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This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google Penalizing for <H1> tags?
My rankings went down when added
Ameriman




msg:744508
 4:13 am on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I actually watched my Google SE result go down after adding the <h1> tag...

Has anyone else experienced this?

Or can you confirmed it helped your SE result?

thanks....

 

grandpa




msg:744509
 4:27 am on Sep 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can't confirm (with any certainty) that H tags have helped in the serps. But I can confirm that my pages have a logical outline as a result of using the tags, and that (IMO) is a step in the right direction.

I find it hard to accept that adding H1 tags caused you the problems. It's possible, if they weren't properly used and if it appeared to be a spam tactic. I'm not saying that was your intent, but it's the only reason I could speculate about.

Did you validate your pages after making the changes? Perhaps it's a simple markup problem that can be spotted and corrected with validation.

smokey99




msg:744510
 11:56 pm on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

It appears lots of sites are bouncing in SERPS.
Many of my sites have had major drops with no changes to pages.
It may just be a coincidence that the drop happened at the same time.

I have always used H1 and never had a negative effect

PlanetTokyo




msg:744511
 12:57 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can't imagine building a page without a header. H1 is part of any page's essential structure. Structural markup is a key part of how search engines make sense of your page. Font tags just don't cut it. They say nothing about the structure of your content.

In short, it seems highly unlikely that an H1 would hurt your ranking.

edd1




msg:744512
 3:30 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't see any possible reason for being penalised if you have a H1 at the top of a page. If you use more than one on a page that's a different matter. There would be no reason to do that though.

giggle




msg:744513
 3:39 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

When you added the <H1> tag did you do it via a common program (.asp or .php) therefore changing lots of pages at the same time?

If so, it could be (as ReSeller put it) considered as "Gaming Google" and therefore Google hit back.

Just a thought.

Mick

strangerrr




msg:744514
 3:55 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

think broad ... your site dint went down .... other sites targeting same keyword phrase came up ...

Check out sites ranking above yours.. and see why they are doing good and then what you can do to best to make your site better then their... :)

sonny




msg:744515
 4:01 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I dropped to 174 from teens. took out the h1 tags and went back to teens. mine were a bit excessive, though.

reseller




msg:744516
 6:11 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ameriman

>>I actually watched my Google SE result go down after adding the <h1> tag...<<

I wish to ask howmany pages have you changed the<h1> ob and whether you did that in one batch. I.e you have added the <h1> tag to several of your pages at the same day.

Im asking because Im investigating this matter on the other thread, which you are most welcome to post your reply on too.

Site dropped due to "Gaming Google"
Are you gaming Google without being aware of that?
[webmasterworld.com...]

giggle




msg:744517
 6:30 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Reseller just what I was asking (above). I think that you might be onto something there.

reseller




msg:744518
 7:43 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

giggle

>>Reseller just what I was asking (above). I think that you might be onto something there.<<

Exactly. Glad that you have followed up on the subject. Much appreciated.

cellularnews




msg:744519
 7:47 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I dropped to 174 from teens. took out the h1 tags and went back to teens. mine were a bit excessive, though.

"a bit excessive" huh?

Just how "excessive" were they and why didn't you comment on that originally?

Nikke




msg:744520
 9:34 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's hard to see competitors' sites above you as being better, when all that's there is an empty frame holder with the keyword in the URL, mentioned once in the title and stuffed in a mis-configured keywords meta tag...

Yup, I'm whining. Sorry.

trillianjedi




msg:744521
 9:42 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

a bit excessive, though

Aha, that's starting to make a lot more sense.

See the W3C for details of how an H1 tag is meant to be used. Anything "excessive" is almost guaranteed to trip a filter.

TJ

johan




msg:744522
 10:49 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I added my ugly mug on my website then checked my ranking and it fell - explain why Google penalized me for that? Are they against ugly people?

grandpa




msg:744523
 11:03 am on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Are they against ugly people
Not a chance. I rank #1 for a lot of keywords. And I'm not just ugly, but scary ugly ;)

I thought I had read somewhere that only a single H1 tag should be used on a page, but I can't find that now. Still, it does make sense, at least for my pages. If you validate your pages with the W3C validator, there's an option to view the page outline. The outline is derived from the H tags. It would make little sense to have every tag on my pages H1. I use that for the main header, as is implied by H1. Then I use H2-H6 to generate sub-topic headings. To date I've never run into a situation where H tags caused a problem. However, I bet if changed them all to H1 I might start seeing my pages drop.

Moderation and patience in all things is good. Even web pages.

kevinpate




msg:744524
 12:11 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

> why didn't you comment on that originally?

possibly because the OP was Ameriman and the "bit excessive" poster was someone else?

Back on track, properly using one H1 per page has never been an issue for any of the pages I've uploaded.

Ameriman




msg:744525
 3:46 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Reseller:

I only added it to one page, however, instead of changing the style sheet it contained a modified font size:
<h1><font size=2>...

Perhaps doesn't like the font size change?

I have removed it and I have not bounced back yet, so maybe there is something else going on....

europeforvisitors




msg:744526
 3:54 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

The default font size for H1 is so huge and ugly that I always crank it down a notch or two, and doing so hasn't hurt me in Google. (If anything, my rankings improved when I went back and fixed old headlines that had been coded "normal" instead of the correct H1.)

caveman




msg:744527
 5:35 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK just for fun:

Does G penalize well constructed, properly optimized H1's?:
IMO, no.

Can a webmaster add well constructed, optimized H1's to an optimized site that did not previously contain H1's, and see rankings go down?:
IMO, yes.

;-)

johan




msg:744528
 8:42 am on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

My point was that it could have been one of many other factors that made the site drop and most of these are out of your control, if I scratch my butt and the site drops I can NOT blame it on my scratching nor can you blame it on H1 tag.

You can use more than one H1 tag ... because if you have an anchor menu its still semantically correct. Its all relative like everything in Google. HTML is lawless WC3 dont make the rules they only make recommendations.

grandpa




msg:744529
 9:09 am on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

its still semantically correct
Thanks for clarifying that usage.

Ameriman, by now you're sure to be looking at another reason for the decline. One other reason could be: that's how life is in the search world. You may have done nothing at all. And likely enough, in time, you'll see your ranking rise and fall a couple of more times. (I noticed a PR drop on a few pages...oh well, better get busy) One thing is for sure, you now know more about H tags than a lot of people ;)

I still don't know, and would like to know, does your page validate? And does it meet any other measures of usability.. good navigation, content arrangement and layout, is it easy to understand. Your rankings depend as much upon as what a human visitor will see as anything else. What I'm saying is build your pages for your visitors, using all the tools and methods you need. When used correctly they won't (or should not) hurt you.

trillianjedi




msg:744530
 10:06 am on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can a webmaster add well constructed, optimized H1's to an optimized site that did not previously contain H1's, and see rankings go down?:
IMO, yes.

I concur.

You can go overboard. You don't want anything to "look" too optimised.

I have never failed to get top SE spots after following W3C advice. Often the best "optimisation" you can do is simply to design your pages well.

IMO that includes H1 tags (accessibility/mobile devices etc).

TJ

Wizard




msg:744531
 12:13 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Extensive using of target phrases in H1, title, meta description, path and inbound anchor text has been discussed many times - there is a faint line between optimization and overoptimization, so perhaps adding H1 tags has crossed this line?

Ameriman




msg:744532
 12:21 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well its 24 posts later and I have gotten a world of information.. As I am new to this forum, wanted to say Thank you for all your assistance, I hope to return the favor in the future. While I still haven't solved the issue, I have plenty of ideas of where to go...
Regards,
Ameriman

Harry




msg:744533
 2:25 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do believe I predicted months ago that H1 would be penalized eventually. Made a test on a Web site and I was right.

I would say, if you use H1 but don't use the rest of the structure where H1 is normally part of, than that would be a red flag for spam.

caveman




msg:744534
 5:31 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Often the best "optimisation" you can do is simply to design your pages well.

More and more true every day, it seems. Those anti-spam and anti-SEO filters are getting sharper all the time, though they're taking a lot of innocents out in the process, unfortunately.

johan




msg:744535
 1:18 pm on Sep 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Harry:
I do believe I predicted months ago that H1 would be penalized eventually. Made a test on a Web site and I was right.
I would say, if you use H1 but don't use the rest of the structure where H1 is normally part of, than that would be a red flag for spam.

I would predict there are flaws in your experiment. How do I know this well its common sense?

Wizard




msg:744536
 6:58 pm on Sep 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I still think it's not a problem of H1 itself, but of the usage of the tag. It's a very basic SEO to put targeted keyword in H1, so if you look at your page and see it appears like H1 was used in order to just put the keyword there, it's likely you gonna be penalized.

Try to do pages as natural as possible. Let 20% of pages have no targeted keywords in H1 - the 80% will rank, while the site won't look like SEO stuff. Use not only the main keyword of the page in H1, but on some pages put secondary keywords there. And be careful with putting keywords in the beginning of H1 everywhere.

Because all these things can be easily detected by algo so it's likely algo is able to catch them.

stinkfoot




msg:744537
 7:44 pm on Sep 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Penalising H1 tags for crying out lowd!

I have an idea lets just go through every part of legitimate HTML penalize each part one by one so that eventually only unstructured documents will be ranked at all.

Then we will have only the results that amatures can produce and all the professionals will go get real jobs!

Google has seriously had it day as a search engine imo

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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