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What are H1 tags and what is the difference between H1 and H2, 3, 4, 5 tags etc?

Aug 13, 2015 5:10:00 PMBy Michael Kuznar Posted in SEO

The first thing you should understand regarding H1 or header tags are its purpose because that alone helps you understand why search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing rely on them so much.  Consider an H1 tag for how it’s named, a ‘header’ tag.  When you were in grade school or college would you hand a teacher a paper with no heading?  Absolutely not, the header basically introduces your entire article to the reader.  Search engines feel the same way.  They would like to know what your article or webpage is about.  How convenient for the article to have a header, where they summarize it in as few words as possible?

If search engines see you have a header related to a certain subject and the content matches up with the header, they’ll most likely assume it’s something ‘rankable’.

Headers are extremely valuable when doing search engine optimization and getting found.  Headers should contain keyphrases or keywords RELEVANT to the content beneath it and also relevant to the overall primary keyphrase or keyword goal of that particular page.  Notice I didn’t say website, I said page.

Like everything in life, careful not to overdo it.

Here’s an example of a great blog heading:

What plumbing issues should I expect living in Philadelphia

Notice I included good keyphrases without destroying the actual title of the blog?

Now let’s take a look at a bad header

Plumbers in Philadelphia 19004 – Find Plumbers in Philly – Philadelphia Plumbers


You’ll do two things ‘keyword stuffing’ your blog headers.  You’ll hurt the integrity and purpose of the article itself, regardless how well written,   and you’ll also run the risk of turning off search engines to your particular page.  As many know, search engines don’t give away their algorithms.  Even though we have no proof Google, Yahoo or Bing would look down on or penalize a website for such a blatant attempt at manipulating their results it is very likely that if they do, the second example would go straight to the chopping block compared to our first sample.

H1, H2, H3,4567….

Header tags come in variations based on a number rating.  Unfortunately without knowing the search engine’s algorithms it’s impossible to gauge which levels hold any significance over the other, if at all.  What we do know is H1 tags work, so good advice is probably just to play it safe, stick with H1’s.

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