How Important are Header Tags?

May 9, 2008 • 9:54 am | comments (4) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization
 

A High Rankings Forums member wants to know if header tags (H1, H2, H3, H4...) are weighted on search engines.

The answer is probably not, but some people think that there's minimal weight from search engines. The point is that header tags are for user readability versus focusing on search engines. If you wanted to test the theory, you could remove the header tags and instead use CSS to see how it performs.

Additionally, it's important to note that if this is something spammers start using more heavily, chances are search engines will devalue it even more (if header tags are even a metric in the algorithm). That said, do your own testing and come up with some results, but the skepticism is pretty obvious from the post.

Forum discussion continues at High Rankings Forum.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

05/09/2008 04:28 pm

Hx header tags are one of the almost universally acknowledged relevance signals. Search engines HAVE to look at the on-page factors in order to understand what the content is emphasizing. It's just naive for anyone in the search optimization industry to suggest that Hx headers are not valuable to search optimization. There are no "must have" elements for establishing relevance. That doesn't mean specific things don't matter much.

Ben Cook

05/09/2008 09:38 pm

Tamar, what makes you say that the tags aren't weighted? I was kind of surprised to see that remark and would love to see any tests or evidence that supports it. Everything I've ever read suggested that H1 tags indicate importance to search engines.

Phil Maher

05/12/2008 04:49 pm

Guys, Wake up...yeah the H tags are used for relevancy, but they've been abused for so long that how can an engine put any weight into them?

No Name

05/17/2008 07:26 pm

On page factors must surely have an impact in at least so much as links contain the same relevant terms on and off-page. It would make no sense to not at least make this match.

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