Often times when you are editing the source code of your website, you may find that the template you are using has multiple H1 heading tags. Since heading tags are an important signal to search engines, sometimes webmasters and website owners end up with confusion whether multiple H1 heading tags could harm the SEO of their page, affect the rankings and cause other issues. Sometimes, spammers and blackhat SEO guys practice this – they will stuff their page with multiple heading tags all over the place trying to trick the search engines.
It does not work like that and legitimate website owners start worrying whether the presence of multiple H1 tags on their website’s source code is actually bad for their website. It is possible that the theme they are using has used the same heading tags in multiple locations – in the main article title, in the sidebar widget title, in the footer and so on.
Now the question is – if heading tags are used to style different parts of your website and not necessarily to trick search engines, can this backfire? Will the presence of multiple heading tags (say H1, H2, H3 or even H4) cause any problems with respect to search rankings?
The short answer is No, it won’t. The presence of multiple heading tags does not affect your search rankings, it neither helps nor it hurts. It is recommended to keep only one H1 tag on a page as the main article headline but if your page somehow ends up having multiple heading tags in different order, it is not much of a problem.
In the following video, Google employee John Mueller explains that multiple heading tags on a page is not generally a problem.
With HTML5, it’s not a problem at all. It is common to have multiple H1 heading tags in different parts of your page, in your website’s template, theme or other sections. Regardless of whether you use HTML5 or not, having multiple H1 elements or multiple heading tags of the same type on a page is completely fine. If your website follows and adheres to semantic markup, it is a good idea. If not, it’s not a huge issue and it has no effect on search rankings.
So in case, you were optimizing your website’s content with multiple H1 tags thinking they are going to help, please stop right there since it is not going to do any good. In case, your website content has multiple H1 tags on its source code, stop worrying about it unnecessarily because it will not hurt your site rankings to have multiple heading elements on the same page.
Be Sure to read our SEO Guide which contains useful information about SEO and we have discussed in detail key SEO Concepts with examples.