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I have a page with quite a few h2 tags that describes basic terminology for a particular subject. I want to number them from 1 to 10. For example:

<h2>1. Term 1</h2>
<p>some info</p>

<h2>2. Term 2</h2>
<p>some info</p>

Does this hurt SEO by having a number inside the header tag? is there a better way to handle this? Would it be better to have

<span class="num">1.</span><h2>Term 1</h2>

And then use css to style the span tags to be on the same line and have the same style as the header tag preceding the number?

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It won't hurt SEO to include numbers inside header tags. For one thing, header tags are just one of many signals to search engines about what's going on in a page. You'll also have the terms in there, so search engines will catch on to that.

The CSS solution seems like a potential maintenance nightmare. I wouldn't go that route. If anything ever breaks, the page will look awful, for no reason. Plus, the effort in implementing this isn't worth it.

This is a case where you want to consider the user and the information architecture of your page, and maybe even put those things before the search engines. Do the numbers make sense to have in there? If yes, and if other alternatives (like numbered lists) aren't a good fit, then by all means, use the numbers. I haven't come across anyone losing rankings due to that.

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    The header tags imply significance on the content that is held in the upcoming division and is more often used to show snippets or in P0 position if its valuable information or a frequently searched query. As Henry has mentioned, including numbers in it won't hurt SEO. – idk Feb 15 '19 at 11:06

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