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What Is Better Between Div Tag And Table Tag ?
Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:34 PM
The situation: The whole page was optimized for a fairly competitive (29+ million exact match) two word term. The page ranked Top 10 for the competive term. Typically between positions 3 and 5.
I used a sort of Tag Line for branding purposes that contained the two word phrase, but had another word inserted between them. This tag line appeared visually at the top of the page right below the top banner as a Branding element. The 3 word phrase was less competitive of course, but still had better than 10 million competing pages, again using exact match. There were a few sites (less than 10) that linked to the site using the branding tag line, but not all that many.
The tag line was actually in an H2 tag that was placed at the very end of the page code. Literally the last thing before the closing body tag. I could do this because it was basically an element unto itself that was absolutely positioned on the page using CSS so that it ended up appearing visually exactly where I wanted it to, down to the pixel.
Guess where the site ranked for the 3 word term that was at the very bottom of the html code?
For more than 4 years.
I'm sure several things went into why it ranked so highly for so long. Partly because 2 of the 3 words were used throughout the page, indeed throughout the entire site. I'm sure it was also partly because a lot of incoming links included the more competitve 2 word phrase and a handful contained all three words, usually in the correct order since they were linking to the Brand. And yes, even because the exact phrase was used in the content of the page.
However the fact that this content was actually at the bottom of the page didn't hurt its ranking ability one iota. It still ranked better than 10 million other pages that were using the exact phrase, all of this higher in the page code.
Posted 17 May 2007 - 10:06 PM
More weight? No. I agree they may notice them before they notice the content, however. And may even read them when they don't read the content. I don't know that this means more weight.
That would be one HUGELY excessive article if it went over 100k+ just with words. And I'm not talking about articles anyway. I'm not much of a believer in optimizing articles. I'm talking about web pages. You know, the stuff that sells stuff.
Yeah, until I tested it and found them not to make a difference.
Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:26 AM
If <h> tags are of no added value, but Page Headings and Sub Headings are rated as "Important" text, how best to wrap up both types of Heading ??
Posted 18 May 2007 - 06:58 AM
You can style your headings and subs by use h tags or call them something else completely but change how they're displayed on the page. It won't matter to the engines.
Out of habit I still use Hx for headings and sub-headings because that's what those tags were meant to do per the html specs. Then I style those tags via css to get exactly the look I want. I do it with Hx's for myself, for consistency and mainly because it's how I've been doing it for years. For me it's just easier than developing some new method that I'd then have to figure out when I come back to revamp a site 2 or3 years down the road.
Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:55 AM
I exclusively use Styled <h> Tags and have done for years. Hence my interest in all aspects of Headings to make sure I am aware of all options. Up until now, I have been convinced beyond doubt that Headings need to be <h> tags to get full benefit.
Now that slight (or very slight) doubt has been introduced in my mind, I will test some Data/Information Pages which score very well for non-productive phrases at the moment but are heavily reliant on Headings and Sub Headings for their ranking positions. If these pages survive intact by replacing the Styled H's with B's EM's I's etc then I will know with a degree of Certainty if what is "Repeatedly" and forcefully stated on this forum is fact or inclination.
Before I do this, I need to spend time delving into the Logs and find several pages that don't get too many valuable entry landings. Then I won't be gambling with a clients chips.
Posted 18 May 2007 - 03:36 PM
I will be highly surprised if you find that you lose any rankings, but definitely interested to see what happens!
Posted 18 May 2007 - 04:51 PM
As someone who has advocated the SEO value of Hx headings, title tags, bold, italics, etc. for years, I've never yet seen a page that had to have any of them in order to rank.
You rank on relevance + value, and you can score well for relevance through any variety of means.
Do Hx headings help? Absolutely.
Do they help more than anything else? Not that I have seen.
You should not be agonizing over which on-page design elements to use for SEO. You should create a page that presents your information to your visitors with as much emphasis as you feel is appropriate. You can make adjustments in a variety of ways once you see where the page ranks: by adding content, by changing emphasis, by link building, etc.
Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:35 PM
Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:50 PM
EXACTLY! That's why people mix up the cause and effect all the time. Rarely do the little things you do make a difference in rankings. You can do nothing and the rankings will change the same way.
Like I recently wrote about at Search Engine Land: Don't Sweat the Small SEO Stuff!
Posted 18 May 2007 - 08:08 PM
I know these sound like small changes, they are however quite significant on these particular pages that I have chosen. They are mainly Tabulated Data, Test Results, Specifications etc with virtualy no complete sentences let alone flowing Text. It was not until I went through them introducing appropriate H1 H2 and H3's that they ranked at all. They now hold their own with good positions and rank amongst descriptive pages covering the same subject. So changing the Hx tags to B.I,EM etc will have a significant effect if H tags arein fact the sacred cow.
I will of course Yo Yo the changes to try and eliminate Algo drift during these tests.
Posted 19 May 2007 - 12:58 PM
Did you use any alternative form of header layout. I have pages that just use bold for emphasis and larger font sizes for "headings" -- no Hx tags at all. They rank just fine in moderately competitive queries.
The Hx tags can help, but so can a lot of things. It's better to do what makes your page useful and interesting to your visitors than to try to figure the exact, precise, most optimized stuff you can put on a page.
Posted 19 May 2007 - 03:23 PM
The pages were just tabulated data, specifications, performance figures and the like.
There was no text except the odd two or three word phrase within the tabular lists.
I just inserted Hx's to head the page and each tabular "List".
This took the pages from obscurity to respectable positions. There were no bold or other headings in the pages at all.
There was not even a full sentence anywhere and still isn't except for the Headings that I introduced. With the changes I make replacing Hx's with B's etc there still won't be any text as we know it in the actual content tables.
Posted 19 May 2007 - 07:10 PM
Like Jill mentioned, determining cause and effect is not always easy. In this case, you would have to just remove the tags and leave the text, then remove the text, then add the text back, then add the tags back, and maybe do it all again, just to get an idea.
In that time (probably 2 months) Google could tweak its index and algorithm in all sorts of little ways. I don't think you really want to spend all that much time taking stuff out and putting it back in.
In this circumstance, I would be inclined to accept the improvement in rankings and keep an open mind, rather than draw a specific conclusion. There will be other pages, other days, other opportunities to learn.
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