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H1 Treated Equal As H2


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29 replies to this topic

#16 robmarketshare

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 03:21 PM

www.sistrix.de/news/613-ranking-faktoren-h1-bis-h6-im-detail.html
I think I found that German "research" again.

Basic idea: Sites with keywords in H2- H5 are found at the higher positions in the SERPs ...

#17 Michael Martinez

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:38 AM

I don't read Deutsch and the online translation tools make the article look like gibberish. However, that article only seems to be a follow-up to some previous claims. The charts by themselves mean nothing. Without being able to review the data or the methodology, a reader is unable to determine the value of the study.

These correlation studies tend to focus on highly competitive queries, where people rely more on links than they do on on-page factors. Hence, any attempt to deduce what impact on-page factors have on rankings is doomed to failure.

In order to do a true correlative analysis (for the sake of analyzing algorithmic behavior), such a study would have to collect data from NON-competitive search results (i.e., "natural" or unoptimized SERPs). And given that users run billions of non-competitive queries every month, the study would have to look at several million queries in order to develop a statistically sound model.

I haven't seen anyone attempt to do that. SEO correlation studies are pretty much a waste of time.

#18 Catz

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:49 PM

QUOTE(1dmf @ Aug 20 2010, 04:33 AM) View Post
I bet most using Transitional don't bother validating their code.

Many people don't even add a DOCTYPE to their pages, and if you take a look around at the sites that are out there, most people online don't validate their code either. There is a big difference between those who have a DOCTYPE attached to their pages by a software program and those who actually understand the code behind their pages. Those of us who code our own pages are going to be much more likely to validate.

Being into accessible web design, making sure websites can be interpreted by everyone, even those requiring special reader software or accessibility tools, you find the differences between Strict and Transitional are minimal, you are just more limited with Strict.

As such a Strict purist, you should try running your pages through the Total Validator and getting them to validate. That should be what matters if you want to nit-pick about code validating.

Everything we do online is a learning experience and when someone claims their way is the only way, it just shows how much they have left to learn.

I agree it is important to validate to catch potential problems, but putting down those who use transitional code doesn't mean much when your pages can't pass in this validator.

http://www.totalvalidator.com/

There is a big difference in your code passing the W3C Markup Validator and the W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines and 508 Standards. If you are looking to produce quality code, those standards are much more important.

There are times when Strict is best, like whenever you work on a government website, you are supposed to meet these accessibility standards by law. I believe the UK enforces this more than the US.

Using Transitional is NOT old school bad practices. It is absolutely legitimate and current. If there is no proper DOCTYPE declaration listed, the browser assumes the page is old-fashioned and reverts to quirks mode.

It simply depends on who is creating the web page, the pages they are creating, who they are being created for and their audience. Or...whether the site has already been created, which is what SEO's encounter most often. You should be capable of working in sites in any flavor, from HTML Transitional through XHTML Strict without requiring a "complete rewrite".

XHTML and CSS weren't even standards and validation wasn't even discussed when I started coding, but I certainly do validate now. It just makes it so much easier to quickly make sure those little things that could cause you trouble are not in (or left out of) your code.

Teaching XHTML and CSS coding, it makes it much easier to go through students code as they are learning and let them know areas they need to work on. But beyond that, the human editor comes into play, as the validator is not a catch all, not even in XHTML strict.

Whatever works for the site owner/webmaster/developer is right for them. I do believe anyone working on websites should at least have a basic knowledge of HTML/XHTML and CSS coding and be able to produce pages that validate to whatever standard they are working with at the time. But if they don't, it's their choice...and potentially more of an advantage for me in the long run if they are my competition.

I like that you promote hand coding and validation, but have to break with you on insisting it be Strict. Whip.gif

#19 1dmf

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:18 AM

QUOTE
Using Transitional is NOT old school bad practices.
it's vey frustrating when people miss quote you to argue a point.

QUOTE
I like that you promote hand coding and validation, but have to break with you on insisting it be Strict.
If you want to do things right and to the latest standards, then you SHOULD use strict, I didn't say you had to and I clearly stated using other doctypes is ok for the right reasons, but if you use a lesser standards doctype just to bend rules or so you can continue to use old practices then that is the wrong reason... disagree with me fine, but don't miss quote me!

If you use transitional just so you can use frames and what you are trying to acheive can be done without frames, well then your doing it wrong and for the wrong reasons. That's my point!

Just like if Jill is using h3 because she likes the font , that's the wrong use of the tag! But hey, I'm not perfect, I make mistakes and do things missguided or because some idiot on a forum told me to, but I'm trying real hard to get it right!

anyways, thanks for the link Catz never heard of totalvalidator before, looks like I've got some improvements to make on my hobby site, I never realised chevrons weren't allowed unless part of the tag!

"HRF helping sites to be the best they can be", well only those who can be arsed to do things properly eh wink1.gif

You never stop learning in IT, infact keeping up is damn hard!

Edited by 1dmf, 31 August 2010 - 04:27 AM.


#20 chrishirst

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 06:08 AM

QUOTE
But it still wouldn't be semantic to have multiple h1 tags on the page would it even if they are within their own div's?


Why not?

Is there a specific or " semantic" rule that dictates there should be only ONE H1 element per web page?




#21 piskie

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 06:24 AM

QUOTE
If you want to do things right and to the latest standards

These 2 requirements (right and latest) don't have to be inextricably coupled together. As long as the code is compliant with the DTD, it is "Right" whereas the DTD does not have to be the latest. In fact with take-up time-scales, it is desirable not to be.

Much like upgrading PC Hardware just because it's available and the numbers are bigger etc.

#22 1dmf

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 08:33 AM

I'd already qualified this piskie... using a different doctype for the right reason and then making it compliant to the DTD, is fine.

But if you want to do things right AND to the latest standards... that statement is clearly saying if you want to do BOTH!

As I mentioned, I'd love to use Strict 1.1, and started to when it first came out, then found my page wouldn't validate and never would because our server isn't capable of outputting websites in XML, well AFAIK, without spending hours investigating and risking cocking things up wink1.gif

So I don't even use the latest X/HTML standard, but I do try to use the latest standard possible within my working environment.

I'm even wondering if I should look at HTML5, because its standard is moving on with additional tags and features, where as I'm at an enpass with X/HTML.

I'm even going to go through my hobby website and correct all errors thrown up by that totalvalidator, will it help my rankings, doubtfull, will it make it display any better, probably not... but it's the right thing to do! Plus when it's my own time on my own site and is non-profit making, it's not a waste of time nor do I have to worry about being cost effective or ROI.

I'm still learning, I've got 3 more years of my diploma to go and I still have PHP / Wordpress to learn... got bored with Flash!

But I will always advocate using the right DTD for the right reasons and validating your page, using a DTD just so you don't have to keep to stricter standards is not a good use wink1.gif

Right, back to the main thread.... As Christ has pointed out (and I just tested it!), you can have as many <h1> tags as you like on a page, the only time the validator threw up an issue was when I had a <h2> and then a <h4>... this is the error message
QUOTE
E883 [WCAG v2 1.3.1 (A)] Nest headings properly (H1 > H2 > H3):


So it seems semantically it's better to have all the same heading tags on the page than to use them out of order!

#23 qwerty

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:38 AM

QUOTE
As Christ has pointed out (and I just tested it!), you can have as many <h1> tags as you like on a page

Offtopic
I freely admit that I'm no expert on the New Testament, but that really seems unlikely. Which of the Gospels is that from?


#24 Alan Perkins

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:52 AM

And, in H1s' name, I say unto thee verily, "Go forth and multiply".

#25 Catz

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 07:15 PM

Sorry about the quote, should have been:

QUOTE
I have one site I use Transitional on, not because I want to do old school bad practices but because otherwise it would require a complete re-write

My point: Using Transitional is NOT "old school bad practices". It is a valid, current practice.
It just sounded like you were saying that using Transitional is for those who want to use old school bad practices, which is an incorrect assumption.

QUOTE
If you use transitional just so you can use frames and what you are trying to acheive can be done without frames, well then your doing it wrong and for the wrong reasons.

Framesets are not allowed in Transitional, so people wouldn't use it just so they could use frames. If you want to use frames, you would use the Frameset DTD rather than Transitional.

XHTML 1.0 Frameset
This DTD is equal to XHTML 1.0 Transitional, but allows the use of frameset content.

CODE
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-frameset.dtd">

Although hopefully most people are beyond using frames these days. sarcastic_blum.gif


#26 1dmf

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 04:08 AM

you got me there appl.gif , I realised after posting but didn't correct the statemet, I was confused as in X/HTML there is a frameset DTD!

Like I said , I make mistakes as much as the next geek!

What I meant was I used a lower standard so a specific site would validate without requiring a total re-write, I'm not happy about it, but this is a production site where time is a premium and I can accept that standards and SEO don't HAVE to be bound together , though as you know I'm a strong beleiver that they should.

But if you start an new web page from scratch unless there is some reason you need to use a lesser DTD due to the way your CMS or other system creates content, you should go for the best standard and strictest option.

But hey, I'm just spouting rhetoric which I have been taught via a geek forum when I was first starting out, though at least I can say I practice what I preach wink1.gif

Qwerty -> Do what i did , create a page with a load of H1's and then shove it though totalvalidator, the most anal validator I've ever come across, it didn't moan a bit!

So I would have to say it's the Gospel of Catz, as she introduced me to this church of anal validation!

Now all say 'I believe'

#27 Catz

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:47 PM

QUOTE
I'm just spouting rhetoric which I have been taught via a geek forum when I was first starting out
Now it all makes sense!
You can't believe everything you read online, especially when it comes from Newbie developers, which tend to populate those forums.

Hey...it seems more anal to insist on things being strict nerd.gif over transitional suntan.gif doesn't it?

Not too many developers are concerned with actual accessibility because it is more time consuming (sure we care, but most people don't actually go beyond that). Just showed the total validator to you so you could see that Strict versus Transitional is basically only a bragging right in the end. If you want your code to actually have some substance that benefits others, it goes well beyond just that.

But then to make our web pages accessible to all, we do have to make sure to get everything exactly right so the special reader software or special hardware being used can translate it rather than simply browsers, which can entail having to be very particular about how things are coded, no doubt there.

I would much rather spend my time on SEO, that's more fun, but it isn't always about having fun. Sometimes "consider your audience" means something totally different than other times, and you have to make allowances.

SEO should be a natural part of creating any web page or site, but it can take years to reach the point where it actually becomes that way. Once a developer begins to think like an SEO in their everyday life, rather than trying to manipulate the search engines, you are home free.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on our feelings about strict vs. transitional.

Edited by Catz, 01 September 2010 - 11:52 PM.


#28 1dmf

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 03:41 AM

no worries Catz, I agree with alot of your sentiment, SEO and good semantic , standards compliant coding, most definately should go hand in hand and yes, true accessibility is a very difficult thing to understand, code and achieve. But it's a good goal to have in mind and a legal requirment for some and perhaps eventually all.

I would have to clarify though that my understanding of a Trasitional DTD is intended to help those 'transition' from HTML to X/HTML. As I don't want to transition to X/HTML, I want to write X/HTML, I use the correct DTD of Strict.

Come on don't sit on the fence, jump in , it's alright on the strict side of life wink1.gif

Oh and I would like to point out that some of the geeks I hang out with on the techy/coding forum side of things are most definately not newbie developers, some are damn geniuses!, in fact a HRF moderator is one of them smile.gif

#29 chrishirst

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE(robmarketshare @ Aug 19 2010, 02:16 PM) View Post
As I recall he said you can have a H1 here, and here and also here if you want (or something simular). In my opinion that is not exactly the same as "as many as you want".
And more importanly; you can have them on your page, but will they also help to rank better if you put "as many as you want" on your page ?





#30 Michael Martinez

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:30 PM

"Use it sparingly" is probably the best takeaway from Matt's video.




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