HTML5 and SEO: The Effects on Optimization

2 July 2012

Newyork : It has not been long since HTML5 came into existence, yet it has created a lot of waves among webmasters, developers, designers and SEO professionals. Considering the use of HTML5 in today's most common web semantics, it has not been that satisfactory. The popularity is more among designers and developers only. The reason is that it gives them more flexibility in terms of design/development smoothness.
HTML5 when combined with CSS3 keeps the potential of replacing animations and effects done in Flash. The use of Canvas, Transitions, Transforms, Gradient etc has increased the scope of web design and development manifold. Now the question is what all can it does to SEO? Let us discuss it in detail.
HTML5 has come with several useful tags and elements that provide it users with multiple options for developing and optimizing web pages and applications. From SEO point of view, the tags like Header, Article, Section, Nav and Footer are sure to gain more importance in near future. If you look at the descriptions of these tags and elements, you will agree that somewhere they have been developed to help search engines have a better indexing of websites. I will explain these tags briefly here.
Header: Ask any SEO in New York about the most important Tag on a webpage with a view to its importance in SEO, and you will get the answers like H1, H2 and H3. It has not changed much in HTML5, all heading tags remain the same and additionally you can use Heading as a separate HTML/CSS tag. The Heading element in HTML5 does the same as H1....H6 tags. The content that you wrap in the heading tag is considered to be the most important thing on a website. You can wrap contents in [<heading> </heading>].
Article: This tag is supposed to be used for text contents. When you wrap your texts under [<article> </article>], search engines recognizes the content inside them as articles.
Section: It's yet another important tag in HTML5. It signals search engines about all the different sections of contents you have on your website.
Nav: It is used for navigations on web pages. Simply put your navigational links under [<nav> </nav>] and you have made sure that you are telling web spiders about all the navigation links you have own your website.
Footer: No need to make custom DIV classes and IDs to code your footer. The use of footer tag makes it easier for you and for search engines as well. You can have different Footer section for different pages of your website. If you wish and can play with the website design as you normally do in HTML4.
It stands to reason why HTML5 will play a vital role in Search Engine Optimization in coming days. Looking at a page coded in HTML5, anyone with a basic knowledge of HTML5 can find out what are most promotional contents on a website, then why not Search Engines? Practically, HTML5 offers improved page segmentation and that is, of course, nothing short of a treat for search spiders.

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