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On a search results page, the <h1> contains the searched keyword. However, should wherever the keyword appears in the results be <h2> or <h3> tags?

I have had these as <h3> tags and there is no <h2> on the page.

-- UPDATE --

For example: keyword = cat breeds

<h1>Cat Breeds</h1>

There are a number of different <h3>cat breeds</h3> to choose from. The most common of the list of <h3>cat breeds</h3> below is the calico cat...

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Can you clarify this with some code as an example? – John Conde Oct 10 '13 at 18:20
@JohnConde - updated – ElHaix Oct 10 '13 at 18:23
FYI, the way you are using the <h3> tags is not semantically correct as they are supposed to denote headings and shouldn't be used in paragraph's like that. Are you doing that for styling purposes? Or for other reasons? – John Conde Oct 10 '13 at 18:29
@JohnConde - done. Would highlighting other keywords that the site is related to be considered keyword stuffing, or should only the related keywords to the page be highlighted (strong)? – ElHaix Oct 10 '13 at 19:34
Highlighting words using <strong> or <em> are fine as long as there is a purpose for it. But even then, those tags have so little SEO value that using them liberally probably won't have an effect on your rankings either way. And keyword stuffing is only when you put keywords in when they clearly aren't necessary. You don't seem to be doing anything like that. – John Conde Oct 10 '13 at 19:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Using your keywords on the <h1> is a good and acceptable SEO optimization. You can also use these keywords on <h2> to optimize even more your page.

After, if you use your keywords in your all <h1>, <h2> and <h3> on your page, it's kind of dangerous because it may be considered as keyword stuffing by Google.

A good way of SEO optimization for a page can be this one (just an example):

<h1>Cat breeds</h1>

<h2>What is breeding for cats?</h2>

<h2>Cats breeding ground</h2>
<p>There are a number of different places to <strong>breeding for cats</strong>.</p>

Try to apply variations to your keywords and not use exact match ones. Google appreciates variations and you can avoid keyword stuffing in many cases.

Otherwise, do not use <h3> in a text, it's semantic not correct. <h3> is used as heading like for <h1>, <h2>... <h6>. If you want to show important words in a text to Google, use <strong> tag instead.

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Great... I will implement those changes. With regards to the strong tag, would using that around other keywords that are common on the entire site be ok, or again be considered kw stuffing? – ElHaix Oct 10 '13 at 18:56
Apply variations on keywords, whatever they are included in headings, <strong> tag or elsewhere. After, if you want to be safe regarding keyword stuffing, write your text without thinking keywords and apply some keywords in various places of your page. – Zistoloen Oct 10 '13 at 20:54

Use the main keyword in the <h1> tag.

Use the variations in the <h2> (1-2 uses of keywords per page).

Use long tail keywords in <h3> (synonyms, other keywords).

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