't have to worry about search engines, or slow page loading times.
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