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Re: Change Proposal for ISSUE-79, was: ISSUE-79: meta-keywords - Chairs Solicit Proposals

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 23:43:38 -0800
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <16EC8273-56CB-44E4-9FED-7FE80A33E133@apple.com>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Thanks for submitting this Change Proposal. It is now recorded on the  
issue status list here:
http://dev.w3.org/html5/status/issue-status.html#ISSUE-079

Regards,
Maciej

On Feb 7, 2010, at 10:58 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> SUMMARY
>
> HTML5 makes unregistered values of meta/@name non-conforming. This  
> will
> affect many pages that use meta/@name = "keywords".
>
> This change proposal makes that value conforming again.
>
>
> RATIONALE
>
> HTML4 did not put conformance requirements on meta/@name values, nor  
> did it define specific ones. It did however mention the keyword  
> (sic) "keywords" in [1].
>
> According to [2], "keywords" is the most widely used value for meta/ 
> @name.
>
> HTML5 makes documents that use unregistered names non-conforming, and
> makes both the registration procedure and conformance rely on a Wiki  
> in WhatWG space. This is a separate issue that we should discuss  
> once the related issue about the @rel registry is resolved (ISSUE-27).
>
> With this change to document conformance, all documents using meta/ 
> @name= "keywords" will become invalid. Note that the current  
> implementation of the HTML5 validator (as of January 2010) does not  
> implement checking of meta/@name yet, so this change has not been  
> visible to people trying to validate their existing pages.
>
> It has been pointed out that search engines have stopped to consider
> keyword information, but apparently this isn't true for all of them
> (see [3], which I have verified).
>
> However, this is not sufficient reason to make it's use non- 
> conforming;
> there are other use cases for embedding keywords, such as in  
> controlled
> environments (building navigation pages / elements from keywords  
> inside
> a content management system has been mentioned).
>
>
> DETAILS
>
> Under "4.2.5.1 Standard metadata names", add:
>
> "keywords
>
>  Contains a comma-separated list of keywords relevant to the page.
>
>  Note that many search engines have stopped to consider keyword
>  information as relevant because it has been used unreliably or even
>  misleading. Recipients are recommended to use this information only
>  when there's sufficient confidence in the reliability of this
>  information, for instance in controlled environments such as sites
>  generated from a content management system.
>
> IMPACT
>
> 1. Positive Effects
>
> Documents using meta/@name="keywords" will be conforming again.
>
> 2. Negative Effects
>
> People may continue to believe that all search engines will use this  
> data, and spending additional time providing it for some of them.  
> This can be mitigated by explaining this in the spec, as proposed  
> above.
>
> 3. Conformance Classes Changes
>
> Documents using meta/@name="keywords" will be conforming again.
>
> 4. Risks
>
> None.
>
>
> REFERENCES
>
> [1] <http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/global.html#edef-META>
> [2] <http://code.google.com/webstats/2005-12/metadata.html>
> [3] <http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/indexing/ranking-02.html>
Received on Thursday, 11 February 2010 07:44:12 UTC

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