H1 is a specific piece of HTML code that is usually wrapped around the text. It was originally meant to display that text as the largest text on the page. In the initial start of search engine marketing, the two practices of wrap the title of your page in H1 tags or use one — and only one — H1 tag per page. Over time, those ideas were abandoned and the strict concept of using a single H1 was replaced by large text near the top of the page. Google grew better at content analysis and understanding how the pieces of the page fit together.
What’s most important are the many signals that make up a page and indicate what the topic of the page is. How relevant the page is to the searcher’s query ultimately determines whether it is listed in the results set, or search engine results page. What’s key is not if the page has an H1 tag, but the text that’s actually in that H1 tag.
Other Uses of an H1 tag
Another important element the H1 serves is usability. It’s usable for people with visual impairments and people who use screen readers. Almost every major screen reader has the capability to skip to the H1 tag on the page to tell that visitor what the page is about. If it’s missing, your site is definitely not as usable and accessible as it could be.
Why You Should Still Use H1s
Despite the fact that Google seems to be able to figure out the majority of titles one way or another, there are several reasons to keep using H1s as an SEO practice.
H1s Help Accessibility
Screen reading technology can use H1s to help users navigate your content, both in display and the ability to search.
Google May Use H1s In Place Of Title Tags
In some rare instances — when Google can’t find or process your title tag — they may choose to extract a title from some other element of your page. Oftentimes, this can be an H1.
Heading Use is Correlated With Higher Rankings
There is a small but positive correlation between higher rankings and the use of headings on a page.
Organize your content with hierarchical headings — ideally H1, H2s, H3s, etc. Use a large font headline at the top of your content. To make it easy for Google, screen readers, and other machines or people reading your content to figure out the headline.
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