SEO News You Can Use: Google Says H1 Tags Useful But Not Critical for Rankings

SEO News You Can Use

Perhaps H1 tags aren’t as important as SEO professionals thought they were.

Google webmaster John Mueller was asked last week during a hangout/chat about the role of H1 tags on web pages. In short, Mueller said H1 tags can be useful for multiple reasons but aren’t critical in determining a page’s rankings. Google doesn’t require H1 headings to rank a page.

“You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page,” Mueller said. “There’s no limit, neither upper or lower bound.

“Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.”

Mueller affirmed that H1 headings are useful when it comes to user experience on your website. Outlining the page structure — using an H1 heading at the top of the content — provides valuable hierarchy in determining what your page is about.

“H1 elements are a great way to give more structure to a page so that users and search engines can understand which parts of a page are kind of under different headings,” Mueller said. “So I would use them in the proper way on a page. And especially with HTML5 having multiple H1 elements on a page is completely normal and kind of expected.”

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Testing Black URL at Top of Snippet: Maybe some of you noticed the same thing, but in recent days Google has been testing out its search results for both mobile and desktop. Google has been showing the favicon and black URL/breadcrumb at the top of the snippet. The URLs were showing up above the page titles instead of below them. And the URLs were in black text instead of green. Will this one day be the norm?

Google on How to Rank a Category Page Over a Product Page: Google weighed in last week on how to rank a category page over a product page, pointing out web masters need to pay close attention to site architecture and internal links.

Google Announces Chrome Browser Update: Google announced last week that its Chrome browser will start blocking web pages with mixed content beginning in December. Publishers should make sure no content is being loaded through insecure HTTP protocol.

Google to Update User Agent to Mirror Chrome Version Googlebot is Running: Google also announced last week that beginning in December it will update Google’s user agent to reflect the version of Chrome that Googlebot is running. So, you’ll need to update any code that looks at the user agent of Googlebot.

Change of Address Tool Now Available in New Google Search Console: Google announced last week via Twitter that it has now migrated over its Change of Address tool to its new Google Search Console interface. This feature hadn’t been available in the new Search Console but is now. So, you can now tell Google that your site has moved to a new address to help make it a seamless transition.

Early Winners and Losers for Recent Google Algorithm Update: Search Engine Journal took an early look at how the most recent Google algorithm update in September has affected websites. SEJ presented some early winners and losers right here.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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