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Re: Marking elements as 'volatile'

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 10:10:40 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200501151010.j0FAAeK04039@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

> I do not get your point. Using a server-only namespace or even a 
> private language is not an elegant solution at all. IMHO there is no 

The argument being made for marking volatile material was that it
avoided the need to transmit updates of the page.  If the server 
doesn't act on the markup, the client must do so, so the material
has been transmitted and there is no benefit.

> > Google only needs the content, so it would be cheaper to simply tag 
> > the bit which
> > you _do_ want indexed.

Note that this was not me.

A very important point to remember is that what most commercial sites
want indexed is not the real content but the keyword stuffing designed
to make the page attractive to search engines.  It seems to me that
any mechanism for marking significant content is going to be abused
by the more sophisticated and ignored by the less sophisticated.  Search
engine indexers may well anticipate this and not waste time on honouring
such markup; some already ignore keyword and description metadata because
of abuse.

(A typical abuse tactic would be to mark the keyword stuffing as significant
but style it to be invisible, or at least to seem insignificant.)

That you get so much noise in web documents is, in my view, a failure
to understand the medium, particularly from browser developers, who mainly
saw it as a presentational format.  Another factor is that some of the
noise content is there to encourage people to refresh pages and therefore
see more advertisements.

It also reflects that authors haven't bought the structural concept and
want to brand the layout.  Authors who haven't bought the structural
concept are unlikely to add new structure information to highlight noise
items.

In my view the logical way of handling side bars etc. is by using link
elements.  Some of these already exist, but browsers, as I said, saw
themselves as presentational tools, so were not creative in using them.
For example, the common left side bar is logically just the link rel=contents
page.

Whilst this may be more logical, I don't believe there is anyway that it
will happen now, but I also don't believe that a significant number of 
authors will use real content markers non-abusively.
Received on Saturday, 15 January 2005 10:10:44 GMT

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