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    Multiple h1 tags & HTML5


    Seems like there is mixed reviews on whether it's okay to have two h1 tags on the same page. On my forum, the first h1 is my main keyword and the second h1 is the topic/post title. The site is written in HTML5, do you think this is an issue? Do you think it helps or hurts SEO?
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  3. Dinosaur
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    Comment only, not fact

    Of late I have seen a growing trend of sites that as you scroll down new content is fetched, this can drastically improve page load speeds on very long pages. The reason I mention it as I was viewing a news site only this week which adopted this technique and as your scrolled down new stories where fetched from the server, Each story contained a H1 (headline) a H2 (sub heading) and then the body text of the news and a image. Google also follows this technique on G+ so I would suspect in this modern day having multiple H1 tags are acceptable and wont harm your efforts. I do however question which one is most important ? maybe the one that appears first,

    Personally I am old school and prefer 1 x H1 tag allowing me to highlight the most important parts of the page but maybe thats just me.
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    It's perfectly acceptable to have multiple H1 tags on a page if the nature of the content itself lends itself to multiple main Headings to organize it all.

    I'd say the real question isn't whether or not it's going to hurt your SEO (not likely, unless your spamming out H1/H2 tags like crazy) or help it (perhaps a little bit, but not too much), but whether or not it best serves the users. If users can makes heads or tails of the content w/o Heading tags, then they're not really needed. If the text looks like a big jumbled block of text without them, then maybe they're needed.

    If you're going to use them, incorporating a keyword wouldn't hurt, but only if it makes sense to the user.

    Hope that helps.
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  7. Just a Photographer
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    I know a lot of the WordPress templates, including mine, use a <h1> in the header of the 'sitename' and a <h1> as the page title.
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    Comment only, not fact

    Of late I have seen a growing trend of sites that as you scroll down new content is fetched, this can drastically improve page load speeds on very long pages. The reason I mention it as I was viewing a news site only this week which adopted this technique and as your scrolled down new stories where fetched from the server, Each story contained a H1 (headline) a H2 (sub heading) and then the body text of the news and a image. Google also follows this technique on G+ so I would suspect in this modern day having multiple H1 tags are acceptable and wont harm your efforts. I do however question which one is most important ? maybe the one that appears first,
    Isn't it the case that for sites using 'infinite scroll' this is what the user sees but spiders or people with Javascript turned off see links to 'the next page'. As such for a search engine there remains only one H1 per page.
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    Originally Posted by Hikin Mike
    I know a lot of the WordPress templates, including mine, use a <h1> in the header of the 'sitename' and a <h1> as the page title.
    Template builders (WordPress, eCommerce sites, etc.) can be some of the worst abusers of H tags. I've seen it used:
    - in navigation menus
    - in lists (one H tag after another)
    - as links
    - etc.

    If you want to at least help spiders understand your content at the very least remember:
    - keep them in order, h1, h2, h3, h2, h3, h4 (as opposed to h2, h6, h1, h4)
    - don't use them as links, a header is supposed to head something, not link to it
    - give them content, a header is supposed to head something so make sure it has some content below it

    Don't expect it to do anything magical with regards to SEO. Search engines know the tag is badly misused but they can't let that factor affect the quality of their search results.
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  13. Dinosaur
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    Originally Posted by Doodled
    Isn't it the case that for sites using 'infinite scroll' this is what the user sees but spiders or people with Javascript turned off see links to 'the next page'. As such for a search engine there remains only one H1 per page.
    The technique is called lazy loading so the object does not get loaded until needed. Personally I think its clever loading not lazy and as I said can improve page load speeds dramatically which is a good thing for users and can help in design of large content pages. I have not tested if google bot reads content from a lazy load but I would expect them too.

    Out of pure interest if I get time I might experiment to see how far the google bot reads but I am a bit flat out at the moment. Dont know if others have done any testing.
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    I've always used h1 tags in order (h1, h2, h3...), but I haven't tested it to see if it makes a difference.
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    The technique is called lazy loading so the object does not get loaded until needed. Personally I think its clever loading not lazy and as I said can improve page load speeds dramatically which is a good thing for users and can help in design of large content pages. I have not tested if google bot reads content from a lazy load but I would expect them too.
    A good system has a javascript disabled option. So if you have a list of products these will load as you scroll down but if you have javascript disabled you see the traditional Last . 1 .2 .3 .4 Next type links after say 20 products. This is the way 'fetch as Googlebot' sees it.

    Thus if you have multiple H1's then Googlebot doesn't notice if they have a 'javascript disabled' break between them.

    I'm not saying this is a major SEO issue anyway because Google needs to deliver the best content and if you flaff up your H tags that can't be a reason for Google not to deliver.
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    It seems like there is much debate.. but as someone that often pushes his web design toward the future rather than supporting dying technologies (I'm looking at you IE), I tend to use multiple H1's in a site (given that the site has a logical reason to support them).

    My use of H1's in this sense comes from the HTML5 document outline in which there have been added sectioning roots (such as figure/details) and sectioning content (such as section/article).

    In my opinion, the use of a single H1 per page (or trying to hack their logo into a H1 so that they get two H1's per page) is either for a very specific type of website that focuses on very few topics or is misuse by someone who is failing to keep up with modular design.

    It's not uncommon to have a page that discusses multiple topics (even if it's simply business that offers multiple services) and it's also very common to have a single page be a resources for many different topics. In this sense, coupled with HTML5's new sectioning and modular design, multiple H1's are pretty much necessary.

    Again, it's not set in stone anywhere.. it just makes sense to me and I've had no issues with it. I've found that with multiple topics on a page I can still successfully rank fairly high for each topic rather than restricting my keywords to a few variations of the same topic.
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  23. SEO Gawdess
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    I've come across tons of sites using H# tags to style or size the font, rather than for content hierarchy. I usually attempt to correct that kind of usage and educate the designer/developer.

    Comments on this post

    • Doodled agrees
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    This has been answered pretty well and is drawing some repeaters, so going to close this thread. Thanks for participating!

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