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Html5 and Schema.org tags overlap?

8:36 pm on Dec 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I recently converted an old site from xhtml to html5 and am now thinking about converting some other sites too, since I plan to keep these sites for many years to come, and think html5 might be better for the long term.

I want to use elements such as <article>, <section> and <nav> on my new html5 pages, because they might help search engines understand the structure better. But I've found out that Schema.org has some tags that seem to have the same function. For example, compare:

<article> vs. <div itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Article">

<nav> vs. <div itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/SiteNavigationElement">

I haven't studied the use of Schema.org tags in detail yet, but it appears that some of them have the same meaning, or approximate meaning, as the corresponding html5 tags.

So my question is, should I choose one or the other, or use both. I prefer the html tags because the schema.org tags are clumsy and bloated.

It has also occurred to me that the two types might be combined as follows:

<article itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/Article">
<nav itemscope="itemscope" itemtype="http://schema.org/SiteNavigationElement">

Does anyone have any advice or opinions about the best way to use these tags?
thank you
6:37 am on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

OT, but... XML has not fallen by the wayside, only XHTML has. Other forms of XML are alive an well. Lots of stuff from the three most widely used office suites to RSS feeds to XBRL (for financial reporting) is XML.

You are right that it is XML - so much so that HTML5 can be XML, of even both HTML and XML:

[dev.w3.org ]

In fact this may be XML's way back. IE9 and above support the XHTML MIME type, so once IE8 and below disappear we can serve polyglot HTML5 documents as XHTML:

[blog.whatwg.org ]
12:59 pm on Jan 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

In fact this may be XML's way back.
Ooh! You're right! You can use XML and XHTML with custom tags along with RDF(a) to identify those elements for search engines and you're all set. I hadn't thought of that!

Now I'll have to dust off my XSL books. I once had a site that was all XML/XHTML with heavy use of XSLT which, in a way, is like using AJAX. Now Ajax is easier than XSLT is so I'll have to think this over but man was that site fast. I had some whole pages that were served no more than a few lines of XML!

I also have to think about where mobile devices stand and Chrome, when it switched to Blink, dropped support for XSLT. A real downer at first thought but javascript/XHR can handle all that unless I'm forgetting something.

I know that's OT. I just woke up and I'm typing out loud but you've got my mind racing.
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