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Bold text, H1, and H2 count as much as they used to?

     
10:08 pm on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I read a while back that bold text, and H1-H3 tags will cause you to rank higher on those words/phrases. It seems to me that if Google ranked you higher based on those things, that it would encourage SEO (pages full of bold and header tags) at the expense of content. Does anyone know if these really count that much?

Thanks

6:45 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think H1 - H3 does help your ranking and i read somewhere in this forum that some SEO uses it but they are hiding it through a CSS. I do not know how is that done.
6:55 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I use CSS so my H1 headings have small text, try reading Nicks posting it should help you understand the world of CSS

[webmasterworld.com...]

9:08 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I was approached today by a company claiming they can get you top 10 position on Google in 6 weeks (or your money back) for 400 and then 50 per month (5 chosen keywords). In a weak moment I bothered to listen to them.... eventually I got an url out of them as an example of their work and guess what, hidden redirect pages etc. etc. but the amazing bit was the blatant code on the index page. H1 tag forced to normal point size with 300 words in it and containing links to the five redirect pages. To the visitor the page looked fine, but googlebot must like it, they had top positions for the five competitive phrases they targeted and I could detect no other reason than the h1 method.
9:14 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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crobb305
H1 tags are relevant but using them alone, like any other part os SEO will do you no good. Using H1 tags is just 1 part of the equation! You can learn the other parts here at Webmaster world. Alos, search engines have no problem with you usinh them so even worry about it.

Tor

9:16 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Could you sticky me this URL MHes?
10:08 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I lean towards the idea that they do continue to weight well, used in moderation. 300 words in an H1 tag seems counter-intuitive to me, as it dilutes each key phrase's weight; selective (proper) use of heading tags to address content still seems to do well.
10:15 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I know some people use css to reduse the size of the h1 tags but is it ok just to have <h1><font size>content here</font><h1>

?

10:41 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think you could use something like <h1 size="10pt">Header</h1> too but I didn't see much html the last months...
10:54 am on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Given that Google may or may not use font size in its algo, it's probably a good idea to exclude your css directory with robots.txt.
12:05 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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crobb305

I had visit of a few companies offering a top 10 listing in 5 - 6 weeks.. instead of wasting my hard earned cash i read a few posts regarding the use of h1's etc and my first try i hit number 2 position for my choosen keywords..

After a few months of using google adwords, I now get traffic soley via the listings so dont be tempted to spend when advice if freely available here..

good luck

12:27 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If bold, strong, or H1 make a difference then it's too small for me to see.

Certainly though, I would advise the use of an H1 element as the main logical heading for a page. It's useful in several contexts, but I think MHes's example shows why the H1 boost may have gone along with META keywords inclusion.

12:33 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does it "hurt" to leave a font selected at DEFAULT FONT and DEFAULT SIZE while using a CSS to control these variables?
12:42 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone have a feel for what would be "big" h1? An 8 seems pretty large for my taste.
12:50 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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kovacs - brilliant idea, excluding your css file with the robots.txt! I never thought of that...
12:51 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is it likely that text size is more important than whether it is in an <H1> tag or not?

One alternative method for SEs to use, given the afore mentioned abuses, may be to look at the length of text within the tags. Shorter text will tend to be headers, with longer text being paragraphs.

the H1 boost may have gone along with META keywords inclusion

Could there be a length of text component here? i.e. if too long, then boost is removed. I saw one site last update lose a particular ranking and i wonder if it was because the heading was a bit longer than most of my other headings. (It was actually an <h2> for no apparent reason with about 13 words in it - certainly not any spamming attempt).

For reference I have not attempted to do any experimentation on this issue. It is just my current best guess.

1:21 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Kovacs said

Given that Google may or may not use font size in its algo, it's probably a good idea to exclude your css directory with robots.txt.

If you do this when you look at google's cached version of the page will it show properly?

1:49 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>If you do this when you look at google's cached version of the page will it show properly?

because the file is referenced externally in the html, google's cache will call the external file and display normally.

2:09 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Given that Google may or may not use font size in its algo, it's probably a good idea to exclude your css directory with robots.txt.

Anybody have an idea what this might do to the layout of cached pages?

2:09 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Styling <H1> <H2> etc. tags with external CSS is perfectly legitimate and causes no problems, as long as you use those tags the way they were intended ... for headings!

Look at your page with styles turned off, and if your page structure makes sense when viewed that way ... just like you learned to make headings in grade school ... you'll be fine.

2:18 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is it likely that text size is more important than whether it is in an <H1> tag or not?

That would seem unlikely. If Google gives any extra weight to <h> tags, it's probably doing so for structural reasons--i.e., because an <hi> is likely to be a title or headline, an <h4> is likely to be a subhead, or whatever. Google is scanning the page and looking for heads, subheads, etc. that help it identify what the page is about, just as a person might do. The fact that an <h1> heading is a headline is what counts--not the fact that's a certain type size.

2:24 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Anybody have an idea what this might do to the layout of cached pages?

I answered this above - when you view the cache, your browser requests the external stylesheet file and is unaffected by robots.txt rules of any kind.

Why does the cache layout matter, by the way?

2:41 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't protecting your css with robots.txt mess up the cached version of your page on google? I know many people don't want this to happen anyway, but am I right in my thinking?
2:42 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is it necessary to use external CSS?

BTW I think that robots.txt isn't good for cloaking.

2:44 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I started out lazy and picked the <Hn> whose default size was best fit for the text size I wanted in my heading. Then I switched to using the <Hn> tags the way they were intended: H1 for the main page heading, H2 for the next level down, etc. I used CSS to get the text size I liked. About this time, PR started to improve but whether it was solely down to this change is hard to say.
4:59 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Since when does google trawl CSS files anyway? I've not noticed it doing so.

Wouldn't protecting your css with robots.txt mess up the cached version of your page on google?

No, because as Andy has already explained, viewers will still request external (or infact, internal) CSS. It shouldn't mess up layout unless users turn off CSS altogether.
5:20 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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That would seem unlikely. If Google gives any extra weight to <h> tags, it's probably doing so for structural reasons--i.e., because an <hi> is likely to be a title or headline, an <h4> is likely to be a subhead, or whatever. Google is scanning the page and looking for heads, subheads, etc. that help it identify what the page is about, just as a person might do.

I agree that this is the logic behind giving the heading tags more weight.

However, if the following were true:

1. that the algo did give extra weight in the past
2. this has now been spammed to the point that Google no longer feels that giving additional weight is a sound practice

Would Google not look for other ways to determine what the true headings and sub headings are? Could text size, number of words within a tag or a combination of both be used to determine the likelyhood of the text being an "important" part of the page?

5:36 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have seen many pages abusing the <H*> tags to gain higher indexing, and it seems to work. I have begun defining my <H*> tags in my style sheet, but I have found one problem with it. The browser does read my custom style sheet, but there seems to be an inheirant space below the header line. I have a tight little space that is on the top of all my product sales pages, and the addition of that line is throwing it off. I wish the bots to know that it is in fact a "true header", but I cannot use it due to that space. Does anyone know of a way to remove that extra line by way of my css?
5:46 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know of a way to remove that extra line by way of my css?

h1
{
DISPLAY: inline;
}

5:56 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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running scared, your a lifesaver! I have been banging my keyboard against my head on this one for 3 hours today.
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