A new article on Search Engine Journal reports that a recent poll of nearly 2,000 SEOs showed more than half don’t know what Google recommends for H1 headings.
There is considerable disagreement about how to use Heading (H1, H2) elements. Despite guidance from Google about the use of headings, the SEO industry still can’t agree about how to use headings. Now, an informal poll on Twitter with nearly 2,000 votes has shown that over half of SEOs don’t know what Google’s recommendation on headings are
Amazingly, nearly sixty per cent of the respondents indicated that Google recommends just one H1 heading to a web page. That’s just not correct. In a recent Office Hours Hangout, Google’s John Mueller said that publishers are free to use as many H1 headings as they want:
“You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. 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. Our systems don’t have a problem when it comes to multiple H1 headings on a page. That’s a fairly common pattern on the web.”
In short, Google is now sophisticated enough to know whether a page answers a search query without relying solely on H1 tags. Mueller also stated in another Office-hours Hangout that a page will rank fine if you use an H2 or an H1, that they could be used interchangeably. He was asked:
“A page without an H1 title will it still rank for keywords which is in the H2 title?”
“Of course….Will it still? I don’t know if it will still, but it can. It can absolutely. So headings on a page help us to better understand the content on the page. Headings on the page are not the only ranking factor that we have. We look at the content on its own as well. But sometimes having a clear heading on a page gives us a little bit more information on what that section is about.”
I think this article simplifies the argument a little too much. It’s obviously a contentious issue in reality. What do people here think? Are many of us doing this wrong? Or are tags still important?