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Another h1 & h2 question



10:14 am on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi all,

I'm no SEO expert but have learnt alot through the forums so firstly - thanks.

Our small business site was built 5 years ago by a one man band web designer. I have been maintiaing it throughout the years with SEO tactics here and there. We have had good positions in Google for years but as the big "G" continues to evolve - it makes things harder... as we all know!

I have just noticed that I have only one "h1" tag on my page... that's it. No "h2" - nothing!

I have a couple of questions.

1) Can I add more than one "h1" tag without damaging the main header?

2) If I add "h2" tags... will this damage/affect SERPS

As I said, we are fairly well positioned in "G" and don't want to do damage... but really want to improve Google niceness.

Any comments appreciated.

Many thanks - Clayton


4:05 pm on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

As I said, we are fairly well positioned in "G" and don't want to do damage...

Then don't be too concerned about the small stuff, which fiddling with Hx elements and other little on-page factors is.

Always try to build your backlink profile, continue to develop good content and -- *as the big "G" continues to evolve* -- seriously consider joining the social media movement.

Search technology, and thus SEO, has moved quite far from where it was, say, just five years ago. In my mind, once a site is technically sound with reasonably optimized pages, there really isn't much reason to fiddle more on the detail level, but to look more towards broader strategies.

Robert Charlton

6:24 pm on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

Can I add more than one "h1" tag without damaging the main header?

That kind of depends on how they're being used now. I assume, if you have a unique, well-conceived <h1> heading for each page, that adding <h2> elements would be a better way to go.

For a long discussion on the topic, one of a great many....

Two H1 tags on One Page - Effect in Google SERP
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3773892.htm [webmasterworld.com]

The <h1> is not a magic bullet and some recent tests have shown that, at least by itself, the <h1> doesn't appear to affect rankings in Google.

I feel, though, that using an <h1> as a structural element in a well-structured page is beneficial... but that may have more to do with the effects of discipline applied to the creation of a good page structure than to the weight currently assigned to the <h1> by Google.

I continue to use the <h1>, along with <h2>s, <h3>s, etc, in a well-structured page format. If I'm called to optimize a site and I see that the designer has, say, reserved <h1>s for formatting testimonials, or has applied <h1>s blindly to the first piece of text on a page (no matter what that text is), I take that as another bit of evidence that the pages probably haven't been well structured, and I do my best to fix page structure and content when I fix all the rest.

Two <h1>s on a page, at least for now, are often a sign that something hasn't been thought through. There's been so much misuse of <hn> elements by would-be SEOs that the engines have evolved (out of necessity) to where they see beyond the labels we put on pieces of text. I'd recommend taking that approach too and looking at how your pages are structured overall. At the least, though, the heading levels are still a very helpful tool. You might want to think of them as outline levels.

HTML5 will allow multiple <section> elements, and within each <section> element an <h1> will be appropriate. As I understand it, and at this point my understanding of HTML5 is incomplete, a <section> element won't really be appropriate unless it contains a main heading that sets it apart... ie, it's not the same as a <div>.

HTML5 structuring is down the road a bit. It will require more structural discipline, not less, than current HTML4 structures suggest. It's hard to say how HTML5 will affect SEO.


12:39 am on Oct 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the comments guys... really appreciated! I spose, as they say, if it isn't broke - don't try to fix it!

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