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Why is HTML being left on the side of the road?

I am noticing that a lot of web developers consider HTML old school and something to avoid. This is a very bad trend. People need to realize that web pages are documents that need to be cataloged and searched. If you don’t use a universally accepted standard to mark them up companies like Google and Yahoo will have a harder time figuring out what a page is about.

HTML is a standard to define the elements in a text document. An HTML only document looks very ugly and plain in a web browser. Using HTML to design your web page is very old school and does not look very good. At the dawn of the Internet HTML provided 2 roles one being markup and the other design. We now have CSS that takes over the job of defining how something looks. People are so caught up in how a web page looks they forget about the markup side of a web page.

Any good SEO should know this. Part of the job of an SEO is to educate developers about this topic. We are document markup experts. Companies need to have an SEO on staff to make sure the developers don’t lose site of this.

[tags]seo, html, markup language, css, google, yahoo[/tags]

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Isis October 25, 2007, 12:11 pm

    I hope this clears up a lot of confusion. This is an important and well written post.

  • mike October 26, 2007, 8:55 am

    even the biggest companies here in germany don’t have an inhouse seo.. and their websites are pathetic in terms of seo

  • Darrin Ward October 27, 2007, 9:13 am

    >> We are document markup experts.

    I have twice spoken on the subject of SEO at the “Webmaster Jam Session” in Dallas, TX. The conference is mainly focused towards semantics / CSS / HTML / Accessibility / Usability rather than SEO or marketing, and some of the World’s foremost authorities / authors were speaking there on these subjects, including Eric Meyer (CSS Guru), Molly Holzschlag (W3C), Jared Spool (UIE), Jonathan Snook, Derek Featherstone, etc..

    I don’t speak any of them, but my impression is that very few of them would agree in that SEOs are (on the whole) considered markup experts! Again, that’s my impression based on having spent some time with them, knowing that they’ve had various opportunities to work with and review the work of SEOs :). Of course, the better SEOs do try harder :)

    Darrin Ward

  • ogletree October 28, 2007, 8:13 pm

    When I said “We are document markup experts” I was just talking about one aspect of what we do. We do many other things. There are lots of SEO’s out there that may not even know what markup is and do quite well. There are tons of ways to do this. Somebody who is an expert at getting links can get away with very little on page seo but you will be beat if you go against another link expert that knows how to do on page seo.. If you consider yourself a good well rounded seo you should be a markup expert. That is on page seo 101.

  • engrmizan January 25, 2008, 12:31 pm

    in any site html extension is positive evalution of google search engine. i am not clear this matter.

  • Dean Barron July 5, 2008, 10:51 am

    This is so true! The basis of all search is defined by the HTML that the pages contains. I’ve even started en experiment where I use a wordpress blog and then go back and change the header to include w3c markup descriptor as the first line of the page just so Google actually sees it.

  • Web Design Company July 24, 2008, 2:33 am

    I agree about the importance of HTML.

  • Andrei Istrate December 14, 2008, 3:11 am

    Html is always the first thing every web guru learns, its the basic, something we should never thrown away, we all known there is better and greater codes out there, but never forget how you start everything.

  • Nicole February 10, 2009, 8:40 am

    I completely agree with Darrin ward and ogletree. There are lots of SEOs in the market, who have just basic knowledge of Html & Css. They provide full services ranging from link building to on-page optimization. Normally they don’t have any rights to suggest anything related to coding. They are just allowed to change some minor coding. And on the other hand, there are lots of SEO gurus, who know everything about Html & Css. But you are right man, for the sake of google and all other search engines, all sites should follow same standards.

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