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I have several hundreds of pages with good SERPs. I have a requirement to add a common sub section (kind of note) with a single heading and and a couple of lines beneath the heading. I will be using a h3 tag for the sub heading. However, this sub section makes sense when added below navigation menu and above the h1 tag (page title) in all pages. Does adding a h2 or h3 tag above h1 tag have a negative impact on SEO?

The layout would go like this once implemented

Site name
Navigation Menu
<h3>sub section header</h3>
<p>...</p>
<h1>page title</h1>
Content

Note: The sub section will be a common one across the pages.

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Google, from what I read, cares little about heading tags and only about content. However, misplacing headings that way can confuse any software that cares about document outlines.

What you could do is contain the section starting with the <h1> within <section> or <article> where starting with a <h1> in that context makes logical and technical sense per the HTML standard.

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  • Actually, my article including <h1> is already enclosed within <article></article> tags. My planned sub-section above <h1> is an advanced search form with two input fields and a heading. And this heading for the form is what I am worried about. Should I be fine if I place the form along with the heading (the form's heading) above article open tag? – Kannan Aug 2 at 3:11
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    @Kannan If you are wanting an answer about your markup, you have to show the markup. Otherwise, you are asking us to just make wild guesses. – Rob Aug 2 at 12:34
  • sorry, I thought I could overwhelm people by displaying all the tags. Moreover, I wasn't sure of the importance of special tags like those of <article> tags. They just happened by default due to my CMS theme. – Kannan Aug 2 at 16:23
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They do say that it should be hierarchical, and if you really want to follow best-practices, then just don't use h-tags in your header menu. They are meant for content.

Otherwise still if you do, it's not a problem as the impact is minimal. Spend the resources on content.

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