TheVigilante

Banned - Multiple Rules Violations
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
15,003
Reaction score
16,069
Ever since the early days of SEO, H1 tags have been believed to be extremely important for ranking the content in SERPs.

But are H1 tags really necessary? Here’s how Google likes to answer it:

You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There’s no limit, neither upper nor lower bound.

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, so you should use them in the proper way on a page.

Especially with HTML5 coming into the picture, having multiple H1 elements on a page is completely normal and kind of expected.

Some SEO tools flag this as an issue and say things like ‘oh you don’t have any H1 tag’ or ‘you have two H1 tags. From our point of view, that’s not a critical issue. Your site can do perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.”

But you don’t always have to take Google at face value. So, Moz decided to test it out. They used H2s and H3s for headlines instead of H1s and monitored the results.

They devised a 50/50 split test of their titles using SearchPilot. Ah and SearchPilot, just like us, have recently rebranded from DistilledODN.

Results 8 weeks later?

Changing our H2s to H1s made no statistically significant difference.
Change breakdown – inconclusive.
Predicted uplift: 6.2% (est. 6,200 monthly organic sessions)l

They were still 95% confident that the monthly increase in organic sessions is between:

Top: 13,800. Bottom: 4,100.

The results of this test were inconclusive in terms of organic traffic, so they reverted it back. Presumably, they would have probably seen the same result if they used H3s, H4s, or no heading tags at all.

PS: While this experiment doesn’t definitively prove that H1s aren’t a ranking factor, it does show that they couldn’t find a statistically significant difference between using H1s and H2s.

That being said, there are some reasons you should still use H1:

+ H1s help accessibility. Screen reading technology can use H1s to help users navigate your content, both in display and the ability to search.

+ Google sometimes uses H1s in place of title tags. In cases where Google is unable to find or process your title tag, it might choose to extract a title from some other element of your page. For the most part, they look for H1s first.

+ Heading use is often correlated with better rankings. But hey, almost all SEO correlation studies we’ve ever seen have shown a small but positive correlation between better rankings and the use of headings on a page.

Moz link: https://moz.com/blog/h1-seo-experiment
 

localmoon

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
142
Reaction score
82
It's more of a best practice, as is most on-page seo. Quality and unique content will always be the most important ranking factor
 

Unknownink

Newbie
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
2
Thanks for sharing this with us. I use H2 instead of using H1 and couldn't find any issues either.
 

davids355

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Jr. VIP
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
18,308
Reaction score
23,864
Website
www.blackhatworld.com
<h1>Thanks for sharing</h1>

very interesting read.
 

Tishina

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2015
Messages
476
Reaction score
123
Can confirm. Recently added a H1 heading to pages which only had H2. No change in positions whatsoever. However, will keep them as I find it as a good practice.
 

AngelSeo

Jr. VIP
Jr. VIP
Joined
Nov 3, 2017
Messages
2,774
Reaction score
2,482
Ever since the early days of SEO, H1 tags have been believed to be extremely important for ranking the content in SERPs.

But are H1 tags really necessary? Here’s how Google likes to answer it:

You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There’s no limit, neither upper nor lower bound.

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, so you should use them in the proper way on a page.

Especially with HTML5 coming into the picture, having multiple H1 elements on a page is completely normal and kind of expected.

Some SEO tools flag this as an issue and say things like ‘oh you don’t have any H1 tag’ or ‘you have two H1 tags. From our point of view, that’s not a critical issue. Your site can do perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.”

But you don’t always have to take Google at face value. So, Moz decided to test it out. They used H2s and H3s for headlines instead of H1s and monitored the results.

They devised a 50/50 split test of their titles using SearchPilot. Ah and SearchPilot, just like us, have recently rebranded from DistilledODN.

Results 8 weeks later?

Changing our H2s to H1s made no statistically significant difference.
Change breakdown – inconclusive.
Predicted uplift: 6.2% (est. 6,200 monthly organic sessions)l

They were still 95% confident that the monthly increase in organic sessions is between:

Top: 13,800. Bottom: 4,100.

The results of this test were inconclusive in terms of organic traffic, so they reverted it back. Presumably, they would have probably seen the same result if they used H3s, H4s, or no heading tags at all.

PS: While this experiment doesn’t definitively prove that H1s aren’t a ranking factor, it does show that they couldn’t find a statistically significant difference between using H1s and H2s.

That being said, there are some reasons you should still use H1:

+ H1s help accessibility. Screen reading technology can use H1s to help users navigate your content, both in display and the ability to search.

+ Google sometimes uses H1s in place of title tags. In cases where Google is unable to find or process your title tag, it might choose to extract a title from some other element of your page. For the most part, they look for H1s first.

+ Heading use is often correlated with better rankings. But hey, almost all SEO correlation studies we’ve ever seen have shown a small but positive correlation between better rankings and the use of headings on a page.

Moz link: https://moz.com/blog/h1-seo-experiment
I read it yesterday.. and well lets just say that by simply changing your H1 you can make a drastic changes to your rankings. So while Google may understand your articles without them, they are pretty useful tool to improve your rankings.
 
Top