HTML5 and SEO?

Hey everyone,

Does anyone know if Google has made any official announcements about how they are indexing websites that implement HTML5? Some of the new HTML tags in HTML5 include <header>, <nav>, <article>, <footer>, and more.

Does Google’s bot recognize these for what they are? I’m planning to use HTML5 for a few current clients, but I don’t want to hinder their SEO potential.

Thanks for any info.


I don’t think google has made announcement about that.

Even if Google don’t acknowledge HTML5 element’s, it’s no different to them acknowledging generic DIV elements. If they recognise them it means better semantic value, if they don’t it means all they see is a container element with little to no semantic real-estate value in context of the content, which is basically the same as a DIV element. Essentially, it doesn’t matter what you use, Google will eventually pick it up sooner or later. :slight_smile:

I’m sure the google bot already picks up HTML5, why wouldn’t it? I mean Google want their search engine to be the best, so they are constantly updating their spiders to work better, faster etc. Obviously sooner or later they’ll have to pick up HTML5, so why wouldn’t they of done it in the first place?

I wasn’t so much concerned about them “picking it up” but rather, I was concerned about content inside of the new elements being given less weight than content inside of regular HTML elements.


I can’t see why they’d give it any less weight, I’d of thought they’d of given it more because using HTML5 obviously shows your website is updated more then the websites still using HTML4, but I’ve never done anything with HTML5, so I can’t tell you from experience, just logic.

Like I said… DIV’s hold pretty much zero weight anyway, so marking up your content even more semantically will ultimately mean even if they don’t give it the weight it deserves, it won’t get any less weight than a semantically neutral divider. Whether Google ultimately supports it is a moot point entirely. :slight_smile:

Why would they. HTML 5 is currently only a proposal. The tags proposed today may not be there at all by the time it actually becomes a recommended standard.

Also there is no way other than for the presence of HTML 5 specific tags to even tell that a web page is supposed to be using HTML 5 since the doctype that they decided to use is identical with the short version of the doctype introduced for HTML 2 which ceased to identify the version of HTML when HTML 3.2 came out.

Google not announce anything about html5. I know only that if you make a site using div tags instead of table tags that site become more search engine friendly.

Why would it need to check the version of HTML? Just as (some) browsers will quite happily render HTML5 as and when they encounter it, all that web developers need to worry about is whether Googlebot (a) recognises the semantic context given by elements new to HTML5, (b) treats any unknown element as generic content and therefore on a par with <div>, or (c) doesn’t recognise elements new to HTML5 and considers content within unknown elements to be dubious or less important than content in known elements. The doctype doesn’t matter at all.

Apart from the fact they don’t need to detect that HTML5 is in use (they just look for the elements and give them “value” based on their inherent semantic meaning), what makes you presume they wouldn’t implement the draft version of HTML5? Google already makes use of HTML5 in it’s Wave product and in some test case versions of YouTube, it only makes sense they would want to take every opportunity to increase the semantic value of pages to gain a more accurate portrayal of it’s semantic value. Google needs to be ahead of the game so supporting drafts until their finalized doesn’t seem out of the question, especially when it wouldn’t be too hard to remove or edit them - it’s not like Google are a small company, if it’s in public use, it makes sense for them to acknowledge it. :slight_smile:

Well it hasn’t been commonly done in the past. For example Microsoft didn’t implement XHTML 1.0 support in IE3 - which wouuld be the equivalent for the last standard that was introduced to what you say Google is currently doing.

Whether it’s been done in the past or not… it’s been widely publicised that Google have been playing with HTML5 on products in their release cycle, I’m surprised you didn’t read about it. Google Wave’s use of HTML5 was in the public arena for ages because of the issues in regard to IE6 support. :stuck_out_tongue:

I suppose I haven’t noticed it because they are only playing around with it for products I have never used and probably will never use.

The only Google product where supporting HTML 5 will make any significant difference is if they add support to Google Chrome since it is only where the web browser supports it that it makes any difference at all.

Chrome does support elements of HTML5 and has since v4. Granted support is somewhat mixed, but it’s certainly enough to make it worth considering. :slight_smile:

they do not care about HTML5 (see just yet.

real question is: is having multiple H1’s (as you do in HTML5) bad for SEO?
I guess the answer’s yes.
until G. knows HTML5 and works differently when it encounters a HTML5 page, it’s gonna look like tag soup with no outline to their crawler (but this is just my opinion).

Simple strategy is , if Google Change indexing websites to html5, then it will first make Google bot to understand it properly. But till date i didn’t heard any news about it.

how can we measure if Google handles html5 tags from a seo standpoint ?
i think much onpage tags have the same weight value other than the title tag which carries a bit more value. The real game changer is the links.

HTML5 is fairly new, so I don’t google has done anything for the indexing of html5, i was a little worry about that myself… Because I have a new site that is using html5, lets wait and see what happens