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H1 Tag Limit - Penalties - Myth Or Legend


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25 replies to this topic

#16 Jill

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:00 PM

QUOTE
Well hey, I can easily make any document look the same with or without header tags, paragraphs etc by setting up custom styles using divs and spans and whatnot. Silly to waste the extra effort but doable. The only people who will know are those who view the source.


Try it. You'll most likely not notice a difference as far as search engines are concerned.

I would test it by using a page that already exists one way, and then changing it the other way and see how/if the search engines respond.

You can't use different pages, because there will always be different factors involved. That's why those types of tests are flawed from the get-go.

#17 bobmeetin

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:52 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Oct 24 2009, 09:58 AM) View Post
Try it. You'll most likely not notice a difference as far as search engines are concerned.


I have not got around to setting up any tests yet, still dabbling with some tech/semantic structure. Just curious I visited the blog of a friend who is a master blogger. For what it's worth the structure of his site seems to break the rule book. His home page includes both a first h1 tag about the site, then for each blog entry, they are all titled and surrounded with h1 tags, so more than 40 on the home page.

If you select a blog entry it's a little better as there are only 2 h1 tags. Yes this may be incidental in fact to search engines because this blog is so highly touted, but this is how it is just the same. The reason I'm looking into this is because I have a blog component within my site and by default (Joomla) it doesn't provide flexiblity for the blogger to control the semantics. It is presumtuous.

In my way of thinking the main blog list page should do something like set:

h1 - allow you to configure an h1 for the blog title
h2 - use something like h2's for blog entry titles

On blog entry pages, grab that blog entry title and here it becomes the h1, meaning that depending on page type the Page Title is interpreted as either an H2 or an H1. Then of course when in writing the entry you would need to be careful of placing H2's in the entry paragraph where they might look odd on the page or break a column width, etc. Details....

#18 bobmeetin

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 10:43 AM

A new twist here. One of my websites gets regular activity updates which will call headlines and go into a list on the home page. There might be 10-20 items in the list. The list items comes with a headline title, relevant links, an intro paragraph and if there is ample content a "Read more" link taking you to the content page. Something like:

Title: This is a long thread
Intro: Lorem ipsum ..... end lorem ipsum
Read more...

It does not make sense to include h1's in the intro for the home page, but it does for the "Read more" body pages. The problem of course is that the intro section gets automatically combined (by the software) with any additional text to become the text of the full, body page.

Unless I were to rewrite the software to convert h1 to something else if displayed in the headlines (and I don't plan to do this) this is the way it is.

It's probably a 50-50 split with headlines that do/don't require read more. To make the home page work I would have to use h2's or other in the intro text, but this means no 'h1' in the body page. Yadda... A very kludgey workaround would be to bury an h1 somewhere in the read more part, so visually when you click on the "read more" link you will see the intro paragraph followed by the read more section with h1 and more yadda.

The question: Are we getting to the point that the gain is no longer worth the effort to work the system?


#19 Randy

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 12:07 PM

I'm not sure it was ever worth the effort Bob, but I can tell ya I wouldn't bother rewriting base code to do it today. And on the SEO front I highly doubt there would be enough (if any) gain to be had.

Now that doesn't mean that old school, strict HTML'ers are going to agree with me. giggle.gif Cuz they tend to see only black and white, so would probably encourage you to make sure the code was 100% semantically correct.

#20 bobmeetin

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 12:31 PM

I agree with you totally, Randy, perhaps insanely and violently. Along those lines I have a couple 'reasonable' options. Either will involve doing a modest amount of updating the latest headlines.

1) Set up the front page list view so that it looks good, -period-, but no h1 for each item.
2) Set up front page and rewrite each article to include the h1, then edit the CSS so that it doesn't look so gawdy.
3) Do something like #2 but move the h1 into the "read more" section, yes it will be somewhat semantically unbalanced.

#2 although a little more work is probably not so bad. Thus the home page will be semantically wrong, but the individual pages will be a class act. The home page is probably going to be even more of a mess because we also have a blogroll element and I will need to look into the same problem.

The general goal, with this site, is to make it easier for the viewer to find and sort through critical elements, to make it more user friendly. At least it has content, live inbound links, even a Mission!

#21 SelfMade

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 12:39 PM

H1, H2, H3.........??

What is the point of these being factors??

Are they not visual attributes??

I mean any H tag you want to use can be over-ridden in css anyway!!

I could make a H1 tag look like a H3 tag and vice versa!

I don't get it???

In fact I could change the class and make an entire paragraph H1 tag and make it look perfectly normal...

If using H1 tags had that much of an impact you could construct virtually an entire site as H1 tag.

unsure.gif

#22 adibranch

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 08:30 AM

to me , this is a no brainer..

Heading tags work in the same wasy nested unordered lists. ie on a page you may see...

H1
h2
h2
h3
H1
h2
h2

H1
h2
h2

all the H2 tags relate in content to the parent H1 tag.

Now, the next h1 tag is about another subject, so can easily carry different content, and yes, be used again. Its a heading to descrive what follows underneath. Now, assuming that heading tags carry some weight (and according to my findings they do) when you add multiple h1's you do water down the content, inevitably.

Given that the page you are optimising should of course follow a theme, the better structure would be...

H1
H2
h3
h3
h4
H2
h3
h3

H2
h3
h3
In this way, the H1 tag governs all below it, and gives a guideline to bother search engine and visitor as to the theme of the page.

#23 Pitstopmedia

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 05:57 AM

I am using H1,H2,H3 tags on my homepage.That give me good response.

QUOTE(Jill @ Oct 24 2009, 11:58 AM) View Post
Try it. You'll most likely not notice a difference as far as search engines are concerned.



#24 chrishirst

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE(Pitstopmedia @ Jan 12 2010, 10:57 AM) View Post
I am using H1,H2,H3 tags on my homepage.That give me good response.

How do you know?

Have you taken the structure away and just left the text, and seen a significant change? Then replaced them and seen a reversion back to previous results?



#25 qwerty

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:40 PM

To me, this has nothing to do with search engines. It's about setting up pages to use structural outlines. As such, I've always believed a page should have a single <h1>, as it should serve as the headline for the page. If you need another <h1>, you need another page, IMO. After that, the content of the page can be broken up into sections with headings reflecting each section's position within that structure. Something like this:
HTML
<h1>Goats of the World</h1>
<p>...some introductory text about how the world is just chock-full of goats...</p>
<h2>North American Goats</h2>
<h3>Toggenburg</h3>
<p>...some text about the Toggenburg goat...</p>
<h3>Saanen</h3>
<p>...some text about the Saanen goat...</p>
<h3>French Alpine</h3>
<p>...some text about the French Alpine goat...</p>
<h2>African Goats</h2>
<h3>Boer</h3>
<p>...some text about the Boer goat...</p>


etc, etc.

However, I've been reading a bit about HTML 5 (woo hoo!) lately, and it allows you to split up a page into structural sections (e.g., instead of defining an ID of "footer" for a div -- <div id="footer"> -- you can use a <footer> element) and each of those sections can have its own top-level heading. Moreover, you can put headings together and nest them in an <hgroup>. See http://diveintohtml5...#header-element

#26 SelfMade

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:57 PM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Jan 12 2010, 05:40 PM) View Post
As such, I've always believed a page should have a single <h1>, as it should serve as the headline for the page. If you need another <h1>, you need another page,

[/url]

I agree to a certain extent.

It is mainly a visual attribute and structural architecture, but in the context of complex splash pages other uses may be found for <h1>.

But thats something else.

unsure.gif




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