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Author Topic: H1 for logo: accessibility and SEO concerns  (Read 742 times)


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H1 for logo: accessibility and SEO concerns
« on: 16 May 2022, 02:09:35 am »
I'm currently working on a website as part of a frontend team, and I'm trying to improve its accessibility, so the first thing I went for was refactoring our markup so that it leverages HTML semantics and provides a correct document structure, but I'm meeting some resistance (as well as a general misunderstanding of a11y concepts) from the rest of the team. To me it makes sense that the logo should be an H1 from the document outline and a11y POV, but I'm getting SEO counter-arguments. Basically, the company has a pretty unique name, which, if googled directly, would come up first in the search results anyway, so they argue that there's no point wasting an H1 on the logo since, allegedly, it carries the most SEO weight. What we currently have, and which is the desired status-quo for the other guys, is we have a hero component, and the text on this hero component is the H1. I'm not well-versed in SEO stuff at all, so I'm not sure how to prove that wrapping our logo in an H1 is the right way and that our search ranking is not going to degrade significantly from this. I've seen that on many websites logos are actually implemented this way, but that still doesn't prove anything. Could anyone please help me stand up for accessibility?  :)  Links to relevant sources of information on this topic would be much appreciated, because all I was able to find were a bunch of infomercial articles and stackoverflow discussions that basically go "whatever is fine, it doesn't matter, yada yada".

Jason Knight

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Re: H1 for logo: accessibility and SEO concerns
« Reply #1 on: 16 May 2022, 05:10:20 am »
Sounds like you're dealing with sleazy dirtbag black-hat SEO bullshitters. People who CLAIM to understand SEO but all they know are goof-assed tricks guaranteed to get you kicked OFF of search.

If you are choosing your HTML for "SEO reasons" you're using HTML just as incorrectly as HTML 3.2 style presentational markup. Remember the advice Matt Cutts gave us over a decade ago in regards to SEO:

"Write for the user, not the search engine"

And writing for the user means proper semantics, logical document structure, and telling those peddling goofball tricks and abuse of headings to sod off.

ABUSING H1 for SEO ranking purposes is broken nonsense more likely to get you pimp slapped off of search in the long term. Because it's an accessibility violation. BECAUSE you aren't establishing an accessible document structure.

h1 (singular) is THE (singular) heading (singular) that everything on every page of your site is a subsection. That's what it's FOR. Just as an H2 marks the start of a major subsection where the first H2 (unless you're using MAIN) is the start of your main content. H3 marks the start of subsections of the H2 preceding it. H4 marks the start of subsections of the H3 preceding it. Do I have to explain H5 and H6?

Think of the H1 like the title of a book or newspaper. It might have different appearances across pages, but there's a reason it's at the top of every fold-pair.

Choosing them JUST for SEO reasons is a sure-fire indicator you're dealing with someone not qualified to open their yap on the bloody subject! Sadly far too common a situation with the sleazy dirtbags claiming to know about SEO, lazy dirtbags using gibberish bloated scam artist rubbish like frameworks, etc, etc.

I deal with ignorant know-nothing quacks, morons, and fools who spew gibberish about "h1 for search" all the time. You kick them in the groin and say "no, that's not how this works. That's not how ANY of this works".

What they think is "SEO" is nothing more than dumping a can of shellac on a pile. It might be shiny, but it's still just bug excrement on horse manure. Sleazy, disreputable trickery to try to cover up for bad copywriting skills and a general lack of "content of value".

It's why I'm such an advocate of content first development, of using HTML to mark things up to say what they are, NOT what some SEO turd says or what things are supposed to look like. Why? Because in the long term it works BETTER for SEO than their entire bag of trickery and chicanery.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2022, 05:19:49 am by Jason Knight »
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Re: H1 for logo: accessibility and SEO concerns
« Reply #2 on: 16 May 2022, 07:25:10 am »
Yeah, I get these points, and I actually expected some of them since I'm a regular reader of your Medium articles :) The problem is to prove these points to my team with actual evidence, like some tests, benchmarks, research articles, etc. At first I thought I'd create a sample website in two different versions - one with H1 for a logo, the other one with H1 for text in hero component, and then I'd just feed the website to some SEO rank checker tool, but I couldn't really find any such tools that would allow to check search rankings for different queries (like I said, I'm not a SEO expert by any means, I actually haven't had any hands-on experience with it before this project). Unfortunately I don't have a decisive say in my team, so I have to struggle my way through pretty much every single improvement I try to make.


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