H1 Headings For SEO – Why They Matter

The use of headings for ranking better on search engines has a long history. It’s one of the earliest known Google ranking factors. Because search engines algorithms evolve, it’s important to understand how why headings remain important and how to use them for modern search engines.

This article links to research papers, patents and statements from Google that shows the best way to use the H1 element for SEO ranking purposes.

Original Google Algorithm and Headings

The original Google algorithm was described in the 1998 “Anatomy of a Search Engine” research paper. That document provided the foundation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices appropriate for modern search engines.

Screenshot of the Anatomy of a Search Engine Paper

Screenshot of anatomy of a search engine research paper

The document was widely read by search marketers in the early days and some of the insights remain with us today.

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