So, I have this suggestion by a client - asking me to break the title on every section into two tags. They want to replace <h*> tag with a combination of <h*> and <p> tag such that only very specific keywords in in the header tag and all the other words are in the paragraph tag.

So according to them I should rewrite <h1>Hello World</h1> as <p>Hello </p><h1>World</h1>, but somewhere it can even go like this <p>Hello</p><h*>World</h*><p>there</p>

I'm trying to understand what negative impact it could have?

One accessibility concern I know is - that it is causing problems with some Screen Reader tools - as the reading agent only reads a bit of title and stops, then I need to focus on another word and then reads.

<div class="mixHeading">
   <h1 data-fontsize="45" data-lineheight="63">SEO Experts</h1>
   <p>to Maximize the Impact of Web Content</p>

Browser Render: enter image description here

UPDATE: The client says - Search engines would emphasize on the exact words we want. Like here it would focus on "SEO Experts" only and drop rest text.

  • 2
    Does the client have any reference to back up their "suggestion"?
    – MrWhite
    Aug 19, 2020 at 22:07
  • why do you style the <p> in css but the <h1> inline ?
    – xyious
    Aug 20, 2020 at 18:22

4 Answers 4


This is a very unusual suggestion - I've never once seen any of the SEO experts even hint at something like this. It sounds like something that used to work years ago - a bit like keyword stuffing - and could be considered to be a "black hat" these days.

It certainly doesn't meet Google's (admittedly vague) guidelines - they say you should write content and mark it up for the user, not the search engines. It also doesn't meet any of the standard conventions for writing web pages.

As for negative impact:

  • If Google decides this is black hat, they will penalise the ranking.
  • If they don't consider it black hat, they still might consider the page over-optimised for that term (depending on the rest of the optimisation), and penalise it
  • Even if they don't penalise it, it means the page is optimised for that phrase only and not for for local or long tail searches.
  • Google is putting on a lot more emphasis on LSI these days, so repetition of the same keywords is not particularly effective.

As I said, I've never seen this technique even suggested, never mind recommended. Based on all that, I personally wouldn't use it when optimising a site, but then I am clearly more cautious than your client :)

Update 2022: With Google's Helpful Content Update, they are actively discouraging content written specifically for search engines. While this update applies mainly to the content topic rather than format, I think it's safe to say that using any measure solely to try influence your ranking is discouraged - at best it won't give any SEO benefit at the expense of accessibility.


I don't see any reason that breaking the titles like this could boost SEO in any measurable way.

The general rule of thumb for SEO is that if it makes no sense to have your page set up some way and it goes against web standards, it's probably bad not just for SEO but for your site at large (you've already discovered that it's bad for accessibility). Good SEO is all about choosing from multiple valid, standards-compliant ways to set up a page.


NO. This misses the point of SEO.

By breaking up linguistic data across multiple "environments", the information is artificially "out of context" for Google's algorithms and presents difficulties for interpretation and categorization.

In the "big picture" Google wants your content to be useful for people, so context is important. Linguistically, much of a statement's meaning is conveyed by the context in which it is found. That's why you have the need to also include "to Maximize the Impact of Web Content" so that people know what you're trying to say.

Think about why we use predefined structures on a page to improve meaning and communication. Ideas are expressed in sentences, arranged in paragraphs, headlines, etc. rather than words scattered across a page. This is no different for Google's indexing and cataloging algorithms. They need to "see" how the words relate to each other in order to arrive at understanding. This kind of arrangement is unnatural and may impede understanding.

HTML shenanigans like this do not provide anything useful for people (or search engines) and can be interpreted as "stupid human tricks" to manipulate the search engine indexing process. It is more likely that this kind of thing would be somewhat detrimental to your optimization efforts than effectively useful. Trying to "play the spiders" is pretty transparent and not particularly appreciated.


In one word the answer would be NO.

But adding keyword in header helps user to understand about the topic/page. For helping in SEO you must follow Google's guidelines.

As @FluffyKiten said:

It certainly doesn't meet Google's (admittedly vague) guidelines


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