I'm designing a website, but some websites use semantic HTML5 tags like
<footer> instead of div.
My question is, why do they use them like this, is there any harm in terms of SEO when using normal divs?
Semantic elements are parts of the current Html standard. With the correct syntax, these elements help search engines and browsers understand the hierarchical structure of a web page, and in turn displays this structure for users and this makes it easier to quickly browse the content and navigate to the user's goal. Also, semantic elements help screen readers that are used by users with disabilities. Of course, this helps to increase the visibility of the page in the search results, which is the main goal of SEO.
Unlike semantic elements, the
div element is:
The div element has no special meaning at all.
Read more HTML elements reference of Mozilla.
These tags come with HTML5 and all of these tags have a meaning. For example, the purpose of using the
<footer> tag is for the Google bot to understand that this section is the footer of the site. If you're using a regular div, Google bots may have trouble understanding that it's the footer of the website. The more convenience you provide to Google bots, the better your website will be crawled and SEO done. Also, there is no harm in SEO if you don't use them.