Google statistics over HTML usage

Google Code has done extensive research over the use of HTML today. Since this is Google doing the job they had access to an enormous amount of data, over a billion documents where analysed. What does the report conclude? Pretty much what we already know: people don’t use HTML for structure like its intended.

Here are some examples of strange usage in the report:

  • is used more often than . No comment.

  • is the ninth most used element. I have serious doubts that this is due to the amount of tabular data on the web.
  • The third most used classname is “title” and the fourth “small”. The first could probably be replaced by a header tag, the other one should certainly be set by CSS since it’s style.
  • Half of all elements contains the “bgcolor” attribute. If this isn’t style, what is?
  • The report tells a lot about the shape of the web. If I only could get more people to read my beginners guide

    3 responses to “Google statistics over HTML usage

    1. Superb. Clear, concise and easily understood. I have been looking for a straight forward CSS tutorial for a few weeks now.


    2. Beautiful site! Great layout! Well-written info. Makes me jealous…
      re: tabular data in tables. When does “laying out data clearly” become “layout table”?
      Eg. one student had a list of pdfs on his page: name/file type/size. That is surely tabular data.
      Another had a price list: name/price/picture.
      Another had a list of items for sale: name & info/picture.

      Is there a point when you can definitely say “sorry, that’s just layout?” Or is it opinion?

    3. Alistair: That’s a great question. You know that you’ve have learned a lot when you start asking that kind of questions.

      I tend to think of tables as things you would put in an Excel sheet. As a general distinction that works fine. Another thing to look at is if it would make sense to put headers on the table. If it does you probably have a proper data table. I hope that makes sense.

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