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styles and Altavista

uh oh



10:43 pm on Oct 5, 2000 (gmt 0)

Since Altavista loves the H1 tag I want to use it as much as possible on my pages. But since it makes text so big I was going to use it like this:
<h1 style="font-size:12pt">Title</h1>

If I use a style with it like I did above, will Altavista still read it as an H1 tag? Thanks guys.


12:29 am on Oct 14, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Benj, try using external .js files instead...If you modify the H tag it might be seen as spam.

Marshall Clark

11:04 pm on Oct 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

how do you use a JS for this?


9:12 pm on Oct 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

I got around modifying the h1 tage by putting the following in an external css file:
h1 {font-size:12pt;}

That way when the h1 tag is used in the body of the page, it's not modified.


1:37 am on Oct 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Would you mind giving a little more info. I use .js all the time to keep the script off the page - but not sure aobut how to make an external css file...



5:54 am on Oct 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

External .css files are similar to .js files. Put the following code in the head section of your webpage and create a .css file.
<LINK REL=stylesheet HREF="file.css" TYPE="text/css">


12:27 pm on Oct 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Thank you very much and welcome to the WmW boards...



8:55 pm on Oct 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There is some excellent advise in this thread. Let me contribute the little I can add.

AV loves H1 and is said to love the 1st paragraph following H1 as well. So it is important to have H1 on the page. But lots of the most modern sites lack that logical structure, because the web designers wanted a specific look for the page. This makes the page spider hostile.

Changing the size and font of H1 (and H2 too) in a css file (or in Java Script) to whatever look and feel the designers want is a great idea. AV finds the structure they are looking for and designers get the look they want, so everybody is happy.


9:10 pm on Oct 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys. I've also found that Altavista likes the H2 tag also. But Altavista doesn't care about any smaller H tags below H2. If you're going to use an h3 or h4 tag, I would suggest using the <font size=" "> tag and the <b> tag instead. These will carry more weight will Altavista (Google too).


9:01 pm on Oct 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


For the ease of site maintenance, easy redesign etc. don't mix stylesheets with page specific tags - if you update your site regularly it will be hell, trust me on that and start using only css on new sites :)

You'll get used to it much faster than you think, and when you see the power of changing the size of H1 on just one page, and "vupti" - it all looks beautifull :)

A very good css editor - I'd say the best ! - is TopStyle from [bradsoft.com...] - no commissions ;) Free trial download / shareware.

good luck



8:25 am on Oct 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

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

Hey ulstrup, welcome back to the forums!

Top style is ok, and I'm glad it is from a guy who has enough sense and fortitude to make sure the program writes compatable code.


10:47 am on Oct 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Hi, Benj. Good point you brought up, and I don't remember this particular issue being discussed. Are you saying that using <b> carries equal or greater weight than <h3> or <h4>?

This is a point I'm considering right now, because I'm doing minor revisions on a site prior to moving it from a subdomain to a domain on a better server. It's got product pages, so the line spacing is an important issue. (using css isn't practical at the moment, but will be an option after the move)


4:09 pm on Oct 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

Yes, I would say that a <b> used together with a <font size=+2> (or some sort of + size,+1,+2,+3, etc.) will carry more weight with Altavista than an h3 or below tag. Make sure this goes near the top of the page too.


9:41 pm on Oct 25, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member littleman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I have to say cloaking has made me very lazy about this type of manipulation of text. I am glad threads like this are around to keep me briefed.


5:22 am on Oct 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

I've found that using a H1 or H2 and a bold tag on the keyword(s) in the first sentence has placed many pages above others without the bold tag all things being equal.


2:47 pm on Oct 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Just back from IMS2000 in Stockholm, the advise is to use <font size=+X><B> instead of H, SE's keep emphasis on font size + and Bold, while H tags seems to change in boost factor. I'm afraid H tags will "disappear" as a boost factor, because of style sheets, which none of the SE's read. Other tags to use are <em> and <i>

because of the hidden nature of css and the possibilities of changing the meaning of tags
css will be the ideal tool for spammers (invisible text etc.) It's a shame, css's are great for site maintenance, but your optimized pages should be without css.


5:32 pm on Oct 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I was in the same room and heard that too, but to tell you frankly I don't have confidence that the person who said it knows what she is talking about - both in regards to setting font size instead of <H1> and regarding css. Her answers to my follow up questions left a lot to be desired and she did describe herself as opinionated. (With which I agree.)

In her main speech, she said that frames were death. That is plainly bull**** I have framed sites ranking #1 on major engines. One of the other moderators here has a framed site that occupies the entire first page of a major engine for a highly targeted keyword.

One strong argument why she is wrong is that corporate sites make extensive use of style sheets. If they were in any way penalized, SE:s would undermine the very foundations of their earnings. There is no shortage of hyped up self proclaimed gurus in this world, and I think we may just have waisted an hour listening to one. If they can't come up with facts and figures when challenged, they have no credibility. My advise: pay no attention.


12:50 pm on Oct 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


About the <font> vs. <H> I'm quite confused, I think there has to be done some serious research, ideally with results published at this and other forums for comparison.

The css issue is a serious thread to webdesigners, I know that SE's has got more refined searches and algos but with the ability to write invisible text and other spamming methods I'm afraid SE's will need to take action to stop it.

Thats not something anybody said, thats something I worry about personaly.

You're right about that banning sites using stylesheets means banning just about every major corporate site listet, so thats hardly a soloution for the SE's to use.

BTW Rencke Thanks for your very informative articles on the news from IMS2000, and nice to meet you too ;)



1:20 pm on Oct 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>I think there has to be done some serious research, ideally with results published at this and other forums for comparison

I agree absolutely, 100,00%. SEO is a science, not a religion. You have every right to be confused when a high profile person makes statements like that without being able to substantitate them or demonstrate the effect.

Remember though that the speaker in question is a design specialist, running a design company. If everybody chucks out their style sheets and start marking up pages in the way recommended, there will be a lot of jobs for design people. There could be self interest at play here.


2:46 pm on Nov 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I was at IMS2000 as well and had the same misgivings about the advice being offered during that particular session.

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