Can HTML5 Help With Your SEO?

How About Some Love?

HTML5 has been a growing standard for about 2 years. Although the “5” denotes that this is the fifth official version of HTML, the plan seems to be that it will be an ongoing project, with new features being continually added, and none being taken away. This will tremendously help with any new version headaches in the future. I will cover some easy changes that you can (and should) start implementing right now if you haven’t already, and help increase your SEO.

HTML5 Doctype

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">

This is the old school, long and complicated way of describing a web page to a web browser. Now we just easily use this instead:

<!DOCTYPE html>

HTML5 File Specification

Instead of having to specify whether our link type is text/css or text/javascript, such as:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="path/to/stylesheet.css" type="text/css" />
<script type="text/javascript" src="path/to/script.js"></script>

We can simply use:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="path/to/stylesheet.css" />
<script src="path/to/script.js"></script>

HTML5 Semantic Header/Nav/Footer

Google has filed for a patent to make an adjustment to it’s PR algorithm. The change states that the search engine (SE) can adjust the relative importance of a link on any given page. Here is where these new semantic markup tags become invaluable. Before HTML5, we had to build websites using spans and divs. Since these tags don’t necessarily help SE’s fully understand what a block of code is trying to accomplish on a webpage, we can now add a bit of context:

<body>
  <header>
    Header content goes here
  </header>
  <nav>
    Navigation menu goes here
  </nav>
  <footer>
   Footer content goes here
  </footer>
</body>

Links in the header and navigation get a little more of a boost compared to those in the footer. Divs and spans are still in use today of course, but their utility has been slowly diminishing as newer tags continue to be developed.

HTML5 Links

Links also get a bit of an update to help make their targets a little better understood. One of the most popular links is the rel=”author” attributes:

<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/awesomeauthor″>

This bit of code is supposed to make author’s face show up next to the result description on the page (or author’s pizza, in this case).

HTML5 Forms

Ok, this last one is a little more complex, but super cool as it saves a lot of trouble behind the scenes. This bit of code validates the input field, and makes sure that the email address entered is a real email address:

<form action="" method="get">
<label for="email">Email:</label>
<input id="email" name="email" type="email" />
<button type="submit"> Submit Form </button>

For more information on HTML5 and ways you can improve the SEO and indexability of your website, check out these resources: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/html5-an-essential-weapon-for-seos/62512/ http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/28-html5-features-tips-and-techniques-you-must-know–net-13520 http://www.html5rocks.com/en

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