Using Multiple Header Tags for SEO

Mar 20, 2009 • 8:19 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

There is an old WebmasterWorld thread on the topic of how many header tags (i.e. H1, H2) you should have on a page and how you should use it. The thread was revived yesterday when Matt Cutts of Google answered a question on that topic on video. Here is the video:

So there you have it. Don't wrap all your content in the H1 tag. You can use it multiple times on a page but use it for page heading above paragraphs of content. Don't over do it.

WebmasterWorld's Tedster disagreed a bit with Matt, he said:

Even though Matt say s it's "OK" to use more than one, I'm still a big fan of using only one H1 element. If it seems like two are really required, I almost always make that content into two pages. Or if the content is too thin to support two pages resonably, I'll figure out a single over-arching headline that can be the H1 to support multiple H2 tags.

I find that approach also "packages" the semantic signals more effectively. That's kind of the way I understand websites, pages, and even code. They are all ways of "packaging" data and information, and we are all packagers.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Chef Dennis Coats

03/23/2009 01:55 pm

Perfectly sensible advice. Write your website just like your high school Journalism teacher taught you to do and you'll be fine. I'm serious! The well-established conventions of newspaper journalism are a proven model of communicating with masses of people seeking information. Follow them and Google will give you no trouble, rather they will prefer your site.


03/23/2009 04:58 pm

Good to know that Google is doing something to prevent exploits on H1.

Ani López

03/23/2009 06:45 pm

not good or bad, just nonsense from a semantical point of view


03/25/2009 08:28 am

I am inclined to agree with Chef Dennis Coats, it's too easy to overdo and miss out on content.

Bill Marshall

04/06/2009 01:34 pm

I'm with Tedster on this. This is basic SGML, which was created to provide document structure that would survive different country's interpretations and styling. The H1 content indicates the primary subject of your document and any analysis of a document that shows two or more primary subjects is inevitably going to be confused. Rule 1. Don't confuse the search engines!

No Name

05/29/2009 12:38 pm

Yes I am agree with your this point.the H1 content indicates the primary subject of your document


01/16/2010 11:04 pm

I noticed a huge difference when I cleaned up the tags and h1 stuff as I had spent so much time doing off page stuff. The biggest boost however came when I unified my internal linking structure. This assumes that everything else is constant.

Alex Warren

01/24/2012 05:40 am

 Yeap I was little bit confuse but after watching this video i will use h1 precisely

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