Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: June 21, 2010 8:10 am


With HTML 5 and XHTML 2 just round the corner more and more developers are getting excited at the new possibilities available on the web. But are these new technologies actually good for your website.

The simple answer is.


HTML 5 and XHTML 2 are great for your SEO, but building with them can be difficult with non standards browsers *cough* Internet Explorer *cough* not being prepared for these new elements.

A short list of some of the new elements to help better segregate your pages is below:

Tags for layout segregation

  • article – the main content of the page
  • aside – extra content
  • figure – peripheral content with caption
  • footer – the footer of the page
  • header – the header of the page
  • nav – the page navigation
  • section – any section or portion of the page

Tags for media segregation:

  • audio – denoting an audio stream
  • source – the video or audio source files
  • video – denoting a video stream

Tags for DHTML, Ajax and general web application

  • canvas – a place to draw dynamic graphics
  • command – denotes a command button that has information sent to the server or script
  • datagrid – references dynamic data in a tree form or tabular data form
  • datalist – references a list of data in a drop-down list
  • details – provides additional details of a page element, like pop-up help text
  • output – references the output of a script or calculation
  • progress – represents a progress bar in the completion of a process

There are more tags but these are what will make your web development change and your thought process behind building your website will alter for a more semantically correct website.

But as I mentioned above, there are still some browsers (a browser) falling behind (never caught up)

But there is a work around using JavaScript. See below for how to make these elements work with Internet Explorer versions 5+

document.createElement('article');//create a dom element "article"
document.createElement('footer');//create a dom element "footer"
document.createElement('header');//create a dom element "header"

As you can see, its pretty simple and it simply tells Internet Explorer based browsers to create these elements in the dom ready for use, So far I have not tested this with validation. But validation is nothing more than a little badge at the bottom of your pages these days, its almost as overused as the Glider (see below)

Hackers Glider

So HTML 5 and xHTML is good for SEO because search engines can now tell what section of your website is for what, such as header and footer give the search engines a rough idea of what kind of content to expect and article/section tell the search engines that this is where the main bulk of your content lays.

So a more semantic web should mean a more relevant web and less SERP spammers destroying positions.

With that, HTML 5 and xHTML2 are just around the corner and so is the more semantic, clever and aesthetically pleasing web.