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Gaming Google with <title> and H1 ?
BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4610295
 11:30 am on Sep 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mods Note:
Messages below were split from the What statements/advice from Google do you think are false? [webmasterworld.com] thread as they developed as discussion on their own.

The quote below is from bluntforce message #4610229 in the above thread.



To be perfectly honest, if a person knows what a title and an H1 are, there is gaming going on, it's all a matter of degree.
Using appropriate titles and H1s can hardly be gaming the system if people are just following the advice given by Google.

Google:
Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.

<h1>Brandon's Baseball Cards</h1>
(1) On a page containing a news story, we might put the name of our site into an <h1> tag and the topic of the story into an <h2> tag.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 9:28 am (utc) on Sep 18, 2013]

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4611976
 10:34 am on Sep 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

[webmasterworld.com...]



Mods note: The above thread is named Significance of Page Titles [webmasterworld.com] and is in supporter's forum which requires subscription.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 3:55 pm (utc) on Sep 23, 2013]

CaptainSalad2




msg:4611999
 11:47 am on Sep 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

My observations are that google no longer uses title or H1 tag as MUCH (any?) of a ranking factor, example a client no longer wanted to appear in an area they target, I removed the keyword from the H1/title tag over a month ago and they haven’t moved up or down based on that. Another example is I upgraded a site to be mobile responsive, I spelt the area they target wrong but their position didn’t move up or down, the only difference I saw way the misspelled keyword was no longer highlighted in the SERP.

From this id say include the main keywords but write them in as human readable terms as possible, include joining words like “in” and “the” in order to make the link look as human friendly as possible because IMO they wont help much in ranks but are better used to encourage clicks, if your lucky enough to rank high enough.

I guess it makes sense that like EMD google would stop using these tags as a ranking signal and instead focus on the content itself?

lucy24




msg:4612064
 4:08 pm on Sep 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I would say instead that Google believes their title is a better fit for that query.

This seems perverse. If you're looking for information on blue widgets, wouldn't you want to know that the overall page is called "Blue Stuff" or "Colored Widgets", not "Blue Widgets"? Otherwise you'll go to the page and discover that only one small segment is about what you were looking for.

and instead focus on the content itself

If the h1 doesn't count as content, what does?

EditorialGuy




msg:4612070
 4:14 pm on Sep 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

If the h1 doesn't count as content, what does?


All the visible text on the page (including, but not limited to, the text between the H1 tags).

piatkow




msg:4612314
 3:05 pm on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)


If the h1 doesn't count as content, what does?


The joys of the English language. To a webmaster it is as EditorialGuy defned, to a reader its the paragraphs between the headings. You can have hours of fun talking at cross purposes if you are not both using the same frame of reference.

EditorialGuy




msg:4612340
 4:50 pm on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yep, and content doesn't have to be text, either. (I mentioned text because that's what Google Web Search indexes, but if you take Universal Search into account, "content" encompasses images, video, maps, you name it.)

lucy24




msg:4612401
 7:54 pm on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

to a reader its the paragraphs between the headings

It is? Not to this reader it isn't. Page content is everything I see.

EditorialGuy




msg:4612452
 10:47 pm on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Page content is everything I see.


I'd exclude navigation and other template material from my personal definition of "content." And I'd hope that Google would do the same thing, to keep search results on topic.

lucy24




msg:4612468
 1:27 am on Sep 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mmm, yeah, good point.

Speaking as a human again: It's exasperating to search for {some-obscure-term} and find that the search results include pages that use the term only in links to other pages on the site. But headers are definitely content. They're part of the page experience, not just visual white noise like navigation bars.

Contrariwise, speaking as a site owner: It's equally exasperating to look at "keywords" or "how your content is linked" lists in webmaster tools (anyone's, not necessarily g###) and find words that occur only in navigation. It would be worse if there weren't 1000+ sites that use the word "thumbnail" more often than I do.

Serious question: I assume the major CMSs all have default class or id names like "topnav" or "nav_menu" in their built-in CSS. Do search engines' algorithms know to filter out things inside these named classes? If so, would there be any advantage to learning the names and intentionally using them in your own hand-rolled pages?

nettulf




msg:4612510
 6:36 am on Sep 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

That is very interesting, Lucy.

I just noticed all pages for a site of mine is showing in Google as "part of title -Home" where Home is the first item in the shared navigational menu. Every page has that Home in the search results, should not Google know what a menu is? If not, i would like to be able to mark it is a menu in some way.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4612521
 7:36 am on Sep 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>>i would like to be able to mark it is a menu in some way<<<

There is HTML5 "menu" and "nav" tags! But since Google doesn't much care for coding standards.....blah blah blah, rant rant rant! Google will probably come up with there own HTML mark up one day to stamp control over another aspect of the web... again with the ranting! :)

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