Do SEOs Need To Know HTML

Do SEOs Need To Know HTML?

Posted On : December 20th, 2021   By : Diptimayee Mohanty   To : Technical SEO

In these technologically advanced times where building a website is just a few clicks away and making changes to them or adding meta tags & canonical tags etc. are super easy with options like CMS, is it really necessary for SEOs to know HTML?

Well, it’s true that there are various options available like CMSs to help SEOs do their optimization or to use any required tags. But, understanding things like link tag, heading tag, meta tags, canonical tag, how to use tags, where to use these and many more are very much important for SEOs so that they can use these things properly without any trouble. And to understand these things, SEOs definitely need to have good HTML knowledge.

Here are some of the most important HTML & Meta tags that every SEO should know & use properly.

  1. Title Tag (<title></title>)
  2. Meta Desc Tag (<meta name=”description” content=””>)
  3. Canonical Link Tag (<link rel=”canonical” href=””>)
  4. Meta Robots Tag (<meta name=”robots” content=””>)
  5. Viewport Meta Tag for Responsive Design (<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″/>)
  6. Google Site Verification Tag (<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”” />)
  7. Meta charset (<meta charset=”UTF-8″>)
  8. Social Media Meta Tags (og:title, og:url, og:description, og:image)
  9. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6)
  10. Image Alt Attribute Tag (<img src=”” alt=””>)

In a recent Google Search Central’s Search Off the Record podcast series, John Mueller, Gary Illyes, and Martin Splitt of Google’s Search Relations Team discussed about the future of SEO. And, one of the important topics in this discussion was whether HTML knowledge will be necessary or not for SEOs.

John Muller initially said that from the last 10 or so years, more and more websites are preferring to have hosted platforms instead of having their own servers. And this move has definitely helped SEOs to focus more on important things like content creation rather than dealing with technical details.

Furthermore, John said that now Content Management Systems are there which allow various fields to provide content, meta data, canonical tag, etc. And, it helps SEOs to do their required work like optimizing content, adding meta tags and canonical tags, and more with ease. It means now it’s fine for SEOs to skip HTML learning.

But Gary expressed his opinion on this topic by saying SEOs need to know HTML to properly understand things like tags & elements used in a page.

Well, this statement by Gary is absolutely correct. Let’s take one example of a link tag. While doing content optimization, linking is an important factor and it can be done easily if you are using CMS like WordPress. But by default, WordPress doesn’t allow you to set dofollow or nofollow attributes to any link. To make a link nofollow, you have to add rel=”nofollow” attribute inside your anchor tag. So, these things can’t be done if you don’t know HTML.

Also, Gary said that when a new meta tag or directive or robots directive gets launched, without any HTML knowledge it is going to be really tough for SEOs to implement them. Along with this, Gary also talked about Google documentation for site owners and SEOs.

Check out these Google documentations.

Gary said that Google search documentation for site owners is made very simple to provide basic information about search so that their sites can do well. But, when it comes to SEO documentation, these are more in-depth and technically written. So, basic HTML knowledge is definitely required for SEOs to get along with these documentations.

In addition to Gary’s opinion, Martin said that HTML is one of the fundamental technologies of the web, and to work on the web, SEOs should know about it. Also, Martin shared his thought on the use of CMS. He said that many successful CMSs allow their users to insert custom HTML along with a simple editor to do something more advanced. And without any HTML knowledge, SEOs are going to take a risky direction.

So, keeping these expert recommendations in mind, it is important for SEOs to know HTML from the beginning even now and if you don’t know anything about HTML then it’s high time to start learning.

Top Free Resources To Learn HTML

Diptimayee Mohanty
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