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This year, on October 28, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the final version of the standards for HTML5, the latest version of HTML. This has been developed to help create modern and innovative websites, and give authors more flexibility and interoperability. HTML5 brings forth a wide range of form controls, APIs, multimedia and semantics, and can make web pages more search engine friendly.
What is new in HTML5?
The new features include semantic elements like <header>, <footer>, <article> and <section>, new graphic elements like <svg> and <canvas>, and new multimedia elements like <audio> and <video>. HTML5 offers great APIs that allow the author to generate a better user experience. Some of the native APIs are:
What else is different from the previous version?
How is HTML5 more search engine friendly?
HTML4 lacked the necessary semantics to segregate the page and highlight its contents to the search engine. With HTML5, search engines can dissect a web page better, besides easily identifying key words that can help to determine the relevance of a page. Search engines themselves use page segmentation for indexing purposes. By using structured and nested code, HTML5 makes page segmentation easy for search engines. This can greatly improve page ranking, if used correctly.
More structure and sectioning in the page also implies a user can better navigate the page and jump from one article to the other without the author providing specific skip links. From an author perspective, HTML5 provides a neat code that is easier to construct and debug.
Some drawbacks of HTML5:
Overall, HTML5 has been developed with the intention of creating more dynamic websites, which are browser independent to a large extent, thus ensuring a better web experience. It offers multi-channel functionality that is fast and affordable. With more and more businesses adopting HTML5, it can be expected that there will be sufficient impetus in the market to overcome the few challenges that currently exist.
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