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Logo Semantics

I read an interesting article yesterday about web design and web semantics. I know this will be lost on many of my readers, but to the rest of you I thought I would share. It made the observation of what a “logo was” and how it should be “presented” in web design.

The title says it all:

Your logo is still an image… and so is mine!

[CSS Wizardry, Harry Roberts – Your Logo is Still an Image and So is Mine, http://csswizardry.com/2013/01/your-logo-is-still-an-image-and-so-is-mine/]

I thought that it was interesting that it was a reflection on another one of his own articles that the author had written previously. Again, on the same topic – logos and their appropriate presentation in web design.

Content semantics is a hot topic for a lot of reasons. As you can imagine, the semantics of “marking up” a logo for web presentation can get to be a sticky topic at best. If you read through this article and even the comments left in response to the article you will see the varying degrees of agreement and disagreement.

I am not going to delve into whether one way is more correct than another, but I do agree that “your logo is still an image.” With that agreement, I believe that it should be marked up as such most of the time. The method of doing such is open for discussion. I do not know that one method is better than another in every circumstance. I think that it depends on the situation and should be based on a project by project basis.

Of course this article was interesting after reading this other blog post about a similar topic – hiding content. This is also a controversial topic if you want the real scoop. Everyone has their own take on it. If you want the rankings in Google, however, you will play by their rules and do what they like the best. The same will hold true with the content of the original article I mentioned.

Take a look at this blog post:

There’s more than one way to hide content.

They’re pretty darn similar — or so you would think if you haven’t used them much. In actuality, they’re distinctly different…

[A Geek and His Blog – HTML / CSS Techniques for Hiding Element – And display:none VS visibility:hidden, http://ageekandhisblog.com/html-css-techniques-for-hiding-elements-and-displaynone-vs-visibilityhidden/]

The question becomes which is best. Again, I am not going to delve into which is best. I am simply raising the question to get people thinking about it.

It comes back to play with the previous article when does it become appropriate to hide H1 elements on pages? H1 elements are your highest ranked elements on your pages, they get the highest priority just like they would in any outline. Logically your logo should get this high ranking because you want people to see this, but what if it does not get displayed or what if it is a computer that is crawling your website? Then the content is important in this case and the image is irrelevant. Like Harry Roberts says in his article, “Images are for people.” Humans ultimately are the only ones that care that the image gets displayed at all, and as he clarified, “seeing” humans are the only ones that really care.

In the end it all comes down to performance and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) I would gather. If you have done everything else to optimize your website and your site is not overly heavy on graphics I imagine one method over another is not going to offer performance issues in the long run just as it might not cause you too many dings on your SEO results if you have done everything you can there in spite of this. SEO based a la Google is always changing, however, so this could change and your mileage may vary. The same could hold true with performance. You should do your own research and try the various methods and see what works best for each project and it comes up. One may offer better results for that particular project.