What's the purpose of DOCTYPE? What would happen without it?

Hello,

Like to know the purpose of header DOCTYPE?

It can certainly work without it, but what affect does it have and why is it important? Is it anything to do with SEO?
Gerson008Asked:
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Easwaran ParamasivamConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The doctype declaration should be the very first thing in an HTML document, before the <html> tag.

The doctype declaration is not an HTML tag; it is an instruction to the web browser about what version of the markup language the page is written in.

The doctype declaration refers to a Document Type Definition (DTD). The DTD specifies the rules for the markup language, so that the browsers render the content correctly.

For more details:

http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/document/_33nDOCTYPE.html
http://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_doctype.asp
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QPRCommented:
In html 5 this will/is simply <!DOCTYPE HTML>
Now we just need to wait for the browsers to catch up
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Gerson008Author Commented:
It's good, answered the question!
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