Future of SEO with HTML5

by Matthew Diehl on February 5, 2010

The future of SEO (search engine optimization), I feel, may lie in the hands of the latest HTML coding standard – HTML5.

HTML5 as we know is just around the corner. Browser support for the latest version of HTML is already rolling out and can now be run on Chrome, Safari and IE (with Chrome frame installed). And, developers have already started jumping on board to begin playing around with some of the new functionality the largest push being the YouTube HTML5 beta test that is currently going on.

I however would like to point out two other examples of where HTML5 is already being utilized and discuss how this is great from an SEO perspective.

The first I came across in a Mashable article from two weeks ago. A developer named Guillermo Esteves had re-created the open Star Wars scrolling text sequence using HTML5. Here is the video:

From the video you really can’t tell that this is HTML5 which is the best part! You first think this has to be flash or some other RIA running the scrolling text but I encourage you to check out the source code of the page where the Star Wars text is coming from: http://www.gesteves.com/experiments/starwars.html?nouacheck=1

Here is a screenshot of the section of code that is really what makes this great for SEO:
star wars html5 source code screenshot

Yes, that is actually text in the code. Text that search engines love and feed off of. This Star Wars scrolling text sequence breaks ground on a new rich media that is truly SEO friendly. You can give your users a visually rich experience and have your search engine rankings too!

The second I came across via Twitter from a Joe Hall tweet about a new HTML5 video player that is in development by a Switzerland-based group of web & i-Phone developers called Jilion.

HTML5 is going to bring video to a whole new level with its own set of video tags that will allow web developers to no longer need flash-based video players. However, JavaScript and CSS will still be used extensively to create video players like the one I am reviewing but they are still a step-up in the amount of CPU strain, load time and portability from flash.

Here is the section of code I want to highlight for HTML5 video being SEO friendly:
how to use HTML5 video tag

Yes, that is it. Clean, simple code and the search engine will love it. This will help bolster the number of videos that search engines are already aware of and allow websites/business to easily take advantage of universal video search. I want to point out, that under HTML5, video sitemaps for anyone publishing video to their site will become critical to making sure all of your video content continues and gets indexed properly by the search engines.

HTML5 is making it’s final pushes to become universally accepted in all browsers. However, development of HTML5 pages is underway and it is forging new paths in creativity, usability and accessibility. On top of that, HTML5 is shaping up to be incredibly search engine friendly and will power SEO strategy moving forward in this coming decade.

If you have any other examples of HTML5 bring used share them below especially any that you think have a positive impact on SEO and coding.

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