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HTML5 Semantic Elements & SEO

     
1:43 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

Is there evidence that Google is minding semantic elements?

I am rebuilding one of my site, and I 'd like to know if this is worth the extra work to use HTML 5 semantic elements, or not.

Since I am rebuilding this "old" site, I thought of applying all "modern things", however, I also worry to make mistakes in the use of these semantic elements, and screw up.
4:25 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Last time we looked at that question was a little over a year ago: [webmasterworld.com...] and at that time it had no effect for SEO. It looks like it helps you (and others on a team?) work on specific elements of a site. It could make sitewide changes with a single click using current text tools, so there's that aspect to consider.

I have not seen any indication since that discussion to indicate that Google is actively using the new HTML5 elements - but with AI it is anyone's guess when that will happen. If there is something to assist humans, it can only be useful to AI.
4:37 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It's easy to use html5 -- and you probably won't need to learn much that's new anyway. Maybe 3-4 hours at most to pick out which new elements you want to use.

I converted most of my sites from xhtml to html5 some years ago, and actually enjoyed using it. The code seems simpler and cleaner.

edited for clarity -aristotle
5:11 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Is there evidence that Google is minding semantic elements?

I believe that JorgeV was interested specifically in the new semantic HTML5 elements such as <article>, <time>, <section>, etc. rather than about just converting a site to HTML5.

Are you using the semantic elements, and do you see any benefits from using the extra elements?

5:48 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If I remember correctly, elements that I had never used previously included:

<main> for main content
<nav> for navigation
<section>
<footer>

maybe one or two others
8:09 pm on Oct 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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i use some of the 'new' html5 elements, notably:
<aside>
<nav>
<footer>
<header>
<article>
<figure>
<figcaption>

personally, i find them helpful to use rather than <div> as it can make reading code less confusing (less nested divs). notwithstanding that i try to be as symmantic as possible in my code.

on topic: i have found no benefit to using them in terms of ranking.
2:07 am on Oct 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Heh! I don't think g will reward you for doing your job correctly. :)

All above and <section> too ... beauty of each is (unless I misread the memo) is that each of theses can have their own H1 tags inside each section ... and not confuse g (or others) with the ONE h1 which is usually the title of the page.

YMMV
.
1:29 pm on Oct 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Go for html5, once you've learnt and implementd it you'll wonder what on earth you were concerned about.

I cheated with my html5 learning ... that's never been known before:-) ... I actually bought a fully validated html5 mini site (about $20), of 8 pages or so, inspected the construction of it, the "new" language and basically how it was all put together. I played around with it for ages trying out doing different things and generally how to do it, that was what 6 years ago, it was the best thing I did in years.

Your most favourite almost daily online resource will become html5 entities, even G can get that search correct:-)