HTML is a language for creating and structuring website content, and the newest iteration, HTML5 strives to improve the readability for multimedia, including images and video. HTML5 is intended not only to replace previous versions, but also platforms like Flash. While still in development as of the end of 2011, 34 of the world’s top 100 websites have converted to HTML5. What’s the benefit – and do you need to make the change, too?
HTML5 offers the following benefits to users:
- More accurate tags for classifying content.
- Alternative to Flash and Silverlight.
- SEO-friendly for crawling and indexing.
- Great for mobile apps and games.
- Optimal for sites that are heavy on video, animation, and images.
- Seamless integration with social media sites.
- Facilitates geolocation applications.
But as Kerry Dean of Search Engine Land points out: “HTML5 will someday make everything better. But that someday is not here just yet.” Only about half of Internet users are running browsers that support HTML5, and the world’s most widely used browser, Internet Explorer, only supports some of the functionality. Further, Google indicates that sites created with or converted to HTML5 are not given preference in the SERPs.
An existing site probably will not find it worthwhile – yet – to spend the money on converting. That being said, though, if your site has a heavy load of Flash, switching can help your search engine optimisation efforts because searchbots will be better able to crawl and index your site. Already, 50 percent of social media sites, which tend to be loaded with multimedia, have switched to HTML5.
The bottom line: you probably don’t need to convert now, and unless a healthy percentage of your content is multimedia, it won’t be cost-effective.
Posted by Ed Shutenko, SEO Manager at Bullseye Media