The new section divisions in HTML5 will certainly have some effect on SEO -- though precisely what effect isn't exactly clear.
Complicating the issue is, unsurprisingly, Google, which already pays more attention to semantic rel tags than Bing or Yahoo.
Over the past several months, several of you DZoners have posted stories on HTML5 and SEO (1,2,3,4,5,6). SEO is obviously one of the major driving factors in a lot of web development, so it never hurts to think about SEO-related issues a little more deeply, and a little more exactly.
Chris Liversidge adds another suggestion to the mix: instead of heeding just one tag at a time, leverage SEO by combining multiple strategies in clever ways.
Responding to Google's increasingly complex interpretation of the <link> tag, Chris comments:
This increased flexibility of interpretation is the area of optimisation that can immediately be taken advantage of.
Simply by combining these options, webmasters can now deliver re-purposed content targeting long tail terms that would otherwise struggle to perform with the minimum of supporting linkbuilding.
In the second half of the article, Chris walks through the cascading effects of the (somewhat controversial) rel=canonical tag on a site whose content is located primarily on pages for individual items (in his example, commercial properties), i.e., pages for which setting rel=canonical in each document is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Check out the rest of the article for full treatment.