[thelist] <h1> tag in search engines?

Marcia Welter mhwelter at welterweb.com
Fri Mar 15 06:25:01 CST 2002

<H1> is ok for top of the page and sized in hierarchical proportion, but no
way all over and no way same sizes as body text. No how, no way! OK for
search engines to have occurrences of the company name in bold for emphasis,
it does count for a bit and is reasonably logical in case of human review
which can happen. Having H1 all over same size as body text could trip a
spam filter - some search engines have crawled stylesheets recently, meaning
they can. Alta Vista for sure, I saw it in my own logs. And Google can crawl
anything they want to. CSS and JS are currently suspect for what they call
tricks, they've been used a lot. He can disallow robots from the css files
but not a person looking and if he were cloaking he wouldn't have to do
these changes.

> easier for search engines to find.
No, it does not, links from quality (preferably high Page Rank) sites or
Yahoo or ODP make it easy to find. - but it makes it easier if the site
ranks decently for a competitor to find something to submit a spam report on
and then the client is toast.

Tables are fine as long as they're not nested too deeply, but frames are
harder to optimize for legitimately. Of course if he's gonna put in a 1
pixel frame to do some keyword stuffing or machine generated doorway page
spam_stuff, that's different. That'll fly until it gets caught up with.
Frames are generally frowned upon by the SEO community, unless it's
something like a Flash site and then "hidden" frames with legit content or
cloaking come into play. Some like them but not too many that I've ever

Very often code has to be changed some for SEO work, but it doesn't pay to
take risks unless it's a throw-away domain name, and there's plenty of that
done. And plenty of sites penalized. A Google rep who goes by the handle
GoogleGuy (he's the real thing, search at Google) has stated they've rolled
back on spam filters because of the number of Moms and Pop's who got hurt
with all the recent penalties. But from what I gather that was linking
related, to manipulate Page Rank. Anything done to trick search engines or
artificially manipulate rankings can result in banning or losing all Page
Rank which means the site may as well not even be listed. There are very
sophisticated SEOs who know loads of methodologies and have the expertise to
do them but this is outdated and too easy to get spotted for.

Get a disclaimer for yourself that you're not responsible for rankings if
code is changed and don't get ulcers over it.

Sorry to go off, I ended up looking at some fancy maneuvering this week and
I'm more stuck than ever on plain vanilla cowardly optimization.

Marcia Welter

> -----Original Message-----
> From: thelist-admin at lists.evolt.org
> [mailto:thelist-admin at lists.evolt.org]On Behalf Of Michael Galvin
> Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 3:39 AM
> To: theList
> Subject: [thelist] <h1> tag in search engines?
> > This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not
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> So I've just finished putting all the content and stuff together for the
> client into a 'beta' site, and much to my annoyance, it turns out
> that they
> have a self-titled web guru over there going through my source and style
> sheets and all that stuff, asking why I'm doing things like that,
> and why do
> I have this piece of code when it would be much better to use tables and
> frames, and crap like that.
> I've ignored most of it :) (Not really, the client is always
> right, but I've
> managed to come up with compelling reasons for not doing most of
> it) but now
> he's thrown one at me that has dumbstruck me.  He wants me to
> make the <h1>
> style in the CSS look the same as body text, and surround every mention of
> their company name on the site with the <h1> tags.  He claims it makes it
> easier for search engines to find.  This is so out there, it
> might actually
> be true!  But it's not, right?  Right?  Hello?
> --
> Michael Galvin
> source visual thinking
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