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We are having a discussion around the office regarding the SEO impact of having our Header tags be clickable and I thought I'd ask the WebmasterWorld community what their thoughts are on the topic.
<H1><a href="mypage.htm">My Title</a></H1>
I know it isn't w3 compliant but would this have a positive or negative SEO impact?
As is, it validates fine in HTML.
If you are using XHTML, which you should only do if you need to use XHTML features, the only thing invalid there is H1 is in caps and needs to be h1.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
<!-- doctype on one line of course -->
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<h1><a href="mypage.htm">My Title</a></h1>
Validates fine. This will probably get moved to HTML/Browsers or accessibility, somewhere in there . . . . but don't see a real problem with this approach. See recent related discussion [webmasterworld.com]
The <h1> is the top-level heading on the page. What would it be linking to except itself? If you have multiple <h1>s or if they don't encapsulate the main topic of the page, your semantics are off. That can potentially throw off screen readers— and search engines— which is presumably why this thread was moved to the Accessibility & Usability forum.
<h1><a href="/obama.html" title="About Barack Obama">Barack Obama</a> Elected!</h1>
The hypothetical document with the above heading is a document about somebody getting elected, while the linked page is perhaps a document detailing the subject's biography or CV...*
*Admittedly, the link text in the example above is not that great, but I think the principle is sound...