The vision and aim of HTML5 as mentioned in my last post is an attempt to make structured data more semantic (carry more inherent meaning inside of it) which will allow more advanced processing of the data than is currently possible with other doc types such as HTML4 and XHTML.
Apparently, when developing the HTML 5 spec, the editor, Ian Hickson of Google, analyzed over a billion web pages to find out how authors were actually using these elements. He discovered that in the top 20 class names used in the markup for this huge set of data were classes for common requirements: footer, header, nav, menu, content, and main.
So the foundation of the HTML5 markup spec consists of the following new tags which allow us to markup our website or blog in more meaningful ways:
Now even though not every browser supports these tags at the moment, there is no reason why you can't start using them now to future proof your documents for the next wave of development. Whilst Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera provide limited support, again Internet Explorer provides almost nothing (no surprises there from Microsoft).
Alternatively you can use a script in the head of your document which enables you to call only those tags you wish to use:
So start authoring your docs in HTML5 today and future proof your sites whilst getting ahead of the competition. Although there is no evidence as yet that Google is making any meaningful sense out of the new tags, there is ample evidence to suggest it is wise to be prepared for the change in the algorithim when it happens for SEO purposes.
Next week I will go into more detail about HTML5 and even introduce some new ideas about how you can use Microformats and rich snippets to enhance your website, synidcate its content and improve your ranking and overall brand in Google and Google Maps all at once and at the same time.