In a former life, I fancied myself something of a Web designer, so I try to keep tabs on the latest happenings in that side of the online world. Today I was reading about Adobe’s proposal to the W3C for “CSS Regions,” a nifty new toolset that would allow designers to do things like wrap text around shapes or images — old hat to print designers, but pretty much impossible with HTML or traditional CSS.
Of course, what the search guy in me notices in their illustration (below) is that it looks a lot like one of those infographics us search marketers have been pushing as linkbait over the past months.
It is kind of ironic that infographics have become an SEO tool when, as static images, they violate one of the key rules of SEO: make sure everything is rendered in spiderable text.
So, it’s a really exciting prospect that in a couple years we could have Web pages with all the layout and typographical sexiness of infographics, yet built with spiderable text. Designers could let their imaginations run wild without shooting themselves in the SEO foot, while us SEO folks would be freed up to optimize a much wider range of content assets. It still has to win the blessing of the W3C, not to mention the major browsers, but clearly, with HTML5 and the pending advances in CSS, Web design is poised to take a quantum leap forward. Check out Adobe Labs if you want to learn more.