HTML: SEO Point Values

Below is my frugal attempt at assigning SEO point values to various HTML elements and attributes within a semantically structured document. This is a general guide for assigning points based on years of working with HTML and gut instinct SEO.

Points are cumulative depending on the scope of the document(s). There is no perfect score although in theory, the higher the point values, better document performance would be expected. There are many variables at play when it comes to assigning point values to HTML elements from an SEO perspective.

?What Does Your Document Mean?

While some of these points may seem on the high side, we do have to consider the overall value of the elements and/or attributes from a semantic perspective. UAs (bots, crawlers, indexers, etc.) are blind and deaf.

HTML provides various elements and attributes to you as a Webmaster and SEO to accomodate those with challenges accessing your content. Your documents are being read by a machine which needs specific instructions and structure to properly process the meaning of that content.

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Primary HTML Elements

Listed below are the primary HTML elements and attributes that most of us will work with while developing and optimizing our documents. This is an A2Z listing in alphabetical order minus those elements that I feel have 0.00 point values e.g. BR and HR.

I've nested related elements and attributes together. For example, the DL element will have a core value and then each DT and DD element have their cumulative nested values.

There is a threshold for the number of points that can be accumulated for any one single element and/or attribute and that would all be relative to the total document size and depth if multiple documents (LINK) are involved.

HTML SEO Point values are allocated in 0.25 increments. The TITLE element has the highest value at 5.00 points and the lowest negative value of -10.00 points if not present. The next highest value would be the H elements with H1 starting at 2.00 points. The list goes on from there. Many of the core elements like BLOCKQUOTE, DL, P, OL and UL have default values of 1.00 point.

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Micro SEO

I use 0.25 increments as I believe much of this is Micro SEO. When you have a major search engine such as Google claiming over 200+ factors in determining document quality, we'd like to think that many of these elements and attributes comprise a respectable percentage (in 0.25 increments) of those factors.

HTML SEO Points Checklist

  1. 1.50 - A
    • 1.50 Inline In Context Anchors (first references only)
    • 0.75 Navigational Keyword Anchors in LI (first references only)
  2. 0.25 - ABBR (-0.25 when ABBR used twice for same instance in document)
    • 0.25 - ACRONYM (-0.25 when ACRONYM used twice for same instance in document)
  3. 1.00 - ADDRESS
  4. 1.00 - Alt Attribute
  5. 1.00 - AREA
    • 1.00 - Alt Attribute (-1.00 when Alternative Content not present)
  6. 1.00 - BLOCKQUOTE
  7. 0.00 - BR (no semantic meaning -0.50 for BR BR instead of /P, etc.)
  8. 0.25 - CODE (when utilized in proper phrase context)
  9. 0.25 - COL
  10. 0.25 - DEL (when utilized in proper context e.g. with datetime attribute)
  11. 1.00 - DFN
  12. 1.00 - DL
    • 0.50 - DT
    • 0.50 - DD
  13. 0.25 - EM
  14. 2.00 - H1
  15. 1.75 - H2
    • 1.50 Additional H2
  16. 1.50 - H3
    • 1.25 Additional H3
  17. 1.25 - H4
    • 1.00 Additional H4
  18. 1.00 - H5
  19. 1.00 - H6
  20. 1.00 - IFRAME <iframe>Alternative Content</iframe> (-1.00 when Alternative Content not present)
  21. 1.00 - IMG
    • 2.00 - Alt Attribute for H1 (equivalent to text)
    • 1.75 - Alt Attribute for H2 (equivalent to text)
    • 1.50 - Alt Attribute for H3 (equivalent to text)
    • 1.25 - Alt Attribute for H4 (equivalent to text)
    • 1.00 - Alt Attribute for general imagery
  22. 0.25 - KBD (when utilized in proper phrase context)
  23. 0.25 - LABEL
  24. 0.50 - LEGEND
  25. 1.00 - LINK
  26. META Tags (non-cumulative)
    • 1.00 - META Description Tag
    • 0.25 - META Keywords Tag
    • META Robots Tag (non-cumulative)
      • 2.00 - NoArchive
      • 1.00 - NoFollow
      • 1.00 - NoIndex
  27. 1.00 - NOFRAMES <noframes>Alternative Content</noframes> (-1.00 when Alternative Content not present)
  28. 1.00 - NOSCRIPT <noscript>Alternative Content</noscript> (-1.00 when Alternative Content not present)
  29. 1.00 - OL
    • 0.50 - LI
  30. 0.75 - OPTION
  31. 1.00 - P
    • 1.50 H1 P (first paragraph after H1)
    • 1.25 H2 P (first paragraph after H2)
    • 1.00 H3 P (first paragraph after H3)
    • 1.00 H4 P (first paragraph after H4)
  32. 1.00 - Q
  33. 0.25 - SAMP (when utilized in proper phrase context)
  34. 0.50 - STRONG
  35. TABLE (non-cumulative)
  36. 5.00 - TITLE (-10.00 when TITLE not present)
  37. 0.25 - Title Attribute (if duplicate of anchor 0.00 points, negates itself)
  38. 1.00 - UL
    • 0.50 - LI
  39. 0.25 - VAR (when utilized in proper phrase context)
  40. 5.00 - Valid and Semantically Correct HTML Markup
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You Shouldn't Care About SEO Point Values!

If you've read this far, I'm going to boldly say that you should not care about SEO Point Values, SEO Grades, etc. Don't fall prey to all this SEO mumbo jumbo. The only thing you should be concerned about is that you are utilizing proper document structure and that you ARE taking advantage of ALL the elements and attributes available to you as a Webmaster and SEO. And, I highly suggest that you validate all of your HTML/XHTML/CSS documents. No IFs, ANDs or BUTs!

The goal of the above exercise was to get you to see that there are many HTML elements and attributes that comprise a properly structured document. There are probably a few up there that you didn't even know about or maybe had forgotten. For example...

Use the HTML elements and attributes that you have available to you to gain that fractional, maybe even full point advantage in highly competitive markets. You'll typically dominate in non-competitive markets if you've covered all your bases! Forget about the HTML SEO Point Values, they are senseless from that perspective. Do you hate me for making you read all of this? Smiley

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