There are plenty of valid reasons to use an H1 tag on every page, so no Google won't see it as SEO abuse. (it would be a bit like them penalising sites with a title on every page).
If you think your gaining position by using large fonts then change them back to H1 and see if goes down. I doubt if it will. The improvement you're seeing is probably from other factors as you're clearly aware of SEO tactics and likely to be doing what you can to imrpove your rankings.
H1 tags are 'header' tags - the <hx> series was made to act as titles for documents - the 'level' of title lowering as the number (x) gets higher.
Using them as such will not be seen as abuse, for that is their intended use (i.e. is semantically correct).
|I only raise this because I changed from h1 tags to large text and rankings have improved. |
This is very interesting. How did you do it technically, using font-tag or style sheets?
Of course, it could just be that one of the sites linking to you got promoted in PR, or one of the links to you got detected by Google. But maybe we can sort this out.
I think at this late juncture in the seo business, H1 tags are nowhere near as important as they used to be. We still use them in CSS form, but generally they're not to be abused. Actually, neither is anything when it comes to Google.
H1 heading *should be* on every or almost every page. It's a matter of proper document structure and accessibility. Why would Google penalize good practice?
I believe in using H1 tags. The only thing is it's so big and ugly. The benefits of having it are worth the sacrifice, but are there any ways to somehow have an H1 tag that isn't gigantic?
Somebody earlier in this thread mentioned style sheets?
|Somebody earlier in this thread mentioned style sheets? |
You can definately use stylesheets to control the size and whatever of the text.
Try that, see how it works.
<I only raise this because I changed from h1 tags to large text and rankings have improved.>
The opposite happened here. I changed all of the titles that were using large fonts with the font tag to H1 tags and traffic has increased. I don't know for sure that there's a correlation, but it's the single biggest increase in traffic I've seen in the past six months, and the only real change I've made for awhile (other than the everyday additions that have been going on for awhile).
same here, I never used H1 to be able to rank well. :)
|same here, I never used H1 to be able to rank well. :) |
For me it was probably what got one of my sites from number 2 to number 1.
I have tried to use the <Hx> tags in the way that they are intended - in the way that Headings are used in Word. This means one H1, and never an H3 unless there's been an H2.
On a long page, it's a natural way to break up a monolithic wedge of text into hierarchically more and less important pieces.
A good choice of title for the page, and a good choice of <H1> text will definitely mean that Google's "snippet" that it quote on the SERPS can be made to look positively inviting for the potential visitor, because a good choice of H1 text will greatly increase the chances that THIS is the text that appears in the snippet.
> I only raise this because I changed from h1 tags to large text and rankings have improved.
I'm pretty sure this is a coincidence Mike.
According to my analysis, H1 content has no greater or lesser weight in Google than other content. This is a good thing, as it should encourage webmasters to use headings for their intended purpose. HTML best practice is to have one H1 element per page.
|According to my analysis, H1 content has no greater or lesser weight in Google than other content. |
To clarify this, you mean that H1 tags are NOT important for ranking? At least not more important then say text in paragraphs?
I would say that with great conviction.
Any affect would have to be pretty small. Less than one eightieth of the affect of reversing a two word phrase in the body of a typical document if you were searching for that phrase, for example.
Thanks for the hint. I always gave h tags some special treatment, though I never verified whether it helped.
Go to [validator.w3.org...] and enter the URL of the page that you want to check.
Tick the boxes for Show Source and Verbose Output and especially for Document Outline and hit the Validate button.
On the results screen, scroll down past the Error List (if there is one) to the section marked Document Outline.
If the results there do not look like a summary of your document then you are abusing the <hx> tags.