Tomasz Banas

HTML5 Markup & SEO: Does Google reward the early adopters?

In short,we think that implementing HTML5 on your website won’t improve your position on Google’s SERP. However, implementation of the new markup has some advantages that might improve your website’s organic traffic and could pay off in the future.


HTML5 has officially been available for almost two years. During this time, many websites have adopted the new markup and, to date, there is not sufficient proof that HTML5 adoption has helped websites to rank higher in Google, who has confirmed this finding on its support pages.

If you’re thinking about the transition only because you want to move from page rank position three to one, it’s not the way to go. Nevertheless, let’s remember that we were introduced to HTML5 because of its new possibilities.

“Google doesn’t use markup for ranking purposes at this time, but rich snippets can make your web pages appear more prominently in search results, so you may see an increase in traffic.”

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HTML5 came with attributes and elements designed for the way we currently use websites. We can go crazy with brand new elements such as <nav>, <footer>, <audio>, <video>,  and many more. These new elements allow us to structure our websites in a more understandable manner for search engines.

Proper site structure has always been a factor in SEO. If you think your current code might not be that perfect after all, rewriting your site to HTML5 standards may present a good opportunity to rethink the way it can be better accomplished. However, if your current design is adequate, redesigning it for HTML5 will not help you achieve better rankings.

Another important feature of HTML5 with regards to SEO is microdata, which is included in the HTML5 specification and is supported by Google. The addition of microdata to your new HTML code will allow it to be used in Google’s rich snippets, permitting you to mark reviews, people profiles, events, recipes, and many other content types without reaching for micro formats or RDF.

If you haven’t taken advantage of marking microdata on your site, you might achieve greater search result visibility and, thus, higher CTR. Remember, even though Google prefers microdata, using this format doesn’t change the chance of getting them included in rich snippets.

More and more sites are being built using HTML5. The moment it will become the new web development standard, all search engines (including Google) will have a closer look at websites that incorporate elements of HTML5 and may begin promoting those that have adopted new features. We’re not suggesting that you have to implement HTML5 right away but, if you won’t do it in the long run, you might be left behind.

Founder & CEO

An entrepreneur with an eye for good design and advocate of simplicity. He brings a fresh strategy and approach to every project and plays an integral role in clients’ accomplishments through collaboration and close integration. Through his hands-on experience in technology and marketing, he ensures user experiences and technology are on the leading edge.