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Using h2 before h1 - or two h1 tags

 1:32 am on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)


I'm working on a site with a design that might logically place an h2 above an h1 in the page layout. A site about widgets, every page about a "specific widget" has some repetitive stats about that widget at the top of the page. Below this the article or section information is presented - this is the title we want to be H1 (and the top of the page stats to be H2).
Can the H2 go before the H1?
I also read some comments about using H1 twice, which doesn't sound so great, does it, what do you recommend?


[edited by: tedster at 1:59 am (utc) on May 1, 2010]



 4:05 am on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Maybe try Joomla they say all there stuff is onsite approved then you don't have to worry about these factors. Its an open source community and they can steer you in right direction on this sort of thing. There is little point in original coding or thinking independently any more.


 4:20 am on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Any CMS, including Joomla, can be used in a way that creates a poor web page.

Here are a couple observations for this situation:

1. It is possible to code a page using CSS positioning so that the H2 is after the H1 in the source code, but appears above it on screen.

2. The goal of H elements is to create a semantic outline of THE page where that content appears. If this content appears on many pages, it may not be worthwhile to use any H tags for it. Rather you can just style a regular paragraph element to have the same appearance, and use it as a "pre-head" n the page.

3. H tags are so poorly used across the web that they are currently not a very important SEO factor. That's right, not even the "highly worshipped" H1 tag carries much clout on its own. Test it - the glory days are long gone.

I'm not saying we should abandon semantically proper mark-up - far from it. Some day in the {near?) future, all those H tags may be very helpful relevance signals.

[edited by: tedster at 6:23 pm (utc) on May 1, 2010]


 4:50 am on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree and descriptive div tags, we have already seen implementation of breadcrumb div on google.


 5:04 am on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

not ... much clout on its own

Even if the H elements are given uncertain weight, semantically proper markup will never be a negative factor if the search engines are anywhere near sane.

I make a lot of decisions on the basis of "Won't hurt, might help," and aiming for textbook-correct usage of H elements is one of them.

Try not to pass up a chance to send better "signals of quality" than the other guy.


 12:15 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

H tags are so poorly used across the web

Echo that, I've seen so many sites where they're used as positional elements for boilerplate content.

Even if the boost for using them correctly is small, all those little 'not-so-important-on-their-own' factors add up IMO.


 4:14 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

There is little point in original coding or thinking independently any more.


Which school of mind-numbing standardisation did you go to? I can out-perform Joomla without even opening up my text editor!


 9:18 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I tend to go with semantic web concepts... actually makes things easier IMO. The H1 is the heading title of the page. H2 and up are subheadings. To answer the question the OP asked, it is not "wrong" to have a subheading above the head, just unusual. That said, I wouldn't do it that way.


 6:12 am on May 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Run your page through the W3C HTML Validator selecting the Show Outline option.

This will generate an indented bullet-point list of all your headings.

If that list does not look like a "summary" of your document, they you're abusing the heading tags.


 1:35 am on May 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

LOL huskypup thats good to hear, sorry i do like a wind up now and again :)


 1:37 am on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

some great comments, thank you

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