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<h1>, <h2>, <h3> penalty
Will putting keyword in headings trip a filter
steve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 3:03 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've formatted my headings using css.

Assuming a page is about red widgets, I'm using the following:

<h1>Red widget</h1>

Some text

<h2>Caring for your red widget</h2>

More text

<h3>Feeding your red widget</h3>

More text

etc.

h1 is used once at the top of the page, h2 and h3 I use for diffent headings and are repeated.

Is this over optimised, will it trip a filter?

I can find other pages of mine which mention red widgets above the page which is optimised for it!

 

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 3:15 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi

Firstly, if your keyword phrase 'red widget' is not a highly competitive one, you should be fine. However,if it is and your title tag, and H1 tag is a perfect match, along with anchor text in and out you may be over doing it. Varying the h1, title and anchor text with parts of the phrase is probably better (the title perhaps having the complete phrase)

I read here that all H tags, whether they be H1, H2 or H3 are traeted the same, in which case you may be overdoing the H tag. I realise this may be legitimate design, but we are talking spider food here....

OddDog

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 4:17 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

i am not aware the googel treats more competitive search terms differnetly from others.

are you sure that is the case.

on the h1 ect. line, that should by no problem. I have never had problems with this structure. But i have triggered the over otimized filter when i have the keyword density to high (in this case it was alt-tags that pushed me over the brink)

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 4:45 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

[webmasterworld.com...]

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 9:41 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

"However,if it is and your title tag, and H1 tag is a perfect match, along with anchor text in and out you may be over doing it."

There isn't even the hint of a shadow of a rumor that Google sees proper page construction as "overdoing it".

If your page is about red widgets, title it so in the title tage and the H1, and use subheadings how they are supposed to be used.

Google needs your help in telling it what a page is about. Do that. There is no reason at all to not use the best terms available, especially for competitive terms where every little bit helps.

DRGather

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 11:19 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

"However,if it is and your title tag, and H1 tag is a perfect match, along with anchor text in and out you may be over doing it."
There isn't even the hint of a shadow of a rumor that Google sees proper page construction as "overdoing it".

Finally... the voice of reason. Thanks for pointing this out steveb. For goodness sakes people, do you honestly think that Google would penalize you for something that the w3c recommends you do? [w3.org...]

Complete lunacy I tell ya. These Google conspiracy theories are getting about as far fetched as most of CNN's reporting.

And for the naysayers out there who spout the "Google doesn't care about standards" junk... well, you may be right. But rewarding a site for compliance and PENALIZING a site for following well established guidelines are two entirely different things.

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 11:21 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi

I'm not saying proper page design is 'over doing it', I'm saying....

"However,if it is and your title tag, and H1 tag is a perfect match, along with anchor text in and out you may be over doing it."

(n.b the 'along with....' bit)

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 11:42 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I'm not saying proper page design"

It's exactly what you said. Maybe you don't understand what you said, but you said it.

You are not "overdoing it" to construct pages and links as you should, and as the vast majority of successful sites do things. Pages should be constructed correctly. Links to pages should be descriptively accurate. Forget the heebiejeebieisms.

DRGather

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 11:43 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

So you're saying that title, h1 and inbound anchor text ALL match the same thing? I *might* be able to believe that one.... hang on.... oh, nope. I've got a rockin site that uses exactly this same pattern. Granted it's only a handful of internal links (none external that I'm aware of), but still. If it's an "oop based on the big 3" my pages (all of them) would have been tanked long ago.

Lets use an example here... say... a news article. The author meticulously titles the article, "Senator so-and-sucks eggs". So naturally, that's the title of your page right? And according to the w3c, the recommended practice is to also use the H1 text matching the title... and after all... if you changed it then you'd have copyright issues right? Ok, so you now have 2 of the magic 3 elements. So... when you're linking to this article... what do you think the ABSOLUTE MOST logical text to use as anchor text is? Maybe... story 3425? Nah.... don't think so. The most natural thing to use as anchor text is (wait for it...) the TITLE OF THE ARTICLE! Look at yahoo, prime example. What do they use for their anchor text? It's already catchy (that was the authors job), it's almost always already condensed... it's just... the natural choice.

Here's a thought... most people believe that there isn't really much you can do to on-page factors that signficantly affect your rankings. Now for the record, I'm not saying I wholeheartedly agree, or wholeheartedly disagree, but I've seen some interesting experiments to this end. I've seen people drop to -1% KW density and jack it up to 25% (and all points in between). I've seen all variations of keyword stuffing, internal backlink manipulation and numerous on-page foolishness. And NONE of it did any good. The only thing that improved the rankings of these sites were inbound links from external sites. That's it. So if many subscribe to this theory... and if in fact it's true, that you really can't seriously improve your ranking with strictly on-page factors... then why in the WORLD would Google waste the time and resources to try and penalize people for them?

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 11:56 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Pages should be constructed correctly. Links to pages should be descriptively accurate"

So there you have it, simple really..... oh, but hold on, look at practically any results page and in the top positions sites don't do that....

Perhaps you better let Google know :)

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 12:36 am on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

"most people believe that there isn't really much you can do to on-page factors that signficantly affect your rankings"

Glad to hear it, long may they believe it. :)

The issue here is that Google has to make an algorithm based on something. Because of spammers, they have to shift the goal posts occasionally. This creats 'fog' and stops spammy sites rising to the top based on a few exchanged links and highly targeted 'on page' factors. Links and anchor text is very important, but just as sites that don't do enough seo never rank well, so sites that do too much don't either.

Many relevant and good sites are those that occupy the middle ground, they have good seo but don't over do it. Spammers by definition over do it, and this can be detected. In the past a match between H1, Title, Links in and out was defined as possible spam in some competative sectors. Google has to decide what may be too much emphasis on a keyword phrase and thus possible spam. A difficult choice, because as you say, logic dictates that a title. links and H1 should define the content. But we live in a non perfect world, and people cheat. It was obvious a year ago that many sites were getting good rankings that they did not deserve by targeting selected phrases via mass produced pages. Many better and more relevant sites were not ranking so well and did not use H1, title, link matches..... so hey, why not change the algo slightly? It may lose a few good sites, but it also removes all the spam and and the net result is better serps.

Logic, rules, w3 are all very well, but they can be exploited, hence algorithms that sometimes do not reward these qualities... its a way of fighting spam.

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 1:19 am on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

"oh, but hold on, look at practically any results page and in the top positions sites don't do that...."

Maybe on planet Zork, Yahoo.com doesn't rank first for a "Yahoo" search. Maybe on Zork, Geocities ranks first because they vary their anchor text. Here on Earth, while some little niches may be ruled by black helicopter seo, in competitive areas with very big money, the top results generally do the basics. They make page titles and link text that is accurate and appropriately targeted. Suggesting there is anything dangerous about this is to suggest Yahoo is shivering about having all that "yahoo" anchor text.

edit_g

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 1:24 am on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Using H1, H2 and H3 tags is using the rules of HTML as a semantic markup and as it was intended in its infancy. Google will not have a penalty against semantic markup. There are ways to overdo it (links in h1's, lots of text in h1's) but these also break the rules of the markup language, so it isn't hard to know when you've gone too far.

DRGather

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 2:23 am on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Technically speaking links in H1 aren't invalid markup, but I do understand what you're saying.

The funny thing is... as the algo gets better and better (I refuse to believe that they simply switch between phases of stupidity to keep people off balance)... and ranks on more and more criteria to determine what a "quality" page is, then spammers continue to evolve with the algo producing content and pages that (ironically enough) become less spammy and more valuable. I mean think about it. If Google eventually nails this thing, and says, "Ok, here are our 300 criteria for a good page" using all sorts of things, on-page, offpage, content, semantics, etc. Then if the spammers actually rank well with that algo doesn't it mean that the algo trained the spammers and increased the quality of their content? So the question is... who's chasing who here? Are the SEO's and spammers chasing Google? Or is Google simply leading the SEO's and spammers to quality content utopia? ;)

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 9:04 am on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

"who's chasing who here? Are the SEO's and spammers chasing Google? Or is Google simply leading the SEO's and spammers to quality content utopia? ;)"

Great point DrGather

I reckon if Google showed us the algo's they use, we would all be amazed how relatively simple they are. But within that simplicity is a very clever objective - to confuse. By applying different algo's to different sectors confusion, evident on this forum, dishartens webmasters and makes them chase their tales and argue. Eventually they give up trying to find the 'magic bullet' and instead just make comprehensive sites... which is what Google wants.

This does not mean that there is no oop penalty (H1 title anchor match), or on page factors that can help ranking, but that these algo's are selectively applied, hence the kind of post "I've had no problem using H1 you moron....". is the type of response and debate in forums like this one that google wants to see. The best weapon Google has against spammers is to selectively apply different algo's to confuse and demoralise. The other weapon is 'time', which they have recently applied with sandboxing links.

Some here are victims of Googles cleverness. Arrogance is easy to manipulate and 'divide and rule' is being applied.

steve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 10:31 am on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank you to everyone who has offered advice or an opinion.

I've found for more competitive searches - red widget -keyword in title, in bound anchortext, h1, h2, h3 etc. gets me nowhere.

However for more focused searches - lightweight round red widget - I can get to number 2 or 3 in the SERPs.

I've been looking at a competitors site who does well for 'red widgets', he is 11 in the SERPs, below catetco, amazon, opinions etc. (who I accept will dominate).

His page is as follows

No keyword in 18 word title
Keyword once in h2
Keyword in URL (page name)
Keyword in 8 anchortext from his site
Keyword in text

Site and page are PR4 with 4 in bound links

Based on the above, and looking at other peoples titles, who all appear longer titles than mine, I've changed mine from 'red widget' to 'red widgets - red quality widget for you'

Gogglebot has picked up the change. How long will it take for the change to be reflected in the SERPs?

If this doesn't work, I'll change my title back, and reduce the keyword density in h2 and h3.

Anyone care to suggest any other possible changes?

I'll report back here any effects I notice.

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 8:25 pm on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Anyone care to suggest any other possible changes?"

Get more links. You are polishing the hubcaps when you should be getting more horsepower in your engine.

H1, etc., are minor factors for competitive searches. They do matter, but anchor text and to a lesser degree PR matter far more. If you are battling industry giants, you need many thousands of links, and your poor lil' H2 text just won't matter much.

steve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 2:19 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestion Steveb, I am working on getting backlinks.

I know they are important, but HOW important?

The competitors site I mentioned above has 2 external backlinks in alltheweb and none in google. But he still manages to get on page 2 of the serps.

The top site has 66 internal backlinks and no external links in google

I have 10 external in alltheweb and 4 in google - not enough I know! But Google doesn't show any internal backlinks for my site is it possible this is the cause of my poor showing?

DRGather

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 3:42 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I know they are important, but HOW important?

They're the most important thing you can get. Bush didn't make #1 for miserable failure for nothing ya know. It's all about the anchor text. 2 things to remember about checking backlinks on Google.

1. Backlinks usually only show when they're PR4 or higher. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have another 10,000 with low PR and targeted anchor text boosting him in the serps.

2. This past backlink and PR update had some really weird characteristics, such as TONS of people losing backlinks, but not PR, Losing PR and not backlinks, etc. So what you see currently may not be a true representation of what his backlinks consist of.

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 6:01 pm on Jun 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

"But that doesn't mean he doesn't have another 10,000 with low PR and targeted anchor text boosting him in the serps"

He doesn't, Steve said he checked on alltheweb.

DRGather

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 3:30 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can't count how many links I have that don't show on all the web.

4eyes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 8:22 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

He doesn't, Steve said he checked on alltheweb.

You are out of date.
That stopped being useful when Yahoo switched in.

MHes

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 8:28 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmmmm...

Thanks :)

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 8:33 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've been looking at a competitors site who does well for 'red widgets', he is 11 in the SERPs

No keyword in 18 word title
Keyword once in h2
Keyword in URL (page name)
Keyword in 8 anchortext from his site
Keyword in text

Semantics.

TJ

sem4u

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 9:35 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

It will be anchor text that is keeping him ranking high (plus the other factors to a lesser degree).

steve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 9:42 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Trillianjedi suggested symantics:-

I'm not 100% sure how they work, but if you mean related/similar words with the same meaning, he doesn't use them.

Others have suggested unseen backlinks:-

I dont think he has thousands of low pr links either, as the site is a 'simple design by template' sort of we'll design you 5 pages for 50. I doubt finding backlinks was given much time.

sem4u suggested backlinks:-

Thats what I'm starting to think. His internal backlinks are PR4 and showing.

I have 10 internal backlinks with good anchor text, but they are PR3 so not showing, prehaps this makes a difference?

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 9:50 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm not 100% sure how they work, but if you mean related/similar words with the same meaning, he doesn't use them.

He may not use them, but google does.

;-)

Try using the tilde search in google - "~keyword"

You may be surprised. The ranking is almost certainly down to anchor-text, but I think you'll find that the anchor text inbounds and or page titles are semantically related to the same topic. They may not be simply "keyword".

I'm seeing this all the time now, everywhere.

TJ

steve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 10:20 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Using ~"red widget" moved him up to 7th ahead of big hitters like Amazon.

You are right TrillianJedi - good call.

I've done a search for 'semantics' and will get reading.

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 10:26 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Using ~"red widget" moved him up to 7th ahead of big hitters like Amazon.

You're missing the point really, but you're reading up which is the main thing.

Look at the words that google is showing in bold when you do the search.

TJ

steve

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 24258 posted 10:34 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Searched the web and his site

The only highlighted word is "red widgets", does this mean its not semantics boosting the page?

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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