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Will removing h1 tag cause page to tank?

     
8:26 am on Jun 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've been asked to amend a webpage such that it effectively removes the h1 tag for the page. Currently it has one h1 with the business name and location, then a number of h2 tags detailing aspects of the business.

The site owner wants the business name and location removed. There's a header image that now displays this information.

By removing the h1 tag, is the page going to tank? Would Google even care these days? I shall add the name and location as alt text for the header image, but should I wrap the image in an h1 tag?

Suggestions greatly appreciated :-)
9:16 am on June 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Better to have no <h1 than to have the same <h1 on every page...especially if it does not help a visitor see what the primary topic of that page is at a glance. Though it is a good idea to have the company information on each page, it should not take the place of letting the visitor know what that particular page has for them. Take a look at other websites in the same line of business and see how they handle it, especially the ones that are ahead of yours in the search results.
9:27 am on June 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Pages without H1 may not necessarily tank, but they will always do better if their content is easily understood by bots as well as humans. H1 is a page heading (so should make sense - to both humans and bots - in view of the subject of the page).

1. Use H1 (..2/3..) tags so that they make semantic sense (see [w3.org ])
2. Don't use an image as the H1 content.
2:53 pm on June 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My expeience is now too far in the past to be an accurate guide but many years back I did pull a page up by its bootstraps by putting in an h1 instead of starting it with an h2. Personally I wouldn't risk it.
7:02 pm on June 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies. Yeah the header image with an h1 tag did seem a bit odd and as mentioned not semantically correct as the other pages do have a textual h1 tag.

I'll get back to the business owner and see if we can reach a compromise.

Thanks
8:34 pm on June 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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These days H tags have little or no resonance for ranking purposes, other than having a semantically correct page layout.

Old days/Old Sites, the h1 logo/business title was found everywhere. Is this a rebuild or rip of an older site? If so, then what you really want to sell is hand-tooled h1 (page titles) for each page, not a search and delete of the h1. That's your market, that's where you can charge the big bucks, and do your client a service at the same time.
8:47 pm on June 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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H1, or bold text can indicate the context of the subject but its misused an often h1 is wrapped around the logo.

I personally believe they should have done away with H tags altogether in html5, they did consider it, but a H tag I believe is no more significant to a SE than bold text.

I have removed H tags from logo's with no ill effect.
1:21 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Blind uses often use the <h1> to jump to the main content article. As for SEO, Google is able to find the title by the start of the unique content naturally without <h1>.
2:28 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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These days H tags have little or no resonance for ranking purposes, other than having a semantically correct page layout.


My experience as well.
4:18 am on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Will the page tank? I doubt it. Many website pages which rank quite well seem to have forgotten the h1.

That said, you mentioned that the h1 is currently the business name and location, which could potentially be a high-competition local keyword. Getting rid of an h1 like "Steve's Carpet Cleaning in Orlando" would be a lousy thing to have to do; the h1 will almost certainly carry more weight than an image alt text (optimize both).

If the business name is some random made up nonsense that only ranks for brand terms anyway, then it probably won't change much.
5:17 am on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Your first point was accurate... It really doesn't how much weight is lost losing an h1 header as the laws of diminishing returns apply. The moment the links are added including the internal links the weight value of the header was worth less.