Jill Whalen started a thread over at her forums named H1, H2, H3 Placement, per W3C standards. In that thread she asks if it matters if the header tag sequence in the source code displays in order of header number hierarchy. Meaning, does the h1 tag have to come before the h2, and h3 and h4 in the source code and in the visible content on the page, as per "W3C standards." I tried looking up the answer, but I failed to find anything where it said it had to be in a particular order.
The thread discusses the topic and most people agree that is makes most logical sense to place the header tags in order of number, much like a structural document for a paper's outline. But in terms of SEO, does the header tag matter? Some say yes and some say no. Does the header tag hurt? If you use it properly, and don't overdo it, I can not see how it would hurt you. Would it hurt if you placed it in the wrong order? I doubt it, the standards on the Web are far from standard. :)
But does anyone know about the W3C standards on this topic?
Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.