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Is H1 tag still effective?

     
11:41 am on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Will H1 tag still effective if I use CSS to change H1 content font size and color(but not try to hide it), will this be all right? Will this be punished?
12:34 pm on June 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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That shouldn't be a problem. The default size of H1 tends to be a bit too big anyway.
12:37 pm on June 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Alaxanhan

H1 tags get a good grade from Google as they are seen as important and relevant

12:39 pm on June 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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...but don't over do it!
3:01 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Use the heading tags only on text that is a heading.

Run the code through [validator.w3.org...] but make sure you tick the boxes for "Show Source" and "Verbose Output", but especially tick the box for "Show Outline" as well.

On the results page, scroll down through the error list (if there is one) and look for the section marked "Document Outline". If the list there does not look like a summary of your document then you are abusing the tag.

By the way, [webmasterworld.com...] someone asked the same question just 42 minutes earlier.

6:23 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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good post glsmd! I'll bookmark that.

Generally as a rule, I tend to use H1 for no other reason than a keyword weighted headline - no more than that.

Tests that I have done have shown that the overuse of H1 can dilute effects and results.

6:46 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What do you guys feel is the maximum number of words you should put into one H1 header?
6:53 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>maximum words

My advice would be to stop worrying about how much you can cram into an <h1> and focus on what will make sense to your users. I'm not saying forget keywords, just don't go mad ;)

>CSS

Do whatever you like, there is nothing wrong in adding STYLE to a page.

Have fun!

Nick

6:54 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I normally have between 5-8 keyword phrase once
7:33 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nick_W makes a good point.

Finding a balance between SEO and customer friendly websites. If we adhered to all search engine fads, rules, tips etc, we migh get to number one but those below might get the sales!

We could open up a big debate on who comes first Google or Customer!

7:40 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Google or Customer

a bit like what came first the chicken or the egg :)

7:43 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>5-8

Yep, sounds good. I like to do 3-6 but we agree on the 'ballpark' I think. Tedster recently mentioned forcing a line break on longer titles for added usability btw.

Don't forget: Your h1 should mirror your <title>.

>>chicken/egg

Oh dear.... ;)

Nick

Woz

7:52 am on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>Google or Customer
>a bit like what came first the chicken or the egg

Actually Tigger, I believe that should be Pigeon or Egg.

Onya
Woz

1:48 pm on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm with Nick, stop worrying about H1 stuffing and create pages that make sense to your users.

H1 elements can be very useful for people in a non-visual context (eg. speaking browser), but I haven't recently found any significant effect of using H1 in Google.

2:06 pm on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If you read enough threads on this forum you eventually get told that nothing works in google. Meta keyword tags forget it, alt tags, title tags, H1, H2, H3 tags, keyword density, PR even... So if none of these attributes have any effect on the serps then what are we all doing and how are we all getting top rankings?

Only yesterday I came across a site that was ranked no 10 purely on PR and alt tags (front page was 95% images), and this was for a 2,500,000 results search term. No keyword anchor text, no keyword url text and the keyword was also separated in the title!

Fact is we can never know exactly what the flavour of the month is going to be, but it sure looks like all the above can make a significant difference.

10:50 pm on June 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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.
5:24 am on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google doesn't even work!
7:21 am on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>Don't forget: Your h1 should mirror your <title>.
Can you clarify on this "should mirror your title" .The keyword Pharse in title and H1 tag should be mirror image u mean.I have title with 9 words of which 6 are keywords.I simply cannot have the big long H1 since it may turn away the visitors.

Now my main worry is I am at postion 14 for the last 15 days for a particular keyword like widget store online .I have title has widget store online at...... and h1 as "store widget online".
Will the change in h1 will push me into top 10.?Is the mirror image so effective?

Please clarify?

Aravind

7:32 am on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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<title>Here is my Title</title>

....

<body>
<h1>Here is my Title</h1>

Tha't s what I mean. If you can't fit it all in, it's not the end of the world, but an <h1> tag was designed specifically for the title of a page so it should, where possible, mirror the <title> tag.

You can always <br /> an <h1> if you need to....

Nick

11:36 am on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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It was said that "more than 100 factors" influence the ranking of a page in Google. My guess is that all factors will always be taken into account, but the weight of each factor will vary with each update. Google just reduces those factors that were most abused in the months before. Did you notice that for keywords with less competition (number of pages indexed) the results are quite stable?
If not: Than you are probably relying to much on one single factor.

And: Don't overdo one factor. Not knowing the optimum for a given time there is still a lot of place right and left of the optimum to allow you to get ranking among the first 10. (Only for the fiercly competitive keywords this will not be sufficient. There it helps to look for approprate 2- and even 3-keyword combinations to find your niche.)

11:58 am on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Nick_W

>><h1> tag was designed specifically for the title of a page so it should, where possible, mirror the <title> tag

Would you mind sharing with us the source of the above assertion?

The w3.org section relative to the tag suggests otherwise and contradicts the above.


source [w3.org]
A heading element briefly describes the topic of the section it introduces. Heading information may be used by user agents, for example, to construct a table of contents for a document automatically.

There are six levels of headings in HTML with H1 as the most important and H6 as the least. Visual browsers usually render more important headings in larger fonts than less important ones.

I do agree that where appropriate (for seo purposes) it is a good idea to establish a relationship between the <title> and <h1> tags.

3:38 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The <h1> tag is absolutely WORTHLESS! A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!

That is, at least until you add the closing TAG and create the <h1>element</h1> which is very valuable indeed!

Follow GOOD document structure; rank higher.

- papabaer

A "tag" is just a tag intil it becomes an element!

3:50 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So if none of these attributes have any effect on the serps then what are we all doing and how are we all getting top rankings?

None of these attributes singularly may have any significant effect on the SERPs. But, combine them together in a logical way and watch the effect! ;)

3:55 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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TravelMan

Nick_W

>><h1> tag was designed specifically for the title of a page so it should, where possible, mirror the <title> tag

Would you mind sharing with us the source of the above assertion?

Well, I'm sure you didn't mean to sound quite so belligerant ;) so I went and had a scout around for you as I know this to be true:

Try this:
[w3.org...]

Nick

4:03 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In the past, here's what Brett has had to say about weighting of various elements:

Inbound link text: 10 points.
title: 10 points
domain name: 7 points
large h1-h2 headings: 5 points
first sentence of first paragraph 5 points
path or filename: 4 points
proximity (multi kws): 4
beginning of a sentence 1.5 points
bold or italic text: 1 points
usage in text: 1 point
title attribute: 1 point
alt tag: .5 point
meta descrip: .5 points
meta keywords: .05 point

4:06 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Go60Guy!

>>large h1-h2 headings

That's clearly out of date (se's don't currently see the 'size' of tags unless you use pre-historic html3.2) but it's worth repeating (as you did ;)) as it's still IMO a good indication of where stuff lies.

I'm not an SEO, but I pay attention and from what I see that's a pretty good summation. Even several years on....

Nick

4:14 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Actually, that summation was updated not too long ago. I'm sure Brett took into consideration size adjustment of hx tags with CSS.
4:15 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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H1's definatley dont hurt, but as pageoneresults mentioned, they alone will not help you rank, but used in conjuction with other elements and techniques can work very well.
4:16 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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large h1-h2 headings: 5 points
first sentence of first paragraph 5 points
path or filename: 4 points
proximity (multi kws): 4
beginning of a sentence 1.5 points
bold or italic text: 1 points

My guess for the actual situation:
h1-h2: 3 points
bold: 3 points
...at least I didn't find any advantage in
H1 over Bold.
4:16 pm on June 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey Nick!

My apologies if you took my post to be belligerant - twas not my intention at all! :)

Thanks for sharing the link.I'd never heard the viewpoint, hence my request for the source.

TM

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