HTML 5 and What it Means to SEO

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Seemingly every single day, HTML 5 is being more and more talked about as it becomes near to completion. Something often brought up as a concern is  what is HTML 5, and what is it going to do for my SEO. Whether we like it or not, sooner or later HTML 5 will replace the present version of HTML, so sooner or later we will have to use it, and we will have to optimize our sites accordingly if we want to stay on top of the rankings. Although you may not want to hear this, if you chose to ignore the future of HTML 5, you will also be refusing to perform the best SEO practices.

So first what is HTML 5? There has been a lot of talk about how HTML 5 will be geared towards a programming language, but in practice HTML 5 will still be an XML based presentation language. In fact HTML 5 is designed in a way that it will be backward compatible to HTML 4, its predecessor. Because of this HTML 5 opens a lot of doors, and will still be very important for SEO.   It still coincides with basic web design practices. HTML, CSS, and Javascript all working together to provide for a fully functional website.

On of the biggest topics for HTML 5 is that it will replace Flash. While there is definitely a possibility of this, at this point this is not the case, nor is it forecasted in any way. Don’t listen to everything Steve Jobs tells you. This is important because Flash is not as easily identifiable to Google when indexed. Sometimes Flash may not be indexed at all. However, Google can index Flash, which is a common misconception. It even shows you how to have your Flash indexed on Google’s developers page. The thing about HTML 5 is, that indexing for your site will become a lot easier, rendering SEO more effective. At this point, HTML 5 should not replace Flash. In fact they should be used together.

HTML 5 has a few key problems with replacing Flash at this moment. First, it typically doesn’t work as fast, and users will use much more of their computer processor, when running. The second problem is that HTML 5 isn’t recognized the same way for every browser, and some of the tags will not be recognized at all. This will result in you eventually having to revert to using Flash. For a highly interactive site it is still common practice to use Flash development. But for simple things like fade in and out, or simple interactions HTML 5 might be more appropriate for SEO.

Some great features of HTML 5 include the easily indexable tags that it will include. First and foremost HTML 5 will improve page segmentation. The way that it will do this is “footer”, “header”, and even “nav” tags. This will prove to be very helpful for SEO. One interesting tag in particular is  the “article” tag. An article tag will prove to be effective for identifying key content which may hold backlinks to various sites, and can be very important for link building services. Improving the page segmentation will help Google and other search engines, easily index your site when complex functions are running.

HTML 5 will prove to very important for SEO. Not only will things like video and audio be much simpler to use with tags, but page segmentation will make your site a much more indexable webpage. This is key for SEO, and certainly will play a big part in web development in the upcoming years. It is important to understand that not all things have been solved by HTML. If you want a highly interactive site that runs smooth, you still might want to use some Flash plug ins. The most important thing to do is stay on top of HTML 5, you do not want to be playing catch up a year from now, losing out on money, and potential customers.

This article was written by Stephen Jackson. Stephen is a web designer who also uses SEO tactics for the best results. 

 

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