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Page Title & H1, do they have to be identical?

     
10:59 am on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Will google penalise me if my Page Title doesnt match exactly my H1?

I like to be a bit more descriptive with my Page Titles than with my H1, simply as i dont have as much space on the page for a long H1. The H1 usually being the on page title of my article etc.

Will google see this as a bad thing?

My Page Title tends to be an enhanced version of my H1, and both Page Title and H1 are on topic for the page content, and tend to contain similar words and phrases to the page content and each other.

Thanks again in advance for all your beautiful replies.
5:57 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Personally, I wouldn't make them match... I know quite a few people have gotten the idea they have to from somewhere (IDK Where) but I saw a video the other day on making your site 'Google Friendly' and they said to match the page name, title and H1, which is absolute fallacy and I would actually advise against it personally. IMO they should all 'work together' to give the visitor an overview of what the page contains, much like a book: The title (Title), reference number or ISBN (URL), first chapter title (H1) do not match, but do give the person reading and buying a book an idea of what the book is about and how it starts off. Personally, I try to look at a site and web page the same way.
9:23 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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They're 2 different things that serve different purposes. 99% of the time they should be at least slightly different.
12:08 am on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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They are the same in blogging software because your blogpost title = your h1, your title tag and your url.

But they do serve different purposes.

I like MS's advice. The title is undoubdtedly the most important for SEO. The url can be a condensed version of this (for easy type-ins) and the h1 can be a longer version for more detail.
12:45 am on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I make sure they MEAN the same thing, but never worry if they are the SAME... and usually they are not.
1:46 am on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Jomaxx is right
99% of the time slightly different

but concentrate on what makes sense for your visitor. Your rich user experience is vital in todays SEO world
9:10 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I heard Matt Cutts say they should be similar but not the same at Pubcon South last year.