An Interesting Discussion at Pubcon

Mike001

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For anyone not aware PubCon 2016 occurred the week of October 10 -13, 2016.

PubCon is the premier social media and optimization conference. Many of the subjects of this conference pertain to internet marketing, SEO and digital advertising. It is usually a really good conference and full of great information.

The area of a discussion that I want to point out to this membership is something that was discussed during the conference from Google by Gary Illyes.

There was some really good information on SEO and how it will be impacted over the next year. One of his big announcements was that soon their will be separate ratings and rankings for Mobile capable sites. As it was explained that is if your website is not mobile friendly you may see significant rankings drops over the next few months.

They were stressing the importance of the new HTML5 standards, the mobile friendliness of your websites and the need to properly structure your web pages to take advantage of the new scripting tags.

I have been taking about this for the last few months and it was interesting to hear it first hand from a key member of the Google team.

For our members that rely on some of the larger CMS systems, the noted discussed on using the proper HTML structuring tags should be a concern. As someone who has supported many customers using these types of systems I can tell you first hand that many of the areas of these systems do not support the proper structure of HTML. I have spent many hours restructuring customer pages to increase their SEO on that particular topic.

Just thought you would want an update I one of the many conferences I attended.
 

Rob Whisonant

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When they mentioned tags... Are these the type they are talking about?

<header>
<footer>
<article>
etc...
 

Mike001

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That is exactly correct. The tags they discussed during the conference were:

<header>
<nav>
<section>
<article>
<aside>
<dialog>
<figure>
<footer>
<main>
<audio>
<video>

There are many more tags involved with the new specification, but these were the ones that they identified to help establish proper content designation. It was a great conference and I learned a lot about the new marketing techniques and many of the changes that are taking place in the SEO algorithms in support of mobile devices and proper structure.

It will be very interesting to see how some of the major CMS systems adapt to these changes. They were taking a pretty hard rap at the conference. It did not appear that the major search engine developers supported the work around(s) that they, the major CMS systems, have developed to try and bypass the structure crawling of the sites.

There has always been a lot animosity in the development community in the way they, the major CMS systems, ignore the specifications in proper structural content. It will be interesting to see how this progresses since a couple of them are very popular.
 

roggy

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roggy
I don't see any benefits or advantages of using these tags for SEO for my websites hence I still am using html4 tags on my websites.
If seeing advantages and differences between html5 and html4 tags I would give it a try.
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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Sounds to me like they are trying to incorporate more rich snippets for Google at some point. The last time something like this was mentioned we saw Schema.org really start to ramp up data organization. This is a positive move forward for the web.
 

Mike001

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I agree this is a positive move for the web.

That was one of the big reasons that the IETF worked so closely with the major search engines as they were developing the new standards.

It will make web crawlers much more accurate in how they read the data on the site and will get rid of, at least in an SEO aspect, many of the crappy sites that are out there.
 

Rob Whisonant

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If the search engines start giving more relevance to particular tags, I wonder how they will defend against tag abuse? People cramming stuff into a particular tag just because it improves ranking. I hope that made sense. :)
 

SEOPub

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I don't know. I don't particularly buy a lot of it.

Google has been trying to scare webmasters into doing what they want for a long time now. I can think of three recent examples. Page loading speed. HTTPS. Mobilegeddon. None of them had much of an impact on rankings, but Google sure tried to make people think they would.

Loading speed and mobile friendly sites were purely in Google's self interest. The more user-friendly websites are out there, the more likely people click on those AdSense ads. HTTPS... I don't know what their motivation was there, but every test I have seen has shown zero impact on rankings.
 

Mike001

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Rob, I don't think it is the tags themselves but more the structure of the tags and how they are included in the page.

They are crawling our content anyway, and have been for quite some time, so using AI, which again they have been doing for quite some time, they could add relevance to the content based on the tag structure.


SEOPub, we will have to wait and see. I tend to agree with your point that they have been trying to implement changes for quite some time.

I think, in my opinion, what makes this different is that it is not just Google, all the major search engines are involved with this and the IETF. When you get the major players to agree with the Task Force involved with the developing the specification that says to me that they are serious about cleaning up some of the stuff that is out there. And we are long overdue for that cleanup. So this isn't just Google, this is a group of entities involved with the web finally starting to agree on certain aspects of development.

I am very surprised at the examples that you used. I have seen customer sites, that I support, penalized for not being mobile friendly. Common sense testing showed me one type of search result on a desktop/laptop and another result on a tablet/phone. Same site different search results based on the device and the compatibility of the site for that device. This example is one of the examples we use in one of the classes that I teach. On how media queries and the meta viewport can really impact the results of a site. I have seen this firsthand.

Now grant it, I am sure that there are exceptions to this, and people will try to find ways to cheat it, but most search engines stays ahead of that stuff. But we have seen, over the course of the last few years, changes in how the sites are evaluated based on how they are developed. That is what it is.

Same thing with page speed, that does have an impact, now granted it is not a substantial impact yet but it has an impact. All the major test tools are now looking at page load speed as part of their utility set. Personal opinion, I think this will have more of an impact as time goes by, and it has more to do with user experience, in my opinion. User experience is becoming a big part of the web.

I think this pertains to https also. That is more for the users of the site. With all the security issues that are occurring it just makes sense to try and get the webmasters to move to a more secure environment. Again, this is not just Google that is pushing this, this is the major search engines and the IETF in agreement.

We will have to wait and see. I try to attend Pubcon and the webmasters conference every year, they are great conferences with a ton of good information. Of course all of it has to be put through a filter because everyone that spends all that time and money to participate in those conferences most likely has an agenda.

I always remember that when I am weighing the importance of the information that I am receiving.

Thanks for the input SEOPub, your opinion, especially on this topic, is always very important to the membership.
 

Mike001

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That is an interesting observation.

So based on your input you have no sections on your pages, articles for content, navigation sections, headers or footers on your pages.

Must be a pretty boring pages.

Most non developers have always been reluctant to implement the specifications to their deployments, it takes time, effort, and learning proper development techniques. Most of them do not want to take the time.

We are used to it. The part I am waiting to see is when they, the search engines, finally do make significant impact on search results, and eventually it will, it will be interesting to see how they react then.

With all the visibility of the IETF over the last few years, and the number of crap sites out there. It will happen.
 

hoangvu

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Most non developers have always been reluctant to implement the specifications to their deployments, it takes time, effort, and learning proper development techniques. Most of them do not want to take the time.
I thought this is one of reasons why web developers didn't apply those tags on their web templates. :D

We are used to it. The part I am waiting to see is when they, the search engines, finally do make significant impact on search results, and eventually it will, it will be interesting to see how they react then.
You are thinking about the future and I hope so. Honestly Google didn't care about responsive design and not considered it as a good signal for better results on mobile search results but a day they announced it's a must to have better rankings on mobile search results and it included in their algorithm.
 

Mike001

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Jerry Jo,

Most good web developers are implementing the new tag structures in their development. I am not certain why you say they are not. The professional web developers that I have been working with over the last few years have implemented the new tag structure as they have become recognized and implement in the search rendering engines.

For the last few years as more and more smart devices (tablets and phones) became available to the public, the rendering engines, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc have placed a higher priority on the ability to support these devices. If the majority of the public is using smart phones and tablets to view web content, it only makes sense that the engines supporting the web would put a higher priority on them.

After all they are making money on the content of the web and their ability to advertise on that content. If the content cannot be effectively displayed on those devices, they lose money. They need to reward the sites that allow them to display in the most opportune manner. After all they are in this to make money.

Understanding web development is an important aspect of the the web. I am glad that it is moving back in that direction. For too long we have had anyone with a computer placing sites on the internet with no regard to site structure, web specifications, SEO, etc. It is time that the professionalism that was once part of site design and structure was put back in place.

Hopefully they, the search engines, will follow through with their intentions. We will have to wait and see. We have been down this rabbit hole before.
 
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