How Important are H1 (Header) Tags

Aug 25, 2005 • 8:44 am | comments (19) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

We have discussed the header tag at least a couple times here in the past. But there is a new WebmasterWorld thread that asks what is The importance of the H1 tag, today?

What I find most interesting is the strong views from various SEOs on both extremes.

Those that feel the H1 tag isn't used say;

  • I doubt if the use of the H1 tag is still working to get get higher listings. I think it even may hurt your listings.
  • I personally don't see it as H1's giving pages a 'lift'...but as H1's doing what they are supposed to do, so that a page can be shown for relevant searches.
  • So the H1 tag often represents an artificial attempt to inflate a page's ranking.

Those that feel the H1 tag is used say;

  • I think that used correctly it is still a major contributor.
  • I think it is still a very large factor
  • The idea that using H1 will hurt you is nuts. What can hurt you is not following Google's guidelines. If you use a bunch of crap techniques, that is what will get someone into trouble, not having an H1. It's like blaming your windshield for a flat tire.
  • I will continue to use the H1. It helps to create a well-formed document and just because others have abused it is no reason for me to create crappy mark-up.

The ping pong debate goes back and forth. Me? I use it because of the last quote above.

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Chris B

08/26/2005 05:12 pm

agreed...put me on the "feel it's used" side. I could see this becoming something the spiders look more closely at, due to possible misuse. Stay in the light and you will continue to see what is in front of you..

Jem Smith

10/02/2007 10:29 pm

Hello there is no such negative impact of H1 html tag and i think should be use as SEO point of view!!:)


03/07/2008 10:52 pm

H1 tags should be used for what they were originally created for: organizing your documents to stress the key points. When used right, I can't see how H1 tags could hurt your cause at all... it just helps the search engines understand what the emphasis of the page is.


10/19/2008 10:43 am

Sure, the H1 tag means for "Page header" and it must contain a few words about what's the page about. I thinkg that putting your keywords in the H1 tag helps your page be listed better in Google.


12/18/2008 06:54 am

without using h1 tag shall we move for h2 tag, it makes seo friendly? reply


01/12/2009 01:43 pm

you could go one better king and use the h3 tag ...

No Name

06/16/2009 09:16 am

I am very new to onpage optimization was searching for information on H1 tags & found your post is very useful!!

No Name

06/25/2009 09:20 am

I just want to know how important h2, h3, h4 tags. Are they more important that <b> tag or less important. Can you please help me out with this. Thanks Rahul

Travis Thorpe

07/06/2009 10:14 pm

Funny how an article written 4 years ago stills get comments today. My opinion is do everything possible to help your rankings. There is no hard evidence that H1 tags are useless. So why not use them and organize your pages in an easy to read format.


07/08/2009 02:00 am

As a follow up question, does the order in which you position heading tags on the page make any difference to SERP position, such as : <body> <h2>Cats</h2> <p>This page is all about Siamese cats, so I want the main keyword for this page as Siamese cats</p> <h1>Siamese Cats</h1> <p>I will talk all about Siamese cats</p> </body>

brent Stuart

08/31/2009 11:42 pm

I want to use an H1 tag for search engines but i don't its contents to display on the page suggestions?


04/21/2010 04:34 pm

W.r.t. standard markup & semantic parseability: Yes, absolutely, H1s are in that regard an unqualified good, AFAICS. But what I've been getting told is that I should embed keyword phrases tagged as H1 in the stream of body copy -- which would result in poorly-formed HTML, btw, and cause pages to fail validation, FWIW -- and then "reset" h1 to make it a non-block-level element (display:inline). That's what I'm trying to figure out right now.

No Name

05/25/2010 09:30 am

There should not be a problem with using H1 and H3 on pages, without any H2 tags. However I don’t see a difference in weight between the H1 and H2 tags when it comes to weight as a ranking factor. Missing to use either of these will be a missed opportunity.


06/24/2010 12:20 pm

From what I have been reading and I also was talking to a marketing consultant for large companies it is important to use H1 and H2 for Google. And you need your keywords in the tag.

No Name

07/28/2010 11:43 am

Google Sites do not offer H1 tag to use in formating the text, so i think there is no need for h1 heading for SEO.


12/26/2010 11:40 am

i agree with you.but if you have to choose between just the design or h1 what are going to choose?

Ryan Critchett

02/06/2011 01:48 am

I think it's still relevant. In fact, I know it is! It's more for the purposes of, like you said, delivering the best content per the search query. I'm with you!


06/24/2011 09:59 am

I haven't used h1 tags, may be that is the problem with my site. PalakSoft

Saad Naeem

04/01/2012 10:38 pm

thanks for idea , but does search engine still consider h1 tags?

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