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What do you think? Seems to me that adding <main></main> tags around your page content tells Google what content is most important and unique to this page. Google then knows to only look at the content and links within the tags for indexing. It can largely ignore <header>, <nav>, <aside>, and <footer> content. Anyone agree? Anyone able to cite an authoritative resource on this subject?

I know WordPress automatically adds <main> tags around page content. Seems Google likes WordPress sites, say over Weebly, Wix, or SquareSpace ... or other drag n' drop site builders. I wonder if it's partly because WP is good with HTML5 semantic tags. I even see WP drag n' drop editors (like Elementor) omit HTML5 markup tags by default. And likely the developer is unaware and doesn't go back and add them. Are those sites hurting their SEO? Does omitting HTML5 markup, specifically <main> make it more difficult for Google to index and understand the page?

I'm surprised I can't find much on this topic on the internet.

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    "Seems Google likes WordPress sites, say over Weebly, Wix, or SquareSpace" can you give a source for this?
    – Steve
    Jul 22, 2021 at 6:44
  • "WordPress automatically adds <main> tags around page content" - isn't this theme dependent?
    – MrWhite
    Jul 22, 2021 at 8:16
  • @Steve ... Just seems I rarely see Wix or Weebly websites rank well in competitive search markets. I carefully and respectfully use the word 'seems' ... I don't have a source nor my own empirical data, sorry. I do know some years ago, Wix attempted to shake this reputation. I don't know if that attempt was successful or not.
    – swanie
    Jul 24, 2021 at 13:01

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In short, yes. Semantic HTML tags indicate the role of the content within the tags. It is important to note that even inner sections (the aside, for example) can contain semantic tags of it's own. As such, the <main> section can contain <header>, <nav> and <footer> sections while the <aside> can have it's own (separate) <header> markup.

Google utilizes semantics in SEO, but also as a way to organize the information on your page for site visitors who are "visually challenged". Google (or a similar application) "reads" the web page to certain users. Those tags give the bot a way to organize the information.

So, it's not just about your rank, it's about reaching a wider audience (and being more inclusive).

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