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Re: Discussion on ISSUE-79: meta-keywords

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 13:44:56 +0100
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20100224134456545531.c85fa8a0@xn--mlform-iua.no>
I support this change proposal. But I think that Julian should update 
the section about positive and negative effects:

>> 1. Positive Effects
>> 
>> Documents using meta/@name="keywords" will be conforming again.

2) In addition they will be able to use them for specific purposes - 
such as search engines inside and outside controlled environments, as 
the change proposal explains.

3) A third positive effect is that profile extensions (such as Dublin 
Core) will be able to use them. HTML4 gives example of such use, and 
more such use can e.g. be spotted in the examples and source code the 
DC-HTML specification. Not having this option will make DC-HTML pages 
invalid.

>> 2. Negative Effects
>> 
>> People may continue to believe that all 

I suggest replacing "all" with "every". And I suggest replacing 
"People" with "Many authors" or something similar.

>> 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.

Leif Halvard Silli


Maciej Stachowiak, Tue, 23 Feb 2010 20:28:19 -0800:
> 
> 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 12:45:31 UTC

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