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H2 tag for navigation heading?

     
10:32 pm on Dec 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am currently modifying a free template for use on one of my site. In the template the designer has used to h2 tags to define heading on top of navigation links etc. i.e. navigation, advertisement etc. here is the code that I am referring to

<h2>Navigate:</h2>
<ul>
<li><a href="#" class="navText">Home</a></li>
</ul>
<h2>Advertisement</h2>

Is this ok or is it bad from SEO and design perspective and should be changed to different tags?

8:30 am on Dec 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's not bad from a design perspective but H1,H2, etc. tags are useful in SEO. Why waste one with a word like Navigate? Why not just change it to "Your widgets menu" or something similar?
2:53 pm on Dec 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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<h1> and <h2> tags are good for SEO.

Best to use h1 tags for your important headings and use CSS to style them correctly. Search engines like the h1 tags better than h2, as in they are given more preferance.

Thats what i do anyway

:)

5:05 pm on Dec 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Search engines are very sophisticated. They change their scoring over time, according to how strong any given area is as a relevance signal on the current websites. A while back, for instance, so many people were using H1 tags in attempts to spam the search results that Google was pretty much scoring H1 like regular text for a while. That is, the relevance signal had been completely lost in the spam noise. Even during that period, however, H2 was a rather dependable signal -- especially when preceded by an H1 element, as it should be if it's being used correctly.

I prefer to use only one H1 page per page - because I feel that a page has only one main topic. If I feel a second H1 tag is needed, then I look at breaking the page into 2 pages.

8:11 pm on Dec 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Sound advice, tedster.....
9:17 pm on Dec 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree. I never use any more than one H1 and one H2 but I sometimes use several H3s on the same page.
10:05 pm on Dec 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So having had this informative discussion, let's revisit the opening question: whether using this heading <h2>Navigate</h2> above the menu area is a good idea.

I would not advise this, because navigation is universal on a site - it's not specific to the individual page's topic. I think using H2 in this way starts to blur the page's true relevance signals. So I'd suggest restricting H tags to the content area, and not using them in other areas of the page template.

Designers often think of an H tag as a mere rendering instruction for the browser, and are not aware of the semantic importance of the tag. It's easy enough to code a css class that looks just like the H2 - so that's what I suggest. In fact, look at H2, H3 etc in the content area and make sure that all those uses also have semantic importance. <h2>But Wait, There's More!</h2> doesn't really make sense, you know what I mean?

 

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