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Re: Discussion on ISSUE-79: meta-keywords

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 20:37:06 -0800
Message-ID: <63df84f1002232037p5f71fb37xb25a7dd602da62e9@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
I support this change proposal. While I know that many search engines
do not pay attention to meta/@name="keywords", given the fact that it
is widely used and "known" among authors, as well as potentially
useful in other settings, I think it should remain conforming and
defined.

For example I could see it used in internal document management
systems, or browsers could use it in features like bookmark search.

/ Jonas

On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 8:28 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
>
> The Chairs have not seen any discussion of this Change Proposal. Can Working
> Group participants please provide their thoughts on this proposal? We would
> like to see some discussion before we call for counter-proposals, call for
> consensus, or seek some other solution.
>
> 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 Wednesday, 24 February 2010 04:37:58 GMT

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