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Hidden H1 Tag Question
Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:38 AM
Building a new website and I am using a variable to store the content shown in my HTML Title. For example, this is the HTML title for the homepage:
"Cream Cakes, Buns & Chocolate Biscuits | Carol's Cakes"
The design of my homepage doesn't necessarily lend itself to have this shown as a title so I have hidden it using CSS.
My page content however mentions the same key words in that title many times so the theme of the homepage, and the entire site for that matter is all related to Cakes, Buns, Chocolates etc.
My question is, if I hide the H1 tag, do you think I could get punished by a search engine even though my page content is based on those key phrases and key words and is found many times in my body copy?
Thanks for reading
Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:56 AM
Hidden text is hidden text, whether it's deceptive in its content or not. For the hidden text to be considered something other than hidden text, it would either have to be possible for a user to make it visible (in other words, temporarily hidden text) or you'd have to be using an image replacement technique, setting an image to act as the h1, with the text present but invisible, except when the image failed to load. And that image would necessarily have to be of the words that are in the hidden text for this practice to be honest.
If you're not doing either of those things and you don't want the h1 to show, don't use an h1. If you feel that the page is sufficiently optimized for your keywords, simply publish the page without a heading. A page without a heading is not the same thing as a page with a hidden heading.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:45 AM
If so, I'd look for a way to override that. If you can't, then simply write Titles that would also work well for a headline.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:52 AM
I don't use a CMS, I am writing this from scratch without a CMS so I have full control over the entire HTML output and its positioning in the source.
I assumed having the same keywords in the HTML Title and H1 would help with SEO for the specific page I am on, it's just the actual design of the web page doesn't lend itself to having that many words in the H1 output on screen so I thught I could hide it.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:06 PM
It's never a good idea to put the tools (search engines) before the people who use those tools.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:08 PM
I think of it this way: the title serves to tell people coming in from search engines what a page is about, and the top level heading tells people who are already on the page and about to read it what it's about. If you don't feel like the page needs that, then don't put it in. You can always change your mind and add an h1 later.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:23 PM
Nope. It's actually the opposite, imo. Having them different is almost always going to be better for people and search engines.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 01:45 PM
Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:27 AM
One final thing off the back of this, I have absolutely positioned all of my content so the text is the first thing a spider sees and all navigation and images are the last.
Is it bad practice to have a couple of paragraphs of page text first, THEN have a Header tag with more text follow or does it not really matter?
<h1>Cakes & Buns</h1>
Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:44 AM
Heading tags are meant to give structure to your page. They are helpful for defining styles. There is no magic ranking boost for using H tags in any specific number- they just define that the string inside of them is a heading.
It doesn't matter where on your page they appear. It hardly matters if you use them at all- a <b> tag has about the same effect.
All these tags do from a search engine perspective is define the words that you are giving some emphasis to. There is no point system for h1 vs h2 vs h3 vs b vs i... they all indicate that you are setting some emphasis on these words relative to the other words on the page.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:59 AM
Many Thanks Scottie.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 11:52 AM
There was no reason to do that.
And you don't need to use H1's, they provide no rankings boost, as Scottie mentioned.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 12:00 PM
I recently attented an intensive SEO course down in berkshire who explained that it is important to ensure that the content a spider sees upon entering a page is important. I can provide a link to their website if you want.
So if you can get copy with rich keywords and relative to the page itself rather than displaying a bunch of navigation list items called Home, Services, Contact, About Us etc which have no meaning then this is a better approach hence the use of absolutely positioning content.
I thought I would just share.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:38 PM
No need to provide the link.
Suffice it to say that they are incorrect. They are simply repeating a long held SEO myth.
Did they also teach you to hide H1 tags?
Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:04 PM
Now that is a matter of opinion. I have found different in some instances. However, I don't expect all on this Forum would agree with me on this.
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