The concept of HTML 5 was introduced a couple of years ago, but as always with modern web technologies, it wasn’t implemented right away across most websites on the internet.
But the modern online space is changing as we speak, and these days, having an HTML 5 friendly site becomes important for many reasons. SEO being just one of them.
HTML 5 vs. Multimedia
One of the first things that HTML 5 changes is the use of multimedia. Back in the day, you had no effective way of integrating fancy graphics into a website. The only actual method of doing this was through Flash. But Flash couldn’t be indexed by search engines. Which in short meant that if you used Flash, your content didn’t get ranked.
HTML 5 has pre-designed mechanisms that allow webmasters to place audio, video, animations, and other multimedia content on a website with a set of simple HTML tags. E.g.:
<video width=”320″ height=”240″ controls>
<source src=”movie.mp4″ type=”video/mp4″>
<source src=”movie.ogg” type=”video/ogg”>
Your browser does not support the video tag.
The advice is therefore simple: If you want to feature multimedia content, do it with HTML 5.
HTML 5 vs. Links
There’s a number of cool link features that HTML 5 brings to modern websites, but we want to focus on just two.
The first one is an already well-known “nofollow” tag. It still exists in HTML 5 and allows you to indicate links that search engines shouldn’t follow (great for affiliate links). Usage:
<a href=”http://domain.com/some-link.html” rel=”nofollow”>Anchor</a>
The second tag worth mentioning is the author tag. Using it will allow you to display an author image next to your listing in Google. All you have to do is create a Google+ profile and then link it to your content. Usage (place this somewhere on one of your pages):
<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/your-profile-url” />
This will improve the click through rate your search engine listings get.
HTML 5 vs. Content Markup
HTML 5 allows you to use better content markup, which means that you can indicate which part of your page is the header, the content block, the footer, and so on.
As we all know, the main content block is where the actual content is, and what we want to get indexed.
<header><!– Your other header tags –></header>
<nav><!– Your other menu tags –></nav>
<article>The content you want to rank</article>
<footer><!– Your other footer tags –></footer>
Here’s an example source code using the new tags:
The only difficulty is to tweak the theme you’re using right now to feature this new set of tags.
HTML 5 vs. Cleaner Code
One of the most significant advantages of HTML 5 is that it encourages a better code structure, which by default is what search engines enjoy. The first rule of on-page SEO is that the more complicated your code is, the more difficult it will be for search engines to read it.
What this means in plain English is that HTML 5 itself won’t skyrocket your SEO, but you can notice some significant improvements as a by-product, so to speak, due to the improved on-page optimization.