How Crucial is HTML Structure for SEO Aftermath?


  1. Controversy Over HTML Tags: Gary Illyes sparked debate on their SEO significance.

  2. Key Factors:

    • H1 tag count flexibility.
    • Sequential heading order.
    • Usage of <b> or <strong> tags.
    • Styling preferences: tables vs. CSS.
    • Text appearance in source code.
  3. Impact on SEO Rankings:

    • Accessibility and semantic order.
    • Use of keywords and backlinks.
  4. Real Reasons Behind Importance:

    • Hierarchical structure.
    • Semantic approach.
    • Enhanced user experience.
    • Use of structured data.
    • Mobile responsiveness.
  5. Conclusion:

    • HTML structuring crucial for SEO.
    • Focus on overall structure.
    • Improves rankings, visibility, and traffic.

Criticality of HTML structure in terms of SEO aftermath is known to be one of the most talked things these days. In case, you aren’t aware of the same, you surely should not miss the latest podcast episode by Google’s Gary Illyes (Search Off the Record) that ignited an ongoing controversy over HTML tags not being crucial to SEO outcomes.

In fact, his later clarifications about the rule of HTML structure for SEO also could not bring down the stir. 

SEO or Search Engine optimization is said to work on multiple inputs for delivering the most optimized and expected outcomes. Well! It would not be an over statement to mention that a valid HTML structure plays a pivotal role as one of the key contributing factors, too.

However, there is way more to understand in this regard apart from the traditional thoughts, most of us are aware with.

So, let’s delve deeper into the technicality and the crawlability of the idea.

Known key factors that contribute to HTML structure for SEO, since ages

Keeping the misconceptions and controversies on one side, the clear cut answer to the cruciality query over HTML is that- “IT Depends.”

Yes! You got that right!

As per Illyes, the key known factors that contribute to SEO since ages, included-

  • Number of H1 tags on the page

Use of H1 tags can be done as much as needed on a page. There isn’t any specifically defined limit in terms of upper or lower bound as far as the H1 tags are considered. A website gets perfect rankings with no or even five H1 tags as per the page needs. 

  • The sequential order of usage of <H tags>

The sequential order of the heading elements should be followed in the sequence of H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6. H1 is considered as the most important tag, followed by the remaining in the upcoming chronology whereas H6 is the last.

  • Including things under <b> or <strong>

The <strong> tag is useful in defining texts that are of strong importance that is typically bold in display. However, one can use the <b> bold tag to specifically highlight bold text that aren’t of extra importance.

  • Styling preferences like using tables vs CSS

With CSS based layouts, web designers get a more creative hand to use their imaginations for making the page more informative and attractive. However, tables are more confined towards developing grids-based, inflexible information sharing part. 

  • How high and effective does the text appears in the source code

Source code helps in measuring the reliability, complexity, reusability, portability, etc. of the text which helps in determining if the appearing text is of high effectivity or not. 

However, there is a lot more to understand and experiment with, if a 100% reliability needs to be ensured about the correlation of HTML structure and SEO.

What effects the most in terms of HTML structure for SEO rankings?

On one hand, accessibility is not being considered as a direct ranking factor but on the other side, this works quite helpful with potentially affecting the SEO rankings. Semantic order of valid HTML tags, use of rightly chosen keywords, backlinks, etc. contribute to the overall HTML structure of any page. Thus, to gain the positive impact, it is essential to host a well collaborated structure without overcooking the contributing elements.

The real reasons you should know about HTML structure for SEO performance

Moving ahead, it is very important to identify the real reasons behind importance of the HTML structure for the SEO to work. Few of the reasons that contributes to enhancing the rankings with HTML structuring are-

  • <H1>, <H2>, <p>, <ul>, provided in a comprehensive hierarchical structure is subject to raising the bar and offer more visible results with better user navigation.

  • The semantic approach in terms of the right ‘algos’ being used such as BERT, Rankbrain, etc. is another prime component of better SEO performance. This goes best when looking to convey the appropriate meaning and purpose of your page. 
  • Enriched user experience with easy navigation and crystal clear structure that can never be attained without an optimized HTML structure for your page.
  • Use of structured data, appropriate schema markup, ascertains the results are well-displayed, are attractive and most importantly result-oriented with higher visibility and clicks.
  • Well- constructed HTML structure is the key contributor towards mobile responsiveness. With the world going 100% mobile, use of HTML elements such as- <meta name= “viewpoint”> and <picture>, page optimization goes a step ahead.

Final words

To conclude, HTML structuring is imperative to SEO outcomes and performance. However, HTML tags validation might be critical at one place while what matters the most is the overall HTML structure built for the page. This will help not just drop down the potential technical risks but, help boost the page rankings, visibility, and overall number of clicks, too. So, if you are looking for a higher engagement metrics and driving more organic traffic to your page, paying a heed to your HTML structure for SEO performance is the principal key.


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