The markup language HTML allows web developers to structure and present their web content. HTML has a crucial importance in giving search engines the context they need to have an idea about what’s included in a web page.
HTML5 is the fifth revision of the HTML standard and is still under development. HTML5 adds some new features, elements and attributes for the purposes of improving HTML with the latest multimedia technology and making it easily understandable for web developers, computers and browsers. Learn more about HTML5 features here.
One of the impressive new features of HTML5 is the video tag. There are lots of debates about the video tag since many people don’t have a full understanding of how it works and what type of benefits it can provide. The reality is that the video tag offers many solutions and provides important SEO benefits.
First of all, the video tag allows you to add your videos directly to your pages without requiring any plug-in based solution, like Flash. Thanks to the video tag, you also don’t need any plug in to view videos on most mobile devices and computers.
One of the crucial SEO benefits of HTML5 is being able to add a “Title” attribute to any tag of HTML5, as well as the video tag. The title of your video works just like an h1 tag and can be read by search engines. Additionally, clear and concise browser coding helps search engines identify and index your video easily.
The video tag also provides many advantages for content providers like DailyMotion and YouTube that use HTML5. Using the video tag, these sites can have their video content indexed and ranked by the search engines easily, and their content can be viewed by anyone using a current browser or most mobile devices. Thus, the potential viewership of these video content providers increases thanks to the SEO properties of the video tag.
Older browsers are unable to support or play a video tag. But you can fix this problem by including fallback content in your video tag. You can include a Flash code into the fallback content which enables old browsers to play your video with Flash when a browser is not compatible with HTML5.
Moreover, you can include a transcript of your video into the fallback content in order to allow incompatible browsers’ users to read a transcript of your video. This has a great SEO benefit since it lets Google and other search engines access to the words in your video and help your video to be indexed. Also, by including the transcript, you may rank well for various related keywords.
Another great SEO opportunity is that the video tag allows your video file to receive back links whenever it is shared. In other words, other sites can have a video tag pointing to the video file located on your site. Consequently, when people share the video on their sites, your video receives back links which helps rankings.
So how do you think HTML5 will change our experiences on the web? For one thing, many web developers believe that Flash will never go away. At least until all web users start to use HTML5 compatible browsers, Flash support will be needed. But the transition to HTML5 has been much faster than expected. In fact, YouTube has been experimenting with HTML5 because Google takes HTML5 seriously and sees it as a ranking factor. Considering all the opportunities, don’t you think it would be wise for you to start using HTML5 immediately?
Ben Sawyer is SEO consultant for divorce attorney NY law firm. He is also a passionate blogger who often writes about SEO, sharing his knowledge and experience in that field. You can follow Ben on Twitter.