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This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49 ( [1] 2 > >     
The importance of the H1 tag
Does the use of a H1 still benefits your site?
Hercules2

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 12:33 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I doubt if the use of the H1 tag is still working to get get higher listings. I think it even may hurt your listings.

 

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 3:14 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not if it's used correctly.

BeeDeeDubbleU

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 4:12 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think that used correctly it is still a major contributor.

fourchette

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 4:28 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would say that a h1 used correctly means once in a document, at the top of the page.. Am I wrong?

Thanks

phantombookman

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 4:48 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I head every page I create with the main title in H1.
I think it is still a very large factor

caveman

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 5:43 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The SE's want to understand what a page is about. A well constructed page, with H1 info, helps them understand. I personally don't see it as H1's giving pages a 'lift'...but as H1's doing what they are supposed to do, so that a page can be shown for relevant searches.

There is also some evidence that if used to gain undue advantage, misuse of H1's can potentially hurt a page. This has been a debatable point, but I certainly believe it based on some testing we did post-Florida-update. G is looking for clarity and signals of quality. But they are also looking for signals of manipulation. ;-)

Small Website Guy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 6:33 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure that the H1 tag SHOULD matter. After all, if used without CSS, it makes the page incredibly ugly.

With CSS, the Googlebot has no way of knowing what H1 looks like to the user.

I NEVER use the H1 tag in websites I do for money (in which search engine ranking is zero consideration).

So the H1 tag often represents an artificial attempt to inflate a page's ranking.

netchicken1

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 6:41 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

"So the H1 tag often represents an artificial attempt to inflate a page's ranking."

and the problem with this is? .......

I use them, certinaly it can't hurt, and with css they can be formatted as you like.

WebFusion

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 6:59 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

So the H1 tag often represents an artificial attempt to inflate a page's ranking.

So do links....use of RSS....alt tags....etc.

Just because properly formateed HTML could be used to game the engines, doesn't mean you should stop using properly formatted documents.

Being afraid to properly format a page for the user (and not the engines) means you're doing EXACTLY what the engines are trying to cut down on - designing for them and not the end user.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 7:15 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use them, certinaly it can't hurt...

Are you sure it's certain that it cannot hurt? I agree with caveman, it's a good idea to consider the phrase, signals of manipulation.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 8:51 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

There's no "artificial manipulation" involved in using h1 tags if they're used correctly.

Of course, some people do things like placing whole paragraphs or blocks of keywords within h1 tags and using css styles to make the h1 text look like body text. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a Google Ph.D. to identify that kind of stupidity as artificial manipulation.

BeeDeeDubbleU

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 9:14 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

There was some discussion about an OOP (over optimisation penalty) a while back and I am one of those who subscribe to this. It may be that the same words in domain name, page name, page title, page description and H1 could be a flag to indicate that a site has been created solely with SEO in mind. And when you think about it, it would be a pretty good flag ;)

However an H1 used properly will not be a problem.

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 9:22 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The idea that using H1 will hurt you is nuts. What can hurt you is not following Google's guidelines. If you use a bunch of crap techniques, that is what will get someone into trouble, not having an H1. It's like blaming your windshield for a flat tire.

And there's nothing "ugly" about H1. Having a title in large font makes sense. The fact that you can make it somewhat more attractive with CSS is just aesthetic preference.

Patrick Taylor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 9:32 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

the same words in domain name, page name, page title, page description and H1 could be a flag to indicate that a site has been created solely with SEO in mind

Within reason, I think this has more to do with choice - committing oneself to ranking as well as possible for a particular keyword at the expense of other keywords rather than seeking to gain an unfair advantage. It should make sense to Google.

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 10:04 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google (as well as any SE) will use whatever they find useful to determine releveance programatically. Two years ago there was such widespread abuse of the H1 that Matt Cutts mentioned at the London PubCon that Google was currently only able to use H1 as if it were plain text - any relevance signals were lost in the noise at that time.

Has this changed? Well, today I very seldom see H1 tags wrapping entire paragraphs, or keyword lists, and so on. But no little Google bird has mentioned anything new that I've heard. Still, with an element as potentially important as the H1 tag, I'm sure that Google tests all the time to see if there is a dependable "relevance signal" in there.

I will continue to use the H1. It helps to create a well-formed document and just because others have abused it is no reason for me to create crappy mark-up.

BeeDeeDubbleU

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 10:07 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It should make sense to Google.

That's the point I was making ... ;)

It must be very easy to build an OOP into the algo. But I don't want to move the thread off topic, I think the concensus is that used properly, the H1 tag does benefit your site.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 10:31 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The idea that using H1 will hurt you is nuts.

I agree 100%. Wait, I agree 200%. ;)

Signals of Manipulation
But I'm going to expand on what I said. Not sure what caveman means by Signals of Manipulation, but to me it means taking a blueprint of what the average Made for Google website looks like, then filtering it out. Why would Google filter out an SEOd website? For the same reason Google makes it's products useless for SEO: It doesn't want sites made to respond to certain search queries. Google wants websites that are useful and naturally provide an answer to the query.

Tennis anyone?
But there's a tension between what Google wants and the motivation that drives a webmaster to create websites. Let's be honest, we're not in the business of providing free rides. Similarly, neither is Google. How does Google resolve this conflict between the webmaster who is pushing to make money, and Google who is pulling to provide a good user experience?

Some sites will have to be filtered out. Does that mean affiliate sites are marked? My opinion is, it depends. Depends on how useful. So the onus falls back on the webmaster to create something that is useful. The ball bounces back and forth between the webmasters and the search engines.

Following Google's Guidelines
Google has never condoned optimization in terms of making a site rank better through manipulation of it's algo. Google does endorse optimizing a website so that gBot can adequately crawl it.

If Google doesn't want webmasters artificially goosing their website into the top ten, it makes sense to take a look at the average optimized website and create a statistical model for what it looks like.

Does anyone remember the standard recipe for optmizing a website for Google?

Title tag with main keyword phrase
H1
Any instances of the target keyword phrase should be in bold
Optimized Inbound Anchor text

How many times did you come across pages ranking in Google and recognized the hallmarks of an optimized site: "Oh, there's the H1. And there's a footer with a keyword rich mini-site map." If you could instantly recognize an optmized site, you think Google couldn't?

Take the entire template of an optimized site, not just the H1, but the whole recipe, and that's the Signals of Manipulation Google can use to filter you into a sandbox until your site behaves like a "normal" website.

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 11:12 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

"How does Google resolve this conflict between the webmaster who is pushing to make money, and Google who is pulling to provide a good user experience?"

What conflict? Yet another strawman. There is no such conflict and it is just nuts to pretend there is.

Too many people stick their heads in the mist and add 2+3 to equal 97. Google wants to provide a good user experience. It shouldn't be a newsflash that lots and lots and lots of webmasters have the exact same goal, whether they are pushing to make money or not.

There is no conflict here whatsoever. the only conflict is between Google and those webmasters who don't want to provide a good user experience, and use garbage tactics to try and pretend their crap is something other than crap. Once again, whethere these webmasters make money or not is not relevant to the conflict.

An H1 is no signal of manipulation. Cramming crap into and H1 is.

caveman

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 11:34 pm on Aug 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Certain uses of H1 can get a page in trouble, so let's be careful not to imply otherwise to those who have not had the time or ability to see what can happen.

An important distinction is made between using H1, and misusing H1 in a way that causes a page to run afoul of SE guidelines.

It seems that most everyone agrees that the mere existence of H1 in no way violates SE guidelines.

But how H1's are used is a different matter.

Using a single H1 per page, with a brief summary of the page's contents, is actually what W3 would have us doing most of the time with H1 elements [w3.org].

Using multiple H1's on a page however, or using a precisely identical kw phrase for H1, title, META, lead text and alt tags - in order to push the envelop a bit for SE rankings - can, and very often will, get a page in trouble with an SE. This sort of onpage activity is easily identified by the SE's, and on any given day, G may interpret such activity as manipulation in order to gain undue advantage.

Fair, or not fair, unfortunately does not much come into it.

Marcus Aurelius

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 12:00 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Works quite well when used wiht restraint

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 12:24 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

What conflict? Yet another strawman. There is no such conflict and it is just nuts to pretend there is.

Looks like you answered your own question. ;)

...the only conflict is between Google and those webmasters who don't want to provide a good user experience, and use garbage tactics to try and pretend their crap is something other than crap.

Come on Steve, are you playing devils advocate or do you really believe what you're saying? The Update thread is a litany of how all the sites in Google are crap websites. Unless you've had your head in the ground it's common knowledge there's tension between webmasters who would place their sites at the top of Google and Google engineers who have a job making sure it doesn't happen.

Why do you think they employ people with titles like, Manager of Search Quality? Why do you think they hired all those statisticians? One of the reasons is to map patterns of what a legit site looks like and identify those that are trying to game the system. I thought this was pretty well known, but maybe not everyone got the memo.

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 12:37 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Come on Steve, are you playing devils advocate or do you really believe what you're saying?"

C'mon, you can't seriously believe the opposite. You stuck two unrelated things in the same sentence, saying theur is a conflict between dogs and tax reform.

"The Update thread is a litany of how all the sites in Google are crap websites."

Quoting update threads....? I'll pass on the softball. :)

"Unless you've had your head in the ground it's common knowledge there's tension between webmasters who would place their sites at the top of Google and Google engineers who have a job making sure it doesn't happen."

Now what the heck does THAT have to do with what you wrote? LOL. Honestly you just keep posting unrelated things. There is a conflict between search engineers and spammers. That doesn't mean there is a conflict between search engineers and people with websites that make money. It's a ludicrous illogical leap.

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 12:45 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

And once again, not to let the confusion above be encouraged... The idea that using H1 will hurt you is nuts. What can hurt you is not following Google's guidelines. Misusing H1 is just violating the Google guidelines. That is the problem. It has nothing to do with H1 itself and it is very wrong to make it seem so.

People should use H1 when appropriate. People should not violate the guidelines of the search engines... (if you are concerned about how the search engine will respond if you do).

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 12:46 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>Now what the heck does THAT have to do with what you wrote?

It's a response to your statement that there is no tension between Google and Webmasters. Do I have to spell everything out?

You stuck two unrelated things in the same sentence...

Steve, you answered your question and contradicted yourself doing it, there is tension between Google and webmasters.

That doesn't mean there is a conflict between search engineers and people with websites that make money.

Dude, it's in the Google TOS. You can't use Google to make money. Beyond that, there are many grades of sites that make money, and many ways of doing that. Websites that make money, as you put it, is a very general term that encompasses what some call spam. What is spam can be interpreted in many different ways, including the affiliate link to content ratio, among other things.

An H1 is no signal of manipulation.

Steve, are you having a private discussion with yourself? Nobody is arguing that point, so I don't know why you keep bringing it up.

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 1:01 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

"It's a response to your statement that there is no tension between Google and Webmasters"

Boggle!

You said:
"How does Google resolve this conflict between the webmaster who is pushing to make money, and Google who is pulling to provide a good user experience?"

You are now all over the place with four unrelated comments.

Google has no conflict with Adobe or the BBC, which, get hold of yourself, are out to make money.

Google has no conflict with webmasters.

Google has conflict with crap peddling, puke creating webmasters who try to spam their search results. This is a puny subset of "webmasters" and a small subset of webmasters pushing to make money.

Just because the cops have a conflict with Charlie Manson is a murdering nutjob doesn't mean EVERY person is a murdering nutjob.

The strawmen and the black helicopters just gotta go. Google is in conflict with who and what they say they are in conflict with in their guidelines. Waving your arms that big bad Google is in conflict with ALL webmasters because they remove from their index some spammer with 900 words in an H1 tag is just too silly talk about anymore.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 1:11 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not.
:P

neoguy2012

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 4:38 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I really doubt that Google has a problem with H1 tags. There's nothing wrong with using them besides helping a robot figure out what the page is about without too much worry. I highly doubt Google puts a lot of weight into H1 tags. There's only 1 main concern I've been having with H1 tags though: more and more people are hiding these with images using CSS for nice banner titles. Maybe in the future, the robots will scan through CSS and find where it displays the object as hidden... but that would cause some problems with CSS files made for compability issues and thus block out seemingly pertinant information. Maybe I'm thinking about this too deeply.

caveman

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 4:45 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

> too deeply

Nah, you're thinking ahead (hehe, and maybe not too much ahead, either).

Always a good thing. ;-)

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 4:55 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I brought up these CSS image replacement techniques in New Orleans with two different Google folks. One was familiar with the practice and thought it would not be a problem -- even on a hand inspection -- as long as the text and the image text were exactly duplicate. The second person was not familiar with the practice at all, even for accessibility, and appeared horrified by the prospect (well, maybe that's just a bit of an exaggeration). Person #2 felt the practice would not pass a hand inspection.

And of course, now that I did bring it up, there's every chance that I raised the visibility of the issue. Since I did not get anything like a "verdict" from these folks - neither for the present time (which still seems non-problematic on these techniques) nor for the future - I can't say much that is very definitive.

I think it boils down to whether you have "strength as the strength of ten" in Google's eyes because your heart is pure, or whether you are playing on a slippery slope because your hat is a relatively dark shade.

caveman

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



 
Msg#: 30925 posted 5:35 am on Aug 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

One ... thought it would not be a problem... The second ... appeared horrified by the prospect...

I think it boils down to whether you have "strength as the strength of ten" in Google's eyes because your heart is pure, or whether you are playing on a slippery slope because your hat is a relatively dark shade.

LOL. tedster, sums up the entire world of SE marketing AFAIK. Aren't we lucky that SE's can do this ... with algo's no less! ;-)

======

<added>neoguy2012, seems that as of today, you're not thinking ahead at all. Boy, things change fast. ;-)</added>

This 49 message thread spans 2 pages: 49 ( [1] 2 > >
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