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From an SEO perspective which, if any, is better:

Option 1: Nested lists with h2 tags

<ul id="mainpoints">
    <li><h2>Powerful Analysis</h2>
        <ul>
            <li>Charting and indicators</li>
            <li>Daily trading signals</li>
            <li>Company health checks</li>
        </ul>
    </li>
    <li><h2>World Market Data</h2>
        <ul>            
                [List Items removed for brevity]
        </ul>
    </li>
    <li><h2>Daily Market Data</h2>
        <ul>
                [List Items removed for brevity]
        </ul>
    </li>
</ul>

Option 2: Divs with h2 and lists

<div id="mainpoints">
    <div>
        <h2>Powerful Analysis</h2>
        <ul>
            <li>Charting and indicators</li>
            <li>Daily trading signals</li>
            <li>Company health checks</li>
        </ul>
    </div>
    <div>
       <h2>World Market Data</h2>
        <ul>
        [List Items removed for brevity]
        </ul>
    </div>
    <div>
        <h2>Daily Market Data</h2>
        <ul>
        [List Items removed for brevity]
        </ul>       
    </div>   
</div> 

Option 3: Definition List

<dl id="mainpoints">
    <dt>Powerful Analysis</dt>
        <dd>- Charting and indicators</dd>
        <dd>- Daily trading signals</dd>
        <dd>- Company health checks</dd>
    <dt>World Market Data</dt>
        [List Items removed for brevity]
    <dt>Daily Market Data</dt>
        [List Items removed for brevity]
</dl>

My instincts tell me that semanticaly the pure list options (1 & 3) are the best and that h2 may be more SEO friendly (1 & 2) which would point to option 1 as being the best option. I do love the lean makeup of the definition list but will I take an SEO hit by losing the h2 tags?

Before anyone asks, h2 is not valid markup in a dt tag.

Are my instincts right with a nested list being the way to go?

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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

As far as I understand what you're doing(this is something like a sectioned features list, right?), the definition list is just semantically wrong, regardless of any SEO considerations. Which for me is enough reason not to use it.

Between the other two, as far as SEO I'll just say you're probably overthinking it, and that in the highly doubtful case any conclusive statement can be made that one is better it won't likely be enough difference to justify the overthinking.

Semantically however, they are very different things, and that's what I'd focus on:
Option 1 is one list, with three sub-sections(sub-lists) that're headed by h2 tags.
Option 2 is three independent lists that happen to live within the same box(div).

It's up to you which of those is what you really mean. Use that one.

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Thanks for that. I'm going to go with option 1 based on the fact this was originally a list of three points which was then broken out further. –  Jon P Jun 20 '11 at 11:39
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