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Due to nature of my blog I don't need to display any content, I only need to display a title inside a <header> and some meta info inside <footer> both inside article. Above them there is an image and some social sharing stuff.

Will this somehow confuse Google crawlers? Or is it fine?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

At the moment as far as we know there are not benefits from using HTML5 markups such as header and footer. Using such markups just allows for better semantic markup.

Google, Bing and Yahoo have no problem reading header and footers within article tags, but you should only use the header and footer if it makes sense too and makes mark up easier. Consider Header, Footer exactly the same as DIV elements for grouping of multiple elements, if you do not have multiple elements then there is no need to group them. People debate this and your find mix debates but bottom line is, I consider the least amount of code to be better. But in terms of markup SEO value there is no difference in using or not using <footer> or <header>.

Not so useful HTML5

<article>
    <header>
        <h1>Title of Article</h1>
    </header>
    <div>
        <p>I am the content of the article</p>
    </div>
    <footer>
        <p>Author: Author Name Here</p>
    </footer>
</article>

Useful HTML5

<article>
    <header>
        <h1>Title of Article</h1>
        <dl>
            <dt>Publish Date:</dt>
            <dd>2013-01-25</dd>
            <dt>Authors:</dt>
            <dd><a href="#">Author Name</a></dd>
        </dl>
    </header>
    <div>
        <p>I am the content of the article</p>
    </div>
    <footer>
        <dl>
            <dt>Tags:</dt> 
            <dd><a href="#">Tag Word 1</a></dd>
            <dd><a href="#">Tag Word 2</a></dd>
        </dl>
        <div>About the Author</div>
        <nav>
            <ul>
                <li><a href="#">Link 1</a></li>
                <li><a href="#">Link 2</a></li>
                <li><a href="#">Link 3</a></li>
            </ul>
        </nav> 
    </footer>
</article>

So basically the more code you have to stick in footer and header the more useful it becomes as styling and markup becomes easier. I consider HTML5 much better for marking up using schema. Look at the example above and then look at example below but this time using schema and rich snippets.

HTML5 with Schema

<article itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article">
    <header>
        <h1>Title of Article</h1>
        <dl>
            <dt>Publish Date:</dt>
            <dd><time itemprop="datePublished">2013-01-25</time></dd>
            <dt>Authors:</dt>
            <dd><a rel="author" href="#">Author Name</a></dd>
        </dl>
    </header>
    <div>
        <p>I am the content of the article</p>
    </div>
    <footer>
        <dl>
            <dt>Tags:</dt> 
            <dd itemprop="keywords"><a href="#">Tag Word 1</a></dd>
            <dd itemprop="keywords"><a href="#">Tag Word 2</a></dd>
        </dl>
        <div>About the Author</div>
        <nav>
            <ul>
                <li><a href="#">Link 1</a></li>
                <li><a href="#">Link 2</a></li>
                <li><a href="#">Link 3</a></li>
            </ul>
        </nav> 
    </footer>
</article>
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hm you said that markup does not effect SEO? Did you really mean that? How about h1, strong ? how about rel='canonical' ? –  mkk Apr 20 '13 at 15:29
1  
using HTML5 markups such as header and footer such as HEADER and FOOTER.. I never said anything about H1 not having an effect. –  bybe Apr 20 '13 at 16:18
    
"Markup does not effect SEO and you should use whatever is easier for yourself" [sic] Not true. –  GDav Apr 21 '13 at 8:16
    
The question was addressing the use of Footer, Header within Article. In terms of the use of those there is NO SEO difference in the use of this markup... Your welcome to edit answers and make them more clear. –  bybe Apr 21 '13 at 10:29

Use no more code than you need to get the job done, being sure to respect the specifications for whatever language you're using.

While it's emphatically not true that "markup doesn't affect SEO", search engines are nevertheless quite forgiving of poor HTML insofar as they will generally process it. But while poorly coded pages may work, they almost certainly won't perform to their fullest potential.

So don't feel obliged to use code you don't need to use – in fact, the simpler and more elegant it is the better in my view – but do take the trouble to refer to guidance on the use of HTML5, both from the specification itself and from authoritative blogs on the subject, like HTML5 Doctor.

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